DEVOTIONS

GO DEEPER WITH THE MESSAGES

Devotions coincide with the current message series.  If you’d prefer to receive the devotions via email, click here.

Empathy Always Changes the Score

Morning Meditation: Empathy It was supposed to be a nice dinner: good people (they all went to the same church), good conversation. No drama. But before the evening could be called a success, an uninvited guest arrived. Her reputation ...

The Best First Aid For Bad Relationships

Morning Meditation: Empathy Is empathy. “Why are they acting this way?” That - the willingness to ask that question, to think through the “why” - that is empathy. And it is crucial to the well-being of human relationships. Empathy helps us ...

Getting Even Is Not the Answer.

Morning Meditation: Empathy Flash forward three years (from yesterday’s meditation) . . . ninth grade. Spring dance. The boy I’d had the HUGEST crush on asked me to be his date to the spring dance. Never mind that my parents didn’t allow ...

Sometimes Life Feels Like the 6th Grade Playground.

Morning Meditation: Empathy It was the weirdest thing. We were inseparable. Sixth-grade BFF's that did everything together. Back in the dark ages, sixth grade was still a part of elementary school so the three of us, we were “it” - the “in ...

What If Separation Anxiety is Actually a Good Thing?

Advent Meditations "Obedience" A few weeks ago Tom was out of town for a few days. Because Axel had “attached” to both of us, I didn’t think it would be a huge deal. Because he does suffer from separation anxiety, on the days I’d be at the ...

What are we willing to obey?

Advent Meditations "Obedience" Sunday in both services, online and in-person, Axel, our German Shepherd, was "live." I brought him to online worship so that the online folks could meet him and I figured "why not use the same example in person? ...

The Easy Way Out is NOT the Best Way Out!

Advent Meditations "Forgiveness" We’ve all done it, right? Take the easy way out of something? People are going to hurt us, disappoint us, frustrate us.  Period. We would not be human if we didn’t encounter some negative thoughts and ...

Keeping Score Requires Watching Both Teams

Advent Meditations "Forgiveness" What would it be like to go to a ballgame and be the “official score keeper” but you only watch one team? Imagine, let’s say a football game . . .  the opposing/visiting team scores a touchdown but no score ...

Do people want to go out to eat with you?

Advent Meditations "Forgiveness" Years ago, I served on a very large staff, and one thing we’d do to build community would be to go out to eat together every week after a staff meeting. Off we’d go, sporting our church staff apparel. The ...

Giving Up on Doing the “Chores!”

Advent Meditations "Forgiveness" Have you ever had chores that were a “MUST”  to do? Ones that you dreaded doing but they were expected so you had no choice but to do them? Recently I decided I would be ambitious and I would vacuum the ...

Love Gives Itself Away Over and Over Again

As much as we like to think of West as an amazing “church,” it is also a business. We manage supply/demand, risk-benefit ratio, cash flow, etc. We have trends just as any regular business does. Typically we do a decent job managing the business arm of the church. This Fall, however, was a bit of a challenge. First, reopening and rebranding after 18 months apart was significant. Then, the historically low “cash flow” months hit right when we needed to spend money on things that would enable us to manage two different worshiping opportunities in-person and online. So . . . one day, some difficult conversations had to be had around bank balance.

Who Wins When You Wrestle With Your Shadow?

The Disney character Peter Pan has a very unique shadow. At one point in the movie, Peter and his shadow chase each other around until Peter wrestles his shadow down so it can be sewn back onto his shoes.

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