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 […]Read more "For One Another"
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 […]Read more "Restful Moments"
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 […]Read more "The Mothering Spirit"
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 […]Read more "Love’s Everyday Miracles"
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 […]Read more "Signs and Wonders"
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 […]Read more "Rise and Shine!"
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 […]Read more "Song of a New Day"
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 […]Read more "The Rest of the Story"
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 […]Read more "Temptation’s Antidote"
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 […]Read more "The Growing Season"
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 […]Read more "Wholehearted"
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 […]Read more "A Force for Good"
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 […]Read more "Friendly Reflections for Lent"
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 […]Read more "What to Do with Silence"
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 […]Read more "Sowing and Reaping"
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, […]Read more "A Healing Grace"
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 […]Read more "Yes and No"
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 […]Read more "The Song of God"
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 […]Read more "Two Kinds of Wisdom"
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 […]Read more "Consider It Pure Joy"
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 […]Read more "“Aha!” Moments"
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 […]Read more "Adding It All Up"
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 […]Read more "A Peaceful Hush"
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 […]Read more "A Guiding Star"
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 […]Read more "A Radiant Hope"
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, […]Read more "An Advent Correction :)"
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 […]Read more "Growing Peace"
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 […]Read more "The Promise of Light"
Greetings! Inspiration visited this week and we created a booklet of daily Advent reflections we’d like to share. Each day, you’ll find scripture about the unfolding Christmas story, a brief reflection, a quote from Friends, and a space for writing your own prayers or reflections. We hope you enjoy it! You can read, print, and […]Read more "Welcoming the Light: Advent Reflections"
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 […]Read more "Doubt and Miracles"
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 […]Read more "Taking Care"
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. […]Read more "Time and Eternity"
An invitation… Love God in the world And then see it love you back Like a kitten purrs.Read more "The Purr of Love"
Reflect: Morning frost proclaimsEndings, now, and beginningsLet go and receive #morningHaikuRead more "Impermanence"
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 […]Read more "Living Masterpieces"
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 […]Read more "The Joys of Imperfection"
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 […]Read more "Waiting on God"
Isn’t it nice to have free time? Time when nothing is scheduled, no one expects you to be anywhere, there’s nothing you absolutely have to do. It’s all your choice. Paint a picture, repot a plant, take a nap, watch a show, you get to decide what to do with the free moments stretching out […]Read more "Flourishing & Free"
Back when I was finishing up seminary, almost 20 years ago now, I spent a semester in chaplaincy training at St. Vincent’s Hospital in Indianapolis. The training, called Clinical Pastoral Education, or CPE, is encouraged but not mandatory for chaplains, and it helps those of us hoping to serve others learn more about ourselves, the […]Read more "The Many Faces of God"
Now that fall is officially here and the nights are so much cooler—which is great if you’re a fan of warm blankets and cozy sweatshirts like I am—the hummingbirds at my house are practically swarming the feeders, often two or three at time, chasing each other back and forth until one finally stakes a claim […]Read more "On Our Way"
The spark of inspiration for this week’s message came as I read the new memoir of Joy Harjo, our former Poet Laureate of the United States, and the only Native American to have been awarded that role for three consecutive terms. Harjo is a member of the Muscogee Nation, which is a federally recognized tribe […]Read more "Song of the Earth"
Are you curious about the title of today’s message? I was too, when I started writing it. But I can tell you, now that it is done, it is a message about memory, about finding truth, and about how spirit turns everything to good, even our flaws and mistakes and blind spots. When we learn […]Read more "Kodachrome"
This week’s message has been a bit of a journey for me. The inspiration began with a simple, happy text message my youngest son Cameron sent earlier in the week. It said, “Guess what I made for dinner? I loved it as a kid but this is the first time I tried making it.” There […]Read more "Living Up to the Light We Have"
Have you ever had moments in your life when you really needed help and help was there? I can think of a half dozen experiences, right off the top of my head—the time someone broadsided me on a my way to work a couple of years ago, the afternoon I broke my collarbone, a time […]Read more "The Joy of Serving"
On the door of my office at hospice there is a small picture showing a tiny boy and girl walking away from the camera, holding hands and headed toward what looks to be an open field and blue sky beyond. Underneath the sweet image is a caption: “We’re all just walking each other home.” These […]Read more "Traveling Together"
The book of Ruth has always been one of my favorite books in the Bible. It is one of only two books named after women (the other is Esther, whose faith saved the children of Israel from a devious, genocidal plot). The story of Ruth is not big and heroic and dramatic like that, though—instead, […]Read more "Come Home"
If you are a human being, chances are good that forgiveness—at least sometimes—is something you have to work at. Of all the things Jesus taught and modeled—devotion to God, integrity of mind, openness of heart, just and merciful actions—forgiveness may be the hardest lesson to understand, the hardest to choose, and the hardest to live […]Read more "The Hard Work of Forgiveness"
We all know how good it feels to be grateful. Someone has done something thoughtful for us, or we’ve reached a big goal, had a big moment, or felt a sweeping sense of beauty and awe come over us. Something deep inside whispers or says or shouts, “Thanks!” There is usually a smile on our […]Read more "Pressed Down and Running Over"
This week is the third Sunday of our three-week series on the promise of prayer. I’m surprised to find that as we come to the end of this time, I feel like we’re really only just beginning to scratch the surface of the topic. We talked the first week about George Fox’s struggle with despair […]Read more "The Transforming Presence"
When you were a kid at the pool in the summer, did you ever play the game Marco Polo? It’s really fun if you have a few friends with you and it’s even more fun if it’s a hot and beautiful day and the pool is crowded, because then you can all scatter in different […]Read more "Marco Polo, God’s Way"