Ignatian Pilgrimage Spain 2021

For as long as people have searched for God, they have been drawn to the beauty and wonder of nature.  The wisemen followed the star, the Desert Fathers found solitude in the wilderness, and Ignatius of Loyola changed his heart and history on pilgrimage in the depths of a cave and on the heights of…

Keep Company

Let me keep my distance, always from those who think they have all the answers. Let me keep company always with those who say   “Look!” and laugh in astonishment,   and bow their heads. Mysteries, Yes. Mary Oliver Keep company with those who cheer you on in days of celebration and gladness and allow you tears of sadness…

Waiting In-Between

“We are good at starting and we are good at finishing. But we don’t know what to do with ourselves in the in-between.” Mari Andrew, My Inner Sky. Navigating life in-between loss and recovery is a challenge that reveals the frailty of our humanity and the deep longing for divine hope in the space of…

Let Your Mercy Flow

MERCY. A blessing or act of divine favor or compassion. I invite you into Musica Divina, or hearing God speak through music and lyrics. Listen to the song and read the reflections. Allow Mercy to flow. The goodness of the Lord is the kindness of the Lord. With every breath we take, the gift of…

My Goodness! Mercy!

First Week of Easter Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever. Psalm 23:6 A flock of sheep that have been well cared for and loved will clean up and restore a piece of unproductive land as no other animal…

Anoint Me

Good Friday April 2, 2021 You anoint my head with oil.    My cup overflows. Psalm 23:5 Hair products have always been very personal and cultural as well as specific to hair type and style.  While living in S. Asia, I saw the benefits of coconut oil for friends with thick dark hair. And I enjoy hair humor, especially…

Holy Week

BEHOLD MY SERVANT Holy Week Meditations follow the Lectionary readings from the Servant Songs in the book of Isaiah. They are designed to be used the week of Palm Sunday through Easter. Download the pdf here: https://robbijames.com/resources/ A Caregiver’s Look at Psalm 23 continues here: March 28, 2021 Palm Sunday You have set me a…

Allow Me

March 21, 2020 Fifth Sunday of Lent You are with me. Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 The Lord is my Shepherd and he comforts with the “rod and staff,” the tools of caregiving and guidance . As a city dweller, the closest I have come to truly understanding this metaphor…

Shadowy Path

March 14, 2021, Fourth Sunday of Lent Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. Psalm 23:4 Shepherd me, O God, beyond my wants, beyond my fears, from death into life. Marty Haugen Let your darkness touch someone…

This is the Way

March 7, 2021 Third Sunday of Lent The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.   He makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters.   He restores my soul.He leads me in paths of righteousness    for his name’s sake. Psalm 23:1-3 He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. Psalm 23:3 The Path of Righteousness.  The sheep have been…

Soul Rest

Feb 28, 2021 Second Sunday of Lent The Shepherd makes me lie down in green pastures.He leads me beside still waters.He restores my soul.  Psalm 23:1-3 This beloved Psalm’s promise of rest and restoration is a lifeline for weary souls. Hear also this word of God as encouragement for our times: “All of you who are surviving…

Enough

Feb 21, 2021 First Sunday of Lent “The Lord is my shepherd; I lack nothing.” (NIV) The Shepherd. The opening line of Psalm 23 is one of the best recognized and quoted verses in the Bible. The simplicity and comforting imagery immediately soothes the soul as it starts with an amazing relationship with Shepherd who is the great…

Gone Astray

Ash Wednesday 2021 “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned-everyone-to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him (The Suffering Servant) the iniquity of us all.”  Isaiah 53:6 “(My Shepherd) restores my soul.” Psalm 23:3 Stray animal rescue videos fascinate me, and in particular, homeless dog rescues.  Sadly, many dogs…

Prepare for Lent

Restore My Soul: Psalm 23, A Journey of Rest and Return This Lent, Adventurous Obedience will journey through the familiar and beloved Psalm 23, taking a deep dive into relationship with God our Shepherd. “RESTORE MY SOUL” begins with Ash Wednesday, released on Monday, Feb 15th, followed by weekly reflections released every Friday through Lent,…

Winter Practices 2

One of the coldest adventures of my life was visiting Stonehenge in the winter while traveling with fellow team members.  We didn’t want to miss this monumental encounter, but we were woefully and inadequately layered for freezing wet wind. So we literally ran around the circle of stones, grabbed a quickly cooling cup of hot…

Winter Practices

“I’ve loved you the way my Father has loved me. Make yourselves at home in my love”. John 15: 9 (MSG) Finding the will or way to practice our spirituality in the winter months and in pandemic isolation is a challenge, but a much needed balm of healing for our weary souls. In frustration, boredom,…

Happy. Healthy. Hope-full 2021

A New Year’s Day reading from Luke 2:14-21 (The Voice) Heavenly Choir: “To the highest heights of the universe, glory to God!    And on earth, peace among all people who bring pleasure to God!”  As soon as the heavenly messengers disappeared into heaven, the shepherds were buzzing with conversation. Shepherds: “Let’s rush down to Bethlehem right now! Let’s…

Humble. Hopefull.

Sunday after Christmas A Reading from Luke 2:22-40 25 Now there was a man in Jerusalem, whose name was Simeon, and this man was righteous and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel, and the Holy Spirit was upon him. 26 And it had been revealed to him by the Holy Spirit that he would not see death before he had seen the Lord’s…

Not Me But You

Fourth Sunday of Advent Readings: 2 Samuel 7:1-11,16; Luke 1:47-55; Romans 16:25-27; Luke 1:26-38 A Reading from the Gospel of Luke, Chapter 126 In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, 27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name…

Adorned with Love

The Third Sunday of Advent Readings Isaiah 61:1-4, 8-11; Psalm 126; 1 Thess 5:16-24; John 1:6-8 19-26 I will greatly rejoice in the Lord;    my soul shall exult in my God,for he has clothed me with the garments of salvation;    he has covered me with the robe of righteousness,as a bridegroom decks himself like a priest with a beautiful…

The Day We Go Home

“Sometimes I feel lost,” said the boy. “Me too,” said the mole. “But we love you and love brings you home… I think everyone is just trying to get home.” The Boy, The Mole, The Fox, and The Horse, Charlie Mackesy Readings for the Second Sunday of Advent: Isaiah 40:1-1; Psalm 85:1-2, 8-13; Mark 1:1-82;…

Rip Open the Heavens

The First Sunday of Advent Advent is the beginning of a new church year in which we look forward to the return of Jesus Christ and find peace, hope, love, and joy in the kingdom of God come to earth at the birth of the Christ Child. You can participate by reading the Lectionary for…

Christ the Shepherd King

Today is Christ the King Sunday and the last Sunday before Advent, the four weeks of waiting for the birth of the Christ Child and the return of Jesus Christ as King. Both this liturgical season and the holidays are much needed space to prepare the way for Christ the King to be born in our hearts….

Saints and Children

November 1, 2020. All Saints Day is a day to remember those who have died in the past year and be encouraged by their example of living holy and loving lives. May the Father God, bless the memory of those who have gone before us and fill our grieving hearts with peace. May we learn…

Sacred Craftsmanship

In these moments when people will be chosen to lead and influence our safety, well-being, and way of life, it’s normal to be anxious about the future of our family and work.  Although this present fear is real, we can easily forget that our life and identity is not in what we do, but who…

The 10

The Law and Response The Ten Commandments, were given to the Israelites after they escaped Egypt, crossed the Red Sea, and arrived at Mount Sinai. This moral code remains a central part of both Christian and Jewish theology. Then and now, some look at The Ten as God’s just authority and order while others resist…

Shaken, Not Shaken

Is the Lord standing with us or not? Presence matters.  What we believe about the reality of God among us will be the foundation, the solid rock that is not shaken. As daily life goes on without the necessities of kindness, equality, and unity, we as a people start to fight, complain, and respond poorly…

Wilderness Day 2

“The first day of anything like the first day of school, the first day of a training, the first day of your work, you’re like, I get the badge and everything’s shiny, and everything feels like a new undertaking, and there’s this sparkle of possibility. By day two, this is dulled. And now you’re kind of…

A Woman’s Voice

Miriam’s Song of the Sea Then Moses and the people of Israel sang this song to the Lord, saying: “I will sing to the Lord, for he has triumphed gloriously; the horse and his rider he has thrown into the sea.  The Lord is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation;…

Keep Moving

Crossing the Sea to Freedom: Exodus 14 In the timeless Exodus story of the parting of the Red Sea, the people of Israel gain freedom born out of the plagues and the Passover and begin a wilderness faith with the One called “I Am.” With barely a minute to enjoy roasted fish at their sea-front…

Remember. Celebrate.

This day shall be for you a memorial, and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout all your generations…you shall keep it as a feast. Exodus 12:14 This is a holiday weekend, yet I have already received an email and a text from the city of Austin, Texas, where we live,…

Here I Am

God called to Moses out of the burning bush, “Moses, Moses!” and Moses said, “Here I am.” Remove your sandals from your feet.  You’re standing on holy ground…I AM WHO I AM. Exodus 3 The first time I removed my shoes to enter a holy place, was at the Sisters of Charity in Kolkata, India….

Let Loose

Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.  Matthew 16:13-20 Love others as well as you love yourself. Who is my Neighbor?  In attempting to count people at their home address for the U.S. Census, it is often the case that they…

Why We Swim

Summer is Swimming. Summer 2020 started with the Memorial Weeked, and people threw off their Covid19 fears and ran to the beaches, lakes, and rivers, drawn to water for primal relief.  I was also desperate for the water.  For years we have done our summer swimming at a city neighborhood pool just two blocks away. …

Restore

Restore us again, O God of our salvation. Psalm 85:4 This week I started working for the U.S. Census going door to door asking strangers personal information. Of course, there was agonizing over Covid19, but honestly there was more angst, and lots of training, about the responses of angry, mistrusting people. Many have lost a…

Listen

“Come, everyone who thirsts, come to the waters;and he who has no money, come, buy and eat!Come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,    and your labor for that which does not satisfy?Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,    and delight yourselves…

She Preached

Mary Magdalene [After seeing the risen Christ,] Mary went and announced to the disciples, “I have seen the Lord, and this is what he said to me” (John 20:14–18). It is on the basis of this announcement that Mary earned the traditional title of “Apostle to the Apostles.” The first to witness to the resurrection,…

Presence

The With-God Life The Lord God: “Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land.  For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.” Gen 28:15a Jacob: “Surely God is in this place and I did not know…

Favor

Audience with a King Many seek the face of a ruler (the ruler’s favor), but it is from the Lord that a man gets justice. Proverbs 29:26. A proverb of King Solomon. A high point in my life of travel happened while walking the streets in Kolkata, India, where we accidentally stumbled on the Missionaries…

Freedom

For a Christian, Jesus is the man in whom it has indeed become manifest that revolution and conversion cannot be separated in the search for experiential transcendence. His appearance in our midst has made it undeniably clear that changing the human heart and changing human society are not separate tasks, but are as interconnected as…

Restore My Soul

Trinity Sunday Readings: Genesis 1:1-2, Psalm 8; Matt 28:16-20; 2 Cor 13:11-14 In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form and void, and darkness was over the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Genesis 1:1-2 With great…

Burst of Joy

Pentecost Sunday Acts 2:1-4; John 20:19-23 After living for many years in the East Asian and South Asian cultures, I have been privileged to visit and experience African people and culture. This picture from JESUS MAFA, a Christian community in Cameroon, Africa is an exuberant burst of joy, depicting their interpretation of the Acts 2…

Basket of Goodness

My husband called me St. Francis this week when I tried to rescue a baby bird that fell out of its nest. It had landed right on the sidewalk where we walk every morning. Thinking the mother might be around to nurture her baby, I put the fledgling under the tree. Wrong move! Later on…

Rock Collecting

Fifth Sunday of Easter 1 Peter 2:2-10; Psalm 31 On my morning neighborhood walks, I pick up a couple rocks and do some “weight lifting.” Hey, my gym is closed! I love finding pretty ones that end up decorating my flower beds, mostly because rocks have been a part of the Nelson family adventures. During…

Empty Me Out

Fourth Sunday of Easter 1 Peter 2:21-25; Psalm 23; John 10:11-17 This is the kind of life you’ve been invited into, the kind of life Christ lived. He suffered everything that came his way so you would know that it could be done, and also know how to do it, step-by-step. He never did one…

Divine Seeing

On the Road to Emmaus Third Sunday of Easter–Luke 24:13-34 13 That very day (Easter Sunday),two of them were going to a village named Emmaus, about seven miles from Jerusalem, 14 and they were talking with each other about all these things that had happened. 15 While they were talking and discussing together, Jesus himself drew near and went with them.  16 But…

Peace

Second Sunday of Easter: John 20:19-31 “On the evening of that day (Easter Sunday), the first day of the week, the doors were locked where the disciples were, for fear of the Jews…” The evening of the greatest day in history, the followers of Jesus are locked in their homes, afraid to move, afraid of…

The Servant: Personal

Greetings dear Readers! This post was meant for Good Friday, but honestly I needed a day of fasting and prayer, followed by rest and celebration on Saturday and Easter Sunday. My research, study, and reflection on The Servant Songs took me to a place of deep intimacy with Jesus the Servant through a new kinship…

The Servant: Crushed

Holy Week: Thursday Isaiah 52:13-53:5 Makoto Fujimura, is a Christian artist who uses a Japanese style of painting called Nihonga. Semi-precious stone such as lapis lazuli is crushed into mineral pigments. A pigment absorbs and reflects transmitted light, but without the breaking and crushing of the stone, there would not be the splendor of the…