365 Devotions for Rest

One of my favorite (and most needed) books was one my parents got for me for my 21st birthday. It goes without saying for those who know me realize I’m the girl who devotes every minute of her day to everything that I can be involved in. Often times I am so overworked that I forget to allow for “me” time or time with God. For those of you who would say your life is very similar or even those of you who just want a reminder of how to bring yourself closer to God in the midst of our everyday lives, I highly recommend reading this daily devotion. It will not only change the way you see the world and how you rank your priorities, but guides you to finding God in the simplest moments.

The biggest thing I struggle with is learning to say no, because I love to help everyone and provide the care that someone may need to make their lives easier. I’ve run into the problem, however, that the more I say yes to doing, the less I can take time to heal myself and my relationship with God. The devotion I read this morning is a perfect example, reminding us that it’s okay to say no.

No Guilt in No (from “365 Devotions for Rest”)

“All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No.'” -Matthew 5:37

Fact: when you say no to one thing, it allows you to say yes to other things that are more important to you.

If you’re a people pleaser, it’s difficult to say no. You’d rather say yes and overwhelm yourself than say no and disappoint someone else. But when your yeses begin to pile up, they take valuable time away from other aspects of your life: your work, friends, family, church life, and your rest. When you say yes, it feels good to help someone out. But sometimes you’re hurting yourself in the process.

That’s why guilt shouldn’t be attached to the word no. Saying no isn’t selfish or self-centered or greedy; it’s simply treating your own time as valuable. Jesus didn’t say yes to everyone; He left the crowds, spent time with His disciples, and rested.

If you begin to say yes out of guilt today, stop yourself and ask God if you should- politely, gently, and lovingly- say no.

Prayer of the People

When I begin to yes out of guilt, Lord, stop me and remind me of my limits.

-Lauren Muth

Serving our Community

Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. -1 Peter 4:10

It’s not often in college that you think beyond the works of what you have to accomplish every day. There’s tests, projects, assignments, activities, work, errands, social promises…but what stood out to me the most was an event that we were humbly able to be a part of this last weekend. The Big Event hosted by the University of Kansas is a large volunteer event which gives students the opportunity to sign up in groups to serve around the community and assigned to various homes across the city.

When we got to our assigned home in north Lawrence, we were pleased to meet some very wonderful people and given the task of helping enhance their yard. We raked many yards of leaves and pulled numerous amount of weeds, but most of all, we were able to see our hand in the community, doing as God tells us every day. Our ability to serve those who need it meant the most when we had the energy and passion to give back, as God has led us to do.

I wouldn’t trade this opportunity for anything and sincerely hope we can continue to serve in this tradition for the future. Check out some of the photographs and video I’ve compiled as a part of our experience working together through Wesley KU. A special thank you to all who joined our team!

-Lauren Muth

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Holy Week Reflection

On Sunday, we rejoiced as we retold the story of your triumphant ride into the city on the back of a donkey. Hailed as a King. Our King. Glorified. Revered. Worshiped. We waved palm branches. We celebrated. We cheered.

Hosanna! Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna! Hosanna in the highest!

As we sweep up the palm branches left strewn along the parade route, we remember the rest of the story.

We know what is on the horizon. We know what we did.

There is none like you. You turned everything on its head. And as much as we wanted change, we were also afraid of change. Change brings the unknown. Uncertainty.

We could not wrap our minds around the new reality of your reign. And so, we let old habits and reactions take hold, instead of letting you take root.

The crowd turned cold. The shouts of jubilation became jeers. Anger built. A mob formed. You knew what was coming next. Still, you stayed. You took your place and played your part. You gave your all for us.

Crucify Him! Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

Oh, God. Forgive us. We know not what we do.

Take root in us. Renew us with the tenderness of spring growth. Strengthen us so that our faith is You. For you alone are holy. You alone are good.

-Susan Mercer, Wesley KU Campus Minister

Daily Encounters: Scripture

The past few weeks of my life have been chaos and I apologize if anyone has been trying to follow my blog series, “Daily Encounters.” Next up in the series is how to incorporate reading scripture into you life from day to day. I’ve never been able to simply sit down and read a random chapter of scripture on a regular basis. So, instead of telling you to force yourself to read the Bible for a certain amount of time every day, I’m going to illustrate some of the reasons you can turn to scripture.

3 Things You Can Find in Scripture

1) Guidance

Whenever I open my bible on my own, it’s usually because I need answers. Maybe I am lost and in need of direction. Maybe I am frustrated and need help understanding a situation. I’ve been a Christian my entire life. I’ve gone to church where we read scripture, I’ve attended youth group and bible studies, and I’ve sat at the table while my father explained God’s word to me. I’m still confused sometimes about what God wants or thinks of certain dilemmas. As a young adult, I’m still deciding my own ideas and faith. I think that certain phrases in scripture are open to interpretation and I can only find my own understanding by private study.

Here’s an example of when I’ve turned to scripture for answers. It was a couple years ago and there was a lot in the news about animal rights, particularly when it comes to poaching and trophy hunting. I knew this activity upset me, but I wanted to evaluate why. I eat meat, but I believe God put animals on this earth to for more than just our food. I looked up the word “animal” in my bible’s concordance and found all this information where God refers to animals being our equals in many ways and emphasizing that we must respect them.

2) Support

Similar to looking for an answer in God’s word, I have found support when I already knew my answer, but wanted to find agreement. I don’t necessarily mean you should use the Bible as a source for debate. There are many passages in God’s word that seem to contradict with one another. Like I said before, I am on a journey to find my own understanding of God’s word. Maybe I do agree with something I heard in church growing up, but I want to be sure I have it right. Deciding our moral code is incredibly important, especially if you want to share your faith with others. Those who are strangers to Christianity will need your help to make some sense of it and if you’re going to spread the word, you should probably fully understand it yourself.

3) Comfort

When I first came to college, I was lonely. I didn’t know anybody at KU and my roommates and I didn’t connect. I was used to being around those who knew me and loved me unconditionally, but those people were an hour away. God was there. I could pick up my bible and read the words from someone who I felt understood me. I could connect with someone even though He couldn’t actually speak to me or physically keep me company. Once you’ve built a relationship with God and have your own understanding of his words, you’re never alone.

 

 

 

Disclaimers: In this post, I refer to the Holy Trinity as “God” and I refer to God occasionally as “He.” I recognize that there are three parts to the Holy Trinity and fully accept that God’s gender is ambiguous. This language is to make the writing easier to understand and more to the point.