Cyndi CropWatermarked‘s blogmistress is Cynthia B. Astle, OSL, a certified spiritual director and veteran religion writer. She’s a graduate of the certification program for spiritual direction at United Methodist-related Perkins School of Theology at Southern Methodist University. She’s a sister of The Order of Saint Luke, an ecumenical, dispersed monastic association of male and female Christians in both the general baptized and the set-apart ordained ministry of the Church. OSL members are committed to living sacramental lives, meaning they pray a lot, they study a lot (especially ways of worship) and they’re always pointing to where they see God at work in the world.

Cynthia answered God’s call to a new ministry in 2010 after nearly a decade of resistance and a lifetime spent as a working reporter and editor. She knew she had made the right choice when the Holy Spirit prompted an anonymous donor to provide a full scholarship for her seminary education. Thus blessed, she now strives to be a blessing to others through diligent daily prayer, service as a teacher of spiritual disciplines, advocate for the empowerment of laypeople for all kinds of ministry, and witness to Jesus’ teaching that the kingdom of God is in our midst, right now, if we only learn to see it and practice it.

Her favorite companion, after God, is her husband of 37 years, John Astle, and their feisty “rescue dog,” a Border Collie mix named Sheena. She loves to make instrumental and vocal music, and she sews, crochets (especially baby layettes for Newborns in Need) and crafts prayer beads.

Her favorite greeting is “Hello, friend,” and her favorite blessing is, “God be with you.”