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Three Prayers Worth Considering…

Photo from Hog Lake, Washington

     The title of a sermon series I heard several years ago often returns to my thoughts. The three words, “Points of Convergence,” stuck.

     Since that time, as I’ve learned more about my God design, my fascination with the concept of convergence makes total sense. Part of my unique personality is the importance of making connections.

     As I glance in life’s rearview mirror, I realize I’ve always been trying to connect and make sense of:

          how one event connects to another.

               how one’s words connect with one’s behaviors.

                    how certain persons connect—or disconnect.

                         what “following Christ” ought to look like.

     I want my actions and my words to reflect the heart of Jesus, of whom scripture says, was the reflection of God. (See 1 John 1) While I realize that is not always the case for me, I’m convinced it’s a desire pleasing to God, and God wants to help me.

     Since the season leading up to Easter as well as the weeks following Easter, I’ve added three prayers, all based on scriptures that have been meaningful to me. If any resonate with you, I invite you to join me in prayer.

I call the first one,

Garden Prayer: (Matthew 26:39-42)
God, Who Sees,
You know even the depths of my soul I cannot understand. You know how often I am preoccupied—even insistent—on my will.
Please, Lord, give me the strength and resolve to pray like Jesus
Not my will, but Thy will be done
Amen

This next one I call,

Take Off and Put on Prayer:(Hebrews 12:1 &2)
God, Who Cares and Understands,
Enable me to get on in this journey you’ve called me into. Help me to take off everything that bogs me down physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Help me to put on that which will help me run the race of life faster, longer, and better.
Help me keep my eyes focused on Jesus, to mimic how he did life, allowing/inviting him to write and edit a good story of Sue Reeve’s (Insert your name here:_________’s) life.
Amen

Finally, I pray,

The Wisdom Prayer:(James 1:5)
Good, Generous God, Source of All Truth,
You know all.
I don’t always know what it looks like to submit my will to your will nor what it is I need to ‘take off’ and ‘put on.’ But YOU do!
Will you please show me, help me comprehend, and then empower me to act on that which the Holy Spirit reveals to my frail and often stubborn human spirit?
Amen

     I believe as I pray these prayers with a sincere and humble attitude, I will discover many ‘ah-ha’ connections in which a Divine Spirit will converge with my human spirit.

     Blessings to all as we continue to listen as the Sacred instructs us on our journeys…

Sue Reeve

Monday Morning Coffee Inspiration…Part 1

     Last Monday, I told you my husband has been capturing photos to use in my updated website. I told Ron I’d like a “really cool cup photo” that reflects my love of coffee. Well, my dear husband took my request to heart and now:

My Cup Runneth Over! (Psalm 23:5)

     As I was looking at Ron’s amazing ‘cup’ photos, I became curious about how many times the word cup is used in scripture. Turns out, quite a few. After spending time in Israel, I learned water is extremely important in the land of the Bible. Imagery of a cup of water was probably much more meaningful to people in that culture than to us who enjoy plentiful water. In truth, I think more about my cup of coffee than a cup of water.

     So, my friend, I decided I would continue a coffee theme for the next two Mondays. I hope you will enjoy this collection of cup photos and the quotes or scriptures accompanying each.

Good coffee is a pleasure.

Good friends are a treasure.[1]

The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want….he leadeth me beside the still waters…. my cup runneth over. Psalms 23:vv.1,3 & 5[2]

My favorite kind of day starts with coffee and you!

I will take the cup of salvation, and call upon the name of the Lord. (Psalms 116:13)

For whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in my name, because ye belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward. (Mark 9:41)

Life is like a cup of coffee…
It’s all in how you make it
Or, take it.
[3]

My Morning Prayer:

Thank you, God,
For my cup of hot coffee
And time spent with Thee.

Whether or not you are a coffee person, I pray your day will be blessed!

Sue Reeve

  1. Aliexpress
  2. All Scripture references are from KJV
  3. QuotesGram

Wisdom in the Garden…

A few weeks ago, I met a lady who is a talented artist and I imagine a deep thinker. Her recent Facebook post about finding art inspiration in a tree her dog had stopped to sniff around triggered memories of an inspirational tree I discovered in Spain. The memory continues to inspire me. Today’s post is a repeat, and I hope its message will encourage you to discover God’s goodness revealed in nature.

     Several years ago, I began praying about a “life verse—” a sort of scriptural purpose statement to help align my yearnings with God’s good purpose. One morning, a few short verses jumped off the pages of my Bible right into the depths of my soul. I knew this is the type of woman I wished to be.

     Below is the slightly-altered text of my life verses, Psalm 1:1-3, from the NIV.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the woman
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but her delight is in the law of the Lord,
and she meditates on God’s law day and night.
She is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever she does prospers.

     While participating in a contemplative prayer retreat at Cova San Ignacio in Manresa, Spain, Fr. Javier Meloni, retreat facilitator, encouraged us to take morning prayer walks in the Center’s garden. Generally, I measure the value of walks by the number of steps my Fitbit monitors. Javier’s assignment felt as foreign as the nation to which I’d travelled.

     When walking in nature, he suggested, think of each step as a kiss to the earth from which life is received. Trees, vegetables and fruit grown in the soil are all gifts from the earth God has given us.

     Walk slowly. Study the intricacies of a leaf. Touch the trunks of the trees, feeling unique textures of bark. Observe the differences in shrubs, trees, flowers, even blades of grass.

     Listen to sounds of creation—birds singing, insects chirping, the wind whistling.

     I like trees, and two different ones drew my attention during my first garden walk. One stood alone at the perimeter. An old tree with coarse, deeply wrinkled bark, reminding me of a venerable, aged seaman keeping watch.

     The second tree was like no other in this garden. While most tree branches were still barren that early-spring day, this tree was in full bloom. I noticed signs that revealed pruning in the past. The marks had healed, leaving only smooth scars as evidence.

     The tree reminded me of my “life verses,” and I decided to make this tree “mine” while in Manresa.

     My first nature-walk in the garden at Cova San Ignacio had been a deeply satisfying, sweetly spiritual experience. I was anxious to repeat the exercise.

     The next morning as I entered the garden, this image, which I captured with my cell phone camera, shows how “my” Manresa-tree greeted me!

     As I gazed on the light radiating through its branches, I realized not only do trees need earth’s soil to exist. They need sunlight to create energy essential for photosynthesis that produces oxygen in the life-giving air I breathe.

     What is the spiritual truth for me to learn in this garden-walk experience?

     I concluded that even as “my” Manresa-tree needs both soil and sun to grow, I need to not only meditate day and night on the truth of scripture to yield fruit. I need the very power of the Spirit of Jesus, the one who declared, “I am the light of the world…[1]” to reflect lifegiving light through the branches of my being.

     What wisdom one can find in a garden!

Blessings as you ‘listen’ with your heart to lessons each of us can learn from nature…

Sue Reeve

  1. Words Jesus spoke, found in John 8:12

 

Wisdom in the Garden…

A few weeks ago, I met a lady who is a talented artist and I imagine a deep thinker. Her recent Facebook post about finding art inspiration in a tree her dog had stopped to sniff around triggered memories of an inspirational tree I discovered in Spain. The memory continues to inspire me. Today’s post is a repeat, and I hope its message will encourage you to discover God’s goodness revealed in nature.

Several years ago, I began praying about a “life verse—” a sort of scriptural purpose statement to help align my yearnings with God’s good purpose. One morning, a few short verses jumped off the pages of my Bible right into the depths of my soul. I knew this is the type of woman I wished to be.

Below is the slightly-altered text of my life verses, Psalm 1:1-3, from the NIV.

Psalm 1

Blessed is the woman
who does not walk in step with the wicked
or stand in the way that sinners take
or sit in the company of mockers,
but her delight is in the law of the Lord,
and she meditates on God’s law day and night.
She is like a tree planted by streams of water,
which yields its fruit in season
and whose leaf does not wither—
whatever she does prospers.

While participating in a contemplative prayer retreat at Cova San Ignacio in Manresa, Spain, Fr. Javier Meloni, retreat facilitator, encouraged us to take morning prayer walks in the Center’s garden. Generally, I measure the value of walks by the number of steps my Fitbit monitors. Javier’s assignment felt as foreign as the nation to which I’d travelled.

When walking in nature, he suggested, think of each step as a kiss to the earth from which life is received. Trees, vegetables and fruit grown in the soil are all gifts from the earth God has given us.

Walk slowly. Study the intricacies of a leaf. Touch the trunks of the trees, feeling unique textures of bark. Observe the differences in shrubs, trees, flowers, even blades of grass.

Listen to sounds of creation—birds singing, insects chirping, the wind whistling.

I like trees, and two different ones drew my attention during my first garden walk. One stood alone at the perimeter. An old tree with coarse, deeply wrinkled bark, reminding me of a venerable, aged seaman keeping watch.

The second tree was like no other in this garden. While most tree branches were still barren that early-spring day, this tree was in full bloom. I noticed signs that revealed pruning in the past. The marks had healed, leaving only smooth scars as evidence.

The tree reminded me of my “life verses,” and I decided to make this tree “mine” while in Manresa.

My first nature-walk in the garden at Cova San Ignacio had been a deeply satisfying, sweetly spiritual experience. I was anxious to repeat the exercise.

The next morning as I entered the garden, this image, which I captured with my cell phone camera, shows how “my” Manresa-tree greeted me!

As I gazed on the light radiating through its branches, I realized not only do trees need earth’s soil to exist. They need sunlight to create energy essential for photosynthesis that produces oxygen in the life-giving air I breathe.

What is the spiritual truth for me to learn in this garden-walk experience?

I concluded that even as “my” Manresa-tree needs both soil and sun to grow, I need to not only meditate day and night on the truth of scripture to yield fruit. I need the very power of the Spirit of Jesus, the one who declared, “I am the light of the world…[1]” to reflect lifegiving light through the branches of my being.

What wisdom one can find in a garden!

Blessings as you ‘listen’ with your heart to lessons each of us can learn from nature…

Sue Reeve

 

  1. Words Jesus spoke, found in John 8:12