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.


September 13 Saturday Special

Photos by Laura Jostes

Photos by Laura Jostes

Isaiah 12:1-14:32;  2 Corinthians 13:1-14;  Psalm 57:1-11;  Proverbs 23:9-11

“May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ,

and the love of God,

and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit

be with you all.”

2 Corinthians 13:14


Paul dishes out a beautiful


to his second letter

to the believers in Corinth

who were dealing with some

pretty tough stuff.

Honest and direct,

chastening and


words to help them grow.


Words inspired by the Holy Spirit

from the heart of God

to confront the wrong

and encourage perfection,

unity and peace.

Lord God, as we come together with other believers to receive your Word and to offer you our thanks and praise, worshiping you this weekend, may the blessing of grace, love and fellowship be ours through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  In His name we pray, Amen.


Blessings on your weekend!

“Oh, worship the King

all glorious above.

O gratefully sing

his pow’r and his love;

Our shield and defender,

the Ancient of Days,

Pavilioned in splendor

and girded with praise!

~Robert Grant

September 9 Behind the Masks


Isaiah 3:1-5:30;  2 Corinthians 11:1-15;  Psalm 53:1-6;  Proverbs 22:28-29

     St. Paul writes:  “I promised you to one husband, to Christ, so that I might present you as a pure virgin to him.  But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your pure devotion to Christ.  For if someone comes to you and preaches a Jesus other than the Jesus we preached, or if you receive a different gospel from the one you accepted, you put up with it easily enough…

     For such men are false apostles, deceitful workmen, masquerading as apostles of Christ.  And no wonder, for Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light.  It is not surprising then, if his servants masquerade as servants of righteousness.  Their actions will be what their actions deserve.”  2 Corinthians 11:2-4, 13-15


Lord God, may I always look to your Word for the truth about Jesus and what He has done for me.  Please give me a discerning ear and to ‘test’ the words of others who speak in your Name.  Open my eyes to see behind the masks and to reject all that would claim another way to Heaven.  Thank you for the faith given to me to know you as my Lord and Savior.  Keep me true to You.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen

August 26 Our Comfort

Photo by Megan Isaacson

Photo by Megan Isaacson

Job 20:1-22:30;  2 Corinthians 1:1-11;  Psalm 40:11-17;  Proverbs 22:2-4

“Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.  For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows.”

Our troubles may be big

or they may quite small

but God knows and


and feels


is ready to comfort all

who are afflicted,


tortured in body or mind

or both

for the sake of the gospel.

We hear of the children

who died for their faith

at the end of a sword.

We cry out,

“Lord have mercy!”

God of all comfort,

be with those running

for their lives.

Give them courage,

give them strength,

give them your


For Jesus’ sake,



September 13 This Old House


Isaiah 12:1-14:32;  2 Corinthians 13:1-14;  Psalm 57:1-11;  Proverbs 23:9-11

The goal of the TV program “This Old House” is to restore to usefulness and beauty–an old house.

Based on solid home construction and restoration principles, a home is transformed before our very eyes.  We’re encouraged and equipped with ideas to turn our “old house” into a beautiful home.

Restoration–that was the gist of St. Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.  The conflicts Paul addressed, the way he presented himself, the love and concern he demonstrated, show us the way to handle conflicts that inevitably arise in our family, work and church lives.

Because Paul knew the power of God’s Word to effect change in troubled hearts, he concludes his letter to the Corinthians on an upbeat note:

“Finally brothers, rejoice!  Aim for restoration, comfort one another, agree with one another, live in peace, and the God of love and peace will be with you.  The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.”  2 Corinthians 13:11, 14

God takes our “old houses”, infuses them with His love and grace, then showcases their restored beauty for all the world to see.

Lord God, we rejoice in the hope your Word gives to us through Paul’s letter–that sin and conflict need not destroy Your Church.  We rejoice in the power of the Gospel to cleanse and restore us.  Grant that we may always “aim for restoration, comfort, agree, and live in peace with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.

“I will praise you, O Lord, among the nations.  I will sing of you among the peoples.  For great is your love, reaching to the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the skies.”  Psalm 57:9-10


Photos by Aaron  and Jade E.

August 29 Not About Us


Photo by Lauren Rees


Job 34:1-36:33;  2 Corinthians 4:1-12;  Psalm 44:1-8;  Proverbs 22:10-12

“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.  For God, who said “Let light shine out of darkness” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.”  2 Corinthians 4:5-6

Sometimes we think it’s only those with divinity degrees who can effectively proclaim the Good News of Salvation.  They’ve learned of the art of sermon writing and oratorial delivery. 

In St. Paul’s day, the people in the Corinthian church wanted to be “wowed” with powerful preaching.   Great speeches were highly coveted.

St. Paul, however, spoke the Truth, plainly, humbly–knowing the power of the Word came from the Source–God himself –and not from skillful presentation.

Paul needed no preaching props and neither do we when we have opportunity to share God’s Word with others.  Honest, transparent sharing of God’s Good News can pierce a darkened heart.

It’s not about us–it’s all about Him!  God grant that we be His light-bearers today!

God the Father, light creator,

To You laud and honor be.

To You, Light of Light begotten,

Praise be sung eternally.

Holy Spirit, light revealer,

Glory, glory be to thee.

Mortals, angels, now and ever

Praise the holy Trinity.  Amen

(text byMartin Franzmann)

“In God we make our boast all day long,

and we will praise your name forever.”  Psalm 44:8