Archive for June, 2013

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Psalm 16:7-9, 11

Friday, June 28, 2013 – Proper 8/Ordinary 13, Year C

Psalm 16:7-9, 11I bless the LORD who gives me counsel; in the night also my heart instructs me. I keep the LORD always before me; because he is my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices; my body also rests secure. You show me the path of life. In your presence there is fullness of joy; in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

I wanted to end the week with this passage because it highlights for us one more time how our faith and our health are intimately connected. While we are getting our rest, we are being instructed. When our souls rejoice, our bodies rest secure.

Prayer: Almighty God, illuminate your path toward life so that we can experience true joy. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Galatians 5:22-23, 25

Thursday, June 27, 2013 – Proper 8/Ordinary 13, Year C

Galatians 5:22-23, 25By contrast, the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. There is no law against such things. If we live by the Spirit, let us also be guided by the Spirit.

On Monday, I mentioned we would be reading about fruits of the Spirit this week. A friend reminded me that the word used in Galatians is singular not plural. She commented that if you live a Spirit-filled life, you cannot have one without the others.

Prayer: Gracious God, help us live Spirit-filled lives so that we might be of best service to you and others. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Galatians 5:1, 13-14

Wednesday, June 26, 2013 – Proper 8/Ordinary 13, Year C

Galatians 5:1, 13-14For freedom Christ has set us free. Stand firm, therefore, and do not submit again to the yoke of slavery. For you were called to freedom, brothers and sisters; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for self-indulgence, but through love become slaves to one another. For the whole law is summed up in a single commandment, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Paul reminds us that we are called to a radical love for one another, to become as slaves to one another. As people come in contact with you today, contemplate how this passage informs your interaction with them.

Prayer: Understanding God, you call us to a depth of love for one another that can be uncomfortable for us. Continue to nudge us toward your will. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Kings 2:9-11

Tuesday, June 25, 2013 – Proper 8/Ordinary 13, Year C

2 Kings 2:9-11When they had crossed the Jordan River, Elijah said to Elisha, “Tell me what I may do for you, before I am taken from you.” Elisha said, “Please let me inherit a double portion of your spirit.” He responded, “You have asked a hard thing; yet if you see me as I am taken from you, it will be granted you; if not , it will not.” As they continued walking and talking, a chariot of fire and horses of fire separated the two of them, and Elijah ascended in a whirlwind into heaven.

In both my work life and my church life, I am fortunate to be surrounded by people of great faith. These people nourish my spirit daily. Thank God for these people in your life.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for surrounding us with people whose faith in you is great. Grant that our faith be strengthened as a result of their presence in our lives. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 2 Kings 2:1-2

Monday, June 24, 2013 – Proper 8/Ordinary 13, Year C

We are approaching the sixth Sunday after Pentecost. The lectionary selections bring us sweet chariots swinging low, parting rivers and fruits of the Spirit. They include 2 Kings 2:1-2, 6-14; Psalm 77:1-2, 11-20; Galatians 5:1, 13-25 and Luke 9:51-62. Alternate selections include 1 Kings 19:15-16, 19-21 and Psalm 16.

2 Kings 2:1-2Now when the LORD was about to take Elijah up to heaven by a whirlwind, Elijah and Elisha were on their way from Gilgal. Elijah said to Elisha, “Stay here; for the LORD has sent me as far as Bethel.” But Elisha said, “As the LORD lives, and as you yourself live, I will not leave you.” So they went down to Bethel.

A few verses after these, Elisha is given another chance to stop travelling with Elijah, but he chooses to continue on the journey. Elisha’s faithfulness to God and Elijah runs deep. Consider today someone on whom you can depend to always be there for you, and give thanks to God for that person.

Prayer: Almighty God, thank you for bringing loving, dependable, trustworthy people into our lives. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Galatians 3:28

Friday, June 21, 2013 – Proper 7/Ordinary 12, Year C

Galatians 3:28There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus.

There are so many things which can divide us – race, ethnicity, language, class. This passage asks us to focus on that which can join us – our faith, our common interest in justice and our love of God.

Prayer: Almighty God, help us to see your face in those we meet today, and may they see your face in ours. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 8:26-27

Thursday, June 20, 2013 – Proper 7/Ordinary 12, Year C

Luke 8:26-27Then they arrived at the country of the Gerasenes, which is opposite Galilee. As Jesus stepped out on land, a man of the city who had demons met him. For a long time he had worn no clothes and he did not live in a house but in the tombs.

Imagine this scene for a moment: A naked, ritually unclean man approaches Jesus shouting, as the scripture says in the next verse, at the top of his voice. While most of us would have crossed to the other side of the street quickly, Jesus confronts the demons and heals this poor man.

Prayer: Understanding God, help us keep our perspective this and every day, especially when we are confronted by some of your more troubled children. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Isaiah 65:1-2

Wednesday, June 19, 2013 – Proper 7/Ordinary 12, Year C

Isaiah 65:1-2 I was ready to be sought out by those who did not ask, to be found by those who did not seek me. I said, “Here I am, here I am,” to a nation that did not call my name. I held out my hands all day long to a rebellious people, who walk in a way that is not good, following their own devices.

Just because people might come to us for assistance does not mean they are prepared to follow our advice. While it can place us in a frustrating position, it doesn’t mean that we should halt our efforts to help.

Prayer: Loving God, give each of us ears that can hear and understand truth. Amen.

Gathering Quotes for Hope

What verses from scripture give you hope? Do you have a favorite verse with which you begin your day? If so, consider sharing that verse me. (I moderate the replies on this blog, so if you don’t want your verse shared with the readers of my blog, just say so in your reply, and I will keep your post from appearing.)

I am part of a team developing a website to help people affected by or interested in substance use disorders. This site will provide comprehensive information on treatment, recovery and prevention resources in western Tennessee, northwest Mississippi and northeast Arkansas. One element of the site will be a changing Quote for Hope on the homepage. Once the site goes live later this summer, you will be able to find it at

In wondering how I might gather 60 or 100 verses for the site, I couldn’t think of a finer audience than the followers of my blog.

Every blessing,
Butch Odom

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Kings 19:11b-12

Tuesday, June 18, 2013 – Proper 7/Ordinary 12, Year C

1 Kings 19:11b-12He said to Elijah, “Go out and stand on the mountain before the LORD, for the LORD is about to pass by.” Now there was a great wind, so strong that it was splitting mountains and breaking rocks in pieces before the LORD, but the LORD was not in the wind; and after the wind, an earthquake, but the LORD was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the LORD was not in the fire; and after the fire the sound of sheer silence.

Elijah found God in the “sheer silence.” Take a break from the tumult of your day today, and listen for God in the silence and calm.

Prayer: Gracious God, speak to us so that we can know your will for us. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – 1 Kings 19:6-8

Monday, June 17, 2013 – Proper 7/Ordinary 12, Year C

The fifth Sunday after Pentecost offers us the following lectionary selections: 1 Kings 19:1-4, (5-7), 8-15a; Psalm 42 and 43; Galatians 3:23-29 and Luke 8:26-39. Alternate passages include Isaiah 65:1-9 and Psalm 22:19-28.

1 Kings 19:6-8Elijah looked, and there at his head was a cake baked on hot stones, and a jar of water. He ate and drank, and lay down again. The angel of the LORD came a second time, touched him, and said, “Get up and eat, otherwise the journey will be too much for you.” He got up, and ate and drank; then he went in the strength of that food forty days and forty nights to Horeb the mount of God.

The angel is making sure that Elijah takes care of himself so that he can be of service to God. We need to care for ourselves so that we can be of best service. We also need to be like the angel and care for one another.

Prayer: Loving God, thank you for this week that is ahead of us. Bless our efforts which are humbly offered in your name. Amen.

Daily Devotion from the Church Health Center – Luke 7:37-38

Friday, June 14, 2013 – Proper 6/Ordinary 11, Year C

Luke 7:37-38And a woman in the city, who was a sinner, having learned that Jesus was eating in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster jar of ointment. She stood behind him at his feet, weeping, and began to bathe his feet with her tears and to dry them with her hair. Then she continued kissing his feet and anointing them with the ointment.

The woman’s tears ran so freely that they were sufficient to bathe what were likely the dusty feet of Jesus. Despite her being described as a sinner, the woman’s act of generous love in addition to the obvious remorse, allowed Jesus to assure her of forgiveness from her sins. Forgiving her disturbed the other members of the dinner party.

Prayer: Merciful God, help us act justly toward others even when it is unpopular. Amen.

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June 2013

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