My favourite way to start the day is when I manage to get up early, go outside and have some time just me and God. Go for a walk, a run, a swim – whatever. Just enjoy being out in the cool morning air, hear the birds chirp and maybe even watch the sunrise. When I was in Ulm two weeks ago I did just that – one morning I jumped in the Danube and another I cycled up a hill to the Wilhelmsburg, an old fortification with a tower that offers a great view of the city.
And the sun was just rising as I reached the top – it was beautiful. I had my Bible with me and randomly opened it at Psalm 113 – and it couldn’t have been more fitting!
Praise the Lord.
Praise, O servants of the Lord, praise the name of the Lord.
Let the name of the Lord be praised, both now and for evermore.
From the rising of the sun to the place where it sets, the name of the Lord is to be praised.
The Lord is exalted over all the nations, his glory above the heavens.
Who is like the Lord our God, the One who sits enthroned on high,
who stoops down to look on the heavens and the earth?
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap;
he seats them with princes, with the princes of their people.
He settles the barren woman in her home as a happy mother of children.
Praise the Lord. (Psalm 113 NIV translation, emphasis added)
It is truly good to praise God! It is the best way to start the day and the best way to finish the day. No matter what is going on, there is always reason to praise God because HE is good. Because He is just. Because his love never fails. His mercy is new every morning.
I was so happy that morning – happy for the sunrise, happy to be cycling, happy to spot a hot air balloon in the sky. Happy because it was the day we were making parathas for breakfast and going climbing. Seemed like the perfect start to a perfect day. And I thanked God for it. But even though in every day life I don’t always take the time to go out first thing in the morning – either because I’m too lazy or because I feel like I have too much stuff to get done…I realise that taking time to at least thank God for a new day and recognising how much I have to be grateful for also contributes to cultivating a positive heart attitude, changes my perspective and automatically makes my day better as I am reminded of God’s goodness in the big and little things.
So here are some things I want to praise God for this week:
- Last weekend we had a leadership retreat from my church and it was so encouraging to spend time together, read the Bible, pray for eachother.
- We were in Breisach, right next to the Rhine river – and again I managed to go for an early morning and evening walk and enjoy the beauty of the moment. (I had to skip the slackline for three days – didn’t have one there! Really noticed it on Monday…)
- Work was good last week, I enjoyed the tours with my tourists and had good weather, a friendly group, not too much traffic – and generous tips 🙂
- I found out when my last exam is going to be (mid November) and have three more weeks to study than I expected 🙂
- I found out a friend from church actually goes rock climbing and we went climbing last week which was pretty cool – hope to go again these next weeks, so climbing partner prayer answered 🙂
- I’m doing some teaching at a discipleship school these next few weeks and am excited and encouraged to see God at work in the students’ lives