The views expressed here are those of each individual devotion writer. Thank you to our writers for their contributions to this ministry!

Friday, May 31, 2019


Can we pray for you? Contact the Eastridge office for our prayer chain, caring email, or to be included in the weekly bulletin (Lamp).

Thursday, May 30, 2019

God's Power in Us

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.
It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.” Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. 2 Corinthians 4:7-18

Wednesday, May 29, 2019

A Place at the Table

May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you the same attitude of mind toward each other that Christ Jesus had, so that with one mind and one voice you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.  Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God. Romans 15:5-7

Our future daughter in law graduated from seminary at TCU on Mother’s Day weekend. There was a beautiful hooding ceremony for the seminary graduates for doctoral degrees and master’s degrees. The scripture and hymns selected for the service were thoughtful and meaningful and the sermon was about letting go of our prejudices and accepting everyone as a child of God. It was awe inspiring to see these graduates of all ages and races, from multiple countries and backgrounds gathering together to celebrate their training to spread the word of God, to study and interpret the Bible and to serve as religious counselors. 

Before the sermon, those present sang the hymn “A Place at the Table”.  I don’t remember having heard it before but the melody was very familiar.  The lyrics to the hymn can be found here (you will have to click “read more” to see all the verses). Brite Seminary at TCU is very progressive. In the 1950s and 1960s they focused on civil rights. They had a strong voice during the Women’s movement in the 1960s. During the last 20 years seminary students and professors have continued to advocate for women’s rights, an end to racism, recognition of ageism, and protecting the rights of all, regardless of sexual preference. Most interesting to me was the identification in our current climate of not only homophobia but also heterophobia, and the ways that it is further separating people.    

I have thought about that sermon the last two days and have wondered about how we came to hate and fear for so many reasons. It would seem that in the last 70 years instead of advancing past our differences, and accepting people regardless of things like, sex, age, race, sexual preference, that we have desired instead to call out what makes us special and different and have used that to further isolate ourselves from others. One of my favorite quotes from Margaret Mead is “You are absolutely unique, just like everyone else”. Be unique, let people like or alternately dislike you because of your personality, or your ideas, but not for your demographics.

Prayer: God who made us all in his image, help to erase the lines that divide us. Continue to be with these new seminary graduates as they work to influence the world to accept one another.    

Christi Moock

Tuesday, May 28, 2019

Psalm 96

 Sing to the Lord a new song;
    sing to the Lord, all the earth.
  Sing to the Lord, praise his name;
    proclaim his salvation day after day.

 Declare his glory among the nations,

    his marvelous deeds among all peoples.
 For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
    he is to be feared above all gods.
 For all the gods of the nations are idols,
    but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
    strength and glory are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the Lord, all you families of nations,
    ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;

    bring an offering and come into his courts.
 Worship the Lord in the splendor of his[a] holiness;
    tremble before him, all the earth.

Say among the nations, “The Lord reigns.

    The world is firmly established, it cannot be moved;
    he will judge the peoples with equity.

 Let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad;
    let the sea resound, and all that is in it.
  Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them;
    let all the trees of the forest sing for joy.

 Let all creation rejoice before the Lord, for he comes,

    he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness
    and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Friday, May 24, 2019

Proverbs 4

Listen, my sons, to a father’s instruction;
    pay attention and gain understanding.
  I give you sound learning,
    so do not forsake my teaching.
 For I too was a son to my father,
    still tender, and cherished by my mother.
 Then he taught me, and he said to me,
    “Take hold of my words with all your heart;
    keep my commands, and you will live.
 Get wisdom, get understanding;
    do not forget my words or turn away from them.
  Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you;
    love her, and she will watch over you.
  The beginning of wisdom is this: Get wisdom.
    Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
  Cherish her, and she will exalt you;
    embrace her, and she will honor you.
 She will give you a garland to grace your head
    and present you with a glorious crown.
 Listen, my son, accept what I say,
    and the years of your life will be many.
  I instruct you in the way of wisdom
    and lead you along straight paths.
  When you walk, your steps will not be hampered;
    when you run, you will not stumble.
  Hold on to instruction, do not let it go;
    guard it well, for it is your life.
  Do not set foot on the path of the wicked
    or walk in the way of evildoers.
  Avoid it, do not travel on it;
    turn from it and go on your way.
  For they cannot rest until they do evil;
    they are robbed of sleep till they make someone stumble.
  They eat the bread of wickedness
    and drink the wine of violence.
  The path of the righteous is like the morning sun,
    shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
  But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness;
    they do not know what makes them stumble.
My son, pay attention to what I say;
    turn your ear to my words.
  Do not let them out of your sight,
    keep them within your heart;
 for they are life to those who find them
    and health to one’s whole body.
 Above all else, guard your heart,
    for everything you do flows from it.
  Keep your mouth free of perversity;
    keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
  Let your eyes look straight ahead;
    fix your gaze directly before you.
  Give careful thought to the paths for your feet
    and be steadfast in all your ways.
 Do not turn to the right or the left;
    keep your foot from evil.

Thursday, May 23, 2019

God's Faithfulness

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations. Deuteronomy 7:9

Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. Psalms 36:5 

Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast. Psalms 119:90 

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:22-23

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever. Hebrews 13:8

The trees, flowering shrubs, and flowers this time of year are so beautiful, but the beauty is fleeting. My lilies of the valley stay fragrant for just a few days. I love lilacs, and the scent brings back childhood on the farm, where we had a towering bush full of the lavender blooms. The blossoming trees (pear, crab apple, redbud, magnolia) are so stunning right now here in Lincoln, but next week they’ll be uniformly green.

I think if these blooms and scents lasted all summer, we wouldn’t appreciate them the way we do…their essence is fleeting, and we relish it while it lasts.

God’s love ISN’T fleeting…it is steadfast. It is true. His ever-abundant grace never “goes away” or shuts down for the season. God’s love never changes…he is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

How thankful I am that this is true!

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your love and grace, that we can call on You day after day and year after year. Amen.

Donna Gustafson

Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Words Can Hurt

Psalm 23
(A Psalm of David.) The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He maketh me to lie down in green pastures: he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul: he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.
Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the LORD for ever.

As a child I remember “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”. In the movie, Bambi, Thumper said “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all”. As I child I do remember being teased, which probably now a days would be called bullying.  

As an adult I don’t believe people should get offended by everything around them. I also believe it’s the intent or the spirit that hurts not the words. I also believe that Thumper is right: if you don’t have anything nice to say keep it to yourself. As a Christian I don’t understand the need or desire to intentionally hurt someone’s feelings, even if that person is intentionally trying to hurt your feelings or spirit.  

As a Christian I believe in standing up for what I believe and standing up for the person who can’t stand up for themselves. I also believe in praying for my enemies that they may find their way to Jesus and change their ways. I know it is their journey and only Jesus can guide them. I also don’t know the path that led them to this destructive behavior.  

Recently I was confronted with a situation with someone trying to damage my spirit but knowing I am never facing life’s trials by myself helped me. I heard recently someone say as long as I am holding hands and entering the room with Jesus I can do anything.  

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for always walking with me in the good and bad on this earth.  Thank you for guiding me to do my best in treating others with the same respect I wish to receive.  Hold my tongue from causing any damage to others.  Let me not judge others but I pray for their finding your love.  Amen

Lori Hood 

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

God Cares, Others Care

“Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.” I Peter 5:7

“I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.” John 13:34

“So then, whenever we have an opportunity, let us work for the good of all, and especially for those of the family of faith.” Galatians 6:10 

Prayer Concerns at Eastridge Presbyterian Church are lifted up in our weekly Lamp as well as emails. Many churches do this.

I recall at one of my previous churches, prayers in action shown to our family. When I was recovering from surgery, a fellow church member delivered a meal to our home. Many times, we had given this “love in action” to others. The church member sensed I felt uncomfortable receiving the generous meal for our family of five. She said, “We just found the skinniest family to fatten up.”  That made me smile.

Recently, I have been challenged by a painful leg and back issue.  Church members have reached out to my husband and me.  Hopefully, now older and wiser, I accept this gratefully.  Just as God cares for us, we are called to care for others.

Persons of any age can share a smile.  I am especially pleased when young people hold open a door or give me a smile. 

Gary Sinise, actor states, “Each person on this planet is here for a purpose ---- That purpose is to care for other people and to help this world become a better place through service to others.”

Each day we have opportunities to show love in action.  What can we do today?  The prayer below, used in our worship bulletin on May 12, 2019, lists some simple ways we can share love with others.

Prayer: Generous God, we thank you for all we have been given.  As we learn to recognize our gifts, help us not to overlook the simple ones: the smile for strangers, the word of encouragement, the get-well card, the listening ear, the willingness to be patient with the long-winded, and gentle with people we find difficult. So shall we all be enriched with your grace, and share your love with all we meet. Amen.

Lois Poppe

Monday, May 20, 2019


Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Colossians 3:12

I have recently noticed an increase in the use of the word kind. While used as a compliment, it is often met with a tinge of surprise. Even though I am glad to know that we are becoming a community where kindness is nurtured, there is a note of sadness when people are surprised by it. 

My grandmother always watched out for people. She had the sweetest and kindest heart. If she knew someone would be alone on a holiday, she opened her home and made them feel like family. She was often thinking of others and used her kindness to share with people that they were special, and thought of.  That might be a card for a friend having a bad time, it might be fresh cookies for neighbors who were getting ready for travel, but it could be as simple as smiling at someone in the grocery store. She understood that a successful community was one that loved and cared for each other.

It might seem like some communities are too big for kindness to take root. I disagree, I think that kind and simple things can go a long way.  It doesn’t have to be a grand gesture. This spring I want to think about ways that I can nurture kindness and watch it grow. Not for recognition, and not as some kind of penance, but because we love and care for each other as God’s chosen people.

Prayer: Creator God, help us all to share your kindness with those around us.  Please be with me now and always, reminding me of the simple ways that people can feel special, welcome and loved. Amen.

Christi Moock

Friday, May 17, 2019

Jesus Appears to the Disciples

While they were still talking about this, Jesus himself stood among them and said to them, “Peace be with you.”

They were startled and frightened, thinking they saw a ghost. He said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts rise in your minds? Look at my hands and my feet. It is I myself! Touch me and see; a ghost does not have flesh and bones, as you see I have.”

When he had said this, he showed them his hands and feet. And while they still did not believe it because of joy and amazement, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” They gave him a piece of broiled fish,  and he took it and ate it in their presence.

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures. He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” Luke 24:36-49