Devotions (Page 13)

The Accidental Pizza

I lay in the brown leather recliner in our attic, the chair where I have fed my three babies these last six years and spent countless nights with each newborn, rocking, nursing, snacking with the hunger of a new mother, and dozing when I could. Because of this, I always think of that chair sentimentally, but this August weekend it would be drained of nostalgia. This weekend I spent three days in that chair, coughing and wheezing as I fought…

Simple Blessing

Have you ever been overwhelmed with someone’s response to your act of service? I had this experience several times. The specifics are different each time, but the core part of the story is the same: I help by doing something relatively minor, they respond as if I’d just done the most difficult thing in the world. It’s jarring to me because I don’t see what I did as particularly significant or noteworthy. In fact, I often will play it down…

Worship Preview: Give More – Simple Blessing

We continue our Advent Conspiracy this week with Give More – Simple Blessing. When you give of yourself to others, you become a blessing to them. Changing how we celebrate Christmas starts with simple acts of blessing, as we Give More of our selves this year. We also get to hear our Preschool kids sing during the Contemporary service. (Worship Schedule, Series Page) Readings (Click to read or listen) Old Testament: 1 Kings 17:7–16 New Testament: Acts 10:1–4 Gospel: Mark 6:33–44…

A Life of Joyful Abandon

Last weekend my husband and I were spectators at a nearby bowling alley for the “Saturday Special Bowling League.” This is a league for special needs adults, and we were invited by our developmentally disabled neighbor, we’ll call him Joe, who is an avid bowler. When I say we were invited, what I really mean is that we were cajoled, coaxed, encouraged, begged, and reminded repeatedly to come and see Joe bowl. “Hey Buddy,” Joe would say. “You are my…

Simple Living

It’s hard to believe, but I have been in Buffalo for nine years now. It’s the longest I’ve lived in one city since leaving for college in 1995. Prior to moving here in November 2005, I had lived in Texas for 5 years, then 1.5 years in Cleveland. It effectively meant that we moved twice in under two years. What I’ve learned about myself through the moving process then and twice since we got to Buffalo is that I have…

Worship Preview: Spend Less – Simple Living

“I’m busy.” “I’m exhausted.” “I could use a break right now.” Have you ever responded like this when someone who asked how you were doing during the Christmas season? It seems to be a time when we are overcommitted in our schedule and finances. But what if Christmas were different? What if there was space to breathe? Come find out how to make that happen as we continue the Advent Conspiracy and look at how we can “Spend Less” through…

Inclining Your Heart to God in the Everyday

When I was a teenager, my brother graduated from college. His first job was at a law firm, helping refugees who had fled their own countries to be granted asylum in the United States. These people were perhaps victims of torture, or in grave danger for political or religious reasons. When my brother graduated, my parents gave him a framed calligraphy print of Micah 6:8: “He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require…

Simple Worship

Several years ago I had an opportunity to chart how I was using my time. Throughout the day, I would record what I did in 15-minute increments. At the end of the 2-week period, I totaled up all the time spent on various projects and areas of ministry. It was an interesting process. It led to an even more interesting discovery. I found I was doing a lot, but accomplishing little. Have you ever felt that way? You’re working hard,…

Worship Preview: God is Not Far From You!

We originally planned to have Neal Anderson from Sower’s International with us this weekend to preach, but he is unable to make it because of the Snowvember Apocalypse. (Side note: want to help those affected by the snow storm? Find out how.) The services were all planned around Neal’s themes, including the song and Scripture choices, so if you’re struggling to find the connection with the topic, that’s why. Instead of Neal’s topic, Pastor Chuck will be sharing with us…

Secrets to a Lasting Love

One of the television shows I’m currently watching is called “The 100.” Like most of my favorite shows, it involves the end of the world. This time, there was some sort of nuclear war and a small remnant of humanity escaped to outer space to live in a giant space station, cobbled together by connecting the 10 or so space stations from different countries that were in orbit at the time. It’s been 97 years since the war and supplies…