Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/1/2019

Today please be in prayer for

Troy UMC
Wathena UMC
Topeka District
Corning: Trinity UMC
Goff UMC
Wetmore UMC
Topeka District
Nortonville: New Covenant UMC
Winchester UMC
Topeka District
Administrative Assistant
Topeka District

Today's Lectionary Text

Jeremiah 29:11 

For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope.

Today's Devotional

In the fall of 2017, I had just started taking my serious courses for my music education degree at Emporia State University. I was taking Choral Methods (a class that teaches you how to teach choir at the secondary level) and Vocal Pedagogy (a class that teaches you about the anatomy of the voice and how to produce a good singing tone). I was conducting in choir, giving voice lessons, picking out music for our choir’s Valentine Grams, things I was looking forward to doing as a secondary music teacher. You would have thought I would have been feeling amazing about the whole semester! But the truth is, I was very unsure of myself. I was conflicted about whether or not this was where I was meant to be. It was hard to show up to a class that talks about exactly what you want to do, and you do not feel like it is the right thing to be doing.

During that semester, I was a part of a group through Campus Ministry called “matter,” and we discussed vocation and call. For this, we were all able to go to Exploration 2017 that November in Portland, Oregon. I was super excited since it was going to be my second time going to Exploration (I went in 2015 as well) and my wife, who was then my girlfriend, was going to be there. It was fun to worship, meet with my small group, see friends who do not go to ESU, and talk to the people at the booths for the conference. We even got free water bottles and drawstring bags from one of our conference office leaders. It was super exciting.

While at Exploration, I was able to attend three sessions about ministry, call, scholarships for seminary (which I went to because I love hearing about what scholarships I can get), and other topics. One of the sessions I went to was called “Deacon or Elder.” It discussed the differences and similarities between deacons and elders in the UMC. when they started talking about deacons, I got this warm feeling in my heart and throughout my body. And in my mind, I went, “OK God.” I was called into ministry there and then. I immediately called Bea to talk this over with her and everything clicked. Why I was feeling unsure about my music classes, it was because God was calling me into ministry. My dad has always told me to not have my blinders on when it came to what God wanted me to do. I may be focused on one thing, but what God may want may be way over to left and I cannot see it with my blinders on. My blinders were removed that weekend.

Now that I am finishing up my music education degree, it has been a struggle going through classes knowing that I am going to be a pastor instead of a teacher. But I know God has a reason for why I am taking these classes. I may conduct a church choir or teach classes over the Bible or something like that. Whatever it is, I know God’s plan is bigger than my plan. God’s plan is there, we just need to make sure our blinders are off so that we can see it.
-Abe Ruffcorn
Basehor UMC

Prayer for Reflection

God, remove our blinders that we might see what you want us to focus on.  

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