Wednesday, January 31, 2007

January 31st Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 22.39-71-And being in agony He was praying fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.
Genesis 40-The captain of the bodyguard put Joseph in charge of them, and he took care of them; and they were in confinement for some time.
Psalm 31-Into Your hand I commit my spirit...
Isaiah 6.1-13-"Holy, Holy, Holy, is the LORD of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory."
Red leaves of a poinsettia. Jesus red blood dropped like sweat to the ground. The blood was thought in the Old Testament to have life in it. Jesus' blood has life in it. He gave this Life to the ground he had come to. Jesus blood dropping to the earth, just as God sent Him from heaven to earth to sacrifice Himself for our sin. Jesus' blood dropping to the earth. God giving all Life and Blood in Love to us. The prisoners came to Joseph for salvation. Came to Joseph in prison for interpretation. Likewise I come to Jesus in famine for interpretation. For His interpretation of Life. Given to me in and through that Blood that dropped to the earth. Jesus at His death used the same words of David, "Into Your hand I commit my spirit"---Jesus gave His all. I must commit my spirit to God. I must give my all. Jesus red Blood dropping to earth in death. Yet Life. Life eternal given. Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of His glory. Jesus red Blood dropping to earth and to me and you. Thanks be to God!
Jesus, You gave Your all---I commit my spirit to you. ---Amen

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

January 30th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 22.1-38-"And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there."
Genesis 39-So Joseph's master took him and put him into the jail...
Psalm 30-Sing praise to the LORD, you His godly ones, and give thanks to His holy name.
2 Kings 5.1-14-Why have you torn your clothes?
Stephanie bowling. Looks like it may be a strike! But I don't think it was. I really don't remember for sure. I do remember that her ball was looking good this day. But the results were an abnormal amount of splits. When I thought it was a strike for sure, up a split would pop. Sometimes when you strive to do your best it just doesn't turn out that way. In that upper room where you would think things would all be perfect and set for Passover with Jesus, I'm sure the disciples thought it would be the best. But out of that room walked some disciples who would betray, deny, and abandon their Savior and Leader at his toughest time in ministry. Even though they may be striving to do their best it didn't turn out that way. Up popped that split. Joseph was running from the temptations of sex. Striving to do his best. He ended up in prison. Up pops the split. Naaman seeks healing striving to do his best. He is told to dip in a dirty river. Up pops the split. But healing does come when we trust God to the rest. When Namaan washed as he was told, he was healed. Peter was given the keys to the kingdom when he repented of his denial. The other disciples were granted the ministry while believing in the risen Savior. Judas fell to his death in striving to do his best and not returning to his Savior. I think that the lesson for us and Stephanie this day, is: Strive to do your best. Then trust God with the rest. God will always be with you through the splits in life. God will walk through the disappointment with you. It is only for a moment. Don't take it too hard. Get over it. Keep your faith and hope high and encourage the team to pick you up when you are down and disappointed. But most of all trust God to the rest and follow in His way. Yea---Strive to do your best. Then trust God with the rest. Even if a split pops up. It may just be an opportunity to see how you can't save yourself through your own effort, but need a Savior. Thanks be to God! I sing praise to You and give You all thanks.
Lord, another day---I'll strive to do my best and work as though I'm working for you. I'll trust You to the rest. Even if a split pops up from what looks like a strike. ---Amen

Monday, January 29, 2007

January 29th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 21-Now during the day He was teaching in the temple, but at evening He would go out and spend the night on the mount that is called Olivet.
Genesis 38-Moreover, it took place while she was giving birth, one put out a hand, and the midwife took and tied a scarlet thread on his hand, saying, "This one came out first."
Psalm 29-The LORD will bless his people with peace.
1 Kings 17.8-16-The bowl of flour was not exhausted not did the jar of oil become empty, according to the word of the LORD which He spoke through Elijah.
This is ground. A reference point for electric. A reference point to shed spurious signals and dissipate them to ground. Used to ground ham equipment and used to ground house wiring. True ground that comes several feet deep in the earth. Jesus would ground himself in prayer and communion with His Father. He retreated at night, he retreated in the early morning. Jesus was grounded in His Father. Likewise a scarlet thread was tied around one of the twins born in the Genesis story. A reference marker to indicate which child was born first. A ground of sorts to indicate priority in birth. God grounds his actions in peace. God grounds action in life and gives us life in Him. Life in the sustenance of His Word. His Word grounded and spoken through Elijah. The flour and oil of His blessings never ends. God is my ground in life. God is my reference point in which I can turn. I must ground myself in Him always.
Lord, connect me to Your source of ground through Your Word and through Christ. ---Amen

Sunday, January 28, 2007

January 28th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 20.27-47-"Now He is not the God of the death but of the living; for all live to Him."
Genesis 37-"Now then, come and let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; and we will say, 'A wild beast devoured him.' Then let us see what will become of his dreams!"
Psalm 28-For if You are silent to me, I will become like those who go down to the pit.
Luke 4.21-30-And all the people in the synagogue were filled with rage as they heard these things; and they got up and drove Him out of the city, and led Him to the brow of the hill on which their city had been built, in order to throw Him down the cliff. But passing through their midst, He went His way.
Peanut butter, ground peanuts made into a spread. Peanuts are the seed of a vine. Seeds produced and multiplied. Life taking various forms. In what seemed to be death for Jesus and for Joseph, came salvation and life. For Joseph was planted in a pit. But taken out of that pit and sold into slavery. Eventually this seeming death brought life and rescue to an entire nation through the life of Moses and God's saving action. The seeming death of Jesus. His rejection at his hometown. His inevitable stoning; Jesus passes through the crowd to carry out a ministry and plan of God ending in his apparent death and burial in a tomb. Jesus, then to rise and change the lives of all people for all time. Saving humans from sin, death and the devil from what appeared to be his own death. God is not the God of the dead. God is the God of the living. I need to see this and understand. I need to die to my own selfish, sinful ways and desires and give my life to God. I need to live in God because He is the God of the living. In my death, I live. I live not because of my action. But because of the action in and through the death of Jesus. Through His death, I live. Life changes. Like the peanut, life changes and, like the peanut butter pictured here, in death, comes nourishment and life. In Jesus death and in my own death to my selfishness comes the nourishment and life lived following my Savior in his Kingdom. Thanks be to God for the peanut and thanks be to God for the Life of Jesus.
Lord, I sin and am selfish. I turn my sin and selfishness over to you. Take my life and let me live in you I pray. ---Amen

Saturday, January 27, 2007

January 27th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 20.1-26-"Was the baptism of John from heaven or from men?"
Genesis 35-36-Then God appeared to Jacob again when he came from Paddan-aram, and He blessed him.
Psalm 27-One thing I have asked from the LORD, that I shall seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the LORD and to meditate in His temple. For in the day of trouble He will conceal me in His tabernacle; in the secret place of His tent He will hide me; He will lift me up on a rock.
1 Corinthians 13.1-13-But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love.
Cascade dish washing detergent. A green box with water in abundance, cleaning and renewing dishes. Was this the baptism of John? Cleaning and renewing us from sin. Repentance then the cleaning. Turning from sin then the cleaning. The abundance of water. But this question of Jesus was to make the religious leaders think about what their own question of Jesus' authority. They couldn't deny in front of the people John, for all the people took him to be a prophet. If they said his baptism was from heaven they would be endorsing Jesus ministry. When we try to make decisions with our sinful nature in mind we will stumble. But if we make decisions based on God's leading we will be empowered to take a stand. A stand in which God will provide the cascade of blessings and gifts we will need to hold fast in faith, hope and love. A stand that will ultimately reflect the Love of God in Christ Jesus. This Love is the greatest of all qualities of action. Action in Love. Just like Jesus stand against my sin, it was a action in Love. God told Jacob to move several times. God blessed Jacob in Love. Blessed Jacob when he took a stand in faith, hope, and love. Blessed Jacob also with a change of name from Jacob to Israel. From "Heel grabber" or "deceiver" to "he struggles with God." Take a stand, struggle, don't be like the religious leaders in Jesus question. Struggle with the question with God and know that in all struggle, God will be with you. God will be with you in struggle, in faith, hope, and love. But he will be with you in the greatest of these which is Love. The Love that is and is in Jesus and in you. Struggle in faith, hope, and love. Then the Love of God will cascade in and through your entire being. Love! In that struggle, in that Love, I will dwell in the house of the Lord, meditate on Him and see the beauty of Love in Jesus. Beauty of Love to stand me on a firm Rock of salvation in Jesus. Thanks be to God!
Lord, I'm struggling. Let's play! You wanna wrestle? ---Amen

Friday, January 26, 2007

January 26th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 19.28-48-As they were untying the colt, its owners said to them, "Why are you untying the colt?" The said, "The Lord has need of it."
Genesis 34-Now Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter...
Psalm 26-Redeem me, and be gracious to me.
Psalm 71.1-6-Incline your ear to me and save me.
A CB Base station tuned to the emergency channel. A channel used for emergency situations and only rarely since the Citizens Band is not in much use recently. Jesus sent his disciples to borrow a car of sorts. Actually it looks more like stealing to me but I guess not. The disciples just took the colt. Doesn't sound like they asked. They waited until the owners asked. Then the owners said ok. It shows to me how widely accepted Jesus was at this time. The owners just let it happen. They didn't use the emergency channel, they didn't put up a fight. I suppose they were actually honored that God would want to use one of their possessions in his mission. They probably felt that they would have the inside track to the kingdom of this new King. But Jesus was a different kind of King. Not the kind of King they were expecting. Jacob heard that Dinah had been raped. Another crime. It was answered by a crime and some trickery by Jacob's sons. In revenge the men of the city were all killed for the rape of their sister. No one went to the emergency channel here either. People trying to control each other's lives. An emergency. Sister and daughter raped. Jesus riding into Jerusalem as a King but soon since he wasn't the King the people expected; He was killed. No one on the emergency channel. But I better use it. Not to defend the plan of God. God can take care of that. I better use it, not to defend the injustice of my sinful response to another sin. I better use that emergency channel to call out my own sin. To call to God for help with my own failures and shortcomings. I better use that channel to confess to God that I need him like I need no other. I need his forgiveness. This is an emergency. I need him, my family needs him, my friends need him, the world needs him. And then we have prayer and confession and forgiveness, and salvation. From the emergency channel. A call from the emergency channel to one who is riding the colt. The King of the Kingdom of Heaven and Earth. Not just King over some Roman Empire. But King of all. Living forever. That's the use of the emergency channel in prayer. Thanks be to God for the emergency channel. I think it's time to use it now.
Lord, you alone are King ---King of all---I praise you and honor your name. Forgive me---help me to forgive others---Love me---show me how to love others---Lead me---And send me as Yours---Amen

Thursday, January 25, 2007

January 25the Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 19.1-27-"He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner."
Genesis 32-33- Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
Psalm 25-Make me know your ways O LORD; teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your Truth and teach me, for You are the God of my salvation; for You I wait all the day.
Acts 9.1-22-"...but get up and enter the city, and it will be told you what you must do."
This is a little wooden teddy bear gift Sarah gave me in 2002. She signed the bottom of it's feet 2002 Sidney. Sidney is a nick-name I gave her. The other foot has I (a heart) U. Around the neck is the symbol of the ELCA necklace I received as a Voting Member of the 2003 Churchwide Assembly in Milwaukee and a Luther's Seal necklace that I received from a Global Mission Gathering in Hickory NC that I colored in. This bear sits and watches me every morning. He sees my prayer time. He sees my devotion time. He sees Jesus who has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner, morning after morning. This bear sees me wrestle with God before daybreak each and every day. This bear is witness to a Savior that teaches me, leads me in His truth, shows me the path I am to take day after day. And finally this bear gets to see me called and sent by God to get up and enter the city trusting in God's will that He will tell me what to do as I need to know it. This bear has a good seat and is a comforting companion in my walk of faith.
Lord, you call me each day---I respond in trust, hope and faith. ---Amen

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

January 24th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 18.18-43-"Receive you sight; your faith has made you well."
Genesis 31-Then Laban departed and returned to his place.
Psalm 24-Lift up you heads, O gates, and be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in! Who is the King of glory? The LORD strong and mighty, the LORD mighty in battle.
Jeremiah .4-10-"Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you," declares the LORD.
An old handsaw. Most people use power saws anymore. But there are still times when the ol handsaw is still called for and the only thing to do the job. Jesus was approaching the city and a blind man was yelling. Jesus healed the blind man. But the blind man did have sight. He had sight others didn't have. The blind man recognized Jesus as the Messiah and placed all his faith in Him. His faith makes him well. The old fashioned way. Through faith in Jesus the blind man showed all those with sight who the Messiah was. They need to receive sight also in this way. Just like the blind man. Sight that show that the selfish nature of Laban will never protect and save yourself. I must not be selfish, but giving and loving as Jesus has showed. Even giving my life to Him for Him to use. So when Laban departs, that selfish nature, be joyous, for the saw has cut off the part not needed in my walk of faith. I must use the saw to cut off my selfish nature that the King of Glory may come in. That Jesus may inhabit my being and lead and guide me in a life devoted to His will and way. Because it is in God's way that I will be delivered, not my selfish methods. So that ol saw comes into use once again. May God cut the selfish nature from my life, that the King of Glory may come in to save and lead me now and forever.
Lord, forgive my selfish nature and come in. ---Amen

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

January 23rd Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 18.1-17-"Truly I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all."
Genesis 29.31-30.43-So he removed on that day the striped and spotted male goats and all the spotted female goats, every one with white in it, and all the black ones among the sheep, and gave them into the care of his sons.
Psalm cup overflows.
Jeremiah 36.11-26-...the king cut it with a scribe's knife and threw it into the fire...
One of those dog toys that you put peanut butter or something inside. The dogs will spend hours working on getting at what is inside. It is a fun treat that exercises their gums also. It can quiet the whole house down at times and bring peace. God is like this too. A treat inside. Able to quiet a whole house down for hours and bring peace. In toys and in ways that make me like a child, I come to God. I come to God as a child looking for play. God never fails me. He sends me day after day into his Kingdom to play. Gives me the gifts and toys I need to play with and plays with me along the way. In Genesis Jacob took what would be the rejected goats and sheep and mated them that way. So what's the big deal. I can take the blessings God has given me and be joyful in them. Even if it is spotted goats or black sheep. God loves all the same. Can you see the treat of God's love inside the blessings he gives. The toys he gives us to play with have a treat inside. Given with a center of love. A center of a loving, saving, Messiah who causes my cup to overflow. The center of my toy overflows and makes me hunger for more. Makes me want to get at the center more and more. As I read and reflect the Word of God; I dare not cut off the Words to throw into the fire like the king in Jeremiah. But I cherish the Word and take joy in the treat in the center. Thanks be to God for toys with a treat in the center!
Lord, you are the center---you are my treat. ---Amen

Monday, January 22, 2007

January 22nd Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 17-Stand up and go; your faith has made you well.
Genesis 29.1-30- So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed to him but a few days because of his love for her.
Psalm 22-I will tell of Your name to my brethren; in the midst of the assembly I will praise You.
Jeremiah 36.1-10-So you go and read from the scroll which you have written at my dictation the words of the LORD to the people in the LORD'S house on a fast day.
The first snow of the year. It was a nice one. Not real hard to shovel but covering the ground with white. White and light reflecting. Reminds me of how I should be with Christ. Reflect his Light. Jesus healed some lepers. Only one leper gave thanks of the bunch he healed. He reflected the light through his faith. Jacob was deceived by Laban while serving for Rachel. But Jacob served an additional seven years in patience. He reflected the light of Christ through his faith that God would provide. David in Psalm 22 speaks of his struggle in life. But David through the struggle tells others of God's name in the midst of the assembly. He reflected the light of Christ in faith of a Messiah. Jeremiah obeyed God's command and had God's words read to the people. He reflected God's light in faith. Like the first snow, I must see the light of Christ and reflect his light in faith this day.
Lord, send me to reflect Your light this day. ---Amen

Sunday, January 21, 2007

January 21st Daily Word and Visions from God

January 21st Daily Word and Visions from GodLuke 16-...even the dogs were coming and licking his sores.
Genesis 27.46-28.22-He had a dream, and behold, a ladder was set on the earth with its top reaching to heaven; and behold, the angels of GOD were ascending and descending on it.
Psalm 21-We will sing and praise Your power.
Luke 4.14-21-...and the eyes of all the synagogue were fixed on Him. And He began to say to them, "Today this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.
Stephanie invaded the favorite sitting space of our dogs. The dogs always sit with their front paws one step below their hinds. And Stephanie invaded their space. But notice the reaction from the dogs and Steph of welcome and love. In Luke Jesus tells a story about a poor man who went to heaven and a rich man who didn't. They were separated by a chasm. The rich man wanted Abraham who was comforting the poor to get a message to his relatives about what could happen if they ignored the prophets of the day. But Abraham was right. We should listen to the people God has sent to us to tell us about God and His grace. Listen and heed the warnings. Listen to the dreams that God sends, like the one that He sent to Jacob. Listen and see the love God has for each one of us. Just like Stephanie on the steps and loving dogs with her, ascending and descending steps. God sent His Son to descend and ascend into our lives and show us how to live. And in this love that chasm is crossed. Not by us, but by Jesus out of love. The chasm is crossed and Jesus was sent to take us to the other side. Up the ladder, up the steps, all an act of love. What more reason do I need to sing praises to God. What more reason do I need to fix my eyes on Jesus and listen as if I'm listening for the very first time a story about a love on some steps to and from heaven.
Lord, I fix my eyes on you. I listen to your Word. Lead me this day. ---Amen

Saturday, January 20, 2007

January 20th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 15-But we had to celebrate and rejoice, for this brother of yours was dead and has begun to live, and was lost and has been found.
Genesis 27.1-45-Behold now, I am old and I do not know the day of my death.
Psalm 20-Some boast in chariots and some in horses, but we will boast in the name of the LORD, our God.
1 Corinthians 12.12-31a-But now God has place the members, each one of them, in the body, just as He desired.
A meter to check the sugar level of my blood. When Sarah sees me get this thing out she cringes. About the needle some, but what she says she really can't stand to hear is the "click" of the device that releases the needle to draw the blood. I, on the other hand, don't think anything of this. I just take my blood and record the readings and move on. The "click" brings no change to me emotionally. Both Sarah and I see and hear the "click", but take it in a different way. Jesus tells a story from Luke. All the characters seem to take the love of the father from a different way. The Lost Son, welcomes his father's gracious love upon returning home. The Faithful Son is upset with his father's love and disappointed in his celebration. The Father recognizes his love as a response to having recovered someone he thought may be lost forever. All reflections on love but from a different point of view. All reflections on love with each having value to learn the Love of Christ. I can see Love when God takes me back, out of my sin. I can see Love when God recovers my soul and gives me a new life. I can see Love when God blesses me with gifts I don't deserve. I can see Love in Jesus. Love that blesses me with a birthright I don't deserve. Love that reaches beyond family order and moves the last to first. Love in and within the stories of past and present and future that reveal God's plan in motion. Love that combines the blessings freely given to each and every one of us in a Church that becomes the body of Christ. Love that allows all people to boast in the name of the Lord our God. Love that points straight to Jesus. Love that is Jesus. Yea, Sarah and I may hear a "click" and each take it differently. And Sarah and I will definitely see the Love of Jesus and receive it differently. But that is Love after all. Love that reaches out to touch each one of us in just the way we need to be touched. Love that calls each one of us peculiar and special. Love that is Jesus. Thanks be to God!
Lord, I love you! ---Amen

Friday, January 19, 2007

January 19th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 14.25-35-He who has ears let him hear.
Genesis 26- When the men of the place asked about his wife, he said, "She is my sister," for he was afraid to say, "my wife," thinking, "the men of the place might kill me on account of Rebekah, for she is beautiful."
Psalm 19-Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my rock and my Redeemer.
A wonderful, caring, thoughtful card from Sarah's boyfriend, Eric. He was thanking us for his stay over the New Year celebration. He is a good young man. His reflection of Christ is bright. We are to reflect to our worlds the light of Christ. Sometimes this may take on danger. Jesus told his disciple the stark truth that they must take up their cross and follow him. This is devotion for the people of this day knew the danger of the cross. They knew that this would be giving their lives fully to Christ. Give my life to Christ and follow. Then the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart may be acceptable to God my Savior. God gives his Word to be proclaimed. Unlike the selfish word of Isaac declaring his wife Rebekah to be his sister to save his own skin, God gives us His Word to proclaim that is true. But like Isaac and Abraham too, I sin with His Word. Fail to proclaim or bend the Word to suit my needs. Maybe thinking that this will save my skin. But I can't save my skin. Only Jesus can save me with His cross. So back to taking up my cross, even in danger and following him. With this I give glory to God. Maybe even in a thank you card or prayer.
Lord, thanks for your cross---thanks for saving me---I take my cross and follow you today. ---Amen

Thursday, January 18, 2007

January 18th Daily Word and Visions from God

January 18th Daily Word and Visions from God
Luke 14.1-24-Is it lawful to heal on the Sabbath, or not?

Genesis 25-Now Abraham gave all the he had to Isaac…

Psalm 18-The LORD my God illumines my darkness.

Acts 4.8-13-And there is salvation in no one lese; for there is no other name under heaven that has been given among men by which we must be saved.
A night light. It comes on when is senses that it is dark. Then gives enough light to see your way. Jesus came and gave light to a dark world. Shows enough light to see the way. Shows us how trying to earn our way into heaven by good acts doesn’t get it. It takes Jesus healing in life to get into heaven. I can only get into heaven by the grace of God. It’s not something I can do or obey that gets me into heaven. It’s by Jesus life. He gave his life for me. Like Abraham, who gave all he had to Isaac, Jesus gave all he had to me and to you. In this giving, Jesus illumines the darkness in this world. I must be willing to give all I have to Jesus. That’s why I do good things. Not to get into heaven, but because I see what God first did for me through Jesus. I respond in thanks and praise and act in kind to what Jesus has done for me. For in the name of Jesus there is salvation. There is salvation in no one else. Only through Jesus am I saved. Not my works but his. For this I give all thanks and praise.
Lord, in your name---yea, in your name and action. ---Amen

January 17th Daily Word and Visions from God

January 17th Daily Word and Visions from God
Luke 13.18-35-"Strive to enter through the narrow door; for many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able."

Genesis 24-"The matter comes from the LORD; so we cannot speak to you bad or good."

Psalm 17-Arise, O LORD, confront him, bring him low; deliver my soul from the wicked with Your sword, from men with Your hand, O LORD, from men of the world, whose portion is in this life, and whose belly You fill with Your treasure; they are satisfied with children, and leave their abundance to their babes. As for me, I shall behold Your face in righteousness; I will be satisfied with Your likeness when I awake.

Nehemiah 8.1-3, 5-6, 8-10-Do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.
This guy is all over my house for some reason. Stephanie thinks he is just so. Not sure why. He’s wearing make-up! Anyway he must be some young girl’s dream or something. So when Sue and I go to the grocery store, we can please Stephanie with this cereal just because it has his picture on the box. I, in the same way think of Jesus like this too. But I don’t think Jesus wore make-up. Jesus is my dream. I seek his presence every day. But even more astounding to me is how Jesus seeks my presence all the time. Teaching in His Word. Many people will seek to enter heaven. They will try to do "good" things to get there. But that’s not it. It’s only through Jesus that we can enter heaven. It’s not about what I do but about what Jesus did for me. That’s what is so astounding about Jesus presence with me. He seeks me as I seek Him. When Abraham’s servant went to find a wife for Isaac the relatives of Rebekah replied to the request to take her back to Isaac in another land that this was something of God. What can be said? Likewise when Jesus seeks and finds me, I must follow. I must serve Him in His Kingdom. When I fear danger and the sword, I must trust in God to protect me and to lead me through the danger, for God is my treasure and nothing else. Treasure much better than any Pirate could ever attain. Treasure that brings joy in God. Everlasting and eternal joy. So I seek Jesus and His treasure today and He finds me and saves me as I seek Him. What a twist! So, I wonder what kind of cereal Jesus would have in the box with his picture. Instead of cookies and cream---maybe Bread and Wine.
Lord, as I seek you today---find me and save me. ---Amen

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

January 16th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 13.1-17-And He laid His hands on her; and immediately she was made erect again and began glorifying God.
Genesis 23-So the field and the cave that is in it, were deeded over to Abraham for a burial site by the sons of Heth.
Psalm 16-Preserve me, O God, for I take refuge in You.
1 Corinthians 1.3-17-For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel, not in cleverness of speech, so that the cross of Christ would not be made void.
As soon as my feet hit the floor in the morning, these guys are up to take my place. I guess it is so much better than the floor. They take my place and make themselves at home while I prepare and greet the new day. When Jesus healed the woman on the Sabbath, he got into trouble with the religious leaders of the day. He healed her and she was made erect again. Prepared to meet and greet a new day. Jesus brought and freely gave a new life to this woman and changed her life forever. Every day Jesus does the same for you and me. Gives new life and permits us to prepare and greet a new day. Even in death we are given life. In Sarah's death, Abraham purchased a burial place. Probably at twice the cost. Abraham refused to bargain for this land. Tradition was that the land would be offered over priced and the two would haggle. But Abraham didn't haggle. Nor did he accept the land as a gift. He paid the price. So likewise, Jesus paid the price for my burial in his own death. Jesus bought the field for me and my life. In this I take my refuge. In this I can rest. In the price Jesus paid for my life I can greet a new day and proclaim the gospel of Christ. Day after day. Thanks be to God!
Lord, as I prepare for a new day, I greet you with joy and thanksgiving for all your blessings. Send me this day to proclaim your glories to all the earth. And grant the dogs a little comforting rest. ---Amen

Monday, January 15, 2007

January 15th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 12.32-59-"You hypocrites! You know how to analyze the appearance of the earth and the sky, but why do you not analyze the present time?"
Genesis 22-Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son.
Psalm 15-O LORD, who may abide in Your tent? Who may dwell on Your holy hill?
Romans 12.9-21-Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.
Boy! What a rainy weekend. A couple of weeks ago the float on my sump-pump got stuck and the basement floor got wet. We caught it in time. I was thinking as I lay in be last night about how I really needed this sump pump to work this weekend. How this pump was called to duty at all hours of the day and night. Then I read how Jesus tells us that we are able to see the signs of the weather and make preparations but do we prepare for his coming? Do I prepare for the coming of God's Kingdom? I like to think that I do, but do I really? How serious do I take it? I think God wants us to take His coming and even present Kingdom as a priority in life. To see the gift of the ram caught in the thicket by its horns. To realize that a sacrifice was given and is present for me and my sin. Not just some story. But real and personal and just for me and for you. A Kingdom here and now and to be fulfilled. A Kingdom that will permit us to dwell with God forever. Not just a story of some time ago. But my story today. And what about this Kingdom here and now. The people in His Kingdom here and now. God instructs me to take action. To be diligent. To serve. To pray. To love. To honor. To contribute. To give honor to others and to practice hospitality. This Kingdom business---this preparation stuff---this Savior as my sacrifice is here and now and real to me personally and just as real to you too!
Lord, I see the preparations You make for me---may I prepare for You and serve in Your Kingdom---any time day or night whenever you need me. ---Amen

Sunday, January 14, 2007

January 14th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 12.1-31-"But seek His kingdom..."
Genesis 21-Sarah said, "God has made laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me."
Psalm 14-When the LORD restores His captive people, Jacob will rejoice, Israel will be glad.
John 2.1-11-Jesus said to them, "Fill the waterpots with water."
A little bubble gum machine. It was one of the kids, not sure which one now. I don't think the money ever paid for the bubble gum in this machine. Dad or Mom always bought more gum and the money would just seem to recycle itself. Especially once the kids knew how to open it and get the money out. Then they figured out how to open it and just get the gum out. No need to even recycle the money. How many times have I short cycled my relationship with God in this same way? Either recycled what he already had provided or just figured a way to take and take and take. God blesses me in so many ways that you would think I would be glad to return to him. But I sin and don't always do this. Sarah thought it was funny when she heard the message that she would have a child. But when she did God blessed her with fruitful laughter. Laughter that we can all share in. For in the blessing of Isaac, God shows us his salvation through Jesus. Laughter as a blessing. Sarah wanted to short cycle the whole thing by giving Abraham a son from her maid. But God had a grander plan than that. I need to be patient sometimes and wait for God to act. He always does act. He always answers prayer in His time. I'm sure that when the Israelites were captive they wanted immediate relief. But only in God's time they were restored. I'm sure the Israelites wanted to short cycle the process and escape slavery. But they had to wait on God's time. I think rather than short cycling the gumball machine I need to wait and seek God's Kingdom. Wait and seek God's guidance. Wait for God to act and then He will show me the way. He will show me the waterpots to fill with his miracle and grace and salvation for all the world. And then...then...will that gumball of blessing bring laughter and joy and love for all God's blessings.
Lord, teach me patience. Teach me to wait. Teach me to act in your timing not mine. ---Amen

Saturday, January 13, 2007

January 13th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 11.29-54-"For just as Jonah became a sign to the Ninevites, so will the Son of Man be to this generation."
Genesis 20-But God came to Abimelech in a dream of the night, and said to him, "Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken, for she is married."
Psalm 13-But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation.
1 Corinthians 12.1-11-For even as the body is one and yet has many members, and all the members of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ.
This is the January picture on a calendar in my room. A beautiful blue fish. God sent a fish to rescue and save Jonah from his sinfulness. Jonah was running from God. Going the opposite direction God wanted him to go. Jonah was destined to die in the waters until God sent a fish to save Jonah and puke Jonah back into the mission God had intended Jonah to have. Jonah was to deliver a message to some people who were lost in their own sin. Tell them to turn around and take a different direction. Repent. Sound familiar? Sounds to me like John the Baptist. Sounds to me like the same message God was giving Jonah. Turn around and go the direction I choose for you. So God sent Jonah a fish to save him. Abimelech was destined for death if he took the married wife and sister of Abraham. But God sent a message to Abimelech and warned him. Turn around from this thought. I am dead also for my sins. I deserve the death that Abimelech was to get. I have sinned. Yet God sends a Son to save me from my death and sin. A Son to show me and tell me to turn around from sin and go the direction God chooses for me to go. To use the gifts God has given me in the body of Christ to tell the message of Jonah and John the Baptist. Turn from sin. Turn around and go God's direction. Yea--- God sends all of us a Son to save us. And I will turn around from the death I deserve and trust in God's lovingkindness and rejoice in God's salvation. Otherwise---I deserve death. Thanks be to God for sending his Son to rescue me from drowning in the waters of my sin and saving me with the waters of everlasting life in Jesus. Thanks be to God!
Lord, some days I'm drowning---send a fish or whatever---but most of all I praise you for sending your Son to save me. I love you Lord! ---Amen

Friday, January 12, 2007

January 12th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 11.1-28-Give us each day our daily bread.
Genesis 19-...and he prepared a feast for them, and baked unleavened bread, and they ate.
Psalm 12-The words of the LORD are pure words; As silver tried in a furnace on the earth, refined seven times.
Psalm 36.5-10-Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.
A biscuit---bread. God gives daily bread each and every day. He prepares a feast for me each and every day and welcomes me into his kingdom. I don't deserve such favor, but He gives it all the same. He feeds me not only through the bread, but in His Word, Jesus, the Bread of Life. His Word which is pure and without sin. His Word that has gone through the fire. His Word that was refined for me, even though his Word had no need of being refined. His Word in flesh. His flesh in the Bread of Life. God is faithful. So much so that His faithfulness reaches to the skies. Love that reaches from the earth to the skies and lives with me. God gives daily Bread through his Son Jesus. Each and every day. Daily Bread. Thanks be to God!
Lord, teach me to pray...give us each day our daily bread. ---Amen

Thursday, January 11, 2007

January 11th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 10.21-42-"Blessed are the eyes which see the things you see, for I say to you, that many prophets and kings wished to see the things which you see, and did not see them, and to hear the things which you hear, and did not hear them."
Genesis 18-Now the LORD appeared to him by the oaks of Mamre...
Psalm 11-In the LORD I take refuge...
Isaiah 62.1-5-...So your God will rejoice over you.
Sometimes it seems this phone may be attached to Stephanie's ear. But when Dad or Mom calls the phone is nowhere to be found. I guess it all depends though. Depends on what our needs are. When in distress, Mom and Dad will always be there. When not in distress, friends can bring happiness and joy. Jesus is both however. A friend and a person to turn to in times of distress. I need to see Jesus around me every day. He is present after all. I just need to open my eyes and see. See and hear Him. I don't need to be a king or prophet to see and hear Jesus. I can just be me and there He is. I can turn around and bump right into Him anytime of day. And the Lord appears. The Lord I can take refuge in. The Lord who rejoices over me even in the midst of struggle. And I will rejoice over Him and His daily presence day by day. Thanks be to God!
Lord, I speak to you and ask for your protection and care this day. ---Amen

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

January 10th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 10.1-20-"...but rejoice that your names are recorded in heaven."
Genesis 17-"As for Sarai your wife, you shall not call her Sarai, but Sarah shall be her name. I will bless her..."
Psalm 10-Arise, O LORD; O God, lift up Your hand.
Numbers 27.1-11-So Moses brought their case before the LORD.
A computer mouse. Point and click. Gives direction to a curser. Controls actions on the computer. Sometimes like a pen but more. Allows you to cut and paste. God points and clicks me in life. Points me in a direction. Gently guides me and leads me. Copies and pastes my name and records it in heaven. Changes me from Sarai and blesses me with the new name of Sarah. Abram to Abraham...Saul to Paul. I need God to point and click me through life. I need God to lift his hand and guide me day after day. And I need my Savior to bring my case forward. Only through that point and click of Jesus guidance can I be saved. I have faith in Jesus that he will point and click the direction I'm to take this day.
Lord, point and click me today and guide my actions. ---Amen

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

January 9th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 9.28-62-"Lord, do You want us to command fire to come down from heaven and consume them?" But He turned and rebuked them, [and said, "You do not know what kind of spirit you are of; for the Son of Man did not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them."]
Genesis 16-Then the angel of the LORD said to her...
Psalm 9-I will give thanks to the LORD with all my heart; I will tell of all Your wonders.
Psalm 106.1-12-Then they believed His words' They sang His praise.
The Glory of Steel, First of a series by Edwin Fulwider, for the Ohio Steel Foundry Company. This is a picture the my Dad left for me. It reminds me of my days of work at the Blast Furnace at Armco Steel in the mid 70's. Fire, smoke and heat all combined, not to consume but to create steel. Jesus came not to destroy or consume but to save and be consumed. He came to save us. And we consume his Word day by day, listening and following his way. Sometimes through angels which may come to us in others and our surroundings. Like the angel speaking to Hagar and giving her reassurance and direction. I must listen to the voice of Jesus and obey and follow. In His pathway of Life I will give thanks with all my heart and tell of His wonders and sing praises to Him. Fire the creates rather than consumes. Jesus my Lord and Savior takes me through the fire and creates something new. Thanks be to God!
Lord, create me new day after day to serve you in your kingdom. ---Amen

Monday, January 08, 2007

January 8th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 9.1-27-And he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to perform healing.
Genesis 15-And He took him outside and said, "Now look toward the heavens, and count the stars, if you are able to count them." And He said to him, "So shall you descendants be." Then he believed in the LORD; and He reckoned it to him as righteousness.
Psalm 8-O LORD, our Lord, How majestic is Your name in all the earth!
Ephesians 6.10-17-Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil.
A gate we put up to keep the dogs out of areas of the house. Jesus sent his disciples out to proclaim the kingdom of God. Jump the gate and go out into his Kingdom. Day after day Jesus instructs me to jump the gate and go and proclaim and heal. Go out and look at the vastness of God and his kingdom. Be humbled and overwhelmed with it all but also know that I am unique and chosen to go. Go! Go into a majestic kingdom of the God who is to be praised in all the earth. Go with the full armor that God provides. Go and stand firm in his Kingdom. Go!
Lord, I will go this day to proclaim you to all the world. ---Amen

Sunday, January 07, 2007

January 7th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 8.26-56-He, however, took her by the hand and called, saying, "Child, arise!" And her spirit returned, and she got up immediately; and He gave orders for something to be given her to eat.
Genesis 13-14-And Melchizedek king of Salem bought out bread and wine; now he was a priest of God Most High. He blessed him and said, "Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; And Blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand."
Psalm 7-I will give thanks to the LORD according to His righteousness and will sing praise to the name of the LORD Most High.
Luke 3.15-17, 21-22-Now when all the people were baptized, Jesus was also baptized, and while He was praying, heaven was opened, and the Holy Spirit descended upon Him in bodily form like a dove, and a voice came out of heaven, "You are My beloved Son, in You I am well-pleased."
I worked on the humidifier yesterday. Cleaning the water deposits from the tray, valve, and sponge pick-up. Also changed out the water supply line and placed a water sensor alarm on the floor near the drain in case an accident would occur. Humidification in the winter time to dry air is something you really can't see. Humidification spreads throughout the entire house when introduced. Even though you can't see it you can feel and experience the comfort it brings. It also adds to the healthiness of the air and helps the body breathe easier. The Spirit reminds me of humidification. Jesus renewed the spirit of the young girl. Took her by the hand and raised her from death. Jesus healed her and gave her life and her spirit returned. Then it was time to eat. Eat what? Perhaps it was time to take in the body and blood of Jesus in the bread and wine. Like Melchizedek brought to Abram. Bread and Wind---Body and Blood. Even way back in the book of Genesis. God active through the Savior before we even were aware of a Savior. God active blessing and delivering us from our enemies. Delivering us from sin, death and the devil. God active throughout time in Genesis, in Luke, today in my world. Active in Spirit. A dove descending and a voice from above. A Spirit that is sometimes referred to as the Great Comforter. Like the humidification of the air, I feel the comfort of the Spirit. God active all around even in some places I can't even see. Active and bringing comfort and life to all. I will give thanks to the Lord and sing his praises.
Lord---all around---in and through---everywhere in my home---everywhere in my heart---I praise you and give you the glory. Thanks! ---Amen

Saturday, January 06, 2007

January 6th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 8.1-25-"Now the parable is this: the seed is the word of God.
Genesis 12-Now there was a famine in the land; so Abram went down to Egypt to sojourn there, for the famine was severe in the land.
Psalm 6-The LORD has heard my supplication, the LORD receives my prayer.
Matthew 2.1-12-Gathering together all the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.
We went to the grocery last night. I get paid every other week. I see this refrigerator go from full to near empty every couple of weeks. Yet as I look at it. I know that I am overly blessed. God has richly provided for my needs. Yet sometimes I still fear. How will I meet all the bills? Will I be able to continue to fill this family and meet needs? Then the parable of the soils. The seed is the word of God. What soil will I be? God provides the seed to feed me both body and soul. What soil will I be? God takes care of all my needs and feeds me all the seed needed and He feeds it by the handful. What soil will I be? When there was famine Abram went to Egypt. God fed Abram the seed he needed. You ever notice how many times God calls people out of Egypt in the journey to the Promised Land? Even the Journey to the plan of Salvation. God called Abram out of Egypt, the Israelites out of Egypt and Mary, Joseph and Jesus out of Egypt. Calls us out of a distant foreign place to feed us seed. Seed in the Word made Flesh. Seed in Jesus. Blessings by the handful. What soil will I be? Will I be the soil that bears fruit? Will I be the soil that produces in joy for God? I think that God has already heard my supplication and prayer. I think that I will be soil that is happy to produce fruit from that Seed that was born in me today and every day. That Seed of the Word made Flesh. Why would Herod wonder where this seed could be found? This Seed is found in my heart. This Seed is found in your heart. This Seed is found in the center of the Universal Catholic Church. This Seed is Jesus. What kind of soil will I be? I will be soil that lets the Seed of Life by born in me this day! Thanks be to God!
Lord Jesus, be born in my heart this day. ---Amen

Friday, January 05, 2007

January 5th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 7.18-50-"For this reason I say to you, her sins, which are many, have been forgiven, for she loved much; but he who is forgiven little, loves little."
Genesis 11-Now these are the records of the generations of Terah. Terah became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran; and Haran become the father of Lot.
Psalm 5-In the morning, O LORD, You will hear my voice; in the morning I will order my prayer to You and eagerly watch.
Acts 8.14-17-Then they began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.
An old three hole punch. My Dad used to use this. It was at his desk in the basement where he would reflect and plan. Some things seem to last a long time if they are well built and durable. Other things are cheap and break quickly. When I sin, Jesus forgiveness has a huge impact on those grievous sins that seem and are so bad. In my sin, I realize the depth of His forgiveness. It's like the punctuation mark at the end of the declaration of sins forgiven is so much bigger than normal. I love God for forgiveness of my sin. In forgiveness, I am renewed and given another chance to bear fruit for God. Throughout all of time, from and through all the generations of God's people, our Lord has been forgiving sin. Driving all people to turn to God morning after morning to rise anew each day in their baptism. Forgiven and eager to watch, and listen, and pray for God's voice and direction in life. Day after day...receiving the Holy Spirit and being sent into each new day to bear fruit once again to the glory of God. A new day. A new beginning. Send me today once again.
Lord, send me this day with your Spirit to play in your Kingdom with you and others and to bear fruit for you. ---Amen

Thursday, January 04, 2007

January 4th Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 7.1-17-The dead man sat up and began to speak.
Genesis 8-10-And God blessed Noah and his sons...
Psalm 4-The LORD hears when I call to Him.
Psalm 29-The LORD will give strength to His people...
Nuts given during the Christmas season as a gift. A gift of food. But to get to the food inside the hard shell needs to be cracked, then the fruit inside picked out sometimes with a pick. Eating nuts isn't always easy. There is work involved for the reward of nourishment. Jesus cracked the shell of death. Opened the tomb-raised the dead to life. The fruit is that the man began to speak. Proof that he was alive. A testimony to Jesus power over death. God blessed Noah and his sons with life. Saved through the waters of the flood, God preserved Noah and his family. Gave them life. The fruit of blessing in God is life. Faith in God brings Life even while God cracks the shell of death. God hears us when we call to him out of our hard shells and gives us strength to persevere. Then in three days that shell is opened and behold our risen Lord. Cracked the shell of death and sin for you and for me. Thanks be to God!
Lord, sometimes I'm as stubborn in my faith as that shell. Crack my shell and bring me to Life that I may produce fruit for you. ---Amen

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

January 3rd Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 6.27-49-Give, and it will be given to you.
Genesis 6-7-But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
Psalm 3-Arise, O LORD; save me, O my God!
Isaiah 43.1-7-"Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name; you are Mine! When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they will not overflow you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be scorched, nor will the flame burn you. For I am the LORD your God, the Holy One of Israel, your Savior..."
Prayer and devotions every evening with my wife Sue. Time to listen to God's Word. Reflect and talk about the day and the future. Time to forgive and learn and give thanks for the blessings of the day. Time for supplication. Time to trust in God. Time to give and receive. Time to learn of God's people past, present and future. Time to reflect on faith. Time to see God's salvation before our eyes. Time to overcome fear. Time to reflect on the "fires" of the day and the "waters" of the day. Time to realize God's presence in life and all around us. Time to pray. Time to see his salvation. Prayer and devotions every evening with my wife Sue and the Word made flesh. Thanks be to God!
I pray this day Lord, lead, guide, direct, feed and forgive me I pray. ---Amen

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

January 2nd Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 6.1-26-It was at this time that He went off to the mountain to pray, and He spent the whole night in prayer to God.
Genesis 3-5-Then the LORD God said, "Behold, the man has become like one of Us, knowing good and evil; and now, he might stretch out his hand, and take also from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever"--
Psalm 2-How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!
Proverbs 1.1-7-The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge...
Sarah requested pictures of Abe. She is hospitalized and healing. Going through a struggle. We all struggle together. Even Abe in the separation. In the struggle and before important decisions, Jesus would go off to pray for extended periods of time. I must trust in God like this. Go off for extended periods of time. Seek God's guidance. Look to him. Abe here seems to be comfortable. I think that Jesus even achieved comfort in times of struggle too with the knowledge that He and the Father are on the same page and the same plan. I must seek to be on the same page and the same plan with God also. Then comfort. Comfort in feeding on the tree of life. Comfort in knowing that I am not separating myself from God but following Him. I will take refuge in Him. In this is the beginning of knowledge...the fear of the Lord. Fear in such a way that separation from Him brings sin and death but following him brings life. Then rest like Abe in the comfort that all God has planned, I will do.
Lord, I pray to you---I seek your plan---I trust in you alone---You are God. ---Amen

Monday, January 01, 2007

January 1st Daily Word and Visions from God

Luke 5.27-39-And he left everything behind, and got up and began to follow Him.
Genesis 1-2-Then the LORD God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being...Out of the ground the LORD God caused to grow every tree that is pleasing to the sight and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil...The LORD God commanded the man, saying, "From any tree of the garden you may eat freely; but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die."
Psalm 1-He will be like a tree firmly planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in its season and its leaf does not wither; and in whatever he does, he prospers.
Luke 2.15-21-The shepherds went back, glorifying and praising God for all that they had heard and seen, just as had been told them.
This is a friend I made in 2006. He is with me this morning for my first Prayer and Devotion of 2007. A new friend and companion. Last year I made many new friends. Last year I also renewed old friendships with some Presbyterians at a church in Morning Sun. I stumbled upon a cousin I didn't know I had. Friends that have prayed for me and that I have prayed for them. Friends from North Carolina through Sarah. Friends made through Stephanie. Friends of all walks of life and even some canine friends too like Abe here. But the best friendship of all comes for you and me in our friendship with Jesus. The one I will leave it all for and follow. I like how in this reading the word began to follow is used. Following Jesus is a journey. We can only begin the journey. We can only take the first step. Then Jesus leads us in that journey all of our life. Jesus leads us out of our homes to play with him in his Kingdom. Jesus leads us to Life. Life from and in a new creation. Jesus leads us to eat from the Tree of Life and steers us away from eating from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Jesus, to me, is that Tree of Life. I will feed on him day after day in this New Year. And in feeding on Jesus, my Tree of Life, I will prosper by the steams of water. I will bear His fruit to be used in His Kingdom as He wills me to use it. And in this Tree of Life, this Baby born into my life, I will go forth into a New Year praising and singing and running and playing with and for Jesus for all that I have seen and heard...Just as I have been told. Thanks be to God for friends. Thanks be to God for Abe. Thanks be to God for the friendship of Jesus. All in a New Year. Thanks be to God! and...Happy New Year!
Lord, I give you all thanks and praise for the gift of friendship...Oh what a friend we have in Jesus! Thanks! ---Amen