Category Archives: words

Take a little time in Lent

We often think of Lent as a time when we give out.  But we can also accept a helping hand from others.  The Lent Project is a superb resource created by Biola University, Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts.  It offers you the chance to spend a little time each day with music, art and words.  And you can subscribe to receive email updates, as well as a reminder when they produce their next resource.

Click this link for access.

 

The Still Small Voice of Love

Many voices ask for our attention. There is a voice that says, “Prove that you are a good person.” Another voice says, “You’d better be ashamed of yourself.” There also is a voice that says, “Nobody really cares about you,” and one that says, “Be sure to become successful, popular, and powerful.” But underneath all these often very noisy voices is a still, small voice that says, “You are my Beloved, my favour rests on you.” That’s the voice we need most of all to hear. To hear that voice, however, requires special effort; it requires solitude, silence, and a strong determination to listen.

That’s what prayer is. It is listening to the voice that calls us “my Beloved.”

Henri Nouwen

Think about that last sentence.

Take a few minutes to listen to the voice that calls you “my Beloved”

It might help to play this beautiful music by Ketil Bjornstadt & Svante Henryson

“Own” by Ketil Bjornstadt & Svante Henryson, from the album, “Floating” on ECM

Where is your Holy Landscape?

Amado Beach, Portugal

 

 

Down by the sea-sprayed stones which

Whisper of the ancient ways, I pray at these sacred

Edges, hearing the call of the wild to

Listen, linger, and send roots down in this holy

Landscape.

 

 

Where is your “holy landscape”?

It could be anywhere.

Take a few moments to close your eyes, picture it, and if you like,

to pray.

This poem is by Christine Valters Paintner.  You can find out more about her here.

Here are my Hands – Aaron Niequist

Here are my Hands

here are my hands

they’re small, they’re small and

here are my hands

they’re small and trembling

 

here are my arms

they’re weak, they’re weak but

here are my arms

they’re weak but willing

 

here are my eyes

they burn with memories

here are my eyes

they’re teared and tired

 

here are my feet

they’re slow, they’re slow but

here are my feet

they’re stumbling to You now

 

and God, i know

there still is so much i just don’t know

and God, i believe

Your Kingdom can still be built in me

 

So here is my heart

here is my soul

take me in part

take me in whole, whole, whole

i want to be whole, whole, whole

 

here are my hands

they’re small, they’re small and

here are my hands

they’re small and trembling

 

here are my dreams

they’re me protected

here are my dreams

so please be gentle now

 

and God, i know

there still is so much i just don’t know

and God, i believe

Your Kingdom can still be built on me

 

so here is my heart

here is my soul

Your kingdom come

my kingdom go, go, go

i’m letting it go, go, go

i’m letting it go, go, go

i’m letting it go, go, go

 

Here is a video of the song. On Aaron’s website (see below) there is a live version, which I think is arranged better and doesn’t have the repeated banjo notes.

You can find more of Aaron Niequist’s music here.

Online Advent

There is hardly a more important time in which to carve out space for spirituality than the run-up to Christmas, or Advent. But many of us need help in doing so.  That’s where The Advent Project can help. This excellent online Advent Calendar invites you to open a “window” each day, or get them sent to you via email.  It is purely devotional rather than being linked to a particular cause or issue.
Each day there is a Scripture Reading, a thoughtful comment, a prayer, and alongside them, an evocative painting and a piece of music which you can either play or not.  It’s a great way of being still for 5 minutes and reflecting prayerfully.  Also, there is an excellent introduction, explaining what Advent is about.

Follow this link to The Advent Project by the Center for Christianity, Culture and the Arts at Biola University.

George Tooker Night 1

New Words to an Ancient Rhythm

Here’s a prayer to help us connect with God in fresh ways.

How do the words resonate with you?  Is there a line for you to take away now?

 

Our Mother who dwells in all

Hallowed be your name;

Your presence come,

Your love be done,

In life as in death.

Show us today your flowing way.

Remind us of your pulse,

As we remind those whom we love of your heartbeat.

Lead us fully into balance,

Unite us with your dance;

For yours is the process, the light and the darkness,

Forever and ever,

Amen.

The Working Weak

During the middle ages, a traveller once came upon a quarry where hundreds of men were hard at work. The traveller got talking, and asked them what they were doing.

The first man was very grumpy.  “I’m having to cut these massive boulders with the most basic tools. The sun’s hot and we hardly get a break.  I’m aching, hot, tired – and what’s it all for?”

The second man said, “Well, I have a wife and children at home. My wife does what she can and I do what I can. I cut these stones into regular shapes and we keep food on the table.

The third man looked up with shining eyes.  He pointed to the sky.  “I’m building a cathedral!” he said.


What are you building?