Sunday, December 31, 2006

December 31, 2006

Good Morning! We are in for a windy one today from the start it would appear. The old year is blowing out as it so often does around these parts. I don’t know how many of these I have written, but today marks the 100th blog post for this devotional. What wisdom comes our way at the evening of one year and the dawning of the next? Often we think of ways to improve ourselves and make resolutions to do just that. However, we may want to think of ways to love our neighbors and fellow Americans better in this coming year. Perhaps a new car is in your budget for next year and you can afford a more gas-efficient type of vehicle or even a hybrid. If a new vehicle is out of the question, as it is for me, we might be able to reduce our driving by walking to some places or riding a bicycle. We can spread the love of Jesus by getting to know a neighbor better and sharing our faith with them. There are many ways to change our focus from one’s self to others who need the love of Jesus.
I’m rushing a bit to cut this short because it would seem the time has come and I need to get ready for church! God bless you!


Saturday, December 30, 2006

December 30, 2006

Good Morning! The sun shines um, rather dimly on the snow. We seem to have a few clouds around today. Praise the Lord for the new snowfall over the past couple of days. Yes, I do get tired of driving on the snow and ice, but you can’t have lots of snow on the yard and none on the street, it just doesn’t work that way. The past couple of weeks remind me of what I have always thought living in Minnesota in the winter would be like. In this world we get the good with the bad, or perhaps more accurately, what we prefer with that which we do not like so well. Can you imagine living with Jesus in the new Jerusalem and waking up to find a foot of beautiful snow that is not cold? There it is, just me imagining the new Earth. Someone else might ask, “Wake up? We won’t have any need to sleep in the new Earth!” Perhaps that is true, I will cheerfully admit that my dreams of Christ’s new Earth are much too colored by where I am right now. I simply cannot imagine how wonderful it will be. We trust the Lord with all that is in this life and we also trust Him with all that will be in the next. That is a lot of trusting, and that is why the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, has been sent into our hearts until Jesus returns. Thank you, Lord for your Holy Spirit who dwells in our hearts and gives us comfort, Amen.


Friday, December 29, 2006

December 29, 2006

Good Morning! The year is waning fast towards a new year of hope and resolution. Traditionally we make several resolutions at the beginning of each year. This changing of the year I will resolve to add cardio workouts to my Bowflex workouts, reduce my credit card debt, payoff my truck, keep my yard better than I did last year and to have a heart of love. What do you have in store for yourself this year? We may not achieve all of our resolutions, but I think it’s good to try each year. Resolving to improve something about our lives shows that we still love ourselves. A resolution also shows that we are not so overcome with pride that we can find no area in which we need to improve. Do not be ashamed to make those resolutions and do not be ashamed to make them public. If we fail in our resolutions, then let’s make a March resolution or even a January 31st resolution if we must. Many resolutions only last 2 weeks, so we may have to make a mid-January resolution to review our resolutions! Above all trust in the Lord and know that He loves you no matter what happens.
This year you might resolve to send those blessings, your children, to Maranatha Bible Camp for a week or two of Christian fellowship while you and the your spouse take a little trip of your own. One of the problems in the world of Islam is the early training the kids receive in hatred. Christian summer camps are a good way to teach children to love each other and those bachelors who do not keep their yard very well since they are working and going to college at the same time and… Okay, I think we know who that is; we can also support Maranatha by giving directly.

May God grant us wisdom in making our resolutions for 2007


Thursday, December 28, 2006

December 28, 2006

Good Morning! Am I the most miserable man in the world? No, I think not. Sometimes when I wake up feeling in a funk, all manner of thoughts intrude such as leaving my job, my house, and my friends, and moving to a new place. We have been over this before; Jesus is the way, the truth and the life, and he is no different in Vermont than in Nebraska, nor in Florida as in Washington. We could extend that out to countries and planets if you wish. A bit of depression always awakens that “grass is greener” fallacy. You may feel a calling from God to go somewhere else, but that is different than the feeling that all of my or our problems will be somehow less in another location. Pastor Rogers states “The most miserable man in the world is a child of God out of fellowship with God.” I think there is a message for me in that statement. I think the message is that I am not that man. Perhaps I just need to be fed since I have not had my breakfast yet, perhaps it is a passing funk that will go away, or perhaps I just need to read from the Word more this morning. Whatever the reason, we can rest in the blessed assurance that God loves each and every one of us so much that he sent Jesus to die for us. Oh yes there is something to look forward to – Resurrection Day and that great day to follow when Jesus returns to us in his glory. The sun rises on another day, but one day the Son will rise in great glory and we will go home.

God bless you this day!


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

December 27, 2006

Good Morning! Let the Glory of the Lord shine upon us this day! I may be a bit late in knowing this, but did you realize the pilot who led the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor later became a Christian missionary? If I had heard that before then I had forgotten it. The Lord works in wonderful ways. We have all enjoyed the full turn that God gives us in our hearts upon believing in Jesus, but some of those turns seem more spectacular than others. We could of course mention Saul of Tarsus in Acts, Matthew and other tax collectors in the Bible, many Romans, and everyone else who has been saved. God gives us eternal life in exchange for our old life of sin. How does that work? Only in Jesus do we find the answer to that. Certainly none of us deserve eternal life or even mercy in this life. None of the heroes in the Bible deserved mercy or grace; only through Jesus can all of that sin be set aside and forgotten by God. Yes, we should think about heaven today and every day, for that is where we are going!

Praise God for the gift of Jesus!


Tuesday, December 26, 2006

December 26, 2006

Good morning! Christmas has once again passed for the year and it’s time to get the New Year’s resolutions dusted off and ready to roll. I do not envy those with little cars trying to go to work today; our street is far from ready for them. This storm changed a lot of plans for people because we simply cannot plan for every occurrence or possibility. Changing plans always remind me of God’s unchanging plan. He is not making adjustments or tweaking the progress chart up in Heaven; his plan, laid down at the beginning, has not changed one bit. Indeed, wisdom still seeks our Lord, for he is the source of all good things in this life and the next.

God is with you always!

Sunday, December 24, 2006

December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas!
Twice already today I have heard the carol that begins with “good Christian men rejoice”. In one version they changed it to “good Christians all rejoice” While in many ways I am a Christmas conservative, in this I like the change to “all” from “men”. At one time women had no rights and were even considered property, often counting for less than a man’s cattle and mules. Jesus came to make all things new and one part of that was the raising up of women. With his birth, Jesus made Mary one of the preeminent women in all Christendom. With His ministry he raised up the Samaritan woman at the well, Mary Magdalene, the woman caught in the act of adultery and many others from sin and oppression. We see this oppression in many countries where the light of Christ has not arrived or has been suppressed; our prayers should call for Christian missionaries to bring the light to the darkness.

Praise God for the good tidings of Christmas!


Saturday, December 23, 2006

December 23, 2006

Merry Christmas! Last night I was wondering why people in cars were in such a hurry to get out on the roads and, as it turns out, get stuck in the snow. I got stuck yesterday morning in a 4-wheel drive pickup; the cars had no business even trying! Well, an understanding heart is what Jesus gives us when his light shines into those dark corners. I realized that many people have been in their houses for 2 and ½ days by last night and perhaps had no choice but to go out for some of their food staples. We really are no longer accustomed to snows like this out in these parts; many do not have a week’s worth of food and water in their home in case of something like this.
The light of world came to those living in darkness, and a powerful light He is! Stories of light and hope are shared by all of us, but perhaps this weekend I shall take the plunge and write a fresh story for you. Jesus made each of us unique, and so there must be something for me to write that isn’t a retelling of all the Christmas stories you have already heard a thousand times. One weekend, we shall see what can be done.

Have a wonderful Christmas weekend!


Friday, December 22, 2006

December 22, 2006

Merry Christmas! The puddy tat wants me to stay home today, but there is one more workday left in this week. Have you ever tried typing with a cat in your lap? Perhaps you have wondered why little animals need attention from us at all. The thought came to me today that our pets may be seeking some temporary relief from the curse of sin that is upon the world. We do the same thing in pursuing happiness through television programs, movies, shows, shopping for fun, hobbies, sexual acts and fantasies, and even daydreaming. Sin tries to fool us into thinking that it has the answers, but that is lie from the master of lies. For every good or harmless hobby there is a sinful one which seems more seductive. For each pleasure given by married spouses to each other there is some sexual perversion offered by the world. Paul tells us in Romans that all of creation groans for release from the curse, and that is true of all that we see. Stars explode at the end of a violent life, the earth erupts occasionally through volcanoes and earthquakes, and even the weather often brings great violence. The signs of the curse are everywhere for us to see and all of it should point us to the great healer who came to earth to save us, Jesus Christ.

If you are traveling today, have a wonderful and very merry Christmas!


Thursday, December 21, 2006

December 20, 2006

Merry Christmas, merry white Christmas! The devotional this morning was lost in a snow bank, while I went in to work early to assist with a problem. In case you haven’t looked at the news today, we are getting a snowstorm the likes of which has not been seen out here in many years. It’s about time too! I pray that everyone drives as safely as they can and takes no unnecessary risks in this storm. We have been blessed with a big snowstorm and for those of you who don’t see it that way… I’m sorry, try to ignore me for a few days. It’s beginning to look very much like Christmas, everywhere you go… la, la, la, la! I do believe that it is time to break out the Christmas movies this afternoon.
May God bless and keep you during time!

December 21, 2006

Merry Christmas! Well, we are hung up between the City of Sidney telling us to stay home and Cabela’s telling us to try to get into work. What is one to do? Have you ever been made cranky by conflicting messages from authority figures? You want to do what is right, but two or more authorities in your life make conflicting demands or statements about what is right. Praise God that his Word has no conflicts for God is the ultimate authority on all things. There it is, the City needs time to get the roads cleared for emergency services and having another vehicle stuck on them would only make it worse, Cabela’s will have to wait. Everyone please be safe today, make the right decision about going out! Pray for those who are stranded throughout the blizzard area.

God bless you all,


Tuesday, December 19, 2006

December 19, 2006

Merry Christmas! A wonderful morning to you all, and as we are now within one week of our beloved Christmas celebration; let us pray for all those traveling to visit relatives, for those traveling for fun, and for those staying home. Some will spend Christmas in places they would rather not such as our service persons in Iraq and Afghanistan, patients in the hospital, those serving time in prison, and many others. Please pray that each of them would receive the grace of God.
It can be difficult to put in our best effort at work this week, especially on Friday. The week or part of a week leading up to Christmas is always one of my least productive periods at work. The potlucks, snack fests, and other celebrations don’t help either!
Once three wise men or kings traveled a great distance to see the Christ child; we don’t know how far they traveled or how long they were on the road. We do know they eventually found Jesus and paid homage to the new born King of Kings. This Christmas I pray that each of us would take the time to honor Jesus, our Lord and Savior, to the Glory of God the Father.


Monday, December 18, 2006

December 18, 2006

Merry Christmas! Praise unto the Lord our God! Yesterday I saw a group of women on Love Worth Finding sing Carol of the Bells, and the rendition was as close to perfect as we will find here on earth. They must have practiced that for hours. What is more they sang it a cappella, something most of us find very difficult. Sorry, the shower doesn’t count, that is an accompaniment! I have tried a little a cappella singing around the house every now and again. Don’t believe the story about the neighbor grabbing his rifle to finish off the wounded moose; it is completely unfounded. The Bible tells us to make a joyful noise unto the Lord, not a perfect one!
Speaking of perfection, we, or at least I, have often thought that I am not doing well in my Christian walk. The question would be, “compared to whom?” Don’t look at that person over there, or those people at church. Our only standard should be Jesus, and all of us will fall short. God has accepted us based on the righteousness of Jesus, not on how well we are doing. If God only made acceptance based on our own goodness, there would be a lot empty mansions in heaven since no one would be there. Trust in Jesus Christ, believe in Him and you are saved.

Hallelujah for the saving grace of Christ!


Sunday, December 17, 2006

December 17, 2006

Good Morning and Merry Christmas! The whole world trembles at the imminent coming of our Lord Jesus Christ! We shall see him soon. Our hope and our joy rest in Jesus and the promises He has given us. One promise that many looked forward to for centuries involved the many scriptures promising a savior, the Messiah. We live on the other side of that promise; Jesus has come to earth, died for our sins, and returned to take the place of honor beside our Father in Heaven. Jesus lives in our hearts, guiding, directing, and giving us the strength to endure. One day when every knee shall bow and every tongue shall confess that Jesus is Lord, there will be a group who cannot wait to run to Him. We shall bow with joy in our hearts and confess with praise on our tongues! Jesus is the Messiah; the Holy Spirit grants us living proof of that every moment of the day. I have schoolwork today and still cannot find it in me to be down and depressed; praise God for the glory of Christmas!



Saturday, December 16, 2006

December 16, 2006

Merry Christmas! Have you ever noticed the attacks leveled against our faith? Of course you have, it would be nearly impossible to miss them. The world searches for a chink or a small stone that it can dislodge to bring the “castle” of Christianity down. However, that is not so easy. Our belief is based upon the cornerstone of Jesus Christ. The walls of this castle are built upon the believers throughout the ages and every stone, large or small, is held together by the Holy Spirit of God. We may feel weak and not up to the task, but the attacks are not leveled against any of us alone. Jesus reported to His Father at the end that He had not lost even one of those He was given. Well, “those” are you and I; we have been found and Jesus will not lose even one.

Jesus is born,
Jesus is risen,
Jesus Lives!


Friday, December 15, 2006

December 15, 2006

Merry Christmas! “I am what I am by the Grace of God” That is good for us to remember each and every day. If you are much like me, you have trouble with being too hard on yourself, perhaps thinking down deep that you are not good enough for the kingdom of heaven. It’s true; we are not good enough, no one is! Part of that great essay in Romans goes, “For all have sinned; all fall short of God’s glorious standard.” (3:23, NLT) Paul continues that it does not matter who you are or what you have done. Jesus gift of salvation is perfect, just as our Lord is perfect. Therefore there is no one who cannot be saved by trusting in Jesus Christ. There is no stamp that we can see, no letter of official pardon, no feeling that we should expect (though some do experience great relief in confessing their sins), and no ring or crown that we can wear in this world. At this time God still allows the choice of not believing. When you choose to believe in Jesus, you are putting your trust in Him. Simple, straightforward, and from that point on the world and its prince will be out to get you! Praise the Lord!
The world will come at you with well-reasoned, by human standards, arguments; movies and other media, books and articles, direct personal attack, scorn, and unbelief. Newsweek has an article on the Nativity this week, but don’t expect a rousing rendition of How Great Thou Art. The article gives credit to ancient Jewish family mores as the basis for Christianity. Okay, one more time… let’s get it straight. We do not celebrate AncientJewishFamilyMoresmas, we celebrate Christmas; the root and vine of which is Christ! I agree with the article that the empty tomb is more important. However, we find it more difficult to celebrate Easter because our King died and left us to return to Heaven at that time. Yes, He did rise again and lives in our hearts, but we want to be with Him! That is why our celebration of Easter is mixed with sadness and is more difficult to celebrate and be joyous. Wow! Praise God! I have been wondering and searching for why it is so much easier to celebrate at Christmas. It seems the Holy Spirit has granted us an insight into that this morning!

Give the gift of love this Christmas!


Thursday, December 14, 2006

December 14, 2006

Merry Christmas! It is easy for us to look for perfection in everything. A child runs up after scoring the winning touchdown and the Dad says, “That was nice, but you should have…” We look at a great painting and point out some little flaw. Like eternity, perfection is in our minds; we know intuitively what it is but cannot see it anywhere around us. Our eyes are attuned to spotting differences: the one soldier out of line just a tad, the one crooked hat on the marching band member, the one blemish on that beautiful face, or the tiny spot on a paint job. Differences and imperfections are all around us. Perhaps worst of all, we demand it from ourselves and our heroes. A pastor is caught in some sin and fired from the church; a believer sins and the world judges him or her hypocrite; nowhere, it seems, is that standard of perfection kept perfect. It wasn’t in vain that Jesus told us to forgive seventy times seven times; the stain of sin covers all except the Son. Praise God for the one example of perfection who died for our sins, Jesus. One good reason to return often to the scriptures is to see our example of perfection in action and to read his words. We will not find perfection in those around us or in ourselves, so stop trying to correct every little thing you see. For surely once your or my standard is achieved, someone else’s is surely ruined. Only in Jesus is the standard of perfection maintained and we are too imperfect to see it all. One day… one day, we will see our perfect Lord in Heaven! Hallelujah!

God bless you,


Wednesday, December 13, 2006

December 13, 2006

Merry Christmas! Often in my mind the song phrase, “Let the glory of the Lord shine above us…” will run over and over. What is that all about anyway? This morning I am thinking that one meaning is that our Lord is glorified when we act above our human nature through His grace. Without the saving grace of Jesus, we would not do many of the things we do to the glory of God the Father. Tithing? It is human nature to hoard everything to ourselves, whether it is the money or what we purchase with it. Speaking, writing, or sharing the Good News of Jesus Christ? Human nature would have us remain in the herd to not be noticed by the wolves and lions roaming about seeking to devour whom they may. In the Grace of Jesus we begin to share in our own way the Gospel, and then as we grow we share in God’s way and set aside our own way. The glory of the Lord shines above us when we act in the ways that Jesus showed us during his time on the Earth. We can glorify Him at this time of the year by celebrating Christmas for what it is; a celebration of the birth of our Lord and Savior in Bethlehem. Indeed may the glory of the Lord shine above us at all times of the year, but perhaps at Christmas the secular world is paying more attention than usual. Somewhere there is an unsaved person ready to listen to some Good News. Give to them the gift that shines above us, Jesus, the Glory of God the Father.

Praise God for His gift to us!


Tuesday, December 12, 2006

December 12, 2006

Good morning and Merry Christmas! What is grace to me? In the days of yore, or perhaps only about 20 years ago, when I was well on my way as an intellectual wanna-be, I knew Christianity from the restrictions. Don’t do this; you can’t do that, etc. Number one on the list, Grace is not a list of “don’ts and can’ts.” Number two on the list, Grace is not a prescribed list of chants. The monks and monasteries had their purpose, but God would not have all of us lock ourselves away from the world and chant endlessly. Number 3, Grace is not a loud rant. I do not believe that Jesus would have hoisted a placard and yelled into a bullhorn. Isaiah 1:18 says “Come now, and let us reason together, saith the Lord: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.” (KJV) Jesus reached out to even the Pharisees with reason and patience. Number 4, Grace does not condemn. We have the Law to point out our sins, and there are many in all of us. Grace sets us free by removing the chains of sin, not to do as we please, but rather to glorify God with our good works. Lastly, Grace sets us free from this world and welcomes us home in Jesus. When God sends out the call, whether it be the small voice calling one of us personally, or the loud shout signifying the end for all; we will come home to Jesus through Grace.

The grace of God goes with you this day,


Monday, December 11, 2006

December 11, 2006

Good morning, two weeks until Christmas Day! Listening to Christmas songs on the radio, Holly on XM 103, I am occasionally rewarded with a real gem. In her rendition of O Christmas Tree, Aretha Franklin pauses to remind us of the real reason for Christmas, the birth of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. That should be done far more often by those who claim to be blessed. Often you will see the stars in the media acknowledge that they are blessed with a great talent, usually leaving us to guess whom they were blessed by. Some state it as though they received their blessing in some form of baby lottery and thus they owe nothing in return. The reasoning is that they did not choose to be blessed with a talent for singing, acting, or whatever, and thus they are only sharing with others to the best of their ability and gaining all they can along the way.
Jesus assures us that they have their reward. I believe that God likes to see gratitude for all of our blessings, and the more we thank Him for, the more we discover that we are blessed in so many ways. Listing our blessings is a great way to realize just how grateful we should be, and our writing or typing fingers will wear out before we can list every blessing!
Well, another piece of bad news for the 97% of people in the country who celebrate Christmas. The Sea-Tac or Seattle-Tacoma airport has decided to remove the nine Christmas trees and decorations celebrating Christmas rather than place a large Jewish menorah on display. A rabbi threatened to sue if they did not comply, and so they removed the trees. Too often we are ruled by a small percentage through the bludgeon of attorney’s fees. “They’ve darkened the hall instead of turning the lights up,” the rabbi’s lawyer, Harvey Grad said, “There is a concern here that the Jewish community will be portrayed as the Grinch.”
Not the Jewish community, but perhaps a certain rabbi… Just for that, the Christmas trees will come out in my home tonight! Praise God that we can still celebrate the birth of our Lord at home!


Sunday, December 10, 2006

December 10, 2006

Good morning, the sun is just about to rise on another fine Sunday. Christmas is but two weeks from tomorrow. I know that most of us will look forward to at least some time off during Christmas and New Year’s Day; spending time with family, friends, and most importantly, worshipping the birth of our Lord Jesus. I watched a show last night about Christmas lights and the great lengths to which some will go in lighting their house. I watched about half of the show before going to bed; assuming that they would save the best for the finale, I must assume that house has somewhat in excess of several million lights. Houses in Richmond, VA took up about half of the show, including one with more than 500,000 lights. The question that occurs to me about those very impressive displays is: does the owner remember the meaning or the source of Christmas? It isn’t Santamas, it’s Christmas and the reason for Christmas is Christ. I am glad they put so much effort into their celebration of Christmas, but I am concerned that they might lose sight of what is truly important about this Holy Day.
Thank you God for sending us a savior on Christmas Day!


Saturday, December 09, 2006

December 9, 2006

Good Morning! Christmas is just over 2 weeks away; are you ready for it? I realize that by this time we are often overwhelmed by the commercial aspect of Christmas. The sales, promotions, secular songs, pageants, and parades take their toll, and if you’re like me you might start to feel just a little unclean. Perhaps that is why I yearn so much for a fresh snowfall on Christmas Eve. A clean slate, if you will, to purify the world around us. There is only one way to fight this seasonal depressing of the spirit and that is to focus on why we celebrate Christmas in the first place, Jesus. The world has taken St. Nicholas and made a cartoon character out of him, but the birth of our Lord stands firm as the first great event of Jesus’ time upon this earth in human form. Angels announced it, a star in the heavens pointed to it, and prophecies predicted it hundreds and even thousands of years before it happened. We get to enjoy a strong reminder of it each and every year. Sometimes we say that Jesus’ death on the cross was the final event, but that isn’t quite right. We can say that it was the final event of his first life, but He rose again and will return to us one day. Do you need a refreshing change from the commercialism of this season? Find it in the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ in Bethlehem and in our heart. The love of our Lord outshines every other light that we see.

Praise God for Christmas!


Friday, December 08, 2006

December 8, 2006

Good Morning! Sometimes you have to wonder about even the best intentions of some folks. Yesterday I read that the ASPCA says that you should never put your cat out at less than 20°F, they simply are not made for the cold. My quite obviously made for the cold furball promptly gave her best “nuts to them” gesture by sitting on the ice of my pond for a spell. God created all things to suit his own purpose. We need not fear that we are inadequate for the tasks he has in store for us. We certainly are inadequate; we don’t need to fear what we already know! However, as someone once said, “I can do anything with God, that God can do alone.” God did not need Mary to give birth to Jesus; He could have created the baby Jesus, manger and all, right on the spot. God does not need us, but he graciously allows us a role in the building of his kingdom. That role will be individually and uniquely suited to just you; no one else can fill it. Hold your head up and go forth with confidence in a mighty God; the world awaits your arrival!

Have a blessed day in Jesus!


Thursday, December 07, 2006

December 7, 2006

Good morning! I gave some thought this morning, after praying for some people in need, on healing and how it has changed since Jesus healed many in his time on earth. The question foremost in my mind had to do with a seeming lack of the miraculous these days. When Jesus, and later his apostles, healed the person, that person was made whole. Lame beggars jumped up, Lazarus came forth in his grave clothes, and blind men could see perfectly. Why not now? Are we like the people of Nazareth where Jesus could do little due to their unbelief? Perhaps there is much of that in the unbelief of secular humanism, which is popular among intellectuals and those who would be intellectual, in our land today. Perhaps we simply don’t see the miracles around us or in far away lands. Many reporters will travel thousands of miles and endure hardship to photograph or televise the suffering of war or genocide. Almost none will do the same for miracles of healing in Africa. However, one reason that we may not experience that instant healing may lie in the healing of time. We have a lot going on in our minds these days. When we yearn for the simpler times of old, we are not calling the people of those times simple, but rather that circumstances did not place the burdens upon them that we face now. What an extended hospital stay will give you is a lot of time to think. The myriad worries of this world become simplified as the healing and recovery processes take center stage for many days. Gratitude pours forth to God as the healing continues in the body and mind. The miracles are still here among us, rest assured of that. During these hectic times it is a miracle to have a week, a month, or even more to heal and praise God.

May God keep you in peace today!


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

December 6, 2006

Good morning and a very merry Christmas to you! As I progress further in yet another class, I am reminded of how difficult and how joyous this life is. We know that our next life will be much better because Jesus told us so. Will we work and build things in the next life? Perhaps we will; if building or constructing something is joyous to you in this life, it will be more so when Jesus returns! On the other hand, in a perfect place with God with us in the New Jerusalem, we may feel no compulsion to build. Some mornings while writing this devotional I like to think on Heaven and Jesus our Lord. What will it be like? And of course, how soon can we go there? We all look forward to our life with Christ. That may be the real blessing in times of pain and difficulty; the joy of depending upon our Lord and Savior, and the yearning towards our heavenly home.

May the Holy Spirit of our Lord be with you this day.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

December 5, 2006

Good Morning! I once observed an older woman in a wheelchair having bandages changed on her lower legs. She cried and moaned from the pain of it each time the dressings had to be changed. The hospital staff had lost patience with her and no longer believed that she experienced the pain, but wanted only the attention from her outburst. Now I did not see the entire play from the beginning so don’t rush to blame the hospital staff. People do get addicted to the attention and can play the drama queen so to speak. However, now that it is some years later, I have often wondered what it is in our minds that makes it so difficult to believe that someone is suffering. Part of it is that most pain is fleeting, God created us with the ability to recover and heal, up to a point, on our own. Another part is that we cannot literally experience the pain of another person. A doctor, or nurse, who could empathize completely with a patient, but only for brief and controlled moments, would be a true force of healing. Jesus came to earth for 33 – 35 years with compassion so great that thousands received healing during his brief ministry. The Bible tells us that he often worked late into the night or without sleep to heal the many that came to him. The next time we see someone in pain, let’s give them the benefit of our love and believe them, even if it is the seventy times seven-th time they have cried out for us.

God bless you!

Monday, December 04, 2006

December 4, 2006

Good Morning! The great celebration of our Lord’s birth draws closer for this year. Praise the name of our Lord, Jesus Christ! The first gift given at Christmas time more than 2000 years ago allowed us to be given another and greater gift, that of grace. The time of Jesus doesn’t seem that long ago to me. Every day I can read from the Gospels and the Holy Spirit reminds me daily of grace through faith. 2000 years are spanned every time I sit down to read from the Word. Unlike a dry and dusty account of an ancient civilization or person, the Bible does not seem ancient. The Old Testament points to Christ and the New Testament springs from Him; it simply doesn’t seem as though 2000 years have passed since Christ walked the earth. There is a place outside of Jerusalem where Christ’s body lay for a couple of days. To me there is no reason to build a shrine there, no reason to make a pilgrimage, for as the angels announced to the women on that great day, Jesus is not there. He is here with us today!



Sunday, December 03, 2006

December 3, 2006

Good Morning! Believe and you will receive the everlasting grace of the Son of God! The two criminals crucified with Jesus had one last chance to receive salvation; one believed, and the other did not. It was very simple, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your Kingdom,” the believer said. We do not know what kind of life this man had led, whether he was a criminal from his earliest days or merely named criminal from one desperate act near the end of his life. We don’t even know his name, only that he accepted the Lord and gave us one last lesson while Jesus still lived his earthly life. Simply believe on the Son of God. The Lamb of God soon gave up his earthly life, only to rise again on the third day in his glorious new life. The Lion of the tribe of Judah soon ascended into Heaven to claim his seat by the Father. The world now stands upon the edge of eternity, and that Lion is about to roar. We see some of the signs already; when the Lion roars, it will be the last call for all who will believe and it will go forth with great power. Praise God the time is near! Jesus will return to claim the kingship of a new Heaven and a new Earth.

Give glory unto God!


Saturday, December 02, 2006

December 2, 2006

Good morning! Some quiet time, what a luxury. I am thinking that is one thing that I do not schedule enough in my days. Not time to watch a movie with loud noises and explosions, that isn’t quiet time. No, I need to set aside a time when I contemplate God and His grace, and nothing else. A man said earlier this week that pressure is put upon us by others and by the demands of our job, and that stress is put upon us by our own worries about those demands and other things. Jesus tells us to not be caught worrying at the time of His return in Luke 21:34;
"Watch out! Don't let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life.”

It is easy to understand the part about “living in careless ease and drunkenness,” but Jesus also warned us not to be “filled with the worries of this life.” It is so easy to be caught up daily in those worries. Wealthy folks pay accountants, counselors, and office and domestic staff to worry about all of the matters we must deal with in this life. It certainly is not easy to budget time, money, and resources in this life and also manage all of the cares and responsibilities. I read in a magazine essay this week about a banker turned pastor. His wife wrote the essay and mentioned the problems that keep her husband awake on many nights. We should not have this problem, but that doesn’t stop it from occurring. Even when pastors tell us to give all our cares and worries to Jesus, they may not find it so easy to do so! There are some cares so large that perhaps we should “pray and walk away”. By that I mean that we pray earnestly to Jesus for strength and a resolution, and then we drop the matter. Let us ponder this some more tomorrow. One of my responsibilities today has crept up on me…

God loves you and so do I!


Friday, December 01, 2006

December 1, 2006

Good Morning! The stories of miraculous healing are wonderful to hear; I am always glad to read about the hand of God still at work in our world. We do not pray in vain and our faith is based on the truth of God. Does someone you know hear about miracles performed in healing and reject them as tales for the credulous? The Holy Spirit of God is not in any way diminished by time or space. The Kingdom of God is not an ala carte menu from which we pick only what we like. If someone, stranger or friend, is healed in a miraculous way there is only one thing to say, “Praise God!” Pray diligently for those who are sick, in body or soul, for our prayers are answered by a mighty and loving God.
Please don’t believe that you are some special case; that healing is for everyone else and that you were created only to suffer your entire life. Jesus came that we might have life and have it more abundantly; he does not want us to suffer, though he will allow it to help us to grow or to glorify the Father in Heaven. Sometimes we pity ourselves in our suffering and think that it is a permanent condition. You may suffer something all of your earthly life, but there will be healing when we see Jesus and that suffering will not be without reason. If by reason of my suffering a little or a lot, one person is saved by Jesus, then it is more than worth it. Jesus thought it was worth it to suffer the punishment deserved by all of us, and by his suffering we are all redeemed in the eyes of God. No we are not made to suffer; we are made for the glory of God!
In suffering or in sorrow, in joy and in gladness, we praise the name of our Lord!


Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30, 2006

Good morning and I was only kidding when I said it was cold yesterday! Today it really is cold, -4º at my house. Mornings like this always bring the theory of global warming to mind.
Is it possible for us to disagree as Christians? Absolutely! We read in Acts where Paul and Barnabas disagreed on taking John Mark with them on a missionary journey. They could not resolve the disagreement and went their separate ways. As a result, two missionary journeys were made instead of one and the Word spread that much more quickly! We may disagree on many things as Christians and sometimes we may not be able to resolve the dispute at that time. Later Paul and John Mark were reconciled and Paul came to love John Mark very much. In the same way we can grow in love through disagreements, if we make sure to work on resolution and forgiveness. Letting disagreement breed bitterness through resentment will only make it worse. Forgiveness usually comes through taking a good look at the other person’s position and empathizing.
Do you ever disagree with something that I write? Probably you do or have, and that is wonderful. Just remember that I’m always right; once in a while I’m wrong, usually when I try to say that I’m “always” or “never” something or other, but don’t worry, that never happens. :-)

God bless you this day!


Wednesday, November 29, 2006

November 29, 2006

Good morning… good cold morning! The snow is beautiful and light enough that no one’s travel should be affected. It is easy to be grateful for a warm house on mornings such as this one; praise God for our shelters! If God wants us to have every good thing, then why doesn’t he give all of them to us right now? I once let my cat lick the remaining milk out of my cereal bowl after I had finished eating in the morning. He enjoyed it and so one morning I left quite a bit more than usual. Of course his little system couldn’t handle it and he barfed milk bubbles all over the living room carpet. That little lesson in cat physiology showed me that perhaps God knows exactly how much of the good things we can handle right now. We may leave that narrow path if we are suddenly blessed with too many good things. We may lose our dependence upon our Heavenly Father by thinking that we have it made with so many blessings in too short a time span. God wants us to have a relationship with Him, one that grows closer with each passing day. Remember that wealthy man who said that there is more than one way to Heaven? That doesn’t sound like someone who has put their faith in the one way, Jesus; that sounds more like one who has put his faith in a money pile. Any idols that we may have in this life will not arrive with us at the final judgment; they will not show up to testify on our behalf. The robe of righteousness offered by Jesus to all who will believe is the only way that we can be welcomed into Heaven. We cannot earn or buy one of these robes, they are only given.

Praise God for his saving grace!


Tuesday, November 28, 2006

November 28, 2006

Good Morning! It is a great day in the Lord! How often do we want our own way? It is easy to remember that during the season of “I want,” which we see all around us at this time of the year. Wanting is not always a bad thing; Jesus wanted to do the will of His Father in Heaven, we want to follow our Lord Jesus, and our Father wants to give us every good thing. Wanting in the right direction, yearning toward those things which are best for us in God’s sight, seems to be the key. Too often we can think of dozens of material things that we want given to us at Christmastime or any other time. What is gambling but a desire to have a lot given for little spent? We should pray earnestly that our desires come more into line with what God knows is best for us. This requires the power and guidance of the Holy Spirit; the flesh and temptations of the world will fight this every step of the way. The world does not want to let us go. Trust in the saving power of Jesus and remember always His great love for you!


Monday, November 27, 2006

November 27, 2006

Good Morning and Merry Christmas! Love the sinner and not the sin. The media brings us tales of sin every moment in print, video, and web pages. The quickest way to get your name in the paper is to commit some terrible sin. The world will name it something else since “sin” is something the world does not feel comfortable pointing out. Do you feel hated by the world? Perhaps at the present time you do not, but be rest assured that just as the world hated Jesus first, it hates you now. God will not allow that hatred to become more than we can handle at our current state of Christian growth. You may not perceive the hatred yet, but it is there. I read a call this weekend, a call for Christian actors, directors, producers and writers to come to Hollywood. If you have considered this and feel that call, we will pray for you in that very difficult place. That place, Hollywood, brings us back to loving the sinner and not the sin. There is no more influential place on earth than Hollywood. Countries who want nothing to do with us as a people, still watch the movies that come from Hollywood. Much of the perception of Americans has come from those movies and the perception is not very good. Pray that we can start changing that influence to the Good News of Jesus Christ!

God bless and keep you this week,


Sunday, November 26, 2006

November 26, 2006

Good Morning! It’s time to start counting down the days to Christmas! J If you haven’t already, it is now time to play those Christmas tunes. Four glorious weeks of Christmas music and celebration of our Lord’s birth are here at last! Whooo, can you feel it? What a wonderful season of the year, and we may get snow this week. It becomes increasingly difficult to concentrate on work and school as Christmas gets closer, I am glad we get a school break at Christmas.
I was reading in Acts this morning about how we first became known as Christians in Antioch, which at the time resided in Syria. Today the ruins of Antioch are located in Antakya, Turkey. Ruins? What happened to one of the birthplaces of Gentile (that’s us) Christianity? Sadly, it appears to be a victim of the wars between Europe and the Middle East during the Crusades and of the silting up the river that brought shipping to its port. The great things of this earth do not seem to last, even Jerusalem is much changed from the days of old. Those old things will not save us and they do not last. We must put our faith in Jesus, who makes all things new. John saw the New Jerusalem coming down from the clouds after the last days of this earth. The Jerusalem of old, many thousands of years of history behind it, will be replaced by our Lord. The same thing will happen to our very solid planet, 15,000 or 15 billion years old, whichever you like, it will be gone too. Jesus will not reign over a sin stained planet, He makes all things new!

Prepare for the coming of our Lord!


Saturday, November 25, 2006

November 25, 2006

Good Morning! We are still in our Thanksgiving week celebration, so what should we be grateful for today? How about that marvel of modern communication, the Internet? Do we take it for granted that email will always be available? Perhaps we do. There is an ability within us that renders the new and novel into the commonplace in a very short time. 20 years ago only a few academic and government institutions had a method of text messaging over distance. As with every wonderful advance in technology, we can use the Internet and email for good or bad. Along with messages from our brothers and sisters in Christ, we also can have pornography, gambling, and terrorism. Every special interest group has a web site and usually offers the opportunity to join, with the appropriate fee of course. The world would say that Christianity has a fee structure also; there is that 10% tithe we speak of from time to time. However we know better, it costs no money to join our club, it isn’t even a club such as we define the term. We gain a relationship with Christ for nothing; everything has already been accomplished for us. So as we are thankful for this wonderful medium of communication, so also are we thankful for Christ our Lord!

Praise God!


Friday, November 24, 2006

November 24, 2006

Good Morning! Well, there it is; turkey flakes for breakfast, turkey sandwiches for lunch, and warmed up turkey for dinner… it must be the day after Thanksgiving. Sometime next week we will wonder why turkey is eaten at Thanksgiving and ask if perhaps chicken wouldn’t be a better choice. Isn’t that the way it goes on this earth? Too much of almost anything becomes burdensome. Some might say that a person cannot have too much money, but how much is that? Have any of us tried having too much money? Is it possible to have too much love? I think not. I don’t believe that we can have too much of Jesus either. Another beautiful sunrise paints the sky this morning. We get one dose of sunrise on most days, not enough to have too much of that! Some wonderful things are only good for us in measured doses. Studying the Bible should be done daily, but not constantly. We need to let our minds rest and absorb the Word. We also need to share it with others. You may gain some wonderful insights from studying the Word constantly, but what good is that to anyone if you do not take the time to share that insight? So how can we not have too much of Jesus? Easy, He is the Lord. He knows exactly the right touch to form the most beautiful jewel from the basest clay. The process will take the entirety of our lifetime, but our Lord is the master craftsman. No, we cannot get too much of the love of our Lord!

Rejoice in the love of our Lord!


Thursday, November 23, 2006

November 23, 2006

Good Morning and Happy Thanksgiving! Our gratitude towards God the Father overflows on this day; may Thanksgiving be a blessing to you and yours to the glory of God! Today let’s be thankful for our family. We are thankful for the family of Jesus, our brothers and sisters in Christ. We are thankful for our earthy family, our fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, brothers and sisters here on this earth. We are thankful for our friends and neighbors, and our co-workers where we work on most days. I pray on this day that all would be saved, that the name of Jesus would be glorified forever! Amen.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving!


Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22, 2006

Good Morning! Okay, since Pastor Rogers started it; we will be thankful for the big things in life today. For those of you reading on the blog, the link to Pastor Rogers devotional is at the end. Yes, if you are among that group of traumatic accident survivors, you and I did indeed thank God for sparing our lives. That gratitude may have been drowned in tears at times as we endured the healing and rehabilitation processes. Some would say that it is somehow easier for those of us who came near to death to believe in God. As a survivor of that type of accident, I would dispute that with you. Now this must come from the wisdom of the Holy Spirit, because at one time, prior to the accident and healing, I would certainly have agreed with you. I am thankful for my life changing accident which caused me to look to Jesus. It is then much better for those who do not require such a traumatic event in their lives and believe already. Jesus said it first when he said that very thing to Thomas who had doubted his resurrection until the Lord appeared to him personally. I still like the part where our Lord says, “Touch me!” He was no ghost or spirit, he is the resurrected Lord! Today we are thankful for the seemingly big things in our lives. The sunrise that is so beautiful; stars and planets, the sun and moon, homes and cars, buildings and trains, airplanes and orangutans, all those things which are just too big for us. An accident, whether it is an earthquake or hurricane, an automobile or plane crash, all are too fast and too big for us alone. Today we are grateful that God is sovereign. There is so much in this life that is just too much for any of us to control in our own strength or intelligence. We cannot comprehend the extent of God’s creation, nor can we understand most of what man has created. Today, all of us will operate devices which we could not recreate on our own. We will walk, sit, or stand near forces which could end our physical life in a moment if God were not in charge. Today, we also thank God for guarding us each and every moment of our lives.

What a glorious day we have in Jesus!


Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21, 2006

Good Morning! The third day of Thanksgiving week, and that does bring something to mind to be thankful for… Today we will be thankful for the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is in His resurrection that we have our great hope. I’ve heard the arguments too, “he wasn’t really dead, the body was stolen, etc.” That only goes to show that if a person does not want to believe; there will be no lack of arguments to support that unbelief. However, those of us who choose to believe know one great truth. That Jesus rose again on the third day. Thank you Lord that you live!


Monday, November 20, 2006

November 20, 2006

Good morning! It is Monday once again, so what should we be grateful for but work! Yes, that job that you and I have, going to work and making a living. Some days we just don’t want to go and we would rather stay home. Other days we cannot wait to get in and start. What is this work thing that we do? Remember, back in the days before Jesus became Lord, how unemployment would just wreck your entire emotional outlook on life? Perhaps you have never been without a job, but without Christ it can be a worrisome experience. Yes, we should indeed be thankful for our job and serve our employer well. Gratitude adjusts our attitude; when we are thankful for what we have, the worries and complaints will fall away. That job will take on new meaning and joy in the light of gratitude. Yes, Lord. We are thankful for our jobs this day; let us work with joy in our hearts!



Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19, 2006

Good Sunday morning! The week of Thanksgiving begins today, what should we be thankful for this morning? Let us be grateful for the dawning of a beautiful new day! Perhaps the weather is not as you or I would like it wherever we are this morning. Maybe the Sunday paper didn’t arrive on time or your favorite college team lost yesterday. Your health may not be where you would like it to be this day or you may be suffering from overindulgence in something last night. However, all these things will pass, we begin anew each day. Often we hear the wish that if only we were young again but knew everything we do now. Well, that wish is granted each day, we simply fail to be grateful for it. We may not be turned back to 19 years old, but each day we begin a new life and we know everything we knew in our old life of yesterday. Each new day we learn more about this life and we draw closer to God in some way. Today we’ll be thankful for our new life each time we wake up. Today let’s be thankful for the new life we have in Jesus. Hallelujah!


Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18, 2006

Good Morning! What a fine weekend we have in store! That isn’t saying more than the usual, every day is a gift from God. Today I have decided to be thankful for things that may not seem to be bundles of joy shipped straight from Heaven. Bills, aches and pains, schoolwork (on the weekend no less!), house cleaning chores, flu shots, and weakness in general; these are a few things that may seem miserable. Why be grateful for these things? Why not put them down as part of the curse of a sinful world and go whine in a corner? As we do with a large project, let’s break them down one by one. Bills can be difficult to pay at times as there never seems to be enough money. However, bills come from things we buy such as food, clothing, shelter, transportation, electricity, and entertainment. Aches and pains remind us of our dependence upon almighty God, bringing us closer to Him each day. Spending time doing schoolwork at my age and on the weekend may seem to be tough. However, we are never too old to learn. What if college education was allowed from 17 to 30 years of age and after that it was banned since old folks might cause problems with younger ones trying to learn? It sounds a bit far-fetched, but worse arguments have won lawsuits and caused laws to be considered. House cleaning chores is an easy one, homeless folks don’t have any house cleaning chores. It is easy to be grateful for a house, less so to thank God for the cleaning chores. Flu shots may cause you to feel ill for a day or two, though usually far less than the actual flu. Virus-borne illness is definitely a sign of the stain of sin upon everything, but God has given us ways to ease or cure the suffering until Jesus returns to make all things new. Do we need to go on? In Acts, the disciples and apostles would praise God to be counted worthy to suffer persecution for the name of Jesus. The persecution we suffer here in America is seldom of the physical variety; we might be shunned or abandoned by friends and family, or we might be held up to ridicule or scorn in the media, but physically we have it easy. As we look forward to a holiday of giving thanks to God, we are a country who should thank God constantly for the blessings He has given to us. Don’t wait for Thursday, begin gratitude with those things that do not seem so wonderful, and then see how much more grateful the wonderful things in this life become to you! Oh, and weakness, why it just shows us how mighty our Lord is!

Praise God and to Him be the glory!


Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17, 2006

Good morning! Let’s manufacture some happiness today! How can we do that? By the opposite of moaning and complaining of course, we manufacture happiness with gratitude. Be thankful to your spouse for just being there and for who they are. Be grateful to your employer for providing you a way to make a living for your family. Be grateful to God in all things, the trials and the pain of life, the roof over your head, that you are still alive, even for the earth to stand or sit upon. Complaining brings down your face and your spirits, even the secularists know this. A smile may help lift your spirits, but Jesus calls us to get to the root of that smile, joy. Forcing yourself to smile because someone says to do so can help a little, but a smile is but a symptom. Forcing a sad person to assume a symptom doesn’t cure the disease. Want to see a genuine smile? Spread the joy that comes with the Good News of Jesus Christ! Today let us be grateful for that Good News; the resurrection of Jesus Christ our Lord brings a depth of joy to our hearts which even this world cannot extinguish!

Praise God for life in Christ Jesus!


Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16, 2006

Good morning. The light of the Lord shines upon us today! Anger catches all of us off our guard at times; many things in this world can cause us to be angry. Many rightly so, others are just silly, but they still cause that fuse to start burning. Some of us control it better than others, and some of us only think that we do. That wrath that comes from a slow burn on the inside can be more damaging to both the person and the object of the wrath when it explodes into action. These days, movies and television shows might try to glorify that angry man or woman who has finally had enough and sets out upon the trail to revenge. Jesus tells us that this is not the way, not his way. More often than not, I have found that my internal anger is unjustified, the imagined slight or injustice is just that, imagined. We cannot easily know what is going on in another person’s mind and what may have caused someone to act in the way they did. How many times, when we imagine that we know why a person is doing or not doing something, do we seem to imagine the very worst motives? To help with that wrathful thinking, try to give them the benefit of the doubt and imagine a compassionate motive for them. Often for me it seems that understanding dawns when I imagine a better motive for the other guy, and the healing that is really needed in most cases comes upon… my own thinking!

No foothold for the devil, love one another.


Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15, 2006

Good morning and a great day to be serving the Lord! How is your behavior at work? Do you act differently at work than you do with your family at home? Sometimes we put on a front to go to work; we might be nicer, more polite, less direct, more cunning or clever, and other behaviors that we don’t use at home. Playing a part puts a great stress upon an actor, it is sometimes stated that 3 movies per year is the average that an actor can stand without emotional or psychological troubles. That makes me wonder just how much stress we put upon ourselves by assuming a “role” at work. If someone tells you that you act very differently at home or that “you’re a different person” at work, that might be a warning sign of stress that you are putting upon yourself. Now there will always be some stress at work, many of the tasks that you and I perform at work would not be necessary at home. Try to imagine your family gathering in a conference room to discuss the latest strategic direction for the company or how to cut costs in the next budget year. (Not that this would be a bad thing in some families!) Some level of stress separates work from home; if your home is stressful then you need to invite Jesus inside. We cannot continue to function with too much stress at home and at work; that would be a terrible burden! Strive to find peace in the home, and be genuine and loving at work.

May God bless you this day!


Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14, 2006

Good morning! In a world so stained with sin, the light of Jesus shines gloriously into the darkness! Hallelujah! Reading the news on most days can really give one an appreciation for the light of the world. Sadly, I don’t even need to give examples; a news web site, a newspaper, the nightly news, any of them will do. You can probably think of many examples without even trying. There is a feeding frenzy at work in the world, people say that gore, sex, and violence is all that is shown; the media folks say that those same subjects are all that the people want to see… one feeding the other in an endless circle. Like Ouroboros, the ancient symbol of the snake or dragon devouring itself, the world feeds on its own tail in an endless cycle. I can see that once again this observation is not new. I can picture a minstrel of ages past coming to a small town and performing his singing news reports. A person might ask him, “Why do you always bring us tales of gore, sex, and violence?” to which he replies, “That is all the people want to hear…” There is a circle of life alright; it is the world spinning in place until Jesus returns.
Did you get a chance to read the dissenting article from Sam Harris in the November 13 issue of Newsweek? It is interesting that in order to make a case, no matter how poorly argued, against Christianity, that atheists must lump all religions together. Of course, misrepresentations, even comical ones, are used liberally throughout the article. “raptured into the stratosphere”? Good grief, you can’t even breathe there, why would anyone want to be caught up to the stratosphere? It’s an old tactic, if you cannot defeat an idea as it stands, then belittle it with comedy first. Jesus is more than an idea, more than a religion, and a walk with Christ is a relationship.

God be with you this day,


Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13, 2006

Good morning on Garfield’s favorite day – Monday the 13th! Yes, it’s back to work for those of us on the regular Mon-Fri work schedule. Have you ever been accused of being self-assured? Does this bother you? It certainly should. Many in the world can be described as self-assured, I have been described that way before and I must confess that I was just that. Back in the day when I could only be described as a complete failure for Christ and an unacknowledged one at that, I thought myself smart and quite self-confident. However, confidence in ourselves gets us nowhere in the end. All of our accomplishments on this earth end when we do. Faith in Christ, now that will get us to a home in Heaven! When we sing that great hymn “Blessed Assurance” we do not speak of self-assurance, we speak of God assurance. Can we really be self-confident after the Law shows us how many times we fail? No, and the Law cannot save us, only condemn. Jesus came to save us and not to condemn, and that is our blessed assurance, salvation in Christ! So this week we can start like any other or we can start the week…

God-assured and Jesus-powered, unconditional love from here to eternity!


Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12, 2006

Good Morning! Hope everyone obeyed the safety rules yesterday. Of course if you do not participate in deer season then I hope you obeyed the safety rules of driving, walking, or snoozing on the couch. What about those who do not keep a commandment? The minister from Colorado, the actor/director who made The Passion of the Christ, the televangelist caught with his secretary… I don’t even need to name them and you probably know who they are. The world delights in catching someone with their britches down; religious figure, politician, or media star, they will get splashed across the web pages whenever they do something wrong.
I disagree with Dr. Dobson when he says this latest scandal has hurt the cause of Christ. I do not believe that we can hurt the cause of Christ, although we can certainly hurt our own cause or reputation. When Jesus reported to his Father in Heaven that he had not lost even one of those he was given, I believe that refers to all of those who will join him in Heaven. If a minister falls from grace in the eyes of the world and then repents, I truly believe that Jesus is the first one to reach down and pick him up. Sins in our thoughts are no better or worse than those sins made public in the media. The world may not know that you or I have sinned, but God knows the breadth and depth of that sin, just as He knows the truth behind what we see in the media. We will all stumble in our walk with Christ, remember to forgive as He has forgiven us.

God loves you!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11, 2006

Good Morning! It’s the opening day of deer season out here on the high plains. Armed folks in orange taking to the dirt roads to put venison on the table and feed their families. I will once again bring a big college paper to completion, actually two of them, this weekend. Such is the life of a college student! Today is also, perhaps more importantly, Veterans Day. If you have not thanked a veteran for his or her service to our country, please do so today. I arrived home in time yesterday to catch a repeat of the dedication of the new Marine Corps Museum on CSPAN; the ceremony featured President Bush, the Commandant of the Marine Corps, and others emceed by PBS host and Marine veteran Jim Lehrer. A visit to that museum will be on my itinerary of places to visit out east in the future.
Each year on Veterans Day, I like to remind us of the service given by those among us who have volunteered or been drafted to serve in our Armed Forces. I always think that God likes to see us serving someone other than ourselves. The ultimate example of this is Jesus Christ who continually served others during his life on earth and gave us all a great gift upon his resurrection, the gift of eternal life for all who will believe. Even those who refuse to believe in God can begin down a less selfish path in life by serving their country. We note many non-U.S. citizens joining the Armed Forces to defend their adopted country and to attain citizenship more quickly, and this is a wonderful thing. Certainly there are many who are already citizens who should be shamed a bit by this.
Do you feel that your chance has gone by? You are now 40, 50, or even older and the military wouldn’t touch you with a ten-foot pole? Perhaps you are still young and some other circumstance or condition prevents your service. Not to worry, there is a higher service. Nations will come and go; even this great nation of ours will one day be no more. Jesus calls us to follow him; that service will never end and can begin at any age. We have the opportunity of a lifetime, even unto the point of our physical death, to repent and be welcomed into the family of God. There is no boot camp to face, only a cross to carry and a friend to gain in Jesus. Don’t wait or cling to this earthly life when so much awaits you in Christ, our Lord and Savior!

God bless you this fine weekend!


Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10, 2006

Good Morning! Some time ago I promised to relate a dream I had. This occurred about the time this devotional could no longer be sent from inside my company to other believers both within and outside of the organization. I went through a bit of a dark time then, almost ceasing to write each day as I had become accustomed to doing. If you have ever watched Coral Ridge Ministries or D. James Kennedy on the television, you may have seen their Christmas greetings where Pastor and Mrs. Kennedy speak from a comfortable room and wish us a Merry Christmas. The reason I mention this is that the dream came to me just like that, Pastor and Mrs. Kennedy speaking directly to me; only it wasn’t Dr. Kennedy speaking to me, but Mrs. Kennedy. She simply said that I had to get back to the work I was doing. Nothing more than that, no long scenes of strangeness that might occur in most of my dreams (we’ll not go into that here!), just a simple and straightforward message of get back in the saddle, so to speak. Praise the Lord, I did just that and we have rolled along for a couple of months now, even adding a new believer now and again. Writing is what I have been called to do and I am most happy when doing it for the Lord.

Have a blessed and wonderful weekend in Christ Jesus!

... and today we wish a Happy Birthday to the United States Marine Corps!

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9, 2006

Good Morning! The Democrats have taken over and the world seems to be much the same as yesterday, life goes on. How often does that “idle word” get into our conversation? At times a phrase or word will get into my head that I think is somehow cute or funny and it can be very hard to keep it from coming out. How many times has some little joke or comment, spoken when someone was not present, made its way back to them and then the subject of that word come to you? That can be quite embarrassing and rightly so! What is even more frightening is having the accuser bring all of those idle words out at my trial before the Judgment Seat. What then is to prevent all of us from being condemned by our idle words? One not so idle Word, Jesus! He has paid the price for every one of our idle words. We should fear and respect what God knows, but only to make us strive to live and speak better, to be careful about what we say (or write!). To paraphrase Paul, Love doesn’t take verbal potshots at other people.

God bless you this day!


Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8, 2006

Good Morning! The love of God shines upon us today, just like it does on every moment of every other day! We have elected a slightly different governing body today. Yes, the party makeup of the House of Representatives has shifted substantially to the Democratic Party. Many are speaking out about what they think it will mean for us, but in truth that remains to be seen. The new speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, spoke of a return to civility, and then a bit later spoke of a “return to integrity and honesty”.. Ouch! I hope that isn’t a sign of things to come. We can be comforted in one thing; God is sovereign, both on earth and in Heaven. Right now we are allowed to choose those who would govern us and though the “will of the people” seems to be whatever the candidate speaking says that it is; we know that whatever the will of God is, will indeed come to completion in his perfect time. Do you believe candidates or elected representatives when they say “I will do this or I will do that”? They may or not be able to carry out their plans or wishes. However, when God says in His Word that He will do this, I have no doubt that it will come true. I choose to believe, you choose to believe, and we know and are content in His assurance. Do the results of the election affect us? I must admit to some trepidation regarding the change of government; that is only normal for any of us. Like you, I am glad that God has not changed and will not change. I believe in Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior!

God loves you!


Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7, 2006

Good morning and remember to vote today! Just a bit over two weeks from today is Thanksgiving. I start mentioning Christmas well before Thanksgiving arrives and I do not want us to forget that gratitude comes first. While many have forgotten that Thanksgiving is based upon gratitude, not eating, we should not only remember, but remember all the year long. During the difficult times in life it may be tough to remember to thank God for everything. We might be thanking God through tears and we may not feel grateful for a time, but God is with us through joy and pain. His promise to us does not grow dim or farther away; as Isaiah told us, “the people who walk in darkness will see a great light – a light that will shine on all who live in the land where death casts its shadow.” (9:2). We might look to the side or try to shield our eyes, but that light never dims.

Praise God for the light of Jesus Christ!

Monday, November 06, 2006

November 6, 2006

Good Morning! Tomorrow is time to vote if you didn’t get one of the new mail-in ballots. Somehow I always feel a bit irresponsible or fraudulent in my voting. It seems that on every ballot there is some amendment or election that leaves me thinking “huh?” or “who are these people?” This year there seemed to be many of those on the ballot; perhaps classes have allowed the election to sneak up on me or it may have been the attention paid to the congressional seats. I may need to be more responsible and subscribe to a newspaper again; the national news on the Internet doesn’t seem to cover these state amendments. However, when I mail in my ballot today I will vote against allowing more gambling in Nebraska. I realize that we cannot legislate behavior, but at the same time we should not vote more opportunity to sin! I wonder how many races tomorrow will be decided for better or worse by voters like me who know little or nothing about the people in the race? Should I vote on the board of directors for ESU 13 when I don’t know any of the people listed? In that case it might be best to abstain. That is difficult to do since I have been trained since childhood to answer every question on those fill-in-the-ovals tests. This election pointed out to me the need for us as Christians to speak and email our views on candidates and amendments. We should have research and discussion well before the election arrives, especially the presidential election coming up in 2008.
One thing that impressed me about one point of view’s efforts on one ballot amendment, 423, was the fellow out on Sunday evening delivering flyers to every doorstep on our street. I like to see that kind of effort by a candidate or supporter/detractor of an amendment. If I am not mistaken, our current state senator, Philip Erdman, defeated the incumbent by just such an effort. I am thinking that I can make some effort to help you out by finding information on candidates and issues, and then posting that to another blog. It’s too late for this election, but I’ll see what I can do before the next one.
Let us not forget the one thing that we can do in every election though, and it is not voting that I speak of, but rather it is prayer. Before you fill out that ballot, and I certainly encourage you to do so, we can pray for God’s guidance in casting our vote. We may not know everything about every possible selection, but God does and He is not our last resort, but our first!

God be with you as you vote this week.


Sunday, November 05, 2006

November 4, 2006

Good Morning! In Jesus I am found, no longer lost in a sinful world. Praise God for the Good Shepherd. I do believe there are 50 days until Christmas; it is past time to start playing those Christmas tunes! The celebration of the birth of our Lord on this earth should not be left to the secular world. Every time I go on about the celebration of Christmas, I am struck by the shortcomings in our celebration of Easter, the resurrection of our Lord. The birth is important, but the victory was won upon Jesus death and resurrection. Jesus’ instructions to spread the Good News to all nations came after the resurrection. And spread it did! Christianity outlasted and overcame Rome, made contact with many lost peoples, and began the wonders of modern science. Many languages would remain dark to us were it not for Christian missionaries working to spread the Good News to every corner of the earth. Some would say that the old Greek philosophers began modern science, but did you know that the Greeks had to be rediscovered? Yes, part of the greatness of the Renaissance lay in rediscovery, which should not leave out Martin Luther and his teachings by the way, of much lost knowledge. The great benefit of the printing press was to bring Bibles and reading to everyone. The war has lasted ever since Adam and Eve listened to the serpent in the Garden; we know that it is over and the victory won, we just don’t know when the fighting will end.
May the love of God remind you of Christmas this weekend!

November 5, 2006

Good Sunday morning! It looks to be a fine morning today. On this devotional I want to give a word of gratitude for all of those behind the scenes players for Christ. In chapter 8 of his gospel, Luke mentions a few players who support the ministry of Christ through finances or other support. Joanna, Susanna, Mary Magdalene, and others not mentioned by name, gave the ministry support of time and resources. In this way, Jesus did not have to spend precious time asking for tithes or doing domestic chores, instead spending that time teaching, healing, and in prayer. The supporting players in the Church hold just as much importance as the visible players. I have always considered the ministers and missionaries as sort of the stars of the work of our Lord, not that their work is more important, but that it is more visible to the public. Today or actually last night, I was thinking that we often don’t encourage and applaud each other enough for the work we do in supporting the Church. Many of us have been called to a secular career, one not directly related to the Church. You see, all of us are on the front lines in this effort, not just missionaries. Everyone expects a minister to behave in a manner above the common herd; the real witness comes when we as employees in our own workplace behave in a manner like Christ. In fact you only hear about the ministers who misbehave, the world cannot resist pointing out that sin and dancing with the headlines.
Today I would like to applaud and congratulate all of you. Called to a secular career, you still tithe, give to charities, clean the church buildings, minister to those around you, encourage and pray for each other, and spend time in prayer for your country, the world, and our brothers and sisters in Christ all around the globe. We may hear about the televangelists in the media, but they are nothing without Jesus and all of us. We need each other until Jesus comes to bring us home. Every leader in the Church needs followers, and every believer needs the prayers of other believers. We are the Church, the bride of Christ. Praise God for the part we have in building His Kingdom!


Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3, 2006

Good Morning! It is good to be near the Lord today. I enjoy Pastor Rogers’ words on patriotism. Another take on patriotism can be found in the book:
AWOL: The Unexcused Absence of America's Upper Classes from Military Service -- and How It Hurts Our Country by Kathy Roth-Douquet and Frank Schaeffer. The title might be a bit cumbersome, but I want to acquire a copy and read it. I have read that only 1% of the country has served in the military; this seems to me a low figure when I look around here, but perhaps other parts of the nation make up for our higher figure. Then again… when I start counting veterans and how difficult it can be to find them, maybe not so low. Certainly it is understandable when a mother or father does not want their son or daughter to enlist. The military is directly related to war; no matter who starts it, they will have to fight it. People, both civilian and military, die in wars and none of us wish death upon someone else.
As someone who has already served, I think that everyone should volunteer to serve their country in their youth. We have it easy if we can get away with such a low figure and still have a strong and dedicated military service in our country. Many countries with smaller populations must have near 100% service in order to defend their lands; of course, others have huge populations and can draft million man armies without blinking an eye. However, it is one of the great disparities that so many enjoy the freedom of the best country on earth without giving back a few years of their life to maintain it. Although our military has seldom needed that many people, wouldn’t it be great if the military had to pick and choose through stacks of applications to serve our country? Now I read that the Army had to lower its standards to get enough enlistees, few it seems want to serve right now. Picking up a rifle and doing your duty as a free American has always been difficult, especially in war time, but always we have overcome the fear. What is so different now? Have we as a people become so cynical or fearful that even the terrorist attacks on our nation cannot inspire us for more than a few months? Veterans Day is one week from tomorrow, perhaps we should spend at least this week praying earnestly for our country.


Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2, 2006

Good morning and it really is morning this time. Wow, praise the Lord for warm houses! It’s cold out there today. Why don’t we see lengthy letters of praise for our efforts, large or small, in the service of our Lord? Do you want rewards in this life for doing good works? Whenever I start thinking along those lines, I find myself thinking of Jesus words at the Sermon on the Mount.

"Take care! Don't do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. 2 When you give a gift to someone in need, don't shout about it as the hypocrites do-blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. 3 But when you give to someone, don't tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. 4 Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

Teaching about Prayer and Fasting
5 "And now about prayer. When you pray, don't be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. 6 But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.
7 "When you pray, don't babble on and on as people of other religions do. They think their prayers are answered only by repeating their words again and again. 8 Don't be like them, because your Father knows exactly what you need even before you ask him!

The phrase “that is all the reward they will ever get” sticks in my mind. It would seem wiser to me to wait for our reward in heaven, the very one that Jesus has gone to prepare. Many people who have been blessed with wealth on this earth give very publicly, seeking the acclaim that goes with that public giving. Money is like any other talent, some are good at handling it, some are not; some have much, some less; we can learn to do it better, but there will always be those with a seemingly magical ability to excel at earning more. Of course, the talent can also be abused. Yesterday I read an interesting article on some ministers who are getting a lot of attention lately. You can view it here:,9171,1533448,00.html , as always when reading articles in the media, read with a critical mind. Whether God wants you or me to be rich in this life I don’t know, but I do think that we should listen to our Lord when he tells us that time is running out. If you think that a minister doesn’t have the entire message of Jesus, then feel free to watch or attend more than one service each week. Our loyalty is to Jesus, not to any one minister or denomination.
The Lord may not grant you riches on this earth, but he most certainly has granted you a mind and heart of love. Love one another and reach out to the lost sheep of this world. Let Jesus prepare your riches in heaven, and don’t become mired down in pursuing money on this earth.

God loves you!

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

October 31, 2006

Good Morning! Halloween morning dawns quite cold, about 13ºF if I see correctly at this time of the morning.
Our nature always wants to reassert control over our lives, even after we have given them to Christ. I know that throughout my life I have often rebelled when someone has tried to correct me, and sadly that hasn’t changed as quickly as I would like. What Jesus gives us is that ability to realize we are rebelling or have rebelled and behaved badly. We have a journey ahead of us, both in spreading the Good News and in growing in Christ. God is very economical with us, he doesn’t make us take two or three journeys to accomplish what he would have us to do, only one life to live and one journey to make. We will not have to worry about recycling or reincarnation until we “get it right”, no words of rebuke from St. Peter at the pearly gates, “Nope, you still don’t get it, go back and try again.” One life is given to us and one life was given for us at the cross. The one journey will be sufficient, but like a good cure, it may be painful along the way. The journey ends when God is satisfied with our refinement and His standards are different from what the world uses to keep score. In this journey we will help each other through prayer and encouragement. The world wants to see competition, cheer for one particular individual or team, and then declare one winner. The Christian journey would not make a very good reality show; that is the world would not judge it as good by its own crooked measuring stick. All of the contestants would be helping each other; there would be no single winner, only those who chose to not take the journey would lose. The final judge would himself be helping, encouraging, testing, and cheering on, every contestant. Above all, no one would make it to the finish line without the sacrifice of the judge’s son in that race. Yes, at the cross this race, this journey was won for all

Get up and move forward in your journey in Christ!


Monday, October 30, 2006

October 30, 2006

Good Morning! What is it to surrender? The Marines use a kind euphemism to describe it as advancing in another direction. Of course, if your group is surrounded then there is no retreat. In life we always have that choice; we can choose the world and ourselves; enjoy the pleasures of this life, make all the money we can, spend it all on whatever appears to please us, and live only for the “me”. In that kind of life a person might even live for a family, the wife and kids, be a good provider and put the kids through college. There is nothing wrong with raising a family unless you send them out without the opportunity to choose to live for Christ. With no surrender, there is no faith in Christ. In the world we place faith in ourselves, is that not what the world tells us to do? “Believe in yourself. Have confidence. A confident man is a sexy man!” and many other sayings tell us to reject Christ and have faith in ourselves. Jesus tells us that it comes down to one choice, we can believe in Him and have eternal life or we can believe in this world and die the second death. The world will try to tell you that there are many paths to success. I don’t know what you think, but if I have to die twice I cannot consider that success. There is an oft quoted saying that I like to remind myself of now and again. “Born once, die twice. Born twice, die once.” I am not sure who said it first, but it reminds me of my surrender to Christ. Every time I reach for the tiller of my life, it is good to be reminded of who is now the Captain. You might even liken Jesus to the Admiral, for he commands many ships traversing this ocean of life. Every one of them will come safely to harbor and there is no prize for getting there first. Surrender daily and have faith in your Captain; He is Lord!

God bless!


Sunday, October 29, 2006

October 29, 2006

Good Morning! The sun is about to come up and I am ready to go. Yes, my brain is still on daylight savings time, so I was awake at about 0415 this morning. We can change our clocks, but the body and brain do not adjust so quickly. What about the cost of that stress we put upon ourselves twice each year? I wonder if anyone has counted that. The time change caught someone off guard; Samantha the cat wasn’t at the door when I opened it to let her in this morning.
In a good example of that war within, the time change shows how that inner war works. The clock says that it’s one time; our brain says that it’s another. The comic drawings of a devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other were not invented by someone still lost in the world. No, it came from someone in Christ who illustrated Paul’s words in a humorous manner. Do I know that for sure? Is it well researched and documented with worldly proof? No, it is only a feeling of kinship with that long ago writer named Paul, and that comic illustrator somewhere who put that same feeling in a visual format. It seems that every moment is filled with those two opposing suggestions. When we recall that the devil side is the consummate liar, we also realize that some of the choices will seem very close together or as having no appreciable difference in the end result. Don’t expect those choices to ever become simple and straightforward in all cases, but do expect to find answers in the Word of God.

Have a blessed Sunday in Christ!


Saturday, October 28, 2006

October 28, 2006

Good Morning! Enjoy your view of the sun this evening, tomorrow you will get to see an hour less of it in the evening. Yes, it’s time for the annual fall back an hour ritual in most of North America and Europe. Now I haven’t really dug into the reasoning behind Daylight Savings time, but it seems to me that unless the population tends to be more on one side of a time zone than the other, then this semiannual ritual is a wash as far as any energy savings goes. In other words if everyone on the eastern part of the time zone saves a little daylight then everyone on the western side of that same zone will make up for it by needing to use a bit more. Perhaps I am just too simple to understand their reasoning. Perhaps DST has simply become a ritual that will not go away. It seems to me that if 24 time zones more accurately reflect the time of day to our watches then 1440 would be even better! My house is now officially in the Mountain + 15 time zone, please adjust your watch accordingly when you come over. J
A good warning about the devil today from Dr. Kennedy, after all how can we stand against an enemy that doesn’t exist? The world may close one eye and claim that the enemy on that side does not exist, but that will not make it go away. If an enemy perceives the foe will not acknowledge his existence, would it be best to attack obviously by smacking the foe a good one and thus forcing acknowledgement, or would it not be craftier to allow that foe the luxury of ignorance while the enemy steals the world right out from under the foe? When Christ claimed you as his own and opened that closed eye, what did you see? Right, you looked at the world and started praying with some fervor! You were probably sorely tempted to hide your head in the robes of our Lord and not see. As you grow in Christ, I would urge you to keep up with the news and not just one source. Vote in elections after thoroughly researching and discussing the candidates and measures. Many Christians have hidden behind our Lord for too long. Look out; see what is going on around you and in the world. As Jesus said, it is getting dark and the harvest is very much ready.

God bless you this weekend!


Friday, October 27, 2006

October 27, 2006

Good Morning! The mystic ways of the Orient usually bring to mind a monk meditating, supposedly at one with his own self, others, and the world, in perfect peace and harmony. This seems very alluring to us since we seem to be in contention with ourselves, each other, and the world in general. On the other hand we might ask what that peaceful monk has produced in his lifetime; what good is it to sit in peace while the world goes to complete higgledy-piggledy. Of course, someone might come back that if everyone parked their butts on a bench and practiced peace then the world would be a better place for all. Everyone would then start fighting over who got the bench under the apple tree since everyone else would soon starve. There just aren’t any universal answers in the world, no panacea that will make everyone content, happy, and productive at the same time. Even in the Bible we read that this world will one day be tossed out so that God can create a new heaven and earth, one not stained by sin. In the world we are told to meditate and search for that inner peace; in Christ we are given peace.
“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27
Christ and the world are at odds; here we see that He gives not as the world gives. You may find some peace by detaching yourself from the world as much as possible for a short period of time. However, events in the world will interrupt that peace sooner or later. Only in Christ will we find a lasting peace and it is given to us, not earned through some regimen of self-denial and physically awkward positions. Please don’t think that I mean to say that physical exercise and stretching to maintain our bodies is without merit, but rather we cannot find the peace we seek in this world through its methods. We run right into that same old rebellion; Jesus gives us his peace and the first thing we do is, “Yes, but what do I have to DO to earn it.” Accepting the gifts of Jesus, peace, love, and grace is not easy because pride compels us to go obtain these things through some act or discipline, to win some struggle and gain the prize. It goes against our worldly nature to accept those things given to us freely by God. There is no peace in the world because it hates the light of Christ. Observe, you will see it all around you, the world at war with Christ. That is why we surrender to Christ, for we know that he has already won the victory. Those who do not believe cannot see that Christ has already won and they do hate the word “surrender”!

Peace and contentment are yours through Christ Jesus!


Thursday, October 26, 2006

October 26, 2006

Good Morning! October is drawing to a close; does the world ever slow down? Praise the Lord is does not! Every turn of the globe brings us closer to that great day when Jesus will return.
“Open my eyes to see the wonderful truths in your law.” Today the third stanza of the 119th Psalm pleads for understanding of why God gives us his commandments. Why do we have all these rules? One of the wonderful truths that may be found is that none of these rules are for God’s benefit. Not even the rules about having no other gods before God. He does not need anything that we have or can give to Him. Worshipping God keeps us from asking for boons from a block of stone or wood. If we could see just how demeaning it is for a beloved creation of the Creator to worship a creation of a creature, such as any idol, we would surely never do it. Bowing down to a “god” chipped from a rock which God created from nothing, probably demeans the rock as well. If a rock placed on a pedestal could shake its head, it surely would do so at the sight of people bowing down before it. However, some folks have done so since the stain of sin first covered the earth. We do shake our heads when we think of the angels telling Daniel and John not to worship them, but to only worship only God. All of the rules in the Bible are for our benefit. If all people obeyed the commandment against adultery, there would be no sexually transmitted diseases in the world. Obeying the commandments is for our benefit, open my eyes to see…

17 Be good to your servant,
that I may live and obey your word.
18 Open my eyes to see
the wonderful truths in your law.
19 I am but a foreigner here on earth;
I need the guidance of your commands.
Don't hide them from me!
20 I am overwhelmed continually
with a desire for your laws.
21 You rebuke those cursed proud ones
who wander from your commands.
22 Don't let them scorn and insult me,
for I have obeyed your decrees.
23 Even princes sit and speak against me,
but I will meditate on your principles.
24 Your decrees please me;
they give me wise advice.

God bless you all!


Wednesday, October 25, 2006

October 25, 2006

Good Morning! Today the second stanza of that great Psalm, the 119th and longest, speaks to us of the solution to having a pure heart. Obey God’s Word and follow the rules therein. Yesterday we read how it is not so simple to obey and follow when the psalmist exclaimed, “Please don’t give up on me!” There are more pleas in this stanza, “I have tried my best… don’t let me wander…” We see that in our lives every day; trying our best falls far short of perfection. We need the Lord to keep us from wandering. I like the twelfth verse, “Blessed are you, O Lord; teach me your principles.” Throughout our remaining years in Christ, we need to be taught. It is wonderful to become a learner again, to know that I do not know enough to be secure in my own knowledge. So much opens up to us when we come to the Lord with a mind and heart ready to learn from Him. Want to know the principles of the creation? Where better than the Creator? Want to know the principles of living like Jesus did? Where better than the one who died for our sins, Jesus the Christ? What if you want to become an attorney? What better place to start than with the commandments upon which all of our laws are based? The psalmist ends this stanza affirming that he will delight in the Lord’s principles and not forget the Word.

9 How can a young person stay pure?
By obeying your word and following its rules.
10 I have tried my best to find you-
don't let me wander from your commands.
11 I have hidden your word in my heart,
that I might not sin against you.
12 Blessed are you, O Lord;
teach me your principles.
13 I have recited aloud
all the laws you have given us.
14 I have rejoiced in your decrees
as much as in riches.
15 I will study your commandments
and reflect on your ways.
16 I will delight in your principles
and not forget your word.

Praise God for His Word!