Posted by: Bob Clark | September 19, 2019

Even after they heard

“But even after they heard the news, they didn’t believe that Jesus was alive and that Mary had seen him.” –Mark 16:11 CEB

I am trying to imagine how frustrating this must have been for Mary.

She has seen Jesus.

Seen Jesus.

And when she announces the news, they don’t believe it, they don’t believe her.

Can you imagine how she felt?

Posted by: Bob Clark | September 10, 2019

Three words

A few days ago I participated in a reflective prayer exercise. One part of the exercise involved reflecting on Colossians 1:9-12.

Many phrases and words in this passage caught my eye and fueled prayer.

But there were three words in particular that just stopped me momentarily before they redirected my prayer in another direction.

Those three words: “giving joyful thanks.”

Posted by: Bob Clark | August 30, 2019

Wrestling with Psalms

Reading a psalm is a part of my morning prayer liturgy. Some days the reading is refreshing. Other days it is soothing. And then there are those rare days when the reading is upsetting, troubling, or even downright disturbing.

Yesterday was one of those days. I wrestled with the reading all day long. I was upset, troubled, and disturbed. The last thing I did last night before falling asleep was to share with God my thoughts about the reading.

Though I have read that particular psalm repeatedly, I do not recall ever being so disturbed by it. Perhaps my being surrounded by so much death and disease recently was the reason for my reaction.

Bottom line, I am thankful to have had this day-long conversation with God even though I can’t say it was a pleasant experience. And I’m thankful for a God who is so patient with me as to listen to my heart and my words.

Posted by: Bob Clark | July 19, 2019

God in action

One of the great joys of the ministry life is having a front row seat to watch God in action, changing the hearts and lives of people.

I recently enjoyed a second pastoral conversation with a woman, a couple of months after the first. Clearly God had been at work, bringing peace and clarity to her heart and life.

Thanks be to God.

Posted by: Bob Clark | June 18, 2019

A prayer of confession

By including the following prayer of confession (from The Book of Common Prayer) in my morning prayer liturgy, I am reminded of my sins and God’s grace and forgiveness.

Remembering my sins and God’s grace affects how I treat people throughout the day. How can I judge others when I sin, too? When I have had God’s grace generously poured out on me, how can I not share that grace with others?

I cannot imagine beginning the day without praying this prayer.
Most merciful God, we confess that we have sinned against you in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done, and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved you with our whole heart; we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We are truly sorry and we humbly repent, for the sake of your Son Jesus Christ, have mercy on us and forgive us; that we may delight in your will, and walk in your ways, to the glory of your Name.

Amen.

Posted by: Bob Clark | June 6, 2019

Sitting with God

Nothing gets the day started like sitting with God.

Just sitting.

Some days as my sitting comes to a close I feel eager to begin the activities of the day.

Other days I don’t want my sit to end, I just wish I could continue this special communion a little longer.

Today I want to keep sitting with God, but my heart is full and I know I’m ready for the day, come what may.

As my sit ends, I am already looking forward to this special time tomorrow.

Sitting with God.

Just sitting.

Posted by: Bob Clark | June 5, 2019

Some days

Some days it’s, “Be still and know that I am God.”

Other days it’s, “Know that I am God and be still.”

Every day the key components are being still and knowing God.

Posted by: Bob Clark | May 30, 2019

Ascension Day

Imagine standing there, watching Jesus ascend. It’s easy if you try.

So Jesus ascended, and now…

He is seated.

He watches over.

He intercedes.

He reigns.

Praise be to God!

Posted by: Bob Clark | May 24, 2019

Breathe

Inhale.

Exhale.

Repeat.

Without thinking.

Without effort.

Just breathe.

As two friends are struggling to breathe, I am reminded how easy it is to take functional lungs for granted.

Inhale.

Exhale.

Repeat.

Without thinking.

Without effort.

Just breathe.

Lord, have mercy.

Posted by: Bob Clark | May 23, 2019

Fully Present

I try. I really do. I try to be fully present in conversations.

I try to lock on to the person talking. I try to listen to each word. I try to respect my conversation partner. I try to deeply listen.

I try, and often I do.

But there was this conversation I was in a couple of weeks ago when, try as I might, I was not fully present. And all of a sudden I had this startling realization that I was in the middle of a conversation and I was not focused.

Have you ever had that feeling?

I was disappointed in myself. I felt as though I had disrespected my conversation partner.

It has been a couple of weeks and I still remember. I don’t want to forget the feeling.

I am going to keep trying. I’m not going to give up on myself.

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