Have a prayer request?

Every Saturday, Steven Charleston and friends, gather prayer requests from folks like you and me and offer prayers throughout the day for folks like you and me. I have both asked for prayers and joined the friends of Steven in praying throughout the day. I invite you to do the same. We are all connected …

Today is our day for prayer requests. Please leave your request here. I will pray with you and I know many others in our community will too. If you are joining us in these prayers for the first time please note that we use the “like” option only to let our friends know that we are praying with them. May God be with us all. Go to Steven’s Timeline (you may have to ‘Friend’ him).


Come Holy Spirit …

From January 1993 until July 1997 I was privileged to share ministry with The Rev. G. Bradford “Brad” Hall. Brad would begin his sermons with a short prayer. As with many sayings, once it is repeated enough the saying ‘sticks’ it becomes part of you. So it is with Brad’s Sermon Prayer: it is part of me, part of my faith journey, a profound part of how I take the next step and the one after that and so on. Here is the prayer:

Come Holy Spirit,
come with your fire and burn us,
come with your rain and cleanse us,
come with your light and reveal to us;
convict us,
convert us,
consecrate us,
until we do something with our lives. Amen.

Two additional items: notice that Brad prayed not just for himself nor for ‘them’ but for ‘us.’ Brad joined his hearers and on behalf of all of us prayed that the Spirit would fill us until we (together) did something with our lives. Second, Brad would sometimes insert a decisive verb in that last line: “¬until we choose to do something with our lives.”

For more on the back story of this prayer see: Come Holy Spirit posted by Stanley Hirsch on our Sunday Morning Forum Blog, Hear what the Spirit is saying.


Pope Francis at MassThis was an unexpected joy. The image is from a post on a new favorite blog: Dating God | Franciscan Spirituality for the 21st Century. The picture “says it all.” You may, however, want to read the post, “Do we honor God or ourselves?” by Daniel P. Horan, OFM.

L:ittle things, simple things, matter. What do you think?

Image: “Vatican News” via Dating God

7/27/12 – Garden & Compost

Beauty and hope in unlikely places

Pine cones on the forest floor

Until my illness I delighted in hiking and camping in the Eastern Sierras, especially in the John Muir Wilderness area. From previous trips I have lots of memories and lots of photos. Friends have continued to send photos (of past and present trips), too. In looking through photos this one caught my eye yesterday.

At +10,000 feet the cones and needles decompose slowly in the few months they are not covered with snow. There is a textural beauty in this mix on the forest floor. With sunlight angling in it is even more beautiful with shadows and light. The moment captured here is a reminder to hope. This isn’t the typical travel picture with snow capped peaks or dramatic vistas that make a person say “Wow,” but it is part of the spiritual wonder that calls me still to come into the wilderness—and a treasured image of my travels there.

With its different kind of beauty it makes me pause to see beauty in the most unlikely places and to be thankful. “Look closely,” is what I hear the Spirit saying. Even with its slow decomposition, the needles and cones provide necessary nutrients for the trees, food for mice and squirrels and birds, and an excellent environment for the bugs and other living creatures helping with the decomposition. There is so much life and hope in this which appears “dead.”

To make the time to slow down and look, to stop and listen is a wonderful discipline and a luxury we all have. To have the leadership of men and women like those who staff Camp Stevens in Julian, CA, who make trips into the wilderness a possibility, is a great gift to me and to the communities they serve.

I urge you to get outside, (you don’t have to hike and camp the John Muir Wilderness), walk in the heat (or cool) of the day, walk in your yard, walk down the street, walk in a nearby park, walk the beach (if you’re close to one), but, slow down and really look, stop and listen—let nature share her gifts with you. Beauty and hope can be found in the most unlikely places.

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Image: Daniel Rondeau near Black Lake in the Eastern Sierras

7/24/12 – Garden & Compost

For one person, spirituality and faith, means "being connected" to all of creationAre you in the 18-35 year old demographic? Do you know anyone in that demographic? Then, this is for you. Waking Youth is a new blog for young and old, alike. We are in this together …

About Waking Youth

Who evolves spiritually? Is it up to old, wise men in caves, preachers in mega churches, or the best-selling new age authors? All of the world’s religions are converging on our shores for the first time: Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Christianity, Judaism, and more. Maybe, just maybe, it’s the young people who are waking up? In this culture, people’s spiritual lives tend to be either very public or very private and rarely do they share the inner, guiding parts of life. So, here are stories of seeking, confusion and discovery as experienced by us. You know, the ones plugged into smartphones and meeting friends for drinks. Listen as we open our hearts. See for yourself. Are we lost to the well entertained and superficial, or is there a secret life of deeper longing and curiosity that may just help save us all? If you are a young adult (18-35 years old) interested in sharing your spiritual story of discovery, send an email to wakingyouth@gmail.com

Finding Sanctuary in the Wilds of Creation by Nathan Troutman Blumenshne is one of the posts on this new blog. it is a story of what faith, Christian Faith in this case, is beginning to feel like in the 21st century. Nathan’s is a faith nurtured in a very expansive cathedral as you will discover.

If you are 18-35 please consider making your own contribution to the Waking Youth blog. If you know someone in this age range, someone whose spirituality continues to inform your own spiritual life, please encourage that person to write. Again, “we are in this together ….”

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Image: From the blog post Finding Sanctuary In The Wilds Of Creation by Nathan Troutman Blumenshine

7/22/12 – Garden & Compost

Our Peace

… in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. For he is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us. He has abolished the law with its commandments and ordinances, that he might create in himself one new humanity in place of the two, thus making peace, and might reconcile both groups to God in one body through the cross, thus putting to death that hostility through it. So he came and proclaimed peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near ….

Ephesians 2:13-17

That is the wisdom of the Apostle written in the 1st century CE. Here is a more recent expression of this truth posted on Facebook by Forward Day by Day on July 21, 2012:

Rather than arguing about who should be included or excluded, let us remember that drinking from one cup and sharing one loaf calls us to unity. Jesus Christ intends us to be one body in him. We are invited to eat and drink at his table with each other, as the brothers and sisters we are.

A group of kids looking right at you


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Image: From the internet, source not recorded

7/19/12 – Garden & Compost

From Gratefulness.org another Word for the Day

An image of the Greater Crimson Glider

Photo by Jkadavoor via Wikimedia Commons

If the sight of the blue skies fills you with joy, if a blade of grass springing up in the fields has power to move you, if the simple things in nature have a message you understand, rejoice, for your soul is alive.

—Eleanora Duse (1858–1924)
Word for the Day 7/19/12

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