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

Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Widow's Offering

He sat down opposite the treasury, and watched the crowd putting money into the treasury.  Many rich people put in large sums.  A poor Widow came and put in two small copper coins, which are worth a penny.  Then he called his disciples and said to them,”Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of heir abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all that she had to live on”. Mark 12: 41-44

Lent is a time for repentance, prayer, preparation and deprivation. These traits are highlighted in Mark's Gospel. This story also appears in the Gospel of Luke. When we were children one of the big questions  we asked or were asked was “What are you giving up for Lent?”

How often do we give from our abundance? Someone once said: "give until it feels good." That is good advice. Whether we are giving money, time, talent, service to others, or giving kindness.

Prayer: Dear Lord God, thank you for all the gifts you have given to us. Help us to realize that all things belong to you and we are required to share what we have with others.  In Jesus' name,  Amen.

Kathy Kuehn (reprinted from the Eastridge 2017 Lent devotional)

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Becoming a Beloved Community

Click on the link below to view today's devotion:

We are sharing Becoming a Beloved Community as our online devotions during Lent.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

The Samaritan Woman at the Well: sermon follow up (part two)

Unraveled Shame

Take a few moments to gaze upon the artwork. Breathe
deeply in quiet meditation as you observe the visual
qualities of what you see: color, line, texture, movement,
shape, form.
Now take a deeper look. What parts of the image are your
eyes most drawn to? What parts of the image did you
Now engage your imagination. What story do you imagine
for the figure?

- What has unraveled and/or is unraveling in this story?
- What racial, cultural, gender, and religious barriers
exist between Jesus and the Samaritan woman? How
are these barriers broken down in their encounter?
- What do you imagine is the woman’s story? What layers of
shame does she carry and why?

Researcher and storyteller, BrenĂ© Brown,* says, “Shame
is the most powerful, master emotion. It’s the fear that
we’re not good enough.” On a piece of paper or journal, name and
release any feelings of shame you carry. 

Prayer: Unravel my shame, O God, with the promises that I am
always loved and forever worthy. Amen.

* Learn more about Brene's work by visiting:

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Samaritan Woman at the Well: sermon follow up

Unraveled Shame

read // JOHN 4:1-29

from the artist // HANNAH GARRITY

Why are you asking me? As a woman in a patriarchal
society, I have been faced with subordination
throughout my life. I mostly do not feel it. I have
learned self control from a young age and I have been
taught to appreciate what I have. These skills are
the reasons that I have the extensive happiness and
comfort that I enjoy on a daily basis. However, the
patriarchy still exists. Along with the external blocks,
the glass ceilings, I am finding that I stand in my own
way, too. Despite the tireless efforts of my parents to
teach us of a world of equality and opportunity, I have
still imbibed the societal belief that I, as a woman,
am lesser; that my skills do not measure up, that my
salary should not be equal or more, that I work too
much, that I spend too little time with my children, or
that I will not succeed at the next challenge. None of
these things are true, and yet I throw the roadblocks
of patriarchy before myself anyway. The woman at the
well had multiple levels of societal oppression standing
like a wall between Jesus and her. She was not of
the same race or gender as he, and she was unwed,
unprotected. I can understand why she questioned
God’s call for water. Why would he address her as an
equal? Are you asking me? Are you sure you meant to
do that? Are you sure that I measure up?

Friday, February 21, 2020

Designed to Swim

And God said, “Let the water teem with living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth across the expanse of the sky.” So, God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:20-21

Henry M. Morris III writes in Six Days of Creation “Water-based life is the only category singled out for survival (by omission) from the great judgment of the global Flood.” That’s interesting. Have you ever thought of that before? Think about these other things Henry writes about the sea creatures:

  • Oceans cover 70 percent of the earth’s surface
  • There are approximately 30,000 different species on land but with fish and other water-based living things the number jumps to well over 200,000
  • Birds have tube-like lungs while marine invertebrates “rake” in oxygen from water flowing through gills and filters that sift out debris before water reaches the gills.
  • Water contains 5 percent of the oxygen that is available in air. Gills can get about 85 percent of the available oxygen out of the water that flows through and over them.
  • Boney pieces in the gills hang in the middle of the fish’s mouth and support very thin filaments called lamellae that collect the oxygen.
  • Within the lamellae are numerous capillaries that exchange the oxygen for carbon dioxide. The carbon dioxide goes back out into the water. Clever, yes?

I found Six Days of Creation a fascinating book. It is a collection of truths about God’s creation that humbles me to think about the greatness of God. 

Prayer: Dear God, your creation is unbelievable. How great and amazing you are to provide all that is around us. Develop in us belief. Amen.

Sandra Hilsabeck

Thursday, February 20, 2020

Oh, the Mess!

We enjoyed our recent photography session for the church directory. It reminded me of family photo day several years ago. My daughter and I were getting ready in the same bathroom. The makeup was done, the clothes were selected, teeth were brushed; last came the hair. I was looking into the wall mirror as I picked up the one in my hand and raised it behind my head, so I had views from all angles. The front of the hair was fine but I grumbled a little, as the back just wouldn’t cooperate. I preferred it fluffed and rounded, not flat or irregular. Add a little spray, fluff a bit; add more spray, pat it back down; adjust the mirror, fluff some more. (Come on, ladies, you know what I'm talking about!) My daughter started laughing as she watched this routine. She said, “mom, I don’t know why you’re even worried about the back. Only the front of your hair and face is what the camera will see. No one will notice or care what the back of your head looks like.” Ha! She had a point!

Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. 1 Corinthians 13: 12

How often do we put our best face forward, never allowing our messy, disheveled lives to be shown? We put on a smile, while choking back tears and screams. People ask us how we are and we answer, “fine”. We somehow make it through the day, even as our stomachs are tied up in knots.

How often do we fail to notice what’s behind some one else’s “fine” response or miss what they are hiding behind their smile? Do we inquire about how another person is doing but then stop, and really listen to their reply? Do we jump to unfair conclusions and judge others? Are we hesitant to even be involved? We may never know what it took for them to get out of bed that morning.

We might be tired, stressed, anxious, depressed, grieving, scared, bored, hurt, angry, lonely, ashamed, or unsure. Our tough or tidy exterior masks the truth. Allowing ourselves to expose our messy parts isn’t always easy. Vulnerability is scary and uncomfortable but can be quite freeing! I appreciate others who allow their vulnerability to come through. It empowers me to do the same. The place I find the most peace, though, is when I’m truly honest with Jesus and accept His grace.

But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not look on his appearance or on the height of his stature, because I have rejected him. For the Lord sees not as a man sees; man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on his heart. 1 Samuel 16:7

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

We can run. We can hide. We can cover up but there’s no fooling Jesus. He knows our every doubt, hears our cries, counts our tears, forgives our mistakes, and loves our hearts. He sees all our messiness and loves us through it!  

Prayer: Jesus, our friend, We know You see the “whole” of us. Thank you for being our safe-haven where we can truly be ourselves, let down our guard, and trust Your sincere love. Work through us as we meet others. Help us to be mindful and compassionate. Help us to have faith in Your power and Your plan, and accept Your hand as You walk this messy road with us.

Diane Worrell Eaton

Wednesday, February 19, 2020

Tuesday, February 18, 2020

Rizpah Mourns Her Sons: sermon follow up (part two)

Respond: Public Grief That Inspires Action

Take a few moments to gaze upon the artwork. Breathe
deeply in quiet meditation as you observe the visual
qualities of what you see: color, line, texture, movement,
shape, form.
Now take a deeper look. What parts of the image are your
eyes most drawn to? What parts of the image did you
Now engage your imagination. What story do you imagine
for each figure?

- What has unraveled and/or is unraveling in this story?
- Think of a time when you have witnessed someone’s
public display of grief. How did their actions affect you and others?
- Imagine if Rizpah grieved quietly in solitude.
How might this story end differently?

Return to a memory of witnessing someone’s public display
of grief, perhaps in the midst of death or tragedy. Reflect on how their grief made you feel. How did their grief impact your actions or the actions of others?
How did this event impact your own approach to grief?

Prayer: May I be moved by and responsive to the unraveling of others. Amen.

Monday, February 17, 2020

Rizpah Mourns Her Sons: sermon follow up

Read // 2 SAMUEL 3:7; 21:1-14

from the artist // LAUREN WRIGHT PITTMAN

I don’t know what to say. This story leaves me without adequate ways to fully process the searing pain and utter wrecking of the life of this woman, Rizpah. She is a “low status” wife of Saul.* She is raped by a man who denies his actions. Her two sons are sentenced to death as a king fumbles to rectify wrongs that cause a famine in the land.

She gathers her sackcloth and climbs the mountain of God to defend the bodies of her children and their half brothers. She spends day and night for up to six months fighting off birds of prey and animals of the night from ripping apart the bodies of her children and what shred of hope she has left.** David hears of her passionate, radical, public grief and is moved to delayed justice. He calls for the burial of Saul and Jonathan, but also sees to the proper burial of the seven sons that he carelessly offered up to appease God. Justice in this scenario looks like sheltered, buried, dry bones. Rizpah’s public unraveling causes the unraveling of David's distorted version of justice. God doesn’t require a human sacrifice for the end of the bloodguilt. God ends the famine when David listens to the voice of this strong, fierce, unraveling woman. I pray that we learn from Rizpah. When we see injustice may we, like Rizpah, climb the mountain of God and defend those who cannot defend themselves. When we see someone unraveling in inexplicable grief, may this sight unravel us from the ways we are entangled with injustice.

* Gafney, Wilda C. Womanist Midrash: A Reintroduction to the Women of the Torah and the Throne. Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2017.198

** Ibid, 199.

Friday, February 14, 2020


Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. 1 John 3:18 ESV

So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2:17 ESV

But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. James 1:22 ESV

Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom. James 3:13 ESV

In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven. Matthew 5:16 ESV

I’m currently reading a book called “Down from the Mountain: the life and death of a grizzly bear” by Bryce Andrews. In one passage, the author discusses how the tracks animals leave tell us something about the inner life of that animal. He says: “every trail recalls its maker”; and “depending on the species, the individual, and the day, that scribbling can speak of fear, grace, indolence, or a hundred other qualities.”

I’m thinking of how this can equate to our spiritual life. Others can see from our “tracks” what things are important to us, and what we are focused on. Where we’ve been shows others our fear, confidence, laziness, and other qualities. Actions sometimes speak louder than words.

What have you done lately? To whom have you reached out? Where have you gone tentatively, and where have you gone confidently?

Prayer: Dear God, help us to include you in our lives, be it prayer, study of scripture, worship. We know that You will be reflected in our “tracks” when we spend quality time with You. Amen.

Donna Gustafson

Thursday, February 13, 2020

Street Closed

But the Lord God gave the man this warning: “You may eat any fruit in the garden except fruit from the Tree of Conscience—for its fruit will open your eyes to make you aware of right and wrong, good and bad. Genesis 2: 16-17 

The serpent was the craftiest of all the creatures the lord God had made. So the serpent came to the woman. “Really?” he asked. “None of the fruit in the garden? God says you mustn’t eat any if it?” “Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not to eat. …” “That’s a lie!” the serpent hissed. “you’ll not die”… The woman was convinced. How lovely and fresh looking it was! …So she ate some of the fruit and gave some to her husband, and he ate it too. Genesis 3: 1-6

This past week my very busy street has been closed for needed repairs. There are five signs telling drivers of the closed street, yet vehicle after vehicle goes rushing by, going all the way to the closed blockades and then slowly turning around and rushing back to the main drag. I keep wondering, what were they thinking during this? Did they think the closed signs did not pertain to them, or the signs were wrong and the street was really open? Did they remember a few years ago when the street was closed because of flooding, and someone moved one of the barricades and people began driving through the dangerous flooded waters? The street has been closed for four days now, yet multiple cars at a time drive by and then shortly thereafter they drive back. Do people think that something has changed day by day, and now they can get through?  

I felt a devotion coming on when I observed the above. What in life do we continue with despite the warning signs? My first impulse was to think about addictions, how people dying from alcoholism ignore the mandates of their doctors, their counselors, their family, and friends. Daily I see on the news accidents caused by drunk drivers who have already had their licenses revoked and are still driving. Do they think this is not really a problem or that this does not apply to them?

Granted, the results of not following a detour are not the same as a dangerous addiction, but I think the misguided thinking and behavior may be the same.  What signs do we tend to ignore, and then regret what happens later?  

Prayer: Heavenly Father, you continually show your love for us as we dash around in our daily lives. Thank you for forgiving us when we struggle to forgive ourselves and others. Help us to better use the knowledge you have provided to us so we make good choices and live our lives praising you and walking in your ways. Amen.

Nancy Hall

Wednesday, February 12, 2020

Carrying One Another's Burdens

Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

From a very young age, those of us who attend Sunday School (or now Tuesday School) receive bible lessons and parables about what God expects from us and how we can live a life to be more Christ-like. For some children we might have a relative who works hard to instill those kinds of lessons in us, or maybe a teacher. For some people it seems to come natively. Have you ever known someone who genuinely wants to help others? Who offers their assistance readily, who is always waiting in the wings to swoop in and render aid? 

For the last few weeks I have been thinking about this verse and wondering whose burdens I am carrying…what I’m willing to help with…. And perhaps, most terrifying, who is helping to carry my burdens, and, am I aware that they are in the background helping me? This could be as simple as praying for someone. Or actively doing work to assist them (shoveling or snow blowing for a neighbor). Or offering to listen and sharing the pain of a sorrow or concern.  There are limitless ways that we can help each other.

A lot of people don’t feel like they have time to help. How many times have you been about to leave for the day when someone looks like they have a question or needs help and you duck out? How often do you ignore calls, texts, or e-mails that are specifically asking you to volunteer or donate? How often do we see opportunities to be involved in our church or community and ignore them because we feel like we have more important things to do? How often do we leave behind the rules to serve others instilled in us from a young age to serve our own goals and desires?

Prayer: Great teacher God, help us to remember the service of Your son and the lessons of our youth. Help us to look for ways that we can serve joyfully and help those around us in our family, church, community and world. Help us to reflect your bountiful and never ending love.    

Christi Moock

Tuesday, February 11, 2020

Moses' Mother Gives Up Moses So He Can Live: sermon follow up (part two)

Respond: Day Two

When Our Plans for Our Children Unravel

Take a few moments to gaze upon the artwork. Breathe
deeply in quiet meditation as you observe the visual
qualities of what you see: color, line, texture, movement,
shape, form.
Now take a deeper look. What parts of the image are your
eyes most drawn to? What parts of the image did you
Now engage your imagination. If you were to place
yourself in this scene, where would you be and how
would you interact with what surrounds you?


- What has unraveled and/or is unraveling in this story?
- Imagine this story from the perspective of each
character—Pharaoh, Moses’ mother, Miriam,
Pharaoh’s daughter. Why does each character do
what s/he does?
- What causes Pharaoh’s daughter’s heart to soften
when she finds Moses in the river? Why does she
choose to nurture and adopt Moses as her own? What
can we learn from her actions?

Monday, February 10, 2020

Moses' Mother Gives Moses Up So He Can Live: sermon follow-up

When Our Plans for Our Children Unravel

read // EXODUS 1:22; 2:1-10

from the artist // LISLE GWYNN GARRITY

Moses’ mother and Miriam plot a clever plan, but it’s
far from foolproof. The risks far outweigh their chances
for success. What if the basket they place him in leaks,
drowning him instead of keeping baby Moses afloat? What
if the current gets too strong, or the winds pick up, or he
gets stuck in a tangle of reeds? What if the wrong person
finds him and fulfils Pharaoh’s command? What if Pharaoh’s
daughter is moved with disgust when she sees what
floats into her private bathing quarters? Even if Pharaoh’s
daughter decides to keep the child as her own, what will
keep Pharaoh from killing Moses when she’s not looking?

Their plan is too perilous, too fraught with danger for any infant
to endure. And yet, we know of mothers who risk desert heat,
fatigue, illness, dehydration, criminalized border crossings,
and facilities with cages to pursue the slight chance—the
mere hope—of survival for their child. Why would they do
this? Because to stay home and succumb to the sure threats of
genocide—or gang violence, or civil war—is far more dangerous.

In this image, I gave the viewer the vantage point Pharaoh’s
daughter might have had. What melts her heart with mercy
when she sees this Hebrew child float downstream? Was
a well of rebellion rising up within her, making her eager
to subvert her father’s orders? Was she poisoned like most
Egyptians with bias against the Israelites, but did the
innocence and vulnerability of an infant shift her heart
toward love? Had she desperately wanted a child of her
own? Regardless of her motives, Pharaoh’s daughter uses
her power and privilege to act as an ally to Moses and his
family in their worst unraveling. It’s not a perfect solution,
but God doesn’t need perfection to achieve liberation.

Friday, February 7, 2020

Prayer Requests

“Pray in the Spirit at all times in every prayer and supplication.  To that end keep alert and for all the saints always persevere in supplication for all the saints." Ephesians 6:18

“Are any among you suffering? They should pray." James 5:13a

One of our smoke detectors and one of our carbon monoxide detectors started “chirping” at the same time. It happened at bedtime. I’ll spare you the details but it was stressful. Would it be petty to pray about it?  Then I remembered what I had just read in the Upper Room that day: No prayer is too insignificant for God.

A hymn came to mind:  What a Friend We Have in Jesus. The words are printed here.

            What a friend we have in Jesus, All our sins and griefs to bear.

            What a privilege to carry, Everything to God in prayer.

            O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear.

            All because we do not carry, Everything to God in prayer.

            Have we trials and temptations? Is there trouble anywhere?            

            We should never be discouraged, Take it to the Lord in prayer.

            Can we find a friend so faithful who will all our sorrows share?

            Jesus knows our every weakness, Take it to the Lord in prayer.

            Are we week and heavy laden, Cumbered with a load of care?

            Precious Savior, still our refuge, Take it to the Lord in prayer.

            Do they friends despise, forsake thee? Take it to the Lord in prayer;

            In His arms He’ll take and shield thee, Thou wilt find a solace there.

This was originally a Christian poem written by a preacher, Joseph Sriven in 1855 to comfort his mother, who was living in Ireland while he was in Canada. Charles C. Converse composed the tune to the hymn in 1868.

Yes, we need to remember that no prayer is too insignificant for God.

Prayer: God, help us to bring all our prayer requests to you and with every prayer, grow closer to you. Amen.

Lois Poppe

Thursday, February 6, 2020

Good News

But when Peter noticed the strong wind, he became frightened, and beginning to sink, he cried out, Lord, save me!”  — Matthew 14:30

It’s 8:49 am. I made it to the office before nine today, which has me feeling quite accomplished.

And also exhausted.

It’s nothing big. But in addition to the usual routines which involve fixing breakfast and preparing school lunches, this morning has had more than its fair share of hiccups:
First, the kindergartener can’t find his underwear. Then, he is ‘too scared to go upstairs all by himself’ to get an extra pair. In the meantime, the preschooler has lost his socks. After we’re well on our way to drop off our exchange student at Lincoln High, the kindergartener realizes he forgot his backpack with the tennis shoes which he needs for PE, and so he is freaking out. After we swing back home, I’m faced with the next meltdown by the preschooler who “needs his coloring book!” As I get out of the car to let the kindergartener out, I step into the fresh snow. That’s when I realize I forgot the protective cover for my post-op boot (which is supposed to stay ‘dry and clean’ after my toe surgery). So back home to change a wet sock — might as well pick up that darn coloring book. Back in the car, the preschooler again: This is my brother’s, not mine!

Thank God for the exchange student who is delightfully low maintenance and the little girl who for once decided to sleep through all the drama! Have I said I feel exhausted?

My first instinct is to write a long rant on Facebook. But then again: what if instead of the much coveted sympathy people started lecturing? You know: “I would never turn around to get the backpack for my kid.” / “Let him go to school without his shoes. He will never forget them again.” / “Back in my day, my kids would dress themselves when they were 6 weeks old…!”

The thing is, parenting is hard, and I am well aware that I don’t have it all together. In fact, it is moments like these when it feels like I am doing everything wrong, when the feeling of exhaustion morphs into defeat.

Which is exactly the point I was trying to make in my sermon on Sunday: that when you have that sinking feeling, hardly any word of advice, no matter how good or how well intended, will be heard as Good News. When I struggle and feel overwhelmed, I am not really open to comments that sound like “you’re doing it all wrong” or “you just have to try harder.”

But what does sound, look, feel like Good News?

Maybe a compassionate, knowing smile.

A vulnerable sharing in the struggle.

Maybe an outstretched hand?

Now about that resistance to accept help when it is offered… but that’s a topic for another day!

Prayer: You are not a God who lectures, but you sympathize with those who struggle. Help us that rather than judging or trying to “fix others” we learn to be compassionate: to others — and ourselves. Amen.

Rev. Thomas Dummermuth

Wednesday, February 5, 2020

Designed to Fly

Henry Morris III wrote in Six Days of Creation, "All of us have marveled at the birds of our world. Some are exquisitely brilliant in color, some sing so wonderfully that our hearts weep with joy, others glide and soar like the most graceful acrobats and ballet dancers. The lure of flight has driven many to experiment, from Icarus of Greek mythology to the Wright brothers. Yet all of our engineering skill, fighter jets, rockets, and commercial aircraft fail miserably to mimic the efficient and effective design of the tiniest bird."

"Feathers are not simple. They vary in type and use from the soft inner down to the varied wing, tail, and head crests. Feathers have shafts, veins, and barrels. They have colored pigments that vary across the spectrum, as well as various types of built-in prism designs that refract light. Nothing in the observable world gives any evidence of "developing" feathers. There is no kind of fossil that shows some creature's skin developing sticks that turn into quills that turn into feathers. Feathers came into existence at the same time birds did."

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for the beautiful birds you created. Thank you for all your creation that clearly shows You are the unbelievable artist and creator. Amen.

Sandra Hilsabeck

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

Reflecting on Goals

Moreover, when God gives someone wealth and possessions, and the ability to enjoy them, to accept their lot and be happy in their toil – this is a gift of God.  They seldom reflect on the days of their life, because God keeps them occupied with gladness of heart. Ecclesiastes 5:19-20

In November I was able to complete my professional certification. This has been a goal for me since I finished graduate school 5 years ago. Like many, at the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 with a whole new decade laid out in front me I wondered what my next steps should be. What new goals would I look forward to. What new adventures could I find.  

In the weeks following I have had many conversations with family, friends and close mentors about what happens when you complete a big life goal. When I was 25 I set out some BIG goals. I wanted to finish my bachelors (2011), obtain a masters (2014) and get certified in my field (2019). I wanted to own a home (2009). I wanted to travel to another country (2019). I wanted to go on a Boy Scout High Adventure trip (2008). I wanted to run a half marathon (2013 and 2014). I wanted to be more active in my church community (Board of Deacons 2010-2012 and 2014-2016). Of those 2002 goals I have crossed nearly all off the list, and I’ve been left to wonder where I should put my energy next. 

This verse has helped my perspective. I need to take time to be happy and joyful for these gifts from God. I have not reflected well on all these achievements and have instead crossed one off the list and raced ahead to the next one. For now, I have established some new goals…they aren’t as big or dramatic as some of the things I set forth to do in my 20s but I feel like they can bring the same level of fulfilment. I want to ride my bicycle a metric century (62 miles) – ok that one is left over from when I was 25. I want to be 100% debt free when we retire. I want to travel outside the United States every 3-5 years. These larger goals will require small goals to build on along the way – I have to have a plan for reducing and eliminating debt over the next 24 years. I have to ride my bike pretty regularly and train if I am going to make it 62 miles. I need to make a savings plan for my travel appetite. I know I am missing a few that are important to me… I want to learn more about the writing of the Bible. I want to find a new way to volunteer with something I am passionate about. I want to be a lifetime learner. I want to be occupied with gladness of heart. 

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for watching over me as I work on accomplishing my goals.  I know that you have a plan for me and the rest of my life.  Help me to be happy with the wonderful gifts you have given and experience the joy I know you desire for your children on earth.  Amen

Christi Moock

Monday, February 3, 2020

Life Through the Spirit

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus,  because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you. And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ.  But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you.

Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs—heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. Romans 8:1-17