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Prayer Requests
Y Pray for NEW BEGINNINGS! Y Pray for Addie Norby-Oberg, a young child who lives two houses down from Paul & Amy, who has and will have multiple surgeries on her skull. Y George Black who is recovering from prostate surgery. Y Arlene Benson, Dianne Blacks sister, who is in the hospital and is struggling with her health. Y Pray for Dave Schwartz and Mary Olson (friends of George & Dianne Black) who are both going through cancer. Y Pray for the Ivers family as they mourn the loss of Brad Atkins, son-inlaw of Gloria and John, husband of Karen Atkins. Y Pray for Ken McCullen who recently suffered a minor stroke. He is home now. Y Pray for Bernie Pommer (Gina Irlbecks father) who had open heart surgery. Y Ferdinand Fondo (friend of Jonathan Tse) asks to pray for family relationship; to build and strengthen. Y Pray for Bea Bullard (friend of Dianne Black) who fell and broke her hip. Y Pray for Ward Sessing, member of the Presbyterian Church of the Way, who is recovering from surgery. Y Pray for Donna McCullen, wife of Ken McCullen. Y Pray for Alan Shingledecker who is suffering from past injuries. Pray the

lawsuit ends so he can have surgery and get off pain killers.

Y Pray for Erika Dochniak who has

been struggling with her health.

Y Pray for Jennifers neighbor, Julie

Fjeld, who is receiving treatment for her cancer.

The way that cultures relate to each other is an important topic that is addressed in the Scriptures. The topic is addressed through broad stories in the Old Testament, and particular teachings in the New Testament. Our own love for God and for our neighbor allows us to cross any division or divide that we experience. The stories that we will read this week illustrate this important point. One of Pastor Pauls foundational beliefs is there is more that brings us together than separates us. Cross-cultural understanding begins with this foundational belief. Our first allegiance is to Christand this allegiance is stronger than any other. As you read these stories this week give thanks to God for the vision that God has of peoples and cultures living together in unity! Enjoy! Comments about the devotion can be shared with Pastor Paul at Monday, November 12 Read Genesis 12:1-3 As we have learned together this story is a fundamental story of the Old Testament.

Some believe that this story really begins the story-line of the Old Testament. Abram was called to leave his place to enter a distant land. The story really wasnt completed until the Israelites entered Canaan in the book of Judges. A significant part of this overarching storyline is how the Israelites interacted with other cultures. They became a threat to the Egyptians; when they were in the wilderness they were often attacked by other tribes; before they entered Canaan they were warned about the other tribes and peoples in the new land. The story of the Israelites was a mixed one full of conflict and war and a people trying to stay together to follow Gods call. The call started in this passage. Really this story is our storyfor we struggle to interact with folks from different cultures. As you pray today, pray that God can open you up to experience and appreciate different cultural realities. May your journey be one of openness! Tuesday, November 13 Read Ruth 1:6-18 Naomi knew that she could not help her two daughters-in-law from Moab. In the time of famine she could not provide for them. She encouraged them to go back to their own land and culture so that they could live. Orpah left to go back, but Ruth stayed. She wasnt willing to go back to her own culture without Naomi. Her testimony in verses 1617 is one of the most powerful ones in the Scripture. Ruths first loyalty was to Naomi this was more important than her loyalty to her own country or even her own safety. Ruths words are worth memorizing. Take some time to savor them today.

Do not press me to leave you or to turn back from following you! Where you go, I will go; where you lodge, I will lodge; Your people shall be my people, and your God my God. Where you die, I will diethere will I be buried. May the Lord do thus and so to me, and more as well, if even death parts me from you! Ruth 1:16-17 Wednesday, November 14 Read Matthew 15:21-28 A Canaanite woman approached Jesus as a Jew and asked for help for her daughter. Jesus initial response is hard to understand. We can pick it apart and come up with a solid explanation for it; however it does seem odd that Jesus would initially response so harshly. Whats beautiful is the persistence of the Canaanite woman. She was willing to cross any boundary in order to get help for her daughter. We can understand and appreciate her passion. Finding help for her daughter was a literal matter of life or death. She wasnt going to be confined by her own cultural understandings of who she could approach or not approach. The result at the end of the story is most important. Jesus crossed his own cultural boundaries to help the daughter of the Canaanite woman; the Canaanite woman is lifted up as an example of faithfulness and persistence. The two could come together despite their differences. Pray that our own world can cross traditional boundaries so that peace, love, and healing can result. Thursday, November 15 Read 1 Corinthians 1:10-17

These verses are similar to the verses we heard on Sunday1 Corinthians 3:5-23. The people in the village of Corinth were divided in their allegiance. Some were committing themselves to Paul, some to Apollos, some to Cephas or Peter, and some to Christ. Paul is very clear throughout the letter that a persons first allegiance is to Christ. They might follow and admire other human leaders, but their allegiance cant stop them from following Christ. When Paul wrote at the end of verse 10 that he wanted people to be united in mind and purpose, he meant that they be united through Christ. This was their first allegiance. We just finished an election season where all of us committed our allegiance to a particular candidate. This is healthy and vibrant for a democracy, and its a privilege to be able to elect our governmental leaders. However God calls us to give our first allegiance to Christ. We are asked to cross the political allegiances that we have and give our first allegiance to God. As you pray today, pray that the divisions of our most recent election can be overcome. Pray that our connection to God can be our first allegianceand that this allegiance can bring us all together. Friday, November 9 Read Galatians 3:23-29 Pauls teaching in Galatians gives us a fresh perspective on declaring our first allegiance. In this letter Paul was attacking the idea that people needed to be circumcised in order to be a follower of Jesus. Paul argued that people followed Jesus through faith. He expanded the point in the last three verses. He believed that through our faith our unique identities are less important than our allegiance to Christ. When we are

disciples our national identity, our freedom, and our gender are less important. Paul certainly would have agreed with the idea that our allegiance to culture is less important too. These verses share a marvelous vision for our world. Its the vision of the church. As you pray today, pray with passion that this vision will take root on earth. Saturday, November 10 Read Mark 12:28-34 The vision of Paul wrote about in Galatians is clearly articulated by Jesus in his encounter with the scribe. Jesus shared that loving God and loving our neighbor as we love ourselves is the primary law. Christians have called this the Great Commandment. We follow this Great Commandment within our own cultures and to cross cultures. It is our ultimate allegiance. This love brings us together despite our differences and is stronger than any division. As you pray today, give thanks for this powerful teaching by Jesus. Pray that the world can embrace it and that the church can be totally committed to living it out among its people.