Category Archives: Faith

Reformation Day, A Reflection

In my previous post (which I realized was my hundredth!), I mentioned that I would share some thoughts regarding the sermon shared on the morning of Reformation Day in the Schloßkirche, the church where Luther nailed his 95 Theses. This post is that promised reflection.

The reverend preaching the morning of Reformation Day shared an interesting and concise sermon about Luther (I mean, it is the 500th anniversary, after all). His opening remarks about the relations between the Lutheran and the Catholic Churches caught my attention immediately. According to the reverend, the two are together coming to an understanding of justification by faith and not by works, in an attempt at ecumenism that will bring unity rather than the division that Luther never intended to cause. If that is true, wonderful; if not, I wonder what Luther would have to say about the conversations that have been held between the two bodies.

Another interesting aspect of the sermon for me was the idea of “releasing Luther” from the layers of tradition and misunderstanding that have developed over the centuries and to return to the roots of who this man was. Luther was then presented as a driving force in the socio-economic changes of his time and a clarion call of spreading love to those around us, to lift up the desolate as Luther did. This is the face of Luther that we need to see and share today.

With all due respect to the reverend, I do have a few challenging comments in regards to the last couple of points.

I do not doubt that over time Luther has been misunderstood and his platform for change misconstrued to serve the purposes of others who desired to use his name and cultural ties for their own gain and propaganda (for example, the 400th anniversary of the nailing of the Theses took place in the middle of World War 1 where the Germans used Luther as uniting factor to push their military agenda).

I also absolutely agree that reading authors of old for themselves and within their own context is extremely important. Too often we base our opinions on what other people have studied and not what we have studied for ourselves. Of course, not everyone has the ability to read medieval German, handwritten manuscripts, but reading a translation of Luther’s works rather than relying on the summarizing and quotation of scholars is already a great step in the right direction.

And social action is absolutely important, but from the Christian point of view it is not the whole story. To say that Luther was a social activist is fine (although he is famous for his anti-Semitic views, another reason why the German military chose to herald him during war efforts), but the reason he chose to live a life of service and education to his Christian brethren in the way he did was a result of a theological understanding. To present Luther as a social reformer alone, while much “safer” in today’s general post-modern society, does not fully depict the magnitude of Luther’s discovery. Social gospel, without the declaration of the gospel of salvation, is incomplete and cannot stand.

On a day as special as Reformation Day, wouldn’t it make more sense, instead of speaking entirely about Luther, to speak about what he had discovered from reading the Bible? Should not the focus be on the special message of Scripture that he “uncovered” that then led a revolution not only in how people understood their relationship with God, but also their relationship with each other?

I once read a fantastic scholarly paper on the study of theology. In it, the author claims that at it’s core, theology is the study of relationship. This is what the Reformers, like Luther, were seeking to understand in their study of Scripture.

The author continues by stating that if we were to simply continue promoting the work of the Reformers such as Luther, Calvin, Zwingli, and others, that we would actually be doing them a great disservice. If we want to truly honor the work of the Reformers, we would continue what they had begun; indeed, press forward with what those who had lived long before the official Reformation had started.

A continuous, personal search of Scripture and the seeking of its application to the life is the only way to truly celebrate the discoveries and honor the sacrifices of those who felt the high importance of knowing God and living for Him above all else.

While we can celebrate the works of great men and women who have had profound impacts on our planet and worldviews, often without the slightest intention of doing so, let us be careful not to venerate them as more than humans that allowed themselves to be greatly used by God.

Martin Luther wasn’t perfect—far from it. Neither are any of we. But we are all on a spiritual journey that, by the grace of God, will lead us to a deeper and greater understanding of who He is, how much He loves us, and how we can share that love to those around us.

Luther actually summarizes this thought well in the following couple of quotes:

“This life therefore is not righteousness but growth in righteousness, not health but healing, not being but becoming, not rest but exercise. We are not yet what we shall be but we are growing towards it, the process is not yet finished but it is going on, this is not the end but it is the road. All does not yet gleam in glory, but all is being purified.”

“A Christian is never in a state of completion but always in a process of becoming.”

As we have now entered into the 500th year since the Reformation is recognized has having officially started, let us all take the time to ask of ourselves, “How can the Reformation continue in us?”

When we do, and then ask God to do His good work in our lives, true change will take place in our lives and perhaps even in our communities.

Who knows? There may even be another Luther among us; perhaps it could be you.

Regardless of our wider role in the history of the world, we can all be assured of this: God loves you and wants a relationship with you. He has done everything that is needed to show you how much He loves you and wants you. He desires to save you by grace, through faith in His Son, Jesus Christ—all you have to do is accept Christ’s sacrifice on your behalf.

May we, like Luther, choose to stand firm in the Word of God and the love of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior.

May we choose to say, “I am Yours, save me.”

And may the coming days be filled with a true revival and reformation that will bring each of us into an ever closer relationship with our God.

To God be the glory. Amen.


Mini-Reformation Tour, part 3

First, I would like to say that my mother and I are safe. The wind storms that have been blowing through Northern Europe and Berlin has announced a state of emergency. Here in Wittenberg, we had rain and strong winds, but nothing too extreme. 


Schloßkirche, or Castle Church

I have wanted to visit this historic site for years, and the fact that I was able to come at such a high time is amazing. 

Our AirBnb hosts, Michael and Gudrun, have been wonderful to us. Not only did they pick up up last night, but Gudrun dropped us off early this morning in the middle of town to explore. 

And I’m so glad! It allowed us to visit Schloßkirche (Castle Church) before the crowds began to arrive. Let me tell you, standing before the Theses Doors, where Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on October 31, 1517, has me a little “star-struck.” 

The original doors are no longer there, unfortunately, but the new ones fully depict the Theses and caused me to pause and imagine the moment that a rebellious, truth-seeking monk acted out a thought that would change the world forever. 

There’s a lot more I could share, but I think I’ll save that for the end of the trip. 😉

After visiting the visitor’s center, we discovered that the church was holding a service, so we decided to join. The inside of Schloßkirche is very beautiful, and it seems to have had a lot of work done on it since Luther’s time. 

Both Martin Luther and Philipp Melanchthon are buried there, and an original printed copy of the Theses and a few other documents are on display under the magnificently carved pulpit. 

Luther’s Theses printed by Jakob Thanner in Leipzig in 1517; only 87 are on this page. I believe the others are on the reverse.

Mommy and I would have had a chance to go through the Theses Doors if we (meaning I) hadn’t spent so much time looking at things. But we ended up discovering a visitor’s center/museum attached to the church filled with amazing images and information. 

You know, as a child I never enjoyed history. Now, I can’t seem to get enough of it. Somewhere along the way, I made the connection of how the past affected my present, and it’s relevance suddenly helped me not only find it interesting but enjoyable to study. 

So going through this center was like being in a candy shop for me. Not only was there a lot of information about Luther, but other lesser known Reformers that had just as significant of a role in spreading the new found truths of Scripture to the world. Not everyone got the limelight, but that does not in any way diminish their work or accomplishments. 

Many of these, such as Jonas Justus, Johannesburg Bugenhagen, Lucas Cranach, Johannesburg von Staupitz, and others were remarkable educators, supporters, and believers of Martin Luther and the mission God had endowed him. 

It’s important to remember that the Reformation was not a one man show, but a movement that began long before Luther and is continuing long after. Being here in Wittenberg, where Luther worked and lived, has helped me understand this more than ever before. 

The afternoon was spent walking around the city, enjoying the other historic attractions and watching people prepare the medieval market place that tomorrow will be filled much celebration. I’m going on Tuesday, so no worries–there will be pictures. 

We also visited Lutherhaus, on the opposite side of Wittenberg from Schloßkirche. A museum made of and built around Luther’s home, it was filled with artifacts of his life, told his story, and shared his legacy. 

A very fancy pulpit
A copy of Luther’s German New Testament with woodcut images. This is depicting a scene from Revelation.
An original copy of Luther’s “Table Talk,” written conversations that Luther and his friends had around a table discussing theological ideas.

The remains of what used to be Luther’s study room.

When I saw one of the letters written in Luther’s own hand, I will admit I teared up. Not necessarily because the document of great historical or theological significance, but the fact that it was something Luther had touched… It made me wonder about the person he was, the thoughts he had, the emotions he felt, the trials he went through…

It was not unlike the feel I had standing before the Ishtar Gates when I was in Berlin two years ago. 

I felt I was before some sort of timecapsule, and it was incredibly humbling. 

A letter to Kaiser Karl V from Martin Luther explaining why he chose not to recant at the Diet of Worms.

Have you ever had a moment like that? 
So, we had a day full of Luther today and will likely have it so again tomorrow. 

Barring any train cancellations, we hope to be in Eisenach to gain some more insight and for some new adventures. 

Until tomorrow!

-Wandering Minstrelette 

Impromptu London

For the first time in my life, I’m spending Christmas at an airport. 

Detroit Metropolitan Airport, to be exact. 

It all came about rather last minute. 
For the first time, I have a full time job that requires me to make proper vacation requests. Originally, I had wanted to travel to Eastern Europe in February, but circumstances made that very difficult, so I decided to take advantage of the two weeks of vacation for the “price” of one.

I looked into trips to South America or Asia, but not seemed to quite fit or work out. Finally, I decided to do what I should have done from the beginning–pray and ask God where I should go. 

The answer came much quicker than I expected: “London.”

I had been before, back in the summer of 2009 with the New England Youth Ensemble of Washington Adventist University. It had been a blast and I have wanted to go back, but was kind of hoping to go somewhere new. However, the answer was clear. 

Some friends and I from the 2009 NEYE tour.

Unsure of why, but completely sure this is what I needed to do, I made the necessary arrangements just before Thanksgiving. Quite tight in terms of a time frame for finding a plane ticket, accommodations, etc., but you know? Things fell right into place. 

Which brings me to today. It was a short flight from Washington DC to Detroit, with a seven hour layover before my flight to London. 

Leaving DC
Entering Detroit

I spent a lot of that time walking (I don’t think I’ve ever reached my step goal so early in the day!), observing people, and thinking about what is in store for the next two weeks.  

I have made some connections with people in London/Southern England and have some friends who happen to be in the in the city that I plan to meet up with. I did plan one official tour (can’t wait to see Stonehenge!), but otherwise my days are very free.

God is sending me here for something. Guess I’m just going to have wait and see what He has in store for me. 

Oh, and I’m completely open to suggestions of things I should see or do while in London. Please, comment with suggestions and I’ll see if I can actually see them through!

I pray that each of you are spending your Christmas (or Hanukkah) exactly where you want to be–with your loved ones, making wonderful memories to cherish for a lifetime. There is truly few blessings greater than that. 

Merry Christmas! 

-Wandering Minstrelette

Tomorrow Became Yesterday

It’s amazing how fast time flies sometimes. Before I knew it, my last full day on Colorado had come. Thankfully, it was filled with warm memories. 

Saturday morning I attended church at Twin Peaks SDA. I always make a point of attending church on Sabbath mornings, but when I travel I make it even more so because I think that there is a great cross blessings for me as a visitor and for the church that I visit. Not to say that I am overly special, but I have always found great joy in visiting different churches. 

Not only was the congregation warm and inviting (I must have been invited to stay for potluck four or five times), but inclusiveness I felt was really quite unique. It was Communion Sabbath, in which we partake of the ceremony of Holy Communion. In the Seventh-day Adventist Church, these Sabbaths have a homily followed by the Ordinance of Humility (foot washing ceremony) after which we partake of the communion bread and blessed juice (we don’t use wine). These Sabbaths can be very lonely for visitors because everyone knows each other and will want to perform these ceremonies together. I’ve been at churches when I stood for quite a while before someone realized I needed a partner for the foot washing. But not Twin Peaks – a lady came straight up to me and asked to be my partner and even welcomed me to sit with her or the rest of the service. Her kindness made all the difference. 

I should also mention that the small sanctuary was beautiful, with large, square window behind the pulpit that allows the congregation to gaze upon the majestic Rockies. I could stare at that view for forever and never get tired of it. 

After church I had the chance I spend some quality time with my cousin’s wife. She had been busy all week, so we didn’t have much of a chance to interact before. Now we had the whole afternoon just us and her son. She is such an amazing and intelligent person, and such a great parent – I’m sorry we didn’t get to spend more time together!

I am so glad that I made this trip to spend time with family. Not only did I get to know them better, but I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that I want a husband that will be the kind of man and father my cousin is to his wife and son. I learned that I want to be the kind of wife and mother that his wife is: supportive, caring, honest, tactful, and strong. 

 I have great family. 🙂

In the late afternoon I had one last chance to enjoy the mountains by briefly walking on the South Mesa trail to see the firey red sumac against the Flatirons. It’s amazing how gorgeous nature can be. 


The final hurrah of the day was the battería performance to kick off the Adventure Film Festival. I’ll have to post a video and pictures later, it was so great! Everyone attending the festival crowded in to listen and some even watched as my cousin’s wife and I danced samba off to the side. What a perfect way to complete my time with family. 

I was brought back to Denver that evening and, for whatever reason, promptly became sick. So this morning was not a lot of fun, but thankfully everything toned down by the time mom and I had to get in the plane. 

Now I’m back home and have to be ready for work in the morning. It’s always a bit funny getting back into the regular routine of things. But you know, it just makes me look forward to the next time I get to explore this beautiful world we call earth. 

I’ll be sure to post my favorite shots from this trip later this week. Until then, happy traveling!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Life More Abundant

“So Jesus said again, ‘I am telling you the truth; I am the gate for the sheep. All others who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them. I am the gate. Those who come in by me will be save; they will come in and go out and find pasture. The thief comes only in order to steal, kill, and destroy, I have come in order that you might have life — life in all its fullness.

‘I am the good shepherd, who is willing to die for the sheep. When the hired man, who is not a shepherd and does not own the sheep, sees a wolf coming, he leaves the sheep and runs away; so the wolf snatches the sheep and scatters them. The hired man runs away because he is only a hired man and does not care about the sheep. I am the good shepherd. As the Father knows me and I know the Father, in the same way I know my sheep and they know me. And I am willing to die for them. There are other sheep which belong to me that are not in this sheep pen. I must bring them, too; they will listen to my voice, and they will become one flock with one shepherd.’ ” -John 10:7-16 (GNT)

I know this is a late post, but I felt it was still important to write. Over the Ten Days of Prayer, we have been discussing what it means to have Christ abide in us, why it’s important, and how it takes place. Today’s verse culminates and pulls together all we’ve learned into one simple idea of abiding in Christ: to become one flock with one shepherd.

To have a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose, given and directed by God, is to a have a life abundant and full. It is what we are all called to learn more of and do and live. May the Holy Spirit work in us as the Lord wills.

Do any of you have any testimonies of how God has worked in your lives? It could be from the time of the Ten Days of Prayer or otherwise. Remember that shared testimonies can often uplift and encourage a believer struggling with their faith.

Remember to continue praying for yourself and for others. Incorporate singing songs of God’s goodness, mercy, and love throughout your daily walk. Make plans for the future as you seek more and more to abide in Christ and have Him work in your life. Do you feel like you’re being led to a special outreach or ministry in your church or community? Let God lead, let God work – and be amazed at the abundant life He has prepared for you.

In all things, may we always give Him praise.


May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Christ Reflected in the Neighborhood

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

The past several nights, the topic for the Ten Days of Prayer have really been God’s witnessing plan for each and everyone of His followers.

Think about it – first you must receive the Holy Spirit and submit ourselves to Him. When we accept Christ, allowing Him to work in us and we abide in Him than we can more than conquerors over all that hinders us from receiving the joy of obedience to God’s direction and counsel. We develop the great desire to be a blessing to all those around us, starting with our immediate family and then on to our church family. Now, we are going to dwell on how we can reflect Christ to our neighbors which, if we’re honest, is anyone we come into contact with. It means that, when you abide in Christ and He in you, you can reflect Him to the world.

But let’s start a bit smaller. Do your next door neighbors know that you love Christ? Have your interactions with them been ones of blessing? Have you interacted with them at all?

This is a topic of particular interest to me because even though I’ve lived in the same house for over twenty years, I don’t know my neighbors. As a child, I used to blame this on the fact that we didn’t have a dog because the only time I ever saw the other neighbors interacting was when they met each other walking their pups. Of course, being the outgoing person I am, I could have come up with another reason to visit my neighbors, but there weren’t many other kids around to play with and my parents didn’t necessarily want me knocking on doors by myself… As time went on, I realized that I grew up in this quiet, safe, cute neighborhood and knew absolutely NOBODY.

There were some faces I knew, again from seeing them walk their dogs, but no names. I’d wave as I drove by, off to school, or work, or church. Kids come every once in a while selling Girl Scout cookies or similar things and I’ve seen them grow up from a distance, not knowing anything about their lives. It was sad to me, and I felt ashamed.

A couple of years ago, I decided I wanted to make a change and started thinking of ways to interact with my neighbors. Some attempts were semi-successful and others flat out failed. I’m an extrovert, but can become extremely nervous and intimidated just prior to doing something that may be uncomfortable or awkward so there were often times when I decided to do nothing. We were fine in our existence – each doing our own thing, not getting involved in anyone else’s business.

But is this complacent, passerby existence really what Christ wants? I’m not saying that we are to get in each other’s business, and we’re definitely not supposed to shoving religion down anyone’s throat, but we need to be connected and open to sharing Jesus at anytime with those who are welcoming and receptive.

I was blessed this afternoon to have an unexpected encounter with my next door neighbor as she was leaving her home for a walk with her dog and toddler. We talked about the fact that I just graduated and am looking for work, she told me that she’s expecting here second child. We talked about her little boy, for whom all the world was new and exciting, about what we’re doing for the long weekend, and all sorts of other things. Pleasant, relaxed, natural.

Perhaps someday we’ll have a chance to talk about faith, but first I have to get to know her. Not get to know her because I want to convert her – anyone with that mindset has it all wrong. I want to know her and her family because they are children of God and worthy of friendship. I pray that God will bless as this year continues.

If I remain in Him and He in me, there are things sure to happen that I can’t even imagine right now. But that’s all part of the journey.

If you’ve never interacted with your neighbors, maybe it’s time to pray that God will give you an opportunity to do so. Ask to be a blessing in their lives. I promise that if you ask, He will answer.

“The true, honest expression of a sister, or brother, or friend, given in genuine simplicity, has power to open the doors of hearts which need the fragrance of Christlike words and the simple delicate touch of the spirit of Christ’s love.” EGW, My Life Today, p. 178.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for His kindness, goodness, and gentleness.

Praise God that He chose to use you to reach out to souls that thirst for the water of life.

Ask God to show you which sins to confess openly and which to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Pray for forgiveness for times when you were ashamed to share your faith with others. Ask God to give you courage and love through Christ abiding in you.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Ask God to give you a burden for souls and a love for His lost children.

Ask God to put in your neighbors’ hearts a hunger and a thirst for Him.

Ask the Lord to fill you with His Holy Spirit and to teach you how to reach your neighbors through acts of love, by ministering to their needs, by winning their confidence, and by inviting them to follow Jesus.

Pray that you experience the joy of sharing Christ.

Pray for an attractive, Christ-like character that will draw people to Jesus.

Pray that God will teach you how to point people to Jesus, not to yourself.

Pray for the increased use of Christian literature by all church members and for increased emphasis on literature evangelism, both through hard copy and electronic formats.

Pray for renewed emphasis on the tremendous importance of attending Sabbath School, which focuses on fellowship, mission, Bible study, and local outreach.

Pray  for an increased emphasis on small-group outreach, so that all members are participating in personal witnessing and proclaiming God’s great truth in these last days.

Pray that church leaders can be a good witness to their neighbors.

Ask God for boldness to witness for Him in every circumstance.

Pray for a heightened focus on media outreach, leading to a massive, integrated evangelistic witness around the world.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that He is working in the lives of your family, friends, and neighbors.

Thank God that He has people in every city who are wistfully looking to heaven!

Thank God that He is working in the hearts of all the people you have been praying for.


May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Christ Reflected in the Church

“I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.” John 17:23, KJV

After the family, the next most obvious place where Christ should be reflected is in the church.

“Well, duh,” you might be thinking, but when we sit down and look back at all the interactions with our fellow congregants, who are the true church, could we say that we have reflected Christ to them?

When the water started leaking into the children’s Sabbath School classrooms, when there’s a dispute with the church board on how to distribute funds to the various ministries, when there’s a disagreement in how the church social should be handled – do we always remember to reflect Christ?

Of course, the answer is: no. There are times when attitudes or situations get the best of us and we allow our worldly, sinful self to come through and treat our brothers and sisters in Christ quite poorly.

I just read an article last night in Visitor Magazine, a Seventh-day Adventist publication, about the rise in litigation among church going folks. The article begins:

“We are living in very litigious times. Born again Christians today in the United States file 4-8 million lawsuits every year, often against other Christians, spending $20-40 billion. There are approximately 19,000 church-scarring conflicts in the U.S. each year (an average of 50 per day). Even if Christians sue at only half the rate of non-Christians, the number of lawsuits would be 4 million, reports Ken Sande, founder of Peacemakers Ministries, in his article “The High Cost of Conflict Among Christians” (Feb. 15, 2015, project).”

It goes on to say that “Critics of court-based litigation efforts today contend that the only winners are the attorneys.” There must be ways, Biblical ways, to settle disputes from the church within the church – and indeed there are. I would encourage everyone to read the above mentioned article for more information.

But I would like to say this: In the true practice of medicine, the concept is to prevent disease and illness before it starts rather than merely handling the symptoms and effects once its arrived. Of course there will be disputes and disagreements in church bodies, because they are filled with different kinds of people with different kinds of opinions and above all – we are all sinful.

If we were to remember to put Christ first in everything, most especially our disputes, then His image will be reflected not only to the members within the church, but in the outer community as well.

May we always seek to keep Christ before, beholding Him that He may shape and mold our characters. When we experience difficult, challenging, and aggravating situations, may we seek His counsel and guidance above all that we will maintain and cultivate the image of His body in our church.

Here’s a rather long, but completely relevant quote from Ellen White in her book That I May Know Him, p. 153:

“There is nothing that can so weaken the influence of the church as the lack of love…The people of the world are looking to us to see what our faith is doing for our characters and lives. They are watching to see if it is having a sanctifying effect on our hearts, if we are becoming changed into the likeness of Christ. They are ready to discover every defect in our lives, every inconsistency in our actions Let us give them no occasion to reproach our faith.

“It is no the opposition of the world that will most endanger us; it is the evil cherished right in our midst that works our most grievous disaster. It is the unconsecrated lives of halfhearted professors that retard the work of the truth and bring darkness upon the church of God.

“There is no surer way of weakening ourselves in spiritual things than to be envious, suspicious of one another, full of faultfinding and evil surmising…

“When you are associated together, be guarded in your words…. If the love of the truth is in your heart you will talk of the truth. You will talk of the blessed hope that you have in Jesus. If you have love in your heart you will seek to establish and build up your brother in the most holy faith. If a word is dropped that is detrimental to the character of your friend or brother, do not encourage this evil speaking. It is the work of the enemy. Kindly remind the speaker that the Word of God forbids that kind of conversation. We are to empty the heart of everything that defiles the soul temple, that Christ may dwell within. Our Redeemer has told us how we may reveal Him to the world. If we cherish His spirit, if we manifest His love to others, if we guard one another’s interests, if we are kind, patient, forbearing, the world will have an evidence by the fruits we bear that we are the children of God. It is the unity of the church that enables it to exert a conscious influence upon unbelievers and worldlings.”

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God that He is joy, peace, patience, and so much more.

Praise God that He has called His remnant church to be a light to the world.

Praise God that He will finish the work He has started in the church.

Ask God to show you the sins that you need to confess privately. Claim His victory overs those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when you allowed envy, suspicion, or faultfinding toward your brothers in your heart. Pray for a new heart, filled with love and compassion.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Ask God to prepare your heart to receive the Holy Spirit.

Pray for your family to be united and that peace and love would rule our churches.

Ask God to purify the church so visitors will sense the presence of the Holy Spirit.

Pray that church leaders will work in love, compassion, and unity to finish the work Christ gave us to do.

Pray for the worldwide unity of every congregation and church entity, based on respect for God’s Word, humble prayer, the Holy Spirit’s power, respect for accepted church policy/process, and full engagement in the mission of the church.

Pray for humility in our lives so we will be united in our submission to God’s leading and the process of the church.

Pray that we will devote more of our time to eternal values through Bible study and prayer, allowing God to fully direct His people according to His will and not our will. This will help keep us close to God and allow the power of the Holy Spirit to reverse trends of worldliness that threaten God’s church in our daily lives.

Pray for the protection of our young people and all of us from every increasing worldly influences. Pray that we will focus on the Word of God and service to others. Pray that the local churches will sponsor young people in mission outreach and service opportunities.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God for what He has done in His church and will do through the church.

Thank God that He is willing to cleanse, purify, and lead the church.

Thank God that Jesus prayed for the church that we might be one.

Thank God that He is working in on the hearts of the people you are praying for.


May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

Christ Reflected in the Family

“Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.”  1 John 4:7

In order for Christ to be present with you as you walk the streets and interact with friends, neighbors, co-workers, and the acquaintance/stranger, in order for you to truly be a witness to all others around you, Christ has to be present in your home.

It makes sense, right? That what we do in our intimate settings will affect what we do in our public settings. Faith is something that must develop and grow at home before it can exercised in the community. If nowhere else, it should be obvious by how we interact with our immediate family that Christ is abiding in us and we in Him.

Yet, so often we find that even with those whom we consider to be great spiritual role models struggle in having a Christ-like manner with those closest to them. Children, parents, spouses… They see the best and the worst in us and for whatever reason often take the brunt of the negative sides of our characters. But if we’re truly seeing to abide in Christ, wouldn’t that mean He would change how we interact with those whom we say we love most?

I’m not saying that circumstances necessarily change. Your spouse might still be obnoxious, your parents clingy, and your children untameable, but when we welcome Christ to live in our hearts and teach us how to love, our attitudes towards these individuals will change. Your changed behavior and new ways of expressing love to them might also change their behavior towards you. With this practice and discipline in the home, imagine how it would then be to encounter a difficult person outside the home. You would know better, or at least have an idea, of how to address the situation.

My home life isn’t perfect, but by the grace of God I pray that Christ will continue to shape and mold me that I might be a better reflection of Him and His love to my family. May that be your prayer tonight as well.

“If you have high aims, and purpose to reach an elevated standard, the home life is the very best discipline you can have. If you are wrong at home, you will be wrong in every aim and endeavor. Begin there to perfect a character that God will approve, that will make you a blessing at home; and when away from home, you will not fail to be a blessing to those you are brought in contact with. Religion practiced in the home will reflect beyond the home circle.” EGW, The Youth’s Instructor, April 21, 1886, par. 7.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is.

Praise God that He is the Father of the human family on earth.

Praise God that He wants the human family to reflect His beauty and character.

Ask God to show you which sins to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness for times that you did not reflect God in your family.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Ask God to fill your heart with the Holy Spirit and make you a living example to your family.

Ask God that each member of your family be drawn closer to Christ.

Ask God to protect Christian families from the attacks of the devil, including the families of your local church. Ask God for healing where this is needed.

Pray that church leaders and their families will reflect Christ to the world.

Pray for parents to reflect Christ to their children and raise them for the Kingdom.

Pray that God will give a full understanding of Christ’s method (comprehensive health ministry), allowing all church members to meet people’s needs and follow Christ’s pattern of service to others.

Beseech the Lord on behalf of Christian families, that they may be models of how Christ can bring peace and love into homes, removing any abuse and stress through the sanctifying power of Christ’s righteousness and pointing to Christ’s soon return and the ultimate joining of God’s eternal family in heaven.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that He is working on your family members’ hearts.

Thank God that He is willing to cleanse, purify, and abide in you and your family.

Thank God that Jesus gave us an example of how to honor our parents and love our siblings.


May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette

A Life That Blesses Others

“He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:38

I want to live a life that blesses other people, in all aspects of life. I desire to see with the eyes of God that I can perceive the needs of those around me. I desire to hear with the ears of God, allowing myself to be the support and the encouragement to lift someone up. I desire to work with the hands of God that reaches out to those in need and provides the food, the clothing, the shelter that is necessary for their survival and betterment. I desire to embrace with the arms of God to comfort those who are suffering. I desire to walk with the feet of God, that my path will always be directed by the Holy Spirit and that I will always be willing to walk and spend time with others that they might come to know their value. I desire to speak with the voice of God, and lead every conversation to Christ that those whom I interact with might choose Him as Lord and Savior.

My greatest desire is to be used by the Lord for His great and wonderful purposes and to be a blessing to all whom I interact with. I might be the only Bible someone will ever read. May God work with me, mold me, that I can be best used to His glory. And may He do the same with you.

“Everyone in whose heart Christ abides, everyone who will show forth His love to the world, is a worker together with God for the blessing of humanity. As he receives from the Savior grace to impart to others, from his whole being flows forth the tide of spiritual life.” EGW, The Acts of the Apostles, 13.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God that He is an eternal God, a patient and loving God, He is our strength (Ps. 27:1), and He is our resting place (Jer. 50:6).

Praise God that He is willing to use us to bless others, even though we have flaws and make mistakes.

Praise God that it is not we ourselves but Christ living in us that touches and blesses lives.

Ask God to show you which sins to confess openly and which to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when your life was not a blessing to others.

Ask God for forgiveness for times when you were more concerned about being successful than serving Him.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Pray that God will give you faith when the devil tries to discourage you from ministering to others.

Ask God to give you a burden for souls and a love for His lost children.

Pray for an attractive, Christ-like character that will draw people to Jesus.

Pray for every member to feel a burden for soul winning and realize that heaven asks everyone to follow in Christ’s steps by sharing their personal faith with God’s guidance.

Pray for the use of every appropriate social media format to share the three angels’ messages in a creative and fresh manner with the busy people of today.

Pray for increased participation in evangelistic outreach by all church members and institutions as they support the ongoing mission of the church.

Pray for the establishment of thousands of ‘centers of influence’ (churches, health centers, daycare centers, literature centers, community outreach centers, youth centers, vegetarian restaurants, clinics, and many more), especially in large cities around the world, and pray that these centers make a huge difference in people’s lives as they experience God’s truth through Christian service.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that He wants to use us and not the angels to be co-laborers with Him to bless others.

Thank God that Jesus set an example for us of how we can be a blessing to others.

Thank God that He is sending the Holy Spirit to work on the hearts of the people you are praying for.

“The humblest and poorest of the disciples of Jesus can be a blessing to others. They may not realize that they are doing any special good, but by their unconscious influence they may start waves of blessing that will widen and deepen, and the blessed results they may never know until the day of final reward. They do not feel or know that they are doing anything great. They are not required to weary themselves with anxiety about success. They have only to go forward quietly, doing faithfully the work that God’s providence assigns, and their life will not be in vain. Their own souls will be growing more and more into the likeness of Christ; they are workers together with God in this life, and are thus fitting for the higher work and the unshadowed joy of the life to come.” EGW, Steps to Christ, 83.

May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette


The Joy of Obedience

“And I will delight myself in Your commandments, which I love.” Ps. 119:47

To have joy in obedience is kind of a foreign concept in today’s society. The word “obey” is often associated with the forced will of someone with a higher status or authority on someone beneath them. Those who “have to” obey can feel slighted or repressed. What joy is there in that?

Obviously, the idea of oppression is not always the case. We all can agree that obeying the law of traffic, that red means stop and green means go, is a good law to obey because, when obeyed, it prevents people from getting hurt or killed. We can agree that a law is good, but that still doesn’t mean that there is joy in complying. We obey traffic laws because of self-preservation, not because we delight in them.

In a world where we are told that we should be free to do, feel, think, and say whatever we want, when we want, and how we want, the idea of obeying a supreme law that dictates how we should act and speak is crazy. Well, we could all agree that killing other people would cross the line. And lying isn’t good either, even though it happens a lot. Even in the “sexually free” society of Western culture, the idea of being cheated on cuts us to the core. So… maybe a law that dictates expected actions and words is not so crazy. Maybe it’s necessary.

But why should we obey them? Just like the traffic laws, people often follow God’s law because it benefits them. It becomes a burden. This was never God’s plan for His creation.

Instead, God wished that we would delight in His law because we would delight in and love Him. When we abide in Christ and allow the Holy Spirit to work in our lives, obeying God’s law will no more seem like a requirement, but a delight. Just as new lovers enjoy in serving one another, we will want to display our love to God through our actions and our obedience to His commandments. We find joy in obedience because we find joy in the Lord.

May we all seek to learn more of God’s law, how it shows His character and infinite love towards us, and may we come to love Him all the more for it that we may know the joy of obedience.

“There is no saving faith in Christ only as it is revealed by obedience. Every human being is under a solemn responsibility to obey God. His present and eternal happiness depends upon his willing obedience to the divine requirements. Man’s will and inclination are to be wholly yielded to God. When this is done, man will co-operate with God, showing, by precept and example, that he has chosen to be, in all his ways, under the control of his Maker. God rejoices when, like Moses, his children choose rather to serve him than to enjoy the pleasures of this world. Could the curtain be rolled back, could men behold the angelic host as they glorify God with songs of gladness and rejoicing, they would realize that obedience ever causes joy, and disobedience, sorrow. God and the angels rejoice over every victory gained by the Christian; but when temptation overcomes the soul, there is sorrow in heaven.” EGW, Review and Herald, Dec. 14, 1897.

Prayer Suggestions:

Praise God for who He is (His character). He is all comfort and the Restorer.

Thank God for Jesus, who showed us what it means to have the joy of obedience.

Than God that there is joy and peace and happiness in obeying Christ.

Ask God to show you which sins you need to confess privately. Claim His victory over those sins.

Pray for forgiveness for time when sadness and gloom marked your Christian walk.

Thank God that He forgives you according to 1 John 1:9.

Are you happy to do what God asks you to do? Pray that God will give you the willingness to obey Him and joy to do whatever He asks.

Pray that the young people in your church will discover the joy of obedience.

Pray that church leaders will gladly do whatever God is asking.

Pray for God’s love to be perfected in His church.

Pray for increased emphasis on the wonderful doctrine of biblical creation — that our earth was created in six literal, consecutive days by the word of the Lord.

Pray for a tremendous increase in spiritual support for Christian young people who attend public campuses. Pray that they become vibrant missionaries who serve others at public universities and colleges worldwide.

Pray for strong cooperation and unity between the church organization and supporting ministries in the evangelistic outreach of our church.

Plead with the Lord to nurture and provide Godly, teachable, and humble church leaders for the future who will exemplify Christ-centered leadership as His church fulfills its heaven-born mandate to the world proclaiming the three angels’ messages with Christ’s righteousness at the core.

Pray that church members and the public will understand the importance of health reform as part of the loud cry restoring humans to the image of God through Christ’s righteousness. Pray that a healthy lifestyle and temperance are accepted by all and that our bodies may be treated as temples of the Holy Spirit, allowing us to more fully receive important impressions from God.

Pray for any personal needs you have.

Thank God that through Christ you can say, “I delight to do thy will” (Ps. 40:8).

Thank God that He has His people in every city who are wistfully looking to heaven!

Thank God that He is raising up Godly, humble, and teachable leaders for the future.


May you be blessed!

-Wandering Minstrelette