Week 38 Friday


Today’s scripture selection: Amos 5-9

Key verses: Amos 5:8

There’s no doubt about it.  Sometimes life can be a little overwhelming.  There are moments; hours; days; months; even years when just putting one foot in front of the other becomes a monumental task.  That’s when what is desperately needed is a fresh perspective.

Amos, the shepherd prophet, offers just such a change in perspective:

“He who made Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn and darkens day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out over the face of the land – the LORD is his name.”

I can picture him, can’t you?

A shepherd – out in the wilderness with his flock – looking up at the stars at night or out over the ocean far below from some mountain vantage point.

And as he looks out over that expanse – the size of the towering clouds; the depth of the waters; the constellations in all their magnificence – one thought fills his mind – God.

In our modern, often cramped world of cubbyholes and slums; of dead ends and one way streets, it’s difficult to gain such a heavenly perspective.

But it is always there.

With a little faith and a little more vision – it is there for the viewing.

So look up now and then.

Look up both literally and figuratively.

Take it all in – take Him in – and breathe a prayer of thanks.

“He who made Pleiades and Orion, who turns midnight into dawn…”

The LORD is his name – and He is in charge.

From that perspective, nothing is overwhelming.

Prayer: Awesome God, thank you, for the vision to see your universe in all its beauty.  AMEN.

By Paul Simrell

The Reverend Paul W. Simrell has served for over thirty years in a variety of congregational and institutional settings. He is a recognized minister with standing in the Virginia region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) in the United States and Canada and is nationally endorsed by the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) for specialized ministry in both pastoral counseling and chaplaincy. Ordained in 1982, he has served congregations in Kentucky, Texas, Florida, and Virginia. He currently serves as the pastor of Elpis Christian Church, a small, historic congregation located just a few miles west of Richmond, Virginia. Elpis is the Greek word meaning “expectant hope.” He also serves on the associate clinical staff of the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care, Richmond, Virginia, both as a pastoral counselor and a ministerial assessment specialist, specializing in executive, clergy and relationship coaching. He is a graduate of the University of Florida and Lexington Theological Seminary and has done advanced clinical training in chaplaincy and pastoral counseling at the University of Kentucky Medical Center in Lexington, Kentucky, Children’s Medical Center and Parkland Hospital in Dallas, Texas and the Virginia Institute of Pastoral Care in Richmond, Virginia. He is a Certified Pastoral Counselor, an ACPE Practitioner, and a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors. He is a Certified Facilitator of the Prepare-Enrich relationship assessment and skills-building program and served as a volunteer chaplain for over twenty years with the CJW Medical Center campuses in Richmond, Virginia. His avocational interests include playing the piano and drawing. He is very happily married to his wife Elizabeth Yeamans Simrell, a free-lance writer, who is also a Certified Facilitator for the Prepare-Enrich program. Good company in a journey makes the way seem shorter. — Izaak Walton

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