Bethany Renew
Midweek Email Devotion
 27 April  2016   

I welcome you to Bethany Renew! This is our church's weekly online spiritual connection.
Every midweek, you will receive a devotion, a prayer, or an essay that are intended to stir up conversations and ideas of how we will proceed on the path of renewal. Feel free to forward this email to anyone who you think will be interested in receiving these readings.  You are welcome to respond or make comments, or otherwise just sit back and enjoy your weekly readings and reflections!  

With Patti Robbins
APRIL 30 Saturday at 1:00 p.m. 
(The original 11:00 a.m. is change to 1:00 p.m.)
for questions email:

10:30 A.M.

May 10-20
Oregon Convention Center
Join me in praying for the delegates, bishops, clergy, laity, congregations, and small groups across the denomination into a spiritual preparation for the 2016 General Conference. 
For more information in praying for the GC, click here.


The concept of sleeping and waking up is a biblical metaphor that refers to spiritual renewal. Eph. says, "Awake, you who are sleeping, and Christ shall shine upon you." Rev. 3 says, "Wake up and strengthen what remains and is about to die." Below are 9 signs that a soul is waking up.
Number 10 is yours. Send me a reply as what you think Awakening is about in your own spiritual journey. I will gather your responses and include them in my email next week.
1. A RENEWED HUNGER FOR SPIRITUALITY. There is an inner spark of fresh interest in spiritual practices, whether it's prayer, meditation, scriptures. My advice? Just let it be! Let your soul feed. Because your soul is expanding, growing, it needs intentional spiritual nourishment and intake.
2. HUMBLE OPPENESS. Before, there is a posture of jadedness to people who are different. Now there is gentleness, openness, or at least a willingness to listen. I did not say weakness, or a false compromise of your convictions. But a willingness to respect opposing views. A dormant soul is closed-minded. A reawakening soul is open heart, open mind, open doors. .
3. A YEARNING FOR AUTHENTICITY. Or a longing to give attention to what really matters in life, and a growing indifference to things superficial. When a soul is waking up, it just wants to let go of unnecessary burdens--particularly the burden of being someone we are not. Let us affirm our authentic self, the self that is made in the design and image of God. St. Augustine  prayed, "Grant Lord that I may know my true self that I may know thee."
4. AN ATTENTIVE PRESENCE. An awakening soul will begin to be more attentive to the present moment.Rather than being pulled back by the regrets of yesterday, or consumed of thoughts of what tomorrow will bring, there is a newly developing contentment. There is an increasing awareness of the blessings we have now. Also an awakening soul will learn this intentional practice of being fully present when they are with someone. We will start to realize that the greatest gift we can give to someone is our undivided time and attention. 
5. ACTIVE COMPASSION. When we encounter God, our dormant compassion is reactivated. We start to feel the very heartbeat of God. And then sometimes God uses difficulties to awaken sympathy inside. Because in our lowest moments, we realize that everyone have their own personal battles. Compassion is activated because we begin to see others as fellow travellers, struggling with life, trying to find their way home, just like me and you.
6. INNER DISCERNMENT TO SEE GOD. Many of the post-Easter narratives are stories of people who saw Jesus but did not recognize him.Mary thought Jesus was a gardener. The disciples on the Emmaus Road thought Jesus was a lone traveler. Peter and his fishing crew thought Jesus was just a curious stranger.Because their hearts were so pulled back by Jesus' death, that they could not see a resurrected Christ in the midst of their disappointments. Eastertide carries a message of seeing and discerning the presence of the resurrected Christ in the midst of uncertainties.
7. A RENEWED HOPE FOR THE FUTURE. When we are disheartened, we can't have too much confidence on where life will turn to next.  But an awakening soul sees a better future, with it is a restored confidence to walk by faith, a renewed courage to try again. There is now a willingness to plant seeds, because you know there is a harvest coming. As if the future is inviting us to move forward and walk on the plans that God has for us.
8. AN AWARENESS OF THE BIGGER PICTURE. When before we see sections, isolated pieces of situations, conditions, groups, or classes, awakening helps us to step back and see from a higher view and see God's created world that is one life, one breathe, one sky, one earth, one creation. From this view, we are not really that far from our neighbors. Jesus demonstrated this by overcoming cultural walls. He reached out to a gentile centurion and a Samaritan woman because he was preaching a gospel not bounded by borders, races, or economic conditions.
9. A PERSONAL TRANSFORMATION. Because an awakening, before it becomes a social transformation or a spiritual revival phenomenon, is first and foremost an inner experience of the soul. Whatever hope of change we have for this world, or whatever prayer of revival we have for our church is only a result of our awakened soul. Awakening is when we let go of unhealthy sins within our system, so we can be healthy agents of change. May you and I realize that we are the awakening that we wish to happen to our church. We are the awakening that we hope to see in the world.
10. (THIS ITEM IS YOURS. Send me a reply, indicating what is spiritual awakening in your own journey. I want to learn from you). 

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