Thursday, August 30, 2007

August 30, 2007

Good morning. Work calls to me already this morning and so this must needs be quick today. In Psalm 40, years before the Messiah arrived on earth, David speaks of not being afraid to spread the good news. Many of the psalms written by David, the king of Israel, prophecy of the coming Savior. Even as king, no doubt a busy and demanding job, David took the time to think on the Messiah and share his prophetic vision through song. Many years later, Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well and announced unequivocally, "I am the Messiah!" And He brought us the Good News in person.

Praise, glory, and honor to our Lord Jesus Christ!


Wednesday, August 29, 2007

August 29, 2007

Good morning! Foggy and cool today, as always a nice change in summer. Praise God for the glory of His name! Christian, Christ-one, what a joy to belong to Christ. We feel joy and joyous anticipation at the eve of Christ's return to earth and the advent of His kingdom upon the new earth. Why would a foggy day produce a feeling of joy in me? I don't know, certainly it goes against human wisdom. The joy of Christ comes upon us at unexpected times, though we should know by now to expect it! It isn't that we should learn to expect the unexpected, it's simply that we should take our sight away from the dreary world and look upon our Savior. Praise God for His Son, Jesus Christ!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

August 28, 2007

Good morning! Well, I did wake up at 0400 for the eclipse, but our view of the moon was itself eclipsed by clouds this morning. Ah, the best laid plans... A wonderful day awaits; let's enjoy it to the fullest. Psalm 37 contrasts the wicked and the godly, and the outlook is not comforting to the wicked. In loving all people as Jesus did, do we really want bad things to happen to anyone? No we don't, but we do long for justice for those who are clearly given over to evil. We know from Bible prophecy that the world will produce some very bad persons in the coming days. I do not look forward to running into them and I'm sure you don't either. How much better is what awaits the godly, those who obey God and strive to do what is right! We have much to look forward to. Though the world can easily point to sin in our life, especially if they could see inside our head, we know that we are forgiven. My journey to God - and away from sin - has a long way to go. It is obvious in my heart that the lust of the flesh is still present in many areas, but I no longer think that I am worse than others in this. As Pastor Rogers said yesterday, everyone is bombarded by those thoughts that we would rather not have. Just mentioning a list of them can bring images to mind, so I won't do that to you. Trust in the Lord, and bat those thoughts away, don't let them make a home in your mind.

Jesus is Lord!


Monday, August 27, 2007

August 27, 2007

Good morning! We are ready to kick off another work week; joy and fun await us at our place of employment! Okay, that might be just a bit over the top for a Monday morning. Some of the eastern readers are already at work and that could be enough to make them run for another cup of coffee. I watched a movie last night where the screen writer liberally stole quotes from the Bible and gave them as lines to a very pagan ruler. It makes you wonder if modern writers, actors, and others have any respect for the Word of God. Actually, we already know from the Bible prophecies that respect for our Lord will wane in the last days, even to the point where one will arise who will set himself in God's place, or at least attempt to do so.

I don't mean to start the week on such a gloomy note. The first hints of autumn are beginning to show around here. Cooler temperatures at night and the sun coming up more directly east usually herald the approach of that first night near freezing. Of course, most of my neighbors just listen for the first Christmas CD played on my stereo for that first sign of autumn. It happened yesterday in case you want to know. Sorry, I just couldn't resist any longer. I almost made it to September! Next weekend is the first holiday of fall, although summer is still officially on the calendar. There is also a lunar eclipse tonight, or early tomorrow morning to be more precise, that will allow us to see the moon turn red as it enters the Earth's penumbra. It is amazing to see God's creation at times like this, I may even get up to watch.

Let God's glory shine through you this day!


Sunday, August 26, 2007

August 26, 2007

Good morning! Do you ever feel taken for granted? A spouse, kids, employer, or friend may not always remind us of how much they treasure us in their life. Hopefully we are not giving them cause to forget that! :-) It does happen that the pressures of this life can cause us to forget to express our gratitude toward one another. This Sunday morning, I am just glad that all of us are here together. Even though we are only dependent on God for peace and joy in this life, it would be far more difficult to get by without our friends in Christ. God never takes us for granted; angels watch over us ceaselessly, and Jesus is in our hearts. We are loved by one another, even if it has not been expressed lately. Go with God this week and make some plans to get away next weekend if you job allows.

God loves you and so do I!


Saturday, August 25, 2007

August 25, 2007

Good afternoon! Yes, I am slow getting going today. From long work days and school work this week, I am dragging quite a bit. I am sure that you have noticed that the world is never satisfied. From our first school days there was always the next assignment, test, or semester. At work we are only paid for work accomplished whether by producing something or time spent. No one cares about what we built, sold, or produced last year. Everyone wants us to perform now and seldom remembers what has passed. Does all of this sound familiar? And we are no less demanding of our own self, working, learning, striving, and struggling to gain more in this life. All of that is at odds with Jesus' final words on the cross, "It is accomplished!"

Jesus' mission on this earth was completed at the cross. Ours will continue throughout our lifetimes. The funny thing is that what we need to enter heaven has been completed already. There is nothing we can do, strive for, or gain that will get us a ticket to heaven. We must accept the salvation freely offered by grace through faith in Jesus. Eh? Sit back and accept something so profound? Nothing to work for, no bar to pass over, no promotion to gain? "How can this be?" the world wonders. Jesus thanked God for revealing His truth to the simple and confounding the "wisdom" of the wise. True it is, there is no insight to gain through intellectual study, no treasure to find in dark catacombs and no startling discovery to gain through the scientific method. Believe in Jesus as the Son of God, or don't believe. The choice is clear and there is no middle ground.

God bless you this fine weekend!


Friday, August 24, 2007

August 24, 2007

Good morning! We worked late last night, and I am up already this morning. What about you? Somehow today I cannot help but think of you. How do you feel this morning? What problems do you face today? I may not even know what the outside or inside of your house or apartment looks like, but I try to think of what aches or pains, joys or good feelings, or what love you might feel today. In Christ we will often find our focus moving away from the "me", that so dominates our thinking at times. We might think of a close loved one at home, or a loved one far away. Some of you, I have never met in person, but I still like to pray for you.

What is it about us that spurs us to acts of selfless courage? Yesterday, I read in the news about three people killed by a downed power line. Two victims, a mother and small child, were just trying to escape flooding; the third was a bus driver who attempted to rescue them. The media further reported other rescue personnel who could not reach the victims due to the live power lines. How terrible that must have been for them. Sometimes we can do nothing but pray for those involved in a situation like that.

It is interesting how far we may go to save some one's physical life in this world, but at the same time the world ignores the eternal life we will have with Jesus or somewhere much worse. The Spirit of God urges us to great sacrifice to save another from mortal peril, something you will not see in the animal world. To what length or sacrifice should we go to save some one's soul? Jesus already answered that question, and made that sacrifice. Praise God the answer is here before us in the Word of God! What had to be done is done; we only need to spread the Good News of salvation through Christ.

Start a wonderful weekend in Christ today!


Thursday, August 23, 2007

August 23, 2007

Good morning! The rain clouds are moving off and the day dawns quite cool out here. Of course I can only see to the east out of my window so there may be huge storm clouds coming that I don't perceive. It is interesting how in this life we often make judgments or pronouncements based on only what we can perceive. Only through God's Holy Spirit in our hearts can we see what we need to see in the Bible, God's own Word. Even the so called "natural" world is often not as we perceive it. When Paul reminds us that we fight against powers and principalities, that is no idle warning. There are powers that we cannot perceive in this world and some of them hate us. The world would tell us that God does not exist, or has taken a step back and will not interfere. However, without the powerful hand of God keeping the world intact and imposing limits on the evil ones, we and all the world would be destroyed by the hatred of those we cannot perceive. Does that sound a bit frightening? The visions that Milton, Dante, and the modern horror writers have do not come from nothing. I am not saying that a vampire will come out of your closet tonight, but that we should cling to Jesus in this world. We know from science that there is much that we cannot see with our eyes, but we do not know how much we do not know. What angels are fighting or standing watch on our behalf that we cannot see? Is it any wonder the world would try so hard to convince itself that the spiritual does not exist? It is very comfortable with its head in that sand!

Praise God for the strength to endure!


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

August 22, 2007

Good morning! The morning is cool, but yesterday was hot. The views in Denver were obscured by the dust and pollution yesterday, so we missed out on that. It is interesting that we want to see as far as possible in this life. Humans have invented all manner of objects to help us see farther, smaller, differently, or more, and yet we often miss what is right in front of us. Do you suppose Jesus could see what was coming when he told the parable of the beam and mote? I am certain that he knew quite well how much we would desire to see more during this age. In classes children are connected over the Internet to other classes around the world to "see" some glimpse of life "over there". What is missed is the empathy; that cold Internet vision does not feel what the other person feels. Where are we going with all of this new "vision" we have? Will the so called reality shows of today give way to actual violence against persons on television? How long before the Coliseum returns in digital format to the television sets and computers of the world? Without a revival matching the Great Awakening in the 1700's, I would say "not long at all." Look to the Savior in these dark times and cling tightly to him.

Receive God's grace today!


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

August 21, 2007

Good morning! The new day dawns, sing praises to the Lord God Almighty! Does it ever seem that you are compelled to read the same Bible passage, book or verse more than once? When this happens to me, I think there must be something the Lord wants me to understand or obey that is not sinking in. The Lord is very patient with me, and when I don't get it the first time he will show it to me again. Human teachers in this world are not always so patient. I have been guilty of impatience when placed in a teaching position, and it's certainly possible that you have also. Now think of having more than six billion, more or less, dense students under your care. There are many things that we don't understand and are slow to learn. Praise God for the Holy Spirit within our hearts. Patiently showing us until we understand the Way. I often think that it will take my entire life to get to the point that God wants me to be, and I'm probably correct in that estimation.

Let out a joyous "Hallelujah!" for the Teacher!


Monday, August 20, 2007

August 20, 2007

Good Monday morning! Ah, the start of school, perhaps you can feel the agony of despair reverberating from our little town. Summer vacation is over, the kids must go back to school. Think of the wasted opportunity to grow up completely ignorant! Actually, there is great debate over what our, or should I say your, kids are being taught in school. Creationism can earn a school a subpoena from the court due to action by the ACLU. Evolution is just a theory and apparently one that has been discarded by science. Why do educators and some parents still cling to evolution then? Easy, evolution rules out a Creator, no creator means no God, and if you truly believe in evolution then you are not only free, but obliged to spread your genes as widely as possible. Yup, rampant sexual sin can be traced to belief in evolution.

The question is asked in the world, "if a perfect God created us, why are we so flawed?" Hold it! Back up to Genesis. God did not create us the way we are now, subject to decay, disease, injury, and physical death. God created Adam and Eve perfectly in his own image and they were perfect for each other. However, that terrible choice was made and sin came into the world. You and I are not now the perfect creations of God. We are stained by sin and we don't even know just how much that has affected our lives. There is nothing to compare our condition to, for every thing in God's creation was stained by sin. How would you like to live with the responsibility of that choice on your mind? I'm not sure how Adam and Eve made it through the rest of their lives.

Where is the hope in all of this? Right where it has always been, in the person of Jesus Christ, God's own created Son. As the sun rises on a new week, we can pause to think about that saving grace. May the Lord's name be forever praised!

God bless you this week!


Sunday, August 19, 2007

August 19. 2007

Good Sunday morning! Someone mentioned that the dog days of August are here. I am not sure what signals that, but we are having weather more like the end of June. Highs in the 90's and thunderstorms every evening. The mornings are getting nice with temps usually in the low 60's. Yesterday's homework did not go as quickly as I had hoped. Other than dinner and a break or two, it took from about noon until 8pm to get it finished. One day soon the classes will be finished. I've just noticed an open package with one battery in it. Now I curious if there is anything in my entire house that uses an odd number of batteries and why one of four would be left. If that is my worst conundrum of the day, I shall be sitting on easy street.

Tomorrow the new school year starts out here. The kids may not be as happy to see it arrive as I am. It isn't that I want to lock all the kids up, but that this is the start of fall to me, one of my favorite seasons. By the way it is just over 4 months until Christmas, in case you are counting down with me. :-) How I look forward to that glorious day when the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, will return to us. Wow, what a feeling of wondrous anticipation fills me at the thought of his return!

Enjoy the blessings of God this great day!


Saturday, August 18, 2007

August 18, 2007

Good Saturday morning! I have been out searching and destroying sticker weeds in my yard this morning. If I don't hunt them out there, the cat will help out by carrying them into the house in her fur. I have a choice in the matter, but neither option is all that appealing to me. It is interesting though how discouragement plays into this effort. If I get down and let the yard go for some weeks, I will have a large crop of weeds. Out here weeds are the most common plant form. The wild grasses can keep them down, but the grass from the east, bluegrass and others, does not do so well against the weeds without a lot of help. Grass yards in this area take a lot of work; raising weeds takes no effort at all. There is a yard at the end of the street that has never been planted to grass; they simply mow the weeds every week or so. It takes no water, but it looks awful.

Everything in this world breaks down; slowly or quickly, the creations of man and the stain of sin on this world cause all we see to wear out, break down, or decay. Without constant upkeep our minds and bodies go to pieces. This is where that joy that Christ gives us helps out. It is hard to be encouraged without that joy. Whether the encouragement comes from the Holy Spirit inside us or from another joyous Christian, that joy gives us the strength to carry on. It is difficult to find anything encouraging in despair! Without joy we are much less likely to exercise, eat right, clean our house (!), go to school, work, or love and encourage each other. Many studies have shown the effects of positive thinking or optimism on illnesses and overall physical health. I would submit that joy is at the root of this positive thinking and optimism. What does the world have to be optimistic about if not Christ? The only substitute is an ignorant kind of bliss that comes from hoping this life is all there is.

That ignorance can be tough to overcome. The world does not like to have its ignorance pricked, and Satan will fight will all of his arsenal to keep the world ignorant of Christ and his wonderful Good News. We already know the Good News, but many do not or are trying so very hard to ignore it. Use your own particular talents to let them know the Good News. Write, speak, visit, invite someone over, help out, or pray, whatever or wherever your talent lies, use it to spread that Good News.

God's love be with you this fine weekend!


Friday, August 17, 2007

August 17, 2007

Good morning! Another Friday dawns for us, another gift from the Lord. Mondays are a gift from the Lord too, but somehow I don't always feel like stating that. No matter how much you enjoy your career, no matter the rewards, work is still work. It is not always easy to go to work; as the philosopher once said, "that is why they call it work!" I don't know which philosopher said that, but it just goes to show that even philosophers could use a good kick in the rump from time to time. It just so happens that on a Friday it seems easier to let the joy of the Lord flow out. Or is that quite correct? The temporary happiness of ending the work week is not really what we should expect in the joy of the Lord. Joy is something longer lasting, something the world cannot take away from us, not even on a Monday.

Jesus, gives us his peace and his joy, but these are not things that come and go. The joy we have in Christ will stay with us even in the worst of times; you might say especially in the worst of times. That joy prevents someone from giving up in a terminal illness. Joy brightens up the dark valley as Jesus leads us to the light on the other end. Have you ever been close to despair over a situation and then remembered that God is still in charge? That is the love and joy of Jesus shining into your darkness. Have you ever heard a gentle reminder from the Holy Spirit that "this too shall pass"? Joy comes from the faith in Jesus that tells us his promises are true, and that we will one day be free of the pain and misery of this life. The faith, confident hope, knowledge of the Word, and love we know in Jesus, all combine to produce a joy that abides deep in our hearts. Temporary conditions produce sadness, joy is permanent.

Praise God for the day!


Thursday, August 16, 2007

August 16, 2007

Good morning! Every day at work lately has been a trial of submission as the new organization takes effect. The worst part may be those imaginary arguments or fights. You know, letting them get into your head and your home. I once read a little story about a father who came home from work and did a strange little ritual with the tree in front of the home. He acted as though he hung up clothes or something on this tree each night before going into the house. Of course his kids asked him about the ritual when they got old enough to enter the questioning stage. His explanation was that he imagined himself hanging up all of the problems from work right there on that tree. The next morning he would pick them up again, but never would the problems be allowed to enter the home. My home and your home should be a refuge of peace. Pray about the problems, and you might even discuss them with your spouse. Discussing them outside might be the ticket too. God grants us his peace, but often we set it aside to chew on our problems mentally, and repeatedly, until they become much larger than they should be. If it goes too far it becomes anxiety and depression; it forms what I refer to as the maelstrom, that sucking whirlpool of dark thoughts that only does a person harm. It never seems to work anything out because it is a downward spiral into depression.

My action point for today is to start a similar little ritual when I come home from work. Some little method of hanging up those problems for the night and letting God hold onto them for me. A fresh look at them in the morning might provide an easy solution that I missed the night before. And those imaginary arguments aren't even fair to the person involved! How many times have you or I imagined something like that and had it turn out entirely different? People are inherently unpredictable... sometimes. Yes, someone might react in the same way several times, and then suddenly change. We all change, and except for a few of the very worst cases, accept criticism, either positive or negative, and then reflect and set goals to be a better person. I don't believe that my, sort of, new boss is immune to criticism and correction, but certainly I will do it with prayer, tact, and love.

Praise the name of Jesus on this fine day!


Wednesday, August 15, 2007

August 15, 2007

Good morning, the rains of last night haven't quite moved on yet, the sky is cloudy with a hint of more rain possible. So far this has been an unusual August for us in terms of rainfall. We have more than the amount we normally see at this time of the year. I pray for each of you this day, that you might have a wonderful and blessed day in Christ Jesus. It would seem that my work hours are going to change, and so the devotional might be a bit later next week or perhaps as soon as tomorrow.

One of the areas in which I must often remind myself to submit is in the changes at work. As long as I continue to accept those paychecks, I need to submit to those put over me. It can be difficult when it seems that the orders are capricious or have no good reasoning behind them. Whenever a new boss takes over he or she will implement some changes to assume the new position. I did it when I took over a new area back in the day, and some of those decisions may have seemed strange to my subordinates at the time. Submission can be one of the most difficult areas in our lives; it is only natural that we want to be in charge of our lives. However, we are to submit to Jesus first, and those he places over us second. This may be politicians, military leaders, team coaches, teachers, and especially bosses. Oops, as a single person I forgot to mention spouses in that list. :-)

No human leader will be as good, as perfect, as our example, Jesus. That alone makes it difficult to submit to our earthly authorities, but God will strengthen us to bring glory to his name through our obedience. This will not be easy for any of us; we must trust in God and walk with him.

Sing of the joy of salvation in Christ, and hold that joy in your heart, no matter what the day brings.


Tuesday, August 14, 2007

August 14, 2007

Good morning; the sun is rising as we are in the Lord Jesus! Do you ever have images that stick in your head? Some of them we might wish to go away, and others we want to cling to. The staying power of an image is or song is amazing in light of how difficult it is to memorize text. Why didn't God make the Bible a series of images or pictures? How easily that would stay with us and in our hearts. A couple of reasons come to mind; one, the Word is for studying. God wants us to come back again and again to study his word and learn slowly or quickly as his purpose is worked out in our lives. Two, images don't always leave us that choice that God wants us to have. An image from a movie may not go away when it very much needs to, and dwelling on it may be sin. A moving picture of Jesus giving the Sermon on the Mount might be too much for us in these difficult times. God seems to go out of his way, if you will, to make sure that everyone has a choice. A choice free of coercion, at least on God's part, to accept or reject Jesus as the Son of the Living God. I choose to believe, how about you?

Enjoy the boundless love of Jesus today!


Monday, August 13, 2007

August 13, 2007

Good morning! A very foggy morning has arrived here in western NE, as another work week begins. I do believe there is but one week of summer vacation left for the kids around here; that must be some rough knowledge to bear. I'm blinking through the tears. Laughter? Sadness? No, just the allergy season again. Whatever plant causes my eyes to itch and water must be very successful this year.

This weekend I read more of the psalms of David. Every time I marvel at the trust David showed in the Lord. This man had much of what we desire, a kingdom, riches, wives, children, victory in battle... okay, we may not want victory in battle for ourselves, but we do pray for our military overseas fighting the war on terror. David did not have as much as his son, Solomon, but he certainly should have experienced few problems from the world's point of view. However, the Bible tells us differently. David spent time as a hunted man, more than once. At times he lived on very little and on the run. He sinned grievously and had it recorded for the generations to read, even to the present day, thousands of years later. How would you like your sins to be read by everyone a few thousand years from now? David was also known as a man of God, acknowledged by no less than God himself! That is forgiveness. We have that same forgiveness just for the asking. David's sins will not be read at the judgment day, because forgiveness erases those sins from God's record. Jesus died for our sins, and through believing in our hearts and confessing with our tongue, we too will have no sins to be read on that great day.

Live today in the blessing of Jesus!


Sunday, August 12, 2007

August 12, 2007

Good morning! Today I was able to enjoy the charm and ambiance of the local laundromat thanks to my broken down washing machine. It was much the same as I remember it; in fact the machines are still the same ones if I am not mistaken. The cost isn't quite the same though! :-) Heh, now I really feel like a college student.

Last night I took up the writing pen oops, keyboard, again. I believe that I have received a message from God to get on it again, and you know, it was like I had never stopped. It has been more than a year since I have written anything on my novels and there it was, the words flowing out and my anxieties falling away. May the Lord God be praised.

Jack Harris kindly sent a note of encouragement yesterday, and he has my gratitude for that. Note the action point from Pastor Rogers today and then take notice of how the Holy Spirit works in all of us! I would write the devotional even if no one read it, but it is better to hear from someone and be blessed. While we're at it, Jack will be starting online college courses and you know from my uh, moaning, that it is not easy to do while working full time. Jack also has a family to raise, please pray for him in this endeavor.

This morning I thought back to the toughest time in boot camp, the time that I really wanted to quit and go home, and that was not at the start. Now, I do remember wanting to turn around and flee at the start, but I didn't want to quit. The part where I gave in to depression and thought that I could not finish was, strangely enough, right before the end. College is the same way, and I am in some of the best classes, the ones I really looked forward to. Part of it is the heavy workload we have at work this year, part of it is the long journey this college education has been, part of it is that I didn't write for fun for quite some time, and part of it is my dirty house.

That last one might give you pause, but it goes like this. When I began school, or rather returned to school, I accepted that full-time work and full-time school would mean that some things might slip. So, I gave up on trying to keep my house clean; my excuse was that I had all that schoolwork to do. However, as time has passed and the house has slowly become a larger mess, I am sure now that being surrounded by and looking at the mess each day is depressing to me. This weekend I began devoting some time each Saturday morning to clean-up and already I feel better. Of course, after more than 2 1/2 years of school I didn't get it all cleaned up this weekend. One room at a time, it should begin to look like it did before school began and keeping up with the easier tasks, such as dusting and vacuuming, will make a real difference too. God has given me this house, and keeping it up is my responsibility. The cats will do their part by making sure that I have something to vacuum each weekend. :-)

So many changes going on this year! The reorganization chart was published on Friday at my work place, and it will be interesting. That uncertainty has at least some certainties now, but whether it will turn out for good or bad I do not know. Or do I? Yes, in Christ we do have the assurance that all things work together for the good of those who will believe. That does not mean that the change will be easy, but neither does it say that it will be hard, it could be either way.

This may not set the record for longest devotional, but I am giving it a good try! I pray for all of you in the blessed name of Jesus,


Saturday, August 11, 2007

August 11, 2007

Good afternoon; another productive morning has passed and it is time to get writing. Do you have friends who are not Christian? Does that bring up awkward conversations such as "Don't bother me with that stuff"? I had a friend when I was a boy who did not want to attend vacation Bible school with me. As time went on we drifted apart and never again hung out with the same group or even together. This will happen, Jesus told us that it would. All of us have a choice to make, and others that we know and love may not choose to go the same way and to follow the Way. I did not grow to dislike my childhood friend. Growing up in a small town we even had classes together in school. We grow to love Christ more each day and as that love grows so also does our love for others. This can create a friction when we come back to others with the love of Jesus and they push us away. Remember the "don't bother me with that stuff"? I imagine that all of us have heard much worse, perhaps even to the point of cursing at us for mentioning the light of Jesus. I do believe that we were warned about that too.

I hope that you are enjoying a wonderful weekend! I am, class and all. I will not use the entire weekend for class work this time. I didn't get my week off between classes this time and so I will need to take some nights off during the class. Tomorrow sounds like a good one to me. Well, off to class for now.

God loves you and so do I,


Friday, August 10, 2007

August 10, 2007

Good morning! Last night I created a web page! Okay, so it isn't available on the world wide web and only exists as a part of class, it is still a web page. I wonder this morning if the class will teach us what we really need to know. Hosting, registering the domain, protection from crackers, and all the other stuff that goes with having a real web page available to all. Probably not, but perhaps I can pick the teacher's brain a bit during class.

Last night I finished a movie (yes, during class!) and, as with so many movies, it was about injustice and revenge. The bad guy gloated in the movie about how there was really no justice, a twist on Psalms which speaks of how it seems like there is no justice for the wicked, but that the Lord will bring justice in his own time. David points out in some of his psalms that the wicked will scoff and say there is no justice, and that they will trust in their wealth and power. Of course in the movie, the hero gets to mete out revenge and call it justice.

However, we are told by Jesus to love our enemies and do good to those who hate us. Yes, we may be treated unfairly or even worse in this world, look at what happened to our Lord. Vengeance is one of the things that has been forbidden by the Lord since earliest times. Praise the Lord that justice will arrive for the wicked and even more that mercy is available to all who deserve that justice but believe on the Lord Jesus. Does that mean all the evildoers can get off the hook? Well, in a way, yes. For all of us were born in sin and we can receive the forgiveness that is available in Christ Jesus. The Bible does tell us there will be those who scoff all the way into their graves, and there will be no mercy for those who do not believe in Jesus. It will be a sad day for many when the justice of the Lord arrives for them.

Let's not end on a sad note! The mercy and grace of our Lord is freely available to all, and many have chosen to believe. The body of Christ is numerous, diverse, and wonderful to behold. The love of Christ-ones, followers of the way, is powerful and centered on the one who can save, Jesus. No, the world is not all dark; the bright lights of belief in Jesus shine in the darkness for all to see that will. No matter where you work or live, your light is a blessing to those of us who will see, hold that light aloft and give glory to God the Father.

In Jesus love,


Thursday, August 09, 2007

August 9, 2007

Good morning. We have seen very little tornado-like activity this year and now I hear that New York City may have suffered damage from one. I am not ready to jump on the global warming bandwagon just yet, but the weather has shown a tendency toward the odd the last few years. It may be that I have too little evidence and the weather is no more odd than it was in the 1930's or some other time period in history. Today, as a suggestion, you might read Psalm 6 again. It is quite short and won't take you long. However, instead of empathizing with David and his personal plea, imagine that this is a prayer of Nature. Stained by the rebellion of Man and the sin loosed on the world, Nature cries out for redemption, asking the Lord to return and save it. That change in view lent me an interesting perspective on this Psalm. I am sure that a change in view would make other Psalms have interesting new meaning as well.

God bless you this day!


Wednesday, August 08, 2007

August 8, 2007

Good morning. Every morning it is good to let the peace of God settle upon you. A few moments, a half hour, whatever can be set aside to stop and listen as the Lord's world wakes up. You might ask how I can possibly call it the Lord's world when sin stains everything around us. The fact that we have a choice, and that some will choose evil rather than life does not make it any less the possession of its creator. The most excellent thing is that he loves his creations, you, me, rocks, trees, all of his creation. So much that Jesus was sent at the Father's bidding to redeem us from that sin which is draped over everything, trying to cut off the light of our God. Even though some of our fellow humans will roll happily in that covering of sin, we know that Jesus' light shines brightly, over us, through us, and from within each of us who believe in our Lord. Greater love hath no man, than he lay down his life for his friends, and greater love is in Jesus who laid down his life for those who will believe.

Feel the glory of the Lord in you today!


Tuesday, August 07, 2007

August 7, 2007

A great good morning to you! Alas, vacation cannot go on forever and I must return to work today. I pray for peace on this day; for you and for me, that God's peace might descend on us and give us that peace that Jesus promised us. We know that God keeps his promises, but do we believe that in our hearts? You might wonder at the difference. Let me illustrate this way. A religion professor would know from the Bible that God always kept his promises. However, he would also place the Bible on the same shelf as all of the other religious texts. That person knows in his head that God keeps his promises, but does not believe in his heart. Jesus calls us to believe in our hearts that he will deliver all that he has promised us. You may not feel faithful, and in the morning you may not get up and say, "I am faithful". What is most important to remind ourselves each morning is that "God is faithful" I have heard it said before, probably by Pastor Rogers at least once, that we don't have strong faith in God, but we have faith in a strong God. Paul writes that faith is a gift from God, so that we cannot boast of any faith that we might think we have earned. We can boast of our faithful God and the powerful faith that he gives to us. Whether you have a little faith or a lot of faith, God has given you just the right amount for what he would have you to do. As James reminds us, the world will see our faith in the good deeds that we do. Don't get tied up in knots over your quantity or quality of good deeds! The Holy Spirit will point each of us in the right direction, and his guidance will show you where those opportunities for good await you.

Praise the Lord God Almighty!


Monday, August 06, 2007

August 6, 2007

Good morning! Yes, I am up on time and sending out this message to you. I am still off work today, putting together another team paper. Next year, and that isn't too far away, I plan on taking vacation without doing school work, and a wonderful change that will be too! It is raining here and Caedmon's Call is on the sound system. It may not be even close to heaven, but it isn't bad either. Cal, the barber, told me that school starts in two weeks. Oh, sweet torment for the kids, only two weeks of freedom and then another long nine months of school. I should be finished with mine before they get out next time and that is something to look forward to!

Today, I felt directed to go back once more to the psalms in the book of, and this you can probably guess, Psalms! The song book of the Bible. At one time it was thought that psalms were the only song s that should be sung in church. The psalms are wonderful, but think of all the great songs and singers we would have missed through the years. Christian music now enjoys some of the most talented people in its history, and that is certainly due in part to the great music they grew up with. Rock, rap, pop, country, bluegrass, and the old time hymns; take your pick and enjoy whatever you like from among a huge selection available these days. Music is a large part of our walk with Christ and certainly shouldn't be restricted to church services.

Praise the Lord for the cleansing rain of his love on our hearts today.


Sunday, August 05, 2007

August 5, 2007

Good afternoon, and a glorious good day to you as well! The love of the Lord Jesus is great within me today. Wonderful sermons this morning; I especially enjoyed the ministry of Nick Vujicic today on the Hour of Power. It is on somewhere tonight, TBN perhaps. This is the man who was born without arms or legs; he has one stub of a foot. When I think back to the dreams of youth, how many of us wanted to be the football hero or other athletic star of the high school? Most of us had some dream that required the use of all limbs. Remember how frightened most of us were of anyone out of the ordinary. Growing up with a person who has a disability is not experienced by most of us. This man, Nick, faced it every day growing up and probably had some anger issues at times. His testimony now is one of sorrow for those who do not know the joy of Jesus Christ. It is amazing to me that one we all might be moved to pity, would instead pity those still lost in the world. Such changes in a person are all in a days work for Jesus our Lord! Praise God for the powerful testimony of Nick Vujicic!

Another warm day out here, not as bad as July was though. Once again the seasons are moving on, ever changing and yet ever returning. One day there will be a great change though, and Jesus will return to us. Wait patiently, endure, until that great day of the Lord!

God bless you!


Friday, August 03, 2007

August 3, 2007

Good Afternoon! I know, you were probably wondering what happened today. Well, those occasional vacation days, like today, are quite the treat. We had a celebration last night for our successful work on that big PCI project that caused me so much grief, along with the schoolwork, in the first half of this year. I feel that a lot of strife has passed by, and now the urge to write is coming on strong once more. Of course, the writing this weekend will mostly involve yet another in a long line of school papers, but there are only six classes and one weekend (this one) left to go. I found out that the son of a friend in Christ is now grown up and teaching a history class at our local college. The one remaining elective for me is a history class, and so I do believe that I will see about attending that one instead of the UoP online course.

I did manage to get out and about to the grocery store and a haircut today. As I get older I like shorter hair more. I do really like long hair on the ladies, but I also respect them very much for the time and effort it takes to care for long hair. Just a bit of personal opinion there! Christmas is just... oops, did I hear an "aaagh, no!" from out there? You're right, probably a little too soon to anticipate... I won't mention it again today. The dragonflies are having a good time over the pond today; I should expect some more little ones before long. Did you know that dragonflies before they molt and become adults are one of the ugliest bugs I have ever seen? The first time I saw some of them in the pond skimmer, I was ready to moosh them on the spot. After seeing one emerge into an adult on my porch, I was once again impressed with God's creation. How something so repulsive could become one of the more amazing insects is quite beyond my understanding. Aeronautical engineers still study dragonflies in hope of creating flying machines that can come close to performing their amazing aeronautical feats. Once more the theory of evolution remains more unbelievable to me than the Creator. The only reason the world clings to theories like evolution is in rejecting God as who and what he is.

Praise God that he is, and as he told Moses, "I am that I am." So simple and yet so far beyond my comprehension at the same time.

God is with you, walk with him this day!


Thursday, August 02, 2007

August 2, 2007

Good morning! A wonderful August morning is here and the days are counting down toward the start of school. Have you teased your favorite child today, "Look, just three weeks (or so) until school starts!" In the working world, we do not get a three month vacation, and I probably go on about this every year. Yes, I may not miss the hours sitting in class that was elementary school, but I do miss the three month vacation. Is there a vacation from the work of spreading the Good News? Sure there is, and I speak not of when we go home, God gives us rest when we need it. Your job might be to stamp treads on the soles of shoes each day, and the vacations from that job may be sweet to you. A minister might spend each day taking care of his or her flock, and the vacations will be good as well. However, in spreading the Good News, is there a time for rest? I think there is a "yes" to that. Jesus went off alone many times to pray and I would think to rest alone with God. Worn out, we are no good to anyone. If your favorite form of spreading the Good News is to meet people in their homes, and one day you feel that you cannot knock on another door, it is probably time for a vacation. Go to the mountain, as it is sometimes said, and be alone with the Lord. Then take your family somewhere and have a vacation.

No, I'm not feeling worn out writing the devotional. Most days the devotional that comes to me is not a message directed at myself. Praise the Lord for the privilege of writing each morning. I still write this spontaneously each morning. Not sure why, but I feel that writing a stack of devotionals to get "ahead" in case of a sick day or something is not part of my calling. That may change someday, I do not know. For now, I feel called to do it each morning. That may be a part of my own healing from God and I am glad that each of you is here to share it with me. Let the glory of God rise among us today!

God loves you and so do I!


Wednesday, August 01, 2007

August 1, 2007

Good morning to you! It is a fine day in the Lord Jesus. Someone mentioned how quotes from the Bible are often taken out of context, and perhaps our schools have become a place where that is more prevalent than ever before. The example they used was "You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." The quote is used to encourage learning in the secular world, and it is probably no surprise that the source is not credited. The quote is of course from Jesus and the context is more like this: Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you keep obeying my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free." (John 8:31-32) Adds a different meaning to it eh? I don't recall seeing the part about becoming Jesus' disciple first and obedience in the secular uses of that quotation; someone seems to have forgotten that part. Last night, I read in Romans another quote that is often used without the second part. "For the wages of sin is death..." In school we learn that those dots mean that words were left out. You mean that we are told to write in complete sentences, but quotations are fair game for editing? Yes, some things are not applied consistently. Did you know that in our school papers, or any scholarly paper, that you do not have to cite the Bible when using quotations from it? Is that clever or what? Where do we find the sayings of Jesus? In the Bible. And what do we not, according to the intellectual rule makers, need to cite? The Bible. The verse says something quite a bit more positive if we read the whole verse: "For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord." (Romans 6:23) That's a pretty important "but" in my estimation, and certainly one we should remember. I accept that free gift and I don't want the wages of sin. Praise the Lord for his sacrifice and the free gift that is given to us through Christ the Lord!

God bless you this day!