Monthly Archives: February 2013

Why was I still holding a stone?

During Lent, I have been contemplating the interaction between Jesus, the scribes and Pharisees, and the woman caught in adultery found in John 8:1-11. I have wondered what Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground. The fact that he bent down again has reassured me he had complete control of the situation. After all, her accusers left empty-handed when they heard his command: “Let anyone among you who is without sin be the first to throw a stone at her.”

The other day I was in a stressful meeting. I left feeling I had failed everyone in the room. As I drove home, I replayed the events over and over. What could I have done differently? Why did those words come out of my mouth? How would I handle the situation next time? Suddenly I stopped interrogating myself. I needed time to fully grasp the reality of the situation. No one at the meeting accused me of anything.

So, why wasn’t I empty handed? Why was I still holding a stone? After all, Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you.” I realize now what Jesus wrote on the ground is not as important as whether his grace is written on my heart. No matter what situations you and I find ourselves caught in, God is in control. Moreover, may we be as gracious with ourselves as Jesus has been with us.


God’s love is total, unconditional, absolute, and forever. The state of grace–God’s attitude toward us–is eternal. We are the ones who change.
Sometimes we are able to believe that God loves us unconditionally, absolutely and forever. That’s grace! And sometimes because we get down on ourselves, and carry guilt and fear and burdens, we are not able to believe that God loves us. Biblically, that’s the greatest sin: not to believe the good news, not to accept the unconditional love of God. When we no longer believe God loves us, we can no longer love ourselves. We have to allow God to continually fill us. Then we find in our own lives the power to give love away.

~Richard Rohr, Radical Grace

Lent invites us to think more deeply about God’s eternal grace manifested in our lives daily! Thanks be to God.

Spirit of Prayer

The spirit of prayer makes us so intimate with God that we scarcely pass through an experience before we speak to him about it.   ~O. Hallesby

Quotes like this encourage me to seek God’s presence and contemplate how well I am communicating  with the One who knows me best.


Years ago, God invited me to a life of more continuous prayer.  It seems to me now the more I reflected on what that invitation meant, the more I was convicted I had to abandon my tendency to fill every silence with words.  My grandfather was right, I can talk to hear my teeth rattle.

Being at least somewhat mathematical, I came up with my own little prayer formula:  “less to say and more to pray!”  It has served me well through several decades.  Through my children’s teenage years, those words helped me to listen more and lecture less.  When making business decisions, my husband and I know that eventually, more prayer equals more peace of mind.  In ministry, I am consistently reminded it is more important for others to hear God’s voice than mine.  And whenever, I hear my grandfather’s words echo within my heart, I know I am being invited to pray more!

Is there something more God is inviting you to pray about?

Prayer for Presence

The following are the words of a prayer by J. Phillip Newel.  I find myself reciting these words almost daily.  I often substitute me for us as a reminder to practice being thankful for and attentive to the gift of each moment.

In the gift of this new day

In the gift of this present moment

In the gift of time and eternity intertwined.

Let us be thankful

Let us be attentive

Let us be open to what has never happened before.

In the gift of this new day

In the gift of this present moment

In the gift of time and eternity intertwined.

Amen and Amen!!!