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The Sacred Intersection

Today’s Reflection

IT’S EASY TO MAKE a narcissistic career out of spiritual growth. After all, theology is fascinating. Kindred spirits are usually wonderful folks to be with; retreats are relaxing; books are compelling.

However, the beautiful process of spiritual growth moves in a cycle of blessing that doesn’t stop with me, mine, and my development. It moves outward in a dynamic flow.

As lofty as that sounds, we know from experience that sometimes decisions about where to invest our time, money, and energy can vex and overwhelm us. Ideally, our inner work energizes our outer work, and we become less attached to what others think, what they expect of us, and whether they approve of us. We become less chameleon-like in allowing others to dictate and define who we are.

Our decisions about intentional service need to emerge from a thoughtful, reflective place where we weigh the needs around us and see where they intersect with our gifts, graces, and passions. That sacred intersection points to our place of service at any given time.

– Linda Douty
Rhythms of Growth

From page 207 of Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2014 by Linda Douty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Describe your place of service. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Do not let your hearts be troubled. Believe in God, believe also in me.

John 14:1, NRSV

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

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 website.

This week we remember: Julian of Norwich (May 13).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2017 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA

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{ 15 comments… add one }

  • Jill May 13, 2017, 5:06 am

    I really love what Linda says above – it is very true of my experience. “Our inner work energizes our outer work”. Yes. For me to effectively serve others, I have to be true to myself first…taking care of myself spiritually – being in tune with where He calls me. Surely – the places that I find myself “serving” are not where I would have guessed nor desired. So – they are of Him.
    Grateful for a quiet evening last night, with much food preparation for Mother’s Day. A busy weekend – full of good stuff – spending time with mom. Also invited to a student’s voice recital this evening. A new experience for me.
    Prayers for moms this weekend…those who will celebrate with children, those who are unable to be together due to miles separating them, those who will be sorrowful over children desired for or children lost. O Father – our Perfect Parent – hold us in Your palm.

  • Rusty May 13, 2017, 6:54 am

    Jill thanks. Your pointing out that inner work energizing our outer work part helps me process this better. I’d say my inner spiritual work (and I do love reading about theology – a proper caution for me not to get too wrapped up in it) energizes my outer work in service in three areas. In no particular order: Teaching adult RE classes at church. Then, I believe the insights and strength I get from inner work of study and prayer help me to keep positive and uplift my wife when her health struggles become a heavy burden for her. Finally, the same goes for positivity at work – where a particular colleague has thanked several times me for shining a compassionate light in a place where compassion is usually lacking and it can sometimes get pretty dark.

    We’re looking forward to Mother’s Day, too. The whole crew, including my wife’s mom and dad (both 88) are coming over tomorrow. Blessings to all!

  • Betsy May 13, 2017, 7:13 am

    I echo Jill’s emphasis. I feel my outward work is a natural extension of my spitural growth. I do feel I can become over whelmed and over burdened with the busyness of good works and Study (Rusty). Often I feel God is calling me to just sit and be, in silence and prayer. Why is that so hard?
    Blessings to all the Mothers this weekend as we celebrate them. Missing my own mom, as I reflect on her impact on my siblings and myself. I also lift up those who give of themselves to those who are without a mother influence. Blessings to all today.

  • robert moeller May 13, 2017, 7:22 am

    Until very recently my place of service was with Anneliese, then Erich, church, and advocacy on the internet. Due to a different understanding of how to deal with Erich, he is now the primary place of service and Anneliese and I will go our separate ways. I pray she gets all the medical help she needs and finds comfort with Heidi and Paul. We worked on this problem twice and have not reached an amicable solution. She also likes warmer weather and I’m a New England Yankee to the core. I’m thankful this morning that I was able to help her in many ways, especially with health, garden, house and yard. and transportation.

    Erich is making progress with job interviews and his job search.When he has a job things will be easier for him.

    Thankful to thatI have a church here.

    Prayers for retirees, Moms, and the UR family. Church tomorrow.
    Have a wonderful weekend and Happy Mother’s Day.

    • Rusty May 13, 2017, 7:57 am

      Robert – so sorry to hear. Prayers for you and yours, brother.

      • Connie May 13, 2017, 8:54 am

        Oh Robert, how brave of you to share this. God be with you and yours on this new journey.

    • Ami May 13, 2017, 12:00 pm

      I’m sorry, too, Robert. I have read these reflections for years and have always been struck by how faithfully you comment, care for and pray for your family. I hope it is of some comfort to know that your comments are of service to God and God’s people.

  • Julie May 13, 2017, 8:04 am

    Definitely am able to agree with the words of this reading and I too am prone to study more than serve. It is difficult to overcome the inertia and so rewarding to study and read. I need to seek God’s counsel on this reading and its implication for my life as well as for my area of service.
    Looking forward to spending Mother’s Day with my daughter.
    Blessings to all mothers including my own who lives too far for me to visit tomorrow.

  • Andrea May 13, 2017, 8:06 am

    Robert, my prayers are with you, Erich and Anneliese. May God smooth the rough places and give you strength.

  • Connie May 13, 2017, 8:52 am

    Today I am very thankful for all the wonderful people God has put in my life. I have been very blessed.

  • Andrea May 13, 2017, 1:02 pm

    The intersections of my passions with service are, first, as a grandparent and second, as a quilter. I also serve in a volunteer capacity on a very active board, which I find rewarding for the service opportunity as well as the friendships. My husband and I are clean-up volunteers on a portion of bike trail that we “adopted” in our vicinity and we also volunteer occasionally for a local non-profit that packs nutritious, non-perishable food for children in needy parts of the world. Another priority arena of service is the friends who, in the age demographic we find ourselves in, experience health issues. It is important for me to be available to support friends in concrete ways; I have so valued the support I have received when my husband and I have needed it. I am grateful this is a time in my life when my energy is not consumed by a job. I am grateful for every day that I am healthy and able to actively serve. I often feel I do not do enough, but I seem to require more time for rest now than in the past.

  • robert moeller May 13, 2017, 2:02 pm

    Thankful for the support from all of you. Anneliese wishes me well too. We just couldn’t agree on how to deal with Erich. I expect, hope that Anneliese and I will be in touch for a long time.

    Blessings to all Mothers.I am very thankful for mine, wish Erich’s Mom had not passed away, but am glad there are positive memories of her.

    • Lou May 14, 2017, 12:05 am

      I am sorry Robert –
      My husband of 24 years major complaint was that I deferred him for our three children- I did not see it that way- I would’ve done anything for him – but having to chose between your children and your spouse is not something I understand – family is about love. I know from your writings how much you love your family- this must be very hard for you- you seem to me to be so steadfast, honorable, and loving. God loves you- your constant reassurance of this fact to everyone here is always so comforting.
      Bless your heart.

      • robert moeller May 14, 2017, 2:44 am

        Thank you, Lou. I lost my wife of 23 years, Erich’s Mom, 20 years ago this November, Have tried to carry on, but things have not worked out, all things happen for the good when you look to God. I’m back in the state where I was born and grew up, not far from my Mom’s home town and the town where I was born. I’m with my son, have a church, and things will work out. Prayers for you and all Moms today. Many blessings to all the UR family who have been very supportive. Thank You, Lord.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling May 14, 2017, 3:28 am

    Prayers for you and your son, Robert.

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