Eugenia was our mentor pastor until her retirement in June.
A PCUSA pastor who has served more than 30 years, she served pastorates in Alabama, Colorado and California. She has served the church at every governing body level in both staff and elected positions. Eugenia was a founding pastor of First Light, Inc. a center for homeless women and children. She is an author, speaker, preacher, and retreat leader who loves nothing more than helping the Bible come alive for people. Her articles and essays and short stories have appeared in numerous publications. She is the author of the 2019-20 denomination wide Bible study for Presbyterian Women, Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments, and was on the Committee of Fifteen to work on A Brief Statement of Faith for the PCUSA. She is married to Rob Phillips and they reside in her home state of Alabama. She remains our spiritual and devotional mentor.
July 1: 2 Cor. 5:1 “For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Dear God, sometimes we feel torn apart by the troubles and demands of our lives. Help us to remember that nothing can defeat us because in you we have an eternal home. Amen.
July 2: Psalm 146:1b,2b,8b,10c “Praise the Lord, O my soul…I will sing praises to my God all my life long…The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down…Praise the Lord.”
Gracious God, today is filled with summer beauty and wonder. The burdens of winter are lifted and we can see new life everywhere. Lift our eyes to you today, that we may spend this day in praise. Amen.
July 3: Ezekiel 47:12 “Their fruit will serve for food and their leaves for healing.”
Dear God, sometimes we feel like the fruit of my life is old and spoiled and that there is no more on the tree. Help us today to see the budding in our hearts and souls and to cling to your promise that you love and cancan use us. Amen.
July 4: Psalm 98:8-9 “Let the hills sing together for joy…for he is coming to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
Dear God surrounded by your love and presence, I do not fear your judgment for I know that your truth is not my enemy but my friend. Help me God to trust you come what may. Amen.
July 5: Mark 11:9 “Hosanna! Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.”
Dear God, we, like our ancestors, so often give you shallow praise that evaporates when we become afraid or confused. Please help us to develop a deep and sustaining daily practice of praise as we walk with you each day wherever you lead us. Amen.
July 6: Isa. 42:4 “He will not be disheartened or crushed until he has established justice in the earth.”
Dear God, we know that you are never defeated even when we cannot see the evidence of that in our lives or world. You are even now at work bringing your rule in all our hearts. Thank you. Amen.
July 7: John 12:21c “Sir, we want to see Jesus.”
Dearest Lord, how we long to see you today! Open our eyes to find you with us in the ordinary and extraordinary moments of this day. Amen.
July 8: John 13:21 “When Jesus had said this, He became troubled in spirit, and testified, and said, “Truly, truly I say to you, that one of you will betray me.”
Dear God, we know that more times that we can count, we have lived as Judas to you. We have allowed fear or ego and disappointment to lead us to betray you and your values. Help us, O God, to face our truth, to repent and turn so that we may never betray you again. Amen.
July 9: John 13:8b “Jesus answered him, ‘If I do not wash you, you have no part of me.”
Dear God, sometimes it is so hard for me to be served. It threatens my sense of control, embarrasses me and makes me feel unworthy. Help me God, to accept your tender care today in whatever way you send it. Amen.
July 10: John 19:30b,c “He said, ‘It is finished!’ And he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”
Dear God, sometimes it is hard to see all of who you are and what you have done for us. We want your glory but shun your sacrifice. It scares us. It makes us uncomfortable. And yet you ask us daily to stand before your cross and pick up our own. Help us to see, even in the tough things of life, your unimaginable love and to prepare for the new thing you will do next. Amen.
July 11: Rom. 6:4 “Therefore we have been buried with him through baptism into death, in order that as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, so we too might walk in newness of life.”
Dear God, we are a bulb in the ground today, no longer what we were, not yet what we will be. Help us to wait with you for the right timing for our new lives. Amen.
July 12: John 20:15 “Jesus said to her, ‘Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?”
Dear God, some days we, too, stand in your very presence crying because we cannot find you. Touch us today and whisper our names so that we may recognize your risen presence with us and rejoice. Amen.
July 13: Luke 15:6 “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, “Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.”
Dear God, how you rejoice when we turn to you. Help us this day to point ourselves toward you, our only hope and home. Amen.
July 14: 1 Peter 5:7 “Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.”
Dear God, some days rather than giving my burdens into your care, I just put wheels on them so that I can carry more. Help me today to know what is mine to do and what is yours. Amen.
July 15: Hosea 11:4 “I (God) led them with cords of human kindness, with bands of love. I was to them like those who lift infants to their cheek. I bent down to them and fed them.”
Dear God, where did we ever get the idea that you were harsh and capricious even when we need correction? Help us this day to turn to you for correction and guidance, knowing that everything about you and from you is love. Amen.
July 16: Heb. 10:23 “Let us hold fast to the confession of our hope without wavering, for (God) who has promised is faithful.”
Dear God, some days I feel that my hope has sprouted wings and flown south to winter. I look for it and can only find its empty nest. Remind me God, that hope is not a feeling but a promise, that it has a face and its name is Jesus. Amen.
July 17: Mat. 10:31 “So do not be afraid; you are of more value than many sparrows.”
Dear God, sometimes my fears organize and train their sights on me like an advancing army. When their crazy thoughts come into my mind, I feel tiny and alone. Remind me today of my great value to you. Calm me and help me cope. Amen.
July 18: Psalm 69:13-14 “With your faithful help rescue me from sinking in the mire.”
Dear God, I am stuck in the mud, like an old car driven off a cliff in a classic movie, I creak and groan when being pulled free. Yet you are always there pulling me up from the bottom into the light. Thank you, O God. Help me to look for your rescue today and not resist it. Amen.
July 19: Jude 21 “Look forward to the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ that leads to eternal life.”
Dear God, this morning I was washing dishes and it stopped me in my tracks, hands soapy, water growing cold. Mercy. Your mercy. It is the most powerful energy in the world. Help me today to bask in it. Amen.
July 20: Psalm 107:29 “He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed.”
Dear God, in Jesus you entered into the storms of human life and brought a blessed calm. Quiet the rushing thoughts in my head today, still any blowing worries. Fill me, precious Lord, with your presence and bring me to safe harbor. Amen.
July 21: Isa. 35:10 “They shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.”
Dear God each new day brings us opportunities for joy and gladness. Laughter sends sorrow to flight. Tickle our funny bones today, O God. Remind us of the joy you bring. Amen.
July 22: Eph. 2:14 “For he (Jesus) is our peace; in his flesh he has made both groups into one and has broken down the dividing wall, that is, the hostility between us.”
Dear God, there are many warring groups around us these days. We even know war within ourselves, between our desires and our duties, our needs and the demands of others. Break down those walls with your peace, O God. Give us renewed energy for your vision of the end of hostility and the advent of peace. Amen.
July 23: Ecc. 7:14 “In the day of prosperity be joyful, and in the day of adversity consider; God has made the one as well as the other.”
Dear God, whatever this day brings I will praise you. You are good to me in good times and better to me in hard times. Help me to learn the lessons of every season of my life. Be near me and keep me mindful of you. Amen.
July 24: Heb. 6:11 “And we want each one of you to show the same diligence so as to realize the full assurance of hope to the very end.”
Dear God, I try so hard. Sometimes it feels like all of life is just one long string of trying with very little accomplishing or completing. Help me to realize that your hope is not a wish but a promise that I can count on and live into. Amen.
July 25: Lam. 3:19-20 “The thought of my affliction and my homelessness is wormword and gall! My soul continually thinks of it and is bowed down within me.”
Dear God, thank you that you allow me to just tell it to you the way it is. Thank you for honoring all my emotions, the harsh as well as the sweet. Stay near me God in any struggle and help me feel your presence. Amen.
July 26: Mark 8:25 “Then Jesus laid his hands on his eyes again; and he looked intently and his sight was restored, and he saw everything clearly.”
Dear God, when I feel the sweet warmth of your love for me it is as if my vision clears and the whole world is crisp and vibrant. Thank you for touching me with your grace and power. Amen.
July 27: Ezek. 34:16 “I will seek the lost, and I will bring back the strayed, and I will bind up the injured, and I will strengthen the weak.”
Dear God, I have turned my ankle playing hide and seek with you. I cannot even limp my way home. Come to me, O God, lift me on your shoulders and take me home. Amen.
July 28: 2 Cor. 12:10 “I am content with weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities for the sake of Christ; for whenever I am weak, then I am strong.”
Dear God, I don’t want some of the things I wanted when I was younger. I don’t want to rule the world, to win, to succeed. All I want is to be used by you in my smallness and find in you my strength. Amen.
July 29: Psalm 71:18 “So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come.”
Dear God, my joy is to tell of your goodness. Help me every day of my life to find someone to tell of your graciousness and power in my life. Amen.
July 30: Psalm 15:1-2 “O Lord, who may abide in your tent? Who may dwell on your holy hill? Those who walk blamelessly, and do what is right.”
Dear God, I have not always walked blamelessly or done what is right. But here is the miracle of my life, when you see my account, you see Jesus’. Thank you, O God for doing what it took to welcome me into your tent. Amen.
July 31: Rev. 22:3b-4a “But the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it [the New Jerusalem], and his servants will worship him; they will see his face.”
Dear God, help me today to worship you with my whole life, to build a throne for you in the center of every thought and action so that I will see your face all around me today. Amen.