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Thursday, November 29, 2018

loving and telling

Opening Prayer: O Lord, help us always to love you for who you are, and not merely for what we can get out of it. And as we open our mouths to tell others about that love, may it always flow from a place of deep inner reality.  All because of Jesus, in whose name we pray.  Amen.

Scripture: Matthew 7:21-23

Journal: Is what you tell people about God true in your heart and in your life?

Reflection: Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only what they say about Him.  For it doesn’t stop at being interested in paint, you know.  They sink lower—become interested in their own personalities and then nothing but their own reputations. (The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis)


Closing Prayer: Help us never, O God, to love the telling, more than we love you.  That would be such a tragedy.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

the life of ministry

Opening Prayer: You call us, O Lord, to care for those around us tenderly and gently, like a mother nurturing her children.  It is the call to love faithfully, sacrificially, and unconditionally.  Give us the grace and the strength and the courage to do just that.  In the name of Jesus we pray.  Amen.

Scripture: 1 Thessalonians 2:7-8

Journal: Who are the folks who led you to faith in Christ?  What did they do?  How were they gentle among you, like a mother caring for her children?

Reflection: A few moments later I realised my mistake.  Some kind of procession was approaching us, and the light came from the persons who composed it.
     First came bright Spirits, not the Spirits of men, who danced and scattered flowers—soundlessly falling, lightly drifting flowers, though by the standards of the ghost-world each petal would have weighed a hundred-weight and their fall would have been like the crashing of boulders.  Then, on the left and right, at each side of the forest avenue, came youthful shapes, boys upon one hand and girls upon the other.  If I could remember their singing and write down the notes, no man who read that score would ever grow sick or old.  Between them went musicians; and after these a lady in whose honour all this was being done.
     I cannot now remember whether she was naked or clothed.  If she were naked, then it must have been the almost visible penumbra of her courtesy and joy which produces in my memory the illusion of a great and shining train that followed her across the happy grass.  If she were clothed, then the illusion of nakedness is doubtless due to the clarity with which her inmost spirit shone through the clothes.  For clothes in that country are not a disguise; the spiritual body lives along each thread and turns them into living organs.  A robe or a crown is there as much one of the wearer’s features as a lip or an eye.
     But I have forgotten.  And only partly do I remember the unbearable beauty of her face.
     “Is it? . . . is it?” I whispered to my guide.
     “Not at all,” said he.  “It’s someone ye’ll never have heard of.  Her name on earth was Sarah Smith and she lived at Golders Green.”
     “She seems to be . . . well, a person of particular importance?”
     “Aye.  She is one of the great ones.  Ye have heard that fame in this country and fame on Earth are two quite different things.”
     “And who are these gigantic people . . . look!  They’re like emeralds . . . who are dancing and throwing flowers before her?”
     “Haven’t ye read your Milton?  A thousand liveried angels lackey her.”
     “And who are all these young men and women on each side?”
     “They are her sons and daughters.”
     “She must have had a very large family, Sir.”
     “Every young man or boy that met her became her son—even if it was only the boy that brought the meat to her back door.  Every girl that met her was her daughter.”
     “Isn’t that a bit hard on their own parents?”
     “No.  There are those that steal other people’s children.  But her motherhood was of a different kind.  Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more.  (The Great Divorce by C. S. Lewis)


Closing Prayer: Help us, O Lord, to give ourselves in ministry to others in the same way you gave yourself for us.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

be still

Opening Prayer: Be still and know that I am God.

Scripture: Psalm 46:10

Journal: How able are you to be still and know that he is God?  Why?

Reflection: Finish this sentence: "Be still and know that I am God..."
     If you are like me, it is likely that you responded, "Period."  After all, most of us don't know, or don't remember, that there is much more to that famous sentence than just the part we so readily quote off the top of our heads.  And ironically, the part we don't remember is actually key to accomplishing the part that we do remember.  Being still and knowing that he is God is not an easy task.  In fact, for many of us, stillness is something that feels darn near impossible.  Why is that?
     That's where the second part of the sentence comes in: "I will be exalted among the nations; I will be exalted in the earth." (Psalm 46:10)  What a great reminder from God: "Me being exalted is not up to you.  In fact, I will be exalted just fine without you.  And until you truly believe that, you will never be able to be still and silent before me.  The salvation of the world does not depend on you, but on me.  You are not as necessary in the grand scheme of things as you'd like to think you are.  That is not meant to diminish or demean you, but to set you free.  So be still and know that I am God.  That is not a suggestion or a recommendation, but a command.  I will be exalted among the nations; and I will be exalted on earth.  I will be exalted in your family and in your work and in your neighborhood and in your world, and even in your ministry, with or without you.  After all, it is not your life and your ministry, and even your world, in the first place, but mine.  So be still and know that I am God.  I've got this.  And if you do not fully believe that, if you do not fully believe the second part of the verse, then you will never be able to experience the first part.  And I want so much more for you than that.  
     So let us pray the words of this ancient prayer.  For maybe if we are faithful to pray them over and over again, we will one day come to believe them.  And they will begin to shape and take root in our hearts and lives.


Closing Prayer: I will be exalted among the nations, and I will be exalted on the earth, so be still and know that I am God.

Saturday, November 24, 2018


Opening Prayer: O God, you call us to be just like Jesus, emptying ourselves and making ourselves nothing, so that you might be everything.  Give us the grace and the courage and the strength to do that.  Amen.

Scripture: Philippians 2:5-8

Journal: How is God asking you to make yourself nothing the way Jesus did?



why do I 
keep trying to 
become something
when you
ask me to
become nothing
so that you might
be everything


Closing Prayer:  Make me nothing, O God, that you might be everything.  Amen.

Friday, November 23, 2018

abba's song

Opening Prayer: Give me ears, O God, to hear the beautiful song of love that you constantly sing over me.

Scripture: Zephaniah 3:17

Journal: What song do you think God sings over you?  What are the lyrics?  What is the melody?  What does it stir up within you?


abba’s song

zeph. 3:17

hush my child
can you hear it

it is the song of 
delight and affection
i constantly sing
over you

this noisy world
and your fragile heart
make it hard 
to hear

but it is there
always there
it never stops

slow your pace
and quiet your soul
and you will
hear it

once you do
you will never
be the same

for it will
awaken you
deep within
and bring you to life

in a way that 
makes you 
unable to live 
as you once did

for you will 
have heard the song 
from which and for which
you were made

and now 
all of life is 
a continual quest
to hear it again and again

so hush my child
be still and listen 
to my song of love
sung over you



Closing Prayer: Help me, O God, to listen to the song of love, delight, and affection that you sing over me.  And help me to dare to believe that it is true.  Amen.

Thursday, November 22, 2018


Opening Prayer: We thank you, most Loving God, that you have chosen us to be your very own.  We thank you for your presence and your promises and your provision that you pour out upon us each and every day.  We are so grateful, O God, for your good gifts and your abundant grace, which we do not deserve.  And most of all we thank you, Lord God, for Jesus, your Son and our Savior.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 118:1-29

Journal: What are you thankful for this day?  Write a thank you letter to God today telling him all of the things you are thankful for.

     For if you go poking about the world, intent on keeping the candle of consciousness blazing, you must be ready to give thanks at all times.  Discrimination is not allowed.  The flame cannot gutter and fail when a cold wind whistles throughout the house.
     Thanksgiving, thanksgiving.  All must be thanksgiving.
     It took thirty-eight thousand Levites to give thanks to God in David’s day; every morning and every evening the shifts changed.  Four thousand were needed just to carry hacked carcasses of cattle, and another four thousand were needed to sing about it.  The place reeked of blood, was soaked in blood.  The priests stood around gnawing and chewing and giving thanks.  They did not cross-stich their gratitude on samplers to frame and hang on the wall.  They wrote their thanks in blood on the doorposts every year.
     Thanksgiving is not a task to be undertaken lightly.  It is not for dilettantes or aesthetes.  One does not dabble in praise for one’s own amusement, nor train the intellect and develop perceptual skills to add to his repertoire.  We’re not talking about the world as a free course in art appreciation.  No.  Thanksgiving is not a result of perception; thanksgiving is the access to perception. (And the Tress Clap Their Hands by Virginia Stem Owens)


Closing Prayer: Thank God because he’s good, because his love never quits.  Tell the world, Israel, “His love never quits.”  And you, clan of Aaron, tell the world, “His love never quits.”  And you who fear God, join in, “His love never quits.”
     Blessed are you who enter in God’s name—from God’s house we bless you!  God is God, he has bathed us in light.  Festoon the shrine with garlands, hang colored banners above the altar!  You’re my God, and I thank you.  O my God, I lift high your praise.
Thank God—he’s so good.  His love never quits! (Psalm 118:1-4, 26-29, The Message)

Monday, November 19, 2018


Opening Prayer: Take, O Lord, and receive my life and my love as a sacrifice of praise to you this day.  Help me to pour out on you, that love which you have poured into me.  Amen.

Scripture: Luke 7:36-50

Journal: How does your sense of being loved determine how you love?  How aware are you of the love of Jesus?  What does that love cause you to do in response?  How will you show him your love today?



when you know
how deeply
you are loved

only then

will you 
learn how
to love


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to know, to the core of my being, how deeply I am loved.  And help that love to capture my heart, to overflow in my life, and to find its way back to you in concrete expression this day.  Amen.

Sunday, November 18, 2018

alone with God

Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to always follow your example and make time and space to be quiet and alone with my heavenly Father, regardless of what my schedule and my demands might look like.  Amen.

Scripture: Mark 1:32-39

Journal: What is your time with God look like these days?  How fruitful is it?  How regular is it?  What is he doing in you as a result?


Alone with God…
that is the secret of true prayer,
of true power in prayer, of real, living,
face to face fellowship with God,
and of power for service. There is no true,
deep conversion, no true, deep holiness,
no clothing with the Holy Spirit and with power,
no abiding peace or joy,
without being daily alone with God.
~Andrew Murray


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help my time with you each day to determine how I live, not vice versa.  Amen.

Friday, November 16, 2018


Opening Prayer: I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I put my hope.

Scripture: Psalm 130:1-8

Journal: What are you waiting for these days?  What is God doing in you as you wait?

Reflection: Waiting is no easy thing.  In fact, it takes quite a bit of effort.  But effort in a much different way than we are used to.  There is a letting go that is necessary in waiting: a letting go of control and opinion and agenda; a letting go of strength and power and adequacy.  Waiting is the place where we have to come face to face with our inability to make things happen for ourselves.  Thus, it can be an incredibly humbling process. 
     But waiting is not only about letting go, there is also a taking hold that is necessary.  We must begin to embrace—rather than deny—our own vulnerability, dependence, and weakness.  For the scriptures clearly tell us that “When we are weak, we are strong.” (2 Cor. 12:10)  Waiting puts us in a place where we must confront our own nothingness and find that it is not an enemy, but a friend.  It has something of incredible value to teach us, if we are willing to listen.  
     Therefore, waiting is never passive, but always active.  It involves the movement from clenched fists to open hands.  For clenched fists can never receive anything.  And, in the end, waiting is always about receiving.  It is about realizing that we cannot control or contrive or manipulate God into giving us anything, we must simply learn to wait with open hands to receive whatever he decides to give, whenever he decides to give it.  Thus, our hope is not in our own efforts, gifts, and abilities, but in his grace alone, which is always sufficient.


Closing Prayer: My soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen wait for the morning, more than watchmen wait for the morning.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

you prepare a table

Opening Prayer: You prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies, you anoint my head with oil, my cup overflows.  Thank you!

Scripture: Psalm 23:5

Journal: How is God preparing a table for you these days?  What does that look like in your life?  What does that knowledge do in your soul?

Reflection: They say that you can’t rush a good thing.  And in this life, I have found that to be profoundly true—especially in the case of a good meal.  And yet we get so impatient.  Our hunger drives us to want that meal now.  Unfortunately, in the spiritual life, there are no drive thrus.  It is, and will always be, a slow work.  The best things always are.  
     The key to being patient in our waiting lies in our trust of the one who is preparing the meal.  If we are able to trust in the goodness of what is to come—and the heart of the one who is preparing it—it will allow us to wait in joyful expectancy, rather than in irritable frustration.  We must believe that God is at work—always at work—preparing an incredibly beautiful meal for us; one that will surpass all of our greatest hopes and wildest dreams.


Closing Prayer: Lord God, help me to truly believe that you are at work—always at work—preparing a table for me that is beyond all I could ask or imagine. 

Monday, November 12, 2018


Opening Prayer: Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.
     He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. The wicked are not so, but are like chaff that the wind drives away.
     Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous; for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish. (Psalm 1:1-6)

Scripture: Psalm 1:1-6

Journal: What dysfunctional patterns in your life stifle your movement towards God?  What spiritual practices encourage and enliven it?  How will you disrupt the dysfunctional “practices” and engage the enlivening ones?  Where and how does meditation fit into that?

Reflection: Simply stated, there are things that we do regularly in our lives, whether we recognize them or not, that help our relationship with God, and things that hinder it.  We are all a messy combination of the two—good and bad, functional and dysfunctional.  There are old habits and patterns that stifle our movement towards God, and things that are intentionally done to encourage and enliven it.  These things (both good and bad), because of their regularity and because of their effect upon us, are most accurately called practices.  Practices are the things we do regularly that determine the quality and direction of our lives.
     Psalm 1 illustrates this—and highlights it.  It points out that the key to living a beautiful, vibrant, dynamic life with God, is to recognize and disrupt the dysfunctional practices, while identifying and engaging in the fruitful ones.  The problem is that, since we rarely call our unhealthy patterns “practices,” and thus, don’t normally attempt to disrupt or destroy the negative patterns before we start engaging in the positive ones, we make little progress.  The disruption of these old ways is an essential part of the process.  Why else do you think the Psalm begins with what not to do, rather than what to do?  
     If we just try to lay a bunch of new practices over the top of the old ones, rather than trying to get rid of them completely, we will have limited success at best—and will most likely drive ourselves crazy in the process.  First, we must identify and disrupt the ways in which we consistently choose to engage in practices (or behavior) that keep us from God, before we can then set new patterns and practices that actually encourage and enliven our movement towards him.  Only then will we begin to experience the beauty of being like a tree, instead of being like chaff; planted by streams, rather than blown about by the wind.  


Closing Prayer:  Lord God, uproot those things and those patterns within me that keep me from moving toward you and being wholly yours.  And give me the grace and the strength to engage in practices and that help your life to grow bigger and bigger in and through me.  Help me to meditate on you, O Lord, and on your word, and not be so consumed with myself and my stuff.  In the name of Jesus I pray.  Amen.

Saturday, November 10, 2018


Opening Prayer: The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul. (Psalm 23:1-3)

Scripture: Psalm 23:1-3

Journal: Is God enough for you?  I mean, really?  What does the enough-ness of God do within you?  What does it free you from?  What does it free you for?  How does it give you rest, and restore your soul?

Reflection: Sometimes we can become so familiar with something that we stop recognizing and appreciating its beauty.  I think that’s definitely true of the twenty-third Psalm.  The words have become so familiar that we skim right over the surface of them, without allowing them to get inside of us and penetrate us to the core of our being.  We do this at our own expense, because the words of this ancient prayer are chocked full of beauty and life.
     The Lord is my shepherd,” begins the familiar refrain, “I shall not want.”  And we need to stop right there and begin to consider the depths of what has just been said.  We need to give these words the time and the space and the attention they deserve.  And if we do, they will do a work in—and then through—us.  After all, what does that really mean anyway?  What does it really mean that the Lord is my shepherd?  And how is it even possible for me not to want? 
     The word for want in the Hebrew is chacer, which, at its core, means to be lacking.  So if the Lord truly is my shepherd, whatever that may mean, then I will not be lacking.  I will not lack provision, I will not lack affection, and I will not lack worth and value.  He is enough.  He is enough for me, and I am enough in him.  How incredibly freeing!  But do I really believe this?  Do I really believe God is enough?  And am I able to trust in, and rest in, his enough-ness?
     For if I do not really believe God is enough, I will never be able to lie down in green pastures and be led beside quiet waters.  I will be too busy and frantic trying to provide for myself, and prove to myself and my world that I am worth loving.  I shall not want always precedes being able to lie down in green pastures and being willing to be led beside quiet waters. If I can come to terms with the enough-ness of my God, and, therefore, the enough-ness of myself, then I can be really free from want.  Free to love and to serve those in my life and my world without needing them in some sadly dysfunctional way.  
     The kicker is that I must truly believe that God is enough for me.  And I must truly believe that God is enough in me.  And I must truly believe that God is enough through me.  That alone is the only thing that can restore my soul.


Closing Prayer: God, my shepherd!  I don’t need a thing. (Psalm 23:1, The Message)

Thursday, November 8, 2018


Opening Prayer: Praise the Lord.  How good it is to sing praises to our God, how pleasant and fitting it is to praise him.

Scripture: Psalm 147:1

Journal: Where and how does the word fitting describe your life and faith these days?  What about the words good and pleasant?  What situations or activities or practices make you feel most “at home?”  What about praise?  How will you make praise a regular part of your life?

Reflection: So I leave today to lead a silent retreat for a group of “twenty-somethings” living and working in Knoxville.  And as I do, I have long been aware of a strange dynamic that takes place within me whenever I leave to go and do whatever it is that God has called me to go and do.  There is a definite sense of excitement (most times) about the people and the place and the time that we will spend together.  But there is also a sense of sadness, even when I am really excited about where I am going and what I am doing.  I have always attributed this sadness to the constant sense of anxiety that I live with on a daily basis; my thorn in the flesh, if you will.  Or, should I say, one of my thorns—at least Paul only had one, right?  
     But today as I was praying Psalm 147, God met me in a really sweet way.  He gave me a bit of an epiphany.  One of my dear, and very wise, friends always says, when praying the Psalms, we should “Listen to the words of the ancient prayer and listen for the prayer of God that rises in our hearts.”  Well, today what rose in my heart was the word “fitting.”  For some reason that word just leapt off the page.  So I stopped, and I asked God what it was about that word that made it his word for me today.  And as I meditated on the word fitting, and began to dig down a little deeper (quarrying instead of strip mining it), I discovered that the Hebrew word translated as fitting (in Psalm 147:1) is probably most accurately translated to be at home.  As in, we are most at home, most ourselves, most who we were made to be, when we are praising God.  That’s when it hit me: I love to be home.  When I am at home I am most at peace and most at rest—most myself in a really beautiful way.  And I hate to leave home; that’s where the sadness comes in.  And thus, this sadness is not a bad thing.  In fact, it is a very, very good thing—the Genesis 1 kind of good.  
     That’s when God began to really answer the question of why this word (fitting) was my word for the day.  You love home.  You love being at home.  And that is a very, very good thing.  I actually made you to be at home; that’s what life with me was intended to be.  And the way you feel when you are at home is the way I made you to feel all the time—in me.  I am your true home.  And you do not have to be at your house to be at home in me.  That can take place wherever you go and whatever you do.  All you have to do is choose to be at home in me.  Choose praise.  Choose joy.  Choose gladness.  Choose life.  Choose to make your home in me, just as I have made my home in you.  Now that is good, and pleasant, and fitting!”
     So please pray that no matter where I am, or what I do, I will learn how to always know and experience the joy of being at home—in Him. 


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, you are my true home.  It is good and pleasant and fitting that I should make my home in you.  Help me to do just that, as you make your home in me.  Amen.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018


Opening Prayer: My heart is not raised up, O Lord; my eyes are not lifted too high.  I do not occupy myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me.

Scripture: Psalm 131:1-3

Journal: What does being like a weaned child with its mother mean to you?  How is it a step in the direction of humility?  What is God saying to you through this Psalm?


                      Note to Self

Don’t think more highly of yourself than you ought.
Don’t try to sound like you know more than you do.
Live your life quietly and share your life humbly.
Be like a weaned child with its mother.
Don’t overestimate your own importance.
Don’t exaggerate your own significance.
Don’t promote your own indispensability.
Don’t fall in love with your own opinion.
The world will get along just fine without it.
The world needs your care and your presence
More than it needs your words.
So say less and love more.


Closing Prayer: But I have stilled and quieted my soul like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  O Israel, put your hope in the Lord both now and forevermore.  Amen.

Tuesday, November 6, 2018


Opening Prayer: Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him.

Scripture: Psalm 62:5

Journal: How do you find rest in God?  What keeps you from it?  How will you rest in him today?



when the world is pressing in
and my heart a jumble of
anxiety and weariness

i look to You
i come to the quiet
where your fullness resides
where my best self is kept
and i can breathe again

my soul can stop
and i can lay my head
upon your great big heart
and find my rest in You


Closing Prayer: My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge.  Trust in him at all times, O people, pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Monday, November 5, 2018


Opening Prayer: Don’t let me miss you, O Lord.  Do not let me allow the craziness and chaos of my life to keep me from seeing and knowing that you are always with me.  Help me, in all times and in all circumstances, to be still and know that you are God.  Amen.

Scripture: Genesis 28:10-22

Journal: How aware are you of God’s presence and work in your life on a daily basis?  What helps?  What hinders?  How can you become more aware?

Reflection: “Surely God is in this place and I was not aware of it.”  What a tragic line.  Fortunately for Jacob, God was not content to leave him unaware.  But that is not always the case.  There are plenty of times when we get so hyper-focused on the task at hand, the chaos and busyness of our lives, or our anxieties about what is to come, that it keeps us from being able to remember and experience the fact that God promises to always be with us.
     In this case, Jacob was on a mission.  He had a definite agenda in mind, as he spent the night, with a stone for a pillow, somewhere between Beersheba and Haran.  After all, he was heading to Paddan Aram—under orders of his father, Isaac—to take a wife.  I mean, that is no small matter, right?  No wonder he was not particularly attentive to the journey; he was totally consumed with the destination.  Destinations—both good and bad—have a way of doing that.  They have a way of diverting our attention and making us unaware of the presence and work of God in our lives in the present moment.  Our activity and our anxiety make it nearly impossible for us to be still and know that he is God.  So God has to come to us somehow—as he did to Jacob—and get our attention.
     It makes me wonder.  It makes me wonder how many times God was right there with me and I failed to notice.  It makes me wonder what all I have missed.  It makes me wonder how I can live in such a way that I am always aware of God in this place, wherever this place may be.  O Lord, help me to live my life in such a way that I am always aware of your presence and your work.


Closing Prayer: O Lord, help me to live my life in such a way that I am always aware of your presence and your work.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

abiding in ministry

Opening Prayer: Abide in me and I will abide in you.

Scripture: John 15:1-11

Journal: What does God’s invitation for you to abide in him do within you today?  How will you take him up on his invitation? 

Reflection: We ministers of the Gospel, how we are in danger of getting into a condition of work, work, work!  And we pray over it, but the freshness and buoyancy and joy of the heavenly life are not always present.  Let us seek to understand that the life of the branch is a life of much fruit, because it is a life rooted in Christ, the living, heavenly Vine.
     Let us again ask: what has the branch to do?  You know that precious, inexhaustible word that Christ used: “Abide.”  Your life is to be an abiding life.  And how is this abiding to be?  It is to be just like the branch in the vine, abiding every minute of the day.  There are the branches, in close communion, in unbroken communion, with the vine, from January to December.  And cannot I live every day—it is to me an almost terrible thing that we should ask the question—cannot I live in abiding communion with the heavenly Vine?
     You say: “But I am so much occupied with other things.”
     You may have ten hours’ hard work daily, during which your brain has to be occupied with temporal things; God orders it so.  But the abiding work is the work of the heart, not the brain, the work of the heart clinging to and resting in Jesus, a work in which the Holy Spirit links us to Christ Jesus.  Oh, do believe that deeper down than the brain, deep down in the inner life, you can abide in Christ, so that every moment you are free the consciousness will Come: “Blessed Jesus, I am still in thee.” (Absolute Surrender and Other Addresses by Andrew Murray)


Closing Prayer: You are the vine, Lord Jesus, and I am just a branch.  Help me to remember that today, and to live my life abiding in you.  Amen.

Thursday, November 1, 2018


Opening Prayer: God, my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.
     Even when the way goes through Death Valley, I’m not afraid when you walk at my side. Your trusty shepherd’s crook makes me feel secure. (Psalm 23:1-4, The Message)

Scripture: Psalm 23:1-6

Journal: What does it mean to you that the Lord is your shepherd today?

Reflection: May you know the Lord as your shepherd today. The one who makes you lie down, leads you into quiet stillness, and restores your soul. The one who guides you in right paths for his name’s sake. The one who protects you and keeps you, who comforts and watches over you, and who is with you in the darkest valley. The one who prepares a table for you, anoints your head with oil, and makes your cup overflow. The one who pursues you relentlessly with his unfailing love and care all the days of your life.


Closing Prayer: You serve me a six-course dinner right in front of my enemies. You revive my drooping head; my cup brims with blessing.
     Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of God for the rest of my life. (Psalm 23:5-6, The Message)