Daily Devotions

We are thrilled to once again be sharing a daily devotion with you for the season of Advent. These inspiring devotions have been written by YOU the members of Good Shepherd.  A sincere “thank you” to everyone who opened their hearts to share a small piece of their faith journey with us.   As we journey toward Bethlehem in this season, take time each day to walk with God and experience the stirrings of the deep love that took on flesh to walk with us.  

During the four week Advent season, each Wednesday our devotion will be a video reflection by Dr. Kevin Seal, Director of Worship and Music at Good Shepherd, as he shares a teaching about the Words and Music of Advent.

Each new day’s devotion will go live directly on our webpage, goodshepherd.com at 6am, (look under the worship tab at the top right of the front page) or you can follow the link that will be sent out later each morning in an email from Good Shepherd.  

Daily Devotion
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion

by Scott Puthoff

If you let a whitewater kayaker write devotions long enough, eventually it’s going to lead to a kayaking story…

I was paddling in West Virginia with a group of friends.  We were floating the New River Gorge, an advanced-level section of whitewater with big rapids nestled in a stunning, forested canyon.  While all of the rapids demand respect, the Keeneys demand just a little bit more.

We peeled into the current above Middle Keeney.  I was running “sweep”, which is the final kayak in the group – the person that can provide in-rapid support to other boaters.  Normally, it just means I’m running rapids last.  But on this day, my friend flipped and missed her roll – which meant she was now swimming.

Middle Keeney is not a place you want to swim.  Nearly all of the flow at the bottom is going towards the “Meat Grinder”.   As the name would suggest, this is a dangerous spot.  When I saw her swimming, I paddled to her and told her to grab onto my boat; we quickly got to safety.  Another in our group was able to rescue her kayak.  The problem – no paddle was found.  It had likely gone downstream through the next rapid.    

We landed on a shoreline also occupied by a rafting company, who saw the whole thing happen.  They were finishing up lunch and offered us food and water.  They asked us if anyone was hurt.  We told them we were fine, but we were missing a paddle.  They didn’t have a spare to offer but stated they would get her and her kayak to the end of the river if she wanted.  She graciously declined and they stated they would keep an eye out for the paddle.  We thanked them for lunch and headed back to our boats.

I bring along hand paddles for this type of situation.  The group leader offered to hand paddle so that she could use a regular paddle.  With everyone geared up, we headed towards the next big rapid.

The paddling community is a great example of what it means to live as a Christian.  Rescue, food, transportation, and gear were offered without any expectation of payment.  It’s just a thing that happens.  And this is not unique – I’ve seen this happen over and over again.  We are told in Galatians 6, verse 2 to “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ”.  While kayaking is a solo endeavor in many ways, paddlers expect to carry the burden of others.  It’s what makes the paddling community so special.

And the paddle?  Yes, we found it.  It had floated down through the next rapid and was waiting for us at the bottom.  With paddle and paddler reunited, we got back to the very tough business of enjoying ourselves on a world-class river.

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Cher Deckner

What a wonderful lesson gleaned from an initially calm situation that turned quickly to troublesome. Sometimes it is hard to hang onto your faith, but the kindness of others can lessen that burden.

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«January 2022»

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