Reference Point Devotional

Disturb Us, Lord – 06/2019

“Confused and disturbed, Mary tried to think what the angel could mean.” (Luke 1:29 NLT)

Read more

We Are the Sheep of his Pasture – 05/2019

“Know that the Lord is God! It is he that made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.” (Psalm 100:3 NIV)

Imagine a young boy who did not like memory work being asked by his grandparents to memorize the One Hundredth Psalm for the thank offering over a weekend. The incentive was to earn one dollar and learn more about our God. I spent the weekend with the Bible working on memorizing this psalm in the two upstairs bedrooms. Finally, on the second day I could say it all the way through. I took the Bible with me, gave it to Grandma, and stood to recite it in front of my grandparents who were sitting in two walnut rocking chairs. That sunny afternoon on the front porch of a farm house in the Ozarks was fragrant with fresh cut hay and lilacs in the air and accompanied by the song (pretty, pretty pretty) of the cardinals in the surrounding trees.

Read more

Keep Encouraging One Another! – 04/2019

“And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24-25 RSV).

The Christian life is like a three-legged race: in order to get anywhere without being frustrated, one needs to walk in step with one’s partner. Ultimately that partner is Christ, who spoke of being “yoked together” (Matthew 11:28-30).

Read more

Balcony Person or Basement Person? – 03/2019

“Let us love one another, for love is of God.” (I John 4:7 NKJV)

In our world of librarianship, we have the opportunity to touch many lives in our day-to-day work—students, faculty, staff, alumni, and visitors. We can do this with a spirit of affirmation or one of evaluation. Do we have a smile, listen carefully to their questions, or notice that they are having a bad day? Or do we have a sharp word, a scowl on our face, or a judgmental spirit?

Read more

Your Wild and Precious Life – 02/2019

“Live a life worthy of the calling you have received.” (Ephesians 4:1 NIV)

On the day Mary Oliver died, a friend posted her poem, “The Summer Day,” with its poignant closing lines:

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

Read more

Unworthy Servants – 01/2019

So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, “We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.” (Luke 17:10 NIV)

As I fast approach retirement, much of my thoughts have been about the meaning of service. Service has been my calling and profession for over forty years. Of course, librarianship is a career deeply rooted in service. Within higher education it is typical for libraries to be associated with other academic support services.

Read more

His Good Purpose for Me – 12/2018

“And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” (Romans 8:28 NLT)

When I was in my freshman year of college, I was seeking God’s will for my life. The college had a special missions emphasis week, and during that time the Lord made it very clear to me that He wanted me to serve Him as a cross-cultural missionary.

Read more

The Lord Will Provide – 11/2018

“Consider the lilies, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin. . . Your Father knows that you need these things. But seek the kingdom of God, and all these things shall be added to you.” (Luke 12:27-31 NKJV)

November typically has me meditating on what I’m thankful for, and this year I’ve been especially struck by God’s provision for my library’s collection—not just in the last few months, but throughout the past twenty years.

Read more

Misery or Joy? – 10/2018

“Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross…” (Hebrews 12:2 NIV)

Is it God’s will for us to be miserable? No. It is not God’s design, will, or intent for us to be miserable. He does not delight in our pain. He certainly did not delight in the suffering of His own Son on the cross. Neither did Jesus want the suffering that bearing the weight of sin would cause Him (Matthew 26:39).

Read more

Barefoot in a World of Shoes – 09/2018

“I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.” (Psalm 139:14 ESV)

I was the child who struggled to fit into the “norms” of society. My mother called me stubborn and contrary because I was not who she wanted me to be. I was not being rebellious at the time (that came later); I was just different. She pictured a well-dressed, prim and proper little girl; I was barefoot and climbing trees.

Read more