Monday, October 31, 2022

Feed Faith, Not Fear


Obeying the Lord's instructions is not the same as attempting to earn our salvation by works.  On one hand, Jesus instructs us to take up our cross and follow Him (Matthew 16:24). But on the other hand, we are repeatedly warned against the attempt to earn salvation by obeying the letter of the law (Ephesians 2:8-9).  

The difference between earning our own way and resting fully on the grace given us through Jesus comes down to love.  When our motivation in disciplining our bodies comes from the desire that Christ be glorified in our bodies, we obey in order to know more of Him.  And because He is beautiful and perfect, the more we know of Him, the more we love Him.  

We do not obey in order to save ourselves (that work has already been accomplished at the Cross), we obey because we love Jesus and want to know more of Him.  This is the difference between legalism and freedom.  When we become enslaved by self-imposed rules, we are motivated by fear that if we stop following our rules, then bad things will happen to us. When we obey in order to know more of Christ, we follow the rule of love. 

Our daily challenge is to feed faith and not fear: faith that Jesus has saved us and we do not need to save ourselves, faith in the promises He has given, faith that self-denial is worth light and momentary discomfort because it enables us to know more of our Savior. 


For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NIV

Sunday, October 30, 2022

Abiding Enables Obedience


To know of the Lord's love, we need to abide in Him. Abiding means thinking about Him, seeking Him through Scripture, and being much in prayer. Abiding in Jesus is a little like walking a balance beam; many times a day we fall to one side or the other and must realign our thoughts to Him. However, the more we walk the narrow path, the wider it becomes.  Practice helps.  

Knowing more of the Lord makes us hungry for more of the Lord.  The more we abide, the more we know of His love, and the more we know of Him, the more we love Him.  

Lord, help us to practice abiding in You, in Jesus' Name we pray, amen. 


I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.

John 15:5 NKJV

Saturday, October 29, 2022

Grace Alone


Only Grace, by Matthew West

Friday, October 28, 2022

Come Into His Presence


Enter into His gates with thanksgiving,
And into His courts with praise.
Be thankful to Him, and bless His name.
For the Lord is good;
His mercy is everlasting,
And His truth endures to all generations.

Psalm 100:4-5 NKJV

Thursday, October 27, 2022

Wednesday, October 26, 2022

Don't Hide Your Sorrows From the Lord


When we meet with sorrows that overwhelm our hearts, we want away from the pain of it. Although acknowledging sorrow before the Lord is painful, the consequences of hiding from Him are worse.  

Our first instinct is to sublimate the grievous circumstance, and we do this in a number of ways; we either say the situation isn't as bad as it is and attempt to ignore it, or we pretend that we are able to cope with a terrible thing by going on with life as close to normal as is possible.  

Sublimating grief takes energy. Exhaustion will threaten, and the grief and fear we are attempting to repress will escape its confines so that we find ourselves more frightened and upset than before by every other stressor large or small.  

Jesus says, "Come unto Me...(Matthew 11:28)." When we come, He shares our sorrow, comforts our hearts, and shows us the way forward.  


Lord Jesus, we bring to You this situation that has broken our hearts, confounded our confidence that the world is safe, and overwhelmed us with disappointment.  We pray for all involved in these grievous circumstances and ask that You strengthen, help, and uphold us.  Infiltrate this situation with Your presence and provision, bring healing, and protect us from further harm.  In Jesus' Name we pray, amen.  


Below: Youtube video of David Crowder Band "How He Loves Us." 

Tuesday, October 25, 2022

Keep Your Eyes on Jesus


Dear Lord, help us keep our eyes on You today.  Please draw us quickly back to You each time our thoughts turn away from seeking Your guidance. Give us a reminder that we need to refocus on You whenever we begin to depend on our own assessments, logic, and reasoning. Turn our hearts from fear to faith in Your ability to work everything out for our good and Your glory. Thank You for providing for us even in the midst of circumstances that are hard. We may feel overwhelmed, but nothing is too difficult for You. We turn our eyes to You.  Amen.  

Monday, October 24, 2022

Sunday, October 23, 2022

Open Our Hearts, Lord


I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. 

Ephesians 1:18-19a NIV

Saturday, October 22, 2022

A Call to Prayer


I spent time in prayer this morning in concern that the unscriptural teaching of a few and the indifference of the majority will bring us all under God's judgment. I prayed, "Lord, are we failing to stand firm against things that are reprehensible to You?  If so it is  because we like our comfort, standing against opposition is distressing, and we are programmed to be 'nice.' Forgive us for failing to stand up for You when we ought to."

In response to this was the clear direction that I am not to fight in this particular battle, and then Exodus 14:14 came to mind: The Lord will fight for you, you need only to be still.  

There may be times when we are called to wage battle.  But even more often our feelings get hurt because someone disagrees with us, and we end up fighting to justify ourselves.  It is then that civil war breaks loose, brethren against brethren, until we are willing to pierce and wound over issues that are not related to the ones we began arguing about in the first place.  

Prayer is powerful. Always precede and undergird action with prayer.  We are to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us, this too needs to precede action.  

We must teach our children what is true, repeating the truths often, holding family discussions regarding the fallen state of the world and familiarizing them with the ways the enemy twists God's truth.  We  need to pray for our brethren, speak the truth gently and in love, and pray, always pray, in recognition that God's love and prayer are weapons of our warfare.  When we pray, we are fighting, making war on spiritual forces of evil in a way much less likely to cause inadvertent damage to God's work in the sensitive hearts of those who need His saving grace.  

The Lord doesn't need our power; He is all-powerful. We are called to His love and to prayer.  Father we lift those who are misguided by the world's deceptions and pray for their salvation.  Show us how to pray, how/when/if to fight, and most of all teach us how to love with Your love.  Lord unite us in You, in Jesus' Name we pray.  


These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.  Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.  Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. Deuteronomy 6:6-9

Friday, October 21, 2022

Sometimes Healing Takes Time


The past couple of years the Lord has used the great evil of the pandemic to bring needed rest and rejuvenation to me.  "For he wounds, but he also binds up; he injures, but his hands also heal" (Job 5:18).  

People don't understand why I've largely disappeared from view. I don't try to justify my absence from community and church activities beyond citing brief descriptions of one or the other of my latest physical challenges, most of which are auto-immune based and are hard for people-who-have-energy to understand. Fact of the matter is, going on 3 years out from my mother's death from Alzheimer's disease,  I have become sicker physically even while I am feeling more at peace emotionally and spiritually.  Auto-immune diseases are diabolical; one can look just fine but under the "ok" surface feel like, as Mom used to say, death warmed over.  

Or, also in Mom's words, "Like I was sent for and couldn't go."  

In light of how rotten I feel most of the time anyway, I've been especially cautious of exposure to Covid and other viruses, and that caution can invite further judgment.  Most people face Covid exposure every day in their workaday world, and it can feel somehow offensive that I take precautions others are not able to implement for themselves. 

My heart assurance is that I am where I am supposed to be, doing what I am supposed to do with the measure of strength I have been given. I keep house, take brief walkabouts to enjoy the beauty God has provided, and prepare food for my family.  And of course, I write.  

That's about it. It's all I have strength to do.  I don't think anyone who hasn't experienced chronic fatigue can understand the accomplishment it is for me just to groom and dress each day. 

Last week, my daughter sent me a time-lapse video of a seed sprouting.  For the longest time everything happened beneath the surface as the seed sprouted and sent out a branching root system that would support the plant to come. I have confidence in the Lord, that during this healing time when I have had so little physical energy, that He has been at work on my behalf, creating a root system that will support the plant he will bring forth during the final season of my life. I have placed my trust in Him. 

Meantime, I will rest, pray, do a little work and rest some more, and trust that God is in control.  

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Wednesday, October 19, 2022



Today is our son's birthday. In honor of his special day, here are the verses that have been prayed over him his whole life:  

May the Lord bless his land

    with the precious dew from heaven above

    and with the deep waters that lie below;

with the best the sun brings forth

    and the finest the moon can yield; 

with the choicest gifts of the ancient mountains

    and the fruitfulness of the everlasting hills;

with the best gifts of the earth and its fullness

    and the favor of him who dwelt in the burning bush.

Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,

    on the brow of the prince among his brothers.


There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,

    who rides across the heavens to help you

    and on the clouds in his majesty.

The eternal God is your refuge,

    and underneath are the everlasting arms.

He will drive out your enemies before you,

    saying, ‘Destroy them!’

So Israel will live in safety;

    Jacob will dwell secure

in a land of grain and new wine,

    where the heavens drop dew.

Blessed are you, Israel!

    Who is like you,

    a people saved by the Lord?

He is your shield and helper

    and your glorious sword.

Deuteronomy 33:13-16, 26-28

Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Sunday, October 16, 2022

Past, Present, and Future Covered by Grace


As we view the past through a frame labeled faith, we see by the light of God's love.  Present trust in His grace and power to heal enables calm acceptance of past events that have caused us harm. 

It's hard to give the Lord permission to change the status quo. When we pray, He hears, and we must accept that His work on our behalf sometimes brings change in the people or circumstances we have resented.  God's healing works beyond the perimeters of our own hearts; it stretches to touch the agents through which the enemy brought us harm. He removes them from us or transforms them so they become channels to deliver blessing.  At that point we need to avoid responding to a new status quo as though it were the old or we will set ourselves up for judgment in the eyes of people who see us responding to kindness with vindictiveness  or otherwise overreacting to innocuous events. 

Prayer: Lord we release past events that have caused us harm to You. We forgive because You have forgiven us, and we ask that You enable us to receive the blessings of a new status quo.  In Jesus' Name we pray, amen. 

Saturday, October 15, 2022

Friday, October 14, 2022

Humility Versus Humiliation


Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time.

1 Peter 5:6 NIV

1 Peter 5:5 reminds us that God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. We are to be humble in our shepherding of those God has placed under our care, not "lording it over them" (1 Peter 5:3).  When we find ourselves lonely, burdened, and uncertain of how our circumstances are going to unfold, we are called to humble ourselves under God's mighty hand (1 Peter 5:6).  

We honor God and show humility before Him when we do the work in front of us and leave the repercussions of the decisions we make in Him to Him.  

To state it more clearly, the Lord might say to us, "When you have prayed and sought My counsel, make your decisions in confidence that I do not forsake My own. Trusting God leads to humility before God; you are trusting Me to make your path straight."

I love that He knows us so well that the Scripture follows all these Godly instructions about humility with this reminder: "Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you" (1 Peter 5:7 NIV).  

Leaving the future in God's hands displays trust.  Resting in trust before Him shows humility. Anxieties will arise, but we can cast these upon Him with the reminder that He loves and provides for us.  

Blessed be His Name.  

Thursday, October 13, 2022

His Good, Pleasing, and Perfect Will

 Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Romans 12:2 NIV

Wednesday, October 12, 2022

Choose Life


... I have set before you life and death, blessings and curses. Now choose life, so that you and your children may live.  

Deuteronomy 30:19 NIV


Tuesday, October 11, 2022

Hope in Christ


Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.

1 Peter 1:13b ESV

Monday, October 10, 2022

Sunday, October 9, 2022

Saturday, October 8, 2022

Jesus is Lord of All


The Son is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. For in him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things have been created through him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church; he is the beginning and the firstborn from among the dead, so that in everything he might have the supremacy. For God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in him, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether things on earth or things in heaven, by making peace through his blood, shed on the cross.

Colossians 1:15-20

Friday, October 7, 2022

Freedom Through Christ Alone


Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God.

Romans 5:1-2 NIV

For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 

1 Corinthians 2:2 NKJV

Thursday, October 6, 2022

Love Remains

Human wisdom encourages us to rely on memories for comfort when someone we love passes away, but it is through Christ that our connections to them remains.  Love is powerful, and loving through Jesus is the greatest connection of all.  Blessed be those who have died in Christ, and we are blessed also as we "...  press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (Philippians 3:12-14 NIV).  


Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.  

Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV

Wednesday, October 5, 2022

Each Moment We Are Given


"Trust God where you cannot trace Him. Do not try to penetrate the cloud He brings over you; rather look to the bow that is on it. The mystery is God's; the promise is yours."

John MacDuff

Tuesday, October 4, 2022

Monday, October 3, 2022

God's Plans and Not Our Own


For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Jeremiah 29:11 NIV

Sunday, October 2, 2022

God Is in the Process


When we are overwhelmed by life circumstances, we can trust that God is in the process, and God is in the results.  He will provide us what we need and protect us from what we don't need. Peace comes only as we turn our focus away from the circumstances that frighten us, and place them on Jesus.  

When God has spoken "renovation and restoration," we can be sure the devil will try to bring us the opposite: resignation and despair.  Lifting our eyes to Jesus renews hope.  

The Lord has foreseen every danger on the path ahead. He is in the future, and has made provision for us there. It is safe to trust Him.  

Saturday, October 1, 2022

Because His Love Is Better Than Life


Because your love is better than life,

    my lips will glorify you.

 I will praise you as long as I live,

    and in your name I will lift up my hands.

 I will be fully satisfied as with the richest of foods;

    with singing lips my mouth will praise you.

Psalm 63:3-5