Adam’s Devotional – June 14-20, 2018

From Adam… 

Rip, roast, burn, and tear down are just a few of the words we use to describe making fun of each other.  In some groups it’s a sport: the better you rip, the better you are.  The fact that we use these words means we intuitively know that we are breaking others down rather than building them up when we have fun at another’s expense.  Even that phrase, “another’s expense” is significant. The ripping victim is the one paying for it, and the ripping perpetrator is the one enjoying it. Number 6 of 10 is thou shall not murder. When we hear that, we think, “easy . . . not often tempted to kill someone.”   In the Sermon on the Mount,  Jesus takes it a step further and calls us to not even call each other cruel names like “Raca.”(Matthew) How often are we killing others with our words?  How often are we killing others by what we text or send?  We have a choice in every relationship we are a part of.  We can be a part of life, or we can be a part of death. We can be a part of building people up or tearing others down.  Which one do you think God is up to?  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – June 7-13, 2018

From Adam…

The 10 commandments don’t say, “Obey thy father and mother.” Number 5 of 10 is “Honor thy father and mother.” It’s true, honor and respect can often times take the shape of obedience, but they are not the same thing. We honor our parents by taking care of them when they can’t take care of themselves. It’s easy to imagine what this looks like when our parents get very old. Visit them, maybe let them live with us, bathe them if necessary, help them get dressed, be a part letting them live the final chapters of life with dignity and joy, etc. But how do we honor our parents when they are still raising us? For starters, we can be in relationship with them. Parents have a story, they have hopes and fears, successes and failures, pet peeves and favorites, and they have it to share with us if we will honor them by asking. When was the last time you asked one of your guardians the first time they experienced God?  What about their favorite band or song? How about their first kiss (gross maybe)?  Part of honoring thy father and mother means being in relationship with them.  God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – May 31-June 6, 2018

From Adam…

Is it weird that “keep the Sabbath” is on the same list as “do not murder”?  Is it weirder that receiving Sabbath is in the top 5 while not killing is just top 10? What’s the big deal? Isn’t it just a day off? Number 4 of 10 is remember the Sabbath and keep it holy . . . In Genesis, the first Sabbath is the seventh day of creation–the day God finished.  Funny thing, God doesn’t actually do any work on the Sabbath. God just rests WITH creation. What we see on the first Sabbath is a God who chooses to be in intimate relationship with creation and not to be separate from it. Sabbath is the day we set aside to remember that God freely chooses to be with us. It’s a day we intentionally remember God’s love and grace. When you practice Sabbath, you are literally practicing receiving God’s grace. On this day we remember and celebrate what God has already done. When’s the last time you practiced Sabbath? How often do you practice receiving God’s grace and love? How often do you practice receiving judgement and self-hate? This week pick a day to intentionally remember and receive the grace of a God who wants to be with us. Here are some ideas of how you could keep Sabbath this week:   Go on a solo hike with God with your phone off. Take 5 to 10 minutes and write down where you’ve seen God in the past week. Unplug from all social media for the whole day. Unplug completely from technology for twelve hours. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – April 24-30, 2018

From Adam…

When you are scrolling through your phone to see who you want to text, you are looking for the right name.  Ever texted the wrong person? Ever received a text that wasn’t intended for you? Number 3 of 10 isThou shall not take the name of the Lord thy God in vain.”  God calls you by name.  God calls you on purpose.  Do you know God’s name? Are you two on a first name basis? In what ways have you intentionally, on purpose, called out to God?  The Bible tells the story of a God who comes to us, a God who calls to us, and a God who seeks us out. The Bible also tells the story of a people who continually move away from and resist God’s attempts at a transforming, loving, first name basis relationship. How have you taken the Lord’s name in vain?  How have you moved away from real relationship with God and only called on the Divine Name when you wanted or needed something? What would it look like if you were in a first name basis relationship with God? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – May 17-23, 2018

From Adam…

What are the idols in your life? What are you worshiping that is not God? Success? Popularity? Likes? Relationships? Social media? How have you made God in your image?  What would it look like if you allowed God to form you in the image of the Divine instead of imaging God in yours? Number 2 of 10: “Thou shall not make for yourself an idol.” What in the world does that mean? Two things:  First we don’t make an image of God. God makes us in God’s image. We don’t make God in ours, but we are always tempted to do so. We were not made to love, worship, or serve a God we made. We were made to enjoy the One who made us. Second, left to our own devices, we are like little idol factories.  It’s almost as if our default is set to make something we can know and understand to worship. We make a god for ourselves that is on our side, that agrees with our opinions, and sees life from only our own perspective. How can you allow the way you see the world to be transformed by the God that no idol can hold or contain? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – May 10-16, 2018

From Adam”THE BIRTHDAY BOY!” DeVries…

Number 1: “I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery; you shall have no other gods before me.” Many people say that commandment 1 of 10 starts with you shall, but it doesn’t.  The 10 commandments and the spiritual life in general are always anchored in what God has already done.  God has already freed the Hebrews from slavery. God has already sent the Son into the world in order that through Him the whole world might be saved. God has already freed us from our slavery to sin. God has already decided to be with and for us right here and now. This first commandment starts with God. It starts with God saying, “I am yours.”  Literally “I am the Lord your God.” What is your history with God? When is the last time you experienced God or sensed God’s presence? Do you hear the voice of God, through the narrative of scripture, saying, “I am yours; will you be Mine?” What has God already done in your life and in the lives of those around you?
God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Adam’s Devotional – May 3-9, 2018

From Adam…

The Big 10.  Before it was a college sports conference, it was carried down Mt. Sinai by Moses playing Charlton Heston (ask your parents). God told the Israelites that if they were going to be God’s people, then they would live by these 10 commandments. At first glance, that kind of seems like God’s love is conditional. It seems like we have to earn God’s love if we want to be God’s people.  But looks can deceiving. God has already decided to claim us as God’s beloved. Obeying the 10 commandments, living differently than those around us, is not so we can earn God’s love. God has already given it. As Father Gregory Boyle (google him) writes, “God is too busy loving us to be disappointed in us.” Living by these wacky commandments (not taking God’s name in vain, practicing the sabbath, etc.) is one of the ways we love God back.  It is our grateful response. When is the last time you thanked God by the way you lived your life? When is the last time you lived differently out of desire to love God? What do you think if the idea that God is too busy loving you to be disappointed in you? God’s up to something . . . be a part of it. 

Weekly Devotional from Caroline Stanley – April 12-18, 2018

From Caroline Stanley’s Lenten devo
God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

When I look closely at the last section of The Lord’s Prayer, I feel hope.  A few years ago I never would have been able to say that.

I didn’t believe in hope because I thought it was some fake optimistic idea that it was all going to be alright.  That was one of the biggest mistakes I have ever made.  Have you ever given up on hope because you were angry at God?

Hope is often hard to reach and can sometimes feel unattainable.  Hope can be lost when going through tough times, but it is the idea of believing with confidence that those dark days will come to an end.

Pain is real, but so is hope.  The good news is that God’s goodness lasts forever.  No matter if you lose hope, His glory continues on.  What would our lives look like if we found hope in God?

It is so easy for us to harden our hearts when we lose hope, but God’s love endures and is stronger than any battle we are going through.  What do you think of the idea that hope doesn’t disappoint?

Hope in God is a place of peace– a place that will always be there.  The next time you hear the last part of The Lord’s Prayer, imagine the hope that comes form God’s endless love, and hold onto it.”

Adam’s Weekly Devotional – April 5-11, 2018

From Adam…

Last week was Holy Week.  The week we watch the joyful shouts of Hosanna mutate into the hateful cries of Crucify!  Last week, like this life, is a paradoxical alchemy of celebration and mourning. We remember the way we uniquely encounter God’s yes to us in Jesus Christ. And we reflect upon our no to God as we put the Son on the cross. The good news of Holy Week is that God says yes to us even though we say no to God. In what ways have you been saying no to God’s love in your life? In what ways have you been saying no to God’s love of others?  And how have you killed hope, love, and grace in yourself, in your relationships, and in your community? Maybe you haven’t killed those things. Perhaps you’ve just stood idly by as hope, love, and grace suffocate nearby while skepticism , resentment, and self-pity take their place. Grateful that Easter has come.  God knows we need it. God’s up to something . . . be a part of it.

Weekly Devotional – March 22-28, 2018 : (excerpt from Jackson Singer’s devo)

Weekly Devotional:
(excerpt from Jackson Singer’s devo)

I feel that in order for someone to not dive into the temptations that Satan brings to the table, he or she has to put his or her life in God’s hand, trust in Him, and always stay second to Him.  And when we fall into the traps that Satan sets out for us, God will deliver us from that evil.
Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you, “declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” This verse has meant a lot to me because I have endured many things that have made an impact on my life.
Even though God allows horrible things to happen, God’s purpose is not to harm us.  A pop culture reference comes from a song called “Human” by Christina Perri.
All throughout the song, you feel how she hurts and wants to change, but she struggles because she is only human.  She sings about the mistakes that humans make.  We all have committed countless sins, and God will always be there for us.
Perfect? Not even close!  But, God will always love us. God is up to something… be a part of it.

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