Prayer, Plain and Simple

Prayer, Plain and Simple

The Eucharist Diet: Merlot Anyone?

posted by Mark Herringshaw

January 7, 2010

Day 6

Weight: 206

Weight lost: 0

I weighed in and I’m parked at 206 lbs. Okay… I’m still taking communion each day and praying for my meals. The place and time and company with which I share the Eucharist are differing from day to day, but I’ve been consistent, so far. Other than adding this element into my eating routine I’m not consciously trying anything different.  Confession: had another piece of leftover chocolate birthday cake last night. Thanks Miles!


I’m seeing no tangible change in the numbers that count, yet. But I sense something shifting, ever so subtly. Nothing like magic, but a kind of adjustment in my psyche… What I’m starting to notice is a change in my awareness. I’m more AWARE when I’m eating and of what I’m eating. I find myself pausing, just a bit. I’m crediting this to God. Why not? I’ve asked him to be present with me as I eat and “bless” it in the ancient sort of way. So perhaps this is how he is making himself a part of my eating-life: He’s turning my attention to say, “Hey, now you are eating, think about that.”  


That is a different posture for me. Usually I eat without thinking. If the food is there, I feel free, even obligated, to consume it; it’s a feeling, not a thought that leads me. I’m aware, and I’m taking this as a good thing, a change, a step closer. Food is a gift from God. I’m first conscious, then hopefully thankful, then, hopefully aware that I can choose to say “yes,” or “no.”

Granted, nothing is showing on the scale, yet, but on the scale of my mind, maybe the tectonic plates are shifting… We’ll see.

“God, I invite you to dinner. Please come, speak your mind, and express your preferences. I belong to you. My body is your home. Make yourself comfortable. I’ll eagerly accommodate.”


Report: Last night the door bell rang. I opened the door and there stood my dear friend Bill – who is evidently reading along with this blog adventure – holding a paper bag. He smiled, handed it to me and walked off. I should add, Bill lives on the other side of the Twin Cities, so he made this trip through -20 temps just to smile and hand me the bag. I laughed, because instantly I knew what it was. He’d penned on it, “Ask and you shall receive… For sacramental use only.” I then reached in and pulled out a dandy bottle of Merlot… Wow… God is good. So are Marnie and Bill…

Now if only someone would show up with a couple airline tickets to Kona! ;o)


Tiger Woods, Brit Hume and “The Karma of Jesus”

posted by Mark Herringshaw

Brit Hume has chutzpah, gotta give him that.

If you haven’t heard, Hume recently challenged Tiger Woods to replace his Buddhism – which he claims doesn’t offer true atonement and forgiveness – with Christianity – which he says does offer atonement and forgiveness. Woods, says Hume needs a new path. The PC crowd has gone ballistic. Of all the nerve – to claim that one religion might be better than another!

Truth be told, Hume is right. Buddhism does offer salvation, but it might come only after a rigorous journey and a few million incarnations. Christianity on the other hand offers grace, now and for free in the life and death of Jesus of Nazareth.

I’ve tackled this question of atonement myself in my book “The Karma of Jesus.” Check out my website and the book itself and let’s square off on this one!



Prayer for ABB Shooting Victims

posted by nsymmonds

Earlier this morning a disgruntled employee stormed the ABB power company in St. Louis, Missouri and killed two people and injured five others. The suspect is also believed to be dead, but authorities are awaiting confirmation from the family. Please join us in prayer for the family and friends of the victims and suspect.

Heavenly Father,

I beseech your comforting presence in the life of the family, friends and co-workers of those who were killed at the hands of an angry employee. I believe that you are the great comforter and you will give words to those who will need words to share with those who have been and will be affected by this tragedy. May your healing presence be upon those injured. May broken bones and spirits, wounds and gashes be closed up in the name of Jesus. I pray that your fence of protection would be upon the ABB power company shielding those who work there from any further hurt, harm, or danger. Restore faith that may have been lost or shattered by today’s events. We know that many will ask “Why?” but, I pray that you would just give them peace in the midst of confusion. Give them the peace that passeth all understanding. For the suspect’s family, friends and coworkers, I pray that you would protect them in this time when many will seek them out for an explanation. As difficult as it is to say, I pray that people would harbor forgiveness in their heart instead of contempt, disdain and anger. May peace be restored to the company, the workers and the town at large. And if there is anything that we neglected to pray for here, that is still a great need, we have confidence that you know what those people have need of and you will be diligent to attend to those needs.

In Jesus’ Name,



The Consumer Electronics Show – Skyping with God

posted by Mark Herringshaw

I’d love to be in Las Vegas today, both to escape the bitter cold gripping Minnesota and to attend the Consumer Electronic Show and check out the new whiz bang gadgets soon to be available to all us gullible customers of novelty.  I admit it would be fun to see the outer limits of our technological imagination. I’m not that much of a “geek” about this stuff, but I am curious. It’s amazing what humans can build when we put our minds and monies to work. Just as we love to build towers to the sky, such as the new skyscraper in Dubai, we also continue to push new boundaries of technology, always with the promise that we can make our lives simpler, quicker, and more entertaining. Does it ever work? Why do we imagine it will, this time?


We all know the answer. Higher buildings and niftier cell phones don’t really deliver what their marketing promises. They don’t fix our marriages, cure our loneliness, raise our children, or give purpose to life. Novel achievements are really just clever distractions from an ever present and tenacious angst.   

In the Bible there’s a story about the failure of human effort to build a better life: to tale of the Tower of Babel, where humans tried to build a tower that would reach the sky. This quest represented a drive for human perfection independent from God. It was mercifully foiled by god himself, not because he wanted to stop human betterment, but because he knew and still knows we can never make our lives life when we are separated from him.  Big buildings and better technology are foolish and false hopes that can’t deliver on their promises. A new cell phone is no substitute for knowing and be known by God. 


Yes, I’m writing this on a computer.  Five minutes ago a used my cell phone. Technology is in the fabric of our lives, for good, and it would be fascinating to be in Vegas to see what’s next. But I have to catch myself today, and write this blog as a kind of check to my temptation. Nothing will be truly better until God takes over…

“God, you are the Maker of all makers. You give the ideas and capacity to the creators of new things. And in this way inventors and builders reflect something about you. But new gadgets don’t substitute for you our true purpose, which is to know and be known by you. Today, I will turn off the radio and listen. I will ignore the updates on my Blackberry and pray. I’m so eager to connect with anyone and everything… but you! Forgive me. I’m here and listening. We have some good things to say to one another, and we don’t need a virtual connection to make it happen! In Jesus.”

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