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

Vernon Hartman and Amy Johnson

Our faith journey over the past eight months has been subtle, sustaining, and in some ways surprising.  We actually began daily devotions (Sarah Young:  Jesus Calling) accompanied by the Lutheran Bible in early February, taking time each morning before hectic teaching schedules began (remember those times?) to, as we refer to it, “devote.”  Many of the devotions emphasize letting go of one’s instinct to “control” every aspect of life, and trust God to give us the clarity to see what should be seen and done (or what He wants us to see and do), and having the vulnerability to be open to seeing challenges as they are actually presented (as opposed to what has been anticipated) and to willingly slow things down.  This discipline, along with the altered social situation everyone is experiencing, helped open our eyes to many things otherwise missed – notably the small acts of kindness and courtesy that are so much more evident in these times of limited person-to-person contact.  Little things, like finding we went overboard on a weekend baking bread, and then choosing to share the surplus by leaving loaves on the front porches of friends and neighbors, have become sources of grace and joy.  

     When the lockdowns began (concurrent with Spring break in March) we were ironically seeking a few days of solitude, taking a long-planned “getaway” to Murphin Ridge Inn (familiar to Amy as the locale for her Mind-Body training retreats) about an hour east of Cincinnati in Adams County.  What an unexpected preparation for the months to come – almost total isolation in a lovely cabin amidst the gently rolling hills of Amish country, savoring almost total silence (except for the wind) and the brilliant night sky absent omnipresent city lights.  As of our first night there all the restaurants in Ohio were ordered closed, yet the inn was happy to deliver our meals to the cabin.  When we returned to town, it was quite evident that our sojourn was God’s way of preparing us for the challenges ahead, the calm amidst perceived chaos, seeing God through nature, and finding peace without expectations.

     We have taken the opportunity during the late summer and early fall to savor the loveliness that surrounds us, notably by driving west along the river nearly every weekend, visiting the bountiful farm stands and nurseries that flourish beyond North Bend, and taking great joy in the warm bucolic blanket that thrives so close to our city.  

      We are trying to learn above all to see every day as it unfolds and to do what the Holy Spirit calls us to do rather than some over-thought “to do” list.

As for scripture, in our business we wish each other luck before every performance with an Italian paraphrase of a portion of Psalm 23: “in bocca al lupo” … (answered by) “crepi il lupo.”  Translation:  “In the mouth of the wolf…may the wolf die.”  Passing through danger without fear.  We have also cherished the many passages in our devotions that say, basically, “Jesus is calling out to you – stop having an agenda and hear Him.”

Chosen scriptures:  Psalm 23 in toto, emphasis v. 4; Matthew 6: 25-34, emphasis v. 34

Pertinent hymn:  His eye is on the sparrow

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