Monday Morning in June

Summer has its own rhythm. The heat of the sun reminds me how important perspective is when seasons change. We all do things in the summer that we don’t do other times of year. Water and lightening bugs; cookouts and watermelon. Vacations for some; camps and retreats for others.

I have an annual practice of reading through the book of Proverbs in the summer. These verses of wisdom are reminders. They quicken my mind and spirit. Ancient wisdom rises to the surface and foolishness is placed in the light where it can be seen for what it is.

This book of wisdom encourages, corrects, clarifies and makes me think. It’s funny how much I need the reminders! Thus, every summer I return to these words.

I read whatever chapter matches the date. Today, June 13th, is Proverbs 13. Just looking for one sentence that I can carry through the day. I don’t worry so much about missing a day, I just do this through June-July until I’ve read all 30 chapters of the book. It’s my summer renewing of the mind.

Occasionally a friend will join me in the reading and it makes for good conversation as the summer days pass. It is a great practice for parents and children – especially adult children. It’s a great practice for friends, couples, groups…whomever is up for the blessing of engaging in the adventure.

Pride only breeds quarrels,
But wisdom is found in those who take advice.” – Proverbs 13:10

This weekend I attended the 92nd birthday party of a distant cousin and a Celebration of Life for a 100 year old friend. In both places I was surrounded by my elders. Men and women who have shared life wisdom, both by example and conversations. What a treasured gift!

As you begin your week, perhaps a dip into the pool of Proverbs wisdom will refresh your mind and spirit. You won’t be alone; I’ll be reading with you.

God of wisdom and mercy, thank you for providing a way for us to encounter your ancient teaching. Thank you for people who have eyes to see and ears to hear. Give us a humble character, Lord, to listen; and courage to follow when this gift comes from you. Forgive us for our pride in thinking we know so much. Open us to what you offer; we need you. We welcome your Spirit to teach us.


Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking in anything. – James 1:4

Facing the wind, 2021

I encountered this bird on Amelia Island last year. I have never forgotten the moment. He stood there for the longest time. The wind blowing in his face. His feathers all ruffled and worn. He was shaking. Every few seconds I thought he would blow over or give up and fly away. To my untrained eye he seemed determined to stand in the wind and gather up courage and focus for the day. I wondered if this was his morning prayer.

When I think of what it takes to stay the course when we are tired or frustrated or feeling like what we’re doing is not making a difference, I think of the way James teaches about challenges and trials. It frames my attitude and thought process. If there is something waiting for us after a season of perseverance, James reminds us that it is worth the waiting. It is worth the patience, diligence and whatever else you are mustering up to walk through each day. Something more than eye can see is happening. Perseverance comes with a blessing. It is something we trust and hold on to when the days are hard. Hold on today; prayers are all around you.

Lord, thank you for being with us when we are living through seasons of challenge. Please bring patience enough for today, and hope that fills the spirit and offers peace. Protect and guide, as you have promised to do; your wisdom is our greatest source of help. We trust you completely, Father, and we love you. Thank you for your faithfulness! Amen.

Monday Prayer

The morning peace arrives differently for all of us. But it still arrives. God is faithful. I pray God shows up for you in exactly the way you need today. 

God bring peace to bedsides where people are making transition. Let the presence of the resurrected Christ standing guard with them be very clear today. 

Bring peace to the people we love who are healing. Let their cells receive nutrients and care; let their blood flow richly through their bodies; fill their lungs with your breath of life and sooth the rhythm of every heartbeat. Free their minds from anxiety and fear.
Thank you for equipping the medical teams with your healing grace. May their compassion and skill be guided by you.

Give strength to the ones who are weary but still face the day of long hours. Equip every person for each call and task. Cover them with safety and give wisdom in decisions.  

Please grant rest to those who have a holiday and slower pace. Give them joy and restoration however they need it. 

Where hope is needed, merciful God, please provide the flame that causes us to catch our breath and say, “it must be the presence of Lord with us!”  

Thank you for the creative ways you respond when we ask for help. Open our spirits to see you and receive. We trust you, Lord, and we love you. Thank you for being right here! 

Lunes por la Mañana en Guatemala

Rooster calls across the dark morning tell me to rise, a new day has come. Before the people move or I can launch my mind to the work ahead, every bird, animal and plant is making a clear claim of praise for the faithful rise of the son. Villancico; song of praise. Santa Maria is invisible; the clouds shield any human sight of her presence.  Nublado.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see. 
This is what the ancients were commended for. – Hebrews 11:1

Morning Prayer
God, thank you for the creation that never ceases to praise you for the morning’s arrival. You have ordained another day; you speak it into being for all creatures.  And whether we wake with heaviness or joy – you are here with us. Please walk with us wherever our steps trod today, we need you. Clear our minds of fear and shame. Remove the weight of worry. Fill our spirits with your grace and mercy. Remind us that we were created with your love, and we cannot destroy what you are making whole. Where we are broken – keep mending and restoring. When we are moving too fast – redeem within us your pace. Wherever love needs to pour over our wounds, we welcome your presence however you come. We trust you completely. Let it be. Amen. 


“Is it raining?”
“No…the leaves are falling.”
How beautiful is the sound of falling leaves and all that the woods speak as we walk along the path. 

The prophet, Malachi, writes about God’s interactions with the people of Israel. The people have grown weary of dealing with evil and seeing wickedness prosper. They complain and God responds:

“You have spoken arrogantly against me,” says the Lord.
“Yet you ask, ‘What have we said against you?’
“You have said, ‘It is futile to serve God. What do we gain by carrying out his requirements and going about like mourners before the Lord Almighty? But now we call the arrogant blessed. Certainly evildoers prosper, and even when they put God to the test, they get away with it.’”

Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of remembrance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. “On the day when I act,” says the Lord Almighty, “they will be my treasured possession. I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him. And you will again see the distinction between the righteous and the wicked, between those who serve God and those who do not. – Malachi 3:13-18

When we are surrounded by reports of awful acts in the world or standing face to face with insults and language that attempts to reduce us to dirt, it helps to simply stop and listen to the one who created us. What I love in this brief glimpse into Malachi’s story, is that there are some people among the Israelite crowd that choose to do something different than stay in their weariness and complaint.  They talked to each other. They remembered God’s character and faithfulness. They chose to trust God and stay on the path of holiness. And God noticed.

We don’t always feel like God’s treasured possession, but that IS who we are called to be. As messy or weary as we may feel on any given day – what we ARE is God’s treasured possession. As strong and powerful as we may think we are on any given day – what we ARE is God’s treasured possession. These are truths we embrace, receive and acknowledge because they remind us of who God is and who God created us to be. We don’t have to manufacture this; it IS because of God’s presence in our lives.

As you start your Monday morning, may you know that the path of righteousness leads to fullness of life for you. Remember the One who created you and guides you in the way you are to walk through this day.  You are God’s treasured possession and no circumstance or person, nor any power operating in this world can take that away. Be loved! 

How has God reminded you that you are loved and treasured? Write it down. Remember it in times that weariness is present. God is with you.

Prayer: Lord, lead our paths in ways that honor you. We trust you and we love you. Amen.

Kari Jobe: Your Nature


I love the way fall arrives. Every day there is a change, some signal that transition is happening. We anticipate the beauty that will come. We delight in the changes that we enjoy. We sigh (and maybe complain a little) about things we don’t embrace so easily: like an hour less of daylight!

Creation tries to teach us to receive it all, and trust that something right and amazing is unfolding. If I stop at the stream long enough I will see things falling away. Hedge apples drop to the ground. Leaves turn colors and float to some landing place. All the while, something new emerges. The deer is in pursuit, focused for the season. The squirrels prepare for winter, gathering up all they will need. Frost sneaks in the early morning hours and covers the earth, preparing for the winter on its way. All waiting for a child’s spirit to notice.

Perhaps God speaks in these transitions. Reassuring us that we are not alone in any season. Reminding us that way leads to way. Encouraging us to trust the Creator to keep guiding us along the path. Walk slowly and watch. Walk softly and listen. The whispers of the Spirit arrive in many ways.

Creator God, we welcome you to reveal yourself to us today. We invite the whisper of your Spirit to stir us from our slumber. We ask for the grace of your help – giving us wisdom in moments we most need it. Bring hope into our days and fill us with your Peace. Amen.

Fix My Eyes on You 

Morning Word of Unfailing Love

Answer me quickly, O LORD:
my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing
for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
for to you I lift up my soul.
Rescue me from my enemies, O LORD,
for I hide myself in you.
Teach me to do your will,
for you are my God; 
may your good Spirit
lead me on level ground. 
– Psalm 143:7-10

David wrote this prayer.  In all seasons of his life, he had challenges. As a shepherd it was protecting a flock of sheep from the wolves and predators. As a warrior it was leading men into battle.  As a person called by God, it was the sheer struggle of trusting when things were hard and discerning the way to keep being faithful.  David’s enemies were often other warriors, but not only other warriors.  

“Enemies” are not only in battle.  Sometimes enemies are doubt and fear that paralyze; lies that swarm in our heads or through other voices around us; distractions that lure us from the primary focus of our lives.  In each situation, we have access to a deeper wisdom and divine help that comes from our Creator. We need only pause long enough to seek a different perspective. A perspective that brings the wisdom of all time into view.  Is this the prayer for you right now? 

The LORD loves us right where we are and however we are, right now. It is a love that does not fail. We don’t earn it or buy it or bargain for it. We receive and welcome the arms of God that are reaching out for us. It is a humble and brave embrace. 

Holy God, in the same way you heard David’s voice asking and trusting you for help, please hear ours. In the same way you have been faithful throughout the generations to respond as the prayers of your people rise up from wherever they are, thank you for coming near to us today. Do not let us go. Amen.

The Morning Peace

I don’t know what it is that
rushes me
But sometimes yes, it rushes me,
and hurls me into a day where
I begin already behind
not quite ready
and concerned….
sometimes about something
I can’t even name.

And then –
I catch you in the periphery
a glance across the room.
Where light is changing, even rising
and I have to pause and see.

It was a fleeting moment
impossible to hold
A glance to remind me I am loved
and you are still creating days
of grace for us to discover together.
You are here.

God, help us pause long enough to
catch your glance from across
whatever distance you come today. Amen.

Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth.
The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob in our fortress.

Psalm 46:10-11

The Morning Prayer

Holy God, you bring the sun to its rising
with no help from us.
The birds begin their songs
the rivers run without any 
command or assistance from our hands.
The dew will dissipate
breezes will arrive and just as easily disappear.
We created nothing; you established all.
We humble ourselves before you and all that you created.
We praise you and thank you for all you have established.
Let our breath be drawn from yours
Let our steps be ordered by your grace
Take the work of our bodies and minds; it belongs to you.
Please bless whatever we offer.
Take the cares and burdens of our spirits; they are too heavy.
Bring peace where the deepest wounds and sorrows
have lingered too long.  
May your wisdom that created this day
guide our lives through the hours 
with safety, with love, and your mercy that 
is offered to us new every morning. 
By your Spirit, may the moments we live today
bring honor and glory to you. 
What joy we have to live in your presence today! Amen.

Morning Fog: Happy Friday!

The weather icon cautions me that fog awaits the day and I know instinctively it is good. Low visibility reminds me that God still sees the long view. I learned it several years ago from my neighbor in the country. “We know the sun is rising even though we can’t see it.” She loved to say it; it was a mantra for her and it became one for me. We are people that need to be reminded!

I ran to see the fog and was shocked to see the sun piercing through the shroud as if to say:

I’ve changed my mind.
The fog will not linger.
The lift is now.
Caution is replaced with courage.
Clouds are being swept away.

It happens like that sometimes. Life does. A solution emerges with the same immediate announcement of a light bulb in a pitch black room. Or that subtle inching, nudging….even squeezing into our lives like a little whisper that persists until it is shaping us into a way of being we didn’t see coming.

The fog is a friend when it comes. Reminding us in ways we can experience. Slow down and pay attention. Take a breath. Remember that the sun has not been taken away. We are being shielded while new light, new voices, and new revelation are being formed. Welcome the day; it is the careful provision of our Creator.

Sunrise – June 4, 2021

God, thank you for being in the fog with us and never losing sight of the long view. We welcome your new day! We love you and trust you. Amen.

Here Comes The Sun – Beatles Remix