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Build With What You Are Given

Today’s Reflection

STABILITY OF THE HEART does not come naturally. But the simple rhythms of tending to body and soul — making oatmeal and saying prayers, keeping house and singing songs — bring me back to a center, to a still point that is fixed in this place. I do not know how to eliminate distractions (even if I shut down my e-mail, turn off the cell phone, and drive to a pristine retreat center, my thoughts are still with me.)

But I can keep the rhythms that are given to me by my church and community. I can listen to my son and watch the birds more closely.

The desert mother Amma Syncletica said, “If a bird abandons the eggs she has been sitting on, she prevents them from hatching, and in the same way monks or nuns will grow cold and their faith will perish if they go around from one place to another.” I hold this fragment like a leaf in my beak. I’ll take what I’m given and build with it.

Alive Now, September/October 2015

Original source of quote: The Wisdom of Stability: Rooting Faith in a Mobile Culture by Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove. Published by Paraclete Press. Reprinted with permission in Alive Now, September/October 2015. Alivenow.org. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

What have you been given? What can you build? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
Psalm 34:1, NRSV

This Week: pray for expectant parents. 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: Howard Thurman (October 22).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Jill October 24, 2018, 3:36 am

    I have been given the ability and the passion to communicate well with and teach young people. I am grateful to God for where He has placed me. The beginning of my career was a bit rocky, but I am so grateful for where I have landed. It is so true – when we can’t see where He is leading and may be questioning His ways…once we see the whole picture – we wouldn’t change a thing. I am clinging to this on my current path with my parents. Father – increase my faith and steady my walk. I commit to You what You have provided and trust You to show me what You would have me build, for Your glory.
    Grateful for the quietness of this morning, and feeling rested from a good night’s sleep. Grateful for color emerging on the trees…becoming a bit more vivid each day. Grateful for sunshine yesterday after school to take a walk in.
    Prayers this morning for the UR family…Robert and Erich – Erich’s new job – may Erich find fulfillment in it and what it provides. For Betsy and family and the expectation of a new life, may Kelsey’s pregnancy go well. For Julie and her pursuit of a job – Father, may Your will be done in this. For Connie – as she enjoys the simplicity and beauty of her garden, hummers and nature. For Andrea, Lowell, her daughter, son-in-law, and grandson – may those relationships continue to strengthen. For Lou and her children, her daughter’s teaching job. And, yes, for Rusty and K and Marcy – we long to hear from them, hold them close in our hearts. I am thinking also of April and Edy – may there needs be met. Father – Your eye is on the sparrow and each of us. Thank You.

  • Jill October 24, 2018, 3:38 am

    Oh goodness, inevitably when listing a group of people, one is unintentionally omitted. Father – I pray that Mary is finding fulfillment in her new job working with flowers. I pray that her stress is lessened and that a new passion emerges. Surely she will be able to lift the spirits of others in this venture. I pray also for her parents.

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 24, 2018, 7:33 am

      Thanks dear Jill!

      Taking Chinese restaurant cooking course at my neighborhood community center once a week to develop my cooking skills. Hopefully I can bless others with this new hobby.

      May God help us all to use what we are given to glorify Him!

      Blessings to all!

      • Connie October 24, 2018, 8:08 am

        On a show I was watching it showed foods from different countries…from Singapore some kind of soup with “jello-like” squares in it. The hosts liked it. I’ll bet you’ll make some delicious food.

  • Joan October 24, 2018, 5:41 am

    Thank you for this – I remember this from the issue on stability in Alive Now. Great reminder!

  • Julie October 24, 2018, 8:12 am

    With all of the instability in my life, taking pleasure in the ordiinary rythms of my day do help keep me grounded. There is indeed beauty and reassurance in the ordinary and everyday objects and patterns of our lives.
    Prayers for Connnie and her wonderful living and loving example of the concepts frm this reflection. I am humbled by her insights into the joys of the all that we encounter daily.
    Prayers for Jill and her family. May each reflect on the joy they receive from one another and gain strength from their strong family relationsips. God gives each what the other’s need when they need to rely on one another.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich. May they be energized by the routines they have established in looking for a new home.
    Prayers for Mary and her God given willingness to seek new interests and may she find her center as she maintans her family relationships by sharing her new joys.
    Prayers for Betsy and her family. May she use her God given experience as a mother to nurture Kelsey and her new grandchild.
    Prayers for Lou and her children. May Lou find comfort in her routines and may her youngest daughter have a wonderful senior year.
    Prayers for Andrea and her family as they try to strengthen their relationships. May Andrea find traditions to share with her family to enrich and strenthen their love.
    Prayers for Mary and her safety. Welcome to Joan.
    Prayers for each UR family member and may you find joy in the simple acts and mundane items of your lives

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 25, 2018, 12:55 am

      Thanks dear Julie!

      May all your needs be met and all be well!

      Blessings!

  • Connie October 24, 2018, 8:17 am

    I have been given everything I ever wanted. Me needs are quite simple. I can build a stronger bond with my friends and family, although it is quite strong now. Also, I can share a little more here.
    I make oatmeal for my husband every morning along with and egg substitute mixed with a little cheese.

  • Lou October 24, 2018, 11:28 am

    I have been given much. I confess that I still spend too much time thinking about my “previous life” and lamenting these losses instead of focusing on all that God gives me each day. My greatest blessings are my children – progress is being made on the college application process for the youngest. My oldest daughter continues to struggle in her difficult position with challenging children – but she shares a lot with me and I do my best to be her supporter and love her from miles away. My son is feeling better in his job and I am grateful that he often stops by – mostly for his moms home cooking – and I am thankful for that blessing and time spent with him. His little sib loves the visits also as those are times I think we feel more like our old family…
    October has been a hard month – I would’ve celebrated my 26th wedding anniversary – it’s still hard for me to believe.
    I am grateful for this group of believers that I read about and pray for each day- I am grateful for the prayers for me and my children.
    His eye IS on the sparrow-
    And I know he watches me
    And you all.
    PTL

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 25, 2018, 12:53 am

      Lou, I am keeping you in prayer. I hope November will be better for you and your family.

      May God’s blessings and favor always be with you and your family!

    • Connie October 25, 2018, 8:30 am

      Yes, anniversaries will always be hard. I had an anniversary in Oct. and 16 yrs. later, a week after the anniversary, he left. I am alive and well, but still remember. Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you and your children are well and adjusting to the traumatic change in your lives. God is with you, I am with you and you are a blessing. ( P.S. Nothing like Mom’s home cooking!)

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