For Parish Nurses

Spiritual Development

Devotions

Living a Holy Life – Being ‘Church’

He saved us and called us to a holy life,
not according to our works
but according to his own design
and the grace bestowed on us in Christ Jesus
before time began,
but now made manifest …
2 Timothy 1:9

What does it mean to live a holy life in Christ?   What does it mean to ‘be church’, to be the body of Christ in a world steeped with violence, poverty, hopelessness, prejudice, and mistrust?   

I’ve been a part of conversations about how one measures the ‘success’ of a worshipping community.  Do we focus on what is happening inside the church walls or is being a successful, Spirit filled community something different?  Is success the number of people who worship on Sunday?  Is it the number of children in Sunday School?  The number baptized or confirmed?  Is it the way the members minister to and care for one another?  Or another measure?  I submit that it might be all of these things, but always coupled with how we care for the neighborhood, the community and our world.  As is sometimes said, church doesn’t happen in the pews on Sunday, it happens Monday through Sunday in how we care for ourselves (body, mind and spirit), how we relate to and care for others (inside and outside of the church), and how carefully we tend God’s creation.

Our motivation for service to others comes out of the reality that Christ saves us.  Our awareness of our salvation is the basis for our ministry to the world.   So, whether you are taking care of parishioners, serving at the food or clothing giveaway at your church, going on a mission trip to another part of the country or world, or you are caring for a stranger, a friend, or a family member in need, you are ‘being church’.  You are living a holy life and you are sharing God’s grace and love. Reflect today on the ways you can live a holy life for the sake of the Gospel. 

‘God has imparted gifts to you.  He’s deposited good things in you; woven a beautiful character in you, and the world needs your influence!  May you know afresh today that your courage is contagious and necessary in this fearful world!  When you step out, others look up.  May you know that your transformation is sacred in the eyes of Christ.  As you’re confirmed in His image, others develop a thirst for Him.  Your whole life is meant to be a beautiful offering to God.  May your heart be set on Him.  May you rehearse His thoughts toward you.  He loves you, sings over you, and equips you beyond your ability.  Walk intimately with Him today!’1

Prayer:  God of wonder, because you equip me beyond my ability and you love me, let me go out and love and care for the world.  Help me to ‘be church’ every moment of every day, knowing that I am Your child, made in Your image.   May I serve well and faithfully.  In Your Holy name I pray.  Amen.

1 Daily Blessing from Susie Larson Ministries · PO Box #490204 · Blaine, MN 55449-9327
http://www.susielarson.com/daily-blessing/

To see the three devotions in Graceful Aging series click on the following:
The Gift of Hope                   The Gift of Humor                             The Gift of Vision

God Pause Daily Devotion
Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience.


Resources for Spiritual Development
Spiritual Direction – Seeking a Spiritual Companion
Spiritual direction is, in reality, nothing more than a way of leading us to see and obey the real Director — the Holy Spirit hidden in the depths of our soul. (Thomas Merton, Trappist monk, USA)

Some of you may wish to seek a spiritual director as a way to nurture your own spirituality.  This document briefly describes what spiritual direction is, identifies common misconceptions about spiritual direction, and gives you ideas on how to find a spiritual director.  Spiritual maturity and growth is critical for the parish nurse.  As you support others wholistically, tending to your own soul is important.  Spiritual Direction is only one way of keeping yourself on solid footing spiritually.  You might have other disciplines and practices that meet this need for you.
Please Click here for a more indepth discussion of Spiritual Direction by Carol DeSchepper,
including a web site to locate a Spiritual Director in your area.

Melissa's Prayer Journal:  The Power of Prayer in the Face of Cancer
http://melissasprayerjournal.com
http://www.MBMpublishers.com
A resource for faith encouragement and development, especially for people with health issues. In her letters to God, Melissa perfectly illustrates the power of positive coping in any circumstance! Give this book to anyone struggling with faith, health, or life issues, and let them learn Melissa’s secret for thriving in spite of difficulties!

Web sites for Spiritual Renewal and Growth 
www.joycerupp.com
This is a wonderful spiritual resource from author and retreat and conference speaker, and spiritual "midwife"".  Joyce has a B.A. in English, a M.R. E. in Religious Education, and a M.A. in Transpersonal Psychology.  She is a member of the Servites (Servants of Mary) Community and was a volunteer for Hospice for fifteen years.  She currently resides in Des Moines, Iowa.  To sign up for her monthly newsletter go to joyce@joycerupp.com.

 

 Updated 8/18