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July 20, 2020

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Devotion for Monday, July 20 from Bree Hodel

Hey all, Bree here!  A little while ago Doug asked me about joining in on the checking in emails.  I'll be honest, I'm intimidated by the idea of everyone hearing from me rather than just students!  But as I thought and prayed about what I should say the Lord met me with some interesting ideas.  

First, I want to ask for permission from all of you.  I want permission to be honest, and admit some things that have been on my heart.  This checking in may be more of a journal entry for me rather than a presentation.  

Second, I want to offer my permission.  Remember in grade school when we would need permission slips from our parents to take part in certain extracurricular activities?  Consider this a permission slip from me to you to also be honest (and push back if you want!).  I don't have all the answers, I am just a sucker for a good conversation!

Okay here goes.  

Monday, July 20, 2020

What is going on?  This could sound silly, but I am all over the place mentally lately.  Social distancing has me on social media a LOT, and it is full of politicians, protests, statistics, memes, and the ever present highlight reel of everyone I went to high school with.  I can't help but question my own life; am I doing enough?  Am I furthering the problems we're dealing with?  Am I boring?  Am I being honest?  Am I good enough?  What is the truth?  What are the actual facts, and what's happening before and after this short clip I'm seeing?  

I could be wrong, but I don't think I'm the only one asking these questions.  Being far away from my friends and the routines I've created the past few years has me grasping for any sense of security and normalcy.  I want answers to my questions, and honestly I want them yesterday!

I keep asking myself, and talking in circles with the people around me; the people I know agree with me.  And that right there is something the Lord has flagged.  I spend so much of my time talking to people who agree with me.  I have curated my little corner of the internet to feed into only what I want to hear about, and I have surrounded myself with people who sound, look, think, and act like me.  

I think in order to grow, in order to attempt understanding, I need to take a step back.  COVID-19 has forced us to all take a step back from what we've gotten used to.  And I need to do that in all areas in my life.  Take a big step back and ask the Lord what deserves rushing back into.  

James 1:19 puts it this way: "let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger..." I don't know about you but I don't think this verse describes me very well lately!  

So here is my permission to you; take a moment to rather than speak, listen.  Look around and notice.  Ask questions, not for answers but for opportunities to learn.  Allow yourself to say "I don't know."

Because we don't.  But the Lord does, and we can find security and normalcy in that.  His truth's are the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  How about that for some good news!

I hope you are having days full of appreciation, growth, practice, and your horizons are expanding.  Also, the people you went to high school with are only showing the good things.  I promise ;). 


Devotion for Tuesday, July 21 from Pastor Trent Walker


Hello everyone,

Today’s checking in will be a reminder of a theme you have heard from me over the last 7.5 years but there seems to be a reason God keeps reminding me of this.

Last week Tuesday, our freezer door didn’t close very well.  The next evening I noticed the temperature reading was at 50 degrees.  I opened the door to discover my ice cream was now a milkshake, water was dripping from the ice maker…you get the picture.  I found the culprit (a bottle of water used for ice in a cooler), closed the door and hoped for the best.  

The next day, there was an error message on the front of the door (SY EF).  I didn’t look it up, I just unplugged the fridge/freezer, plugged it back in and hoped for the best.  

The next day, the sounds coming from our freezer were extraordinary.  We could hardly have a conversation with each other over the noise.  So I unplugged it and plugged it back in.  Convinced that this time, my routine would fix it.  

All weekend…the same.  Until I finally looked up the code.  It turns out when the freezer door was opened, condensation builds up on the Evaporator Fan and then freezes.  We had scheduled a repair but the online advice was to turn it off, put everything in coolers, and defrost the whole unit.  Something I haven’t had to do since I was a kid living in my mom’s home.

This morning, the temps were back where they should be and we lost very little food.  We canceled the repair and are hoping for the best.  Who knows, I may need to reschedule, I may need a new refrigerator/freezer or I may have finally solved the problem.  Only time will tell.

So why tell you this story?  What’s the repeating 7.5 year theme?  Trent’s appliance issues?  ☺

Reason and Theme:  Again, I have grown accustomed to my blessings.  

Frustrated that I might have to spend hundreds or thousands of dollars to replace an appliance, I ignored the problem in front of me.  When it dawned on me that this needed to be dealt with, I went to the garage to get five (yes – five) coolers (two large, one medium and two small) to pack my food.  Lyn went to the gas station for ice and I began the process of defrosting.

Kitchen full of coolers that were full of food.  A fan blowing into my unplugged and open appliance.  And mounting frustration, it occurred to me again.

How blessed I am.  I have food, five coolers worth.  I have all the ice I can want to preserve my food just a five-minute drive down the road.  I have an appliance that has kept food at the ready for years.  Yes, I may have to pay for a repair, or I may have to replace it, but I have the resources to do just that.  

I ask you to join me in this:  look at what frustrates you and/or what you complain about and then look to the other side of it and you will find how blessed you actually are.  And then give thanks.  Yes, I have an appliance in disrepair, but this “problem” tells me just how good I have it.  In fact, I have more than I need.  And even if it all went to waste, I have resources to replace…and God deserves thanks for that! 

1 Thessalonians 5:18 says:  “Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”

In Christ,

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