Restore our fortunes, O Lord, like the torrents in the southern desert. Those that sow in tears shall reap rejoicing. Psalm 126:5-6
In today’s Psalm we again see the familiar scriptural reference to sowing and reaping. It’s a metaphor that those of us in the rural upper Midwest can readily identify with. It’s been a challenging year for farmers with late planting, abundant rains, wind and hail storms, and all too soon, Fall is in the air.
The farmers I know are men and women of great faith and hope. They plant seeds with deep hope of a bountiful harvest. Where do the rest of us ‘non-farmers’ discover and/or offer hope in and with our lives? We show up for our work in our respective congregations or places of service, anticipating that we will make a difference in peoples’ lives and spirits by what we offer them in our conversation or interactions. Children become an expression of hope as parents impart to them values, wisdom, and guide them in right paths. Some share their faith and spirituality in encounters with others, with confidence that a thoughtful question or word of encouragement can impact their world view today and perhaps change their lives for eternity. Donations to food pantries, back-pack programs, school supply programs, donating coats for the poor, and other such generous efforts are wellsprings of hope for those who lack the basics of life. By simply being present to others, we remind them that they are valued, what they are experiencing is important, and we bear their burdens with them. The examples are seemingly countless.
I read this quote from Morgan Harper Nichols recently: ‘When you start to feel like things should have been better this year, remember the mountains and valleys that got you here. They are not accidents and those moments weren’t in vain. You are not the same – you have grown and you are growing – you are breathing, you are living. You are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. And things will get better. There is more to you than yesterday.’
Today, pause and reflect on ways you can rise above your yesterdays and can help others around you know that they are wrapped in endless, boundless grace. Be hopeful. Give others reason to hope. Help turn their sorrow into joy. Most importantly, let’s remind one another to hold fast to Christ, our ultimate and unfailing hope.
Prayer: God of hope, I stand in your presence, grateful that you breathe hope into my spirit so that my life becomes an expression of hope to others. Today, show me one way that I can help banish hope and spread joy. Show me again tomorrow and every day. In gratitude for your boundless grace I pray. Amen
Written by Carol Deschepper, ELPNA National Chair
God Pause Daily Devotion
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Resources for Spiritual Development
Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)
Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality. This document briefly describes what spiritual direction is, identifies common misconceptions about spiritual direction, and gives you ideas on how to find a spiritual director. Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse. As you support others wholistically, tending to your own soul is important. Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself on solid footing spiritually. You might have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Please Click here for a more indepth discussion of Spiritual Direction by Carol DeSchepper,
including a web site to locate a Spiritual Director in your area.
Melissa's Prayer Journal: The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
A resource for faith encouragement and development, especially for people with health issues. In her letters to God, Melissa perfectly illustrates the power of positive coping in any circumstance! Give this book to anyone struggling with faith, health, or life issues, and let them learn Melissa’s secret for thriving in spite of difficulties!
Web sites for Spiritual Renewal and Growth
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife"". Joyce has a B.A. in English, a M.R. E. in Religious Education, and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology. She is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) Community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years. She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa. To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to firstname.lastname@example.org.