Does Lent seem like an endless time of introspection and self-sacrifice? If your personality leans more toward active spirituality, this 6-week study for Lent offers a breath of fresh air.
Now available in paperback – the latest book in the “Guide to Prayer” series! Features daily prayer, scripture selections, plus readings from Francis of Assisi, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Henri Nouwen, Sue Monk Kidd, Parker J. Palmer, Jan L. Richardson, Trevor Hudson, and many more.
“Provocative and prophetic, Michael Waters provides a fresh perspective on many issues that impact our communities, families, and the future of our country.
Through his political critique, you hear the voice of a street prophet.
Through his analysis of hip-hop, you hear the voice of a cultural connoisseur.
Through his reflections as a father, you hear the voice of a loving parent.
FREESTYLE is inspiring, convicting, educating – and in the end, uplifting.”"
–Romal Tune, author of God’s Graffiti: Inspiring Stories for Teens
“The risen Christ meets us in our tears.” With these gentle words, Hudson invites you to enter the story of Mary Magdalene’s encounter with Jesus in the garden. Follow this beloved pastor’s guidance to open your heart to the living Christ and find hope to move beyond your tears.
An excellent study for Lent, grief support groups, Sunday school classes, and individuals.
Ever been curious about spiritual direction or wished you had your own personal spiritual coach?
W. Paul Jones helps you explore self-guided spiritual direction with the ultimate spiritual director – the Holy Spirit. His 60 meditations will help you discover the ways God is leading you.
“A Bead and a Prayer engages our God-given senses of touch and sight to coax prayer from the head deep into the heart. This is a must-read for anyone on an intentional journey to God.”
– Linda Douty, Spiritual director, retreat leader, author
The Upper Room Disciplines is a best-selling book of daily devotions published annually by Upper Room Books. Each week’s readings are reflections on scripture passages from the lectionary for that period. On Mondays the first reading for the week will be posted. We’d love to hear what you think about the week’s readings and prayers. Just sign in and add your comment in the Comments section following this post.
Read Genesis 12:1-4a.
College educators know about the image problem that confronts the new, young professor. The young whiz kid who earns a PhD by age 24 doesn’t look old enough to be responsible for educating the next generation. In today’s passage we meet 75-year-old Abram. His body is advanced in years, but is his faith so mature that “all the families of the earth shall be blessed” through him?
You would think the life of someone who has “father of our faith” tacked to his name would be full of grand examples of unswerving faith in God. The opening verses of Genesis 12 appear to reveal such a person. Abram, an elderly man, willingly leaves the familiarity of home and family to follow God. Volunteering to become a stranger in a foreign land requires faith. Abram’s spontaneous trust seems like a perfunctory first step taken by a godly patriarch whose faith will stand firm in the face of adversity. But Abram has not achieved patriarchal status just yet.
In Egypt, fear overtakes Abram and he twice misrepresents his relationship with his wife by stating, “She is my sister” (Gen. 20:2b). Would you or I deem a liar worthy of becoming the father of many nations? Perhaps God had faith in Abram’s untapped potential.
Now we’re getting a clearer picture of the way faith develops in people. God often has to smooth our rough places through challenging life situations. God’s grace and mercy afford us opportunities to develop abiding faith. That Abram, fledgling faith and all, musters up enough courage to leave his country and kindred indicates his willingness to begin his walk with God. What step might God be asking of you today?
God of Abraham, keep speaking until you awaken faith within me. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
Kwasi Kena is assistant professor of Christian Ministry, Wesley Seminary, Indiana Wesleyan University, Marion, Indiana.