Daily Devotions

I Miss the 1980s

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Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God’s sight, and like living stones, let yourselves be built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. (1 Peter 2:4-5)

I miss the ‘80s. Now, that is easier to say because I am a white male, but I miss being able to talk to children. Now, if an adult approaches a child, it is automatically considered creepy. In the ‘80s you could learn a child’s name, talk, and even play peek and it was all considered natural. Perhaps out of necessity, we’ve taught our children to fear strangers from the earliest age.

Even six months ago we could stand beside each other, shake hands, and even have a conversation. Now, we cannot touch hands, or even breathe each other’s air without fearing a deadly virus. Our Deacons must resort to the phone, computer, or standing under a balcony, just to make contact with the person she/he provides care.

We can pine for the 1980s, but that will not change our present circumstances. Our children were not as safe in the ‘80s as we thought. We now live with the Coronavirus and complaining or ignoring it will not make it go away. Throughout the Bible, God has regularly forced the faithful to face reality. Jesus had to sit in the upper room and inform them of his impending suffering and death. Their first response was denial. He would not let them remain in their denial.

You and I are no longer in the 1980s. I had to stop visiting with children in the grocery store, and we both need to face this pandemic. Putting on a mask is a sacrament. One of the definitions of a sacrament is “a ritual regarded as imparting divine grace.” Wearing a mask during this pandemic is a ritual of mutual respect, imparting divine grace by showing love and respect for others by keeping them safe. Today, pray for our society, that each person will honor God by wearing a mask. What a little thing, but what a powerful difference.

Good Bones

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I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:13)

This is the third home we have purchased. Our first home had an open concept and all the early ‘90’s updates, but the walls were thin, I had to resolder copper tubing, and it was built in a drained swamp. The dirt under the concrete driveway kept washing away. It did not have good bones.

Finally, by our third home, we figured it out. Sure, the kitchen needed work, and the downstairs was designed in 1963, but it was amazingly well built. You can purchase carpet, granite countertops, and a little paint, but you can’t rebuild the walls or the plumbing quite as easily.

The same is true of our faith. Some people do a great job of putting on the airs of faith. They do a great job of looking the part and even feeling the faith, until there are problems. But having the good bones of faith isn’t always seen on the outside – but when it is being tested with the 100-mile-an-hour winds of struggle, you recognize whether your faith has good bones. Yet, unlike a house with poor bones, prayer, worship, and caring can strengthen the bones of your faith.

Today is an opportunity to reinforce the good bones of your faith. As you pray today, ask God to strengthen your faith. In the painfulness of this time it is difficult to live with hope and joy. Between the pandemic, the economic struggle so many are facing, and the wind damage so many are still fixing, our bones are being tested. Even with so much on our plate, if we do not take the time to strengthen our bones of faith, we will not stay strong and healthy. We must always remember, “I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”

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