Pause

I then shall live as one who's learned compassion.
I've been so loved, that I'll risk loving too.
I know how fear builds walls instead of bridges;
I'll dare to see another's point of view.
And when relationships demand commitment,
Then I'll be there to care and follow through.

from “I Then Shall Live” by Gloria Gaither (1981)

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Listen

There are different spiritual gifts but the same Spirit; and there are different ministries and the same Lord; and there are different activities but the same God who produces all of them in everyone.

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

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Think

When we pack our backpacks, we’re trying to be self-sufficient. We each need pencils, paper, books, maybe a protractor, goggles for chemistry lab, and that tuba mouthpiece for band class. Although we try to be ready for every situation, we can’t pack everything we could ever possibly need in our backpack. Sometimes we forget something important! Luckily, there are some items that we can share. Your classmate can loan you a pen. You probably won’t need that entire bottle of liquid paper.

The same is true with spiritual gifts. God has filled each of our “backpacks" with gifts. We might be tempted to see which gifts we have and then try to pack our bags with all those other gifts too. We want them all, for every situation.

In the spiritual life, we’re not supposed to be completely self-sufficient. If one person held all spiritual gifts, what use would he or she have for community? In our incompleteness we need one another, and God is gracious to bless our communities with what we need.

Ben Brown

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Pray

God who created me, thank you for the things that I can’t do alone. In the moments of being incomplete or needing help, I’m reminded of the need for community. Help me to offer my gift to help someone else today. Amen.

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Go

Perhaps nothing helps us make the movement from our little selves to a larger world than remembering God in gratitude. Such a perspective puts God in view in all of life, not just in the moments we set aside for worship or spiritual disciplines. Not just in the moments when life seems easy.

Henri Nouwen in Turning My Mourning into Dancing (2004)

Go today in gratitude.

Go today with God.

Ben Brown

Rev. Ben Brown is the Minister of Youth at First Baptist Church in Waynesboro, VA. Ben is a native of Virginia and has degrees from Virginia Commonwealth University and BTSR. He is married to Courtney, and they enjoy running, hiking, laughing, and spending time with family and friends. Ben is obsessed with VCU basketball and dreams of their return run to the Final Four.

Making Space - Stillness

Carter Harrell

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