Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Wednesday, 1 December, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Bernice Stewart.

We do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. . .

2 Corinthians 4:18a

When we are attacked by life's trials we have a CHOICE to make -

We can walk by FAITH or by SIGHT.

God commands us to walk by Faith (His word & promises)

and not by Sight (facts or circumstances) - 2 Corinthians 5:7

When we walk by faith we respond with what and how God's

word says to do and not react with our human feelings and


However, we don't throw out our feels and intellect but we subject

them to our spiritual being to be anointed and utilized in accordance

to God's will.

The poem "Seeing Beyond" by Mildred N. Hoyer is more than a positive

attitude it's a faith walk life style - embracing the substance of hope.

See the blossom on the bare branch;

See the harvest in the tiny seed;

See the wholeness in the illness;

See God's order in the confusion;

See life in the midst of death-

See the substance of things unseen.

Prayer: Father, we give you thanks for the everlasting Gospel which

gives us hope to see beyond our human vision. AMEN.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Tuesday, 30 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Bernice Stewart.

He did not waver at the promise of God through unbelief, but was strengthened in faith, giving glory to God, and being fully convinced that what He had promised He was also able to perform
. Romans 4:20-21

Each Sunday during worship service the assisting minister carries our large Bible from the rear of the sanctuary to the front of the sanctuary and places it on the lectern. Two lessons are read and then a gospel lesson is read from the Bible each week.

Some one asked me once if I believe in the Bible or believe the Bible.

Many times when we say we believe in something it is a belief of mental assent. It's a passive belief which has not reached the heart so that we act upon that belief. However, when we believe it is an action - an active act upon that belief - our faith.

Do you believe what the Word says even though your eyes and your feelings tell you something different? Faith doesn't care what the symptoms are. It doesn't care what the circumstances look like. It's not moved by what the banker says, or the doctor, or the lawyer, or the bill collector.

In other words our actions and responses to the situation trust the mercy and grace of God to prevail.

Prayer: We give thanks God for Your refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. AMEN

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Monday, 29 November, 2004

This week's devotions are by Redeemer member Bernice Stewart.

That your faith should not be in the wisdom of men but in the power of God. 1 Corinthians 2:5

The next time you feel like GOD can't use you, just remember...

Abraham was too old

Isaac was a daydreamer

Jacob was a liar

Leah was ugly

Joseph was abused

Moses had a stuttering problem

Rahab was a prostitute

Jeremiah and Timothy were too young

David had an affair and was a murderer

Elijah was suicidal

Isaiah preached naked

Jonah ran from God

Naomi was a widow

Job went bankrupt

Peter denied Christ

The Disciples fell asleep while praying

Martha worried about everything

Zaccheus was too small

Paul was too religious ...AND

Lazarus was dead!

....no more excuses now. God can use you to your full potential.

Besides you aren't the message, you are just the messenger.

Those are a few lines of a message that were emailed

to me. They reminded me that . . .

When we turn to HIM and are not turned into ourselves

we experience the awesomeness of the GRACE of GOD!

What we do is not of our own strength but God's power!!

Prayer: Father, help us to focus on You as You qualify

and empower us to do Your will. AMEN.

Friday, November 26, 2004

Friday, 26 November, 2004

This week''s devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in the one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly; teach and admonish one another in all wisdom; and with gratitude in your hearts sing psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Colossians 3:15-17.

Continuing with our theme of thanksgiving, thank God for each of the following:

  • The individual who has had the greatest influence on your faith life.
  • The most beautiful place you have ever visited.
  • Your best friend.
  • Help with a particularly difficult problem or event.
  • Your favorite song.

Thanks be to God.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Wednesday, 24 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird. Please note that there will be no devotion sent tomorrow due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Looking for a Thanksgiving card the other day, I came across one that queried: When did the Pilgrims know it was time for the first Thanksgiving?

Answer: When the Christmas displays had been up for two months.

Sadly, that does seem to be commentary on the observance of Thanksgiving these days. It seems more "in the way" on that road to Christmas, than a time to stop, contemplate our blessings and thank God for all he has given us.

A hymn in With One Voice sums up our blessings well:

Each little flower that opens, each little bird that sings,

God made their glowing colors, God made their tiny wings.

The purple-headed mountains, the river running by,

The sunset, and the morning that brightens up the sky.

The cold wind in the winter, the pleasant summer sun,

The ripe fruits in the garden, God made them ev'ry one.

God gave us eyes to see them, and lips that we might tell

How great is God Almighty, who has made all things well.

All things bright and beautiful, all creatures great and small,

All things wise and wonderful, the Lord God made them all.

Thanks be to God.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Tuesday, 23 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

As the parent of two sons not too far removed from their teens, I have to say I really enjoy the comic strip Zits. It's the ongoing saga of 15-year-old Jeremy and his life. One strip recently shows Jeremy, almost in passing, asking his mother if she ever smoked. She starts out calm, collected, "No, I'm proud to say that I never picked up that FILTHY, DISGUSTING, FOUL-SMELLING, EXPENSIVE POLUTING AND ADDICTIVE HABIT!"

Jeremy, somewhat wind blown, walks away, noting, "Sometimes I envy those people who complain about receiving mixed messages at home."

This leads us into the last five areas for families to examine during this, Family Week. (The rating scale is 0=Low and 10=High.)

Clear Roles

  • Strong families recognize parents are in charge and are open to the children's ideas. Family members respect the parents' authority and listen to the children.


  • Strong families care for each other and are grateful to one another. Family members demonstrate thoughtfulness, offer recognition, express appreciation.


  • Strong families are able to adapt to life changes and stressful situations. Family members are stress.


  • Strong families like to spend their free time together. Family members enjoy being together and spend quality time together.


  • Strong families work on tasks together. 10 Bonus points


Low = 0-25 Moderate=26-50 Good=61-75 Excellent=76-100

Prayer: Dear Father, Give our family the strength and courage to listen and communicate clearly, to forgive and comfort compassionately, and to love each other abundantly. Amen.

Monday, 22 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

It's the week of Thanksgiving - and it's also Family Week, a time, according to the Family Service Council of Ohio (FSCO), "to underscore the importance of families, the critical role they play in Ohio, and what makes them strong."

Whenever I make that list of what I am grateful for, "family" is always there - at the top, which is one reason I really liked the "Family Report Card" FSCO sent out this past week. They suggested that families complete it together to see how they score.

FSCO is not a "religious" organization but I was struck not only with how meaningful the areas they want families to look at are but also with the measures they use for rating. These are areas that all families - traditional and non-traditional - could benefit from discussing. We'll look at the first five today and the second five tomorrow. The rating scale is 0=Low and 10=High.


  • Strong families communicate clearly, openly and frequently. Family members share thoughts and opinions and are always open and honest.


  • Strong families appreciate and value the uniqueness of each family member. Family members strive to create a sense of belonging for everyone and support/encourage one another.


  • Strong families are committed to the family as a unit. Family members give each other positive reinforcement and see themselves as a team.

Morals & Values

  • Strong families are guided by morals respected by all members. Family members discuss their values with each other and respect each other's values.


  • Strong families are connected to their communities.


  • Family members are not isolated; they contribute to their community, and can rely on neighbors and friends.

Prayer: Dear Father, Help us to build strong relationships with our sons and daughters, our mothers and fathers and our partners, nourishing them with love, care, and a supportive home. May we all grow to become all you created us to be. Amen.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Friday, 19 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

We have spent the week thinking about time…our time…God’s time…the seasons of time. And while “time” and “enough time” can be an issue throughout the year, it seems to increase in intensity, actually, just about now.

Thursday is Thanksgiving and right after that comes the first Sunday in Advent. All of a sudden we are on that treadmill leading up to Christmas. But for me, remembering “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven” helps to take the pressure off.

This season coming up is one to bask in the waiting for that wondrous gift God gave all of us – His son Jesus. With that as the central focus, it can be a time of anticipation, joy, celebration and sharing.

Prayer: Thank you for giving us special times to focus on your great love for us. Amen

Thursday, 18 November, 2994

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

The following is the rest of the hymn "I Was There to Hear Your Borning Cry" by John Ylvisaker that we first looked at yesterday:

"In the middle ages of your life, not too old, no longer young,

I'll be there to guide you through the night, complete what I've begun.

When the evening gently closes in and you shut your weary eyes,

I'll be there as I have always been with just one more surprise."

"I was there to hear your borning cry, I'll be there when you are old.

I rejoiced the day you were baptized, to see your life unfold."

Time - life - travels this certain path and in the big picture, it is short, very short. But with God by our side and our times in his hands, we also know that "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being with me through all the "times of my life."

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Wednesday, 17 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

There's a wonderful hymn in the supplemental hymnal, With One Voice, which picks up our theme of time and God's presence in the times of our lives:

"I was there to hear your borning cry, I'll be there when you are old.

I rejoiced the day you were baptized to see your life unfold.

I was there when you were but a child, with a faith to suit you well;

In a blaze of light you wandered off to find where demons dwell."

"When you heard the wonder of the Word I was there to cheer you on;

You were raised to praise the living Lord, to whom you now belong.

If you find someone to share your time and you join your hearts as one,

I'll be there to make your verses rhyme from dusk till rising sun."

Connection: Live each hour of the day with the vision of God's watching, encouraging and caring accompanying you every step of the way.

Prayer: O Lord, my times are yours. Amen.

Monday, November 15, 2004

Tuesday, 16 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.

Yesterday we started thinking about time and the statement in Ecclesiastes 3 that "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven."

The writer then goes on to enumerate all of those activities:

a time to be born and a time to die,

a time to plant and a time to uproot,

a time to kill and a time to heal,

a time to tear down and a time to build,

a time to weep and a time to laugh,

a time to mourn and a time to dance,

a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,

a time to embrace and a time to refrain,

a time to search and a time to give up,

a time to keep and a time to throw away,

a time to tear and a time to mend,

a time to be silent and a time to speak,

a time to love and a time to hate,

a time for war and a time for peace."

Couple this plan of God's with the Psalmist's words: "But I trust in you, O Lord; I say 'You are my God.' My times are in your hands…." (Psalm 31:14-15a) and there comes a sense of a bigger picture … a rhythm to life that ebbs and flows and that, no matter what happens, God is present.

Connection: Start each day this week with the thought, "You are my God. My times are in your hands." Repeat as stresses build at work and at home.

Prayer: Dear Lord, Help me to entrust my times to you. Amen.

Monday, 15 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member Judith Bird.


There never seems to be enough … a real puzzlement in this "time" of so many "time-saving" devices. Where does "saved" time go? Who gets to use the saved time?

Time has always intrigued me. Time travel stories have a certain fascination. What if….

Likewise, the "time turner" in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban could be a very useful tool where one can relive an hour or two or three.

A friend once explained that time actually is relative. An hour in the life of a five-year-old is a much larger percentage of his life than it is for a 50-year-old. Time does "fly" as one gets older.

However, in the midst of all the rush, all the hubbub, Ecclesiastes 3 gives its own perspective on time: "There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven." This week, we're going to explore what the Bible tells us about time and what that means for our use of it.

Connection: How do you decide how to use the time you have each day?

Prayer: O Lord, help me to remember that you are there - every day, hour, minute, second. Amen.

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Friday, 12 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

To eat bread is a material act, to break and share it, a spiritual one.

Nicholas Berdyaev

in Shantung Compound

Another way to look at the distintion between the material and spiritual acts would be to say that one is about consumption, while the other is about reaching out. It is not that one is bad while the other is good. It is about shifting our attitudes so that our focus is not on sustenance but upon relationships, healing, and mutuality. It is about taking a necessary activity (eating) and making it about brilding relationships with others through the common and simple act of eating.

Connection: Take this concept even wider. We consume, produce, and perform all throughout our day. We go through the acts necessary for living in our modern work -- and most of the time, we are so caught up in the mundain tasks of life that we miss the opportunities to make them "spiritual." Look for the opportunities to build relationships and forge connections with others in our lives. Focus in the meaningfulness of these acts as we move through live. Enjoy the depth of what and who is set before us.

Prayer: Help us to see, help us to be present in the moment, help us to move beyond doing and into being. Amen.

Wednesday, November 10, 2004

Thursday, 11 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

To paraphrase a well-known test of Pascal, we can say that all the political theologies, the theologies of hope, of revolution, and of liberation, are not worth one act of genuine solidarity with exploited social classes. They are not worth one act of faith, love, and hope, comitted--in one way or another--in active participation to liberate [humanity] from everthing that dehumanizes [people] and prevents [them] from living according to the will of the Father.

Gustavo Gutierrez

A Theology of Liberation

For those of us who have endured the latest round of political elections in the U.S., we say candidates from all parties using well-chosen faith language in order to convence church-going people to vote them into office. Gutierrez points to the fact that Christian faith is expressed not in words, but in actions of solidarity with the oppressed. The Church has often been criticized for being hgih on ideals but low on actions. In fact, well spoken preachers can make their followers feel as if they have done huge acts of faith, simply by being "pew potatoes."

Connection: A challenge for this day is to look for one concrete way to express your faith through actions on behalf of one who is marginalized from society. It may be a gift of time, of money, of advocacy. Instead of passively allowing politics to coopt the teachings of the Church, find ways to express the faith in actions that leave no doubt that the grace of God is active in the world today.

Prayer: Help us to speak the Gospel in our acts as well as our words. May what we do reflect whose we are. Amen.

Tuesday, November 9, 2004

Wednesday, 10 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

However loving and sympathetic we try to be, however sound out psychology, however frank and open our behaviour, we cannot penetrate the incognito of the other [person], for there are no direct relationships, not even between soul and soul. Christ alone stands between us, and we can only get in touch with our neighbors through him. That is why intercession is the most promising way to reach our neighbors, and corporate prayer, offered in the name of Christ, the purest form of fellowship.

Deitrich Bonhoeffer

The Cost of Discipleship

All our knowledge of our world, our relationships, even our God, are filtered through the lens of our experience. Experience gives shape to the symbols we use to organize our understanding of existence and provides meaning to those symbols. When we try to know another person, we form our understanding by interperpreting our experience of that person - not the objective reality of the person him/herself. As such our relationships are imperfect. Relationships improve (or at least become more genuine) when we can be willing to lay aside at least some of our emotional clutter. Thus, to an extend, knowledge of self and how our baggage colors our perceptions of others, is key to getting to know another person, at least on some level.

Yet even this is not sufficient, since we can never fully move out of ourselves to experience the other person fully and uniquely. It is Bonhoeffer's assertion that, for Christians, we can most fully engage the other person through prayer in the name of Christ. By doing this, we are trusting in God's essence to bring relaity to our relationship. Christ can be described as the one who was fully knwon by God and who fully knew God (this is part of the Trinitarian formula). If then, we release our relationships to Christ, we are trusting in God to be the active party to bring insight, knowledge, and truth to our interactions with others. Another way of looking at this is that, just as we trust that God alone justifies us in Christ, so also God alone provides the truest context to know others and to be in relationship with them.

Connection: Focus for a moment on your most significant relationship. Look at all you know about that person. Ask yourself how much of what you know might be reflectionship on who you are, rather than who the other person is. Then pray, trusting that Christ will create and inspire new insights to this person and a stronger bond of love between you.

Prayer: Help us to see what you see in those around us. Help us to understand that others around us are not relfections of our own selves, but divine creations of God - each with unique identifies that we now only see dimly. By looking at you, help us to more clearly see each other. Amen.

Monday, November 8, 2004

Tuesday, 9 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

Monks go to a monastery to find God. But monks who live in a monastery as if they had found God are not real monks. I came here to get "closer" to God, but if I were to make myself believe that I am any closer to God than anybody else, I would just be fooling myself. God should be sought, but we cannot find God. We can only be found by him.

Henri Nouwen

The Genesee Diary

So much of religious pop culture speaks of methods, prayers and belief systems intended to help a person come to God. Sometimes, the proposed discipline is easy, sometimes it is hard, sometimes it separates people from their money.... The Gospel proclaims that God always comes to us. God seeks us out. God enters our context and makes grace freely available to all -- without our having to even ask for it. This is a God out of control. No denomination, congregation, or movement can manage and control the means of grace. God free gives to all -- without reservation.

Connection: Such a message as this throws the world's economic rules into caos. The Gospel proclains a God who had a priceless gift and who offers it to all, without condition, without the receivers having to be worthy, or sufficiently repentent, or even to have subscribed to a particular belief system. God loves and is completely out of control! What does it mean for us to worship a God so out of control? Do we dare to loose a bit of control ourselves? What would the Church look like if its members embraces this "out of control" grace? Wow.... just imagine...

Prayer: God, we thank you for coming to us. May we never get in your way as you gather humanity to yourself, but rather loosen us up to dance your dance of grace with all whom we meet. Amen.

Sunday, November 7, 2004

Monday, 8 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

Plain life as live by a Christian... in a spirit of faith, is a life redeemed by Christ. It is Christ's life.... When you eat breakfast, Christ is eating breakfast. When you go to work, Christ is going to work. When you meet your brother... Christ meets Christ.

Thomas Merton

as quoted in Merton's Palace of Nowhere

by James Findley

When I first read this quotation, my initial reaction was "This is way cool!" Then, when I started reflecting on how to put this in practice, I started to see the true struggle of being a part of the "one, holy, catholic, and apostolic Church." There's an old saying that you can pick your friends but you are stuck with your relatives. I think the same must be said for those who are in the Church as well. Many in the Church have tried to escape this reality by forming new denominations, excommunicating troublemakers, even killing those who were named "heretics." But if we take Merton's premise seriously, we are running from, pushing away, and in the end murdering the Christ in our midst.

Another troubling aspect to this quotation is what is says about each of us and our daily lives. The daily grind of life is, in fact, the life of Christ within us. As we go about doing the ordinary activities of life, we are living and being Christ within the world. How we treat ourselves, how we respect our own dignity and worth relfects on how we view the Christ as much as how we treat those around us.

Connection: A meditation exercise I might suggest would be to reflect for ten minutes on the quality and nature of our interactions with others. Look for how they reflected our feelings for the Christ in the other person. Then spend another ten minutes on the quality and nature of how we live out our lives and how the quality and nature of how we treat ourselves reflect our feelings for the Christ within us. Finally, spend ten minutes looking honestly at how we did in these two areas without further crushing the Christ within us.

Prayer: Help us to recognize the Christ within us and the Christ within others. In the complexities of a bitter world fractured by politics, economic exploitation, and bigotry, help us to see Christ all around us and thereby to not give in to the evils that surround us, but to have a vision of your all-inclusive reign that is grounded in grace and love. Amen.

Thursday, November 4, 2004

Friday, 5 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

I used to be an active collector of quotes. This series of devotions will be based on some of my favorites.

Theology is the study of God and his ways. For all we know, dung beetles study [people] and call it humanology. If so, we would probably be more touched and amused than irritated. One hopes that God feels likewise.

Frederick Buechner

Wishful Thinking: A Theological ABC

One of the most dangerous traps the church can fall into is to idolize its theology. If we worship the study of God, rather than God him/herself, then the object of our worship is, in reality, ourselves. Besides idolatry, this overconfidence in our own God-constructs diminish the scope of God's reign and dramatically increases the likelihood that we the golden calf of our own hubris on the backs of those who are the most powerless and disenfranchised within our societies. Some of the greatest acts of harm done in the name of religion have been when God's followers are most certain of their theological veracity. I wonder if the opposite is true... would a dose of healthy doubt and a willingness to be wrong be a counterbalance to the evils caused by arrogance? Maybe the Church might be well to offer questions in addition to creeds as part of it liturgical rites. What would the Church look like if this were part of our tradition?

Connection: A former professor of mine once said that the purpose of theology is to be about the business of continuously tearing itself down and rebuilding again from its ruins. Some voices proclaim boldly that they have the answers, including the ultimate answers of God and God's will for humanity and its institutions. Rather than answering those voices with different opinions having the same certitude, ask questions, pose alternatives, be willing to live with ambiguity and unanswered mysteries. A sign of wisdom for the aforementioned dung beetle would be to understand and accept that it will never have the capacity to comprehend the experience of being human and to be content with the mysteries of human existence.

Prayer: We release the need to try and understand your experience, O Lord. Help us to understand our reality through the life and ministry of your Son and by doing so, draw us closer to your essence. Amen.

Tuesday, November 2, 2004

Thursday, 4 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

I used to be an active collector of quotes. This series of devotions will be based on some of my favorites.

I Pray incessantly

for the conversion

of the prodigal son's


Ever in my ear

rings the dread warning:

"The one has awoken

from his life of sin.

When will the other


from his virtue?"

Dom Helder Camara

A Thousand Reasons for Living

This quotation has a great deal of meaning for me because of the way that it turns the parable of the prodigal son on its side. Camara's focus is not on the prodigal son, but on the "good" son, who, in the end, was caught in a cycle of unrepentant, jealous hatred. It is worth noting that the parable is silent as to whether the "good" son ever repents of his jealosy and embraces his brother. When we wear virtue as a badge, we fall into the trap of self-justification that Paul warns us against and become impervious to compassion, forgiveness, and love.

Connection: Dream interpretation in Gestalt psychology begins with the premise that every person, object, and action within the dream represents a part of ourselves. Perhaps we can take this same interpretive principle and use it to look at Jesus' parables. We are the father, the producal son, the good son, even the pigs! We are both the one who is driven to repentance and the one who hardens his heart to compassion and love. And yes, we are also the one who, with open arms, forgives the son who has rejected everything we stand for. Today look at how you live out each of these characters., and take all of these "characters" to the cross where we see the one who is able to embrace and accept all of who we are, without qualification or condition.

Prayer: For give us out sins as well as our idolization of our good deeds. Whether we do good or evil, save us, good Lord, from ourselves.

Monday, November 1, 2004

Tuesday, 2 November, 2004

This week's devotions are written by Redeemer member John Caron.

I used to be an active collector of quotes. This series of devotions will be based on some of my favorites.

There are two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done."

C.S. Lewis

The Great Divorce

Today is election day in the U.S. The electoral system is a means to attempt to measure "the will of the people." It is also a time when politicians attempt to mold the collective will of their constituants into something resembling their own political agenda. C.S. Lewis makes the point that each of us can either seek the Reign of God or else be trapped in whatever we have chosen for ourselves. God's Reign stands outside of the labels of conservative, liberal, progressive, or moderate. It calls is to not pay ultimate allegience to any party, any political idiology, any govenment or any country. We cannot confuse any cause, no matter how good it may be, with the Reign of God.

Connection: It is easy to choose our will instead of the will of God. Our struggle is to first comprehend what the will of God is and then secondly, to choose it for ourselves. Recognizing the will of God is difficult. But in the landscape of competing messages, philosophies, and political agendas, the Gospel becomes our best means to make that choice. Ultimately, of course, we find that no party or poltical movement can pass the test. None have room for a God who takes on weakness, humiliation, and death. In short, none have room for the cross.

Regardless of election Tuesday's outcome, our faith must remain in Good Friday and in the God who was crucified by the will of humankind. In our elections, there are vital choices to be made. The consequences of those choices are very real. Participation in the political process is important, but our faith must remain on that which stands outside of all politics and all human will.

Prayer: Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

Monday, 1 November, 2004

Today's devotion is written by Redeemer member Katie Kent.

… whatever you do, do everything for the glory of God. 1 Corinthians 10:31

When I was in college I participated in a Christian fellowship group. We would meet once a week to sing praise songs have a Bible study. Sometimes we'd have a speaker come in. It was at one of these meetings that I heard this story.

An old woman had a job cleaning toilets for a big corporation. She always was singing or whistling while she cleaned. Every day she would clean the toilets and no one paid her any attention. Finally, one day a scowling executive asked the old woman why she was always in such a good mood. Surely, the executive said, she could not enjoy cleaning toilets. It is such dirty work, and it is never ending. Didn't she ever get tired of doing the same thing every day? The old woman smiled as she explained, "I don't pretend to be a smart woman. I never graduated from school. I can't sing, or paint a picture. I don't have any special talents that I can think of. But, I do a pretty good job at cleaning toilets. And so, every day I do my best and I clean my toilets to the glory of God."

I have no idea if this story is based on an actual conversation that happened in a corporate bathroom somewhere. But does it matter? I'm sure there are lots of people just like the old woman. They are hard-working, honest people that get taken for granted or are overlooked. However, I know that God never takes them for granted. And I'm sure that whatever they do to glorify His name will be acceptable to Him.

Connection: I find this story incredibly humbling. Sometimes it's easy to get caught up in having the best job, best car etc. But the scripture tells us to do EVERYTHING to the glory of God. If we let this dictate our daily decisions, then we can truly say that we live our lives to the glory of God. I can't think of a better way to live than that!

Dear Jesus, thank you for our varied skills and talents. We pray that we can find new ways to give glory to your name each and every day. Amen