Daily Devotion – November 30, 2012

Psalm 25: 6 

Of David 

Be mindful of your mercy, O Lord, and of your steadfast love,

for they have been from old.


Reflection by Monty Wyne 

This is David’s prayer for guidance and pardon from sins. He asks the Lord to remember His long-standing mercy and love. 

In our busy day-to-day lives as technology buzzes around us, jobs and families demand our time and energy and the Holidays run us ragged, how often do you stop to engage God in prayer? How often do you find a quiet corner in your mind to focus on your many blessings and the things that truly matter in life? I am certainly guilty of neglect. Yet, it is so easy to turn off life’s busyness and turn on the spiritual light that lives in all of our hearts. 

Being “mindful” means being aware, attentive. So many times our attentions are turned elsewhere. God’s mercy and love are boundless, but we must pay attention to Him if we are to receive his love and forgiveness. I make a personal commitment to God to be “more mindful,” to be more aware of His presence and His mercy when I have sinned or rebelled against Him. Soon we will celebrate the birth of His only begotten son who gave his life for our sins. Surely, we can give more moments in our lives to Him. 



Dear God, 

I pray that I will become more aware of your presence Lord and that I will take more time in my life to turn to You for your guidance and pardon.      


Daily Devotion – November 29, 2012


Psalm 25:5 

Guide me in your truth

and teach me,

for you are God my Savior

and my hope is in you all

day long. 


Reflection by Jean Ward 

David shared his personal relationship with God.  He was very lonely and asked God to help
guide and teach him.  While David was “venting”,
he also confessed that his “hope” is in God all day long.

As we go into the Advent season we are filled with
hope.  But does that hope last all day


Teacher God,

Guide me in your truth.  Teach me to keep my hope going all day long
and all through the Advent season.  Thank
you for the Psalms that are so consoling and inspiring.  My hope is in you, my God.  Amen.

Daily Devotion – November 28, 2012

Psalm 25:4 

Make me to know your ways, O Lord; teach me your paths.


Reflection by Diane Ingram 

On this night, a quiet time after the rush of Thanksgiving Day, I’ve been
listening to a podcast from State of
to a previously recorded interview featuring Karen Armstrong.  In her responses, she talked about how
religion once infused the lives of believers. Religion’s primary concern, she
said, was with living the belief,
every day, all day. If a primary tenant was Do
unto others as you would have them do unto you
(stated various ways,
depending on the particular religion) then that’s what believers once tried to
do every day.  Religion’s purpose was to
put the focus on the teachings as applied.  

Teach me your paths is about living one’s faith, too.  If we envision life as a path and we want to
walk in a meaningful way, we can ask of God, as the psalmist did, that we learn
how to do that.  

It’s not that we learn a lesson and then walk on throughout a lifetime, following
the rules laid down in that one lesson, or perhaps in once a week reviews, but
that we learn the path as we walk it, step by step, every day. There’s room
always for adjustment, for seeing a circumstance anew. There are no iron

We try to do that at Pilgrimage: we try to make every day a reflection of Christ’s
teachings. That’s a difficult task in busy lives with concentration pulled in
so many directions.  But, it’s our purpose;
it’s what our religion does for us.  So I


Teach me your paths, O Lord.  Give me the focus to listen all
the time, to really see your paths and not just plod mindlessly.

Daily Devotion – November 27, 2012

How can we thank God enough for you in return for all the joy we have in the
presence of our God because of you?
      I Thessalonians 3:9 


Written by Don Tawney, Sr.

In collaboration with Don Tawney, Jr. 


I did not grow up in a home where a Christian
example was lived before me.  However, by God’s grace and mercy, I came to
believe in Christ and was saved.  After a few years my brother came to
faith in Christ, and how very encouraging that was to me.  He has been
living for God ever since.  I rejoice that he stands fast in the Christian

That is the way it was for the apostle Paul; he
was full of joy and rejoicing, and said he really lived because the believers
at Thessalonica loved Jesus Christ.  They loved the Gospel, and the
minister of the Gospel.  I cannot be thankful enough for the blessings God
gives me.



Thank you, Father in Heaven, for the countless saints who have crossed my path in




Daily Devotion – November 26, 2012

Psalm 25:1

Prayer for Guidance and for Deliverance

Of David.

1 To you, O
Lord, I lift up my soul.


Reflection by Lynne Buell

I had a difficult time trying to analyze this prayer.  After reading, re-reading, and re-reading the
lines, I also wrote, re-wrote, and again re-wrote my reflection.   This is what I came up with:

I have come a long way down my faith path these past couple
of years.  I have lifted my soul to
God.  But have I done it entirely? The
puzzling part for me is this; does God care about the minor details of our
lives?  By this, I mean, is God also
disappointed when I don’t dot an ‘I’ or cross a “t”?  Or is God a bottom-line God…how the big
picture affects others who I come in contact with during each day.  So do I say to myself, “Don’t sweat the small
stuff, Lynne”?  I think I need to do just
this:  Pray for guidance and for deliverance.


Dear God, I admit that
I need help with lifting my entire soul to you. 
I pray for continued guidance and thank you every day for your
never-ending love.  Amen.         

Daily Devotion – November 25, 2012

I John 4:11-12

Beloved, since God loved us so much, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is perfected in us.

Reflection by Gabriela Mills

I’m routinely amazed at how simple this one single command is; simple, yet for some reason just out of reach for many of us.  Where does this love come from?  Doesn’t it stand to reason that since we are loved generously by God that we, too, have the reservoirs of love to give it away generously?  Why then do we struggle with ‘loving our neighbor’?  Why then do we continue to be divided by any number of differences – no matter how slight, no matter how significant?

How do we feel God’s love in our daily lives?  Verse 12 tells us that we experience God’s love as we love one another.  Ahh!  We must act the love!  We talk about this definition of love quite a bit at Pilgrimage – “acting others into well-being.”  It is a beautiful definition of love that (as was said by Teresa of Avila) has hands and feet:

Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.



Through our ‘acting others into well-being’ we demonstrate the true evidence of our knowledge and love of God.  Let us love one another as Christ loved us.           Amen.

Daily Devotion – November 24, 2012

I John 4:9

God’s love was revealed among us in this way: God sent his only Son into the world so that we might live through him.

Reflection by Duke Yaguchi

We’ve read many times in the Bible that God sent Jesus into the world because He loves us. I’m a little surprised that the scripture ends with “so that we might live through him”. I always thought that the living Lord might live through us. Live through our thoughts, words and deeds. So why might we live through him? What may that mean?

As a parent, if I were to live through my children, I would try and impose dreams unfulfilled to direct their lives in a way that would live out my dreams. As an example, I was never a good athlete in school. In track for example, in running the long jump, I never made it to the pit. Had I done so, I would have placed third, since only two leapers had entered the meet. I could steer my children toward such endeavors.

So how might I live through Jesus Christ? He is alive in heaven and sitteth at the right hand of the father. So might I want to steer Jesus to live out my dreams? Perhaps. Perhaps that is what we do when we pray. We are asking our Lord to work on our behalf. Sometimes to heal the sick. Sometimes to bring us a change in circumstances. Perhaps we do live through Him.


Dear Lord, Please continue to reveal yourself to me through your Word. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.

Daily Devotion – November 23, 2012

I John 4:8 

Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.


Reflection by Rochelle Lofstrand 

Love may be defined as, “seeking the highest good of another”.  It is the opposite of selfishness.  It is not merely some emotion.  God is perfect love. 

Today is the day after Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and some of you might be reading this from your electronic device while you are standing in line to check out of the madness.  Others of you might be sitting at home with family enjoying football and leftovers.  Yesterday we expressed our thanks for everything that God has blessed us with in our lives.  Today, let us love as God has loved . . . with complete unselfishness.  Let us try to seek the highest good in another person today.  Let’s try to make their lives better because of our relationship with God.



God, thank you for yesterday.  It was such a special day to remember how much we are truly thankful for.  God, thank you for today.  It is a perfect day to remember that you are perfect unselfish love.  I pray God that today I can love others as you love me.  AMEN.

Daily Devotion – November 22, 2012

I John 4:7 

Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; everyone who loves is born
of God and knows God.


Reflection by Polly Yaguchi 

Love is a gift from God, given to
each of us unconditionally. It is this same kind of love that He calls us to
love one another, As His children we are blessed and humbled to possess a gift
such as this.



Dear father god in heaven, 

We thank you for your love and the many ways you love each of us. We ask that you
continue to show us new and inspired ways to love you, ourselves and one



Daily Devotion – November 21, 2012

Psalm 23 

The Lord
is my shepherd, I shall not want.

2He makes me lie down in green pastures; he leads me beside still

3He restores my soul. He leads me in right paths for his name’s

4Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I fear no evil; for
you are with me; your rod and your staff— they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you
anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.


Reflection by Rev. Kimberleigh Buchanan


I’ll be reading these words this afternoon at Harriet Kneen’s
memorial service. Harriet was 92 when she passed away last Saturday night.
She’d lost her beloved husband George in August. They’d been married 66 years!
Despite losing George and several medical set-backs in recent months–including
brain surgery– I was astounded at how much Harriet loved life. She had just
moved into an assisted living apartment and was making plans to get back behind
the wheel of her new car. The last time I saw Harriet a week before her death,
it seemed as if her whole face was smiling. 

For a woman who loved life and who lived it to the end, I am so
glad to have the privilege of reading these words on her behalf today. If
anyone has earned these words of peace and comfort, if anyone is with her
loving God today, it is Harriet Kneen.



Loving Shepherd,  

Thank you for these words of comfort. Thank you for the promise of eternal rest. Thank
you for the gift of life….and help me live it to the end!  Amen