Friday, October 03, 2014

Friday, October 3, 2014

Today’s text

Romans 3:21-24

 But now, irrespective of law, the righteousness of God has been disclosed, and is attested by the law and the prophets, the righteousness of God through faith in Jesus Christ for all who believe. For there is no distinction, since all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; they are now justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus … .

Knowing … grace

Who blesses you? What blesses you? I asked this of a friend yesterday.

By blessed I mean that anxiety leaves you. It flies away. Doubts … about yourself, about what you have done or need to do … disappear. They are gone.

You know you can say anything, be utterly and totally honest about your fears or failures, what you have done or not done. You know you are accepted. You are free and know you are loved, accepted, treasured and beautiful … despite whatever confusion or confliction or troubles you have or will face.

The blessed have no need to prove themselves, to win approval or justify their words or actions as having been the right, proper or smart thing to do. There is just freedom of soul deep within.

Who … what … lifts you into this state of blessing?

There are moments we know blessing; in these moments we truly know … God.

Early this week I took my tired, confused and conflicted self to the back patio. I was hungry for a little peace and quiet. I wanted every other voice to fade away so I could hear the voice of my own depths, catch up with myself … and make sense of the thoughts and feelings stirred up by experiences of the day.

Drink in hand, I retreated to the back patio and sat in the sun, now gentle, having lost the harsh glare of summer. Bricks warm beneath my bare feet, a breeze released a rain of leaves from the birch tree, golden and brown, blanketing the earth.

I had thought to read, carrying a book, but reading was not on my soul’s agenda.

I simply sat, enveloped and encompassed by rays of the autumn sun that did not ask me for anything. Nor did I have to ask them to come and warm me, to surround and fill me. The sunlight just came, free and full, filling me with a gentle awareness that there was no need for me to do anything but to be there and to let the sun do its healing work on my soul, telling me again what blessing is … and what God is like.

God speaks to the listening heart: “All you need do is to sit in the sun and know … the Love I am comes to you not because you ask for it or deserve it, not because you have done something to prove yourself, but because I , the Lord, am who I am.

“I am the Love who reaches out to accept and justify sinners. I am Jesus Christ who touches and heals, welcomes and makes whole … not the well but the sick and the broken, the confused and the needy, the imperfect and those who lose themselves amid the conflicting demands on their lives.

“There is no need to justify yourself to me. No need to prove your worth. Just take your tired and wounded heart and sit in the places … and with the people … where you know my love freely given. I will do the rest.”

Pr. David L. Miller

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Today’s text

Psalm 80:7

Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved. 


Too much time is spent
in darkness, not knowing,
not feeling, not overwhelmed
by this love that never turns away.

I know … you are always
turned toward us, never
looking away, but the
weight of earth’s sadness
clouds the heart and shadows
the eyes so they cannot see
and do not glisten with tears
Knowing …

I savor those tears; they
are gift in my soul, light
in my eyes and heart, death
of every sadness, love
of every moment, blessing
everything and everyone
who happens by; alive,
in the circle of  Your vision,
at the center of your sight,
alive, alive, alive, finally,
born anew, saved.

Autumn sun on patio bricks,
warm under foot, the heat
of summer gone, leaves
raining from the river birch
blanketing the earth in the
wealth of summer, a carpet
of gold and brown, a world
alive and golden, kissed
by light from the Source
of every light, inviting the
heart to sit in quiet warm,
held in the Light that never
turns away  …and know.

Light is everywhere, it
seems, rays of life present
inviting our presence that
we might sit for a moment
and let it do its saving work.

Pr. David L. Miller

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, September 29, 2014

Today’s text

Psalm 80:7, 14-15

Restore us, O God of hosts;
   let your face shine, that we may be saved. …
Turn again, O God of hosts;
   look down from heaven, and see;
have regard for this vine,
   the stock that your right hand planted.


I can never move home again.
The ground where
You planted me is home
no longer.

It formed me. I lived
close to the soil and to
those who labored on
it, struggling
with winds and weather,
rain and its lack, who went
to their rest with  
soil-stained hands,
laid, finally, beneath the soil
which had pained and pleased
them, the soil where they,
like me, had been planted.

I knew this ground,
the country roads and
town streets I walked,
every rough spot in the asphalt,
soft places where the asphalt
cracked and sank, where
potholes appeared and were
filled again each spring.

I walked them a thousand
times, kicking rocks up the street
to salve adolescent wounds,
releasing anger at the
confines of this world,
hoping for a world beyond
my teachers and tormentors
where someone would see
me, beyond their image
of what I was, even though
I didn’t know myself. I knew
Only that this piece of soil
in which I was planted
was not home
and could never be.

You meant me to grow
like the fields of corn, no,
more like the hay
and sweet clover that
doesn’t march in neat rows.

You planted me in that
particular soil,
Holy One, a peculiar plant
that needed that place
to fill my senses
with the fragrance of
growing things, stirring hope
to know a world beyond
the soil which grew me.

Look at this soul planted
in the soil of this earth, now
far from the fields of hay
and sweet clover and the
soil-stained dignity of the
hands who worked it.

Tend the growing of this
peculiar plant that is yet
to be that the seed you
planted may bring its harvest
of grace and the beauty
of the fields that still stir
my heart.

I would be as they.

Pr. David L. Miller

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Today’s text

Psalm 25: 5-6

Lead me in your truth, and teach me,
   for you are the God of my salvation;
   for you I wait all day long.
Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,
   for they have been from of old. 

Morning praise

A long way I have traveled,
not only in miles and years
but in emotion and truth.

Love and fear,
hope and despair,
ecstasy and bitter
disappointment. I
have known them all,
sometimes on the same day.

I have breathed rare air
of giddy joy, beyond
any my younger soul
I thought this was life
in truest form,
hoping for more,
thinking something was
wrong with the world
or me when, disappointed,
I fell from the heights.

Moments, wondrous moments,
Which I savor and to which
memory and heart cling,
thankful for what I
have known, learned, felt,
filling me with the beauty
and gratitude.

Each ascent to heights of
of human joy occasions
its own unique fall. Each
fall is more gracious still;
an awful grace it is, never
without pain, but grace
it is still … because
I fall into you,
the Mystery who is Love,
steadfast and sure.

Every road, every mile,
every height and fall,
every hope that fails,
finally, takes me back
to you where I find myself
and know
that no matter my emotion
I was never really lost
and never will be.

Nothing is lost to your love;
everything finds it's place.

Pr.  David L. Miller