We Offer Our Bodies to God – An offering from Aimee Larson

“Therefore, I urge you, brother’s and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God-…

I remember clearly the day I came upon the words of a poem written by Teresa of Avila. The image she painted with her prose took my breathe away because of its beauty, simplicity, and relevance:

“Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Your are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses the world…

And, is this not how we offer our bodies to God and to each other? This simple understanding that through the power of the Holy Spirit, we too become the body of Christ and the eyes with which he looks compassion on the world?

Aimee Larson
Spiritual Director
Yoga instructor RYT
Bible Study Teacher


Beyond the Past and Before the Future – An offering from Brad Syverson

Isaiah 43:18-19

I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?

We read in the scriptures great stories of how God moved among the Israelites, the Galileans and the early Christians.  We ask God to move in events to come.  But God never settles for the past tense or the future tense. God is moving in the present tense.  “I am about to do a new thing; now it springs fourth, do you not perceive it?” Isaiah 43:19.    Great stories of faith from the past embolden us to live with hope and clarity.  The promises of eternity call and guide us.  However we are living this very moment right now.  We forget that is where God lives as well.  So we have to show up to each moment, looking for God.  Perceiving is up to us.

“Wake up” Spirit calls to us.  “I am springing fourth within you each moment, each heartbeat.  Don’t miss it!”

2018 Brad Syverson
Spiritual Director

Setting my mind on surrender: An offering from Nancy Jagmin

Get behind me, Satan! For you are setting your mind not on divine things but on human things.
Mark 8:31-33

I am very aware of some of the things I want to put behind me.  There are regrets, of course, which I want to resign to the past. However, this Lent, I am much more aware of the other things I want to put behind me:  the way I often think about my life in the present.  I fall into habitual ways of perceiving events that drive my priorities, and I’m not always happy with where those priorities take me.  Can ways of seeing the world which seem as comfortable as my own skin really be counter to God?  Does my desire to make things happen the way I want them (as Peter did) sometimes run counter to the divine?  Are my priorities really all that bad?  Maybe not, but I won’t know unless I surrender them to God. I ask for the grace to set my mind on that.

(c) 2018 Nancy Jagmin
SMI Board
HeartPaths DFW Faculty

Divine, Healing Love – An offering from Dr. Cheryl-Ann Monteiro

Psalm 51:1-2

2 Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. 

Lent often brings to my mind the parable of the prodigal son, replete with teachings. What made the wayward, destitute young man decide to beg forgiveness and a livelihood of his father to whom he had not been respectful? His resolve seemed rooted in the possibility of a better life as his father’s servant, rather than an expectation to be welcomed as a son. Self-preservation brought him down the path where he could receive the full enormity of his father’s healing love. Loving God, who washes away our sins, what invitation to recover mys true self do you have for me this Lent? Show me one step in that direction that I may be open to your divine, healing love.

Submitted by

(c) 2018 Dr. Cheryl-Ann Monteiro

Heart Paths Year III student

Whining in the Desert – An offering from Brad Syverson

Mark 8: 1-10

How can one feed these people with bread here in the desert?

In the story of Mark chapter 8, Jesus finds himself with thousands of hungry folks out in the desert.  It breaks his heart, Jesus tells his disciples.  The disciples look at the thousands and the vast deserted desert and whine.  “Well what do you expect us to do about it?” they ask.

Jesus shows us hunger, poverty, hurt and grief among his people.  “It’s breaking my heart,” He tells us.  We’re tempted to whine as well.  What do you expect US to do about it, God?

What if whining melted into prayer?  We could ask:  “What DO you expect me to do about it, God?”   Honestly, I don’t know if I’m ready to hear the answer but I don’t want to miss the miracle either.  May we pray that question today and may we be emboldened to listen and act!

(c) 2018 Brad Syverson
Spiritual Director

Do not cause anyone to stumble – An offering from Rev. Lil Smith

1 Corinthians 10:31-11:1 (NIV)

31 So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God. 32 Do not cause anyone to stumble, whether Jews, Greeks or the church of God— 33 even as I try to please everyone in every way. For I am not seeking my own good but the good of many, so that they may be saved. 11 Follow my example, as I follow the example of Christ.

I find some of the most compelling images are the selfless acts of competitive athletes: helping a competitor cross the finish line, stopping mid-race to render aid, carrying an injured player on the other team around the bases because she hit the ball out of the park and earned the run.

I find these acts so compelling not just because of the good that is being shared with the other, but because of the selfless act of giving up the dream of winning to be in service to another.

For it is in these moments my earthly dream is overshadowed by the kingdom-come dream God has for all of God’s children:  following the way of Christ.

May we be your followers today and help others who stumble.

(c) 2018 Rev. Lil Smith
Spiritual Director and Supervisor
Retreat House Spirituality Center

Lead Me, O God – An offering from Elaine Weber

Psalm 84:10-12 (NRSV)

10 For a day in your courts is better
    than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God
    than live in the tents of wickedness.
11 For the Lord God is a sun and shield;
    he bestows favor and honor.
No good thing does the Lord withhold
    from those who walk uprightly.
12 Lord of hosts,
    happy is everyone who trusts in you.

A prayer for today, for Lent.

Lead me, oh God, to the threshold of your house.
Guide my steps away from the tents of the wicked.
Flood my being with your light, as radiant as the sun, so that I may live each day in your grace and glory.

In your mercy, bless me, oh Lord, for I am a sinner.

(c) 2018 Elaine Weber
Spiritual Director
SMI Board of Directors