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About Disciplines

The Upper Room Disciplines provides an opportunity to look more deeply at scripture by offering a week of devotions by a single author on a particular theme.

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Latest Disciplines Devotions

Power and Ritual - July 14, 2024

July 14, 2024

Herod was bound in the tension between doing what was right—refusing to behead John the Baptist—and upholding the social norms and standards around keeping one’s word. Both options had their own...

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Power and Ritual - July 13, 2024

July 13, 2024

Those in power in today’s passage had very different opinions of John the Baptist. Herodias had preconceived notions against him, while her husband, King Herod, feared him yet “liked to listen...

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Power and Ritual - July 12, 2024

July 12, 2024

This scripture moves from the cosmic infinite to the very personal, truly relational connection God has with humanity. We have insight into God’s selection of humanity through Jesus Christ and through...

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Power and Ritual - July 11, 2024

July 11, 2024

Today’s scripture reads very much like a liturgy that would be well known by a community. The narration reminds us of the infinite and powerful presence of God. When we consider...

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Power and Ritual - July 10, 2024

July 10, 2024

Psalm 24 is seen as a nod to the return of the ark and a naming of God’s almighty power and authority over the entire universe. This text centers God and...

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Power and Ritual - July 9, 2024

July 9, 2024

Ritual has power, as we saw in yesterday’s text. The parade and procession of the ark to its final resting place most likely took hours, if not days. In addition, the...

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Power and Ritual - July 8, 2024

July 8, 2024

This entire narrative is one of power and celebration. We have a giant crowd that has been waiting for this meaningful event for generations. There is a symbolic ordering of the...

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Empowered by Grace - July 7, 2024

July 7, 2024

When an elder or a deacon is ordained in the United Methodist Church, the resident bishop lays hands on the clergy person and says, “Take thou authority” (and I’m paraphrasing) to...

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Empowered by Grace - July 6, 2024

July 6, 2024

Rejection is, unfortunately, a universal human experience. I certainly wish it weren’t, but I bet you can think of multiple times that you’ve experienced rejection. Maybe it was from a romantic...

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Empowered by Grace - July 5, 2024

July 5, 2024

If you have read much about the church community in Corinth, you know it wasn’t an easy one. Some of Paul’s firmest words and most famous teachings are in his epistles...

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