Praying For the Church: Worship (Session Three)

Praying For the Church: Worship (Session Three)


This is the audio of session three from the September 7, 2019 Praying For the Church Prayer Event held at Michiana Christian Camp.

This third session focused on praying for the church in worship as we considered how our personal worship of God each day ought to impact the worship that is expressed when we gather with other believers.

Praying For the Church: Work (Session Two)

Praying For the Church: Work (Session Two)


This is the audio of session two from the September 7, 2019 Praying For the Church Prayer Event held at Michiana Christian Camp.

This second session focused on praying for the church at work as we considered how our relationship with Jesus ought to make a difference in everything we do.

Praying For the Church: Wisdom (Session One)

Praying For the Church: Wisdom (Session One)


This is the audio of session one from the September 7, 2019 Praying For the Church Prayer Event held at Michiana Christian Camp.

This first session focused on praying for the church with the wisdom that comes from God’s Word, His Spirit, and a fear of the Lord.

A Life of LOVE! (Sermon Audio)

A Life of LOVE! (Sermon Audio)


This is the audio from the June 24, 2018 sermon, “A Life of LOVE!”, shared by Tom Lemler as part of a Lifestyle of Prayer series at the North Wayne Mennonite Church.

Text: Philippians 1:9-14

Here are the main points from the sermon:

A lifestyle of prayer is a life of  . . .

  • Listening:  Philippians 1:9
  • Obedience:  Philippians 1:10
  • Victory:  Philippians 1:11
  • Encouragement:  Philippians 1:14
Every Day Christmas

Every Day Christmas

Christmas comes just once a year,
at least that’s what they say.
But think how different life would be,
with Christmas every day!

The things we do to celebrate,
would surely have to change.
To give each other “stuff” each day,
would really seem quite strange.

But what would happen if we gave,
the greatest gift of love?
And shared it every day we lived,
as we receive it from above.

The greatest gift of Christmas,
is not a shirt or tie.
Instead it was a baby,
who came to earth to die.

From One who really had it all,
the gift was not more “stuff”.
Instead the gift was His own love,
and that would be enough.

So when you’re feeling empty,
with nothing left to give.
Remember Christ, our Savior,
who came to earth to live.

He brought no treasure with Him,
no “pavement” from above.
But yet He kept on giving,
the abundance of His love.

For Christmas to come every day,
at least within our heart.
To share God’s love with everyone,
would be the place to start!

So, instead of counting dollars,
why not add up all God gives.
Then go out spreading peace and joy,
to everyone who lives!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

As I began the work week leading into Christmas, this poem showed up in my mind.  Christmas is a time of year when the thoughts of many people turn toward giving — even if they are not all that inclined to give at any other time.  For many, great work and effort is put into finding “just the right gift” for each person in their gift-giving circle.  Yet what happens when Christmas is over?  Is it back to life as usual where it is all about me and what I can obtain?  I can’t keep the spirit of Christmas alive all year or I would go broke buying new gifts each day!  But what if I looked beyond the shopping and saw the real gift of Christmas is love?  You see, unlike the traditional Christmas gifts, love actually increases as we give it.  When the gift we give is love, we will always have enough to have Every Day Christmas!

In prayer,


Still Thankful?

The holiday is over,
we’ve all said our thanks.
So we rush to the stores
to fill up their banks.
I need this and
some more of that.
Leave me alone,
I’ve no time to chat.
You want this,
but so do I.
So drop it now
or get a black eye.

How did we go
from giving thanks to this?
What was the point
that we surely did miss?
A heart that is thankful
should be content.
And our actions should show it,
if that’s what we meant.
So, on this “Black Friday”;
and all other days too.
Keep on being thankful
for what God’s given you.
© 2017 by Tom Lemler

As I’ve seen the annual “Black Friday” news reports of fights, brawls, and bad behavior from people rushing out to obtain the things they “absolutely have to have”, this poem showed up in my mind. I pray that you and I would live a life of contentment every day as we consider all that we have in Christ.

In prayer,


Change of Plans

My mind feels quite swirled,
almost inside out.
And settled within it
is a pile of doubt.
Did I hear unclearly?
Did I chase my pride?
What forms the confusion
that has settled inside?

Some time ago,
I was given advice.
When you’re sure in the daylight,
when it’s dark, don’t think twice.
It is so very easy,
when my plans fall apart.
To question my listening
and how they did start.

Did I talk myself into
what should not have been done?
Or am I learning a lesson
that isn’t much fun?
Do I have to see clearly
why things are this way?
When I go back to God
to hear what He will say.

I know God works all things
together for good.
For those He has called,
with Him they have stood.
So, as I regather
the thoughts in my mind.
I search more intently
so His thoughts I find.

Then I cast on Him
the cares of this day.
And trust He’ll provide
all that I have to pay.
But more so than money,
I hope I will see.
this failure won’t change,
His great love for me!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

Sometimes I have poems show up in my mind that I am eager to share with others — this is not one of them.  But as I finish out a weekend that didn’t go as planned, this poem took up residence in my mind and it doesn’t seem like a good idea to keep it trapped inside.  I know I have people who follow my blog and social media postings who want everything to be positive and uplifting all the time, but even in Christ that isn’t how life is — at least not for me nor for the majority of people I know.  Life is full of failed plans, broken promises, unmet expectations, and even concern for what others will think.  I know I can’t control how others respond to God’s promptings and leading in their lives, and I’m not even the one who says what those are for them, but sometimes it is difficult to move forward in what feels like confident obedience only to have the work seem to be a total failure.  As I’m sitting in a costly cabin, not only did my primary plan become a complete flop, but my secondary plan hasn’t yielded the resulting work I had hoped.  Even in this, I am confident that God was not caught off guard by any of what has or hasn’t happened so I wait as patiently as possible for the if and when there are lessons from this weekend that He will reveal.  I do pray that my posting such a transparent look into my mind is a help and encouragement to others whose plans don’t always turn out as expected or hoped for.

In prayer,


A Relative Mess

If three is now two,
and twelve is now four.
Could you be certain
that nine is not more?
Many will call things
whatever they wish.
But that still won’t ever
make a bear be a fish.

You’re probably thinking,
“This poem is absurd!”
This just might be close
to the craziest I’ve heard!
But there is a movement
that makes this seem sane.
A movement that’s spreading
like wind-driven rain.

You see, right is called wrong
and wrong is called right.
What was hidden in darkness
is now done in daylight.
I have my freedom,
I can do what I choose!
Are words that are spoken,
not knowing what we lose.

When freedom of choice
means I am in charge.
It isn’t long
before my problems get large.
If I set the standard
between right and wrong.
The lines become blurred
and it doesn’t take long.

No, three is not two
and twelve is not four.
For truth is still truth,
right down to the core.
The choice that we have,
is in who we believe.
The One who is Truth,
or the one who deceives.

When we use our freedom
to choose what is right.
We find ourselves living
in freedom’s true light.
So choose now today,
to cling to God’s Word.
Choose right over wrong
and truth will be heard!

© 2017 by Tom Lemler

As I was cleaning this morning, my eyes rested on some of the alphabet and number charts on the classroom walls.  Even as our culture moves further and further away from absolutes in the way we do life, and even within many aspects of our educational systems, there are still some basics that we hold onto — at least for now.  You know what this paragraph says, even if its meaning is unclear to some, because we agree on what these symbols I’m typing mean.  Anyone who knows the English language can read this and come away with at least a basic understanding of what I hope to convey, simply because the letters and words mean the same thing to each of us. 

Anyhow, the absolutes of our “A B C’s and 1 2 3’s” began to put this poem in my mind as I thought about the chaos that would exist if we could each make up a value that we wanted to for each symbol.  The bigger problem is, we’ve had a tendency to do that within our culture when it comes to a belief that truth is somehow relative — that what you accept as true can be just as true as what I accept as true even if they are completely in disagreement with each other.  No wonder there is so much chaos in the world today.  When our freedom of choice results in our choosing to make our self god by who we put in charge, we actually lose everything that is good and right.  I pray that you and I reject this “relative mess” and cling to the truth of God’s Word as good and absolute in everything. 

In prayer,