Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

from The Dance of Life by Henri Nouwen (2005)

listen

Don’t be anxious about anything; rather, bring up all of your requests to God in your prayers and petitions, along with giving thanks. Then the peace of God that exceeds all understanding will keep your hearts and minds safe in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:6-7-19

think

When Paul wrote this letter, he was in prison, awaiting trial by the Romans that would most likely end with his death. This does not sound like a time to be giving thanks. Paul could have been lamenting, but he instead writes a letter to all of his friends and followers and offers them words of thanks. In this moment of great suffering, Paul celebrates.

When all seems hopeless, who is the first person that you would reach out to? When you reach out to them, would it be with lamenting or with thanksgiving?

In my home, before our children go to bed most nights, we pray together by sharing the good and the not-so-good moments of our day. We mention both, because even the not-so-good moments are still shaping us into becoming fully-formed people of God.

When Paul wrote to the Philippians, he taught them and us how to face adversity. May we all follow Paul’s lead and learn to be thankful for the good and not-so-good moments of our days, so that we may find the peace of God in all things.

Becky Caswell-Speight

 

pray

God, when life seems to be at it darkest, remind me to give thanks. Move me beyond the dire and into a time of remembering the people that have helped me through. Help me to use the good and the not-so-good moments of my life as examples to encourage others as I have been encouraged. Amen.

go

You Go now.

Move from a place of hiding.

Seek kindness and there you will find the face of God in every person you meet.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
[Jesus] comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace –
No work too hard for him. In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

from “Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord” by David J. Evans (1986)

listen

Shepherd of Israel, listen! You, the one who leads Joseph as if he were a sheep. You, who are enthroned upon the winged heavenly creatures. Show yourself before Ephraim, Benjamin, and Manasseh! Wake up your power! Come to save us! Restore us, God! Make your face shine so that we can be saved!

Psalm 80:1-3

think

They were exhausted, hungry, in desperate need of a shower, and completely fired up! For 36 hours they had waited in line to buy tickets to the concert, and even with that they were a good twenty back from the front of the line. For some, the choice to spend 36 hours out in the cold to see someone in concert seems completely ridiculous. Why would you endure sleep deprivation, bad food, and inclement weather for a concert? Because some things are not only worth waiting for, they are worth sacrificing for. And for some fans, the preparing, the waiting, and the anticipating are all part of the experience.

God’s holy people waited a long time for God to “come to save us!” In the meantime, there was great struggle and much sacrifice. Yet amidst it all there was incredible faithfulness. The people of God faithfully learned how to live and, even more importantly, how to love in the preparing. Waiting is not easy for most of us, yet if we see it as an opportunity for blessing, we too will find love in the preparing.

Brian Prior

pray

Loving God, prepare me this day for the walk with you, which often calls for much waiting. Please give me strength and patience for the journey. Amen.

go

My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For this day, I know I am a beloved child of God.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place;
[Jesus] comes to cleanse and heal, to minister his grace –
No work too hard for him. In faith receive from him.
Be still, for the power of the Lord is moving in this place.

from “Be Still, for the Presence of the Lord” by David J. Evans (1986)

listen

When the angel came to her, he said, “Rejoice, favored one! The Lord is with you!” She was confused by these words and wondered what kind of greeting this might be. The angel said, “Don’t be afraid, Mary. God is honoring you. Look! You will conceive and give birth to a son, and you will name him Jesus. He will be great and he will be called the Son of the Most High. The Lord God will give him the throne of David his father. He will rule over Jacob’s house forever, and there will be no end to his kingdom.”

Luke 1:28-33

think

This was the day for which she felt like she had waited an eternity. The anticipation was so great, she had not slept at all the night before. Surrounded by her parents and her siblings she paced throughout the room, all the while rotating between texting and looking at the clock. The moment the clock reached the designated time she quickly logged in as instructed and waited. “Why is our internet so slow?!” she demanded. And then there it was, the letter announcing her acceptance into the college of her dreams! And now everyone was screaming and jumping and hugging and screaming.

Whether it’s anticipated or comes completely by surprise, learning about something that will impact our lives is often transformational.

Mary was clearly initially perplexed, yet she was also open as she pondered the possibilities of what this message meant for her. As we prepare for the coming of the Christ Child, how might we open ourselves to hear something about the next adventure to which God is calling us?

Brian Prior

pray

Loving God, prepare me this day to open my ears that I may hear you, open my heart that I may love you, open my hands that I may serve you. Amen.

go

My soul magnifies the Lord,

And my spirit rejoices in God my Savior,

For this day, I know I am a beloved child of God.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

Each day holds a surprise. But only if we expect it can we see, hear, or feel it when it comes. Let’s not be afraid to receive each day’s surprise, whether it comes to us as sorrow or as joy it will open a new place in our hearts, a place where we can welcome new friends and celebrate more fully our shared humanity.

from The Dance of Life by Henri Nouwen (2005)

listen

“God is indeed my salvation; I will trust and won’t be afraid. Yah, the Lord, is my strength and my shield; he has become my salvation.” You will draw water with joy from the springs of salvation.

Isaiah 12:2-3

think

What chore do you hate to do? Scrubbing the toilets? Vacuuming the stairs? In my house the chore that gets the most grumbles is doing the dishes. I think it’s because the dishes need to be washed and put up every day. The job is never actually complete.

In today’s scripture, that mundane, boring, grumbly chore would have probably been drawing water from the well. It was hot. Carrying the water was a heavy, hard job. It was a task that had to be done every day. The water jugs were never completely full.

And this is where the scripture decides to dive in. You will do this chore with joy from the springs of salvation?

Isaiah reminds us that God’s work can sometimes be mundane and even painful. But with God’s work there is always a reward to be had; for with God’s work, there is a spring that never runs dry. Let’s step up to the spring and begin doing the life-giving work that we all have been called to do.

Becky Caswell-Speight

pray

Giver of all good water, what chores need to be done? How can I draw from the Spring of Life? Move me from grumbling to joyfully sharing with the world. Amen.

go

Go now.

Move from a place of hiding.

Seek kindness and there you will find the face of God in every person you meet.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

Do you wonder as you watch my face,
If a wiser one should have had my place?
But I offer all I am
For the mercy of your plan.
Help me be strong.
Help me be.
Help me.

from “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant & Chris Eaton (1992)

listen

Who can endure the day of his coming? Who can withstand his appearance? He is like the refiner’s fire or the cleaner’s soap. He will sit as a refiner and a purifier of silver. He will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver. They will belong to the Lord, presenting a righteous offering.

Malachi 3:2-3

think

The process of purification is difficult. Refining anything takes time and a lot of energy. Cleaning what is dirty is not always easy. With each one of these examples, there is a process which means you need to start at the beginning to get a successful outcome.

While the Bible has all sorts of imagery that doesn’t always make sense, it seems like this verse helps to remind us that we are all in process and changing. In the process of refining, we separate what we need from what is no longer needed.

You may have picked up a habit or a frame of mind or even a friend that is not helping you move forward. This may be holding you back from being who you know God wants you to be. Now what? Where do you need to start separating what is no longer needed? How can you start the refining process today?

Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks

pray

Refiner of us all, thank you for sticking with me through my process of becoming. May this Advent push me forward as I prepare for your light, made flesh in this world. Amen.

go

Breath of heaven,
Hold me together,
Be forever near me
Breath of heaven.
Breath of heaven,
Lighten my darkness,
Pour over me your holiness,
For you are holy.

from “Breath of Heaven” by Amy Grant & Chris Eaton (1992)

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Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

This is only the beginning.

God is up to something amazing in you.

Wait for it.

listen

“Take care that your hearts aren’t dulled by drinking parties, drunkenness, and the anxieties of day-to-day life. Don’t let that day fall upon you unexpectedly, like a trap. It will come upon everyone who lives on the face of the whole earth. Stay alert at all times, praying that you are strong enough to escape everything that is about to happen and to stand before the Human One.”

Luke 21:34-36

think

The most basic trap consists of two things: (1) a container and (2) the bait. The trap works because the bait is so easy to see, while the container is hard to see at all.

Towards the end of Jesus’ teaching in the temple, Luke’s gospel reports that Jesus warned his hearers of a kind trap. It’s the kind of trap that would be a surprise to those who were drunk, hungover, and worried. He predicted that they would take the bait and be caught off guard by what would happen.

It may seem like the bait that is all around us is no big deal and harmless, when in actuality, it’s the bait that keeps us from seeing what is really happening. Instead of falling for the trap today, we can look for the real thing — God’s will and way. Even if it looks like we’re missing out, when we look for God in hope, we won’t miss what Jesus has done and is doing all around us.

Tasha Gibson

pray

All-Wise God, thank you for showing me the traps around me. Please help me keep my eyes on you instead. Through Christ our Lord, amen.

go

This is not the end.

God is up to something wonderful in the world.

Watch for it.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

This is only the beginning.

God is up to something amazing in you.

Wait for it.

listen

Jesus told them a parable: “Look at the fig tree and all the trees. When they sprout leaves, you can see for yourselves and know that summer is near. In the same way, when you see these things happening, you know that God’s kingdom is near. I assure you that this generation won’t pass away until everything has happened. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will certainly not pass away."

Luke 21:29-33

think

Sometimes it is hard to know just how close we are to something. Tracking a package, a flight, or a phone’s location can often tell us where something is, but not always exactly when it will come to us. Unexpected things can happen that interrupt the path, delay the arrival, or change the destination altogether.

Jesus tells his hearers in the gospel according to Luke that trees are kind of like trackers. Just like trees track how soon summer will arrive, so too, Jesus says, things will happen to show that something else is changing too. Particularly, Jesus says that we can track the coming of the Kingdom of God by things we see.

We can’t get email notifications, text updates, or follow a dot on a map to tell us how close God’s Kingdom is to us today. However, we can believe that God’s Kingdom is coming to us and is near. Look out for God. God’s Kingdom, a Kingdom of love, may be closer than you think.

Tasha Gibson

pray

God of Grace, thank you that you, by the Spirit, are on the move in the world. Open my eyes that I might see you all around me today. In Jesus’ name, amen.

go

This is not the end.

God is up to something wonderful in the world.

Watch for it.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

We fully open our hearts to you, O God, as we give.

listen

Jesus sat across from the collection box for the temple treasury and observed how the crowd gave their money. Many rich people were throwing in lots of money. One poor widow came forward and put in two small copper coins worth a penny.

Mark 12:41-42

think

Before going to seminary, a new youth pastor back home said I could work with youth well. “What?” I said. She looked at me and told me to try. So I did. It didn’t seem like I did much, but the results were amazing.

We feel that what we are giving to God is so small. Perhaps that is what the poor widow felt as she approached the box. However, God loves what we give, and God takes what we give and transforms it to something mighty. Yes, the woman may have only given a penny, but Jesus highlighted that action which has been used for centuries to motivate folks to give.

So, my friends, there are times when we may feel that we cannot give at all. Perhaps it is fear, or perhaps we forget that God can take what we have, albeit small, and transform it to something huge – even changing the world.

Andy Hart

pray

God, what I have to give is so small. Please transform it to something big. Amen.

go

Someone once said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Go out today to make your life by giving.

Give love, give joy, give selflessly, give generously.

Give your all.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

We fully open our hearts to you, O God, as we give.

listen

As he was teaching, he said, “Watch out for the legal experts. They like to walk around in long robes. They want to be greeted with honor in the markets. They long for places of honor in the synagogues and at banquets. They are the ones who cheat widows out of their homes, and to show off they say long prayers. They will be judged most harshly.”

Mark 12:38-40

think

Jesus was not talking about lawyers. Back then, the people with the most power would interpret the laws and instruct what those laws were. They had lots of power and wealth, and they loved to strut around. Their motivation for giving was self-serving. They may have given it all, but their price was high.

So, why do you give? Is it so other people will notice what you gave? I remember playing basketball in junior high. There was a difference between those who had a heart for the team and played accordingly and those who played for themselves.

I have to wonder if we are truly giving if there is an ounce of self in the action. It’s worth taking the time to pause when we act and reflect on this question, for whenever our motivation is self-promotion, we are not truly giving. It is great to give our all, but let’s focus on the one we are giving to as opposed to what we can get out of it and who is watching and noticing our giving.

Andy Hart

pray

Holy One, thank you for this day. Please give me a heart to give out of love and not for selfish gain. Amen.

n.

go

Someone once said: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.”

Go out today to make your life by giving.

Give love, give joy, give selflessly, give generously.

Give your all.

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust.
Do I trust that there is enough to share?
Enough for me and for you and for all of us?
Do I trust in God's abundance?

listen

Go out and share with your heart.

Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.

Share with cheerfulness and with love.

For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

think

Paul writes to the church in Corinth: “Be the best … you are the best.”

Being the best is an idea that we’re familiar with: we want to dominate on the soccer field, win a marching band competition, become the valedictorian, get the promotion at work. Our competitive society pushes us to be the best, and that can feel like a lot of pressure!

Paul isn’t pressuring the Christians in Corinth to excel in sports or music, in school or at work. He’s encouraging them to be excellent in holy things: in their faith, in their commitment, in love. Paul says they don’t have to do this out of their own strength, though. The grace needed to be the best in holy things comes from Jesus Christ, whose way of self-emptying love for the world invites us all to an abundant life.

Jesus’ grace makes us rich so that we have enough to share generously of ourselves and be excellent in faith and love.

Meredith Forssman

pray

God, in a world that constantly tells me I need to do all that I can with all that I am to be the best in all that I do, your grace is a drink of cool, fresh water! Give me lots of it, so that I can be excellent in the things that matter — in loving and sharing generously with the world. Amen.

go

Go out and share with your heart.

Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.

Share with cheerfulness and with love.

For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust.
Do I trust that there is enough to share?
Enough for me and for you and for all of us?
Do I trust in God's abundance?

listen

Certainly the faithful love of the Lord hasn’t ended; certainly God’s compassion isn’t through! They are renewed every morning. Great is your faithfulness. I think: The Lord is my portion! Therefore, I’ll wait for him.

Lamentations 3:22-24

think

This week is about sharing generously, but the writer in Lamentations proclaims that we are the receivers of God’s many gifts. God’s faithful love and never-ending compassion sustain our lives. They are new every morning and they’ll never run out!

God’s love and mercy, compassion and kindness help me to trust in God’s great Enough. When I’ve reached the end of my rope, God’s compassion and mercy are renewed. When I'm mad or sad, God’s love and kindness hold me. And because these gifts never run out, there is enough for me to share them with others.

I can extend God’s compassion to the kid being bullied at school. I can extend God’s mercy to someone in need of my forgiveness. I can extend God’s kindness to a stranger.

There is enough of God’s faithful goodness for all of us. Thanks be to God!

Meredith Forssman

 

pray

Loving God, sometimes I question your mercy and love for me. It’s hard to believe that they will never run out. Thank you for renewing them each day! Help me to see and to share your gifts in my world. Amen.

go

Go out and share with your heart.

Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.

Share with cheerfulness and with love.

For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust.
Do I trust that there is enough to share?
Enough for me and for you and for all of us?
Do I trust in God's abundance?

listen

You changed my mourning into dancing. You took off my funeral clothes and dressed me up in joy so that my whole being might sing praises to you and never stop. Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever.

Psalm 30:11-12

think

The Psalmist wants to sing praises without end, because God has done something wonderful! That something wonderful is life — life that’s given, sustained, protected, and healed by God.

When I read these psalm verses, I feel like the praise is just gushing out in every direction. There are a lot of big words here: my WHOLE being might sing praises and NEVER stop … I will give thanks to you FOREVER! This is generous praise!

This is praise that doesn’t hold anything back. This is praise that fills one’s whole life — heart, mind, soul, and strength. This is generous praise!

It’s a praise that doesn’t stop to deliberate. It doesn’t think before breaking out into dancing. It’s not cynical. This is generous praise!

It’s a praise that is full of life and joy. It’s a praise that knows not to take these for granted. It’s praise that spills over for everyone to see. This is generous praise!

You too have received this wonderful life from God. Give God your generous praise!

Meredith Forssman

pray

God, may I sing praises to you with my whole being and never stop! You have given me this life. Lord, my God, I will give thanks to you forever. Amen.

go

Go out and share with your heart.

Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.

Share with cheerfulness and with love.

For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

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Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust.
Do I trust that there is enough to share?
Enough for me and for you and for all of us?
Do I trust in God's abundance?

listen

I’m giving you my opinion about this. It’s to your advantage to do this, since you not only started to do it last year but you wanted to do it too. Now finish the job as well so that you finish it with as much enthusiasm as you started, given what you can afford.

2 Corinthians 8:10-11

think

Paul is fundraising. He’s asking the church at Corinth to support a relief project for poor Christians. In this passage, Paul indicates that the Corinthians started out strong in their giving, but — if we’re reading between the lines — it seems like they’ve slacked a bit. Maybe their enthusiasm had started to wane. In any case, Paul writes to encourage them: “You started to give last year, and you were excited about it! Finish the job with that same enthusiasm!”

It can be hard to finish what we start. We might feel moved to give to a worthy cause, only to realize that the gift is going to really make our budgets too tight. Or we may just get bored putting an offering into the plate each week. This doesn’t only apply to our gifts of money, but to sharing our time and talents too. Sometimes it seems easier to back out.

But we live in a world that needs your gifts! Remember your excitement. Remember your enthusiasm. Keep those alive. Keep your commitment.

Meredith Forssman

pray

God, there are so many worthy causes out there that I would like to get involved in — through volunteering my time or through financial support. Help me to discern where to commit, and help me to be faithful to my commitments. And when I grow weary in giving, send me encouragers who remind me why I feel called to this opportunity. Amen.

go

Go out and share with your heart.

Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.

Share with cheerfulness and with love.

For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

Read more

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The root of generosity, as in most matters of faith, is trust. Do I trust that there is enough to share? Enough for me and for you and for all of us? Do I trust in God's abundance?

listen

When I was comfortable, I said, “I will never stumble.” Because it pleased you, Lord, you made me a strong mountain.

But then you hid your presence. I was terrified. I cried out to you, Lord. I begged my Lord for mercy.

Psalm 30:6-8

think

The Psalmist describes two extremes that we may face in life: on the one hand, comfortable prosperity, on the other hand, troubled despair.

Our logic might tell us that we’re more likely to be generous when things are going great than when everything has fallen to pieces; however, studies show that having “everything” or having “nothing” is not the key predictor for generosity. Instead, our generosity is more determined by our ability to relate with others and to empathize with them. Do we feel a connection with another person? Can we put ourselves in their shoes? If so, we will likely be more generous.

Having everything fall to pieces, being troubled and dismayed — that’s no fun. But it’s this kind of hard experience that prepares us to understand and empathize with others. And that, in turn, is the key to opening our hearts and lives to share generously of ourselves. That’s what psychology says — but it also sounds like God’s way of redeeming our painful experiences.

Meredith Forssman

pray

God, I don’t want to have to suffer, but I know that it is a part of life. Things won’t always be easy and comfortable. So when things get hard, help me to learn and reflect so that I will emerge on the other side with new strength, compassion, and empathy. Amen.

go

Go out and share with your heart.

Don’t share because you feel pressured. Don’t share with hesitation.

Share with cheerfulness and with love.

For you can trust in this: “God has the power to provide you with more than enough of every kind of grace. That way, you will have everything you need always and in everything to provide more than enough for every kind of good work.”

based on 2 Corinthians 9:7-8

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Devotion by Julie

Hello my most precious child! I hope today is a relaxing end of summer day. As I lay beside Tommy who doesn't feel good, I feel a great sense of responsibility. He hasn't taken naps in quite awhile but the last couple of days he has slept more than he's been awake. I hurt for him and I feel helpless to make it better. All I can do is snuggle him in close and let his body fight the battle it has to do. I think about God and how this is exactly what He does for me. When I am sad or afraid or hurting or are just overwhelmed by life, God is there. He allows me to work out whatever my issue is for the day without judgement or criticism. He is simply present with me. Amazing concept. I am thankful that I can say I have a Heavenly Father who is always there just when I need Him most. My prayer for you today is that you will close your eyes and feel His presence. He's not intrusive. He doesn't make you feel less than....no, He let's you feel loved. May God's blessings be upon you and may you always know his grace. Love and hugs!

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

Will you come and follow me if I but call your name?
Will you go where you don't know and never be the same?
Will you let my love be shown? Will you let my name be known,
will you let my life be grown in you and you in me?

from “The Summons” by John L. Bell & Graham Maule

listen

Jesus went to Nazareth, where he had been raised. On the Sabbath he went to the synagogue as he normally did and stood up to read. The synagogue assistant gave him the scroll from the prophet Isaiah. He unrolled the scroll and found the place where it was written:

The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because the Lord has anointed me. He has sent me to preach good news to the poor, to proclaim release to the prisoners and recovery of sight to the blind, to liberate the oppressed, and to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.

He rolled up the scroll, gave it back to the synagogue assistant, and sat down. Every eye in the synagogue was fixed on him.

Luke 4:16-20

think

The scene is a little awkward – all eyes on Jesus after he has read this prophecy in regard to himself. Murmurs of “who does he think he is?” And yet, let’s ask: are we bold enough to proclaim even to ourselves that the Spirit of the Lord is on us, so that we too may be sent out to preach good news to the poor and to proclaim that the Kingdom of God is here? People may say, who do they think they are?! They’re too young/idealistic/uneducated/you-name-it to make any sort of difference in the world.

But the whisperers forget – it is the Spirit of the Lord who enables us to be messengers of the Good News and to participate in the healing of communities, people, relationships, and maybe even creation.

Katie Lloyd

 

pray

Holy Spirit, anoint me with your power that I may follow in the footsteps of Jesus and step out in faithfulness to tell others about the Kingdom of God. Help me to be a bearer of Good News, no matter the looks or murmurs that come my way. Amen.

go

Lord your summons echoes true when you but call my name.
Let me turn and follow you and never be the same.
In Your company I'll go where Your love and footsteps show.
Thus I'll move and live and grow in you and you in me.

from “The Summons” by John L. Bell & Graham Maule

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"Wise Man?"

Wise man, wise man,
Where are you going?
Crossing the desert
To follow a star?

Wise man, wise man
What are you bringing
Some far-away king
From the Empire Bazaar?

Wise man, wise man
Waht will you do
With the hungry eyes
That are looking at you?

Wise man, wise man,
Can you pass by —-
Not seeing the waif
While watching the sky?

Wise man, wise man,
Which will it be?
For millions and millions
Are waiting to see.

rit by rod

Pause-Listen-Think-Pray-Go by D365

pause

The world doesn’t need a miracle from above to end hate, oppression, injustice, and inequality. It doesn’t need an act of God to end the suffering we see happening.

The world needs us, followers of Jesus, to say “Enough already!” and to work together to be God’s hands and feet.

listen

When he came, he announced the good news of peace to you who were far away from God and to those who were near. We both have access to the Father through Christ by the one Spirit. So now you are no longer strangers and aliens. Rather, you are fellow citizens with God’s people, and you belong to God’s household.

Ephesians 2:17-19

think

When you take a stand, haters and critics may get you down – but keep the faith! When you fight for justice and equality, you may get overwhelmed and want to give up – but keep the faith! Whatever you are going through, whatever struggles you have, keep the faith!

Keep the faith and do something about the pain you see in the world. Keep the faith and be involved with the political process and make change happen. Keep the faith and feed the hungry, help the poor, and liberate the oppressed. Keep the faith and believe that in the end love, grace, and justice will rise from the ashes of anger, despair, and suffering because they always do. Persist and keep the faith knowing that you are not alone. Keep the faith because you belong to God and there is nothing you cannot accomplish. Keep the faith and be the hands and feet of Christ.

Ed Stallworth

 

pray

Lord, with so many things that can bring me down, lead me and inspire me to keep my faith in you. Amen.

go

You are the answer to the prayers of the hungry, lonely, bullied, oppressed, and hurting.

What will you do today – not tomorrow or someday – to be the hands and feet of God in your world?

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Devotion by Julie

Greetings oh most precious child of God! There are days when I start to write something, get interrupted and end up losing everything I'd said so far. Today I am going to use that analogy....why does something or someone seem to be a detriment instead of a benefit? Why do we keep hitting our heads on the wall in front of us? Why do we think things have to be done our way and that we don't need someone telling us what to do? Why do we fret and complain when things are not going our way? When are we going to be quiet and truly listen to what He is telling us? I don't know about you, but I tend to be most comfortable when I'm the boss and I get to call the shots. At least that was how I lived most of my life. It is only in the last few years that I can say, I'll sit back and you can handle it. Why do we need to be "the boss" of everyone? My prayer for you today is that you look around you. Are you calling the shots or is someone else calling them for you. Are the "shots" good for your well being? Is there peace within and beside you? My prayer is that you will seek to live life as a gentle, loving friend and maybe even lover if that option is still there with you. Know that holding on to anger and issues that no longer exist or that can/should be changed by a true apology doesn't hurt the other person half as much as it changes you. May God give you the gift of forgiveness and of peace. May you always know He is watching over you. And may you bring love and peace back in to your relationships. Love and hugs!

Devotion by Julie

Good morning oh most precious child! I trust your day is off to a great start. Someone that we dearly love is having to make some really tough choices about medical treatment. She will have to decide the path she will go down now. She and I have talked in the past and she tells me there is nothing to worry about because it is what it is and she accepts that. In a way learning we are getting to the tough choices is hard. We argue or bargain or rage. But not her. She is ready for whatever happens. I tell her I am concerned about her but not worried because I know she is at peace about the next steps she will face. She has chosen minimal treatment. Do you think you can accept the tough decisions we all have to make? Do you think your faith would keep the fear and grief in check? The answer for her is yes. My prayer for you today is that you look around in your life. See if your choices, whether they be hard or easy, are ones you can live with. Figure out your next step and then turn it over to God. He has your back and He will even carry you if you can no longer stand. May God's love and His peace be with you. May you be filled with acceptance for what is to come. And always, always remember your Heavenly Father is a breath away. Love is the medicine, and the only medicine that can get you through and this beautiful lady is loved beyond measure. God's blessings on you today and may faith, courage and perseverance lead you where you need to go. Love and hugs!