Reference Point Devotional

Hope for Life – 06/2020

“For with thee is the fountain of life: In thy light shall we see light.” (Psalm 36:9 KJV)

I have spent a lot of time reflecting on suffering and death lately. As some of you know, my daughter suffers from a chronic, potentially fatal condition, and the year 2020 started for me with the death of my mother in January, followed by a February struggling to help my family come to grips with the suicide of my young nephew.

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Unexpected Blessings – 05/2020

“God said, “Let there be light.” And so light appeared. God saw how good the light was. God separated the light from the darkness. God named the light Day and the darkness Night.” (Genesis 1:3-5 CEB)

I am not a morning person. I would like to be a morning person, and I occasionally feel really good and productive when I rise early, but generally speaking, I am simply not a morning person. But for one glorious week in November, I became a morning person at the Wesleyan-Holiness Digital Library (WHDL) development team meeting. What compelled me to get up in the morning was the glorious sunrise, one of the many beauties of God’s created world.

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Certainty in Uncertain Times – 04/2020

“. . .To those who are called, beloved in God the Father and kept for Jesus Christ: . . .” (Jude 1 ESV)

Librarians are not strangers to uncertainty. For at least a generation, developments in technology have raised serious questions about how the future of the library, and the library of the future, will look. Further, sweeping industry changes leave most librarians facing serious concerns about the future of their departments, if not their institutions. Given that uncertainty has long been so pervasive, why do we still yearn for certainty?

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The Deeper Call – 03/2020

“As you come to him, the living Stone—rejected by humans but chosen by God and precious to him—you also, like living stones, are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.” (1 Peter 1:4-5 NIV)

Who are we? As we read these verses from 1 Peter, may we remember that we are not primarily librarians, and our main job—even at work—is not to provide research help, create tutorials, or select new resources. Our roles and responsibilities as Christian librarians are merely the manifestation of the deeper call on our lives. This deeper call is for all of us who “have tasted that the Lord is good” (1 Pet. 2:3).

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Our Refuge – 02/2020

“The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my deliverer, my God, my rock where I seek refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18:2 CSB)

As a librarian, I often hear how lucky I am to work in a quiet, calm place. This is true, but those of us “in the trenches” get to see a different side of libraries. We know they can at times also be as hectic and stressful as any other workplace. While most of us are wearing multiple hats and dealing with unanticipated challenges, we may not always see the library as a place of shelter and peace. However, the reality is that often our patrons see us as a refuge.

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Whatever You Ask… – 01/2020

“You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you..” (John 15:16 ESV)

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Advice from a Type A Librarian – 12/2019

“Of making many books there is no end, and much study is a weariness of the flesh.” (Ecclesiastes 12:12b ESV)

If I did not know better, I would think that Solomon wrote this verse just for me; however, I realize that it also may apply to other people—especially librarians. Like me, most of the librarians I know display at least some Type A personality behavior. In fact, this desire for perfection helps most of us do our jobs better.

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A Place of Confrontation – 11/2019

“And as for you, brothers and sisters, never tire of doing what is good.” (2 Thessalonians 3:13 NIV)

What led you to become a Christian? What led you to become a librarian? More importantly, what has led you to remain a Christian librarian through the passage of time? As Christians, engaging with our loved ones and neighbors in a world increasingly ignorant and hostile toward the faith can push us to retreat or to abandon our hope. As librarians, leaving the honeymoon phase of our work along with the awe that once drew us to libraries can result in discouragement and burnout. As Christian librarians, we are challenged with staying true to our calling, both spiritually and professionally.

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A Greater Hope- 10/2019

“I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.” (Philippians 4:13 KJV)

If you’ve been in Christian circles for any amount of time, there is no doubt you’ve seen this verse on bookmarks, t-shirts, mementos, and home décor. For many years I used this verse with exuberance as a battle cry, “Watch out, world! I can accomplish anything through Christ.”

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Growing Pains – 09/2019

“And though you started with little, you will end with much.” (Job 8:7 NLT)

Each fall semester I teach a section of Palm Beach Atlantic University’s First Year Experience course. This course is designed to assist first year students as they acclimate to college life and help them develop the skills they need in order to succeed, both in college and beyond. I start each class session off with a devotion. The verse that I share on the very first day of class is Job 8:7. Although the Book of Job may be an unusual choice to begin the year with, I like starting with this verse because it is a good reminder that we are all growing, and that there may be some suffering along the way. Things may seem overwhelming at times, especially when you are new, whether you’re a new student or a new employee. But in the end, when you look back over your time at a particular institution or a specific phase of your life, you can see how much you learned and grew.

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