Spiritual Thanksgiving

The image of living on the earth in harmony with creation and therefore the Creator, is a helpful image for me… Each day we are given is for Thanksgiving for the earth. We are to enjoy it and share it in service of others. This is the way to grow in unity and harmony… It allows for diversity within the unity of the Creator… There are many teachings in the aboriginal North American nations that use the symbol of the circle. It is the symbol for the inclusive caring community, where individuals are respected and interdependence is recognized. In the wider perspective it symbolizes the natural order of creation in which human beings are part of the whole circle of life. Aboriginal spiritual teachers speak of the reestablishment of the balance between human beings and the whole of creation, as a mending of the hoop.

James Treat, Native and Christian: Indigenous Voices on Religious Identity in the United States and Canada (New York: Routledge, 1996), 54-55.
Photo of balls of dew on a leaf, copyright 2020 Maggie Panyko

#PsalmOfTheDay: Psalm 60

Please leave your reflections in the comment section. A link to correspondences on this reading has been included at the bottom.

Psalm 60, New Living Translation

arid barren clay cracks

Photo by icon0.com on Pexels.com

1 You have rejected us, O God, and broken our defenses.
You have been angry with us; now restore us to your favor.
2 You have shaken our land and split it open.
Seal the cracks, for the land trembles.
3 You have been very hard on us,
making us drink wine that sent us reeling.
4 But you have raised a banner for those who fear you—
a rallying point in the face of attack. Interlude
5 Now rescue your beloved people.
Answer and save us by your power.
6 God has promised this by his holiness:
“I will divide up Shechem with joy.
I will measure out the valley of Succoth.
7 Gilead is mine,
and Manasseh, too.
Ephraim, my helmet, will produce my warriors,
and Judah, my scepter, will produce my kings.
8 But Moab, my washbasin, will become my servant,
and I will wipe my feet on Edom
and shout in triumph over Philistia.”
9 Who will bring me into the fortified city?
Who will bring me victory over Edom?
10 Have you rejected us, O God?
Will you no longer march with our armies?
11 Oh, please help us against our enemies,
for all human help is useless.
12 With God’s help we will do mighty things,
for he will trample down our foes.


#ThursdayThoughts “Stewardship of Life” Sermon

Rev. Dr. Sherrie Connelly’s sermon notes from Ohio Association of Swedenborgian Churches Service on World Communion Sunday 10/6/19:

Stewardship of Life

<Psalm 24>

The Lord is the ultimate Steward of the Earth, lent to us while we reside on it. The land was created amid the wide blue seas, buffeted and embraced by the winds.  If we have pure hearts, honoring our true Lord and Savior, we may be welcome to visit the holy place, in the mountains, and the Lord’s presence will bless us.

Welcome to the King of Glory.  We are blessed to be in his presence here and now.

<Ephesians 5:15-16>

We are taught to make the best use of the time we have. To walk with our heads high, and embrace all with bold hearts. With the Lord’s help we will overcome evil and lead good lives.  The Lord gives us stewardship over our very lives, treasures, talents and gifts

<Parable of the Sower, Matthew 13: 1-17>

In the parable of the sower we are taught to be cautious where we plant our seeds.  Be sure we nestle them in fertile ground and not on rocks, not in shallow soil, nor where birds can eat them, nor where they can be scorched or choked off.  Alas, there are also many people who do not see and do not hear the word of the Lord God.  Yet, fortunately, however, some are indeed blessed with eyes that see and ears that hear.  Let us be grateful for such good fortunes.

In another Gospel reading, in Luke 6:38, we are taught about the wisdom of the stewardship of our time, our treasures, and our talents.  Talents are sometimes understood as coins, and variously we may understand them as the talents and gifts we have been given.  As we give, so we will be given to.  Be generous, and we will be rewarded with multiplying blessings, again and again.  All who ask, indeed we shall receive abundantly of the blessings of the Lord.

Looking further at Stewardship, in Merriam-Webster’s dictionary, “stewardship” is the conducting, supervising or managing of something entrusted to our counsel and care.  We are taught to understand that good stewards are committed to selfless service.

We believe in sustainability.

We believe in inclusiveness.

We embrace innovation and change, and we are team players, quick to give others credit, and not to boast.

Doing a little bit more research: I found

“Four Principles of Biblical Stewardship,” by Hugh Whelchel

  1. The principle of ownership, lent from the Lord, as we are able to create wealth and abundance through his goodness.
  2. The principle of responsibility.  It is owners who have rights where stewards have responsibilities.
  3. The principle of sustainability. Recalling the parable of the talents, the more we have been given, the more we are to share and care of the well-being of others.  Matthew 25:21 that you receive all benefits and gains from the Lord as an inherited reward.  Thus, in return, it is the Lord we are sewing.  And the Lord responds, “Well done, good and faithful servant.”

As we has been faithful with what has give to us, so your blessings will increase the more good you do.

Our lives are the Lord’s gifts to us.  Embrace it fully.  Be grateful for all we have been given.  Hold it lightly, without fear or clutching.  Share as much as we can with others.

As we are good stewards of our lives, so we will be surrounded by increasing blessings, good friends, happiness and love. ~Amen.


Saturday Serenity, #Religion

What If

What if our religion was each other
If our practice was our life
If prayer, our words
What if the temple was the Earth
If the forests were our church
If holy water – the rivers, lakes and oceans
What if meditation was our relationships
If the teacher was life
If wisdom was self-knowledge
If love was the center of our being

from Yoga Beyond Belief
(c) Ganga White
White Lotus Yoga Foundation