Morning Prayer

These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. 
This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. John 15: 11 ESV

Many of the Amish who were praying this were on their way to farm work, cooking or carpentry asking for godly joyfulness in the middle of their everyday lives. For us, giving mercy might be just helping a neighbor mow his lawn, planting an extra row of tomatoes in our garden to give away or making up a plate of food for a friend. Jesus didn’t say we had to do miracles, in order to love others. In fact, just before He gives this command, had been washing their feet. The key to being joyful begins not by amazing them with miracles, but by serving them, just as Jesus did. So, as you begin your day, ask God to make you His tool of mercy by joyfully practicing the calling that He has given you. You will discover that there is no better way to love others than the smallest act of service done with the joy of Jesus Christ!

"Make us tools for your mercy and let us joyfully go forth and practice our calling. Amen

Considering that many of the Amish who were praying this were on their way to farm work, cooking or carpentry we get the picture of experiencing godly joyfulness in the middle of our most everyday things of life. They ask to be God’s tool of mercy as they begin to simply do ordinary acts of service. For us to give mercy might be no more complicated than helping a neighbor mow his lawn, planting an extra row of tomatoes in our garden to give away or making up a plate of food for a friend. Jesus didn’t mean we had to do miracles, in order to love others. After all, just before Jesus gives this command, He showed them His love, not by some amazing miracle but by washing their feet. The key to our being joyful begins as we love others, not by amazing them with miracles, but by serving them, just as Jesus did. So, as you begin your day, ask God to make you His tool of mercy by joyfully practicing the calling that He has given you. You will discover that there is no better way to love others than the smallest act of service done with the joy of Jesus Christ!

Simplicity by the Lake

As promised I’m sharing some of the photos from our getaway to a cottage called Simplicity. Now the funny thing is that most accomodations begin by giving a list of what is included – a pool, cable television, breakfast and free shuttle service. But the wonderful thing about Simplicity what it doesn’t offer!

Having four days of no cell service, no tv, no internet or even a daily schedule were an amazing blessing. Instead we discovered a flock of turkeys sleeping in a corn field, a deer grazing in the backyard by our car and a mist rising from the lake at dawn. Most of all there was time to pray and to talk things over with God. Busyness is often the excuse I use to put off till another day what God wants changed right now.

Last year after our first stay at the cottage I couldn’t wait to go back. Now I am wondering why I can’t allow more space for quietness right where we live. I learned that slowing down didn’t mean doing nothing, but instead allowing time for what mattered most. Simplicity is not just a cottage by a lake. It is a choice that Jesus is calling for us to make. What will you do with the 24 hours He is giving you today?

For our boast is this, the testimony of our conscience, that we behaved in the world with simplicity and godly sincerity, not by earthly wisdom but by the grace of God, and supremely so toward you. 2 Corinthians 1:12 ESV

Urgent Prayers

Lord hear our prayers for the people in the path of this mighty storm.

Lord spare lives and turn away their destruction even in the middle of crisis

Lord speed the way and make level paths for those fleeing the floods

Lord save souls caught in the path of destruction

Lord see us once again with eyes of Mercy though we have turned our backs in the past. Tonight we urgently and humbly pray seeking your help on this time of need.