Quiet Heart

Quiet heart for listening.
Quiet heart for receiving.
Quiet heart for knowing joy,
Amidst life’s turns and twists.

Quiet heart for peace.
Quiet heart for love.
Quiet heart for knowing God,
Ever by our side.

Quiet heart for one.
Quiet heart for all.
Quiet heart for we are His,
Children in His care.

May God grant us quiet hearts,
Knowing this great truth.
Secure and comforted day by day,
Abiding in His arms.

Charlotte-Anne Allen

Drops

Shining, glistening
At dawns light touch

Life to drink
And hope inspire

Living water drawn
From God’s deep well

Drops to wash away life’s care
To touch those now upon one’s face

Cleansed washed renewed
As rainbow’s promise

Another day and year’s passing
New beginnings made possible

Through precious drops
Of Christ who gave his all

Shining, glistening still
At star’s bright light

Charlotte-Anne Allen 12/31/2022

Reflections on Bells

• Joy and peace sound out from the heart
• Words and actions will peal far and wide
• A soft voice, like a carillon, sooths, calms, and brings enjoyment
• A welcome call for meals announces care and fellowship
• What we choose to consume in life brings nourishment or illness
• Unexpected announcements bring excitement or dread
• Be vigilant and heed warning signals when they come
• The tolling of bells draws attention to our own mortality
• Guard your senses and cling to faith to drive away harmful impulses
• Welcome joyful messengers both great and small
• Simple hands and strong cords are each of great value
• Victory celebrations and shouts of triumph lift spirits
• God’s calm strength rings out to all nations
• The ringing bell herds us back to the Shepherd

from “Reflections from the Everyday”
Charlotte-Anne Allen

Sit a Spell


“Sit a spell and rest your feet!”

What a welcome southern invitation bringing thoughts of warmth, good company, and honest labor! Settling down with a cool drink of water and comfortable companionship lifts one’s spirits. After a long but satisfying day of work, I look forward to sitting and relaxing for a while. Don’t you, too?

I find that it’s harder to get to sleep at night if I haven’t given myself some time to just sit and find refreshment in some simple enjoyable things. Easy time talking with a family member is appreciated, as well as some time alone. I look forward to a nice quiet spot by myself where I can read or write, spend some time in thought, pray, and do other things which I enjoy.

What are some things that refresh you after a long or busy day or week? Those of us who are caregivers may be especially challenged to create moments to refresh yourselves. Seeking ways to pause, if only for brief breaks, will do much for our frame of mind and our ability to do our best with a positive attitude.

This reminds me that even Jesus was intentional about creating those times. As he was traveling with his disciples, they stopped at a well and Jesus sent the disciples off to town to buy some food. He sat down by the well, tired and thirsty, seeking refreshment and welcoming the pause.

Jacob’s well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey,
sat down by the well. It was about noon
. John 4:6

I remember my childhood days of warm summer evenings playing outside with my brothers and neighborhood friends. I hear again the sounds of occasional passing cars, televisions, and our laughs and shouts, as our parents sat and talked after finishing the day’s chores… drinking from that well that comes from God. I remember times when we gathered with my family around a campfire, roasting marshmallows and enjoying each other. I’m thankful for those times and for opportunities to create them now, to pause and be refreshed.

May you be blessed this week as you rest in your travels and sit down by the well. Prayers for refreshment and renewal, quiet times of rest, and comfortable companionship!

Dost Bow Your Head

Dost bow your head, as they would say
In olden times when they would pray

We come before God with humble heart
In quiet thought at a place apart

In worship of His mighty power
Secure with Him, we pause in this hour

With troubled thought we seek a guide
Or time of joy… We do not hide

God knows us well. He loves us all
We rest in Him, both big and small

Now be assured. Release your stress
He bids us come, and he will bless

Dost bow your head

Never


“Well, I never!”

Have you ever heard or expressed these same words? When taken by surprise, when the unexpected or unplanned hits us head-on, this simple phrase expresses it all! Fill in the blank.

Never, never, never… A word that can express relief, disappointment, anger, conviction, and so much more.

I never have to go there again!

– We never thought they would do such a thing.

I’m never going to talk to him again!

I’ll never give up.

Sometimes “never” is a positive word, a practical expression of the end of use for some item (That’ll never come clean or That can never be repaired). At other times “never” is a call of desperation. Think of the times when you’ve worked to complete, learn, or do something and you reach the point when out of frustration or exhaustion you just think, “I’ll never get this done!” When we reach such low points, “never” can loom its head and drive our thoughts downward. We struggle with self-doubt, need, or depression… echoes of The Raven’s “nevermore”!

How do we cope when our thoughts take a plunge?! When “never” seems like a dark storm approaching? Pausing for some quiet time and prayer sure helps. It would be so nice to have some support too, someone to help out or to be a sounding board and understanding presence.

That reminds me of when Jesus spoke of satisfying hunger and thirst, not just physical satisfaction but a deeper hunger and thirst for a full and significant life. He knows our need for forgiveness of wrongs, for peace and happiness, and for God. Jesus was saying that all who come to him will never go hungry or thirsty for what really matters in life. He will never turn anyone away who comes to him. Now those are some good “never-s”! *

As we encounter our “never”, surprised by the unexpected or unplanned, may we be drawn to God’s “ever” …ever with us and ever satisfying our greatest longings and needs.

*John 6:35-37
Charlotte-Anne Allen

God is My Hour

In prayer walking with you, oh God
Bowing before You; humbly I fall
Secure in Your presence
Whatever will come

God is my hour

Each minute and second
Our time is revealed
Across ocean’s vastness
Upon this earth

God is my hour

In strength or in weakness
God, you give all that I need
You hold me securely as I turn to You
… Life’s offer to One Who Knows

God is my hour

Morning rise, full of light
Evening come, darkness starshine
Through each day and blackest night
Whatever besets me…

God is my hour

For family, friends, and community
Needy world, where’er I’m found
Thanks be raised that God is here
Faith now offered; comfort bring

God is my hour

To my pastor, Mark Reece, Jr, as he steps out in service
and to all who seek God. Be encouraged.
– Charlotte-Anne Allen

Reflections on Feet

• A good foot rub relaxes body and soul
• We often take things we use daily for granted
• Comfort is bare feet on the cool grassy ground
• Bringers of good news are like sunshine after a cloudy day
• Be mindful of where you go and whom you walk with
• Travel brings new discoveries and renewed relationships
• Stand firmly for goodness and justice
• Consider possible consequences to avoid slipping
• Some paths are full of rocks, roots, and washouts
• Wisdom speaks from experience
• Heed words of wisdom to avoid stumbling
• It’s good to put your feet up and breathe after a busy day
• Walk through life seeing interruptions as positive opportunities
• Follow the feet of our Shepherd

from “Reflections from the Everyday”
Charlotte-Anne Allen