Everything that is revealed by the light is light. Therefore, it says, Wake up, sleeper! Get up from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.

Be filled with the Spirit

So be careful to live your life wisely, not foolishly. Take advantage of every opportunity because these are evil times. Because of this, don’t be ignorant, but understand the Lord’s will. Don’t get drunk on wine, which produces depravity. Instead, be filled with the Spirit in the following ways: speak to each other with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs; sing and make music to the Lord in your hearts; always give thanks to God the Father for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Ephesians 5:14-20 (CEB)

“As I listen to myself and to other Christians, I notice that after some years of following Jesus we tend to suffer from various symptoms of drifting away.

When we were young in our faith, we were eager to give sacrificially of our time and resources to alleviate the pains of the poor; we were eager to take the time for daily reading of the scripture and prayer. Fasting was a spiritual delight, and we would plow through show up to our belt buckles to get to church on Sunday. Then, after some years, we began to drift away from the spiritual disciplines that sustained us in earlier times.

John labeled three deadly conditions that cause us to drift away from our earlier spiritual disciplines (1 John 2:16); lust of the flesh, lust of the eyes and the pride of life (or, if you will, lustful desires, wandering eyes, and greedy eyes- a false sense of security in our material possessions). John insisted that if we follow in these ways, we certainly will come to spiritual and ethical shipwreck.

Most Christians, I suppose, don’t come to such extreme conditions. But for many, after some years of faithful practice, spiritual rigor mortis sets in- and all is lost. Paul suggests an antidote for drifting away; ‘Sleeper, awake! Rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you. Be careful then how you live, not as unwise people but as wise, making the most of the time, because the days are evil. So do not be foolish, but understand what the will of the Lord is. Do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery; but be filled with the Spirit, as you sing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, singing and making melody to the Lord in your hearts, giving thanks to God the Father at all times and for everything in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.’” (Eph 5:14-20) ~Norman Shawchuck

I have mentioned before that I hope when Christ comes I am on the “up-swing” and not on the “down-swing.” Sometimes I just get “tired” and discipline slips out the window. Other times I just get too busy with life. But Paul tells us in 2Thessalonians 3:6 guard against becoming idle. We are to be about God’s work.

Heavenly Father, help me this day to live wisely and not foolishly. Show me areas that I have drifted. Help me make the most of these days giving sacrificially my time and resources that Your kingdom may be glorified. Amen.

My small part with great love


I will give them one heart, and put a new spirit within them; I will remove the heart of stone from their flesh and give them a heart of flesh, so that they may follow my statutes and keep my ordinances and obey them. Then they shall be my people, and I will be their God. ~Ezek. 11:19-20 (NRSV)

“When we were traveling in India, . . . we had the unforgettable experience of talking with Mother Teresa. We remember savoring that time: the sunlight on the balcony, her wise and wrinkled face with piercing eyes, the sisters in the courtyard below doing laundry, and her parting words, ‘Please pray for us that we will be faithful, and not interfere with God’s works.’

In the immediacy of that moment, we were given a gift- and that gift involved what we should and could do (be ‘faithful’), and what we shouldn’t do (‘interfere with God’s work’). She truly believed that she and her sisters- whose devotion to God and care of the rejected and dying ones in our world is legendary- needed to be aware of this possibility and to guard against getting in the way of God’s work. Those who criticize Mother Teresa for not attacking the systemic problems that cause persons to be sick and hungry and dying on the streets of Calcutta and Chicago may be called to do that very thing. But Mother’s calling was to share compassion and love and to feed and hold the dying. Each of us must discern and answer our own unique call.

Mother Teresa’s request presupposes that God is active and that we only muck up the situation when we forget that our understanding is partial. We must avoid the temptation to play God!” ~From Sacramental Living by Dwight W Vogel and Linda Vogel

What a reminder that we are not called to do it all. We are called to do our part. If we all do our part, some will do the feeding, the holding, the loving and others will fight the battles that attack the root causes and injustices for hunger and suffering. What part are you called to do?

Heavenly Father, Help me discern my part of the battle against hunger and suffering. Help me to be faithful this day and to not interfere with Your work in the world. Amen.

True vocation

This is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight to help you to determine what is best, so that in the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God. ~Phil 1:9-11 (NRSV)

“Action, just as silence and the word, can help us to claim and celebrate our true self. But here again we need discipline, because the world in which we live says, ‘Do this, do that, go here, go there, meet him, meet her.’ Busyness has become a sign of importance. Having much to do, many places to go, and countless people to meet gives us status and even fame. However, being busy can lead us away from our true vocation and prevent us from drinking our cup.” ~From Can You Drink the Cup? By Henri J. M. Nouwen

So often I fall into that trap of “If I am busy then I must be about God’s work”. That is not always true, especially if it was not my work to do in the first place. I must always be mindful to seek God’s will in the work of my hands so that I do not interfere with His ultimate plan.

Heavenly Father, help me to discern the work that is meant for my hands. Help me to not interfere in Your work. Guide me along the path that you have created for me so that I may help in the building up of Your kingdom. Amen.



And all of us, with unveiled faces, seeing the glory of the Lord as though reflected in a mirror, are being transformed into the same image from one degree of glory to another; for this comes from the Lord, the Spirit ~2 Corinthians 3:18 (NRSV)

“Our questions can serve us well in a time such as this, a time of grave uncertainty, of soaring potential, of fragile yet resilient hope. Our questions and questing are crucial, because they can help us live into the answer of the future. I am certain of one thing: the love that is God is at the heart of the answer, just as it is at the heart of each moment- past, present, and future. Faith today, tomorrow, and always seeks to live, to love, and to be loved fully. It seeks the Holy and waits (though not always patiently) to be found; it nurtures and activates wisdom and compassion. It chooses to embrace hope and to be embraced by hope, even when overwhelmed by despair; it seeks life even in the face of death. We act in faith, knowing that we see only dimly. But living in faith, we act anyway, choosing and doing the best we can. We act and live in confidence that someday we will see face to face, that we will live into the answers. For God’s grace embraces our questions as well as our answers and our blindness as well as our vision, just as the sun shines steadily through the night, waiting to illumine the sky at dawn.” ~From Wrestling till Dawn by Jean M. Blomquist

I cannot run from the questions that haunt my heart. I must not assume that God criticizes me for even having questions. It is when I wrestle with the questions that I come to find the answers. I must remember that God is big enough to handle all my questions. He knows that it is in my questions that the veil begins to lift. Through my question, I begin to be transformed.

Heavenly Father, Thank You for Your patience in all the questions I have. Thank You for pointing me in the right direction to discover the answers. Help me to see more clearly and to have the patience to wait out the answers. Amen.

The gentle way


Jesus knew what they intended to do, so he went away from there. Large crowds followed him, and he healed them all. But he ordered them not to spread the word about him, so that what was spoken through Isaiah the prophet might be fulfilled:  Look, my Servant whom I chose, the one I love, in whom I find great pleasure. I’ll put my Spirit upon him, and he’ll announce judgment to the Gentiles. He won’t argue or shout, and nobody will hear his voice in the streets. He won’t break a bent stalk, and he won’t snuff out a smoldering wick, until he makes justice win. And the Gentiles will put their hope in his name. ~Matthew 12:15-21 (CEB)

Sometimes we think that there are only two ways to respond to things in life, either with violence or passivity. But Jesus came to earth to show us that there is a third way to respond that is neither submission nor assault, neither fight or flight. This third way is gentleness which allows us to oppose without mirroring the evil we see, resist without emulating the oppressors and neutralize without destroying. Living out this gentle way requires imagination and creativity. Living out gentleness sometimes requires that we look between the blacks and whites of this world to see all the shades of grey.

Challenge me this day O Lord, to live in the shades of grey. Help me to remember to stop and doodle in the sand in the midst of heated conflict. If I must carry a load give me the strength to go beyond the required mile. Help me to woo others with Your love through creativity and imagination, not by force and by strength. Amen.



Show me thy ways, O Lord; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truths, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day. Remember, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses; for they have been ever of old ~Psalm 25:4-6 (KJV)

“Present-centeredness describes this important prerequisite of contemplation. Too often we find ourselves ‘distracted’ or ‘abstracted,’ that is, not all there. Both terms are derived from two Latin words: trahere meaning ‘to be yanked or pulled’ and de or ab meaning ‘from.’ When we are distracted or abstracted, we have been pulled from the present by some concern, thought, or action. Often it is guilt and regret over the past or concerns and worries about the future than keep us from living in the present. Dwelling in the past and projecting ourselves into the future both have the same result; they fragment our consciousness, leaving us unfocused. With one foot in the past and the other in the future, this bifurcated way of being splits our attention and ruins our ability to appreciate fully what is occurring before our very eyes.” ~From The Enduring Heart by Wilkie Au

It is my belief that in the “present” I find God’s presence. In the “present” my focus is on Him. In this “present” moment is where I will find the kingdom of God.

Help me to be ever focused on you this day Lord so that I may feel Your presence in my Life. Help me to not be pulled away by the guilt of the past or the worries of the future. Help me to be in Your presence now for this moment. Amen.

Faithful with little

“Whoever is faithful with little is also faithful with much, and the one who is dishonest with little is also dishonest with much.  If you haven’t been faithful with worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? If you haven’t been faithful with someone else’s property, who will give you your own?  No household servant can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be loyal to the one and have contempt for the other. You cannot serve God and wealth. ” ~Luke 16:10-13 (CEB)

“Faithfulness is consecration in overalls. It is the steady acceptance and performance of the common duty and immediate task without any reference to personal preferences- because it is there to be done and so is a manifestation of the Will of God. It is Elizabeth Leseur settling down each day to do the household accounts quite perfectly (when she would much rather have been in church) and saying, ‘The duties of my station come before everything else.’ It is Brother Lawrence taking his turn in the Kitchen, and Saint Francis de Sales taking the burden of a difficult diocese and saying, ‘I have now little time for prayer- but I do what is the same.’

The fruits of the Spirit get less and less showy as we go on. Faithfulness means continuing quietly with the job we have been given, in the situation where we have been placed; not yielding to the restless desire for change. It means tending the lamp quietly for God without wondering how much longer it has got to go on.” ~From The Fruits of the Spirit by Evelyn Underhill

Day to day life can sometimes be tiring. 1 Corinthians 10:31, “So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God” reminds me that I can serve God in my everyday ordinariness. Phillippians 2:14, “Do everything without complaining or arguing,” reminds me that I should do all things with a happy heart. Everyday life is often glamor-less but the Bible tells me to still “rejoice always.” (1 Thessalonians 5:16).

May all I do this day give glory to You O Lord. Help this day to remember not to grumble in the day’s ordinariness but to rejoice, always. Amen.


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