Prayer, Plain and Simple

The Eucharist Diet: Rebounding  

February 2, 2010

Day 31

Weight: 200 lbs

Weight lost: -6 lbs


Just a quick report for anyone still interested: I’m parked at 200 lbs, down from my original 206 lbs. I’m staying true to my experimental discipline. “The Eucharist Diet” adventure is my six month experiment taking daily communion and tracking and posting the results in my personal life, relationships, health, and body fat percentage. I’ll keep you posted…


It’s Groundhog Day and Puxatony Phil saw his shadow this morning. Bad news: we’re facing six more weeks of winter… No surprise, especially for us living in Minnesota where it will probably be more like 12 weeks. I woke this morning to 2 inches of fresh snow. I got my cardio exercise early shoveling our long driveway. It gave me an hour alone to pine for spring and to search, in vane for some kind of spiritual moral in the literal pain of winter.

I grew up in California and when I first moved to Minnesota 16 years ago I really loved winter. It was new and fascinating and wrought with change. But as the years have grown on my I’ve grown exhausted with the relentless assault. Winter hurts, and I’m longing for spring.

Maybe that will be the spiritual lesson I’ll take up today: longing. I’m longing and eager and waiting for a turn of season. I suppose we all are, not so much a physical change, that will come in time, but a transcendent one. We need a fresh shift in the spiritual climate. We need to pray for an awakening of another kind of Spring.

“Lord, we don’t know how long we will have to wait for an awakening of a “spiritual spring” but let it come! Lord, bring a freshness, and a day of new beginnings for us. Bring life and growth and joy and faith and fruitfulness. We admit it, we’re tired of the winter in our souls. Refresh us now. Lord, you are Spring itself. Come. Return, and bring your gifts of rebirth and life again! In Jesus…”


Ari Derfel didn’t throw away his garbage, on purpose. For 12 months the 35 year-old catering company owner stored all his waste inside his Berkley, California apartment. Derfel struck upon the idea after looking for statistics about how much refuse each human produces. Unimpressed with the abstract data, he decided to see for himself – empirically.

The result: a putrid lesson from sacks of flattened metal cans, milk jugs, soiled paper towels, and stacks of newspapers.

The moral: We make a mess. Each of us leaves behind a measurable trash footprint that contributes to the garbage crisis of the planet. This is undeniable.

But just as damaging – we also generate another kind of residue from our moral and immoral choices.  All of us, intentionally or unintentionally make a mess of the world. The white lie I told in 7th grade is still spinning around the universe making a muck of things. And I’m liable. Yes, we all leave a spiritual trash footprint. And of Karma is in any way a accurate way to look at the world, I’m liable for that mess.

What to do? Religions of all sorts devise solutions to our moral culpability. Do any of those solutions actually work? Is there any way to clean up our ethical toxic waste? Is there any place to dump our trash?

Jesus offers a stunning and surprising solution. Explore his way at

Then tell your own story here…


We pray still for crisis in Haiti.

The magnitude of the trauma is numbing. Yet behind the scenes sprawling across our televisions and computer screens we catch the horror of real, personal tragedies. It’s pain we can only begin to imagine., if we will allow ourselves. “God, help us to continue to care…”

This is our response, from a distance. What of those who are there, on the ground, facing, and helping to ease the pain personally? What of the workers trying to help? “God, give them more of what they need today!”

Our hearts and prayers go out to the ten Americans arrested trying to take 33 children out of earthquake-shattered Haiti.  They say they were simply living out their Christian commitment, but yes, they broke the law. “In this chaos the government is in right now, we were just trying to do the right thing,” the group’s spokeswoman, Laura Silsby, said at Haiti’s judicial police headquarters, where she and others were taken after their arrest Friday night. They faced an ancient, and painful tension: when is it right to ignore protocol and even legal boundaries in order to save lives? They acted. I’m sympathetic to their plight. I also understand Haiti’s concern to maintain whatever social order they can…  

Pause with me today to pray for all those working in Haiti, seeking to stem the human strain and cost of this crisis.

“God we pray again for the victims of the earthquake in Haiti. We also today pray for the workers who are aiding these victims. Give them wisdom, strength, endurance and health to continue their efforts. Preserve their hearts through the suffering…. Give them all courage and supernatural power to continue. And when the grow exhausted, send more help to take their place… In Jesus.”

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