If you pour yourself out for the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted,
I love mornings in the campground. Usually I get up earlier than most campers and I sit and watch the sun gradually rise above the trees in quietness. The darkness of night moves into the brightness of day, most of the time. Sometimes there are cloudy days, the sun still rises, we just can’t see it for the clouds.
There are days of bright sunshine in our lives but also days that are filled with clouds. During those cloudy days it is easy to focus on our own problems and let a feeling of gloom fall over us.I have found in times of gloominess that when I find ways to help others I began to quite focusing on my own problems and I move from darkness into the light of day.
On those days when we get lost only looking at our own problems, remind us of this promise of light that comes when we make the effort to help those in need around us.
It is good to give thanks to the Lord, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
There is something so special about the golden light of morning. In morning light things that we don’t even notice in the harsh light of day are made beautiful. There is a special kind of quiet in the mornings, too, especially if you are in nature. It is a good thing to make the effort to get up early and watch the night gradually turn to day. God has kept us safe through another night and the golden light of morning reveals his wonderful world. Now is the time to give praise, to begin our day with gratitude for the steadfast love of our Lord, to see the joy in his works.
O Most High,
We humbly bow in gratitude for your steadfast love. We rejoice at the beauty of the works of your hands. Help us walk through this day remembering your steadfast love and to share the joy of the morning with all we meet.
Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and giving joyful thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of his people in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
About This Image:
My grandparents and their grandparents before them lived in what is now the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While they weren't members of this church (the Methodist church in Cades Cove) they were part of other mountain churches like this one. This is my heritage. I am grateful for the inheritance of a family on both my mother and father's sides that loved and served Jesus. But the greater inheritance is the one provided to all "his people in the kingdom of light," by Jesus Christ who purchased our redemption.
Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.
About This Image:
At one time many families made their home in Cades Cove in the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, like the Tipton family. The Tipton Cabin is one of the few cabins that the park kept when this land became part of the park. When I see these cabins I try imagine what they looked like when people lived in them full of furniture and household goods instead of the empty the way they stand now. I think that the bible can be empty like this room in the Tipton cabin to us if we just occasionally read the words. Paul admonished the Colossians to do more than just listen to the words but to let the message of Christ dwell among them richly. When something dwells with us we spend lots of time with it; we get to know it. Dwelling is more than visiting a place, more than just reading words from a book. For when we do let the message of Christ dwell richly within us then we can help one another and develop real gratitude in our hearts.
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