THIS day...THIS bread...Today!

I love this picture.  We received a framed copy for a wedding gift many years ago.  It reminds me of the simplicity of daily provision by our loving Heavenly Father for today...every day.

We don't really need much...but we think we do, don't we?  Just a simple prayer today...

THIS day, O Father! THIS bread, O Lord!  Thank You!

So let's reflect again, dear friend, and may your soul be enriched:

We need to learn to receive the grace of THIS day and THIS bread

...The only way we really break the cycle of being trapped in either the glory years or future anxiety is to allow the words of the Lord’s prayer to sink all the way in. When we pray “Give us this day our daily bread,"...the most important word might be THIS.

We are designed to be dependent creatures. Like the Israelites who received daily manna, God has designed us to be dependent on him in a day-by-day, moment-by-moment way. We don’t have leftover manna to live off of from the glory years. And we don’t get a detailed plan of where next year’s manna comes from. All God promises us is THIS day, and THIS bread.

What if we learned to receive that as a gift instead of a curse? What if each meal could be received with a grace for THIS moment’s provision. What if each good conversation could be received as a gift from God for THIS moment? On and on the list could go.

...I am asking God to reveal to me THIS — this moment, this grace, this provision, this gift, this opportunity. It really does change the way you look at each day day… even each moment with God. Daniel Hill

And so we again pray:

I do not ask

for some future bread.

I do not ask

for some lofty thing.

I ask for nothing more

I ask for nothing less

than primal provision.

For this, and this—only this.

I do not ask for then.

I do not ask for there.

I do not ask for that.

only this meal—this moment.

for this day, only

for this, and this—only this.

Jonathan Martin

THIS Day...Today

For this NON-procrastinator, it is very difficult to live in the moment, in the today!  My mind is always racing ahead...to the next responsibility, the next event, the next idea... As a result, " time crunches" and "performance anxiety" are often the name of my game! So I love these words from our Lord, captured with the help of two brothers.

Give us THIS day our daily bread...

Here is today's reflection to feed my soul...and yours?

Most of us live trapped in anxiety around either the past or the future

There is something about the human condition that seems incapable of living in the now. We seem unable to enjoy the moment; to be grateful for our current provision; to be joyful in our present reality. We tend to either memorialize the past or anxiously await the future.

...for some of us, we seem to incessantly gravitate back to the “glory years.” This is quite common in the life of church. As the congregation grows and evolves, some of us are tempted to say, “I wish we could go back to (fill in the blank) era. Things were so peaceful then. Everybody knew each other. There was so much harmony and joy.” Of course, the actual reality was almost never as good as the fantasy we have turned the glory years into. But that’s just the point – by fondly remembering a story we’ve created for ourselves, we find another way to escape from the reality we currently live in.

For others of us, we spend all of our precious emotional resources on trying to guess what lies ahead. We worry about our future finances, our future vocation, our future spouse, or the future of our kids. We plan, strategize, and obsess over every potential detail. We hear the words of Jesus — “Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?” — but it doesn’t seem to break the anxiety cycle. When it comes down to our emotional and spiritual state, we realistically live much more in the future than in the present moment. Daniel Hill

So again we pray...

I do not ask

for some future bread.

I do not ask

for some lofty thing.

I ask for nothing more

I ask for nothing less

than primal provision.

For this, and this—only this.

I do not ask for then.

I do not ask for there.

I do not ask for that.

only this meal—this moment.

for this day, only

for this, and this—only this.

Jonathan Martin

THIS Day...THIS bread!

I have a new prayer to pray, a new breath to breathe:

Father...THIS day, THIS bread!

I find myself breathing this often...

And there's a bit of a story behind embracing this prayer.

It all started with an unlikely meeting...on Twitter, of all places!. Now you have to know that I am on Twitter, but I'm not "on Twitter."  But when Daniel Hill interacted with my "tweet" (a tweet? really?), a connection happened.  And I'm so glad! I've been following Daniel's blog ever since.

Daniel Hill pastors River City, a diverse congregation in Chicago, and is the author of a new book, 10:10: Life to the Fullest.

Pastor Dan's blog has held treasures for me, and his current post is no exception. In it Daniel shares some profoundly simple and practical truths from a sermon on a line from the Lord's Prayer by a respected colleague in the ministry, Jonathan Martin:

Give us this day our daily bread.

So for the next few days, I would like us to meditate on this amazing verse here on A Branch in the Vine.

But for today, this prayer:

I do not ask

for some future bread.

I do not ask

for some lofty thing.

I ask for nothing more

I ask for nothing less

than primal provision.

For this, and this—only this.

I do not ask for then.

I do not ask for there.

I do not ask for that.

only this meal—this moment.

for this day, only

for this, and this—only this.

Thank you, Jonathan Martin for letting us pray along...

And thank you, Daniel, for sharing your reflections.