A Prayer for a Happy Life {William Barclay Quotable}

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O God, keep us from the things which are bound to make life unhappy.

Keep us from the eyes which can always find some fault to see; the tongue which can always find something to grumble about; the heart which can always find some grudge and some bitterness to cherish.

Keep us from the perverseness which does not want anything it gets, and which always wants what it has not got; the ingratitude which does not even realize what it is getting; the attitude of mind which lives in resentment.

Give us the even temper which can take things as they come; the sense of humor which can always find some cause to smile; the gratitude which can always find something for which to be thankful; the cheerfulness which not all earth’s shadows and disappointments can extinguish.

Give us the spirit which can enjoy live, and which can help others enjoy it. ~William Barclay (from A Barclay Prayer Book)

Amen and Amen.

“The Lord make His face shine on you, and be gracious to you; the Lord lift up His countenance on you, and give you peace.” ~Numbers 6:25-26

The Invitation is Imitation {Margaret Feinberg Quotable}

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I think giving is a lot like prayer. It doesn’t change God. It changes us.

When was the last time you gave a gift that made a difference in the life of someone else? Odds are that you walked away with a sense of satisfaction that money can’t buy…God didn’t just give to us, but he also hardwired us to give.

The invitation to give extends beyond name-brand purchases and well-wrapped gifts…We are invited to be generous in our relationships.

The invitation is imitation.

God demonstrated how he wants us to live through Jesus, not as people living merely for ourselves, but as those living for something greater. We are generous in our relationships when we choose inclusion over exclusion, forgiveness over a grudge, and righteousness over merely being right. In our relationships, we get down and dirty in the practice of giving. In our relationships, we are given another opportunity to reflect and further resemble God. ~Margaret Feinberg, Organic God.

As you begin a new week, consider who needs your relational generosity.

My observation is that we’ve become overly protective in our relationships: Waiting for others to make the first move. Hiding behind Facebook platitudes. Acting disinterested to cover the fear of rejection. I struggle with all these things too.

Image-bearing calls us to big giving.

Yesterday as I was exiting church, I received the biggest hug from someone I wouldn’t say I know well. There was nothing stand-offish or insincere about it. Everything about that very big hug said, “I’m going out on a line to make sure you know I’m genuinely glad you are a small part of my day. You matter.” I received it as a gift from the Lord. The invitation is indeed imitation!

Who is relationally generous with you? How do they demonstrate it?

How and with whom can you be generous today?

[This quote is from Margaret Feinberg’s Organic GodI’m on my second read of it and being just as challenged as the first time. If you haven’t read it, I suggest you get to it. Pronto.]

Instructions for Life {Quotable Mary Oliver}

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“Instructions for living a life: 
Pay attention. 
Be astonished. 
Tell about it.” 

~Mary Oliver

We all see different things and discover beauty hidden under things that other’s miss. It’s why we must tell what we see and what captivates our wonder. Someone…that you know…couldn’t see past their darkness to gaze on light. Someone…that you know…can’t imagine that there is anything worth waking up from slumber for? They need to borrow hope from your view. Tell your story. Describe the beauty and goodness and truth you found in your day. It might just be the very story they need to hear to help them believe that tomorrow can, and by God’s grace will be different than today.

Then give thanks to God that you have eyes to see, and a heart to be astonished, and a voice to tell about it.

What did you notice today? How were you wowed? Who can you tell?