That’s What God Does!

“I will refresh the weary and satisfy the faint.” (Jeremiah 31:25)

He restores my soul.”   (Psalm 23:3)

Try as I might I just couldn’t pull myself out of the deepening grip of anxiety and sense of being “spent” earlier this week.  Deep breathing exercises, mindfulness suggestions, spending time walking in a park.  Didn’t work.  I mentioned this to a friend in an email.  And she ‘heard’ my struggle to upright myself.  She sensed that I was tiring of treading– to keep my head above water.  First, came a return email with several songs whose words spoke to my sore soul.  Then came a phone call to say that she would be bringing over some meals for our family later in the week.  And finally came a spoken prayer asking our Savior Jesus Christ to be my strength and my protection from the fiery arrows of doubt and hopelessness shot by our adversary, the Prince of this world, Satan.  God kept His Word to me.  He refreshed my weary and fainting soul.  He restored my weakened body and spirit using a faithful, Christian friend who provided what I needed to finish out the week.  Thanks be to God for this good neighbor who responded to the Holy Spirit’s nudge to reach out to me in a time of need.

“We love because He first loved us.” (1 John 4:19)

Even If https://g.co/kgs/8e9Jjh

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Trust

Bryan Switolski

“In God, my faithful God,

I trust when dark my road;

Great woes may overtake me,

Yet He will not forsake me.

My troubles He can alter;

His hand lets nothing falter.”

~Lutheran Service Book 745 vs. 1

 

Faith

image by karina-lopez

“The great art and power of faith consist in seeing that which is not seen and in not seeing that which is nonetheless felt, aye, which oppresses and depresses a person; just as unbelief sees only what it feels and does not at all like to cling to that which it does not feel.

Therefore, God does not confront faith with trivial things but with such things as all the world cannot bear, like death, sin, the world and the devil.  For all the world is not able to stand up against death but flees from it, is frightened by it, and is overpowered by it.  But faith stands fast and battles with death, which devours all the world,  and gains the victory over it and devours the insatiable devourer of human life.”  ~Martin Luther

“This is the victory that overcomes the world, even our faith.”  1 John 5:4

Lord God, to you we look when troubles come our way, not to place blame on you for causing them, but to know that you are with us in the midst of them.  You, who spared not your only Son, but watched as He bled and died on the cross and then raised Him from death to life, be our strength when we are weak and fearful.  Thank you for the gift of faith that sees  mercy in mayhem, peace in paradox, and truth in tragedy.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 

 

Come Holy Ghost

fire-dove

Come, Holy Ghost, our souls inspire,

Ignite them with celestial fire;

Spirit of God,

You have the art

Your gifts,

the sev’nfold, to impart.

Your blest out pouring from above

Is comfort, life, and fire of love.

Illumine with perpetual light

the dullness of our blinded sight.

Anoint and cheer our much-soiled face

With abundance of your grace.

Keep far our foes;

gives peace at home;

Where you guide us,

no ill can come.

Teach us to know the Father, Son,

And you, of both, to be but one

That, as the ceaseless ages throng,

Your praise may be our endless song!

~words written by Rhabanus Maurus, 776-856 A.D.

Lord God, may the Spirit continue to move in us today animating our words and actions with the truth of Your love and grace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Who Is Like the Lord Our God?

photo by Seminary staff

“Praise the Lord!

Praise, O servants of the Lord,

praise the name of the Lord!

Blessed be the name of the Lord

from this time forth and forevermore!

From the rising of the sun to its setting,

the name of the Lord is to be praised!

The Lord is high above all nations,

and his glory above the heavens!

Who is like the Lord our God,

who is seated on high,

who looks down

on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust

and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

and makes them sit with princes,

with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home,

making her the joyous mother of children.

Praise the Lord!

Last night was graduation from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  I stood with my fellow graduates thankful for God’s faithfulness to all of us for seeing us through our seminary training–for me as a deaconess and the rest as future pastors.  We serve the Lord our God who does the impossible for the poor, the needy and the barren.   Just as we have been raised up and made to bear fruit by the power of the living God through the Holy Spirit we give thanks and praise to the Lord our God.  Who is like Him?

No one even comes close!

Lord God, thank you for the privilege of being called your servant.  Have mercy on me and grant me grace to faithfully serve and love others in Your most Holy Name.  For Jesus’ sake I pray, Amen.

 

Celebrate Epiphany!!

“Now after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea in the days of Herod the king, magi from the east arrived in Jerusalem, saying, “Where is He who has been born King of the Jews?  For we saw His star in the east and have come to worship Him.”  When Herod heard this, he was troubled, and all Jerusalem with him.  Gathering together all of the chief priests and scribes of the people, he inquired of them where the Messiah was to be born.  They said to him, “In Bethlehem of Judea for his is what has been written by the prophet:  ‘And you, Bethlehem, Land of Judah, are by no means least among leaders of Judah;  for out of you shall come forth a ruler who will shepherd My people Israel….After coming into the house they saw the Child with Mary His mother; and they fell to the ground and worshipped Him.  Then, opening their treasures they presented to Him gifts of gold, frankincense and myrrh.”  Matthew 2:1-6, 11.

Thank You Heavenly Father for revealing Your Son, the King of Kings, to all the world.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Looking Ahead

Lauren Boebinger

Image by Lauren Boebinger

“Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit, says the Lord of hosts.”  Zechariah 4:6

 

Centerline New Media

Image by Centerline New Media

“Fear God and give Him glory, because the hour of His judgment has come, and worship Him who made heaven and earth, the sea and the springs of water.”  Revelation 14:7

 

Zach Fonville plans

Image by Zach Fonville

 

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.”

At Christmas we remember You, Jesus, coming humbly in human form.  You were totally dependent on Your mother and earthly father to provide for your needs.  Your almighty power was limited to human abilities–for a time–so that You might accomplish for us our Salvation.  BUT—You are coming again in great glory and might and power and exaltation! Lord, we pray that You would keep us in the true faith until that great day.  To You be all glory and praise, now and forever!  In Your name we pray, Amen.