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).
Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner

Daily text messages are not available this year from The Uncluttered Heart. So sorry!! I'll miss texting you!!

 
Wednesday
Feb182015

A Blessing for Ash Wednesday

Bless this day of ashes,
This space, this pause.

May we be open,
May we be honest,
May we be mindful.

May we be patient,
May we be quiet,
May we be gentle.

Facing fear,
Facing sorrow,
Facing joy,
Facing pain.

This life is yours.
This life is a gift.
We return it to you.

Bless this day of ashes,
This space, this pause.

 

Blessings to you, dear friends, during this journey of Lent. For daily postings during this season, follow Alive Now on Facebook or Twitter.

Beth

Monday
Feb162015

On the Eve of Ash Wednesday

Hello friends,

As we enter the season of Lent (starting Wednesday), I hope you'll find a way to follow the journey of life -- either in your individual devotional time or with a small group. If you need a reminder of what Lent is about, here's a link to an article called Lent 101.

Some resources for you in the coming months:

  1. Alive Now magazine (where I serve as editor) will post short reflections during Lent on their Facebook page. Like their page and join the Lenten journey.
  2. Download the digital copy of the March/April issue of Alive Now. The theme is Brokenness and is especially focussed on the ways God uses our broken places.
  3. Join me for a retreat in May 4-9 (post Lent) at a 5-day academy for spiritual formation on the topic of the Psalms. I'll be serving as the worship leader at this exciting event. I hope you might consider joining me in Alabama that week. More information is on my blog. Click here to learn more.

Many blessings for this holy season.

Beth

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.