September 28th, 2022

September 28th, 2022

ps from ps: I would ask all of you to be in prayer for those in the paths of storms and those that have been devastated by them already.  Please remember that this storm season has already devastated Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands.  

Also, please allow our prayer to be active.  If you are moved to give financially to help in the response, you can share through Lutheran Disaster Response, which has an excellent record of stewardship and long term recovery response.

You can also check in with local ELCA congregations in the affected areas and find their information on the ELCA Find A Congregation page to see what their local needs will be.

Thanks for praying with me.

Lord, keep all those in the path of storms safe.  Watch over leaders, disaster response teams and first responders as they become your hands and feet on scene.  Amen

Be well, safe and blessed,
ps
September 21st, 2022

September 21st, 2022

ps from ps: How’s your harvest coming?  Have you been out this morning plowing the fields?

Well probably besides the Spoth family that comes to church at St. Paul’s, there’s probably not too many others reading this that fired up a farm combine this morning.

But don’t we all reap our harvest?  And don’t we all have crops of share?

Take a look at Devo’s on the Go today by clicking HERE.

Lord, help me to share the blessings I have received.  Amen

Be well, safe and blessed…and Go Bills,
ps
September 14th, 2022

September 14th, 2022

ps from ps: What does “hope” look like?  

It’s a word we often, but tangibly, what does it look like?

My good friend from our old days at Resurrection Lutheran, Mike Saxon, will be singing at St. Paul’s this Sunday.  (He’s in town and I basically guilted him into it.). The song he picked is called: “Hope in front of me.”  You can listen to it by clicking HERE.  I hadn’t heard it before but the words and visual images were striking to me.  They represented a lot of feelings that travel through my head, and maybe yours quite often.

Trigger warning: they are tough images to watch because for many of us, negative feelings are just under the surface of our everydayness.  We pull routines together to keep everything together.  We pull away from deeper conversations so as to not strike a nerve.  We move right to the edge of being vulnerable, and then we step back because it’s safer.

Because maybe, we lose sight of what hope looks like.

One of our lessons for this week come from 1 Timothy 2:1 – “First of all, then, I urge you that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for EVERYONE….”  Everyone.  The description of this whole lesson in the bulletin will say: “The church’s focused prayer for others is an expression of the single-minded passion God has toward us in Jesus.”

Single-minded passion.  Prayer for everyone.  The gift of Jesus for me…with all my self-doubt, negative thoughts and general messiness.  

And as I start to remember those things, hope starts to take shape.

When I pray in church with others on the journey – hope takes shape.

When I have the hard conversations with people and realize I’m not alone – hope takes shape.

When I read the stories of Jesus purpose and passion for me – hope takes shape.

Let me encourage you to grab hold of that hope.  Let me invite you to start to give it shape in your dailyness.  And if you are in a place to, let me plead with you to share that hope with those around you through your presence and prayer.

And let hope take shape!

Lord, help me to see hope’s shape.  Amen

Be well, safe and blessed…and Go Bills,
ps
September 7th, 2022

September 7th, 2022

ps from ps:
Welcome back!  I missed you this summer and glad you’re reading Devo’s again.  Wait….that’s right.  I’m the one that took a break.  Well either way, let’s dive in and take another journey together this coming year week by week.  

How did your summer go?  Was it amazing?  Did everything go perfectly?  Did all the parts and pieces line up correctly and nothing went wrong?  Every relationship you are in was wonderful and peaceful and edifying?  

My guess is that it probably wasn’t perfect.  And it probably had some missteps.  And there was probably a tough relationship or two in there as well.  

Did you grumble about it?

Our lesson from Luke 15 coming up on the weekend begins with the Pharisees grumbling AGAIN.  This has been a summer with Biblical texts that include A LOT of grumbling from our Pharisee friends.  This time they are grumbling because Jesus is welcoming sinners, outsiders, tax collectors and the great unwashed.  They are trying to have what they perceive as the perfect summer vacation, and Jesus is instead reaching out to the margins and welcoming everyone who the current culture of the day is pushing away.

Then, Jesus tells them parables about certain things being lost.  He doesn’t emphasize just moving on or forgetting about them.  In fact, his perfect summer involves reaching the exact people that are causing the Pharisees to grumble.  He emphasizes the important search and the joy that comes with finding them.  He emphasizes to them that this is how God works.  God never tires of searching for, finding and welcoming back that which was lost.

Like us.  When we are lost.  Or the tough part of the relationship.  Or the thing that went imperfectly.  Or the parts and pieces that didn’t line up quite right.  And also maybe when we are grumbling over the wrong thing.

That’s who God is.  The Searcher.  The Finder.  The Celebrator.  For Us.  For Others.  For All.  For the One.

As we move into fall as missionaries of this God, may our grumbling decrease and may our searching begin.

Lord, thanks for searching for us all.  Sorry when we sometimes grumble about it.  Amen

Be well, safe and blessed…and Go Bills,
ps
July 20th, 2022

July 20th, 2022

ps from ps:
Can you hear the bell ringing?

The bell at St. Paul’s rings during the Lord’s Prayer.  A great tradition for sure and had happened for years and years.  The bell invites us into prayer …into connection with God.  Are there other things and moments that invite you into that?  Or for that matter…other bells that invite you into that?

Click HERE to see another bell from LCLC that invites us to hear, see and acknowledge the moments that God wants us to see.

Lord, ring the bells for us so that we recognize the moments.  Amen

Be well, safe and blessed,
ps

(“ps from ps” will be on sabbath until late August.  Enjoy the rest of summer and we’ll see you in the fall!)
July 13th, 2022

July 13th, 2022

ps from ps:
This work of art (picture above) comes from our Impact Daycamp kids.  We’re in the third week of camp and one of the days each week, we spend time emphasizing that each one of these campers is an amazing child of God, their differences make them unique and together those differences create a beautiful work of art.

I guess I just wanted you to know that today too.

Dear Camper Reading This Email,

You are unique.  And God loves your uniqueness!  God knew you in the womb before you were birthed and you were beautifully and wonderfully made.  Your uniqueness makes you special to do a certain work in the world, different than your coworkers, family and friends would do it.  And the way you do it is beautiful.  

Live fully into your unique day today and celebrate everything you are, have become and can do!

Enjoy your camp today!

Lord, thanks for making me amazing.  Amen

Be well, safe and blessed,
ps