Welcoming Prayer…

When starting our days, this Welcoming Prayer by Father Thomas Keating can be an effective prayer approach, helping us to loosen our control urges.

Many of the Welcoming Prayer lines resonate, among them “I open to the love and presence of God and God’s action within.” This line spurs thoughts of the Footprints story (and song) and the comfort this visual and music provides. If you haven’t seen this story or heard the song before, or reviewed it in a while, maybe today is the day?

ACTION: On this day, say aloud the Welcoming Prayer. Periodically through the day, utter the word “Welcome” as a reminder to loosen your grip just a little bit. If it helps, visualize the single set of Footprints in the Sand as our God walks with us and stirs within us…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

Wisdom is radiant and unfading, and she is easily discerned by those who love her, and is found by those who seek her. …  she goes about seeking those worthy of her, and she graciously appears to them in their paths, and meets them in every thought. (Wisdom of Solomon 6:12, 16)

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 17, 2019:

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Veterans – of war and of peace…

On Veteran’s Day, it’s our CP tradition to review pictures of family veterans in uniform…

 

Does one look a little “out of place?”

My brother Andy was stationed in the country of Togo, West Africa in the Peace Corps in the mid/late 1980s. When he went off to do his service I was not sure what he was up to and the value of the experience. Over thirty years later, I GET IT! He and so many other veterans have shared the love of the American people worldwide by “working side by side with local leaders to tackle the most pressing challenges of our generation” ~ (taken from the Peace Corps mission statement)

Isaiah 2:4 mentions “beating our swords into plowshares.” In Togo, they did that quite literally by instructing the people to plow with oxen (in addition to teaching them math, English and engaging in many other worthwhile activities!) Whatever the role, it is tough work for the Peace Corps volunteer and the people in-country they work with daily. The result? Even 20 years later, these Peace Corps volunteers are recognized and welcomed with open arms (I had the pleasure of experiencing these greetings first-hand in 2009 – – many Togolese thought I was my brother! )

We are blessed to have people willing to serve in such ways in the Peace Corps.

Could I say a lot about the blessing of what our military personnel have done for us, including my Uncles Fred and Jack (pictured above?) Absolutely, but I’m betting you’ll read a lot more about military folks like them in the popular press today so I’ll leave it here.

ACTION: Let’s honor and remember our veterans today in one or more ways such as

  • trip to a park or cemetery where a veteran’s memorial exists
  • attending area events honoring veterans – men, women and more (animals in K9 corps and others)
  • watching a show in a war setting
  • watching videos of Peace Corps volunteers sharing experiences HERE

PRAYER: God, we are blessed to have military veterans and currently-serving personnel who hopefully ultimately have made and are making our world a more peaceful place. We are equally blessed to have Peace Corps veterans and volunteers working for a more peaceful world. We remember and honor their efforts and sacrifices for such peaceful long-term priorities. Strengthen and support all of them – and us – in our roles of becoming better peace-makers worldwide! Amen.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 17, 2019:

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Busy Advent Season Ahead?… Prepare!

It seems a long ways off, yet Advent 2019 begins just 3 weeks from this Sunday. No, I’m not trying to hurry along to that season – the retail stores will do that for us soon enough!

So why mention it now?

During Advent 2019, the Christian Playbook will be periodically implementing some ideas from Pamela C. Hawkins’ book PREPARE THE WAY: Cultivating a Heart for God in Advent. This little guide includes practices like reflection, prayer, sacred reading, Christian actions and more. Sounds a lot like the Christian Playbook plays, doesn’t it?

No need to purchase this little book to be part of the Christian Playbook experience with the related postings. However, it seemed worth mentioning in case you are interested in spending extra time with her book by making the purchase. My guess is that reading her materials will allow us to experience an even more intensive, joy-filled journey (Michael Card reference here…)

ACTION: This weekend, consider spending a little time with the word “Joy.” Go to a quiet place and reflect on this word, letting it sift through your thoughts and over your experiences to contemplate what meaning it has in your life with God and your life with others [NOTE: this activity is mentioned in another of Hawkins’ books: Behold! Cultivating Attentiveness in the Season of Advent p.12]

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 10, 2019:

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Come Alongside…

While the word paraclesis may be a new one for us, the concept has been with us for all our days as Christians. Jesus certainly shares enough examples himself (Zaccheus, woman at the well, etc.) and stories of those who come alongside others.

Here’s a little background on the word from the Paraclesis.org.uk website 

‘Paraclesis’ is inspired by and built around the Greek word ‘Paraklesis’: PARAKLESIS: ‘one who comes alongside’
In its various forms this word can be found over 140 times in the New Testament.

Wow. Over 140 times – guess we probably have seen/heard this.  🙂

In our lives today we have those same “walking alongside others” opportunities. In fact, our Sunday paper had this article about a way to accomplish this for virtually all of us.

Let us go out this day, walking alongside others as we work, enjoy and pray…

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

POTENTIAL ACTIONS:

  • Check out Paraclesis.org.uk website for ideas. Sadly for those of us in other areas, that program is only for those in the UK and Ireland, but we can still get some great ideas there!
  • consider having the “neighbors over,” whether your geographic neighbors, church community or a person you meet on the street?

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 10, 2019:

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For All the Saints…

The saints in our lives are numerous: those who have passed, those still with us and those we never knew except through writings, word of mouth and …

Here is the Shepherds-focused prayer from the Daily Prayer Audio webpage. Part of the focus for this 6 minute audio is to remember people in your early Christian development. Who were your important saints growing up?

ACTION: On this All Saints Day, pray for those saints in your life today, that they might feel strengthened and supported for efforts with you and so many others that their lives touch.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit!

Lectionary Texts for All Saints Day, November 1, 2019:

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