For the Poor

For Each Day

vincent van gogh old shoes


Your Son walked this earth as a poor man. He knew what it is like to go hungry and have no roof over His head. He sat with those who have been cast to the edges of society. Lord, remember the poor! Send compassion, kindness, and love to those who minister, that we may find those who are clinging to the hem of our culture, and offer them healing. Let them be known in Your kingdom.

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Thanksgiving for Companions

For Each Day

vincent van gogh couple in winter sketch


I can see in the mirror of the world that I am a difficult companion. I have an odd turn of mind that keeps me from immersing myself in activities and interests that other people enjoy. I know that many see me as distant, quiet, and more judgmental than discerning. Some of that, my Lord, I know to be my own personality, and some of it is the strange gift You have put in my hands, of focusing more on the world to come than the one that surrounds us.

So I thank You, Lord, for putting at my side a few people who can understand my oddity. I enjoy the people who have come alongside to walk this path. They are angels of Your word, instruments of Your peace, a lifeline when the seas get dark and I am foundering. Let me always see Your love in their…

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The Courage to Be

For Each Day

vincent van gogh woman-cutting-bread-1885.jpg!xlMedium


Jesus was never afraid to be Himself. We, broken creatures, often fear rejection, hatred, and conflict. We hide our natural light; we darken the windows of our souls. We pretend to be what we are not so that others will like us. We duck from the responsibility of living our own lives as You have ordained them.

Give us courage to be as unique as You call us to be. Show us, in the example of our Christ, how to put on the plain garments of faith and to walk boldly. Give us the strength to accept others as You have made them.

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Wounded and Surviving

For Each Day

vincent van gogh woman-in-a-dark-dress-sien-s-mother-1882

Blessed Lord,

I thank you that you let me go on like this. I am the walking wounded, and I am not sure I will ever be healed. The body is broken, and the spirit is scarred. Yet You choose to let me do Your work rather than passing it to someone more capable. You allow me to participate in building Your kingdom, in creating Your universe. When people have rejected my diminished abilities, You have called me forward to take on a new role.

I am so grateful, Lord, that You value my humble work.

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Why we need something like monasticism again today – part I

A cogent post from friend Chris Armstrong on monasticism, one of a series on his blog, “Grateful to the Dead.”

Grateful to the dead


Well, I have my computer back, fixed and ready to go again. So, as we cruise down the home stretch of the monasticism chapter from my forthcoming Medieval Wisdom: Explorations with C S Lewis, we come to a few reasons modern Christians would do well to learn from the medieval monastics:

We need something like monasticism because we are physical beings who need a holistic spiritual discipline

Against the stereotypes, Christian asceticism still holds the body to be a good thing – and Benedict’s Rule demonstrates this, for example, in its close attention to the needs of a sick monk, who should be given more food and more sleep, and of course its strong insistence on hospitality to the stranger and the guest.

We’re talking about spiritual dieting here. And diets that work still allow you to eat things you like, but in a more controlled manner. Christian asceticism is…

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The Strange Blessings

For Each Day

vincent van gogh bedroom

Dear Father,

Much of what we receive in life is what we thought we did not want. We complain and cry to You, and do not recognize these gifts. We thank You instead for what holds us back from real communion. We are grateful for our complacency, and not for the cleansing fire. Open our eyes, Lord, to the real gifts of life. Help us to put down the useless baggage we carry of desire and possession.

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The Love of Good

For Each Day

vincent van-gogh-portrait

Father in Heaven,

Keep our hearts on loving what is good. Turn our eyes to the beauty that You have created, to the beauty of hearts that follow You. Keep us from seeking that which is merely diverting. Keep our eyes from that which is wickedly desirable. Remind us constantly that anything we would keep from You is something we should not pursue. Let us love you, and all that is good, without shame.


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Lord Protect Us

For Each Day

vincent van gogh willows, pollard

Heavenly Father,

We know we will meet evil in this world. The prince of this world is not yet Your Son, our Lord. As we proclaim Your Word and bring Your Light to those who walk in darkness, protect us from the evil one. Guard our steps, Father, and protect us when we sleep, so that we may be strengthened by Your presence, guided by the Holy Spirit, and abide in peace.

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