Revealer of Souls, who places unfurls and unfolds each living thing,
For the morning air that beckons fresh and new filling us with a sense of anticipation, we breathe deeply and give our thanks. Make us aware of being held in your love. Help us live into the mystery of your Presence taking time to wait for you to send to the surface sparkles of light from the deep rivers of our souls. Through these quiet moments, produce in us gentleness, peace and a song of joy to carry forth to share with one another. Amen.
God can do anything, you know—far more than you could ever imagine or guess or request in your wildest dreams! He does it not by pushing us around but by working within us, his Spirit deeply and gently within us. Ephesians 3:20-21 (The Message)
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy… Psalm 30:11
Faithful Companion, who travels with us,
We begin on the path today, breathing in the air that gives life. Help us set aside our expectations for what is ahead and simply let things be. Gently guide us toward the movement of Spirit to enter into our work with you, finding the load lighter and the joy brighter. Open our hearts to know the fullness of your Presence in each moment after this one. Amen.
Holy Child, whose arrival is different from expected,
On this blessed morning, we pause to realize the richness of your Presence. May one of the gifts we open, today, be the gift of poverty within our hearts. Change us this Christmas season. Give us opportunities to submit to the power of peace and ground our every hope in redeeming love. Bring fresh joy to all creation! Amen.
Made for us while on mission in 2007 doing Katrina Relief from the fabulous cooks and crew at Camp Hope in Vancleave, Ms.
Slice French bread, around 16 slices best broken in pieces and placed in an oblong Pyrex or casserole dish lightly buttered.
2 cups sugar
1 quart milk
1 stick melted butter
1 T vanilla
Mix the above and pour over bread, sprinkle with cinnamon, go heavy on that sprinkle! Bake one hour at 350 degrees.
1 stick butter
I cup white chocolate chips, or 8-10 oz white baking chocolate, I use both Ghiradelli chips and Bakers white chocolate squares
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 t vanilla
6 t water
Melt butter and white chocolate in microwave for 2 minutes. Remove, stir and add powdered sugar, vanilla and water. Heat another minute, remove and stir until smooth and creamy, then pour over bread pudding as it comes out of the oven. Serve warm.
Imagine allowing the winds to lift up the sails of a kite carrying you along with it! Freedom! Pure joy! Look again. The kite in the foreground is guided by a pilot. Each kite has harnesses attached to a fine system of tethers all working together to make flight possible. If even one of these connections is missing or tangled, gliding in this kite would not be possible.
The life of faith gives us opportunity to learn and experience the kind of freedom and joy that comes only when we are deeply connected to God and one another. It can take several relationships in order for us to grow. While we all make mistakes in our relationship with God or others, and we may at times feel lost and confused, when we stay connected, somehow, along with the other supports that we have, eventually the Spirit can lift us again. It is there we find the fullness of joy and freedom that comes with commitment.
Making a commitment is difficult today. We have so many choices. We want to experience so much. When making a new commitment, ask yourself if your new commitment will help support the connections you already have in place. Living fully is not about experiencing everything, it is about living within the boundaries of our limitations and finding in those everything we need.
We had sparrows nest in an old ski helmet sitting on a shelf in our garage. Yesterday, five miniature birds flew for the first time. They made such a racket in their excitement. And today, the trees are alive with the songs of sparrows.
Do you remember the first time you flew? The first time you experienced what it was you were created to do? Did your heart sing with joy from deep within? Did you know complete freedom for the moment? Did others see and experience your joy?
In all that we do to grow in our faith, for me, the most important is to practice and experience what we were created by God to do. I believe living out our specific purpose is how God justifies and sanctifies our lives. We can learn further about our divine purpose by considering what we are already doing. What are the things that you do that bring you joy? What are the things you do that bring others joy? There are no mistakes, some part of our purpose is already being lived out. Recognizing and cultivating that understanding will however bring us to new depths of joy and peace.
Five New Songs Leave the Nest