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Preparing the Soil

Today’s Reflection

WHEN I THINK of how God works in the life of the pilgrim, I remember the tireless work my dad put into preparing the soil for his garden. Just as he patiently readied the earth, so too God prepares the pilgrim’s heart to receive an encounter with Divine Love. Seasons before we become aware of the movement of God’s love in our life, and long before we see any evidence of the fruit of that love, seeds of faith, hope, and love already are growing in our pilgrim heart.

—Karla M. Kincannon, Creativity and Divine Surprise: Finding the Place of Your Resurrection (Upper Room Books, 2005)

Today’s Question

When you look back, do you see moments where God was at work even before you realized?  Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

“So neither the one who plants nor the one who waters is anything, but only God who gives the growth.”
—1 Corinthians 3:7 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Holy One, Help me discover my God-given creativity and find the sacred in each God-given moment.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room or share it in the comment section.

Something More

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Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

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{ 7 comments… add one }

  • Jill October 19, 2019, 5:35 am

    So vastly true in my life. How he prepared me for the events of the past 2+ years. The foundation of Biblical truth as a child – via my father and being in church so much. A trusted mentor and now dear friend – beginning in my early teens. During college – the wife of a youth pastor – teaching me to pray, and to study The Word. Yet through all of that – I didn’t “get” it…did not have a personal relationship with Christ. Then – in 2003-2004 a significant shift, a searching and a person He surely brought into my life at just the right time. From there, seeking out a spiritual director a few years later and continued growth, hunger, leaning in to relationship. A recognition of depravity, which He graciously revealed to me small portions at a time. And then an unmistakable recognition of peace…the peace which passeth understanding – a little over two years now – when I surrendered my diagnosis and future implications fully to Him. What a masterpiece – and, Praise Him – He is not done yet! The storms He has brought me through, the things He is asking me to do now…grateful. Only possible through surrender upon surrender and seeking His strength. Confessing I cannot do it in my own understanding and power. Oh Father – continue to lead me on…in Your ways, on Your path. Direct me.
    A coolish Fall day yesterday, but when I walked out of school – the warmth of the sun was inviting. I called dad and he was just getting ready to go out for a walk. So – I told him to meet me at a park, midway between our houses. We walked and talked for about an hour. When in the sunlight – it was very pleasant. Today we will spend some time together – lunch at a favorite place of all of us…mom, dad and I – and then a bit of shopping. It is to be warmer today, with continued sun.

    • Susan October 19, 2019, 7:51 am

      Jill, your comments often cause me to think and reflect as much, if not more, than the book excerpt. Thank you for honestly sharing your thoughts, experiences, and faith journey. May God continue to bless you!

  • Julie October 19, 2019, 7:45 am

    Wow, Jill, how humbling to me are your words. I have never had any such circumstances. No Bible or anyone in my youth. Just being sent alone as child on abus to a church where we heard fire and brimstone sermons every week. My grandfather attended mass every week and was very religious, but never spoke a word about it and I regret never asking. No one mentored or walked beside me. You are blessed.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and their day together. We also are having sun and slightly warmer temps.
    Prayers for April, BJ, Betsy and Lou.
    Prayers for healing for Andrea, Connie and Marcy.
    Prayers for Mary and her family, may she have time this weekend for all her many hobbies.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may Erich find a job and may Robert continue to enjoy good health and stunning walks in nature.
    Prayers, blessings, warm hugs and thank you fellow UR faithful

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 19, 2019, 8:12 am

    Thanks Julie!

    Weekends I read and Sunday I go to church, Bible study or prayer meeting, choir practice and worship God.

    Yes, indeed there were moments where I see God was at work even before I realized. God placed me in a Methodist School where I was converted. He also placed me in the seminary to teach me to rely on Him for wisdom, strength, guidance and to trust Him no matter what happens.

    Thank you God!

    Blessings to all!

    • Julie October 19, 2019, 8:43 am

      So, Mary, are you a minister?

      • Mary Ng Shwu Ling October 19, 2019, 9:26 am

        I was a preacher

  • Robert Moeller October 19, 2019, 11:03 am

    My faith ourney, from infant baptism through Sunday schoo , confirmation, MYF, and church attendance ed to church attendance in the army. I be ieve
    I was sent where God wanted me to go, can’t prove that, but be ieve it very strong y. Ended up returning and staying three years. Met my wife there, my daughter was born there. My connection to God grew through this time and
    b ossomed when my wife sudden y passed away. It has been he ping me ever since.
    Having a hard time with some etters on the eyboard!
    No word on arrangements for Doris, am sure I wi now as soon as possib e.
    Had a great train ride near Mount Washington yesterday, Erich went to a job fair today, his skin is healing (j and l finally worked) had a nice walk in the woods and saw a train (that always makes my day), bright sunshine, the mountain is covered with snow! Am working on the layout. Many blessings today. Thank You,Lord!

    Prayers that all of the UR family will have a great and blessed weekend, your
    needs and concerns are met, and you are thankful for the blessings of the day.
    God’s peace, mercy, grace, and love to you.

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