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God Speaks through Creation

Today’s Reflection

GOD SPEAKS TO ME THROUGH CREATION. Throughout the year I watch God’s creation from my breakfast table. During the winter months, the birds visit my bird feeder and birdbath. The birds “neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns” (Matt. 6:26), yet they trust and do not worry. …

Take some time today to notice the beauty of God’s earth and to join its living mystery.

Creating God, you created the birds, the mushrooms, the sea monsters of the deep – and you created me. Open my eyes, my ears, and my senses today that I may become one with your living mystery. Amen.

– Beth A. Richardson
The Uncluttered Heart

From page 82 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

Pray today’s prayer. Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

Guided by the Spirit, Simeon came into the temple; and when the parents brought in the child Jesus, to do for him what was customary under the law.

Luke 2:27, NRSV

This Week: pray for those who are working more than one job. 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: Stephen (December 26).

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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{ 24 comments… add one }

  • robert moeller December 31, 2017, 4:26 am

    The road I live on is snuggled in a small hollow with forested hills on both sides. A wide brook runs along the side of the road. Following the road toward the East a view of Pinnacle Peak and Hogback Mountain appears. I’m often on this road as part of my heart rehab exercise program. To see these two mountain tops and the change of scenery never disappoints. God did marvelous work here, I’m thankful I have been able to see it.

    Thankful for the good news from Marcy, she is getting the help she needs and has lots of support. Prayers that she recovers from her lung and heart problems. God is most certainly with her. Thank you for your prayers. It has been a welcome interchange of messages both from and to Marcy since she came to the UR.

    Blessings, prayers for a HEALTHY NEW YEAR to all the UR family and beyond. God be with you always.

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:01 am

      Robert, thank you so much for your encouragement. I hear and see what you have been able to achieve through faith and I myself have never lost hope. God bless you.

  • Louise December 31, 2017, 4:52 am

    As I read this piece I find myself thinking about the past year and how much I have relied on God. I am so blessed because I know God…I know that He is always with me. “God speaks to me through creation” I see him everyday…when I wake I see him out the window in the ever-changing sky. I marvel at how it is different everyday…never the same. I smell Him as the fresh air blows over me when I open the door to gather the newspaper. I see Him in the eyes of my husband when he smiles and says “Good morning how did you sleep.” I see Him as the birds scurry in the backyard and hear Him as they meet in the trees for what sounds like conversation. As I go into this new year I know it will not be perfect but I do know that God is with me…He speaks to me and I will listen…He shows me and I will see.
    I pray for all here at UR. All of us struggle with many different things but God has brought us here to help and pray for each other. We are all very different…we are God’s creation. Happy New Year and I pray that God’s peace will be with all of you.❤

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:06 am

      Whenever I hear my UR family describe where they live, and the loved ones who surround them, I am melancholy for a time, as this is the opposite of my reality day in day out, but then it fades. I appreciate and am happy for those so blessed and become determined to find my own blessings elsewhere. Thank you, Louise.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 31, 2017, 5:21 am

    Blessed new year to everyone!

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:07 am

      A very Happy New Year to you, too, sweet sister Mary.

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 31, 2017, 10:28 pm

        Thank you dear Marcy!

        Blessings

  • Jill December 31, 2017, 6:37 am

    With the deep cold that has set in – it is a challenge to embrace the outdoors. The past two mornings I have ran outside – but as the temperatures plunge deeper this week, I doubt that I will be able to do my morning run. The sky seems dark, harboring anger. The starkness of the snow covered trees just seems to increase the cold. I rush in and out of my car and into and out of buildings, not taking the time to notice nature.
    As I look back on this year – my focus is on the second half of the year. I am so grateful for how God prepared me for what was to come. This gives me considerable comfort as I ponder what the New Year may hold. Surely, His Grace is sufficient and He only permits what we are able to bear as we stay near to Him. When I am feeling overwhelmed, I must re-align myself…re-tapping into my Resource. How quickly I run dry when going it on my own.
    I need “filled up” today and look forward to receiving His Word at church this morning.
    Marcy – I continue to pray that you will be surrounded by attentive, caring support staff at the facility you are rehabbing in. What a blessing to have a nurse that will pray with you. Father, thank You for this.
    Mary – I hold you and your parents before our Father.
    Father – You know the paths that You have ordained for each of us in the days to come. May we desire to be one with Your Will.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 31, 2017, 10:38 am

      Thanks so much Jill!

      Blessings

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:14 am

      Yes, Jill, the cold has my air sucked right out of me, especially last few years. But then, once I caught my breath again, there was a bracing feeling, hard for me to describe. All was well, until I had to bear it again. Dealing with new realities will be complex and complicated, but I love Jesus so much and am so thankful to my Abba Father. Holy Spirit, consume me from within and surround me with Your leading. Thank you, Jill.

  • Julie December 31, 2017, 7:31 am

    I echo the above prayers for Marcy. I, too, am so glad she is receiving medical care. Her prior lack of access to such was disconcerting and I was quite concerned for her well being.
    Because the winter causes my fingers such pain and to form sores, I have trouble recognizing the beauty. I instead thought of the devestation to creation this year. Thee hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, fires all affected God’s creation adversely and greatly. But God always regenerates creation just as He regenerates each of us when we experience trauma of some kind.
    Blessings and prayers for a wonderful New Year to one and all that haave found this oasis of faith, hope and love

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:29 am

      Thank you, Julie, for your prayers and concerns. You see, I so often think the worst of myself, for one reason or the other, and feel like our friendship has been renewed thanks to your comforting words, making me feel better about things. I, too, have had this year’s terrible devastation on my mind, with super strong hurricanes, terrible storms and floodings, unending wildfires, catastrophic earthquakes and pray for all those whose lives were lost or forever changed. And I’m so tired of war. God will answer our prayers, I must and do believe that. My issues are insignificant in comparison. I pray for our nation to heal and generosity and compassion to rule, instead of greed and never having enough, when so many are in need. Just my opinion, no judgment. Love to you, Julie, and you are a blessing to us all.

  • Andrea December 31, 2017, 8:58 am

    It is very cold here, 17 below. The sun is brilliant and the snow sparkles as though fragments of diamonds are scattered throughout. Animal tracks criss-cross the surface and, In the yard next door, children’s footsteps make circles. The morning sun shines on the oak trees and tall grasses, adding warm tones of gold, amber, bronze and chocolate. It makes the most beautiful scene and I think of the gifts that the Wise Men bore to the baby in the manger.

    It has been both a blessed year and a difficult year for most if not all of us. I know that God is present here and in our lives. I pray for Jill, her parents, and for her friend’s family who grieves a grandmother’s death; for Robert and his cardiac rehab, for Erich and his job, and for Anneliese; for Connie and her husband; for Mary, her parents and her new job; for Julie, her hands, her family, and the terribly difficult situation with her husband; for Marcy, may her recovery progress well, and for Abby and all the staff at Marcy’s rehab facility; for Louise and her family, thank you for your wise words, Louise; for Betsy and Grace and their families; for Chloe and her daughters; for Laurie, that her restaurant business will pick up, and for her emotional well-being; for Rusty and K, Sara, and others who once were frequent commenters; for all those who are caregivers; and for those who work two jobs, which I needed to do for some years. I know I have missed some names. God walks with all of us through each moment of every day. Thank you, UR friends, for your presence here and for your prayers. Wishing all a most blessed New Year.

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:41 am

      Andrea, thank you once again for calming words that soothe the battered soul. I join you in all your prayers for us all here on the UR family and thank you for your prayers for me. You are another important support person for me here and I want you to know how very integral it is for one’s well-being. I pray for you and Lowell, your daughter, son-in-law and grandson every day. I have learned much from you all here and fully expect to continue to do so, through the Holy Spirit’s leading me in the Word of God. I love you all with all my heart. I love and trust in Jesus, my Savior, and always will. God’s heavenly blessings be upon you and your family, Andrea.

    • Chloe January 2, 2018, 11:12 pm

      I so appreciate your thoughts and prayers Andrea….they touch a hurting heart with a kind and tender embrace.
      Thank you so mych for thinking of me and my daughters. Although I haven’t been on UR long and don’t know of your and all needs, i do lift you up to the One who does, and pray a blessed new year for you rich with more of His light and love, amen.

  • April December 31, 2017, 10:39 am

    Can it be the last day of 2017 and tomorrow the first of 2018? Today is Sunday, a perfect opportunity to reflect and prepare. Our sermon series begins today and is titled “Re-form.” I look forward to this new word this year and continue to ponder my last years ‘word “joy.” Several reading for the day have be about Joy (including yesterday Receive the Joy). I am using them to wrap my head/heart around that 3 letter word, especially after reading the posts from our UR family, thank you everyone.

    “And now we welcome the new year. Full of things that have never been. —Rainer Maria Rilke”

    I lift your names (and all the nurses that Marcy mentions too) in my prayers, knowing that God is looking over us and has a plan for each of us. How blessed we are to have this relationship with God the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forever…..Joy to the World!

    • Marcy December 31, 2017, 11:52 am

      Thank you, April, for this blessing for the New Year. Thank you, for your prayers. And yes, indeed, I’ve been blessed with tremendous nurses and PCT’S and now CNA’S who type my posts. Today, it is Margery. She typed all my replies, but doesn’t have time for my prayers for you all individually. Know that I do pray for you all in intercessory prayer, even in my weakest moments, having fallen asleep. But upon awakening, I continue. It is the one thing I can do for you who have shown me such love and acceptance. And I get joy from praying that God our Father, Jesus Christ, our Savior and the Holy Spirit is so strong within us all.

      And these three remain: Faith, Hope and Love, and the greatest of these is LOVE! O Love of God! O Love of Jesus Christ, our Savior! O the Love we have for one another!

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling January 1, 2018, 4:43 am

        Thank God for Margery and Andrea!

        Blessings to both of you and have a very good year ahead!

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling December 31, 2017, 10:41 am

    Thanks so much Andrea for remembering my prayer requests (my parents and my new job)

    Blessings

  • mark January 1, 2018, 6:05 am

    Pray. Only. Thy. Will
    Father
    Could. Use. Help

    From. A. True. Brother
    Rent. Due.
    2. Months. Behind

  • mark January 1, 2018, 6:19 am

    Only. Those

    Who. Have been. Given

    His. Heart. His. Spirit

    Will. Help. US

    • mark January 1, 2018, 6:20 am

      Please. Call
      Me. 516. 469 9198

  • robert moeller January 3, 2018, 6:52 am

    So many comments and mention of things I can identify with. It has been in the high teens and low 20s below zero here. Today is a warm up with temps above zero. Andrea’s prayer, comments from Julie, Chloe, Louise, the Rilke quote, Marcy’s progress report, and the entire day’s post are all encouraging. Prayers for Julie’s hands, Chloe’s daughters, Andrea and her husband Lowell, Louise and her students. What a blessing that we can lift them all up to the Almighty, the King of Creation knowing that God hears our prayers.

  • mark January 7, 2018, 9:41 am

    I. Was. In. Need
    And. No. One
    Helped.
    May. You. Never
    I. Pray. Hear. The. Words
    Away. From. Me
    I. Never. Knew. You
    Praise. God. Alone.
    False. Are.Those. Who. Helped
    Us. Not!

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