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Friday, April 30, 2021


Opening Prayer: Awaken us, Lord Jesus, to your life and your love.  For unless you do, we will never have any real hope of true and lasting change.  Amen.

Scripture: John 4:28-29

Journal: In what areas of your life are you longing for awakening?  How do you think this will come about?  Where (and how) are you still trying to do it yourself?

Reflection: Old patterns and dysfunctional habits are not broken through ought and should, through guilt and shame, or through doubling down on our own efforts to "do better."  They are broken when God pulls us to himself in a new and beautiful way.  When he awakens us to a new way of being.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, I’m so tired of trying it on my own.  Change is hard, and I just can’t make it happen on my own.  I need for you to awaken me to a new way of being and seeing.  Pull me toward yourself in a way that changes everything about me.  Amen.

Thursday, April 29, 2021

come on down

Opening Prayer: Forgive me, Lord Jesus, for spending so much time and energy trying to be somebody, when you call us to be nobody.  Give me the courage and the strength and the grace necessary to walk the downward path to you.  Amen.

Scripture: Luke 18:9-14

Journal: Is your life mostly about ascending or descending these days?  Why?  How does that mesh with the call of Jesus to humility?  How is Jesus asking you to follow him downward?  What does that look like?


“Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” (Luke 18:14)

Down is up in the kingdom of God.  Jesus said it himself, “He who humbles himself will be exalted.”  It makes me wonder why I still seem so hell-bent on climbing; on trying to exalt myself, rather than embracing the call of Jesus to downward mobility. 

The warning is clear.  Jesus doesn’t say, “Those who exalt themselves run the risk of being humbled.”  And he doesn’t say, “Those who exalt themselves sometimes get humbled.”  He says, “Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.”  Did you hear that?  Everyone.  Not just most, or some, or the majority of, but everyone.  Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled.  No might or can or probably to it; he will be.

It seems to me, we can either humble ourselves, or it can be done for us.  The choice is ours.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, you will get us to humility somehow, it is up to us exactly how we want that to happen.  Help us to accept your call, O Lord, downward.  For when we do, we will find you there.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 27, 2021


Opening Prayer: Rejoice in me, always.  I will say it again: Rejoice!  Do not, my children, be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to me.  And my peace, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.  Amen.

Scripture: Philippians 4:4-9

Journal: How do you typically fight fear and anxiety?  How well is that working for you?  What would it look like to think about the beautiful things, rather being consumed by the things that make you anxious and afraid?

Reflection: You don’t fight fear and anxiety by not focusing on the bad things, but by focusing on the good and beautiful things; not by reciting our woes, but by rejoicing in God’s goodness and blessing.  I think that’s why Paul starts this section of Philippians with the word rejoice.  He is trying to remind us that the battle against fear and anxiety is won or lost by what lenses we choose to look at life through.  Do we look at life through the lenses of fear and anxiety, or do we look at life through the lenses of joy and gratitude. 

And remember, Paul is writing this from prison.  He could easily be overwhelmed by sorrow and sadness and despair, but he’s not.  Instead, he is choosing to “Rejoice!”  And so can we. 


Closing Prayer: Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent and praiseworthy—think about such things.  And I, the God of peace, will be with you.  Amen.

Saturday, April 24, 2021

true self

Opening Prayer: “O Lord, you have searched me and you know me.  You know when I sit and when I rise, you perceive my thoughts from afar.  You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all of my ways.” (Psalm 139:1-3) Help me to be exactly who and what you made me to be, for only you know who that is.  Amen.

Scripture: John 4:23-24

Journal: Where is your sense of self coming from these days?  Is it true?



if our sense of self
must be managed
or manufactured
it can most certainly
only be false

true self cannot
be attained
or achieved
but only bestowed

and it can only
be bestowed
by the one who made us
it is the gift of God


Closing Prayer: Search me, O God, and know my heart, test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive (false) way in me, and lead me in the way (truth) everlasting.” (Psalm 139:23-24)

Saturday, April 17, 2021


Opening Prayer: O Lord, please remind me that the road to abundance leads through the fire and through the water.  Forgive me when I try to avoid those two things, for when I do, I miss what you want to do in and through me.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 66:8-12

Journal: What is the fore and water for you right now?  Can you trust that God is leading you, through it, to a place of abundance?


psalm 66:12

there is a land
called abundance
on the other side
of the fire and water

take my hand
and I will
lead you there


Closing Prayer: Help me to trust you, O Lord, even when the road is not an easy one; knowing that you are always leading me, ultimately, to a place of abundance.  Amen.

Friday, April 16, 2021


Opening Prayer: Lord Jesus, forgive me for continually trying to do things on my own.  Forgive me for trying to fill my own nets, for without you I will always come up empty.  When will I ever learn?

Scripture: John 21:1-13

Journal: How are your nets these days?  How are you trying to fill them?  What would it look like to stop trying and allow Jesus to do that?

Reflection: So, let me see if I’ve got this right: empty nets without you, full nets with you.  Why, then, do I keep trying to do it on my own?  Note to self: Stop trying to fill your own nets!


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, come and fill the nets of my life and my ministry, whatever that may look like, for I cannot do it on my own.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 13, 2021


Opening Prayer: Forgive me, Lord Jesus, when I live as if this live was about me, rather than about you.  Give me the grace and the strength and the courage to truly surrender myself to you.  Amen.

Scripture: Mark 8:35

Journal: What does it mean to completely surrender to Jesus?  What would this look like in your life?

Reflection: Do I really have the desire for change in my life, if I constantly resist that change?  Do I really want to follow Jesus, if I continually refuse to surrender to him?  If I constantly try to manage and control my own life?  If I refuse to embrace the powerlessness and dependence necessary to be truly led by him?  If I refuse to be still and listen.  If I refuse to respond to his will and his direction, rather than forcing my own?  If I refuse to become nothing, so that he might become everything?  If I refuse to become forgotten, so that you can be remembered?  If I refuse to become small, so that you can become big?  If I refuse to be hidden, so that you might be seen?  If I refuse to become no one, rather than always trying to be someone? 

The answer: probably not.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to know what it looks like to lose my life in order that you might save it.  Then give me the strength to do just that.  Amen.

Monday, April 12, 2021


Opening Prayer: Risen Jesus, the women went to the tomb that first Easter morning, fully expecting to find you there, but you had risen.  And now, Risen One, you are likely to show up at the times, and in the places, we least expect it.  During this season of Eastertide, help us to be alert and attentive to however, wherever, and whenever you might choose to show up.  Amen.

Scripture: 1 Corinthians 15:3-8

Journal: How are you remaining open and attentive to however, wherever, and whenever the risen Jesus might choose to show up?



a road
a beach
a locked room

there is no telling
how or where or when
you might show up next

you are wild and free
not bound by expectations
not coerced by demands

you will not be
controlled or contained
you cannot be
conjured or contrived
nor will you
be manipulated

you come and go
as you please 
all we can do
is stay ready
open and alert
to however
and wherever
and whenever
you might choose
to show up


Closing Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you are alive!  Therefore, help us to look for you in all the areas of our hearts and lives, for we can never tell when—or where or how—you might show up.  Amen.


Saturday, April 10, 2021


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

Scripture: Psalm 131:1-3

Journal: What do you need to be weaned of in order to experience the stillness and quietness that God desires for you?


Me: Lord Jesus, my desire to be noticed and valued is insatiable.  It makes me feel so needy and helpless most of the time.  It keeps me running from person to person, from activity to activity, and from achievement to achievement, trying to satisfy something deep in my heart and soul. 

Jesus: How is that working out for you?

Me: Not very well, I’m afraid.  It just leaves me frustrated and exhausted, which turns me into the worst possible version of myself: fearful, manipulative, controlling, insecure.  It seems like no matter how hard I try, it is never enough.

Jesus: That’s because those things were never meant to fully satisfy you; you can never get enough of them.  They will always leave you wanting more.

Me: Well then, what am I to do?

Jesus: Come to me.  Still your feet and quiet your soul.  Stop trying so hard to be somebody and simply find your value, and your rest, in me.  Become like a weaned child in the loving embrace of its mother: at rest, at peace, and totally content.  You must truly believe that I am enough for you, and then you must let me be.


Closing Prayer: Still my feet, O Lord, and shut my mouth.  Calm my spirit and quiet my heart.  Let me climb up into your great arms of love and rest in the beauty and the wonder of your loving embrace.  Wean me off of the oxygen of applause and attention and let me breathe the life-giving breath of your Spirit instead.  Amen.

Friday, April 9, 2021

recognizing jesus

Opening Prayer: Risen Jesus, come and walk alongside me.  Help me to see your face, hear your voice, and sense your presence in the comings and goings of this day.  Amen.

Scripture: Luke 24:13-35

Journal: When and how have you recognized Jesus in the past couple of weeks?  What helped that happen?  What hinders it happening more often?  How can you live in such a way that you are always watching for him and listening to him?

Reflection: Apparently a significant part of living the resurrection life has to do with being able to recognize the Risen Jesus when he is standing right in front of us. (Luke 24:15-16) We are told that the travelers on the road to Emmaus were kept from recognizing him, but we are not told who, or what, kept them.  Was it somehow Jesus himself that was hiding in the encounter until it was the right time to reveal himself?  That’s a definite possibility.  Or was it their circumstances, their distractions, or their own state of being that kept them from being able to tell it was Jesus?  Who knows, maybe it was their own opinions, preferences, and agendas that kept them from being able to recognize his presence.  Maybe they were so full of themselves that they had no room for Jesus; we are not told.  All we know is that recognizing the Risen Jesus is essential to being able to enter into the resurrection life with him.

Wouldn’t it be great if somehow we were able to train ourselves to look for him and listen for him in every event, encounter, and conversation?  My guess is that if we could actually do that we would see him and hear him much more often.  And what we would see and hear would probably be much different from out preconceived thoughts and notions of what should happen in any given situation or circumstance.  Only when we are truly open and truly free can we even begin to hear his voice, rather than our own, and to see his hand, rather than forcing ours.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to recognize you.  Help me to be able to see you and hear you in the midst of all the circumstances and conversations that will fill my day.  Help me to look for your hand and listen for your voice.  Help me never to miss you because I was so preoccupied with my own thoughts, concerns, and insecurities.  For only then can I hope to be a non-anxious presence in this anxious and fearful world.

Wednesday, April 7, 2021


Opening Prayer: Risen Jesus, what a joy to enter into a season that celebrates new life!  Help us to pay attention to all that is being born, or raised to new life, both within and around us.  Amen.

Scripture: 2 Corinthians 5:17

Journal: Where do you sense new life within and/or around you?  How will you embrace it and celebrate it?



we must be intentional
about the shift
from lent to eastertide
or else we will continue
to be consumed by
what needs to die
and neglect the beauty
of the new that is
already being born


Closing Prayer: Thank you, Lord Jesus, that because of the resurrection we are able to move from asking, “What must die within me?” to asking, “What beautiful thing is being born within me?”  

Tuesday, April 6, 2021


Opening Prayer: Risen Jesus, if I am going to be consumed by anything today, let me be consumed by you.  Amen.

Scripture: John 20:10-18

Journal: What is consuming your heart and mind and attention these days?  How is that keeping you from being able to recognize the Risen Jesus?

Reflection: It is possible to get so consumed with what’s going on in our lives that we miss the fact that the Risen Jesus is standing right in front of us.  Just ask Mary.  She was so full of her own grief and sadness and pain that Jesus was standing right in front of her and she didn’t realize it.  Which just goes to show that when our inner space gets so full of our own worries and cares and concerns, there is just not room for anything else.  Our vision gets so blurred and distorted that it keeps us from being able to see Jesus standing right in our midst.

The sad reality is that we allow many things to consume our hearts and minds other than Jesus.  And when we do that, we lose our ability to recognize him.  We can become consumed with our hurts and our sadness and our pain, like Mary was, that it only turns us in upon ourselves.  Or we can allow our fears and our worries and our anxiety to have free reign within us, which makes us the worst possible version of ourselves.  Or we can even allow “good” things to consume us—work, success, achievements, endeavors, and even ministry.  And when we allow these “good” things to consume us, they are good no longer.  They just become diversions and distractions from the one thing—Jesus.

So instead of allowing all of these other things to consume us, let us be consumed by Christ Jesus instead.  Let us fix our hearts and mind on him.  Let us never neglect him—the one thing—for the many things.  For whatever consumes us, other than Jesus, becomes a hindrance rather than a help.


Closing Prayer: Lord Jesus, help me to never let the concerns and cares and joys and struggles of this life consume me and keep me from being able to recognize you.  Amen.

Monday, April 5, 2021

what's it going to take?

Opening Prayer:  Lord Jesus, the cry of Easter is “He is risen!”  Help us to really believe that, not just for that day way back then, but for every day.  Amen.

Scripture: John 1:1-18

Journal: Where do you find yourself in the Easter narrative?  Who can you most relate to?  Why?  What do you carry with you to the empty tomb?  How does that affect whether or not you will believe that Jesus is risen and wants you to be as well?

Reflection: I have to believe that in John’s account of the resurrection (John 20:1-18), the mention of him getting to the tomb first involves something more than just letting us know that he was faster than Simon Peter.  That sounds petty to me, and the Scriptures are never petty.  They are, however, inspired and intentional.  There is a reason John mentions it.  Maybe it is to show us that his eagerness to get to the tomb, was followed by a hesitation to go in.  Simon Peter may have been a little less eager to arrive at the tomb; he certainly would’ve had good reason to be.  Or, then again, he may have, indeed, just have been slower, who knows? But once he arrived on the scene, he went right in.  And then there’s Mary, who stood outside the tomb weeping; still convinced that someone had stolen the body, rather than believing that Jesus had risen from the dead.  She, like Thomas later on, was unable to “believe” until she encountered the Risen Jesus outside the tomb.

So whether it was John in his eager hesitation, or Peter in his reluctant boldness, or Mary in her weeping confusion, or Thomas in his doubting demandingness, Jesus met them all exactly where they were.  And that is the beautiful thing.  They were all different.  Each had processed his life and his death a little differently.  Each carried different ideas and wounds and baggage and hopes and dreams to that tomb on the first Easter morning.  Thus, Jesus showed up to each of them in exactly the way they needed him to.  John needed to see to believe, Thomas needed to feel to believe, and Mary needed to hear Jesus tenderly call her name in order to believe.

What about you?  Where do you find yourself on this Easer morning?  Where do you see yourself in the story?  What do you carry with (or within) you to the empty tomb?  What is it going to take for you to really “believe,” again and anew?  Whatever it is, Jesus wants to meet you there.  Because he is risen, and he wants you to be as well.


Closing Prayer:  Lord Jesus, help me to really believe that you are risen, and you want me to be risen as well.  Amen.

Sunday, April 4, 2021

who will roll the stone away?

Opening Prayer: O Lord, God of life and love, God of resurrection power, you alone can roll the stone away.  You alone can deliver us for the darkness and bondage of the tomb.  Give us your resurrection life this day, so that we may live in the light of your love.  Amen.

Scripture: Mark 16:1-8

Journal: What “stone” can you not roll away these days?  What does it look like to invite Jesus, and his resurrection power, into that situation or circumstance?  Who will roll the stone away?

Reflection: “Who will roll the stone away?” (Mark 16:3) Do you ever find yourself asking that question?  Have you ever found yourself in a situation or circumstance in which you knew that you could not handle it in your own strength?  Frankly, I live my life trying to avoid those situations at all costs.  And when I do that it keeps me from being able to experience the resurrection power of Jesus.  But every now and then, no matter how hard I try, something will crash into my life, reminding me once again, how helpless, powerless and dependent I really am.  Then I find myself asking, “Who will roll the stone away?”

That’s why you have to love the women who headed to the tomb on that first Easter morn.  They went to the tomb, knowing that they could not roll the stone away, yet they went anyway.  “We will go,” they must have thought, “even though we know we cannot move the stone.”  Now that’s faith!  And when they arrived, their faith was rewarded, for God had done the undoable.  He had rolled the stone way himself.  He had done for them what they could not possibly do for themselves.  And isn’t that what life with God is all about?


Closing Prayer: O God, please help me, for I cannot move the stone.  But you can.  Please do so, that I might live the resurrection life you have called me to.  Amen.

Saturday, April 3, 2021

stilled and quieted

Opening Prayer: I have stilled and quieted my soul, like a weaned child with its mother; like a weaned child is my soul within me.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 131:1-3

Journal: Where in your life are you choosing busyness, frenzy, activity, and chaos, and where are you choosing to still and quiet your soul?  Why?

Reflection: The stilled and quieted life is, first of all, a life.  We cannot live a frenzied, hurried, chaotic existence for six days a week and think that the seventh would be any different.  Our inner landscape is not made that way.  The pace and the momentum of our lives will not allow it.  You can’t drive up to a stop sign at 90 miles an hour and expect to be able to stop on a dime.  Stopping is not that easy.  It is not instantaneous.  Stopping is a process, one that most often begins with slowing.  Thus, it takes time and space and thoughtfulness and intention—and practice.  Stopping requires discipline and commitment, and a change in the way we see and understand both our lives and our identities.  It takes us accepting and embracing of who we are and who we aren’t.  There can be no proving, earning, impressing, jockeying, or achieving in the stilled and quieted life.  Those activities are incompatible with stillness and rest and peace.  They stir up the waters of our soul and make them muddy again.  Any little hint of movement in the direction of ambition and achievement causes enough commotion to make us have to start the whole slowing down and being still process all over again.  The need to be big must die.  The need to be great must be starved out.  In other words, we must die to self, so that we may live unto, and into, God.  Once we do, it will give birth to all that is good and beautiful: depth and quality and peace and humility and service and love.  The choice is up to us.  Will we choose the stilled and quieted life today, or will we continue to live a life that is consumed by hurry and commotion and fear and need and insecurity?


Closing Prayer: My heart is not lifted up, O Lord, my eyes are not raised too high.  I do not concern myself with great matters, or things too wonderful for me.  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, in the now and forevermore.  Amen.

Friday, April 2, 2021

good friday 2021

Opening Prayer:  Thank you, Lord Jesus, that you were willing to die on the cross because of your undying love for us.  Help us, this day, to pause and reflect on all you have done for us.  Lord have mercy!  Christ, have mercy!  Lord, have mercy!  Amen.

Scripture: John 19:37

Journal: Spend some time focusing your eyes, and heart, on the crucified Christ.  What does it stir up within you?  What do you want to say to him?  What does he want to say to you?

Reflection: “They will look upon the one they have pierced.” (John 19:37)

“Reflect carefully on this, for it is so important that I can hardly lay too much stress on it.  Fix your eyes on the Crucified and nothing else will be of much importance.” ~Teresa of Avila


Closing Prayer:  When I fix my eyes on you, Lord Jesus, the Crucified One, and I see what you were willing to endure on my behalf, because of love, I am overwhelmed and overcome with love for you in return.  My heart is filled with humility, gratitude, and thanksgiving.  Please help it to stay that way.  Amen.

Thursday, April 1, 2021


Opening Prayer: O Lord, help me to always remember that I am dust, and to dust I will return.  Help me to know that my days are like grass; I will flourish like a flower of the field and then, one day, the wind will blow over me and I will be gone, and my place will remember me no more.  That will help me to keep everything in proper perspective.  Amen.

Scripture: Psalm 103:15-16

Journal: What do the words of Psalm 103:15-16 do within you?  What do they stir up?  What do they disturb or disrupt?  What do you think about the idea of being forgotten?

Reflection: FOMO (Fear of Missing Out) is a very real thing in our day and age.  It drives people to do all sorts of things, often at the expense of their own health and wellbeing.  But I wonder if the true essence of FOMO involves a much deeper fear.  Maybe what’s lurking beneath the surface of FOMO is really FOBF (Fear of Being Forgotten).

And then we come to a verse like Psalm 103:16 that tells us that being forgotten is just a part of life.  We should expect it.  In fact, we should embrace it.  Being forgotten creates some of the most fertile soil possible in our hearts and souls.  Because when we are willing to be forgotten, and even to embrace it, somehow God becomes the point rather than us.  That is not meant to demean or devalue us, but to set us free.  It helps us keep things in proper perspective.  It shows us that we are not essential; the world is not going to fall apart if we are not around.  In fact, when we stop being around, the world will get along just fine without us.

Being forgotten grows the fruit of humility and dependence deep within us; two things that are essential in life with Jesus.  Two things we must become if we want to become like Jesus, who “made himself nothing.”  Or, as the NKJV says, "made Himself of no reputation.”  Ultimately, what life with God demands of us is not merely to “become less that he might become greater,” (John 3:30) but to become nothing that he might become all.  We are called to be forgotten, so that He, and only He, will be remembered.


Closing Prayer:  Lord Jesus, I am willing to become forgotten for you.  Amen.