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 - December 1, 2017

 After following Christ, I would say community is the most important part of being a Christian. Lots of us have faith practices that we do alone, but being a Christian inherently means being a part of a community. And being a part doesn't simply mean attending, it means belonging. We are to develop relationships that make a significant difference in our lives. Some of us fall into that easily and naturally. Others of us struggle to feel and get connected. It is fairly easy for someone to attend our church for 3, even 6, months and not really be known. I believe we need to work on that. We may not all end up knowing each other really well, but we should be known by a few so that they can pray with and for us, so they can connect with us regularly, and so someone notices if we're missing, and cares enough to see if we've been sick, have a prayer need, if we're struggling with a relationship, or if we've simply been on the road and traveling a lot

Sometimes we're tempted to wait for someone to notice us, and while that's a natural tendency, it often only leads to unnecessary hurt or resentment. If we want to be noticed or need someone to care, we often have to reach out and ask for time or prayer. All too often we assume "no news is good news" and aren't inclined to reach out. As people of faith, it's our job to reach out to others, and, it's our job to risk and be vulnerable and reach out for ourselves.

May we each be inclined to connect for others and for ourselves.

In Christ,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - November 17, 2017

In my college years I was privileged to travel a lot to a number of different countries. I was exposed to new cultures and new people and was stretched in how I understood the world and myself. I was fortunate that despite being in lots of places under lots of circumstances, nothing threatened my sense of safety.

After I returned to the states and was working a fair amount with people in need, I often asked myself "Where would I go if I were stranded and needed help?" My first answer was always, "A church." I grew up in the church and believed a church should be a place of safety, of help, and of provision. Sometimes my heart would break for the ways the church failed to be that place of sanctuary for those seeking help. And sometimes my heart would swell for the ways we got it right. To be sure, caring for others is not a perfect art.

Nevertheless, I still believe the church should be a safe place—emotionally, spiritually, and physically. The news of the last few weeks only reinforces that for me. We should know that we are safe in the sanctuary. We should have peace in knowing we would be welcomed. We should have confidence our story will be believed. And I genuinely hope that if we faced adversity or injustice, that those in the church would stand with us to find hope and justice.

Fortunately and unfortunately, Moscow often feels protected from the chaos of "those people" and "those places" and even "those things." Yet sexual assault, discrimination, domestic violence, and gun violence all happen here too. As a church, we need to be clear about being a place of sanctuary and hope. I believe we need to be open in saying "I believe you." "I care about you." "We choose hope over fear."

We may not get it right every single time. But I do hope that when people think they need help, or refuge, or hope that they know that could find it at Moscow First.

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - October 19, 2017

Over the years, I've been known (by those closest to me) to do my fair share of fussing. Like most of you, I've had the opportunity to complain about most everything—classes, professors, family, work, bosses, life in general. Most of the time my verbal tirade leads me to a productive course of action, but not always. Sometimes I spin my wheels...fussing and grousing about the person or issue over and over. On those occasions, my dad will ask, "Have you prayed about it?" And, generally, regrettably, I sheepishly say no. Generally, it hadn't even occurred to me to pray about it. I was just frustrated or mad and wanted to be heard.

The good news is, we have one who is always ready to hear us—to know the truth of what we're facing, what frustrates us, what shames us, what holds us back. Beyond that, the Great Listener wants things to be better for us. As believers, we're invited to believe in God's goodness and willingness to act in our lives and pray. We're asked to turn our grousing into prayers and listen for God's wisdom and direction about how we might change our response to those people, or live differently in those situations. God will work on our behalf. God often shows us the way to be a part of that action.

If there's something or someone under your skin, I ask, "Have you prayed about it?" Have you sought a godly solution through prayer? Pray for them. Pray for how you understand them. Pray for wisdom, discernment, or guidance for your particular situation.

May you find new blessings as you look and listen for God's reply.

Don't worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. ~Philippians 4:6

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - October 7, 2017

One of the things I love about Moscow is the sense of community. Before here, I served churches in urban areas. We often had a lot of needs; and it was the churches that hosted the food pantries, utility assistance, meals for the homeless, Christmas outreach ministries, and more. I was grateful I was able to lead and be involved directly with people in need....to learn their stories and know their names. It was also taxing that as a community (meaning the city itself) we weren't doing more to help.

I've been impressed from the beginning as I learned about all that is happening in and around Moscow. There is the free lunch program for all kids during the summer, Sojourner's, Family Promise, Community Action Partnership, Latah Recovery Center, Alternatives to Violence, Habitat for Humanity, and more. The community is at work responding to help our neighbors.

As a church, instead of doing each of those types of ministries by ourselves, we can partner with those other agencies. We can come alongside as part of the larger community. Our missions committee oversees much of that connection. And as part of our work, we have a desire to do more to help. In addition to this month's toiletries and cold weather drive, we are planning a dinner and benefit auction for Friday, November 10th.

The auction is meant for us and for the community. We will host dinner and have a silent and live auction. All proceeds will go to our mission committee's work and partnerships around the community (going to those groups listed above, and additional funds being sent for hurricane relief through UMCOR). We are looking for donations (from businesses of products or gift certificates, and from individuals of handcrafted or auctionable items). If you have a community contact and would like to solicit a donation on our behalf, we'd be most grateful. If you are a crafter, cook, or artisan and could make an item to donate, that would be wonderful too. We will also need help with the event itself (set up and decorations, cooking, serving, bid table, and clean up)

For more information about the auction or our work in the community, please contact a member of the Missions Committee: Connie Elliott, Rosemary Shively, Jodi Walker, Katelyn Domras, or myself.

 

In Christ,

Pastor Debbie

 

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Pastor Debbie's E-Devotion - September 20, 2017

I'm kind of a DIY junkie. Not really in practice, but in my TV selections. I love watching Chip and Joanna Gaines or "Rehab Addict" or most any of the other shows that deal with taking something old and freshening it up or even totally re-doing it. There's something powerful in the dreaming, in the creating, in the repurposing, and the renewing. As a consequence of my DIY habits, I get some of their emails including the "Win This Dream Home" ones. I get the daily email reminders and do my entry for my chance to win (the mountain house, the lake house, the whatever house it is this week house).

Now, the odd thing is I'm a skeptic (ok, maybe just a realist) and have very strong doubts that I would ever win any of those houses. Yet, I keep entering (hey, it's free and I'm not risking or losing anything). I regularly ask myself, why do I bother?! And my answer is sometimes, "Because there's a chance that maybe it could be me." And sometimes, "Because it's fun to dream." I think it's good to dream. I think it can be wonderful to imagine new possibilities or new adventures. It can be fun to experience a new style, a new sport, a new talent, or a new place. And I think dreaming takes us there. It urges us to look beyond ourselves and our current place and to imagine what could be.

It might be crazy. It might be expensive. It might be impossible. And that's ok. Because any of those things could spark the right idea to propel us to new and beautiful things. It can be easy to get pulled down by the tyranny of the necessary...day to day things that have to be done. So it's nice to cut some of those strings and dream.

My question to you is two-fold: 1) What inspires you to dream? 2) What dreams do you have for the church? If you're willing to share your answer(s), I'd love to hear from you.

 

 

 

 

May God bless you,
Pastor Debbie

 

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