May/June 2010 - Vol. 40...

Giving Thanks with a Grateful Heart 
By Nancy L. Murphy

I believe that God works with us wherever we are. And he achieves his purposes no matter what our circumstances, our challenges, or our human abilities or tendencies. 

God’s plan is always the right plan. When he acts, whatever he does, it is for the benefit of his people, even if the events themselves do not seem to be all that advantageous at first glance. When he speaks, it is to our benefit to hear him and take to heart his words.

Throughout the years of living in Christian covenant community, I have seen time and again how God protects those who rely upon him; and how he is always faithful to sustain and help in every need.

From the time I began attending prayer group meetings in 1969 in the basement of St. Mary’s Newman Center in Ann Arbor until the present, I have experienced the Lord’s nudging to know him more and more deeply.  I have learned that these “Holy Spirit impulses” are his way of encouraging me to serve him, both in logical, easily discernable ways, as well as ways that have seemed to stretch me beyond my “comfort zone.”
As I was a University of Michigan music student when I first attended prayer meetings, it was somewhat logical that I became part of the community’s music group at its very beginning. 

Now, 40 years later, I would have to say that he continues to provide new and astounding grace for my service to him. I continue to participate in the music ministry at our local community gatherings. And he has led me to seek his graces along several other pathways: I have sung regularly at my church for the past 30 years; I have provided administrative support for 20 years at my husband’s entrepreneurial business; and I have participated for many years in several extra-community activities, e.g. attendance at a local bible study group as well as involvement in the local chapter of an international music fraternity.

Through all of these ways, I have experienced God inspiring me to understand that, as I serve others with mercy and love, I am serving him.

God calls us, his people, to be a light to the nations and to hold out to others his word of truth. I’ve experienced him strengthening and encouraging me along some of the unlikeliest of ways; yet, when I see that others have experienced his mercy and kindness through me, it is clear that he has orchestrated these events and opportunities.

Being in Christian covenant community has enabled me to know God and follow him in ways that I never would have done without this environment, and I’m deeply grateful. 

[Nancy and her husband Michael are a members of Word of Life Community in Ann Arbor, Michigan] 

Go to next page > The Servants of the Word, a Lay Brotherhood in Community by Dick LaCroix

Reflections from Founding Members of Covenant Community

These reflections are written by members of the Sword of the Spirit who were there from the beginnings in 1970 and have lived for 40 years in covenant community: 

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