My First Sermon

children of world 99ab240d0fb2d3ee19090f7447d395d5

There is a story that Karl Barth, one of the great theologians of the Twentieth Century, was once asked: “If you could summarize into one sentence, all the great thoughts of theology that you have read and studied over the years, what would that be?”  Barth thought for a moment, and then replied: “Jesus loves me, this I know; for the bible tells me so.” As I thought about that, I wondered about the theme that had become my own expression of faith. I believe my first sermon was preached when I was a child of about four years old. I can still picture myself in our back yard, swinging away and singing with all my might for everyone to hear: Continue reading

The Breath Prayer – A Mantra

Breath prayers are short, personal phrases addressed to God that bring a sense of intimacy with God.  This form of prayer developed out of the church’s practice of repeating one psalm phrase to remind them of the message of the entire psalm.  For example, “O Lord, you have searched me and known me.” (Ps. 139:1)  We do not choose our Breath Prayers so much as they choose us; coming to us as whispers in the wind, so to speak. In his book Prayer,  p. 123, Richard Foster suggests a way we might discover our own breath prayer. Continue reading

Carried on Eagle’s Wings

eagle head   1355432654eaaqe

“You yourselves have seen what I did to Egypt, and how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself.”  Exodus 19:4

At our home called WindWood, we have developed a close connection with eagles that nest across the road.  Over a period of time, they have come to trust us.  At times they’ll come and sit in trees around our cabin and watch us as we work.  We in turn, will go and visit them in their period of sitting upon the nest.  We cheer them on, and often they’ll “talk” back to us.

A few years ago, the baby eaglet seemed to develop an unusual sense of trust for us; and the day its parents pushed it from the nest, as parent eagles tend to do, Continue reading

Hear Us

God of old women praying forever
fingers bent over quilts,
Hear us.
God of tired immigrants carrying trunks,
looking for the promised land
Hear us.
God of smooth-faced children
opening door after door into tomorrow
Hear us.
God of weary warriors, who want to go home
wondering who is friend and who is enemy
Hear us.

Hear us.
Hear our sighs too deep for words.
Hear our cries for justice.
Give us what we do not know we need.
Tell us our names.
Hold us.

Hear us.

~ Diane Roth (used with permission)

The Peace of God is Shining in Me Now

The peace of God is shining in me now.

The Light is in me Now.  It comes from my Source.
The peace of God is shining in you now, and from your heart
extends around the world.  It pauses to caress each living thing,
and leaves a blessing with it that remains forever and ever.
It brings renewal to all tired hearts, and lights all vision as it passes by.
From you salvation radiates with gifts beyond all measure, given and returned.
Listen to the honest thoughts – the truth within.
they lead you back to peace.
they urge you gently to accept His Word
Take your wandering thoughts and bring them back to all the thoughts
we share with God.
Bless all as we say:

The peace of God is shining in me now.
Let all things shine upon me in that peace,
And let me bless them with the Light in me.

  • from Lesson188 ~ A Course in Miracles

Marker Stories

The week before I was ordained into ministry, I was invited to assist in worship at the church in which I had grown up. After the service I was surrounded by well-wishers, some of them with faces beaming as they said: “Do you remember me? I taught you in Sunday school years ago.” And my mind would soar back to a distant time when I sat in a little chair and first heard the stories of Jesus and his love.
How could I ever forget these dear people through whom God first conveyed the gospel?

We call them “marker stories” – those people and events through which God’s Spirit touches our lives . . . Continue reading

Earth Prayer

Great Spirit,
give us hearts to understand,
never to take
from creation’s beauty more than we give,
never to destroy wantonly for the furtherance of greed,
never to deny to give our hands for the building of
earth’s beauty,
never to take from her what we cannot use.
Give us hearts to understand that to destroy earth’s
music is to create confusion,
that to wreck her appearance is to blind us to beauty,
that to callously pollute her fragrance is to make a
house of stench,
that as we care for her she will care for us. Amen.

Be the Dream

Be song of praise in prison
For worried be relief
Be power of the people
be budding of the leaf
Be haven for the hunted
be riches for the ragged
For wanderers be a stream
Be the vision ~  Be the dream
Be song of hope in horror
For hungry be the bread
Be freedom for the captives
be morning light ahead
Be solace in the sorrow
be fragrance of tomorrow
In dungeons be a gleam
Be the vision ~ be the Dream.
~ Anders Nyberg