Let Your Light Shine

When you think back over the last week, how much of God’s light do you think you shared with others? How often did you feel it yourself? We rarely think of looking at life that way or gauging the success of our days based on how often we smiled, how many times we were kind, […]

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Quaker Morning Dawns (again)

Good morning, Friends! I felt inspired to begin posting brief daily reflections on our Quaker Morning page again yesterday and just wanted to let you all know. There isn’t really a game plan for these mini-podcasts; I simply want to share the ideas that bubble up during my quiet time at the start of the […]

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A Peace That Lasts

I’d like to start off this morning with a kind of informal survey. Raise your hand if you are able, perhaps fairly regularly, to have a completely peaceful day. Okay, leave your hand up if you are able to experience peace two or three days in a row. How about a week? Is there anyone […]

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Food Is Love

I went to the State Fair yesterday with my son Christopher and daughter-in-law Ashley. It was an absolutely beautiful morning for it. We enjoyed all the animals and the displays—and discovered a big white ribbon on my son’s photography entry, which made us all happy. And of course, there was the food: I had a […]

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Rest and Restoration

Sitting here just now, do you feel rested this morning? For much of our lives, many of us have a fairly complicated relationship with the idea of rest. When we are young, we don’t really want to rest. There’s too much to do, too many games to play, fireflies to catch, baseballs to throw, friends […]

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The House Forgiveness Builds

Have you ever thought about how we create things in our lives? We create from the inside, out. Everything begins with an idea…maybe something we want to make, like chocolate chip cookies; or build, like a new shelf. The idea pops into our head and we think, “Huh, that sounds interesting, I wonder if I […]

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Waiting on God

Isn’t it hard to wait for an answer to prayer? Especially when it’s an answer you really, really need. Maybe you’ve got a big decision to make and you aren’t sure which way to go. Or you are worried about someone you love and need to know—the sooner, the better—that things will be okay. It’s […]

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The Gifts of Failing

Have you ever really failed at something? Like really failed. Took a chance, tried something new, fell completely on your face? The small private things we fail at—maybe several of those every week, things like sticking to a diet or giving up almost immediately on something new we said we’d do—those are hard enough. But […]

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Christ Along the Way

Scholarship Sunday, June 26, 2022 Our Old Testament reading for today is a welcome reminder that no matter how things might look in a given moment, God is always about the work of restoration and renewal: “See I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making […]

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Ways to Pray

When you were little, did you say prayers when you went to bed each night? Maybe your mom or dad said them with you, or you might have prayed by yourself in the quiet of your room. Every night I prayed that little prayer we probably all know by heart: Now I lay me down […]

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Joyful Murmurations

Last Monday on my way to the hospital, against the soft blue and gold of the morning sky, I saw two different murmurations. Seemed like a miracle—or a message. So beautiful! And mysterious. In case you don’t remember what a murmuration is, it is a big, flowing flock of birds—starlings, scientists say, in groups sometimes […]

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The Other Side of Grievance

Today’s message is about forgiveness and how the lack of it can limit us, blind us, maybe even make us sick. How grievances, large and small, held and nourished maybe silently in our hearts, keep us from growing closer to God and to one another. The good news is that God has provided, does provide, […]

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Taming the Wild

Yesterday afternoon, when it had warmed up enough for gardening, I spent a good long while carefully combing through a flower bed out back, trying to pull the wild strawberry plants out of the Dianthus. I don’t begrudge the strawberries their exuberance—they have lovely green leaves, sunny yellow flowers, and bright red berries—but they are […]

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For One Another

This week I’ve been thinking about why we do the things we do, personally and collectively. There are lots of reasons, of course, lots of motivations, many causes—seen and unseen—that contribute to us being the people we are, making the choices we make, and creating the lives we live. But there’s also something more than […]

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Restful Moments

How long did it take you to learn how to rest? Resting is something I was never very good at—even as a little girl, I would stay outside playing as long as there was a tiny bit of light in the sky. I remember a few times in elementary school being so worn out after […]

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The Mothering Spirit

What is your favorite memory of your mom? Maybe it had something to do with baking cookies, or nighttime prayers, or a time you really made her laugh. One of my sweetest, happiest memories with my mom is just a little snapshot in my mind, as she and I walked together in downtown Indianapolis one […]

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Love’s Everyday Miracles

How many kindnesses did you experience this week? Did someone let you go first in line when your arms were full of groceries? Or give you the right of way in traffic when you didn’t really deserve it? Or maybe a kindly person bought you coffee or lunch or sent you a card or otherwise […]

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Signs and Wonders

Last week, on Easter Sunday, we heard the miraculous story of the women’s encounter with the angels at the tomb—how these mysterious men dressed in clothes that gleamed like lightning told them, “He is not here! He has risen, just as he said!” We heard how the women hurried excitedly back to where the disciples […]

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Rise and Shine!

Well, Friends, God has surprised us yet again. Just when we thought all was lost, the world was falling apart, all the goodness we had hoped for and counted on was nailed to a cross; just when everything looked dark and all our best efforts came to nothing, God surprised us. Just when we were […]

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Song of a New Day

One early morning this week, while it was still dark, I went outside to fill the birder feeders and was met with what I can only describe as “riotous” song. I couldn’t believe how loud the birds were! And there were so many different melodies. And they all—hundreds of them—sounded so close and so clear […]

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The Rest of the Story

Over the last decade or so, I’ve gotten fairly used to the idea that some people are glad to see the chaplain coming and some aren’t. Sometimes I show up on the scene and people look at me with a combination of fear and horror, as though my arrival means things are worse than they […]

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Temptation’s Antidote

If you had to take a guess, what would you think are the three biggest temptations people struggle with on a regular basis? If you’re not sure, or you have trouble of thinking of what might qualify as a temptation in your own life, think about something you regularly chastise yourself for; something you seem […]

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The Growing Season

We had at least two beautiful, sunny, 70-degree days this week and all of nature—at least here in central Indiana—seemed to respond. The grass in my backyard is already greening up. Mornings are full of birdsong. There are buds on the maple tree. The tulip and daffodil shoots in the front garden—which is on the […]

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Wholehearted

When you think of the word wholehearted what comes to mind? Maybe children playing on a beautiful summer day, or an orchestra in full song, an athlete competing, striving for first place, or maybe a person deep in prayer. Wholehearted—whatever we may be doing when we feel that way—has something to do with being “all […]

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A Force for Good

Do you remember that hopeful quote from George Fox where he says he saw an ocean of darkness that was swept over by an infinite ocean of light? We’re just about ready for that big wave of goodness to sweep over our world, aren’t we? This week has been harrowing, with the unprovoked attack by […]

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Friendly Reflections for Lent

Good morning! We wanted to share with you our 2022 Friendly Reflections Calendar for Lent. We invite you to reflect daily with us on these Quaker quotes in the context of world peace. How might each of these seed ideas, planted in our hearts and blossoming in right action, contribute to peace in our lives […]

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What to Do with Silence

This week brings Ash Wednesday in the wider Christian world. It’s a day of prayer and fasting, a day to reflect honestly on our relationship with God, to admit—to ourselves and to God–what we see as sins and shortcomings, and to take inventory of our spiritual lives, to see where we still have work to […]

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Sowing and Reaping

We have been on a rollercoaster of Indiana weather. We had an almost 60-degree day early in the week and that followed 8 inches of snow that had arrived just a few days before that. And almost before we got time to enjoy it, the warm and sunny day was followed by plummeting temperatures, freezing […]

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A Healing Grace

Almost 78 million people in the United States have had COVID since it first appeared in early 2020. More than 918,000 people have died from it in this country alone. Statistically, there’s an average of five people who grieve the loss of each person, which means that on top of that staggering number of deaths, […]

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Yes and No

In a fast-moving world that is full to bursting with opinions and marketing spin, isn’t it a relief to get a clear, yes-or-no answer to a question we care about? The “simple, unvarnished truth”—even if it is something we’d rather not hear—rings true and something within us relaxes when we get the answer. Our hearts […]

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The Song of God

Many years ago, my then 8th’grade son and I drove a frosty four hours north to Kalamazoo, Michigan for an evening of live music. We were both excited about the event; he had received two tickets to hear Wynton Marsalis and the Lincoln Jazz Center Orchestra live as they made stops across the country on […]

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Two Kinds of Wisdom

In a confusing time, in an overstimulating world, it is no wonder that we often yearn for life to be easier, our path to be clearer, our decisions more obvious. We can feel like there’s so much struggle, we try so hard, we make so much effort, and all that effort may or may not […]

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Consider It Pure Joy

Last week as our Call to Worship I read something William Penn wrote in 1693, and that passage has really stuck with me this week, popping into my head, first thing in the morning, and reminding me to choose moments of peace in the middle of my day. I tried following his simple instructions and […]

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“Aha!” Moments

You may know that Thursday of this past week was what’s known on the Christian calendar as Epiphany, celebrated as the day the Magi arrived to bring their gifts to the infant Jesus. In our New Testament reading today we heard the story. Matthew gives us only a few general ideas about who these men […]

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Adding It All Up

The end of the year for me is always a reflective time, as I look back on the year stretching behind me, full of moments of happiness and peace, and uncertainty and the occasional stress and upset. There were problems, but they worked out. There were questions, and they got answered. If your year was […]

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A Peaceful Hush

Today we are doing something a little different. Instead of our traditional message, we will have a series of short reflections, followed by several moments of waiting silence. We at Noblesville Friends hope you had a love and light-filled Christmas and are looking forward to a New Year full of possibilities and potential. Today we […]

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A Guiding Star

I have to confess, I was a little worried yesterday about how this message might come together. All I ate—almost all day—was sugar. I made homemade caramels with a recipe my favorite 103-year-old patient gave me late Friday afternoon, and of course I had to try some of those. I dipped all the peanut butter […]

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A Radiant Hope

When I was a little girl, my biggest hope at Christmastime was not that Santa would bring me lots of presents or that I would get all the things I’d circled in the Sears Christmas Toy catalog. I enjoyed the colorful lights and looked forward to and ate far too many cookies, and I faithfully […]

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An Advent Correction :)

Isn’t Advent all about making a course correction to allow the time and space for God’s Love to shine into our lives? I realized this morning that I inadvertently included yesterday’s reflection in our Advent booklet twice. Here is the Advent reflection that is supposed to be in the booklet for today: Day 12: Thursday, […]

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Growing Peace

This week I participated by Zoom, with more than 130 other people from 30 countries, in a fascinating and enlightening conference that helped participants learn a new way to become aware of and invite new ideas that are trying to emerge among and through us. The approach can be applied in professional development settings, for […]

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The Promise of Light

What is your favorite thing about Christmas? The family gatherings, the big meals, the holiday shopping—yes, really, some people actually love it! Maybe you look forward to making—or eating–your family’s favorite treats—cookies and candies, fruitcakes and more. Or driving through the city at night, looking at the Christmas lights, feeling that sense of wonder and […]

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Doubt and Miracles

I’m not completely sure where the inspiration for today’s message came from. I’d been reading something that referred to God as the Alpha and Omega—the one creative force in the universe that always has been and always will be, outside of time and beyond all created realms. God isn’t limited by any of the things […]

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Taking Care

Do you enjoy taking care of things? Big things, small things, maybe things no one else will ever notice. Like folding all the towels carefully, so they line up neatly on the shelf in the linen closet. Arranging all the spoons in the silverware drawer or using the freshest ingredients for the soup you’re serving […]

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Time and Eternity

Well, we seemed to have made it through the time change okay—so far. It took effect at 2am this morning, while we were all sleeping, and the clocks actually moved backward an hour, so we may have felt more rested than usual. The sun rose a little earlier today, didn’t it? That was a treat. […]

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Living Masterpieces

The inspiration for our message this morning comes courtesy of Jean Ann, who earlier this week sent me a couple of texts with stunning pictures of beautiful birds. The colors of their feathers were remarkable—so amazing they didn’t seem possible—and exquisitely detailed. One fancy chicken had feathers with what appeared to be scalloped edges. Just […]

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The Joys of Imperfection

Do you remember how old you were when you first realized that life isn’t perfect? Chances are, you don’t. Almost immediately in this life we get a chance to use our lungs and make some noise, first to tell our parents we’ve arrived, then to let them know when we’re hungry, or wet, or otherwise […]

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Waiting on God

You know, we Quakers are a waiting people. We listen in all earnestness for God’s leading in our lives. We have a quiet time in the middle of our meeting for worship—usually 10 to 15 minutes or so—where we do our best to listen for God in our hearts and minds. We call that silent […]

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