(This beautiful artwork by Kim Klassen can be ordered on

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being…”
Ephesians 3:16c 

The challenge continues! I knew it would be difficult to find time during the hectic holiday season to be still. So, once again, I am a bit late on my thankful thoughts. But, I will not quit! I will press on. I challenge you to do the same. We are in this together! As a teacher, reviewing material is always first on my lesson plan. So, for just a second, I am going to review my list of thankful thoughts:

  • Prelude: Thankful for God’s gift of creation and the adventure he is allowing my daughter, Candace, to experience (Eph. 3:14-21).
  • 1st Thankful Thought: Thankful that I belong to God and that, now, my children belong to God (Eph. 3:15).
  • 2nd Thankful Thought: Thankful for God’s unending supply of power, which daily empowers me to live victoriously (Eph. 3:16b).

And, today, my 3rd and 4th thankful thoughts center on two prepositional phrases: through his Spirit and in your inner being. Paul, the author of Ephesians, has assured us of God’s glorious riches. From this deep well of rich resources, God empowers and strengthens us to wake up every morning, face the day, and walk hand-in-hand with him. Paul then tells us how God does this:

God’s glorious riches →strengthens us with power→through his Spiritin our inner being.

As forementioned, I would be lost without Jesus. Without the power of the Holy Spirit moving in my life. Without the tender, loving direction and correction of my Heavenly Father.  In “Keep in Step with the Spirit,” J.I. Packer writes:

 “The journey of our lives is a double journey. There is an outward journey into external confrontations, discoveries, and relationships, and there is an inner journey into self-knowledge and the discovery of what for me as an individual constitutes self-expression, self-fulfillment, freedom, and contentment of learning to relate positively and purposefully to the world and other people—that is, to all God’s creatures—for God the Creator’s sake, and the inward journey takes the form of gaining and deepening our acquaintance with God himself and with Jesus the Son. Now in the hustling, bustling West today, life has become radically unbalanced, with education, business interests, the media, the knowledge explosion, and our go-getting community ethos all uniting to send folk off to the outward journey as fas as they can go and with that to distract them from ever bothering about its inward counterpart. In Western Christianity the story is the same, so that most of us without realizing it are nowadays unbalanced activists, conforming most unhappily in this respect to the world around us. Like the Pharisees, who were also great activists (see Matthew 23:15), we are found to be harsh and legalistic, living busy, complacent lives of conforming to convention and caring much more, as it seems, for programs than for people. When we accuse businessman of selling their souls to their firms and sacrificing their integrity on the altars of their organizations, it is the pot calling the kettle black. Perhaps there are no more truths about the Spirit that Christian people more urgently need to learn today than those that relate to the inner life of fellowship with God, that life which I call the inward journey.”

The inward journey. The inner life. The core of our Christianity. Ten years ago, I suffered a serious life-altering back injury. During this extremely difficult period, I embarked on a life-altering inward journey. At times, it felt so selfish. So self-centered. So ego-centric. But, it was the beginning of learning to care for my soul. And, as a result of that, learning that developing a vital inner life of fellowship with God is the most important thing in my life. Now, this daily communion is an integral part of my day-to-day existence. So, for your SILENT SECOND today, care for your soul. Here are a few simple ideas:

  • Steep a steaming hot pot of your favorite tea! Use your favorite teapot and tea cup. Sip slowly. Meditate on Ephesians 3:16.
  • Write down your 4th Thankful Day of Christmas thought.
  • Soak in a bath of lavendar epsom salts (available at your local drug store). Cheap and amazingly restorative.
  • Light a candle and gather the family. Read Luke 2 and rediscover the real reason for the season.
  • Bake a batch of delicious Christmas cookies. Smell. Taste. Enjoy.
  • Close out the crowds. Stay home and be. Just be. (I know you have a very long to-do list, but sometimes taking a break from rushing reaps great rewards. You will have more energy for the work.)
  • Join me for my noon yoga class (Smile). Exercise. Stretch. Breathe deeply. Practice silence.
  • Play Christmas carols and fill your home with joy.

Sometimes simple acts of restorative practice can transform your life. Can you share your little secrets to sanity? I’d love to hear them. Enjoy this day!

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