The Best Monday I’ve Had All Week!

The Best Monday I’ve Had All Week!


A friend of mine, while serving as the preaching minister in a local church, became known for consistently saying, “Today’s the best Sunday I’ve had all week!”.  At first glance, it may be easy to chalk that up to it being the only Sunday in the week, but it was really a statement about attitude rather than frequency.  I’ve worked in ministry long enough to be certain he wasn’t saying that everything had gone just as he had wanted during the previous week, or that the events of the day were even going fully according to his plan.  No, I believe it was one tool of many which he used to remind himself and others that it was a day given by God and a day meant to be used to honor God — no matter what!

I thought about that example today as I worked through my morning routines on a Monday that is anything but routine.  While we often think of Monday as the start of a new work week, it almost always has baggage from the previous week hanging around.  For me, last week was filled with struggles and issues that remain unresolved but aren’t really within my ability or responsibility to resolve.  Nonetheless, they weigh on me and can have a tendency to fill my mind to the point of distraction and even discouragement if I let them.  With last week’s burdens still hanging over me, I woke up to fresh snow that I wasn’t expecting — meaning extra work to start the day.

But then my routine kicks in.  The sidewalks are cleared, the building is cleaned and prepped for the day, and I settle in to write the prayer guide for next week.  After some time with God, we settle in on a topic based on Colossians 3:2 which says, “Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.”  Monday mornings I typically set aside to write the prayer guide that I will publish and send out the following week.  Some weeks the topic comes easily and other weeks it is a struggle to hear God clearly in regard to where the focus should be.  Some weeks I’m not sure who the primary audience is that God will use it to reach and other weeks I’m pretty sure it is meant to speak directly to me before it goes out to anyone else.

The reminders I worked on this morning were priceless.  Reminders to not worry, to be open to the instruction of Scripture, to allow the Spirit to fill my all of me including my mind, to be transformed by having a renewed mind, to engage my mind in prayer, and to surround myself with like-minded people who seek to honor God.  Yes, it’s the best Monday I’ve had all week — not because it is the only Monday I’ll have all week, but because it came with an attitude adjustment that calls me to reset my mind on the things of Christ.  Now that doesn’t mean the struggles are gone or resolved, they remain and some of them continue to grow.  What changes, and what must change, is how I set my mind in the midst of things beyond my responsibility and control.

The morning made me think of the photo I put at the top of this post.  It is one I took last Saturday and I would guess most people looking at it are drawn to the blue sky and bright white clouds.  Yet within the same photo is a base of drab browns and grays of a sparse winter landscape.  Your view of that photo is really dependent on where you set you mind, whether consciously or subconsciously.  On this best Monday you’ll have all week, it is time to set your mind on things above!

In prayer,
Tom Lemler  

The Eyes of a Child (Oh, To Be Six!)

Oh, to be six
     and filled with such joy!
To experience wonder
     through the eyes of a boy!
Perhaps if you go back –
     way back in your mind.
Some traces of wonder
     perhaps you’ll still find.

To remember some days,
     perhaps long ago.
When you were excited
     by things such as snow!
Some days that were carefree,
     no worries around.
Just great adventures
     everywhere did abound!

When boxes themselves
     would bring so much joy.
So very often,
     even more than the toy!
When worries were unknown
     and you had no fear.
Your imagination
     gave victories to cheer!

You applaud the effort
     of things simply done.
A room full of balloons
     looks like so much fun!
Your joy wasn’t based
     on how much was paid.
It’s really about
     the way that you played!

So, whatever happened
     to childhood joy?
The kind that I had
     when I was a boy.
How do I get it
     back into my life?
In the midst of living
     that seems filled with strife.

The secret may be
     some wonder to find.
To let imagination
     still fill my mind.
To see life as different
     than the world does.
To remember with wonder,
     what is and what was.

To let little things
     grow big in my mind.
To imagine a treasure
     that I seek and I find.
To look at a box
     and see a race car.
To imagine balloons
     that will carry me far.

To see the unseen
     and believe it is real.
Brings joy overwhelming,
     that you actually feel!
That is what faith is
     for those who believe.
The world is a mess,
     but peace you receive.

Your box may look bare,
     your possessions quite small.
But in child-like faith
     you know you have it all!
You take the world’s treasures
     and value them not.
For you have everything,
     when Christ you have got!

So, this Christmas season,
     and all of your days.
Stop for a moment,
     consider your ways.
What comes between you
     and joy that is wild?
Then take a good look
     through the eyes of a child!

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

This poem came to my mind from a simple comment, “Oh, to be six!” based on a six-year old’s excited reaction to some decorations at the building for a Parents Night Out event. That phrase stuck in my mind and this poem quickly came together from that. I pray that it encourages you to look at things differently.

In prayer,

The Ride

The first book is finished,
     it’s hard to believe.
This gift is amazing
     that I did receive.
It happened so quickly,
     it doesn’t seem real.
That God would choose me,
     His truth to reveal.
Yet I am certain,
     His work is not done.
There’s more He keeps giving,
     this was only book one! 

It is surprising
     the work God will do.
When you are encouraged
     to let Him work through you.
The gift of His Spirit
     He gives to us all.
Who surrender to Him,
     and on His name call.
But most of the time,
     it’s so hard to see.
How God’s Spirit works
     in someone like me. 

For almost a year,
     I have had great peace.
From the hurt of my past,
     God gives me release.
He gives me freedom,
     as I seek His face.
And reminds me daily,
     I am in the right place.
He’s freed me from bondage
     of negative talk.
His presence goes with me,
     wherever I walk. 

So whether I’m walking
     on the trails in the woods.
Or walking the hallways
     picking up what I should.
God’s Spirit is with me
     and He fills my mind.
With all kinds of good things
     He wants me to find.
As I discover,
     just what He will give.
He calls me to use it
     in the way that I live. 

There’s more to this poem
     than just God and me.
He gives me these poems
     to help you to see.
God’s gifts to us all,
     He wants us to share.
With the people around us,
     to show that we care.
The gifting within us
     may start as a seed.
It takes encouragement
     to grow into deed. 

The people around me
     have helped me to write.
They help me to trust
     and walk without sight.
That is the great task,
     God gives to us all.
To nurture His calling,
     before people fall.
So when you see others,
     look closely inside.
And help them be ready
     as God leads the ride! 

© 2014 by Tom Lemler

As I was spending time with God this morning praising Him for the amazing work He has done in getting this poetic devotional book into print, this poem filled my mind.  This incredible journey of zero to sixty poems in two months time and the final edit of the book sent to the printer taking place three months to the day from the first poem being given, has me marveling at the work God can do when His Spirit is allowed to work and is fueled by the encouragement of people.  I pray that this poem helps you to see the incredible ride God has in store for you when you listen to Him and the encouragers that He will place around you.  I also pray that it helps you to see the need to be an encourager of the people around you.

In prayer,


My peace I leave with you,
     my peace I do give.
Are words taught by Jesus
     on how we should live.
This could be much easier,
     I think you would see.
If all of the people
     with me would agree.
That really won’t happen,
     of that I am sure.
So I better get busy,
     for my pride find a cure.

God made us all different,
     made each one unique.
To understand others
     is what I must seek.
To see how God’s gifted
     and what He will use.
Since I’m not in charge,
     it’s not mine to choose.
Each one has something
     that God’s made their part.
I need to help them
     find out how to start.

As you start looking
     for what others have got.
This may sound quite easy,
     I assure you it’s not!
To think of them higher
     than you do yourself.
But don’t you go thinking
     you’ve been put on the shelf.
You’re gift has great value,
     it’s important to all.
So step out and use it
     as you follow God’s call.

God’s peace will happen
     when we swallow our pride.
When we work together
     for we’re on the same side.
This doesn’t mean
     that we’ll always agree.
But peace will still come
     when your value I see.
As I spend more time
     on what God says to do.
I don’t worry so much
     what He says to you.

I’m not here to judge you
     or over you rule.
Instead I’ll encourage,
     let you know we are cool.
With eyes fixed on Jesus,
     more clearly I see.
Peace comes from heaven,
     for you and for me.
So when our views differ
     and we know we are right.
Let’s pray to our Savior,
     that He’ll fix our sight.

And when He has straightened
     the way that we view.
May peace rest upon me
     and all over you.
And when this peace settles
     on all that we are.
Let’s take what we’ve learned
     and spread it afar.
And as we go boldly
     where no one would go.
I pray that God’s peace
     to others we show.

I was spending time with God reflecting on the incredible peace that He has given me within the family of Deer Run. It’s a peace that comes from His Spirit, but also from the great encouragement and sense of value that I receive on a very regular basis from those that surround me. As I reflected on this, God put this poem in my mind for me to collect and share. I pray that it is an encouragement to you in the way you view others who may think and act differently than you do.

In prayer,