Clearing a Place for God

March 6, 2013

Today’s Reflection

IF WE PICTURE all the obstructions between us and God as a wilderness, Lent presents us with time to clear and cultivate a part of that wilderness, to create an open space in it. In this newly opened space, we may live more freely and commune more closely with the divine. We can transform this wilderness and make it our home, our garden, a place that invites God in and asks God to stay.

- Sarah Parsons
A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent

From page 9 of A Clearing Season: Reflections for Lent by Sarah Parsons. Copyright © 2005 by Sarah Parsons. 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 is your Lenten journey going thus far? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with glad cries of deliverance. Selah

Psalm 32:7, NRSV

This Week: pray those who are too busy to pray. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section below.

Did You Know?

Need a Spiritual Retreat? Join us at SOULfeast, the Upper Room’s spiritual retreat at Lake Junaluska Conference and Retreat Center in the beautiful Smoky Mountains, July 14-18, 2013. Come discover how, as the Holy Spirit washes over us, this powerful presence brings us alive to God, community, transformation, and missions in the here and now. For more information, visit soulfeast.upperroom.org.

Saints, Inc.:

This week we remember John Wesley (March 3).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2013, a ministry of GBOD | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

Jill March 6, 2013 at 3:51 am

So far – it has gone well. God is so faithful – making me so aware of my words. He has quieted thoughts, stilled my busy mind. Thank You, Father – please continue Your transforming work.

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robert moeller March 6, 2013 at 5:20 am

Things are improving, thanks be to God. Lenten study is going well, will be able to go to Lenten service and meal on Friday, I’m praying!
Tasks are being completed. Have more to do but feel more confident about getting them done.

Lord, I pray for everyone who feels, seems, thinks they are too busy to find time to be with you. Like everything else it is we who decide what to do with our time by our own decisions, you give us that freedom. May we use that time wisely and spend time with you.
Help us make the right choices and do what is right, in your name I pray. Amen.

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Tori March 6, 2013 at 5:44 am

i find that i’m having a difficult time focusing – there are so many distractions to my quiet time, and today’s message hits at the centre of my struggle – Lord help me to find the place and the time to spend that quality time with You, to focus upon You – Lord help me to dig up the weeds of distraction, and clear that place where i may find You – to commune with You.

Lord, my soul longs for You – forgive me for being like my old dog that so easily followed her nose down rabbit trails and forgot where she was going – i am so easily turned away from seeking the very best – Lord turn me, that i may seek You only, Your heart, Your desires, Your very Self Lord.

We love You Lord – glorify Yourself in and through our lives, that we may yet be all that You created us to be, and that our lives may be a living testimony of what You can do through a forgiven, submitted, willing vessel.

We wait upon You Lord. Visit us as we seek Your Presence more and more…Help us Lord to stay the course…Jesus we look to You…amen.

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Betsy March 6, 2013 at 6:13 am

My Lenten focus is still on my prayer partner, the Belize Mission trip Team. I pray for their courage and strength each morning, even though it is often a struggle to not let the everyday stuff in my life get in the way. We all have so much going on; it is hard for me to sometimes filter this out while I concentrate on this group!

Lord, enter my breathing and help to center me in your holy presence; quieten and slow my thoughts. Allow me to focus all my energy on your glory and will as I go through my day. Bless all those young people that I come into contact with this Wednesday.

Amen

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joan March 6, 2013 at 6:16 am

My Lenten prayer has been “Jesus, teach me to pray.” I am also praying the Stations of the Cross – one station a day for meditation.
God bless us all in this holy season.

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Connie March 6, 2013 at 6:45 am

To be very honest, my Lenten journey has been pretty much home-bound and that is alright, I suppose. We have had one snowstorm after another here in Illinois (as have others). We need the moisture, I guess, but Lord, have mercy on your “older” children!
Bless everyone who visits this site and grant their every prayer.

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Jay March 6, 2013 at 7:50 am

It’s going well. Some self-denial to focus and test me and also enjoying reading A Purpose Driven Life. I highly recommend it!

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carol March 6, 2013 at 8:04 am

My Lenten journey? I’m not doing anything different really. Preparation for the real Great Feast in His kingdom, to me, in on-going. It’s a day by day push to keep my eyes on Jesus and to set aside those things that entangle me. God will get me there because everything is of Grace alone.

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linda crouch March 6, 2013 at 9:23 am

Very difficult and blessed at the same time. My life-long friend, my husband passed in his sleep (a blessing) on Feb. 18 while we were in Fla. Friends were on their way down even before his passing and were with me the next morning. Our children were there by evening even though they had left only that morning of his death. We waited for his ashes in the most beautiful setting, grieving and knowing he was still with us. God sent sign after sign that His care is abundant!!!!
Returning home, more signs were received and God’s love and care surrounded us. I am still so terribly sad to lose his physical presence and I cry as I write, but God’s love for us all only has to be felt and recognized. Our friends totally filled our church with their presence and love. Thank you, God. And thank you readers for letting me share. May your lives be so very blessed. Thank you, Upper Room for your “thought” yesterday, “Death is not the end.”

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Connie March 6, 2013 at 9:39 am

God bless you and comfort you. Reading your message, we grieve with you.

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linda crouch March 6, 2013 at 6:35 pm

Thank you!

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Sally Friedli March 6, 2013 at 10:38 am

May the Lord wrap you in His arms for comfort and peace. Prayers for you have been lifted.

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linda crouch March 6, 2013 at 6:36 pm

Thank you!!!

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robert moeller March 8, 2013 at 2:36 am

I can sense from your words that God truly is with you and I am thankful for that. I’ve been through that valley and God made all the difference. Be firm in your faith and God will watch over you.

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Sally Friedli March 6, 2013 at 10:36 am

As one of my pastors told me, ‘Instead of giving something up, add something new for Lent.’ My Lenten focus is on my health, weight loss and care for my body. I now go to the gym, eat better foods, and do this through prayer of thankfulness that He has given me the energy and desire to get in better shape. I also have focused on keeping my mouth shut and not bashing/blaming others for issues that come my way…..thsi has not been easy. And I found this prayer that I fell in love with:

Join my life to you, O God, in ways ever deeper and ever stronger. And may my living draw from you the hope and love that renew and transform me ever more in your image. In Jesus Christ. Amen.
John Indermark
Parables and Passion

As we grow nearer to the cross, may your love for our Lord be renewed and strengthened.

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