Hadn’t heard this song in a long time. Seemed like a good prayer for today.

Walter Bright

With every breath I breathe
I sing a simple melody
But I pray they’ll hear more than a song


Take away the melodies
Take away the songs I sing
Take away all the lights
And all the songs You let me write
Does the man I am today
Say the words You need to say?
Let them see You in me
Let them hear You when I speak
Let them feel You when I sing
Let them see You

This is my prayer this week – that I will decrease and Christ will increase in me. That His light may shine through me. So that it is no longer I, but Christ living in me.

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Here are some excellent books to read, at Lent or any time of year:

Two Heads are Better Than One

godsbooklover-gravatar991 This Lenten season, I’m taking a moment in this mid-week slot to recommend resources for spiritual growth. Previous suggestions have included a news periodical with a Christian worldview, and a collection of prayers written hundreds of years ago.

Today I turn to my favorite medium, books–real, hold-in-your-hand books. I have three from my personal library in front of me; each offers a somewhat different approach to spiritual formation.


Me I Want to Be coverThe most recent addition is by an author I have enjoyed in the past, John Ortberg. His 2010 book, The Me I Want To Be, is written with his signature blend of pithy anecdote, biblical insight and practical teaching points, complete with helpful call-out frames (or whole pages) which provide overview or outline of his main points. Its design is eye-catching and its format makes it very readable. Here’s an excerpt from one sidebar titled “What is Spiritual…

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valley photoI discovered a marvelous prayer resource recently, thanks to an online devotional over at another WordPress site, 843 Acres, part of the The Park Forum, an urban ministry in New York City.  It is a volume of prayers written a couple of hundred years ago. I’ve found it under the title The Valley of Vision.
However, since it’s not in my local library, and costs a bit more online than I wanted to pay, I started looking for other volumes of Puritan Prayer and found an e-version online for about a dollar. It appears to have all the same prayers in it.

When I say they are profound, thoroughly biblical and deeply moving, I feel I am still not doing them justice. So I’m going to reproduce one here–partly for the sheer privilege of typing it out. I was particularly taken with this one because it ties in with my Lenten blog today over at Two Heads are Better Than One. But since I tend only to reblog in this space lately, I thought it might be nice to put something different here for a change. Here is the prayer entitled “Morning Dedication”. I have added paragraphs and updated the spelling.

“Almighty God, as I cross the threshold of this day I commit myself, soul, body, affairs, friends, to Thy care. Watch over, keep, guide, direct, sanctify, bless me. Incline my heart to Thy ways. Mold me wholly into the image of Jesus, as a potter forms clay. May my lips be a well-tuned harp to sound Thy praise. Let those around see me living by Thy Spirit, trampling the world underfoot, unconformed to lying vanities, transformed by a renewed mind, clad in the entire armor of God, shining as a never-dimmed light, showing holiness in all my doings.

Let no evil this day soil my thoughts, words, hands. May I travel miry paths with a life pure from spot or stain. In needful transactions let my affection be in heaven, and my love soar upwards in flames of fire, my gaze fixed on unseen things, my eyes open to the emptiness, fragility, mockery of earth and its vanities. May I view all things in the mirror of eternity, waiting for the coming of my Lord, listening for the last trumpet call, hastening unto the new heaven and earth.

Order this day all my communications according to Thy wisdom, and to the gain of mutual good. Forbid that I should not be profited or made profitable. May I speak each word as if my last word, and walk each step as my final one. If my life should end today, let this be my best day.” 

The Thread of Faith

Two Heads are Better Than One

Princess illus1 “May I feel the thread?” asked Curdie.

“Here it is,” said Irene, guiding his fingers to where she was holding the thin, shimmering strand.

“I feel nothing!” he exclaimed.

Irene looked at him, sad and solemn. “And so you still do not believe me. But I do feel it. And aren’t you glad? I found you in that cave, and brought you out, and I couldn’t have done it without the thread.”


Scene from all for One's production, 2/6/14. Scene from all for One’s production (2/6/14)

Sometime later, Irene led Curdie to see her great-great grandmother. But Curdie could neither see nor hear her. Sure that Irene was mocking, he stormed off home. “I’m obliged to you for getting me out of that hole, Princess. But I wish you hadn’t made a fool of me afterwards!”

“What does it all mean, Grandmother?” sobbed Irene.

“It means, my love, that Curdie is not yet able to…

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It’s still cold, and getting colder…glad we have plenty of stories on hand!

Two Heads are Better Than One

It’s been a long month. Bitter cold and snow on snow have cancelled classes and events, leaving us huddled in our houses for days on end. And what better way to pass the time than with story?

Our granddaughter has just fallen in love with one of my favorite fairy tales, Beauty and the Beast, and has been let’s-pretending it all day long, for days now. I am startled to find she knows snatches of dialogue by heart, and is singing along on key…just past her third birthday, she seems to have made a quantum leap forward.

Beauty and BeastI’m pleased that she has taken to a story which involves a loving father, a beautiful act of sacrificial love, and a relationship which isn’t based on good looks. Add to that a heroine who loves to read–it’s perfect! I know Lucy is probably not reacting to all these positive character qualities…

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Seems to be as much as I can manage to write ONE blog post per week, so I’m posting it here, too. Some day maybe I’ll have enough time and energy to write separate material for Winnowing..

Two Heads are Better Than One

“Other seed fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain.”
 Mark 4:7 ESV


The parable was referenced in a book on fasting. A book I’ve read multiple times. And of course it’s a parable I’ve read dozens of times. But a little voice in my head whispered, “I think I’m living in the thorns.”

I ignored it.

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Less than 100 words, and worthy of much prayerful meditation! Thanks, Sam Ward!