My Solid Rock


Photo by M. Jones

“Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, an the winds blew on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.”  Matthew 7:24-25

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness;

No merit of my own I claim

But wholly lean on Jesus’ name.

On Christ the solid rock, I stand;

All other ground is sinking sand.

–My Hope Is Built On Nothing Less

(LSB 575:1)

“Lord of all power and might, author and giver of all good things, instill in our hearts the love of Your name, impress on our minds the teachings of Your Word, and increase in our lives all that is holy and just; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives an reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen”

–Treasury of Daily Prayer

Who or what is your solid rock that supports you when the storms of life blow hard against you?

Battle Ready

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.

Therefore, take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand  in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.

Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth,

and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.

In all circumstances take up the shield of faith,

with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one; and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God, praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication for all the saints, and also for me, that words may be given to me in opening my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains, that I may declare it boldly, as I ought to speak.”

Ephesians 6:10-20

* * * * *

Our Champion goes before us

Victory in His Hands

And we who stand before Him

listen to His commands

To speak His Word of Truth and Grace

In a world that’s in the dark

that would rather quell the News.

Lord give us the same bold Spirit

to speak Your Name aloud.

Grant us Your protection

Give us courage

For Jesus’ sake,


Lord God, in the midst of the spiritual battles of our day–You are with us.  When all around us are people who desire to erase all mention of You from the public arena, give us boldness and discernment and humble hearts.  For all too often our “old Adam” wants to turn his back to you and to go its own way.  Forgive us, Lord, when we fail to walk in Your ways.  Thank you, through Jesus Christ our Lord, that you forgive our sins, and continue to be our Champion.  Equip us this day to be “light” in the world around us, that others may come to know you as the Way and the Truth and the Life.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Triune God, be Thou our stay;

O let us perish never!

Cleanse us from our sins, we pray,

And grant us life forever.

Keep us from the evil one;

Uphold our faith most holy,

And let us trust You soley

With humble hearts and lowly.

Let us put God’s armor on,

With all true Christians running,

Our heavn’ly race and shunning

The devil’s wiles and cunning.

Amen, amen! This be done;

So sing we, Alleluia!”

~Martin Luther

New Beginnings

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“Clap your hands, all peoples!  Shout to God with loud songs of joy!

For the Lord, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth.

He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.

He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves.

God has gone up with a shout, the Lord with the sound of a trumpet.

Sing praises to God, sing praises!  Sing praises to our King,

sing praises!

For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!

God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham.  For the shields of  the earth belong to God;

he is highly exalted!

Psalm 47

Lord God, today is a new beginning for me.  A day that I start a journey of studies and preparation for work as a deaconess.  It is a day of new beginnings for others as well.  May the strong words of this psalm give courage and peace for all of us who are depending on You to see us through.  We give you thanks for the heritage of life in your Son, Jesus Christ.  May we give you honor and glory and praise this day!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.


image by

image by

“The point is this:  whoever sows sparingly will reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully.  Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.  And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.

He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of our our righteousness.

You will be enriched in every way to be generous in every way, which through us will produce thanksgiving to God.”

2 Corinthians 9:6-11

* * * * *

Ellen DeGeneres is generous.

Every day on her show someone in need benefits from her generosity.

And it is usually because Ellen has learned of their generosity or selfless acts.

Recently a school boy who bakes and sells cookies to help support his mom and himself received a car from Ellen.

The audience cheered.

The mom and the boy and Ellen shared a group hug.

Each time that I see this kind of generosity I’m reminded of the greatest act of generosity ever given–that of our Heavenly Father giving His only Son to die for our sins and to give us a brand new life–and we didn’t even do a thing to deserve such a great gift!

God continues to lavish on us His gifts of grace and love and mercy–so much so that it spills over out of our lives to touch the lives of others.

The Corinthian Christians had experienced God’s healing touch and lavish grace within their troubled congregation.  Their outward response was pledging to help the needy saints in Jerusalem.  St. Paul told them God would supply them with all they would need to fulfill that pledge.  Thanksgiving would abound.

How can we be generous with God’s gifts to us this week?

Lord God, your great love for us overflows in all that you do for us.  We thank and praise you for forgiving our sins and making us whole.  May we freely share these good gifts with those around us whether with a good word, a smile, a five dollar bill or a bottle of water.  Let us love and care for others even as we are loved and cared for by you.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“I will praise your  great compassion

Faithful Father, God of grace,

That with all our fallen race

In our depth of degredation

You had mercy so that we

Might be saved eternally.”

~ Johannes Olearius

A personal note:  For the last three years I’ve had the privilege of writing daily devotions on my blog “What’s the Good Word?”  Through this wonderful blogging community I’ve learned much, grown much and cherished the interactions with you. Tomorrow I begin full time studies as a graduate student at Concordia Seminary.  My time for blogging may be at a premium, and I just wanted to let you know that I will still be checking in, but perhaps not as regularly as I have in the past.  May you continue to be in God’s Word daily and let it richly dwell in you.  Let’s stay in touch!   Blessings ~ Laura

Solid in Christ

Image by Suzie Gallagher

Image by Suzie Gallagher

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

Proverbs 22:6

“Now it is God who makes both us and you stand firm in Christ.  He anointed us, set his seal of ownership on us, and put his Spirit in our hearts as a deposit, guaranteeing what is to come.”

2 Corinthians 1:21-22

* * * * *

Comfort words of guarantee

God the Father speaks

to you and me.

Spirit breathes

new life,


and keeps us close.

Even though we stray,

and sin has its way

our Savior

hears our cries,


Such blessed assurance

and promise

for this day!

Lord God,  we give you thanks for your precious word that assures us that we are yours forever, that we stand strong and secure because of the faith you keep alive in our hearts.   Thank you for preserving us in the one true faith.  Grant that we live today in joyful service to you and to those around us, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.

Just One

Image by Marian Trinidad

Image by Marian Trinidad

“There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit.

There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord.

There are different kinds of working, but the same God

works all of them in all men.”

1 Corinthians 12:4-6

* * * * *

Why did St. Paul need to write this to the Christian Corinthians– a Trinitarian reminder that Father, Son and Spirit gift, serve and work in various ways, but  are united–One God?

It’s because they were so divided, hung up on the differences, choosing sides, not seeing themselves as one body of believers with Christ as the Head.  They squabbled over which teacher was the best, what spiritual gift ranked highest, and scrambled for the best seat during mealtimes.  

What a pathetic image this group of Christians made–they who called themselves Christ followers.

But, ouch!

These words of St. Paul, inspired by the Holy Spirit, have endured and reach their mark in my own heart today. They powerfully drive me to my knees where I cry, “Father, forgive me for my own participation in taking sides, pulling rank, and scrambling for status before men.”

And, thankfully, the same grace extended to the Corinthians is the same grace that God extends to me–“You are forgiven, for Jesus’ sake!”

Lord God, thank you for showing us that even as You are united–Father, Son and Holy Spirit–we believers can be united in the one true faith to serve, work, and gift others with your love and mercy.  Help us to always keep our eyes on Jesus–the author and perfecter of our faith.  In His name we pray, Amen.

Lean On Him

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

The hill was steep, but cheered along the way

By converse  sweet, I mounted on the thought

That so it might be till the height was reached;

But suddenly a narrow winding path

Appeared, and then the Master  said, “My child,

Here thou wilt safest walk with Me alone.”

* * * * *

I trembled, yet my heart’s deep trust replied,

“So be it, Lord.”  He took,

my feeble hand

In His, accepting thus my will to yield Him

All, and to find all in Him.

One long, dark moment

and no friend I saw, save Jesus only.

* * * * *

But oh! so tenderly He led me on

And up, and spoke to me such words of cheer,

Such secret whisperings of His wondrous love,

That soon I told Him all my grief and fear,

And leaned on His strong arm confidingly.

And then I found my footsteps quickened,

And light ineffable, the rugged way

Illumined, such light as only can be seen

In close companionship with God.

* * * * *

A little while, and we shall meet again

The loved and lost; but in the rapturous joy

Of greetings, such as here we cannot know,

And happy song, and heavenly embraces,

And tender recollections rushing back

Of pilgrim life, methinks one memory

More dear and sacred than the rest, shall rise

And we who gather in the golden streets,

Shall oft be stirred to speak with grateful love

Of that dark day when Jesus bade us climb

Some narrow steep, leaning on Him alone.

From Streams In the Desert

~ Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding;  in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6