Devotion: Morning By Morning, New Mercies I See

The following devotion was presented to all students by Dr. Mary Scott, CEO/Executive Director, during Daily Gathering on August 30, 2022.


When you hear "mornings," perhaps you think about our parking lot:


This represents some of our mornings! In your mind, complete this sentence: I __________ mornings.


There tend to be three strong opinions about mornings:

  1. I love mornings!
  2. I hate mornings.
  3. I put up with mornings.


When I was in high school, I put up with mornings. I felt like I was the best person I could be between 10:30 am and midnight. When I went to school, school didn't start at 10:30, so I had to adjust. I'm sorry to tell you that I'm now a morning person. I love mornings! I have a number of morning habits that I'd like to share with you:

  1. I walk our dog, Bailey, every morning.
  2. I exercise for 30 minutes to help start my day and focus on what's happening, how my body is feeling for this day, and what is ahead of us.
  3. I say the following prayer following the acronym ACTS:
    • Adoration: I adore our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, the God of the universe, the King of Kings. I forget, often, that He is so supreme and unbelievable. We can't describe the majesty of our God, so everyday, I remind myself about His greatness and power. I spend time in this part adoring Him.
    • Confession: I confess that I am sinful and unclean. I have sinned against God without even knowing I have sinned against God. That things I think and things I say are not acceptable to Him, so every morning, I confess that. Not because God needs to hear it--he knows it--but because I need to be reminded of it.
    • Thankfulness: I thank God for what He has done and what he has provided for me. He has provided forgiveness, salvation, a home, a family, and meaningful work for me here at Orange Lutheran that I love. These are gifts from Him and I celebrate that.
    • Supplication: I give this day up to the Lord. Here's my routine -- I pray everyday that I'm a better wife, mother, stepmother, stepgrandmother, friend, and servant leader here at Orange Lutheran. I come to Him and I pray. 
  4. After all that, I come into the house and do a devotion on my Bible app or in my Bible. If I'm really interested in something, I'll look it up once I get to the office. I get ready for the day and come to work.


One morning, I realized in my daily prayers that when I was praying for Orange Lutheran, all of my prayers were for safety, protection, and wisdom related to Covid. All of them! So, I changed my prayers for you--the faculty, staff, and students--and started to pray for thankfulness instead. I started to see your faces. I started to pray for some of the burdens that I know you bear, and the joys that I know you share. I began to think differently about our faculty and staff through our morning prayers, and God gave me that mercy.


One morning, we got to go to Disneyland as a faculty and staff. Now, don't walk out of DG with the correlation that if you change your prayers, you get to go to Disneyland. That is not the message! But that morning, I learned more about my colleagues and friends and found out that Coach Klinkenberg took one for the team by going down Splash Mountain first for us. You might see Mr. Eklund looking like a rock star in the back of this photo! What a gift it was to spend that time together.


Morning by Morning


Then there was this morning in August, where our entire faculty and staff got to gather for a few days to relax, meet new people, learn more about each other, and listen to the word of God and understand more deeply who God is and His blessings for us.




However, not every morning is terrific. You might not get into the college of choice, the part in the show you auditioned for, or the playing time you hoped for as an athlete. Those mornings don't feel good, but at Orange Lutheran, we are blessed to be reminded of this morning:




"Now, after the sabbath, toward the dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb and behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from Heaven and rolled back the stone and sat on it. The angel said to the women, don't be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He has risen."


This Easter morning is the story we want you to hear day, after day, after day at Orange Lutheran. We want you to understand it, learn from it, question it! We want you to say "I don't really believe that, help me know why I should." We want you to know that THIS is the morning that the prophet Jeremiah is talking about in our verse. Lamentations is filled with "this sucks." This day, this experience, this life...I don't like it. And yet, in the middle of all this lamenting, the prophet Jeremiah says "The steadfast of the Lord never ceases. His mercies never come to an end, they are new every morning, great is your faithfulness. The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore my hope is in Him."


This summer, my family had the chance to visit Nashville, a big city for music-lovers! We heard so much music through the streets and heard many different songs and instruments and voices. Music is important to the church because it conveys a message, is a way to learn scripture, and helps tell stories. In this old hymn, you will hear the promises of God fulfilled--strength for today and hope for tomorrow. Let's watch a performance of "Great is Thy Faithfulness", performed by Carrie Underwood and CeCe Winans at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville:



God's promises are not just great retreats and nice days at Disneyland. They're not the starting team or the star of the play. They're not a BFF that you made today. They're greater than that. They are peace. They are understanding. They are found in what God does, not in what we do, and it is his work, not ours. It is His love and his promises fulfilled in the morning of Easter. Morning by morning, new mercies I see. Great is God's faithfulness. May you remember that today and everyday.


Beth Fitzgerald '06

Beth Fitzgerald is Orange Lutheran's Director of Marketing and Communications and proud Orange Lutheran alumna. She holds a BA in Communication Studies from Chapman University and an MA in Organizational Leadership from Concordia University Irvine.

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