Daily Devotions
 

Welcome to Good Shepherd’s Daily Devotions Page!

During the weeks of Fall, our Daily Devotions are being written by members of Good Shepherd.  Each day one of your brothers or sisters in Christ will be reflecting on faith and life as we all adjust to many changes in our world.  I pray these writings will inspire, comfort and challenge you to grow in faith.  Our dedicated authors have written about their insights, joys and struggles and have been courageous enough to share them with us so that we can also ponder where God is showing up in our own lives. 

As a way to encourage the writers and each other I invite you to share a comment in the comment section at the bottom of the page each day.

Pastor Heidi Johns

Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

Carla Jowanovitz

My Lenten group continues to meet each Sunday via Zoom.  Initially, we discussed the rest of the Fruit of the Spirit we had not covered during our study.  Next, we completed a Max Lucado Bible study and currently, we are discussing the sermons.  We usually start our meetings with a check in, such as sharing highs and lows for the week.  We share prayer concerns and pray for each other during the week.  After we have our main discussion, we end with prayers.   

I have been a part of small groups before, but this one is different.  Maybe it is because we are in the midst of a pandemic, or because we have met for a longer period of time.  Yet, one thing I know for sure is that this group of people sustains me.  They give me hope, show sympathy, are humble and offer grace.  During COVID especially, this community has been a blessing and a gift from God.  True fellowship is like that.  In fellowship we experience life together and during a pandemic, especially, we know we are not alone.

In his book, A Purpose Driven Life, Pastor Rick Warren discusses nine characteristics of Biblical Fellowship.  True fellowship is: 

1. Authentic: Members share their true feelings

2. Mutual: We encourage and help each other

3. Sympathetic: The group shares the pain of others

4. Merciful: We forgive each other and offer grace

5. Honest: We speak the truth in love

6. Humble: Members are not proud or selfish

7. Courteous: We respect differences and don’t dismiss others doubts

8. Confidential: What is shared in the group stays in the group

9. Frequent: Members have regular contact with each other

We had been meeting as a group for about 4 months before I read Pastor Warren’s book.  It was like a light switched on in my brain.  Maybe this is why our group is life giving.  Our fellowship is like what Pastor Warren described.  Genuine fellowship is hard work and it takes time, but the benefits of sharing life together far outweigh the costs.  

How can I help cultivate the characteristics of real community in my church?

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2 comments on article "Daily Devotion"

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Danelle Buelsing

Carla, your quiet faithfulness and gentle compassion are a gift to our Lent group!


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Judy Hern

Carla,

Thank you for this. You expressed my feelings exactly.

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