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Not Another To-Do

This week, Upper Room Daily Reflections features excerpts from One Breath at a Time by J. Dana Trent.

Today’s Reflection

MEDITATION PRACTICE is not another to-do to add to our daily lists but a way of life. It shapes our faith journey and cultivates and deepens our relationship with God, which, in turn, affects our relationships with one another—and all of creation. When we begin with listening and experiencing God each day, we realign ourselves with God’s still small voice. This new way of life doesn’t require a total upheaval, remodel, or demolition. It simply starts with a beginner’s mind and a longing to connect with God, one breath at a time.

—J. Dana Trent
One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation

From page 103 of One Breath at a Time: A Skeptic’s Guide to Christian Meditation by J. Dana Trent. Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Does your prayer practice allow for time to listen? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Let everyone be quick to listen, slow to speak, slow to anger;.
—James 1:19, NRSV

This Week: Give thanks to God for giving you the breath of life. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Did You Know?

Practice seeing blessings all around you! Upper Room Books author Beth A. Richardson invites us to practice the Celtic way of seeing God in everyday life. Receive 20% off of the eCourse Christ Beside Me, Christ Within Me: Celtic Blessings.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 10 comments… add one }

  • Jill January 18, 2019, 4:48 am

    I pray that I will perceive God’s communication with me. I imagine He communicates with me so much more than I think. And in vastly different ways than I think I want. Oh to just be the malleable clay. And the timing thing…how impatient and demanding I am. Yet, He is steady and His timing is perfect. Might I be stilled into awe by this remembrance more often and be grateful.

  • robert moeller January 18, 2019, 6:36 am

    I’m trying to be a better listener.

    The paperwork snafu has been resolved, now awaiting the word that should allow Erich to go to work. What one has to do for a very simple job!

    Loved that word elliptical and its allusion. Yes, it is a machine. I know someone who has one.

    I too pray for Jill and that Gloria and Larry attend the support group meeting; Mary and her family and their joy in one another, Connie’s amusement, Lou and her children, may her stress be less; Andrea and Lowell and their physical therapists who are working as God’s healing hands. May Betsy have safe travel and may Kelsey have a safe delivery.
    Prayers for Marcy and Lucy, may they be safe and well. Thankful for Mary’s help.
    I’ll add to the prayers for your hands and toes, Julie, hope you can keep them as warm as possible. My keyboard gets cold and thus my fingers do too. I too will see a long time friend this Saturday. We’ve finally reconnected after a visit in 2008.

    Thankful for your way with words in your prayers for us.

    After reading John Wesley’s sermon #39 on Catholic Spirit I certainly hope all Christians have that spirit. It surely would diffuse a lot of conflict.

  • Julie January 18, 2019, 8:10 am

    Ah to be still and listen to God. Alas, I feel that it would be a to do list item at least at first. Hopefully, if I can find time, it will become less of a chore and more of a joy. I like to think that I am a good listener to people.
    Prayers for Jill and her elliptical, which seems to have taken on a life. I, too, have an elliptical machine which I use daily.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. May Erich be working soon. I did not get to visit with my friend as she is in Arizona now but we intend to visit by phone weekly now that we have reconnected.
    Prayers for Mary and her family and her helpful spirit.
    Prayers for Connie and her family and her spiritual gratitude example.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell, may they be free of pain finally.
    Prayers for Betsy and her husband and safe travel and a good visit with their new grandson. Hopefully he has been born by now.
    Prayers for Lou and her children. I pray her youngest did well on her tests.
    Prayers for Marcy and Mary. I pray that Mary is still visiting Marcy and that all is well with them both.
    The h is home today and currently sitting across from me. I know better than to look at him and I am shaking so bad it is difficult to type. Thank you for your prayers. My fingers and toes are very sore and even the slightest touch is painful.
    Prayers dear UR family

  • Connie January 18, 2019, 8:13 am

    I am a good listener, that I can say. Also, I truly care for others and their joys and sorrows. I hope I never lose that part of me.
    I am concerned about the weather. We may have to move things up to next week. I don’t like to drive in bad weather, so may stay put!
    Thankful for:
    Family doing well after an eventful January.
    A plan B for snow removal if needed. Hopefully reliable.
    “The word of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe”

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 18, 2019, 8:26 am

    I do take time to listen but not every time I pray. I do ask God what He wants me to do daily and also desire to experience more of His leading and in my life.

    Thanks Julie for all your prayers!

    May we take time to listen to God and obey what He wants us to do!

  • Lou January 18, 2019, 9:30 am

    Yes Mary- may we all allow the word of the Lord to work in us and do what He would have us do. I’m working on listening more to God instead of always talking and asking- He speaks to me in many ways- in the beauty of the snow covered hills, the cardinals gathered round my feeder, and the delighted face of a child when I brought her breakfast in bed this morning after a good week of finals- she handled the stress much better than usual and yesterday found out that she got into 3 of the schools she applied to- I’m so thankful and grateful to God – she really needed some positive news – she still waits for news from her number one choice but she’s into her second choice which may be a better fit for her anyway. Thankful for all of the prayers for her.
    Prayers for all in the path of the next snow storm- glad you have a plan b Connie. I’m thankful I love close enough to walk to work tomorrow if I need to.
    Prayers for your strength Julie- do not be intimidated by the h- you answer only to the One who is with you always. Prayers for your physical and emotional pain. Prayers for Jill and her mother – prayers for Robert and his son. Thankful that your friend Arnolds is doing better. Prayers for Mary and her constant support for all. Prayers on this day for Andrea, Betsy, Rusty, Marcy, April and all who come to this place.
    Help us all to hear the Lord and follow in the way that he leads –

    • Connie January 19, 2019, 12:19 pm

      Good for your daughter! God bless her. May He give her the “perfect fit” in the school she will attend.

  • April January 18, 2019, 5:43 pm

    I always (unless there is an emergency) start the day by reading this and 4 other different devotions or other type of online sites, then the local news, then our home town news, and finally the world news. I have learned that I need to be grounded with God’s word first before I can read the other news, and then start the day. If I do not have this grounding, my day does not go as well with decisions or interacting with others.
    I am so appreciative of all that post daily for me to read even though I do not. I pray along with you and lift you up to God to lead you through the day. I too extend a welcome to new family members that have posted, may you feel the love of this family as you read or post.
    Our local church has had a few sermons on “won’t you be my neighbor” with action steps on how to be neighbors. I am encouraged that our pastor has addressed neighbors, but am sad that not everyone has neighbors like I remember them from when I was young…they were like extended family and could be relied on as such. I am so happy that our 4 unit complex wants to be neighbors and this weekend we are going to host our first neighborhood dinner!!
    I think of this site as a neighborhood and that we are all neighbors, to support and include each other. I also see us as family, beloved children of God and His family. Blessings dear neighbors and family…

    It’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood,
    A beautiful day for a neighbor,
    Would you be mine?
    Could you be mine?

    It’s a neighborly day in this beauty-wood,
    A neighborly day for a beauty,
    Would you be mine?
    Could you be mine?

    I have always wanted to have a neighbor just like you,
    I’ve always wanted to live in a neighborhood with you.

    So let’s make the most of this beautiful day,
    Since we’re together, we might as well say,
    Would you be mine?
    Could you be mine?
    Won’t you be my neighbor?

    Won’t you please,
    Won’t you please,
    Please won’t you be my neighbor?

  • Connie January 19, 2019, 12:22 pm

    I will be your neighbor, April. You have been involved here a long time. I was born in April, so am more aware when I see your posts.

    • April January 19, 2019, 3:12 pm

      Thank you Connie. I think you have been in the UR family for a long time too…maybe even longer than me…..nice!! Great to know about your birthday month, it is mine too :))
      Enjoy the snow…we have rain.

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