Daily Devotions

posted Monday through Friday

Paper Day

Home of The Western Guard, Madison, MN

As a child, I was blessed to spend a week or two each summer with my grandparents, at their home in Madison, on the prairies of western Minnesota.  My Grandpa Babe owned a printing business and was the publisher of the town’s weekly newspaper, The Western Guard.  While my brother was content to hang around my grandparent’s house with his nose buried in a book, I was more eager to go to “work” with Grandpa.  I loved hanging around his print shop.  The staff were so generous to keep finding me little projects to do and showing me how all the various equipment worked.

Wednesday was always “Paper Day.” I would get up early with Grandpa, drive over to neighboring Montevideo where the Western Printer’s co-op had its large tabloid presses, and watch Grandpa work with the press operators to get the printing plates all set to run.  While the presses were running, we’d grab a quick lunch in town and then go load up the printed papers into Grandpa’s Ford panel van to haul back to his print shop in Madison.  Next, it was all-hands-on-deck, as the sections of the paper were stuffed together, the subscriber’s address labels were glued to the front, and the mailing bags were sorted and packed.  Then the van got loaded up once more and I rode with Grandpa as we dropped off the mail bags at the post office and delivered stacks of papers to be sold at the various stores around town.

I learned a lot from my grandpa during those summer weeks “working” with him and his staff.  Probably, the most important lesson was that on days like “Paper Day,” the job’s not done until the job is done and everyone helps.  Some days will be long and hard but stay focused on what needs to be done so you can feel that sense of accomplishment when you get across the finish line.  Without a doubt, Grandpa Babe helped to shape the work ethic that still drives me today.

This Sunday, we’ll be measuring time, not just by the minutes, hours, or days, but by the generations.  What have you learned from the generations that came before?  How might God have been at work through them to make you who you are?  Lastly, how are you helping to shape the generations that will follow and how might God be at work through you?

Giving thanks for the generations that came before.  May God’s peace come to you this day.  -Pastor Peter

Let us pray…

Dear God, we give you praise and thanksgiving for all the seasons of life, and we ask that you open our eyes that we may see the unique gift of each person’s life, created out of your love.  Amen.

From “Litany of Thanksgiving for the Seasons of Life” by Sarah Hipps, retired educator/chaplain, PCUSA.

Previously…

Ujamaa – The Tree of Life

In the carver’s market in Dar es Salam, I watched skilled craftspeople hack away at a block of ebony, one of the hardest kinds of wood, using only a nail protruding from a stick. The process takes many repetitive motions chipping off small splinters of wood at a time.

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On Tanzanian Time

Those of us who travel to Tanzania often joke about “Tanzanian Time.” It’s the experience of having a daily schedule, but each meeting or visit ends up taking longer than planned, until you’re arriving at the last village three hours late. While Americans tend to think of precise ‘clock time,” in Tanzanian culture, there’s a sense that things happen in a sequence.

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When I Remember You

My sense of time changed in March 2020. One day I was hewing to my busy schedule, work and family and volunteer commitments, and planning trip months in advance  – and then suddenly, we were in lockdown, with stay-home orders, and the rhythm of my days changed. 

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Falling

For teenagers, and truly anyone young at heart, no trip to MOA would be deemed a success without first enjoying a few thrill rides.  And because I am too proud not be the “fun uncle,” I soon found myself getting strapped into a seat for “Sponge Bob’s Rock Bottom Plunge.”  This compact rollercoaster begins by sending riders flat on their backs, crawling steadily up towards the interior heights of the glass-roofed ceiling.  Once at the summit, the car you’re riding in shifts 180° and you find yourself momentarily suspended, starring straight back down to the floor, three stories below.

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