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The Rhythms of Work and Life

July 30, 2014

The Rhythms of Work and Life The first half of Ecclesiastes 3 is one of the most widely known passages in the Bible thanks to folk rock band The Byrds, who made “Turn! Turn! Turn! (to Everything There Is a Season)”—a song written by Peter Seeger that quotes verses 1 through 8 almost verbatim—into an international hit in the mid-60s. Prominent...

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  • Devotions July 30, 2014

Blessings for those who fear the Lord

January 31, 2012

Blessings for those who fear the Lord Psalms 120 through 134 are each entitled, “A Song of Ascents.” Scholars don’t exactly know what this phrase means, but most have speculated that these were either songs sung by the people returning to Jerusalem for the three pilgrim festivals or songs sung by the priests actually ascending the fifteen...

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  • Devotions January 31, 2012

Devotion for August 03, 2008

August 3, 2008

Devotion for August 03, 2008 Song of Solomon (or Song of Songs) is unique in the canon of Scripture. The language paints a poetic picture of longing and love leading to a faithful marriage relationship, but for centuries readers have probed the book for an additional meaning. Though this love poem primarily celebrates human love, it also...

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  • Devotions August 3, 2008

Devotion for November 20, 2008

November 20, 2008

Devotion for November 20, 2008 In 1529, as Martin Luther experienced extreme opposition to his efforts to bring reform into the church, he drew particular encouragement from Psalm 46. Because Luther understood the power of music and song, he used the words and images from this psalm to write his most famous hymn, “Ein feste burg ist unser...

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  • Devotions November 20, 2008

A Gracious Love: His Love Delivers Us

September 9, 2015

A Gracious Love: His Love Delivers Us Mike Mahoney never forgot the brave smile of the little girl he rescued by helicopter from Hurricane Katrina’s rising floodwaters. “I’ve seen a lot of destruction in my time, and New Orleans was intense, but to be happy, smiling and resilient despite the devastation was such a powerful moment,” Mahoney...

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  • Devotions September 9, 2015

Gates of Thanksgiving

March 10, 2020

Gates of Thanksgiving At one time in church history, ordinary Christians didn’t sing. Instead, they listened while sacred music was performed by professionals. But thanks to the Reformation and the invention of the printing press, congregational singing made a comeback. The first hymnal was printed in 1532. Simple, singable tunes and sturdy...

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  • Devotions March 10, 2020

Is This All There Is?

September 1, 2013

Is This All There Is? “Is that all there is?” The question was hauntingly sung by Peggy Lee in her 1969 hit. The chorus asks, “Is that all there is? Is that all there is? If that’s all there is, my friends, then let’s keep dancing.” For as long as people have walked the earth, they have searched for the meaning of life. What is our purpose?

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  • Devotions September 1, 2013

Devotion for Sept. 27, 2011

September 27, 2011

Devotion for Sept. 27, 2011 Singing is a natural means of expressing our feelings. Whether a soaring hymn in a cathedral, a soft lullaby to a child, a plaintive lament at a memorial service, or solitary singing in the shower, singing is a creative gift from God. It uses both our souls and our bodies to express emotion, and every culture around...

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  • Devotions September 27, 2011

Devotion for November 18, 2008

November 18, 2008

Devotion for November 18, 2008 Bible scholar Elizabeth Achtemeier once wrote, “The human mind is a picture gallery, and we live by the images found in it.” With this in mind, picture a very bright star that shines brilliantly and is surrounded by others stars in a beautiful constellation. This is a helpful way to think about one of the most...

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  • Devotions November 18, 2008

Devotion for Jan. 15, 2009

January 15, 2009

Devotion for Jan. 15, 2009 W. E. B. Du Bois, the first African-American scholar to earn a degree from Harvard, studied the experience of black slaves in America. He wrote about the impact of the spirituals, calling them "Sorrow Songs" and describing them as "the most beautiful expression of human experience born this side of the seas . .

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  • Devotions January 15, 2009


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