About lljostes

I'm an oldest, married to an oldest, the mother of three grown sons. I like to think, to reflect, to ponder, to pray, to capture God's beauty in words and in photographs and to share them here--in the blogosphere. Thanks for stopping by!

“In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.”

Psalm 4:8

“I thank you, my Heavenly Father, through Jesus Christ, Your dear Son, that You have kept me this night from all harm and danger; and I pray that You would keep me this day also from sin and every evil, that all my doings and life may please You. For into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things. Let Your holy angel be with me, that the evil foe may have no power over me. Amen.”       ~ Luther’s Morning prayer

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Prayer

“If someone wants to describe adequately the usefulness of pious, earnest prayer, he will, in my opinion, surely find a beginning more easily than a conclusion.  Pious prayer offered in faith is familiar conversation with God.  It is a salutary remedy to all the difficulties of life.

It is the key to heaven and the door to paradise.  It shows us how much we depend on God, and it is a ladder of ascension to God.  It is a shield for our defense and a faithful messenger of the ambassador.

It is the refreshment in the heat of misfortune;  it is medicine during illness.  It is a winch, drawing us to heaven, and a vessel that draws water from the font of divine kindness.

It is a sword against the devil and a defense against misfortune.  It is a wind that blows away evil and brings earthly benefits.

It is a nurse that nurtures virtues an conquers faults.  It is a great fortification for the soul and gives free access to God.  It is a spiritual feast and a heavenly delicacy…”

Johann Gerhard goes on to include even more thoughts about prayer and concludes that there are four truths on which our certainty upon prayer rests:  “God’s omnipotent kindness; God’s unfailing truthfulness; Christ’s intercession as our mediator; and the Holy Spirit’s testimony.”

“Lord, teach us to pray,”

His disciples said–

Fill our hearts,

may we be led

to trust You solely

and be fed

with Heavenly food.

Word and bread and wine,

Body, Blood and Promise sure

never ending to receive.

Amen. Lord.  Amen!

 

 

 

 

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

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.