My posts have been sporadic these past two weeks as I immerse myself in writing my dissertation proposal: “The Role and Practice of Prayer in Theological Education.”  The first draft was completed on Monday night and now I am working through comments from my two readers.  I’m blessed to be working with both of them and for their encouragement of me as I’ve wrestled through the crucible of doctoral work.

My hope is to get into a daily blogging rhythm with a rotating weekly pattern.  For now, I will continue to share This Moment reflections, photos, snippets of reflections, and quotes.


In the Celtic tradition, Philip Newell speaks of “listening to the heartbeat of God.”  John the Beloved Disciple heard the human blood pumping through Jesus as he rested his head on Jesus’ chest during the Last Supper. Such an image is so intimate, I almost want to shy away from envisioning it.  But, just as John, we are all invited into such deep intimacy with God.

Ash Wednesday marked the beginning of Lent, the preparation time before Easter and an invitation to listen more deeply for God’s heart in and for the world.

Lent used to be a pruning time for me, giving up things I felt were unhealthy or distracting.  Now, I focus on cultivation–how can I feed what good seeds are already sprouting.  Certainly, weeds need to be removed, but sometimes it’s hard to know at first what is a weed and what is a young sprout.

The best fertilizer and water for God-planted seeds is joy–paying attention for it,  passing it along through little, fun gifts.  Weeds don’t tend to grow well on a steady diet of joy.

One of the ways I see and hear God’s heart is when a person’s face lights up with joy and laughs.  It’s musical and warms all who are near.

What are ways you can bring the light and music of joy into situations and relationships in your life during this season?