Monthly Archives: October 2018

26 posts

Fall Break 6

 Tuesday

Ruth Hallstead

Esther 4:14

This verse specifically is one of my favorite Bible verses for a plethora of reasons, including my belief that hands down, Esther is one of the coolest people in the Bible. The content of the verse means even more than my shameless admiration though. In this verse, Esther is being advised by her cousin to do something that may lead to her death. But the crazy thing here isn’t even the intrigue, court politics, or imminent death faced by the participants. Instead, it’s an incredibly important statement about God’s will. God would’ve saved the Jewish people no matter what. He is faithful in all things. So Esther had a choice to make. Act to save her people from the position of power God had allowed her to ascend to, or do nothing and hide. The real question she faced was “Will God’s plan succeed because of or in spite me?”. This is a powerful question for any of us to ask. “Is ministry happening because of or in spite of my actions?”, “Am I following God’s plan because of or in spite of my decisions and actions?” God is going to do His thing. The question is, how are we going to act? 

Lord,Help me to act the way You want me to act. I know that Your plan is the best plan, and the only plan. But sometimes I resist because I’m afraid or stubborn. Show me the way out. Give me the strength to follow You in everything. Amen

Fall Break 5

Wednesday

David Conour

Psalm 150

It is likely unsurprising that Psalm 150 is my favorite Psalm. After all, the whole purpose of it is to praise God with everything you have and all that you are. So naturally, being a worship leader, it becomes a bit of a mantra for how to live life. I believe that worshipping God is not an act that is confined to a sanctuary, or a church, or the Bama Wesley Foundation. Worship is an anytime, any place, any situation kind of thing. It is something that you can do for anything, because God is in all things. Not just the stuff that we consider “Holy”, but literally everything. The sky, the trees, the ground. The person who smiled at you on your walk to class. That cute dog you saw playing fetch on the quad. The bus you just missed because you were too distracted by the dog. All of this can be seen as an opportunity to praise God for His greatness and His glory. There’s a book by David Crowder called Praise Habit. In it, Crowder talks about how he was going through a very difficult time and had trouble seeing God in anything. Until one day, he saw God in a Chick-Fil-A chicken sandwich. No, that is not a joke. God can even be in the chicken sandwich you ate at the Ferg for lunch. The point of all this, is to say that you can praise God for anything you encounter. No matter how big or small. So keep an eye out for Him the next time you’re on your way to class, He might show up where you least expect Him.  

Father God

Keep my eyes turned towards You. Help me to live a life fueled by worship, where I see You in everything I encounter. Help me to see You in both the big things and the small things. Help me to know that You are not something that is confined to one place, but that You are ever present. All this in Your Son’s holy name I pray,

Amen.

Fall Break 4

Monday

Will Harper

Job 42:1-3

Job has always been my favorite book in the bible, the story of a “blameless” and “upright” man who was the model for faith in God, “he feared God and shunned evil” and “He was the greatest man among all the people of the East” but yet that led to him being tortured by Satan until Job cursed his own being, wishing he had never been born. Eventually bringing it all back to the Lord after being confronted by God, Job saw that nothing can stop God, even when Satan destroyed Job’s life trying to get him to denounce his beliefs, he still had faith that it would all pass. In our own way we face difficulties, while hopefully not as drastic as the devil attacking you and taking everything away from you, it can still be enough to pose questions to our faith sometimes. Whenever I feel separated from God or have something bothering me that makes me hesitate to devote my life to the Lord’s work, I come back to Job and read of how even when one of the best, most God-driven people in the world had questions about faith, he had his eyes opened and saw that the beauty of God’s kingdom is so overwhelmingly good for us that we can’t understand it. God works in ways that we don’t see and we have to have faith in that, even when it can be tough to believe wholeheartedly, God still loves us more than anything and is always here to keep us on track. 

Lord, I pray that as we take this time to think of You, we can see some ways in our life that we might be separated from You, so that we may give it up to see more of Your works. I pray that we may be like Job and stay faithful even when our world is being ripped apart, may we stand for You even when we feel like falling. Amen.

Fall Break 3

Saturday

Alex Tidwell 

At Night, Alone is an American pop album by Mike Posner*. In the album, Posner often brings up his feeling of being alone. He’s never isolated though; most songs revolve around his interactions with other people. However, during one of these interactions, he tells some of his fans that “you don’t wanna be high like me, Never really knowing why like me, You don’t ever wanna step off that roller coaster and be all alone”. So why am I beginning a devo with a music review? It’s because I feel that Posner captures the true nature of being alone: a lack of purpose in our relationships, not necessarily isolation. I’ve been in the spot that Posner described where I was “never really knowing why”. In one such time I was reminded of A New Creed which is a statement of faith of the united church of Canada. In short, this creed reminds me that I have a purpose I can’t shake. There is a God who is active and invested in the world and I’m in His world; I am a guest of His. I can lean into Him. In doing that, I find purpose in my life. I find a calling to see the world become what God envisions. There is no way I can escape these realities. For that, I am thankful because it brings me overwhelming peace.

This is how it reads: 

We are not alone,   

We live in God’s world 

We believe in God:   

who has created and is creating,   

who has come in Jesus,      

the Word made flesh,      

to reconcile and make new,   

who works in us and others      

by the Spirit.  

We trust in God.  

We are called to be the Church:   

to celebrate God’s presence,   

to live with respect in Creation,   

to love and serve others,   

to seek justice and resist evil,   

to proclaim Jesus, crucified and risen,      

our judge and our hope.

 In life, in death, in life beyond death,   

God is with us.

We are not alone. 

Thanks be to God.

 I hope you find this creed as encouraging as I do. I ask you to make this creed a prayer by making it personal – switch “we” for “I” and “God” for “You”.

*Some parts of this album and this song have questionable content. Bama Wesley does not endorse this, but we wholeheartedly support seeing God in everyday life no matter what form it comes in.

Fall Break 2

Friday

Sam Donley

Ecclesiastes 4:7-12 

I really like this chunk of scripture. It talks about the importance of not living life alone. When we are alone and living for ourselves, everything feels meaningless like the man in verse 8. We were not created to be alone, so God fills our lives with people to join together with. Our friends are here so we can live together and with these bonds we can accomplish so much more than we ever could alone and express God’s love for humanity by loving and supporting each other together. 

God, thank you for giving us this desire for companionship and the wonderful ways we can fulfill it. Thank you for every person You’ve put in my life that has helped me up or needed the same from me. The Church can only accomplish Your will by sharing this life You’ve given us, and it’s more fun with friends anyway.

Fall Break 1

Thursday

Charlie Warren

Romans 12:1

We love to segment our lives. We have our work life, our school life, our social life, and our church life. While this segmentation often brings a much-appreciated order and routine to our lives, having a “church life” is wholly unacceptable. We are not called to be Christians on Sundays, or while in a certain building, or while with certain people. This type of contained Christianity, which I am surely guilty of practicing, is incompatible with our call to spread the Word of God, and to live a life modeled after that of Jesus’. This verse does a good job at contextualizing this idea. Worship is not something that bookends the pastor’s sermons on Sundays. It *should* be an all-encompassing offering to God. Leading a life of worship is hard, and I know I fail continuously, but I was once given a question to ask myself when making decisions in my life, “Does this help or hurt my personal ministry?”. Honestly asking this question before making choices in my life has dramatically helped my continuous worship of God, and I would encourage you to try asking it in your life as well. 

God, we refuse to compartmentalize you. Let us not confine our worship behind the close doorsof the sanctuary, but let it overflow into the world around us, facilitated by our lives livedcompletely for you.