- Published: Tuesday, 16 December 2014 15:10
- Hits: 17
And afterward, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your old men will dream dreams, your young men will see visions.
An astronaut. A doctor. An actor. A writer. An architect.
When you were a kid and that inevitable question came up—what do you want to be when you grow up?—how did you answer? With what flourishes did you describe these future, adult dreams of yours?
And did you notice, even then, the dismissal in their smiling nods?
That’s adorable. An architect! Just wait until you grow up and get into the real world.
Is it inevitable? This defeat—this turning of dreams into drudgery? This never-ending cycle of Mondays?
Of course not, you say. Just think of that 50-year-old woman, book contract in hand for her first novel. Or that lawyer-turned-social entrepreneur who traded a corner office for a dingy room across the tracks.
It’s possible to change course. And perhaps you are harboring an idea even now. A someday-dream for after the kids leave and the house is paid off.
But what about today? What about the job you’re in now? What are your dreams for tomorrow or this year?
- Published: Tuesday, 09 December 2014 14:55
- Hits: 31
Be still, and know that I am God.
Don’t give up on your dreams. As hard as life gets, it will be the dreams that God has put in your life that will keep you going. God will send people into your life who will encourage you and challenge you. Be wise and learn to recognize them. Many will teach you new things, and encourage you to pursue your dreams. Some will challenge you, but you will learn from them.
Quitting college is painful. But some day they will call you “Doctor.” That title will surprise you because it is totally not what you think it is, but it is no surprise to God. Trust God and be willing to change direction when you sense God telling you. Remember how you loved to help people when you were little? And you loved teaching people. That is a passion that God has placed in you. He will use it once you open yourself up to hearing from God.
You will fail and make some big mistakes. But you will get up and keep going. That process will teach perseverance. Don’t give up. Trust God and know that now matter how many mistakes you make, it will not diminish the love God has for you. Perfection is impossible to attain and has the potential to leave you empty. Excellence is possible and the growth that comes from striving for it is the manifestation of God working in you.
- Published: Tuesday, 02 December 2014 12:10
- Hits: 38
From Deepening Friendship....
Those of us in the Western world have forgotten a lot of what we once understood about visual pathways. Before written language became the focal point of communication, people used symbols, signs, and objects to express their needs, their memories, and their prayers. Now I can go to some ancient site and look at pictorial stories done in sketches and carvings—and have no idea what they mean. I am somewhat illiterate when it comes to visual cues.
- Published: Thursday, 27 November 2014 15:17
- Hits: 44
from Deepening Friendship...
- Published: Tuesday, 25 November 2014 15:27
- Hits: 44
Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.
My husband took me to Hawaii for my fiftieth birthday. On the morning I turned fifty, we boarded a plane and headed toward Maui. Ocean breezes, turquoise waters, azure skies, emerald mountains, extravagant sunsets. It was paradise.
For the first three days we were there, I marveled at the beauty around me while standing on the shore, or sitting on the balcony in our hotel, or driving to find the end of the rainbow in the mountains on the island. But I couldn’t relax. I was so tightly wound, it took me days to finally settle in to the slow pace of island life.
On the fourth day of our trip, I noticed something different. My breath came easy, and my shoulders were no longer hovering around my ears. “Whew!” I said to my husband. “I think I’m finally relaxed. I can’t believe it took so long.”
- Published: Tuesday, 18 November 2014 12:05
- Hits: 70
From Deepening Friendship...
1. Start with Openness.
When you get out of bed in the morning, stand up straight and extend your arms out to your sides, palms open and facing upward. Say, out loud or silently, “God, I receive the gift of this day, and I open my heart to your desires for my life and this world.”
2. Pause to Reflect and Regroup.
In the middle of your day, take a few moments to get quiet and gently review how the day has gone. Give thanks for the blessings, and ask for help with the challenges. Then continue into the rest of the day.
3. End with Embrace.
Before you retire for the night, spend a few moments in a posture that for you is one of comfort—a seated yoga position, curled up on the bed, or nestled into a favorite chair with arms embracing yourself. In prayer, acknowledge where you hurt, where you feel need, and what you long for. You are confiding in One who loves you infinitely. Embrace your identity as one who is loved.
What simple phrase or act has helped you keep praying through the years?
- Published: Tuesday, 04 November 2014 11:54
- Hits: 81
From Deepening Friendship
Sometimes we fail to see that an entire created world can lead us to prayer. We don’t need to look far for it because often it’s in our own home or yard. This week, let’s pray with creation.
When you tend a plant, you are fulfilling one of your purposes as a human being on this earth.The Book of Genesis tells the story of God creating the world; Adam and Eve represent humanity, and the garden there in paradise represents the created world. Adam and Eve are charged with care of the garden. This earth is under our care, and too often we have damaged it rather than cared for it. But when we water our potted flowers or prune foliage when it’s time or plant seedlings and harvest fruit, we are doing holy work. This can be a prayerful time.
- Published: Friday, 31 October 2014 10:38
- Hits: 89
I listened to the audiobook version of Arianna Huffington's, Thrive, on a recent vacation. There is much herein to recommend in terms of living a balanced life. I especially liked the appendices with many practical tools. I have cribbed the book's synopsis, below, from the Random House website.
Arianna Huffington's personal wake-up call came in the form of a broken cheekbone and a nasty gash over her eye -- the result of a fall brought on by exhaustion and lack of sleep. As the cofounder and editor-in-chief of the Huffington Post Media Group -- one of the fastest growing media companies in the world -- celebrated as one of the world's most influential women, and gracing the covers of magazines, she was, by any traditional measure, extraordinarily successful. Yet as she found herself going from brain MRI to CAT scan to echocardiogram, to find out if there was any underlying medical problem beyond exhaustion, she wondered is this really what success feels like?
- Published: Tuesday, 28 October 2014 11:25
- Hits: 96
“You will always have the poor among you, and you can help them whenever you want to. But you will not always have me.”
I want to pause one more day to reflect upon Mark 14:1-11. Yesterday I focused on the costly sacrifice of the woman who anointed Jesus with costly perfume. Today, I want to draw our attention to something Jesus said in response to this generous act.
- Published: Friday, 24 October 2014 20:09
- Hits: 103
“Dear Friends: The Letters of St. Paul to Christians in America” by Christopher L. Webber (Yucca, 2014) is not simply a new translation of Paul’s letters, but rather a completely new set of letters addressed to various cities and states in America. Instead of writing to Rome, for example, Paul now writes to Washington, the new world capitol, and instead of writing to Corinth, that center of cultural change, Paul writes to Californians.
- Published: Tuesday, 21 October 2014 10:55
- Hits: 104
From Deepening Friendship....
This is a long prayer, and you may not resonate with every phrase of it, but there’s a lot of really good material here. I suggest you choose what is true for you and form just a sentence or two as your morning prayer for the next few days.
- Published: Friday, 17 October 2014 20:24
- Hits: 180
Lindsay Hardin Freeman’s “Bible Women: All Their Words and Why They Matter” (Forward Movement, 2014) presents fascinating and unexpected insights into the 93 women whose words are recorded in scripture. Women of the Bible have been trapped in dry, dusty literary caskets for centuries – but no more.
Freeman, an Episcopal priest and award-winning author, identifies every woman who speaks in the Bible, providing their words, context, historical background and lessons for modern readers. Published by Forward Movement in partnership with Episcopal Church Women, the book also explores the pivotal roles of biblical women who changed the course of history, from Mary, the mother of Jesus, to Mary Magdalene, the first to see and proclaim the risen Lord.
- Published: Tuesday, 14 October 2014 10:30
- Hits: 149