Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Jesus never ceased to amaze the people.
The gospel is filled with stories of Jesus touching people’s lives in ways beyond their wildest imagination.  This is one of those stories.
The father, a leader in the synagogue came to Jesus because his daughter had died.  The man knew that if Jesus came and laid is hand upon her, she would live.  The people at his home, preparing for the funeral, laughed at Jesus when he arrived because he told them she was not dead but only asleep.
How often do we laugh at the possibilities?  How often have we received the healing hand of Jesus and been amazed?
The verse that follows me into this day is “And the report of this spread throughout that district.”  How often do we share what Jesus has done with others?
My life has been transformed beyond recognition by the love and mercy of Jesus.  His healing hand has come to me and I am no longer sleeping but very much alive and awake.  I pray for others to receive the blessings that I have received and I pray we will share our stories throughout our world.

Help us not be shy about your work in us.  Encourage us to share as your Spirit leads us to so that others will be amazed and come to believe in you.  Your love and mercy are available to all.  Help me share my story through word and action so others will be drawn to you.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

I can barely watch television anymore.
I get so tired of the lies and deception that I hear and read and I cringe at some of the programs that are shown in today’s world.
Please do not misunderstand me.  I do not proclaim to be pure and untouched by the wiles of the world, there are many that call my name too.  We are drawn away from purity with whatever our personal weaknesses may be.  The great deceiver knows how to entice us well.
I long for the day when there is no more deceit and no more lies.  I pray for the day of complete reconciliation and unity of all people in the Lord.  This passage in Zephaniah talks about a day when the Lord cleanses and purifies his peoples.  A day will come when all will speak his name and serve him together.
We do not live in this community today but I work toward that community of Divine love while I wait.  He is coming and I pray that we will all be ready when he arrives.

As I wait for the coming of your full glory I pray that you will guide my speech and actions to serve you.  I pray that we, who are your disciples, will be protected from deception and lies and through your Spirit we would serve you in truth and love.  Help us not condemn but love others as you love us until you come again.  I pray through Jesus, our Savior.  Amen.

Monday, April 28, 2014

I needed this message badly today.  I know many of my friends likely needed this message today as well.
As we draw closer to the end of a school year, students and teachers are worn and tired.  We are all ready for a time of rest and play, not so much work.  My church is preparing to present the budget to the congregation next week and rumor has it that there is much to be heard.  Our nations still battle each other and there are still battles within the nations.  When do we get rest?
Some mornings it is a struggle to get out of bed and begin my time of devotion but when I struggle, I begin my prayer time in bed and because the Lord is good, he finds a way to get me up and going.  When teaching and learning are beating us down at our home school, prayer and drawing strength from the Lord helps us push through to the end of each day.
Whatever we are being called to do, we cannot do it by ourselves.  We grow weary; tired and worn out.  It is only through God and his Spirit that we can remain strong in doing what is right.  Hear Paul’s words to the Galatians and draw strength from the Spirit today.

We can look through history and see your hand in all things.  There have been might struggles but when your people did not give up, righteousness prevailed.  Fill us with your love and light so we do not give up but are renewed and strengthened to continue doing what is right.  Amen.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

There is thunder and a steady rain.  My mood fits this unusual Colorado morning.
It is hard pray when I have clouds of gloom and doom hanging over me.  I come lamenting my worries and frustrations instead of thanking him and praising him.  I come as I am.
I wish I could banish these darker moments of life but I know even in these grumbly moods I learn and grow in the Lord.  In these moments I am drawn to seek him even more.
I come to the Lord this morning, just as I do each morning.  I come as a disciple and servant.  I come seeking renewal in order to be able to give.
I do not fully understand God’s love for human beings but I can only imagine it to be much bigger than the love I have for my own children.  I regard them as precious and I think of them every moment.  This is how God is with us.
My life may be just a breath or a passing shadow but I pray that my breath or passing shadow of a life will be one of love and praise to God.

Thank you for the rain.  I know the earth needs it so badly.  I rejoice with the plants in their song of thanksgiving.  You give each of us just what we need.  Help me accept what I receive and learn to love you more through whatever each day brings.  I pray these things through Jesus, my Savior.  Amen.

Saturday, April 26, 2014

The bare bones necessities and nothing more.
What do we take when we go out for the day?  I don’t know your list but here is some of mine:
Purse with wallet and cell phone, Small backpack with emergency medicine, jackets and shoes for the weather, music, Gas in the car...
My husband always has snacks in the car too just in case someone gets hungry.  We are prepared for just about anything.
Jesus tells his disciples to go out and leave all of that behind.  Take your walking stick, nothing else but the clothes on your back.  This was a great exercise in faith. They were to trust in God to provide all they would need for their journey and their work.
What is God asking me to leave behind?  When I go out to do his work do I bring everything and the kitchen sink?  Matthew 6 tells us God cares for the lilies and the birds, and he takes care of us.

Help us consider the lilies of the field and the birds of the air and help us trust in you for all our needs.  We do not like to pack light when we go out, help us release our need for stuff and look to you instead.  As we do your work, help us see it is your work and not ours, all glory, laud and honor to you O Lord.  Amen.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Hope in the Lord!
When I read this Psalm I wonder if it refers to Israel the nation or Israel the person.  Could it mean both?
The Psalm starts out in verse one saying “I cry out to you, O Lord.”  At verse five it is still written in the first person; “I wait for the Lord, my soul waits.”
I used this scripture, verse seven, in a call this morning that went something like this:
Sally hope in the Lord, Centennial, hope in the Lord, Colorado hope in the Lord, United States, hope in the Lord!  For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem.
Allow this verse to seep into your heart.  Hear your name in the place of Israel and hear the words speak directly to you.
O ___________, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is steadfast love, and with him is great power to redeem!  Hallelujah and Amen!

Thank you for allowing scripture to speak to my heart this morning.  Thank you for the printed word that I hold in my heart and my hand as a tool to draw me closer to you each moment.  I pray for those who are not allowed to have the Bible, help them find your word despite the barriers in place.  I pray for those who do not hear your word.  Open their ears and their hearts that they may find hope in you.  Amen.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Who do you pray for?  What do you pray for?  How do you pray?
I started keeping a prayer journal a while back, admittedly because I forget things if I don’t write them down.  I look through it in the mornings as I pray and lift up the people and situations that I see in there.  I give thanks for the answered prayers.  This is on the good days.
There are days I struggle to focus and my prayers are not focused either.  I trust the Lord knows my heart and scripture says the Spirit will intercede when words fail me in prayer.
I encourage you to pray with me.  I lift up the leaders of my town, my state and my nation.  I lift the leaders of the UN up to the Lord.  I lift up my neighbors, believers and unbelievers, children and adults.  I lift up the pastors of churches across the world.  I lift up marriages that are struggling and marriages that are strong.  I pray for the soldiers of this nation and other nations.  I pray...

Your word tells us to pray without ceasing and when I begin to pray, I see an unending need for prayer in this world.  Help us pray to you regularly so we stay in tune to your Spirit always and all ways.  I ask this in Jesus name and to the glory and purpose of your kingdom.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

God has done great things.
Paul writes that he is the very least of the saints, but God uses Paul in huge ways.  Paul, who was a zealot for Jewish law, now preaches the gospel for the Jewish people and Gentiles alike.  He changed people’s lives just as his life had been changed by God.  His words still changes people’s lives today.
God does great things with his power.
I have walked a crooked path on my life journey.  I took the long road to get where I am.  It is by God’s grace that I have received the truth, the gospel, in the depths of my soul, and that it leads me in service today.  When I read Paul’s words that he is the least of the saints I wonder: Do we all feel this way?  Only God and I know my heart but my heart echoes Paul’s words; I am the least of the saints.
God’s grace is powerful.
It is through grace that I write today.  I am compelled to share this love, grace, and mercy with all the people who will listen.  I encourage you to share it with others too.  Let’s be servants to the gospel together!  To God be the glory!


Guide me in your truth.  Help me live in your gospel and be a faithful servant to you and your kingdom.  Thank you for your grace and mercy.  Thank you for your Word and your Spirit who guide me.  Let it all be for you Lord.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Acts 2:22-24 “You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say; Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know – this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law.  But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power.”

Have you ever been called on the carpet?  Haven’t we all, at one time or another, been rebuked or scolded for something we have done?
Peter lays it all out in this sermon to the Israelites that are in Jerusalem.  He tells it like it is and lets the Spirit do the work on the hearts of those who will hear.  His sermon comes on the tails of the disciples receiving the gift of tongues from the Spirit.  The people heard them and were perplexed and amazed.
Peter’s sermon, according to the scripture, caused a lot of people to become believers.  I took time this morning to meditate on these words.  I am just as guilty as the Israelites for the death of Jesus.  I am also one who has heard and believed.  Let us rejoice in the living Christ, our Redeemer!

Your grace is truly amazing.  Thank you for your forgiveness and mercy.  Thank you for rebukes and redirecting us.  Help us share this story with those around us so all will come to believe and all will rejoice in your light forever and ever.  Amen.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Did they have the saying “Too good to be true” back in the days of Jesus?
The disciples were together, hiding out in a house.  I can only imagine the conversations that were being held in that place.  They must have been trying to wrap their minds and hearts around what had happened to the body of Jesus.  They must have been questioning what they had been told by Mary.  Did some of them believe what Mary said?  Did the two that had been to the tomb feel the truth already or were there still doubts of the miracle swirling in their hearts?
As they sat together, Jesus appeared among them.  He pours peace into them with his words.  He lays their fears to rest showing them proof of who he is.  When they had seen him and received his peace they believed.
“Then the disciples rejoiced...”


You know that mysteries are hard for us.  We like to solve and prove; to make things concrete in our minds.  Help us move beyond our questioning and unbelieving minds deep into our hearts.  It is there, in our hearts, we will find the truth.  Your Spirit does not lie and it speaks to our hearts so that we might believe.  Help us hear, help us see, help us believe.  Then we will rejoice!  Amen.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

There must have been stars still twinkling in the quiet early morning sky.  Dawn was just thinking about rubbing the sleep from its eyes.
What ran through Mary’s mind when she got to the tomb?  Did her heart skip a beat or drop like a rock?  She had come to anoint the body.  She must have at least done a double take.  The sun might have been peeking over the horizon; maybe she thought the gray light was deceiving her.
She ran back to tell the men.
It took the gentle voice of Jesus saying her name for her to realize what had really happened.  It took the disciples seeing him with their own eyes to begin to rejoice and celebrate.
We are still a “seeing is believing” kind of people.  There are many who do not believe still today.  They do not see and they do not hear; they do not believe.
I rejoice this morning!  I have seen and I have heard his voice.  I proclaim and shout at the top of my lungs Christ is risen, He is risen indeed!

Lord God,

Hallelujah!  I live in joy because you rose and conquered death for all.  I rejoice with many across time and space that you are the risen Lord and today we celebrate the gift of new life in you.  I pray for those who have not seen and do not hear.  Open their hearts to receive your glorious truth.  All glory, laud, and honor to you Redeemer, King!  Amen.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

It was coming up on the Sabbath, the day of rest in the Jewish faith.  Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus came to prepare the body before the Sabbath began.
Here we are on what I know as black Saturday.  I am sure the disciples’ minds and hearts were reeling as they prepared for Sabbath.  The world moved on and they mourned their friend and the loss of their dreams.
I remember when my Mom passed away; it seemed so wrong that there was this big hole in the world where my Mom used to be and the rest of the world didn't even blink an eye.  How much more did Christ’s disciples feel this?  Did they remember his words of hope in the midst of their despair?
As I sit in silence, I cannot fathom the darkness that loomed on that day.  I try for a moment but I do not linger there because I know tomorrow is a day of celebration beyond our wildest dreams...

You shake our world up and I thank you.  We get into our comfortable ruts and so easily close our eyes and hearts to your words.  Remind us on this day of rest that we can rest assured.  Even in this present darkness a new dawn is coming.  Blessed be your name, glory to you my God and Savior!  Amen.

Friday, April 18, 2014

John 19:17-18, 30 “and carrying the cross by himself he went out to what is called The Place of the Skull, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha.  There they crucified him...he said, ‘It is finished.’  Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.”

This morning I pause to remember the story of Jesus’ death on a cross.
In my world of trials and prison, in my world of rarely a death penalty carried out, and never in public, I struggle to imagine this scene being real.
Jesus walked through the city carrying, dragging the cross he would be hung on.  People surrounded him, people followed behind, people wanted to see.  Spiritual darkness filled the hearts of many that day.  The heaviness in their hearts must have been stifling.
I cannot begin to understand the pain and torture Jesus experienced.  I cannot fathom the suffering, on every level, that he was going through.  Why did this have to happen in this way?  I am certain the disciples who were there were wondering why as well.
I think of the people who have suffered pain and torture since Jesus time.  There are many throughout history that have been tortured, maimed and killed.  There will continue to be spiritual darkness, suffering, pain, and torture, until he comes again.
Even on this remembrance of his death, I cling to the truth of his life and resurrection.  He will come again.

We wait.  Your word says I cannot understand your ways for you are God and I am merely me.  Ease the pain and suffering of this world with your love.  Help those of us who know your love be agents of love to the world around us until you come again.  Thank you for life anew.  Amen.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Passover had begun and the next few days were going to be beyond anything the disciples could imagine.
Judas had been set out from the table to “do quickly what you are going to do.”  The rest of the group headed over to the garden nearby to pray.  The town would have been quiet and settling in for the night.  The garden would have been a peaceful place to rest and pray, but here came trouble.
What did the other disciples think when they saw Judas coming with soldiers and police?  What ran through their minds when they saw torches and weapons?  We know from scripture that Peter went into some kind of battle mode.  He cut the ear off of one of the high priest’s slaves.
Jesus knew the plan.  He stopped any escalation to battle that may have occurred right then.  He was ready to go forth, as a lamb led to slaughter.  He was ready to give what God had asked of him, so that we might live.
These chapters of John are filled with lessons from Jesus.  John tries to pour the message Jesus preached into everyone who was reading this passage of Jesus sacrifice.  In the midst of strife, Jesus’ message still brings hope.

You are the true vine, the way, the truth and the life.  Even as we remember your arrest and trial, as we remember your condemnation, we hold your message to us deep within our souls.  Let your message bring us peace and hope when we struggle.  Help us spread your message of love, peace and hope to the world as we prepare to rejoice.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Can you imagine sitting at table with Jesus and hearing this statement?  How would you feel?  What would you think?
It would definitely cause me to pause...
As we come to the final days of Lent it is a good time to pause.  I read this passage and felt called to search my heart, another time, for denial and betrayal of the Lord.  I asked the Lord to search me high and low for anything that draws me away from him and his truth.  I want to be clean and righteous for my Lord.
I have often wondered what was going through the mind of Judas during this time before the crucifixion.  What lie did Satan whisper in his heart to make him see that it would be good to turn Jesus over to the authorities?  There is nothing written by Judas’ hand to tell us his story, but do we really need his story?
Don’t we all have a piece of that deceitful heart in us?  Don’t we all have a part of us that wants to push the plan or make things happen the way we think they should?  When we step ahead of God’s plan or begin to devise our own plan, we run into trouble.  We open ourselves to lies and deception.
Today, I take time to have God search me and cleanse me.  I take time to ask myself “is it me?”

I ask forgiveness today for the betrayals and denials that I hold against you.  Protect me from lies and deceit.  Purify my soul so that I am a clean vessel to be used solely for your kingdom.  I ask these things in the name of Jesus, my Savior, who lives and reigns forever.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Have you ever experienced a foot washing?  I have only had the pleasure of a hand washing ritual and that was a very interesting experience.
Washing someone else’s feet would be so intimate.  Our feet take a beating like no other part of our body.  Some of us wear shoes all day, others of us like to kick of our shoes whenever possible.  Some of us have pretty toes and pretty feet but I suspect most of us do not find our feet so pretty to look at.  Would we be willing to shed our foot coverings and allow just anyone to wash our feet for us?
Jesus gets down on his knees and washes each of the disciples’ feet.  He dries them with his own robe.  I can understand Peter’s reluctance to have Jesus, the Lord, wash his feet.  Seeing the one we worship on his knees serving us in such a lowly manner is uncomfortable.  I could much more easily wash someone else’s feet than have mine washed.
What do I take away from this passage that I can take action with in my world today?  Jesus says “I have set you an example, that you should do as I have done for you.”  What more do I need to hear?

You came into this broken human world to teach us, to serve us and to save us.  You gave us love and mercy beyond our understanding and those gifts never end.  This is what you have done for me.  Help me do as you have done.  Guide me to become an agent of love and mercy.  Guide me to serve others as you have served me.  In this way, I hope to bring glory and honor to you, O Lord.  Amen.

Monday, April 14, 2014

John 12:27-28  27 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say—‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. 28 Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

As we step closer and closer to the cross my heart becomes heavier and heavier.  My heart cannot fathom the troubled feelings Jesus held in his.
I was with my kids yesterday at a church gathering and we were singing songs with a video.  I couldn't bring myself to join the bouncy joyful song with words about Jesus dying for our sins.  I do not find joy in that at all.
I lament over the fact that Jesus had to die.  I cry that our souls are so bent toward sin that Jesus chose to sacrifice his life for yours and for mine.  He chose to die and overcome death so we might live.  I do not rejoice. I am humbled and thankful; not joyful.
It is only a few days before we remember his death.  As I walk this slow and painful path to the cross, I keep the hope of Easter in my heart.  I will mourn his sacrificial death but I will rejoice in his resurrection as well.
Even though I am distressed by his sacrifice, I am thankful and grateful for his willingness to give everything for me.  I am able to rejoice in the midst of sorrow because I know he overcame death and that the life he offered did not end on the cross.  In this I am able to shout Hallelujah!

As we remember the journey to the cross this week, let us also remember the gift you offer to us through your sacrifice.  Open our hearts to receive your grace and mercy in ways and a depth we have never received before.  Help us share the story of your love so all may come to believe.  Amen.John 12:27-28

Sunday, April 13, 2014

My four year old does not remember the palm branches from last year.  He was a little disappointed when he discovered, last night, that we would be waving tree branches and not cheering with pompoms.
I always come to this celebration with heaviness in my heart.  I struggle to cheer and wave palm branches when I know what the coming days held for Jesus.  I shout “Hosanna!” and wave my palm branches but I am not simply exuberant and joyful with abandon.  I see no need for pompoms.
As we step into the Holy week we experience a myriad of emotions.  We celebrate the Passover, we hear about Jesus arrest and trial and we remember his crucifixion and death on a cross.  By this Friday my heart will be broken again for the suffering and death that Jesus had to endure; he chose to endure for me and for all people.
I cling to the blessing of this story.  I wait with expectation for Easter Sunday to celebrate with all joy in the resurrection and victory of Christ over death.
As we get ready to remember Jesus coming to Jerusalem let’s cheer for the whole story.  Let’s shout for the love and upcoming victory for Christ.  Maybe I should bring the pompoms after all!

This week is a dichotomy for me.  I want to celebrate with my whole heart but the knowledge of your sacrifice keeps me from jumping for joy.  Help us move through this week receiving the love and mercy you hold for us.  Help us receive the message you would have us gain through this week of remembrance and celebration.  Thank you for redeeming us Lord.  Hosanna in the highest!  Amen.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Titus 2:1 “But as for you, teach what is consistent with sound doctrine.”

When I read this I had to stop right here and pray.  I have two messages this week about sound doctrine?  What am I missing?
What do I believe?  Is it based on sound doctrine or have I been led astray by the whispering lies of the world?  It is good to check our hearts occasionally with the help of the Spirit to make sure we are still on solid ground.
If you have ever hiked in the Rocky Mountains you know there are rocks in the paths that you cannot avoid.  Parts of the path are smooth dirt with a few pebbles but invariably the path includes boulders that must be climbed over, stepped on or gone around.
When I am stepping on these sections of boulders I am careful to check the solidity of the rock I am getting ready to put my weight on before I step onto it fully.  I do not want to be standing on a loose or unstable rock; falling is no fun.
As I study God’s word and strive to follow him more closely the journey is the same.  I need to check what I am learning and taking in.  I need to be careful that what I believe is solid and not unstable.  I do not want to stand on loose or unstable doctrine.
Here is what I believe: God loves us all.  He sent Jesus Christ to teach us and redeem us so we might live eternally with God.  Christ and his teachings are what I believe.  “On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand; all other ground is sinking sand...”

Thank you for the call to search my beliefs anew.  Protect me, my family, all of us from false teachings.  Keep our feet on the solid rock of Jesus Christ so we are sure to be on a path of truth; a path of eternal love and life.  Amen.

Friday, April 11, 2014

I love the message of this verse; I have known it for years and have clung to it during challenges in my life.
When I picture goodness and mercy I see myself walking on a sunny path that is surrounded by beautiful wildflowers and soft puffy white clouds in azure skies.  That is what mercy looks like in my mind.  As I turned this verse over in my meditation this morning a new view came to mind.
God’s goodness and mercy are always with me but if they follow me they are also behind me.  What do I leave in the wake of my journey?  As I move forward, striving to follow as a disciple of God, do I leave goodness and mercy for others or do I leave
brokenness and selfishness in my path?
The more I seek the Lord and his ways, I trust and believe I will dwell with him for eternity, for my whole life.  Now I also am aware that I need to strive to bring goodness and mercy for
others to follow as my legacy to the love I have for my Lord.  Goodness and mercy might follow me because I leave some as a trail for others to follow.
I can only hope for this.


As I receive your gifts of goodness and mercy, help me open my heart to give those gifts to others as well.  Protect me from being a person of destruction and damage and guide me to be a vessel of mercy, bringing a piece of your kingdom to others each day.  Amen.

*this was originally posted last May, I needed to read it again for my heart and I trust it will bless you again as well.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

In Colorado, it is said, if you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes and it will change.  What does weather have to do with this scripture?
Sound doctrine is not fickle.  It does not change and morph into something different.  Sound doctrine is solid and unwavering; unlike the Colorado weather.
I have seen many people with faith like the Colorado weather.  Most start out learning truth and striving to live life in God but, like scripture mentions here, they have itching ears.  The words and truth of Jesus are not always easy to follow.  People like easy; we are fickle, like the weather.
What myths have infiltrated and watered down the truth in your faith?  What myths have affected mine?
If we are unsure our faith is based fully on truth, we can turn to God’s Word to find out.  We can read the Holy Bible, we can pray to the one true God and if we are honest and earnest in our search for truth, he will be faithful and provide it for us.
Listen to the Spirit, seek the truth in his Word, and follow his command of love.  This is how we remain in sound doctrine.

The information blitz never ends.  We find more distractions and untruths to make us feel good than ever before.  Help us see lies and discern truth.  Keep our hearts protected from destructive myths and practices; let them remain pure and only in truth.  I pray this through Jesus, our Savior.  Amen.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

I have felt the poison darts from untamed tongues and I am certain my untamed tongue has shot a few poisonous darts as well.
When I read this passage I pictured a lion tamer in the circus.  They are in the ring with a whip and a chair, doing what they can to keep the lion in check.  They show the audience the control they have over the beast and by show time the whip is more like a reminder to the lion that they need to do what they have been trained to do.
If only our tongues could be trained and tamed so easily.  I am sure taming a lion is not easy but I am also sure taming the tongue is harder.  How often do we wish we could take a word or two back?
We cannot tame our own tongues and we are not able to withhold the deadly poison that drips from our tongues with our own strength.  It is only the guidance and taming of the Holy Spirit that can keep our tongues in check.  The Spirit is the lion tamer and as he works with us diligently, over time we learn to do what we have been trained to do.
Listen for the voice of our guide, our trainer, the Holy Spirit.  Allow him to tame your tongue.


Heal the wounds caused by the deadly poison from my mouth; my tongue.  Heal any wounds I have from other poisonous tongues.  Let domestic animals remind me that you, through your Spirit, are able to tame my tongue.  Open my ears and my heart to hear and obey the teaching and guidance that you provide.  May the words of my mouth and the mediations of my heart glorify you today.  Amen.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

We heard this message from the time we were small children: wash your hands before eating.
There are so many germs and bacteria around that it is important to our health to wash our hands before we touch our food.  When we sneeze or cough we need to cover our mouths; and not with our hands as I learned but with the inside bend of the arm to keep any germs off of our hands and reduce the spreading of them.
In this passage Jesus rebukes the Pharisees and scribes.  He tells them that they hold to human tradition and abandon the commandment of God.  Is he saying we don’t need to wash our hands?  My kids would love that!
As he does so many times, I believe he is saying we need to keep our priorities straight.  It is good to wash our hands and dishes and food. Just make sure those things to not become more important than following the commands of God: Love God, love your neighbor.  In this practice our hearts become clean because in order to follow this command we must walk with God.
We cannot walk with God without being clean or being cleansed through his love.  As I wash dishes and hands and food today, I want to remember to come to him for a clean heart as well.  In this way, I can walk in Love.

Help me keep the business of the day at bay and keep loving you and loving my neighbor in the forefront.  So often our priorities get twisted and you are no longer at the top.  Guide me today in all I do and say to keep you first.  I pray this through Jesus, Lord and Savior.  Amen.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Psalm 139:14 "I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; that I know very well."

There is a song I learned as a child about this verse and as I read this passage the song was running through my mind.  What a great message to begin the day with.
Today is the first day back to school after spring break.  The neighborhood kids head back to public school, my little boy goes to preschool and my daughter and I pull out the home school work.
Yesterday I was already beginning to dread today.  It is hard to come back to school after a break and it seems doubly hard for me since I am Mom and teacher.  I know there will be struggles in focus and desire to work for both teacher and student in this home school today.  I remember how these days have gone in the past.
As I meditated on this verse I realized that the day could go more smoothly if I held this verse in my heart and in my head during school.  I realized I could teach my daughter the song I know today and we could sing it together when we are feeling frustrated or unhappy with ourselves.
I want to see the world with new eyes today.  I wish everyone would see the world with new eyes today.  We are all fearfully and wonderfully made by the Creator.  Today let each of us praise his name for wonderful are his works; that we know very well!


I praise you and thank you for the blessing of this verse in my heart today.  Lock these words into my mind and soul so that each person I see, I see with new eyes.  Let each moment I experience be with the remembrance that you created it, and it is wonderfully made.  All glory to you.  Amen.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Hope springs eternal...
I was reading some different internet stories yesterday evening before I went to bed.  I can tell you the stories did not fill me with hope as I read them.
I look around me home and the clutter that seems to grow instead of diminishing even though we regularly donate to different charities, this does not fill my heart with hope.
I see discord and disharmony all around me and all through the world and these do not fill my heart with hope.  Where can I find hope in the midst of all these things that attempt to pull me down into the mire of despair?
When I look to the Lord, I will find hope.  When I let go of the gaze on the world and the things in it and focus my gaze on the Holy of holies, I am able to find hope in my heart.  His steadfast love is true and faithful.  He fills us removing the darkness of gloom, replacing it with the light of love.
I cannot ignore the world around me; I am here for a time and for a reason.  I continue to strive to serve and share love in the world of God in this broken world.  I, a broken person, can only do this through the faithful love of God.  He gives me strength and renewed faith to continue on in the battle of souls.  He is my hope.

Do we recognize the battle of souls for what it is?  We battle our human weakness, we battle darkness that waits to take over us and we do not even realize it sometimes.  When we see it, we are often filled with dread.  Banish the fear and dread we hold and fill us with your steadfast love instead.  Fix our gaze on you so we hold eternal hope in you, God of gods, and Lord of lords.  Amen.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

I cannot count how many times I have heard my children saying that they are starving and they need something to eat right away.  I, myself, have felt that way on occasion but I know the truth.
We eat three good meals a day and usually there are some snacks between meals so there is no fear of hunger or starvation in our house.  My kids think they do not get enough to eat sometimes but there is always plenty.  Once in a while I remind them of the people who have no food and no table for the food they do not have.
We fill our plates and our bellies without much thought.  Most people I know have something to do after the meal so the tendency is to rush through the meal to get to the next thing.  This is how it seems we live.
What if we took time to be more intentional about what we eat and how we eat?  What if we sought true bread more fully and bread for our bellies less often?
I do not condone starvation but I also know we, as a society, have forgotten what true hunger is.  Step back from food for a moment and seek the bread of God, his Word.  From this, we will receive true nourishment and never hunger again.

When my belly growls let it be a reminder to me that my soul hungers more.  Help me seek food for my soul more fully and earnestly than I seek food for my belly.  Give us all a taste of your eternal bread, Jesus Christ.  We truly live by every word that comes from your mouth.  Amen.