Transforming WorkNew Every Morning | April 22, 2020
Words of Hope During COVID-19
Motoe Yamada Foor, senior pastor of Sacramento Japanese United Methodist Church (Garden Church), shares how she has been using this quarantine time to enhance her children’s religious education. An inspiring example of family spiritual formation!
Jesus accepts us as we are but never leaves us as we are. As we open up to him, he begins a transforming work in our lives from the inside out, forming his heart in our heart, his mind in our mind. The love that woos us, the love that draws us, also changes us. But we don’t sit back and do nothing. Although grace is opposed to earning, grace is not opposed to effort. If we want to experience the change that Jesus can bring, we need to cooperate with him.
—Trevor Hudson and Stephen D. Bryant, Companions in Christ: The Way of Transforming Discipleship (Upper Room Books, 2006)
When have you been transformed by cooperating with Jesus? Join the conversation.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect.
—Romans 12:2 (NRSV)
Prayer for the Week
Lord, meet me where I am.
Submit your prayer to The Upper Room.
How do we stay centered in the midst of fears, grief, and stress? Here are some resources to help you keep—or create—spiritual wellness and wholeness in these anxious times.
(Courtesy of Vanderbilt Divinity Library)
Looking for lectionary-based resources? Learn more about The Upper Room Disciplines.
He transforms me, even when I am not cooperating. He changes me, makes me aware of my non-cooperativeness and beckons me into re-union with Him. When I step back, surrender the requests and desire of control and submit to what He deems best in transforming – this is the best type of cooperation.
Saw a handful of students yesterday – so good to see their smiling faces. An encouragement, for sure. A zoom meeting last night with a study of Psalm 13 and a discussion on lament.
A couple staff meetings today on-line, along with meetings with 2 of my classes – should help the day along. Hoping it will be warm enough to get out for a walk later this afternoon – provided the wind is not whipping.
I wish I could say that I feel nudged when I’m off course. I confess what I perceive to be wrong and pray for guidance to keep me on the path. Hopefully a ZOOM Bible study is coming soon. I am in touch with former students from long ago. Finished yard work yesterday before the rain. Memories of my wedding and honeymoon the last few days. Prayers that the the next two bills will bring much needed help to the ones who need it most, and enable country-wide testing. May each of you be safe and stay well. The Lord is with you, and also with you. Thank You, Lord
Wow, this is an amazing thought, that God transforms me if I only cooperate, seems so easy. Makes me think of the Serenity Prayer verse “the courage to change those things I can.” My unwillingness to cooperate is something I can change, so that He can change me.
Prayers for Jill and her students, may her students coontiue to reach out and may she continue to respond with loving understanding. It was windy here yesterday but is calmer today. It has turned colder despite sunshine.
Prayers for Robert as he continues to process bittersweet memories. May he and his old students connect on Zoom.
Prayers for Ally and David, may they continue to connect virtually and may David continue to recover function both physical and mental. Prayers that Ally finds relief from worry filled thoughts while working.
Prayers for Andrea, April, BJ, Lou and Rick. May they and their families remainsafe and healthy.
I will update you on my new meds that I started in early winter. The Lord surely laid His healing hands upon and worked through the vasodillator to keep my finger and toes largely free of wounds. There were a few minor ones but no gangrene. I did have severe nausea and vomiting for the first several months. Now the nausea is minor though most nights and the vomiting is down to about once a month. Thank you for your prayers.
Prayers and thank you and stay well dear UR
I tend to be uncooperative if what God asks me to do is not what I want or is not convenient. But when I submit to God’s will, I feel God’s peace. Often, there is a blessing I did not expect. I have been in some impossible situations where I prayed for God to change the circumstances to something more pleasant. When those things did not change, I would sometimes get angry and feel that God did not hear me. Often God showed me that God not only heard, but wanted me to change something in my attitude. In one instance, God wanted me to pray for and be Christ to a difficult co-worker. As I prayed for the person, God gave me empathy for that person and I was able to extend grace. The situation didn’t become easier, but through God’s grace, I managed my emotions in a more healthy way and did not dread dealing with that person. When I left that job for something new, I had no regrets. I talked with David’s case manager and he told me that David is almost ready to leave the hospital and go to rehab in order to help him regain his strength. When I think about how far he has come, I see God in every step., even those first very difficult ones. Your prayers have helped sustain us. God has used them mightily. Please continue to pray for us. We are in a marathon, not a sprint. I lift up the needs and concerns mentioned in this forum each day. I am awed and humbled at all God is doing in our lives.