Devotionals
Sunday Worship Service begins at 10:30 AM
Third & Adams Street, PO Box 9774, Moscow, Idaho USA | (208) 882-3715

Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - August 30, 2017

After every major natural disaster around the world, UMCOR (the United Methodist Committee on Relief) responds. UMCOR offers relief aid much like the Red Cross. They are often first on the ground after a disaster strikes and generally, one of the last to leave.

When Hurricane Katrina struck in 2005, UMCOR was there and they made a 10-year commitment to the rebuilding work. You can be sure they aren't there for show, or for the basics, the UMC makes a long-lasting commitment to help communities that have been devastated.

I was privileged to take UMCOR teams to Mississippi (and then Maryland after hurricane Sandy) for a number of years. Often, toward the end of our work week, we would have a dinner and invite the community. At the end of the meal, people would be invited to share. I remember one woman shared, "We expected the government to help, but they didn't, it was the church." Someone else shared, "You know, a cross with fire has a real bad connotation here in the South. But y'all have those vans with the cross and flame and it gave it new meaning. Now the cross with a flame reminds us to have hope."

The work we do as a church helps in practical ways and in how we become the church to those who don't know God or profess faith. With the events and devastation from Hurricane Harvey, we have the chance to be the church again. If you have watched the news and wondered how to help, I would recommend you give to UMCOR.

If you would like to give directly to UMCOR, you can do that here.

If you would like to give through the church, you can write a check to Moscow First and put "UMCOR #901670" or "UMCOR Harvey" in the memo line.

With either choice of giving every dollar, you give goes directly to help the people. There is no overhead or administration fees. One hundred percent of your gift will go to helping people in the midst of the devastation.

 

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - August 9, 2017

Recently, I had a situation that made me want to give up. I've seen a repeated pattern and I thought, "This is hopeless." It didn't feel like it was even worth trying to have hope since that only led to me feeling let down (again).

I then started reading, "The Case For Grace" by Lee Strobel. In it, he shares some amazing stories of transformation. There were more than a few situations that were "hopeless" where most reasonable people would have given up. Yet, somehow, grace was offered (often in lots of forms). And for these people, transformation and redemption took place.

It made me cry. It was grace at work--making a way where there was no way and giving rise to the impossible. It was beautiful. And it was a powerful reminder that as a follower of Christ, I believe in grace, and if I believe in grace, then there's always hope.

I can't count on being the catalyst for change myself, but I can count on God. So, where all hope seems lost, I am invited to hand it over to God and ask for the mystery of grace to take over.

What is it that feels hopeless in your own life? Are you giving up or are you counting on grace? If it's too much for you to change and do, have you given it to God in prayer? If not, will you start today?

Some of the stories in the book took years for transformation to take hold. It's important to remember that grace isn't magic, but it is powerful. And sometimes it takes time for that power to work.

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - August 5, 2017

A few months ago, Rick and I attended the Habitat for Humanity auction. It was awesome to see so many people from our community caring for other families in need. It was especially cool to see so many people from our church participating in leadership for Humanity, donating auction items, and attending the dinner.

While we were there, we thought, "With so many United Methodists already wanting to help this awesome ministry, why don't we do something more?" So we began conversations with Jennifer Wallace and their project coordinator about how and when we could help.

 

They have offered us a great opportunity to serve by building a shed for their new build. This is a special opportunity because it will take place off-site, which means we can take kids 10+ (instead of their normal rule of 14 and older). This is a "quick and easy" job that can be completed in just a few hours.

 

We are scheduled to work on Monday August 14th at the Habitat location on the south side of town. We will start at 10, stop for a sack lunch, and finish in the afternoon. If you would like to help, even for a couple hours, or with preparing lunch, please sign up on Sundays or by emailing the church office. (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) We can take youth ages 10 and older too.

 

I look forward to building and serving with you!!!

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Spire - July 19, 2017

In reflecting on the story of the good samaritan, someone shared, "I would help them if they were in a ditch. I wouldn't leave them there. But that doesn't mean I want to have coffee with them."

My guess is he's not the only one. Sure, there are people we'd consider leaving in the ditch. Maybe even a few we'd deem worthy of being left, but more often than not, our compassion would win out and we'd help them. So then we're pushed to consider a different question: would we sit down to coffee? We might not leave them stranded, but would we be willing to take time to get to know our undesirable neighbor?

Have no doubt, we are being asked not just to see people or help them, but also to get to know them....as individuals. For some of us, that's a much harder request. Would I be willing to sit down and get to know my neighbor? To push past my disdain or prejudice and spend time with them in a way that matters?

Who is it God is inviting you to get to know? Who is it the Spirit is pushing you to see and know differently? How might you begin to engage them?

 

 

 

 In Christ

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - June 29, 2017

For a few weeks now I've been mowing the lawn and working around the broken branch that hangs slightly into the yard. It's not a big deal and I keep thinking that I'll cut it off (eventually) so it's no longer in the way.

And yet, each week, after mowing the lawn, I rarely want to go back out to cut it off. So, it remains...broken, yet attached.

I've wondered at my apathy (laziness?) and whether cutting it off would really change anything. And after 3 weeks of mowing around it and failing to cut it off, I realized it's brokenness is more of a hindrance than just to mow the yard...it's a hindrance to the whole of the tree. See, the tree is still supplying food and water. It's sending valuable resources to a branch that can hardly bear fruit or last long. It would benefit the tree to have that broken branch gone so it could more fully nourish the healthier parts of the tree.

Of course, being a theologian...I looked for the God connection and thought that we do that all too often in our own lives and in the life of the church. We know something is broken and a hindrance, but it's not that much of a hindrance, so we keep working around it. Only, the reality is, it's costing us much more than a few extra steps. The broken thing, the thing that needs to be pruned back is also requiring time and energy that could be better invested elsewhere.

It's time for me to cut the branch. This weekend, I promise. ;) And, it might be time for you to do some cutting of your own. Is there something broken yet hanging on? Requiring time and energy and attention that could be better invested elsewhere? Why haven't you cut it off? What might bloom if you could give your goodness to a different place in your life?

 

 

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Sunday morning parking at the church is available in the high school parking lot on Third Street across from the church and in the city lots west of the church. These lots are available only on Sunday mornings. A small lot for handicapped parking is available just off of Adams Street on the north side of the church, with an accessible entrance directly into the sanctuary. A lift operates between the Fellowship Hall (3rd Street level) and the Sanctuary . William Sound System Receivers and Headsets are available to assist with hearing problems.

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The First United Methodist Church of Moscow, Idaho takes as our mission to be the body of Jesus Christ, ministering to a community which draws strength from its diversity. Our mission centers on the worship of God, expressed through varied forms of prayer, preaching, music, and ritual.  See more...

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