Friday, October 30, 2009

October 30th - Reflection


Lamentations 3:1-66
Lamentations 3:24 - "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "therefore I will hope in him."
Hebrews 1:1-14
Hebrews 1:2 - ...but in these last days he has spoken to us by a Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, through whom he also created the worlds.
Psalm 102:1-28
Psalm 102:12 - But you, O LORD, are enthroned forever; your name endures to all generations.
Proverbs 26:21-22

Sometimes we have to take a stand. Sometimes we have to declare the position we are taking and stand firm. But when we do this, may our stand be based of the Word. May our stand be on the Word. May our stand be face to face with the face of Christ looking us square in the eye. In these times our very being trusts and depends solely in the hope of Christ. When we take a firm stand, we must be bold with the confidence in Christ, yet humble in the presence of God. When we take a stand we know of a Savior, enthroned forever that endures to all generations, that is leading us far beyond any effort of our own. Sometimes we have to take a stand. Sometimes we have to declare the position we are taking and stand firm.

Lord, when You lead me to take a stand for a cause, for family, or for You, teach me through Your Word in Scripture, in hearing the Word taught, and as You speak through the Holy Sacraments; and fill my conscience with the presence of the Holy Spirit, that my words may be Your Words and my actions Your will. ---Amen

Thursday, October 29, 2009

October 29th - Reflection


Lamentations 1:1-2:22
Lamentations 2:17 - The LORD has done what he purposed, he has carried out his threat; as he ordained long ago, he has demolished without pity; he has made the enemy rejoice over you, and exalted the might of your foes.
Philemon 1:1-25
Philemon 1:17-18 - So if you consider me your partner, welcome him as you would welcome me, If he has wronged you in any way, or owes you anything, charge that to my account.
Psalm 101:1-8
Psalm 101:1 - I will sing of loyalty and of justice; to you, O LORD, I will sing.
Proverbs 26:20

Lament the city left desolate and bare. A city that once was the life of the people. Worship and sacrifice and festivals, gatherings of the Chosen of God together to worship their Savior from slavery. A city that was brought to power with the hand of God working through the Judges and Kings and most of all the glory of King David. A city brought to a luster by King Solomon and then all the wisdom that prevailed that leaders from all around would gather here to understand how the world's wisdom ruled through our God.

But then the people fell to the temptations of selfishness. They fell to the misleading of others ideas and other religions and worst of all other gods. Other gods that had been present all along but have now come back into use. The people turned from Yahweh to foreign gods. Turned their backs and walked away. So now the city lay empty and destroyed. All of the good things that were celebrated years ago are in silence. The LORD had carried out his threat. He tried to turn it all around, but the people continued to turn. Only a small remnant of faithful left!

But, oh that remnant. How God loves the few. How God restores His creation. The faithful. God gives faith. Receive it, take it, learn and listen to the teachings and the Word and begin to be renewed in His awesome creation. God can rebuild you from the dust on up. There is hope, even amongst the burnt ashes. Turn from your old ways and face God. Jesus has come to redeem you. He has come to take the charge for your sin on His account. Just as Paul sent his partner on, Jesus sends each one of us as His disciple on into use in His Kingdom day after day.

Through this act of love in Jesus, this redemption, we can rise from the ashes of our crushed and ruined lives in hope to once again sing of loyalty and justice to the Lord. The One God who is our Savior, from our sinful, selfish, selves. Thanks be to God!

Lord, I come to You a broken man, in sin. Forgive me as I face You humbly. Forgive me and pull me from this ruin of ashes to serve You this day in Your Kingdom. ---Amen

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

October 28th - Reflection


Jeremiah 51:54-52:34
Jeremiah 51:58 - Thus says the LORD of hosts: The broad wall of Babylon shall be leveled to the ground, and her high gates shall be burned with fire. The peoples exhaust themselves for nothing, and the nations weary themselves only for fire.
Titus 3:1-15
Titus 3:4-5 - But when the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but according to his mercy, through the water of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit.
Psalm 100:1-5
Psalm 100:3 - Know that the LORD is God. It is he that made us, and we are his, we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Proverbs 26:18-19

He made us and we are His. We are His children. We are His sheep. We are just like the children in the video. We depend on God for everything. We depend on God with and for all our life. Everything we have is from God and everything we need comes from God. We are His children, and we respond with praise and thanksgiving and a love that binds us to the Father. For in His loving kindness, Jesus came to this earth in mercy and through our renewal freely given in baptism we have been claimed by Him as His eternally.

The exile must have been horrible to the few believers of the bunch. The exile and separation from their land and the feeling of separation from God. God had to punish His children for their action. They had left Him for other idols of worship. They had turned their backs on the Saving God of the universe. I'm sure He wanted them back. But even with those who seemed far away from God, there was hope, there was hope of rebuilding, there was hope of new life. Like today, we have hope, and we are in the rebuilding of a new life and a new Church. A life and a Church on the order of what God desires.

See the rebirth. Feel the wetness of the water, the temperature of the water, experience the cleansing and refreshment, and go new and bold into this world, day after day, to be rebuilt in your life and to rebuild the Church into what God desires according to God's plan. Now that's a hope! Now that's Life!

Lord, forgive the times that I run away. Forgive the times that I replace You with false hope in false things of the day. Cleanse me and renew me, I pray. Make me into Your desire, that I may boldly go out into the world this day to do Your will, to become what You would have me be and to work in Your Church, today, tomorrow and forever. ---Amen

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October 27th Reflection


Jeremiah 51:1-53
Jeremiah 51:15 - It is he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and by his understanding stretched out the heavens.
Titus 2:1-15
Titus 2:11 - For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation to all...
Psalm 99:1-9
Psalm 99:9 - Extol the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy.
Proverbs 26:17

I wonder if Jeremiah could see Jesus? In the midst of all the battle, in the midst of bringing such a somber message, in the midst of the persecution, I wonder if Jeremiah could see Jesus? I think that maybe he could. I think he knew that there was a Savior and that all of this pain and sorrow and separation from God would finally end one day. The Chosen People were scattered all over the place and now Babylon was about to fall. What else could go wrong? Now what? That's why I think Jeremiah could see Jesus. Jeremiah knew that something much greater was to come. Jeremiah could see Jesus.

Can you look through the pain and suffering and sickness and see Jesus? Can you see the mercy and compassion and love? Will you, in the good times of health and riches and love, boldly proclaim the gospel of God's salvation? Can you see Jesus in the midst of your world? Thanks be to God, He's there!

Lord, in the midst of daily life, I see You. I see You faithfully, lovingly and compassionately by my side. I go now in that faith and love and compassion to share all You have given and taught to me, this day. ---Amen

Monday, October 26, 2009

October 24th-26th - Reflection


Jeremiah 44:24-50:46
Jeremiah 50:6a - My people have been lost sheep...
2 Timothy 2:22-4:22
2 Timothy 3:16-17 - All scripture is inspired by God and is useful for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, so that everyone who belongs to God may be proficient, equipped for every good work.
Titus 1:1-16
Titus 1:4b - Grace and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Savior.
Psalms 94:1-98:9
Psalm 95:6 - O come, let us worship and bow down, let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
Proverbs 26:6-16
Proverbs 26:11 - Like a dog that returns to its vomit is a fool who reverts to his folly.

Jeremiah had it tough. He had some hard news to tell people. Jeremiah brought news most people would not want to hear. Open and honest and to the point information about how they were acting wrongly and what the consequences would be for their actions. Jeremiah, it seems to me, had to take a stand. It was almost as if Jeremiah was the only one taking a stand. Instead of telling the people what he thought they might want to hear and make them happy, he told them what God wanted them to know. Do we do the same today?

Unlike Jeremiah, we have the advantage of knowing some more of the story. We know of a Savior in Jesus Christ who came in our likeness and saved us from our sin. We will never have to stand alone to proclaim God's favor. Jesus has already taken that stand and took it in a most profound way. Jesus took a stand in our stead. Knowing this, why aren't more Christians moving forward with the wonderful gospel message, boldly and proudly? Why aren't more Christians responding to this love that God has shown?

We have an awesome gift staring us in the face. We have not only the Word in Scripture, but we also have the Word made flesh in the life of Jesus. It's time to stand up and proclaim loudly, clearly, boldly and proudly the love of God to all the world. Your neighbor needs to hear it and so does everyone in your life that God loves them so much that He gave His only Son so that each one of us could have eternal life. It's time to respond to this love of God in praise and thanksgiving and honor. It's time to stand up!

Lord, You have graciously given all of us the most wonderful gift. Thank You. I gladly go out this day in Your Holy Name to fulfill what You have planned. ---Amen

Friday, October 23, 2009

October 23rd - Reflection


Jeremiah 42:1-44:23
Jeremiah 44:4b - "I beg you not to do this abominable thing that I hate!"
2 Timothy 2:1-21
2 Timothy 2:1 - You then, my child, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus...
Psalms 92:1-93:5
Psalm 93:1b-2 - He has established the world; it shall not be moved; your throne is established from of old; you are from everlasting.
Proverbs 26:3-5

My brokenness helped me see, it's Grace I'm standing on. Christ is our solid rock. Christ is all we can cling to. We will sin and do the abominable thing that God hates. But we must see and smell the stench of that sin and cling to the Grace of that Solid Rock on which we cling for salvation. We cannot fix our own sin because it has already been fixed for us by the King that reigns from a throne that was established before time and a King that reigns from a throne that will exist beyond time.

So, be strong in the Grace of that Solid Rock. Be bold enough to go back at it, washed clean through your baptismal waters and forgiven by grace, to serve in the Kingdom day after day, now and forever.

Lord, as I come to You in my brokenness, forgive me, cleanse me, and send me boldly to carry out what You have planned for me this day. --- Amen

Thursday, October 22, 2009

October 22nd - Reflection


Jeremiah 39:1-41:18
Jeremiah 39:16 - Go and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to fulfill my words against this city for evil and not for good, and they shall be accomplished in your presence on that day.
2 Timothy 1:1-18
2 Timothy 1:7 - ...for God did not give us a spirit of cowardice, but rather a spirit of power and of love and of self-discipline.
Psalms 90:1-91:16
Psalm 90:16 - Let your work be manifest to your servants, and your glorious power to their children.
Proverbs 26:1-2

Jeremiah was released from prison and stayed behind. The others left for Babylon. How would we act if we had to leave for Babylon? Would we realize that God was with us on that journey? We we get the message that God wants us so desperately to return to Him and love Him with all of our heart, mind and soul? If we were left behind, would we fear that God had left us to go with the rest? Would we think that this was it and our purpose was over? How did Jeremiah feel, staying back?

I think God's love is much greater than place and time. I think God's love is greater than our movement. I don't think it's about our movement. I think what we need to be thankful for is God's movement. God moved with those on the trip to Babylon. And God surely stayed with Jeremiah when he stayed behind. God has a purpose for our lives if we go or if we stay behind. But there is movement needed on our end of this deal.

Do we really believe and have faith that God moved with us or even stayed behind. Can we fathom a God who could do both? If we truly believe in the movement of God with us in our lives as we move or stay behind, we will jump for joy in this awesome love, both for those who move and those who stay behind. We will leap in faith and go out day after day to fulfill the purpose that God has for us in our lives. There is some movement that comes on our part. But God in His grace has made that movement a wonderful reaction and fulfillment to a faith and hope in Him that we won't be able to resist movement by His side and with Him as we stay behind or even as we move along.

Thanks be to God!

Lord, this day, I feel a wonderful leap of faith and hope to move with You. Fulfill Your purpose in me this day. ---Amen

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

October 21st - Reflection


Jeremiah 37:1-38:28
Jeremiah 38:6b - Now there was no water in the cistern, but only mud, and Jeremiah sank in the mud.
1 Timothy 6:1-21
1 Timothy 6:11-12 - But as for you, man of God, shun all this; pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance, gentleness. Fight the good fight of the faith; take hold of the eternal, to which you were called and for which you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.
Psalm 89:38-52
Psalm 89:48a - Who can live and never see death?
Proverbs 25:28

Jeremiah was thrown into the cistern because the people didn't want to hear the truth of what he had to see. There was no water in the cistern and he sank in the mud. I wonder if Jeremiah had felt abandoned by God? I wonder if he felt that the absence of God's Holy and life giving water was a judgment on his life? I wonder if the mud felt like evil in this world to him?

Jesus hung from a cross and cried out to the Father. Why have you abandoned me? I wonder if Jesus felt the absence of God? I wonder if Jesus felt the mud that Jeremiah felt years ago? I wonder if Jesus felt the blood along with the sweat and the mud of Jeremiah was like evil in this world to him?

A young man professed the existence of God in his life. He professed that evil was the absence of God's love. I wonder if the young man felt the mud and sweat and blood and absence of God when later in life he would question and theorize a science that would be used for good and evil?

What I do know is that there is life giving water in baptism. Freely given. There is the body and blood and sweat that Jesus gave up for my sin. There is a resurrection. There is an ascension. There is the gifts of the Holy Spirit. There is the existence of God. There is love in the hearts of people in this world. There is the one holy Catholic church. There is a communion of saints. There is the presence of God here and now even in the midst of this evil world. There IS God!

So...pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, gentleness and endurance. Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal to which you were called and confessed your faith in the presence of many witnesses. There is a God...and His love is active in you...even in the midst of evil. Now go, and serve the Lord!

Lord, I believe in You. I see Your love daily. I know of Your presence. And I go out active and called in the love You place within me. Thanks be to God! ---Amen

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 20th - Reflection


Jeremiah 35:1-36:32
Jeremiah 36:2-3 - Take a scroll and write on it all the words that I have spoken to you against Israel and Judah and all the nations, from the day I spoke to you, from the days of Josiah until today. It may be that when the house of Judah hears all the disasters that I intend to do to them, all of them may turn from their evil ways, so that I may forgive their iniquity and their sin.
1 Timothy 5:1-25
1 Timothy 5:20 - As for those who persist in sin, rebuke them in the presence of all, so that the rest also may stand in fear.
Psalm 89:14-37
Psalm 89:29 - I will establish his line forever, and his throne as long as the heavens endure.
Proverbs 25:25-27

A harsh message. Repent! Jeremiah had a harsh message to deliver. It seemed he was mostly alone in the delivery of his message. When I viewed the video it concerned me that sometimes we may tend to follow people pushing the "wrong" message. Sometimes we may get behind the "wrong" cause. Sometimes we may mistake our leader to be the leader of a particular group. So did Jeremiah come off like this in his day. Did he appear to be drumming up support of the people to get behind his message? If he was, it looks to me, that he never achieved much of a following. But what he did do was deliver the message God had given him to deliver. He delivered the message even though it was an unpleasant message to deliver to the people of the day.

Perhaps the people in the film are doing the same. Or maybe they have formed their own type of cult to follow. How do we assure that we are part of God's plan and not just carrying out, or participating in a "Man-made" plan? I think, first and foremost, we turn to the Words of the Bible. Search and study the stories left behind in the ages where God so faithfully leads His people to repent and to follow Him. So many stories of God coming to the people and saving them, either directly, or through prophets, or through even discipline. Our God loves us so much that He comes to us to save us. He does all He can to reach us.

We can see God's Word active and alive in other's of this world. We can listen and discuss the meanings of what we read and hear in the Bible with fellow Christians, seeking to hear the Voice of God speak through each one of them. We can listen to the Word spoken from pulpits and see the Word given in the Sacraments. And finally stop and be still to the Voice of the Spirit. But in the end, all must point to Jesus Christ our Savior. It must not point to someone else or another human. God's plan has been in place. His mission is clear. He has carried out that plan of salvation and will use us to continue the march. Seek His Word and He will be with you at your side. At your side, even in the discipline. At you side, even in the midst of the storm. At your side, in the victory and the defeat. But be assured that if Your focus is on Jesus, He will be in sight. So don't fear. Be open and repent of your sin and get up and move on. We have important work to do.

I come to you this day a sinner and ask for Your forgiveness. Pick me up and set me on my feet, that I may follow in Your path and do Your will this day in Your Kingdom. ---Amen

Monday, October 19, 2009

October 17th-19th Reflection


Jeremiah 30:1-34:22
Jeremiah 33:3 - Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known.
1 Timothy 2:1-4:16
1 Timothy 2:1 - First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone...
Psalms 87:1-89:13
Psalm 88:1-2 - O LORD, God of my salvation, when, at night, I cry out in your presence, let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry.
Proverbs 25:18-24

Awake from your sleep! Get up, Christians, get up! It's time to turn to God and repent! Some things sound so familiar. A cry of John the Baptist in the wilderness. Wake up! Repent! Turn and see the One who is with you! For centuries we have been blind to the presence of God in our lives. Wake up from sleep! Look around! God has been here by our side in the good and in the bad times both. God became flesh in Jesus and knows what it is like to be human. He knows the joy and sorrow, the happiness and the pain, He knows the good and the bad and He knows about sin. Jesus took on the pain of our sin and laid it out on that cross of crucifixion in blood and death. But...but...on the third day He woke up! He stood up to the sin and death and got up! He rose and left the tomb of our sin and death and damnation.

So, awake from your sleep! See what He has done. Fall to your knees and repent. Pray to God for your soul. Beg for forgiveness. Jesus has taken our sin and put it to death. We are free from the sin that binds us. Even at this time we are both sinner and saint. We live in sin, yet can live free from sin. Free from sin, because Jesus has defeated that sin. So wake up! Arise from that sleep! The Church of Christ is free from the sins of this world to boldly step out in love to serve one another. To serve one another in the love that Christ has shown to us. A Love that awakes from sin, death and the devil to a glorious new light and a new day that we may courageously go out and serve those lost in this sinful world and point all to the Light. Wake up! Sleep is over! Repent and go!

Lord, I'm awake! Send me boldly into this world, full of courage and strength, forgiven and renewed. ---Amen

Friday, October 16, 2009

October 16th - Reflection


Jeremiah 28:1-29:32
Jeremiah 29:11-14 - For surely I know the plans I have for you, says the LORD, plans for your welfare and not for harm, to give you a future with hope. When when you call upon me and come and pray to me, I will hear you. When you search for me, you will find me; if you seek me with all your heart, I will let you find me, says the LORD, and I will restore your fortunes and gather you from all the nations and all the places where I have driven you, says the LORD, and I will bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.
1 Timothy 1:1-20
1 Timothy 1:12-13b - I am grateful to Christ Jesus our Lord, who has strengthened me, because he judged me faithful and appointed me to his service, even though I was formerly a blasphemer, a persecutor, and a man of violence.
Psalm 86:1-17
Psalm 86:15 - But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Proverbs 25:17

Did you see Jesus yesterday? Have you seen Jesus today? Did you hear Him speak to you? Did you open the Word and hear His voice speaking to you? How about in a song or hymn or music, did you hear or see Him there? Did you look into the eyes of a needy or homeless person and see Jesus? How about in the touch of a caring nurse, did you see Jesus there? Did you see Jesus when you stopped to talk to a friend about a divorce, death, illness or some trouble he was facing in life? Did you see Jesus in the hands you touched while joined in prayer?

Did you feel the light of Jesus shine through you when you spontaneously knelt down with the small child who had fallen off of that swing and brushed her off and comforted her? Did you notice the wind of the Spirit blowing through the words you offered to the one in the hospital that you visited? Did you feel the flame of fire over your head when you played that music that for some reason touched the life of a listener in the audience?

God knows the plans He has for you. God knows the purpose He has created you for. You are unique and part of the plan. Your purpose is sure. God will work in and through you to serve those who come to you day after day. Let His love freely flow. See how the actions God takes through you brings a glimmer of hope and salvation to others. For God is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. Love for you, love through you, love to you, today, tomorrow and forever.

Lord, I humbly enter Your presence in Word, through friend, in strangers, all around. Use me this day in Your plan and Your purpose. ---Amen

Thursday, October 15, 2009

October 15th - Reflection


Jeremiah 26:1-27:22
Jeremiah 26:4-6 - You shall say to them: Thus says the LORD: If you will not listen to me, to walk in my law that I have set before you, and to heed the words of my servants the prophets whom I send to you urgently---though you have not heeded---then I will make this house like Shiloh, and I will make this city a curse for all the nations of the earth.
2 Thessalonians 3:1-16
2 Thessalonians 3:3 - But the Lord is faithful; he will strengthen you and guard you from the evil one.
Psalm 85:1-13
Psalm 85:10 - Steadfast love and faithfulness will meet; righteousness and peace will kiss each other.
Proverbs 25:16

Do you think He knows you? Do you think He knows about your life, the things you have done, the way you grew up, how you live today? Do you think He knows even those embarrassing little details you keep to yourself? The questions in the mind of the woman and questions like these, I think were quickly answered as she got to know Jesus. As she got to know Jesus, I think she got to get a glance at someone who knew and deeply cared about her.

I think Jesus wants us to get to know about each other. Get to know one another and deeply care for each other. Care with a steadfast love and faithfulness that only He can possess. But care in a way that Jesus shines through each one of us to the people we meet at the well, at the park, at work or at play. Jesus shining though, that all need to run and tell, not only a relationship of some special disciples of Jesus, but more importantly a relationship with Jesus. A relationship with the One where righteousness and peace kiss one another. A corporate relationship in the Church and a personal relationship as His disciple.

Let us not mistake the need to gather together and listen to the Word of God. Gather together in His love and feed on His Word. Let us not mistake the need to search daily His Word and listen to His voice and heed the daily call to move back into that corporate place with a gospel so wonderful that we can't help but to gladly, boldly, and clearly run and tell of a Man, of a God, of a Saviour, who knows each one of us yet knows all of us together in love.

Lord, as I leave this source of water this morning; I run to tell of the knowledge you have. I run to tell of the love and compassion You show. I run to tell of the direction You give that is so specific to my life. I run to tell of a Savior that saved me and that saved the world. I run to tell... ---Amen

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

October 14th - Reflection


Jeremiah 23:21-25:38
Jeremiah 24:7 - I will give them a heart to know that I am the LORD; and they shall be my people and I will be their God, for they shall return to me with their whole heart.
2 Thessalonians 2:1-17
2 Thessalonians 2:13 - But we must always give thanks to God for you, brothers and sisters beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and through belief in the truth.
Psalm 84:1-12
Psalm 84:12 - O LORD of hosts, happy is everyone who trusts in you.
Proverbs 25:15

I remember a tidbit of teaching about Luther that comes to mind each and every morning that I reflect on the Word. All Scripture points towards Christ. The Word was made flesh and dwells with us. God gives us a heart to know that He is God. We have it wired within us to know that He is God and we are His people. With this instinct wired within, we know that when we run away from God, we must return to Him. But it doesn't always appear to be happening that way in society today. It seems that I can look around and see so many people who are not returning to God, they are running away and have no intention of return. They reject that wired relationship and worship something else instead. Their lives are not pointing to God as the scripture points to Christ. The joy of these people seems to be no more and no less than the joy of those that do follow God. So what's up? What's that all about?

Throughout Jeremiah, and throughout life, we receive warnings. We receive warnings by scripture and by word that we must follow God. We must give up on self salvation and trust in God to save us. This is a common theme that can be found throughout history and throughout life. And it comes to trust in the truth. What is truth? Sounds like a familiar question that was posed to Jesus before His crucifixion. Truth is Christ. We are admonished to trust in God, the real truth and we will be happy. A happy that is beyond what we know as happy in the worldly sense. Happy in Spirit...happy in Truth...happy in Christ...happy in the Father and happy with the Creator that we have now received the resurrection into a new life. A resurrection each and every morning. A resurrection that daily relives our baptism with the drowning of our sins and our face shining in the glory of the Son as we come up out of the waters of death and open our eyes to the Light of the Son and the wind from the wings of the Dove to serve God today in that resurrected life so freely given to us.

Happy is everyone who trust in the Word made flesh...happy in a new sense of the word. Thanks be to God!

Lord, drown my sins this day. As I see the Word made flesh, I know of my sin and turn to You. You are the One I can trust. You are my salvation. Drown my sins in Your death and give me that wild and wet resurrection to a new life. To a life with the special fruits You have granted me to use this first day of new life in my resurrection. ---Amen

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

October 13th - Reflection


Jeremiah 22:1-23:20
Jeremiah 22:3 - Thus says the LORD: Act with justice and righteousness, and deliver from the hand of the oppressor anyone who has been robbed. And do no wrong or violence to the alien, the orphan, and the widow, or shed innocent blood in this place.
2 Thessalonians 1:1-12
2 Thessalonians 1:11-12 - To this end we always pray for you, asking that our God will make you worthy of his call and will fulfill by his power every good resolve and work of faith, so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.
Psalm 83:1-18
Psalm 83:18 - Let them know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
Proverbs 25:11-14

A surprise reversal of roles. It seemed when the truck pulled up the executives at first were looking down their noses as to the disturbance that was taking place with the music from the truck. However, this quickly changed.

How we paint pictures of ourselves and sit in judgment of others! We seem to build some idea in our heads that one person is more valuable than the next due to prestige, money, look, power or whatever. Yet all of us are valuable in the eyes of God. Each person is His child to be loved and cared for. Even in the Jeremiah readings we see a God that was concerned with the alien, the orphan and the widow. I see a God with a special place in His heart for those who suffer and are in want. He deeply wants all of His children to be happy and to live in love and happiness. Look how he created the world and set man and woman in a beautiful paradise. But our sinful selves ruined that existence. So God had to save us. Save us from the death we walked into by dying himself for our sinfulness.

In this death, in this death of a Savior, may we, in the life He freely gave become worthy of His call. His call to eternal life, beginning here and now. A call that takes place each morning. Humbly recall your sin and seek His forgiveness. God will forgive. God will grant you gifts to use in His Kingdom. God will call you and send you each and every day to work. Your eternal life starts now. Eternal life for the orphan, the alien, the widow, the sinner and the redeemed. Begin that life anew and let His light shine brightly today...tomorrow...and eternally.

Lord, I come to You in my sin and ask You this day to wash me clean with those daily baptismal waters. Clean me and make me Yours. I give my life to You. Call me and use me this day to shine brightly in Your glory that all may see You in me and I in you. The wonderful work is before us! Thanks be to God! ---Amen

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 10th-12th Reflection


Jeremiah 14:11-21:14
Jeremiah 17:7 - Blessed are those who trust in the LORD, whose trust is in the LORD.
1 Thessalonians 2:9-5:28
1 Thessalonians 3:12 - And may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, just as we abound in love for you.
Psalms 80:1-82:8
Psalm 80:7 - Restore us, O God of hosts: let your face shine, that we may be saved.
Proverbs 25:1-10

Run for your life! Run! I can't help but think of Jesus as he travels to Jerusalem to give his life for our sin. Running towards death with a love for the created. Running towards death to give life. What a paradox! Running towards death that we may be saved. Running towards death to likewise proclaim to each one of us to run for your life! Fan the flames of passion and Spirit and run for your life.

Do we run? Do we run with a sense of mission and purpose? Does the Christian Church today run so that others may live? We need to run into the flames and heat to save the lives of others. We need to run for the life that has been graciously given to us in baptism. We need to run with a passion so deep that we anxiously search the Word in scripture. We need to run so that we hear the voice of God and follow as disciples. We need to run towards that cross and trust in the Lord that his purpose and will may be fulfilled in our actions of love towards God and our neighbor. We need to run towards our sin and seek humbly that forgiveness that only God can give. We need to run towards the sin that another has committed against us that we may wholeheartedly forgive and restore relationship and love for one another. Run! Run for your life! Run towards that prize with the cross in full view knowing of the pain and suffering but also knowing of the hope and life only the love of Jesus can give as he hung from that cross.

Run! Run for your life as we see that shining and glorious face of our Savior exiting the tomb and living in the Church. Run! Run for your life!


Lord, this day, I run for You. I run for my life. I run for the life You gave to me. I run for the life You have called me to. I run for You in love, this day. Lord, I love the call to run for my life. I run towards the dangers You have set before me knowing that You give me all the hope and trust that I need. I run, no longer needing to worry because of those You send me with to run by my side. I run with all the disciples with You in the lead. Lord, this day, I run for You. ---Amen

Friday, October 09, 2009

October 9th - Reflection


Jeremiah 12:1-14:10
Jeremiah 14:9b - Yet you, O LORD, are in the midst of us, and we are called by your name; do not forsake us!
1 Thessalonians 1:1-2:8
1 Thessalonians 2:8 - So deeply do we care for you that we are determined to share with you not only the gospel of God but also our own selves, because you have become very dear to us.
Psalm 79:1-13
Psalm 79:13b - ...from generation to generation we will recount your praise.
Proverbs 24:30-34

What is love? God is love...Jesus is love...He laid down His life in love for us...we lay down our lives in love for our enemies...we lay down our life to gain life...Love. That is love. Think of all the Bible tells us about love. Think of how Love points directly to the cross. Listen closely to the video and look at the images that flash across the screen. You see God's active Love of Christ pouring out through the gift of the Holy Spirit in and through us. Acts of Love. Today, open your eyes to the Holy Spirit working through so many people and so many things and through life in an active display of God's life giving Love... today, tomorrow and forever. God active in love in this world right by our side. How awesome is this Love!

Lord may I recognize Your Love this day, all around me, above me, below me, in front of me, behind me, beside me and in me. Lord, may I recognize Your Love and see Jesus this day. ---Amen

Thursday, October 08, 2009

October 8th - Reflection


Jeremiah 10:1-11:23
Jeremiah 10:23 - I know, O LORD, that the way of human beings is not in their control, that mortals as they walk cannot direct their steps.
Colossians 3:18-4:18
Colossians 4:3-4 - At the same time pray for us as well that God will open to us a door for the word, that we may declare the mystery of Christ, for which I am in prison, so that I may reveal it clearly, as I should.
Psalm 76:56-72
Psalm 56:72 - With upright heart he tended them, and guided them with skillful hand.
Proverbs 24:28-29

Take care of your Mom. Take care of each other. Show love and respect for one another. Don't gossip about each other. Have compassion for each other in each situation you or they may be found. Care about the feelings of other people.

All tall orders. All tall advice to give. All possible at times through Christ and all impossible at times in our own sin. Situations in life call us to each one of these mysteries. Some times we know what to do and sometimes we botch it all up. Sometimes we have the presence of mind to turn to God for guidance. Sometimes God sees and leads and guides us into actions which we may not have taken on our own, but guided by the Spirit fulfill His work and His call.

Give thanks for those times we respond in love and thank God for His touch in the situation. Repent for those times that we don't respond in love and miss it. He will forgive you and send you out once again to be used and touched by His Spirit in other situations that He will call you to.

And above all stop and pray each day, reflect on the Word, look and see the Word made flesh all around. Look and see the miracles of life and love that live daily in your presence. Listen and hear the Word in that still small voice. Pray that you may speak clearly the mystery of Christ Jesus to all this hurting world that there may be hope and love and a wondrous revealing of salvation to those He gives to you.

Lord lead me as I take care of Mom. Take care of the Child. Take care of one another in and through the love of Christ Jesus our forever. ---Amen

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

October 7th - Reflection


Jeremiah 8:8-9:26
Jeremiah 9:7 - Therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: I will now refine and test them, for what else can I do with my sinful people?
Colossians 3:1-17
Colossians 3:4 - When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.
Psalm 78:32-55
Psalm 78:38-39 - Yet he, being compassionate, forgave their iniquity, and did not destroy them; often he restrained his anger, and did not stir up all his wrath. He remembered that they were but flesh, a wind that passes and does not come again.
Proverbs 24:27
Proverbs 24:27 - Prepare your work outside, get everything ready for you in the field; and after that build your house.

Almost able to fly if it weren't for this stone of sin and stubbornness and deceit tying me down to the ground. Almost able to fly if it weren't for this sin in my life. I know that God intends for me to fly. And in the flying God will be revealed in me. But I also learn that in my struggle, God is revealed in me also. As I struggle with my sin in whatever form it takes, others are struggling along my side. But as I struggle, I struggle in the hope and grace and knowledge that through the struggle I have a Savior that will release me from the bondage of this stone some day and allow me to fly.

Hope and knowledge and faith in One who will cut the ties that bind me to sin. Cut the ties that bind me to my sin by taking on my sin Himself and taking on my struggle with sin and dying on the cross with all my sin upon Him. Through His suffering, and dying, He was given the chance to raise from the dead out of the darkness of the tomb to bring light and life through death.

So I continue to struggle just as He did. I joy in the struggle because of Him. I joy in the work to show the world that through the struggle, and through the pain comes Light out of darkness and Life from the tomb. A gift given freely by our Savior.

So struggle while we're tied down. Know that someday we will fly free with Christ. Maybe today for a while and then maybe tomorrow forever. We will fly in glory and how great that will be. But today as we struggle, struggle in joy and today as we fly, fly with a friend and show the glory of Christ in that flight. Fly!

Lord, forgive my sinful ways that bind me to that rock that weighs me down. Cut me loose this day that I may fly free with you and friends to proclaim Your glory and grace and announce the day when we will all fly free because of Your grace and love. ---Amen

Tuesday, October 06, 2009

October 6th - Reflection


Jeremiah 6:16-8:7
Jeremiah 7:2 - Stand in the gate of the LORD's house, and proclaim there this word, and say, Hear the word of the LORD, all you people of Judah, you that enter these gates to worship the LORD.
Colossians 2:8-23
Colossians 2:8 - See to it that no one takes you captive through philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the universe, and not according to Christ.
Psalm 78:1-31
Psalm 78:1 - Give ear, O my people, to my teaching; incline your ears to the words of my mouth.
Proverbs 24:26
Proverbs 24:26 - One who gives an honest answer gives a kiss on the lips.

I can remember in my school days saying the Pledge of Allegiance each and every morning as we stood by our desks, staring at the flag in the room with hands over hearts. I can also remember the joy of Tuesday evenings. I couldn't wait for the Red Skelton show to come on in the evening. I had to have all of my homework finished to get to stay up and watch the show. He was one of my favorite comedians. He was genuine at heart, open and honest and funny in the wholesome sense of the word.

This video took me back to those days. But as I listened to Red's words, I couldn't help to listen to them from the standpoint of a Christian. What if we were to pledge those words to our God? What if every Christian were to really pledge in this way? Would the actions we take change?

Here, in this video, we see the pledge to country. In my mind country is a couple of notches below God in my pecking order. My priorities seem to be God, Church, Family then Country. I'm sure others have their own list. And I'm also sure that my list of priorities has changed at different times in my life. But my point is; if we were to truly pledge this allegiance to Country; what allegiance do we truly pledge to God?

So just as we used to focus on the flag in the school days; I think our focus should be on Jesus in our Church's. Look at Jesus' life and his actions. He pledged allegiance to God all the way. Even in Jesus' doubt during prayer in the Garden, Jesus pledged allegiance to God, even a walk to death. So as a Christian, I am honored to pledge my allegiance to Jesus, to walk the path He has given, guided by the Holy Spirit. The journey will be hard and I will shake in fear at times. But I have pledged allegiance to Jesus and will take that stand.

Where do you stand?

Lord, as I come to You in prayer, I find it hard to pledge total allegiance. I'm afraid. But You help me overcome fear. You make me bold enough and zealous enough to follow in Your Way. Send now Your Holy Spirit to lead and guide me and to help me see the hope I have in You so that I may overcome the fear and boldly step out in faith and love towards you. Teach me to serve You and others in love this day to Your honor and glory. ---Amen

Monday, October 05, 2009

September 22nd to October 5th Reflection


Isaiah 39:1-66:24
Isaiah 58:9 - Then you shall call, and the LORD will answer; you shall cry for help, and he will say, Here I am.
Jeremiah 1:1-6:15
Jeremiah 1:5 - Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.
Ephesians 1:1-6:24
Ephesians 1:5-6 - He destined 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.
Philippians 1:1-4:23
Philippians 4:8 - Finally, beloved, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is pleasing, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence and if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Colossians 1:1-2:7
Colossians 1:17 - He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together.
Psalms 66:1-77:20
Psalm 77:14 - But I will hope continually, and will praise you yet more and more.
Proverbs 23:25-24:25
Proverbs 23:26 - My child, give me your heart, and let your eyes observe my ways.

Blessed be the name of the Lord! We all struggle at times, in sickness and in life. We struggle to raise our children. We struggle and lose hope at times. We struggle with doubt. We struggle in life. But as I stop and reflect upon the Word, I see a book filled with people who struggle. Israelites in the desert. Struggle with family members in deception. Struggle and wrestle with the message that God gives to us. In this Book of Faith there is story after story of people and individuals who struggle.

Yet even in the struggle, and even despite of the struggle; I see a God that comes down to His people and gets involved in the "mess" of the struggle. He not only comes to save, He comes to be involved in the struggle by our side. And in the struggle we find that we have a hope in a God who is willing to come down to His people and struggle side by side and save His people. We find a God so loving that even in our struggle, He chooses to bless us, to gift us and to graciously use us to help in the struggle of others in this world. In the struggle we meet God. In the struggle we see His face close up and personal. In the struggle we see our neighbor and our loved one. In the struggle we come face to face with God, in our self, in our neighbor and in our Savior.

Blessed be the name of the Lord! Yes He gives! And in what we think is the "take away" --- we find He still gives! Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Lord, today, show me Your face in the face of my neighbor who is struggling. Let me be Your face to them in help and comfort and love. Lord, today, may I see Your face in the midst of my struggles. I give thanks for the blessings You give, today, tomorrow and forever. Blessed be the name of the Lord! --- Amen