Great Plains Daily Devotional for 8/14/2020

Today please be in prayer for

Manhattan: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Manhattan: First UMC
Flint Hills District
Marysville UMC
Oketo UMC
Flint Hills District
Climax UMC
Piedmont UMC

Today's Lectionary Text

Psalm 65

Praise is due to you,
    O God, in Zion;
and to you shall vows be performed,
    O you who answer prayer!
To you all flesh shall come.
When deeds of iniquity overwhelm us,
    you forgive our transgressions.
Happy are those whom you choose and bring near
    to live in your courts.
We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house,
    your holy temple.

By awesome deeds you answer us with deliverance,
    O God of our salvation;
you are the hope of all the ends of the earth
    and of the farthest seas.
By your strength you established the mountains;
    you are girded with might.
You silence the roaring of the seas,
    the roaring of their waves,
    the tumult of the peoples.
Those who live at earth’s farthest bounds are awed by your signs;
you make the gateways of the morning and the evening shout for joy.

You visit the earth and water it,
    you greatly enrich it;
the river of God is full of water;
    you provide the people with grain,
    for so you have prepared it.
You water its furrows abundantly,
    settling its ridges,
softening it with showers,
    and blessing its growth.
You crown the year with your bounty;
    your wagon tracks overflow with richness.
The pastures of the wilderness overflow,
    the hills gird themselves with joy,
the meadows clothe themselves with flocks,
    the valleys deck themselves with grain,
    they shout and sing together for joy.

Today's Devotional

When I was young, I would spend a lot of time at my grandmother’s house in Kansas City.  My aunt Pat also lived in Kansas City and would come over frequently to go on adventures to Venture, or a trip to the Schnucks grocery store.  Pat had been a middle school English teacher but at some point, decided she wanted to go back to school and become a middle school Science teacher.  It was convenient that I was around so that she could try out science experiments with me before she had to try them in the classroom.  She is also a notorious rockhound.  We have teased her about going on vacation and coming back with all kinds of rocks in the back of her truck and I’ve been to many a rock show, but not to see a famous band, more likely to see rocks with bands of phosphorescence in them. 

By the time I was a teenager I was rolling my eyes at all the stopping by the side of the road to pick up this bit of quartz or that piece of pyrite.  We were once even run off collecting rocks on a roadside by construction workers.  I think we were looking for trilobites or ocean fossils that time.

I was therefore struck on a recent trip I took with my husband to Colorado Springs that it was the rocks and their formations that captivated me the most.  I usually think of Colorado as that flat place past Kansas until we get to Rocky Mountain National Park.  The area around Colorado Springs constantly surprised me.  In one direction things would be green and lush, but in another it would be rocky and scrubby with sagebrush right out of a Hollywood western.  There were mountains, but not the snowy peaks I usually think of.  And then there were the rock formations.

I was downloading my pictures today and most of my photos are of rocks, rock formations, vistas with mountains, and the famed Garden of the Gods.  There were a few required photos of wild animals as well as the necessary family tradition of photos of purple flowers. But so many rocks! It kept us in constant awe on the amount of force and pressure it took to create the mountain ridges we saw, or what happened to place those famous monoliths in Garden of the Gods.  Stripes of minerals that settled over each other year after year and then were compressed by time and uprooted and moved by shifting plates in the earth.  And how varied they were by only a few miles.  Canyons formed by raging waters, then not far away sand dunes laying at the foot of mountains. 

It makes me think of How Great Thou Art.  O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder consider all the worlds thy hands have made. 

I’m not sure what happened to me over my years, but I look a little closer at the rocks around me and have a new appreciation for their creation and beauty. 

-Lisa Soukup
Communications administrative assistant


Prayer for Reflection

Lord God, thank you for all the natural wonders you created for us.  Help us to go out and appreciate them, and to see them through your eyes.  You who made everything and everyone in your image.


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