Part Of A Long Story

I remembered this weekend how many stories we are privileged to be a part of – stories present, past and future.

My thinking this morning is triggered by the excellent time I had leading worship and speaking at the Cambridge Vineyard Reunion this past weekend. The community now expresses itself on a beautiful 14 acre, Jesuit monastery property in the middle of the city. Hundreds came to a big outdoor tent, carnival and weekend blowout to celebrate the microcosms of community that have been born from that one epicenter. Myself and the other senior pastors of the community through the years spoke, and we had beautiful times of worship – with kids bouncing and playing everywhere.

I saw people I haven’t seen in many, many years, some who were signs and wonders in themselves, others who are presently part of the community, and still others who’ve left the community through the years for many reasons. Black, white, Indian, pierced, young, old – all have been linked in significant ways in a story we called a church.

I was reminded that we are all part of a bigger Story into which the tributary of our daily stories run. We have a long story we’re a part of — it’s a human story, a covenant story and a guiding story. We bumble and stumble over each other and our penchants daily. Embrace both the glory and gory moments, run into the grace that surrounds historical process with all its bumps, and be thankful for shades of real community along the way.


Sheltering Mercy and Endless Grace help us rediscover the rich treasures of the Psalms—through free-verse prayer renderings of their poems and hymns—as a guide to personal devotion and meditation. Sheltering Mercy helps the reader pray Psalms 1-75; Endless Grace leads in prayer through Psalms 76-150.

The church has always used the Psalms as part of its prayer life, and they have inspired countless other prayers. Each book contains 75 prayers drawn from the Book of Psalms, providing lyrical sketches of what authors Ryan Smith and Dan Wilt have seen, heard, and felt while sojourning there. Each prayer is a response to the Psalms written in harmony with Scripture. These prayers help us quiet our hearts before God and welcome us into a safe place amid the storms of life.

These artful, poetic, and classic devotional books are a perfect gift, and feature compelling stunning illustrations and hardcover binding, offering a fresh way to reflect on and pray the Psalms. Co-written with Ryan Whitaker Smith, Brazos Publishing.

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