June 11, 2020

Daily Devotions

Meditation, Prayers, and Assorted Stuff for June 11, 2020

Henri Nouwen, Bread for the Journey, “Empowered to Call God “Abba””

Calling God “Abba, Father” is different from giving God a familiar name. Calling God “Abba” is entering into the same intimate, fearless, trusting, and empowering relation­ship with God that Jesus had. This relationship is called Spirit, and this Spirit is given to us by Jesus and enables us to cry out with him, “Abba, Father.”

Calling God “Abba, Father” (see Romans 8: 15; Galatians 4:6) is a cry of the heart, a prayer welling up from our innermost beings. It has nothing to do with naming God but everything to do with claiming God as the source of who we are. This claim does not come from any sudden insight sight or acquired conviction; it is the claim that the Spirit of Jesus makes in communion with our spirits. It is the claim of love.

Who are we? We are God’s beloved sons and daughters!

Today’s prayer comes from Ten Loder’s “Guerrillas of Grace,” and is titled, “Help Me to Believe in Beginnings:”

God of history and of my heart, so much has happened to me during these whirlwind days: I’ve known death and birth; I’ve been brave and scared; I’ve hurt, I’ve helped; I’ve been honest, I’ve lied; I’ve destroyed, I’ve created; I’ve been with people, I’ve been lonely; I’ve been loyal, I’ve betrayed; I’ve decided, I’ve waffled; I’ve laughed and I’ve cried.

You know my frail heart and my frayed history—and now another day begins. O God, help me to believe in beginnings and in my beginning again, no matter how often I’ve failed before.

Help me to make beginnings: to begin going out of my weary mind into fresh dreams, daring to make my own bold tracks in the land of now; to begin forgiving that I may experience mercy; to begin questioning the unquestionable that I may know truth; to begin disciplining that I may create beauty; to begin sacrificing that I may accomplish justice; to begin risking that I may make peace; to begin loving that I may realize joy.

Help me to be a beginning for others, to be a singer to the songless, a storyteller to the aimless, a befriender of the friendless;

to become a beginning of hope for the despairing, of assurance for the doubting, of reconciliation for the divided; to become a beginning of freedom for the oppressed, of comfort for the sorrowing, of friendship for the forgotten; to become a beginning of beauty for the forlorn, of sweetness for the soured, of gentleness for the angry, of wholeness for the broken, of peace for the frightened and violent of the earth.

Help me to believe in beginnings, to make a beginning, to be a beginning, so that I may not just grow old, but grow new each day of this wild, amazing life you call me to live with the passion of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Dad Jokes:

How many apples grow on a tree? (All of them)

I needed a password eight characters long, so I picked Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs.

Don’t trust atoms. They make up everything!

Today’s links! 

https://www.inspiremore.com/byung-kang-adopts-blue/Read how a Marine adopted the bomb­sniffing dog who saved his life in Afghanistan.

https://www.inspiremore.com/10-secretary-birds-eyelashes/Who has the prettiest eyelashes in the world? The answer may surprise you.

https://www.inspiremore.com/kyra-sutton-cabbage-plants/ Okay, gardeners—learn a thing or two from this third grader who raised a 31 pound cabbage.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2020/jun/09/asmine-carey-hipa-hamdan-international-photography-awardBrisbane underwater photographer Jasmine Carey won the grand prize of $172,140 in the Hamdan International Photography award with her image of a humpback whale and its two­week old calf off the coast of Tonga. Read (and see) all about it here.

https://www.smh.com.au/environment/sustainability/drone-footage-shows-twice-the-number-of-green-turtles-at-rookery-than-previously-thought-20200610-p5516p.htmlNow here’s something you don’t see every day: 64,000 green turtles coming ashore in Far North Queensland to lay their eggs.

https://theconversation.com/the-stay-at-home-slowdown-how-the-pandemic-upended-our-perception-of-time-139258This article is a little longer than most I link to, but it makes for interesting read. It’s not your imagination—the COVID quarantine has messed with your perception of time.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lPE66C7Ty-4On a musical note, let’s close with a new version of TobyMac’s song, “I just need U.”


Sunday worship at 9 AM, with “Doughnut room” time starting at 8:30 AM. https://us02web.zoom.us/j/815064120, Meeting ID: 815 064 120 Dial in to participate at +1 312 626 6799.


Stay safe and stay well!