Sabbatical

I’m taking a sabbatical from blogging for the month of November in honor of what would have been my dad’s 86th birthday.

Until then, I leave you with this meditation:

May you be safe and protected.

May you be free of suffering and the causes of suffering.

May you live a life of kindness and ease.

Amen.

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Prayer Reflection: Day 42

Therefore many from the crowd, when they heard this saying, said, “Truly this is the Prophet.” Others said, “This is the Christ.” But some said, “Will the Christ come out of Galilee? Has not the Scripture said that the Christ comes from the seed of David and from the town of Bethlehem, where David was?” So there was a division among the people because of Him. – John 7:40‭-‬43 NKJV

Women in the United States didn’t always have the right to vote, but today I am proud to say that by the sacrifices and advocacy of women who came before me, I voted early today.

How often do we appreciate Jesus’s sacrifice for us? Do we take Him for granted? Or do we treasure Him?

During the time of Jesus’s life on earth, many people did not agree. He did not let their division stop Him from fulfilling His God-given purpose, even though the plan of salvation required Him to suffer and die.

Like any human who does not want to experience pain or death, Jesus asked His Heavenly Father to “take this cup away,” but He asked for His Heavenly Father’s will be done.

How many times have we asked for something from God, but weren’t exactly open to following His will if His answer turned out to be something other than what we wanted?

God is not here to grant our wishes.

It takes great maturity to relinquish control and trust in the Lord, but when we do, we can experience His everlasting love and peace. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 41

But let your ‘Yes’ be ‘Yes,’ and your ‘No,’ ‘No.’ For whatever is more than these is from the evil one. – Matthew 5:37 NKJV

Throughout my life, I have experienced bullying, but I don’t let that define me.

The older I get, the better I become at saying the word “no” to protect my finite energy and time.

God created the word “no,” and nothing He created is inherently bad.

After many years, I have learned that I can control my inputs, especially when it comes to technology.

I don’t have to feel bad about putting my phone on airplane mode, removing Facebook messenger from my phone, or even blocking a work contact who has repeatedly overstepped my boundaries.

On more than one occasion, when Pharisees hurled false accusations at Jesus, He walked away. He knew His purpose that His Heavenly Father had given Him, and He didn’t try to please anyone else over God.

Jesus exercised healthy boundaries, and so must we. When we take actions to please God and not men, we can experience a peace that only God can give. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 40

Now may the God of peace who brought up our Lord Jesus from the dead, that great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make you complete in every good work to do His will, working in you what is well pleasing in His sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen. – Hebrews 13:20‭-‬21 NKJV

God implements change for the good.

When we align ourselves with His will, we can trust Him to lead us in the right direction.

The Holy Spirit, symbolized by a dove, never guides us to fail.

Jesus is the Good Shepherd.

He never stops caring.

He never gives up.

He never gets brain fog.

Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 39

And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. – Mark 4:39 NKJV

Guided mediation is a means of calming the storms of our minds.

Years ago, when my dad was on hospice after suffering from Alzheimer’s for 13 years, I took a Mindfulness Stress-Reduction course at the University of Nevada, Reno.

The course included a workbook and several guided meditation recordings, which were 40-minutes long.

The UCLA Mindful App was recommended to me recently, and it has practical guided meditation exercises that are normally around 14 minutes or less.

Jesus knew the power of mindfulness, and He practiced it in daily life, so much so that he could calm the physical storms, as well as bring calm to the mind. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 38

But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. – Matthew 10:30 NKJV

Now that I am getting older, I notice more gray hairs. I pluck them out whenever possible, because the texture of the gray hairs is thicker than the rest of my hair.

I bought a box of Nice n’ Easy, but I am a little afraid to dye my hair for the first time.

The Lord knows exactly how many hairs we have on our heads, gray or not. He never misses a single detail of our lives, and He never stops caring about us. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 37

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him! – Psalms 34:8 NKJV

In New Mexico there seems to be chilies in everything. I had ordered a salad. There were chilies in it. I ordered a smoothie. There were chili flakes on top. I visited a park in Santa Fe and found chilies hanging out to dry from a street lamp.

Far cry from living in Blackfoot, Idaho, the potato capital of the world.

We can experience God’s goodness with all our senses, not just by sight.

God’s divine goodness permeates our taste buds when we enjoy a fine meal.

When we take time to savor our food and thank God for His blessings before we eat, we have less stomach aches.

The next time we enjoy a meal, we can challenge ourselves by putting down our smart phones and instead enjoy the moment. We might be surprised what God impresses upon us during a meditative meal. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 36

The Lord is my strength and my shield; My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped; Therefore my heart greatly rejoices, And with my song I will praise Him. – Psalms 28:7 NKJV

I had the pleasure of visiting the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi in Santa Fe, NM today.

Christians have been trusting in the Lord for many years and leaning on His strength. The history of His faithful believers was evident in the landmark.

The beauty and splendor of this basilica quieted my mind.

One of the stained glass windows depicted Jacob in the Bible, whom I named my son after.

Each day brings us a reason to feel joy. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 35

For this reason I bow my knees to the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, that He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with might through His Spirit in the inner man, that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the width and length and depth and height— to know the love of Christ which passes knowledge; that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. – Ephesians 3:14‭-‬19 NKJV

God’s love for us is immeasurable.

The Holy Spirit can quiet our minds, just like the peaceful stillness that we can experience after a guided meditation.

God can give us strength when we are tired. Amen.

Prayer Reflection: Day 34

O Corinthians! We have spoken openly to you, our heart is wide open. You are not restricted by us, but you are restricted by your own affections. Now in return for the same (I speak as to children), you also be open. – 2 Corinthians 6:11‭-‬13 NKJV

When our hearts are open, we can receive the blessings that God gives us.

After diligently taking my mom to all her doctors appointments, her health has improved enough to return to Reno so that she can clear out her house and prepare it for rental.

When we take things one day at a time, overwhelming tasks seem more doable. Decluttering is no small chore, but with enough help, it can be done.

When the Lord directs our steps, things go well for us. Amen.

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