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CAH09 “Why all this commotion and wailing?”

“Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”  Mark 5:36


Hello friends!

Things are getting a little crazy around here – the end of the school year (yes we are in school until mid-July), wonderful house guests, getting ready to travel home for four weeks and much more.

But the stillness is still there, waiting, inviting, calling us to pause, to rest for a time in the Lord’s presence.

In Mark 5 (21-25 and 35-42) we meet Jairus: a man of importance in the religious community, a man with authority, and until this point probably wary of Jesus, at best. Now, however, he is desperate as the life of his dear daughter is slipping away. He comes and throws himself at Jesus’ feet, pleading with him to heal her.

Jesus speaks:

“Don’t be afraid. Just believe.”

“Why all this commotion and wailing?”

“Little girl, get up!”

Please do come and pray with this story, if you feel led. I’m sorry that it may not be the best I’ve produced, but I trust that the power of the word to speak to you is not dependent on my strength to deliver it.

Thanks again for being here. Lots of love, friends.


Bible read in the NRSV

Art: Christ raises the daughter of Jairus, Yelena Cherkasova

The play I refer to, by the Riding Lights Theatre Company is called Inheritance 

Closing prayer from the Church of England

This is the companion story to Contemplative at Home Epidose 8: Jesus heals the woman bleeding.

What did you find significant in this text? To leave a comment please click on “reply” at the top of this post.

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The Examen

Hello Friends!

Unfortunately there is no Contemplative At Home podcast this week but I want to point you towards the Examen, if you’re not already familiar with it.

The Examen, another tool from St Ignatius, is a way of prayerfully reviewing your day, or week, or event.

Here are a few audio recordings that I like to use from time to time (click for link). My favourite is the one for Young Adults.

And here is some more information from the Jesuits in America. (click for link).

Hope you are well, and have a good weekend.

Every blessing.

CAH07 Peace! Be Still!

On that day, when evening had come, Jesus said to them, “Let us go across to the other side.” Mark 4:35


After a long day of teaching, Jesus invites the disciples to cross the lake.

A storm whips up and the boat is nearly swamped.

While the disciples fear for their lives, Jesus sleeps.

Does he care that they are perishing?

I love praying with this story! Praying this story, in this style, is very precious to me as it was the story I used when learning to lead the Collatio.  I’m sure you will be moved if you take the time- 22 minutes!- to pause for prayer with this passage. May you sense the Lord’s invitation, and may the window of time open up for you, if this is right for you this week.

Thank you for being here, as always.


Reading from the NRSV translation

Art: Jesus Stilling the Tempest (Jésus calmant la tempête), James Tissot, Brooklyn Museum via Wikimedia Commons

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Hello Friends!

Welcome to Contemplative at Home, the place where you find a weekly audio guided prayer experience.

The podcast offers the listener about 20 minutes of contemplative prayer, in which we settle our attention into the Lord’s presence and then hear a passage of scripture read slowly enough to let it deeply come to life.

We typically pray with a gospel account, each week hearing how someone else met Jesus, and how they were changed by the encounter.

The prayer style is very similar to Lectio Divina, offered in an Ignatian style.

Anyone wishing to try sitting deeply in the Lord’s presence, praying contemplatively or using the Bible in a new way is very welcome to join us.

It is a privilege and pleasure to have you here, thank you for stopping by!

Every blessing

Christmas Greetings!

Hello dear friends

I hope your autumn has been full and rich and that you will have space to reflect on the dawning of Christ’s light in this holiday season.

I am looking forward to reviving the Lectio podcast in 2015! With that in mind, I have a special request from all of you who have used the Lectio podcasts this year.

Would you take 5 minutes to complete a survey about your experience with the Lectio Divina podcast?

If you’ve used the Lectio Divina podcast this year, even once or twice, I’d really appreciate your thoughts and feedback. This survey just has a handful of questions. Would you mind participating?

Please click here to take the survey. This link will take you to the survey monkey website.

Thank you so much friends! Looking forward to sharing more with you in the new year!

Wishing you all a restful and precious christmas time.

Much love.

The dawning light this morning in California, what a gift.

Here is the link to the survey again. Thank you so much!

An Attentive Pause

Hello friends

You may or may not have noticed that it has gone a bit quiet here. And the plan is that it will stay that way at least until the new year.

I found this gorgeous quote from Mary Oliver recently:

“Ten times a day something happens to me like this – some strengthening throb of amazement – some good sweet empathic ping and swell. This is the first, the wildest and the wisest thing I know: that the soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.”

The soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.

A few weeks ago, I received the same piece of parenting advice twice, first from this podcast, and then on a handout forwarded by my own wise mama. But before it got to me the second time, I had already implemented it.

The wisdom is this: to help your children be well-behaved (due to greater peace and confidence I guess?) spend a bit of time each day being completely engaged with each child, playing and listening and conversing with your whole self. With no distractions.

The soul exists and is built entirely out of attentiveness.

Be fully present to each child individually for at least ten minutes every day.

Wow. What a gift. They love it. It is precious. And I can actually do something achievable towards a top, yet slightly nebulous, priority.

Yes, it can at times feel like one more job, another hassle to squeeze in after school. But I come away from the time feeling closer to the child, knowing what’s on his mind and understanding more deeply how he works. My soul is built up. Their souls are built up. Is there anything of greater value?

After Christmas my littlest starts preschool and I will have more time to invest in this blog and podcast.

Until then, it will be quiet here. I will be mulling and praying over the way forward for this space.

More importantly, I will be spending my time and energy building souls, being attentive to those closest to me. I sincerely hope you have the opportunity to do the same.

With much love to you all

Psalm 32 sermon

Things have been a bit quiet here because we’ve been fully engrossed in summer time visits and visiting from lots of family and friends!

I preached at church last night, so all the solo moments I’ve squeezed out of our visitors have been devoted to prepping these thoughts.

It’s a bit ragged, I cry my eyes out in the middle of it, but here is the link if you’d like to listen (look through the list for Psalm 32- you may need to scroll down to find it)

My thoughts and plans for this blog are ruminating, I hope to be back more regularly in September.

Much love to you all in the meantime!

LDP#3 Contemplative Listening to Psalm 32

Special Edition! This podcast is a bit different than the others- we’re stepping away from our series in Jesus’ early ministry in this episode, to listen reflectively to Psalm 32.

This psalm covers many themes including: confession and the  joy of forgiveness, God’s provision and protection,  instruction and personal growth, our hope and joy in the Lord.

psalm 32.10

The reason this slightly different episode is sneaking in this evening is that I’ll be preaching on this Psalm in a few weeks!!

I wanted to listen contemplatively to the Psalm while I prepare my sermon so I thought I might as well make it into an episode…

I know that you will have rich insights and reflections as you pray with it, so if you do use this in your own prayer time and are struck by insight, I would love to hear it!  It just might get folded into my sermon!

Here is the link to the episode.

Every blessing.

PS: I’ve got the next two episodes recorded but I don’t know if I’ll get time to edit and upload them before we go away for two weeks, in order to keep sharing one each wednesday night during the last two weeks in July.  If not, they will be ready for the beginning of August when I’m back at the computer!


LDP#1 Lectio Divina with John 1:35-39

Thank you so much to the 55 people who went and listened to the podcast introduction on PodOmatic last week!! How amazing is that. Unless it was just five of you who each hit play eleven times. Also entirely possible.

But thank you again, so much, for being here with me.

I realize that listening to on PodOmatic is not the most straightforward format, and I’d really hoped to get it into a much simpler play-format over the weekend. But the technicalities are still winning the battle despite (too) much time and effort on my part to sort it out.

I’m going to hang on in this temporary arrangement for the summer, and use the time to learn and pray about how to make things a bit smoother down the line.

For now, thank you for bearing with me.

This week we’re diving in to the actual prayer experience. The text is John 1:35-39, when John the Baptist points Jesus out to his disciples, and they follow Jesus.

I will always remember Dale Bruner teaching this passage in his course on John’s Gospel at Whitworth College (as it was called back in the day). He stepped out of the lecture room and then popped his hand around the door, with his finger pointing straight ahead. He must have held it there for a while because I vividly remember that hand, and the pointing finger. This was all to illustrate the point of John 1:36. John the Baptist’s purpose in life was to point towards Jesus.

Do you want to give 30 minutes of your week to pray contemplatively with this passage? Might God have something to say to you through this text?

I invite you to set aside the time, find a comfortable, fairly distraction-free spot, hit play and be guided through the prayer time.

If you do the prayer, I’d love to hear how you find it.

You can also leave a comment below about which word or phrase stood out for you, and, if you like, why it was significant for you.

Because this isn’t widely available yet, I feel it is still something of a ‘trial run’. If you have any constructive criticism on anything about the podcast (other than the fact that its awkward to play), I’d love to hear it.

Ideally I will post a podcast every Wednesday over the summer, but I’m not going to kill myself to make it happen. I feel more called to spend my time listening and waiting in God’s presence for insight into the way this project should go.

For now, follow this link to listen to LDP#1 

Thanks for being here friends.



Lectio Divina Podcast: Introduction Episode

The moment has arrived!

The introduction episode to the Lectio Divina Podcast is now online! And you can listen to it right now, by clicking right here.  Or by opening the link to podomatic (you might need to take a few seconds to make an account)

Note: All these technicalities of hosting and RSS feeds are totally new to me, but I hope to have it all figured out over the next few days. Next step: get it on iTunes?!  Apologies for the clunkiness… learning as I go!

I’ve been thinking a lot this week about why I am doing this, and the current vision statement is this:

To provide a series of guided audio contemplative prayer-with-scripture sessions which
— enable listeners to experience a deep and authentic encounter with God and
— facilitate a growing understanding of self, God and God’s love.

This introduction episode is not a guided prayer session, but instead covers some background on what Lectio Divina is, how I got involved with it, what to expect from the prayer sessions, and some practical advice about engaging with the prayer (including dealing with distractions and what to do with the silent pauses!)

Beginning next week, I will be posting a guided prayer session each week, which will be approx 30 minutes. Are you interested in incorporating this prayer session into your weekly rhythm of prayer?

I hope that some of you who use the prayer sessions will feed back in the comments on this blog about what was significant for you in prayer. There is scope for some rich sharing and community to develop around this, even if you are around the world! I’m looking forward to seeing how it unfolds.

My hope and prayer for this project is summarised in this verse:

“All who contemplate the Lord’s glory with unveiled faces, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Cor 3:18 NIV

May those of you who find this to be the right place for your prayer life just now have the grace to deeply contemplate the Lord with your authentic self, and be transformed by the process.

Every blessing, and thank you for being here!!

LDP artwork