September 2 Not Just Another Monday

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Ecclesiastes 1:1-3:22;  2 Corinthians 6:1-13;  Psalm 46:1-11;  Proverbs 22:15

“Meaningless!  Meaningless!”

says the Teacher.

“Utterly meaningless!

Everything is meaningless.”

What does man gain from all the labor

at which he toils under the sun?

Generations come and generations go,

but the earth remains forever.

The eye never has enough seeing,

nor the ear its fill of hearing.

What has been will be again,

what has been done will be done again;

there is nothing new under the sun.”

Ecclesiastes 1:2-4, 8-9

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

 “What does a worker gain from his toil?

I have seen the burden God has laid on men.

He has made everything beautiful in its time.

He has also set eternity in the hearts of men;

yet they cannot fathom what God has done

from beginning to end.

I know that everything God does will endure forever;

nothing can be added to it and nothing taken from it.

God does it so that men will revere him.”

Ecclesiastes 3:9-14

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes


The Monday difference is Jesus.

Waking up knowing that He will be with me

throughout the day

gives meaning to the

everyday tasks at hand.

 

Meaningful, meaningful!

“He makes all things beautiful

in its time.”

Beauty from ashes,

joy from sorrow,

hope from despair.

 

Serve the Lord with gladness!

 

Thank you Jesus for being the meaning of my life.  You are the reason for my work’s purpose as the wife, mother, daughter, neighbor, volunteer, friend, writer, photographer, encourager, thinker and pray-er that I am.  May my words and actions and thoughts this day bring you honor and glory and praise.  In your name I pray, Amen.

September 1 Ferguson Hope

Photo by Sarah Bryant

Photo by Sarah Bryant


Job 40:1-42:17;  2 Corinthians 5:11-21;  Psalm 45:1-17;  Proverbs 22:14

 

“So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.  Though we once regarded

Christ in this way, we do so no longer.  Therefore, if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  All this is from God who reconciled us to himself in Christ, not counting men’s sins against them.  And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.  We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us.  We implore you on Christ’s behalf;  be reconciled to God.  God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.”  2 Corinthians 5:16-21

 

Close to home

Ferguson’s flames

burn

images of injustice

and bid my heart

to offer up prayers

for blacks and whites,

young and old,

citizens and civil servants

wrapped up in pain

and hurt

and fear.

 

Pray for reconciliation

to the One who bridged

the gap

between Holiness

and sin

with His life blood.

Pray for faith to work

changes in all

creatures here below–

to make all things new.

 

It’s what God does-

make new creations

out of headstrong,

mouthy,

disobedient,

prideful,

defensive

human beings

bent on having things

their way.

 

The Good Word is that God

can and does

work these

miracles of change.

 

Pray that the flames of Ferguson

are quenched with the balm

of God’s grace,

mercy

and love.

For Jesus’ sake.

August 29 Living Letters

Art by James Donaldson

Art by James Donaldson

Job 31:1-33:33; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18;  Psalm 43:1-5;  Proverbs 22:8-9

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves,

but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 3:2-6

 

God send us out as living

letters

with the message

of the Spirit’s

power to

infuse faith

and change the way

we act,

speak,

think,

respond

to the world around us.

Send us out as living letters

spelling out

grace,

mercy,

love,

and kindness

to those we meet.

We may have

run on sentences,

misspelled words

or incorrect grammar,

but the message will be the same:

“For God so loved the world,

that He gave His only Son

that whosoever believes in him,

will never die,

but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

Send us, Lord.

Signed, Sealed and

Delivered by You.

Amen

 

August 28 It’s Been Rumored….

Photo by Matt Gruber

Photo by Matt Gruber

Job 28:1-30:31;  2 Corinthians 2:12-17;  Psalm 42:1-11;  Proverbs 22:7

“Where does wisdom come from?

Where does understanding dwell?

It is hidden from the eyes of every

living thing,

concealed  even from the birds

of the air.

Death and Destruction say,

‘Only rumor of it has reached our ears.’

God understands the way to it

and he alone knows where it dwells,

for he views the ends of the earth

and sees everything under the heavens.

When he established the force of the wind

and measured out the waters,

when he made a decree for the rain

and a path for the thunderstorm,

then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;

he confirmed it and tested it.

And he said to man,

“The fear of the Lord–that is wisdom,

and to shun evil is understanding.”

Job 28:20-28

 

The beginning and the end

of all wisdom

is found

in the Triune God-

Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

Creator,

Redeemer,

Sanctifier.

Rumors may fly

of  a better wisdom,

but like Death and Destruction

the end of it

is only the beginning

of an endless search

for truth.

“And because of him you are in Christ Jesus,

who became to us wisdom from God,

righteousness and sanctification

and redemption.”

1 Corinthians 1:30

Lord God, we thank and praise you that we need not be swayed by rumors of a “better” wisdom–that we can be confident that through faith we have the ultimate wisdom within us.  We have Jesus our Lord and Savior, Life giver and Life sustainer.  Forgive us when our itching ears seek out a different wisdom–one that caters to worldy desires.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

August 27 Train Up

Image by Amanda Petty

Image by Amanda Petty

Job 23:1-27:23;  2 Corinthians 1:12-2:11;  Psalm 41:1-13;  Proverbs 22:5-6

“Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it.”

Proverbs 22:5-6

 

Wisdom giver from on high,

give us wisdom

words to say

acts to follow

in your way

so that our children

will come to know

You

as the Way, the Truth

and the Life

and though their lives

will take many turns

may they always

find their way

back

to You.

Bless parents, teachers,

coaches, mentors,

guardians

and all those shape

the lives of those

in their care,

for Jesus’ sake,

Amen.

August 26 Our Comfort

Photo by Megan Isaacson

Photo by Megan Isaacson

Job 20:1-22:30;  2 Corinthians 1:1-11;  Psalm 40:11-17;  Proverbs 22:2-4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

Our troubles may be big

or they may quite small

but God knows and

cares

and feels

and

is ready to comfort all

who are afflicted,

abused,

tortured in body or mind

or both

for the sake of the gospel.

We hear of the children

who died for their faith

at the end of a sword.

We cry out,

“Lord have mercy!”

God of all comfort,

be with those running

for their lives.

Give them courage,

give them strength,

give them your

peace.

For Jesus’ sake,

Amen

 

August 25 Intercessor

Photo by Travis Silva

Photo by Travis Silva

Job 16:1-19:29;  1 Corinthians 16:1-24;  Psalm 40:1-10;  Proverbs 22:1

“Then Job replied: “I have heard many things like these;

miserable comforters are you all!

Will your long winded speeches never end?

O earth, do not cover my blood;

may my cry never be laid to rest!

Even now my witness is in heaven;

my advocate is on high.

My intercessor is my friend

as my eyes pour out tears to God;

on behalf of a man he pleads with God

as a man pleads for his friend.”

Job 16:1-3,18-21

 

“My little children, I am writing these things

to you so that you may not sin.  But if anyone

does sin, we have an advocate with the Father,

Jesus Christ the righteous.  He is the

propitiation  (the satisfaction for the demands of God’s law)

for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the

sins of whole world.”

1 John 2:1-2

 

The One above

prays for the one below

with sighs and groanings

deep.

The Father listens

to His Son

who never once did sin,

petitioning on behalf of

him

who cries out

in Jesus’ name.

“Lord, have mercy

on me a sinner.”

Night and day

our Savior pleads

and comes before the throne.

Never will He

end his prayers

and say the last

amen

until His beloved

join with Him

around that Throne

in Heaven.