Wabi-Sabi

Today’s Verse: 1 Peter 3:4 (msg) “Cultivate inner beauty, the gentle, gracious kind that God delights in.” I was reading my latest Experience Life magazine and found an article on Wabi-Sabi. I know this term in the form of the Japanese broken pottery that is fixed with gold glues and paints in order to highlight and lift up the imperfections. It is understood that the imperfections increase its value. The cracks show that the cup or pot is well used and cared for. Thus it is valuable. In the magazine there was this quote that really resonated with me, here it is. “The Japanese concept of wabi-sabi, or “imperfect beauty, prizes authenticity. It acknowledges three simple realities: Nothing

Music's Touch

Today’s verse: Colossians 3:16 (msg) “And sing, sing your hearts out to God!” Music, such a small word that holds so much meaning, diversity and power. I LOVE music! All types of music. It can totally change my mood, both good and bad. It has the power to get me up and moving and to get me to sit and meditate. The Bible is full of songs. Songs of love and songs of victory, songs of loss and songs of life. I enjoy the music from Taize worship as it is short and easy to sing and hum. Days after I attend a Taize service the songs from the service are rolling around in my head. I was at a worship service once where an amazing gospel singer and a jazz guitarist did a rendition of the song “Amazi

A Walk With God

Today’s verse: Jeremiah 6:16 (NRSV) “Thus says the Lord: Stand at the crossroads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way lies; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.” How do you spend time with God? Is it in bed before you get up in the morning? Is it a slow walk in nature? Attending church on Sunday? One of my favorite ways to spend time with God is walking a labyrinth. For me the labyrinth is a walking prayer. It is a time for me to slow myself down and focus on the moment. It is a very special time of meditation and reflection. It is a way for me to open myself up to the Divine, a time to feel the Spirit. There are endless ways in which one can

The Right Path

Today’s verse: Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all. Run to God! Run from evil! Your body will glow with health, your very bones will vibrate with life! Honor God with everything you own; give him the first and the best. Your barns will burst, your wine vats will brim over.” Sometimes life gets in the way! I find that it’s very hard for me to keep on track, stick to my goals and plans. I start off great, have an amazing focus and drive, then BOOM! someo

Who Are You?

Todays verse: 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 The Message (MSG) “You realize, don’t you, that you are the temple of God, and God himself is present in you? No one will get by with vandalizing God’s temple, you can be sure of that. God’s temple is sacred—and you, remember, are the temple.” Who are you? There is an activity that we do in some of our workshops, that is uplifting and validating. We call it creating a mantra. It can take a few minutes or a long time to create and fine tune. It is a way of looking inward and calling out who you really are. I invite you to create a personal mantra today. There are times when we don’t feel valued, or our feelings have been hurt, or we are just plain worn ou

My Life Is My Message

Today’s verse - Psalm 119:133 “Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.” I collect inspirational quotes. I started doing this over 30 years ago. I have kept the pages of calendars, posters, and written them on scraps of paper. Now with Facebook, Instagram and other social media I have to say that I am able to find a LOT of them. I keep them in binders that I pull out just to page through sometimes. In some of our workshops, I cover the walls and the tables with them so that people can see encouragement everywhere. It still amazes me that after these workshops people will come up to me and share some favorite words that they connected with, or a favorite quote a

The Language of Love

Today’s verse: Psalm 107:1 The Message (MSG) Oh, thank God—he’s so good! His love never runs out. Psalm 107 is a wonderful ode to God’s great love. It covers so much of how God has cared for us. I have a printed copy of it hanging on the wall behind my computer. It is a constant reminder for me of how God shows us love. How do you show and receive love? One of the seminars that I do is a study of the book series based on the 5 Love Languages by Dr. Gary Chapman. I love to see how excited people get when they discover their love language and the languages of those around them. I highly recommend you take a few minutes and go to the 5 love languages website: https://www.5lovelanguages.co

Living Words

Today’s Verse Zephaniah 3:16-17 Jerusalem will be told: “Don’t be afraid. Dear Zion, don’t despair. Your God is present among you, a strong Warrior there to save you. Happy to have you back, he’ll calm you with his love and delight you with his songs. Lectio Divina, that is what we are looking at today. I really like the way that Wikipedia defines i: “Lectio Divina (Latin for "Divine Reading") is a traditional Benedictine practice of scriptural reading, meditation and prayer intended to promote communion with God and to increase the knowledge of God's word. It does not treat scripture as texts to be studied, but as the living word.” I love the final phrase. “the livin

Peek-A-Boo!

Today’s verse: Acts 17:24-28 (msg) “The God who made the world and everything in it, this Master of sky and land, doesn’t live in custom-made shrines or need the human race to run errands for him, as if he couldn’t take care of himself. He makes the creatures; the creatures don’t make him. Starting from scratch, he made the entire human race and made the earth hospitable, with plenty of time and space for living so we could seek after God, and not just grope around in the dark but actually find him. He doesn’t play hide-and-seek with us. He’s not remote; he’s near. We live and move in him, can’t get away from him! Today I am asking you to do one simple thing. Find God. Look for God continuou

I Just Can't

I rarely experience times when I am so completely overwhelmed that even self-care takes too much effort. I had one of those times this past week when I ended up having a silent temper tantrum with myself because “I just couldn’t anymore!” This Lent, I have been working on my stress, giving up worrying and trusting God, practicing a more peaceful and prayerful existence. And then I hit a wall and it all fell apart. I have a lot on my mind and a lot going in the lives of my family, my friends, and my neighbors. I am usually the strong one that people can rely on and I am gladly there for people. But there are those times when my responsibilities overwhelm me and I end up wondering how I am go

Only the Best!

Bible Verse for today: is Proverbs 16:9 “ The human mind plans the way, but the Lord directs the steps.” One of the best pieces of advice that I ever got, was from a very special friend who touched and continues to touch my life. We were doing a 10 week small group study on a biblical approach to being healthy and there was a lot of advice being passed around. She was the leader of the group and she shared that a key component of living a full life is that we need to be open to learning new things. Most of all as we learn new things we need to keep an open mind and heart. Keeping this in mind, the advice that she shared was “Keep the best, and leave the rest!” Not every faith, belief

Daily Examen

I love being able to find new ways of praying and paying attention to my daily walk with God. So over the last year or so, I have been working on discovering new avenues of spiritual practice. When I heard Krista Tippet’s interview with Fr. James Martin, a Jesuit priest, I was intrigued by all the different ways that he said Jesuits practice their spirituality. One of the main Jesuit practices is the Daily Examen. Here is how Fr. Martin describes it: "The Examen, or examination of conscience, is a quick prayer to help you see where God was active in your day. Usually done for 15 to 20 minutes at the end of a day, the prayer was popularized by St. Ignatius Loyola in his classic text The Spir

Dance Like Nobody's Watching

Today’s verse: Galatians 1:10 (NRSV) “Am I now seeking human approval, or God’s approval? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still pleasing people, I would not be a servant of Christ.” One of the hardest lessons to teach our children is to not worry about what others think of them. I feel what makes it so hard to teach this to others is that most of us don’t have a handle on it ourselves. We face our days fearing judgement and criticism. Will people like our hair, clothes, or what we have to say. Take a minute and think about how different your morning would be if the question you asked for everything that you did is, would this be pleasing to God. In the world around us today we a

Are You Authentic?

Today's Verse: Romans 12:1-21 ESV “I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” Authentic is a word that I am hearing and reading more and more. Be your “authentic” self. How can we make our jobs more “authentic”? etc. A while back I decided to delve into finding out what does it actually mean to be authentic? What I have found in my journey to understanding authenticity is that it is daily c

You've Got a Friend

Today’s Verse John 15:12-14 msg “This is my command: Love one another the way I loved you. This is the very best way to love. Put your life on the line for your friends. You are my friends when you do the things I command you.” Whenever I think of friendship I remember a very simple song that I learned when I was in Girl Scouts. It was the song “Make New Friends”. The words were “Make new friends, but keep the old, one is silver and the other gold”. The song was sung in rounds and then some troops ended with: this circle is round it has no ends and that’s how long I want to be your friend.” In the Bible we find that Job had some pretty special friends. In Job 2:11-13 we read 11-13 Three o

Nature's Blessing

What feelings does this picture evoke in you? Nature has always been a source of peacefulness and healing for me. After a long winter, I am itching to get out to my garden and get my hands and knees dirty in the soil. Even our cat has been excited by the leaves blowing across our back yard. When out in nature, we all experience a sense of being more grounded and feel the stress of daily life fall away. Did you know that there is a whole therapy system based on reconnecting with nature called ecotherapy? It is based on the concept of our vital connection with nature and that when we are removed from nature, we are removed from ourselves and suffer for it. It is vital for us to return to our r

Consider The Lilies

I have yet to meet a person who doesn’t worry. I am the first one to admit that I worry, too, about everything! Some degree of worry, if you can do something to help the situation, is okay. It makes us take the appropriate action to resolve whatever we are dealing with. But I often ask myself, if there is nothing I can do to affect the outcome of the issue, why do I still worry about it? I think a part of it is my need to stay to in control. So if there’s nothing I can do to affect the outcome of what I am concerned about, worrying at least gives me something to do while I am in this period of uncertainty. I love the story from Matthew 6:25-33 where Jesus tells his disciples not to worry abo

Does it Bring You Joy?

Have you seen the latest Netflix program Tidying Up with Marie Kondo? When her book The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up came out, I walked past it many times without picking it up. I wasn’t sure I wanted to read more about how to keep my house clean—I was doing a lot of cleaning already and who wants to do more or be told they are doing it all wrong? It is hard enough already! But after the book became very popular, I decided to see for myself what the fuss was all about. I must say I found it very useful and encouraging! It opened up new possibilities of keeping things at home better organized, which would actually make my life easier in the end! To this day, we fold our tops differently

Try a New Hobby This Lent?

How About a New Hobby This Lent? I got an advertisement from Let’s Make Art the other day. It is a subscription service for boxes that have all the supplies and instructions on how to create your own watercolor paintings. I have never been great at art, but I do love to paint and create something new. I love the way watercolor paintings look (if I could, that is all I would have on my walls) and I would love to learn how to do it. The advertisement I got also contained a video of someone creating a beautiful, simple picture. It was so calming and creative, I immediately wondered if I could incorporate this form of art--of slowing down and creating--into my life, especially during the Lenten

Imangine

Today’s verse: John 14:27 Living Bible (TLB) "I am leaving you with a gift—peace of mind and heart! And the peace I give isn’t fragile like the peace the world gives. So don’t be troubled or afraid." One way that I know of to find peace of mind and heart is to use guided imagery, also known as guided meditation. If you have ever attended a meeting that I was leading you probably have experienced it. I use it often as a centering activity at the beginning of meetings. It is a wonderful way for us to take a step away from the world around us and refocus our minds, hearts and spirits. I find guided imagery can be healing, centering, and motivational. It helps me to refocus and redirects my t

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