About the Book

The Uncluttered Heart is your companion through the busy weeks of Advent and Christmas. Published by Upper Room Books. Learn more.

About the Author
Beth A. Richardson

Remember God with daily email during Advent (beginning Nov. 30).
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Daily text messages are not available this year from The Uncluttered Heart. So sorry!! I'll miss texting you!!

 
Tuesday
Jan062015

Let Me Be Christ's Hands

A Note of Thanks from Beth: What an honor to have been with you during these weeks. If you have not yet had a chance to, please take a few minutes to give me some feedback on The Uncluttered Heart. Click here to take the survey. Blessings and thanks, Beth

Prayer

Ever-loving God, thank you for the gift of this pilgrimage of faith through the days of Advent and Christmas. Send me out into your world surrounded by Epiphany light, that I may be your mind, heart, and hands in the world. Amen.

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

Let me be Christ's hands, heart, and spirit in the world.

Today's Picture

I want to thank you for walking with me on this Advent/Christmas journey. It's been an honor and a pleasure. If you have not already, I hope you'll take a moment to fill out the survey on The Uncluttered Heart. If you are interested in uncluttering your heart all year 'round, I recommend that you consider Alive Now magazine. Also, you can keep up with my work, writing, and new projects at my website: http://www.betharichardson.com. Let's do this again sometime! Many blessings to you on this day of Epiphany.
-Beth A. Richardson (BTW -- that's me and my camera in the picture.)

Question

Share the prayer of your heart today. Share your prayer, thoughts, and final words.

Book of the Day

A Guide to Prayer for All God’s People
Rueben P. Job and Norman Shawchuck

Rueben Job and Norman Shawchuck's Guides to Prayer have been spiritually helpful and inspiring to many people, including me, through the years. The original book was A Guide to Prayer for Ministers and Other Servants. This second one, All God's People, includes daily prayer, scripture readings, quotes, and an outline for monthly personal retreats. The newest in the series, A Guide to Prayer for All Who Walk with God has just been released.    More about the book.

 

Sing Your Prayer

Open My Heart - All four verses. Listen.

Monday
Jan052015

In the Steady Flow of the Spirit

A Note from Beth: Please take a few minutes take a few minutes to give me some feedback on The Uncluttered Heart. Click here to take the survey. Blessings and thanks, Beth

Prayer

Great God of life, your Spirit flows around me and over me every moment. Help me open myself to your presence, that I may join with you and be carried along in the steady flow of your Spirit. Amen.

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

Carry me in the steady flow of your Spirit.

Today's Picture

Sometimes being carried along by God's Spirit is a swift, cold ride like this stream. Other times, the God's Spirit is more like the calm meandering of a broad river. I took this picture below Long Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness area in Colorado (one of my favorite spots on the planet).

Question

We've nearly come to the close of our journey. What has gone well for you? What has been challenging? Share your thoughts on the question or on today's entry in the book.

Book of the Day

Wrestling with Grace
Robert Corin Morris

The subtitle says it all: "A Spirituality for the Rough Edges of Daily Life." This is Morris' first book with The Upper Room. In it, I learned a lot about Robert Morris; I learned even more about me. This is a book for ordinary Christians who want to learn to be better -- more connected, quieter inside, facing the internal challenges of depression and anger. I'm grateful to Bob Morris for this gift in the pages of a book. I'm sorry to say this book has recently gone out of print. More about the book on Amazon.

 

Sing Your Prayer

Open My Heart - All four verses. Listen.

Sunday
Jan042015

The God of Galaxies Cares about Me

A Note from Beth: Please take a few minutes take a few minutes to give me some feedback on The Uncluttered Heart. Click here to take the survey. Blessings and thanks, Beth

Prayer

Creative and creating God, thank you for creating the universe with its vast galaxies. And thank you for creating me, infinitely tiny in comparison but precious in your sight. Amen.

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

The God of 150 billion galaxies cares about me.

Today's Picture

This was the moon rise in a Washington sky a couple of summers ago. It reminded me that I'm not the center of the Universe (thank goodness!).

Question

How would your life change if you were able to keep God at the center rather than other things? Share your thoughts on the question or on today's entry in the book.

Book of the Day

Spiritual Preparation for Christian Leadership
E. Glenn Hinson

I got to study under Glenn Hinson a few years ago when he was a presenter at my Academy for Spiritual Formation. I had always loved this book, but hearing him speak brought the pages of the book more alive for me. In this book, he examines the spiritual preparation of the ordinary people who were invited to become Christian leaders and saints. The quote from Spiritual Preparation that we used in The Uncluttered Heart is one of my favorite Upper Room gems. (Today's words for the day come from that quote.) I'm sad to say this book has recently gone out of print. More about the book on Amazon.

 

Sing Your Prayer

Open My Heart - All four verses. Listen.

Saturday
Jan032015

I Want to Love and Follow

A Note from Beth: Please take a few minutes take a few minutes to give me some feedback on The Uncluttered Heart. Click here to take the survey. Blessings and thanks, Beth

Prayer

Jesus, keep prodding me to follow you, and all else will fall into place. Amen.

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

Jesus, you are the one I want to love and follow.

Today's Picture

These are the shoes of one of God's servants, Trevor Hudson. Trevor is a good friend and mentor from South Africa. I took this photo at an Upper Room SOULfeast conference as Trevor was speaking. I call this photo "The Feet of a Servant."

Question

How are you being called to follow? Share your thoughts on the question or on today's entry in the book.

Book of the Day

The Way of Transforming Discipleship
Trevor Hudson and Stephen D. Bryant

This book is part of the Companions in Christ series published by The Upper Room. Trevor Hudson has been in the Methodist ministry for over thirty years, spending most of this time in and around Johannesburg, South Africa. I've gotten to know him through his work with The Upper Room. Trevor is a powerful writer and a humble, authentic leader. More about the book.

 

Sing Your Prayer

Open My Heart - All four verses. Listen.

Friday
Jan022015

God Lifts Me Up and Carries Me

A Note from Beth: Please take a few minutes take a few minutes to give me some feedback on The Uncluttered Heart. Click here to take the survey. Blessings and thanks, Beth

 

Prayer

Thank you, God, for your gift of presence that sustains me today. If I am too weak or broken, lift me up and carry me as you did in the days of old. Amen.

Carry These Words in Your Heart Today

God lifts me up and carries me.

Today's Picture

God's gift of presence -- through friends, through our faith community -- and through God's creations that delight us. This is my furry companion, Jack. He's such a joy in my life. Jack has a website that, if you are a dog lover, you might enjoy.

Question

How is God present to you today? Share your reflections.

Book of the Day

The Africana Worship Book
Sherrie Dobbs Johnson

Discipleship Resources published a series of three Africana Worship Books. Each book takes the scriptures of one of the lectionary years (A, B, or C) as the inspiration for prayers written by a group of talented writers. The litanies and prayers in each book speak with the truth of the African American experience in the world. And they call out the human experience as brothers and sisters who stand before our God in worship. I'm honored to have been able to use one of these prayers in The Uncluttered Heart. More about the book.

 

Sing Your Prayer

Open My Heart - All four verses. Listen.