Devotionals
 

Devotionals are short essays written by GSLC members and staff that explore the ways the Holy Spirit works within our every day lives.  There are several ways we invite you to use these devotionals:

  • Make them a part of a prayer practice - read a devotion and consider the ways that Christ has worked similarly in your life or works in unexpected ways.
  • Make them a part of a journaling practice - read a devotion and journal about what the Holy Spirit is stirring in you as you reflect on the essay.
  • Use them as a reminder that God works in all things, the bad and the good.

With over 400 available devotions, you can use these daily, weekly, or monthly.  It's up to you!  We just hope that by reading these inspiring stories provided by Good Shepherd's flock you are able to better see where Jesus is present in all things!  Thank you to all of our members that have provided devotionals throughout the past couple of years!

 
Good Shepherd Lutheran Church

Daily Devotion by by Heidi Johnson

Have you ever wanted to pray to God but didn‘t have the words to express yourself?  Maybe you don’t know what to say or even what you are asking for?  God knows what is in our hearts, but we need to find a way to let God in to begin the conversation again, to find calm and peace. For me, music speaks when words fail.

When I retired after a 36 year career as a public school music teacher, I was lost.  My career was a major part of my identity--the thing that got me out of bed in the morning and motivated me to be creative and give me purpose.  And now it was gone. My emotions were so jumbled that I basically stopped functioning. I couldn’t even talk to God--what would I say?  The hymn “What A Friend We Have In Jesus” helped me find my way back into conversation with God:

What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear;

What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit, O what needless pain we bear,

All because we do not carry everything to God in prayer.

 

In the movie “Children Of A Lesser God”, the main character (a hearing man) tries to ‘show’ his deaf girlfriend how the 2nd mvt. of the Bach Double Violin Concerto affects him so intensely.  The music is so beautiful that when he hears it he also feels it in his heart and soul.  Unfortunately, his girlfriend can’t understand his deep emotional connection with the music because she can’t hear it. That powerful scene spoke to me about the power of hearing music.  

Music can give you strength in hard times:  At the funeral of a dear friend who died too soon, his mother asked me to play my viola for the prelude.  God gave me the strength to play, and the music gave her the strength to walk down the aisle towards the casket.

I played in a small string ensemble at another funeral, this time it was a co-worker. The music was “Adagio for Strings” by Samuel Barber (the piece was also used for the televised funeral procession of JFK’s funeral).  Every time I hear that piece, it transports my mind to the sadness of that event and goes through the seven stages of grief: The piece starts quietly then builds to a long high pitch (to me, it expresses my rage at the loss), followed by silence, then a quiet ending of acceptance.

Music has also lifted my soul in times of great joy.  I remember singing “Children of the Heavenly Father” at the end of every Bethany Choir concert (college).  Watching children dancing and singing to the music in Family Worship service and/or playing instruments at VBS has always been a joyful time.  Recently, we said good-bye to Debbie & Steve Jones who were faithful ministers of music at Good Shepherd for so many years through organ music, choirs, handbells, and instrumental ensembles.  And then we welcomed Dr. Kevin Seal (and his wife Elizabeth who has a beautiful voice) to start a new era of music ministry.  I was particularly moved by his accompaniment to “Shall We Gather At The River” on All-Saints Sunday.  We are blessed in this congregation with all different kinds of music - Music that speaks when words fail, Music with words that help us connect to God, Music that praises our Lord and Father.

 

Psalm 150: 3-6

Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet, praise him with the harp and lyre,

Praise him with tambourine and dancing, praise him with the strings and flute,

Praise him with the clash of cymbals, praise him with resounding cymbals.

Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.  Praise the Lord.

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