Category Archives: Daily Bread Devotional

Daily Bread January 27

Come, Holy Spirit
Andy Horner of Centennial, CO, USA


And again I say to you, “Sue for peace, not only the people that have smitten you, but also to all people; and lift up an ensign of peace, and make a proclamation for peace unto the ends of the earth.” -Doctrine and Covenants 102:11a-b

At the beginning of Sunday school, our pastor invited us to spend some time in silence. As I focused on my breathing, I fell into the spiritual practice I’d been trying to follow for several months: breathe in, “On Earth,” breathe out, “As heaven.” Breathe in, breathe out. “On Earth, as heaven; on Earth, as heaven.” It was not going well, though. A different phrase kept intruding: “Come, Holy Spirit.” I struggled to return to the phrases I’d committed to: “On Earth, as heaven.” Why couldn’t I stick with that?

“Okay, have it your way!” I finally gave in. “Come, Holy Spirit. Come, Holy Spirit.” Breathing in and breathing out, “Come, Holy Spirit.” Those words slowly took me to a different place, a place where I recognized that even those sanctified words of scripture, “On Earth, as heaven,” were not serving me well.

Or, perhaps more accurately, I was not serving them well. I had been overlaying my own agenda on top of them-my view of how Earth will be transformed when those words come true. I knew how I wanted God’s Commonwealth on Earth to look, and I was trying to transmit those ideas to God in prayer. What I was not doing was listening for what God was trying to transmit to me.

Now, I’m not opposed to agendas. Everyone has an agenda. Even the person who says he doesn’t have an agenda has the agenda of wanting you to believe he doesn’t have one! The church has an agenda called the Mission Initiatives. There is nothing wrong with having an agenda.

But my time in silence with the Holy Spirit is a time that I need to let go of my agenda and simply receive the Spirit’s gifts.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

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Daily Bread January 26

Notice Where You Are
Abigail Nowiski of Lansing, MI, USA


Finally, all of you, have unity of spirit, sympathy, love for one another, a tender heart, and a humble mind. Do not repay evil for evil or abuse for abuse; but, on the contrary, repay with a blessing. It is for this that you were called-that you might inherit a blessing. For “Those who desire life and desire to see good days, let them keep their tongues from evil and their lips from speaking deceit; let them turn away from evil and do good; let them seek peace and pursue it. -1 Peter 3:8-11

It was probably a risk sending fifteen not-quite and just-barely teenage youth through the labyrinth at the same time, but with a deep breath and a prayer, we did it anyway. One by one, with some distance between them, students in our junior high class at Sanford Family Camp entered the sacred space.

As is often the case when we learn to connect with God in a new way, it was awkward. But afterward, one young lady shared something that resonated loudly within me. She said, “When you are walking in the labyrinth, you can’t worry about where you are going or what is behind you; you just have to focus on where you are.”

What I had first seen as uncomfortable teens looking down at their feet, I now remember as a vision of youth engaging in the practice of noticing where they are.

I thought of the many individuals, congregations, and communities that could benefit from living that practice. What would happen if we stopped worrying about our past mistakes and stopped fretting about the details of the future? We might finally realize the great opportunities in front of us now. Would we stop our usual routine and fill a Sunday morning with the sounds of the gifted singers among us? Would we talk to the neighbors we’ve noticed but never met? Would we offer to journey with a young person wanting somebody to talk to as she explores her own talents? Would we use more words like thanks and appreciate and love?

Let us risk the discomfort of each awkward step toward the unknown future we dream of. Let us become more aware of the great beauty, the significant opportunity, the incredible giftedness, and the magnificent spirit that surrounds us right where we are.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 25

Courage
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin, Spiritual Formations Ministries


How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” -Isaiah 52:7

With all these questions
And expectations
And distractions
I come to the threshold
Of your presence
Weary and enlivened
Standing on the edge of
Vastness
Trembling with a
Joy-Fear-Awe

Do I dare enter in?
Do I dare set aside these
Safe preoccupations
To risk encounter
With the One
Who is the source of all?

Love so deep and pure
I ache even in nearness
Light so radiant
The path ahead is holy obscured
What will it mean
To get this close
To the mystery beyond imagination?

Courage Courage Courage
Is the
Pulsing
Prayer
Within

Give me the courage to seek you
In the invitations I’ve ignored
In the spaces I’ve neglected
In the deep wordlessness
Of prayer I don’t control

Courage Courage Courage
To follow
The yearning
That will change me

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 24

The Kingdom Has Come Near
Rick Maupin of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA


Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.” -Mark 1:14-15

More than once on very long airline flights, after reading and giving up on trying to sleep, I have clicked on the small screen in front of me and scrolled through the movie selections.

I typically never go beyond the action/adventure option. I seldom am interested in a movie that spends a lot of time developing characters or takes viewers through a lot of back stories. I want a movie with action that moves quickly from scene to scene and keeps me drawn to the tale.

If the book of Mark were in the movie selections, I think it would land in the action/adventure genre. The text for today is a good example of a fast-paced adventure story: John is arrested. Jesus declares the kingdom of God has come near. Jesus invites four local fishermen to drop their nets and follow him, and immediately they do so. All of this action in only seven verses! Now that is a “movie” that keeps my attention with immediacy and urgency in nearly every scene.

When the credits of the movie in that seat-back screen begin scrolling, I click them off, because for the previous 120 minutes I have been drawn in, but not personally connected. But what about the “screens” of our world and communities that are filled with scenes of hatred, injustice, and violence? Are we personally connecting, dropping our nets, and following Jesus into those scenes? The call is urgent and immediate for us to participate in the action/adventure of working to establish the peaceable kingdom of which Jesus spoke.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 23

Sharing Christ
Judy Luffman of Redmond, OR, USA


These are the things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace. -Zechariah 8:16

Epiphanies, moments of sudden and striking breakthroughs in experience or understanding, seem to occur when you least expect them. For me, that makes the experience more powerful. I had an epiphany during a Discipleship NOW weekend in the Pacific Northwest Mission Center where I was privileged to serve as a mentor to four attendees. The weekend’s focus was Christian and Community of Christ Theology.

As we immersed ourselves in “thinking the faith” we explored the publication Sharing in Community of Christ. The instructor wrote “Jesus Christ” on the white board and then stated that “Christ” wasn’t Jesus’ last name. We all chuckled for a moment and then the conversation continued regarding what the name or title “Christ” meant. It was explained something like this: Jesus was the name of a person. Christ stood for the work, the mission in which Jesus was engaged.

That’s when it hit me. Our faith community’s name isn’t Community of Jesus. It is Community of Christ! We are not named to be identified with a man but to be about his work. In Doctrine and Covenants 163:1 we have been counseled “‘Community of Christ,’ your name, given as a divine blessing, is your identity and calling.” We are not to be Sunday-only Christians but are to live the mission Jesus initiated in all aspects of our lives. Each time you see the name of our faith tradition in print or sing a hymn about it or speak of it, remember what it really stands for. Try to keep it in the forefront of your life, informing what you do and say each day.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 22

Be Present in the Midst of Transitions
Emily Nilsen, Peace Corps Volunteer, Nicaragua


The Spirit of the One you follow is the spirit of love and peace. That Spirit seeks to abide in the hearts of those who would embrace its call and live its message. The path will not always be easy, the choices will not always be clear, but the cause is sure and the Spirit will bear witness to the truth, and those who live the truth will know the hope and the joy of discipleship in the community of Christ. Amen. -Doctrine and Covenants 161:7

(The following reflection by Emily Nilsen includes insights she and her husband, Andrew, gained as Peace Corps volunteers in Nicaragua.)

We’ve had a lot of transitions. We left our jobs, our homes, our friends, our families. We moved to a foreign place, where I didn’t speak the language (and Andrew was a little rusty). It felt as if we were in a place of constant transition.

So how do you “be present” through all of that? To me, to live more in the present means to focus on where I am in this moment, and spend a little less time worrying about the future or ruminating on the past. It is wonderful to think of countless memories we have with friends and family back in the States, but those same memories can also make us miss home and loved ones. It can be exciting to think about our future career paths, grad school, and family, but it can also bring up anxiety about still not knowing what we want to be when we “grow up.”

This struggle between reminiscing about the “good ol’ days” and being terrified of a yet unknown and undefined future is very common for Peace Corps volunteers. It is also very real for most 20-somethings. We are in the phase of life researchers call “emerging adulthood.”

Andrew and I have narrowed insights about this time in life to a few simple guidelines:

Acknowledge whatever we’re feeling in the moment. Maybe we’re feeling awesome after one of our fantastic Community of Practice experiences, or maybe we’re feeling homesick because we’re away from home. Pretending the feeling isn’t there doesn’t help. We start with acknowledging it, naming it, and just feeling it.

Realize that whatever we’re feeling is just that-a feeling. It will pass, as the moments and circumstances do. Our lives are full of ups and downs. There are good days and hard days. Sick days and awesome I’m-in-love-with-my-life-here days.

Strive to practice gratitude for the things we’re so incredibly blessed to have.

Try to engage with people as much as we can, especially when our down moments hit. We feel most alive and at home when we connect with the people here. This is especially important during times of transition and sadness.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 21

Better Than Light
Vera Entwistle of Tarneit, Victoria, Australia


See what love the Father has given us, that we should be called children of God; and that is what we are. The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him… Little children, let no one deceive you. Everyone who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous. -1 John 3:1, 7

As a child growing up in England, New Year’s Eve was always an exciting time. My parents invited many guests to our home for dinner, followed by a sing-along around the piano. At midnight, the tallest man was sent out by the back door of our home. He walked around to the front door where he waited for the local church bells to chime in the New Year, and then he knocked loudly. My mother and dad would open the door and would shout, “Happy New Year!”

After we had all greeted each other with hugs and kisses, my dad would recite this poem:

I said to the man who stood at the gate of the year:
“Give me a light that I may tread safely into the unknown.”
And he replied:
“Go out into the darkness and put your hand into the Hand of God.
That shall be to you better than light and safer than a known way.”

It was many years later that I learned of the significance of this poem which had been shared by King George in 1939 in a speech to the Empire during the Second World War. I learned that my dad had carried this poem in his wallet throughout his 13 years of army service.

In today’s world where it seems there is always war somewhere, the poem still resonates with me. My New Year’s resolution is to be sure to hold on to the hand of God a little tighter, knowing that God is my security.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 20

Love One Another
Melvin Crowley of Urbandale, IA, USA


Be still before the Lord, and wait patiently for him; …mark the blameless, and behold the upright, for there is posterity for the peaceable. -Psalm 37:7a, 37

When I was in the second grade my family moved from California to Georgia. I knew about the Civil War but didn’t think much about it. It had happened so long ago. Curiously the favorite game children played in my new home was “Yankee vs. Rebel.” The game consisted of the designated Yankee running and the rest of the group chasing him or her. What a joy it must have been to not have to take turns now that they had a real “Yankee” to chase. And I did my part as a terrific “Yankee”!

I never felt they were being malicious or that they held it against me, but since then, I have wondered about the subtle prejudice embedded in that game.

We don’t always think of ourselves as prejudiced, but a word, a look, a snarky comment often dehumanizes groups of people. For whatever reason persons or groups become scapegoats. It’s said that our country is a melting pot for nationalities. Perhaps it is better described as a crucible where so many are tested by fire as they fight for equality, justice, and acceptance.

The point is how subtly prejudices pass on from generation to generation. This prevents healing in our society, our country, our heart. Despite our shortsightedness, we are brothers and sisters in Christ. And, according to Jesus, love of one another is not an option.

Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another (John 13:34).

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 19

I Was Lost, but Now Am Found
Grace Andrews of Independence, MO, USA


God, the Eternal Creator, weeps for the poor, displaced, mistreated, and diseased of the world because of their unnecessary suffering. Such conditions are not God’s will. Open your ears to hear the pleading of mothers and fathers in all nations who desperately seek a future of hope for their children. Do not turn away from them. For in their welfare resides your welfare. -Doctrine and Covenants 163:4a

After getting a new prescription for eyeglasses I drove to a large store with a reputable optical group where I had gone before. Finding a parking place in that sea of cars was challenging, but eventually I was able to find one. I locked my car and walked toward the nearest entrance. It has long been my habit to count the cars between my vehicle and the front of any facility to enable me to easily return to my car. In this instance I counted five cars and two rows from the entrance. Easy!

It took all of ten minutes for my paperwork to be approved. I walked out of the store and to my car. Not so fast! Five cars and two rows later, my car was nowhere in sight. I checked the rows around me, with people going to and fro, to no avail. I stopped in the middle of one lane and held up my key fob. Pressing the button, no familiar sound came back to me.

Suddenly out of nowhere a young teenage boy approached and asked if he could help me. I explained my embarrassing situation, and he asked for a description of the car. Together we walked up and down a few aisles with no luck. Finally, I thanked him for his help, but told him he had better things to do and likely his family was waiting for him. I assured him I would be fine, and he reluctantly left me. One last suggestion he made in parting was that I think carefully about the store entrance and from which direction I entered it.

I began to search again. I have never been good with directions, always saying, “I am directionally challenged.” Feeling quite lost, I stopped and prayed, “Oh, God, help me. I’m all alone out here.” Then I remembered the boy’s words and thought again about the entrance to the store. I was completely mortified to realize I was on the opposite side of the huge parking lot. Heading in a new direction I was overjoyed to see my car just where I had left it. I whispered a prayer of thanks to God for helping me and returned to the safety of my home.

How often have we been lost in one way or another? I do not know the name of the young boy that came, like an angel, offering help and giving wise words of encouragement. I spent countless minutes of near panic before I finally turned to God and asked for direction. Why do I do that? Instead of being wild-eyed and going helter-skelter in the wrong direction, at the first moment of loss, God should have been uppermost in my mind. I will likely lose my way again, but when that happens, I hope I will seek God’s direction first.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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Daily Bread January 18

Testimony of the Worshiper’s Path in the Temple
Gene Allen Groner of Independence, MO, USA


For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands. -Isaiah 55:12

Jesus gave water to the Samaritan woman and said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.” The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water, so that I may never be thirsty or have to keep coming here to draw water (John 4:13-15).

This statement of Jesus is engraved in a large granite stone that sits behind a rectangular shaped pool at the head of the Worshiper’s Path leading up to the sanctuary at the Community of Christ Temple in Independence.

I have walked up this curved pathway many times. I was there just last Friday, in fact. Walking up the path we first saw on the left a large granite wall engraved with the image of Christ and a figure kneeling before Him, seeking forgiveness. A little farther up on the left is a large rough-cut wooden cross, with light emanating from behind it and casting a shadow of the cross in front of and across the path. When you walk past it, you must walk through the “shadow of the cross,” a sobering and worshipful reminder of the tremendous sacrifice of our Lord.

We walked on past an Ikebana flower arrangement, and finally the bronze statues depicting the “dark night of the soul,” or “La Noche Oscura Del Alma,” a reference to the poem and subsequent book, The Ascent of Mount Carmel which was written about St. John of the Cross, a Spanish priest who lived of the 16th century.

The first of the statues is on his knees bent over in deep pain and depression. The second looks upward from the same kneeling position, and the third stands with arms outstretched, reaching up to the heavens. That display makes me cry, remembering my own “dark night of the soul.” I feel deep inside me the anguish, loneliness, and deep depression. Then arising on my knees with hands reaching up to my Savior, I see myself begging his forgiveness and mercy. Finally standing on my feet with outstretched arms, I look upward in complete surrender and praise to my Lord Jesus Christ, full of mercy and grace. To walk past that display and pause to reflect on my own situation not that long ago is a deeply emotional experience. No wonder it makes me cry-cry in humble gratitude for God’s grace and mercy.

Before reaching the sanctuary, the path stops at the large pool of water. A waterfall gently flows into the pool below. To me, this pool was for baptism, following the repentance witnessed on the path behind me. Powerful imagery. The presence of God. Spirits lifted high. Ready to enter the sanctuary in worship and praise. In the name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Redeemer, Amen.

Prayer Phrase

“Light dawns on a weary world.” CCS 240

Spiritual Practice

The Light of God

Epiphany invites us to focus on the light of God. Close your eyes and draw your attention to your breath. As you breathe gently in and out, reflect on the statement, “The light of God is in all things.” The light has a bright, soft beauty and radiates God’s healing love. The light of God reaches you and permeates you with a deep sense of peace. Rest in the light as it surrounds and fills you. Thank God that you live in God’s light and it lives in you.

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace.

Click here to comment or read online.

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