Looking for spiritual refreshment? God Pause email devotions are short, meaningful reflections on the following Sunday's lessons and gospel delivered directly to your email box. By Sunday, you'll be ready for an extra meaningful worship experience. 

Our devotion writers are Luther Seminary alumni. Their reflections are a gift to you and to the church.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

O beautiful for spacious skies,
for amber waves of grain,
for purple mountain majesties
above the fruited plain:
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee,
and crown thy good with brotherhood
from sea to shining sea.

O beautiful for heroes proved
in liberating strife,
who more than self their country loved,
and mercy more than life:
America! America!
May God thy gold refine,
till all success be nobleness,
and ev'ry gain divine.

O beautiful for patriot dream
that sees beyond the years
thine alabaster cities gleam,
undimmed by human tears:
America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,
confirm thy soul in self-control,
thy liberty in law.

"Why Alaska?" is number two on our "Top 10 Questions about Alaska" list. It should soon move into first place once again, as each passing day finds fewer and fewer people asking, "Do you know Sarah Palin?"

So, why choose to live in Alaska? It's difficult to explain. Maybe a song would help. Hmm, which one? A Hymn perhaps? How about "America the Beautiful?" In fact this hymn brings Alaska together with a fond childhood memory. Many years ago, when my father George was the Air Force chaplain in our family, I remember frequent viewings of a film series about the beauty of God's creation made by the Moody Bible Institute.

Alaska. Certainly the home of spacious skies and purple mountain majesties. Waves of grain and fruited plain? Perhaps not so much. Alaska. As part of America, we do pray that God will continue to shed his grace on thee. Indeed, not only on thee but truly thee, as you, too, along with the rest of our land have also needed heroes who more than self our country loved.

With thanksgiving we remember the grace you have shed on us, Lord God, individually and as a country. With thanksgiving we remember the heroes proved in liberating strife, individually and as a country. With humble heads bowed we ask again for your continued mending of our flaws, individually and as a country. Amen.

Keith Muschinske
Chaplain, United States Air Force (retired)
Eagle River, Alaska
Master of Divinity , 1989

This God Pause daily devotion is brought to you by the alumni of Luther Seminary.