Devotions

Celebrate Advent Simply 5

Nothing is better on a cold day  than sitting with one or some of your favorite people and enjoying a hot drink. It’s a way to feel warm, inside and out, not just because of the drinks you share but because these people remind you that you are connected, loved, and safe. Make some hot chocolate and drop marshmallows on top. For every marshmallow, name a person who makes you feel loved and safe. Close with a family prayer, thanking God for these people in your lives. These simple, daily devotions are written by Casey Cross for Hope Lutheran Church as a

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Celebrate Advent Simply 4

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good. His love endures forever.  – Psalm 136:1 Some days feel like we can never stop thanking God for all the good things that fill our lives while other days feel like it’s hard to even think of one thing. But guess what? It’s okay because God’s love endures forever. That means, God’s love lasts—no matter how we are feeling. If all else fails, God’s love never will, so give thanks for that! Pray: God of Love, thank you for your love that lasts forever, no matter how we feel, on good days and

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Celebrate Advent Simply 3

A handwritten note is more than just words – it shows you have taken time, gathered supplies, and thoughtfully considered what you will say, how you will deliver it, and to whom you will give it. When we share words of thanks and gratitude, we acknowledge that our life just wouldn’t be the same with out that person, their words, or actions. Thanking someone is an act of service! How many times can you thank someone today? Pray: God, thank you for the gift of language so that we are never at a loss for words to support, encourage, and

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Celebrate Advent Simply 2

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, Rejoice. Let your gentleness be known to everyone. The Lord is near. Do not worry about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. —Philippians 4:4-6 Every day is a gift in and of itself. Every breath, every heartbeat, every blink of an eye… these are God’s gifts to us. These are things we don’t even have to think about. Wow! List the things you have that you don’t have to think about, because God made it that way. Be amazed

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Celebrate Advent Simply 1

On this first day of Advent, we remember the power of hope. Hope is like a spark that lights up even the darkest of days. So light your candle and remember that it only takes a spark for our hope in Jesus to change everything. Share one hope you have for this season. Pray: God of sparks and bonfires, light our lives with hope in you. Amen. These simple, daily devotions are written by Casey Cross for Hope Lutheran Church as a supplement with Traci Smith’s Faithful Families Advent Calendar. All bible references are from the NRSV translation.  

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Safe Haven

I will both lie down and sleep in peace; for you alone, O Lord, make me lie down in safety. Psalm 4:8 (NRSV) Lately, I have found myself restless at night. All the things I didn’t get done or need to get done run through my mind. Worries and what ifs pop up to keep me unsettled. This is common for me at the end of summer and into early fall. I have to keep reminding myself that I go through this a lot at this time of year. However, like many things we are going through now, everything seems

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Gardenia

Awe of Averages

awe[1] (noun) an emotion variously combining dread, veneration, and wonder that is inspired by authority or by the sacred or sublime. It is widely understood that the more common an experience or observation, the less special it feels. Somehow, simply by our daily awareness of something, it becomes regular. I have found myself wondering about this lately, as my understanding of “typical” has tipped upside down. It is now normal to discuss the “new normal.” Whatever that is. In fact, that phrase comes up so often I roll my eyes with a kind of disgusted boredom every time I hear it. As I have

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labyrinth chartres cathedral

Lost or Found

If we took a moment to reflect on our lives, I am sure many of us could locate at least one moment that we found ourselves lost and confused about our future, the decisions we need to make, or simply uncertain about what is next. We are used to thinking about these moments individually, focused on how God is speaking to us, personally, guiding and directing us through it. It is no wonder that at this moment in time we are so completely at a loss. For, it is not just a momentary crossroads that one or two of us

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Christian Witness

Christian Witness

A Reflection on Christian Witness I tried something different this week. I took my children’s message from last week and turned it into a devotion on Philippians 3:12-16 for TVprays.org. Rather than posting both, I share the devotion with you here. I hope it gives you a minute to consider the witness of your life. Keep showing up for yourselves and others, even when it gets hard. Keep your heart and mind centered on God’s transformative love for the world. Never give up. You are not alone. https://youtu.be/vmLgNIt6YQo

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tornado water

Where Were You

Read Job 38:1-11 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Gird up your loins like a man,     I will question you, and you shall declare to me. “Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth?     Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements—surely you know!     Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk,     or who laid its cornerstone when the morning stars sang together     and all the heavenly beings shouted for joy? “Or

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