New every morning is your love, great God of light, and all day long you are working for good in the world. Stir up in us desire to serve you, to live peacefully with our neighbors and all your creation, and to devote each day to your Son, our Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.

"A Liturgy for Morning Prayer," Upper Room Worshipbook

Used by permission from the Book of Common Worship, © 2018 Westminster John Knox Press. All rights reserved. This prayer appears in “A Liturgy for Morning Prayer” in Upper Room Worshipbook.

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Today’s Reflection

WE’RE ALL WIRED differently, and it isn’t a matter of “one size fits all.” I may hear the Holy more clearly through working with the disadvantaged; you may respond to solitude and silence. One person’s heart may be moved by Handel’s Messiah, another through praise music.

Our formation comes through pain, pleasure, confusion, mistakes. God uses anything and everything to awaken us to our true identity as beloved children of the Divine and is always planting seeds of growth in our individual lives and distinct personalities.

– Linda Douty
Rhythms of Growth

“From page 354 of Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul by Linda Douty. Copyright © 2014 by Linda Douty. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Upper Room Books. http://bookstore.upperroom.org/ Learn more about or purchase this book.

Today’s Question

How is God forming you? Share your thoughts.

Today’s Scripture

And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.

1 Thessalonians 3:12, NRSV

This Week: Pray for those who are lonely. Submit your prayer to The Upper Room Living Prayer Center or share it in the comment section.

Prepare for Advent

Explore how nativity sets, Advent wreaths, candles, carols, Christmas cards, and other traditions help prepare our hearts for the God “who bends low to enter our world and our lives.” The Living Nativity, a new book and eCourse by Larry Peacock, is available now.

This week we remember: John Knox (November 24).

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Sponsored by Upper Room Ministries ®. Copyright © 2018 | PO Box 340004 | Nashville, TN 37203-0004 | USA


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  • Rusty Posted December 1, 2018 3:39 am

    God is forming me through countless ways, including by pointing out to me the principle reflected in today’s reading. A major source of my formation is interaction with other members of my church including people participating in a new Bible study/small group started last summer. We are absolutely not “all wired the same way”! Each person in this group came to our denomination, the Episcopal Church, from a different religious background, and it just so happens that none of us in this group of about 10 people has been a lifelong Episcopalian. In fact, as a 17 year “veteran” I’m the longest member of the Episcopal Church in the group, and I’m grateful to have been invited to join the bunch. Lord, you have helped me to see many new facets of your Gospel through my interactions with each of these people desiring to know your truth. You have tested me and caused me to reflect carefully on what I say in the group, many of whom have little or no previous formation in Christian principles and orthodoxy. Please guide us and protect us. This is a new role for me. I’ve been the learner being discipled by more mature believers, I’ve been the teacher in adult Christian education classroom settings, but now I’m a fellow wanderer among people who, honestly, have some really strange ideas that are the result of prior bad experiences with other churches and hurts they have suffered. Please help me, Father, to listen carefully, to learn where you give me new knowledge to discover, but also to serve you with humility and grace in saying the right things to gently guide people away from false teachings and their own mistaken assumption about who You are.

    Lord, your blessings are new every morning and I realize this morning what a treasure this UR family is, with its firm grounding in Christian principles. I have learned so much over the years among these solid Christian believers. Thank you for your placing me now in a new situation to stretch me – and form me – in ways I have never before encountered.

  • Jill Posted December 1, 2018 6:11 am

    Such wisdom, Rusty – thank you for sharing your thoughts with us. We miss your thoughtful posts and treasure the morsels you leave with us.
    God certainly uses anything and everything. He uses discomfort to His glory, to reveal Himself in a new way, as a new source of comfort and peace. I desire to be more willing to step into the unknown, the unwanted, the challenging – so I can know Him more fully.
    Mom and dad were over for dinner last evening. She continues to do well. When she went to the bathroom – dad and I had a few moments to talk. I asked him how things were going. He almost started crying – saying how good things are. He is so pleased with how she has decorated the house for Christmas – just seeing her fiddle with things, trying to get things just so. And she bought a new coat this week. A few months ago, she wouldn’t even go shopping, saying – why would I buy something when I am going to be dead in a few months. It is so encouraging to him – I am so grateful. I think of him “treasuring these things in his heart” (as Mary did in Luke 2). Father, thank You for Your mercy, this time a gift for my parents.

  • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 1, 2018 7:09 am

    God is forming me to trust in Him to provide for all my needs, to be fruitful and refreshing in my old age, to be wise in making choices that will be pleasing to Him, to do what is right and good, to spend more tine with my elderly parents, to be creative and patient in teaching, to love well, to be a good student, life long learning.

    Jill, glad to hear that your parents are doing well.

    Rusty, glad that God is forming you well.

    Blessings to all!

  • Andrea Posted December 1, 2018 7:22 am

    I am aware of how God has formed me through pain and blessings, and I believe “all things work together for good.” This stage of life is marked the challenges of aging, and I pray, “Bless the Lord, oh my soul, and all that is within me, bless His holy name.

    It’s so good to read Rusty’s post. God bless your Bible study group, Rusty.

    Thank you all so much for your prayers. I am very touched and grateful. The swelling in Lowell’s ankle has started to go down a little. He does not take very good care of his health, a sorrow for me. I pray to be a loving support to him and to love him well.

    Prayers for those who are lonely. May God’s arms embrace them through us, God’s servants. Prayers that UR friends have a blessed weekend.

  • Julie Posted December 1, 2018 8:23 am

    Yes, I certainly can see that God has forged me through the difficulties in my life. I believe this is the primary manner He has used for me.
    Rusty, you bring back fond memories of my youth when I attended and was confirmed in the Episcopal church. That time also contributed to my formation as a Christian. Prayers for you, Rusty, as you mentor this new group.
    Prayers for Jill and prayers of thanksgiving for Gloria’s continued good spirits.
    Prayers for Mary, Molly and their parents. May they all enjoy time together this weekend.
    Prayers for Andrea and Lowell and prayers of thankfulness that Lowell’s ankle is doing better.
    Prayers for Robert and Erich, may God watch over both as they face a move to a new state.
    Prayers for Lou and her children and may God watch over them in their new home.
    Prayers for Connie and may her health improve each day.
    Prayers for Marcy and may God watch over her and help her to receive the treatment she needs.
    Prayers for all who rest here within this welcoming group
    The h has been harassing Megan and I for two days. Things are very stressed lately.
    Prayers for all of the UR family

    • Mary Ng Shwu Ling Posted December 1, 2018 4:52 pm

      Thanks Julie!

      I won’t whether you have tried soaking your fingers with salt water. I understand it is the best cure.


  • Betsy Posted December 1, 2018 8:30 am

    Excellent points from all! I think God revels in our differences. We come from many different backgrounds and struggles on our journey; therefore, we all meet Him at different places. Our journey is formed by our struggles and our blessings; all individual. Thank you, Lord, for meeting us where we are and taking us forward to the Kingdom.

    So glad to hear from you, Rusty. We have misswd your comments over these many months. Praying for your small group as it continues to form and grow.

    Blessings for all as we enter this Advent Season.

  • Connie Posted December 1, 2018 9:19 am

    God answered my prayers and I am on my feet after a fall. A Christmas miracle.
    May a shield of protection surround our Julie.
    Thankful for:
    All of today’s inspiring thoughts.

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