September 17 Parental Pep Talk

Photo by Thomas Howard

Photo by Thomas Howard

Isaiah 25:1-28:13;  Galatians 3:10-22;  Psalm 61:1-8;  Proverbs 23:17-18

“Let not your heart envy sinners,

but continue in the fear of the Lord all the day.

Surely there is a future,

and your hope will not be cut off.”

Proverbs 23:17-18

~

Hang in there, kids.

Who you see swaggering down the street

in fine designer clothes

perfect teeth

perfect complexion

all eyes on them

may not have what you have

a faith driven life

assurance of heaven

granted through

Water and God’s Word.

Pray for them

and don’t lose sight

of your Maker Redeemer

who keeps you in his

marvelous Light.

September 16 A Parent’s Heart

Image by Matt Gruber

Image by Matt Gruber

Isaiah 22:1-24:23;  Galatians 2:17-3:9;  Psalm 60:1-12;  Proverbs 23:15-16

“My son, if your heart is wise, then my heart will be glad;

my inmost being will rejoice when your lips speak what is right.”

Proverbs 23:15-16

And so our Heavenly Father rejoices

when we speak His name

and proclaim Him as our Lord and Savior.

Sweet music to his Creator ears.

Likewise, when our children

confess with their mouths

Jesus as Lord

we rejoice

for we know they have

Eternal treasure

in their hearts,

and their future is secure.

Lord may we continue to pray for our children and our children’s children that they may know and confess you as Lord and Savior of their lives.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen

September 15 Really?

Photo by Matt Gruber

Photo by Matt Gruber

Isaiah 19:1-21:17;  Galatians 2:1-16;  Psalm 59:1-17;  Proverbs 23:13-14

“Do not withhold discipline from a child;

 if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

If you strike him with a rod, you will save his soul

from Sheol.”

Proverbs 23:13-15

Really?

Really.

Discipline is for our good

and for our children’s.

Discipline means setting limits

and providing consequences when they are breached.

A crooked sapling needs the subtle pressure of a guiding

rod or rope to coax it to grow straight and tall.

We and our children bend with our

human nature–

our old ‘Adam’–

and our loving God applies his discipline

through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit

to straighten us up,

to make us more like him.

Sparing discipline is not a recipe

for growth.

Wise discipline applied with love and discernment

protects the growing child

and gets him/her to adulthood

in one piece!

Lord, grant that we submit to your loving discipline and grow.  Grant that all children may have loving caregivers whether they be parents, teachers, guardians, or grandparents who will help them to grow strong in mind and body and soul.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

September 13 Saturday Special

Photos by Laura Jostes

Photos by Laura Jostes

Isaiah 12:1-14:32;  2 Corinthians 13:1-14;  Psalm 57:1-11;  Proverbs 23:9-11

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you all.”

2 Corinthians 13:14

~

Paul dishes out a beautiful

ending

to his second letter

to the believers in Corinth

who were dealing with some

pretty tough stuff.

Honest and direct,

chastening and

comforting,

words to help them grow.

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Words inspired by the Holy Spirit

from the heart of God

to confront the wrong

and encourage perfection,

unity and peace.

Lord God, as we come together with other believers to receive your Word and to offer you our thanks and praise, worshiping you this weekend, may the blessing of grace, love and fellowship be ours through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  In His name we pray, Amen.

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Blessings on your weekend!

“Oh, worship the King

all glorious above.

O gratefully sing

his pow’r and his love;

Our shield and defender,

the Ancient of Days,

Pavilioned in splendor

and girded with praise!

~Robert Grant

September 12 Shoot For Peace

Photo by Ben Branum

Photo by Ben Branum

Isaiah 10:1-11:16;  2 Corinthians12:11-21;  Psalm 56:1-13;  Proverbs 23:6-8

“A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;

from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.

The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him–

the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,

the Spirit of counsel and of power,

the Spirit of knowledge and

of the fear of the Lord.

He will not judge by what he sees

with his eyes;

or decide by what he hears

with his ears,

but with righteousness he will

judge the needy,

with justice he will give decisions

for the poor of the earth.

He will strike the earth with the

rod of his mouth;

with the breath of his lips he

will slay the wicked.

Righteousness will be his belt

and faithfulness the sash

around his waist.

The wolf will live with the lamb,

the leopard will lie down with the goat,

the calf and the lion and the yearling together;

and a little child will lead them…

They will neither harm nor destroy

on all my holy mountain,

for the earth will be full of the knowledge

of the Lord

as waters cover the sea.”

Isaiah 11:1-9

~

Isaiah, prophet old

posits a picture

of peace.

A shoot,

a Spirit Branch of wisdom,

counsel and power

who knows God,

who is God

who is to come,

who has come–

His name is Christ the Lord

and will come again in glory

to judge the living and the dead.

Name bearers, we

Christians,

Gift receivers of His Grace

wait for his reign of peace.

All will know him

All will see his glory

All creation will rest in Him.

Come, Lord Jesus, come!

Amen.

September 11 Back To The Future

Image by Jeff Brown

Image by Jeff Brown

Isaiah 8:1-9:21;  2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Psalm 55:1-23;  Proverbs 23:4-5

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.  In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future

he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the

way of the sea, along the Jordan.

The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the

shadow of death

a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation

and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you

as people rejoice at the harvest,

as men rejoice

when dividing the plunder.

For as in in the day of Midian’s defeat

you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor.

Every warriors boot used in battle

and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

will be fuel for the fire.

~

For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given,

and the government will be on

his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government

and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:1-7

Image by Lenin Rodriguez

Image by Lenin Rodriguez

Lord God, into a tumultuous world riddled with warring nations fueled by mankind’s greed, pride and lust for power you sent your Son.  Our world seems no less different today than the one into which the prophet Isaiah spoke and the one into which Jesus was born.  Sin and evil abound.  But thanks be to You, O God–our Wonderful Counselor has come!  Our Mighty God has broken the chains of sin and death!  Our Everlasting Father reigns above!  We have met the Prince of Peace!  Days of righteousness and justice are coming!  Lord, may faith increase in our world–that people will look to you for their salvation.  Help us to be your faithful witnesses, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

September 10 Behold Our Upholder

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photos by Laura Jostes

Isaiah 6:1-7:25; 2 Corinthians 11:16-33;  Psalm 54:1-7;  Proverbs 23:1-3

“O God, save me by your name,

and vindicate me by your might.

O God, hear my prayer;

give ear to the words of my mouth.

 

For strangers have risen against me;

ruthless men seek my life;

they do not set God before themselves.

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Behold God is my helper;

the Lord is the upholder of my life.

He will return the evil to my enemies;

in your faithfulness put an end to them.

 

With a free will offering I will

sacrifice to you;

I will give thanks to your name,

O Lord, for it is good.

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For he has delivered me

from my every trouble

and my eye has looked in

triumph on my enemies.”

Psalm 54

 

Lord, you come to us in all our weakness

and give us your strength.

When our knees grow weak

and we feel faint

from  load of anxious care

you stand beside us

you keep us upright.

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You help us carry on

   do the next thing

      survive another day.

Thank you for hearing our cries

for not despising our dependence

   on you

for gently leading us

through the danger zone.

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You are with us in our aloneness

   in our ‘missing-our loved-one’ time.

Your heart beats in time

   with ours,

pumps in rythm

   to fill us with your

      Breath of Life.

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Thank you for sustaining us, Lord

when times are tough

  the days are long

      and the nights are even longer

May we rest in your

Unfailing Grace,

For Jesus’ sake,

Amen.