This along with the morning prayer was one of my favorites. This was just before bed, and we prayed it when we were lost the first night after a long day of actual hiking. We were in good spirits already, and we prayed near dusk and in the darkening part of the day.

This would have been an ideal time for an examination, but I was still wrestling with what I wanted and when. So, for this week, this is what we got.

I had a few typos in the original that I’ve fixed. I’ll also emphasize that I arranged these prayers and did not write them myself. This collection borrows from a number of sources.



+ (silently)
Search me, O God, and know my heart.

Test me and know my thoughts.
*See if there is any wicked way in me
and lead me in the way everlasting.

Forgive us our sins,
God who is one,
God who is true,
God who is first,
God only mighty,

in three Persons, truly merciful, forgive.

*O God of life, this night,

O darken not to me Thy light.

*O God of life, this night,
close not Thy Gladness to my sight.

*Give to me a watchful heart,
which no unworthy desire can debase.

*Give to me a resolute heart,
which no evil intention can divert.

*Give to me a stalwart heart,

which no tribulation can overcome.

*Give to me a temperate heart,
which no violent passion can enslave.

Give to us, Lord God,
Understanding of You,
Diligence in seeking You,
Wisdom in finding You,
Discourse ever pleasing to You,
Perseverance in waiting for You,
and confidence of finally embracing You.

My dear ones, O God, bless Thou and keep,
in every place where they are.

*In peace will I lie down, for it is You, O Lord,
You alone who makes me to rest secure.

Be the peace of the Spirit mine this night.
Be the peace of the Son mine this night.
Be the peace of the Father mine this night.

The peace of all peace be mine this night.
+In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Ghost. Amen.

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Even Song – The Phos Hilaron


After dinner this was the prayer. The focus was really and truly upon the time of reflectively reading scripture. So the prayers are short. I’m not sure about the placement of the phos hilaron, perhaps it would be better during compline or closer to sunset. I think I would add it to the prayers in the book or rewrite it for the evening. So there are some definite changes I would make to this session.

Evening Prayer

+In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let us kneel in silence, and with penitent and obedient hearts confess our sins unto Almighty God.

– Silent Confession –

Lord Jesus Christ, you bore our condemnation on the Cross;
Give me a heart that is broken for the wrong that I have done,
the harm that I have caused others,
the good I have not done,
and that I have turned away from you.

Have mercy on us, O God, according to your loving kindness.
Blot out our transgressions. Wash me from wickedness.

Free us for joyful obedience through Jesus Christ your son. Give us trust in your mercy and your grace, and strengthen us in goodness.

Glory to God. Amen

Lectio Divina – (Holy Reading and Reflection)

– Phos Hilaron – (Gladsome Light)

*O gracious Light,
pure brightness of the everliving Father in heaven,
O Jesus Christ, Holy and blessed!

*Now as we come to the setting of the sun,
and our eyes behold the vesper light,
we sing your praises:

+O God: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

*You are worthy at all times to be praised by happy voices,
O Son of God, O Giver of life,
and to be Glorified through all the worlds.


I believe I shall see the goodness of the Lord!
Have courage and wait, wait for the Lord!


See that ye be at peace among yourselves.
Love one another.
Follow the example of good men
and God will comfort you and help you

In this world and the word which is to come.

+In the name of the Father

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.


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Midday Prayer after Lunch


While I was following a couple of patterns here, I would probably change the language at the end to a more modern vernacular. It’s worth noting that I never resolved for myself where I wanted the confession and pardon to be. There are elements of it through out the Midday, Evening, and Compline prayers, but having lived this pattern of prayer, I think the ideal time for examination and confession is in the compline.

If you are familiar with it, you will see a broken up form of the General Thanksgiving. When prayed together it had a very different feel from saying it by myself. The lines had an impact when different people spoke the lines.

But I’m showing you the pattern that I did have on this little trek, and I’ll make improvements as I can later.

Midday Prayer

+ In the name of the Father,

                  and of the Son,

         and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us.
Establish Thou the work of our hands;
establish Thou the work of our hands.

* Heavenly Father, send your Holy Spirit into our hearts, to direct and rule us according to your will, to comfort us in all our afflictions, to defend us from all error, and to lead us into all truth; through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Almighty God, Father of all mercies,

we your unworthy servants give you humble thanks.

*For all your goodness and loving-kindness
to us and to all whom you have made.

*We bless you for our creation, preservation,
and all the blessings of this life;

*But above all for your immeasurable love
in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ

*For the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.

*And we beseech thee,
give us that due sense of all thy mercies,

*That our hearts may be thankful;
and that we show forth thy praise,

*Not only with our lips, but in our lives,
by giving up ourselves to thy service,

*and by walking before thee
in holiness and righteousness all our days;

+through Jesus Christ our Lord,

to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost,
be all honor and glory, world with out end. Amen.

*Help us to pray as your son taught us to pray.

Our Father, who art in heaven,
hallowed be Thy name;
Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done;
on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread
and forgive us our trespasses
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation;
but deliver us from evil. Amen.


Let nothing disturb thee,
nothing affright thee;
all things are passing,
God never changeth!
Patient endurance attaineth to all things;
who God possesseth
in nothing is wanting;
alonge God is sufficeth.

+In the name of the Father,
and of the Son,
and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Morning Prayer on the Trail


The morning prayer became one of our favorites predominately for the blessing at the end that was more prophetic than I wish it had been. We did get lost and were guided through the wilderness, we were in a harsh storm – so harsh it later killed one person on the other side of NM at Philmont Scout Ranch, and we were brought home rejoicing at the wonders we had seen.

Please lift that family and the Philmont Scouting community up in your own prayers. 

Prayer Rubric 

+ cross yourself reflecting on the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost

* change readers when praying in a group
italics each person repeats the phrase when praying in a group
bold the group reads this passage in unison


Morning Prayer


+ In the name of the Father,

                  and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

I arise today

through the strength of heaven:
light of the sun
*Splendor of fire,

Speed of lightening,

*Swiftness of the wind,

Depth of the sea,

*Stability of the earth,

Firmness of the rock.

*I arise today
with God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me

*God’s wisdom to guide me
God’s eye to look ahead for me

*God’s ear to hear me
God’s word to speak for me

*God’s hand to defend me
God’s way to lie before me

*God’s shield to protect me
God’s host to safeguard me.

I arise today
in a mighty strength
calling upon the Trinity,
believing in the Three Persons
saying they are One
thanking my Creator.

         To whom shall we go?
You have the word’s of eternal life.

Scripture Reading – Refer to the Daily Office

Reflection and Response

Prayers Lifted Up

May the peace of the Lord Christ go with you,
where ever He may send you.
May He guide you through the wilderness,

protect you through the storm.
May He bring you home rejoicing
at the wonders He has shown you.
May He bring you home rejoicing
once again into our doors.

+ In the name of the Father,

and of the Son,

and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.

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Slow Walk Spirituality


Plod is a great word.

One foot in front of the other.

Tomorrow, I’ll get back to the prayer book work that I have put together. Today, I just want to say that slowly putting one foot in front of another does actually get you somewhere.

We camped at this lake after putting one foot in front of another for around six hours with a few breaks. This view was from a place just above the lake on our way to summit a mountain.

It’s an image of the spiritual life – to contemplation, to prayer, to learning to love your neighbor, and to love God.

One foot in front of another.

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Backpacking Recovery – Check out the Big Horn Lamb… Little Horn Lamb…

Ok, over the last 5 days I have hiked up pretty much 7000 feet of elevation and descended the same.

My legs hurt, and I took it slow.

The kids did great, but I’m wiped out.

So, short post of a baby big horn sheep on top of a currently unspecified mountain.
It’s not the best quality shot, but the little guy was moving and 15 feet away. I thought it would come out better.


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Watching Swimming


Watching swimming is a simple fundamental of the coaching process, and I normally do not bother with it much because I am a swimmer. In other words I enjoy swimming, and while I do enjoy coaching it is usually during my off  time. However, recently I used vidoe footage to instruct a friend on technique. 
It’s worth saying that the video footage was beyond helpful. 
For  the fiirsttime he could see where his stroke was off from the norm. The TI or total immersion swimming has been championed and berated by well meaning folks, and I suppose that it is not bad for people first getting in the water. However, there are too many problems with stroke technique and power that  TI does not address. My friend, a TI defender and practitioner, is finally starting to come around and see that swimming is a broad world with  many subtlle variations based on the swimmer and coach. 
It has been remarkably helpful in his stroke to branch out into a different way of doing things. 

Under my instruction, I agree with quite a few other coaches in believing in building up the fundamentals of each and every stroke as complimentary with Freestyle. I also think that Dolphin kick is a fifth stroke that needs equal face time with the rest. 
The videos help because we can look through and analyze them together. I can easily see what I think is wrong sometimes, but I usually do not start there. I want to know what the swimmer sees in the stroke as a problem. Why? Because they may see something I did not, but perhaps more importantly, I get to know how they analyze thier own stroke. 
When you know that, you can see why they correct somethings but not others, and you can remove possibly unhelpful emphasis on one thing or another. You can also prescribe and direct drills to conquer particular habits of thought and habits of the body. 
In other words, if someone looks at their freestyle and sees problems with their entry while the real problem is with their rotation – you can change their focus to where the problem is while doing drills or while swimming the stroke. On the other side, if they notice a problem with their finish while you where looking at their kick – you can give instruction on rotation designed to help both.
The importance here is that you can help the swimmer and respect the swimmer at the same time using video. It’s an unbelievable tool, and it is accessible now in ways it never was before. You can pop in with someone on deck just using their phone. A little water logged periscope can help you video or observe your swimmer’s stroke to see all the little foibles under water that can be made smoother. 
Now, all this is nothing without having a good model swimmer. I spend sometime every time I want to investiage part of a stroke by surfing youtube and bookmarking good technique videos or examples of technique that I want to try. 
But that  maybe cumbersome on the pool deck. Swim Coach apps have stock videos that are usefull even if they aren’t always the best examples of technique. So you may have to modify your instruction a little while showing them the videos of proper technique. 

That being said, be careful. Elite technique is not the same as everyday swimming technique. As you get stronger and faster, technique changes. When first teaching a beginner to breath to the side they turn their heads to bring their mouths above the surface line of the water. After getting to a certain point, that is too far. The water will create a pocket to breath in below that surface line if you can get enough displacement from speed. 

There are various other differences. When taking a water safety instructor course years ago, the teacher had nearly flawless breaststroke for paddling around in the pool, but it was not flawlless competition breaststroke. While she had no technical problems with her stroke, it could ony broadly be considered in the same category as competition breaststroke. 

I may have gotten in a little trouble for arguing with her on that as she tried to correct my breaststroke. 

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