Scaredy Cat

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur deepest fear isn’t that we’re powerful, it’s that we’re inadequate. It’s our darkness, not our light, that frightens us. We scare ourselves when we feel unhealthy. We encounter smarter, better people. We discover there’s family who don’t cherish us. We learn the world doesn’t need us. Suddenly, we realize our talents, energy, and wisdom […]

via Bread From Beggar’s Hands ~ May 26, 2018 — The First Premise

Gentle Voice

 

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIn our day and age we hear so many voices coming from all kinds of places seeking our attention or offering direction.   We are bombarded it seems with voices, voices, voices of politicians, advertisers, families, friends, authors, teachers, pastors, and even strangers (on TV, radio, internet).  Sometimes the voice we hear is our own voice inside our head telling us ‘do this’, ‘don’t do that’, ‘good job’, or ‘you really blew it’.  What voice to you listen to?  Whose voice do you seek?

Whose voice provides you with unconditional love?  Comfort?   Trustworthy guidance?  One that always speaks the truth and gives you no reason to doubt?  That never condemns you?  That you would follow blindfolded?

“I am the good shepherd, and I know My own and My own know Me, even as the Father knows Me and I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  I have other sheep, which are not of this fold;  I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.”  John 10:14-16

Hear Jesus call your name today.  He is your Good Shepherd.  He leads you to green pastures with still waters.  He tends to your wounds with oil.  He gently leads you.  He goes before you checking for danger, ever watchful.  He will never leave you nor forsake you.  He will lead you home.

Dear Jesus,  You are my Good Shepherd.  Your gentle voice guides me and directs me through life’s challenging ways.  Thank you for calling me by name and claiming me for your own.  Thank you for your protection and your care.  Above all, thank you for laying down your life for me on the Cross; for paying the penalty of my sin and bearing my punishment upon yourself.   In your name I pray, Amen.

“Lord, I Believe”

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Jesus, earlier in the day, had healed a man who had been born blind.  It created quite a stir.  The religious authorities denounced Christ for healing on the Sabbath–what “good” Jewish man would “work” on the Sabbath–and go against the Law of Moses?

They did not believe.

The blind man did.

“Jesus heard that they had put him out, and finding him, He said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?”

He answered, “Who is He, Lord, that I may believe in Him?”

Jesus said to him, “You have both seen Him, and He is the one who is talking with you.”

And he said, “Lord, I believe.”  And he worshipped Him.

And Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, so that those who do not see may see, and that those who see may become blind.”

Those of the Pharisees who were with Him heard these things and said to Him, “We are not blind too, are we?

Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no sin; but since you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”  John 9:35-41

Lord God, there are many who have yet to see You as Lord and Savior.  I pray that through the preaching of your Word, the Holy Spirit might open the eyes of the blind and create faith.  Thank you for opening my eyes and taking me out of the darkness of my own sin through the water and Word of Baptism and for continuing to give me spiritual eyes to see Your Truth.  I give you all glory and praise–Father, Son and Holy Spirit!  Amen.

 

 

Be Still – A Quote For Monday — Martha L Shaw – Poet, Writer, Artist

“Being still doesn’t mean don’t move.  It means move in peace.”  By E’yen A. Gardner
This is a wonderful quote for the start of a new week!  God’s blessings!

Originally posted on Martha L Shaw – Poet, Writer, Artist: Being still does not mean don’t move. It means move in peace. – E’yen A. Gardner –

via Be Still – A Quote For Monday — Martha L Shaw – Poet, Writer, Artist

Lost and Found

Matt Dalrymple crosses

Image by Matt Dalrymple

Country lost in the red white and blue

Too many people walking in the shades of gray to notice colors bright

Beckoning eyes to see beyond hatred

And prejudice

To truly see in those around them those whom God has created.

 

Country lost in the red white and blue

Desperately seeking peace and prosperity

In the promises of mere men

Who stand before them

As answers to their empty pockets and empty souls.

 

Country lost in the red white and blue

Look to the One

Who alone provides for sparrows as well as kings.

Whose Wisdom reaches down from the Heavens

Whose love and mercy never end.

 

Country lost in the red white and blue

See the Cross where the Savior bled

And appeared abandoned by one and all.

The weak resignation

Belied the power wherein

The Son of God battled with sin and death and the evil one

And won

Freedom for the red white and blue

For all who believe that “greater is He who is within us

Than he who is in the world.”

Our God reigns

No matter the color of the flag

No matter the left or the right

No matter whether you believe or not

Our God reigns

And will keep the world spinning until

He comes again.

 

 

Like A Little Child

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA“Therefore it is for the children. The child is small and knows he is small (that is all that Jesus singles out in the child; He says nothing of his innocence, loveliness, or charm); the child is always looking up to persons greater than he; he cannot ever forget how small he is, and he has not yet learned to deceive himself into the belief that he is as big as anybody. The child receives. Children are the world’s best askers and beggars; they are the world’s best accepters of gifts and receivers of presents. – The finest characterization of our Lutheran Confessions is Schlink’s, who says that they breathe the air of child’s delight at having received a gift. “Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” “Humble himself” – a child does not make himself smaller than he is; he knows how small he actually is. That is why turning, being converted, is a turning to childhood. That is why greatness comes to the childlike. The emptiest receives most; only he will be great for whom “greatness” has lost all meaning, for whom only God is great, as only God is good. God is Creator, and he works ex nihilo. He puts Himself into selfless lives; He pours the wine of His gladness into empty cups; He fills empty hands; He justifies the ungodly and raises the dead. When the brazen idol of our greatness has melted before the blaze of God’s greatness and lies a little pool to reflect God’s glory and the glory of our lord Jesus Christ, then we shall have begun to be Christians, then we have become at least apprentice theologians.” ~Martin Franzmann

Lord God, from whom all blessings flow and fill us with undeserved goodness, mercy and love, we give you thanks and praise. As we begin this week may we remember the goodness that flowed from your Son’s pierced side, the mercy extended to all mankind, and the everlasting love spoken “Forgive them.”  May we walk as your beloved children and be found faithful in all that we do and say to the glory of Your Holy Name.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Oh Give Thanks!

 

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Photo by Laura Jostes

“Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love         endures forever!

Let those who fear the Lord say, ‘His steadfast love endures forever.’

Out of my distress I called on the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.

The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me?

The Lord is on my side as my helper; I shall look in triumph on those who hate me.

It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in man.  It is better to take refuge in the Lord than to trust in princes.

All nations surround me; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!  They surrounded me, surrounded me on every side; in the name of the Lord I cut them off!

They surrounded me like bees; they went out like a fire among thorns; in the name of the Lord I cut them off! I was pushed hard, so that I was falling but the Lord helped me.

The Lord is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Glad songs of salvation are in the tents of the righteous.

‘The right hand of the Lord does valiantly, the right hand of the Lord exalts, the right hand of the Lord does valiantly!’

I shall not die, but live, and recount the deeds of the Lord.  The Lord has disciplined me severely, but he has not given me over to death.

Open to me the gates of righteousness, that I may enter through them and give thanks to the Lord. this is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter through it.

The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the Lord’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.

This is the day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.

Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! We bless you from the house of the Lord.

The Lord is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us.

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.

Oh give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever!

~Psalm 118

Lord God, Heavenly Father your mercies are new each and every morning.   Thank you for keeping us this past night from all harm and danger and we pray that you would keep us also this day in your watchful care.  With the Psalm writer we give you thanks and praise for the salvation of our souls through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  May we live this day in humble gratitude showing love and mercy to those around us.  We especially pray for all the people of this world who are displaced because of war and persecution.  Please grant them refuge and safety.  Please give wisdom to the leaders of this world that they may make God pleasing decisions in response to the many crises that they face.  Above all, may your love and mercy be shown to all those in need that they may know you as their Salvation.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.