In the face of the ongoing tragedies in New Orleans, Alabama, Mississippi, I find I am silent and in a deep, underlying mourning.

I love the whole Church. I’m so thankful to be in a Church community that considers this event, prays deeply with compassion, and seeks to love locally and in any way it can across the miles.

Yet it sickens me to hear quick reasons, teachings and prophetic pronouncements rumbling around the more evangelical/charismatic Church world. It literally sickens me.

We’re blind and lame to attempt such conjectures about things so far beyond us.

I’m not impacted deeply by every tragedy. Ones that involve children tend to more deeply affect me. This one affects me — the poor being the last to get out, the violence and soul sickness that the catastrophe has exposed in some of the victims, the personal horror stories families will now live with. And yet we see the image of God bursting through in people at every turn.

I lie awake at night seeing the one child, now weeping for her lost mommy.

A Word To The Church Community: If Job’s friends mourned with him for 7 days and 7 nights, maybe we should do the same, only multiplying our time of mourning times the number of people killed in the disaster — as we serve and give and love and help in strong silence.


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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