Fall Habits: Life in the Presence

Rhythms, Resources and other Holy Habits, Part 2 In my sorrows, Lord, walk with meIn my sorrows, Lord, walk with meWhen the shades of life are falling LordI want Jesus to walk with meAll along my pilgrim journeyI want Jesus to walk with me African American Spiritual There are days that all of us wake…

Fall Practices: Put your Boots On

Rhythms, Resources and other Holy Habits, Part 1 Autumn has caught us in our summer wear.–Philip Larkin, Poet Fall is here with mostly welcome changes in daylight time, weather, foliage, schedules, holidays, and rhythms of life.  If we pay attention to the migrating birds, the color of leaves on the trees, and the arrival of…

Slow Down and Sploot

It’s splooting season in the squirrel world, and it’s not just laziness, but nature’s way of cooling down since squirrels don’t sweat or pant. I found “my” backyard squirrel splooting on my concrete bird bath. Turns out that splaying on a cool surface acts as “heat dump” as the heat moves from the hotter surface,…

Driver Attention Low

My car of choice has always been a Honda Accord, except that time I came back from living in Asia and could only afford a Honda Civic.  I mean the Bible even says we all need to be in one Accord!  Now we drive a Honda CR-V, a sensible choice with many safety features. On…

Two ARE Better than One

Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? … Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 Early one morning, I interrupted my bike ride…

I Remember You, Dad

1949. Walgreens Drug Store on 8th and Congress AvE, Austin, TX. An 18-year-old tall, skinny, Air Force corporal named Charlie, comes in to his night job as soda jerk. At the cash register is Marian, a beautiful, blue-eyed, dark haired, high school senior.  The first chance he gets to speak to this goddess, his opening…

Come Holy Spirit

Pentecost Sunday Come Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed…

Poisonous Irritants

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant  or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.  Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13 As a volunteer at a retreat…

What Washes Up?

Our family often escapes to the Texas coast. Even though it is not a European riviera or a Caribbean island, it is just a half day’s drive for fresh seafood and “ocean” waves.  Long walks in the surf as the sun rises or sets offer beauty, release, and cleansing. As the spring winds and high…

Behold My Servant

Holy Week Meditations All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned—every one—to his own way; and the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,…

Restore My Soul

A Lenten Journey thru Psalm 23 RESTORE MY SOUL, A LENTEN JOURNEY, is a sensory and imaginative look at Psalm 23. It begins with Ash Wednesday, followed by four Sunday reflections, Palm Sunday, Good Friday and Easter Sunday. BEHOLD MY SERVANT, Holy Week Meditations follow the Lectionary readings for Holy Week from the Servant Songs…

All Mixed Up

It’s Fat Tuesday, Get ready to mix it up this Lent! Trying new food dishes and learning about culture with new friends and old is a great joy of my life. This past weekend I went on a Women’s Retreat at a Jewish Retreat center. We learned all about a kosher kitchen and foods and…

Touch Me and See

Story 10: Sharing Breakfast in Jerusalem In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 8-10, Jesus reveals his true identity through the symbol of sacrifice in…

Stay with Us

Story 9: Breaking Bread at Emmaus In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 8-10, Jesus reveals his true identity through the symbol of sacrifice in…

Prepare a Place

Story 8: Sacrifice in the Last Supper In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 8-10, Jesus reveals his identity through the symbol of sacrifice in…

Choosing Welcome

Story 7: Hospitality at Zacchaeus’ House In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 4-7 Jesus addresses the tension between faith and culture by challenging his…

Choosing Humility

Story 6: Seat of honor at a Sunday Dinner In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 4-7 Jesus addresses the tension between faith and culture….

Sacred Spaces

Creative Wintering Finding the will or way to practice our spirituality in the winter months can be a challenge, especially without sunshine, and the inclination to stay under the warm covers. Maybe boredom and probably laziness can cause us to abandon the very practices that connect us to the God we love. Try creating and…

Wintering Together

With Soul Friends and Gratitude 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…

Winter Practices

Great Annual Examen 2021 This week between Christmas and New Years is a perfect time of reflection using a tool called The Great Annual Examen, developed by Stephen W. Smith. For years I have gone through the Annual Examen with a group of soul friends. It is a great way to encourage our shared humanity…

Choosing Holiness

Story 5: Eating with an Insulted Host In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. In stories 4-7 Jesus challenges cultural tensions that helps us choose to follow…

Choosing the Good Part

Story 4: Hospitality at Martha’s Home In this series, Every Meal is a Story, we are looking at stories in the Gospel of Luke where Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. And the truth is that we will experience and understand more of who…

You Feed Them

Every Meal is a Story Story 3: An Invitation to Mission at Bethsaida’s Miracle Meal Read Luke 9:10-17 Jesus took (the apostles) with him and they withdrew by themselves to a town called Bethsaida,  but the crowds learned about it and followed him. He welcomed them and spoke to them about the kingdom of God, and healed…

Reclining at the Table

Every Meal is a Story Story 2: An Invitation to Forgiveness at Simon the Pharisee’s Dinner. Read Luke 7:36-50 We are looking at 10 meals shared around the table in the Gospel of Luke. Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. For a deeper experience…

EVERY MEAL IS A STORY

Breaking Bread with Jesus in the Gospel of Luke As the holidays approach, Adventurous Obedience will look at meals shared around the table, inspiring both ordinary and sacred connections. Jesus breaks bread with all sorts of folks where they live in order to teach simple truth. And the truth is that we will experience and…

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…

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…