a quiet space to listen and experience hope, healing and wholeness with God

A Word

Listening Prayer Scripture Passages-Lectio Divina

We gather each Wednesday evening to attend to the Lord through listening, worship and prayer. All are welcomed to come. A passage of Scripture is selected each week, and we listen to the text read aloud slowly, three times. Participants are invited to notice a word, phrase or image which arises out of their meditation on the text. We enter a time of silence and solitude to reflect, journal and converse with the Lord about what was heard. It is a time where God's story and our own story intersect. Later, we re-gather and listen to one another share out of one's own experience. The text (A Word) becomes quite alive within and transforms us through the work of the Holy Spirit and this gentle process. If you are unable to join us in person, we invite you to pray along with us each week through these pages. Others print out these pages to gather around the Word in small groups to experience Christ's presence together and deepen in a shared spiritual life together. You are welcome to comment on your own experience with A Word.

Taste and See

August 26, 2015

Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
    no shadow of shame will darken their faces.  Ps. 34:5

Could that which we taste and see actually bring this kind of joy and freedom? Surely, we are shaped and formed by what we give our senses to.

As you pray with this Psalm, ask the Holy Spirit to shift your gaze upon God and taste of God's presence in your circumstances right now. The good news is that God has the power to work this transformation of joy and freedom from shame in us.

 

Worthy of Rescue

August 12, 2015

It may be difficult to imagine being the object of someone's rescue....to be worthy of the effort and peril of rescue. Yet our God is waiting - waiting to hear the sound of our voice vulnerably calling out for help. At the end of our resources and unable to help ourselves...we cry out...and there is ONE who hears our cry and always responds in love.

This is a wonderful Psalm to pray with in community. Listen carefully to the stories of rescue offered by your community. The process of re-telling our rescue stories brings glory to God, enables us to overcome today's trials, and helps us remember and anchor into the faithfulness of God.

The Gate of Our Hearts

July 29, 2015

If we believe that we are the temple where God's Holy Spirit dwells, what might the gate which allows entrance to our hearts be like? Is it elegant and ornate to passerby's? Is it fortified with locks, chains and bars of iron? Can the gate be opened? And who will open it?
Ponder anew and enter that gate today. And may God give us the courage to trust his goodness and enduring love when we cannot see or feel it. 

This is what the Lord says...I will smash down gates of bronze and cut through bars of iron. And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness-secret riches...Isaiah 45:2-3

Holy Longing

July 15, 2015

Love
pour it on

Unfailing Love
wash over me
  cover me
  fill me
  cleanse me
  satisfy me

I want to say
I say
I have everything I need
I want for nothing
  but your
Unfailing, Unending Love

 

Come and Talk with Me

June 24, 2015

Have you heard this invitation from God before? For some this is a welcome invitation to relationship and intimacy with God. For others this offer evokes fear and they run away and hide from God's presence and voice. Yet if we are the house in which God's Spirit resides, can we ever really flee from God?

God, give us courage to trust your presence in us and with us. Give us courage to talk over our deepest fears and shame with you. Make us brave and set us free to come to you.

Good News

June 10, 2015

Have you ever had an experience of not being able to believe some good news that came to you—some good news that surpassed the furthest reaches of your imagination? This seems to be precisely the case for the disciples when they received the news that Jesus was alive, and the tomb was no longer home to His body.
    First came Mary Magdalene, and then two others to whom Jesus appeared. But “no one believed them.” We know, of course, that Jesus appeared to the eleven, cleared up the entire matter, and then sent them out to preach the Good News.
    And now here we are, two millennia later, still made alive through our risen Lord Jesus.
    Wow. Can you believe it?
   
© Brenda Henry

Tender Presence

May 27, 2015

"Being" at the cross, we witness the tender presence and care of a few both named and gathered around Jesus. The entire scene, beyond the profound theological implications of Jesus' death, seems like a prophetic display of the transformation which occurs in those who gather around the Presence of Christ. Observing closely, we see that those gathered around Jesus recognize him for who he really is and act with tender compassion towards him and his body.

And we wait with them learning again and again that in dying comes new life...

What Do We Usually Do?

May 13, 2015

Steeped in this text, we witness the typical form and pattern of life effectively lived apart from God. Thinking they are powerfully in control, the Jewish ruling elite make perfectly executable plans. Pontius Pilate, the appointed governor, leads and decides without pausing to pay attention to his own discomfort and dis-ease with the decision before him. As much as we want to blame all of them for the horrible treatment of Jesus, we can see our own similar patterns of behavior. If we are truly honest with ourselves...

we make elaborate plans without consulting God;

we disregard certain information, often living on autopilot, doing what we always do while not paying attention to the signals of new information, or the prompting of the Holy Spirit within;

we chose to satisfy the "crowd", either consciously or unconsciously, and betray the Still Small Voice within.

Perhaps God is inviting us to consider giving up old patterns of doing what we usually do and allowing the Spirit to do a new thing in us.

 

Finding Home

August 19, 2015

Years ago, God used a friend to open my eyes to the story of  Moses and the Burning Bush in an entirely new way. As Moses observed a strange sight and moved towards the bush which would not burn up, God invited Moses to take off his sandals for where he was standing was holy ground (Exodus 3). In the culture of the Hebrew people, known for their hospitality to strangers, taking off one's shoes was a sign of being welcomed home. God extends that same hospitality to Moses, calling him by name and essentially saying, "you are welcomed to be at home with me". Moses responds with reverence, fear and by hiding his face. What a picture of our own response to God's invitations!

Consider this story as you pray with Psalm 84. What is it like to find your home with God? God bids you, "come, you are welcome home with me".

God's Loyal Love

August 5, 2015

God’s Loyal Love

        God
        Of all,
        Divine
        Spirit of our
        Lives,
        Only
        You
        Are
        Loyal
        Love.
        Only You
forgiVe our guilt as far as the
        East is from the West.

© Brenda Henry

An Earnest Search

July 22, 2015

I wonder if the evidence of an earnest search for God is to know the security of His hand holding us up, even as we seem to be looking elsewhere. I wonder if our thirsts and longings might sometimes be satisfied before we even realize it. It’s a provocative question, isn’t it?—Am I already resting on the fulcrum of my earnest search? Am I already settled into “Oh, God, you are my God”?
What do you sense in your earnest search?

© Brenda Henry

My Delight

July 1, 2105

Pause. Remember. Savor. Delight.

What might it be like to be the focus of someone's delight? Can you imagine being enjoyed simply for being you? no earning? no striving? no perfecting? Just being.

This text invites us to return our gaze upon the One who gazes upon us with all delight. Notice that gaze upon you afresh today.

Planted

June 17, 2015

In this next season, we will transition to praying with the Psalms. Coined by Dietrich Bonhoeffer as the Prayer Book of the Bible, the Psalms guide us in relating to God through prayer. They aid us in knowing the character of God while helping us find our voice as we live in authentic relationship with God. No conversation seems 'out of bounds' in this book.

This weeks' Psalm has us planted by the streams of water. Come, join us there...

 

You Will See Him

June 3, 2015

Finally. Gloriously! We witness Jesus rising from the dead. He is alive! New life has come out of death. This is Good News! Christ is victorious over death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel (1 Tim. 1:10).

What a revelation to those faithful, humble women who were the first witnesses to Christ's resurrection. And they are told something mysterious, "you will see him". These words are truth and sustenance for us today. Where has Jesus gone ahead of us? Where is he bringing new life out of death?

Jesus, open our eyes to see you.

Love Un-numbed

May 20, 2015

The long, painful path to the cross has come to an end. We have felt the weight of dwelling in these texts which extended beyond the church calendar. We have chosen to allow the text to shape and change us. 

After much dialogue with his Father, Jesus discerned the time to choose and allow the humiliations of his enemies.  We observe the provision of a companion, an advocate for Jesus in his suffering. And we witness what love looks like un-numbed.

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