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Keeping Our Eyes Open

Today’s Reflection

WHEN SHOPPING, CLEANING, planning, or worrying preoccupies us, we forget to leave space for God. When we find ourselves frazzled by chaos, filled with anger or anxiety, we can stop, turn, and look at God. This is the spiritual practice I need these days — keeping my eyes on God.

When, in the midst of my daily tasks and responsibilities, I search for the ways God is present, I am keeping my eyes on God. When I look for God in each person I meet, in each situation I enounter, I am more open to God’s Spirit working in me, shaping me into a vessel of God’s peace. Keeping my eyes on God helps me stay open to God’s transforming power and allows God to remake me into Christ’s likeness. I can then become Christ’s heart, mind, and hands in the world.

The Uncluttered Heart

From pages 37-38 of The Uncluttered Heart: Making Room for God During Advent and Christmas by Beth A. Richardson. Copyright © 2009 by Upper Room Books. All rights reserved. Used by permission. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

Look for God as you go about your day. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.
Isaiah 40:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for peace. 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: Dorothy Day (December 6).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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

{ 18 comments… add one }

  • Louise December 3, 2017, 4:01 am

    In today’s crazy…upside down world it is hard to keep our eyes on God but it is the most important thing we can do.
    I attended a wonderful conference yesterday that focused on children and reading. One of the many things that blocks a childs learning is anxiety and emotional turmoil. There is so many things today that children are exposed to and have to deal with that causes anxiety and emotional turmoil. The school where I teach practices and teaches mindfulness, kindness, and empathy. It focuses on helping the kids to feel safe to express and be themselves while being part of a large diverse community. Today’s reading is a major part of what I do everyday. I look for God in each child that I meet and in each situation I encounter. I listen…I hear…I look…I see…I understand!
    It is not easy because a lot of the children come with a lot that they are dealing with. I believe that by keeping my eyes on God and my ears listening to God I will be able to be the best version of myself so that I can do His work to help the children that I teach, my family, and my friends. I pray that that all here at UR will find relief from pain and suffering and will experience God’s peace today and throughout this blessed season.

  • Jill December 3, 2017, 4:50 am

    For myself, I need to be mindful of seeing God in each person, in each situation. It can be very easy at school to slink into a negative mindset – due to actions, words and volume of the students in the hallways. But, if I try to understand why the students are behaving the way they are…and take this to God in prayer – I can try to stay above the negative fray. There are a few of my students who are going through difficult times, situations I can’t even fathom trying to deal with at their age…I am trying to spend more time with them – just letting them know that I am there to support them, that I recognize they have a situation at home that must take precedent. I try to be more lenient with deadlines.
    Father – help me to love first and teach second.
    Mom went to the craft show with my sister and I yesterday. We then picked up dad and went to lunch. I talked with dad on Friday about how he was going to keep mom busy this upcoming week.

    • Francesca December 3, 2017, 8:04 am

      Jill, thank you for your post. This Advent (and beyond) I will ask God to help me love first and teach second. Hallelujah!

    • Louise December 3, 2017, 8:37 am

      Amen to that Jill…Love first teach second❤

      • robert moeller December 4, 2017, 11:01 am

        Yes, indeed, love first and teach second. That’s what teaching is all about.

  • robert moeller December 3, 2017, 4:53 am

    Many truths very well said, Louise, thank you. Students are blessed to have you as a teacher and be able to attend the school where you teach. I wish all schools practiced and taught mindfulness, kindness, and empathy, focusing on helping the kids to feel safe to express and be themselves while being part of a large diverse community. What needs to be taught, practiced, reinforced in today’s schools is an overwhelming task as the challenges kids face have grown immensely.

    I try to find God, stay close to God everyday. I’m thankful that God is always near.

    Advent begins today, prayers for a blessed Advent season to all. I remember the long wait for Emmanuel, the Messiah, experienced for centuries before Jesus was born. I am thankful that Christ is in my heart. I pray this Advent more people let Jesus into their heart.

    Prayers for the peace Jesus brings. Thank You, Lord.

  • Julie December 3, 2017, 7:34 am

    How lovely Louise, that you and the entire school thinks as you describe and teach with that overarching concept upper most in mind. I recently read the book Wonder on which the movie is based and it is wonderful. It should be required reading for every teacher, administrator and school student. It very clearly and in a practical manner describes the use of basic kindness and how powerful kindness can be for both the receiver as well as the one giving the kindness.
    Blessings to each of my friends and waiting Christians who visit here
    The prophets’ words will soon be fulfilled

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 3, 2017, 8:07 am

    Yes, Lord, focusing on you is most important.

    In whatever we do, help us to keep our eyes on you.

    Have a wonderful week ahead, friends!

  • Connie December 3, 2017, 8:41 am

    Forgive me, Lord, for getting “frazzled”. Stay close to me and my friends here during this Holy Advent Season. In Jesus’ name. Amen

  • Andrea December 3, 2017, 12:45 pm

    Comfort, O comfort my people, says your God.

    Thank you for your prayers for my knee and my sleep. My knee is better. My sleep the last two nights has been better too.

    Today, I am grateful for a morning at our house with my daughter, son-in-law and grandson.

    What I love most about Advent is the beautiful choral music, so perfect for winter and so holy as we celebrate the Light coming into the world. I wish joy and comfort to all my UR friends as I pray for each of you, and as we begin the beautiful Advent season.

  • Marcy December 3, 2017, 5:12 pm

    I have none of these pressing issues having to do with work, as I am not able, food preparation, shopping, etc. All my mental, emotional, physical and spiritual weaknesses have overwhelmed me the last three days. I have my faith and hope intact, but devastated by multiple illness for days now and am very weak physically, as mentioned. I won’t expand any further on these failings, as I feel that it drains the joy of those who hear them.

    Very truly prayed for Louise and her aunt; Jill and her Mom and Dad, (good to hear your Mom went to craft fair); Andrea’s slight, but uncomfortable injury to her knee and sleep issues, (glad your knee is better, you are sleeping and will see your daughter, son-in-law and grandson); Mary’s interview tomorrow, (wonderful what you’re doing for the two children and their aunt, also have a good lunch with friend from church); Connie to have continuity with higher energy.

    Also very thankful and grateful for the love of God through prayers for me from Betsy, Jill, Mary, Andrea, Robert and this UR family as a whole. I am asking you all to keep them coming. This was my Dad’s birthday, my late best friend’s birthday approaches and I am heartbroken.

    Hanging on to the lifeline of Immanuel, praying for peace, and still continue to pray for Lou and her children, Andrea, Louise, Connie, Francesca, Jill, Cherie, Robert, Mary, Julie, Betsy, Gerri, April, Joan, Pam, Ami, Jean, Rusty and K and families, here in the UR family and beyond, every day.

    Hope you all have/had a blessed first Sunday of Advent. I also posted a on the Reflections Advent devotional, was the only one there. Hope I didn’t mistake it for a different day….

    And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE!

    • robert moeller December 4, 2017, 10:59 am

      Marcy, the Lord is with you. You are empowered to pray and your prayers are comprehensive and good. Thank you. Thank You, Lord, for Marcy.
      The memory of your Dad and best friend also are a blessing to and for you.
      I thank the Lord for each and every one of you for with all your prayers and sharing we are all helped, encouraged, up lifted, and sustained.

      Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love.

      • Marcy December 4, 2017, 1:10 pm

        Oh yes, Robert, I know God is with me still. Thank you so much for your caring words, supporting me through my troubles. And thank you for your example and inspiration.

        LORD, we are so thankful You have brought us together to encourage, pray for, and stand by each other. Please forgive my weaknesses, Lord. I will never stop loving You. Amen.

  • Andrea December 3, 2017, 8:24 pm

    Marcy, I pray for you to gain strength and be eased of pain. I pray for your support. Thank you for sharing your strong faith with us and thank you for your caring prayers for us. We are here for you and we send you love and lift you up in our daily prayers. God bless you, dear one.

    • Marcy December 4, 2017, 12:56 pm

      Thank you, Andrea, for your sweet and thoughtful prayer. It’s amazing how God works through others in powerful prayer. You are such a blessing!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2017, 4:42 am

    Thanks so much Marcy for your prayers!

    Praise God i got the job after the interview!

    Signed the appointment letter today too.


    • Marcy December 4, 2017, 1:19 pm

      Mary, I am so very happy for you! You so deserve to have God’s blessing in all that you do. Thank you for praying for me, along with the the rest of our Loving UR family. I pray to overcome, please God.

      I steadfastly continue to pray for all here in our wonderfully blessed UR family and beyond. I feel God’s touch through you all.

      So many blessings to all!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 4, 2017, 1:24 pm

    Thank you so much, Marcy, for your kind comments!


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