When A Community Reflects

We’re in the middle of a St. Croix Vineyard leadership retreat, reviewing the past, present and future, and last night it seemed that God came near to us in a unique and beautiful way.

Passion for our community, a sense of our desparate need for God to be near, and our need to personally place Him above all else, gave our prayers, songs and discussion a sweet fragrance.

As well, we spent our first night talking about what we have loved, happening in our community and in people, over the past year. After that, we addressed our weaknesses as a community, but with a driving question:

“What would you like to be able to say about our church one year from now?”

What a beautiful way to address our weaknesses. The question moved us away from whining and forward to vision – an infinitely more productive mode of progress for any community.


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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