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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

Reprinted 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.

 

Today’s Reflection

Sometimes we feel that our lives (or our very selves) are being pruned without our consent. Life’s unexpected transitions and tragedies can cut us off at the knees without warning. Pain can prune us of innocence and illusion and teach us lessons we often don’t learn from pleasure.

Just as in the garden, pruning makes us stronger, not weaker. Both pruning and being pruned spur us to new growth.

—Linda Douty, Rhythms of Growth: 365 Meditations to Nurture the Soul (Upper Room Books, 2014)

Today’s Question

When have you experienced pruning that ultimately spurred you toward growth? Join the conversation.

Today’s Scripture

“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinegrower. He removes every branch in me that bears no fruit. Every branch that bears fruit he prunes to make it bear more fruit.”
—John 15:1-2 (NRSV)

Prayer for the Week

Thank you, God, for sun and showers
Thank you for each lovely flower
Thank you for each stately tree
Through all these, you speak to me.
—A Gardener’s Prayer
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.

Something More

Through rich and moving stories from various people, author Frank Rogers Jr. shows ways to incorporate compassion in our daily lives. Start practicing compassion with Rogers.

Lectionary Readings

(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)

Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.

3 Comments

  • Jill Posted July 11, 2020 6:04 am

    I find yesterday’s reading and today’s linked. As I read through yesterday’s comments – I think of “a grace disguised” and “a violent grace”. Surely He does work in our lives we would not choose. And through those most uncomfortable times – the furnace of His refining love – He is lovingly re-making us. Oh to remain, to trust, to continue to cry out…to stay in His care. Have Thine own way, Lord, have Thine own way.
    Well – speaking of metamorphosis – my dad’s golf game is coming out of its dark cocoon and is wondrously beautiful. An 81 yesterday – who is this guy? He can’t even believe it. Again – I am so happy for him…there is no struggle, no frustration. Afterwards – we spent time talking about the next chapter in the “Heaven” book. So many things stir up memories for him. I am hearing new stories and trying to listen well.
    A blessedly unscheduled weekend ahead. A zoom meeting with the cancer support group tomorrow. Got a bit of rain yesterday. Even though my lawn looks brown and dried out like it were the end of August, I think I will mow it today as it needs tidying up. Also – if my friend, who had her final chemo round Thursday, is up for a walk or just company – I will go down to her place for a bit.

  • Julie Posted July 11, 2020 8:33 am

    Yes well then I will be as strong as a Marvel Avenger hero! I will strong enough to fight all the Thanos’ of the universe.
    Prayers for Jill and Larry and their continued searching and sharing and golfing.
    Prayers for Robert and all he prays for as he shares their pain, may they be relieved of some by his love.
    Prayers for Ally and David, for continued healing and a new job.
    Prayers, thank you for your prayers and comments which sustain me and stay healthy dear UR one and all

  • robert moeller Posted July 11, 2020 4:55 pm

    Up before this came, back asleep when it arrived, then off to do food shopping and see the power of a gushing waterfall during and after a rainfall. That made me later than I’d like. Great golfing news from Jill.
    My brother-in-law is an avid golfer so I have some hints to understanding the game. My grandfather played too. When you have great results, no matter what the sport, there’s reason to cheer.

    Prayers for Julie and Megan, their safety, health, and well-being.

    Wonderful news from Ally and David.

    Saw a sad movie about the Korean girls rounded up by the Imperial Japanese Army in WWII to provide “comfort” for Japanese troops. Only a very few still alive. It is a very contentious issue for Koreans., Despite propaganda otherwise, they were essentially sex slaves.

    Buildings I lived and worked in during my army service in Korea were built by the Japanese to house troops used during the annexation of Korea to Japan.

    Thankfully the Japan of today is not like the Japan of those times.

    My greatest pruning came when Soo Ok passed away. Out of the sadness of that time came a closer relationship with God, help from God to heal, but not forget her, and help continues to this day as I try to set things straight,

    Progress with the combine, it has a wash of india ink and alcohol, next a was of grim, and then some Pullman Green paint. The car was built in 1894 and ended service in 1956.

    Handrails for the pilots on the 70 ton diesels are being made.

    Thank You, Lord, for the blessings of the day. May we all look to you for wisdom and guidance. ZOOM church tomorrow.

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