Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March 31st - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20-It shall remain with him and he shall read in it all the days of his life, so that he may learn to fear the LORD his God, diligently observing all the words of this law and these statutes, neither exalting himself above other members of the community nor turning aside from the commandment, either to the right or to the left...
Luke 9:7-27-Then he said to them all, "If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross daily and follow me. for those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake will save it. What does it profit them if they gain the whole world, but lose or forfeit themselves?
Psalm 72:1-20-For he delivers the needy when they call, the poor and those who have no helper.
Proverbs 12:8-9-One is commended for good sense...
Isaiah 44:1-8-I am the first and the last; besides me there is no god.

God's Word of the Day
Give your life away. Give it to Me.

Story of the Day
The keys began to tap, tap, tap. With each keystroke suddenly a word was built, then a sentence, then a paragraph. The focus of the story wasn't in the letters, rather it was in the message itself. Tap, tap, click, click click. Each keystroke gave of itself to form the message. Each letter came and went to form the real focus of the story. Each key gave it's life in the form of a letter to get life in the form of life in the story. Tap, click, tap....and on the story went, with the focus of the story receiving all the glory.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, take my life, take this letter of mine and use it to glorify You. ---Amen

Monday, March 30, 2009

March 28th - 30th - Let's Play!


Deuteronomy 9:1-15:23-Know then today that the LORD your God is the one who crosses over before you as a devouring fire; he will defeat them and subdue them before you, so that you may dispossess and destroy them quickly, as the LORD has promised you.
Luke 8:4-9:6-"Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he woke up and rebuked the wind and the raging waves; they ceased, and there was calm.
Psalm 69:19-Psalm 71:24-But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.
Proverbs 12:2-7-...the house of the righteous will stand.

God's Word
I know how it is. I came and cross over before you. I will be with you always.

As we took the winding trail that day, we came upon a rather large stream to cross. Many of the rocks that normally would be exposed were just below the surface of the water. But the Guide who was with me had walked this stream before. He knew the dangers ahead and he knew the dangers to attack and be bold with, and the dangers to avoid. So he asked me to take his hand and trust in him. Trust in his knowledge, love, skill and compassion to keep me safe as we crossed this raging stream together. So I reached out for his hand in faith and trust. There were a few slips and falls along the way. I did get bruised and a cut. But by having faith and trust in my Guide, we made it across the stream. We made it across and on to the trail that lay ahead. The trail that would take us to more adventure, more wonderful sights, more opportunities to likewise extend our hand in compassion to a friend or two along this path and lead the way. The Guide taught me faith and gave me faith and trust to pass on.

Lord, as I walk this path of life, teach me to reach out for Your hand or the hand of one You give to me this day. May I reach out in trust and faith, knowing that You are always with me. Likewise, guide me to reach my hand out to another when needed to lead and guide in Your way...today, tomorrow and forever. ---Amen

Friday, March 27, 2009

March 26th and 27th - Let's Play!


Deuteronomy 5:1-8:20-You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might.
Luke 7:11-8:3-Therefore, I tell you, her sins, which were many, have been forgiven; hence she has shown great love. But the one to whom little is forgiven, loves little.
Psalm 68:19-69:18-O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
Proverbs 11:29-12:1-Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge...

God's Word
Discipline, confession and forgiveness will bring eternal joy and laughter.

The tadpole was racing back and forth in a panic in the water. A constant and frantic bundle of energy and motion. He looked as if he was wanting to get somewhere and be something all from his own efforts. The frog just looked on and laughed. The frog knew of a change that would take place all outside of any of the efforts of the tadpole.

The fuzzy caterpillar just lay there all enveloped in self pity. He knew how ugly and useless he was. He just hung there and waited to die. He knew that he was lazy and worthless. The butterfly just looked on and laughed. The butterfly knew of a change that would take place all outside of any of the efforts of the caterpillar.

The woman came to Jesus, humbled and seeking to glorify the Messiah. She knew that her sins were many. She looked as if she were a servant. Jesus just looked on and laughed. Jesus knew of a change that would take place all outside of any of the efforts of the woman.

Jesus, I come to You in my sin. I come and humbly plead for Your forgiveness. Look on, dear Lord, and forgive me. May I see that smile and hear Your laugh, I pray. ---Amen

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

March 25th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Deuteronomy 4:1-49-From there you will seek the LORD your God, and you will find him if you search after him with all your heart and soul.
Luke 6:39-7:10-No good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit.
Psalm 68:1-18-Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides upon the clouds--- his name is the LORD--- be exultant before him.
Proverbs 11:28-Those who trust in their riches will wither, but the righteous will flourish like green leaves.
Psalm 107:1-16-O give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.

God's Word of the Day
When you search for Me with all your heart and soul, you will find Me right with you.

Story of the Day
I kept time that day. When we started, I kept time. It went by so fast. My clock didn't have to go very high. And then it was over. I was stopped. But time marched on after I had stopped. A new turn was made. Praises were given to God above, for a new turn in the path. Thanks was given to a faithful Savior and a turn was made. I kept time that day. But all along, before and after and during the time that I kept time; the Savior was present. I kept time that day. When we started, I kept time. It went by so fast.

Prayer of the Day
Lord of time and Lord beyond time. I turn and search for You with all my heart and soul. Then I find You in time and beyond time. I find You before time and after time. I find You within space and beyond space and matter. I search and find that You are already here, within, throughout and beyond. I give You all glory and honor and praise, now and forever. ---Amen

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

March 24th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Deuteronomy 2:1-3:29-Let me cross over to see the good land beyond the Jordan...
Luke 6:12-38-Do to others as you would have them do to you.
Psalm 67:1-7-The earth has yielded its increase; God our God, has blessed us.
Proverbs 11:27-Whoever diligently seeks good seeks favor...
Numbers 20:1-13-Thus you shall bring water of of the rock for them...

God's Word of the Day
The water and the Word brings life.

Story of the Day
Water...ever flowing water...water spreads and fills the space it is given...water wild and dangerous...water that gives life to plant and animal...water. There I was that day, all pent up. I couldn't get out if I wanted to. Then a man came up to me. Once again, he strikes the rock I am entombed within, and suddenly the rock and I become one. Instead of the rock in me; I am one with the rock. And I begin to freely flow, through the rock. It was reversed. It was as if now my mass was more substantial than the rocks and I could flow right through the rock. In this miracle, I strengthened and sustained God's people. There was the water, some wood of a staff, and a rock and God's Word. Then a spring of life. Water...wood...Word...rock...Life. I was entombed that day, but God brought me to life and released me from that tomb of rock with his Word and some wood. Sounds a little familiar doesn't it? Thanks be to God!

Prayer of the Day
Lord, I give You thanks for the Savior. I give You thanks for water, wood, stone, and for Your Word made flesh. I give You thanks for the warmth of the Son. I give You thanks... ---Amen

Monday, March 23, 2009

March 23rd - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day
New life

Readings of the Day
Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46-You have stayed long enough at this mountain.
Luke 5:29-6:11-And no one puts new wine into old wineskins; otherwise the new wine will burst the skins and will be spilled, and the skins will be destroyed.
Psalm 66:1-20-Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise.
Proverbs 11:24-26-Anxiety weighs down the human heart, but a good word cheers it up.
Exodus 15:22-27-He cried out to the LORD; and the LORD showed him a piece of wood; he threw it into the water, and the water became sweet.

God's Word of the Day
The wood will make the water sweet.

Story of the Day
I was right there the whole time. These people were a bunch of cry babies. All they did was complain about their lives. How bad they had it. How it was better before in slavery. What were they thinking?! What a bunch of babies! Then they began to complain about the water. I was right there the whole time.

Then this guy came over to me. He picked me up and threw me into the water. And because of a Word from God and because of me and some water, the water became sweet and the people lived off of the water, the wood, and the Word.

I was right there the whole time. These people were a bunch of cry babies. All they did was complain about their lives. How bad they had it. How it was better before this guy came along. What were they thinking?! What a bunch of babies! I was right there the whole time.

Then this guy came over to me. He tied me to a cross beam and nailed a man, no a God to me. He nailed the Word made flesh to me and hoisted both of us into the air. All these people did was complain about how bad they had it and how this Word made flesh didn't come to their rescue. So God, took me, some wood, along with some blood and the sweat of water and made it all right. God made it all right, here before their eyes. Because of a Word from God. And in spite of me and because of some sweat and some blood; the people were given life. Given new life, right before their eyes. I was there the whole time!

Prayer of the Day
Lord, you have made it all so sweet. Your Word made flesh came into this world to save us from sin, death and the devil. As we look to You and follow Your Light; may that Light shine brightly in our lives that all may turn and see You. ---Amen

Sunday, March 22, 2009

March 21st and 22nd - Let's Play!


Numbers 32:1-35:34-You shall take possession of the land and settle in it, for I have given you the land to possess.
Luke 4:31-5:28-Put out into the deep water and let down your nets for a catch.
Psalm 64:1-65:13-Happy are those whom you choose and bring near to live in your courts.
Proverbs 11:22-23-The desire of the righteous ends only in good...

God's Word
See life develop before your eyes.

To Kaiya on the first anniversary of her baptism,

Kaiya, one year ago today you were baptized. Much has happened in this past year. Since you have been a child of God, you have reached out and touched so many lives. Even though you are only a little over a year old, your life in Christ has begun. Jesus has used you this past year to touch hundreds of lives and maybe even more that I can't even count. You have touched lives of family and friends. You have touched the lives of many at Epiphany and even the churches of relatives. You have touched the lives of friends of your family. Even thinking that you only touched hundreds of lives may be too small.

You see, Kaiya, God works through all of us even without our knowledge. Your smile and actions demonstrate the love of God active and alive on this earth. The stories you have created for all of us has given life to those who are gifted to tell the stories.

On this anniversary of your baptism, we recall the promise that God has made and the promises that we have made to God. As you recall the water of your baptism, this past year stands as a witness to the life God has brought through you. The water that drowned out sin and death and brought countless smiles and laughter and joy to those you have touched. Each morning as you awake, notice the life God has gifted you with and don't waste a moment in bringing that same life to another person added to the hundreds of lives that God has touched through you in this past year.
Kaiya, the Lord will take you to deeper and deeper waters in your life with Him. He will lead you into a new land. Stay with Him and follow His Light all of your life. Rejoice this day and let your light so shine before others that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

Once again, Kaiya, I would like for you to remember that letter from your Gramps on your baptismal day a year ago. I want you to know that your Gramps loves you and that God loves you and has created you a unique and wonderful gift of life for all.

Here is that letter from a year ago. Happy baptism anniversary, Kaiya!
Grandpa Lynch

Kaiya, today is Saturday March 22nd 2008. You were baptized at Epiphany Lutheran Church in Centerville Ohio. You were baptized at the Easter Vigil Service. I know, right now this means nothing to you, but by the time you can read this letter, your baptism will begin to unfold life before your eyes. You will see life beyond this life. You will begin to live life beyond death.

Kaiya, in your baptism, God gave you such a wonderful gift. It’s such a wonderful gift that even grown-ups like myself can’t understand it. If someone tells you that they do, beware of them. They speak lies. Only God understands the depth of this gift of baptism given to you on this day. Both you and I only get a sneak peek at the depth of God’s love. But in baptism, God names you as His own. He claims you as His child. He gives you a promise and strikes a covenant with you.

Through your baptism you will begin a walk with God. Family has promised before God that they will give you God’s Word, teach you the Lord’s Prayer, the Ten Commandments, and the Apostle’s Creed. Your family has made a promise to tell the wonderful story of a loving God that has been active in their lives. God has certainly been active in mine. I’m so happy to share God with you this day. I look forward to telling you stories, while you sit on my lap of how God is active in my life and the lives of His people.

Kaiya, as I look into your eyes I see no sin. But you were born into a world of sin. There is sin all around us. I have sinned and will sin some more. You will see sin active in and around you each and every day. You will experience sin yourself. Kaiya, you will sin, yourself. You will see prejudice in this world. You will see hatred. You will see death and destruction all around. You will commit many sins yourself, just as I have. You see we all sin and fail and need a Savior. In this is the beauty of the day of your baptism.

Kaiya, you were baptized at the Easter Vigil. That time in between Jesus in the tomb and Jesus resurrected. Jesus died on that cross because of my sin and your sin. Jesus became our sin on that cross. The Father abandoned the Son due to our sin. Now he lay in a tomb. Jesus died in our sin. But something wonderful is taking place. In His death, God brings Life. Jesus is soon to rise from the dead.

Kaiya, in your baptism was water. In your baptism were water and a promise and the Word. Water that drowned your sin. In that water you died along with Jesus. You died even as an infant. In that water was a promise also. Both present, God promised eternal life. Along with the water and the promise was God’s Word. God’s Word made alive in your new life. Now as you grow, and God walks with you, He will bring you to believe. God will fill you with faith. Will you believe? Will you turn away? This will be your choice in years to come. But for now God will walk with you from death to life in Him. Follow Him in this walk. Follow Him even through the evil’s you will witness in this world. Follow Him through the pain you will experience. Follow Him in all the joy you will gain. Follow Him in all the blessings He will grant.

Kaiya, on this Easter Vigil Baptism, Jesus shows you the way from death to life. Follow Him and love Him and never turn from His side. What a special day chosen for your baptism. What a special time for my special granddaughter. What a special life you give to all of us on this special day.

Always know that your Grandpa loves you. Always know that on this baptismal day that you are a Child of God and a unique creation. Let His Light shine brightly all your life long. Follow the Light. Follow Jesus.

Kaiya, always rejoice in the day your were baptized. Each and every morning, remember your baptism and walk that miracle of death to life with Jesus. Everyday of your life.
Grandpa Lynch

Friday, March 20, 2009

March 20th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 30:1-31:54-When a man makes a vow to the LORD, or swears an oath to bind himself by a pledge, he shall not break his word; he shall do according to all that proceeds out of his mouth.
Luke 4:1-30-Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit in the wilderness, where for forty days he was tempted by the devil.
Psalm 63:1-11-O God, you are my God, I seek you, my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
Proverbs 11:20-21-...those of blameless ways are his delight.
Ephesians 1:7-14-In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our trespasses, according to the riches of his grace that he lavished on us.

God's Word of the Day
Jesus kept the vow for you. Now go in My grace in service and love towards Me and one another.

Story of the Day
I had forty days. Forty days to do my work. And I tried everything I could think of to trip him up. I offered him power and riches. I offered him everything I could think of to offer him. If only I could win him over to my side. If only I could do this, then I would be the most powerful being in the universe. I would finally rule! They just won't listen to me. I could make this place a lot of fun. I could show people how to make themselves gods, one by one. But this guy won't listen to me. All he does is speak scripture to me. Well, I can do that too. I can probably speak scripture better than he can. But each word of scripture I offer, he counters with something else. I had forty days and I found out it would take me longer. So I let him go. Maybe he will defeat himself. Maybe he just won't make it. Maybe he will die! I hope so anyway. Forty days! Damn!

Prayer of the Day
Lord, when I'm tempted, help me endure. Help me to see through the offers of riches and power and selfish pride. For on the other side of temptation, I see Your gracious death and life. I see all that You have done out of love to defeat the devil and all his wiles. May I always focus on that cross and see the death and the pain but also see the life and the love. For in You alone do I have redemption through Your blood and forgiveness of my trespasses, in the richness of Your grace which You have lavished upon me. ---Amen

Thursday, March 19, 2009

March 19th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 28:16-29:40-So Moses told the Israelites everything just as the LORD had commanded.
Luke 3:23-38-Jesus was about thirty years old when he began his work. He was the son (as was thought) of Joseph son of....Adam, son of God.
Psalm 62:1-12-He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall never be shaken.
Proverbs 11:18-19-Whoever is steadfast in righteousness will live...
Ephesians 1:3-6-He destines us for adoption as his children through Jesus Christ, according to the good pleasure of his will, to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us in the Beloved.

God's Word of the Day
You are My child. I have adopted you and graced you with My Love.

Story of the Day
The storm was a rough storm. It was like they say. I was huddled in the basement and then heard that awful sound of a freight train coming. The next thing I knew, my house was gone. Thank God we were all safe, but the house was gone. The next few months, life was rough. It took time for the insurance companies to act. I was like an orphan looking for adoption. No relatives within thousands of miles, I went to the local shelter set up at a church near-by. They took me in and adopted me as their own. I was fed and given a place to sleep, a phone to use and much needed love and care. I was given grace and love that I didn't deserve. I could now see the hand of God in all of this. In the storm was chaos, but out of the chaos was the hand of God. I was adopted as His child and cared for. Sooner than I thought, I came through the chaos to a new home and a new life in His care and love. Now, I was healed and loved and ready to begin a new life and a new ministry with all the gifts and love of God.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, I give You thanks that You hover over the chaos and bring new life. You bring life out of death. You bring forgiveness out of sin. You bring and give a Son to walk with us daily, even through the storms. Lord, I give You thanks. ---Amen

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

March 13th-18th - Let's Play!


Number 19:1-28:15-...but now you have done nothing but bless them.
Luke 1:1-3:22-Surely, from now on all generations shall call me blessed.
Psalm 56:1-61:8-For your steadfast love is as high as the heavens...
Proverbs 11:8-17-By the blessing of the upright a city is exalted...

God's Word
I have blessed you! I have richly blessed you!

They got into my car that night. One sat next to me in the back. I looked at her and knew that she was one of the people that had taken care of me before. Then I heard a voice from the front of the car. I stretched around to see whose voice this was but couldn't see him. I knew this voice too. We drove into the night until we got to my place. I finally got to see that old guy driving the car. He was the one I used to sit with. He would give me food and bottles and play with me. He would kiss me and make funny noises. I know he loved me a whole lot.

For the next few days I slept in the same room in my pack and play with these two special old people. Word has it that they are Grandma and Gramps. I guess I'll take their word for it. Grandma would spoil me with food and kisses. Gramps would spoil me too. He played games and did a bunch of work around the apartment for Mommy. Mommy took us to see where Daddy worked to train in the Army. He does some important stuff that I don't understand now. But Mommy and Daddy take care of me and I have fun with them. We all went out together and ate lunch. Then Daddy had to go back to the Army for the rest of the day.

We went shopping for a new car seat for me. I got toys and more food. We also went to this restaurant where this man started a big fire in front of us and juggled his forks and knives. I don't know what that was all about. Anyway, I was too busy flirting with a little boy across the grill from me and making faces and getting fed by Grandma.

The next day we ran around shopping. We finally got my car seat. I stayed the evening with Grandma and Gramps while Mommy and Daddy went out on a date. I was excited when Gramps ordered some pizza. When it came we sat and ate together with Grandma. Mmmmmm! Then we stayed up late.

On Sunday we went on a drive to a place in Oklahoma City, wherever that place is, and we saw a museum about some really sad stuff that happened years before I was born. I wish people could love one another like my Gramps and Grandma and Mommy and Daddy love me. If they loved each other like that we wouldn't have to be sad about so many things.

Monday morning, I got up and laughed and played with Gramps. Mommy and Grandma went out together and Mommy got her toenails fixed up all fancy like. We all went out together to a grocery store and bought a whole bunch of food for Mommy and Daddy and me. This was fun. I could watch people and act like some of them when I saw them talking on the phone. Only thing is, they didn't know what I was saying. I think Gramps knows what I'm saying though, at least he talks back to me in the same language.

We picked up Daddy from the Army and went home. Grandma and Gramps took me a walk and we swung and slid down a slide. These guys sure like to take a bunch of pictures of me for some reason. But I just make noises at them and it makes them real happy.

Tuesday morning came and Gramps got up, and we played some more. Then some Maintenance guys came over to talk to Gramps about fixing some stuff. It made Mommy and Grandma and especially Gramps happy. Mommy had Gramps move some stuff around for her so I had more room to play and Grandma ran this real noisy, scary thing that I think was picking up the crumbs and stuff off the rug that I like to pick up and eat. I hate that thing! Then it started to get a little sad.

Gramps and Grandma packed up all the stuff they had brought with them and we drove back to Oklahoma City. Grandma cried and Gramps got all kind of goofy or something. We kissed and hugged alot and then Grandma and Gramps went into this line and disappeared. Then next time I heard from them was from this phone thing that Mommy has. I can only hear things and make noises back, but I knew Grandma and Gramps were all safe.

Gramps likes to read this real thick book all the time. I hear him talking about blessings and stuff. He says that there is a person that loves all of us. This person showers us with blessings. Many times we don't stop and remember the blessings. So I thought it would be a good idea to try to remember each moment as a blessing. Each hug, each kiss, each time we smile and laugh, each time we show acts of love to one another is a blessing. As I think back on this past few days there are so many blessings. I know that I am a blessing. I know that I'm special. Almost a year ago there was this guy who told me that I was a Child of God. He put some water on me and something wonderful happened to me. I was now part of this great big family that showers blessings on each other in the same love that comes from Jesus. So as I live my life, I think I'll keep bringing blessing to others. I think, I'll show others how blessed they are. I want people to look at me and know that I'm wonderfully made and a gift and blessing from God. I love to play with Gramps and I love the attention that Grandma gives me. I'm thankful for a Mommy and Daddy that take care of me. I'm richly blessed. And so are they! So, let's be happy and respond to all those blessings by showing that special love and selfless care we can all have for each other. Just for that, I'll make some more noises and grins and show my two top teeth and make people laugh!

Your Blessing,

Thursday, March 12, 2009

March 12th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 16:41-18:32-The Israelites said to Moses, "We are perishing; we are lost, all of us are lost!
Mark 16:1-20-And afterward Jesus himself sent out through them, from east to west, the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.
Psalm 55:1-23-Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you...
Proverbs 11:7-When the wicked die their hope perishes...
1 Peter 2:4-10-Come to him, a living stone, though rejected by mortals yet chosen and precious in God's sight, and like living stones, let yourselves by built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

God's Word of the Day
You need not be lost and perish. Turn and see, I have come to you. Come and be part of My spiritual house.

Story of the Day
It started out pretty simple. Just a few stones connected together. A few stones tied into the cornerstone that anchored the entire structure. Then as time passed, there were more and more stones. There were furnishings built. There was electricity and water added. There was heating and cooling. Restroom fixtures were added. A kitchen and pantry installed. A library later was added. And all the books and magazines for reading. Furniture was placed in this place. All sorts of decorations and painting added. Sculptures and plants and flowers were brought in. This was a never ending process. All things put together with the cornerstone as the common link to everything that took place. Then it spread even further. The building and construction took place outside the building and spread throughout the world. This was a wonderful connection of gifts and blessings that ties always to the cornerstone. A host of blessings. All because of a cornerstone so lovingly placed.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, I give You thanks for saving me. I give You thanks, for I was perishing. As I go out to the east and to the west, I proclaim Your imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation. For You have saved us. Build us into Your Holy House that our lives may come to be pleasing to You. ---Amen

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

March 11th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 15:17-16:40-After you come into the land to which I am bringing you, whenever you eat of the bread of the land, you shall present a donation to the LORD.
Mark 15:1-47-And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
Psalm 54:1-7-Save me, O God, by your name...
Proverbs 11:5-6-The righteousness of the blameless keeps their ways straight...
Psalm 105:1-11, 37-45-So he brought his people out with joy, his chosen ones with singing.

God's Word of the Day
You are forgiven, now go and forgive others.

Story of the Day
It was horrible! I couldn't stand this much longer! My vision and hearing became so good that I could see and hear in detail everything happening within a mile radius. I mean, I could see right through the walls and could hear in detail every word spoken. There are so many people around in a mile radius. All seemed to be talking at once. I seemed to be able to see all in detail at once. Most of the things I heard and saw, I wished I had never heard or seen. So many people, thinking that the conversation is private, yet I couldn't help but to hear and see all the detail. People saying awful things about one another. All in a mile radius. Only a few spoke well of another. Such sarcasm and sin all around. Then there were those in prayer, asking God to forgive them, yet turning in sin to their neighbor. It was horrible! I couldn't stand this much longer! How we need to forgive one another! How we need to be forgiven!

Prayer of the Day
Lord, stop me when I sin against my neighbor. Stop me and permit me to seek forgiveness for my sin. Then, dear Lord, forgive me. Forgive me and teach me Your way. ---Amen

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

March 10th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day
Care for another

Readings of the Day
Numbers 14:1-15:16-But my servant Caleb, because he has a different spirit and has followed me wholeheartedly, I will bring into the land into which he went, and his descendants shall possess it.
Mark 14:53-72-At that moment the cock crowed for the second time. Then Peter remembered that Jesus had said to him, "Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times." And he broke down and wept.
Psalm 53:1-6-They have all fallen away, they are all alike perverse; there is no one who does good, no, not one.
Proverbs 11:4-Riches do not profit in the day of wrath, but righteousness delivers from death.
Genesis 22:1-19-The fire and the wood are here, but where is the lamb for a burnt offering? Abraham said, "God himself will provide the lamb for a burnt offering, my son."

God's Word of the Day
All have sinned and fallen away, but listen to the cock crow, repent and weep, then rise and rejoice for I have provided the sin offering for you.

Story of the Day
All my life I would rise in the morning and give a shout. I would give a shout so loud that the people would rise and the commotion would begin. But this day was different. Any other day, I had no clue what language these humans were using. I couldn't understand a thing that they said. They were like barking dogs to me. But this day, I could understand every word that was said.

This day was different. Once again I was to watch the sun rise. But this day it wasn't the sun in the sky that I was to watch for a new beginning, it was the Son of God that I was to watch for a new beginning. My instructions were to wait and watch and listen for one of the Son's disciples to deny knowing Jesus, and when he did, I was to give a shout. So I heard the first denial and I gave a shout in the way of Peter, but he either didn't hear my shout or denied that I even shouted. I missed hearing his second denial, I later found out. I think this was on purpose. Then on the third denial, both Peter and Jesus were in view. When I heard the third denial, I gave a shout. Then Peter knew. Then Jesus knew and gave Peter a glance. How could this guy who had been so loyal and followed Jesus all this time deny Jesus at the time he needed him the most? All people seem to fall away from God. All of them seem to sin.

But Peter, after hearing my second shout, realized his sin and wept. He wept and begged forgiveness for his cold heart. He wept and fell to the feet of his God and begged. It seems to me, after watching these people for years, that they all need to weep and fall at the feet of God and beg forgiveness. My God and Creator will take care of all needs. My God and Creator has made me to please Him. My God and Creator is my Master. I serve Him gladly. These people should fall and repent.

And so when I saw Peter, fall and weep and repent, I knew that once again, I had shouted at the beginning of a new day. No the sun in the sky had not risen yet. No, the Son of God had not been crucified and risen from the dead yet. But the Light was shining brightly in the life of Peter now. Peter knew that his need for Jesus was all that would ever save him. A new day had begun for these people called humans. A new day, after the dark of denial and sin and death, after the waking up to the stench of their own sin, I saw weeping and repentance. A new day was beginning when a God would love His people so much that He would give the life of His Son for these people to forgive that sin, that denial. A new day had begun as always, right there at the sound of my second shout. It was an awesome new day beginning!

Prayer of the Day
Lord, wake me up to know my sin and smell the stench of my denial of you. Let the cock's crow announce to me that I sin. As I weep in repentance this morning, come to me and give me that precious glance, only You can give. Glance my way in compassion and love and forgiveness, I pray. I need You! Forgive me, I pray. As I go this new day, may I follow Your lead and do Your will, showing the love and compassion You have graciously shown to me. In Jesus name. ---Amen

Monday, March 09, 2009

March 9th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day
Winds of compassion

Readings of the Day
Numbers 11:24-13:33-Let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it.
Mark 14:22-52-Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough!
Psalm 52:1-9-Indeed, I was born guilty, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
Proverbs 11:1-3-The integrity of the upright guides them...
Genesis 21:1-7-Now Sarah said, "God has brought laughter for me; everyone who hears will laugh with me.

God's Word of the Day
Sinner! Wake up! I have brought the laughter of salvation.

Story of the Day
They just wouldn't listen to a word I had to say. We went there to discover the flavor of the people and the lay of the land. It was great! It was full of blessing. We even brought back the proof. It was so good that the people that lived there were very large, and strong and healthy. Being such richly blessed; how could they help but to be so healthy. What a blessing it would be for us to occupy the land. People! Wake up! Don't be afraid, be full of joy and laughter, for God has richly blessed us with this opportunity to join with these people in a promised land. What more could you want?

But all they could think of was what may or possibly, or could go wrong. They just couldn't think of what may or could go right! They just wouldn't listen to a word I had to say. Pessimism had invaded their thinking and was their to stay. I say trust God. Feel the wind of His compassion and love for leading us to this wonderful place, from slavery, through the desert to this great place. I say trust God and go with Him where He has led us.

They just wouldn't listen to a word I had to say.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, stop me in the journey, to see Your blessings. Stop me to pray with You. Stop me to fall to my knees in Your presence. Help me to notice the present calling and to act. As You glance my way and into my eyes. As You glance into my heart. As You reach so deep into the gut of my being, may I get it! May I get it and take that same loving, compassionate, life-giving action that You take for me and give it all to You and to my neighbor. May they see You in and through me. May I take You to another, that they may begin to fully know You for God, Savior and Redeemer. ---Amen

Sunday, March 08, 2009

March 8th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day
Fresh air

Readings of the Day
Numbers 10:1-11:23-The LORD spoke to Moses, saying: Make two silver trumpets ; you shall make them of hammered work; and you shall use them for summoning the congregation, and for breaking camp. When both are blown, the whole congregation shall assemble before you at the entrance of the tent of meeting.
Mark 14:1-21-He will show you a large room upstairs, furnished and ready. Make preparations for us there.
Psalm 51:1-19-O Lord, open my lips and my mouth will declare your praise.
Proverbs 10:31-32-The mouth of the righteous brings forth wisdom...
Mark 8:31-38-For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it.

God's Word of the Day
Feel My Spirit blowing through you to announce my love and grace to all the world.

Story of the Day
I was made out of hammered silver. It took a while to be made and the process was a rough journey. But here I was, ready for action. I really didn't know my purpose in life. All I knew was that the journey through my making was a long hard road. I knew that my creator had spent so much time polishing me until I sparkled. I could see the reflection of my creator in myself.

Then it happened. I was picked up and raised to the lips of another servant of the creator. He took a deep breath and the most amazing thing took place. A wind or a spirit or a movement of grace moved through me. The feeling was beyond belief. This wind or spirit created a deep passion in me. My only response was the shout the loudest shout I had ever heard. I trumpeted an announcement that rang throughout the land to all the tribes that were present that day. I now knew my purpose. I now knew the real presence of the spirit of my creator flowing in and through me.

And the congregation assembled to meet the Creator a the entrance of the tent of meeting.

Prayer of the Day
Lord; I know You have poured so much work into me. I give You thanks for Your time, love and care. Blow Your Spirit through me this day and permit me to shout songs of joy and praise and honor to You. Let all who hear, respond in joy and gather in the congregation to worship and praise, You, our Creator, Savior, Redeemer and Friend. ---Amen

Saturday, March 07, 2009

March 7th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 8:1-9:23-Now this was how the lamp stand was made, out of hammered work of gold.
Mark 13:14-37-For in those days there will be suffering, such as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, no, and never will be.
Psalm 50:1-23-Call on me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify me.
Proverbs 10:29-30-The way of the LORD is a stronghold for the upright, but destruction for evildoers.
Mark 8:27-30-Who do people say that I am?

God's Word of the Day
You will suffer and feel pain, but know that I am your light. Call on me in pain and suffering for I am your God.

Story of the Day
Some of them pulled us out of the earth by digging. Some of them caught us from the streams as we tumbled along. In many ways they brought us together. Then they mixed us together and heated us, till we melted into one. Heated us in the heat of the fire and skimmed what was bad away. While still hot, I was poured into a rough mold and let to cool.

Then they took me out of the mold and began to hammer. The hammer was a fearful tool. It hurt as I was bent and shaped. I thought the heat of the fire was bad, but this hammering seemed to never end.

Then I was polished and buffed. I was stroked and cleaned. This wasn't so bad anymore. As I looked at myself after all this pain and suffering, I could see the reflection of the sweat of a loving creator in myself.

My creator had spent hours taking care of me, gathering me together, heating me and sweating over the fire, then the hammering and molding and finally the polish and care. I saw the reflection of a loving creator willing to go through all the pain I went through in order that I may become beautiful.

Then I was gifted with holding the light. A light that would shine in the darkness. My creator gave me the candle of his light. But most of all, when I looked into the reflection coming from myself, I saw the smile of my creator. He was finally pleased with what he had made.

My creator stayed with me all along the way. He went with me through all the rough and tumble times of my life and he loved me always. And I couldn't help myself but to look up with a wondrous smile of love for my creator and a love for the light that he gave for me to brightly shine into his kingdom day after day.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, I give You thanks that You graciously spend so much time with me. May the heat remove the dross and the hammer shape me into what You would have me be. You make me smile. You make me feel the fullness of Your compassion and love, for You know how I feel. I feel good to be Yours. May I proudly give off Your Light of love and compassion to all you give to me this day. I give off Light to Your glory. ---Amen

Friday, March 06, 2009

March 6th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 6:1-7:89-The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you, and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you, and give you peace.
Mark 12:38-13:13-But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
Psalm 49:1-20-For the ransom of life is costly...
Proverbs 10:27-28-The hope of the righteous ends in gladness...
Romans 4:1-12-Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.

God's Word of the Day
Observe My blessings around you, within you and in those I send your way. The ransom was costly...observe My blessings.

Story of the Day
You should have seen the parade of offerings the past few days. All twelve tribes bringing incense, animals, flour and oil. Bringing offerings as a parade. And the containers for the incense and oil! Were talking silver and gold. This was one classy undertaking. There must have been around one hundred animals or so brought forth over twelve days. So the smoke and the blood and the incense were intense. You knew there was something going on each day, all day for those days. Offerings to a God that rescued us out of slavery. We still didn't know what was about to happen in our life. We really didn't know what direction this whole thing would take. I couldn't tell you what my next thirty days would contain. Maybe I live, maybe I die, I just wasn't sure. But I do know that the next days, if they be many or few, were a gift of life from God. I was facing sure death when we ran from the Egyptians, but now I'm alive, and all because of the miraculous life saving power of my God......

You should have seen the parade that day. In the end, I think it was like a parade one of my ancestors saw hundreds of years ago. This too was a parade of offering. But this parade only included one offering, and it wasn't a bunch of animals or some bread making. It was a man. A man who took bread and blood and told us to remember him. So I guess even the the bread ingredients were an offering here too. He was sacrificed on the altar of a cross. He said that he was giving his life for our sin. Once again I was facing sure death. There was no way that I could stand before God and be justified by my actions. I have sinned. I know of my sin. I deserve to die for my sin. But this man came to forgive that sin. This man came to take that sin upon himself and become my sin and sacrifice it on the altar of this cross. So now my next month or even up until my death and even into eternity, I can now live life in abundance, knowing that he has given me eternal life. I can live not for myself but for God now. And this is all the difference. My life has changed. My passion has changed and is deep and meaningful. All because of this man, this sacrifice, this grace, this life given to me. I was facing sure death for my sin, but now I'm alive, and all because of the miraculous saving power of my God.......What a life to live...thirty days...thirty years...eternity! Thanks be to God!

Prayer of the Day
Lord, You richly and graciously bless us with life. Life of Jesus in us and through us. What a wonderful gift. What a precious gift. A gift to cherish. A gift to use. A gift to be so proud of, that we passionately live the life You have called us to live. We live the life You have made us to live. We live life for You and in You and You in us. Life, for the next hour...day...month...year...eternity. All because of You! Thank You, Lord! ---Amen

Thursday, March 05, 2009

March 5th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 4:1-5:31-According to the commandment of the LORD through Moses they were appointed to their several tasks of serving or carrying; thus they were enrolled by him, as the LORD commanded Moses.
Mark 12:18-37-"...the Lord our God, the Lord is one; you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength," The second is this, "You shall love your neighbor as yourself."
Psalm 48:1-14-He will be our guide forever.
Proverbs 10:26-Like vinegar to the teeth, and smoke to the eyes, so are the lazy to their employers.
Romans 3:21-31-For we hold that a person is justified by faith apart from works prescribed by the law.

God's Word of the Day
Follow Me and live in My love. I will give you the work You are to do. Turn to me always, for I am your guide forever.

Story of the Day
So there I was on the road to Indianapolis. It sure seems like all I saw for miles and miles were rows of corn. This summer evening was pleasant. The sky was clear. It was a joy to drive the car with the windows down and smell fresh country air. Then, over the horizon, I saw some lights approaching. They were in the sky. As the lights came closer, it appeared to be a spaceship of some kind. This couldn't be true! Surely I wasn't going to have one of those alien accounts like you read about in the grocery store blab sheets in the checkout counters. But it happened. The spaceship landed in a field. I pulled my car over to watch. Then the creature came off of the ship. I watched in wonder at a life-form, I had never witnessed before approached me. We attempted to communicate. Our attempt at communication failed. There was a feeling of peace in the air. I didn't feel frightened or threatened. I actually felt love. Loved by this alien from above. We took a walk together and a bond of sorts was taking place. The bond came together in my mind as a bond of common life. We had life individually and now through this meeting, we had life with one another. Another attempt to communicate only brought actions of appreciation for one another. We actually hugged. Then the alien went back to the ship. A final glance at one another and I waved. The alien waved back and the spaceship flew away. In peace and love, I got back into my car and drove on. Two lives meeting. Two lives combining. Two lives together as one for a moment in time. Together in peace and love.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, author of life, I come to You this day. I come to meet and greet You. I come to You as You have come to me; in life. Your gift of life is precious. Guide me this day so that I value every moment of life You have given. Guide me this day in Your love, to love You and others. Guide my life in union with You and in union with those You give to me this day, that we may bring joy to Your heart and a smile to Your face. That's Life! ---Amen

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

March 4th - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Numbers 2:1-3:51-I hereby accept the Levites from among the Israelites as substitutes for all the firstborn that open the womb among the Israelites.
Mark 11:27-12:17-Give to the emperor the things that are the emperor's, and to God the things that are God's.
Psalm 47:1-9-He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.
Proverbs 10:24-25-...but the righteous are established forever.
Psalm 77-I will call to mind the deeds of the LORD...

God's Word of the Day
I have chosen you, redeemed you, care for you, called you, and given you all I have. I love you.

Story of the Day
Abraham saw the man come to the door. This was his master's house. The man entered the house. Abe just wasn't sure about this whole thing. Did his master welcome this person or not? The man seemed to know what purpose he had in mind. The man seemed confident and knowing of this place that Abe had been protecting for his master. This man seemed to know too much about his master's palace. The man marched directly to a door that the master rarely if never opens. What is behind that door? So Abe sprung into action. It was time to take action. No one knows what secrets are behind that door. Abe growled and leaped, all portly fifty pounds of Abe sprung into action. His master scolded his behaviour. But Abe just knew how nice his master was and it was up to him to protect his nice master from this new predator who had come into her palace. So Abe protected her, even as his master held him back. Abe knew that his actions were needed to protect the safety and honor of his master.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, there are times when I'm suspicious of others. Let Your Spirit guide me in the times that I need to spring into action, and guide me in the times that I need to stop and listen and understand. As I hear Your call each day to follow You; I give You thanks for that joy of allegiance that I get by being Your servant and soldier in Your Kingdom. When I call to mind the things that You have done, I feel a Spirit of loyalty and honor, of which I gladly give my life to in defense of Your Holy Name. Your love and compassion have shown me how to be passionate about Your will and Your way and how to respond likewise to those You give to me day by day. Be with me this day when I'm called to spring into action to protect the safety and honor of another. ---Amen

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

March 3rd - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54-These are the commandments that the LORD gave to Moses for the people of Israel on Mount Sinai.
Mark 11:1-26-The Lord needs it and will send it back here immediately.
Psalm 46:1-11-Be still and know that I am God!
Proverbs 10:23-...wise conduct is pleasure to a person of understanding.
Job 5:8-27-He does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number.

God's Word of the Day
I have made my decision to love you always. What's your decision about Me?

Story of the Day
As we walked the trail that day a thunderstorm was coming our way. We had to make a decision. Would we attempt a speedy return, or stop someplace safe and wait it out. The wind picked up and the clouds began to arrive. There was no time for a speedy return. Part of the decision was made. But where do we seek shelter? A low place may flood with the water. Trees were all around us, with the threat of blowing over or lightening. As we looked around, we found a couple of large rocks that formed a cave of sorts. We took shelter in the opening in the rock overhang and waited out the storm. It was a fantastic storm. It was really a great show of wind and rain and hail. But the shelter of the rocks were just what we needed for protection.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, I take shelter in the strength of the Rock, Jesus Christ. I wait for teaching and understanding and wisdom from You. As I read and understand Your commands; and as I follow Your orders, may my conduct be pleasing in Your sight. ---Amen

Monday, March 02, 2009

March 2nd - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Leviticus 25:47-27:13-And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and you shall be my people.
Mark 10:32-52-Then Jesus said to him, "What do you want me to do for you?" the blind man said to him, "My teacher, let me see again." Jesus said to him, "Go; your faith has made you well." Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
Psalm 45:1-17-In your majesty ride on victoriously for the cause of truth and to defend the right...
Proverbs 10:22-The blessing of the LORD makes rich, and he adds no sorrow with it.
Job 4:1-21-Can mortals be righteous before God?

God's Word of the Day
I will make you righteous through My Son and He will walk with you and lead you and guide you. Now go in truth and defend what is right.

Story of the Day
The tiny red ant struggled with moving the large piece of stale bread down the sidewalk. I noticed how hard the work was. I noticed how many times the tiny red ant moved around the piece of bread to gain leverage. At times I wanted to reach down and help out. But I didn't know where the ant was taking the bread. Then a large black ant came up and took the bread from the tiny red ant. What a rotten action to take! There was no justice in this at all.

The tiny red ant went chasing after the large black ant and the bread that he had so faithfully struggled with to take home, but size and strength were no match. Then as if a cry went out from the tiny red ant, I saw about ten or more red ants come to the rescue. Together they took back the piece of bread from the large black ant and helped the tiny red ant move the bread back to the pile of sand and into the hole. I thought, finally some justice in this world. Even if it was in the ant world, it was justice.

Prayer of the Day
Unlike the tiny red ant, Lord, I don't deserve to be saved. But You came along and saved me anyway. You came to me, came right up to my front door, and You invite me out to play. You invite me out daily to follow You. You invite me out daily to walk by Your side. Some days I don't even bother to come to the door, because I'm so tuned into myself that I don't see Your plan or even care about the needs of others. Forgive my sin. I turn to You and You are there to lead and guide me, to teach me and call me, to gift me and send me, day after day. May I assist those I see in need and bring Your righteousness to this world. My I point one who is lost to see Your Light in their presence. Open my blind eyes to see You as I open the blind eyes of another to see You...today...tomorrow...and forever. --- Amen

Sunday, March 01, 2009

March 1st - Let's Play!

Theme of the Day

Readings of the Day
Leviticus 24:1-25:46-Command the people of Israel to bring you pure oil of beaten olives for the lamp, that a light may be kept burning regularly.
Mark 10:13-31-Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs.
Psalm 44:9-26-For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Proverbs 10:20-21-The lips of the righteous feed many...
Mark 1:9-15-And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness.

God's Word of the Day
My Spirit will drive you into the wilderness. You will need the everlasting Light to live.

Story of the Day
My friend and I dropped our wives off for some sight-seeing as we drove on to the trail head for a brief hike. As we hiked the trail, we conversed and took in all of the beauty of God's creation along the way. Time seemed to stand still. The trail destination seemed as if it was farther than we had realized. The hike seemed very easy. After reaching our destination and a brief pause to take in the view, we headed back for the trail head.

On the way we noticed that the trail seemed more strenuous now than before. What we didn't realize was that the trail was on a very slight descent before and now was on a constant slight ascent. Then the sun began to set. So we picked up the pace. We must arrive back before sunlight faded or we would be in trouble.

Having no means of light with us we hurried along the trail. We were so engrossed in conversation before that we failed to notice any markers along the way and lost track of the amount of time we would need to return to the trail head.

The sun had finally set and we were walking by some remaining light from the sun peeking over the horizon. The trail was almost impossible to make out now. Within a matter of minutes we would have to make a decision. Should we continue or stop? Within a minute or two we barely made out the trail head and completed out journey. This was a close call and we knew it.

Prayer of the Day
Lord, as I wander in this wilderness of sin and death, I seek the Light of Christ to show me the way. I have turned my back on Your Light and wandered off. I cannot live without Your Light. Forgive my sin. Forgive me of the times that I have turned away, and restore Your Light to me. As I focus and follow Your Light, may my service to You be a pleasing response to the grace You show. For I can only live in Your Light. Only in You can I live, and only through You can I survive this wilderness. ---Amen