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A journey of

discovery
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Welcome to
the Journey...
Congratulations on getting this far. By turning
to this resource and opening page 1 you have
made a great start!
Exploring this book may well prove to be a
significant step in your spiritual journey. That
is my prayer and my desire.
All of us admit that we ought to grow more,
spiritually. We know we ought to deepen our
spiritual roots, but we sometimes have difculty
finding ways to help us make further progress.
In the Diocese of Derry and Raphoe, our purpose in
producing this material has been to provide people
with an easy-to-use pattern of spiritual exercises
which all of us can find helpful.
We are all diferent. Some of us ‘see things’ more
artistically, others appreciate music, and there
are lots who prefer practical activity to academic
learning. These pages are designed to be helpful
to all of these approaches and are certainly not
just for ‘bookish’ people.
As you use ‘Growing Deeper’ day by day,
remember that hundreds of other people in the
diocese will also be on the same page as you -
and I will be one of them!
Now turn to the next page and learn more
as you Grow Deeper.
www.derry.anglican.org
www.facebook.com/DerryAndRaphoe
2 3
Meet your Companion...
Living out your faith is a journey. Some days you
get to take the scenic route. On others the path
feels more pressurised.
Growing Deeper is a way of helping you on your
daily journey of faith and life. Allow it to be an
island retreat in the sea of your daily life.
What will you find?
You will find 31 diferent times of reflection - use
one each day. You will also find five ‘milestones’,
pauses along the way.
Each day has three diferent sections: Look,
Linger and Leave:
Look seeks to bring us to a place of engagement
with God;
Linger ofers some thoughts to take you deeper
in that engagement;
Leave has suggestions of things to do to carry
something of God’s presence into the day.
As we all pray diferently there are a variety of ways
to open up a space with God: Bible passages to
read, poems to reflect on, prayers to use and simple
exercises to enjoy.
You may not have time to try everything suggested
in each day - so use whatever is helpful to you or
you have time for.
You will also find Extras for the Journey… things
that will help add variety on the repeat run.
When you have come to the end of the 31
reflections, simply begin again, using each day
as a simple tool for reflection - for nourishment
on your journey. You will then get into the rhythm
of using the 31 reflections again and again month
by month as the year passes.
Sharing the Journey
Journeys are usually more enjoyable when shared.
Why not share your Growing Deeper Journey?
Get together, perhaps once a month, with a few
people who have been using this booklet to share
your experience.
The meeting (we call it that not in any formal
sense) will need one or two people to steer it.
The suggestion is that it will not be one of the
clergy who does this!
It might be helpful to begin the meeting with the
verse and reflection for the day from the “On the
Journey” book and to end with the Blessing or
to use other bits of the material or other helpful
resources.
Encourage everyone to participate, ofering each
other the space to share or not to. Don’t be afraid
of silence. That’s often where God’s Spirit works
most deeply.
As you make this daily journey be encouraged that
you are accompanied by many of your Christian
family across the diocese - you do not walk alone.
Enjoy the journey.
4 5
Life is a series of arrivals. Some are planned and
others come upon us unexpectedly. Every arrival
signifies that a journey has been made whether
in whole or in part. We describe the life-changing
event of a birth of a child as a “new arrival” and
when our golden years arrive we say “old age
doesn’t come by itself”! An arrival is irreversible -
there is no going back. We cannot “un-arrive”.
An arrival may be a new moment of possibility
or an awakening. It may be the reaching of a new
destination or a leaving behind or a homecoming.
We may be the recipient of another’s arrival in our
life. Each arrival is an event - big or small!
The arrival of Jesus made incarnate the Word
of God. The arrival of Judas in the garden of
Gethsemane initiated the chain of events that led
to the life-saving cross of Christ. The arrival of Mary
Magdalene at the empty tomb revealed the mind-
blowing presence of the Risen Christ. The arrival
of Jesus on the road to Emmaus and his breaking
of bread at supper taught us that Christ is made
manifest in every act of hospitality. And the arrival
of the Holy Spirit birthed the church and gifted
us with the universal language of love.
Life is a series of arrivals... until... we finally
arrive at the place where God wants us to be.
Arrivals...
The Peace Bridge
Kindly provided by The Derry
Visitor & Convention Bureau
6 7
Day 1 >
Arrivals...
If you could go anywhere in the world right
now, where would it be? Imagine arriving
there... what feeling does that create?
How would Noah and his family have felt
when the ark came to rest and they found
that they’d arrived, not just in a new place,
but in a new world?
“So Noah went out with his sons and his wife
and his son’s wives. And every animal, every
creeping thing, and every bird, everything that
moves on the earth, went out of the ark by
families.” Genesis 8:18-19
Ponder: Today is the first day of the rest of your
life! How does that thought make you feel?
Look...
For Noah and his family this was the start of a
new adventure. The old world was now behind
them. They were faced with a blank sheet. They
had arrived at a new place. But their arrival was
not an ending. It was just the beginning of an
exciting new journey with God.
How would you describe the place
you’ve arrived at in your life today?
How happy are you to be in that place?
Is it where God wants you to be?
Ask the same questions about your
church family.
God is never finished with us. He’s always got
something new for us to do, some new place to
take us to. What is it like to follow where he leads,
even if the future seems unknown or uncertain?
Arrival
Is a coming home.
A storm-tossed boat
Scraping hull on rough rock;
A runaway rebel
Testing at heaven’s gateway;
A travel-weary king
Stopping at life’s threshold.
I have arrived, Lord;
Recognised a refuge,
Felt stone, earth and hay beneath me.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
As you have time, reflect on one or more
of these readings, inviting God to use
them to inform your own journey.
Helpful Passages
Genesis 28:10-17
Matthew 2:7-11
Mark 14:43-6
Acts 9:1-9
Luke 23:39-43
John 20:1,2; 11-18
John 20:19-28
Blessing
God our beginning
God our goal
God our journey
God in our soul
God our pathway
God our light
God our guidance
God our might
God our yearning
God our friend
God our yearning
God at the end
David Adam
Why not try one of the following actions as
a way of taking the next step on this first day
of the rest of your life?
Write the words “I have not yet arrived. I am
still on the journey” on a post-it and place it
somewhere you’ll be able to see it throughout
the day - a kitchen cupboard or a computer
screen. In quiet moments reflect on how this
truth changes your perspective on life.
Spend a few moments visiting a favourite
place, somewhere nearby. After you’ve made
the trip reflect on why you chose that particular
destination. What was the best part of the journey -
the anticipation of it, the visit itself or the memory
of it? How does it inform your journey with God
through life?
Leave...
I have not yet
arrived. I am
still
on the journey...
8 9
Day 2 >
Let us go to the House of the Lord...
The Locked Church
He walked up the path to the beautiful church.
A quiet time, alone with God, a time of peace, a
time to collect his thoughts. But when he reached
the door and turned the handle he found the
door was locked. Then he saw the piece of
paper pinned to the door. “Sorry, I am not
here. I’m out there. God.”
Where do you expect to find God? In the church?
Or in the world? Can you open yourself to his
presence here and now in this moment?
“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all
the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house
of the Lord my whole life long.” Psalm 23:6
Look...
King David, almost certainly the author of this the
best loved of all the Psalms, seems to be equally
at home both in the world and the House of God.
He is conscious of, and grateful for, God’s grace
and mercy experienced “at all times and in all
places”. Pause now and give thanks for the times
and ways in which you’ve experienced something
of the love of God for you.
David is confident that wherever he goes and
whatever happens to him, God will always be
present. Do you have that same confidence?
David’s experience of God’s love through the ups
and downs of his life created in him a longing for
more; he yearns to “dwell in the house of the Lord
my whole life long.” Allow your experience of the
Lord’s grace in the past to fuel your desire for
more of his presence in the future.
God,
When our hopes fade and life is hard,
when our faith is shaky and the world uncertain,
When we feel that praying is the wrong thing to do
Because we have no words, no good things to say,
no way to begin… Let us journey to your house, Lord.
God of creation, Calvary and the empty tomb,
You house those in need of protection and refuge,
You shelter those with fear and fatigue,
In your presence, with your people,
We are heard and known and loved.
We begin and return to you
For you, God, are our home.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 122
Psalm 127
Isaiah 43:1-3
Matthew 6:25-34
Mar 4:35-41
Romans 8:18-39
Prayer
God
Be light for us
Be warmth for those we love
Be Father and future and eternal hope
Through Jesus Christ our Lord.
Amen
Trying one of the following activities might
help to bring a sense of God’s reality to every
part of your day.
Write the words “home is…” at the top of a
sheet of paper. Throughout the day try to add
a list of words that will complete the phrase.
Phone or meet with an old friend, someone who
shared the formative years of your life. Talk about
the positive memories and the not so positive. Use
this as an opportunity both for gratitude and for
laying to rest things that are best acknowledged
and then left behind.
Leave...
“home is…

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Day 3 >
Discovery...
Take a moment to look at the picture below.
What do you see? An old lady facing to the left,
or a young female viewed from behind? Most
people will take a while to see the second face
in the picture. But when you do discover it
you’ll wonder, “Why did I not see if before?”
Can you think of a time when you’ve said that
about something that’s happened in your life?
Now try to put yourself in the shoes of the
two people in this Bible passage who may have
wondered why it took them so long to see who
this stranger was who had walked with them
on their journey from Jerusalem to Emmaus.
When he was at the table with them, he took
bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them.
Then their eyes were opened, and they recognised
him; and he vanished from their sight. They said
to each other, “Were not our hearts burning within
us while he was talking to us on the road, while
he was opening the scriptures to us?”
Luke 24:30-32
Look...
God often surprises us in the commonplace
and ordinary things of life. When did God last
surprise you?
Might you be missing some important discovery
God wants you to make?
Are you open to seeing God at work in the ordinary
things of your life - your work, the people around
you, and the works of creation, the arts and culture?
Why do you think Jesus vanished at the very
moment that they discovered who he was?
It’s a tough road:
The growing and the grieving,
The learning and living,
The losing and the loving,
The stumbling and the saving.
Still, amidst the blessings and the blisters,
You looked for me, Lord.
There were obstacles:
The rumours and the wrongs,
The doubt and the disbelief,
The scandal and the scorn,
The bile and the betrayal.
Still, when hatred hid your humanity,
You found me, Lord.
I’m glad you stumbled on me
On your way to that table, Lord.
I’m glad you recognised in me
Something worth the seeking.
Look out for me again, for I yearn to hear your words
Tumbling again like grain.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 18:9-12
Genesis 45:25-28
1 Samuel 16:8-13
Luke 2:15-18
Matthew 17:1-9
John 20:26-28
Acts 2:1-4
Blessing
God in our seeking and our seeing,
God in our questions and our believing,
God in the everyday and the astonishing,
God on the road and at our table,
God at our side and in our souls,
God of grace and blessing
Today and forever.
Amen
Take a page and divide in two. On one side
compile a list of ”moments of doubt” and on
the other “moments of realisation”. Which is
longest?
Leave...
12 13
Day 4 >
Migration...
Have you ever seen one of those TV programmes
where a family moves lock, stock and barrel to a
new country to begin a whole new life?
Thousands of years before such TV shows were
thought of, God gave Abraham an opportunity to
move - along with the rest of his tribe - to a new
country, a promised land.
“Arise, walk through the length and breadth of
the land, for I will give it to you.” Genesis 13:17
What are your thoughts about this? Are Abraham
and his family mad? Or does part of you secretly
envy them their opportunity?
Look...
God entrusts to Abraham something greater than
he ever imagined. But in order to enter into God’s
promise Abraham must first be willing to become
a migrant, to move out - to leave the familiar and
step out into the unknown.
Have you ever had a dream? One that might
change your life in a radical way. If that dream
became a reality how might it change your life -
what would be diferent? What would be better?
Where would God be, in that new life, and new
world? And, in that light - where is God in your
life, and your world, as they are now?
The crazy moment when I realised
I’d said yes to this
Lit a flame of possibility, which consumed
All the old negatives of my life; replaced
With an unknown future,
The way I’d always presumed things would go.
Lord, graciously, from time to time
Reawaken in me the feelings of the moment
This brilliant living on the cusp of yesterday
and tomorrow;
Let this moment - the “Now!” - of my arrival
From yesterday’s holding-patterns of numb
existence
Into the arrivals lounge of life in fullness,
Be the start of who-knows-what, with You.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 12:1-3 (compare with Mark 1:16-20)
Genesis 13:14-18
Genesis 15:8-17
Joshua 1:1-9
Psalm 18
Psalm 118:1-5
Matthew 6:25-34
Hebrews 11:1-13
Hebrews 12:18-24
Blessing
Let us rejoice
That today and tomorrow and tomorrow
Are in God’s hands.
Let us be bold,
And claim his promises.
For God has brought us here
And Christ goes before us
And his Spirit guides us where we go.
Amen
Compile a list of three things you would find
difcult about a move out of the familiar. Compile
another list of things that you might need to
leave behind in order to move forward with God.
Or...
Visit a place that feels slightly alien and unknown
to you - perhaps a shop that you’ve never visited
before that sells items you know nothing about
or a housing development with lots of boarded
up homes. How does it feel to be an outsider?
Use these feelings to inform how you pray.
Leave...
14 15
Day 5 >
Exodus...
The word ‘Exodus’ literally means ‘the act of
going out’. It is where we get the word ‘exit’ from.
In our daily routines, we are surrounded
with opportunities to exit. From the workplace to
shopping, to the cinema - we are never far away
from those illuminated green signs pointing to
the nearest exit.
Read Exodus 3:3 - 21
In the Book of Exodus God wanted Moses to take
‘an exit’. He was given an immense task - to lead
his people out of slavery to something new and
hopeful. For his persecuted fellow Israelites in
Egypt it would lead to freedom and a new
home in the Promised Land.
Yet Moses dithered in reaching for the exit. He
had so many reasons… reasons why he didn’t
feel up to the task… why it wouldn’t work with
him doing it. So many ‘what ifs’…
Do you know what that feels like?
What encouragement do you take
from God’s response to Moses?
Look...
The challenge of exits is not only in the present.
It can also be those from the past - perhaps even
an ‘exit’ that felt forced on us.
We all recognise the feeling of unfinished
business, a hankering to close the book on regret
- of having gone through the exit doors in the
first place. Perhaps you blame others for forcing
your hand… were you to do it all over again,
you’d do it all diferently.
Do you recognise this?
Find comfort that you are not alone in feeling
like this.
You have the power over feelings of regret and
disappointment, to let them go… to live in the
now… to write your future.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Exodus 14:5-14
Joshua 1:1-9
Job 19:23-27
Proverbs 3:5-6
Jeremiah 29:1-14
John 14:5-6
Blessing
Father, thank you that you give us exits.
From monotony
Into fullness of life.
From stagnation
Into growth.
From doubt
Into faith.
From insecurity
Into the Promised land.
Amen
Moses led a group of people towards the
promised land, where they would no longer live
in slavery and where they would find freedom
and prosperity. Yet all they could see on the
journey was what they had left behind.
All they wanted to do was return to where they
had come from, because they could not see
what God had in store for them.
Does this sound familiar?
Today ask God to help you see what he sees, sure
in the knowledge that he knows the destination.
Leave...
16 17
For most people, going on a journey is an exciting
experience. Leaving the ordinary, daily routines of
life, travelling somewhere new, or other, stretches
us and is good for us. ‘A change is as good as a
rest’ as they say. However, after a while, being on
the road is tiring. Keeping going, travelling alone,
enduring.
Diferent modes of transport, carrying baggage, not
knowing where or when you will next eat, bathe or
sleep - all these aspects of a journey can really take
it out of us. Thank God, then, for the resting places;
for the gracious, generous provision of hospitality,
for companions on the road, the new people we
meet and the conversations we share - for these
things show what we have taken for granted
before and remind us that what we have taken
for granted before and remind us that wherever
we may go, God goes with us.
On the road...
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Day 6 >
Lament...
Bad news catches our attention more easily
than the good, whether it is celebrity scandal,
deaths or natural disasters. There are constant
reports of civil unrest, foreign wars, and job
losses. Whatever it is, pause to see it through
the eyes of someone involved in the news
stories you see reported on TV.
We can be fatigued by the news we watch.
Perhaps we are overwhelmed by what we
personally face. In the process our hearts
become a little bit more indiferent to the
plight of others we see in turmoil.
Today allow yourself to be moved by a story
that doesn’t afect you. Lament for your brother
or sister across the world, and share their pain
in a moment of reflection.
Look...
Read Romans 8:35-39
“Who shall separate us from the love of
Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution
or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? For
I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither
angels nor demons, neither the present nor the
future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth,
nor anything else in all creation, will be able
to separate us from the love of God that is
in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
We know we are meant to be people of hope -
Jesus has won the ultimate victory by defeating
death. We also know only too well that we are
not exempt from the realities of the world.
Paul reminds us that trouble, hardship,
persecution, famine, nakedness, danger and
even violence cannot separate us from God’s
love. But by implication isn’t he saying that
immunity from such pain is not guaranteed?
Today if you are facing trials remember that He
does not want you to bear the burden alone. He
has been in your place of pain, he knows what it
is to sufer loss, feel alone and be rejected. Talk
to Him honestly - let him know how it really is.
If this isn’t you today take time to pray for
someone in trouble - even if you don’t know them.
Ask God to give you compassion - to feel what
that person in pain is feeling.
Pray for them as though their pain were yours.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 51
Isaiah 53
Luke 4:14-21
1 Thessalonians 4:13
Romans 8:31-39
1 Corinthians 15:56-58
Prayer
Father, help me be a sincere Christian today.
Show me what it is to serve You through
serving my neighbour.
Let me have an enthusiastic heart for You,
Enable me to be joyful in hope, patient in
afiction, faithful in prayer.
Help me to share with God’s people
who are in need.
For those who injure me - help me to
bless and not curse them.
I rejoice for those who rejoice,
Help me to sincerely share in the
burdens of those I do not know.
Amen
Open Doors is a ministry to Christians who are
persecuted for their faith. You can find out more
by visiting: www.opendoorsuk.org
Consider how you can share with them
in their struggle to be faithful to Christ.
Or...
Find a news story today and pray
for those involved.
Leave...
20 21
Day 7 >
Dead Ends...
Have you ever been in a maze - one that is
too high to see over, or too well built to sneak
through the walls? If you have then you will
know the frustrations of dead ends.
Did you know that in some mazes the solution
to finding the middle is to ensure you are always
touching the wall with either your left or your
right hand, even when faced with dead ends?
Are you ever tempted to let go of what you
know to be true, or change course when
you hit a dead end?
What do you hold on to when the journey
is confusing or daunting?
Look...
The average male drives an extra 276 miles every
year as a result of being lost. 26% wait at least half
an hour before conceding defeat and asking for
directions. 12% refuse to ask for any help at all -
who knows where they end up!?
No one likes to get lost. None of us like
to face a dead end when we are trying to get
somewhere important. Sometimes, whether
through stubbornness, wrong choices or a
misguided faith in our own abilities, that is
where we can end up in our life journey with
God. Tragically if we refuse to ask for directions
(like the 12% of male drivers!) we can even give
up on the journey altogether.
King David was greatly blessed by God. Yet
with everything going for him - he wanted
something that was of limits, namely Bathsheeba.
As her husband Uriah was fighting a war for his
King, that same King slept with Bathsheeba.
(Read 2 Samuel 11:5-27)
Even when called home from the heat of battle
Uriah would not sleep with his wife - not when
his soldiers fought on the battlefield. The problem
for David was that he could not then claim the
unborn child was Uriah’s. The finger of blame
remained pointed at David.
In his panic David sent the loyal soldier to his
death. After positioning him at the front of battle,
David ordered every other troop back. Uriah, left
on his own and surrounded by the enemy, was
killed as he fought for the king he loved but
who ultimately betrayed him.
Linger...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Matthew 9:18-31
Matthew 11: 28-30
Luke 1:37
Acts 16:16-40
Colossians 1: 13-23
Philippians 4: 6-7
Prayer
Lead me, Lord, lead me in thy righteousness;
make thy way plain before my face.
For it is thou, Lord, thou, Lord only,
that makest me dwell in safety.
Teach me, Lord, teach me truly how to live,
that I may come to know thee,
and in thy presence serve thee with gladness,
and sing songs of praise to thy glory.
© Church of Ireland Hymnal
Think of a situation where you need help or
guidance. Turn to someone for advice and
a new direction.
Or...
Who might you turn to for advice and
a new direction?
Leave...
“Your word is a lamp to my feet
and a light to my path”.
Psalm 119:105
From his place of panic David could only see
a dead end - no other way out. What if others
discovered his cowardice? From his refusal to
ask for directions he had an innocent man killed.
He sought no advice, and acted alone. In a
vain attempt to cover his tracks, he only
made things worse…
How far will we go before we realise we need
to stop, ask for directions and go another way?
When backed into a corner, when faced with a
dead end, do we continue to rely on our plans
and reactions, or do we turn and ask for help?
22 23
Day 8 >
Food for the Journey...
Fast food is truly a thing of our times. It comes
in every conceivable form to suit any taste, from
home or abroad. But why is it called fast food?
One reason is that it is produced so quickly, once
ordered we don’t have to wait for long. It’s also
because we eat it quickly to meet a hunger pang.

Often we really don’t savour the food as we race
from place to place.

Fast food has its place, but it certainly doesn’t
replace the meal that takes time to prepare,
eat and savour with family and friends.

Is your time with God more like fast food,
on-the-go, or a meal to savour?
Look...
Feeding on Jesus isn’t just fast food snacking.
It means taking time to savour all that he is. It
is spending time and efort to extract the full
texture and flavour that he wants us to have.

There are so many ways that we can feed
on Jesus, ‘the bread of life’.

Prayer, reading the Bible, worshiping Him and
talking to others about the way Jesus wants
us to live.

What are the challenges for you in taking
time with Him, rather than ‘snacking’?

How might you begin to overcome these?

What hungers do you long for Jesus to meet?

How are you sustained on your Christian journey?
Linger...
Taking small steps in the right direction…

On a piece of paper write down one new step you
will take to deepen your relationship with God.

Then put it in a place where you will see it often…
on your fridge, the bathroom mirror, your desk or
in your wallet. You could even put the message
with a daily reminder on your phone!

Or...

Might you think of fasting, either missing
a meal or a cofee break, to pray?
Leave...
Then Jesus declared,
“I am the bread of
life. Whoever comes to
me will never go hungry,
and whoever believes in
me will never be thirsty.”
John 6:35
Extras for
the journey...
Speak, O Lord, as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.
Take Your truth, plant it deep in us;
Shape and fashion us in Your likeness,
That the light of Christ might be seen today
In our acts of love and our deeds of faith.

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart
Townend © 2005 Thankyou Music
Helpful Passages

Psalm 1
Psalm 9
Matthew 9:18-31
Mark 9:17-24
John 15:1-8
1 Corinthians 1:18-24
Prayer
Lord I ask that today you are with me
as I make time to read your word and
talk and listen to you through prayer.
Amen
24 25
Day 9 >
Hospitality...
Many of us love cofee. Not only for the flavour
but the welcome break it brings from the things
that clamour for our time. It is best when shared
with friends and family - being with those
who love you.
When Jesus invited himself to stay with Zacchaeus
He brought that same sense of a welcome break:
things were going to be diferent.
Look...
Read Luke 19:1-11 - Zacchaeus the tax collector.
Our world is filled with time-saving devices.
Yet we struggle to find time. Ask almost anyone,
regardless of age or stage, and they will say
that they don’t have enough time!
Hospitality is about caring for others. To
experience hospitality is to experience what it is
like to be cared for. This encounter between Jesus
and Zacchaeus is an experience of hospitality.
As you read through the passage ask yourself…
who ofers the hospitality and who receives it?
Zacchaeus does not seem to be a happy or
contented person. He knew about Jesus and
wanted to find out more. Jesus extended an
invitation to Zacchaeus to accompany him to his
own house. This invitation changed Zacchaeus life!
Jesus ofers us the same invitation to us, ‘Can I
come and stay with you today?’
Is He welcome to accompany you everywhere
you go today?
Linger...
Write the word, ‘Jesus’ on a small piece of paper.
You can carry it in your pocket or wallet with
you today. At the end of the day ask yourself
how many times you were aware of the paper
and how your day was diferent.
Each time you are aware of His presence simply
say a silent ‘Thank-you’ to God that he chooses
to care for you in your daily life - that you are
not alone.
If you meet someone today that you find it
difcult to connect with ask yourself ‘How
can I see Jesus in this person?’
Leave...
“For the Son of Man
came to seek and
to save the lost.”
Luke 19:10
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages

Exodus 13:17-22
Psalm 139
John 6:1-14
John 12:1-11
Acts 4:32-37
Philemon 1:4-7
Prayer
Father,
Thank you for caring for me
Help me to care for others
with the same love
you show me.
Amen
26 27
Day 10 >
Baggage...
When I saw him on his knees in the airport
terminal I wished I could help. With his suitcase
open he was staring at the seemingly impossible
task. How was he going to choose what was to
be left behind?
A friend, when travelling as a student, solved this
problem in a novel way. She removed the extra
weight in clothes from her suitcase and wore
them on to the plane.
Do you recognise yourself in either of these
people?
Look...
Read Matthew 19:16-26 - The Rich Young Man
What must I do?
It is a simple question and one that is at the
heart of shaping our Christian faith. There is no
reason to assume that the young man asking the
question was trying to trick Jesus as some of the
religious leaders had done. He was trying to do
the right thing, follow the Ten Commandments.
Jesus challenges the young man: …21 “If you
would be perfect, go, sell what you possess and
give to the poor, and you will have treasure in
heaven; and come, follow me.”
We know the story ends in sadness: ...22 “When
the young man heard this he went away sorrowful,
for he had great possessions”.
What does doing the right thing look like in your
daily life?
The monkey trap works because the monkey is
not willing to let go. Are there things in your life
that you need to let go of?
Linger...
Listen to or read the words of Amazing Grace.
Write or draw in the jar anything God wants
you to ‘give away.’
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Exodus 20
Psalm 46:1-3, 7
Isaiah 41:10
Matthew 4:18-22
John 16:33
2 Timothy 1:7
Blessing
Heavenly Father,
Help me to see what to let go of,
and what to hold onto.
Amen
“But Jesus looked at
them and said, “With
man this is impossible,
but with God all things
are possible.”
Matthew 19:26
28 29
“Will you go where you don’t know and never
be the same…?” (from CH 605)
Journeys aren’t always defined by their destination.
Some of our most important journeys are defined
by their point of departure. Where we left, why
we left, what we decided we had to leave behind,
what we were prised away from by circumstance
or the actions of others, the “simple fact” (hardly
simple!) that we couldn’t stay - or that we just had
to go (two diferent things!), or the simple fact (and
sometimes it is that simple!) that it was just time
to go… All these circumstances and more, define
some of the most important journeys we make -
or realise we have made.
Deepest of all, we are in the end defined as human
beings by a departing that lies ahead of us all, and
with which we have somehow to come to terms.
The departing of those we love reminds us of our
own mortality. Yet faith can understand what from
our perspective has to seem like a departure, as
arrival. Deitrich Bonhoefer’s last recorded words,
to his fellow prisoners, before he has hanged by
the Nazis in 1945, were “This is the end - for me
the beginning of life.” Jesus says: “When I go and
prepare a place for you, I will come again and will
take you to myself, that where I am you may be
also. “ John 14:3
Just so can our departure become our destination.
Departures...
View from Buncrana
30 31
Day 11 >
Companions on the Road...
If you have camped out on a mountainside or live
in the countryside away from street lighting you
will remember how dark it gets at night. Most of
us aren’t accustomed to real darkness anymore.
There is always some kind of background light,
somewhere.
As Cleopas and his companion travelled away
from Jerusalem they travelled in a kind of darkness
- one that follows shattered dreams, bereavement,
lost hopes. Yet they were to meet someone in the
middle of their darkness who would shed light,
and bring hope.
Look...
Read Luke 24:13-34 - On the Road to Emmaus
Abide with me, fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
when other helpers fail and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
change and decay in all around I see;
O thou who changest not, abide with me.
I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, O abide with me.
I fear no foe with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.
Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me
to the skies;
heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s
vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
Henry Francis Lyte (1793-1847)
Based on Luke 24: 29; 1 Corinthians 15: 55
What ‘dark’ things in your life need to be brought
into perspective by remembering that Christ is
alive and with you?
Linger...
Identify someone you might travel with on
a dark journey. What can you do to show
them you are walking with them?
Or...
Light a candle today as a way of reminding
you to pray for someone whose journey is
filled with darkness today.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 4
Psalm 121
Psalm 139
Isaiah 42:5-7
John 3:18-20
John 14
Prayer
Father,
Thank you that you are always with me
May that promise be my source of hope today
Help me to bring hope to others.
Amen
They said to each other,
“Did not our hearts burn
within us while he talked
to us on the road, while he
opened to us the Scriptures?”
Luke 24:32
32 33
Day 12 >
Frustration...
“He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side
of the boat, and you will find some.” So they
cast it, and now they were not able to haul it
in, because of the quantity of fish.” John 21:6
Going back to the familiar. This is what we meet
the disciples doing at the start of this passage in
John 21. As far as they are concerned Jesus is
dead. They were at a loss as to what to do…
so they returned to the familiar - fishing.
In your life what do you return to when you
feel following God’s way has become too hard?
Look...
Read John 21:1-19 - Jesus Appears
to Seven Disciples
The passage we are reading is about restoring
hope. The cross has happened and the disciples,
even those closest to Jesus, don’t know what to
do. They are bereaved. Hopes and plans of what
they and Jesus would do have ended. So they go
back to what they know: fishing.
Would you have acted any diferently?
Linger...
How do you normally deal with disappointment?
In what ways have you been disappointed by God?
Prayer is telling God what you are thinking and
feeling… tell Him.
Or...
In what ways have you heard God respond
to your disappointment and give you hope?
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 90
Psalm 131
Luke 10:38-42
Romans 4:13-24
Colossians 1:4-6
Hebrews 6
Prayer
Collect for Epiphany 3
God of blazing light,
through the power of the cross
you shattered our darkness,
scattering the fears that bind us
and setting us free to live as your children.
Give us courage and conviction
that we may joyfully turn and follow you
into new adventures of faithful service,
led by the light that shines
through Jesus Christ our Saviour.
Amen
34 35
Day 13 >
Solitude...
Solitude… being alone… remoteness from activity
“As soon as we are alone... inner chaos opens
up in us. This chaos can be so disturbing and so
confusing that we can hardly wait to get busy
again. Entering a private room and shutting
the door, therefore, does not mean that we
immediately shut out all our inner doubts,
anxieties, fears, bad memories, unresolved
conflicts, angry feelings and impulsive desires.
On the contrary, when we have removed our
outer distractions, we often find that our inner
distractions manifest themselves to us in full
force. We often use the outer distractions to shield
ourselves from the interior noises. This makes
the discipline of solitude all the more important.”
© Henry Nouwen, Making All Things New
and Other Classics 2008
What do you find difcult about a lack of
distraction and noise?
Look...
Read 1 Kings 19:9-18 - The Lord Speaks to Elijah
Solitude is not always a daunting thing. The quiet
place can be where God speaks to us most deeply.
Why do you sometimes feel that all God wants is to
speak words of condemnation and failure to you?
What good things does God want to say to
you today?
Linger...
“The spiritual life does not remove us
from the world but leads us deeper into it.”
© Henri Nouwen: Making All Things New - An
Invitation to the Spiritual Life, 2007 Harper Collins
Find a seat in a quiet place. As you sit become
conscious of your breathing. As you breathe
out say ‘I breathe out distractions’. As you
breathe in say ‘I breathe in peace.’
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Exodus 3
Psalm 46
Matt 14:13-34
Luke 24:13-35
John 16:25-33
Revelation 3:20
Prayer
Dear God,
I am so afraid to open my clenched fists!
Who will I be when I have nothing left to
hold on to?
Who will I be when I stand before you with
empty hands?
Please help me to gradually open my hands
and to discover that I am not what I own,
but what you want to give me.
Selected Writings of Henri J.M. Nouwen
compiled and edited by Wendy Wilson
Greer 2008
Or...
Listen to the hymn Be Still For the Presence of
the Lord and reflect on what it says about the
nature of God and his presence with you.
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here
Come bow before him now
With reverence and fear
In him no sin is found
We stand on holy ground
Be still for the presence of the Lord
The holy one is here.
Be still for the glory of the Lord
Is shining all around
He burns with holy fire
With splendour he is crowned
How awesome is the sight
Our radiant king of light
Be still for the glory of the Lord.
Is shining all around
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place
He comes to cleanse and heal
To minister his grace
No work to hard for him
In faith receive from him
Be still for the power of the Lord
Is moving in this place.
36 37
Day 14 >
Routines...
“And Simeon blessed them and said to Mary his
mother, “Behold, this child is appointed for the
fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign
that is opposed.” Luke 2:34
“Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is
what keeps you going.” Jim Ryun
A study has shown that habit can win over will
power in our behaviour. Think of a helpful habit
you have in your everyday life. When and how
did you create this?
Look...
Saint Benedict says in the Prologue to his Rule:
And so we are going to establish a school for the
service of the Lord. In founding it we hope to
introduce nothing harsh or burdensome. But if a
certain strictness results from the dictates of equity
for the amendment of vices or the preservation of
charity, do not be at once dismayed and fly from
the way of salvation, whose entrance cannot but
be narrow (Matt. 7:14).
For as we advance in the religious life and in faith,
our hearts expand and we run the way of God’s
commandments with unspeakable sweetness of
love. Thus, never departing from His school,
but persevering in the monastery according to
His teaching until death, we may by patience
share in the suferings of Christ (1 Peter 4:13)
and deserve to have a share also in His kingdom.
What helpful habits do you have in your life?
“Our character is basically a composite of our
habits. Because they are consistent, often
unconscious patterns, they constantly, daily,
express our character.” Stephen Covey
Are there habits you would prefer not to have?
Read Luke 2:22-38 - Jesus Presented at the Temple
In this passage we read about Simeon and Anna
who had developed a ‘good habit’ of going to
the Temple every day: they were waiting for the
coming Messiah. This ‘good habit’ meant that they
were ready to hear when God spoke. They were in
Linger...
Saint Benedict’s words remind his readers that
he wasn’t writing something to be a burden.
Think about how you live each day.
What ‘good habits’ could help you live out
your faith each day?
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 119:163-165
Mark 7:20 - 23
Luke 11:1-13
Acts 4:32-37
Ephesians 6:10-20
Hebrews 10:19-25
Prayer
Heavenly Father,
Help me to be ready when you speak,
Guide me when I am to bring your
word to others, and teach me to
obey your word in my daily life.
Amen
the right place at the right time when Jesus
was brought to the Temple. Developing good
habits can literally be life-changing!
Good Habit - Morning
Good Habit - Afternoon
Good Habit - Evening
Good Habit - Night
Or...
Set your alarm for a time during the day when
you mightn’t normally have time to pray. When
it goes of take time to surrender the moment
to God by praying ‘Lord, be in this moment.’
38 39
Day 15 >
Sacramental...
“And he took bread, and when he had given
thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying,
“This is my body, which is given for you. Do this
in remembrance of me.”
20
And likewise the cup
after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is
poured out for you is the new covenant in
my blood.” Luke 22:19-20
What is your memory like? Do you remember
things from ages ago but forget to buy milk
on your way home?
What are the events in your life when you
have sensed that God has been involved?
Look...
Read Luke 22:7-23 - The Passover with the
Disciples
The Prayer Book says that a sacrament is ‘an
outward and physical sign of an inward and
spiritual grace.’ It is God using the ordinary
staples of everyday like bread and wine, or
water, to be present, to be with us in daily living.
Jesus took the disciples by surprise by using the
ordinary of every-day - bread and wine. Taking
time to reflect on this last week has Jesus manifest
Himself in your life in ways that you may have
not been conscious of at the time?
How would you like Jesus to manifest
Himself in your life today?
Linger...
On Sunday notice the Font and the Holy Table.
What Bible verses are written on or around
them? What promises do they point you to?
Or...
Find a rough piece of wood. As you touch it
notice the roughness and the splinters. Take
a moment to think of the roughness of the
Cross. Remember this is a measure of Christ’s
love for you.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Isaiah 53
Matthew 5:21-26
John 4:-26
John 6:46-59
1 Corinthians 11:17-36
Acts 8:26-40
Prayer
Lord God,
Thank you for the sacraments
to help me understand your love better,
May they remind me each day of that love.
Amen
40 41
Emotional journeys can leave us feeling as if
we have just run a marathon. We may be elated,
relived, distraught or simply drained or exhausted.
Unlike physical journeys, there are no maps for the
internal ones. But as with all personalised travel,
we make our own detours and stops along the
way. Sometimes we get to where we want to be.
Sometimes we break down. Often we long for an
emotional “sat-nav” that tells us how to feel at any
given moment and how to make sense of things.
The stories of Jesus show us an emotional, real-
life human being who weeps, becomes angry and
struggles with temptations. And in all his emotional
turmoil, He is sustained by God the Father.
Jesus sent the Holy Spirit to be our internal
companion. The Spirit is always with us.
And emotions are a gift:
I feel
therefore
I am alive!
Emotional Journeys...
The headland at Dunree
42 43
Day 16 >
Spiritual Gifts...
When we see a beautifully wrapped gift with
ribbons and bows and expensive coloured
paper we probably expect to find an expensive
gift inside.
If there are no bows and ribbons and just plain
brown paper surrounding the gift perhaps our
expectations of what’s inside aren’t so high.
Every one of us looks diferent. But it’s the gifts
that we have underneath the wrapping that
matter. We all are unique and our gifts, when
we use them to their full potential, together
help to make our families, our church, and
our communities better places.
What gifts has God given you to serve
someone else today?
Look...
Read 1 Corinthians 12:4-11
Spiritual gifts can seem like a mystery to us.
So, what are they?
• Spiritual gift are God-given
• There are more than 20 diferent gifts
mentioned in the Bible
• They are abilities that each of us has been
given so we can make our unique contribution
to our families and communities
• They are given by the Holy Spirit to every
believer according to God’s choice and kindness
• Every believer has at least one spiritual gift
• Together they work in everyone so that we
can work and serve God best as the Body
of Christ
Your spiritual gift is most often the thing
you simply enjoy doing and are good at.
It is always encouraging to have someone
tell you something you are good at.
Perhaps you would like to find out what spiritual
gifts you have to serve others. You can go online
and complete the following simple exercise
www.kodachrome.org/spiritgift/
Any surprises for you?
Linger...
Using our gifts is about giving glory to God
and serving others.
The greatest things are often done by those
who see a need - and simply decide to do
something to meet it.
Today what needs will you come across?
Is there something you can do?
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
1 Corinthians 12: 8-10
1 Corinthians 12:28
Romans 12:6-8
Ephesians 4:11
Exodus 31:3
1 Timothy 2:1-2
Psalm 150:3-5
Prayer
Gracious and generous Father, thank you for
giving me spiritual gifts. Help me now to use
them to build up your Kingdom here on earth
so that your Gospel may be spread.
Amen
“And since we have
gifts that difer according
to the grace given to
us, let each exercise
them accordingly.”
Romans 12:6
“Each one should use
whatever gift he has
received to serve others,
faithfully administering
God’s grace in its
various forms.“
1 Peter 4:10
44 45
Day 17 >
Joy...
What does the word ‘joy’ mean to you?
“The one who finds his life will lose it, and
the one who loses his life because of me
will find it.” Matt 10:39:
Put Jesus first, others next and then yourself
after that… that’s:
J for Jesus
O for others
Y for yourself
This is the path that leads to real JOY.
God is at the centre. He is the number one.
Ask God, to help you love him with all your
heart and love others as you love yourself.
Look...
Does joy mean feeling good all the time?
That’s probably impossible - even for those
who are naturally upbeat and optimistic.
What about Kay Warren’s definition of joy?
‘Joy is the settled assurance that God is in control
of all the details of my life, the quiet confidence
that ultimately everything is going to be alright,
and the determined choice to praise God in
every situation.’
If you have joy that looks and feels like that
then what do the words of this simple song
mean for you?
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Where?
Down in my heart!
Where?
Down in my heart!
I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart
Down in my heart to stay.
© George Willis Cooke
Does anger towards someone else cause
your joy to leak?
Linger...
Take time to think about someone you love,
remember what that feeling is like and how
you act towards that person. Now take time
to think about someone that you don’t have
those loving feelings for.
Take the first steps of your journey in reaching
out to them through what you say and what you
do, so that a love that is equal to the love you
have for others will radiate to them and others?
Or...
Is there something you can do today to bring
simple joy to someone - perhaps send a card
or flowers?
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 5
2 Samuel 6
Luke 15:1-7
Philippians 1:3-11
1 Peter 1:3-9
Revelation 21:1-8
Prayer
Father I choose joy today - to believe
that you are ultimately in control of all the
details of my life. I choose to have the quiet
confidence that ultimately everything is
going to be alright. I also decide to praise
you in every situation. You are the calm
in my storm.
Amen
“The joy of the Lord
is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10
46 47
Day 18 >
Prayer...
What has an apple got to do with our prayer life?
An apple gives our bodies sustenance and
through its PIPS it has the potential for growth
and development.
As Christians we need sustenance for our daily
faith journey - that which will give us life and
health.
Right at the centre, in the core of your Christian
life, is prayer. Right in the core is YOUR PIP -
your persistence in prayer.
Just as we can plant the apple pip and through
watering it and tending it and nurturing it we will
gradually begin to see shoots and leaves grow and
develop. So it is with prayer in your everyday life.
There is nothing instantaneous in it - we need
to persist, whether it is in growing a seed for
fruit or praying.
Look...
“Keep alert and pray. Otherwise temptation will
overpower you. For though the spirit is willing
enough, the body is weak!” Matthew 26:41
“And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all
kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be
alert and always keep on praying for all the saints.“
Ephesians 6:18
“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will
find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
Matthew 7:7
What is it you really want to say to God?
Do you believe God ever likes to say ‘yes’ to you?
Linger...
Write the words of “What a friend we have in
Jesus” on a piece of paper. Carry them with
you to look at throughout the day.
What a friend we have in Jesus,
All our sins and griefs to bear!
What a privilege to carry
Everything to God in prayer!
Oh, what peace we often forfeit,
Oh, what needless pain we bear,
All because we do not carry
Everything to God in prayer!
© Church of Ireland Hymnal
Why can prayer seem so difcult?
Or...
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 95
Matthew 6:9-13
Matthew 28:28-31
Luke 18:1-8
Ephesians 6:10-20
James 5:13-20
Prayer
Father, as you and I talk together every day
help me to listen to you as you speak into
my life. Through Jesus Christ my Lord.
Amen
“Then Jesus told his disciples
a parable to show them that
they should always pray
and not give up.”
Luke 8:1
Eat an apple and then plant the pip. Persist
in tending it as it grows and develops and
reminds you of your prayer life.
48 49
Day 19 >
Change...
Change must be one of the most advertised
things on television. The number of adverts that
promise you that if you change your car, your
sofa or brand of washing powder you will be
happier. What about the adverts that suggest that
if you buy a certain type of breakfast cereal you
will change your shape… or if you buy a certain
type of skin cream you won’t change at all!
In all these changes the world seems to spin and
turn upside down. It can become exhausting. The
famous author and son of a Church of Ireland
Rector, Charles Handy, says “Learning and change
are never clear and never sure. Whenever we
change we step out a little into the unknown”.
Do you ever wonder, ‘how am I going to cope
with the constant confusion and chaos of life
and living that is all around me?’
In what ways do you long for something
to stay constant in your life?
To keep hope alive the simple yet profound
message of Hebrews Chapter 13:8 says it all!
Look...
The great hymn writer John Henry Newman
turns our attention to Jesus as the constant in
our ever changing and often challenging lives.
He says:
“Lead, kindly Light, amid th’encircling gloom,
lead Thou me on!
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
lead Thou me on!
Keep Thou my feet; I do not ask to see
The distant scene; one step enough for me.”
He continues:
Meantime, along the narrow rugged path,
Thyself hast trod,
Lead, Savior, lead me home in childlike faith,
home to my God.
To rest forever after earthly strife
In the calm light of everlasting life.
© Church of Ireland Hymnal”
Jesus is the constant in our lives. No matter
what the situation he is there. No matter how
hard it may be for us to find him in the times of
sorrow or no matter how much we ignore him
in the times of pleasure - he is still there. Still
the rock that is higher than ourselves (Psalm 61:2).
What do you find difcult about change?
Linger...
Charles Handy tells a story. “A speaker from
the floor of the Chamber spoke with passion.
“In this matter”, he cried, ‘as in so much else in
our great country, why cannot the status quo be
the way forward?’ It was the heartfelt plea… of
those in power, anywhere, throughout the ages.
If change there has to be let it be more of the
same continuous change. That way, the cynic
might observe, nothing changes very much.”
Be aware of changes around you, even the seasons
and the weather. Remember that spring follows
winter ...and CELEBRATE what each season brings.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 17
Numbers 23:19
Psalm 61
Psalm 62
Matthew 16:21 - 28
Mark 4:35-41
Prayer
Father as I go through this day
and contemplate the future…
Through all the changing scenes of my life,
In trouble and in joy,
Let the praises of my God still
My heart and tongue employ.
Amen
“Jesus Christ is the
same yesterday and
today and forever.”
Hebrews 13: 8
50 51
Day 20 >
Waiting...
Galatians 5:22-23 tells us that patience
is a fruit of the Spirit.
To have patience is not something that
comes naturally to many of us.
It’s worth getting out your dictionary and
finding out what the word patience means.
“He is happy whose circumstances suit his
temper; but he is more excellent who can
suit his temper to any circumstances.”
David Hume (1711-1776)
Where do you exhibit patience? Where do you
not? Would others agree with your answers?
Look...
Hebrews 11:1 shines a light on what our
patience is built on: “Now faith is confidence
in what we hope for and assurance about
what we do not see”.
Numbers 14:18 talks of the Lord’s generosity. He “is
slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiveness”.
God’s timing is often not our timing. We know this
in theory but how easy it is to get frustrated when
a prayer seems to go unanswered, or God seems
to show no urgency in His response.
To what conclusions, about God and yourself,
does your mind easily jump to when a prayer
seems slow in the answering?
Linger...
Is patience a spiritual matter for you today?
How do circumstances that stretch your
patience draw you closer to God or drive
you away from Him?
Or...
Go into your garden or a park. Look around you
for flowers. If it is in the middle of winter you will
not see any - the bulbs are underneath the ground.
Just because you do not see them does not mean
they will not blossom in the springtime.
Why don’t you plant a bulb. Think about what
you have to do to nurture it through the diferent
seasons of the year.
Draw strength and patience as you watch the
survival and growth of flowers in your garden...
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Numbers 14:18
Luke 8:1-15
John 16:7-10
1 Corinthians 2:7-10
Galatians 5:22-23
2 Peter 3:9
And a thought to take with you:
“Patience is a kind of love. A love that is its
own explanation in bewildered circumstance.
It is an old, old woman placing a wrinkled-
parchment hand against the cheek of
a reckless child. Because her heart is
too wise to make room for reproach.
Too full to find place for ofense.”
Pavithra Mehta
52 53
Our lives are often in transition - moving from
one place to another. Transition implies change
and movement, something that brings challenge,
excitement and renewed energy; but, equally,
transition can be that frustrating time of waiting,
a time that unsettles us in the not knowing.
In times of transition we often reach out to God,
seeking some sense of guidance, meaning and
purpose in our lives. Is this the right job for me?
Where should I be living and working? Does
this relationship bring out the best in me? Our
questioning allows transition to become a more
fruitful experience when we can listen attentively
to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. A time to
be still, to take stock of our lives and, maybe,
to move on in a new or diferent direction.
Transition is often a time of letting go, leaving
behind some things or some people, a time to
rest in the presence of God, a time to discern the
next stage of the journey, until we are ready to
embrace the new and to welcome it home.
Transitions...
View from Buncrana
54 55
Day 21 >
Conversion...
Why does the phone ring just as you sit down
for a cuppa? If it’s a friend it can be a welcome
distraction. But when it is a ‘cold-caller’ looking
for you to change energy suppliers or internet
providers that’s a diferent story. If they get past
their pre-scripted introduction without getting
cut of they have done well.
Essentially these phone calls are designed to
bring you new information. It is information for a
purpose - the hope that you will change what you
currently do to begin a new thing, a fresh start.
Jesus speaks to us for a purpose - to bring about
change in our lives. When talking to the rich young
man in Matthew 19.16-22 Jesus challenges him to
give up what he loves most - his money.
Jesus constantly challenges us to change what
we currently do (our desires and plans), to begin
a new thing (His desires and plans).
We can do one of two things. Hang up and ignore
Him - what does that look like for you? Or allow
His message to change us.
What is Jesus challenging you to turn from today?
Ask Him…
Look...
Don’t let the methods put you of the message…
“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, they are a new
creation; old things have passed away; behold,
all things have become new.” 2 Corinthians 5.17
Conversion is a strong theme in the Bible -
to turn from our ways to God’s ways.
Conversion is a realisation that we owe God
everything. It is a letting go of control.
The message is clear in the Bible to put the old
things away and start afresh with Christ. However
in our culture the language of conversion has
‘baggage’. It may conjure up caricatures of
methods and events we do not like. However
don’t let the methods put you of the message!
Galatians 5.17 reminds us of the daily challenges in
conversion. “For the flesh desires what is contrary
to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the
flesh. They are in conflict with each other, so that
you are not to do whatever you want.”
Do you recognise a time of conversion in your life?
Conversion is not just a moment in time but a
pattern of living. When you look back, can you
see a track record of mini-victories over the
‘desires of the flesh’ - of saying ‘no’ to yourself
and ‘yes’ to Him?
What do the challenges of conversion look
like for you at the moment?
Linger...
Watch someone make a meal - either at home
or on TV.
Imagine the ingredients.
Look at what happens to them in the process.
Smell the ingredients before and after cooking.
Imagine what it would be like if you had to eat the
ingredients uncooked - which do you prefer?
Or...
What is the cost to you of saying ‘yes’ to Christ?
What is the cost to you of saying ‘no’?”
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 34
Mark 10:17-27
Romans 5.8
Galatians 5.17
2 Corinthians 5.17
2 Peter 3.9
Prayer
Lord Jesus, today it is no longer I who live,
but you who live in me. The life I now live
I live by faith in You - the Son of God who
loved me and gave Yourself for me.
Amen
56 57
Day 22 >
Beyond the Boundaries...
Forgiveness is a hard thing. Is there anything
more difcult that Jesus asks us to do? Yet
he advocates it in the strongest terms.
Peter was asking Jesus what the boundaries were
to forgiveness, what is the limit? Jesus said there
is no limit - forgive when it is easy, forgive when
it is hard, and forgive when it seems impossible.
Why is forgiveness so difcult?
What is the cost to you of withholding forgiveness?
Look...
Read Matthew 21.33-45
Jesus tells the story of walls being built around
a vineyard, and the master hiring some farmers
to tend the land. When the harvest approached,
the owner sent servants to collect the fruit. The
farmers rejected the servants, beat them, stoned
them and killed them. This happened twice.
Eventually the owner sent his son, believing
the farmers would not treat him the same way.
The farmers killed the son.
God can ask us to forgive because His forgiveness
of our sins knows no bounds. As the story reminds
us, the extent of His willingness to forgive was
losing His Son.
Reflecting on all of this… has God a right to ask
us to forgive others, to say that there are no
boundaries to forgiveness?
Linger...
Forgiveness is an immensely costly thing. We only
have to remember what it cost Gordon Wilson to
forgive those who had murdered his daughter.
How on earth did he do it?
Is there someone you struggle to forgive?
If there is someone you struggle to forgive write
their name on your hand. Use this as a reminder
to ask God to help you to forgive that person.
Or...
Read John 19. 17-37 and find a Holy Communion
Service this weekend.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Allow yourself to be moved by the words
of the service - read the words as if for the
first time.
Let them sink in afresh.
Thank God for his Son and the price
He paid for your forgiveness.
Helpful Passages
Hosea 14
Psalm 86
Matthew 5:21-26
Matthew 21.33-45
Luke 7:36-50
John 19. 17-37
Prayer
Open my lips, Lord,
and my mouth will declare your praise.
You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would
bring it;
You do not take pleasure in burnt oferings.
My sacrifice, O God, is a broken spirit;
A broken and contrite heart you, God,
will not despise.
(Psalm 51:15-17)
Then Peter came to Jesus
and asked, “Lord, how many
times shall I forgive my brother
or sister who sins against
me? Up to seven times?”Jesus
answered, “I tell you, not seven
times, but seventy-seven times.”
Matthew 18:21-22
58 59
Day 23 >
The Significance of Intimacy...
“You have searched me, Lord, and you know
me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you
perceive my thoughts from afar… you are familiar
with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely. You hem me in
behind and before, and you lay your hand upon
me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.” Psalm 139:1-6
Image is everything these days. In a world of
celebrity, PR and glossy magazines we rarely get
beyond the surface of what people want us to
know about them.
Intimacy… a warm, close, personal friendship.
As a way of describing a relationship with God
does this appeal to you?
Does it make you uncomfortable?
Look...
X-factor, Britain’s Got Talent, The Voice, I’m a
Celebrity Get Me out of Here - TV schedules are
full of programmes showcasing talent where
getting on stage and proving to the world that
you have what it takes to ‘make it’ is how
success and failure are judged.
Are these shows a symptom of something more
- a search for personal significance? That if the
world knows I exist, if I am on the TV or in the
newspapers then somehow I am significant.
Finding our deepest sense of identity in this way
is dangerous - seeking the approval of strangers,
the votes of the fickle, the acclamation of the
masses. Our audience become our judge. As we
endeavour to remain ‘liked’ we lose touch with
who we truly are. We strive to please those we
don’t know; we struggle to be liked by those
we have nothing in common with; we find
our acceptance in the arms of strangers.
Jesus says the opposite in Matthew 6:6. Get of
the stage, take of the fake eyelashes and designer
labels, go into your room, close the door, and
spend time with God - but more than that -
do it in secret. Let no one else even know.
What is the challenge in this for you today?
Linger...
Create an opportunity to simply watch people
going about their ordinary business today.
Be aware of what draws your attention to some
more than others. Remember what impresses
you or puts you of some - be aware of what
goes through your mind as you measure the
significance of others?
Or...
Today…
How will you measure your significance?
How will you measure the significance of others?
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 1:26-31
Psalm 91
Psalm 139
Matthew 6:5-15
Mark 7:24.30
Luke 15
Romans 8:8-13
Prayer
Father, I share the desire of every human
being - to know I am significant, that I matter.
Fill me with the peace that comes from
knowing that I am significant to You. Let me
walk with joy today knowing that I matter.
“For you created my inmost being; you
knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made; your works are
wonderful, I know that full well.”
Psalm 139:13-14
60 61
Day 24 >
Life Stages - from
Child to Adult...
Imagine you’re doing a jigsaw puzzle. You
spend ages arranging the pieces, fitting the edges
together, then filling in the gaps. As the picture
becomes clearer you feel a sense of satisfaction.
You begin to see the reward for all your hard
labour. Then, just as the masterpiece nears
completion, you realise that a few pieces
of the jigsaw are missing.
What feelings are you aware of?
At each stage of life’s journey we see only
part of the picture. Some key pieces to our fully
understanding God’s purpose for our existence
will be missing. What bits of the picture are
missing for you just now?
Look...
Paul is convinced that even if we do not see all
of the picture of our lives, God does. How does it
make you feel that you are “fully known” by God?
“Now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then
we shall see face to face.” 1 Corinthians 13:12
Looking in a mirror will tell you so much about
yourself - including some things that you may not
like! Why not do it - go and look in a mirror right
now? And ask, “What do I see that I like and want
to grow? And what do I want to change?
Linger...
Have a go at one of the following exercises:
Visit someone you know in a nursing home, or
an elderly neighbour, and invite them to share
some of the lessons they’ve learnt in life.
Or...
List “my three golden rules in life.”
Or...
Do a jigsaw puzzle. Try to see it as a living prayer.
When you’ve finished give thanks for all that God
has revealed to you about his picture for your life.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
1 Samuel 3:1-11
Mark 10:13-16
Luke 2:42-51
1 Corinthians 13:1-11
Ephesians 4:7-16
1 Peter 5:1-11
Prayer
May the blessing of incomplete knowledge,
And the promise that more is to come,
Keep you forever, in the power of the Spirit,
In the journey of Christ,
In the love of God.
Amen
“Now I know only in part;
then I shall know fully, even
as I have been fully known.”
1 Corinthians 13.12
Author of Life, I belong in Your cast.
Help me to emerge gloriously from
all my growing pains.
Risen Teacher, I am your stagecraft student.
Enable me to use correction and praise
in equal measure.
Spirit of Truth, keep directing me.
Empower me to act wisely and justly.
For I am your child, God.
And this is Your show.
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought
like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became
a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
(1 Corinthians 13:11)
What would it mean for you to put the ways
of childhood behind you? How is God calling
me to grow?
You call me forth,
To play upon the stage of life;
An actor in Your great drama.
My entrance is not without struggle.
I fall and bump about the set
Learning how to move with grace.
Words and sounds jumble around
Until shared language connects me.
My mind broadens and quickens
As little by little the play unfolds.
One day, I dream,
The complete works will be revealed.
But for now, I journey on -
From the spontaneity of childhood
To the teenager rebellion years
Until to all intents and purposes
I appear to be grown-up.
But where are my lines?
I am still improvising from the original Script.
When will my character be fully developed?
I am still becoming my part.
Why do I miss so many cues?
I think I’m listening for that vital Word.
62 63
Day 25 >
Unexpected
Encounters...
Flick through a magazine until your eyes light
on a sympathetic face - someone you feel you
could talk to. Why? What does this person
draw out of you that you might wish to say
to a complete stranger? Light on another
face, in the same magazine, or another.
Try this a few times. In each case, take the
humanity of the person whose face it is as
seriously as you can. Or do this with a face you
don’t immediately warm to. How much of our
reaction to others do we foist on them? How
ready are we to a genuinely open conversation,
involving listening as well as sharing? And how
free, or otherwise, are we from a monologue
already going on in our heads?
Look...
Two friends on a lonely journey home. Like one
of those journeys after your football team have
dropped out of the cup, or your choir have lost
the contest. Like the drive home after one of you
has received bad news in the hospital consulting
room. What can anybody say?
Then this apparent stranger draws alongside.
Through his questioning, probing, listening, and
opening of the scriptures, he draws out of them
not just their deep disappointment but also their
hopes and dreams for the future.
Linger...
Today attempt one of these exercises with the intent
of helping yourself or others to become more aware
of the presence of the mysterious companion on
our journey.
Chat with someone about important moments
of realisation in your lives.
Write the words “Abide with me” on a post-it and
put them up in diferent places around your house
as reminders of the presence of the risen Lord.
Leave a book, card or leaflet with a Christian theme in a
place where it is likely to be picked up e.g. a bus station.
Pray that someone will take it and find it helpful.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 18:22-33
Ruth 1: 7-18
2 Kings 2: 1-15
Job 42: 1-6
Mark 12: 28-34
Luke 24: 13-35
John 4: 1-29
Prayer
May the language of our bodies
Be the love of Christ,
The constant discourse of our gestures
His accepting welcome;
May we articulate,
In all we say and do, and are,
The presence of Christ in his world;
And may the peace of Christ give us humility
To listen…
Amen
“They said to each other,
Were not our hearts burning
within us while he was
talking to us on the road?”
Luke 24:32
In you we understand each other,
Because in you, absolutely, we are understood.
O vast, attentive hinterland of our chatter,
Teach us how to listen, as well as talk, to
receive as well as transmit.
In you the words that flit between us,
zigzagging the short distance from soul to soul
As we tread our road together,
Can bind our mere shared direction into a single,
shared journey,
And our introverted rehearsals, our dislocated speech,
Into a shared story, of where we have been
And where we are going, in you.
“They were kept from recognising him.” Luke 24:16.
What do you think prevented their recognising
Jesus? What are things that stop us being open
to share the deepest parts of our lives with him?
What could we do to help people we encounter
on our journey to be open to the Lord’s presence?
Our paths were two parallel lines,
same direction, never meeting,
Sad words, flitting crabwise between us,
keeping us together,
An endless, fruitless rehearsal of events,
truisms, platitudes,
Sometimes, that’s what it’s like, with us…
Father, you, beyond speech
Are the goal of our speaking, as of our living;
For you are the meaning for which,
So blithely - or desperately - we substitute
trivial meanings of our own,
Only to mourn your absence, even while
you are there for us.
Christ, you are Language,
Inviting us to take you as the syntax
of our self-expression,
Stringing together our words and actions
Into a lived utterance of love.
Holy Spirit, you are Advocate,
Articulate in our speechlessness,
the medium of our conversation,
Interpreting, each to the other,
our silences, our loss-for-words.
64 65
It isn’t always where we intend to go that we
wind up. Levi the tax-collector had the meaning
of his whole life on the table before him, in the
piles of money for which he had traded respect,
friendship, even simple, everyday, human
solidarity.
Jesus came by, Levi got up and left it all, and
became someone diferent. He didn’t know where
he was going - just that he had to go. He had not
come to maybe a fork in the road, but certainly a
junction. A junction ofers us a choice; will we go
on the way we have been, complete the journey
we started - or take a new way, begin a new
journey, abandon the old one? There is always
the default option-carry on as before.
So we evaluate. We weigh, and measure, we ask
what is important and precious to us about the
road we are treading, and have been for a while
now, the journey we believe we are on - and what
might be better in a change of direction, a change
of goal. For faith the possibility of a new direction
opens up, this weighing and measuring is a deeply
prayerful process. We hand all these things to
God. Yet for faith, too, the choice is ours to make.
He hands the decision back. We decide. God is
in all this.
“Your word is a lamp to my feet, and a light to
my path.” (Psalm 119:105)
New Directions...
66 67
Day 26 >
Manna - Food for the Journey...
If you can, take a piece of bread in your hand.
Savour the smell, the texture and the taste.

Then say the Lord’s Prayer out loud or silently in
your head. Pause after the line “Give us this day
our daily bread” - let this thought stay with you
throughout the day.

Now reflect on God’s promise: “I am going to
rain bread from heaven for you, and each day the
people shall go out and gather enough for that
day. In that way I will test them, whether they
will follow my instruction or not.” Exodus 16:4
Look...
The manna lasted for only one day before it
became inedible. Why might God have chosen
to give them food for a day at a time?

Jesus said, “Do not labour for food that goes of
but for food that lasts for ever” (John 6:27). What
food are you working for?

He encourages his disciples to pray “Give US OUR
daily bread” rather than “Give me”. How does this
change things?

These are testing times, God.

Every item of news is bleak and ominous:
“Redundancy, recession, debt and devastation.”

Everyday the rain pours, dark and depressing:
“Cold snap, worst for years, stay in if you can.”

Every silver lining has a cloud:
“Just when you thought the end was in sight,
now this.”

Like the Israelites we wonder:
Were we better of before?
What’s the point of being here?
Can we take any more?

God, forgive our lack of hope, our short memory,
our selfish perspective. For you hear our cries.
In the midst of our panic and complaints you speak:
spurring us on, opening the road, saying
enough for today, enough for today;
if you will journey - I will provide.
Linger...
Talk with someone about their most memorable
meals. What made them so memorable? Anticipate
the banquet in God’s kingdom.

If you can get hold of it listen to the words of the
song, “One day at a time”. Reflect on the words
of the chorus and try to live them out.

“One day at a time sweet Jesus
That’s all that I’m asking from You.
Lord give me the strength to do every day
what I have to do.
Yesterday’s gone sweet Jesus and tomorrow
may never be mine.
Lord help me today show me the way
one day at a time.”

Or...

Bake some bread or buy some from a bakery.
Enjoy the experience. Find a way to share some
of the bread during the day. Reflect on the
generosity of God who seeks to share the
bread of his Kingdom.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 1
Exodus 16
Matthew 4: 1-11
Luke 15:11-32
John 6: 25-29
James 1:1-18
Prayer
Lord, with your bread
May I be fed
Lord, with your presence
May I be led
Lord, by your Son
Who for me bled
Lord, send your peace
Upon my head
Lord, by your Word
When I have read
Lord, fill my life
When I have prayed
Amen
68 69
Day 27 >
Bereavement...
“Even though I walk through the darkest valley
I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod
and your staf, they comfort me.” Psalm 23:4
Left desolate or alone… bereavement is and
will be experienced by us all. We will all have an
insight into walking through our ‘darkest valley’.
“Death casts a frightening shadow over us because
we are entirely helpless in its presence. We can
struggle with other enemies - pain, sufering,
disease, injury - but strength and courage cannot
overcome death. It has the final word. Only one
person can walk with us through death’s dark
valley and bring us safely to the other side - the
God of life, our shepherd. Because life is uncertain,
we should follow this shepherd who ofers us
eternal comfort.”
Psalm 23 - Life Application Bible
Take a moment to draw comfort from the fact
that God knows the desolation of bereavement
and that you are never alone in your loss.
Look...
Bereavement can take many forms - loss of
people we love not only through death but by
separation, divorce or through someone moving
away. It can also be in the loss of employment,
health or something more. What loss have you
experienced?
Death and loss never have the last word.
Even though bereavement is a real experience
we are encouraged by the hope of resurrection.
Read Revelation 21:1-5
‘When our eyes behold through the morning light,
The city of gold, our harbour bright,
we shall anchor fast by the heav’nly shore,
with the storms all past for evermore.’
© Church of Ireland Hymnal
Linger...
Think about others today. Send someone
a card or email to let them know you are
thinking of them.
Or...
In what simple way can you bring hope and
light to someone else today?
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Isaiah 51:1-11
Isaiah 53:4-6
Psalm 34
Psalm 121
Philippians 3:7-14
Revelation 14.13
Prayer
Lord, bless all who minister to those who
mourn the death of a loved one. Be with
doctors, nurses, care workers, ministers,
family and friends as they come to terms
with their loss. Give them new hope and
healing as they prepare to face the future.
Amen
70 71
Day 28 >
Resurrection Journey...
“Early on the first day of the week, while it was
still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and
saw that the stone had been removed from the
entrance.” John 20:1
Resurrection… a living being coming back to life
after death. For us, the resurrection of Jesus fills
us with life anew and provides us with a great
sense of hope.
“They have taken the Lord out of the tomb,
and we don’t know where they have put him!”
John 20:2
Put yourself in the disciples place - what feelings
would you have had at that moment?
Look...
Read John 20:1-10
Those first people to reach the empty tomb must
have been so filled with joy at the realisation that
the resurrection of Jesus had taken place, a joy that
no one could ever take away from them or from us,
as people who live in today’s world. When the stone
was rolled away and Jesus was raised from the
dead, further illustrated by his ability to walk out
and leave the tomb empty, life for many would
never be looked at in the same way.
The resurrection confirms that Jesus is alive, His
followers are not alone. Matthew 28:20 tells us “I am
with you always, to the very end of the age.” Jesus
is with you every step of the way on your journey.
“Because I live, you also will live” John 14:19. With
this statement we are given a great sense of hope
beyond this life to a life that never ends.
As you contemplate the day ahead what diference
can this make to how you experience it?
Linger...
In 2 Corinthians 5:17 we are told, “The old has
gone, the new is here!”
“Endings are necessary. They are an essential
part of life. Everything has seasons, and we have
to be able to recognize that something’s time has
passed and be able to move to the next season.
And, everything that is alive requires pruning as
well, which is a great metaphor for endings.”
© Dr Henry Cloud Published in Psychology
Today, February 22, 2011 by Henry Cloud,
Ph.D. in The Art of Endings
The resurrection provides us with great
hope and life.
What does the resurrection story mean for you?
Are you filled with hope and joy?
Or...
As Mary Magdalene approached the tomb, she
saw the stone had been moved away. This was
one of the first signs that the resurrection of
Jesus had taken place.
The stone can act as a reminder of this sign.
Today choose a stone, draw a cross on it and
place it in your pocket as a reminder that Jesus
lives with you and the journey continues.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 22:1-18
Luke 24:26-49
I Corinthians 15:1-11
1 Corinthians 15:12-34
I Corinthians 15:35-58
Romans 10:9
Prayer
Breathe on me, Breath of God,
Fill me with life anew,
That I may love the way you love,
And do what you would do.
© Church of Ireland Hymnal
72 73
Day 29 >
Renewal...
“I went down to the potter’s house and saw him
working at the potter’s wheel.
4
He was using his
hands to make a pot from clay, but something
went wrong with it. So he used that clay to
make another pot the way he wanted it to be.”
Jeremiah 18: 3 & 4
God is the Potter, we are the clay!
Think of a time when you watched a potter at work.
Did you feel confident that the potter had the skill
and experience needed to create something?
Look...
God wants us to walk the path that he has set
out for us. He gives us free will to make decisions
and will deal with our mistakes as we make them
again and again.
God is the potter, we are the clay. Just as a potter
works with the clay to create something beautifully
formed in every way, God wants to shape and
mould us.
Sometimes we forget that we are a vessel shaped
and moulded by the greatest ‘potter’. Our human
instincts drive us to become the potter thinking
that if we become who we want to be we could fix
everything. At times we all want to be Frank Sinatra
singing ‘I did it my way’, when really we need to let
ourselves be the clay and allow the potter to mould
and shape us according to his will.
We are reshaped right through our lives.
Sometimes it comes from making wrong choices
where we have to have think and try again. At other
times the shaping comes as we pursue a dream.
Above all we must truly accept that God is shaping
us the way he wants to. We also remember that
even with all our faults or mistakes, he can still
shape us into the new creation that he made
us to be.
God is the potter. We are the clay. God never gives
up on us. He uses things that may happen in our
lives to reshape us. Beware of the change in you
as you let God reshape and mould you.
Linger...
At a time when you feel conscious of God’s
presence imagine you are like the potter, find
something that you can break, melt, mould or
fill to make something completely new as a
reminder that this is what you must let God
do for you.
Or…
Find a magazine about making pottery. Think
about the concept of the Potter and the clay.
Repeat quietly to yourself as you go about your
daily business: ‘God is the Potter, I am the clay’.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Psalm 46
Daniel 3
Matthew 1:18-24
Matthew 16:24- 27
John 3:1-21
Philippians 2:12-16
Prayer
Spirit of the living God
Fall fresh on me
Break me, melt me, mould me, fill me
Spirit of the living God
Fall fresh on me.
Amen
If God is in the passenger seat beside you,
swap and let Him drive!
What does this mean for you as you live your
daily life?
Can you identify aspects of your life that you
need to entrust to God to allow you to be
remoulded and renewed?
74 75
Day 30 >
Preparation...
“So after they fasted and prayed, they laid their
hands on Barnabas and Saul and sent them out.”
Acts 13:3
Preparation is the action of making ready or being
made ready for use. What things have you had to
prepare for this week?
Look...
Luke 10:1-11 - Jesus sends out the Seventy-Two
After this the Lord appointed seventy-two others
and sent them two by two ahead of him to every
town and place where he was about to go. He told
them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the workers are
few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send
out workers into his harvest field. Go! I am sending
you out like lambs among wolves. Do not take a
purse or bag or sandals; and do not greet anyone
on the road.
“When you enter a house, first say, ‘Peace to this
house.’ If someone who promotes peace is there,
your peace will rest on them; if not, it will return to
you. Stay there, eating and drinking whatever they
give you, for the worker deserves his wages. Do
not move around from house to house.
“When you enter a town and are welcomed, eat
what is ofered to you. Heal the sick who are there
and tell them, ‘The kingdom of God has come near
to you.’ But when you enter a town and are not
welcomed, go into its streets and say, ‘Even the dust
of your town we wipe from our feet as a warning
to you. Yet be sure of this: The kingdom of God has
come near.”
Preparation is an important part of our everyday
life. Here we see Jesus working with the seventy-
two as preparation for the challenge that lay before
them. He told them how to approach their ministry,
what was to be expected and how to approach and
respond to any potential challenges they may have
had to face along the way.
Linger...
During this next week find a house that is in the
process of being built. Imagine the preparations
that have been necessary along the way. Reflect
on how important preparation is.
Or…
What is the one thing you need more than
anything else for your Christian journey?
Identify it and use it.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Proverbs 6:6-11
Matthew 25:1-46
Luke 4:1-13
John 1:1-14
Romans 12:1-2
Ephesians 6:10-20
Prayer
God, guide us in all our preparations. As we
go out into the world walk beside us and
help us to feel your presence as we go. In
your name we ask it.
Amen
This is preparation: to be made ready for your
calling and to be prepared to allow yourself to
be used for God.
It is said that if we fail to prepare, then we must be
prepared to fail. God does not want this for us. We
follow the call of God, we prepare as best we can
and respond appropriately to things we may face
on this journey.
What does it mean, for you today, to be prepared
for God?
Imagine how the disciples would have fared had
they not been prepared by Jesus.
76 77
Day 31 >
Choices...
What should I do?... Which way?
Choices form a major part of our everyday lives.
Some we can make quite quickly while others may
be more complex and need careful thought and
consideration.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not
on your own understanding; in all your ways submit
to him, and he will make your paths straight.”
Proverbs 3:5
Look...
As we journey through our lives we are constantly
faced with choice.
Choice is making a decision based on what we like
and what we think is best for us. Or is this really the
case? Proverbs 3:5-6 encourages us to trust in the
Lord in all that we decide, and not rely solely on
what we think ourselves.
Some choices will be more important than
others. Some are more easily decided such as
‘What should I have for my dinner today?’ or
‘What outfit shall I put on?’ However, others may
be decisions that have more longer-lasting efects
on how we live as people.
With every choice there is always more than one
answer. Some may have a more positive outcome
than others. With trust and guidance we are assured
that any choices made will be the positive choice
for us, even though at the time it may be difcult
for us to see and comprehend.
Identify choices you have had to make.
Think about the choice, did it have a positive
or negative consequence?
How can you ensure you consistently make
positive choices in your own life?
Linger...
The next time you go to a cofee shop or out
for a meal take time to look at the menu. What
afects your choice - is it price, personal taste
or what everyone else is having?
What afects the choices you make today?
Or…
Think about how you respond to others.
Choose to respond positively to what
someone asks you to do today.
Leave...
Extras for
the journey...
Helpful Passages
Genesis 13:1-18
Joshua 24:1-15
Proverbs 4:5-9
Matthew 7:7-14
Proverbs 3:1-35
Philippians 4:8
Prayer
‘Father, hear the prayer we ofer: not for
ease that prayer shall be, but for strength
that we may ever live our lives courageously.
© Church of Ireland Hymnal
God, help me to trust you in the choices
and decisions that I have to make in life.
Amen
78 79
My Reflections on the Journey...
80 81
My Reflections on the Journey...
82 83
My Reflections on the Journey...
84 85
Acknowledgements...
The Diocese of Derry and Raphoe wishes to acknowledge
all those involved in the production of Growing Deeper,
including:
Rev Judi McGafn (Chair), Archdeacon Robert Miller,
Martin Montgomery, Rhonda Dunn and Rev Paul Hoey,
all of whom contributed the content for Growing Deeper.
Material from St Andrew’s Press (Church of Scotland).
Bible references, unless otherwise noted, are from
the New International Version (2011 by Biblica, Inc.™)
Editor: Rev Earl Storey
Photography: Canon Sam Barton
Design: Chris Conville
Where will your
journey take you?