Thursday, October 22, 2015

The pause that refreshes

In silence

I read this passage:

    But now, this is what the LORD says
he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.

When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.

and I pause.

I begin to understand again that ...

No matter what the circumstances or surrounds, God speaks.
He made you and me.

He formed us and is not surprised by who we are.
We don't have to be afraid.
We were bought with a high price so now we belong to the One.

He calls our name; he personally knows us.
We are his precious possessionin the place He has put us.

There will be deep waters and trying times.
But we are never alone or abandoned because He is there, too.

When the currents threaten to take us away,
they may tug and batter us but they cannot overwhelm us.

Thinking about that takes an hour. It's not new. But it comforts and energizes. Ah, God with us.

I love to hear from God
   in the depths and quiet of my soul.

Have you listened to the Still Small Voice lately?
What have you heard?
How has your soul been refreshed?

Do your Self a favor:

Read more:
*I delight to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart. Psalm 40:2 ESV

*The nations are like a drop from a bucket, and are accounted as dust on the scales. Isaiah 40:15 ESV

*But now, this is what the Lord says--he who created you, O Jacob, he who formed you, O Israel: "Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters, I will be with you;
nd when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.
or I am the Lord your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior." Isaiah 43:1-3a NIV

*Since we have now been justified by his blood, how much more shall we be saved from God's wrath through him! Romans 5:9 NIV

*I saw another angel flying in mid-heaven, with an eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth—to every nation and tribe and language and people. Revelation 14:6 ESV

Moravian Prayer: We are but flashes in the span of your universe, Great Maker. Yet, we each have a cosmic reason for being, to be revealed in its own time. Let our flashes be noticeable and admirable, stimulating other flashes of blinding faith. Amen.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Truth of the heart

I read a book recently where the author suggested that our basic nature was goodness and life-giving. We were part of a great good consciousness into which we would be absorbed. She claimed if we would just listen to our better self, we would drop destructive habits, transform our lives, and be nicer to other people. The voice in our head that prompted us to do wrong? It was not part of our identity. (She didn't say where that voice came from.)

While I wish that was true, I have raised children who taught me otherwise - and I remember my own disobediences as a child. I certainly did not have pure impulses towards my brothers when they crossed me. I'd as soon smack one of them as play with them. I'd run away, grasping my toys in my hands to prevent someone else from playing with "my stuff." I was hot-tempered and willful. (I see the same awful traits in my beloved and wonderful grandchildren.)

Why does a child instinctively protect her / his own interests? Our selfishness is inborn.

As we grow up, we become masters at hiding, of reinventing our circumstances to make ourselves look good - smarter than we are, happier, and better. We erect white-washed facades to keep others from knowing our faults. From behind our masks, we wonder who we really are.

But God knows our hearts. Seeing the depths of our brokenness, the ruins of self-aggrandization, and the desire to control and conquer, he still loves us and calls us to be reconciled to him: Pure Goodness, Light, Life-giving Wholeness. He even came among us to model true humanity and kindness. (Read Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John for four accounts of Good News - God with us.)

When we say God is All-Great / Good / Holy, we acknowledge his perfection and our imperfections. Therefore, true worship is the great privilege of telling the Truth. Worship may be the only time we completely set aside our own interests and greed.

Indeed, worship is God's loving gift to us, always available on the tip of our tongues when we are tired of living a lie.

Read more:
*There is no Holy One like the Lord, no one besides you. 1 Samuel 2:2 ESV

*To the King of the ages, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen. 1 Timothy 1:17 ESV

*Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.

This is how you can recognize the Spirit of God: Every spirit that acknowledges that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is from God, but every spirit that does not acknowledge Jesus is not from God. This is the spirit of the antichrist, which you have heard is coming and even now is already in the world.

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. 1 John 4:1-4 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Can we live our lives without you, Lord? Never are we without you, though we may wish to dismiss you. Thank you, Lord, for never giving up on us, even when we give up on ourselves. Our lives belong to you, Jesus! Use us as you will. Amen.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Do what you be

"Women's Work,"Canadian Illustrated News.
January 4, 1875. Vol. 12, No. 23, p. 360.
Record 1966
Christians and Western philosophers love to debate being and doing, as though the acts of the body were separate from the development of the heart.

Today, I'm thinking beyond "being Christian." (Or "being moral." Or "being a good person.")

Rather, God-with-us is God-in-us in our work and in our doing. Our relationship with him is not about "being" only. He is among us as we are "being in our doing."

Who are we when we are doing? When we're busy working? When serving? When at work or home or in the community?

How does our inner being
renewed every day by God's Spirit, 
         and direct 
            our doing?

Let's allow our Heavenly Father to transform us. To take us - who we are today - into an increasingly holistic future. The Father is conforming us to the Son (Rom. 8:29) ... and thus making us fully human.

Let's let Jesus forgive us. Completely. In his provision, we appear clean-slated before God and the world day after day. (So forgive yourself already!)

And let's permit the Spirit bring the beautiful qualities of God's nature - goodness, kindness, love, joy, peace, patience - into our doing.

Read more:
*Shout for joy to the Lord, all the earth, burst into jubilant song with music; make music to the Lord with the harp, with the harp and the sound of singing, with trumpets and the blast of the ram's horn--shout for joy before the Lord, the King. Psalm 98:4-6 NIV

*Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame. Psalm 34:5 NIV

*For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many. Mark 10:45 ESV

*For unto those whom he knew beforehand, he also marked out beforehand the way that they might be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Romans 8:29 (Jubilee 2000.)

*May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. Romans 15:13 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Holy Triumvirate, we live in you! All our joys and tribulations are part of our preparation for the place you prepared for us in heaven. Through your power alone may we be saved from this world and held for eternity in your grace. Amen.

From The Collected Letters of C.S. Lewis, Volume III: I would prefer to combat the ‘I’m special’ feeling not by the thought ‘I’m no more special than anyone else’ but by the feeling ‘Everyone is as special as me.’ In one way there is no difference, 

grant, for both remove the speciality. But there is a difference in another way. The first might lead you to think, ‘I’m only one of the crowd like anyone else’. But the second leads to the truth that there isn’t any crowd. No one is like anyone else. 

All are ‘members’ (organs) in the Body of Christ [I Corinthians 12:27]. All different and all necessary to the whole and to one another: each loved by God individually, as if it were the only creature in existence. Otherwise you might get the idea that God is like the government which can only deal with the people as the mass.

Thursday, October 8, 2015

A bit of a wild ride

Snacks (Krupuk) loaded
on the back of a motorcycle
Thursday, October 7, 2015
Some days are more of a wild ride than others. Today qualifies.

2:50am The alarm goes off for a conference call with women across the USA and elsewhere in the world. I draw the ugly time zone – the rest are online during daylight.

4:00 The call is over. I fall back into bed with relief. My head is buzzing with the day ahead but I’m tired enough to fall asleep.

5:30 I’m awake again. Time to get up and see if there’s business to attend to: I check emails and updates from yesterday's newsletter. After writing replies, it's time to dress and make breakfast. 

W helps by setting the table, beating the eggs, and tidying up. He’s invited his Thursday morning group over for breakfast at 7.  We prepare French toast, sausage, oatmeal and the fixings. And of course some sweets. Drinks? tea and OJ.

Yunnie and adorable Desmond
7:00 A wonderful young couple arrive with their newborn. We asked God for this child last year because his parents couldn’t have kids. He’s adorable and we get an Oma and Opa fix as a bonus. The couple brings packages of nasi kuning, the traditional yellow rice used for celebrations.

8:00 The helper arrives. We're sitting at the breakfast table but she needs instructions for the day.

8:15 I leave for the Thursday walking group. There are only 3 of us this morning. After driving up into the hills, we wander the dirt paths for almost 3 hours. It poured rain yesterday, starting off rainy season. The weather was so violent that trees fell, shop signs toppled, and the wind blew through town in great gusts. Parts of the city flooded.

As we walk, the wet clay clings to our shoes. My pack of water gets lighter as I drink: the day gets hotter and hotter and we're not always under cover of trees. We keep having to stop to knock dirt off our shoes: that stuff is heavy. We go a few miles - what beautiful scenery.

Through the rice fields we go.
Note the high-rise overlooking the valley.
Over a woven bamboo bridge.
Yay! It has a handrail, a sagging length of bamboo.
A sluice for concrete: bamboo forms reach
from the road to the construction site below
12:30pm We meet another gal for lunch at Fantastic Pasta. Good food. Great company. She promises to ask her neighbors about medical care for K.
An "almost Italian" lunch

2:00 We're on the way home. In the car, I get a call from a lovely neighbor. She’ll swing by with her daughter in an hour. I say, Sure, c’mon! We’d hate to miss seeing them: the daughter is headed to Jakarta later today.

While S’s driver takes V home, she takes a house tour and then hangs out with me on the porch. When she leaves, I jump into the shower and wash off the dust clogging my pores from head to foot.

While I’ve been gone, the electricians have been rewiring the dangerous circuits in the house. W’s not happy with some of the wiring and has to redo a bunch of it to make it safer. 

W and Pak Asep have painted the frame of the swing in the yard red. We needed a focal point to keep the eye from traveling aimlessly around – This pretty and practical one was dreamed up by a Seattleite and creative friend, Laura Bunda, who visited us earlier this year with her family.

Instant focal point: the red swing
See the amaryllis hedge on the right?
3:00 I pull oatmeal and chocolate squares from the fridge, find chocolate cookies in the cabinet, and make some mango BOH tea (Malaysian brand we like). Our friends come by – another house tour - and then we relax in the living room with a cup of tea and treats. What nice goodies they bring as treats.

3:50 When the “gotta run” alarm sounds on the side of the fridge (kitchen timer), my friend and I go to the garden. We cut a bouquet of red amaryllis – a favorite that brings back memories of her mother - and we snap some pictures at the gate as our friends leave.

A handful of amaryllis
for Dr Hanna and Alice
4:00 It’s into the car again. Traffic is stop-and-go at the bottom of the hill so we creep toward our destination.

4:30 W drops me off at the Bamboo Shack on the next hill and takes K to the doctor’s. Today she’s under the weather. She see the doc and gets meds, both antibiotics and pain control.

6:30 Riga and I are done with a fascinating study of Mark 6. What amazing stories of God-with-us! She gives me a ride in the cutest VW Van (yeah, one of those!) to the Thai Restaurant down the street.

W and K are on their way: K thinks her stomach will tolerate coconut chicken soup. They don’t have it – so she chooses pineapple rice instead. I get a Pad Thai and we head home.

7:00 We have supper, including the nasi kuning from this morning. The "Thai meal" is distinctly Indonesian.

Afterwards, I root through an upstairs cabinet to find pillows for K’s bed. Hers are missing after the helper washed bedding today. All set? Time to rest.

8:00 Except, K calls: she’s thrown up in bed. “Are there spare sheets?” Poor kid. She's had a rough few months - and hasn't been well since she arrived with food poisoning and an arthritis flare.

I go back upstairs. Her bedding is still drying on the rack, but I find fresh bedding in the same cabinet as before. After we change the bed, I fall into a chair by the TV in exhaustion. W brings a mini-Magnum chocolate ice-cream to reward us for getting through the day.

8:30 W falls asleep. I’ve still got to do today’s language lesson. Book and recording ready! This takes another hour, but then I’m going to sleep like a log - hopefully by 10:30 or 11.

I’m glad every day is a new beginning. Tomorrow’s chore: lesson prep for next week’s classes.

Read more:
*The Lord says, “I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt-offerings.” Hosea 6:6 ESV

*Like birds hovering overhead, so the Lord of hosts will protect Jerusalem; he will protect and deliver it, he will spare and rescue it. Isaiah 31:5 ESV

*If God is for us, who can be against us? Romans 8:31 NIV

Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Romans 12:9-10 NIV

Moravian Prayer: Gracious God, our Father, we owe all that we have to you. Reveal the work you have set before us and preserve us in true faith. Freely may we give, in the joys of discipleship, to the glory of your kingdom.

Blessed Christ Jesus, you have our eternal thanks. You understand our deepest needs and present them, with love, to God. May we choose to be living witnesses, to present our hearts in prayer, and to gratefully celebrate the lives we’ve been blessed to have. Amen.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Chasing the hare

Into the hills we go
Monday, October 6, 2015
"And they're off!"

I'm at my first hash harrier's run in months. The dash through the mountains and neighborhoods happens a few times a week. We "chase a hare", a person who runs ahead and marks the trail with little squares of paper and chalk arrows. If you miss the papers - or are diverted by the hare's false trails - you have extra steps to get back on track.

W goes Mondays and often Saturdays. I've always been "too tired" or "too busy" to go. Usually I'm weary after studies, visits, or errands. And by late afternoon, it's hot out. But because a friend especially asked and the day marks Chinese Independence Day, I'm going. No matter what.

The vegetable seller at the Monday hash
We have our Bible Study in the morning: this time a woman from the Philippines joins us. We talk about Abraham and the blessings on Ishmael and Isaac ... even before the covenant of circumcision happens. (Gen. 16, 17) Though Ishmael will be like a "wild donkey," always fighting with his brothers, God promises Abraham that Ishmael will multiply and live in Abraham's territory. (This is 13 years before Isaac is born.) God has kept his promises all these years.

I'm expecting company at 2. My friend and I have texted back and forth about the visit but my last message (confirming the time) doesn't go through. At 2:15, I send her another message. Tea's on, snacks are out ... and my friend says she's coming in a half hour. What to do?! Shall I skip the hash again?

Waldemar is determined to leave by 3:10; we're picking up someone on the way to the hash.

Down means ... going up soon
So Dr W and I settle for a very quick visit. Her dear face is an encouragement. She's been the kindest neighbor, introducing me to other women and the culture. She's a professor and travels a lot like we do - so whenever we are in town together, we pop by to say hi and reconnect.

She always brings a homemade local treat. Today it's yams in sugar and coconut water. Oh yum! But the meeting is short - too short. She calls over her gardener, who climbs a ladder to cut a jackfruit from our tree for her. (We are delighted to share the abundance.) The gardener takes the second fruit home.

We lock the gate behind us. The neighbor's dog warns off intruders at this point. We've been warned that the neighborhood thief is out of jail again. We pray over the house and yard because there have been break-ins and thefts from the time he was released. We're considering getting another dog or two for the big yard as the neighbor's dogs age. We need deterrents. Hmmm, I love poodles: a barking dog guards at night.

Chalk arrows mark the intersections
Finally, we make it up the mountain to Lembang. W gets call after call from an African fellow who has relocated to Bandung: he decides to take an ojek (motorcycle taxi) to the start of the hash. But he arrives a half-hour after we start. Between the ojek driver, an Indonesian walking with us, and Clem, he can't figure out where we are.

W finally tells him to stay put: there's no sense in heading out into the hills alone if he can't even find the gate into the hash. We don't want to lose him in the footpaths. "We'll be back in an hour."

We buy a few vegetables (3 kilos of bok choy, cucumbers, celery, lettuce and a fresh pineapple) for under $8

We pray through the villages we pass
Then we're off down a hill, trailing the pack. "Oh no, what goes down must come back up," I think, instantly hot. Instantly flushed. And tired. I'm so out of shape, compared to months ago.

We trek through the forests, villages, and fields for 5 miles. I check my heart rate, between 150-175 for 20 minutes. A good cardio workout! I feel like I'm not getting enough air to propel my legs any faster. We pass a few people and others pass us. Most of the runners are in front but we're not the last by any means.

On the final hill, I doubt I'm going to make it.

W talks to the pineapple seller at the end of the hash
"Shall I pull you up?" W's been walking to town and on the weekly hashes. He's fit. And he puts out a hand and starts to tow me.

"Tell me if I'm going too fast," he says.

I reply, "Oh don't worry, hon. I'm just lifting my feet, one after the other." I'm not exerting any more energy than that!

Cooling ice in a tiny cup
He pulls me up the last steep 100 feet. The man behind us is feeling under the weather. He's usually one of the faster runners but we leave him behind on that hill. (Yes, it's that steep.) I'm happy to be at the top and level again. Yes, I need to do this more often.

We get to the starting building and eat a refreshing ice. Ice chips are scooped into a little cup. The toppers are fermented black rice. Fermented cassava root. Freshly cut pineapple. Surprisingly delicious. And cooling.

"What's wrong with your face?" Hendy asks me. "It's so red." Except for a white moustache, the signal that I've been exerting myself.

Happy that it's pretty clean

Playing cards while they wait for everyone to get back
"Give it half an hour," I tell him. "Then I'll be back to normal." It takes an hour for the flush to recede.

The toilets are a strange mix of modern tank and hole in the floor. I have to wait my turn; the stalls are full of gals changing into fresh clothing. Some take a shower with the hose normally used to clean the toilet so the walls and floor are soaked.

It's a hard-drinking crowd. When I'm called to the circle for some trumped-up offense (listening to the man from Hong Kong talk beside me), I dump my beer into the cups of the guys on either side of me. "Hey," one shouts. "Had I known I would have stood further away!" Haha. I hate beer. And I'm not drinking anything stronger than water.

Cooking up a feast for friends
One of the organizers notices. He comes up later, points to my glass of water, and asks if I am a non-drinker. Yes. He smiles in acknowledgement and leaves me alone. I'm having fun without it. These people need Good News, too. So we're right where we should be.

We eat a Chinese feast of rice, noodles, fried crackers, chicken, and pork. (The Muslims avoid the pork.)

A little band strikes up a musical round. "What do you think of that?" someone leans over.

Good food and loud conversation
They wince in pain at the tones between tones. It's a different style than what Westerners are used to. But it's enthusiastic - and very loud.

The person stays for the dancing when we leave. The party's heating up and it's time to pull out. We have walked, talked, met people, and prayed for some. All good!

W negotiates the narrow streets between motorcycles, carts, and cars. Back home, I watch a short movie with Kirsten, do an hour of Indonesian review, and then it's time for sleep.

Read more:
*Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. Psalm 139:7-10 NIV

*Seek the LORD while he may be found; call upon him while he is near. Isaiah 55:6 NIV

*Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. 1 Peter 1:3 ESV

*Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. James 1:17 NIV

God, give us hearts to worship you, wherever we find ourselves. May we be salt, light, and a voice of hope to those around us. Let us love as we have been loved, in gratitude and awe for what you have given us. Amen

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Monkey business and movie night

Good times with friends
Wednesday, September 30:
We host friends for the monthly movie night. We are missing quite a few regulars who are traveling, sick, or had other appointments. But gradually the house fills up as people arrive after work.

I've cooked the usual: a meat dish, veges, rice, and two egg, cheese, sausage, and bread casseroles that seem to be a favorite. I love that young people can eat like there's no tomorrow.

We watch While You were Sleeping, a romantic comedy. We mix the genres: last month we saw a "spaghetti Western," a cowboy movie shot in Italy and Spain. W asks the young people which they prefer.

Amaryllis stems from the garden
"Oh, tonight's romance," they agree.

We find it difficult to choose a suitable film. Our wish-list includes: a wholesome theme, minimal swearing, and no sleeping around. Our search emphasizes the decadence of Hollywood culture. We rarely score on all points.

Kirsten is too sick with the flu to join in. The rest of us eat, watch the movie, and pray a blessing on the group.

Half of our guests have left by the time we remember to snap the photo (above). We send a lot of food home. The leftovers, cooked rice and some side dishes, go to a poorer family via a guest. How grateful we are for enough food to eat and share.

Through the open window: we give a few coins
to  the monkey's handler.
Jakarta has driven to Bandung. We are a common weekend destination. Bandung is the outlet and fabric center of Indonesia. But I've done almost no recreational shopping since we moved here.

Street vendors try to make their money on the weekends. Traffic is stop-and-go, so we rarely venture into town Saturday and Sunday.

Ok, this is a new one: a woman wanders by with a dusting wand. She offers to dust our car as we wait for the traffic light to change. At one red light, a monkey walks on tall stilts and rides his bicycle for the amusement of drivers and revenue for his handler. As we're stopped in traffic, there's a steady stream of sellers: shoes, bags, food, team gear. They walk around the motorcycles that are squeezing between lanes of cars.

A 4' orchid blooming under our trees

Kirsten has been ill. She wants to get out of the house after a week with "traveler's curse" and a cold. By the time we get to the outlet store, she's queasy. I ask the first attendant we see where the toilet is: Kirsten runs to the back of the store and heaves the contents of her stomach.

I call the car to the front entrance, but Kirsten is feeling slightly better when she emerges. "Maybe I'll look around before we go home," she says.

She manages to find a few things. We cut short our shopping trip when Kirsten runs out of steam.

Our 4-year-old granddaughter in Seattle has discovered the movie 101 Dalmatians. Our shopping task is to find 2 stuffed doggies for her and her brother. (We look for gifts early so they are delivered for Christmas.) Success! Two trips to the same shop and we have our Dalmatians.

A little doggie by the fish
I prop a stuffed animal by the fishbowl in the living room and send our grandkids a picture. Little connections mean a lot while we're so far apart.

Every month we swap a dozen platyfish from the 5-gallon bowl with outdoor fish who feast on mosquito larvae. Outside, they swim in 2 bathtubs filled with bullrushes, water lilies, and swamp plants. The fish need no filter, no heater, and no lights. This is the tropics, and they're native to this climate.

Old house eccentricity: we have no bathtubs in the house. They were relocated to the backyard by the time we moved here. I got some fish from the neighbor: otherwise we would be eaten by mosquitoes breeding between the plants in the tubs.

W had to install an indoor shower fixture. The previous tenants used two taps and a bucket (mandi) in the modern shower surround. Mind you, the hot water is still iffy because the heater pushes water +22 feet (7 meters) along an outdoor wall to the bathroom. When water pressure is low, the heaters don't function. (I skip showers on those mornings.)

Ingredients for spring rolls

Yesterday I was craving fresh food. (Fried food is the norm.) W helps me fill Vietnamese spring rolls. What a lot of work! We make the whole package of 25. We eat them for supper - and today the helper has some while we shop and we finish them off when we get back from shopping.

Church is refreshing. We meet up friends, both churched and formerly unchurched. We've met so many people on our walks, in studies, and around town. The culture is friendly and welcoming. How blessed we feel to be here.

We are burdened for this city, that we come to love and know God together and serve him with all our being. In the night, we often wake praying. Our friends around the world do the same.

As we listen to the calls to prayer echoing from the minarets several times a day, we ask the Spirit of God to open hearts to Good News. God is great!

Read more:
*Behold, here I am, let the Lord do to me what seems good to Him. 2 Samuel 15:26 ESV

*Let your eyes be open to the plea of your servant, and to the plea of your people Israel, listening to them whenever they call to you. 1 Kings 8:52 ESV

*I will tell of your name to my brothers and sisters. Psalm 22:22 ESV

*Ask, and it will be given to you; search, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened for you. Matthew 7:7 ESV

*How are they to believe in one of whom they have never heard? And how are they to hear without someone to proclaim him? Romans 10:14 ESV

*If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. Romans 14:8 ESV

*I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters, in the midst of the congregation I will praise you. Hebrews 2:12 ESV

Moravian Prayer: Father of all earth’s children, to you the glory! May we never be silent in our love for your holy word. Let us remain, against all fire, sword, and wind, in your blessings.

May we for all eternity be yours, made from you to return to you. May our lives, through our thoughts, words, and actions reflect the light you brought to the world in Christ, our Savior.

O Lord, hear our prayer; not in our own strength do we move. Let us become living witnesses, reaching to you. Savior, may we hear your call as instruments of your compassion and truth, and as ambassadors of reconciliation. Amen.