2011 Archives » Page 2 of 3 | Devotions | Goshen College

December 13, 2011

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By Jan Emswiler, assistant professor of nursing
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 89: 1-4, 19-26 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
In these verses, I am struck once again by how God works with and through ordinary people, and how these important stories must be told and retold. In doing so, the retelling becomes a form of praise and adoration of the Creator and Sustainer.
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December 12, 2011

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By Sara Klassen, a sophomore psychology major from Goshen, Ind.
THIS WEEK’S THEME: The revelation of the mystery

DEVOTIONAL:
Questions: the mark of human nature. We want to know why things happen and how things work. We want to predict the future and explain the past. Google provides a world of information at our fingertips. Psychology gives the brain a way to understand itself. Technology does what was inconceivable but minutes ago.
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December 9, 2011

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By Heather Goertzen, resident director
SCRIPTURE: John 1:6-8, 19-28 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
It was just over a year ago that I was introduced to the Mennonite game. I grew up a “Coaster,” a funny and indecipherable surname, unindicative of its Polish roots, and married a Mennonite in a far away land where “Goertzen” was as unique (strange) as the gringos who bore it. It was only after returning to the U.S. (and a couple specific Menno-lands) that I learned there were more of us out there and that lines could be traced. I also learned that in the Mennonite game, Coaster got me nowhere.
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December 8, 2011

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By Alicia Hofer, a sophomore elementary education major from Dolton, S.D.
SCRIPTURE: 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-24 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Rejoice always, pray without ceasing and give thanks in all circumstances.
We know this is not our first nature. How many times do we have a rough day, not wanting to rejoice, failing to pray because we don’t find the time or the desire?
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December 7, 2011

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By Saralyn Murray, a junior American sign language major from Orrville, Ohio
SCRIPTURE: Psalm 126 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
When reflecting on the theme “awesome deeds we do not expect,” I am reminded of an incident from my summer. I was driving from my home in Ohio to the peaceful woods of Camp Friedenswald in Michigan. About an hour from my destination, my car started acting up. I discovered after pulling into a fast food drive through, I could only drive in reverse.
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December 6, 2011

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By Rebecca Hernandez, director of the Center for Intercultural Teaching and Learning
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 61: 1-4, 8-11 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
I look back on that perfect day in early fall, sunny and cool, flowers fading but still glorious, and I was in “the groove.” You know those days, where things come together and you know you are exactly where you’re supposed to be and doing what you’ve been made for. Things are good, I’m in sync in with people around me and the check offs on the “to do” list are flying as we build a vision together. It was the simplicity of that day that I so appreciated. I looked up as I walked across campus and thought “thank you God for this moment.” Because this moment was perfect and I know from experience that it would only last a moment. I realized this magnificent day was God’s gift to me and my acknowledgment of this day was my gift to God. We were in tune and it was good.
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December 5, 2011

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By Ben Sutter, a junior communication and history double major
THIS WEEK’S THEME: Hold Fast

DEVOTIONAL:
The first semester of my junior year has been a rough semester for me. I’ve felt the strain of long work hours and overwhelming amounts of homework. Life itself can be overwhelming. I’ve struggled to find time to just be present. My spiritual life ha waned. I’ve felt empty and been broken. Many times this semester, God has seemed distant.
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December 2, 2011

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By Steve Nolt, professor of history
SCRIPTURE: Mark 1: 1-8 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
Today’s text offers us “the beginning of the good news of Jesus Christ.” As we read on, if we’re honest, it’s something of an odd beginning. Or at least an unexpected beginning. True, the story begins with reference to the prophet Isaiah, and faithful readers of the Hebrew Scriptures might well recognize the call to “Prepare the way of the Lord.”
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December 1, 2011

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By Emma Brooks, a junior art major from Littleton, Colo.
SCRIPTURE: Peter 2 3:8-15a (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
We all have expectations of what the ‘day of the Lord’ might be like. I remember as a child wondering what it would be like, though I was strongly influenced by the “Left Behind” movie. I remember having irrational rapture scares when my dad forgot to pick me up or when I would return to an empty house.

The return of Jesus is not something that I think about often. It seems so far away and not in touch with the reality of today.
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November 30, 2011

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By Paul Keim, professor of Bible and religion
SCRIPTURE: Isaiah 40:1-11 (NRSV)
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DEVOTIONAL:
A command resounds throughout the divine assembly, addressing the attendant beings gathered before Yahweh. The heavens have been burdened with the sufferings of a people. The sheer gravity of their loss, the trauma of their fate, the numbness that has settled upon a once thriving community, now dislocated and disheartened – hangs like a shroud upon heaven and earth. Comfort them!
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