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God at Home with Us

Today’s Reflection

GOD IS NOT in the distant heavens or in the hidden depths of the future, but here and now. God has pitched a tent among us. Even more than that, God has made a home in us so that we can make God’s home our home. We find our way home to the heart by following Jesus.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Homecoming: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books 2012)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Anticipate and look for God’s presence throughout the day.  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Sing aloud, O daughter Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter Jerusalem!
—Zephaniah 3:14 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Gratitude

Today’s Reflection

JESUS CALLS US to gratitude. He calls us to recognize that gladness and sadness are never separate, that joy and sorrow really belong together, and that mourning and dancing are part of the same movement. That is why Jesus calls us to be grateful for every moment that we have lived and to claim our unique journey as God’s way to mold our hearts to greater conformity with God’s own. The cross is the main symbol of our faith, and it invites us to find hope where we see pain and to reaffirm the resurrection where we see death. The call to be grateful is a call to trust that every moment of our life can be claimed as the way of the cross that leads us to new life.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Living: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you see gratitude leading to new life?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance.
—Ecclesiastes 3:1, 4 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Love Everlasting

Today’s Reflection

I LOVE REMBRANDT’S painting The Return of the Prodigal Son. The father holds his child, touches his child, and says, “You are my beloved. I’m not going to ask you any questions. Wherever you have gone, whatever you have done, and whatever people say about you, you’re my beloved. I hold you safe in my embrace. You can come home to me whose name is Compassionate, whose name is Love.” If we keep that in mind, we can deal with an enormous amount of success as well as an enormous amount of failure without losing our identity, because our identity is that we are the beloved. Long before our father and mother, our brothers and sisters, our teachers, our church, or anyone else touched us in a loving or a wounding way—long before we were rejected by some person or praised by somebody else—that voice was there. “I have loved you with an everlasting love” (Jer. 31:3). That love was there before we were born and will be there after we die.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Living: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What does it mean to have your identity based on God’s love for you?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I pray that you may have the power to comprehend, with all the saints, what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, so that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
—Ephesians 3:18-19 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Caring in Times of Sickness

Today’s Reflection

CRITICALLY ILL PEOPLE may experience receiving care as a huge relief. But most people, plunged into this world of receiving care, would say it is so difficult to let go, admit to needing help, and make the long and difficult passage into accepting to be beloved while in a weakened condition. It is only with much time and with loving care that they may be able to come to a new understanding of their blessedness and to realize that there is a gift awaiting them in times of sickness. Despite having to depend more on people who have to care for them because they are physically weak, they may experience becoming fruitful in their very weakness. For example, by gratefully receiving our care they may be revealing something to us that we didn’t know about ourselves – our own gifts of beauty, tenderness, and loving service. Therefore our compassionate caring must always include empathetic awareness of the inner suffering and unique blessedness of those to whom we offer care.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Caregiving: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Have you ever discovered previously unknown gifts as a caregiver?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Praise the LORD! Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the faithful.
—Psalm 149:1 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Caregiving as Presence

Today’s Reflection

HOW DO YOU AND I, beloved daughters and sons of God, become more open to the world of those who are broken and powerless? How, with all we have to do, can we enter with them into a more human relationship? Caring as God’s beloved children is making the effort to be present to, listen to, and affectionately embrace a weaker brother or sister who may have been frightened by harsh comments, examined by hostile hands, or ignored by deaf ears. We do this even when we can do nothing to change the situation. This is the crux of our challenge. Whether or not we have chosen caregiving as our profession, we do profess that caring is first of all about presence to a beloved brother or sister who at this moment feels powerless. Right here, we accept in ourselves that we are not someone who takes the pain away but rather someone who is willing to share it.

—Henri J. M. Nouwen with John S. Mogabgab
A Spirituality of Caregiving: The Henri Nouwen Spirituality Series (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Do you know someone who would benefit from your willingness to share his or her load?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”
—Romans 10:13 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Spirit of the living God, fall fresh on me. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Join our online community for the eCourse edition of Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Grandparenting as a Gift

Today’s Reflection

IN OUR FAMILY I always asked my mother to tell about when she was young and often drove my grandfather’s car for him. He was a minister of a rural church, and in the afternoons went from house to house visiting the members of his congregation. He did not particularly like to drive a car, so she often acted as his chauffeur. One afternoon she went into a house to visit with him, and when they returned to the car, a cow had stuck her nose in and chewed up part of my grandfather’s Bible. We still have that Bible in our family today, and I tell my children and grandchildren this story.

—Betty Shannon Cloyd
Parents and Grandparents as Spiritual Guides: Nurturing Children of the Promise (Upper Room Books, 2000)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Send a card or small note to the children in your life. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Grandchildren are the crown of the aged, and the glory of children is their parents.
—Proverbs 17:6 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, As I advance through the stages of life, help me grow in the wisdom without losing the joy, play, imagination, and childlike trust you gifted me with in my early years. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

For more books and resources for older adults please view our Joy-Filled Days catalog.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Passionate Persistence

Today’s Reflection

NOT QUITE 80, John could have been a poster boy for active older adults. Everyone in his independent living facility admired him. He was strong, intelligent, and full of energy. A retired engineer, he had traveled the world and had a great passion for learning. Then came a stroke. The news sent everyone at the senior residence center into a tizzy. How could this have happened to John? He had done all the right things. He ate healthy food, exercised daily, and followed the doctor’s directions to a tee. He went to Sunday school every week and sometimes even taught the class. Yet, this once-vibrant man now was going through extensive rehabilitation in hopes of regaining his strength and his ability to walk. No doubt John was tempted to wither up and die, but he tackled his therapy with a faith-filled determination. Over time, he emerged from the darkness. Looking back, he recalls the unexpected blessings he found in rehab. He made new friends with patients and therapists. He discovered an artistic gift for painting that he didn’t know he had. Most important, he found that passionate persistence pays off.

“Those who trust in the Lord will find new strength.
They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary.
They will walk and not faint.”
— Isaiah 40:31 (NLT)

—Missy Buchanan
Don’t Write My Obituary Just Yet: Inspiring Faith Stories for Older Adults (Upper Room Books, 2011)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What older adults do you know who need prayer and encouragement? Share your prayer for an older adult here.  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones, and say to them: ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the LORD.’ ”
—Ezekiel 37:4 (NIV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, As I advance through the stages of life, help me grow in the wisdom without losing the joy, play, imagination, and childlike trust you gifted me with in my early years. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

For more books and resources for older adults please view our Joy-Filled Days catalog.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Your Faith Story

Today’s Reflection

THERE IS A SENSE of urgency about preserving one’s faith story in the later years. It is sad when older people wait too long to achieve this task. As the writer of Ecclesiastes stated, “Remember your creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come, and the years draw near when you say, ‘I have no pleasure in them’” (Ecclesiastes 12:1). We might well rephrase those words in this way: Remember … your story in the days when you can write it down, before the inevitable losses of old age come, and you can no longer fulfill that task.

—Richard L. Morgan
Remembering Your Story: Creating Your Own Spiritual Autobiography (Upper Room Books, 2002)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Have you written or told your faith story?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are children of God.
—Romans 8:14 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, As I advance through the stages of life, help me grow in the wisdom without losing the joy, play, imagination, and childlike trust you gifted me with in my early years. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

For more books and resources for older adults please view our Joy-Filled Days catalog.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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At Peace with God

Today’s Reflection

AGING IS A spiritual journey. To be on an intentional spiritual journey as we grow older is to be at peace with God. It means we have accepted the reality that we live our lives under the loving gaze of a mysterious God who is ever beyond us, deeply in love with us, and always with us.

—Richard H. Gentzler, Jr.
An Age of Opportunity: Intentional Ministry by, with and for Older Adults (Discipleship Resources, 2018)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Call, write, or visit an older person today.  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And this is the testimony: God gave us eternal life, and this life is in his Son.
—1 John 5:11 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, As I advance through the stages of life, help me grow in the wisdom without losing the joy, play, imagination, and childlike trust you gifted me with in my early years. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

For more books and resources for older adults please view our Joy-Filled Days catalog.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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Responding to God’s Love

Today’s Reflection

FOR THE CHRISTIAN, spirituality is the way a person responds to God’s love. It is the process of seeking and enjoying a relationship with God the Creator (Father), God the Son (Jesus), and God the Holy Spirit (Spirit of Christ). It involves learning about God; opening to the experience of God’s grace; loving and serving God, other people, and self; understanding and living life through the mind of Christ; and looking forward to being embraced by God in heaven throughout eternity.

—Jane Marie Thibault and Richard L. Morgan
No Act of Love Is Ever Wasted: The Spirituality of Caring for Persons with Dementia (Upper Room Books, 2009)

Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How do you define spirituality?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
—Psalm 13:1 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Lord, As I advance through the stages of life, help me grow in the wisdom without losing the joy, play, imagination, and childlike trust you gifted me with in my early years. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

For more books and resources for older adults please view our Joy-Filled Days catalog.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

Sponsored by The Upper Room. Copyright © 2019 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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