Morning Prayer


This day is precious
created as it is
for each one of us
to fulfil our purpose
This day is precious
Treat it with care

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Hope is up to you


It is that time – time when we begin to anticipate the beginning of a new church year. As we celebrate the first Sunday of Advent (just 4 Sundays before Christmas) we also welcome the New Year in the church and the cycle begins – again. Advent is a time when our focus turns to all the things necessary to prepare for the celebration of God’s presence in this world. Within the weeks before Christmas, we hear stories of many people in preparation. Angels appear announcing great things, announcing new birth and a new world. This announcement creates a stir of excitement and concern.

Just beyond these challenging moments unfolds a vision of God’s kingdom among us.

It takes time for all of these wonders to occur. We find ourselves waiting with anticipation and in need of encouragement. Our attention is short and we are easily tested. The need for hope and patience is so important. May this ‘image’ bring peace when needed and the courage to hope.

‎”There is a garden beyond the shadows, a place of rest and renewal. You may not be able to see it yet, not through the swirl of things that cloud your vision, but it is there. And in time you will get there. You will step through the darkness to the light just on the other side of sorrow. You will find what you are looking for, what you need. I do not say this because I am trying to make you feel better. Right now the only thing that will make you feel better is hope. I say the truth and that truth is your first glimpse of the garden beyond the shadows. The hope is up to you.”

The Rt. Rev. Steven Charleston, Choctaw


Listening in silence…


The message behind the words is the voice of the heart. Rumi

It seems that I have had much to say recently on the topic of actions and intentions. At the moment it appears, we have plenty of examples in our world that warrants this type of reflection. As I read articles in other venues, I am aware that these topics are on the minds and hearts of many people.

Words are very powerful tools. They can build up or tear down. They can bind us together in security or sprinkle dust of anxiety. We find ourselves at a point in history when many public words are thrown around to create confusion and instill fear. And this is their intention…

Actions leave large impressions on those who witness them. They can encourage people to share goodness by example or carry anger and fear to their extreme. We find ourselves at a point in history when actions are rising in danger, giving permission for the spread of hostility and fear.

These words and actions appear larger than life attempting to destroy trust and community. It is the result of power and greed. We experience those with great power (a power we have bestowed) to tower over those who have little power (a position that has been forced). It is a situation that continues to grow as our culture is overwhelmed with the noisy distraction of talk.

So I ask – Where are the quiet places? The places that allow words to be used only when necessary and the heart’s intention is understood. The places where we begin with trust and build communities designed to care for one another because we believe it is the good and faithful thing to do. Where are these places?

Maybe this is the most important question now. If these quiet places are not found in obvious and welcoming forms then the noise that is dismantling our communities will continue to be successful toward its goal. Are we able to create environments where people can come to find rest from the noise and re-member the importance of trust and compassion? Can we help the great and the small not only talk with one another but work together to show another way of living and serving in this world? I am convinced it can be done and even more certain that people are longing for the invitation to act on the ‘voice of the heart’.

What do you think?! Have you found examples of this happening? Share what you think, what you know and where we can go to see these quiet places in action.

A New Day…

These words are refreshing and encouraging. When I was young we had something called a ‘do-over’. If – as young children – we had made a poor decision or had a bad attitude we were given the chance to make it right.

Buddha speaks of each day as a ‘do-over’ –  we awaken each morning to greet a fresh start. Oh yes, the challenges and accomplishments from the previous day are with us but the sunrise welcomes a rebirth a new perspective. Before us is offered the invitation to change attitude and direction, to soften anger and practice compassion.

The path in Buddhist tradition is to live life awake to the present moment, knowing that the past cannot be re-lived and the future is always a breath away. Our actions and attitudes today are most important. Other faith traditions share the same wisdom – throughout his ministry, Jesus was often reflecting on being mindful of today not worrying about what tomorrow would bring.

No one says this is easy or always possible yet considering the idea of being ‘reborn’  each day can fill life with possibilities and fresh perspectives.  What will happen? Maybe lighten a load or fill an empty heart with gratitude. At its core may this teaching from Buddha plant a seed of grace and contentment – today.