Tuesday, December 31, 2013

31 Days in December #31: What we know for sure

Reflecting on the day and the year, here's what I know for sure.

1. God is good. He takes care of us and guides his children.
Eating breakfast together: we celebrate
God's provision - and in this case,
his abundance!

Worth a closer look:
Dutch Apple pancake


2. We are loved.
As I pack up my 2 little homemade trees,
I feel the beautiful assurance
of Christmas: we are loved
beyond what we can understand!
3. The future is hopeful.
K loves to imitate us, but she's
her own person with her own future
(even with Oma's reading glasses on her nose)
What stands out to you, in this last day of 2013? What are you looking forward to in the New Year? (Please let me know if the comment field is easier to use; it's been updated. Thanks. RK)

Read more:
*This is what the Lord says- he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters, "Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland. Isaiah 43:16,18-19 NIV

*The Lord will not reject forever. Although he causes grief, he will have compassion according to the abundance of his steadfast love. Lamentations 3:31-32 NEV

*By grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God. Ephesians 2:8 ESV

Moravian Prayer: With the passing of another year, God, we reflect on all we have experienced. Grant us peace as we look back and see your steadfast love in the midst of it all. In faith, we continue our walk with you. Amen.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

31 Days in December #29: Speaking together

Two heads = one message
W and I preached together for the first time today, filling in for a pastor while he's gone. We've spoken together, but never been assigned a scripture passage to preach together.

We're planning to lead this way in Indonesia. What a joy to anticipate the future. What we're learning about working together:

  1. Two can be better than one. Though it's a model we don't often see, preaching and speaking together as partners keeps the listeners engaged and focused. 
  2. Flexibility is key. One's preferred style doesn't always work for a team effort, either in process or delivery.
  3. Conversations between us expand our own insights. W and I approach scripture from different angles: he is a theologian, while I read from a pastor's POV.
  4. Trust is important between partners. Neither of us worries that the other will come up with a wild rabbit-trail. Neither cares to hog the spotlight, either. After 36 years of marriage, we are confident in each other.
  5. Prepare carefully and improvise wisely. Public presentations are a pleasure when you're not locked into perfectionism. He'd rescue me if I got stuck and I'd do the same for him. 
  6. Trust God's Spirit to speak to the community of faith. This kind of presentation can be riskier than the traditional one-to-many lecture (one person in control of the content and delivery.) We shared what God gave us and invited listeners to respond publicly; that opened the conversation: the congregation shared their own comments and questions. What was God saying to them? What have they heard? In the process, the Spirit spoke to the whole community. (That thrills us!)
Collaboration requires
a steep learning curve
Have you collaborated with someone you trust and respect? 
  • How did the partnership work for you? 
  • Were you flexible enough to maximize your strengths? 
  • Was the outcome what you expected?
  • What would you try, improve, or omit the next time around?
Read more:
*I remember the days of long ago; I meditate on all your works and consider what your hands have done. Psalm 143:5 NIV

*I will recount the gracious deeds of the Lord, the praiseworthy acts of the Lord, because of all that the Lord has done for us. Isaiah 63:7 ESV

*(Paul wrote:) I want you to know, brothers and sisters, that the gospel that was proclaimed by me is not of human origin; for I did not receive it from a human source, nor was I taught it, but I received it through a revelation of Jesus Christ. Galatians 1:11-12 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Jesus, our Incarnate God, you are the wondrous gift that awes us. Continue to reveal to us your gospel, so we may always be drawn to meditate on it and proclaim it. Amen.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

31 Days in December #28: Month in review

When I wake in the early hours, I think about three meditation I've focused on this month from John 15 and conversations with my brother:

1. We are called to abide in the love of God

2. Followers connected to Jesus - as branches connect to a vine - who do not bear fruit, will be taken away by our heavenly Father.

3. Forgiveness enables us to pray to God with the expectation that he will answer our prayers.

My mom and her great-grandson
I'm so grateful for God's interaction with us. What have you learned this month about God?

Friday, December 27, 2013

31 Days in December #27: Family moments

Sharing favorite moments from our family Christmas 2013:
how thankful we are for a godly heritage. 

We agree with the psalmist who sang, 
Bless the Lord, O my soul, 
and all that is within me bless his holy name. 
Bless the Lord oh my soul, and all that is within me, 
and do not forget all his benefits. (Ps 103: 1-2) 

Marzipan competition among cousins: a log cabin,
a tree frog, Pingu, and a yellow Furbee
The Daher tribe
The Kowalski tribe
One-month-old Levi and Grandmama
Our family tradition: reading scripture
between singing carols
Even Miss K joins the caroling
Best friends who become family:
the best of all worlds
We hope your Christmas was similarly peaceful and blessed and wish you happiness during this season of joy and hope.

Read more:
*Lord, may all who love you be like the sun when it rises in its strength. Judges 5:31 NIV

*The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. For through wisdom your days will be many, and years will be added to your life. Proverbs 9:10-11 NIV

*Once you were darkness, but now in the Lord you are light. Live as children of light. Ephesians 5:8 ESV

Moravian Prayer: God, the light of your love illuminates the darkest corners of human existence. Banish our fears and make us your light-bearers as we offer our lives and our service to you. Amen.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

31 Days of December #26: Hot peppers and spiritual fruit

This is how many peppers W removed
from the last half the dish, in prep
for taking leftover home. There
were a lot of chilis in that chicken.
We've slept well and woken refreshed. By lunch, W is craving Szechwan chicken (double-fat fried, small breaded bits of chicken with dozens of chilis and a few green beans.) We eat at Bamboo Garden with Kirsten. I'm hungry for noodles but they're served dripping oil, not exactly the perfect accompaniment to fried food. I think my appetite is off.

Kirsten and I do some shopping. She has returns to make and is looking for a purse. I'm along for the ride; I haven't purchased a handbag in years. She finds the perfect one for herself, and finds me a classic black bag at less than half price. Just what I need: I usually tuck a wallet into my coat pocket when I don't want to haul my big black bag. It's a satisfying and relaxing day, rare mother-daughter time to enjoy each other's company.
My new little CK handbag
---

All week, I've been mulling John 15. For a few days, I turned over and over the phrase, "Abide in my love," spoken by Jesus in his illustration of the vine and the branches. How different that is than the rule-keeping or people-pleasing our hearts instinctively seem drawn to, in our quest to please God!

Today, re-reading the passage, I don't get very far. In V.2, Jesus warns that "every branch in me that does not bear fruit will be cut off by the Father." I stop dead with something to think about.

Have I ever noticed the "in me" part of that declaration? Jesus is not talking about unbelievers or those who have refused God's invitation. He's warning those who claim to be connected to the True Vine (himself) that we are expected to be fruitful or expect dire consequences. Removal. Separation.

The second idea that catches my attention is the counterpoint: "Every branch bearing fruit [God] prunes to be even more fruitful." I love winter pruning. I set the direction of the new growth of spring: the bud under each cut will produce a new branch.

When God prunes us, he likewise determines the direction of growth. We may feel wounded and restricted by the separation from what we thought was lively and healthy. But God's cuts determine the direction of our future. Perhaps a door slams shut on "the perfect job opportunity" or a relationship fails. Sometimes our plans fall through or someone backs out of a promise.

Later on, we often marvel at how God has shaped our path, no matter how hurtful the process seemed.

The third idea I'm mulling over is this: vineyards trellises carry the weight of the vines and the fruit. What kind of relationships, structures, or organizations am I leaning on? Are they trustworthy? Have I chosen supports given by God?

I'm still chewing on those thoughts tonight as I wrap up the evening. How fruitful is my life? Has the love and kindness of God flourished in me so it can be savored by others? Has my relationship with Jesus grown in the direction he desires?

What would you ask yourself (and answer) about your connection to Jesus and the fruitfulness God expects?

Read more:
O Lord of hosts, you are God, you alone, of all the kingdoms of the earth; you have made heaven and earth. Isaiah 37:16 ESV

*Simeon took him in his arms and praised God, saying: "Sovereign Lord, as you have promised, you may now dismiss your servant in peace. For my eyes have seen your salvation, which you have prepared in the sight of all nations: a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and the glory of your people Israel." Luke 2:28-32 NIV

*(Jesus) “I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. Remain in me, as I also remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. If you remain in me and I in you, you will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. If you do not remain in me, you are like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples. John 15: 1-8 NIV

*Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Ephesians 1:3 ESV

Moravian Prayer: God who births us and was born to us, our connection to you can never be broken. You know us fully in your divinity and are fully known to us, through your humanity. Praise be to God! Amen.

31 Days in December #24-25: Things lost and found and awake


My phone is missing, which I realize the evening before we fly home. Thank the Lord it didn't happen the next morning.

We look high and low Tuesday night, examine the last pictures sent from the phone, and deduce that it must be in the house. But where? We look through our luggage, bags, the furniture, our clothes... nada. After looking under the LR sofa several times, W tracks the phone down inside the arm of the loveseat. We sleep easier after that.

We have a nice final breakfast in Switzerland, a quiet drive to the airport, and find out we've relaxed too soon. The first flight to Amsterdam is delayed from 11:50 to 2:20. That means we miss the connection to Minneapolis and get rerouted the other way around the world. It's a 22 hour trip via Beijing to Seattle. A 9+ hour flight; a 2 hour layover, then an 11 hour flight. We expect to land in Seattle about 8am on Christmas Day instead of 9pm Christmas Eve.

Our seats on the first flight are very stinky economy comfort seats, with luxurious leg room a few feet from 4 bathroom doors opening and closing. I hold my fleece blanket over my face to tolerate the smell. It becomes Christmas Day while we’re in the air.

The Wifi doesn't work in Beijing so we don't know if anyone will be waiting for us in Seattle when we get home. After the first flight, I'm too tired to care. W gets an upgrade to business class (sleeper) for the second flight. What a fine Christmas present from his priority status. (Usually they upgrade me on his itinerary, but not this time, though there are empty sleepers available. I'm stuck in coach, having lost my economy comfort seat altogether.) The best news for W is that he reaches platinum status again this year because of this muddle.

I've stayed up the first flight to be able to sleep on the second. I know it's bad news when W says he'll ask the flight attendants if we can swap seats partway. Of course they say no. I doze a bit but between seat kicks and garlic breath behind me, but I'm up most of the 11 hours. Hoping our luggage arrives with us. By the time we get home, I'll have been up over 27 hours, most strapped to an ill-fitting chair. Yes, I'm whining during this 8th hour of the second flight.

Can't wait for a quick shower and lying flat for a nap once we hit home. I'm cooking turkey, stuffing, and gravy for 20 - in a kitchen not my own. Shlepping spices and dishes upstairs ... sigh. The family is pitching in for the other parts of the menu. 

Not every plan goes well, and it may not be the way I'd hoped to arrive at our last Seattle Christmas. I'm tired enough that it may barely stick in my memory. Fortunately W can remind we what happened in years to come. HAHA
----

I write when I get home, but there's a system glitch on our house computer that wipes out a much nicer (later) version of the blog, including photos. Oh well. Gone. Not in the mood to redo it all.

We arrived home by 8:30 am Christmas Day and I tried to nap. Nope. Couldn't sleep so got up, made the turkey, etc. and had a nice time with family and friends. W crashed at 7pm, I went to bed about 9pm after finishing cleanup - up 48 hours with the dozing on the second flight getting me through. The kids come down with fresh scones for breakfast. Wonderful! after a good night's sleep. Everyone else got home safely last night, too. Thanks be to God.




Monday, December 23, 2013

31 Days in December #23: Savoring the old and the new

I'll miss the patina of Switzerland's houses, some built hundreds of years ago.

Shutters guard the old windows
From the window of the car, this house catches my eye.

A beautiful doorway


Little alleys of staircases provide shortcuts from the main streets into Swiss neighborhoods.


We visited a Marzipan factory today. Marzipan can be rolled out as a filling or icing ... 

Cake decor

or it can become tasty playdough. 

Marzipan figurines
Marzipan vegetables: 1" miniatures
In spite of all our brokenness as humanity, each one of us is innovative. God invests in us and fills us with life, inspiration, and invention. This trip has confirmed how - in every culture we visit - God is generous.

I'm amazed that he trusted us with his Son. That Jesus was entrusted to Mary and Joseph, parents who forged a living from their surroundings and lived in their community. He not only saves us from our sins, but he encourages us to play and make ourselves at home in his world. Lovely!

We're packed up to return home to the USA tomorrow. Three planes. Travel time= 2-3 hours to the airport and through security. 18 hours of flying and the drive home. Something to look forward to at the end ... a ride with our daughter and sleeping in our own bed. Life is good.

Read more:
*Israel is saved by the Lord with everlasting salvation; you shall not be put to shame or confounded to all eternity. Isaiah 45:17 ESV

*An angel of the Lord appeared to Joseph in a dream and said, "Mary will bear a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins." Matthew 1:20-21 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Surprising God, your finest act was carried out by the most humble of humanity. You showed us that your power can exist in human weakness. We praise you and pray for the faith to accept it. Amen.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

31 Days in December #22: Swiss Sunday Christmas

I've really enjoyed the red and white themes of Christmas decor in Switzerland. This is the first year of marriage that I haven't prepared for Christmas. Oh, we made and froze stuffing and bought turkeys before we left home. I put 2 homemade tabletop trees in the LR. But there was no baking, no gift-wrapping, no decorating the front door and stairs. No decorating a tree. We sent Christmas cards to a few via post, but most heard from us via email.

Typically Swiss: red bulbs
and Stollen (bread)
It's weird this year. Different. I can't decide if having no Christmas decor is freeing or if it's just another loss to process. Probably both. We don't get another chance for Seattle traditions. Next year, we expect to be in sandals and hot-weather clothing, far away.

A typical Swiss tree:
plainly striking
We'll arrive home late Christmas Eve. I'm a Boxing Day fan (Dec 26) of putting Christmas things away ... so Christmas will come and go in a day.

Funny thing: last year I felt this surge of decorating motivation. We decorated our big tree and the house, used all the festive dishes, hosted friends and family, and prepared our traditional Christmas feasts.

However, in January, I began shedding 35 years of Christmas accumulation. We sold our 10' tree, lights, and about 15 boxes of ornaments during our move. By fall, our Christmas "stuff" had been reduced to the 2 little trees and one box of keepsakes (still packed up).

Smile worthy: Christmas decor includes a
stuffed squirrel that sits on the pulpit
I thank God for His gift of energy and the pleasure in "doing Christmas" one last time. He knew then of the changes coming - that we'd never celebrate in that home again. This year, T and M are letting the family use the space for family Christmas but it's up to them to decorate (or not - they just had a baby a month ago). We'll meet in their home not ours.
---
This Sunday morning, we're out of the Oberhofen house by 8:15am to get things set up for the service. Leanne sings through her songs; the worship team reviews their music.

Leanne Russell, a true soprano with a big heart
The tables are set and the room fills with regular attendees and guests. Leanne's a wonderful soprano and very confident, easy to play for. It is relaxing, energizing, and fun for me to play for a service again. The audience response is positive.

The morning worship service at Kristliches Zentrum Thalgut
W preaches before taking questions at the end as usual -- this time in German. Students and adults come up to ask theology questions after it's over. We talk to a lot of people before we're out the door.

Hot stone feast
We have our last big lunch at a hot stone restaurant. The family works as butchers. Oh my! W's steak is amazing, my veal is tender and tasty. The decor is Swiss and the service friendly. They bring huge bibs so the cooking doesn't splatter our clothes.

D enjoys a "fitness classic" of steak and salads
The world-famous cookie factory, Kambly of Trubschachen, lies in the Emmental (famous for Emmentaler cheese). We've skipped dessert at the restaurant. Nothing prepares us for aisles of cookies. Nearly every type has a plate of samples: we cruise along, tasting as we go like the dozens of other customers. In the end we buy a few favorites.

Marzipan figurines
Some long tables are set up for clients learning to make marzipan figures from the store's experts. Children and parents lean over their colored dough. Little birds, bears, and elves emerge.

The sun burns through late afternoon clouds
Swiss regulations restrict the color, size, and shape of homes. Therefore, the landscape unfolds with traditional houses made of wood and plaster, endless variations on a theme.

Traditional Swiss architecture in the Emmental
The wind blows quiet ripples across the Thunersee as we drive home near sunset, renewed in spirit and body.

Thunersee
Read more:
*The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul. Psalm 19:7 ESV

*By wisdom a house is built, and through understanding it is established; through knowledge its rooms are filled with rare and beautiful treasures. The wise prevail through great power,and those who have knowledge muster their strength. Proverbs 24:3-5 NIV

*Now by this we may be sure that we know him, if we obey his commandments. 1 John 2:3 ESV

Moravian Prayer: We are a tired people trying to be faithful, God. Renew us through your acts of grace. Invigorate us when we see your Spirit at work in the world. Restore in us the joy of your salvation through the birth of your Son. Amen.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

31 Days in December #21: A pleasurable pause

The typical breakfast is fresh bread, sausage, and cheese. Today D adds Nussgipfelli and Mandelgipfelli (croissants with nut and marzipan). We'll miss these wonderful morning meals!


There's a McDonalds along the canal
We spend a few hours in Thun, finding gifts for friends. It's a relaxing day as the sun burns off the fog. This sabbath rest provides a change of pace before a busy Sunday and the trip home.

Fog lifts off the meadows

A few steps away at the bakery
After an afternoon pastry, it's time for a walk up the stairs above the house.

Steps lead up the village slopes
Over 160 steps but the old man does it easily.
I love walking the street past the beautiful houses.

The back of the house
How has God refreshed you today?

Read more:
*Six days you shall work, but on the seventh day you shall rest. Exodus 34:21 ESV

*Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel. Isaiah 7:14 ESV

*The Sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the Sabbath. Mark 2:27 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Our frantic pace convinces us of our worth, God. Let us hear "your Spirit's pleading" that calls us to worship and spiritual renewal. May we find our rest and our worth in you during this season of preparation and waiting. Amen.

From CS Lewis (Screwtape Letters) "Never forget that when we are dealing with any pleasure in its healthy and normal and satisfying form, we are, in a sense, on the Enemy’s ground. I know we have won many a soul through pleasure. All the same, it is His invention, not ours. He made the pleasures: all our research so far has not enabled us to produce one. All we can do is to encourage the humans to take the pleasures which our Enemy has produced, at times, or in ways, or in degrees, which He has forbidden. Hence we always try to work away from the natural condition of any pleasure to that in which it is least natural, least redolent of its Maker, and least pleasurable. An ever increasing craving for an ever diminishing pleasure is the formula. It is more certain; and it’s better style. To get the man’s soul and give him nothing in return—that is what really gladdens Our Father’s heart. And the troughs are the time for beginning the process."

Friday, December 20, 2013

31 Days in December #20: Rehearsals and fondue chinoise

Can it be 5 days before Christmas? What are you doing today? In this final week before December 25? All organized? Doing a mad dash? Ignoring the season or just hoping you get through it?

W got a scare last night. His stomach seized up after supper. L took him to Emergency at the nearby Swiss hospital - where his systems (other than his stomach and high BP from pain) checked out fine. The nurse remarked that raclette disagrees with her (she never eats it after noon!) Too much cheese, maybe? (My cast-iron stomach didn't quiver.) Anyhow, after a very uncomfortable evening and night - with extreme pain at times - W relaxed this morning and began to recover.

D worked her final shift before New Years so we dropped her off at the bakery at 8:15am. From there, L and I spent most of the morning rehearsing in Wichtrach. By the time we were done, Leanne the opera singer had warmed up and was hitting a high C in her music programme. Cool. No one in our family gets stressed by a lack of perfection: we do our best, expect the same from others, and pray that all goes well at the performance. We improvise if plans change. Leanne is similarly relaxed, which makes rehearsals a pleasure.

L drove around the lake to the high school; his students performed their vocal solos at the final assembly of the year. He got back by mid-afternoon, in plenty of time to pick D up from work.

The Park Hotel in summer (too dark for pics today)
In the evening L and D treated us to their special Christmas gift, a fondue chinoise. Good thing we live on the slope of a Seattle hill; it was no problem to walk up the hill to the Park Hotel with Doris, while the guys drove. W's stomach finally settled down after a long morning nap and restful day but he was not pushing it. Plus it rained and parts of the road were slippery.

The owners of the Park Hotel
The hotel is a classic European wonder: clean, beautifully maintained, and restful in the way every detail is considered. The meal starts with a fresh salad with balsamic dressing. The bread? oh how I'll miss the softness of its dense texture and crispness of the crust. The server brought fries or rice to accompany the buffet of meats, fruits, and vegetables. Our broth deepened to a rich soup as we cook beef, pork, and chicken slices in it. We sipped the broth after eating.

We gals took the shortcut down the hill: several long flights of steps and a steep narrow road led through the neighborhood from the hotel to the street by their house. The cold air, fresh and clean, cleared our heads after the big meal.

These memories will be tucked away to enjoy in winters to come, when the warm winds blow across Indonesia and we miss our family.

Read more:
*You must neither add anything to what I command you nor take away anything from it, but keep the commandments of the Lord your God. Deuteronomy 4:2

*Pay close attention to yourself and to your teaching; continue in these things, for in doing this you will save both yourself and your hearers. 1 Timothy 4:16

Moravian Prayer: God of the ages, you see us as we walk the fine line between fearing you and calling to you for our own purposes. Give us understanding of how fragile our human thoughts can be. Bless us with strength of spirit. Amen.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

31 Days in December #19: Mountain time

We have the day off. No rehearsals and meetings. So we head to the big mountains. "They're only called mountains if they have snow on them year round," says D. "Otherwise, no matter how tall, the Swiss consider them hills."

These are mountains.

Walking in Wengen
L drives us up to Lauterbrunnen (pure water-well) where we catch the first train up to Wengen. We have a half hour before the second train leaves for Kleine Scheidegg, nestled under three huge mountains: the Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau. After we walk through the town, we pop into a cafe, where I enjoy a cup of hot chocolate.

Three tall mountains: Eiger, Mönch, and Jungfrau
The tops of the mountains almost touch the high clouds. Today is overcast, a change from the sunshine we've enjoyed until now.

By the time we arrive at Kleine Scheidegg, it's time for lunch. 

At the Banhof Restaurant

The soup with sausage is SOOOO salty that I can't finish. It disappears into a hungry husband!

Creamy tomato soup with sausage
The red train up the Jungfrau or "top of Europe" takes people further up the mountain to its peak. We stay put in KS: D says she has trouble breathing at that altitude and we're not about to spend another $100 for that ticket.
The Jungfrau Express
On the way down, L and I sit in the same carriage. We strike up a conversation with two Chinese students, studying economics in Birmingham UK. They've flown to Italy to travel through Switzerland and Austria. They'll fly from Vienna to Birmingham this weekend to study for finals. What a nice break! In Europe, distance between countries is less than North Americans might imagine.

Bleak but beautiful view from the train
In the evening, D and L prepare a Swiss raclette of potatoes and cheese ... with a bunch of additives: olives, onions, bacon, sausage, prawns, pineapple, apple, peppers, pickles, etc. We eat in the winter garden (enclosed porch) to keep the smell of melted (stinky and fabulous) cheese outside the main house.
On my plate:
potatoes and cheese
The raclette grill

It's the 12th anniversary of the death of W's dad. We talk about memories, coming and going.

Read more:
*My word shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and succeed in the thing for which I sent it. Isaiah 55:11 ESV

*A certain woman named Lydia, a worshiper of God, was listening to us; she was from the city of Thyatira and a dealer in purple cloth. The Lord opened her heart. Acts 16:14 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Let us have confidence in your purpose, Lord. Your will can open hearts and minds in ways we cannot imagine. May we be given the strength to be patient and prepared in our service to you. Amen.