The History of My Devotion

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They devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
-Act 2:42

Today, a history lesson, of sorts.

The history of my devotion.

I started writing this weekly devotion in 2001, when I was serving as the campus minister at Kansas State University.

We had about 120 students regularly involved, although I sent the devotion out to about 700 students and faculty and Manhattan First Church members.

Many of those folks still read this.  Hi!

And then in 2006  I moved to Topeka, where I served as head pastor at University United Methodist Church.

Preaching, Teaching, Marrying, Burying.  Mission trips and Visioning.  You know, Pastor Stuff.

Many of those congregants still read this.  Hi!

In 2010 I moved back to Lawrence, where I had previously served as the youth director.  I was the associate pastor.

More pastor stuff.  Lots of teaching and preaching.  (Plus I earned my chops as a legitimate drummer for the praise bands!)

I just moved from there.  Lots of folks still reading this.  Hi!

Along the way I’ve worked on conference committees and youth camps.  Making lots of connections with great people.  Hi!

And of course, there are bunches who read this whom I’ve never even met.  Allow me to say:  Hi!

And today, I send out this devotion to new friends in my new church.  Mulvane UMC, just south of Wichita.

Everywhere I go, my ministry seems a little different, and I’m excited to see what comes of my time with these wonderful people.


If you’re reading this, then in some way, big or small, you play a part in the history of my devotion.

I don’t mean just the mid-week spiritual reminder I send out through my blog.

I mean the day to day rhythm of faithfulness with which I try to lead my life.  My devotion to God.

You are part of my devotion, and I hope I’m part of yours.

Let’s be devoted together

as we move into the future.

Have a great week,





This Spring, I decided I needed a project.

So I made a man-cave.

I took it upon myself to clean out our oversized garage, jam-packed with boxes and books and junk. Jan helped, too.

We made 5 trips to the recycling center, and 5 trips to Goodwill, and bought some new shelves, and suddenly there was room for a couple old couches for lounging, a heavy bag for punching, and some all-around “me space”.

Most evenings, I’ll pull the cars out of the garage and look out at the field and trees across the street from our house, and I’ll sit on my couch, and drink a Diet Pepsi, and I’ll grunt my approval.

It was on one of those recent evenings in my man-cave when I pondered what life would have been like for me if I had been a cave man.

Now technically, scientists would say that the actual cave men were Neanderthals, a group related to Homo Sapiens, but who went extinct as modern humans began to develop, but go with me on this:

If I was a cave man, I’d burn as many calories hunting my food as I would gain eating it.

If I was a cave man, I’d be more in touch with nature. Maybe I’d even learn to make fire!

If I was a cave man, I wouldn’t need to shave. Or brush my teeth. Or cut my hair. (Okay, I don’t cut my hair very often as it is)

If I was a cave man, I wouldn’t be worried about what was happening a mile away from me, let alone on the other side of the world.

It doesn’t sound too bad, really.

Except for the sabertooth tigers. And the disease. And the lawlessness.

And no Diet Pepsi.


I suppose modern people have some advantages over cave people, but here’s something amazing to think about:

You take away all the junk we own, all the conveniences and comforts we live with, and all the progress (and problems) that come with modern life, and jump back in time 20,000 years, and God doesn’t change.

The God that loved and cared for cave people is the same God who loves and cares for us!

Can you imagine that? Before we had language, or technology, or even a well-honed sense of morality, the earliest human beings (and close relatives) were still children of God.

I don’t know why, but the idea had never occurred to me before. But as I sit in my man-cave, writing this, it gives me some comfort, and thankfulness.

I’m thankful to be in this time and place, and to offer all I am and all I have to the God who made everything, including my great great great great (x1000) grandparents.

There’s always a place for God in my man-cave,

because anything less,

would be uncivilized.

Have a great week

Mitch (grunt)