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Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in. Aim at earth and you get neither. C.S. Lewis

A Prayer In Brokenness

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One of my favorite books of prayers is Celtic Daily Prayer: Prayers and Readings from the Northumbria Community. The prayers and meditations are based on ancient Christian traditions, and they reflect powerfully and beautifully the ebb and flow of life and all its challenges. It includes two sets of daily readings as well as many wonderful prayers for […]

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Widen The Circle Of Love

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OUTWITTED He drew a circle that shut me out— Heretic, rebel, a thing to flout, But love and I had the wit to win; We drew a circle that took him in.   ~Edwin Markham The need to be right is so intoxicating and so poisonous. How easily we can be hurt—especially by those we […]

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Decluttering isn’t just for closets and inboxes

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This post was originally published in 2012 on Cyndi Briggs’s blog, Letters from Your Wayward Sister. I was honored to have been a guest on her blog.  * * * * * “What I know for sure: Our internal space has to be given the same level of respect and diligent attention as the external.” Oprah […]

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We Are Connected By God’s Amazing Grace

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Negro spiritual music: only the black notes Gospel singer Wintley Phipps, speaking to an audience at Carnegie Hall, told his listeners that just about every Negro spiritual was written using only the black notes of the piano—the pentatonic scale or the “slave scale.” Songs written with this scale by white songwriters were called white spirituals, […]

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Overwhelmed? Beware This Spiritual Warning Sign

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We all feel overwhelmed sometimes. It can be caused by the circumstances of our lives that seem to converge in a perfect storm of pressure to which we feel vulnerable. At other times, we bring it on ourselves by overcommitting, failing to calculate how long something will take, refusing to admit our own limitations. One of life’s ironies […]

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Messages You’ll Never Hear From The Holy Spirit

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In the Christian tradition, the Holy Spirit is nothing less than God manifested inside us—a gift bestowed on us when Christ rose from the dead and ascended into heaven. Jesus said, “I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever; the Spirit of truth, whom the world […]

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Sending You Christmas Love

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My dear Heartspoken readers: The editorial calendar says today’s post should be about connecting with one’s self, and when I reflected on that, I discovered something important: I need a break. I’m getting ready to go pack so my husband and I can get on a plane tomorrow and fly to New Mexico to visit our daughter […]

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Jerks In The Family Need Love Too

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This thought-provoking piece, written by my friend Rick Wilcox, appeared originally on his Literary Life blog. I am reprinting it with his permission, and I hope you’ll head over there and read other posts he has written. I find them both intellectually and spiritually nourishing. Rick is a greatly appreciated Heartspoken Connection Messenger.* Let all guests […]

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Reading Feeds Your Spirit: Spiritual Books I’ve Found Valuable

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Beyond the Bible Some Christians feel the only reading necessary to their spiritual well being is the Bible. I certainly incorporate daily Bible reading into my spiritual practices, but I have been helped enormously by writers and teachers who offer a fresh viewpoint, insight, “aha” moments. I always love knowing what my fellow seekers are reading, […]

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Chosen vs. Invited: A Potentially Life-changing Difference

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Today I want to share the sermon preached recently by our inimitable rector, the Very Rev. Alexander D. MacPhail entitled, “Many are called, but few consider themselves chosen.” I was caught up in the story and fascinated by the lessons he related from the gospel readings—especially the parable of the wedding banquet that speaks of those who were invited […]

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Use Holy Silence To Nourish Your Soul

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I’m trying to learn how to learn to cultivate holy silence. It doesn’t come naturally to those of us who are social creatures. My monkey brain kicks into high chatter when I even think about trying to meditate and pray, but I’ve come to cherish what I call my “quiet time” each morning and find […]

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Finding Encouragement Through Fellowship

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Welcome to Cari Bousefield, my guest blogger today at Heartspoken. She reached out to me about guest posting, and after reading some of her writing and sensing the sincerity of her faith, I am honored to have her share some thoughts about the joys and benefits of fellowship in our Christian journey. You can read […]

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Prayers For Peace

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My friend Jean Allen Davis recently shared these two beautiful prayers from an out-of-print pamphlet written by The Rev. Alan Houghton. On this 13th anniversary of the 9-11 terrorist attack in the United States, the threats to world peace are ever-present and frightening. I call on everyone, whatever your religious affiliation, to lift up the […]

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Lessons From An Annoying Canaanite Woman

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Christ and the Canaanite Woman ~ c. 1784 by Jean-Germain Drouais (The Louvre) Matthew 15: 21-28  Leaving that place, Jesus withdrew to the region of Tyre and Sidon. A Canaanite woman from that vicinity came to him, crying out, “Lord, Son of David, have mercy on me! My daughter is demon-possessed and suffering terribly.” Jesus […]

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Life Of The Beloved by Henri Nouwen: A Book Review

Henri Nouwen

BOOK REVIEW: Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World by Henri Nouwen How often do we long for someone to walk beside us, as Jesus did with his disciples on the road to Emmaus, and interpret scripture for us…tell us how to apply it to real everyday lives? We ponder the words from the Bible. […]

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How To Sing The Servant Song

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The holiness of servitude The word servant has long been used in Christian spiritual teaching to describe Christ’s attitude to us and to portray the way Christ taught us to be towards others. Now the word is becoming popular in business circles as we talk about “servant leadership” and “servant mindset.” Holy Scripture is steeped […]

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A Prayer For Our Country On July 4

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From the 1928 Book of Common Prayer, thought to be written originally by George Lyman Locke (1835-1919), a Rhode Island minister. ________________________ For Our Country Almighty God, who hast given us this good land for our heritage: We humbly beseech thee that we may always prove  ourselves a people mindful of thy favor and glad to do thy will. Bless […]

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I Am Beloved By God

I am devouring the work of the late Henri Nouwen, theologian and spiritual teacher. His message in this 8-minute video reminds us that when we ask the question “Who am I?” the answer is not, “I am what I do.” Nor is the answer, “I am what others say about me” nor “I am what […]

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“Abide In Me:” Christ’s Hard Command

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“Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself unless it abides in the vine, so neither can you unless you abide in Me.” John 15:4 Do you struggle with this teaching? I really do, even though I believe these three tiny words—”Abide in me”—say all I really need to know about […]

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A Memorial Day Prayer For Our Military Heroes

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Vietnam Memorial Statue in Washington, DC. Photo by David Spanburg. Prayer for Heroic Service The Book of Common Prayer is a treasure trove of prayers for every occasion. This beautiful Collect can be found in the section labelled “Thanksgivings” (pp. 836-841). Let us pray. O Judge of the nations, we remember before you with grateful hearts […]

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