August 27, 2015

Work and Humility

By Brooke Pernice |
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Brooke Pernice

Brooke Pernice

“O Lord, my heart is not lifted up,
my eyes are not raised too high;
I do not occupy myself with things
too great and too marvelous for me.”
—Psalm 131:1, NRSV

There is a grievous sin of which ministers, theologians, and other Christian leaders are often guilty. We sometimes have a subtly pretentious or superior manner, thinking our business loftier than the vocations of those around us. Such a mindset is not only condemned by God, but it also shows our own foolishness.

Christians, particularly those in any sort of leadership, cannot afford to lose touch with reality. Knowing this, might there be a spiritual discipline to keep the Christian leader humble and service-oriented?

This summer I interned with Upper Room Ministries, a nonprofit Christian organization that offers resources and programs to help people deepen their relationship with God. Its most well-known publication is The Upper Room daily devotional guide, a bimonthly magazine that is distributed in 100 countries and 35 languages.

As part of my work as an intern, I brailled 350 letters to our blind subscribers on a manual Braille typewriter. This was a laborious process because the intense pounding can take a toll on the hands. I soon discovered I had overestimated my own skills as a Braille transcriber, both in speed and accuracy. It also became clear how quickly I grew tired in body and mind. Important as those letters are, more important is how they came to be.

… read

August 24, 2015

Wonderful Words of Life

By Matthew Nelson |
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The Upper Room Disciplines 2015

The Upper Room Disciplines 2015. Click to purchase this full week of devotions (“Words of Life”) as an e-book.


Read Song of Solomon 2:8-13

Much singing goes on around my house. My daughter especially is a little songbird. She will repeat the latest tune or melody over and over as she dances around the house in her ballet dress. Her passion and joy are palpable. These songs seem to get “stuck” in a loop within her heart and mind, being repeated over and over again. That’s how it is with a tune; it captures you. The words and the tune come together and draw us into their rhythm. They speak to our heart. … read

August 20, 2015

How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith

By Kara Lassen Oliver |
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Passing on faith at an Easter revival in Malawi, Africa

Passing on faith at an Easter revival in Malawi, Africa

“We recognize the fruit of the Spirit in love, peace, patience, kindness, gentleness, goodness, and faithfulness in ourselves and in our children. While forming our children involves boundaries, discipline, and consequences, it also means paying attention to the work of the Holy Spirit in their lives, inspiring them to be kind and prompting them to slow down and make good decisions.”

—From Passing It On: How to Nurture Your Children’s Faith Season by Season, p. 49

There is no better time to talk with our children about the fruit of the Spirit than during the return to school in the fall. New teachers will explain their rules, coaches will expect girls and boys to focus and learn new skills, and music teachers already have goals and expectations for recitals at the end of the year. … read

August 17, 2015

Gathering for Worship

By Kristen Vincent |
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Read 1 Kings 8:1, 6, 10-11

In seminary my ethics professor asked us to write an argument to support the significance of coming together for worship. My own Sunday morning routine seemed mundane, hardly significant. But the assignment—inspired by my professor’s thought-provoking lectures—changed my way of thinking. I sat in church one morning and looked around at the congregation. Like me, they had gotten out of bed and embarked on their morning routine before coming to church. … read

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