• Praying Scripture Daily

    Perfect Unity

    Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.  Colossians 3:12-14 As I’m sure most people do, I sometimes have a hard time being patient when someone annoys me or forgiving when someone has hurt me. These verses from Colossians always make me want to grow in grace and love. As God’s people, we are recognized by our character, especially our love. Our character springs…

  • Praying Scripture Daily

    Church in Action

    It’s easy for us in 21st century America to take church for granted and approach it casually, but we miss out on a lot if we do. There are many exhortations in Scripture about how to be involved in church, and much depth of connection to be experienced by living wholeheartedly in relationship with one another and Jesus. Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Romans 12: 9-11 Monday: Imagine how our churches would look if each of…

  • Art and Prayer,  Praying Scripture Daily

    Church!

    They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and to fellowship, to the breaking of bread and to prayer. 43 Everyone was filled with awe at the many wonders and signs performed by the apostles. 44 All the believers were together and had everything in common. 45 They sold property and possessions to give to anyone who had need. 46 Every day they continued to meet together in the temple courts. They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts, 47 praising God and enjoying the favor of all the people. And the Lord added to their number daily those who were being saved. Acts 2:42-47 Imagine how exciting it would be to be a part of a church like this! This…

  • Art and Prayer,  Visio Divina

    Sketching as Prayer

    Yesterday we had our Spring Sketching as Prayer retreat at church, and it was a very refreshing day for me. While I enjoyed doing the retreat via Zoom in January, and it was great to see people from all across the United States and even one person in England, it was much more relaxing for me to lead a retreat locally. Not having to keep much technology in mind allowed me to really relax and experience the day as a retreat for myself as well. It’s interesting that, although I very much need and appreciate time alone at home, it sometimes seems that “solitude” with other people can be powerful…

  • Praying Scripture Daily

    Thoughts That Lead to Peace

    “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:8-9 Paul admonishes his readers to think about that which is good and to follow his example in living out those virtues. The result is God’s peace, which comes from the God of peace himself being present with us. This week let’s pay attention to what we think about and…

  • Praying Scripture Daily

    Pentecost

    This week we remember and celebrate Pentecost, when the Holy Spirit was poured out into God’s people. What an amazing gift! God the Spirit coming to us and living within us, so that we are never alone, never without God’s presence. Although we may not always sense God’s presence, Scripture tells us that if we have put our faith in Jesus, he gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to be with us always. Each day we’ll meditate on a verse that tells us something of the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives. Let’s ponder these words deeply, allowing the Holy Spirit to renew our hope, to…

  • Praying Scripture Daily

    Hope and Assurance

    We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:19-20 Therefore, brothers and sisters, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart and with the full assurance that faith brings, having…

  • Praying Scripture Daily

    From Despair to Courage

    “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong, and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD.” Psalm 27: 13-14 It’s easy to slip into despair or hopelessness when we allow our focus to settle on problems and trials. If, instead, we keep God’s goodness in mind and wait on the LORD, we are reassured, strengthened, and given courage, even if the trials continue. This week we’ll focus on God’s goodness and we’ll spend time waiting on the LORD. Monday: Take some time to remember and think…

  • Praying Scripture Daily

    Pharisee or Tax Collector?

    To some who were confident of their own righteousness and looked down on everybody else, Jesus told this parable: “Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood up and prayed about himself: ‘God, I thank you that I am not like other men—robbers, evildoers, adulterers—or even like this tax collector. I fast twice a week and give a tenth of all I get.’  “But the tax collector stood at a distance. He would not even look up to heaven, but beat his breast and said, ‘God, have mercy on me, a sinner.’  “I tell you that this…

  • Art and Prayer,  Praying with Trees,  Visio Divina

    Off Kilter

    I’ve been taking a few days of retreat-at-home time. Stephen has been away, so with time alone at home, I figured I’d have some refreshing time of solitude and silence. It’s been good in many ways, but I haven’t managed to settle my mind as much as I had hoped. It just seems there are so many good ways to occupy my mind or spend my time, and it can be hard to quiet myself, even when I manage to avoid the phone and computer. One day I decided to sit quietly and sketch the pin oak that’s growing in our yard. I’m fascinated by its downward growing lower limbs…