Bloom where you’re planted

“There are times to bloom where we are planted, and times for us to be transplanted so we can bloom even better elsewhere. Just follow the Lord where he leads.”

(Danielle Bernock, from an article on


inspired by Colossians 2:6-7

Just like you receive Christ Jesus the Lord,
so go on living in him — in simple faith.
Grow out of him as a plant grows out of the soil it is planted in —
becoming more and more sure of your faith.
If you do this,
your lives will overflow with joy and thankfulness.
And the mercy of God,
the love of Jesus Christ,
and the abiding presence of the Holy Spirit
will surround you and uphold you
wherever you go.
Go in God’s peace.

posted on re:worship

From the blog
Quiet near a little stream
Slow learners and bright ideas
Theme: Part of creation  [prayer sheet]

Ask for more


(based on Ephesians 3:16-21, The Message)

I ask God to strengthen you by the power of the Spirit —
not a brute strength but a glorious inner strength —
that Christ will live in you as you open the door and invite him in.

And I ask God that
with both feet planted firmly on love
you’ll be able to take in with all Christians
the extravagant dimensions of Christ’s love.

Reach out and experience the breadth!
Test its length!
Plumb the depths!
Rise to the heights!
Live full lives — full in the fullness of God.

God can do anything, you know —
far more than you could ever imagine or guess
or request in your wildest dreams!
Not by pushing us around
but by working within us,
through the power of God’s Spirit.

All glory to the God of Creation!
All glory to the Son, our Saviour, Jesus Christ!
And all glory to the Spirit of God, at work among us and within us!

Go in the love of God!

~ from re:worship

From the blog
A very present help in trouble
In the school of prayer with Terry Hinks
3 Prayers for wayfarers

Carry something beautiful


In difficult times carry something beautiful in your heart.


Blaise Pascal



Go forth from this place refreshed and empowered
to do the ministry to which God calls you:
Travel lightly, for you carry within you all that you need.
Notice God’s presence in simple, everyday experiences.
Whenever opportunity arises, labor for the good of all.
And the blessing and joy of God,
our Creator, Healer, and Life-Giver
go with you today and always.

~ by Rev. Heather A. Moody, posted on re:worship

From the blog
In the school of prayer with Anselm
Bright and beautiful
walk, run, soar

Come together

Have a seat.  Spotted in Budapest during our Presbytery weekend


For wherever two or three people come together in my name, I am there, right among you!
(Matt 18:20, J.B. Phillips New Testament)

The Presbytery of International Charges of the Church of Scotland gathered in Budapest this past weekend, hosted by the congregation there. I testify that Jesus was with us – in our worship, in our meetings and in the informal gatherings, as we strengthened our bounds and offered one another support and encouragement.

It is my prayer that our respective congregations will benefit too, as we return with wisdom, inspiration and hope for the months and years ahead.

Closing commission

We have sung, we have prayed,
we have worshiped together.
Now we go back out into the world.
We came together to build relationships,
relationships with each other,
and our relationship with Jesus.

We go out as people who are strengthened by our connections,
ready to love and to serve;
ready to carry God’s love to the world.

As you journey through the ups and the downs of the coming week,
let us remember that God,
who has invited us into relationship,
is always with us.

Go with God, as the people of God.
So be it! Amen

~ posted by Rev Gord on,
sourced from re:worship

Continually ever-present

Wishing you a blessed Holy Week and a joyous Easter.


(inspired by Hebrews 10:19-22)

Go in peace, assured that God has heard,
      and will continue to hear your prayers.
Remember that no curtain separates us
      from the presence of the Lord.
Therefore, every table at which you will sit this week,
      be it a school desk,
            a work bench,
            a lunch counter,
            a meeting room table,
            an office desk,
            a board across sawhorses,
            your own kitchen or dining room table;
      every table is God’s altar.
So boldly pray,
      hold fast to hope,
            and encourage and provoke one another
                        to put love into action.

~ from the Long Green Valley Church of the Brethren website.

Holy Week resources from the blog
Windows on Holy Week (2017)
He suffered series (2018)

Safe to play

I have joined forces with my sister, Daphne (seated in the distance). Together we started this low-key outdoor art project in my neighbourhood in Rotterdam, open to passersby. We meet for a few hours on a Friday afternoon when we can, weather-permitting. We call ourselves “ZO MA outdoor art”. (ZO MA is a version of “zomaar” which means “just like that”.) Daphne’s medium of choice is chalk and mine is frottage, standing up against a tree and transferring some of the texture of the bark onto paper using a thick graphite stick or pencil. I usually turn the results into mini zines (A4 sheet of paper folded and turned into an 8-page booklet). You can find examples of my frottage experiments and mini zines on instagram (


A few quotes on the topic of play from a conversation between Esther Perel and Krista Tippett on

“… playfulness comes with a certain element of letting go.”

“… play and curiosity are so intimately interwoven.”

“… play is when risk is fun. You can’t play when you are in a situation of danger, anxiety, or contraction. So you have to feel safe in order to play.”

May you find a safe place to play risk free and follow your curiosity, and may you pass on this gift to others too.

A benediction

May God’s blessing rest on each one of you.
May God’s light shine on you, and make your path clear.
May hope carry you through the challenging times,
and gratitude be your response when life is good.

May your days be filled with curiosity and adventure,
and may you discover the incomparable joy
of living lives that bring honour and glory to God.

~ written by Christine Longhurst and posted on re:worship

From the blog
To dance with God
Ding! Dong! Curiosity
Heart’s desire

Thank you. For the sunrise


based on Luke 1:78-79

A new day is dawning!
Despite what we see and hear in the world around us,
the sunrise is coming.
When it comes, it will break through the darkness of our world —
darkness caused by violence and death and hunger and despair.
And all those who now sit huddled in the shadows
will be able to rise and walk with confidence in the light.
So go from here with courage and hope,
to love and serve the Lord. Amen.

source: re-worship

Proclaim the wondrous

Garden at Colomba Le Roc Retreat, France  (Photo: Irene Bom)


But you are a chosen people,
set aside to be
      a royal order of priests,
a holy nation, God’s own;
so that you may proclaim
the wondrous acts
of the One who called you
out of inky darkness
into shimmering light.


(1 Peter 2:9, The Voice)


Literally part of “a royal order of priests”

Pentecost weekend I had the privilege of representing our Presbytery at the dedication service of Colomba Le Roc Retreat – a truly ecumenical celebration.

As part of the “Blessing of Colomba le Roc and all present” at the end of the service, I used this benediction by David Adam:


The Father of many resting places grant you rest;
The Christ who stilled the storm grant you calm;
The Spirit who fills all things grant you peace.
God’s light be your light,
God’s love be your love,
God’s way be your way.

The eternal Father, Son and Holy Spirit
shield you on every side.

from The Open Gate: Celtic Prayers for Growing Spiritually
by David Adam, p.112

From the blog
Body talk
Prayer sheet: Called into community
Show me the way


In the school of prayer with Brother Lawrence

Roof garden in inner city Rotterdam  (Photo: Irene Bom)


While reflecting on the theme of work, I was reminded of Brother Lawrence – a role model for us (as for previous generations) of what it means to “make your life a prayer” (1 Thessalonians 5:17, The Passion Translation).

Brother Lawrence was a Carmelite monk working in a monastery kitchen in Paris in the seventeenth century. He wrote no book but his papers, together with accounts of conversations with him, were collected after his death and published. The English translation was given the title, The Practice of the Presence of God.

Here are two excerpts:

“The time of business does not differ with me from the time of prayer, and in the noise and clutter of my kitchen, while several persons are at the same time calling for different things, I possess God in as great tranquility as if I were on my knees at the Blessed Sacrament.”
       from the Fourth Conversation

“But when we are faithful to keep ourselves in his holy presence, and set him always before us, this not only hinders our offending him, and doing anything that may displease him, at least willfully, but it also begets in us a holy freedom, and if I may so speak, a familiarity with God, wherewith we ask, and that successfully, the graces we stand in need of. In time, by often repeating these acts, they become habitual, and the presence of God is rendered as it were natural to us. Give him thanks, if you please, with me, for his great goodness towards me, which I can never sufficiently admire, for the many favours he has done to so miserable a sinner as I am. May all things praise him. Amen.”
       from the First Letter

Two simple prayers

Drawing inspiration from Brother Lawrence, Ann Lewin writes:

Brother Lawrence believed that it was important to relate all his life to God, work and prayer alike. …

We have to establish the habit of remembering that there is a connection between God and ourselves wherever we are …
now is the time we meet with God.

Two simple prayers are enough to carry around with us: ‘Thank God’, and ‘Lord have mercy’. These are the responses we can make to all the circumstances of our lives, for God is concerned with the painful experiences and the hard questions just as much as with the joys and delights.

from Seasons of Grace by Ann Lewin, p. 28-29

Digging deeper

The Practice of the Presence of God  (Audio version | PDF)
by Brother Lawrence

The devotional life of Brother Lawrence
article by Robert M. Johnston

Four Lessons about Faith & Work from Brother Lawrence
article by Dr. Andrew Spencer

A ministry of dirty dishes
article by Perry Engle


(inspired by Exodus 3)

Go out into the world to join God
      in the work of love, of peace, of justice.
Take in the breath of life.
Take off your shoes.
Know that you are ever in the presence
of the Holy and Living God.
Go in peace. Amen.

— written by Joanna Harader, and posted on her Spacious Faith blog.

Other blog posts in the “In the school of prayer” series:

In the school of prayer with Angela Ashwin
In the school of prayer with Anselm
In the school of prayer with Ann Lewin
In the school of prayer with Eddie Askew
In the school of prayer with the Celtic Saints

From generation to generation

Do you recognize any of the names? I certainly recognize a few …

This weekend I was part of a Presbytery Local Church Review team to St Andrews Church, Gibraltar. On Saturday, at the close our meeting with the church leaders, I read this benediction based on Psalm 103:

As you go from here, remember this:
God’s love is from everlasting to everlasting,
from generation to generation.
Just as a father has compassion on his children
so God has compassion on those who fear him,
who listen to his voice,
and who do his will.

Go out in the knowledge
that the everlasting love of God goes with you.

I got as far as “from generation to generation” when I teared up and had to ask our team leader to take over.

Let us pray

We join the congregation in praying for God to make something happen so there will be many generations to come to witness to the everlasting love of God in this place. We pray the same for churches everywhere.

Pray too for life-giving relationships between the different generations in our congregations, as we seek to be faithful followers of Jesus in our time.


Benediction from