Happy Reformation Day

It may just be a typical work Monday for some people but if my newsfeed is any indication many people are heading to school or work in costume. Star Wars is still a classic but this year the most popular theme seems to be characters from Stranger Things.  If you haven’t seen it, I recommend it.

This also showed up in my newsfeed this morning and it was too good not to share:

Happy Halloween and Happy Reformation day everyone!

In Prayer

During these 30 Days of Prayer I have been seeking out resources, not only to enrich and broaden my thoughts regarding prayer but also to enrich and broaden my prayers themselves.screen-shot-2016-09-27-at-12-21-52-pmOne of my favorite resources is The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions.  This is a beautiful book that connects us to our rich christian heritage and gives us tools in the form of prayers to pray through and meditate on.  In Prayer is one of those prayers that I feel is more powerful knowing that christians have prayed this prayer before me and will hopefully continue to pray this prayer for many years to come.  Enjoy, meditate and PRAY.

In Prayer
from the Valley of Vision

O LORD,

In prayer I launch far out into the eternal world,
and on that broad ocean my soul triumphs
over all evils on the shores of mortality.
Time, with its gay amusements and cruel
disappointments, never appears so inconsiderate
as then.
In prayer I see myself as nothing;
I find my heart going after thee with intensity,
and long with vehement thirst to live to thee.
Blessed be the strong gales of the Spirit
that speed me on my way to the New Jerusalem.
In prayer all things here below vanish,
and nothing seems important
but holiness of heart and the salvation of others.
In prayer all my worldly cares, fears, anxieties
disappear,
and are of as little significance as a puff of wind.
In prayer my soul inwardly exults with lively
thoughts at what thou art doing for thy church,
and I long that thou shouldest get thyself a great
name from sinners returning to Zion.
In prayer I am lifted above the frowns and flatteries
of life,
and taste heavenly joys;
entering into the eternal world
I can give myself to thee with all my heart,
to be thine for ever.
In prayer I can place all my concerns in thy hands,
to be entirely at thy disposal,
having no will or interest of my own.
In prayer I can intercede for my friends, ministers,
sinners, the church, thy kingdom to come,
with greatest freedom, ardent hopes,
as a son to his father,
as a lover to the beloved.
Help me to be all prayer
and never to cease praying.

Finding Father Damien

Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.47.27 AMRyan and I spent Saturday exploring the town of Leuven, Belgium.  We had a few ideas of what we were going to do, including beginning the Belgian waffle tour (I’ll have some pictures in a couple days highlighted on my Instagram @joycandee this week during #foodweek).  And we also wanted to see the Leuven Botanical Garden along with some beautiful architecture.  At some point, while heading towards the Botanical Garden we walked by an unremarkable church.  Ryan asked if I wanted to check it out and I wasn’t super interested but we figured it wouldn’t hurt to just walk inside.  I’m so glad we took those few extra steps.  Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.44.03 AMNot only did we find beautiful stained glass windows (taken from Ryan’s Instagram @lpturntable) but we found the crypt and story of Father Damien, a catholic priest who spent his life ministering to lepers on Molokai in Hawaii, eventually contracting the disease himself and dying there on the island.Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.45.40 AMThis church was more modern and clean but lit beautifully through the stained glass windows.  However, our eyes were specifically drawn to Father Damien’s story which is pictured and written along the walls.  Ryan and I were familiar with his life, had even heard his ministry referred to during our lessons the week before.  However, we had no idea that he was Belgian, was born nearby and had lived in Leuven before moving to Hawaii.Screen Shot 2016-07-18 at 11.45.14 AMI’m so thankful for being able to take time, explore and discover new things.  Ryan and I had a great day in Leuven but the highlight for me was this unassuming, ordinary on the outside church.  I appreciate being reminded of Father Damien’s story and being able to see it from a different perspective, seeing his grave but being thankful for his life and ministry.