“O Lord our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!...When I consider your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the starts you have set in their courses, what are mere mortals that you should be mindful of them, human beings that you should care for them.” Psalm 8 vv. 1, 3-4
Ever since we have moved here, people have asked us, ‘do you like it here?’ And I can truthfully answer that I am loving it here. Not only because we are enjoying our ministries at Calvary & Holy Apostles, and being so close to our granddaughters, but also because I never tire of looking at the wonder and beauty of the world that God has created which is so very evident here in the valley.
Every day, as I drive into Scottsbluff from Mitchell, the Monument brings a smile to my face and a sense of wonder and thankfulness to my heart.
So, I can truly resonate with the writer of Psalm 8. As beautiful and vast as God’s creation is, it is truly amazing and humbling that God cares for us—each of us—and has made us stewards and co-creators with God of this world and of each other.
So, the next time you’re out enjoying the beauty of this world that God has created; don’t just give thanks to God for the wonder of the world around, let it also be a reminder to you of how much God loves and cares for you!
“O Lord, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!”
“Come, Holy Spirit. Fill the hearts of your faithful and kindle in them the fire of your love. Send forth your spirit and they shall be created, and you shall renew the face of the earth.”
Sunday is Pentecost which is probably my favorite day of the church year. I love Pentecost’s reminder that the Holy Spirit is at work in our world and in our lives, but unfortunately, I am not feeling very ‘pentecosty’ this year. In fact, I’ve been struggling all week to think of what I wanted to write not only for this devotion but for my sermon on Sunday. How’s that for scary!!!
And yet, perhaps the fact that I’m not ‘feeling’ very pentecosty is a good thing; because sometimes I can get caught up into thinking that my faith is about how I feel—it’s about what I am doing—or perhaps not doing—instead of being about what God is doing—irregardless of how I feel.
When Nicodemus comes to Jesus and asks how he can be born from above, Jesus responds by saying ‘The wind blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” (John 3:8)
I think what Jesus is saying is that we cannot control the spirit any more than we had any control over our human birth. The Spirit is not tameable—it is not controllable—it is not influenced by our feelings—the Spirit is the power of God at work in our world and in our lives. Yes, there are things we can do to make ourselves more aware of God’s Spirit or even open ourselves to the work of the Spirit, but in the end it is the Spirit who is at work—not us. And for that I give thanks!!!!
When I created this blog I had high hopes of writing a weekly devotion for this page. But somewhere along the way, those weekly devotions took a significant hiatus. It wasn’t anything I did intentionally; in fact, ‘write devo’ is a weekly recurring task on my ‘To-Do’ app on my phone! But the reminder would pop up and the more pressing tasks of the church would crowd out my best of intentions.
But writing these weekly devos was something I really wanted to do. It’s something I enjoy (when I get around to doing it) and the regular discipline of thinking and writing spiritually and devotionally is something that feeds me spiritually.
So, for the last few weeks, I have been thinking about how could I jumpstart myself so that I would get back to this regular practice of writing and it became obvious that the only way it was going to happen was I needed to make it a priority—not just a nice idea—and secondly I needed to block out time on my calendar to make it happen, because just wishing it was going to happen was obviously NOT working!
I’ve been thinking about these things for over a month, but I decided today was the day that I would block out time on my calendar to write. It would be the first thing I do today—everything else, unless it was an emergency would have to wait.
Through the years, I have discovered that this need to block out time is just as important if I want to continue to grow closer to God and deeper in my faith. My best of intentions, generally, do not get me very far. If I want to grow spiritually, I need to make it a priority in my life, otherwise, the seemingly more pressing tasks of life and work will crowd it out.
So, I make time with God a priority in my life. It’s the first thing I do pretty much every day (well, except for my morning cup of coffee), even on my day off. And I have learned the hard way, that if I want to consistently keep my ‘date’ with God, that I have to keep my phone, ipad, computer & TV off, and the newspaper out on the porch, until after I have spent my time alone with God.
So, what about you? Do you long to grow in your relationship with God? Do you desire a deeper faith? Then, remember, our ‘best of intentions’ rarely get us where we want to be. Instead of just longing for that deeper relationship, block out time for God; literally put ‘Sunday Worship’ or ‘daily devotions’ in or on your calendar and then keep your ‘date’ with God.
“But now more than ever the word about Jesus spread abroad; many crowds would gather to hear him and to be cured of their diseases. But Jesus would withdraw to deserted places to pray.” Luke 5:15-16