Category Archives: Daily Bread Devotional

Daily Bread May 19

All-encompassing Love
David Nii, Council of Twelve Apostles


When he had gone out, Jesus said, “Now the Son of Man has been glorified, and God has been glorified in him. If God has been glorified in him, God will also glorify him in himself and will glorify him at once.  Little children, I am with you only a little longer. You will look for me; and as I said to the Jews so now I say to you, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come.’ I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.” -John 13:31-35

I wrestle with the comparison of a faith community being “just like family.” The analogy of parental and sibling love can be a way to envision unconditional grace. But I often see the reality of family life being something different from what I long to experience in healthy faith communities. Admirable faith communities are groups not exclusive to outsiders, locked in stereotypes, nor held together through obligation.

Our call to Christ’s peaceable reign is an invitation to have compassion toward others, regardless of looks, language, background, talents, wealth, thoughts, and actions. Striving to be as inclusive as our human capacity allows is how we attempt to love as Jesus loved. Receiving one another in healthy, inclusive relationships allows us to examine others’ ideas, as well as our own ideas, without feeling threatened or persecuted. Not being locked into stereotypes frees us to explore new ways to live with joy and passion. Being comfortable but also expecting something new to be part of our common experience are reminders of the Spirit’s unending call and encouragement.

The ideals for a faith community are best experienced when I understand them to be the same ideals for the larger community and the world. A healthy community is a space where our honest, yet respectful, relationships are valued above determining who is right and who is wrong. A healthy community has a culture in which the welfare of individuals is inseparable from the welfare of everyone. The community’s call to love as Christ loves is a challenge to be vulnerable and interdependent with one another as we grow in mind, heart, and spirit. I think the comparison is backward-strong families should be described as “just like a healthy faith community.”

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 May 15

Time to Pray
Kerstin Jeske of Oslo, Norway


Praise the Lord, all you nations!
    Extol him, all you peoples!
For great is his steadfast love toward us,
    and the faithfulness of the Lord endures forever.
Praise the Lord! -Psalm 117

I have been searching for a good spiritual discipline that I could do on a regular basis, one that fits the schedule of “a normal, busy, full-time-working mom, friend, and pastor.” I tried a walking prayer on my way to work. I walked along humming the song “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee,” meditating on the words. It was a good spiritual experience! But after several months I was looking for something with a bit more “substance.” A friend suggested an app called Pray As You Go, and I thought of checking that out.

The next morning on my way to work, public transport was chaotic. The underground didn’t come on time, and no one knew when the next train would come since there had been an accident. People were frantic, rushing to different means of transportation, making calls, excusing themselves for being late. I thought, “Well, there is nothing I can do except wait. I might as well use this time to pray.” I plugged in my earplugs and opened the Pray As You Go app. I heard bells ringing and a beautiful Taize choir sung in German (my mother tongue) “Gott ist Liebe” (God is love).

I was drawn in at once! I felt completely calm and filled with the spirit in the midst of all the tumult around. It was great! I lost track of time completely. I enjoyed listening to the beautiful music, the scripture reading, and the reflection questions. It was a true blessing. I don’t think we had to wait long for the next train. (I am sure it would have felt like forever if I would not have had a plug in my ear.) In the end, I started my day at work much delayed but calm, centered, and blessed with the presence of God’s spirit. I have now found a new spiritual discipline that works for me and I “pray as I go” quite frequently.

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 May 11

Generosity in a Pizza Box
Glenn Johnson of Lewiston, NY, USA


“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. -Matthew 6:19-21

I emerged from the Auditorium after a day of training filled with both spiritual and real food. I was excited about the call to incarnational ministries, to be the hands and feet of Jesus. I prayed that God would put people in my path to whom I could bring ministry. As I stepped to the corner, I heard a young man approach me and say, “Hey, mister.” I instantly knew where the conversation was headed. I learned about his troubles: no job, no transportation, no family support, and then he said, “I’m real hungry.”

“Well, let’s go get something to eat,” I said, anticipating his request. I invited him to Square Pizza and ordered a large pizza so he could take leftovers. I asked him if he had ever been to our Open Arms Congregation nearby.

“Yes,” he replied. “It was nice; they were nice people.” I explained that I was only in town for the weekend and encouraged him to visit Open Arms again. I told him they had a good outreach ministry to people who were in need. Our pizza arrived. He asked to offer the prayer. It was not a perfunctory prayer. It was a long prayer; and he was not praying for his needs but for me, for my ministry, for my journey. I was stunned. I can’t say that I changed his life or helped him turn from those conditions that brought his life to the edge, but I’m pretty sure I made his day better and he made mine even better, too.

God of generous peace, fill us with the desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus. Bring into our path people who seek the Peace of Jesus Christ that together we might be a blessing to each other. Amen.

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 May 07

Wholeness of Body, Mind, and Spirit
David Redding, DO, of Upland, CA, USA


There are many who say, “O that we might see some good!
    Let the light of your face shine on us, O Lord!”
You have put gladness in my heart
    more than when their grain and wine abound.
I will both lie down and sleep in peace;
    for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. -Psalm 4:6-8

As a physician and an elder, I’m often concerned about a lack of careful attention, by my patients and my church brothers and sisters, to their health. I’m aware that God wants wholeness of body, mind, spirit, and relationships for all. I want that for them, too…yet, I know that what many are eating and drinking, how they’re exercising and resting their bodies and minds, and how they’re caring for their spirituality are often not good for their health and well-being.

As a church, we have long talked about the types of food we should eat (for example, Doctrine and Covenants 86). We have learned more about what foods are best for health. However, when we compare a healthy diet to that of most people, there is often tremendous difference. Diabetes, hypertension, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and cancer are common diseases among Americans-often related to food and exercise issues.

Research indicates that what and how much we eat and exercise impact our physical wellness and may also influence mental functioning and memory. In those who are overweight, memory decline is faster than in those at or near their normal weight. Note: the two primary factors related to losing weight are how much and what types of food one eats. “Good” foods include fresh fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts, legumes, fish, and fowl.

The second secret to health is exercise. In one large study, participants were in a six-month exercise program: walking for a 10-minute warm-up, then walking or cycling for 35 minutes, three times a week. Results showed significant improvements in cognitive functioning, including in those with mental impairment! Many took fewer medications, had more energy, weighed less, and had less risk of heart attacks or stroke.

When we pause to remember that our body is the temple of God, perhaps we can realize that our actions need to be holy/healthy also. My prayer is for each of us to seek greater wholeness and well-being.

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

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

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Daily Bread May 05

Put Love into Action
Larry McGuire, president of seventy


Jesus said to them, “Come and have breakfast.” Now none of the disciples dared to ask him, “Who are you?” because they knew it was the Lord. Jesus came and took the bread and gave it to them, and did the same with the fish. This was now the third time that Jesus appeared to the disciples after he was raised from the dead. -John 21:12-14

I have childhood memories of long snowmobile rides on New Year’s Day. Our family would bundle up, pack a noon meal, check the snowmobiles, and off we’d go. As a kid, I had no idea where we were going. Usually I was riding on the back of the snowmobile, taking in the beautiful scenes through the woods of Northeast Michigan.

At some point, my dad or my uncle would spot a place where we could pull off, build a fire, and enjoy some lunch. We’d clear the snow away, gather dry wood, and build a fire. Then we’d enjoy the fire’s warmth in the midst of the open trail on a cold, windy, winter day. The next task was to find sticks on which to roast hot dogs over the fire and enjoy a chocolate bar and a marshmallow, squeezed between graham crackers for a gooey treat!

I am reminded of that childhood memory when I reflect on John 21:1-19. The disciples are enjoying another day on the water, probably doing what they did every day. On the shore, Jesus builds a fire and begins to cook breakfast. The disciples in the boat don’t recognize Jesus, but they do as he asked. They cast their nets to the right side of the boat, and the catch is amazing! In this experience, they recognize Jesus and return to the shore for breakfast.

As a family, we gathered around a fire to enjoy a meal and celebrate what we had experienced on the trails: wildlife, beauty of creation, time to be together as family. In our scripture, we find the familiar waters, a great catch, a breakfast of fish and bread, and the recognition that Jesus is there. They, too, celebrated as a family, brought together around the fire of Christ’s love.

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 May 04

What a Grand and Glorious Experience (part 2 of 2)
John Bonney of Springfield, OR, USA


We know love by this, that he laid down his life for us-and we ought to lay down our lives for one another. How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? -1 John 3:16-17

What a grand and glorious experience when there is contiguously so very much of the negative running rampant on our earth.

What? When we rape and destroy all that is around us in our haste to consume what this earth has to offer? If I can be inspired by trees and snow and sunshine, can I also be inspired by the face of the child, the elder, and all of those in between? Can I look at a crowd of humans and see the creative hand expressed again and again? Expressed in such a rich and overwhelming array of creativeness? Can I see the “…tired, the poor, the huddled masses yearning to breathe free” (Emma Lazarus)?

What riches have been made ready and available for us! What glory there is in sunshine, or rain, in fog-shrouded snow, in mountain majestic, sea mighty, in desert forbidding but alive and powerful, in a drop of water, in the small cry of the newborn, or the final breath of a one moving onward into eternity! There, there, and there; that one now expressed as a glimmering spot of light and energy-part of the Overall.

What blessing is ours, even in those moments, places, and times that seem so devoid of any blessing? Maybe we aren’t looking closely enough. Mostly I bow my head to the center of being. I look out from my limited human eyes and read the words, or view the view, and I see majesty, might, impossibly complex creative presence. And there I go. Around the corner and into the celestial day. But for now, it is the All that calls me, and for now I raise my unheard voice to say, “Oh, thank you!”

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 May 01

Fully Alive
Katie Harmon-McLaughlin of Independence, MO, USA


Open your hearts and feel the yearnings of your brothers and sisters who are lonely, despised, fearful, neglected, unloved. Reach out in understanding, clasp their hands, and invite all to share in the blessings of community created in the name of the One who suffered on behalf of all. -Doctrine and Covenants Section 161:3a

“Have you ever tried meditation?” That was the question my doctor asked when I shared about the panic attacks that were impacting me on a regular basis. As a spiritual formation minister, the question made me feel like a failure. Not only do I try meditation, I teach it! I resisted getting help for my anxiety for too long because I felt like I could manage it if I worked harder in my spiritual life. This was a fallacy. The more I ignored it or tried to “fix it” myself, the worse it became.

After a particularly difficult time, I reached out to a therapist, and we began meeting twice a month. The experience reminded me of the perpetual cycle of death and resurrection that occurs throughout our lives. I had to “die to” my image of myself as someone who had it all together and could figure it out on my own so I could experience new life through walking with a mental health professional into wholeness and healing. I still live with anxiety, but its power in my life has diminished. Self-care practices (including prayer and meditation) and a commitment to mental health have helped me live into the resurrection promise of a life of freedom and joy in God (even in the midst of what is hard).

We experience death and resurrection throughout our lives. There are many important ways to acknowledge what is life-diminishing and to embrace habits, practices, and systems of support that are life-giving. It was a practice of humility and surrender to reach out for help, but it also widened my awareness of the suffering of others. Embracing practices of wholeness in my own life has made me more available, once again, to be authentically present with my family and community.

I am drawn to the popular quote by St. Irenaeus that “the glory of God is the human person fully alive.” In this Easter season, what does “fully alive” look like for you? How are you invited into resurrection freedom, healing, and joy?

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold St. Irenaeus’ quote in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 April 28

Believe the Good News
Rick Maupin of Lee’s Summit, MO, USA


When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.” When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” -John 20:19-23

…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear… In the United States billions of dollars are spent each year on securing or “locking” our homes. Wow! We are serious about keeping our doors locked, and we take extraordinary measures to lock or secure our electronic data also. Some reading this today have locked and set an alarm on their vehicles in the church parking lot. So what is the reason for all of this “locking”?

…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear…” The early disciples were fearful, and they were trying to decrease their vulnerability. All of our “locking” is for the same reason-we want to be less vulnerable. So we work hard to protect our homes, cars, data, and business dealings. But has the desire to be less vulnerable protecting our belongings also crept into our relationships with others and with God?

…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear…” People in the world today have been driven from their homelands, living as refugees. Others are experiencing oppression, living on the margins as the poor and forgotten. Every day over 25,000 children around the world die from causes linked to poverty. Do our efforts to be safer, less vulnerable, impact how we see the unwanted, the immigrant, the poor and oppressed? Have we locked them out because of our fear?

…[T]he doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear…” The resurrection of Christ is not a call to hide safely behind locked doors. The call of the Resurrection is a call to be open and vulnerable to God and others. Embracing the Resurrection will move us out of our “locked rooms.”

Prayer Phrase

“The glory of God is the human person fully alive” (St. Irenaeus).

Spiritual Practice

Fully Alive

Enter a time of prayer and hold the quote above by St. Irenaeus in your heart. How do your mind, body, heart, and soul work together for your aliveness in God each day? What does it mean in your life and ministry that God desires for each of us to be fully alive?

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 April 27

The Simple Meal
Rick Sarre, member of the Community of Christ Earth Stewardship Team


I know what it is to have little, and I know what it is to have plenty. In any and all circumstances I have learned the secret of being well-fed and of going hungry, of having plenty and of being in need. -Philippians 4:12

I have two very strong recollections about eating particular treats. No, they were not the meals that capture Michelin star ratings in fancy French restaurants, nor the sorts of dishes prepared by celebrity chefs that attract millions of viewers on popular television series. Rather, I recall two offerings that were lovingly prepared and did not seek to impress.

The first was in the Philippines many years ago. My partner and I were the guests of gracious hosts who were keen to feed us fish caught locally and vegetables grown in their garden. It was only after we had been fed and indicated that we needed nothing more, that the host family then ate the simple, but superb, meal.

The second was at a youth camp where our delegation had been asked to prepare the late night snack. We baked our own bread and offered it up with nothing more than unsalted butter. I can still remember to this day how delicious it was.

It has often been said that we should live simply so that others can simply live. We should remember, too, that the simplest of meals are often those that offer the greatest joy.

Prayer Phrase

“What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations” (Psalm 104: 24, The Message).

Spiritual Practice

Spend a few minutes outside each day this week. Whether sunny and warm, or rainy and cold, be present in whatever condition the day brings. Invite your senses to awaken to the sounds, smells, and feelings of creation around you. Remember that you, too, are part of creation. Confess the ways you sometimes forget that you belong with all that lives. Give thanks for the ways you are daily sustained by the gifts of the Earth. Awaken to the sacredness and beauty that can be found wherever you are. Commit to one act of Earth healing this day.

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 April 23

Environmental Story
Sherri Kirkpatrick, member of the Community of Christ Earth Stewardship Team


That same hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem; and they found the eleven and their companions gathered together. They were saying, “The Lord has risen indeed, and he has appeared to Simon!” Then they told what had happened on the road, and how he had been made known to them in the breaking of bread. While they were talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.” -Luke 24:33-36

It seemed so environmentally friendly. A village in Kazomba, Malawi, offered to make mud bricks to build a community center where volunteer sinkhani health workers could weigh babies, have classes for mothers, and provide loving and healing activities for orphans. The mud bricks seemed like such a good idea! There was little or no cost: the materials were free and the local folks provided the labor. In addition, the mud bricks were 100% recyclable once their purpose had been served.

It was also the perfect partnership. The African tribal chiefs donated the land, the community made the mud bricks, HealthEd Connect provided construction resources, and the sinkhani organized the life-changing programs.

Then we learned the government had a major objection to this plan. They strongly discouraged the use of mud bricks and instead suggested cement blocks. Our first reaction was one of frustration and dismay at the newly emerging government policy. It was so obvious that the mud bricks were more environmentally friendly.

Our opinion changed, however, when we learned why the government was advocating for cement blocks. Mud bricks require hours of intense firing in a homemade kiln fueled by endless cords of firewood. This huge demand for firewood is creating a nationwide crisis as deforestation has become rampant, causing erosion which, in turn, affects the climate and food production, ultimately contributing to famines. A compromise was eventually reached by purchasing commercially-fired mud bricks which require less firewood.

Choosing the best way to protect our planet and leave the minimum carbon footprint isn’t always obvious.  Being a good steward requires research and open-mindedness to determine the best or, at a minimum, least harmful practice. As new, compelling data become available, we must be on the forefront to protect our beloved Mother Earth before we’ve caused even more irreparable damage.

Prayer Phrase

“What a wildly wonderful world, God! You made it all, made earth overflow with your wonderful creations” (Psalm 104: 24 The Message).

Spiritual Practice

Spend a few minutes outside each day this week. Whether sunny and warm, or rainy and cold, be present in whatever condition the day brings. Invite your senses to awaken to the sounds, smells, and feelings of creation around you. Remember that you, too, are part of creation. Confess the ways you sometimes forget that you belong with all that lives. Give thanks for the ways you are daily sustained by the gifts of the Earth. Awaken to the sacredness and beauty that can be found wherever you are. Commit to one act of Earth healing this day.

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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