Wednesday, February 27, 2013


A huge thanks to Keri Wyatt Kent for this guest post on Thimbleful of Time. I own and have read several of Keri's books, and am current reading Deeply Loved: 40 Ways in 40 Days to Experience the Heart of Jesus. In fact, Deeply Loved is my Lenten devotional this year. I hope you are blessed by Keri's post today.
Guest post by Keri Wyatt Kent

What keeps us from experiencing the deep love that Jesus wants to give us? What if we’re missing out on love simply because we’re distracted?

Our culture has turned distraction into an art form—we’ve invented a million ways to interrupt ourselves. But what distracts us most often is not the phone call or text or latest cute video on Facebook—it’s fear.

The Bible tells us this truth: “perfect love casts out fear.”

So I wonder if the opposite is true. Does fear cast out perfect love?

Do you suppose that’s why God, throughout Scripture, keeps repeating, “Do not be afraid”? Because our fear keeps us from experiencing love?

Our distractions—the things that nag at the corners of our mind—are really little fears, worries, frets. Even when they’re small, they keep us from focusing on Jesus, on his deep love for us.

Worry builds walls around us—walls we may even fool ourselves into thinking are “safe.” We think our worry holds disaster at bay, when really, we put ourselves through stress and imagined pain for no reason.

When we focus on Jesus’ love for us, his perfect love, it banishes our fears. We can more easily obey his directive: “do not worry.”

Telling someone to not worry is a bit like telling them not to think about a blue elephant. Once they hear that, they can’t think of anything besides that elephant. Rather, we must focus on the positive: to think about his love, to pray. And not lines like “Dear God, please help me with this thing I’m worried about.” But rather, prayers of thankfulness, of gratitude. Prayers in which we listen—and hear: you are my beloved. Focus on his love for you, his perfect love. Remind yourself of his provision.

Today, make a list of ways that God has shown you his love: through provision, relationships, comfort, his presence. Write them down, and thank God for each thing. Let gratitude replace your worries. Let this list of examples of God’s perfect love cast out your fears.

About the Author:

Keri Wyatt Kent is the author of ten books, a freelance writer and speaker. She writes and speaking about slowing down, simplifying and listening to God. To learn more, join Keri on a 40 day Lent study of her book on Facebook or by following her on Twitter (@KeriWyattKent #DeeplyLoved).


Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Marked by Ashes


Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933)
Marked by Ashes

Ruler of the Night, Guarantor of the day . . .This day — a gift from you.
This day — like none other you have ever given, or we have ever received.
This Wednesday dazzles us with gift and newness and possibility.
This Wednesday burdens us with the tasks of the day, for we are already halfway home
halfway back to committees and memos,
halfway back to calls and appointments,
halfway on to next Sunday,
halfway back, half frazzled, half expectant,
half turned toward you, half rather not.

This Wednesday is a long way from Ash Wednesday,
but all our Wednesdays are marked by ashes —
we begin this day with that taste of ash in our mouth:
of failed hope and broken promises,
of forgotten children and frightened women,
we ourselves are ashes to ashes, dust to dust;
we can taste our mortality as we roll the ash around on our tongues.

We are able to ponder our ashness with
some confidence, only because our every Wednesday of ashes
anticipates your Easter victory over that dry, flaky taste of death.

On this Wednesday, we submit our ashen way to you —
you Easter parade of newness.

Before the sun sets, take our Wednesday and Easter us,
Easter us to joy and energy and courage and freedom;
Easter us that we may be fearless for your truth.
Come here and Easter our Wednesday with
mercy and justice and peace and generosity.

We pray as we wait for the Risen One who comes soon.

For over thirty years now, Walter Brueggemann (b. 1933) has combined the best of critical scholarship with love for the local church in service to the kingdom of God. Now a professor emeritus of Old Testament studies at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, Brueggemann has authored over seventy books. Taken from his Prayers for a Privileged People (Nashville: Abingdon, 2008), pp. 27-28.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Pancakes and Lent

Oh can it really be that I have not blogged in one month! Apparently so. I miss these pages so very much. The past month has been all business writing. The month to come will be very much the same. It does not feed my soul the way these clean pages for reflection do. But it is food for the table and I am grateful for the gift of work.

Tomorrow is Ash Wednesday. The beginning of Lent. I read another blogger today confessing that she can't seem to get through the 40 days of giving up. It makes her want to giving up on Lent altogether. I know that feeling. Denying oneself is a hard thing. Yet a necessary thing for growth and formation in the image of Christ.

So tonight, although our faith tradition does not celebrate Shrove Tuesday or Ash Wednesday or even Lent, we'll eat pancakes. According to Wikipedia, the expression "Shrove Tuesday" (when it is tradition to eat pancakes - what is not to love about that!) comes from the word shrive, meaning "confess."

And after confession come Lent, tomorrow. The giving up not for simply the sake of giving up, but for the joy of formation. The giving up I have chosen (or that has chosen me) feels hard and intimidating. I have no idea if I can go the distance. So thankful that there is no legalism here - I will do my best. Just a desire to embrace a bit of denial. This soul struggle will be full of pruning - hope for new life in me. Time for some diseased branches to be cut off.

But now it's time for pancakes!

Salisbury Cathedral, Salisbury UK