Thursday, November 30, 2006

November 30th Daily Word and Visions from God

Galatians 4.21-31-We are not children of the slave woman, but of the free woman.
Lamentations 3-4-Don't run from trouble. Take it full-face.
Psalm 146-...put your hope in GOD and know real blessing!
John 1.35-42-Jesus replied, "Come and see!"
Stephanie blowing a bubble. Everyone does this, I think. We test the limits. See how big we can get the bubble to go....then....pop! I stretch the limits of sin too. I try to see how far I can go...then pop! I can't run from the trouble of my sin though. I have to take it full-face. Confess my sin and seek forgiveness. Put my hope in God for his forgiveness. Turn from my sinful ways to Jesus my Savior and try to do better. And I hear my Savior call, "Come and see!" --He grants me life to live like a child of the free woman. Of this I am eternally thankful.
Lord, I confess---please forgive---lead me in your ways as I turn from mine. ---Amen

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Christ the King - Sunday November 26, 2006- Zion Lutheran Church

Christ the King – Sunday November 26, 2006

Let us pray:

Lord, you are King! You are King of our lives and King of your Church. Speak to and through each person here. Speak to and through your Church gathered throughout time, clearly and boldly. ---Amen


Daniel paints a picture and John paints a picture. More than a picture. A vision of sorts. Visions that allow your mind to wander. Allow your mind to drift off into another time and to another place. Possibly allow your mind to drift out of time and space.

Visions and imaginations. Business has used the techniques of Visions and imaginations recently. Lord knows, I’ve heard a bunch of it lately. GE changed their corporate focus from GE Brings good things to life –to "Imagination at work"

Sarcastically I like to change it a little to "Let’s pretend" – but don’t mention that to anyone please.

There is value in Vision and Imagination though. I’ve heard that one team from Coca-Cola had a vision – A Coke within reach of every person. There is a picture and a challenge.

Another vision I recall - referring to the production of jet engines – it stated—"For some the sky is the limit—for us it’s just the beginning"


Zion has a vision – Zion Lives Christ—a play on the acronym for Zion Lutheran Church

A vision should be easy to remember and fun to think about- A vision should involve imagination and creativity. A Vision should guide you towards an outcome or goal.

Imagine this vision- A child on Christmas Eve- a parent sitting on the edge of the child’s bed reading the poem "Twas the night before Christmas… and visions of sugarplums danced in their heads"

A picture- an illusion etched onto the child’s mind that will bring back wonderful memories—even through adulthood.

When you think about it – those sugar plums are a vision too- a vision of a perfect time in the life of a child—maybe for an adult too.


I think God gives us more visions than we want to admit to. Visions that occur every day. Visions that take place in our everyday lives. Visions of his love in action. Love active around and through us. But there are also some visions that raise questions- visions that may terrify us- visions come in all forms.

So what is the Vision for the church? I think our readings today show some of that vision.

Close your eyes for a moment and picture this vision:

Daniel 7. 9-10, 13-14

"As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. "In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all peoples, nations and men of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.


Could you see it? Could you picture the vision? Did the words paint a picture in your mind of another place- maybe another time? How did it make you feel? Did it feel good? Was it frightening or comforting or did it bring forth some other emotion?


In this vision from Daniel, several images jump out at me.

The River of Fire- You see the River of Fire and realize that none can pass closer to the throne without passing through the fire. The righteous, as they pass through the fire are purified of their remaining dross. However the wicked are consumed by the fire. We all will pass through that River of fire one way or another. We can choose to be purified by the fire and accept God’s purification through Jesus Christ or we can attempt to win our own salvation and be consumed by the fire.


Visions ---use your imagination

Contrast that vision of the River of fire with the vision of the clouds

Clouds- Picture Christ coming with the clouds of heaven as his chariot- the clouds of heaven with the gentle, noiseless motion. Our King arriving. Not like we would expect a King to arrive. We may expect an earthly King to arrive with power, force, maybe even leading an army. But this King arrives in gentle clouds. White fluffy clouds. This King arrives unexpectedly as a gentle baby born in a most peculiar place and to a most peculiar family as our King. But a King that arrives none the less in the midst of this chaotic earth. Not for a kingdom of this world but for the Kingdom of Heaven- A Kingdom of Truth.

Let’s picture the vision of the King now:

An Ancient One on the throne- hair and clothing white as snow- pure wool- with countless thousands serving and praising him---

Then dominion and Kingship is given to the one coming with the clouds of heaven- A Kingship of authority and glory – an everlasting Kingdom and rule- His rule would be forever- never ending- his Kingly rule would never be replaced

Now there’s a vision of a King!

We have a King that sits on his judgment throne- He will judge you know – Picture the books – the court- this part can be a little frightening – how will you be judged? Guilty? Not guilty?

One of the awesome scenes of the last days the gathering of all creatures to stand in silence before the throne awaiting the commencement of the court- the old order has been judged now --the new era begins- the future who symbolized the new era is in human form- in contrast to the former kingdoms which were symbolized by beasts.

He comes from heaven- whereas the beasts came from the sea- this figure from the clouds of heaven – contrasted with the tumultuous waves of the wind tossed sea.

Today we can picture the beasts clearly enough. Just look in the paper- Terror in Iraq- Murder- Death- Illness- and our own sinful nature. Beasts not so different as that "evil foe" we sung about just a few weeks ago on Reformation Sunday. The Beasts are real. Face the truth. Sin is in you and me and in this world. Be sure and get a good whiff of the stench of your own sin. A vision of horror and pain and death. Make sure you know it now.

But our King brings a new beginning. Our King takes on the stench of sin, death, and the devil. Our King belongs to the real truth. Our King has the true knowledge of God. Our King is King not over people’s bodies but over our minds and souls. It is a kingdom that finds its way from heart to heart in his truth. In the truth of our Savior Jesus Christ. Christ is the only key to the mysteries of life. Christ alone unlocks the doors and leads us through the fire to that throne of God. All problems are solved in Jesus Christ – the Truth he said.

John 18.37

"You are a king, then!" said Pilate.

Jesus answered, "You are right in saying I am a king. In fact, for this reason I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me."

A new beginning- and a New Year.

The Psalm for this Christ the King Sunday is Psalm 93. This is one of the enthronement Psalms and it celebrates God’s Kingship at the New Year Festival.


This is the New Year Festival- the last Sunday of the church year. Advent begins our church calendar. On this Christ the King Sunday we celebrate the church year by crowning our King. Declaring our praises to Jesus our King and Savior. Jesus our Savior rules over the powers of chaos and tames the roaring waters of the flood. Our Savior who defeats sin and death and rules from his throne from all eternity.


So—Happy New Year! – As we celebrate and anticipate the coming of our Savior in this upcoming Advent season- this New Year in front of us. We see the vision of one coming on the clouds. Coming from heaven to earth. Born to us in humble estate. Born to us and in us. A Savior that comes from heaven to earth. From heaven to the midst of that River of fire. From heaven into our sinful lives. A Savior that becomes one of us and is with us in that River. A Savior in the River of fire to refine us and to purify us. A Savior to wash us clean from our sin.

Advent the time when God comes to you and to me. Soon—very soon. Are you ready? Are you prepared? Can you see the vision of this King moving to you?

Close you eyes once more—Picture this vision:

Revelation 1.4b-8

Grace and peace to you from him who is, and who was, and who is to come, and from the seven spirits before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, who is the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood, and has made us to be a kingdom and priests to serve his God and Father—to him be glory and power for ever and ever! Amen.

Look, he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him, even those who pierced him, and all the peoples of the earth will mourn because of him. So shall it be! Amen.

"I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty."


Visions of an active God in your life- with you in that River of fire.

God will sit on his throne as a refiner and purifier – as the vision is painted from

Malachi 3.3

"He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, he will purify the Levites and refine them like gold and silver."

When you take a look at the process of refining silver this vision takes on additional meaning.

As a silversmith refines silver he holds a piece of silver over a fire and lets it heat up. In refining silver you need to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames are the hottest to burn away all the impurities.

Now think about God holding us in this hot spot. God has to sit there in front of the fire the whole time the silver is being refined.

And the silversmith not only sits in the heat; he also keeps his eyes on the silver the entire time it is in the fire. If the silver is left too long in the flames it will be destroyed. So the way the silversmith knows when the silver is fully refined is when he can see his image in it.

And this is what brings additional meaning to the River of fire and the purification. God is in the heat of the fire with you and with me – refining us till that perfect moment – then we pass through the River of fire purified to approach his throne. But all the while God first came to us in the heat of the fire.

(Kneel at the Communion Rail- beneath the Cross-—gaze up to the Cross- – then confess)

"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."

(Fall silent till the ringing of the alarm then move to the midst of the congregation)

Awaken- clear your eyes- hear this loud and clear- this is not imagination, let’s not pretend, this is not a night vision but this is clear

You have a God so loving that he moves from that Mighty Throne on high and through the River of Fire to take on the throne of the cross- A God of Love that comes directly into your life- even in the midst of your sin and rules here with you now – rules from the cross in the midst of your own River of Fire.

Prepare yourself- Christ the King is coming to you—and maybe not as you expect- maybe as a child- maybe as a vision- but Christ the King is coming to you this Advent season- and you have a choice to make

Will you reflect his glory- be purified and refined? Or will you continue in your self saving and self-serving ways to perish in the fire?

Accept the one who comes on the clouds into your life and reigns from the throne of the cross in the center of your heart of faith- Accept Christ the King and be refined – even in the midst of the fire.


November 29th Daily Word and Visions from God

Galatians 3.21-4.20-I am afraid that all my hard work among you has gone up in a puff of smoke!
Lamentations 1-2-Astonished, passersby can't believe what they see.
Psalm 145- GOD give a hand to those down on their luck, gives a fresh start to those ready to quit.
Psalm 25.1-10-Show me your paths and teach me to follow; guide me by your truth and instruct me.
Sadie is the good dog! Well, not always apparently. Sarah took this picture as evidence. We teasingly call her dog "Abe" our "Muddy Buddy" because he always seems to be the one that gets muddy. So I wonder if God feels this way when I'm in trouble. Like all his work was for nothing. Cause there I go and get back in the mud again. I astonish others with my sinfulness to the point that they can't believe what they see. But God still picks me up, washes me off and gives me a hand even when I'm down on my luck and rolling in sin. He gives me a fresh start and teaches me his path and truth. Thanks be to God!
Lord, teach, instruct, clean and forgive me this day. ---Amen

November 28th Daily Word and Visions from God

Galatians 3.1-20-Something crazys has happened, for it's obvious that you no longer have the crucified Jesus in clear focus in your lives.
Jeremiah 51-52-GOD has set everything right for us. Come! Let's tell the good news back home in Zion.
Psalm 144-I wonder why you care, GOD--why do you bother with us at all?
Romans 10.10-18-All who call out to the Lord will be saved.
Sarah and Eric took the dogs (Abe, Sadie, and Phoebe) to Wiggly Park at the Voice of America Park to play. Well I'm not sure if they thought they were dogs or pigs. Something crazy has happened for sure. When I loose focus of Jesus in my lives it's like I'm wallowing in the mud. I get stuck on my own selfishness. I wonder why God would even care about me because I'm so sinful and dirty. Why does he even bother with me? He did though! God set everything right for us. And while I'm stuck in the mud all I have to do is call out to him and he is right there to save me. What a great God!
Lord, when I'm stuck in the mud ---hear my cry! ---Amen

November 27th Daily Word and Visions from God

Galatians 2-We know very well that we are not set right with God by rule-keeping but only through personal faith in Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 49-50-Go public with this, broadcast it far and wide...
Psalm 143-Teach me how to live to please you, because you're my God.
Ezekiel 3.16-21-So listen to what I say, then warn them for me.
Eric and Sarah at Skyline. A place Sarah wanted to take Eric to with a Cincinnati tradition to it. Something new to Eric. In my walk with God I have to be willing to taste new things. To experience things only God would have me do. I must learn that I'm not set right with God by what I do but by my faith. I can't do enough to be set right with God. Christ did that for me. But I can do things ---in response--- Go public with what God has done in my life- tell the great story of Christ in my life. I can learn and live to please God. I can listen to God and speak his word when told. I can become part of His tradition.
Lord, involve me in your work this day ---Amen

November 26th Daily Word and Visions from God

Galatians 1- So I greet you with great words, grace and peace!

Jeremiah 47-48-But there's a day that's coming when I'll put thing right in Moab.

Psalm 142-Your people will form a circle around me and you'll bring me showers of blessing!

John 18.33-37-My kingdom doesn't belong to this world.


Another of the several pictures of Eric visiting Sarah. This is Eric's arrival at the Dayton Airport on Friday morning. I had met Eric once before in Hickory. But even so, I greet him with the great words of grace and peace. Two words taught to me by my Savior. Two words that hold a depth of meaning beyond anything I can begin to express. Two words directly from the Word made flesh and the grace and peace he grants to all of us. Two words that point to that day when he will put all things right. Two words that have showered all creation with blessing. Two words that were brought to us by the Word whose kingdom doesn't belong to this world. Thanks be to God for greetings of grace and peace.


Lord, teach me to greet all your children with grace and peace. ---Amen

Saturday, November 25, 2006

November 25th Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Peter 3-Grow in grace and understanding of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. Glory to the Master, now and forever! Yes!
Jeremiah 45-46-I have more work left to do on you...No, I'm not finished with you yet.
Psalm 141-GOD, come close. Come quickly!
Revelation 1.4b-8-Christ loves us, and by his blood he set us free from our sins.
Sarah and her boyfriend from North Carolina, Eric, at the coffee shop in Middletown. A friend who took time from his Thanksgiving time off from college to fly from Hickory to Middletown to visit for a weekend. A king and understanding action. Jesus is king and understanding to me also. He came from heaven into my world to be with me. To show me compassion, to help and guide me and to love me as I live my life. I think it may be because God has more work for me left to do. God isn't finished with me yet. So I must listen and act on his directions. Trust and love him and depend on him. I must praise and honor him for the sacrifice he paid for my sin that has set me free. I must be like him to those I care for and even those I don't care for. Yea, I need God- need him so bad! God, come close. Come quickly! Thanks be to God for arrival of friends, especially the friend I have in Jesus.
What a friend we have in Jesus! ---Amen

Friday, November 24, 2006

November 24th Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Peter 2-So God knows how to rescue the holy from evil trials.
Jeremiah 43-44-Be on the lookout!
Psalm 140- I know that you, GOD, are on the side of victims, that you care for the rights of the poor.
Daniel 7.9-10, 13-14-He will rule forever, and his kingdom is eternal, never to be destroyed.
When the power flickers off and stays off for a while this clock flashes 12:00. Well for some time now, even if I set this clock, it doesn't work. So I just leave it to flash 12:00. I guess for this clock, it's time is up. The only hope for this clock is to be rescued and repaired. But it's just not worth the trouble. I'm glad God doesn't feel that way about me when I stop working correctly. When I go through trials, God steps it up even more and is with me even closer than other times it seems. God knows how to rescue me from evil trials. But I need to be on the lookout. I need to be careful myself that I don't fall into temptation and sin. I need to be a little better at this than I am. Even knowing that God is on the side of victims and cares for the rights of the poor---I need to be cautious that I don't fall for sin and evil. But if I do---I also know of a God who will take me back. A God that rules forever and who has a kingdom that is eternal. So on those days I flash 12:00 and go a little bonkers about life--- I'll turn to my Savior---repent---and ask for guidance.
Lord forgive me and help me---especially when I'm not working just right. ---Amen

Thursday, November 23, 2006

November 23rd Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Peter 1-So friends, confirm God's invitation to you, his choice of you. Don't put it off; do it now. Do this, and you'll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.
Jeremiah 41-42-I'm on your side, ready to deliver you from anything he might do. I'll pour mercy on you.
Psalm 139-You know everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence.
Matthew 6.25-33-But more than anything else, put God's work first and do what he wants.
A cell phone. A link to family, work, friends. A link to those I choose to talk to and those that maybe even invade my life. Sometimes I get invitations through phone conversations to be someplace and do something. Invitations into another person's life. God invites us to be with him. He doesn't force himself in. He invites. He asks for our presence as he is present always. God opens the invitation wide open and invites me into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. God is on our side ready to deliver us from anything and he promises to pour mercy on us. God knows everything I'm going to say before I start the first sentence. But he invites. It's time to decide and accept his gracious and loving invitation. Time to put his work first and do what he wants. I've got a phone call to make and an invitation to accept.
Lord, I'm ready to work in your kingdom. What would you like me to do? ---Amen

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

November 22nd Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Peter 5-God has had it with the proud, but takes delight in just plain people.
Jeremiah 39-40-Meanwhile, the Babylonians burned down the royal palace, the Temple, and all the homes of the people.
Psalm 138-Thank you! Everything in me says "Thank you!"
Psalm 93-Our LORD, you are King!
The dining room. A little different from the kitchen table. We eat here mostly. Lately it has been for more special occasions. Times when family and friends join us for the blessings of food and fellowship. Blessings of some plain people gathered together in life to live and share lives with one another. Mostly good times. The people of Judah in the book of Jeremiah were experiencing some bad times. Times that resulted from their sin of turning away from God to false gods. Times that resulted in the destruction of the Temple and the homes of the people. Homes where gatherings of lives at dinner tables won't take place again for some time. People either cast into exile in Babylon or the poor left behind in destruction. Sad times. Times to repent. Times to turn back to God. Times to recognize their need of God's salvation. God does provide salvation. God does come to us in exile and offer us his love. I must recognize my times of exile and turn around. Turn around and bump right into a Savior who was always there with me waiting for me to come to my senses. Turn around and give thanks. Thanks for his presence and his gracious love and salvation. Bump right into my Savior and give him a hug of thanks and praise. Out of my exile the contrast becomes oh so clear. Christ is my King! King of my life! Thanks be to God!
Lord, how about Supper at my house tonight? Maybe while you're at it you can open my eyes! ---Amen

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

November 21st Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Peter 4-So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.
Jeremiah 37-38- Jeremiah sank into the mud.
Psalm 137-Yes, a reward to the one who grabs your babies and smashes their heads on the rocks!
1 Timothy 2.1-7-First of all, I ask you to pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful you are for each of them.
Hard boiled eggs. They have suffered the heat and now are prepared to feed the body. Prepared in the heat of boiling water. Sometimes life with God suffers through the heat of the water. In the heat, God continues to prepare me for service. Prepare me for the service he has planned for me. When I read the Old Testament, it seems that God is pretty tough at times with those who turn from him. Sometimes I see, what at first appears to be a vengeful God. Then I realize that this heat, this vengeance, and this toughness comes from a loving Father wanting with all his heart for his children to become what he knows they can become. In this is Love. So let's pray for everyone. Ask God to help and bless them all, and tell God how thankful we are for each other. Even in the midst of the boiling water.
Lord, in the heat of the water let my stubborn mind change and worship you in your glory--- Amen

Monday, November 20, 2006

November 20th Daily Word and Visions from God

November 20th Daily Word and Visions from God1 Peter 3- Summing up: Be agreeable, be sympathetic, be loving, be compassionate, be humble.
Jeremiah 35-36-Get another blank scroll and do it all over again.
Psalm 136-His love never quits!
Joel will know that I stand at your side.
A mop and a bucket. The weekend is time to clean house. When I look at this mop, I see how it picks up the dirt. Then I rinse the dirt out and return the mop to pick up some more dirt. Moving dirt from the floors, to the water, to the drain. Moving the dirt out of the house and down the drain. God does that in my life---In the process of removing my dirt of sin--- In the process of daily rinsing and cleaning---I am freed and learn to be agreeable, sympathetic, loving, compassionate and humble. And God goes through this process with me over and over. Jeremiah had to re-write his message to the king. The king read the first message and burnt it as it was read. But God gave him a second chance. God's love never quits. I may quit, but God doesn't. When I struggle in my dirt, I can be assured that God stands at my side to pick up that sin and dirt and rinse me out once again. His love never quits! Like the mop, I give thanks to God for his continual rinsing.
Lord, I am dirty once again. Rinse me out and send me back to do your work today. ---Amen

Sunday, November 19, 2006

November 19th Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Peter 2-They called him every name in the book and he said nothing back. He suffered in silence, content to let God set things right. He used his servant body to carry our sins to the Cross so we could be rid of sin, free to live the right way. His wounds became your healing. You were lost sheep with no idea who you were or where you were going, Now you're named and kept for good by the Shepherd of your souls.
Jeremiah 33-34-Call to me and I will answer you. I'll tell you marvelous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.
Psalm 135-Hallelujah! Praise the name of GOD, praise the works of GOD!
Mark 13.1-8-Watch out and don't let anyone fool you!
A folder with the choir music of the day. We practice and then present our offering to God at the service. We work to do the best we can, then offer it to God. It doesn't come out perfect. But it is work offered to God with joyful, believing hearts. Praising and thanking God. Jesus offered his life to God as a sacrifice for my sins. He worked, he ministered, he healed and he offered himself to God for me. Offered himself to the lost sheep who were going astray in sin. Now those same sheep are named and kept by their Savior. God tells me to call to him and he will answer. When I call to him wondrous and marvelous things take place. God loves each person so much that even in our sin he continues to lead and guide. But we must take care and watch that no one fools us into leaving and rejecting God's salvation. Don't let anyone fool you! Only through our Savior are we saved. And in this salvation I will offer my praise and thanks to God for all his works. And---"I Will Always Give Thanks"---Thanks be to God!
Jesus, Thanks! ---Amen

Saturday, November 18, 2006

November 18th Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Peter 1-Your life is a journey you must travel with deep consciousness of God. It cost God plenty to get you out of that dead-end, empty-headed life you grew up in. He paid with Christ's sacred blood, you know.
Jeremiah 31-32-"They found grace out in the desert, these people who survived the killing. Israel, out looking for a place to rest, met God out looking for them!" GOD told them. "I've never quit loving you and never will. Expect love, love, and more love!"
Psalm 134-Lift your praising hands to the Holy Place, and bless GOD.
Hebrews 10.11-14, 19-25-But Christ offered himself as a sacrifice that is good forever. No he is sitting at God's right side, and he will stay there until his enemies are put under his power. By his one sacrifice he has forever set free from sin the people he brings to God.
There are only a few TV shows I really enjoy watching regularly each week. "This Old House Hour" is one of them. I enjoy watching ways to maintain "things" and watching people use the skilled trade techniques to the glory of God. Things are made to be maintained and developed and improved. God uses skilled tradespeople all over the place. And I know God is working on me. Not only maintaining me but improving me. He paid a great price for my soul. Each day God refines me a little more. Teaches me lessons along the way. Maintains, troubleshoots and repairs my soul- day after day. I can expect love, love, and more love! He has proved his love for me in Jesus life, suffering, death and resurrection. Gave his very blood for my life. It's nice to be worked on throughout life. And in his love I will praise his name with lifted hands and loud voice. Thanks be to God for his love! Thanks be to God for my Savior, Jesus Christ! Thanks be to God for maintaining and renewing me day after day! Thanks be to God!
Lord, bless all those in the skilled-trades. Help them to see the gifts you have given them. Help them to offer their skills to your glory. And most of all --thanks for that carpenter who saved me soul! ---Amen

Friday, November 17, 2006

November 17th Daily Word and Visions from God

James 5-And if you've sinned, you'll be forgiven--healed inside and out.
Jeremiah 29-20- I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for.
Psalm 133-It's like costly anointing oil flowing down head and beard, flowing down Aaron's beard, flowing down the collar of his priestly robes.
Daniel 12.1-3-Some of them will be given eternal life, and others receive nothing but eternal shame and disgrace.
A downspout delivering water from the sky to the roof to the ground. Through gutters just cleaned of leaves last weekend. Delivering water back to the earth to repeat that loving healing cycle of water. I sin, no doubt about it. But God heals me of that sin. I repent, no doubt about it. God forgives my sin. He expects me to turn from sin and turn to him. God knows exactly what he is doing and has a plan for my life. He not only baptizes me with his life giving water, but he calls me his child and anoints me with oil. Oil that overflows any need I have. Just like the overflow of life-giving water from this downspout, God gives me the gifts I need, blesses me and sends me to do his work in his kingdom. Some people will choose to go their own way and attempt their own salvation. Some people will receive eternal life and others will receive eternal shame and disgrace. I'm going to stick with God's plan. Lord forgive my sin and send me, in your plan. A downspout, to deliver you life-giving message and water to all the world.
Lord, send me today with the blessing and power of your Word. ---Amen

Thursday, November 16, 2006

November 16th Daily Word and Visions from God

James 4-You don't know the first thing about tomorrow.
Jeremiah 27-28- But listen to me, listen closely. Listen to what I tell both you and all the people here today..
Psalm 132-I'll fill it with light for my anointed!
Psalm 16-Every good thing I have is a gift from you.
My Mom was over last night for dinner. Dinner and conversation. Catching up on the things of life. Listening to one another. Hearing our joys, sorrows, pains and blessings. A mixture of fellowship and conversation. Watching each other in life. We really don't know the first thing about tomorrow. But for now we can live together and feel the Spirit of God blowing in and through our lives. For now we can listen to what God tells us. Listen for his voice and guidance. Pay attention to the Word and the prophets. One thing though about tomorrow we know. God will fill the Temple with his light. God will fill the place and prepare it and us for his anointed. Jesus will return in glory and light. Jesus will come to us in the here and now. Come to think of it, I can see his presence now. Every good thing is a gift from God. Conversation and living together. Remembering the past, living the presence, and hope for tomorrow. All in the presence of God.
Lord you have blessed me with the past, blessed me with the present and fill me with the hope of tomorrow. ---Amen

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

November 15th Daily Word and Visions from God

November 15th Daily Word and Visions from God
James 3-Live well, live wisely, live humbly.
Jeremiah 25-26-Listen obediently to the Message of your GOD.
Psalm 131-Hope now; hope always!
Revelation 8.1-13-Then I saw a lone eagle flying across the sky.
A noon day sky with light clouds. God directs me to live well, wisely and humbly. This is a humble sky. Beauty of it's own form. When I'm humble I can take on a beauty of my own form. The form God created for all people. When I'm humble I will listen to God. When I'm humble I will have hope and faith in Jesus my Savior. When I'm humble I will listen to the warnings of the lone eagle flying across the sky. A humble, endless, wise, noon-day sky. A humbleness at the noon of life. Listen and be silent for half and hour and feel God's presence at noon.
Lord, I fall silent in your presence and place my all with you. ---Amen

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

November 14th Daily Word and Visions from God

James 2-Isn't it obvious that faith and works are yoked partners, that faith expresses itself in works?...Is it not evident that a person is made right with God not by a barren faith but by faith fruitful in works?...Separate faith and works and you get a corpse.
Jeremiah 23-24- "Time's coming"-GOD's Decree-"when I'll establish a truly righteous David-Branch, a ruler who knows how to rule justly.
Psalm 130-...with GOD's arrival comes love...
Revelation 7.9-17-"Do you know who these people are that are dressed in white robes? Do you know where they come from?"..."These are the ones who have gone through the great suffering. They have washed their robes in the blood of the Lamb and have made them white."
A person dressed up as Santa Claus advertising some apartments for rent. I have seen them dressed up as clowns also. Trying to get the attention of anyone who will look. I wonder sometimes if I look like a clown or a person in a costume when I speak my faith to others. Maybe, but it really doesn't matter. I will look like whatever for Christ. I will do whatever needs to be done to proclaim the message. I think God wants me to not only be willing to proclaim my faith. But also to show my faith in action. If I'm not willing to act on my faith; is faith really present? In my action, I am free to set aside the worries of what people may think. I am free to set aside this emotion and take a bold step in telling about the Truth in God and how God came down to this world for each of us. I am free to go through the great suffering because my robes are washed clean in the blood of the Lamb. In faith, I can see Jesus who led the way on and through the cross and the suffering to a resurrection of my life and all life through the sins of all people. Dressed up as Santa Claus or some Clown, I'm willing to live out my faith in love to proclaim the real message this day. God has arrived in Jesus and in his arrival we have love and faith and action. Thanks be to God!
Lord, give me the boldness this day to proclaim and act upon your love. ---Amen

Monday, November 13, 2006

November 13th Daily Word and Visions from God

James 1-Lead with your ears, follow up with your tongue, and let anger straggle along in the rear.
Jeremiah 21-22-I'm giving you a choice: life or death.
Psalm 129- "They've kicked me around ever since I was young"
Revelation 7.1-8-Wait until I have marked the foreheads of the servants of our God.
Bags of leaves raked up from the yard. We had to work together to accomplish this task. I don't think one person could do this much work in the same amount of time. Leaves that had served for a season. Fallen to the ground in beauty. Leaves that had brought nutrition to the trees they lived on and with and through. Gave their very life for the tree. In life I must first listen. A good leader listens first. With God I must listen before I speak and when I speak leave anger out of it or at least as a last resort. Listen and choose life. Life with the Word made flesh. Listen first. Lead through listening not speaking. Speaking God's words in leading. I may be kicked around. The harsh winter winds may cause me to give my very life for the life of the tree. But listen first. Listen and even in death; when I fall from the tree, I will have the mark of everlasting life on my forehead. Sealed with the mark and love of God. Even in death as I am gathered with the multitude of saints we will then use our tongues together in ceaseless praise of a loving, caring, life-giving God. Bags of leaves raked up from the yard of life. Together singing praises to God for a wonderful life of listening to the Word made flesh.
Lord, lead me through this life with open ears, open mind and open heart to your love then send me out with a tongue of praise today. ---Amen

Sunday, November 12, 2006

November 12th Daily Word and Visions from God

Philemon-And by the way, get a room ready for me. Because of your prayers, I fully expect to be your guest again.
Jeremiah 19-20-...and preach there what I tell you.
Psalm 128-Enjoy the good life in Jerusalem every day of your life.
Mark 12.38-44-Now she doesn't have a cent to live on.
Sadly enough the times I use this calculator seem to be on Sunday evenings when Sue and I sit down to review bills. We use it to see if we are going to make it or not for a couple of weeks till the next payday. Living from check to check isn't good advice for anyone and is a poor use of the gifts God gives, but at this point in our lives seems to be what is happening. Sometimes I think I can relate to the widow who gave her last cent to the offering. But not really. I live in abundance and abuse the resources God has given me. When I sit and recount all the blessings I've received from God I'm amazed. I can hear his voice telling me to give myself. He wants me, not my stuff. My stuff is easy for him. But I'm his problem. I'm stubborn and won't come to him and worship and follow him at times. But I have to listen to harsh instruction in his Word and realize that God wants me. And when I give into my own selfishness and give in and follow him. That's when the change takes place. That's when he refines me. But will I be stubborn? Will I walk through the fire and perish? Or will I walk through the fire and let God refine me into what he wants me to be? I want to be refined! But to be refined, I must give up my selfish ways and follow my Lord and Savior. Then he gladly refines, restores, and brings me to the good life in Jerusalem. Every day of my life. Even while I walk through the fire. My faith and hope in Christ will cause me to dance in that fire with Jesus my Savior at my side. And by the way. Get a room ready for me. Because of your prayers I know we will visit once again.
Yea, Lord, I'm yours. I'm ready to be refined by the fire. Get a room ready. You wanna dance? ---Amen

Saturday, November 11, 2006

November 11th Daily Word and Visions from God

Titus 3-It wasn't so long ago that we ourselves were stupid and stubborn, dupes of sin, ordered every which way by our glands, going around with a chip on our shoulder, hated and hating back. But when God, our kind and loving Savior God, stepped in, he saved us from all that. It was all his doing; we had nothing to do with it. He gave us a good bath, and we came out of it new people, washed inside and out by the Holy Spirit.
Jeremiah 17-18- But I, GOD, search the heart and examine the mind. I get to the heart of the human, I get to the root of things. I treat them as they really are, not as they pretend to be.
Psalm 127-Don't you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?
Hebrews 9.24-28-So Christ died only once to take away the sins of many people. But when he comes again, it will not be to take away sin. He will come to save everyone who is waiting for him.
A new water meter was put in my home yesterday. It sends a signal on a frequency allowing readings to be taken remotely on how much water we use from month to month. This avoids the invasion of our home of a Meter Reader each month. In my Christian life, God doesn't need a signal from a meter to monitor the water poured on me from month to month. God doesn't need to avoid the invasion of my home to take a reading. God freely invades my heart and searches my mind and knows exactly what's up with me. Even when I've done something I shouldn't have and try to run and hide from God. God has no problem with knowing the truth. God is truth. God is truth in Jesus. Pilate asked Jesus; "What is truth?" Jesus is truth and he knows truth. And this Truth will set you free. This Truth will pour more water on me day after day in a baptismal cleaning than any meter could measure. This Truth in Christ is the Truth that died for me and all sinners once and for all to take away and wash away our sin. That is Truth. Yea, God gives me a good bath and brings me out clean day after day. No meter could begin to measure that amount of water, even remotely. And in this washing, I am blessed, called and sent with the gifts of the Spirit to work in his Kingdom. To serve and praise God all my life. Sure, I'll fall down, sure, I'll stumble. But God will continue to pick me up, clean me up and use me as his chosen. And that's why in this Truth, I'll gladly wait for Christ's return to save everyone. No meter can measure God's loving Water in our lives. Thanks be to God!
Lord, I give you thanks for your endless washing and cleansing and for your faithful love through baptism. I'm ready to serve you in your Kingdom. Where to today? ---Amen

Friday, November 10, 2006

November 10th Daily Word and Visions from God

Titus 2-Build up courage, and discipline them if they get out of line.
Jeremiah 15-16- "Now, watch for what comes next: I'm going to assemble a bunch of fishermen." GOD's Decree! "They'll go fishing for my people and pull them in for judgment. Then I'll send out a party of hunters, and they'll hunt them out in all the mountain,s hills, and caves. I'm watching their every move. I haven't lost track of a single one of them, neither them nor their sins.
Psalm 126-GOD was wonderful to us; we are one happy people.
1 Kings 17.8-16-The LORD God of Israel has promised that your jar of flour won't run out and your bottle of oil won't dry up before he sends rain for the crops.
Sarah's dog Abe. My friend. Yea, he's a trouble maker. Yea, he gets into trouble. But he is also a good pal and a good friend. Comes to see me when I feel good and comes to see me when I don't. Greets me all the time happy and ready to be there for me. Abe is one, who if he was a person, could build up courage in me. Could talk to me and keep me in line. I'm sure he would be honest enough with me to discipline me when I needed it. I think Abe would tell me what God has to say through him too. Jesus assembled some disciples and sent them out to tell his news. Fishermen and people of all walks of life. All normal, ordinary people who were special to God. We are all special to God. Even Abe is special to God in some way. God is wonderful to all of us and that's why we are one happy people. Not happy all the time. But happy overall. We are freed in Christ to be friends with one another. To care for one another. Just like Abe does to me, I am free to be a pal to someone else in need. They have the same needs I have and God put us all together to work through us to tend to the needs of one another in the love Jesus has filled us with. That bottle of oil will never go empty, the bag of flour will never run out. The bread and wine of Christ's love never ceases. I, like Abe, must never cease to show that never ending love of Christ to my friends too. Abe is a friend. And we both have an eternal source of friendship and love in Christ Jesus. Thanks be to God, thanks for friends, thanks for love and thanks for Abe.
Lord, fill me with your cup of love and blessings and send me to share that love with a friend this day. ---Amen

Thursday, November 09, 2006

November 9th Daily Word and Visions from God

Titus 1-I, Paul, am God's slave and Christ's agent for promoting the faith among God's chosen people. getting out the accurate word on God and how to respond rightly to it.
Jeremiah 13-14- So you're the one for whom we wait. You made it all, you do it all.
Psalm 125-...and GOD encircles his people-- always has and always will.
Psalm 146-With all that I am, I will shout his praises.
A rose bush and some grasses at night. Plant life waiting for the day. Waiting for spring and warmth and sun. Waiting for another season of growth. But while the cold and early evenings continue for some time yet they go dormant and develop in a different sort of way. As I grow as a Christian there are times that I am out in the lead and other times that I'm behind the scenes. Times of teaching and times of learning. Times of serving and times of being fed and being served. I need to be in tune to God to know what time is what. When it's time to come forward and when it's time to go dormant for a little while and rest in God. But one thing is for certain, at all times I must focus on God's desires and wishes, not my own. At all times I must offer praise and thanks to God for all his blessings. At all times I must live for him. At all times God. God encircles me and his people. God at all times. Dormant or in the lead I may be but... God at all times.
Lord, you are past, present and future- you are all the time. Thanks! ---Amen

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

November 8th Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Timothy 4-Try hard to get here before winter.
Jeremiah 11-12- Why do bad people have it so good?
Psalm 124-GOD's strong name is our help, the same GOD who made heaven and earth.
Psalm 119.1-8-Our LORD, you bless everyone who lives right and obeys your Law.
A muddy mess! The dogs come in on a rainy day and bring in mud. Time after time we wipe their paws, mop the floor and go on. Sometimes in their excitement to greet us they get the mud on us too. My life with sin and my life with God get this way too. I sin and get my muddy life all over the floor and all over my family and friends too. The mud of my sin is spread throughout. It's not just my mud, but mud that I spread around. It's no wonder that sometimes I think bad people have it so good. The mess I have made with my own mud makes others look good too. But when I realize the mess I've made I leap to God for forgiveness. Jump to him to save me from the muddy mess I've made of my life. And God helps me through his son Jesus. It's amazing! The same God that made heaven and earth cares enough for me in my muddy mess, that he sent Jesus right into the midst of all my mud to save me. In Jesus the name of God is my strong help. And through Jesus, he takes on the filth of all my mud and makes me clean. Clean to live again to try hard and obey all his good and loving laws. With Jesus forgiveness I am free to live again in this sinful world and try to avoid that mess again. Thanks be to God!
Lord, I'm a mess! Forgive me, clean me. Send me ---Amen

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

November 7th Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Timothy 3-Don't be naive, There are difficult times ahead. As the end approaches, people are going to be self-absorbed, money-hungry, self-promoting, stuck-up, profane, contemptuous of parents, crude, coarse, dog-eat-dog, unbending, slanderers, impulsively wild, savage, cynical, treacherous, ruthless, bloated windbags, addicted to lust, and allergic to God. They'll make a show of religion, but behind the scenes they're animals. Stay clear of these people.
Jeremiah 9-10- But listen! Something's coming! A big commotion from the northern borders! Judah's towns about to be smashed, left to all the stray dogs and cats!
Psalm 123-We've been kicked around long enough, Kicked in the teeth by complacent rich men, kicked when we're down by arrogant brutes.
Hebrews 9.11-14-Now we can serve the living God and no longer do things that lead to death.
A different point of view. An observation of this world from a different point of view. Paul tells us not to be naive. Sometimes is will be difficult. The end is approaching. People may not always be nice. Some may act like animals. Watch out for these people. Don't become like them but point them to the source of life in Jesus. Listen! Something's coming! Watch the point of view I take. Jeremiah was constantly trying to tell the Israelites a different point of view. Telling them to give up the gods they had created and set up. Change their point of view and re-direct to the source of life in Jesus. A different point of view. Kicked and knocked around by arrogant brutes. Don't take their point of view. Point them to the source of life in Jesus. Now we can serve the living God and take a different point of view, no longer doing things that lead to death but doing things that point to the source of life in Jesus.
Lord, keep my point of view directed to the Source of Life in Jesus. ---Amen

Monday, November 06, 2006

November 6th Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Timothy 2-If we die with him, we'll live with him...
Jeremiah 7-8- "Stand in the gate of GOD's Temple and preach this Message..."
Psalm 122-I'll do my very best for you.
Deuteronomy 6.1-9-So love the LORD your God with all your heart, soul. and strength.
Altar flowers. Given to the glory of God. Given to God, and the beauty of the flowers fills the sanctuary. The fragrance rises to God in praise of his blessings. Beauty and fragrance in honor of God. After the service the Altar flowers are given to someone in need of God's presence and beauty. They will live on in beauty to someone sick or shut-in. Live on in the life of someone. Like Altar flowers I must realize that if I die to myself and die with Christ, I will live with him. I will live in him and he will live in me. A wonderful union of salvation and beauty all of it's own. God will enable me to stand in his Temple gate and preach his Message. And his Temple may be at work, at church, at school or even a coffee shop. Stand in his Temple gate and offer my very best to God. My best won't be perfect. But God can make even the imperfect perfect so don't worry. Just focus on God with all my heart, soul, and strength and the beauty and fragrance of His created glory will shine through. Altar flowers. Given to the glory of God.
Lord, I offer you my best this day-let your beauty shine through as I stand in the Temple and preach your Message this day. ---Amen

Sunday, November 05, 2006

November 5th Daily Word and Visions from God

2 Timothy 1-I miss you a lot, especially when I remember that last tearful good-bye, and I look forward to a joy-packed reunion. That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith--and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you! And the special gift of ministry you received when I laid hands on you and prayed--keep that ablaze! God doesn't want us to be shy with his gifts, but bold and loving and sensible.
Jeremiah 5-6-"I've got something to say. Is anybody listening?"
Psalm 121-He guards you when you leave and when you return, he guards you now, he guards you always.
John 11.32-44-The man who had been dead came out.
A microphone and a speaker. Electronic items that enable me to talk and listen to others. Sometimes I just listen. Messages from people who are not physically present with me. Friends that are apart from me. Life goes on even when we are separated from others. But there is a difference from physical separation and spiritual separation. Paul was physically separated from Timothy. But he was spiritually present. Maybe not through microphones and speakers but through letters; a message from Paul was sent to Timothy. Jesus is spiritually present with me. And through friends and angels God sends, I think sometimes Jesus is physically present with me from time to time. Maybe at some point Jesus is present in me for someone else. My ham radio reminds me of a movie I saw a few years ago when a man heard his deceased dad on the radio frequencies. The son was permitted to talk to his dad. It reminds me today of All Saints Day. When we remember those who have gone before us. I will remember especially my Dad and others too. When I kneel at the Communion Rail I will feel the presence of All the Saints, past and present and yes even future, ones not even born yet. That is the power of God. A God who gives not only gifts for the present, but spiritual gifts for the past and future along with the present. Gifts to be put to use for Him in His Kingdom. Gifts that All the Saints have been given and use day after day. No, for those I'm separated from, I didn't die and neither did you. Life goes on with the gifts of God active in and through the separation. We continue our work together physically and spiritually. In Lazarus, Jesus showed that the dead will rise again. Through Jesus death and resurrection he shows the way of his gracious salvation. In Jesus sacrifice for my sin and punishment of death he has freed me to live eternally. Eternal Life that has already begun and will never end. In my baptism, God graciously called me His own to live eternally with Him in His Kingdom. Through the physical actions of Jesus God has something to say to all of us. Is anybody listening? Thanks be to God that this separation from friends is not reality. Eternal Life with the Saints together in Jesus Christ is the reality!
Lord, I give you thanks for this gracious union with yourself and all the saints you have blessed me with this day. Yea; I miss some people, but I know you have taken care of all that and we are still united in your Spirit. ---Amen

Saturday, November 04, 2006

November 4th Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Timothy 5.21-6.21-Tell those rich in this world's wealth to quit being so full of themselves and so obsessed with money, which is here today and gone tomorrow. Tell them to go after God, who piles on all the riches we could ever manage--to do good, to be rich in helping others, to be extravagantly generous. If they do that, they'll build a treasury that will last, gaining life that is truly life.
Jeremiah 3-4-You must get rid of your stinking sin paraphernalia and not wander away from me anymore.
Psalm 120-They smile so sweetly but lie through their teeth.
Mark 12.28-34-Teacher, you are certainly right to say there is only one God. It is also true that we must love God with all our heart, mind, and strength, and that we must love others as much as we love ourselves.
An old rusty chain. Intended I presume to keep vehicles from driving into a field; at the same time intended to allow mowing equipment into the field as needed. An old rusty chain of a barrier. More of a symbol of "no passage" that an actual deterrent. God's guidance and instruction is given in this way many times it seems to me. A deterrent. I still sin. I still put something besides God first from time to time even when God's deterrent tells me otherwise. Who hasn't at some point in time sweetly smiled and lied through their teeth? I know I have. Who hasn't fell to some stinking sin paraphernalia and wandered away from God? I know I have. But God still instructs and guides me. Offers deterrents through his Word. Offers the voice of his deterrents through some rusty chains of friends and family. Even through strangers, I may hear of his deterrent and ignore it. And then at some point it finally sinks in---I hear the message and voice of Jesus. I listen to the Teacher and finally get it. I must love God with all my heart, mind and strength and love others as much as I love myself. I smell the stench of my sin and separation from God and from his love and confess. Confess and beg forgiveness of my selfish, self-saving desires. God forgives and moves the rusty chain aside. The deterrent removed, I laugh and play in the field of His Kingdom released from that rusty chain pointing out my sin. A rusty chain to deter me from sin. Listen to the Teachers guidance and instruction. Love him with all I've got. Love my neighbor as well. And go after God, the only one who can release me from sin. Thanks be to God!
Lord, today I listen to your Word of guidance and instruction. I'm sent to love you and my neighbor. ---Amen

Friday, November 03, 2006

November 3rd Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Timothy 5.1-20-Tell these things to the people so that they will do the right thing...
Jeremiah 1-2-How dare you tell me, I'm not stained by sin.
Psalm 119.145-176-Take not of how I love what you tell me; out of your life of love, prolong my life.
Psalm 24-Open the ancient gates, so that the glorious king may come in. Who is this glorious king? He is our LORD the All-Powerful!
Storage and bikes put up for the winter. Moved out of the way. Put away for another time in life when the weather will change once again and exercise on the bikes will be fun. God gives instruction through his Word. God gives warning through his Word. God opens my eyes to my sinfulness through his Word. The Word is stored in a book. A stored Word that becomes alive when I hear and see of the way I should act towards God and towards others. A stored Word that becomes alive when my stain of sin is pointed out. The stored Word becomes alive when I hear of the life of Love God freely gave to me to prolong my life. The stored Word becomes alive when that glorious king in Jesus comes into my life. The stored Word becomes alive. The stored Word becomes Jesus, my salvation. Thanks be to God for the storage of his Word. Thanks be to God for the Word active out of storage in and through me. Thanks be to God!
Lord, let your stored Word act in and through me this day. ---Amen

Thursday, November 02, 2006

November 2nd Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Timothy 4-God's Word and our prayers make every item in creation holy.
Isaiah 38-39-Good. If GOD says so, it's good.
Psalm 119.121-144-You rightly instruct us in how to live ever faithful to you.
Isaiah 25.6-9-We waited and hoped--now our God is here.
A collection of items on the kitchen table. An English Muffin with plenty of butter. An ink pen. Some bananas and some keys and ID. Things of everyday life. Things to nourish. Things to reflect and record thoughts with. Things to help enter locked areas and make one mobile. Things to purchase and identify yourself with. All things. Things that if used to the glory of God with his Word made flesh and a little prayer might just be holy. Things that can be used for good. Things that could become evil. I must use the things God sets before me in life as he instructs me to use, ever faithful to God in the use of things that are really his. Things that in the waiting and hope of everyday life can point to the presence of God. How will you use your things this day? I'm looking for God's way to use his things today.
Lord, you provide all the things I need from day to day. Show me how to use the things of life to your glory today. ---Amen

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

November 1st Daily Word and Visions from God

1 Timothy 3-If anyone wants to provide leadership in the church, good! But there are preconditions...
Isaiah 36-37- Haven't you gotten the news that I've been behind this all along?
Psalm 119.97-120-Oh, how I love all you've revealed; I reverently ponder it all day long.
Revelation 21.1-6a-He will wipe all tears from their eyes, and there will be no more death, suffering, crying, or pain.
"You got candy?" This child asked my wife. Sue wanted to respond with--"Yes. You got milk?" But knowing this young child wouldn't understand she didn't. The child's grandmother straightened it all out. "What do we say?"--"Trick or treat!" -- Some leadership from a grandparent. Followed by some manners. There are preconditions to leadership in the church. Leaders must act like leaders and know God and trust in him. God is behind life. All life. God reveals himself in Life. Ponder each day how God is revealed. Ponder his presence throughout the day. Think back over the day from the present time back to just 24 hours ago. You will notice God's presence. In the good and in the bad. God's presence in the joy and in the tears. In the death, suffering, crying, pain, laughter, fellowship, love and in life. God is with us. And there will be a time when he will dwell with us and us only. He will wipe all the tears from our eyes and all the suffering and pain will be gone. How I love the promise and hope of the book of Revelation. The results of God with us. Through our Savior Jesus Christ. "You got candy?" God does! And soon it will all be sweet!
Lord, I hear you speak through children in cow suits the love of your hope in eternity. For today, show me how to serve in your kingdom. I know of a hope and sweetness to come through you. ---Amen