Songs can be powerful (even if you just mouth the words!)

Songs can be powerful, whether singing, saying or mouthing along. Lillian Daniel makes great, quick points about music in this article Sing Once, Pray Twice, or Just Sing Already

Lillian closes with this prayer:

“How often making music we have found,

a new dimension in the world of sound,

which leads us to a more profound

Alleluia!”

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, July 21, 2019:


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Spiritual Gifts of Fasting…

Whew. This month’s fast is about done – – the practice began as one way of sharing just a bit of solidarity with the children we visited in Haiti. They  relied on the school for their one meal a day and this fast enabled me to more closely understand how that lack of food can affect concentration, energy and more!

The Guideposts article HERE shares 5 spiritual gifts of fasting. The focus resulting from fasting is powerful.

POSSIBLE ACTIONS:

  • Consider a fast – – from eating or another activity (more links with fasting ideas on the CP Love webpage HERE)
  • Give your time and/or treasure to a local group working on childhood hunger. Whole Again is one such organization in the Cincinnati area

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, July 14, 2019:


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Joy is Like the Rain…

Joy is Like the Rain – – – This song title makes one wonder…exactly how is joy like the rain?

Rains are causing work stoppages and making fields into ponds. Not necessarily joy-inducing for outdoor laborers and farmers, for sure.

Yet, those same rains produce healthy crops, happy animals, radiant rainbows plus conversations while waiting out the storms.

Songwriter, Miriam Therese Winter, describes it this way: “Laughter runs across my pain, slips away and comes again” [full “Joy is Like the Rain” song HERE.]  Sometimes we need laughter to help ease the pain.

This certainly relates to our Christian lives. If we’re always trying to be “devout as a Pharisee,” where are the laughter and the joy? Finding the right balance is critical (and yet still worry-inducing for many of us “sparrows.”)

POSSIBLE ACTION: During the week ahead, may we continue to look for the rainbows amidst the downpours

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, July 14, 2019:


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Be openhanded…

There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.” ~ Deuteronomy 15:7-11

Too frequently we get soured by the stories of panhandlers sending their kids to college off their earnings or using the money for other unintended purposes. In this “Here for You” article by Kirsten Holmberg, she talks about other approaches we can take for those who have needs we can meet.

The commandment in Deuteronomy DOESN’T say “check their references to see if they are really in need.” At a certain point we just need to trust our instincts and allow ourselves to be openhanded toward our brothers and sisters in need in whatever way feels right to us. And, if that openhanded approach doesn’t feel right to you in this day and age for whatever reason, consider one of the other avenues to share love using ideas in our CP Love section (click HERE or on the mobius band below Mobius strip).

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, July 7, 2019:


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Securely Tied into Life!

NOTE: Many thanks to good friend Joan S. for writing the devotional below and for her thoughtful input on the questions and actions shared…

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When my husband and I purchased our first pieces of upholstered furniture back in the ’80s, “better” furniture was touted as having “8-way hand tied springs.” Advertisements pictured artisans securing the furniture’s springs by hand in eight directions for optimum support. That phrase has become for me an image of those times when I have felt securely tied into life through the love, caring, and friendship of those around me.

The thing about 8-way hand-tied springs is that we don’t always think of them, yet they provide continuous, quality support. It seems to me good relationships are similar. They meet us and accept us at a deep place, well below the surface veneer and fancy upholstery with which we mask and protect our vulnerable selves. And that support helps us weather the challenges and encourages us to grow into all we are meant to be. The wondrous thing is that not only are we held securely but we, too, provide that support for others. At their core these relationships, grounded in unconditional love or what Fr. Greg Boyles calls the “no-matter-whatness of God,” require us to risk vulnerability. In return we gain relationships that bind us securely to all of life and draw us to wholeness. What a source of joy and gratitude, this gift of true relationship!

QUESTIONS: Is vulnerability encouraged in our culture?  What does it mean to be vulnerable? How does it feel to be vulnerable? Is vulnerability an essential quality of true relationship?

ACTION: “If you’d like, spend a few minutes reflecting on one or more of the following:

  1. who have been important artisans in your 8-way hand-tied support network?
    1. how did they effectively do that for you?
    2. what are the qualities in the relationship that allowed that to happen?
  2. How can you pay it forward for your own 8-way hand-tied support network?
  3. If trust and vulnerability are important qualities of supportive relationships, how are you called to respond in those situations?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, July 7, 2019:


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Prayer: Quick Like An Arrow, Soft As a Whisper…

This Christian Playbook post in the Prayer section discusses Nehemiah’s prayer “shot like an arrow”  and Christine’s “whisper and release” prayer. Maybe one or both of those approaches will work for you today as you pray?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 30, 2019:


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Contemplative Prayer in 20 SECONDS…

Mention contemplative prayer and many of us cringe. Finding 20 MINUTES of quiet solitude for such practice is inconceivable.  The good news is that even an expert practitioner like Richard Rohr recognizes alternatives:

“Contemplation is simply openness to God’s loving presence in “what is” right in front of you—which is what I saw these parents do. This presence to Presence can be cultivated in many ways that don’t require sitting on a mat for twenty minutes.” ~ Richard Rohr in this Many Paths to Contemplation blog post (full interview is in HERE, a quarterly summary from CAC.)

ACTION: Take time to experience contemplative stirrings – openness to God’s loving presence – whether that involves 20 MINUTES in silence and/or a loving interaction happening in 20 SECONDS!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 30, 2019:


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Supplication cries…

Give ear, O LORD, to my prayer; listen to my cry of supplication. In the day of my trouble I call on you, for you will answer me. ~ Psalm 86:6-7

Supplication is a word rarely used today, yet our cries of supplication as described in Psalm 86 are numerous. God – Help me get through this day. God – Show me the way. God – Help me be my better self in dealing with all the challenges I face.

Supplication is defined as “the action of asking or begging for something earnestly or humbly.” When we make such prayers, most of us don’t anticipate a Psalm 86:7 answer from God. Instead, it’s an opportunity to focus on the issue with the aid of God-like perspective in humble recognition that it will take more than just us to reach full resolution.

ACTION: what supplication prayers can you “whisper or shoot” directly to God today?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 23, 2019:


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Six Ways to Find More Quiet Time…

In this Guideposts devotional, Bob Hostetler discusses 6 ways to allow more silence, offering opportunities for even better prayer time. Maybe this upcoming weekend – or today? – will offer an opportunity to try one of these ideas?

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 23, 2019:


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In Search of Warm Embers…

It’s almost summer in North America so for those in this part of the world this may seem an unusual CP post title…

My brother, Andy, reports that Pastor Cheryl’s sermon up at St. Andrew’s in the Pines (Mattawa, ONT) included The Lonely Ember story (link HERE.) I like the finish Andy shared – “That’s the best sermon you ever preached!” [without a word being said!!! ]

Some of the best sermons need no vocalization – pictures, actions and instrumental music are among the ways we can be effectively inspired. Think back to your most impactful Christian experiences and how many of them involved spoken words. Maybe fewer than we might anticipate?

ACTION: Re-read/re-consider The Lonely Ember and devise ways this week that you can stoke the Christian fire in word, deed or ???

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!


Lectionary Texts for Sunday, June 16, 2019:


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