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Opening Prayer

Heavenly Father, on this Sunday morning, we praise you for creating the abundant greenery, longer days, and warmth and beauty of summer.  These are all testimonies of your goodness and generosity and a foretaste of heaven. 

Thank you for all that our five senses experience of your glory: the taste of grilled meat, the orange and blue and red of sunsets, the singing of birds and chirping of insects, the tenderness of children's hugs, the smell of flower gardens, and a thousand other innocent sensual pleasures.

We marvel at the glory of your creation and the greater glory of your character.  The Rocky Mountains are weightless compared to your majesty; the Pacific Ocean is minuscule compared to your immensity; meadows of wildflowers are pale compared to your beauty; exploding stars are feeble compared to your power; roaring lions are tame compared to your wildness; marital passion is a kindergarten crush compared to your love for us. In a word, you are holy: the source and sum of all that is good, true, and beautiful. You are high and lifted up, unsearchably great, transcendently majestic, infinitely perfect, a consuming fire of righteousness. 

As we consider your holiness, Lord, we tremble before you and close our mouths in holy fear. You are not like us; you are the Lord. You owe us nothing; you are the Lord. We deserve your righteous displeasure, rebuke, and curse. You are the Lord. And yet, you are gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love. You are unfailingly good to each one of us, and your mercy never ends. 

We know that this amazing grace is not self-evident; it is not deserved; and it is found only in your Son Jesus. He was punished so we could be forgiven; treated as a blasphemer and traitor so we could be blessed as worshipers; executed as a criminal so we could receive a son’s inheritance; and crushed with pain so we could taste joy and pleasure forever. This is grace. This is the gospel. This is our hope and joy and very life. In Jesus’s name. Amen. 

[Source: Praying in Public (Crossway, 2021, Kindle Locations 1088-1097).]


Poem: "Two Natures"

Two natures beat within my chest

One is cursed, one is blessed

One I love, one I hate

The one I feed will dominate


[Source: Author Unknown]


Poem: "Walk A Little Plainer Daddy"

Walk a little plainer Daddy, said a little boy so frail.

I’m following in your footsteps and I don’t want to fail.

Sometimes your steps are very plain.

Sometimes they are hard to see.

So walk a little plainer Daddy for you are leading me.


I know that once you walked this way many years ago

And what you did along the way I’d really like to know;

For sometimes when I am tempted I don’t know what to do.

So walk a little plainer Daddy for I must follow you.


Some day when I grow up you are like what I want to be.

Then I will have a little boy who will want to follow me.

And I would want to lead him right and help him to be true.

So walk a little plainer Daddy; for we must follow you


(Source: Author Unknown)