While page 248 was a Tuesday, the holiday weekend made it feel more like a Monday as I began the workweek with the usual Monday tasks. Following the usual early morning prayer, cleaning and building prep tasks, I turned my attention to the writing of yesterday’s page. Once it was written, it was time to settle in with God to work on the prayer guide for next week. As I thought about several possibilities for the topic, my mind kept thinking about how quickly people helping people in times of disaster can change the conversation of a nation hateful, angry words to kind, encouraging words — and how quickly the conversation changes back after the disaster no longer gets top billing in the news. Out of those thoughts came the idea that turned into the topic for the next prayer guide. I started out the prayer guide with the statement that “not only is helping others a good idea, it is a God idea!” Jesus said that the world will know we are His disciples by the love we have for one another. He also said that there is no greater love than for a person to lay down his life for a friend. Helping others is a way to put our love into action and, at least in a small and tangible way, lay down our life to help someone else.
Laying down our life may involve the giving of our life, but I believe that helping others often requires a laying down of our life, or at least a part of our life, in order to benefit them according to their need. The rest of the morning was spent putting together the daily prayer points about helping others. I believe prayer should always be the first step as we seek to replace our thoughts and ideas of appropriate help with God’s thoughts and ideas of what we ought to be doing. When we begin to understand the example God has given us by helping us in our time of great need, we have a glimpse of how He wants us to help others. After the prayer guide was written, it was time to format and schedule it for my website and email list. Every Sunday morning the prayer guide gets emailed out t my mailing list and is then posted on the Impact Prayer Ministry website around noon. If you are not receiving these weekly prayer guides and would like to, you can sign up at the following link: Email List Signup.
After doing some more work on the prayer retreat plans, I called it a day and stopped for a late lunch on my way home. The late afternoon and evening have been spent going through photos from the weekend — I try to keep them as natural as possible, but do some minor editing to correct exposure settings and straighten the horizon in the pictures. 🙂 Today’s photo is one from yesterday that I took during our walk back down the trail from Pyramid Point in Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park. The brush was full of songbirds darting back and forth as they sung their joyous songs. It was difficult to catch one still long enough to get a photo, but I eventually got this one after several shots with no bird in them. While it’s difficult to capture photos of a moving target, with a little practice it is possible to follow the movements to some extent.
As I reflect on the day, here are some thoughts/lessons that stand out to me:
- Holiday weekends are great time to be with family doing what we enjoy.
- For me, getting back to a usual routine is good also.
- Helping others should be a way of life for God’s children.
- Natural disasters have a way of placing people who need help in the headlines and spotlight but those needs don’t go away when the headlines stop and the lights diminish.
- If you keep your eyes open, finding people who need help of some kind is not difficult.
- We have the ability to help others only in proportion to the help we receive from God. If we accept His help we have much to offer, if we reject His help we have little to offer others.
- God’s a better designer than anyone else and I try to capture what I see with my photographs.
- While God and the movement of His Spirit is beyond comprehension, studying God and His Word makes it easier to anticipate how He might move in our life.