The night shift

You are the one who lights my lamp—

the LORD my God illumines my darkness. ~Psalm 18:28 (CEB)

“There is always a night shift and sooner or later we are put on it. The praise does not cease with the fading of the light, but goes on through the spiritual night as well as the spiritual day. And if you are picked for the night shift- well, praise the Lord. Lift up your hands in the dark sanctuary of your soul when you are tempted to wonder what is the good of it all, and praise the Lord! And the Lord, maker of heaven and earth, will bless you from Zion.” ~From The Fruits of the Spirit by Evelyn Underhill

May our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and in his grace gave us unfailing courage and a firm hope, encourage you and strengthen you to always do and say what is good. Amen. –Thess. 2:16-17 (TEV)

When I fall

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We know that God works all things together for good for the ones who love God, for those who are called according to his purpose. ~Romans 8:28 (CEB)

“In learning to accept the consequences of living as a Christian, most of us trip on the cracks and ‘fall flat on our face’ once in a while. Fortunately, we do not all have to experience that literally! We eventually learn that ‘for those who love God all things work together unto good,’ we relax a bit. Until we repeatedly experience the truth of that statement, the words are only words we have heard, but as we struggle to ascend the ‘upgrades’ in our lives and find that the view from the top of the mountain was well worth the effort, the words become convictions” ~from Symbols of Inner Truth by Carole Marie Kelly

Thank You Heavenly Father for always picking me up when I fall on my face. Thank You for always loving me as I learn the truths You are trying to show me. Thank You for the mountain top experiences that help me to get through life’s valleys. Amen.

When I call you to me


The LORD proclaims, the LORD who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the LORD: Call to me and I will answer and reveal to you wondrous secrets that you haven’t known. ~Jer. 33:2-3 (CEB)

“How shall I call upon my God, my God and my Lord, when by the very act of calling upon him I would be calling him into myself? Is there any place within me into which my God might come? How should the God who made heaven and earth come into me? Is there any room in me for you, Lord, my God? Even heaven and earth, which you have made and in which you have made me – can even they contain you? Since nothing exists would exist without you, does it follow that whatever exists does in some way contain you? But if this is so, how can I, who am one of these existing things, ask you to come into me, when I would not exist at all unless you were already in me? Not yet am I in hell, after all, but even if I were, you would be there too; for if I descend to the underworld, you are there. No my God, I would not exist, I would not be at all, were you not in me. Or should I say, rather, that I should not exist if I were not in you, from whom are all things, through whom are all things, in whom are all things? Yes, Lord, that is the truth, that is indeed the truth. To what place can I invite you, then, since I am in you? Or where could you come from, in order to come into me? To what place outside heaven and earth could I travel, so that my God could come to me there, the God who said, I fill heaven and earth?” ~From The Confessions by Saint Augustine

Almighty God, you who are the source of my life and strength. In Your presence alone I find help, hope and life to sustain me this day. Help me in turn to be a healing reminder of Your love to all whose lives I touch this day. Amen.



Examine me, God! Look at my heart!

Put me to the test! Know my anxious thoughts!

Look to see if there is any idolatrous way in me,

then lead me on the eternal path! ~Psalm 139:23-24 (CEB)

“The seasons of our life will condition our response to the God who encounters us in the psalms. Again Psalm 139 is a good example. When I feel that I am in a precarious place, I will be relieved to know that God surrounds me, but when I am caught up in prideful ambition, I may wish that a distance could be placed between us. The palm raises my awareness of what is going on for me at that moment and, in the process, puts me in touch with the Source of my life. It offers no magic ‘fix’ but sets me to the task of figuring out the most appropriate response to the One who loved me into being. Often that response will be an invitation to change.” ~From “Sing a New Song” by Elizabeth J. Canham in Communion, Community, Commonweal

Lord, You know me by name. You know my heart like no one else. You never let me stray from You for very long before You start calling me back. As the Source of my life, help me to align that life with Your will today. Amen.

Behind and below


Where could I go to get away from your spirit?

Where could I go to escape your presence?

If I went up to heaven, you would be there.

If I went down to the grave, you would be there too!

If I could fly on the wings of dawn,

stopping to rest only on the far side of the ocean—

even there your hand would guide me;

even there your strong hand would hold me tight!

If I said, “The darkness will definitely hide me;

the light will become night around me,”

even then the darkness isn’t too dark for you!

Nighttime would shine bright as day,

because darkness is the same as light to you! ~Psalm 139:7-12

“Our desire for equilibrium can become an idolatrous attempt to deny a large part of what life is about. The advertising industry achieves a good deal of its success through the message that if only we opt for this or that product, our needs and longings will be satisfied. We learn that life is not yet perfect, but we can fix it by obtaining the right house, floor polish, insurance policy, or therapy. In other words, we are encouraged to believe that there is something wrong with us if things are out of kilter and that life is meant to be lived on a plateau of happiness. The psalms give the lie to this kind of thinking by encouraging us to robustly deal with life as it really is and to find God in disorientation as well as harmony.

It is both a relief and a challenge to comprehend that there is no place where God is not. Psalm 139 speaks of the attempt to escape the Creator by soaring into the heavens, going into the depth, or sinking into the horizon where sea and sky meet. The sense that God is behind, in front, and above, laying a hand upon the one who feels searched out and known, makes the omnipresence of the Creator into a felt reality. I pray this psalm and I have to ask ‘Who am I? How can I respond to this all-encompassing presence of God?’ In my time and place I am on holy ground, and as I allow myself to be held in that moment of awareness, I must respond with what is truly in my heart. I tell God that I am afraid, relieved, filled with gratitude, or overwhelmed by a sense of being invaded.” ~From “Sing a New Song” by Elizabeth J. Canham in Communion, Community, Commonweal

Heavenly Father, Thank You for being behind me and going before me. Thank You for knowing the depths and the heights of my life. Thank You for fencing me in even when I thought that I just wanted to be free. Thank You for this time and space to know You more fully. Amen.

To flow with the river


After calling the crowd together with his disciples, Jesus said to them, “All who want to come after me must say no to themselves, take up their cross, and follow me. 35 All who want to save their lives will lose them. But all who lose their lives because of me and because of the good news will save them. 36 Why would people gain the whole world but lose their lives? 37 What will people give in exchange for their lives? 38 Whoever is ashamed of me and my words in this unfaithful and sinful generation, the Human One will be ashamed of that person when he comes in the Father’s glory with the holy angels.” ~Mark 8:34-37

“Spirituality is about seeing. It’s not about earning or achieving. It’s about relationship rather than results or requirements. Once you see, the rest follows. You don’t need to push the river, because you are in it. The life is lived within us, and we learn how to say yes to that life.” ~From Everything Belongs by Richard Rohr

Today I am going to try to not swim against the current. Today I am going to rest and let the river do the work. When I try to get places by my own power, I just wear myself out. I think I will lay back and see just where this river takes me.

Heavenly Father, You say in Your Word that Your yoke is easy and Your burdens are light. Help me to make the right choices this day so I can step out in faith and not feel overly weighed down. Help me to flow better with the currents of life so that I can look up and see Your glory around me. Amen.

By faith

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By faith Abraham obeyed when he was called to go out to a place that he was going to receive as an inheritance. He went out without knowing where he was going. By faith he lived in the land he had been promised as a stranger. He lived in tents along with Isaac and Jacob, who were coheirs of the same promise. He was looking forward to a city that has foundations, whose architect and builder is God. By faith even Sarah received the ability to have a child, though she herself was barren and past the age for having children, because she believed that the one who promised was faithful. So descendants were born from one man (and he was as good as dead). They were as many as the number of the stars in the sky and as countless as the grains of sand on the seashore. ~Hebrews 8:8-12 (CEB)

It is hard for me to relate this passage. I don’t have the long family history, those stories that tell me who I am. It is hard for me to understand what it was like for Abraham to leave all he had known, to leave his family behind and step out on faith. I have a confession to make. I never thought twice about leaving all I had known or my family to move 6 hours away after I finished college. I didn’t inquire with God whether I should go or should stay. I just went. I wasn’t thinking of my future much less of children and grandchildren when we packed up the moving van and headed to East Tennessee.

Now that I have lived away from immediate family and half raised my family with only my husband to help out, my view of family has begun to change. The examples laid out for me had been get married and move off. That is what my parents had done and their parents before them. The whole idea of living in an area surrounded by extended family is completely foreign to me. But as I have gained friends who have that family history, stories and support I have begun to understand just what it might have meant to leave all I had known behind.

In Abraham’s time, it appears that he was a well established “city dweller” living on his family estate. Here was his inheritance. Here was his history. Here was his support. God called to Abraham, asking him to give up the security he had. God wanted him to have something more. This was a new concept to look to your Heavenly Father for your inheritance. When the Jews heard this story, they knew what sacrifice Abraham was making, what dreams he might be giving up. They understood the risks that Abraham was taking to head out from an established home into the wilderness to roam. Abraham believed God when he said that he had something more in mind for him than Abraham had for himself.

I am at a point in my life where I feel that God is asking me to let go of what I have banked my securities in. He has something more in mind for me than the little niche I have carved out for myself. Can I have the faith of Abraham? Can I blindly go where He calls me to go? Can I believe enough in a promise to find something more than I hold in my hands now? Abraham did.

Heavenly Father, give me the strength to stand up when You call. Guide my steps so they go with a purpose. Keep me from wandering too far from Your promises. I believe the scriptures when they say You have my good in mind. I claim this day all the promises You have for me. Amen.

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