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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As Jesus passed alongside the Galilee Sea, he saw two brothers, Simon and Andrew, throwing fishing nets into the sea, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” he said, “and I’ll show you how to fish for people.” Right away, they left their nets and followed him. After going a little farther, he saw James and John, Zebedee’s sons, in their boat repairing the fishing nets. At that very moment he called them. They followed him, leaving their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired workers.

Mark 1:16-20

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Jesus bids us the same call as Simon, Andrew, and the sons of Zebedee. These men are going about their day, and Jesus calls them to “Come, follow me.” These first disciples drop their day jobs, leave their nets, and follow Jesus. The disciples show true faith in not packing their nets along with them as a measure of security. They leave them behind.

For Andrew and Simon, Jesus says that they will fish for people instead of catching fish. With James and John, Jesus does not offer a similar pun, but the same is true. The brothers were mending their nets. In their world, they were prepared and trained to stitch up nets to catch more fish, but with God’s vision they were preparing to know how to stitch up, mend, and repair relationships.

The disciples had packed bags of practicality. Those with eyes to see will notice what other gifts and talents come with these practical skills and how they can be used for God’s kingdom.

Ben Brown

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Holy One, help me to notice the skills that I have that I can use for your glory. Give me the eyes to notice and affirm these skills in others today. Amen.

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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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