Teresa's suggestions on your commitment on prayer:
1: Pray daily (listening at least as much as speaking),
- be aware of what is going on around you and around the world
- how might God be calling us to use the collective resources we have been given to live the faith we profess?
2: Keep an open heart and mind
- don't be afraid to dream and to vision
- expect God to speak
3: Share those things that God places on your heart and mind,
- think about why God handed you this piece?
- what gifts do you have?
- what fruit is God asking us to bear?
- how might you be a part of facilitating it?
4: Welcome / invite / include strangers / friends
- try to put your fears and preconceived notions aside to meet the person(s) whom you encounter
- do not be afraid to talk about your faith, to share it so that folks know what you are inviting them to
5: Allow the Holy Spirit to move in and through you, even move you to new places.
Oh Lord, how manifold are your works! In your wisdom you have made them all....
- Psalm 104:24a
Vacations are a blessing and I am grateful for the opportunity for some time away, some extended Sabbath for rest and renewal. As we traveled from Topeka west, then south and across the Colorado line we made our way to the Sand Hill Massacre National Historic Site where we learned more about a very tragic series of events in our nation’s history; a series of events built on lies, prejudice, power and greed. Difficult to hear about, but history that we can ill afford to ignore or forget. This place held a sacred beauty that belies its history.
From there we found our way to Pueblo, Salida, Buena Vista and finally to Cottonwood Springs to enjoy the benefits of natural hot springs that have been flowing out of the mountains since long before any humans were there to record it. We were entertained one evening by a young man from Ohio who picked his guitar beautifully and later by a women playing Native American drums.
The next day we drove over Independence Pass to check out the beauty of the John Denver Sanctuary in Aspen and then on to Leadville for the evening. Our next day took us first on the coffee shop for the local brew and then toward Casper, the cabin and family where we spent the bulk of our time. One buy one our little tent city grew. There was a family reunion and building project, playing games, watching clouds, stars, deer, antelope, birds, fox, pines trees whispering in the wind... Stories and memories were shared. Then, one by one the tent city diminished until it was time to head home. Even the drive home was full of beauty, even in Nebraska.
I spent a good deal, really all, of our time away marveling in one way or another at the wonders of God's good creation. Prairies and mountainsides, glacial lakes, wild animals and wild flowers of every shape and color, along with trees that were hundreds of years old and saplings just beginning their time on earth. There were stunning sunsets and breathtaking vistas. Oh, and waterways with names like Crooked Creek, Bottle Creek, Long Branch, Honey Creek, Big Weedy, Dead Horse Creek and more. Each of these obviously descriptive of an event or feature of days gone by.
Each place we went had a story, a history, and a beauty. Each told of the glory of God and the story of the people who have traversed it. Each reminded me of the ways in which we are so intricately connected, God, the land and us, us to one another, across miles and millennia. Each place and person and living thing holds a piece of our story and vital information for our life together here on this planet called earth, a part of the manifold works of God. Thanks be to God for such bounteous blessings!
Grace and peace,