Tuesday, January 24, 2023


Isaiah 40:25, 28–31

A quick “heads up.” My devotion will touch on sports and pirating.  From verse 31 of today’s Bible verse, “They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary….”  As an athlete in high school and college, what I wouldn’t have given to soar on wings like eagles or run and not grow weary.  It wasn’t until after I graduated from college, that I realized how the daily batting practice my teammates and I committed to and my routine weight lifting helped my performance in “town team” baseball.  I’ve also found that type of daily commitment to reading a devotion, studying the Bible and praying has strengthened me in my faith journey.  Another key factor in strengthening my faith journey was service at Southwood.

As for “pirating,” I learned from one of my bank presidents that we’d “pirate” ideas from anyone, including our competitors, where he/we saw those ideas were beneficial.  These didn’t involve copyrighted information or patents, but mainly common sense ideas to improve our banking practices and benefit our customers.  With that, I’ll refer to, and pirate thoughts from  Diane Siefkes’ devotion from December 30.  Hopefully Diane won’t request any type of royalty.

As a refresher, or if you missed reading Diane’s devotion, a speaker at a leadership convention she attended talked about choice.  Basically, that he chooses how to dress, how he presents himself, and how he interacts or responds when dealing with people.  As Diane mentioned, she realized how she chooses what to believe, how to treat people, what words she speaks, and whether to smile or frown.

As we “journey” into the New Year of 2023, are there choices we can make to strengthen our  commitment to our faith journey?  To repeat lines from today’s verses:  the Lord is the everlasting God, ……who gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak……..those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles;  they will run and not grow weary.  Hopefully, these promises are a reminder that our faith in the Lord will be rewarded through the peace (and strength) that surpasses all understanding.

Questions for Reflection:

  • Are there choices I can focus on to reflect my belief in Jesus’ teachings?
  • How can I choose to act in accordance with Jesus’ teachings, given the daily challenges we face on earth? 
  • Are there choices I can make to grow my service to Southwood and/or my community in the New Year?


Father in heaven, I thank you for the energy and blessings a New Year can bring.  I ask your forgiveness for choices I have made, and know I will continue to make.  I’m thankful for the grace you bless us with, and pray for your guidance in the coming year. I ask that my choices  will reflect your love for me.  Help me to remember that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  
In your name we pray, Amen. 


Posted by Bruce Stedronsky

Bruce and his wife Jane moved to Lincoln in 1990 and have been members of Southwood Lutheran since 1992.  He retired in the fall of 2021 after working in banking for over 45 years in South Dakota, Iowa and here in Lincoln, and always considered himself a “blue collar” guy in a “white collar” job.  

In his spare time, he enjoys a good book and being outdoors on a golf course, where one of his golfing buddies refers to Bruce’s game as consistently inconsistent.  Bruce and Jane will be moving to Paradise, (Texas that is) population 502, primarily to be closer to their sons and their families, Ben in Fort Worth and Matt in Norman, OK.  Bruce volunteered to be a devotion writer in hopes of maintaining a connection with Southwood Lutheran.

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