1 John 3:16-24 for Sunday, April 25, 2021

Image by Sophie Dale*
(Photo by Sophie Dale from Pexels)

Note: When I invite you to imagine the air you breathe in as azure blue in this week’s podcast, the water in this beautiful photo is the color I am thinking about. It’s my all-time and always favorite color in the universe!

Music: Turning by Paul Winter*

*used with permission

John 20:1-18 for Sunday, April 12, 2020








Photo: Surprising Grace in a Park, taken by Todd Spencer, April 2020.

Music: Be Still My Soul, Trinity Music*

*used with permission


Matthew 4:12-23 for Sunday, January 26, 2020







Photo: HospitALLity by Martha McIver, recently displayed at St. Gertude’s Monastery, Idaho.

Music: My Feeling Heart by Stephen Iverson*

*used with permission


Matthew 2:1-12 for Sunday, January 5, 2020








Photo: The Bright Star Alpha Centauri*

Music: Afternoon Sun by Paul Winter*

*used with permission

Surgery. Back sometime soon…

Hello Listeners,

I’m heading out in a few minutes to have surgery on my shoulder. Your prayers are welcome. I hope to get back to the podcast (and fly fishing!) soon. In the meantime, I encourage you to make use of the Search field on my webpage to find an episode or two that would be helpful for your meditation and prayer. There are more than 300 accessible in my archives. Be well.

And Deepest Peace,


2 Thessalonians 2:1-5, 13-17 for Sunday, November 10, 2019








Photo: Benet Hill Monastery Entrance, Black Forest, Colorado; take by Todd Spencer on First Saturday Prayer Day, November 2, 2019.

Song: The Simple Gospel by United Pursuit, sung by Todd Spencer.

Ephesians 1:11-23 for Sunday, November 3, 2019







Photo: Saint Gertrude’s Monastery, Cottonwood, Idaho, taken by Todd Spencer during the Fall 2019 Residency of the Stewards of the Mystery spiritual direction training program.

Song: I Will Trust by Marty Reardon and Trinity Music*

*used with permission

2 Timothy 4:5-8, 15-18 for Sunday, October 27, 2019







Photo by my childhood friend, Hugh Hood, who died in a car wreck last week. Just a few days before he died I asked if I could share some of his photos on my podcast page. He was so kind to say yes! I love you Hugh. We will never forget you and all of the joy and laughter you brought to all of us.*

Song: Drawing Me Closer by Stephen Iverson*

*used with permission

Luke 12:13-21 for Sunday, August 4, 2019






Song: Drawing Me Closer by Stephen Iverson, sung by Todd Spencer*

Photo: Burning barn, from https://www.pca.state.mn.us/featured/growing-problem-burning-demolished-farm-buildings

*used with permission

Romans 5:1-5 for Sunday, June 16, 2019

To Have Without Holding




Hello Listeners,
This week, I am re-broadcasting an episode from 2013 for this week’s lectionary Gospel text. Enjoy.
Deepest Peace,

Artwork: To Have Without Holding by Jan Richardson*

Music: Be Quiet by Mr. Bish*

*used with permission

Acts 16:16-34 for Sunday, June 2, 2019








Artwork: Jailer in Philippi, Engraved by Joseph Mulder (1658 – ca. 1728) from the design of Arnold Houbraken; from the collections at Pitts Theological Library, Candler School of Theology, Emory University; http://pitts.emory.edu/dia/image_details.cfm?ID=130228

Song: As a Deer Longs by John Philip Newell, sung by Suzanne Butler*

*Used with permission


No podcast this week. I’m at the side of my Dad in Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, as we share his final moments on Earth. He’s home on hospice care. It’s a messy thin place. God is guiding us.

Back soon.

Deepest Peace,


Luke 24:1-12 for Sunday, April 21, 2019







Artwork: Henry Ossawa Tanner, The Three Marys, 1910 Fisk University, Nashville, TN 42″ x. 50″ (as found on http://artvent-artventures.blogspot.com/2014/03/the-calling-of-henry-o-tanner-religious.html, April 15, 2019). From the above listed blog post, Julie Schauer writes of Tanner:

Henry Ossawa Tanner, the most important African-American painter born in the 19th century, should probably be considered America’s greatest religious painter, too.  He came into the world in when our country was on the brink of its Civil War, in Pittsburgh, 1859.  Though his paintings are profound, he normally doesn’t get as much recognition as he deserves.

Religious painting has never been a significant genre in the United States. Mainly, it has been used for book illustration and in churches with stained glass windows. Of course, Europe had its own rich tradition of paintings for Catholic Churches and even in the Protestant Netherlands, Rembrandt made paintings and prints of biblical subjects for their religious significance.

Tanner reinvented religious painting with highly original interpretations.  His father was a minister in the AME Church who ultimately became the bishop of Philadelphia in 1888. His mother was born in slavery, but escaped on the underground railway. Although Tanner was born free, he obviously experienced turbulent times and discrimination; faith could have given him solace….

The Three Marys is a particularly beautiful portrait of women as they see the light in front of Jesus’ tomb and that he has risen from the dead.  The witnessing of a miracle is a profound spiritual event. Each woman has a slightly different psychological response. Like many of Rembrandt’s paintings, The Three Marys is nearly monochromatic, with blue as the primary color. He explained the intent of his paintings, “My effort has been to not only put the Biblical incident in the original setting, but at the same time give it the human touch….to try to convey to the public the reverence and elevation these subjects impart to me.”  It seemed that as time went on, the blues get stronger and stronger in his paintings.

Music: Alleluia by Stephen Iverson*

*used with permission


Luke 19:28-40 for Sunday, April 14, 2019 – Palm Sunday






Song: A Quiet Time by Stephen Iverson*

Photo: Young Donkey Colt
(found on: http://westernjurisdictionumc.org/lent-2017-good-news-riding-on-a-colt-of-a-donkey/; April 8, 2019)

*used with permission

Back soon


I will not get to record this week’s lectio podcast. I’m in Wyoming for Board of Ordained Ministry meetings and now delayed due to the “bomb cyclone” blizzard (I know, what?) that came through here yesterday. The interstates are closed. Glad to be with a whole bunch of good souls from my UMC connection though! Hope to be back to my podcast next week.

Passing the Peace of Christ to ALL,


Luke 4:1-13 for Sunday, March 10, 2019






Artwork:Brooklyn Museum – Jesus Ministered to by Angels (Jésus assisté par les anges) – James Tissot – overall.jpg; Created: between 1886 and 1894 – Public Domain

Song: Alleluia by Stephen Iverson*

*used with permission

Luke 3:15-17, 21-22 for Sunday, January 13, 2019






Photo: Rock Dove, by Alan D. Wilson*
http://www.naturespicsonline.comhttp://www.naturespicsonline.com/galleries/14#5 (higher resolution version obtained in correspondence with website owner), CC BY-SA 2.5, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=1488292

Song: Alabaster by Trace Bundy*

*used with permission





Savoring Parker Palmer…Back Soon

Dear Listeners,

I’m back home in Broken Arrow where I grew up, visiting my parents. No podcast this or next week. But here’s a little merciful bit from Parker Palmer’s latest book, On the Brink of Everything, for your day:

“Solitude does not necessarily mean living apart from others; rather, it means never living apart from one’s self. It is not about the absence of other people — it is about being fully present to ourselves, whether or not we are with others.”

I’m pondering whether I agree entirely. I do know this is true in my experience: when I make space, clear islands of time, live in humane rhythms which allow for physical, actual solitude, and breathe deep there, I give my soul a real chance to then show up more fully when I am with others. I am one who needs and desires the literal solitude, daily. It gives me the freedom to be my better self wherever I am — alone or with others.

Praying this to be real today, here in Oklahoma. May your Christmas season be filled with grace and joy.



Luke 1:39-45 for Sunday, December 23, 2018







Artwork: Adoration of the Shepherds (1622), by Gerard van Honthorst – Google Art Project, Public Domain, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=45542035*

Music: Sweet Dreams, Little One by Paul Winter*

*used with permission


Philippians 4:4-7 for Sunday, December 16, 2018







Photo: Vulpes Fox, https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Vulpes_vulpes_laying_in_snow.jpg; Shiretoko-Shari Tourist Association*

Song: Light that Finds Me by Stephen Iverson

*used with permission












1 Thessalonians 3:9-13 for Sunday, December 2, 2018






Photo: Flowers outside a home in the village of Lindisfarne Island, UK, taken by Todd A. Spencer, 2010.

Song: Make Your Home in Me by Stephen Iverson*

*used with permission

Mark 12:28-34 for Sunday, November 4, 2018

Photo: View from Schweitzer Mountain, Idaho, taken by Todd Spencer, 2018; during Stewards of the Mystery spiritual direction training residency #1.

Song: Silence of a Candle, sung by Theresa Thomason with Paul Winter Consort*

*used with permission





Back soon…

I’m away this week for Board of Ordained Ministry and Clergy Orders meetings. I will not be creating a podcast. I encourage you to use the search field on the website to find an episode for your meditation and prayer this week. Deepest Peace!


Photo: Good morning, from Estes Park taken by Todd Spencer, 2018

Mark 10:17-31 for Sunday, October 14, 2018








Photo: A Fall Day on the Prayer Path, John Wesley Ranch, taken by Todd Spencer

Music: Song to the Mountains by Paul Winter*

Benediction Song: May the Lord Bless You and Keep You by Todd Spencer, 2018

*used with permission

Mark 10:2-16 for Sunday, October 7, 2018






Photo: Aspen Glory at John Wesley Ranch, taken by Todd A. Spencer

Music: Lord I Have Good Reason by Stephen Iverson*

Benediction Song: May the Lord Bless You and Keep You by Todd A. Spencer*

*used with permission


Mark 7:1-8, 14-15, 21-23 for Sunday, September 2, 2018





Photo: Todd at an ancient Bristlecone Pine Ute Prayer Tree on Pikes Peak, leading a contemplative hiking group. Bristlecone Pines like this are 1,500-4,000 years old. Photo taken by Susan Wesley Hartley.

Music: Atonement by Trinity Music*

*used with permission