I was reading a fellow pastor's journey in his blog, and was reminded of the latest additions to my spiritual practices.
For a few months back in October and November I was fasting once a week, as John Wesley admonished his pastors to practice. And during that time I was especially mindful of the divisions and the nastiness in the church, and I was praying for healing to come about. God managed to bring about some healing in the areas I had targeted at that time, though there have been some exceptional items of late causing division.
In an effort to restore some of my spiritual disciplines I went this past weekend to hear J Phillip Newell speak (at the Presbyterian Church, but don't tell anyone) here in San Bernardino. He was reminding us of the power of John and Johanine communities in the the Celtic Traditions. John made regular reference to the whole of creation and that our communities need to be righteous with each other and with all of creation. I tune into this type of understanding well, and have a special affinity for creation order.
As such I took the time to purchase a couple of books he had on sale at the presentation. I have been making a habit of sitting down at the breakfast table with my breakfast and my coffee and reading the prayers and benedictions before I eat and drink. I have a candle in the center of the table (leftover from a few weeks ago when I was trying to "fumigate" with candle odor) and have taken to lighting it when I start and blowing it out when I finish. (don't get too impressed it was a suggestion in the text of prayers)
I found myself running about this morning for visitations and taking care of church business, when I realized I had not had the morning prayer time I had been making use of in the past week. When I finished the morning activities I came home and took the books and carved a few minutes for me and prayer. What a blessing this addition has been.
I may have to pick up another - like the fasting for Lent, or another for Lent and the fasting just because I saw it work.
God is ever so faithful. Amen.