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!



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.


The Good News of God’s Promises

Concordia Seminary Campus, Photo by Laura Jostes

Concordia Seminary Campus, Photo by Laura Jostes

There’s not been much activity on this blog site for the last 10 weeks as I’ve been engrossed in deaconess studies at Concordia Seminary.  I’m coming up for air now that I’m only one paper, one project and one test away from completing the Fall Quarter.  It’s been a blessing to be in class with so many who desire to serve in a professional church work capacity. I’ve taken three courses:  Intro. to Historical Theology, Intro. to Biblical Hermeneutics and Lutheran Mind (doctrine).  I want to share with you the following entry written by our Seminary President, Dr. Dale Meyer, on his daily blog The Meyer Minute.  In it you will find a wonderful summary of my class Lutheran Mind as he talks about the promises of God.  May you hear, today, the Good news, that God forgives all your sins through his Son Jesus Christ!  God’s blessings!   ~ Laura

“I was going through my books, tossing some I don’t need. For a book lover, that’s hard. Anyway, I came across “Every Mother’s Nightmare” by Charles Bosworth. It describes a savage attack on Stacy, the teenaged daughter of Jude Govreau and on Mari Winzen’s three-year-old son Tyler. Stacy was babysitting Tyler when an intruder broke in and brutally murdered the children. This book didn’t get tossed; it was a significant moment in my life.

I met Jude when she appeared on a TV program I was hosting, “On Main Street.” The program explored the dimensions and benefits of faith in life. When I asked Jude how that indescribably horrible experience impacted her faith, she answered, “It took it away.” I can understand that.

We’ve all had experiences that weakened, maybe took away warm and fuzzy thoughts about God. In the Bible the word “faith” has two aspects. One is our feelings toward God. Nothing wrong with that. How many of us tear up when we worship on Christmas or Easter? That’s our emotions, our feelings; it’s subjective. But in the Bible there is another aspect to faith, and in fact it’s even more important than how we’re feeling about God. This aspect is objective, not subjective. It is outside of us, external, not within us, internal. This other aspect of faith wasn’t born in us, as our feelings are, but this other aspect of faith comes to us from outside, totally from outside of us. This fundamental aspect of faith is the promises of God to us in Jesus Christ. When our feelings toward God are weakened because life is hard, sometimes brutal, God’s promises to us in Jesus Christ cannot be weakened because they’re from God who never changes and is true to His word.

You can understand the Bible as a book of God’s promises, played out in the lives of ancient people and offering you instruction, correction, and encouragement. Indeed, that’s the fundamental aspect of faith, hanging onto the promises, especially when everything is pummeling our good feelings about God. “If we are faithless, he remains faithful—for he cannot deny himself” (2 Timothy 2:13). More than any other book, the Bible is for keeping…and using.”

Changeless Love

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“I lift up my eyes to the hills.

From where does my help come?

My help comes from the Lord,

who made heaven and earth.

He will not let your foot be moved;

he who keeps you will not slumber.

Behold, he who keeps Israel

will neither slumber nor sleep.

The Lord is your keeper;

the Lord is your shade on

your right hand.

The sun shall not strike you by day,

nor the moon by night.

The Lord will keep you from all evil;

he will keep your life.

The Lord will keep your going out

and your coming in

from this time forth and forevermore.”

Psalm 121

* * * * *

If you but trust in God to guide you

And place your confidence in Him,

You’ll find him always there beside you

To give you hope and strength within.

For those who trust God’s changeless love

Build on the rock that will not move.

~Georg Neumark, 1621-81

Lord God, through Your Son Jesus Christ, we have confidence that You are always with us and hear our prayers.  Be with us today with all of its challenges, joys and struggles.  May we at the end of this day give you all thanks and praise for Your faithfulness.  In Your dear Son’s name we pray, Amen.

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