Take Joy…

Friends recently put up their holiday sign.   JOY.     It’s pictured below.

That simple sign is a reminder of the emotion we hope to conjure up this season. Emotions that Star-Child, Joy to the World and many other songs mention.

Annette L. Sherwood in her JOY poem (HERE) provides precious prose about joy. Readers will likely relate to Annette’s experiences and add some of their own spurred on by her words. The expression of joy relates to self, others and God.

Perhaps this Christmas season we can be part of another’s joy in wonderful ways…

“in your bright eyes…childlike enthusiasm to preach…warm handshake
in the crisp air…”  or in hundreds of other ways

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 12, 2021:



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Music of the Season…

I truly believe that if we keep telling the Christmas story, singing the Christmas songs, and living the Christmas spirit, we can bring joy and happiness and peace to this world.

~ Norman Vincent Peale, pastor and author

During this Advent season, Christian Playbook will again be highlighting a variety of Christmas songs. May each bring some of the joy, happiness and peace that Rev. Peale mentions!

The first song we’ll highlight this Advent season is Star-Child – you can listen to it HERE (with music by David Haas) and a more traditional version HERE. As with so many songs, the history of the lyricist is interesting; you can see about that and much more HERE,  thanks to UMC!

May the day soon approach “when Christmas comes for everyone, everyone alive!”

POSSIBLE ACTIONS:

  • Have time today to listen to some Christmas songs? Check out this Youtube site link – no sign up necessary – to listen to some favorite songs
  • If you have additional songs to suggest, please email salong_now @ yahoo.com and we’ll consider adding them

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 5, 2021:



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A One-Word Christmas Prayer…

The Guideposts posting featured today – A One-Word Christmas Prayer for You – is classic Bob Hostetler. Many of his posts include a number, and 1 word is certainly appropriate for this season: Come!

Many consider it an overwhelming challenge to “pray without ceasing.” Bob’s concluding remarks share a nice prayer approach:

Pray it often. Just one word, but say it, whisper it, think it, as perhaps the most fitting Christmas prayer ever: “Come.”

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 5, 2021:



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Seeing Life Through a Lens of Gratitude…

A perspective of gratitude is the focus of this post (HERE) by Jan Edmiston (thanks to Pastor Barb for sharing this article.) Among the gems in the post:

The Japanese art of kintsugi involves repairing broken things with gold or silver so that the veins/cracked places shine. It reminds us that scars are evidence of healing. Scars are beautiful in that they remind us that the bleeding stopped, that the wound healed. Scars remind us to be thankful.

Possible Activity: Using Jan’s article as a reminder, let’s “celebrate holidays and gatherings and disappointments and losses,” with a view of the scars and beauty as opportunities for gratitude.

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, December 5, 2021:



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You are in me and I am in you……

“On that day, you will know that you are in me and I am in you.”  ~ John 14:20

THIS CAC DEVOTIONAL includes several interesting items

  • “The Perennial Tradition states that there is a capacity, a similarity, and a desire for divine reality inside all humans.” Would you agree?
  • What do you think of Rabbi Rami Shapiro’s metaphor for the greater unity?

May we each find time to experience that light, the oneness and the fullness of the colors!

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 28, 2021:



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Alone with faith…

The Guideposts story HERE shares some Covid-times experiences of Harry Connick Jr.. The idea of being alone during that season likely resonates with many of us.

Harry spent time in the creative department by writing songs and then performing all of the music alone, including playing all the instruments himself. Pretty cool. One of his efforts is this song (HERE) called Alone With My Faith. Phrases he mentions that particularly resonate include: I “Don’t Have All the Answers;” “Eternally Faithful;” “Never Alone.” The music video images really fit.

Possible Actions

  • Enjoy experiencing the music video
  • Consider reading the Guideposts story
  • As a continuing opportunity, consider Morning Prayer time

PRAYER: Creator God, we praise you for wonderful examples like those shared by our Bayou and Celtic neighbors. May our lives become living prayers, stirred by the Spirit and our focus on you in all things, with less emphasis on the commercialized trappings… Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit


Edinburgh Castle

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 21, 2021:



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Celtic Advent begins…

Blessings and curses of technology are all around us.

One blessing? When reviewing the Celtic Daily Prayer materials, what should be in view but references to Celtic Advent (HERE.) Starting today, Celtic focus is on the 40 days leading up to Christmas. Part of the commentary:

“Being ready for Christmas should mean that our thoughts are focused not just on letters, cards, food and drink, and presents, but on repentance, humility and interior ‘house-cleaning’. The more we prepare in this way, the less we will be overwhelmed by the commercialisation of Christmas.”

How to do this? A personal goal is to “take on” the task of doing the Morning Prayer each day during Celtic Advent. In so doing, hopefully “the reason for the season” will be just that much more apparent.

PRAYER: Creator God, we praise you for wonderful examples like those shared by our Celtic neighbors. May our lives become living prayers, stirred by the Spirit and our focus on you in all things, with less emphasis on the commercialized trappings… Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit


Edinburgh Castle

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 21, 2021:



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pray as you can… (Celtic Daily Prayer)

“pray as you can, not as you can’t.” 

~ from the ‘Spiritual letters of Dom John Chapman’

We continue commentary on this article from the Northumbria website. Midway through the article is this commentary about the Celtic Daily Prayer:

a) Liturgical Prayer – the daily use of the Divine Office (Celtic Daily Prayer). This is how our Rule puts it, “A daily discipline of prayer is important. It is often inconvenient and may be dry, but gives stability to our life, making prayer its foundation, and allowing God to teach us inwardly. The Office is there to serve us in this capacity, and it is recommended that Companions in Community use this as an expression of our common life in God.”

Maybe you’d like to give this a try if you haven’t already? If so, click HERE and try out the  Morning Prayer. Better yet, try several of them to see what you think! And, if music frequently moves you closer to God, consider listening to and/or buying renditions of the Celtic Daily Prayer HERE

PRAYER: Creator God, continually remind us of those three hermits and their ‘Dear God, there are three of us and there are three of you, have mercy on us!’ prayer. May our lives become living prayers, stirred by the Spirit and our focus on you in all things, whether we can walk on water or not… Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit


The Jesus Christ lizard – so named because while skittering across the river, it appears to walk on water

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 14, 2021:



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pray as you can…

“pray as you can, not as you can’t.” 

~ from the ‘Spiritual letters of Dom John Chapman’

You’ll get cheer from reading the first portion of this article on the Northumbria website.  It’s hard to read ‘The Three Hermits’ story written by Tolstoy without a grin reaching your face.

After spending all that time teaching, the bishop in the story could have been pretty sore that the words weren’t remembered. But, the power of the hermits’ prayer was clear. The author of the article says “that {story} for me gets to the very heart of prayer.” 

So, let’s worry a little less about the exact wording. Conversations with God are powerful whether 0, 1 or more words!!!

PRAYER: Creator God, continually remind us of those three hermits and their ‘Dear God, there are three of us and there are three of you, have mercy on us!’ prayer. May our lives become living prayers, stirred by the Spirit and our focus on you in all things, whether we can walk on water or not… Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit

P.S. If you get the inclination, check out the rest of the article and/or the Northumbria website. We’ll be focusing more on those additional topics in the days ahead…


The Jesus Christ lizard – so named because while skittering across the river, it appears to walk on water

Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 14, 2021:



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SONG: Mother Earth…

The singer Tom Rush made the song Mother Earth popular in 1972. That song is the most recent addition to the Christian Playbook “All Year Round” song listing HERE. Among the lyrics are:

Now I am going on a journey
And I pray all things end well
While Mother Earth looks after me
I will follow faithfully

~  Mother Earth (full lyrics HERE)

When you have a few minutes it is worth enjoying – the instrumentation, rythmn and lyrics will likely lighten your day plus get you thinking…

In case you didn’t get a chance the other day – or you want to repeat them – here are some POSSIBLE ACTIONS with Mother Earth:

  • take a few minutes and find yourself in nature, even if it’s examining a planter or tree in/near your home or office!
  • if so inspired, reach to some aspect of Mother Earth and say/think a little healing commentary/prayer. Maybe a changing leaf will find its way in your path? 🙂

PRAYER: Creator God, help us examine the natural beauty wherever we are, with corresponding prayers of WOW, praising our connectedness to you and seeking ways to heal your creations… Amen

Enjoy the day, filled with the Spirit



Lectionary Texts for Sunday, November 7, 2021:



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