1 Thessalonians 2:8

Truly a beautiful example of loving other people. The best version of the Gospel.

Thank you Chris Duckworth! Would love to hear what God is teaching you this week.

The Lutheran Zephyr

If there is a Bible verse to encapsulate what I have learned in my hospital chaplain residency this year, this is it:

. . . we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves . . . [1 Thessalonians 2:8]

At the beginning of my residency I struggled with, but quickly accepted, the not-specifically-religious nature of my chaplaincy work (see The Cross and Hospital Chaplaincy). That is, as a hospital chaplain in a diverse setting, I am not there to be a Christian or a Lutheran chaplain. Rather, I am there to be a compassionate presence who can provide spiritual support (if requested), either by directly providing for religious needs (read Scripture, say a prayer, etc.) or by connecting patients with resources from their tradition (reading material, clergy, volunteer visitors).

It was hard, in one sense, to put down my…

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God’s Provision for You

God will provideGod knows how to meet our needs. He spared nothing – even His son, to bring us into right relationship with Him.

You don’t need to fear the future. He has you covered. He already set up good works for you to do, and will provide everything you need to accomplish His will.

He’ll be there to meet every need with abundance. He may not always give us exactly what we ask, but He always gives us the very best.

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Trusting is Hard

I mean really, really hard

Are you searching for the wisdom to make a tough decision?
Are you afraid of what might happen if you do the right thing?

Have you pulled up roots and embarked on a new journey?
Are you staring down a new road, about to take your first step into the unknown?

Are you weary from carrying burdens beyond your strength?
Are you at the end of your journey, battling sorrow and pain?

…Then these words are for you.
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Bible Verses on Hope

Bible verses of hope

“Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why have you become disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him, the help of my countenance and my God.”
Psalm 42:11

“Be strong and let your heart take courage, all you who hope in the LORD.”
Psalm 31:24

“Who through Him are believers in God, who raised Him from the dead and gave Him glory, so that your faith and hope are in God.”
1 Peter 1:21

“Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace given you in Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:13

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Wait on the Lord. Wait is the Hardest Word

For any of you who are waiting.

Waiting is hard. It can wear you out, or wear your patience thin.

I’m not good at waiting. Patience has never been my strong suit. Fortunately, God keeps giving me practice to sharpen those skills, and verses to help renew my strength.

When I’ve been waiting a long time, I feel like Joshua, shuffling through a rut, following my own dust cloud around the same walls again, and again.

But in the times when I feel most discouraged, God’s ready to work a miracle.
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The Nightingale

by Mark Akenside

To-night retired, the queen of heaven
With young Endymion stays;
And now to Hesper it is given
Awhile to rule the vacant sky,
Till she shall to her lamp supply
A stream of brighter rays.

Propitious send thy golden ray,
Thou purest light above!
Let no false flame seduce to stray
Where gulf or steep lie hid for harm;
But lead where music’s healing charm
May soothe afflicted love.

To them, by many a grateful song
In happier seasons vow’d,
These lawns, Olympia’s haunts, belong:
Oft by yon silver stream we walk’d,
Or fix’d, while Philomela talk’d,
Beneath yon copses stood.

Nor seldom, where the beechen boughs
That roofless tower invade,
We came, while her enchanting Muse
The radiant moon above us held:
Till, by a clamorous owl compell’d,
She fled the solemn shade.

But hark! I hear her liquid tone!
Now Hesper guide my feet!
Down the red marl with moss o’ergrown,
Through yon wild thicket next the plain,
Whose hawthorns choke the winding lane
Which leads to her retreat.

See the green space: on either hand
Enlarged it spreads around:
See, in the midst she takes her stand,
Where one old oak his awful shade
Extends o’er half the level mead,
Enclosed in woods profound.

Hark! how through many a melting note
She now prolongs her lays:
How sweetly down the void they float!
The breeze their magic path attends;
The stars shine out; the forest bends;
The wakeful heifers graze.

Whoe’er thou art whom chance may bring
To this sequester’d spot,
If then the plaintive Siren sing,
O softly tread beneath her bower
And think of Heaven’s disposing power,
Of man’s uncertain lot.

O think, o’er all this mortal stage
What mournful scenes arise:
What ruin waits on kingly rage;
How often virtue dwells with woe;
How many griefs from knowledge flow;
How swiftly pleasure flies!

O sacred bird! let me at eve,
Thus wandering all alone,
Thy tender counsel oft receive,
Bear witness to thy pensive airs,
And pity Nature’s common cares,
Till I forget my own.