Daily devotionals

reflections with Boston Ave

Reflections

Our daily devotionals are available here, as well as via email, Facebook, and Instagram. These daily reflections from our clergy, staff, and members can help serve as a source of inspiration, contemplation, insight, and guidance to help you think deeply, grow spiritually, love generously, and deepen your faith.

Read The Latest

Check out the latest Daily Devotionals here, and be sure to sign up to receive them in your inbox every day!

Comments Box SVG iconsUsed for the like, share, comment, and reaction icons

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Tuesday, July 23
39 Lashes
by Angelyn Dale

Jim and I recently toured the Oregon Historical Society Museum. What I learned about myself will stay with me longer than what I learned about Oregonian history.

Unsurprisingly, Oregon was first populated by indigenous people from many tribes. Their care for the earth and its resources was scrupulously respectful. In a story we know well, this lasted until the white settlers arrived to “civilize” the area. Over the next centuries, indigenous people were incredibly harshly treated, as were African Americans, Chinese, Hawaiians, and Koreans who tried to settle in Oregon.

One museum display described the practice of “39 Lashes.” Under this policy, any African American (man, woman, or child) found in a particular part of Oregon was to be beaten with 39 lashes of the whip. Six months later, if that person/family was still in Oregon, each person would be given another 39 lashes. This practice would continue until the person or family finally left Oregon forever. The purpose of the beatings was openly stated as designed to force all African Americans to settle outside Oregon.

As I read this placard, I was aghast. My mouth dropped open as I contemplated men, women, children, aged, infirm, pregnant, and every other physical condition being beaten every six months simply for the “error” of being an African American in Oregon. How could the settlers do this, I wondered. Did they have no humanity? No understanding that these were people who deserved to live and prosper in Oregon? I was absolutely appalled and not a little bit repulsed by the actions of the Oregonians. There might have even been a few seconds of feeling sanctimoniously superior to these brutal settlers.

That all ended about thirty seconds later when I stopped short in the museum. As I stood wrapped in my moral indignation, I suddenly remembered that I was from Tulsa, where the Tulsa Race Massacre had resulted in the murder and reprehensible treatment of hundreds of African Americans, such that we now live with the stain of mass graves and destroyed lives? Perhaps, before I condemn Oregonians for the splinter in their eyes, I should focus first on removing the log from my own. Please let it be so.
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Tuesday, July 23
39 Lashes
by Angelyn Dale

Jim and I recently toured the Oregon Historical Society Museum. What I learned about myself will stay with me longer than what I learned about Oregonian history.

Unsurprisingly, Oregon was first populated by indigenous people from many tribes. Their care for the earth and its resources was scrupulously respectful. In a story we know well, this lasted until the white settlers arrived to “civilize” the area. Over the next centuries, indigenous people were incredibly harshly treated, as were African Americans, Chinese, Hawaiians, and Koreans who tried to settle in Oregon.

One museum display described the practice of “39 Lashes.” Under this policy, any African American (man, woman, or child) found in a particular part of Oregon was to be beaten with 39 lashes of the whip. Six months later, if that person/family was still in Oregon, each person would be given another 39 lashes. This practice would continue until the person or family finally left Oregon forever. The purpose of the beatings was openly stated as designed to force all African Americans to settle outside Oregon.

As I read this placard, I was aghast. My mouth dropped open as I contemplated men, women, children, aged, infirm, pregnant, and every other physical condition being beaten every six months simply for the “error” of being an African American in Oregon. How could the settlers do this, I wondered. Did they have no humanity? No understanding that these were people who deserved to live and prosper in Oregon? I was absolutely appalled and not a little bit repulsed by the actions of the Oregonians. There might have even been a few seconds of feeling sanctimoniously superior to these brutal settlers.

That all ended about thirty seconds later when I stopped short in the museum. As I stood wrapped in my moral indignation, I suddenly remembered that I was from Tulsa, where the Tulsa Race Massacre had resulted in the murder and reprehensible treatment of hundreds of African Americans, such that we now live with the stain of mass graves and destroyed lives? Perhaps, before I condemn Oregonians for the splinter in their eyes, I should focus first on removing the log from my own. Please let it be so.

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Monday, July 22
Do You Serve Everyone This Way?
by Keith Dobbs, Executive Director of CJAMM

At Exodus House Tulsa, we haven’t figured out a magic sauce that works on all the clients who arrive to go through our program. It’s just not a one-size-fits-all!

Just this past week, we met Troy at the Tulsa bus station after being released from an Oklahoma Correctional Center. He had one tiny net bag for all his belongings……something a lady might put her delicate laundry in to drop in the washing machine.

That was it…..plus the baggie, dirty blue jeans he was wearing and an over-sized yellow plaid shirt. His jeans were down around his mid calves and dragging the ground. Not that he wanted to be all hip but because they were too big, and he couldn’t keep them up.
It was mid-afternoon, and he was hungry. For his first meal, he requested a Braum’s hamburger and shake. Of course, we got him the big one with bacon and cheese, along with a chocolate shake and fries.

Along with one of my colleague, we took him to Wal-Mart to get a few food supplies to get him through the weekend until we could get him some food vouchers Monday morning. We also got him a couple pairs of sweatpants, t-shirts, underwear, and socks. And, a belt!

As we were about to check out at the store, he said, “do you serve everyone this way?”

What a question? Do we serve everyone that way…..with love, kindness, filling their bellies, covering them with clean clothes.

It was a good reminder that we need to be in a life of service.

If someone needs a place to serve, Exodus House has men and women who long for a healthy conversation, a drive to get a shake, or even some prayers.

Reach out, we’ve got someone who needs YOU!

Editor's Note: This devotional is by Keith Dobbs, Executive Director of Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries. CJAMM operates Exodus House Oklahoma City and Exodus House Tulsa, reentry centers for prisoners being released from prison, along with New Day Camp, a week-long summer camp for children with an incarcerated parent.
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Monday, July 22
Do You Serve Everyone This Way?
by Keith Dobbs, Executive Director of CJAMM

At Exodus House Tulsa, we haven’t figured out a magic sauce that works on all the clients who arrive to go through our program. It’s just not a one-size-fits-all!

Just this past week, we met Troy at the Tulsa bus station after being released from an Oklahoma Correctional Center. He had one tiny net bag for all his belongings……something a lady might put her delicate laundry in to drop in the washing machine.

That was it…..plus the baggie, dirty blue jeans he was wearing and an over-sized yellow plaid shirt. His jeans were down around his mid calves and dragging the ground. Not that he wanted to be all hip but because they were too big, and he couldn’t keep them up.
It was mid-afternoon, and he was hungry. For his first meal, he requested a Braum’s hamburger and shake. Of course, we got him the big one with bacon and cheese, along with a chocolate shake and fries.

Along with one of my colleague, we took him to Wal-Mart to get a few food supplies to get him through the weekend until we could get him some food vouchers Monday morning. We also got him a couple pairs of sweatpants, t-shirts, underwear, and socks. And, a belt!

As we were about to check out at the store, he said, “do you serve everyone this way?”

What a question? Do we serve everyone that way…..with love, kindness, filling their bellies, covering them with clean clothes.

It was a good reminder that we need to be in a life of service.

If someone needs a place to serve, Exodus House has men and women who long for a healthy conversation, a drive to get a shake, or even some prayers. 

Reach out, we’ve got someone who needs YOU!

Editors Note: This devotional is by Keith Dobbs, Executive Director of Criminal Justice and Mercy Ministries. CJAMM operates Exodus House Oklahoma City and Exodus House Tulsa, reentry centers for prisoners being released from prison, along with New Day Camp, a week-long summer camp for children with an incarcerated parent.

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Sunday, July 21
A Good Example, Or An Object Lesson?
by Judy Rowell

I was watching an episode of a cooking show, when one well known LA chef told the story of how he got into the industry. He admitted to being a very bad man who did very bad things, but he was watching TV and as he put it, Emeril Lagasse reached out of the TV and slapped him and from that day forward he changed his life and went to culinary school. He was sitting next to Emeril at the time, and it was obvious that Emeril had no idea, and had never heard that story. The other chefs shared their stories and time after time it was of someone who had either inspired them or given them a chance, some said it was a second, or last, chance.

We never know what will happen when we take a leap of faith; ripples of our behavior go out and we have no idea how far they will go or whom they will affect. That is a heavy responsibility, but when you think about it, Emeril didn’t know that day on TV that he would be inspiring a young man to leave a life of crime at 25 and change completely. He was just at work, doing his job, and God used him. And that is the cool thing about this, you don’t have to know. Our Lord knows what He is about, and He can use any one of us to inspire anyone else any time, any place.

It would be lovely if we knew all the ways we had influenced others, or would it? Have I always influenced everyone for the better? It would mean that I was always acting my best and I can guarantee you that I, being very human, have behaved badly at times. I have been saying for a long time that with more than 4,000 former students out there in Tulsa, I can’t act ugly anywhere, because I am asked all the time if I didn’t teach at Union. They are flabbergasted to find I am still there – especially when they are in their 50s. My oldest former students are now 67 or so.

My prayer is that more of my influence has been positive than negative, and that I have been more often kind than not. As I mull over this question, I feel like I have a choice, so from here on out I will attempt to be more intentional about being sure.

Scripture: “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.” Titus 2:7
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Sunday, July 21
A Good Example, Or An Object Lesson?
by Judy Rowell

I was watching an episode of a cooking show, when one well known LA chef told the story of how he got into the industry. He admitted to being a very bad man who did very bad things, but he was watching TV and as he put it, Emeril Lagasse reached out of the TV and slapped him and from that day forward he changed his life and went to culinary school. He was sitting next to Emeril at the time, and it was obvious that Emeril had no idea, and had never heard that story. The other chefs shared their stories and time after time it was of someone who had either inspired them or given them a chance, some said it was a second, or last, chance.

We never know what will happen when we take a leap of faith; ripples of our behavior go out and we have no idea how far they will go or whom they will affect. That is a heavy responsibility, but when you think about it, Emeril didn’t know that day on TV that he would be inspiring a young man to leave a life of crime at 25 and change completely. He was just at work, doing his job, and God used him. And that is the cool thing about this, you don’t have to know. Our Lord knows what He is about, and He can use any one of us to inspire anyone else any time, any place.

It would be lovely if we knew all the ways we had influenced others, or would it? Have I always influenced everyone for the better? It would mean that I was always acting my best and I can guarantee you that I, being very human, have behaved badly at times. I have been saying for a long time that with more than 4,000 former students out there in Tulsa, I can’t act ugly anywhere, because I am asked all the time if I didn’t teach at Union. They are flabbergasted to find I am still there – especially when they are in their 50s. My oldest former students are now 67 or so.

My prayer is that more of my influence has been positive than negative, and that I have been more often kind than not. As I mull over this question, I feel like I have a choice, so from here on out I will attempt to be more intentional about being sure.
 
Scripture: “Show yourself in all respects to be a model of good works, and in your teaching show integrity, dignity.” Titus 2:7

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Saturday, July 20
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
by Caitlin Dryke

I’ve been thinking about The Beatitudes lately. In particular, I’ve been contemplating two lines: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” (Matthew 5:5) and “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” (Matthew 5:9).

Now, my (lay, non-seminary-educated) understanding of The Beatitudes is that they are not intended to be separated, nor are they to be viewed as prescriptive mandates to obtain salvation. Rather, these statements of grace invert unlauded (even undesirable) conditions to convey an expansive and inclusive vision for the kingdom of heaven on earth that expressly invites the seemingly “unworthy”. (Quick note: a google search showed me dozens of recent books written about the Beatitudes, confirming for me that pastors and religious scholars would have much more than a couple of sentences to say about these important pieces of scripture!)

Even knowing that, I keep coming back to “blessed are the meek,” and “blessed are the peacemakers”. These are almost certainly forefront in my mind given our current news headlines featuring pieces about global war, political tension and violence, and (if you want a break) celebrity gossip - including celebrities’ opinions on global war and political tension!

But there are less “big” prompts too, that are leading me to consider meekness and peacemaking. Our cultural propensity for tribalism, for example – my college vs your college, my sports team vs your sports team, my city vs your suburb, etc. There also seems to be a trend of contrarianism – the idea that my opinion that a popular tv show/musical artist/food/trend is overrated vs its obvious popularity is not new, but seems to have obtained an almost sacred status, umbrellaed into our values under American individualism. We are spending a lot of energy defining ourselves against something or someone else.

How can Christians consider meekness and peacemaking in our day to day lives? Could peacemaking be more expansive than just not committing violence? What would peacemaking look like if we considered it in the context of our relationships, our friendships, our parenting, our voting, our driving, our grocery shopping? How might our opinions or our actions look, if we took Christ’s inversion to heart, and saw peacemaking as worthy, an integral part of the kingdom of heaven?

Prayer: Lord, in a time when peace and grace feel in short supply, please help me to recall your Son’s Beatitudes. Help me to proactively practice peacemaking, in my thoughts and in my deeds. Amen.
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Saturday, July 20
Blessed Are the Peacemakers
by Caitlin Dryke

I’ve been thinking about The Beatitudes lately. In particular, I’ve been contemplating two lines: “Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth,” (Matthew 5:5) and “Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God,” (Matthew 5:9).
 
Now, my (lay, non-seminary-educated) understanding of The Beatitudes is that they are not intended to be separated, nor are they to be viewed as prescriptive mandates to obtain salvation. Rather, these statements of grace invert unlauded (even undesirable) conditions to convey an expansive and inclusive vision for the kingdom of heaven on earth that expressly invites the seemingly “unworthy”. (Quick note: a google search showed me dozens of recent books written about the Beatitudes, confirming for me that pastors and religious scholars would have much more than a couple of sentences to say about these important pieces of scripture!)
 
Even knowing that, I keep coming back to “blessed are the meek,” and “blessed are the peacemakers”. These are almost certainly forefront in my mind given our current news headlines featuring pieces about global war, political tension and violence, and (if you want a break) celebrity gossip - including celebrities’ opinions on global war and political tension!
 
But there are less “big” prompts too, that are leading me to consider meekness and peacemaking. Our cultural propensity for tribalism, for example – my college vs your college, my sports team vs your sports team, my city vs your suburb, etc. There also seems to be a trend of contrarianism – the idea that my opinion that a popular tv show/musical artist/food/trend is overrated vs its obvious popularity is not new, but seems to have obtained an almost sacred status, umbrellaed into our values under American individualism. We are spending a lot of energy defining ourselves against something or someone else.

How can Christians consider meekness and peacemaking in our day to day lives? Could peacemaking be more expansive than just not committing violence? What would peacemaking look like if we considered it in the context of our relationships, our friendships, our parenting, our voting, our driving, our grocery shopping? How might our opinions or our actions look, if we took Christ’s inversion to heart, and saw peacemaking as worthy, an integral part of the kingdom of heaven?

Prayer: Lord, in a time when peace and grace feel in short supply, please help me to recall your Son’s Beatitudes. Help me to proactively practice peacemaking, in my thoughts and in my deeds. Amen.

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Very good devotional this morning. Food for thought. Thank you!

Thank you

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Friday, July 19
Our Commitment to Love
by Rev. Dr. Sam Powers

This Sunday’s Psalm reading for the lectionary is the 23rd. This is undoubtedly the most well-known Psalm in the Bible and is beloved by many.

This was the first chapter of the Bible that I memorized in Sunday school growing up and some of it was a bit confounding. Children going through a very literal-minded stage can get hung up on certain language – especially since it was the King James Version of the Bible.

When I said, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want”, I didn’t really get the punctuated pause or see them as distinct statements. And so, I didn’t know why I wouldn’t want the Lord as my shepherd!

I’ve utilized this scripture in funerals due to both the familiarity as well as the abiding comfort it gives to the grieving. They can recognize God walking with them in the valley of the shadow of death as they mourn their loss. But they can also imagine God continuing on with their loved one in heaven. This is especially true with Psalm ending with the verse, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Of course, this is from the King James Version (published in 1611) and the translation may not be as accurate as current scholarship affords.

The Revised Standard Version (1952) doesn’t stray from this much as it reads, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” I don’t think the scholars were ready to mess with the sentiment of this standard, but they do include a footnote on “for ever” that states, “Or as long as I live.” This seems to convey that the original Hebrew indicates our dwelling with God being a concern of this lifetime rather than of eternity. It is also likely that we may think differently today in terms of the concept of eternity due to our mathematical education than how the ancient Hebrews thought of it.

The New Revised Standard Version (1989) went ahead and made the translation correction, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long” with the footnote clarifying that the Hebrew translation would actually be closer to “for length of days”. This puts more of the emphasis of the Psalm on our commitment to God as a life-long promise in response to God’s never-failing grace. It begins with God’s commitment to us and ends with our commitment to God.

But for a funeral, I must confess that I still use the Revised Standard Version or the King James Version with the emphasis remaining on God’s commitment to us even after this life.

Sometimes it is better to be pastoral than scholarly!
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Friday, July 19
Our Commitment to Love
by Rev. Dr. Sam Powers

This Sunday’s Psalm reading for the lectionary is the 23rd. This is undoubtedly the most well-known Psalm in the Bible and is beloved by many.

This was the first chapter of the Bible that I memorized in Sunday school growing up and some of it was a bit confounding. Children going through a very literal-minded stage can get hung up on certain language – especially since it was the King James Version of the Bible. 

When I said, “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want”, I didn’t really get the punctuated pause or see them as distinct statements. And so, I didn’t know why I wouldn’t want the Lord as my shepherd!

I’ve utilized this scripture in funerals due to both the familiarity as well as the abiding comfort it gives to the grieving. They can recognize God walking with them in the valley of the shadow of death as they mourn their loss. But they can also imagine God continuing on with their loved one in heaven. This is especially true with Psalm ending with the verse, “Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life: and I will dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” Of course, this is from the King James Version (published in 1611) and the translation may not be as accurate as current scholarship affords. 

The Revised Standard Version (1952) doesn’t stray from this much as it reads, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord for ever.” I don’t think the scholars were ready to mess with the sentiment of this standard, but they do include a footnote on “for ever” that states, “Or as long as I live.” This seems to convey that the original Hebrew indicates our dwelling with God being a concern of this lifetime rather than of eternity. It is also likely that we may think differently today in terms of the concept of eternity due to our mathematical education than how the ancient Hebrews thought of it.

The New Revised Standard Version (1989) went ahead and made the translation correction, “I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long” with the footnote clarifying that the Hebrew translation would actually be closer to “for length of days”. This puts more of the emphasis of the Psalm on our commitment to God as a life-long promise in response to God’s never-failing grace. It begins with God’s commitment to us and ends with our commitment to God.

But for a funeral, I must confess that I still use the Revised Standard Version or the King James Version with the emphasis remaining on God’s commitment to us even after this life.

Sometimes it is better to be pastoral than scholarly!

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Thursday, July 18
Putting Into Practice What Is Preached
by Belynda Clanton

Raised as a Methodist and later United Methodist, I was taught to never judge others and frankly, to go easy on judging myself and the dangers of trying to measure up to another’s standards.

One of the most significant privileges for me serving as Director of Welcoming was having, not only the opportunity but the responsibility to practice greeting people as we are taught in the Bible and by the illustrations of Jesus.

Most of us can look back on a significant decade in our life. A decade filled with an unusual amount of change and growth. That decade for me was the “70’s.” These years included: graduating from college, marrying, moving from my hometown, starting a career, birthing three children and putting in to practice what I had learned about parenting from both the classroom and from the gift of having two loving parents.

These past more recent years (almost a decade) while serving as the “Director of Welcoming” for Boston Avenue UMC, have been filled with many opportunities to share Christian love and acceptance. I have received messages from people who are desperately seeking a place of acceptance and a place that they can trust and feel Christian love. The inquiries received go something like this: “I was looking on your website and it says that Boston Avenue is welcoming/opening/accepting”. Then they continue: “BUT, before I come”, (here there are a variety descriptions) “I need you to know, I don’t have lots of money”, or “I have some tattoos”, or maybe it’s, “we are a same-sex couple” or, “we are an interracial couple”. (How would you imagine responding?)

Each time I assured them to come. I assured them they would be safe and loved here because I loved and trusted each of you. Together, we are committed to try our best to “practice what is preached.”

Prayer: O God, help each of us who have experienced Christian love and acceptance to open our eyes and be on the lookout today, tomorrow, and for sure this Sunday to put into practice what we have heard preached here with all those you give is the privilege to encounter. Amen
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Thursday, July 18
Putting Into Practice What Is Preached
by Belynda Clanton

Raised as a Methodist and later United Methodist, I was taught to never judge others and frankly, to go easy on judging myself and the dangers of trying to measure up to another’s standards.

One of the most significant privileges for me serving as Director of Welcoming was having, not only the opportunity but the responsibility to practice greeting people as we are taught in the Bible and by the illustrations of Jesus.
 
Most of us can look back on a significant decade in our life. A decade filled with an unusual amount of change and growth. That decade for me was the “70’s.” These years included: graduating from college, marrying, moving from my hometown, starting a career, birthing three children and putting in to practice what I had learned about parenting from both the classroom and from the gift of having two loving parents.
 
These past more recent years (almost a decade) while serving as the “Director of Welcoming” for Boston Avenue UMC, have been filled with many opportunities to share Christian love and acceptance. I have received messages from people who are desperately seeking a place of acceptance and a place that they can trust and feel Christian love. The inquiries received go something like this: “I was looking on your website and it says that Boston Avenue is welcoming/opening/accepting”. Then they continue: “BUT, before I come”, (here there are a variety descriptions) “I need you to know, I don’t have lots of money”, or “I have some tattoos”, or maybe it’s, “we are a same-sex couple” or, “we are an interracial couple”.  (How would you imagine responding?)
 
Each time I assured them to come. I assured them they would be safe and loved here because I loved and trusted each of you. Together, we are committed to try our best to “practice what is preached.”

Prayer:  O God, help each of us who have experienced Christian love and acceptance to open our eyes and be on the lookout today, tomorrow, and for sure this Sunday to put into practice what we have heard preached here with all those you give is the privilege to encounter. Amen

2 CommentsComment on Facebook

Thank you Belinda and Boston for always practicing Christian love and acceptance. It is not our place to judge but to love one another.

At Boston Avenue United Methodist Church we mean everyone is welcome and we mean everyone.

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Wednesday, July 17
A Servant's Heart
by Judy Rowell

My circuit riding grandfather met my grandmother when he baptized her brothers. His circuit was Roger Mills County is in western Oklahoma, almost Texas. That part of the world has some very severe weather, tornadoes in spring and summer, and terrible blizzards in the winter. During one such blizzard her father, Giles Parman, heard what he thought was an animal out in the storm. He went out to put it into the barn until things cleared up, but found an old woman, lost in the snow.

Granny Fortner had been put out in the storm to die by her son-in-law. When the storm was over and Giles confronted the man, he said she was old and good for nothing but to take up space and eat food she couldn’t work to earn, and he wasn’t taking her back. Giles took her home and she lived with the family for the rest of her life. He built her a small room onto the house. She lived another twenty years, and I am told was never made to feel anything but welcome.

I love that story. God knows that we all need help from time to time, and when people show up with help and encouragement, I think He is pleased by it. I believe He put us here to be there for one another. I can think of all kinds of reasons why I can’t possibly do things, most of them valid, but what about the things I CAN?

What could we do for someone else? Is there a friend who needs some comfort? A meal, a shopping trip, babysitting? Those outgrown children’s clothes could go to one of the local charities supporting foster families. We don’t have to take in a person to live with us to be of comfort, but that is on the table – DHS in in DESPERATE need of foster homes. Are you aware that if a child is taken into custody and they can’t find a placement, the worker and child sit at the DHS offices until one is located, however long that takes? Sometimes overnight. I am not saying it is easy, it isn’t, but if you have a heart for it, it is work that makes a real difference in the world.

Scripture: "The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked." Psalm 146:9
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Wednesday, July 17
A Servants Heart
by Judy Rowell

My circuit riding grandfather met my grandmother when he baptized her brothers. His circuit was Roger Mills County is in western Oklahoma, almost Texas. That part of the world has some very severe weather, tornadoes in spring and summer, and terrible blizzards in the winter. During one such blizzard her father, Giles Parman, heard what he thought was an animal out in the storm. He went out to put it into the barn until things cleared up, but found an old woman, lost in the snow.

Granny Fortner had been put out in the storm to die by her son-in-law. When the storm was over and Giles confronted the man, he said she was old and good for nothing but to take up space and eat food she couldn’t work to earn, and he wasn’t taking her back. Giles took her home and she lived with the family for the rest of her life. He built her a small room onto the house. She lived another twenty years, and I am told was never made to feel anything but welcome.

I love that story. God knows that we all need help from time to time, and when people show up with help and encouragement, I think He is pleased by it. I believe He put us here to be there for one another. I can think of all kinds of reasons why I can’t possibly do things, most of them valid, but what about the things I CAN?

What could we do for someone else? Is there a friend who needs some comfort? A meal, a shopping trip, babysitting? Those outgrown children’s clothes could go to one of the local charities supporting foster families. We don’t have to take in a person to live with us to be of comfort, but that is on the table – DHS in in DESPERATE need of foster homes. Are you aware that if a child is taken into custody and they can’t find a placement, the worker and child sit at the DHS offices until one is located, however long that takes? Sometimes overnight. I am not saying it is easy, it isn’t, but if you have a heart for it, it is work that makes a real difference in the world.
 
Scripture: The Lord protects the strangers; He supports the fatherless and the widow, but He thwarts the way of the wicked. Psalm 146:9

3 CommentsComment on Facebook

Amen. Thankful for those who help others and make them feel loved and needed. Great devotional this morning and a good reminder that while there are unkind people in this world there are also many (like DHS workers and like Giles) who do great things for others. Simple acts of kindness cost little but can change the lives of many.

What an amazing story and important message. Thank you for sharing.

Whew. Thanks Judy.

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Tuesday, July 16
Everything In Its Own Time
by Caitlin Dryke

One of the first plants we put in our yard was a hearty hibiscus, purchased from the farmer’s market. I love hearty hibiscus – the dinner-plate sized, fantastical deep red flowers that remind one of Dr. Seuss stories or dresses on flamenco dancers. I knew I wanted to grow these flowers, in part inspired by a yard along my route to work that is filled with hearty hibiscus. This yard is just an endless row of hearty hibiscus, with a few other flowers mixed in, and when it is blooming, it a bright, magical-looking place.

Earlier this summer, my half dozen hearty hibiscus were loaded with unopened buds, even while this other yard was resplendently in bloom. “Why don’t *I* have any flowers yet?” I internally whined. At the same time, I noticed that my day lilies in the front yard were blooming, while the lilies in the backyard were still forming buds.

It was a good reminder that every plant is shaped by their conditions – the shade, the soil quality, the water available in their particular area. No two flowers, even when they are the same kind, are having the same experience, the same growth journey. My hearty hibiscus blooms opened, just a couple of weeks later than the ones in my inspiration yard. My backyard lilies opened, just later than my front yard lilies.

At Boston Avenue, we have a core value of “sees spiritual growth as a lifelong journey.” Just like the flowers, our faith too is shaped by our conditions – whether it has been watered or shaded or given good soil. Everything grows in its own time. Our faith may not “bloom” at the same time as our neighbor’s; instead of comparing timelines, we do better to offer the nurture and care needed for wherever one is on one’s journey.
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Tuesday, July 16
Everything In Its Own Time
by Caitlin Dryke

One of the first plants we put in our yard was a hearty hibiscus, purchased from the farmer’s market. I love hearty hibiscus – the dinner-plate sized, fantastical deep red flowers that remind one of Dr. Seuss stories or dresses on flamenco dancers. I knew I wanted to grow these flowers, in part inspired by a yard along my route to work that is filled with hearty hibiscus. This yard is just an endless row of hearty hibiscus, with a few other flowers mixed in, and when it is blooming, it a bright, magical-looking place.

Earlier this summer, my half dozen hearty hibiscus were loaded with unopened buds, even while this other yard was resplendently in bloom. “Why don’t *I* have any flowers yet?” I internally whined. At the same time, I noticed that my day lilies in the front yard were blooming, while the lilies in the backyard were still forming buds.

It was a good reminder that every plant is shaped by their conditions – the shade, the soil quality, the water available in their particular area. No two flowers, even when they are the same kind, are having the same experience, the same growth journey. My hearty hibiscus blooms opened, just a couple of weeks later than the ones in my inspiration yard. My backyard lilies opened, just later than my front yard lilies.

At Boston Avenue, we have a core value of “sees spiritual growth as a lifelong journey.” Just like the flowers, our faith too is shaped by our conditions – whether it has been watered or shaded or given good soil. Everything grows in its own time. Our faith may not “bloom” at the same time as our neighbor’s; instead of comparing timelines, we do better to offer the nurture and care needed for wherever one is on one’s journey.

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Monday, July 15
The Parable of the Lost Toy
by Rev. Betsy Stewart-Dooley

Once there was a pastor who was also a mom. After preaching and leading the service, she picked up her toddler from nursery. The child helped her mother with a few extra ministry things and then they left. Upon coming home, however, it was discovered that the little girl’s stuffed giraffe, Geoffrey, was nowhere to be found! Foregoing her beloved after church nap, the pastor returned to the church to search for Geoffrey, knowing that there would be no peace at home until he was found.

The church was vast and there were many rooms, yet the pastor could not return home until he was found. When the pastor discovered Geoffrey the giraffe she rejoiced! Upon returning home the little girl was reunited with her toy and felt much at peace.

Jesus tells a series of parables in Luke 15 about the search and recovery of lost things; the lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son. The three parables were Jesus’ way of expressing the meaning and purpose of God’s kin-dom and who belongs. My parable is silly, but any parent can tell you that there will not be peace until child and beloved toy are reunited. Likewise, I think God’s kin-dom yearns for all who have been left behind and forgotten. There is indescribable joy each time a person discovers they belong and are welcomed to Christ’s table. Who are the forgotten in your sphere? How can we extend the hospitality of Christ and make space for them?
... See MoreSee Less

Your Boston Avenue #DailyDevotional, Monday, July 15
The Parable of the Lost Toy
by Rev. Betsy Stewart-Dooley

Once there was a pastor who was also a mom. After preaching and leading the service, she picked up her toddler from nursery. The child helped her mother with a few extra ministry things and then they left. Upon coming home, however, it was discovered that the little girl’s stuffed giraffe, Geoffrey, was nowhere to be found! Foregoing her beloved after church nap, the pastor returned to the church to search for Geoffrey, knowing that there would be no peace at home until he was found.
 
The church was vast and there were many rooms, yet the pastor could not return home until he was found. When the pastor discovered Geoffrey the giraffe she rejoiced! Upon returning home the little girl was reunited with her toy and felt much at peace.
 
Jesus tells a series of parables in Luke 15 about the search and recovery of lost things; the lost sheep, lost coin, and the prodigal son. The three parables were Jesus’ way of expressing the meaning and purpose of God’s kin-dom and who belongs. My parable is silly, but any parent can tell you that there will not be peace until child and beloved toy are reunited. Likewise, I think God’s kin-dom yearns for all who have been left behind and forgotten. There is indescribable joy each time a person discovers they belong and are welcomed to Christ’s table. Who are the forgotten in your sphere? How can we extend the hospitality of Christ and make space for them?

1 CommentComment on Facebook

Amen! Great devotional!

Load more

From Our Readers

Our daily devotions often inspire me in surprising ways. It is terrific to start my day with this gift from others and think “I needed that”.

Rick

I enjoy, learn from, am inspired by, and am provoked by the devotionals – I like them. I have mentioned many times that Belynda, for example, makes observations then draws them into context as a tenured minister would -delivering wonderful ideas every time I read them. I read each one every time! Thank you!

Myers

The daily devotions mean a few things to me. They come early when I am preparing to face a tough day of caregiving, reminding me to be open to spiritual care and to pray! That calms my fears. Then I feel so loved by my church family! That feels so good. You are there …. for me. It’s like a friendly visit to my home and a hug.

Sherry

I appreciate how much work and effort go into posting the daily devotionals each day. I do try and read them daily and I enjoy hearing devotionals from staff and members of the church.

Brandi

Get Daily Devotionals

You can receive each Daily Devotionals email straight to your inbox each morning. Sign up today!