Today’s Reflection

PRISONS AROUND THE WORLD are ill-equipped to deal with HIV and AIDS. In Africa, facilities are so crowded that in order to change position while sleeping, one prisoner has to announce to the others to “roll over,” and every man turns at the same time. In Latin America children go to jail with their parents. In the United States a high number of young African American men are incarcerated for various periods of time, which may correlate with the disproportionate rate of HIV infections being experienced in the African American community.

Most governments refuse to allow condom distribution in prisons, arguing it would encourage promiscuity. Yet sexual activity and abuse among prisoners remains rampant around the world. Overlooked and underfunded, correction facilities and programs fall at the low end of government and nongovernment priorities. Until prison reform turns an eye toward preventing the spread of HIV, the pandemic will continue.

– Donald E. Messer
52 Ways to Create an AIDS-Free World

From page 99 of 52 Ways to Create an AIDS-Free World by Donald E. Messer. Copyright 2009 by Donald E. Messer. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Fresh Air Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Is there an AIDS advocacy group neat you? Consider contacting them and ask about their needs. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the LORD.”

2 Samuel 12:13a, NRSV

This Week: pray for broken relationships. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Ignatius of Loyola (July 31).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Praying As Repentance

July 27, 2015

Today’s Reflection

PRAYING TO KNOW God’s will is a fundamental act of repentance. It is our way of saying to God, “I am willing to look at life from your point of view. I am willing to change my mind and heart and no longer look at life through the lens of my ego.”

That is where the formation of a discerning heart begins, where the gospel begins, where life (abundant and everlasting) begins. Discernment offers a powerful way to deny the lure of egotism and discover the life of God in our souls. It is simultaneously an act of defiance and an act of devotion. So, in the context of walking with a formed heart, we begin with repentance.

– Steve Harper
Walking in the Light

Walking in the Light: Knowing and Doing God’s Will by Steve Harper. Copyright © 2014 by Steve Harper. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How does the the act of repentance change your understanding of God’s will? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD,

2 Samuel 11:27, NRSV

This Week: pray for broken relationships. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

In need of prayer? The Upper Room Living Prayer Center is a 7-day-a-week intercessory prayer ministry staffed by trained volunteers, call 1-800-251-2468 or visit The Living Prayer Center web site.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember: Ignatius of Loyola (July 31).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2015, a ministry of Discipleship Ministries | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Letting Go

July 26, 2015

Today’s Reflection I HAVE OFTEN believed that a good analogy of letting go in the dying process is much like a trapeze artist. The flyer climbs the steps of the ladder and takes hold of the bar suspended between two ropes. This bar is a trapeze. Across the way is another person, the catcher, who […]

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Coming, Waiting, Being

July 25, 2015

Today’s Reflection PRAYER IS coming into the presence of the One who loves us all the time—more than our parents ever loved us even in the best of times—and waiting in that presence, merely being there in that presence. That’s all. Coming and waiting and being there. Prayer, you see, is a fellowship, a meeting, […]

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Nature

July 24, 2015

Today’s Reflection Listen to the voice of the rainbow,bend to morning sounds of the dewhear the gentle tones of the flowers,their songs they will sing to you. For you were created for hearingtheir lyrics more lucent than speechthat come to you through the silenceto comfort, inspire, teach. – Gerrie L. Grimsley and Jane J. Young […]

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Loving Away Our Fear

July 23, 2015

Today’s Reflection LISTENING FOR THE VOICE of God who is Love helps us defeat our fears. The Divine’s voice differs from the voice of our inner gremlin. We recognize God’s voice because it tells us we are loved and accepted as we are: trembling, anxious, and fearful creatures. God speaks as our Beloved, embracing us […]

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Why Should Children Learn About Stewardship?

July 22, 2015

Today’s Reflection YOU MAY HAVE questions as to why we should teach stewardship to children. These questions usually come from people who view stewardship as a means for raising the budget. Here are reasons you can give them: In today’s world children develop a sense of entitlement and dissatisfaction because of the materialistic messages that […]

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God, the Composer of All Song

July 21, 2015

Today’s Reflection FOR CENTURIES distinctions have been made between sacred and secular music—as if we could divide music that is connected to God from music that is not. But God is always speaking, God is always listening: in the concert hall and on the street corner, at the protest march and at the child’s bedside, […]

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The Characteristics of the Kingdom of God

July 20, 2015

Today’s Reflection a href=”http://bookstore.upperroom.org/Products/DR539/dirty-word.aspx”> LOOK AT THE CHARACTERISTICS of the kingdom of God. Authenticity. Intimacy. Tightly-knit relationships. Do we find these things in the church today? Or are we more likely to find superficiality, isolation, and an individualism that reinforces an already pervasive spirit of selfishness in our culture? Where the kingdom of God is […]

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Free to Move Forward

July 19, 2015

Today’s Reflection IT IS EASY to avoid dealing with painful issues in our lives by saying that the time is not right. That allows us to push away (banish) the pain and the persons who have hurt us and to continue to deny that we have been hurt and are still hurting. When is the […]

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