Devotional Archives

  • Hold Nothing Back

    June 7th, 2017

    My son gave me a big bottle of my favorite cologne. I treasure this gift, and as the months go by, I use just a little of it because I want it to last as long as possible. But the woman in our reading for today wasn’t concerned about conserving ...

  • Stronger on My Knees

    June 6th, 2017

    Having put all five of us children and all our belongings into the cart, my father helped my mother get onto the carabao (water buffalo) and led us back to his church assignment about five kilometers across the river. It was raining hard, and the trail was muddy, knee-deep in ...

  • Flower Pies

    June 5th, 2017

    When I was young, I could have won a medal for making fantastic “flower pies.” I would spend countless hours gathering wide varieties of rocks from my grandma’s driveway and placing them neatly in the old pie tins that she supplied. I especially loved smoothing the top of the “pie” ...

  • Pentecost

    June 4th, 2017

    I have been teaching my 6th grade Sunday school students about Pentecost. I tell them how I relate to the first disciples who were amazed by the way the Holy Spirit allows everyone to follow Christ regardless of their native language. Every few years we visit my in-laws who have ...

  • “The Price is Paid”

    June 3rd, 2017

    The wind was brisk as we stood huddled and cold on the town steps one evening in April. We were thankful we had remembered to wear our heavy coats, gloves, and scarves; and though we were not professional singers, every word we sang was from the heart: “All in an ...

  • Why God, Why?

    June 2nd, 2017

    I have never understood why people suffer or prayers seem to go unanswered, and I probably never will. I do, however, find comfort in knowing that I’m not alone in my lack of understanding or in my suffering. In today’s reading, Jesus himself broke down in the midst of his ...

  • Loss or Launch?

    June 1st, 2017

    “Kim, you’re a good employee and the residents love you, but due to budget cuts, your job is being eliminated.” I was shocked to hear these words from the director of the assisted-living community where I was working at the time. I was sad because I would miss the friends ...

  • Complain or Contribute?

    May 31st, 2017

    One Sunday morning after worship I overheard a brief conversation between two parishioners. One of the men said, “I didn’t get much out of the service. Did you?” “Not much,” the other replied. It was disconcerting to hear, though I have to admit that I have made similar complaints. Often ...

  • God Cares for Us

    May 30th, 2017

    During perestroika, a time of political and economic instability in the Soviet Union, many Russian people, fearing for their lives, left their birthplaces, their property, and their homes and ran to other places where they could live in safety. Our family moved from Chechnya to the Krasnodar region. We lived ...

  • A Second Chance

    May 29th, 2017

    I often think back to mistakes I made both in the distant past and just yesterday. Why did I make that stupid remark? Why did I gossip about another person? And then I start thinking about larger life choices: wrong turns I have taken or times when I have done ...