Tuesday, November 30, 2004

November 30th reflections

Tuesday 11/30/2004
Galatians 4.21-31 - So the comparison of Abraham’s two sons - Ishmael - son of a slave woman Hagar - represents the Law - Isaac son of Sarah - represents - Blessing -- if we believe we need to be saved by the Law we are descendants of Ishmael - If we believe in the blessing and the faith represented by Abraham we are descendants of Isaac -- Jesus is the fulfillment of the “faith� and only descendant of Abraham -- so faith again makes us Children of the Chosen - not circumcision as discussed earlier -- gets kinda hairy and confusing - but taken slow - it’s not so bad
Lamentations 3-4 - A big pity party - may as well go eat some greasy grimy worms - nobody likes me - everybody hates me -- but God is kind and merciful - once I realize that deep in my heart God is all I need - I can depend on him - I must trust and obey him and be patient - the pity party can teach me this lesson - think about the way I am living and turn back to God - offer God my heart - repent - from the bottom of my pit I will pray to God - Save me! - God saves when you are needed to be saved - then it moves back to how Jerusalem was during the Babylonian take over - “Life in the city is so bad that loving mothers have boiled and eaten their own children.� -- Mom could have a feast with me -- but it’s strange that the term loving is used there - you would think if they were truly loving they would cut themselves up and feed themselves to the child -- pretty gross thinking either way - but the point of desperation is beyond normal thought anyway
Psalm 146 - With all that I am - shout praises to God as long as I live - God blesses those who trust and depend on him - God rules forever
Remember your stories and give thanks. Remember your stories of God’s love - way back in time - way deep in my heart - stories now present today and love deep inside
I want to go up the mountain of God - learn - see- believe
I can’t by my own reasoning believe in Jesus or go to him -- it’s only through God’s gift of the Spirit that I can have faith - God came to me - gave me life and gave me forgiveness and gifts to send me out. It’s not about me - It’s about what God already did and does now in my life.
John 1.35-42 - John was watching Jesus walk by and recognized Jesus as the Lamb of God - how peculiar - God must have sent his Spirit into John to see this - I don’t think a normal human would react this way -- and then to call him the “Lamb of God� -- the “Lamb of God� wouldn’t be a ruler or anything great to follow - the “Lamb of God� would be a sacrifice --- why follow?? -- had to be the work of God through these simple men- Andrew then recognized Jesus as the Messiah - OK - I can buy following that guy -- but I don’t think they understood that the Messiah and the “Lamb of God� - would be the same thing - Jesus would suffer and die prior to his reign -- it wouldn’t be the earthly version of Savior they were initially looking for -- but way way way more than that - Thanks be to God!
So since today we commemorate St. Andrew - Apostle - he had the eyes to see the Messiah - out of know where- he thought he found the Messiah - but Jesus found him first and invited him to see where he lives -- I think Andrew finally discovered that Jesus lives in his own heart
Psalm 78 - Here is a story - tell the stories of my life - teach the lessons that God gives to others
Prayer - Lord draw me out of self pity - teach me - forgive me - for in the low spots I must turn to you - you are God and in only you can I trust - you will care for me - lead me - guide me - save me - I will sing praises to you - for you are great and creator of all - you build my faith - each day you reveal yourself to me - sometimes I don’t even realize what I’m seeing - I think one thing yet you reveal way way way much more - you are god! -- you are Messiah - and then again you are Sacrifice - I sacrifice myself this day to you - I’m yours - send me where you want - just bless me with your spirit and the gifts to fulfill your work in this world - Let’s play!! -- Amen

Monday, November 29, 2004

November 29th reflections

Monday 11/29/2004
Galatians 3.21-4.20 - Sin controls everyone - Gods’ promises of life will be for anyone who has faith in Jesus - through Jesus we are set free from the Law and made God’s children -then God graciously sends his Spirit to us - God knows me
Lamentations 1-2 - A sad poem of Jerusalem’s destruction - all because the people turned from God and worshiped other gods -- Shine you face on me and may I never turn away.
Psalm 145 - I will praise and honor God - he takes care of me - he takes care of all creation - celbrate and sing for he is merciful and his kingdom will never end
Remember your stories and give thanks. Remember your stories of God’s love - way back in time - way deep in my heart - stories now present today and love deep inside
I want to go up the mountain of God - learn - see- believe
At great cost Jesus saved me - I want to live for him and serve him
Psalm 19.1-6 - The heavens tell of God’s glory -- see that brightly shining star!
Mark 1.1-8 - Prepare the way of the Lord -- get ready - be ready - now - he is here -- do something
Psalm 90 - for a thousand years in your sight are like yesterday when it is past - satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, os that we may rejoice and be glad all our days
Prayer - Lord I turn to you today - I repent of my sins and ask your forgiveness- It’s time to turn and hear the call of John the Baptist - it’s time to get ready - it’s time to be ready - it’s time to feel your love - it’s time to feel your forgiveness- it’s time to act - it’s time to see you - it’s time and I give you thanks - for you are a glorious god - your light shines so brightly form you that all creation lights up with your glory - may I always sing praises to you oh God -- Amen

Sunday, November 28, 2004

November 28th reflections

Sunday 11/28/2004
Galatians 3.1-20 - Some deep stuff here - The Law was a curse for us - through the Law we see our sinfulness - God promised Abraham many descendants - Abraham had faith in God and believed this - through faith people become descendants of Abraham - and they will be blessed - some will be cursed by not keeping the Law - therefore I am cursed cause I can’t keep the law - Luther’s voice is ringing through here too - the person who is righteous by faith will live - those who do the works of the law shall live - seems contrary to faith - but I can’t do all the works of the law - so for me the Law is still a curse - cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree - Jesus hung on a tree - he is my curse - but by his action of haning on a tree and becoming my curse - I am saved-purchased and redeemed - Jesus was identified with me cause I am cursed - I am identified with Abraham since Jesus is his only true descendant of faith - then if I have faith in Jesus - I become a true descendant of Abraham and the blessing that all will live - I don’t receive this blessing through the Law - only through faith in Jesus salvation.
Jeremiah 51-52 - Babylon will be destroyed - the people of Israel will be rescued - the is hope in Jerusalem - God used his wisdom and power to create the earth and spread out the heavens - people who make idols are stupid! - God is God - all-powerful - He created everything and chose me to be his own - so Jeremiah has another object lesson - hmm I wonder! - about these object lessons - tie the message of doom to a rock - read the message in Babylon and throw the rock and the message into the Euphrates River - it will sink just like Babylon is about to sink - Chapter 52 is like a summary of events - Zedekiah was appointed king of Judah at the age of 21 - King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylonia attacked Jerusalem - Zedekiah escaped but was caught and arrested - Zedekiah was taken ot Riblah and put on trial and found guilty - Zedekiah’s sons were killed and Zedekiah’s eyes were poked out - They took Zedekiah to Babylon - the temple was burned down and all the stuff was taken out of it - no mention of the Ark of the Covenant -the people left in the city were taken away leaving only some poor people- the chief priest Seraiah was arrested along with sixty soldiers - they were led to Riblah and killed - a total of 4600 people were taken from Judah to Babylon
Psalm 144 - God - you are my rock - You are my friend - Why do you care about me? - Come down God! - Set me free - Save me - I will sing a new song while playing my harp -- yea right! -- I can’t even sing and clap at the same time - you better give me some special gifts for this one! -- you give blessings
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Remember your stories and give thanks. Remember your stories of God’s love - way back in time - way deep in my heart - stories now present today and love deep inside
God created me and all that exists - God is all around - just look!
Matthew 24.36-44 - Jesus is coming unexpectedly - that’s true for the future and for now - Jesus comes to me unexpectedly - in places I could never imagine - in people I could never imagine - in things - sounds - sights - visions - dreams - words - in all creation - Jesus comes unexpectedly -- just feel it and sense Him with all you have. - Jesus came in an animal feeding bowl - Jesus comes into my heart
Romans 13.11-14 - Time to wake up - put on Jesus - see him active in your life - Jesus has come!
Psalm 27 - One thing I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD, and to inquire in his temple. - he will set me high on a rock - teach me your way - lead me on your path - I believe I shall see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living
Prayer - Look! - You are here -- Look! - You are coming -- As I reflect on how you give hope and gave hope in all times past - I look to you - Jesus - forgive my sins - give me hope - I see faith all over your people - increase my faith - I will believe and put my faith in you - as the church looks to Advent - let us see your presence here and now - all around - in everything and everyone - for you are God - you are everywhere - even deep within my heart - this I cherish most - for you are close - help me this week to take you with me into a world that I have been placed - to show my world that you are present everywhere - in everything - and that you alone bring hope and build faith - send your Spirit to lead and guide me along the way -- you are God! --- Amen

Saturday, November 27, 2004

November 27th reflections

Saturday 11/27/2004
Galatians 2 - Here Paul talks of circumcision - how as Jews part of the covenant with God was to be circumcised - but God goes well beyond the physical act of circumcision - God is looking for the circumcision of our hearts - in circumcision the blood of the male gift of life is shed - God shed that blood in his gift of life in Jesus suffering and death - we now are to center Jesus in our circumcised hearts - not through the act of circumcision - God acted first in his love for us - in the shed blood of Jesus - we can’t fulfill our own salvation through obeying the law - the law points out our failure - the law leads us to Christ and the need we have to be saved through Jesus - we can’t save ourselves - if we could it would make Jesus death and resurrection meaningless - therefore in our faith in Jesus we have had our hearts circumcised - all are now welcome through faith in Jesus saving grace and gift of life.
Jeremiah 49-50 - Destruction of many lands in the area and finally even Babylonia - Israel will return to Jerusalem - God rules - not people - turn from the idols in life back to God- and Oh how prophetic Woody Hayes was when he talked likewise about that “enemy from the north� - but at least this year that enemy went down to defeat - unlike what happened to Babylonia with the Medes as mentioned in Jeremiah
Psalm 143 - Listen, LORD, as I pray! - my soul is a desert - thirsty for water from you - each morning let me learn more about your love because I trust you- I come to you in prayer - asking for your guidance - show me what you want me to do - let your Spirit guide me
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Exhortation-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Remember your stories and give thanks. Remember your stories of God’s love - way back in time - way deep in my heart - stories now present today and love deep inside
I believe in God the Creator- Savior and Spirit
Romans 13.11-14 - put on the armor of light - put on Jesus
Romans 8.26-28 - God searches the heart - the Spirit intercedes for me in prayer - this is comforting - We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose
Psalm 102 - Lord - even though I suffer - you are with me to protect me - you came down to me - you save me
Prayer - Jesus - cut your way into my heart - open it wide so that I may receive the light of your grace - open my heart wide - see my sin and forgive me - open my heart wide and let your light shine to a dark world through my heart - open the hearts of all Christians that you light may illuminate this world so brightly that the stars of heaven reflect that same light back into this dark world - may your light penetrate the hearts of those who now don’t believe - may they see your glory and power and grace- may they turn to you and shout with joy and thanksgiving - I believe- I believe - I believe!! --- Amen

November 26th reflections

Friday 11/26/2004
Galatians 1 - Paul came to Galatia to preach to the Gentiles - they also are open to God’s salvation - at one time Paul was a staunch Jew - even to the point of persecuting Christians for not following Jewish ceremonies. Circumcision was a huge issue for the Gentiles - but Paul was first called by the grace of God - Jesus appeared to Paul on the road - then Paul acted - before Paul could act, God acted in an action of grace. In my baptism God gave me grace - not I must act.
Jeremiah 47-48 - Disaster is coming to the Philistines and to Moab - God is leading Babylon and cleaning things up. Turn to God!
Psalm 142 - I am completely helpless - I pray to God for mercy!
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Exhortation-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Remember your stories and give thanks. Remember your stories of God’s love - way back in time - way deep in my heart - stories now present today and love deep inside
I believe-I believe-I believe
Isaiah 2.1-5 - Let me walk in the light of God - teach me your ways - let me walk your path
Hebrews 1.1-9 - God speaks to me through his Son- God created the world through Jesus - Jesus the reflection of God’s glory - he sustains all things - thanks for the gift of life on so many levels through Jesus
Psalm 104.1-15 - God - wrapped in light as with a garment - the earth is satisfied with the fruit of God’s work - how much more am I satisfied
Prayer - You saved Paul through your act of grace - you acted first - you acted first in my life - for this I give you thanks and praise - as I look at the days ahead and behind - I see your forgiveness - I see your action - send me out - clothed in your garment of light - to reflect the love you have for the world through me - send me out ot proclaim your glory and power and might - so that all the people can see the wonderful gift of salvation you give to all - the world is yours - you are mighty and powerful - look around - see the miracles of healing - blessing - plenty in food - creation in mountains and starts and oceans - all the life you have set before me - sometimes my eyes must be closed - for miracles seem far away - but look - just look - they are all around - any fool can see them - I’ll bet it makes you wonder - how can these guys not see me present in their world and in their lives and in themselves. Forgive my stupidity and turn me around - Let your light shine through me - I see now! --- Amen

Thursday, November 25, 2004

November 25th reflections

Thursday 11/25/2004
2 Peter 3 - Do some honest thinking - remember what you have been taught - remember what God commands you to do - in the last days some people will only think about their own selfish desires - the earth came out of water and was made from water - later it was destroyed by a mighty flood - but for now it will remain until the judgment - “Dear friends, don’t forget that for the Lord one day is the same as a thousand years, and a thousand years is the same as one day.� - god is patient cause he wants everyone to turn from sin - the day of the Lord - the heavens will disappear and the heat will melt the whole universe - sounds cool - well not cool but cool - everything will be destroyed - so you should serve and honor God by the way you live and look forward to that cool day - well maybe not cool again but cool - God has promised a new heaven and a new earth - maybe that one will be really cool - well not cold but just cool - while I wait - like Luther says - I’ll just go plant a tree if I know it’s all going to end tomorrow - but really - try to be spotless, pure and live at peace - so plant that tree!
Jeremiah 45-46 - When God is active in my life - don’t even think about making big plans for myself - cause God already has a plan for me - He’ll take care of me though - Egypt is defeated - “no medicine can heal you, not even the soothing lotion from Gilead.� -- there is a balm in Gilead - I like this - sometimes I judge others like this - “Give the king of Egypt this new name, “Talks-Big-Does-Nothing.� - the enemy from the north will attack you, beautiful Egypt, like a fly biting a cow -- boy what an expression! - but God doesn’t want Israel to be afraid - even though for now they are being punished - God still loves them and will bring them home
Psalm 141 - I pray - hurry to help me God!- only God’s grace - freely offered and freely given- opens my heart to goodness
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Exhortation-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Remember your stories and give thanks. Remember your stories of God’s love - way back in time - way deep in my heart - stories now present today and love deep inside
God created me - out of nothing - what was I a thousand years ago? - nothing - but God created me anyway - God takes care of my daily needs out of nothing - but he made me excellent through his Son - how blessed and thankful can I be -- God is God!
Fear God’s wrath and don’t disobey Him - he promises grace and every blessing - I will love and trust him and do what he commands
John 6.25-35 - Jesus-when did you come here? -- He’s always been here - with me - sometimes I’m just too stupid to recognize it -- for the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. - God always comes down - Jesus is always here - I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty -- Hey! You big goof! -- Just look around it’s easy to come to Jesus -- look right within your heart -- he’s there already!
Philippians 4.4-7 - Rejoice in Jesus - let your gentleness be known - don’t worry - in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God
Psalm 147 - Gods delight is not in the strength of the hors, nor his pleasure in the speed of the runner; buth the LORD take pleasure in those who fear him, in those who hope in his steadfast love. -- It’s not how good you are, but you place your hope in God’s love. Praise God!
Prayer - Jesus - send that fly to bite this cow - let it bug me to death - let it spur me to turn back to you - forgive my sins - let me turn around and swat that fly - but that fly was a gift from you to turn me around - thanks for flies - I can feel your love - I can feel it in touch, sound, smell and taste - for you touch my heart - I can hear your Word - I can smell the perfume of sacrifices rising to you - I can taste that bread and wine - that body and blood - I can feel your presence in my heart - here with me - you are here- let me realize that and turn to you and away from my selfish desires - I will let you lead me from within - let you tell me how to serve - let you guide me - I look forward to your return in the end - but for now - I feel your presence and trust in you - that end is no big deal today - I may as well plant that tree of life in this world here and now and let all see the gift of life that you gave in that garden long ago in that tree of life - and see how that tree of life changed into the wood of the cross that you died upon out of great love for those of us who were created out of nothing - all praise and honor and glory and thanks belong to you -- now and forever! --- Amen

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

November 24th reflections

Wednesday 11/24/2004
2 Peter 2 - Watch out for false teachers - God did not have pity on the angels that sinned - He threw them into hell - This refers back to Genesis - when angels united with man - I think the Nephilim - this was before the flood - God will rescue the righteous - there were some pretty shady things going on back when the Christian church was beginning - watch out for this stuff - it’s trouble - you are a slave of whatever controls you - “A dog will come back to lick up its own vomit� -- sick - but true - I’ve seen it!!! - Ahhhh!-- Real freedom is when you give yourself to God’s will - if you don’t and you believe - you will return to your sin like the dog returns to his vomit
Jeremiah 43-44 - They didn’t listen again to Jeremiah and God’s message and went to Egypt anyway - this had to be frustrating for Jeremiah - God told Jeremiah to take some large stones in Tahpanhes (in Egypt) and bury them underneath the brick pavement - do it in front of everyone - The Babylonians will build a throne over the stones and destroy Egypt - God will destroy the rebellious of Judah who ran to Egypt and worshipped other gods - the people of Judah were brazen in their disregard of God and worshipped other gods on purpose in God’s face -- asking for big trouble
Psalm 140 - God rescues and protects
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Exhortation-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Encourage your neighbors wife to remain royal and his entire household too
Philippians 4.4-9 - Rejoice in God - don’t worry - pray and God takes care of you - you will have peace beyond understanding - and your heart will be in Jesus - think about the good stuff - and keep on doing the good stuff
Colossians 3.12-17 - Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, meekness and patience - forgive each other and put up with each other - Above all clothe yourselves with love which brings harmony and togetherness - let the peace of Christ rule in your heart- be thankful - teach and admonish each other- with all your heart sing praises to God
Psalm 14 - God is with the company of the righteous
Prayer - Lord you warn me to watch out - I will watch out for the false leadings of sin - I will serve you in your will - Help me this day not to go astray - to feed on my selfish desires - for you give much to be thankful for - you give a world created in beauty - guide me in keeping your beauty before me in this world - before the people whose lives I touch today - guide me in showing them your presence in this world - in the simple - in the majestic- in the miraculous and in your Spirit - for you saved me with your Son - that awesome gift of life - you bless me beyond understanding - you protect me - you rescue me - you guide me - you love me - I will love you always - I will give my life to you - use me this day. --- Amen

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

November 23rd reflections

Tuesday 11/23/2004
2 Peter 1 - Christians share in the privilege the of God - keep learning more and more about God - jmprove your faith by adding goodness, understanding, self-control, patience, and devotion to God
Jeremiah 41-42 - The king of Babylonia had set up Gedaliah as ruler of Judah - but Ishmael came and overthrew him and killed Gedaliah - it was a tricky affair - everything was confusion - so the people left from Judah decided to escape to Egypt -- first they asked Jeremiah to pray for direction from God- Jeremiah did - ten days later he received an answer to stay put in Judah -- I wonder about those ten days of waiting for an answer from God- how much faith is needed to trust that God will answer in his own time - not like what we would expect today with fast service -- who serves who - God is God
Psalm 139 - God looks deep in my heart and knows all about me - God knows everything about me - I can’t understand it - God is always with me - everywhere - He put me together - before I was born God had plans for me - God’s thoughts are far beyond what I can even imagine - Look deep into my heart, God - a mysterious-visual-wisdom seeking psalm with some quiet yet awed feeling of the presence of God overtaking my spirit always -- too much for words to express
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Exhortation-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Help your neighbor improve and protect their means of making a living
Psalm 100 - Come into God’s presence with singing - enter God’s gates with thanksgiving and praise- God is good and his steadfast love endures forever
Isaiah 50.2-10 - Jesus stood firm in the face of persecution - he kept his focus -- keep my focus strong and only towards you
Psalm 86 - Hear my god when I pray - show me your love - listen to my cry - You are God - teach me to walk in your ways - I thank you with my whole heart and will glorify you - save me
Prayer - Sharing and knowing you - but you know me so well - you know me completely - how I revel in your knowledge and wisdom - you are God - I look around and see the beauty of the earth - your creation - life - your are God - in all the small things- but inside - in the center of it all is a love of the heart so deep - a love of Jesus on the cross dying for me - impossible to understand - a deep deep love that you could have avoided but chose not to - send me into the world this day to express your love - that deep deep love of the heart that you send into this world to save all of the lost - the sinful - the needy and the poor --- me too --- Amen

Monday, November 22, 2004

November 22nd reflections

Monday 11/22/2004
1 Peter 5 - Church leaders must be strong and set an example for others - don’t be proud - but humble - want to serve - have that desire to serve - don’t be bossy - you will be given a crown that never loses it’s glory - I find it interesting that the note states that in ancient times an athlete who had won a contest was rewarded with a crown of flowers as a sign of victory- just like in the recent Olympics
Jeremiah 39-40 - So the Babylonians finally take Jerusalem - they are told to protect Jeremiah - all the rich and influential are taken away and only the poor who own no land are left in Jerusalem - the Babylonians led Jeremiah out captive like the rest but set him free later - Jeremiah decides to stay around Judah
Psalm 138 - With all my heart I praise God
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Encouragement-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Jesus is King of my life - giver of all good - giver of life - serve and follow his lead
Love and respect your spouse
Psalm 122 - Be glad when you go to God - let peace be in you at these times and places
1 Corinthians 15.12-34 - Jesus died so all would be made alive
Psalm 8 - God is majestic -- just look around and see!
Prayer - Lead me this day in your strength - keep me humble - keep me a servant to those in this world - Lead me in service and love for others - Lead me to respect those I serve - Open my eyes this day to your world - Let me see your majesty and power - Let my life and actions bring honor and glory to you alone. Forgive me my sins and give me that bold life to proclaim you and serve you today. --- Amen

Sunday, November 21, 2004

November 21st reflection

Sunday 11/21/2004
1 Peter 4 - Christ suffered - I must be ready to suffer - suffering shows that you have stopped sinning - you turn from your own desires and WANT to obey God for the rest of your life - there it is again - “the good news has even been preached to the dead, so that after they have been judged for what they have done in this life, their spirits will live with God.� -- be sensible enough to pray - “you must sincerely love each other� - love wipes away sins - you have been blessed with gifts to be used in service of others - so use it well - use it to bring honor to God because of Jesus - count it as a blessing when you suffer for being Christian - have faith and keep doing right - verse 12 - after some more research - The dead are those who died before Christ came, but who heard the gospel in the abode of the dead. Now they have the gospel preached to them in Hades in order that they may have the chance of full and final salvation, --life with God and as God lives. -- descended into hell - in the Creed again.
Jeremiah 37-38 - Jeremiah is giving the message - over and over that the Babylonians will take Jerusalem - there was a reprieve when Egypt came to help Judah and the Babylonians stopped their siege on Jerusalem and Judah to take care of the Egyptian army - but once done the Babylonians would return and finish the job at Judah and Jerusalem -- Jeremiah was going out of Jerusalem to claim some land of his and was stopped by a guard at the gate and accused of running away to join the Babylonians - Jeremiah was thrown in jail - but the king still wanted info from Jeremiah - we was put in jail at a different place and fed bread because Jeremiah pleaded with the king that he would die in the other prison - Well this kept up- the people thought that the message from Jeremiah was causing the people to lose hope - he was telling them to surrender -- so some people went to the king - and the king gave them permission to do with Jeremiah what they wanted - so they lowered him into a well without water and Jeremiah sank into the mud - but Ebedmelech came to Jeremiah’s rescue and defended him before the king - so Jeremiah was pulled from the well - seems like here is Jeremiah with a crummy message from God to tell the people - they don’t want to hear it- but Jeremiah goes through a bunch of crap anyway -- talk about suffering and feeling down!
Psalm 137 -This one is like someone just talking to God about their problems during the exile. Almost like a prayer conversation.
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
Wedding gifts to give each other always- Love-Encouragement-Prayer - doesn’t matter if your married or not -- we give all this to each other always
Don’t hurt your neighbor -- help them
Luke 23.33-43 - We mock Jesus and tell him to save himself -- but the grace of God - freely given to Jesus - the suffering he was taking for me -- so salvation for Jesus was suffering - if Jesus didn’t suffer and die - he would have been turning from God’s call - but Jesus is God - God would have denied himself -- Jesus had to suffer for my sins -- Wow! -- that will really make your brain hurt -- but it will save your life!!! -- Thanks be to God -- and thanks for the grace of a suffering, dying Jesus -- Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.
Isaiah 42.13-16 - God will lead me - he will not leave me - he will smooth out the path for me and give me life.
Psalm 91 - Make God my refuge - hw will guard me - he will rescue me - he will answer me and give me life
Prayer - Suffering - grace - life - mud - messages of doom - but salvation - Pull me from that muddy well - but let me feel the suffering - for I see in suffering comes life - I am willing to suffer for you and others - I must be willing - for through the suffering comes life and salvation - forgiveness of sins - grace and freedom to go back at it - to serve in this broken world -- but there will be a day - yea - there will be a day when you come again and finish it all up - then - that cross of suffering - will be your throne - will be glorious - I will slowly approach - hand-in-hand with a multitude and we will see your glorious power. Until that time may we join each other in service to you - loving each other - encouraging each other - and praying for each other - for you are God - you have shown the way through Jesus life and grace filled gift of life. Praise god this day especially and always! --- Amen

Saturday, November 20, 2004

November 20th reflection

Saturday 11/20/2004
1 Peter 3 - OK- so this one is easy for me - I won’t depend on fancy hairdos or gold jewelry or expensive clothes to make me look good - oh- wait a minute - I’m not a wife anyway! - Oh - there it is - as a husband I’m to be thoughtful of my wife - treat her with honor- for she shares with me the gift of life.- Finally all of us should love each other and treat each other with kindness - God listens to our prayers - Honor Christ and let him be the Lord of my life - Expect to suffer for doing right - Jesus died for my sins to bring me to God - Christ then preached to the spirits that were being kept in prison (descended into hell)- The flood water of baptism now saves me-it means turning to God because Jesus was raised from death- everything is under Jesus control now.- Just as God cleansed the world of evil in Noah’s time - he cleanses me from sin in my baptism -- and just as the world after the flood still had sin in it - so I still live in a world of sin - so I must relive my baptism each day and return to the world I am in trusting God to care for me - lead me - forgive me and use me for His will and turn to God day after day.
Jeremiah 35-36 - Sometimes we obey our own rules but refuse to obey God -- I want to obey God and his commands and turn to him - God told Jeremiah to write down everything God had told him-Jeremiah had Baruch do this - So Baruch was sent into the temple to read the scroll - Baruch did this and Micaiah heard it and told the government officials- the officials sent for the scroll - Baruch read the scroll to them - so Jehudi read the scroll to the king- as he was reading it the king would burn that part of it that he just finished reading - soon the entire scroll was burnt in the fire - the king sent men out to arrest Baruch and Jeremiah - but they couldn’t find them - then Jeremiah had Baruch make a second scroll on the command of God - then Jeremiah was told by God to tell King Jehoiakim that he was doomed to die and be punished and that none of his descendants will ever be king of Judah.
Psalm 136 - Praise God- His love never fails! - God is a very active God - he takes action - take action through and in me today
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
Respect, obey, love and serve your parents and others in authority
Revelation 7.9-17 - “After this I looked up…� - this is in heaven - it reminds me again of processing up to that cross - looking slowly up and seeing the glory of God -- “there was a great multitude that no one could count…� -- I will be there with special friends and many many others - the Lamb will be at the center of the throne and he will guide us to “springs of the water of life� -- the ultimate image will become reality - what a day that will be!!
Hebrews 2.5-18 - “…so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone.� - whoa- a different view of grace- here they are talking about Jesus - by the grace of God - Jesus tasted death for all of us- Jesus tasted death as God’s gift - gives more meaning to “grace upon grace� -- well- after a little research - I see I’m not the only one thrown by this phrase - some take it as “apart from God� -- but both resources agreed that “by the grace of God� is closer to the original meaning -- so - what does this mean? - in true Lutheran fashion - I think it means that Jesus was made great by being made humble - This was the final victory over my sin - and it came at the death of Jesus - Jesus grace - his free gift of being honored to die on the cross made this act of God the most glorious act that could ever take place - God sacrificed himself - for me- he didn’t need to or have to but he did -- then gave that grace - that free gift of life to me - I’ll never understand this!- and I don’t think I can because I’m not God- but it sure makes me want to go show that love to the world in which I live --and my only response can be “gee thanks� -- I’m all yours! Wow!!
Psalm 113 - Praise of servants of the LORD - his glory is above the heavens- he reases the poor from the dust to make them sit with princes- Praise God
Prayer - Baptism-Word-Heavenly images-Grace-Forgiveness-Service -- Lord, so much to think about - so much to take in - so much wisdom - so much grace and love - I can’t even begin to understand it all - but you are God -You show yourself to me through your Word - through the voices and actions of friends and people - you are God and I will praise you - you are great - the creator of the universe - the creator of all things - the creator of great and small - way too much for this child to take in - but yet you reveal yourself to me - your reveal yourself to me in your Word, in music and in the soft waking voices of friends - you reveal yourself to me and I stand in awe - you reveal yourself in the grace upon grace of Jesus suffering, death and resurrection - his descent into hell to preach to those lost - descend into my heart this day - you preach to my lost soul - you bring me home - you show me the image and approach to that cross with special friends and a great multitude - we will see your glory - but wait - just look at the words above - look at the glimpse of glory you gave me today - look at the chances to love those near me now - look at the service you place right in my face today -look- you are here - now - in this place - and you call me today to go out into my world and show the love of God - to make it close and personal - cause you are close and personal- that others may see your love shine brightly in this world of sin -- send me today - pick me- I gotta go now! I’m in a hurry! Time to play! I hear your knock on the door- so let’s go! We‘re gonna play outside today!--- Amen

Friday, November 19, 2004

November 18-19 reflections

Thursday 11/18/2004
1 Peter 1 - Jesus gave me new life -and hope that lives on - God has something stored up for me in heaven that won’t decay, get ruined or disappear. -- “Just one more surprise�- Borning Cry I think? -- have faith - God will protect you - trust in him - Love Jesus - yes - no words can tell how happy and glad I am to be saved - Jesus rescued me with his blood - he became the sacrificial lamb for me - for my sins he died- he came to lead me to have faith in God - I do! - “Now you sincerely love each other. But you must keep on loving with all your heart. Do this because God has given you new birth…� -I seek and desperately look for God’s living Word that tells me about his love.
Jeremiah 31-32 - God will always love me - He is patient and kind - He will rebuild me - And I will dance for joy and play music - I will praise God and shout joyously to him - God will bring me home to him - I will be part of a great crowd - Like what I see walking to the cross slowly with special people - looking up - seeing God’s grace - and then feeling the presence of many others around me doing the same - there will be a wonderful stream of life giving baptismal water - maybe some of that is even true now in this life - since baptism - God will take care of me - God will dry tears - God wants me near him -God has made a new agreement - “I will write my laws on their hearts and minds. I will be their God, and they will be my people.� - He will forgive my sins and forget the evil I have done - God had Jeremiah buy a field - even though the field would be taken by the Babylonians - Jeremiah prayed to God and wanted to know why he had him do such a strange and senseless thing - God told Jeremiah that yea the Babylonians will take Jerusalem - but someday they will buy and sell this land-- the land was important in the promise of God and the people-- It makes me realize why land is so important still today in this region of the world -- God was setting “hope� for his people even though they are about to be disciplined for turning from God - God knew that they would turn back to him and he would rescue them and restore them - restore me today Lord!
Psalm 134 - Pray - God is creator of heaven and earth
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
Call on God in prayer, praise and thanksgiving
Psalm 46 - God is my strength - God is in the midst of the city - me - The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge -- vs. 1 “God is our refuge and strength a very present help in trouble� -- this is the verse that inspired Luther’s hymn “A Mighty Fortress� -- I notice the above verses 7 and 11 were part of the anthem arrangement also.
Ezekiel 16.6-14 - God rescues me and adorns me in beauty - here is an allegory about how a beautiful woman was taken from a bloody mess - grew - became beautiful - yet was naked - the woman was adorned with jewelry - cleaned up - taken care of in a very loving way and was made perfect - God will make me perfect and blesses me all my life - God takes care of me and will someday make me perfect -- but it is a life time of love with God.
Psalm 93 - God lifts up the floods - how he rescues through baptism
Prayer - Jesus - how you show your love - how you care and take care of me - how you bathe me in your love - how you give me the gifts I need - all I have is yours - lead me to take your love to the world and tell all what you have done. --- Amen

Friday 11/19/2004
1 Peter 2 - Don’t be hateful - don’t be jealous - Jesus is the cornerstone of a new church - we are living stones being used to build a spiritual house - we are also a group of holy priests - God brought me out of darkness and into the light - now I must tell the wonderful things He has done - silent stupid and ignorant people by doing right - respect everyone and show love for everyone - Jesus did not sin or ever tell a lie - he never tried to get even - he made no threats - he had faith in God- carried the burden of my sin- was mailed to the cross so that I would stop sinning and live right- I am healed by his cuts and bruises - I turned away - but now I return to God
Jeremiah 33-34 - God will return the people to the land of Jerusalem - he will give the land back - the time will come when God will appoint a king from the family of David, a king who will be honest and rule with justice - Jesus - A descendant of David will always rule as king of Israel - Jesus lives now and forever - God keeps his promises - there is talk about a ceremony where they cut a calf in two and walk between the parts - this is a strange way that God makes a covenant - I’ve seen it before with Abraham - oh-it’s in the notes too
Psalm 135 - Shout praises to God - Shout! - Come- praise God
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
Don’t neglect God’s Word - keep it holy and gladly learn it
Jeremiah 23.1-6 - Don’t scatter God’s people - gather them in - show them what Jesus has already done
Ephesians 2.11-22 - God makes us one with all his chosen people - God makes us holy - God can do this - God is God
Psalm 130 - If God kept track - I couldn’t even stand up - but he forgives- wait for God - hope in God - with God is steadfast love - with God is the power to save- God saves
Prayer - Today I will praise your name - Shout praises to you - for you bring me out of darkness and into your light -- now I must go and tell the world about how you light up my life with your love, hope, salvation, blessing. How your Word shows your light - how you speak daily through your Word and your Spirit - how you use these earthly saints as servants in your kingdom. It is a joy to serve you this day and always - Use me as you wish --- Amen

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

November 17th

Wednesday 11/17/2004
James 5 - Don’t love money - love God - be patient until the Lord returns - but that can be easy to - cause even though someday he will return - Jesus gave us the Spirit to lead and guide me - he is with me always - speak for God and expect suffering - praise God in suffering - God is merciful and kind - trust in God - if you are having trouble - pray - if you are feeling good - sing praises - if you are sick - ask others to pray for you - if you have faith when you pray for others who are sick they will get better - God will heal them -- God will forgive- if you sinned - tell each other then pray for each other and be healed - “the prayer of an innocent person is powerful, and it can help a lot.�--Fix my heart on God and remain faithful to the one who calls me
Jeremiah 29-30 - So the people were taken to Babylonia from Jerusalem and Judah -- Jeremiah wrote a letter of message from God -- Advising the people to settle down in Babylon - start a new life - live life -- God will forgive them - they must turn back to God - the faithful will return to Jerusalem someday - but not now- so take the situation you are in and live it for God - it will get better - turn your hearts and worship back to God - We belong to God- don’t forget that - I can worship God anywhere - even in exile - he is in the center of the temple of my heart - God is God
Psalm 133 - Live together in peace - God blessed me with everlasting life
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
Fear, love and trust God above everything
Jonah 3.1-4.11 - So Jonah goes to Nineveh telling them that they will be overthrown -- well the people of Nineveh believed - repented and turned back to God - God was gracious and merciful and slow to anger and forgave the people and did not overthrow Nineveh -- well this ticked Jonah off because he knew God was good and the whole call was a waste of his time - so Jonah wanted to sit down and die -- I get this way too sometimes - when I get upset over some stupid thing - but this is when I’m wrong and sinful - cause now I’m thinking of me - I’m not thinking of God and his call - so God had a bush come up over Jonah to shade him - then the next day the bush died cause God sent a worm to attack the bush -- the point of the bush was that Jonah was concerned about this bush - but he wasn’t concerned about all the people and animals of Nineveh - he should care for the people and love them and forget his own stupid plan - God is God - if God wants to save people even when the message I have to give is the opposite - fine -- God is God - I’m sinful if I worry about the message -- Some people take the last verse of chapter 4 to indicate that animals will be in heaven - because God has concern for every creature in the universe, even animals. The divine love extends beyond any covenant.
Ezekiel 36.24-38 - I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean - A new heart I will give you, and a new spirit - I will be God’s - God will be my God - God will save me - I will remember my sin and repent - God will forgive me - sounds like my whole life in a few verses
Psalm 51 - Have mercy on me and forgive me- I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me - teach me wisdom in my secret heart - create in me a clean heart - I will teach sinners and they will return to you - open my lips to declare your praise - I will sacrifice to you a broken spirit and contrite heart
Prayer - Lord I pray - I pray for healing of friends - I pray for comfort for the poor - I pray that you will come to others - I also repent - I repent of sins - I repent of selfishness- I repent for turning away - forgive me - change my heart - give me wisdom - give me guidance - sprinkle me with that clean water of love anf forgiveness - send me out today to sprinkle you water of love on those I meet today - I pray today and always - for you are God!! --- Amen

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

November 16th

Tuesday 11/16/2004
John 4 - Try to get along with each other - don’t be greedy for things - you will do anything to get those things - be humble and don’t say cruel things about other people- don’t brag -- can I control tomorrow? -- be humble because my life is not mine - it belongs to God - only God can control tomorrow -- don’t fool yourself into thinking you are more than what you are - God is God -- not me!
Jeremiah 27-28 - So here God goes again using Jeremiah for some object lesson - I bet Jeremiah loved this stuff! -- God told Jeremiah to make a wooden yoke and put it on his neck with leather straps - God sent Jeremiah with a message to many nations that God has chosen to give King Nebuchadnezzar power over them -- God chose this -- not King Neb or anyone else - God is God! - The yoke Jeremiah is wearing stands for the power to destroy anyone who refuses to obey King Neb - All were to obey King Neb - So along come the prophet Hananiah who says that in two years the yoke on the neck of the nations opposing King Neb witll be smashed -- well this went against what Jeremiah said God said -- so they get in a tussel and Hananiah grabs the wooden yoke from Jeremiah and smashes it- and says that God says the wooden yoke will be smashed within two years -- So Jeremiah leaves and God tells him that God will put an iron yoke on the nations and that Hananiah wasn’t speaking for God- Hananiah died tow months later -- this whole bunch of fussing over false prophets - God is God -- why try to mislead?
Psalm 132 - Come home God - come to me I pray
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
You protect me - you preserve and keep me form sin and evil- I want to serve you and please you.
Jonah 1.17-2.10 - Jonah was in the belly of the fish 3 days and 3 nights- sounds like Jesus in the tomb - then back to the baptism - Jonah prayed to God - he was surrounded by the waters about to die in his sin - Jonah changed - he realized that God is God -- and the fish puked Jonah up from the waters of his sin to a new life and a call from God
1 Thessalonians 3.6-13 - Increase and abound in love for one another - encourage and support each other
Psalm 146 - Praise God- don’t trust in just people- put your trust in God - God keeps faith forever - place your hope in Him
Prayer - Lord my life is in your hands -- let me put my trust in you this day - help me to stay humble and feel your power - you are God - I will go where you send me - today I don’t know what is going to take place - but I will trust and know your presence there with me - I give you thanks for all the blessings you give me in life - I don’t deserve any of them but you are kind and merciful - help me to put to the best use what you have given me - help me to show the love you give to this world - help me to reflect your light in this dark world and to love others. Send me today I pray -- Puke me onto that ground you wish for me to walk and lead and guide me along the way. ---- Amen

Monday, November 15, 2004

November 15th

Monday 11/15/2004
James 3 - My big mouth can get me in trouble -watch and think before talking - don’t hurt others with what I say - praise God with my mouth instead of hurting others with it - don’t be jealous or selfish - you will cause trouble- the wisdom that comes from above leads us to be pure, friendly, gentle, sensible, kind, helpful, genuine, and sincere.
Jeremiah 25-26 - God warned the people -they did not listen to God -- listen to God! -- “You have nowhere to run, nowhere to hide.�-kinda funny -- Reminds me of the whole goal of a defensive tackle - I’m kinda getting sick of all this doom and gloom stuff- after so much of this - it’s no wonder they got mad at Jeremiah - well - I guess they were sick of it too - when Jeremiah told them that the temple would be destroyed - they arrested Jeremiah-they wanted to put him to death -- reminds me of Jesus who told the people of the day that no stone will be left standing at the temple-they wanted to put him to death too! -- and did! - Then the leaders have this debate on if they should kill Jeremiah -- the whole debate is so selfish - they are worried more about there own skin - not even concerned about God or the message from Jeremiah - other than that they may die if they do the wrong thing -- so they decide not to kill Jeremiah -- but then they go out and kill Uriah - a prophet that was telling the same thing that Jeremiah was saying -- What a way to relieve stress!!
Psalm 131 - Trust God - don’t be conceited
God freely gives His grace and life. I must change my heart and turn to God and grow in His Light.
God will graciously protect me
Jonah 1/1-17a - Go at once! -- Don’t flee! -- Jonah went into the hold of the ship during a storm and was fast asleep during the storm -- reminds me of Jesus sleeping in the boat - Well I guess Jonah knew why the storm -- and Jesus knew the storm was nothing to be afraid of -- We all will live through a few storms in life - expect them -- but Jesus and Jonah had different reasons to expect them - Jesus was running to Jerusalem and persecution and the call of God -- Jonah was running away from the call of God -- but both seemed to understand the storm - the solution for Jonah was to throw him into the sea - it reminds me of baptism - the solution was baptism - the washing of the sinfulness from Jonah - where God freely forgives and calls Jonah as his child and gives him life - baptism in the sea - and the sea stopped raging - sin is defeated in the gift of life in baptism -- but the journey is only beginning -- God protects and provides in our new life -- Jonah got a big fish -- what did I get???? -- Jesus-Thanks be to God!
Zechariah 7.9-14 - Show kindness and mercy to one another - listen to God
Psalm 36 - Don’t flatter yourself - look at God’s love - it gives light in our dark world
Prayer - I gotta keep my big mouth shut and listen to you God - then God - jump in the water of this week - depend on your saving grace - your forgiveness of sins - go praise you by telling your story - telling how you are active in my life - trust that the worlds are yours and not mine - look for you and not for me in all I see, hear, taste and smell -- trust that you will send that fish to rescue me when I’m in trouble and praise you with my mouth - seeking that wisdom that can only come from you. Leads me today and into this week. --- I gotta go now! Amen

Sunday, November 14, 2004

November 1st - 13th

Monday 11/1/2004
1 Timothy 3 - Church leaders should be upstanding people with good reputations. Then a hymn - Jesus came as a human-The Spirit showed he was God- Jesus preached and we believe.
Isaiah 36-37 - It’s funny how the type of literature just changes back and forth here. The Assyrians are threatening to take Jerusalem from King Hezekiah -- The Assyrian army commander approaches and tells everyone that they are doomed - they will be defeated- but Hezekiah prays and God answers that they will be safe from this attack -- God defeated the Assyrians for Judah -- God will take care of me.
Psalm 119.97-120 - Your word gives me light wherever I walk
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
Psalm 149 - God takes pleasure in me - sing a new song to God
Hebrews 11.1-16 - Faith! -- Common people - God leading them - Faith in following that lead.
Psalm 145.13b-21 - God is faithful to his people
Prayer - Oh so short a message today - but you are there - you are there in faith - you are there in the trust of your people who follow you - who pray to you for rescue - who need you - I need you this day - I will follow your lead- show me the path this day - give me your words to say- give me the faith I need - take pleasure in me and hear my song of praise and thanksgiving for your abundant blessings. --- Amen
Tuesday 11/2/2004
1 Timothy 4 - People are going to turn away from God - they are going to lie about God and teach false doctrine- just be aware of this - hold firm to the true faith- study- lead a clean life and be an example of faith and Jesus love in action all in joy for what He has done for you - you are free now to love and serve in joy and happiness.
Isaiah 38-39 - Hezekiah got sick and almost died. Hezekiah prayed and God promised that he would live fifteen more years. As proof that this would be true -- God made the shadows on the steps go back ten steps -- kinda like time going backwards on a sun dial -- don’t know for sure how much time ten steps would be - but it is neat to think about a sign like that - of course then Hezekiah gave thanks-- but in the end Hezekiah was warned of Judah eventually being taken by the Babylonians.
Psalm 119.121-144 - I honestly want to know everything you teach. - don’t let sin control my life
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
What does baptism mean for daily living? - repent each day and rise anew and live with God- walk in newness of life - day after day after day
Job 19.23-27a - Jesus lives - I know it!
Micah 4.1-5 - I wanna stream to that mountain of the LORD’s house - let Jesus teach me there about his ways and how he wants me to serve in my calling- understand it all and see God.
Psalm 47 - God is King - sing praises!
Prayer - You give good advice - how to live - how to act - sometimes I stray from your advice - forgive me and help me as I try to correct my sin - teach me in the classroom of that high mountain -- where I see all your glory in creation - give me understanding and equip me to go into the world you have placed me to proclaim the awesome grace you give to all people. --- Amen
Wednesday 11/3/2004
1 Timothy 5.1-20 - Just good advice - take care of each other - pay your Church leaders - correct each other when needed.
Jeremiah 1-2 - God spoke to Jeremiah - it must have been very clear - he can even recall the last time God spoke to him - God chose Jeremiah before he was born - Jeremiah didn’t think he was good enough - a poor speaker and too young - God told him that was a bunch of baloney - just go- speak and do what God says - God touched Jeremiah’s mouth and gave him words - God gave Jeremiah visions - almonds that ripen early - a boiling pot - Jeremiah had a tough message to give - one of defeat for Judah - The people were worshipping gods - they did not worship the LORD - they rejected God - they trusted the power of foreign nations instead of the power of God - when they get in trouble they cry to God - but ignore Him all other times - God is fed up with them -God even tried punishing them but they still didn’t return - Oh how I turn from God - turn to other gods of the day - keep me in your path and focus and trust in you.-- Jeremiah’s call goes through four stages - commissioning, objection, reassurance, and sign -- this similar pattern is followed elsewhere with others.
Psalm 119.145-176 - Pray to God - Put your hope in what God says - God’s laws are made to last forever - God’s Word brings happiness - my life depends on you - not how good I am - save me!
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
Jesus gave his body and blood and instituted Holy Communion to come to me through the bread and wine.
2 Thessalonians 2.1-5, 13-17 - Jesus is present now - his kingdom is here with us - give thanks - we are the fruits of his kingdom of salvation.
Hebrews 5.7-10 - Jesus prays for me and saves me through great tears of compassion -- Thank you!
Psalm 22 -I am a worm- scorned and despised- but God will deliver me - tell of God to all - even in the midst of the congregation
Prayer - Lord you come to me each day - you lead me - you guide me - you call me to action - forgive me when I turn away - bring me back to you - for through Jesus you have saved me - and had great compassion for me - send me into the world with your love and compassion . -- Amen
Thursday 11/4/2004
1 Timothy 5.21-6.21 - Again take care of yourself and each other - respect each other - watch out for false teachings - stay firm in faith - remember to be humble - especially with money -- you came in with nothing and your gonna go with nothing - if you do have money - use it to help others and don’t let it control your life in greed or pride.
Jeremiah 3-4 - Israel worshipped other gods -- they didn’t turn back and then the Assyrians defeated them -- they still didn’t turn back -- now the same thing is about to happen to Judah - they had Israel as an example -- God wants his people so bad -- he wants us to depend on him -- but we get stubborn and go the other way - even when he tries to correct us - we just don’t get it
Psalm 120 - Pray - be in favor of peace and do the best you can where you are and with the people you are with
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
In communion I receive forgiveness of sins, life, and salvation - I must believe
Luke 20.27-38 - Jesus came to give life - eternal life - don’t get all wrapped up and concerned about death -- live!
Galatians 3.1-14 - the law puts me to death - I can’t completely obey all of the rules - but I am a child of God through faith - just as Abraham had faith - God justifies all who have faith in him and claims them as his own -- Jesus died as cursed on the cross for my sins so that I could believe and be free from the law to go out into the world and tell of what a wonderful gift has been given.
Psalm 119.1-8 - Seek God with all my heart - observe God’s laws - not because through observing them you will save yourself -- you won’t -- but because God has freed you from the sin of not meeting every one of them - making his laws a joy to observe as good guidance - what a shift in thinking!
Prayer - Oh how I come in with nothing and how I will go out with nothing -- but in between -- in between - God you have showed me all the love you have for me - you gave me the gift of eternal life - you gave me the gift of Jesus - you gave me the gift of friends - you gave me the gift of the church - you put your Spirit in me - you showed me your Word - you gave me the gift of friends - you walked with me - you gave me visions - you gave me dreams - you gave me love from friends - you ate with me - you suffered with me - you suffered for me - you listened to me -- you saved me --- thanks and praise to you forever -- I may have come in with nothing - I may go out with nothing -- but in between you gave me life -- thanks be to God! --- Amen
Friday 11/5/2004
2 Timothy 1 - Night and day I mention you in my prayers - Don’t be ashamed to speak for God - The Good News of Jesus lines like a light and offers life that never ends. - If you suffer for proclaiming the Good News -don’t be ashamed- let the faith and love of Jesus be your model
Jeremiah 5-6 - The Jews just don’t understand - they have turned away from God -- he has tried everything to bring them back - now Jeremiah has to go with a message from God that another country will take over Jerusalem -- God will be behind this - he wants his people back and is taking drastic measures to convince them to turn back to him - God won’t let this country completely destroy his Chosen People - there will be a remnant -- a last chance - when you look at God’s accusations -- it makes me realize how rotten I really am - then it makes it even more puzzling as to why God would even care to get me back -- that is a great love!!
Psalm 121 - God helps and protects me - he never stops caring for me - no matter what
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
You let me eat and drink - you become a part of me - one with me and use me to be your body and blood in this world- send me out today
Daniel 7.1-3, 15-18 - Daniel had dreams and vision - he was confused by them - but messengers told him the meaning -- dream- vision and live for God - today.
John 10.14-30 - Jesus gave his life for me -- because he wanted to -- hear Jesus voice - follow it - believe in Jesus - trust in his love and care and receive life eternal
Psalm 23 - Oh to be like the sheep in the pasture -- Jesus leading -- me- dumb as can be -- I am -- but sometimes I think I can lead myself -- what a mistake - follow God always
Prayer - It’s so comforting to know that you care for me all the time - night and day - you are always with me -- lead me into the world today - show me how to comfort others - to keep them in my prayers - night and day - to be your hands - your feet - your body - your blood in this world- you have sent all Christians to proclaim your glory and to do mission in your love to all your people- You are God and you have given the everlasting gift of eternal life to all who believe --thanks!!! -- Amen
Saturday 11/6/2004
2 Timothy 2 - Let Jesus make you strong - Learn from other church leaders and then go and do likewise - God will help you - so don’t be afraid of doing - Keep your mind on Jesus - You will suffer some - but don’t worry - it will all work out and your service goes way beyond the suffering - remember if you die with Christ -you will live with Christ - don’t give up-don’t deny that you know Christ - be faithful - Jesus is faithful to you- don’t argue about the little stuff - words and all - turn from evil - recognize evil and turn away - be easy to get along with - faithful and have a pure heart - be humble - especially when you need to correct another person.
Jeremiah 7-8 - Pay attention - change your ways - be fair and honest - stop worshiping other gods- be nice and take care of others - especially the needy - but look at what I do - I don’t do these things - I turn and do the opposite - I need forgiveness - the people of Judah - refused to listen to God - So Jeremiah had a terrible message to proclaim - God was going to let the Babylonians take Jerusalem - sent the Jews into exile - teach them a lesson for not following God -- but still keep a remnant - a hope for a future - God is like that - even in punishment - there is this hope of a bright future - but I/we must turn back to God - worship only God and serve only God - if you stumble and fall - you get back up - if you take a wrong road- you turn around and go back - go back to God - don’t hold tight to those false idols - listen carefully to God - admit when you are wrong - repent - be ashamed of your sins - blush about them - turn back - Hey!!! -- there it is 8.22 - that “balm in Gilead� - a medicine from trees-ointment for wounds. I always get a kick out of the words to that song.
Psalm 122 - Let’s go toe the house of God! -- and be glad!
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
Do you believe -given and shed for you for forgiveness of sins?- I do and am amazed at it!
Ephesians 1.15-23 - Hear and see faith in each other - pray for each other - “so that with the eyes of your heart enlightened, you may know what is the hope to which he has called you…� -- Jesus is on the throne- worship and focus only on him - let the eyes of my heart be enlightened!
Isaiah 53.3-12 -Jesus suffered so much for me - through his suffering he made me whole again - I deserved what he took on for me - I stray away from God - Jesus was like the lamb offered for a sacrifice - but out of the anguish there will be light -many will be saved because of Jesus - thanks be to God!
Psalm 69 - Save me - I’m drowning - I’m drowning in my sin
Prayer - Lord only you can strengthen - teach me to follow your faithful church leaders - to see the examples of you working through them and to follow - but always keep my focus on you - for you enlighten the eyes of my heart - help me to see clearly your ways from deep inside myself - to focus my bowels on you -- the bowels of my soul- the depth of my heart - oh how words seem so inadequate to express that deep deep place you dwell within me --then like a sunrise - like a blooming flower - like an expanding balloon let you love flow out from this deep place you have planted inside of me - let it flow out to the world I live and play and work in - let others see your love so deeply given on a cross in the pain and anguish and see the wonder and awe and power of what you have done - what you have given - what you have loved for us --- use me this day to show this love in your world ---- then forgive me when I fail - forgive me when I worship other gods - forgive me and help me to recognize my sin -- oh it seems I live in such a world of opposites - on one hand I can see and feel you - on the other had I can see and feel my sin and the evil within me - forgive me I pray - help me to turn around - help me to live that life of love in the world - turn me back out to the world and to the love of others and to the service you send me to - call me - show me how to minister and care for a broken world - for the poor - the hungry - the oppressed and reach out. Feed me your faith - may your body and blood - the bread an wine completely be absorbed into me that I may shed blood in your world - the blood of your compassion for your people - today - here and now -- work through me - use me and take me I pray - this day --- Amen
Sunday 11/7/2004
2 Timothy 3 - In the last days people will love only themselves and money - Instead of loving God- they will love pleasure - Anyone who belongs to Christ Jesus and wants to live right will have trouble from others. - Keep on being faithful - Everything in the Scriptures is God’s Word - The Scriptures train God’s servants to do all kinds of good deeds. - the capitalization of “Word� above reminds me of what Luther says about all of Scripture - even in the OT -- it is there to highlight the saving action and grace of Jesus - the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us - this Word is Jesus!
Jeremiah 9-10 - lies come from people and not one of them admit that God is God - don’t trust these liars - God will purify the hearts of his people - in a furnace like gold is purified - it won’t be easy - God will correct us as needed - don’t brag about myself - only brag about worshiping God - change your heart - God is God - God is the only true and living God - He will rule for all time - God created all things and chose me
Psalm 123 - Jesus Christ-Son of God-have mercy on me- have mercy on the whole world -- I turn my eyes to you
You know what’s best for me - I will follow you for even in my sin you save me and drag me to you.
Jesus gives us the authority to forgive the sins of those who repent.
Luke 6.20-31 - Jesus has such compassion - he turns the world upside down - love your enemies - don’t be proud - care for the poor and those in need - let yourself feel the pain of rejection and offer up what you have to help them. How hard this can be -teach me how to live this way
1 Kings 19.1-9 - Elijah was being sought after - all the prophets were being killed - so he ran away - sat under a tree and wanted to die - An angel told him to get up and eat - so Elijah ate - Elijah lay back down to die - the angel came a second time - eat! - he went 40 days on that food and came to a cave and spent the night there -- well then we know the rest of the story - God spoke to him powerfully and sent him out
Psalm 13 - How long must I bear pain in my soul, and have sorrow in my heart all day long? - Give light to my eyes - trust in God’s love and let my heart rejoice in His salvation - sing to God
Prayer - Lord, I’m so sinful - sometimes when I think I’m an inspiration of your light - I am the problem - sometimes when I lose focus on you I want to run away to that tree - lie down and just wait for it all to end - sometimes when I think words and actions are helpful all they do is hurt - sometimes I know you need to put me in that fire - to boil out all those impurities I have let enter my life - forgive me I pray - let me realize and see that tree that I lie beneath has hope only in that as I slowly look up that tree I realize it is the cross of Christ - it is in Jesus grace that I am saved - that tree I run to - to lay and die beside out of my own pity is that cross that Christ died on for me - that tree that brings life - not because of me but because of you - not because of any inspiration of mine - but because of your inspiration to love a rotten world and a worm like me - to care enough for me to save me -- how I can get up from this crummy spot under this crummy tree of my own and see the tree/cross you gave to me - to see the salvation and life you have given to me - to be energized and filled with your spirit - to feel your call - to be willingly and joyfully sent into your world to serve others to let your light shine once again through me - to be your feet-hands-voice - to be active in this world focused on you and that cross - to tell others the story of how even in the death of myself under my own depressing tree - you give life through that tree of yours - through Jesus -- Thanks be to God! -- Amen
Monday 11/8/2004
2 Timothy 4 - Jesus will come again and judge everyone - we are commanded to preach God’s message - willingly - correct people - point out sin - but also cheer them up and be patient
Jeremiah 11-12 - God is just - he made an agreement with the Israelites - God kept his side - the Israelites did not keep their side - God will enforce discipline per his agreements - over and over again - it is stressed - worship only God - not other gods- Israel was compared to an olive tree - I know about the importance of olives and the oil at that time - what is new is that the olive trees live so long - there are olive trees in Jerusalem today that date from the time of Jesus - so if one doesn’t produce fruit and God’s promise is eternal -- the tree is useless - My response to the gift of eternal life is to produce fruit. -- hmmm!
Psalm 124 - God is on our side - Praise God - he will protect us
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
Receive the Holy Spirit
Micah 1.1-9 - God is coming out of his place - God is coming down here- He is coming to me and you
Jeremiah 38.1-13 - They got mad at Jeremiah for telling God’s hard truth about things and threw him in a cistern!! - of all places - makes me think of the collection of natural baptismal water - the Word of God in Jeremiah and the collection of water.
Psalm 18 - I love you LORD - You save me and rescue me - I call on you when I’m in distress - He bosed the heavens and came down - He reached down - You save
Prayer - Jesus- you rescue me from the deep mud of my sin - forgive me - be with me this day - as I sink into the mud - fill my cistern with your Word and life giving water - rescue me in that great promise of baptism - that day after day I will arise to a new life in You. As opportunities arise today to tell your story - give me the words I need - as opportunities arise today to serve others - give me the skills and abilities I need. You fill me with your Word, your love and life - send me out this day . ----Amen
Tuesday 11/9/2004
Titus 1 - Church leaders are to be upright - the standards are higher - keep your heart pure and everything will be pure
Jeremiah 13-14 - Uhgg!!-- Buy some underwear and wear them but don’t wash them! -- A command from God!- Take em off - hide the shorts in a crack (well - this one I could have fun with too!) - between some large rocks -- Sometimes I can see God has a sense of humor with Jeremiah - Go back and get the shorts-the dirty underwear was rotted - go figure - this was all an object lesson for Jeremiah - Babylonia will destroy the pride of the people of Judah - when finished they will be good for nothing just like the underwear - return to God - confess - worship God - there were prophets during Jeremiah’s time that were just saying what people wanted to hear and not the bold message of God - watch out for these - listen carefully - I haven’t thought of that but have done it---complain to God in prayer- that’s what Jeremiah was doing too - hmm- back to the underwear - it is symbolic of the close relationship God had with his people - the people abandoned God and were ruined
Psalm 125 - Trust God - he will protect you
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
Repent and be forgiven - Believe it!
Micah 2.1-13 - God gathers us together
Hebrews 10.32-39 - Have confidence in suffering - keep faithful - in a little while Jesus will be coming again - don’t shrink back
Psalm 25.11-22 - forgive me - God is a friend - he will relieve the troubles of my heart - God will save
Prayer - today help me to be an upright person - bring me close to you - as close as underwear- but help me to remain close and not be separated from you- you will protect and guide me - you will comfort me - you have saved me - I believe and trust in you - show me today how to love others - how to express your love for them through me - show me how to act today - show me how to reach out - show me how to act and to do your will --- Amen
Wednesday 11/10/2004
Titus 2 - To sum it up -- be good -- but to be honest - all this stuff makes me wanna puke - it’s like - be good so others will think Christians are good -- well - Christians are good - but not because I’m good - but because Christ is good - so no matter how good I try to act it is only an act -- I don’t need to put on a show - forget that crap - Jesus will make me good someday and I’m not gonna worry about it-- yea I’m gonna be decent and all - but not to put on a show- but because I know Jesus saved me and I must turn from sin -- so for how I feel now -- you get me how I am -- good and bad
Jeremiah 15-16 - I like chapter 15 - sometimes that’s how I feel with God - gripe about something and then he tells me to shut up and go on - quit being such a baby - You know - God told them that they would no longer call him the God who rescued Israel from Egypt - they will call him God who rescued them from Babylon -- It seems to me that God is moving real close now - He isn’t a God of history that rescued some relatives long ago -- he rescues me - now - in my life - very personal - a good message
Psalm 126 - It seemed like a dream - we celebrated with laughter and joyful songs to God - let me be like a stream in the desert - leaking your life giving water into the world
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
I am guilty of sin - even some I don’t know about --forgive me
Micah 3.1-8 - Don’t be a phony -- see the world as it is - serve others in need - don’t just remain in my little nice world
Ephesians 2.1-10 - For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God-- not the result of works, so that no one may boast. ---I don’t know, George--- that may beat John 3.16 in my mind.
Psalm 30 - I cry to God and he helps - he heals - sing praises to God - give thanks to God - Joy comes in the morning - think about Easter
Prayer -- Lord be with me today - lead me - show me how to act so that I don’t embarrass you - for you come down and get close and personal - you come into my life and save me from my own exile- you bring me home to you - home where we can laugh together and serve in your kingdom in joy - home where we can praise God - home where we can sing a joyful song - home forgiven of my sins - then a new day comes and it’s time to leave home again - go into the world and serve you and each other in your kingdom -- I gotta go now -- I’ll be thinking of you! --- Amen
Thursday 11/11/2004
Titus 3 - Obey the authorities - God is good and kind - he saved us because of his mercy - not because of any good thing we have done - God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit - gave us new birth and a new beginning- he made us acceptable and gave us the hope of eternal life- warn troublemakers a couple of times then move on- don’t spend a whole bunch of time on that stuff - just keep pressing on towards the spread of the Gospel
Jeremiah 17-18 - Jeremiah had to tell the people stuff they didn’t want to hear - how they were doing wrong - how they needed to repent and turn back to God - how God would punish them - how they would be captured and taken away - the people began to hate him- he was always negative - he told them how God has power over them like a potter has power over the clay - so the people got fed up with Jeremiah and plotted to accuse him of a crime and get rid of him
Psalm 127 - God takes care of me - even while I sleep
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
Examine your life according to the Ten Commandments - repent of sin
Psalm 98 - Sing praises to God - he is coming
Jonah 2 - Jonah prayed from the belly of the fish - he had gone deep in the waters - death all around - covered by that saving water of baptism - God brought and gave new life to Jonah - even when he deserved death - he raised him out of the water and the fish puked him onto dry land --- God is awesome and has a great sense of humor -- it definitely keeps us humble - especially when you realize that I am nothing more than puked up fish chunks - saved by God and sent on a mission to proclaim his word -- how weird can that be?
Psalm 73 - When we can’t figure it out -- go to the sanctuary of God- God gives the solutions - We listen -
Prayer - Yea Lord you spew me out into my world - may I proclaim your gospel today - but it is such an honor to be spewed -- for by your very own example - you gave and spewed yourself in human flesh in Jesus into my world - you didn’t have to do this - you are God - but I see and feel your love for me and how you chose to save me through the spewing of your Son into this world and my world to live and die for me - I am so grateful - help me to show and spew out that same love to those I meet this day -- Amen
Friday 11/12/2004
Philemon - Paul is writing this letter from jail - Paul is writing to Philemon - the slave owner of Paul’s friend and co-minister Onesimus -- Paul is sending Onesimus back to Philemon and wants Philemon to accept Onesimus back - So this letter from Paul put Philemon on the spot -- will he accept Onesimus -- his slave back as a slave or as a brother in Christ?
Jeremiah 19-20 - God sends Jeremiah out with a clay jar - Jeremiah tells the people how bad they are - that they have turned from God and worshipped Baal --Then he smashes the jar - God will smash Judah and Jerusalem like that jar -- enough is enough -- your chances are up - Jeremiah is arrested and placed in stocks and put on display by Pashhur -- the next day Pashhur lets Jeremiah go - but Jeremiah told Pashhur a message from God that he would be called “Afraid-of-Everything� or “Terror on every side“-- You know-God had Jeremiah say some pretty bold stuff!
Psalm 128 - God blesses me with so many things!
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
I, a poor sinner, confess before God that I am guilty of many sins. I repent of all these sins and pray for mercy. I promise to do better with God’s help.
Malachi 4.1-2a - the sun of righteousness shall rise, with healing on it wings
Romans 12.9-21 - Let love be genuine - love one another with mutual affection- associate with the lowly
Psalm 20 - My pride is in God
Prayer - Lord, let me send out a letter of plea from this place I am in today - that we may all be united in Christ Jesus death - resurrection and saving grace - may we all come together in his love to love one another in that powerful way you have shown to us -- let me be bold today to proclaim your truth even when it may be tough to say - even when I may want to shy away from it - let me walk right up and boldly knock on that door and invite others to play - lead me this day in your presence for your blessings in my life are many and great - You are God! -- Amen
Saturday 11/13/2004
James 1 - Be glad even if you have a lot of trouble - God is generous and won’t correct me for asking him for anything - I must have faith and not doubt - don’t give up - have faith - temptation drags me off and traps me - every good and perfect gift comes from God - God sent his Word to give me new birth - Obey God’s message - don’t just listen to it - don’t just hear and forget - It all sounds so much like Proverbs or something - but is good advice on how to live - God gives gifts - use them!
Jeremiah 21-22 - The Babylonians are taking Jerusalem and King Zedekiah wants God to rescue them - there comes a point when we must face the consequences of our sin -- feel the pain of it all - then we can turn to God - Even though God forgives me - the consequences of my sin are still there - “if you want to live, you must go our and surrender to them.� --- I must surrender my will and give it up to God
Psalm 129 - God sets me free
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
Don’t torture yourself with imaginary sins.
2 Thessalonians 3.6-13 - don’t be idle - God has much work for me to do -- act in joyful response - now!
2 Corinthians 4.1-9 - “we do not proclaim ourselves; we proclaim Jesus Christ as Lord and ourselves as your slaves for Jesus’ sake.� -- “Let light shine out of darkness,� who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.� -- “But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come form us.�
Psalm 31 - I give my spirit to God - trust in him -Love God
Prayer - I hear you -there are times to listen - there are times to reflect - there are times to meditate - there are times to pray -- but all the time I need to love - love in action - love neighbors- love poor - love friends - love family - Your love is deep -- deep love - let it shine through my clay jar this day - let your love shine through - let all see you - not me - let all see you - let all see you light up the dark places of my heart and your light of love shine out from deep within - the heart - the bowels - the very center of my being and soul -- that is your place -- that is where you are - forgive me when I forget to let you stay there - forgive me when I run you out of that very core of my being - turn me around - shake me up and help me to do better - you need to be there for me to live - and I need to give you my spirit - that spirit that is yours anyway -- but I need to give it up and give it out to the world you send me to. Lead and guide me as I do this today and next week - I give thanks for this treasure you give to me in this clay jar -- I give you thanks for feeding me your love through that same treasure in clay jars that you let me peek at in friends -- those that comfort me and willingly show their Spirit of the great Comforter -- that let their light shine from their soul into the world -- their light which is your light - their light which is blessed by you - their light sent as a gift from you -- may we all build each other up with Your Spirit of love so that a multitude of saints may march into their perspective worlds today and next week to proclaim the gospel story of your saving grace to a world in pain and darkness -- make it a powerful movement of many - fill all of us and send us in joyous thanks for all you do! ---- Amen

November 14th

Sunday 11/14/2004
James 2 - Treat all people the same - Obey this commandment - -love others as much as we love ourselves. - I am guilty of not obeying all the laws therefore I have broken all the laws - but God is merciful - faith leads to good deeds - act - don’t just have faith - act on faith - faith and action works together - faith that doesn’t do anything is dead
Jeremiah 23-24 - There is hope - God will rescue the Jews from Babylon - they will live in Israel again - they will have a mighty king - and God will rule -- there is hope for me too - don’t listen to false prophets - they tell you just what you want to hear and not the truth -- God is God - God is everywhere - both near and far - in heaven and on earth - Jeremiah had a vision of two baskets of figs in the temple - one was full of good figs the others was full of rotten figs - the good figs will be broght back and palnted and God will build them up - the bad figs will be scattered
Psalm 130 - I wait for God with all my heart - I trust in his promises- Trust in God - He is merciful and will save me from my sin
Think of all the saints there are because of Jesus act of love on the cross.
God forgives
Luke 21.5-8 - Don’t go after false gods - some will come to claim they are the returning Christ but aren’t
Lamentation 3.19-27 - the steadfast love of God never stops - his mercies never come to an end - they are new every morning - God is good to those who wait - hope in God
Psalm 42 - Hey! The deer song! -- “As a deer long for flowing stream, so my soul longs for you, O God.� - sometimes I get down -- why? - my hope is in God - don’t get down
Prayer - Mercy- Hope - Trust -- Have mercy on me Lord Jesus - I am a sinner - Forgive me I pray - I place all my hope and trust in you - it’s only through you that I may have life - thank you for this gift of life - for the salvation you freely give - thank you for this ministry you give - for the opportunity to serve the poor and needy - the helpless - those who mourn. You are God and today I will praise you and give thanks to you. Refresh me - renew me - build my faith and let me see your face -- Then I pray that you will send me into the world to give the love you show me - to show the love you give me - to be love to those in need - to build others up in their faith- to show others what a beautiful person God has created in each one of them and to show the hope that each person has in you. This is your world and all your people to care for - use me. --- Amen

October Reflections

October 2004 Journal
Friday 10/1/2004
Revelation 1 - Look! His is coming with the clouds. Everyone will see him - Write in a book what you see - The person telling this face shone as bright as the sun at noon. This person will explain things --- At first I used to be afraid of Revelation - now I like it - I like to use my imagination on what the images could mean and not worry if I’m interpreting things correctly or not - I‘ll let the theologians fuss and fight over that crap (gives them something to do)- just pretend and play and feel God speak to me - Like Jesus coming again in the clouds - to picture it to see it - with a person whose face shines like the sun - the light of the World - lighting up the heavens like on Christmas morning - the light from his face shining up and down and lighting up a dark night of stars, moon and planets -- what would it be like to have the sun -- Son come to us? He does!
Nehemiah 1-2 - No matter how far away I get from God - I can turn to him - repent and change my ways - Nehemiah was a servant to King Artaxerxes the cup bearer - he tasted the wine to make sure it wasn’t poisoned. Anyway - Nehemiah heard about how Jerusalem lay in ruins and the King let him go there. Nehemiah looked at all the destruction of the wall one evening. A huge job of rebuilding was needed -- Sometimes I think God has a huge job of rebuilding to do in me -- “We are servants of the God who rules from heaven, and he will make our work succeed.� --- The ending in names with“iah� is a shortened form of Yahweh
Psalm 96 - Sing a new song to God - everyone- day after day announce that God has saved me! - Tell everyone - Praise God and bring an offering - God will judge - be glad and celebrate!- even the tress will sing joyful songs to God
Forget the earthly values and pursue God’s values - Trust in God to provide.
Be assured - sins are forgiven in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
Habakkuk 1 - How long? -- Watch - Stand - Listen - Write the vision-make it plain-- There is still a vision for the appointed time-it does not lie - If it seems to tarry , wait for it -- because it will come and it will not delay.
Acts 1 - Jesus gives us the Holy Spirit - When Jesus ascended - he went up in the clouds - When he returns he will return from the clouds - but now it is time to quit looking up at the clouds and work and serve him in his kingdom on earth.
Psalm 98 - Sing to the LORD- Make a joyful noise to the LORD- sing praises - all creation rejoices in God.
Prayer - Oh Lord, Clouds and Visions take over this day -- I want so bad to see you coming again in the clouds - It has become a vision for me -- but it may also be an escape for me - I need your forgiveness- for you call me to work in the here and now - in this earthly kingdom of your. Help me and guide me with your Spirit that I may serve you here and now - today! --- Amen
Saturday 10/2/2004
Revelation 2 - The Letter to Ephesus - good and bad - good in hard work and endurance- not putting up with evil - not giving up - bad in the loss of initial love - listen to God! -- The Letter to Smyrna - you suffer and are poor - but you are rich in many ways also - be faithful until you die - listen to God! -- The Letter to Pergamum - you have kept God’s name true even amongst Satan - you have not given up faith even in persecution - don’t follow false teaching - listen to God! -- The Letter to Thyatira - you have love, faith, service and endurance - don’t follow the false teaching of Jezebel - hold firm to correct teaching - listen to God! -- 2.10 a glorious life -- The Greek text has “a crown of life� -- I find it interesting that this crown is also interpreted a wreath -- the wreath was used to put on the victors head- reminds me of what they did in the Olympics this year - they would place a wreath on the winners head - it also reminds me of Christmas wreaths - Jesus was born and died to give me a crown of life -- 2.17 Those who win will be given some hidden food - reminds me of manna given to the Israelites -- “what is it�-Manna -- then I think of the communion bread - body of Christ - Manna/Bread/Body of Christ - eternal life.
Nehemiah 3 - A list of the people who rebuilt the walls and gates of Jerusalem -- it is interesting that this appears to be a ministry and many of the people listed are priests.
Psalm 97 - Love the LORD and hate evil! You are the LORD’s people! So celebrate and praise the only God.
Forget the earthly values and pursue God’s values - Trust in God to provide.
I beg you to forgive me all my sins and the wrong with I have done - for God has graciously protected me.
2 Timothy 1 - God gives grace - “This grace given to us in Christ Jesus before the ages began “ -- now revealed in Jesus.
1 Thessalonians 1 - God has chosen me - receive the word with joy inspired by the Holy Spirit - turn from sin and serve a living and true God
Psalm 107 - God gives steadfast love forever
Prayer - Lord - I need forgiveness - for I am rich in many ways and don’t even realize it - I follow false teachings at times - I lose the love you have given me - I don’t rebuild my walls when they are needed - Help me to turn from my sin and serve the true and living God -- for your steadfast love endures forever - even before the ages began. --- Amen
Sunday 10/3/2004
Revelation 3 - Sardis - This church is dead - try to become stronger - remember teaching -turn from sins - listen to God! -- Philadelphia - when God opens a door no one can close it - When God closes a door no one can open it - they are not strong but have obeyed - God loves them - everyone must go through testing - listen to God! -- Laodicea - God is faithful and the true witness and the source of creation - this church is neither cold nor hot - God will spit this kind of church out - make up your mind and turn from sin - God is standing at the door and knocking - if your hear His voice open the door - listen to God!
Nehemiah 4 - Judah’s enemies were making fun of them rebuilding the wall and trying to get it to stop. But the people of Judah kept strong and prayed to God. The enemies even tried to attack and tear down the wall Judah was building - they had to split up - half rebuilding the walls - half standing on guard against attack. Sometimes I feel this way - I want to do God’s work but must stand on guard from sin’s attacks.
Psalm 98 - All creation praises God and sings out
Forget the earthly values and pursue God’s values - Trust in God to provide.
Serve and please God
Luke 17 - It doesn’t take much faith - but be willing to serve the servants and get out of your self-centered ways
2 Corinthinas 4 - God has put a treasure in us - we have the death of Jesus in us - but also the life of Jesus in us - grace will extend to more and more people though us - as our bodies die our spirit grows
Psalm 56 - You are being attacked every day- but God will save you - praise God
Prayer - Lord - am I dead?, not strong?, lukewarm?, I turn from my sins and listen to you. Attacks come from all around as I work in your kingdom, cover me - stand guard for me and save me. For I must trust in you - all creation depends on you - all creation praises you. Let the treasure you put inside of me shine forth to the world through this dead body. --- Amen
Monday 10/4/2004
Revelation 4 - A great worship service I want to go to in heaven - God is described in a wonderful way - all the praise, honor, glory and power is on display for me to finally see as I should always. I love this vision of heaven.
Nehemiah 5-6 - Nehemiah was a good leader -he saw how the poor were being taken advantage of - even by himself and corrected it - he governed by example and didn’t charge the taxes that were normal for the time since so many were working on rebuilding the wall that they couldn’t hardly even support themselves. Then his enemies tried to trick him into talking with them at Ono Valley so they could kill Nehemiah. But Nehemiah told them he was too busy rebuilding the wall and couldn’t meet -- this was the very thing Nehemiah’s enemies wanted him to stop doing - how ironic an answer.
Psalm 99 - Only you are God! -- and we worship and praise you.
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Fear, love, and trust in God above everything.
Job 40 - I am small - God is great - remember that God is God!
Isaiah 64 - God is God - we are clay - God is the creator and we are the work of his hands.
Psalm 103 - God is good and compassionate to those who fear him. Bless God - he provides all we need.
Prayer - Lord, what a message! - I am here to praise, honor, serve and glorify you. You are God -- Help me this day to see the needs of others -respond to the needs of the poor and live an example. -- Lead and guide me this day. --- Amen
Tuesday 10/5/2004
Revelation 5 - One of my favorite chapters in the Bible -- In the right hand of God a scroll - writing all over it - sealed in seven places - like those wax seals - An angel asks who can open it?-- No one? - Wait yes there is! - the Lion form the tribe of Judah can! - But wait the Lion is a Lamb- the Lamb looked as if it had been killed!? - The Lamb took the scroll from God -- We all sang “You are worthy to open the seals, because you were killed.� -- Millions of voices “The Lamb who was killed is worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory, and praise.� - Then all heaven and earth - everywhere praised the Lamb! ---- Only Jesus can open the seal of my heart and give me the Word of understanding-Love--Thanks be to God!
Nehemiah 7-8 - So another one of those exciting chapters that list a bunch of strange names and numbers of people that returned from exile -- then the reading of the law in public by Ezra - the people started crying when it was read to them -- but this was a celebration - a feast - a sharing of food with those in need. -- But here again as in Revelation is God opening the Word to his people - revealing himself to them.
Psalm 100 - Praise God as you enter his temple - His love and fiathfulness will last forever.
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Don’t use God’s name to curse, swear, lie, or deceive.
Job 41 - If I think I’m so great why can’t I defeat all enemies -- even the monsters of nature like Leviathan? -- Don’t be so proud! --Be humble! -- God is god.
Ecclesiastes 2 - You can work and work and work for a bunch of crap and get nothing out of it -- what’s the purpose of that?
Psalm 49 - Don’t think you’re so great if you are rich -- it doesn’t mean a thing - we all die alike and take nothing with us -- forget all that crap - trust in God - and follow His lead - God will care for you.
Prayer - Jesus - It is you! -- You who opens the Word to me - Today open your Word to me - Feed me the message - give me life -- Yes I sin and ask your forgiveness- you humble me. For I can see your power - I can’t defeat the monsters in my life - only you can do that - I can’t buy happiness - you give happiness - true joy and everlasting joy - I look forward to that day when we will sing glory, honor, praise, to you at the throne with a million other voices. -- Amen
Wednesday 10/6/2004
Revelation 6 - The Lamb opened the first seal- the four living creatures shouted come out! - a white horse - rider the crown and bow had won some victories now more. Second seal-come out!-red horse- rider take away peace on earth- Third seal - come out! - black horse - rider with scales-cheating for wages - Fourth seal-come out! - pale green horse - Death-power over quarter of earth - Fifth seal-souls of persecuted for proclaiming God under the altar - Sixth seal earthquake- sun turned to blood- rulers of earth hide
Nehemiah 8-9 - They celebrated the festival of shelters - A great prayer of the people- reciting the Jewish history of the Israelites and how faithful and providing God has been throughout time.
Psalm 101 -I will find trustworthy people to serve as my advisors
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Don’t neglect the Word or it’s preaching - keep it holy and gladly hear and learn it.
Job 42 - Job sees God as God - repents and God restores abundantly everything for Job - more than needed.-- “Dear God, I know that when I have you in my heart, I carry heaven with me wherever I go. Amen� -- God was with Job through it all - good and bad.
John 4 - Jesus is the Messiah - the living water - giving eternal life - Thanks be to God!
Psalm 34 - Seek God- Bless God - Magnify God- Praise God continually
Prayer - Lord open the seals of my heart - cleanse me of my sin and forgive me - Hear my celebration, praise, honor and glory for all you have done. I give thanks - for you are the living water of eternal life - flow upon me each day my baptismal water and blessings that I may go forth into your kingdom to love you and others and serve boldly in your name. -- Amen
Thursday 10/7/2004
Revelation 7 - The saved approach the throne of Jesus our King - they worship and honor his glory - Jesus is in the center of the throne and will lead to life-giving water -- this reminds me so much of an image of approaching the cross surrounded by a great crowd of people.
Nehemiah 10 - An agreement or pledge was made by the people to keep God’s law and to live in harmony with God -- not to marry outsiders and to observe the Sabbath and the Sabbath year of rest - giving relief to debt and letting the land rest.
Psalm 102 - When I am down - cry out to God for help - don’t worry he will be with me.
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Respect, love, obey and serve your parents and authorities.
Psalm 111 - Praise God - he is gracious and merciful- Study his works - The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.
Isaiah 11 - Jesus will be our King - and their will be peace among even the animals and in all the earth.
Psalm 122 - I am glad to go to the house of God!
Prayer - Jesus- I see that great crowd approaching to worship and honor and give you the glory you deserve and I so badly want to give. Show me the way - give me the voice - lead me in action to live my life in your kingdom on this earth - here and now- as you wish me to do. I will live in that hope of seeing that day and the approaching of the cross with friends and family and all the saved, past, present, and future. But now it’s time to go - to go out in my day -- repentant of my sins and forgiven - and living in the joy of your grace. Thanks for the day --- Amen
Friday 10/8/2004
Revelation 8 - The seventh seal is now finally opened by the Lamb or Jesus - Heaven went silent for ½ hour kind of like I would expect on the say of rest. There was incense to offer prayers - Reminds me of the evening service when they use the incense and the peoples prayers rise to heaven. God’s power and might are ever present. Then there were seven angels to blow trumpets -- This all reminds me of the plagues in Egypt - first angel - fire mixed with blood on 1/3 of earth - second - fiery mountain thrown into sea - 1/3 of living creatures in the sea died - third - star fell from heaven - fell on 1/3 of rivers - fourth - 1/3 of sun, moon, stars were struck and lost 1/3 of their light -- Then there was a lone eagle flying declaring trouble to the people of the earth because the other three angels are going to blow their trumpets. -- Just as God rescued the Israelites from Egypt - he will rescue us from our sin -- He does this through the Lamb - Jesus Christ - and is with us now to lead and guide through the Holy Spirit - So even though all this sounds so horrible - it is a dramatic way to show the love of God for each person - but God did take a dramatic action by coming down to me in giving his Son to die for me on the cross for my sins -- Thanks be to God!
Nehemiah 11 - So now with Jerusalem rebuilt - there was only room enough for about 1 of 10 people returning from exile in Babylonia -- So this chapter deals with how people and which people were chosen to return -- They cast lots - pieces of wood and stone - kind of like dice that would choose who - it wasn’t like gambling because the lots were believed to be God’s answer and choice - not just luck.
Psalm 103 - With all my heart I will praise God! -- he provides all I need - all creation is his - I am dust - like grass that comes and goes - but God still cares for me
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Don’t hurt your neighbor - help him
2 Kings 5.1-3, 7-15 - God sometimes heals in such simple ways -- I expect some grand show - but God works through the lowly - sends me into the water of my baptism and cleanses my soul for everlasting life
Acts 20.17-32 - Serve God in humility - proclaim God’s grace to all
Psalm 81 - Sing to God - play instruments to please him - Listen to God - Trust in God - God is God and will take care of all your needs.
Prayer - Lord open my seventh seal - bring me to silence so that I can stop and listen to your voice. Hear your Word so loudly proclaimed. Proclaim your saving grace to the world through me this day - to friends and neighbors. Cast your lots and please select me to live in your Holy city of Jerusalem. For you are god and I will trust in your forgiveness, your salvation and glorify you in creation. Thanks you for this day. Forgive my sins - for I continue to fail and need your forgiveness. Help me to correct myself and live the life you would have me live. To live in your kingdom this day and love and serve you in joy and happiness. --- Amen

Saturday 10/9/2004
Revelation 9 - Talk about plagues! - This sounds like a science fiction novel. The fifth angel blew a trumpet. A star fell to the earth - The star is kinda like a person. It had a key that opened up a tunnel to a deep pit. Out of the pit came some locusts with human and animal characteristics. They made the people who weren’t marked by God suffer. Then the sixth angel blew a trumpet. A voice spoke from an altar in God’s presence. Four angels were released from around the Euphrates river. They killed 1/3 of the people. But the people still didn’t turn from worshiping idols. Sometimes I can be this stubborn too.
Nehemiah 12 - A list of the priests and some of their duties is included. The priests and people celebrated the rebuilding of the wall by parading on it and singing.
Psalm 104.1-23 - God has set up creation to provide for all of it’s needs. God will provide for all of our needs also. Just see how he cares for the animals of this world and all he has created.
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Respect and love your wife.
2 Timothy 2.8-15 - The word of God is not chained up. Don’t wrangle over words.
Revelation 22.1-6 - The river of life - with the tree of life - for the healing of the nations. He is coming soon - I want to see this tree of life!
Psalm 38 - The world closes in and it seems I can’t bear it. People take revenge on me. But God is there with me - to live through it all with me and will rescue me at the last.
Prayer - Lord - forgive me - open my eyes to your warnings that I may heed them - turn from my sin and repent. Show me your salvation that I may clearly respond in joy and thanksgiving. I want to march on the walls of my city today - joyfully proclaiming your saving grace to all - showing them the love you freely give to all - pointing them towards the tree of life beside the river of life in my baptism and in theirs. As the world closes in on me I will place on my trust and faith into your care. --- Amen
Sunday 10/10/2004
Revelation 10 - A powerful angel - with one foot on land and one on the sea - this angel has a little scroll that tells of the final victory - maybe Jesus resurrection or coming again -- John is told to eat the scroll - it will taste good but leave his stomach sick. Makes me think of sometimes how life is tough - but some things that taste good - feel bad later.
Nehemiah 13 - Nehemiah had left for some period of time - when he returned - things had changed -the people and the priests were not upholding the law - Nehemiah had to once again begin to straighten it all out and get the people to realize one again - God is God.
Psalm 104.24-35 - God is the creator and cares for his creatures and takes care of them - His glory will last forever - With all my heart I will praise God - forever.
Receive the body and blood, the bread and wine, the forgiveness of sins and salvation. Live in God’s kingdom.
Help your neighbor protect his property and means of making a living.
Luke 17.11-19 - Jesus has mercy on ten lepers - but only one returns thanks - a Samaritan - Thank you Jesus for the healing you have given me - thank you for forgiving my sin. Thanks be to God!
Acts 26.1-8, 22-23 - Stand up for Jesus - proclaim the story of his death and resurrection - of his gift of grace to all - of his gift of life to all.
Psalm 148 - Everything praise God! - God is God
Prayer - Let me eat the Word of life you give this day - let me see you present in myself - lead me though the trails of this life and give me your grace. Forgive my sins I pray - Show me the way to give others the love you gave me - show me the joy, laughter, happiness you give to me so that I may give it out. I will praise you this day and I thank you for all the blessings you have given me. Thanks be to God! -- Amen
Monday 10/11/2004
Revelation 11 - John is told to measure the temple area - the inside area - where the faithful would be located - don’t measure the outside where the faithless would be -- Then there is the two witnesses - sent to witness to those in the city - persecuted and killed by the beast for the deep pit -- When they are killed the people celebrate - this is in Jerusalem - but the people are not worshipping God - then the two witnesses are raised and taken back to heaven - An earthquake destroys 1/10th of the city- 7000 people are killed - the rest are frightened enough and praise God. --Now the sound of the seventh trumpet is heard - The kingdom of this world belongs to Jesus - the time has come to judge- The door to God’s temple in heaven was opened and the sacred chest could be seen inside. --all this makes me think of how God tries so hard to speak to me - to witness to me - he opens the heart of his Son and shows me his love - and as I look on I am in awe of the power-might-and glorious wonder of Jesus - of God -- of his live. And just stand there looking at that open temple/heart in a stupor - unable to understand.
Esther 1 - So a couple of parties are going on - one with the women and one with the men -- King Xerxes has the guys together drinking-he decides he wants to have Queen Vashti come by and show the boys how beautiful she is -- Queen Vashti refuses to come by -- Well the boys get to worrying about all this -- all women may take on that attitude and all the boys will lose control of the women. So King Xerxes kicks Vashti out as queen and replaces her. -- I know times were different then and so was culture -- but to think you can control the women in such a way seems crazy - it’s the wrong way to treat anyone - try showing some honor instead.
Psalm 105.1-25 - Tell everyone what God has done - Celebrate and worship with all your heart - Trust in God
Thanks be to God!
Don’t lie about others- speak well of them
Acts 18.1-11 - It occurs to me that sometimes I have to argue about the love of Jesus with others. It wasn’t easy for Paul.
2 Corinthians 5.11-21 - God is working me - I must be bold and tell of his love - for he died for all, so that those who live might live no longer for themselves, but for him who and was raised for them.
Psalm 92 - God’s thoughts are very deep - Give thanks to God and sing his praises.
Prayer - Lord - as you opened the torn curtain at the crucifixion - as you opened the doors to the holy of holies in Revelation - open my heart this day - come in - let me praise your glory-power-and honor you in joy with my life this day - for you always come down - you come down to rescue me and save me. Thank you. May I bring honor to your people and your creation - may I not try to control and subdue others - but respect and love them. Your thoughts are deep and I give you thanks and praise. --- Amen
Tuesday 10/12/2004
Revelation 12 - Something important appeared in the sky - A woman - her clothes were the son - the moon was under her feet- twelve stars on her head - like the tribes of Israel- like Jesus disciples - I am one of Jesus disciples - she gave birth - Makes me think of how important women are in the church - the light of God is all around them - Mary gave birth to Jesus - How Jesus light must have burned brightly all around her - Something else appeared in the sky - a dragon - seven heads and seven horns and a crown on each of it’s heads - The dragon wanted to eat the child born to the woman - How the devil must want to defeat Jesus. But the woman’s son would rule all the nations - The son was taken to God and put on his throne - Jesus came into this world - with the devil - defeated the devil and rose to be with God on his throne --- The woman ran into the desert to a place God had prepared for her - Even though I live in a sinful world God will provide protection - even in the barren places of my life -- Then there was a war in heaven - God’s angels defeated the angels of sin and the devil and threw sin out of heaven to the earth - that snake - makes me not only think of Mary - but Eve also - Sin will fool me in this life - but I know God has defeated sin through the child living on the throne in heaven and the throne of my life - God shows his saving power and his kingdom has come! - Satan has been defeated by the blood of the Lamb and the message of God - Even though sin is in my life - Jesus has already defeated sin for me by his death and resurrection and gives me life - I must be willing to give up my life- The heavens pity the earth - but rejoice in the victory over sin - Yea the devil is mad and his time is short- he will try to make trouble for me- but God will protect me from sin - even when the devil tries to mess up my desert place by flooding it - God will swallow up that flood of evil water and make the devil stand to the side - God has washed me with the good water - and with the blood of Christ -- Thanks be to God!
Esther 2 - So King Xerxes decides with the help of some of his officials advice that he must search for another Queen to please him. In comes Mordecai - a Jew - who had raised a beautiful cousin of his -- her name was Esther - and she goes to see if she can be one of the women to be queen. Hegai was put in charge of the women - give beauty treatments and stuff - he must have really been tempted - like a kid in a candy store! - Mordecai warned Esther not to tell anyone she was a Jew - So these women get pampered for a year then they get to spend the night with King Xerxes - how could a guy be so lucky? - bad way to treat women - like they are only there for pleasure - but I guess to King Xerxes that’s how he saw it - seems kinda cheap to me and very unloving - So King Xerxes picks Esther and falls in love with her -- sounds like one of those shows you see on TV today - what a bunch of crap! - So Mordecai becomes a palace official - A couple guys who guarded the king has some beef over this whole thing - Bigthana and Teresh - they decided to kill the King - but Mordecai got wind of it and told Queen Esther - When King Xerxes found out it was true - the two men were hanged and I’m sure Mordecai gained the respect of the King.
Psalm 105.26-45 - The rest of this psalm tells of how God rescued Israel from slavery in Egypt and cared for them in the desert. It makes me think of the subject -- Why bad things happen to good people -- Here I am in slavery to sin - but God rescues me with the blood and very life of his Son Jesus - Even though I have been rescued from sin - I still live in a sinful world and am sinful myself - I go into the desert - bad things may happen to me - but God loves me so much that he is there with me in my pain - Jesus and the Spirit live with me through the pain and the bad things - not necessarily taking those bad things away - but being with me - providing for me and giving me the final hope of victory in the end - yea I will feel the pain - but I will also learn to trust in God and put my hope in Jesus because he has given me life - therefore - even in the pain - I can feel and respond with eternal joy. - Thanks be to God!
Thanks be to God!
Help your neighbor keep his stuff. You don’t need it! God gives you all the stuff you need.
Acts 18.12-28 - I like this part about Apollos - he knew the scriptures and spoke with burning enthusiasm the things concerning Jesus. But was willing to listen to instruction from Priscilla and Aquilla - wife and husband always mentioned together - I notice how the wife is named first - kinda like Wanda and Ray - instead of Ray and Wanda.
Exodus 32.1-14 - Moses was away talking to God for some time. The Israelites became impatient and figured God had left them. So they pleaded with Aaron to make a god. They did make a god out of the jewelry they had. God got wind of this and sent Moses back to straighten the mess out. But God was ready to ditch the whole effort. Moses pleaded with God to change his mind. God did. May I turn from my sins and plead with God - he is gracious and merciful and will forgive me. But I must change and turn from my sin. Thanks be to God!
Psalm 115 - Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory. Just look around at all the blessings God has given me - family-friends-church-creation-Jesus - open my eyes today Lord Jesus to the blessings and care you give to me -- let me see you in all creation. You deserve the glory - nothing I do - only you.
Prayer -Jesus- your glory surrounds me - sometimes in ways I can’t even see - in the heavenly realms the angels sing of your power and might -they praise you in your heavenly kingdom - but wait a minute - I can see your glory this day in the love of others - in the creation of this world you have given me to take care of to live in and to enjoy - You are with me - you walk beside me - you talk to me in your Word and through others- open my eyes this day to see the wonderful blessings you give me - in conversation - in the changing of the leaves that display the fire of passion and love of God boldly to the world - in the song of the birds - in the silence - in the Spirit of the breeze. You are there! You are not far away on some mountain this day - you are walking with me on the path of life - you hear my prayers and speak gently to me. You allow me the time to turn from sin and forgive me - you allow me the time to change my ways - you give me growth and life through your death and resurrection. You are God and I love you -- Thanks be to God! --- Amen
Wednesday 10/13/2004
Revelation 13 - A beast from the sea and a beast from the ground - the dragon gave them power -- Three beasts total including the dragon - kind of like the trinity of evil. Sin leads us to make idols to worship - the beast or sin separates us from God and tries to mark us as one of the sinful and evil ones. Keep hope in what God has already done and see the evil of the beasts.
Esther 3-4 - This is just thrown in - Haman is promoted to the highest position in the kingdom - Mordecai refused to bow down to Haman because he was a Jew - this ticked Haman off - so Haman decides he needs to get even - but with more than just Mordecai - with the Jews - Haman talks the king into letting him write a letter and seal it with the official ring of the king - Haman writes the letter and sends it out telling that on a particular date all the Jews were to be killed - Mordecai get the message to Esther through a servant Hathach - it’s not all that easy - cause you can’t just waltz up to the king without the king extending his scepter or you will be killed - Esther needs to plead with the king about the decree sent out to kill the Jews -- then Mordecai replies the very familiar words to Esther -- “It could be that you were made queen for a time like this!� -- Does God use me and place me and give me gifts - to serve at “a time like this�? --- sometimes I think so - I pray that I will recognize those times and respond faithfully.
Psalm 106.1-23 - More of the faith struggles of the Israelites in the desert and as they escaped from Egypt - may I keep constant in faith and trust in God - God is God!
Thanks be to God!
Encourage people to remain loyal
Acts 19.1-10 - Paul spoke boldly his faith - he argued - he received the Spirit and the Spirit moved him through his ministry - lead and guide me too.
Acts 8.26-40 - Sometimes when I’m reading the Bible someone comes along and makes it all so clear - I thank God for that person - may God use me in this same way for someone else and may God’s salvation be seen by all.
Psalm 119.33-48 - Teach me God - Give me understanding - Lead me - Turn me from myself and sin
Prayer- Keep me faithful to you oh Lord - let me see the horror of the beast and turn away - and find hope and comfort and rescue in you - for you are God - you save your people - you rescue me from sin and lead me when troubled. As you open your word - I open my heart - this day I will serve and love3 you with my friends and neighbors - use me today. --- Amen
Thursday 10/14/2004
Revelation 14 - Jesus the Lamb with the 144,000 -- A new song is sung in front of the throne. Three angels come and announce the judgment - pictured as a harvest - the wicked will drink a wine that will be torture- God’s anger- fire and burning while the holy angels and the Lamb look on. Then the harvest of the earth - the grain - the ripe grapes will be cut off the vice. The grapes will be thrown into the pit and trampled with God’s anger and blood will flow out of them and turn into a river. --- God is loving - but evil he will destroy - accept the gift of Jesus - have faith and turn from sin.
Esther 5.1-6.13 - So Esther dresses up and hangs around the inner court of the palace until the king recognizes her and extends his scepter to her. Then she invites him to dinner with Haman. They have the dinner and she sets up the second dinner with Haman - reeling the big fish in!- just like a woman! -- So in between dinners Haman sees Mordecai at the gate - Mordecai won’t show respect to Haman and Haman gets mad enough that he builds a big tower to hang Mordecai from - but he wants to make a big show of the execution and needs the Kings backing -- Also the King has a sleepless night - and had a servant read things that had happened since he was King -- they got to the part of how Mordecai kept Bigthana and Teresh from killing the king - The King wanted to do something to honor Mordecai now -- So here comes Haman - the kings asks him what he should do to honor someone - well big head Haman thinks the King is talking about honoring him and tells him so crap that would make Haman feel all important - Haman didn’t know that the King was talking about honoring Mordecai -- So the King tell Haman to go get Mordecai and honor him. Well this pretty much made Haman look like some big goof - especially in front of this friends who knew Haman had intentions of hanging Mordecai.
Psalm 106.24-48 - I turn from God - I run the other way - I don’t do what I’ve been told - just like the Israelites - I realize I need God to save me - He deserves praise forever and ever. Bring me back.
Thanks be to God!
God’s love is so great - He is a jealous God - He wants me
Psalm 121 - Help comes form God - God will take care of me
Isaiah 53 - He was wounded for our transgressions - crushed for our iniquities - punished - bruised- oppressed- afflicted- Yet Jesus remained humble- he was killed by our perversion of justice - Jesus had no violence or deceit in his words - Yet is was God’s will for Jesus to be crucified - Out of Jesus anguish comes light - many shall be made righteous - Jesus bore our sins --- Thanks be to God!!
Psalm 40 - Wait for God - he will set my feet on a rock - He will put a song in my mouth - many will see and hear the song and put their trust in God - trust in God - It’s fun to serve God- Don’t restrain my lips of his praise- tell others what God has done in my life
Prayer - Jesus- you are so present in my life - I give you thanks - for you will come again - you have come today also - I look forward to that day when you will come in the clouds - Yea - revelation makes it all sound a little scary - but to me it isn’t - I put all my turst and hope in you - forgive me today the sins which I have committed - show me my sins and help me to turn - humble me- I see the great sacrifice that you made for me - I gladly accept this awesome gift given - use me this day in your service - for it is fun to serve you. --- Amen.
Friday 10/15/2004
Revelation 15 - Something important in the sky- seven angels bringing the last seven terrible troubles - seven signifies completeness - After this God will no longer be angry - there was a glass sea with fire and people standing on it - reminds me of the crossings of the Israelites and Jesus walking on water - the people standing on the sea had defeated the beast or devil- seems like the sea and the crossing of it is a hostile place for the Israelites - so maybe the image of people standing on it shows how they have defeated that evil and hostility and separation from the promised land and hope - they were singing praises to God. Then he saw the temple -- the tent -- open in heaven and the seven angels were coming out with bowls filled with God’s anger.
Esther 6.14-8.17 - the second dinner - the King asks Esther what she wants - she wants the King to save her people - a reward was promised to anyone who kills the Jews -- the King didn’t know who would grant such and thing and Esther tells the King that it is Haman -- The King gets so mad that he left the table - While the King is gone Haman gets down on his knees in front of Esther to beg for his life - the King walks in and thinks now Haman is trying to rape Esther - So the King has Haman hung on the gallows Haman built to hang Mordecai -- Esther tells the King that Mordecai is her cousin and Mordecai takes over Haman’s position in the kingdom -- A new law is written allowing the Jews to defend themselves against attack and kill the enemies who may try to kill them due to the law Haman put out.
Psalm 107.1-22 - Praise God - pray to him and he rescues - praise God for his love
Thanks be to God!
Creed=I believe
Genesis 32.22-31 - Jacob wrestles with an angel of God - how many times have I fought against God - but Jacob’s wrestling was more like a struggle between God and his humanness - God became human to save me and feel the struggle - so now I have a friend and Savior.
2 Corinthians 9.5-15 - God gave to me abundantly - I am abundantly joyous for this gift and give out abundantly to others
Psalm 37 - Trust-delight-commit-in and to God -- Don’t fret - Wait for God - God holds me by the hand
Prayer - God you rescue me in your power and glory from death and sin - I see through the awesome deeds of Jesus how you have defeated evil and I wait for that final glory -- but today I turn to you and repent - forgive my sins - send me out into the day to serve you - for your love makes me so happy - you take a terrible situation which only promises death and destruction and hanging from a gallow and turn it around into a party of joy - I praise you for your love -- As I wrestle with sin this day - send you Spirit to lead and guide me - to give me the words and actions that you would have me say and take. Your love is abundant beyond imagination -- Hold my hands this day --- Amen
Saturday 10/16/2004
Revelation 16 - This reminds me of the plague of Egypt - I stop and think about how awful God must be - but then I realize especially with verse 7b “Yes, Lord, God All-Powerful, your judgments are honest and fair.� -- God has the right to judge my sin - And then I see the love of God in 11b - “But still they did not stop doing evil things.� -- God is trying to love these people one last time - trying to convince them in human ways through suffering - which humans understand - to turn from sin and turn back to God -- but just like the Egyptians, Israelites, and me at times - humans are stubborn and refuse to turn to God - to trust him and put their complete hope in him for life - not just earthly life but eternal life - some humans still refuse to turn back - even when God has given chance after chance - this speaks to the idea that we do have choices we can make - God gives me the ability to choose - he loves me so much I can choose to accept the gift of grace in Jesus suffering, death and resurrection for the forgiveness of sins - I choose to accept - God help me along the way.
Esther 9-10 - So the thirteenth day of Adar arrives - this is the day selected by casting lots - that Haman chose for the destruction of the Jews - since this law was sealed with the ring of the King at that time - it could not be forgotten -- but since Esther, Mordecai, and the King figured out Haman’s plot another law was written and sealed with the ring of the King in wax - that the Jews could defend themselves and kill their enemies -- this is what happened -- a whole bunch of the Jews enemies were killed throughout the Persian Empire - 77,800 if your counting --- Then the Jews celebrate - the annual celebration of victory and salvation is made into law - today when Purim is celebrated by the Jews - the book of Esther is read - and whenever Haman’s name is read the Jewish children drown out the sound with noisemakers -- Sounds like a good idea for the kids to have fun and be able to remember the story -- Even when things look really bad - God saves - when death looks imminent - God saves - God loves me so much he sent his son to save me. -- Thanks be to God!
Psalm 107.23-43 - think about the kindness of the LORD -- God rescues his people - I am a child of God - Thanks be to God!
Thanks be to God!
I believe in the Creator, Jesus, the Spirit and the Church
2 Timothy 3.14-4.5 - Continue in the teaching I have learned from childhood - scripture is good for teaching, reproof, correction and training. It will equip me for good work - Jesus will judge the sin- proclaim the message - be sober, endure suffering and do the work of an evangelsit - carry out my ministry fully. The Bible will transform me because it is inspired by God. The Bible is a story of God’s love for me and comes to me - it shows me how to receive Jesus into my heart. May I hear God’s call in the Bible.
Romans 5.12-21 - Sin came to me through Adam - I sin and sin is part of me - I will die because of sin - But life - eternal life came to me though Jesus - He took on my sin as a free gift to me - grace - I gladly accept this gift of eternal life- yea I sin and will die in this life - but through Jesus gift of forgiveness and life I will live eternal life in Jesus - I believe! -- Thanks be to God!
Psalm 80 - You have fed me with the bread of tears -- Makes me think first of manna - dew from heaven that dried into food for life for the Israelites-- also Jesus - his suffering and tears dried into the bread of life - his body - brings me life. Jesus gives me his tears of compassion to drink in full measure - kinda like a cup story I have heard before -- 80.5 “You have fed then with the bread of tears, and given them tears to drink in full measure.� -- God has let his face shine on me through Jesus that I may be saved. -- Thanks be to God!
Prayer - You save - Thanks be to God! - You save me in the plagues of life - you teach and instruct me and give me so many ways to turn from my sin and turn back to you - You save - You allow me to choose and I choose to believe -- even when the world is committed to killing me you give me an out - you give me a reason to celebrate the casting of lots in my favor - You save - Thanks be to God! - Your love is so great that even though I sin and live in sin you rescued me through Jesus - You save - Thanks be to God! - You are kind and claim me as your child - You save - Thanks be to God! - I believe! - You teach me through the Bible and your spoken word the grace and gift of eternal life in Jesus - You save -- Thanks be to God! -- you give me life in the bread and the wine - in the manna of provisions for my life - in the body and blood of Jesus - You save -- Thanks be to God! --- Forgive my sin and let me realize that I don’t save - only You save! -- Thanks be to God! --- Amen
Sunday 10/17/2004
Revelation 17 - An angel showed John and image of a prostitute in the desert sitting on a red beast. The woman was drunk on the blood of God’s people who had given their lives to Jesus. The Romans were persecuting the Christians at this time in history. The beast will come back once more to be destroyed by God - sin will be destroyed from this earth by the Lamb. This Lamb is Jesus - his followers are chosen and special and faithful. Even though I live in a sinful world and am sinful myself - I can have hope - because the Lamb will win over death and sin.
Isaiah 1-2 - Isaiah means - the LORD saves -- a common theme lately - I am guilty - turn from my sins and give up my sin - listen to God - wash myself and forget trying to be a god for myself - I need God - defend the widows and orphans and those in need - talk it over with God - God will wash me whiter than snow or wool - not all the stuff I try to do for myself - live by the light of God - when God comes all who are proud will be made humble - honor only God - stop trusting the power of humans - place all my trust in God. -- I find the meaning of “Scripture� interesting in the commentary I am reading - Scripture is described not as texts but as human activity. God speaks to me through the scriptures - later known as the Bible - but it is my human activity and the testimony of God’s action in my life that makes “scripture� come to life - it is my story of God’s activity in my life - this point of view makes the Bible come alive and have much more meaning to me - today - in my brief period of life on this earth.
Psalm 108 - I will sing an play music for you with all that I am - I will start playing my harps before the sun rises -- “In the Morning� - God’s love reaches higher that the heavens - Honor God above the heavens and let his glory be seen everywhere on earth.
Thanks be to God!
God created me - takes care of me - provides for me - guards me from evil - I will thank, praise, serve, and obey him - I don’t deserve such kind treatment. Thanks be to God!
Luke 18.1-8 - I need to pray always and not to lose heart.
Romans 10.1-15 - I pray people will be saved - confess Jesus is God - believe it in my heart - God came to save everyone - everyone - “How beautiful are the fee of those who bring good news!�
Psalm 33.1-11 - Praise the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings. Sing to him an new song’ play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.� - the earth is full of steadfast love of God
Prayer - Lord - you send me angels to show me your power and might - to reveal to me your scripture - your activity in my life - your story for me - this day - now and into my immediate future - your angels bring the Bible to life - your angels walk with me and talk with me and lead me towards your light - for you are God and you alone the angels glorify - I will glorify you - I praise you for the gift of your Son - to die on a cross- to serve as my Lamb of sacrifice - who forgives me - whom your angels declare as King over all things - as your angels lead me this day may I hear their music - see their faces shining in your glory and join right in with them with all I have - I pray with your angels and they pray for me - your angels are a mighty gift in my life - your angels have beautiful feet that bring me good news of a God reaching out to me -the lost and sinful - showing me to turn and be changed by you - for you are God and you are the way -- Thanks be to God! And thanks for sending angels into my life to point the way as your messengers. --- Amen
Monday 10/18/2004
Revelation 18 - Babylon falls - the evil city which here is representing Rome - Rome persecuted the Christians at this time - A powerful angel picked up a mill stone and threw it into the sea- representing the downfall of Rome - fast and not to return to power - this would have given the persecuted Christians of that day hope - it does me too - in the end - God wins - sin is not to return
Isaiah 3-4 - I bring trouble on myself when I turn from God - Turn to God - his judgment is fair - so turn to God - don’t center on myself - Jesus is Lord
Psalm 109.1-19 - Man- The Psalmist has a “beef� with someone - he wants God to take big time revenge! - I have to respect his honest feelings and willingness to be open to God with exactly how he feels- that’s a good - close relationship with God
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
Jesus freed me from sin and death not with silver or gold but with his own blood and innocent suffering and death.
Luke 1.1-4 - Tell your own story of truth - of how God is actively saving you day after day
Psalm 48 - God is great - praise him - tell the next generation about God- God is forever - he will be our guide forever
Prayer - Lord- I have hope in you - I know you will rescue me at all times - you will be with me even when enemies attack - sometimes I feel like taking revenge - forgive me and guide me - but hear my honest plea - Send me today and this week into the world to tell the story of your saving grace in my life - to be as open and honest with others like I can be with you - you are forever -- Thanks be to God! --- Amen
Tuesday 10/19/2004
Revelation 19 - Here comes the really good stuff - Jesus comes to earth again on a white horse. His robe is covered with his blood - which he shed to save us from sin, death and the devil. He was known as the Word of God - reminds me of the book of John - and the Word will be made flesh and live among us - Jesus lives with me now - but will come again - the heavens will open and he will come again to put away sin from me and this earth - what an image! -- What a day that will be! - I want it now! - Jesus will gather his Church together - we won’t be bothered with fussing over the little things of this earth - over our sinful nature - cause that will be gone - Jesus will bring this sinful church on earth and unite us finally into that great Church we were intended to be - Our mission will be simple - we will all realize that the whole point is - worship God- Everyone who tells about Jesus does it by the power of the Spirit - not my power - but the power of the Spirit - It’s not about me - it’s about what God does, silly -- On Jesus thigh his blood covered robe will say “King of Kings and Lord or Lords� -- his thigh - the active part of his body will be in motion and Jesus will put the Church into motion - a great activity - a saving activity - his thigh is powerful - his thigh- Like in Genesis 24.3- the thigh - place your hand under my thigh - a great solemn oath was made that Abraham’s descendants would be God’s people - God has promised that I am a child of God in my baptism - my thigh - that fountain of fertility - where God will raise up his people - Jesus thigh - a great fountain of fertility - Jesus will raise up a great people - his Church - the thigh - the place of the sacred oath and promise of God - Jesus fulfills that promise - he is my powerful thigh - Jesus thigh - never to be struck down but always powerful. Look He is coming! -- Look He is here now! - Rejoice today - Rejoice again at that great wedding feast when He comes again - that wedding day when the Lamb brings his Church together and washes His Church and puts us in a wedding dress of pure and shining linen - the linen of good things God has done! -- I can’t wait to look up and see it all!
Isaiah 5-6 - See my sin - don’t reject God- I am a child of God - see that and know - God is God - Jesus is Lord - don’t get confused in my sin - I want a vision of the Lord like Isaiah - God high on his throne - his robe fills the temple - that bloody robe of Jesus suffering and death - the blood of the Lamb that saves me from myself and sin - that gives me everlasting life - not from what I do but from what Jesus did for me - “Holy, holy, holy. LORD All-Powerful! The earth is filled with your glory.� -- I realize my sin - I realize I’m doomed - Then the flaming creature flies over me and touches my lips with a burning coal - and tells me my sins are forgiven and I’m no longer guilty -- God will ask who can I send - I say now - send me!! - Go speak- go do the hard thing - tell the people God’s words - even if it’s tough- burn my lips Jesus! -- make your Spirit burn within me that I may tell the story of how you save - burn my lips!-- Isaiah’s message will not be understood by the people - they won’t get it - Jesus message was not understood by the people - I don’t get it! - I can’t understand a love so great! - I can’t understand God! - God is God - I must listen- obey- serve and love God with all my might and not be so concerned with the understanding -- God will give me what I need as far as understanding goes to serve him in his kingdom - I must completely trust in God - even in my understanding of God - I’m not God - so why try to understand it all -all I know is that God is God and I’m not.
Psalm 109.20-31 - God - show your kindness and rescue me - come and save me because of your love - I am glad to be your servant - I sing your praises and thank you
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
I believe I can’t understand or believe in God on my own -- but….the Spirit calls me, enlightens me, and keeps me united with Jesus - Thanks be to God!
Hosea 1.1-2.1 - Oh - sounds so much like Revelation above - especially how God will gather us together under one head -- Jesus -- I can’t wait! -- Thanks be to God!
Acts 4.1-12 - Only Jesus saves- “There is salvation in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among mortals by which we must be saved.�
Psalm 139 - God you know me - you are with me always - even before I was born you were with me - even after I die you are with me - God, lead me in your everlasting way!
Prayer - Wow God - you are great - today I see heavens opening - I see flying creatures giving me messages - burning my lips sending me out into your world to proclaim the saving grace of your son Jesus - I see white horses - I see bloody robes covered with that life giving blood of Jesus - I see mighty thighs declaring who is who in your creation - you are God - I get it - I hear it - pick me to go out into the world today and do your will - to serve you - to praise you - to sing your glory - I wanna go - pick me! Pick me! -- I can feel your forgiveness - just like the priest would go into the Holy of Holies once a year for the sin of the people - I give your thanks and praise for sending Jesus into the Holy of Holies for me - for tearing that curtain and letting me get a glimpse of your glory - your throne - your power - your might - letting me peek into that holy place - that heart of Jesus - no- I can’t understand it - but I can feel the emotion - I can feel the power - I can feel the love of Jesus sent to die and have compassion for me - for I am dying - and you give me everlasting life - send me out with the Spirit of your emotion to touch the lives of your children in the world with your love and compassion - send me amongst the poor and oppressed- the grieving the dying and those in pain - send me to those who are happy - those praising you to build them up in your name - just send me! - use me! - cause I can’t wait! - you burn within me - I want you now! -You’re with me now! -- Thanks be to God --- Amen
Wednesday 10/20/2004
Revelation 20 - So here is the much talked about 1000 years - An angel came and threw the dragon in a pit and locked it up for 1000 years (God’s time) - whatever that is -- Then John sees the souls of the people who had their heads cut off - they are God’s martyrs - those that stood strong under persecution - - they were raised to life - at the end of the 1000 years Satan will be set free to be defeated - then the judgment - the sea gives up the dead people - all are judged and death and its kingdom are thrown into the lake of fire along with anyone whose name wasn’t in the book of life -- Well what to make of all that - I suppose - trust God - will I be one with the head cutoff - will I be later - if I trust God it won’t really matter - however God chooses to use me - I will be happy to do that - the outcome is in God’s hands - just trust God.
Isaiah 7-8 - Isaiah meets King Ahaz - there is the threat of an alliance that will attack Judah - of Syria and Israel - Isaiah gives King Ahaz a word of hope - then it seems out of nowhere comes this Immanuel sign - Ahaz doesn’t want to test God - but Isaiah says he is going to get a sign anyway - there is a whole bunch of debate over the meaning of the original words for verse 14 - virgin or young woman will give birth to a son Immanuel -- then even if that is Jesus -- the timing is screwy -- but the point seems to be -- that God rescues and saves his people - even with Jesus - when we are in exile - when we have turned our backs on God- he sends a Savior to get us - that’s what I hear in this message
Psalm 110 - This one really sounds like Jesus - he is the center of Zion - he is the King -he is the one to give that eternal stream of water to drink from - that Baptismal water - he wins the victory over sin, death and the devil -- Thanks be to God!
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
Lord - thanks for teaching me your prayer
Hosea 2.2-15 - Well - talk about a whore -- but the Jews were ravishing a whore by not keeping God as their God - they were following their own desires - I do this to - I must not ravish the whore - and keep God in the center of my life - God is God! - Forgive me when I turn away.
Matthew 3.1-12 - John the Baptist - repent - turn around to God - the Jewish leaders came to be baptized by John - John told them he baptizes for repentance -- but Jesus will come - a baptism with the Spirit and fire of God will take place.
Psalm 105 - Make known Gods deeds among the people - tell all of his wonderful works - God saves me in mighty ways
Prayer - Lord - I depend on you - I trust you - for you are the Savior - I cannot save myself - but trust and depend on you - forgive me when I stray - forgive me when I lose you at the center - forgive me when I try to replace you with myself - I depend on you - I trust in you - I turn from sin and you rescue me from death. --- Amen
Thursday 10/21/2004
Revelation 21-22 - John sees a new heaven and an new earth- Jerusalem dropping down out of the sky - reminds me that God always comes down - he came down to me in his son Jesus - he is coming down in the end in the new Jerusalem - I can’t go up cause God always comes down - the new Jerusalem is huge - it’s stones are precious jewels - the gates are named after the tribes of Israel and the foundation stones/jewels are named after the apostles - reminds me of the priests ephod - there is no need for light or a temple -- God is among his people and the light is his in Jesus - there is a river of life giving water- baptismal water- with trees on each side with fruit for each month - this fruit gives life and the leaves are medicine to heal the nations -- the tree song -- finally a reverse of our sinful nature in eating the wrong fruit -- eat fruit! - Jesus will be coming soon -- be ready - “So, Lord Jesus, please come soon!�
Isaiah 9-10 - A strange couple of chapters to me - but it seems Isaiah at this point seems to jump around -- anyway Assyria is defeating the northern Israel and is a threat to Judah too - Assyria does defeat Israel and sends them into exile - but Judah is spared -- but the remnant will survive - “those who walked in the dark have seen a bright light� throughout all this - pops up expression that point to the Messiah - like the bright light - reminds me of the light of Christ - and a child born a son given - his power will never end - peace will last forever - Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace -- all this kind of stuff seems to point beyond the immediate needs of the Israelites of that day - to today and in the future - where we have Jesus and when he will come again - It all sounds so eternal -- and hopeful -- and encouraging -- Thanks be to God!
Psalm 111 - With all my heart I will thank the LORD - God rescued his people- respect and obey the LORD! - this is the first step to wisdom and good sense
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
Our Father in heaven -- Amen!! - God is God
Psalm 84.1-7 - My heart longs to be with God in his home
1 Kings 18.22-39 - Lord! -- Baptize me like Elijah did that altar years ago - fill four jars with water - Jesus, Moses, Myself, My Friend -- pour out your baptismal water on me - three times - Father-Son-Holy Spirit -- Four jars - three times - then send your fire and ignite my life to proclaim your glory as I play in this life with my friends - may all who join fall on their faces at the glory of Jesus!
Psalm 135 - Praise the LORD! - Bless the LORD!
Prayer -- Lord! -- Let me be that bull on the altar! -- baptize me with your water of salvation - three times pour that mighty everlasting water of life over me until it falls all over the ground - baptize me in the name of the Father - the Son - the Holy Spirit -- then send your fire on me - take my life and consume me with the fire of your compassion - use me in your kingdom - burn me up into a great and pleasing smoke of everlasting life through the promise and grace given to me in Jesus - take my life today! -- you show your glory and power in your great light - you are the precious city - the river of life - that great healing tree - with wonderful fruit -- how else can I respond - burn my lips - burn within my life and use me up --- Amen
Friday 10/22/2004
1 Thessalonians 1 - God loves you and has chosen you to be his people. - accept the message - follow the example we have of Jesus life - I will suffer too - repent and turn from those idols to God
Isaiah 11-13 - Someone from David’s family will be king and his greatest joy will be to obey the LORD - everyone and everything will get along and all will know and honor God - God’s people will come together from all over - They will thank and trust God for saving them. With great joy they will get water from the well of victory - but God will judge evil - and punish the evil of this earth and destroy it once and for all
Psalm 112 - Be a light in the dark - freely lend and be honest in business - trust god - be dependable -don’t fear - be kind and freely give to the poor
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
Help me to hallow your name and live in harmony with your Word
Jeremiah 14.7-10, 19-22 - I sin - but you are still here with me - my feet move in the wrong direction- but then you make me realize my faults - I turn to you for you are God
John 16.17-30 - What does he mean by this ‘a little while’? -- We do not know what he is talking about - pain will turn into joy - Jesus will see me - my heart will rejoice and no one can take that joy from me - ask and God will give
Psalm 77 - I cry out to God that he may hear me
Prayer - Jesus - you are King - you are Savior - I want to follow you - but first I must turn my feet around - I repent and ask you to forgive my sin - for you are always with me - you see me move in the wrong direction and pull me back - thank you - I’m tired of ‘a little while’ - but I know you have work for me to do - lead and guide me in that work - fill my mind and heart with your mission - move my feet in your direction and let my feet serve you - in this I rejoice - serving you is such a joy - you make it so easy -- thanks ---- Amen
Saturday 10/23/2004
1 Thessalonians 2.1-16 - Let the message from me - through me - come straight from God - don’t let me try to fool anyone with my stuff - don’t let it be about my reputation - just straight from God -help be clear up my “glass� so God’s light can shine through clearly - not my stuff - God’s stuff - accept God’s message - God will work in you - kinda like Campolo said Friday night - we are his disciples - Jesus has multiplied his ministry through us - then Paul at the end - verses 15 and 16 seems to get rough on the Jews - seems a little too far for me
Isaiah 14-16 - God will bring me back home after I stray and care for me - “You the bright morning star, have fallen from the sky!� - I think I can be like God - I think I can turn that arrow up - but God always comes down - when I think I can be like God - I will fall from the sky - don’t think so much of myself - but revel in the glory that God comes down to me - thanks be to God! - God will rescue me and take care of those who hate me - this frees me to love those who hate me -what a hard concept to accept.
Psalm 113 - Let the name of the LORD be praised now and forever
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
Give my your Spirit in this Kingdom of yours here - in this Kingdom I live in now
2 Timothy 4.6-8, 16-19 - I am being poured out as libation - Campolo - fill myself with the Spirit and pour it out all day long - proclaim the Gospel message - even when it may be dangerous - God will stand there right with you and help and protect you.
Ephesians 1.15-23 - I have heard about you - I pray that God will give you a spirit of wisdom and revelation as you come to know him -- We grow in Christ every day - Thanks be to God! - May the eyes of our hearts be enlightened - may we know the hope Jesus has called us to - may we see Jesus immeasurable power and love - Jesus is the head - we are the body - be disciples joyfully and on fire with his love for all the world and creation
Psalm 43 - God is my exceeding joy - praise him - all hope is in God
Prayer - Lord - fill me up this day with your baptismal water of grace - fill me way up - then let it pour out into the world I go into this day - let your word reign in my life today - let it shine brightly through - forgive me my sins and send me out - you make me so happy for all you have done for me- it’s funny - it makes me laugh - it makes it all fun to serve you in your Kingdom here now and in this place - thanks for every morning - for filling me with your Word - for giving me another day to serve you - for giving me another day to praise you - for giving me another day to sing of your glory - for giving me another day to see friends, family and have that special joy in life - thanks for another day in your glorious creation - thanks for another day to see you in all the people I meet - thanks for another day to live - thanks for another day to breath - thanks for another day to feel the wind of your spirit - thanks for another day to smell the leaves who have given their lives for me to reflect on your Son who gave his life for me - thanks for another day - thanks for another day to see children play - thanks for another day to hear children laugh - thanks for another day to see your cross - thanks for another day to feel the emotion of you - thanks for another day for you to guide and direct me -- thanks for another day for you to correct me when I stray - thanks for another day for me to see your creative power in technology - thanks for another day of healing your people - thanks for another day where babies will be born and life is created - thanks for another day to love - thanks for another day to cry - thanks for another day to care for your people- thanks for another day to see healing - thanks for another day to hear music - thanks for another day to hear creation cry out in praise to you 0- thanks for another day to feel rain - thanks for another day to feel your Son - thanks for another day to be able to serve you in your kingdom -- thanks --- thanks -- thanks be to God! --- Amen
Sunday 10/24/2004
1 Thessalonians 2.17-3.13 - When Christians are separated for a little bit of time - the love that God has shown each person - and the love of God flowing between the Christians - makes them all want to get back together - to talk about faith and love of God and service and praise and sing and worship -- This is important emotions and spirituality that must not be ignored. This love is to be extended to all people.
Isaiah 17-19 - This all makes me think about how we feel God is always good - well he is - but like a Father he still punishes his children for sin - I think this is still love - all these nations who worshipped many idols and looked to other sources for direction - God seems to punish them - but some of them return to worship God -they turn around and realize that God is God - I too must turn around - repent of my sins and try to sin no more - I need God - God is God - only God can save me -- the other thing that sticks in my mind here - is that God reaches out to those people beyond the Chosen People of the Jews - we are all God’s people - he created all of us and welcomes all of us - repent - turn back to God - God is God.
Psalm 114 - God even rules over creation - streams can flow upstream - mountains and hills can skip like goats - the earth can tremble - how much more am I in awe of God when I stand in his presence - God is to be praised for his endless power and might - I can easily put all my trust in God - he can turn sold rock into flowing streams and pools of water - Jesus is my rock and the ever flowing baptismal water of eternal like is so graciously given to me from this rock - Jesus - my rock - my salvation - God is God!
Pester God with prayer. He’s a good friend that won’t mind and will listen and help.
Don’t oppose the coming of God’s kingdom - relax in God - let his Kingdom come to me today - work in his kingdom today and pray for that day when his kingdom will be fulfilled at the last - sin and death have been defeated by Jesus - let Jesus kingdom come today in and through me - be a disciple with feet
Luke 18.9-14 - Don’t think I’m so great that I can trust in myself - Who do I think I am - trust only in God - I deserve to die and go to hell - but only through God have I been saved - only through God’s redeeming action in the suffering, death and resurrection of his son Jesus have I been saved - I cannot defeat death and sin -- look how I sin every day still -- but I must turn from my sin - trust in God and try to sin no more - trust in God - accept the baptismal promise of his grace and serve in his kingdom - Only God saves - God is God.
Exodus 15.22-27 - God turned some bitter water into sweet water with a hunk of wood -- In my baptism there was water - just plain old water - but with God’s Word and promise and gift that water has become oh so sweet - all my life - when I think of this water - study and listen to God’s Word- that water is sweeter and sweeter - for through God is eternal life - through that sweet water - through Jesus- through that body-bread - blood-wine God has graciously given me eternal life - how will I respond? - in praise-love-joy and thanksgiving for all he has done - I will gladly give my life to be a disciple to the world of what God does for all of us - use me this day - and change that water into a sweet sweet water for a special infant this morning in baptism -and for all baptized this day.
Psalm 63 - My soul thirsts for you - that sweet water - where there is no water - send your sweet water - send it through me as your disciple - I see your power and glory - because of your love which is much deeper than I can begin to understand - I see it - I feel it - I can’t help but to praise and honor you for the love you give to this people and this world.
Prayer - Lord - today you reach out to me with messages of communion with saints and sinners - you have come to save all people of all nations and love all of us - thank you for welcoming all of us into your fold of people - thank you for the discipline you give to the children you love - help me to understand your love - help me to freely give your love to those around me - help me to feel your love and give that feeling to those around me - help me to be your disciple in this world - let Jesus ministry work through me - let Jesus light shine through me - forgive me when I foul it all up and try to become god myself and turn me around - shake me a time or two and get my attention so I may return to you - you are God - you are to be praised -- I see the wood of that cross in my baptismal water of everlasting life - turning just plain old water into a life giving source of salvation and glory to you- make my water sweet with the wood of your cross - thanks for this gift of Jesus in my baptismal water - thanks for the suffering - the death - the resurrection and for sending your Spirit into my life - send me out this day and this week to serve in your kingdom - I want to be your disciple with feet - give me your feet - let the journey be a burning passion in my life and let my journey glorify you and you alone - let the world see your love - I love you! --- Amen
Monday 10/25/2004
1 Thessalonians 4 - I am saved by grace - so I should want to live a life that turns from sin - even though I will still sin - I must turn away from it and avoid it best I can - This allows me even greater service and love for others in God’s kingdom here and now - but soon - a loud command - a trumpet will sound and Jesus will return from heaven - if I’m still here - we’ll meet in the clouds- encourage each other
Isaiah 20-22 - It all seems so political to me - but Isaiah is giving the message of God to the people - what will happen to all the nations - what are the consequences of turning away from God - intentionally -- I must repent and keep God God!
Psalm 115 - We don’t deserve praise - Only god does! - Trust God - You will be blessed
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
God provides for everyone -- everyone - thanks
Isaiah 1.10-18 - hear the Word of God - Listen to God’s teaching - Learn to do good - seek justice- rescue the oppressed- defend the orphan - plead for the widow - this is ministry - not the ministry that waits - but the ministry that goes out in God’s love to the world to meet the people God created where they are
1 Corinthians 12.12-27 - We are baptized into one Spirit into one body - all of us - God will choose how to arrange us for service in His Body
Psalm 133 - Let’s live together in unity - this is good and pleasant
Prayer - Lord be with me today as I take it out - as I take out the love you have shown me this past weekend - be with me as I take out your forgiveness - be with me as I take out your compassion - be with me as I take out the story of your love - be with me as I take out the suffering and grace that it brings - you are God and greatly to be praised- be with me today as I take it out. --- Amen
Tuesday 10/26/2004
1 Thessalonians 5 - We don’t know when Jesus will return - but if we live in his light it really won’t matter - we will be ready - we will be alert and ready- be good to each other and love each other - pray for each other and encourage and help each other - all just plain good advice
Isaiah 23-24 - More talk of end times -- but in Christ - what is the end?- My salvation is a beginning without end -- why worry -- just trust and follow.
Psalm 116 - I love you, LORD! - I will pray to you as long as I live - I don’t need to worry anymore - God, I’m so grateful
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
Forgive and do good to those who sin against me
2 Thessalonians 1.1-4,11-12 - Let my faith grow in community with the love shown to each other - may God make us worthy of his call to fulfill the work he has planned for us to do.
1 Corinthians 9.19-27 - Make me a slave to all to win some of them to Jesus salvation - do it for the sake of the gospel - be with all people where they are - don’t make them come to you - go to them - focus on the cross - keep priorities and goals straight - follow God’s lead and stay intense
Psalm 1 - Meditate on God’s law - realize my sins - rejoice in Jesus grace - serve in God’s kingdom - it’s fun!
Prayer - Lord today a mix and match - but you give me hope - I know it all will end some time - but you give me hope - keep me in your way - keep me in your light - the end will not be an issue - but what is the end ? - the end of what? - sounds like the final end of evil - so what a great time this will be - makes me love the end - makes me look forward to the end - makes me want the end - I begin in you - in those baptismal waters - through your Son you gave me eternal life - so what about the end - I will begin and end in you - there is no end. Forgive my doubt and fear and use me this day in your Kingdom without end. --- Amen
Wednesday 10/27/2004
2 Thessalonians 1 - I think Paul is proud of the Thessalonian Church - Their faith and love for each other keeps growing - they are patient even though they are going through some kind of trouble and suffering. To be honest - it all sounds a little too sweet to me. Sometimes when it gets too nice- it makes me wanna puke.
Isaiah 25-26 - Boy - how would you like to be trampled on like straw in a pit of manure?- sometimes I am the straw though because of my sin - then I smell my stench and turn back to God- I guess that smell is good sometimes - Worship God!! No other!! - God always does right - but I sure hope I’m not a piece of straw - Throughout the night, my heart searches for you -- because your decisions show everyone on this earth how to live right. - God will strip away the burial clothes - he will destroy the power of death and wipe away all tears - Ahhhhh! - there’s something in here about “peace� that reminds me of the Chicago Folk Service! - peace-absence of conflict-calm -- now that goofy tune will be in my head all day! - It seems like the message is really driven in - turn to God or he will judge you unfavorably - but if you turn and trust in him - He will be your God and defend you.
Psalm 117 - I like this one -- a Technical Writer must have wrote it -- Praise God-Everyone-His love is wonderful-he is always faithful-shout praises to God. -- sums it up!
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
Don’t let the devil, the world or myself draw me into temptation.
Luke 19.1-10 - Jesus has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner -- hey! - that’s me! - Thanks be to God!
Luke 14.25-35 - Here I get side-tracked again - what? - is the message for the day manure? - salt is good - if it flavors and preserves - but if it doesn’t it isn’t even fit for the soil or the manure pile -- I need to be willing to give up my life and go carry that cross - flavor and tell the world of how Jesus preserves life!-- otherwise - here I go again - back to that straw being trampled in the manure pile!!!
Psalm 132 - God swore to David that one of the sons of his body will set on the throne - thanks for Jesus! -- forevermore
Prayer - Well Lord, you took me through the whole range today - from goody goody- to manure- to you are King forever -- Give me the faith and love of the Thessalonians - let me smell the stench of my sins - forgive me - turn me back to you - let me be the salt that seasons and preserves and send me into the world today to tell all of your saving grace - for you are King!! -- Amen
Thursday 10/28/2004
2 Thessalonians 2 - Some of the people were upset because of a claim that Jesus had already returned. Paul tells them that he hasn’t yet - that people will rebel - a wicked person or force will come first and trick people into believing in him - but Jesus will return and kill him with a breath --the breath part reminds me of the Spirit - ruah - gentle wind - we can rest assure that God loves us - thanks be to God!
Isaiah 27-28 - Sometimes Isaiah (the book) is irritating - it seems to go all over the place -- people punished for turning from God -- priests drunk and covered in vomit - God killing the sea monster Leviathan - God speaking to his people in strange languages - but God will lay a firm foundation in Jerusalem -- makes me think of the cornerstone - Jesus -- through all this confusing crap - finally some message - I guess life is confusing crap sometimes - but I must come back through the confusion to the cornerstone -keep my focus on the grace of the cross through Jesus.
Psalm 118 - God is merciful - thank him for this - when you hurt - pray to God - he will take my worries away -hey!! -- This day belongs to the LORD! Let’s celebrated and be glad today. -- and there’s that cornerstone stuff in verse 22 - “The stone the builders tossed aside has now become the most important stone.�
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
At my last hour - take me to be with you
1 John 4.1-6 - God came to me in Jesus - I believe this
Jude 17-25 - build my faith - pray in the Spirit - keep me in the love of God - Jesus is merciful and gives eternal life - have mercy on others
Psalm 104.24-34 - there’s Leviathan for the second time this morning - there is breath - spirit - ruah again too - Sing praises to God - rejoice in him
Prayer - Leviathan-Spirit-ruah-cornerstone-Jesus -- thank you Lord for this new day - as I go out let me realize that you defeat the sea monsters in my life - overtake Leviathan for me - I can’t do it but you have defeated sin for me in myself and this world through that cornerstone - the Son you sent into the world and into my life as flesh - Jesus defeated sin and overcomes the power of the monsters in myself and my life -- then graciously you breathed your breath into my life - ruah - you sent your Spirit into me and called me and send me out this day to minister to the world I live in - to proclaim your saving grace - to show all how their monsters can be defeated in their lives through you Son -- I don’t deserve any of this - but you graciously give it to me - ignite the fire in my soul that I may reach out this day in your name --- Amen

Friday 10/29/2004
2 Thessalonians 3 - Paul asks the Thessalonians to pray for him - pray for his safety. He asks that they have nothing to do with lazy people who don’t work. So I these people sounded to me like good friends of Paul - there was encouragement and he wanted their prayers -- just like good friends should.
Isaiah 29-30 - Jerusalem will suffer - but God will rescue this people -- Prophets have a difficult message to give from God - “These people praise me with their words, but they never really think about me.� -- God will do things that will shock and amaze you -- there is hope - the deaf will hear - the blind will see - the needy will celebrate - the cruel will be gone - God is kind and will help you
Psalm 119.1-32 - Follow God’s commands from deep in your heart - Worship with all your heart - Treasure God’s Word above all else - Study God’s teachings -let God open your mind and discover the wonders of his Law - God’s teachings will breath new life into you - be eager to learn what God want you to do
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
It’s God’s kingdom -- now and forever -- remember it’s God’s kingdom -- not mine
Jeremiah 31.31-34 - God will write the law of his love in my heart - I am his child - I know him -- what an honor! - God comes to me -- straight into my heart -- wow!
Matthew 24.1-14 - Don’t be lead astray -- things can get pretty bad - you may think it’s the end of the world - but hold on - hang in - keep faith and endure.
Psalm 144 - Bow your heavens, O LORD, and come down - Jesus always comes down
Prayer - Help me to hold on today Lord - hold on to your promises - hold on to your grace - hold on to your love - hold on to your law - hold on to your forgiveness - hold on to friends you give me - hold on to your prophets words - hold on to your kingdom - hold on to your love - hold on to you - hold on to your cross - keep my life and priorities straight today and send me out to serve and love --- Amen
Saturday 10/30/2004
1 Timothy 1 - Jesus commanded Paul to be an apostle of Jesus - who gives hope - God’s work can only be done by faith - not senseless stories or long lists of ancestors - people must be taught to have genuine love - good consciences and true faith - not empty talk- the law wasn’t give to control people who please God - but those who don’t - homosexuals are listed in this list of people the law was given for along with wicked, evil people, lawbreakers, criminals, godless people but then also just sinners - seems like a pointed passage but then to include sinners gets all of us - Paul thanks Jesus - he has blessed his life with faith and love just like his (Jesus-how powerful!) own - Jesus came into the world to save sinners - that includes me and like Paul - I’m a good one (sinner) and need saved - Jesus is patient with us - and see how Jesus forgives me - he can forgive you too - put your faith in him
Isaiah 31-33 - Depend on and trust God - God will protect you like a mother bird circling over her nest - turn back to God- throw away your idols - “Slap your breasts�?--what an image that brings!- that sounds painful!- I think it’s more like pounding your chest in anguish - man-what you read in the Bible! - God always saves us and gives true wisdom and knowledge - “The LORD will forgive your sins, and none of you will say, “I feel sick.��
Psalm 119.33-64 - Help me understand the Law - I love to do what you say- take away my foolish desires- let me live by walking with you - show me your love and save me- your laws have stood the test of time- even in the night I think about you - you are my choice - praise God in the middle of the night-wake up to do it even- follow God closely - as soon as you get the command - do it! - choose friends that worship God and follow His teachings- God’s love is seen all over the world
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
Baptism is more than water- it is water with God’s Word and by his command -- notice Word- and the Word became flesh and is among us.
Romans 3.19-28 - The law brings the knowledge of sin - All fall short of the glory of God -they are justified by grace as a gift through salvation that is in Jesus who was sacrificed terribly for me - I must have faith- only Jesus is righteous - I am justified by faith - not my works -- My works are a result of thanks for what God does for me - Thanks for salvation!!
Psalm 19 - The heavens tell of God’s glory- Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my hear te acceptable to you, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Prayer - Jesus - the law condemns me - I am a sinner- forgive me -- but I rejoice in that great gift you gave me - a gift I truly do not deserve nor could ever earn - you shed your blood for me on a cross of death - you gave your life for me in a world of sin - you came to me to give me life and you gave it completely and freely for me - what a great gift - what an awesome gift - I am truly undeserving of all this love you have given to me -- but I feel better than any kid on Christmas morning -See the complete joy in me - may I run and tell all my friends this really great gift given to me - they can have one too - cause you brought enough of that love with you to give to all - I love you! -- Thank you -- I’ll give just that same gift of myself - my love to all of my friends! -- Amen
Sunday 10/31/2004
1 Timothy 2 - Pray for everyone - Ask God to help and bless them all - tell God how thankful you are for each of them- God wants everyone to be saved- there is only one God- Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God-Jesus was human and gave himself to save all of us
Isaiah 34-35 - God will judge - have no doubt about it - but God will also rescue his faithful - Cheer up! - the blind will see, the deaf will hear, the lame will leap around like deer, deserts will have water - a good road will be there - “God’s Sacred Highway� - a road for God’s people - I see this road leading to the base of the cross- we will walk that road and at the base of that cross - slowly look up and be amazed at what God has done for us
Psalm 119.65-96 - I am your servant- treat me with kindness- I will follow your teachings - correct me - help me learn what you command- punish me when I need it - comfort me with your love- I choose to study your teachings - save me - your word is my only hope- God-you are eternal - you are faithful- I belong to you-nothing is completely perfect, except your teachings
It’s not about me -- It’s about God!
Believe-in baptism God forgives sin, delivers from death and the devil and saves me
John 8.31-36 - I am a slave to sin- but wait! - there is one who is also with me in Jesus that has set me free from sin- Thanks be to God!
Philippians 3.12-21 - press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.
Psalm 70 - Save me God - you are great!- don’t delay!
Prayer - Change me today - reform my life to the shape you want it to be - I will gladly serve you - for through your grace you have saved me from my sin - you have released me to hear your call - to live out your grace in the world you send me into - you have called me to spread your good news of salvation to all in my world - you are gracious to me beyond my understanding - take me today and use me in your kingdom - make me bold - take away my fear and release me - for you have taken on my sin - I am free through your grace and ever thankful to you - you are God! -- Amen