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.


Thanksgiving For Christ’s Incarnation

Johann Gerhard’s prayer of thanksgiving to God for becoming a human creature like us:

“Jesus Christ, only mediator and redeemer of the human race, I give thanks to You that in the fullness of time You united Yourself personally to a true human nature and deigned to be born of a virgin (Galatians 4:4).

How great is Your love for Your human creatures that you laid hold not of angels, but of the seed of Abraham (Hebrews 2:16).

How great is the mystery of godliness that You, being true God, desired to become manifest in the flesh (1 Timothy 3:16).

How great is Your mercy, that, descending from heaven for my sake, You endured being born of a virgin (Isaiah 9:6).

For me, a most worthless creature, You, the all-powerful Creator, became man.  For my sake, an abject slave, You, the glorious Lord, clothed Yourself in servile fashion with a body so with flesh You might free flesh (Philippians 2:7).

For me, You were born.  Therefore, whatever heavenly goods You bring with You in Your birth will be mine.

Because You were given to me, so also shall all things be given to me.  My nature is glorified more in You than it was disgraced in Adam through sin.  Because You assumed into the unity of Your person that which was only tarnished by Satan, You truly are flesh of my flesh and bone of my bone (Ephesians 5:30).

You are my brother.  What can you deny me, the person to whom You are most intimately joined by the same essence of flesh and by the feeling of fraternal love?  You are the bridegroom (Matthew 22:2) who, according to the good pleasure of the heavenly Father, bound the human nature to Yourself as a bride by means of a personal covenant.  With a thankful soul, I proclaim and acknowledge that I, too, am invited to the celebration of this marriage.

I am no longer amazed that heaven, earth, sea, and all that is in them were made by God for us because God Himself ordained to become a man for the sake of His human creatures.  Truly, You cannot reject me and turn me away because You  cannot deny that You Yourself are a man and therefore my brother ((2 Timothy 2:13).

You can never forget me because You have engraved me on the palms of Your hands (Isaiah 49:16).

Christ’s communion with humanity daily and continually makes You mindful of me.  You cannot forsake me because You, by the closest bond of the personal union, ordained to join the human nature to Yourself.  Therefore, no matter how much my sins hinder me from coming to You for mercy, the communion of the two natures in Christ will not allow me to be driven away.  I will depend totally on You, the one who totally assumed my humanity.”

From the devotional book, Meditations on Divine Mercy by Johann Gerhard, translated by Matthew C. Harrison.

Praise be to God for keeping His promise to send the Savior who would redeem us from our sin and restore us as His dearly beloved creatures through faith in Jesus Christ, our Brother and Lord!  Amen!




And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”  Luke 1: 46-55
Lord God,

I’m just Mary.

All of my life I’ve listened to stories

of Your miraculous “right arm”

–battles won, babies born to barren women,

seas parted, sick people healed,

the dead brought back to life.

Pondering them fanned my hope

that You are still with my people,

that you still love us and have not forgotten us.

You have not forgotten!

I don’t know what lies ahead,

but I know that You will be with me,

just Mary,

your bondservant,


To You I give all my thanks and praise.


We remember Mary, the mother of God and give thanks for the miracle of motherhood that came to her– a virgin– chosen and blessed.

December 25 And He Did!

Marian Trinidad

Marian Trinidad

Zechariah 8:1-23;  Revelation 16:1-21;  Psalm 144:1-15;  Proverbs 30:29-31

“O Lord, what is man that you care for him,

the son of man that you think of him?

Man is like a breath;

his days are like a fleeting shadow.

Part your heavens, O Lord, and

come down.”

Psalm 143:3-5


Photo by Marian Trinidad

Photo by Marian Trinidad

 “Joy to the world, the Lord is come!

Let earth receive her King!

Let every heart prepare him room

And heav’n and nature sing,

and heav’n and nature sing

and heav’n, and heav’n and

nature sing!”

* * * *

“All glory for this blessed morn

To God the Father ever be;

All praise to you, O Virgin-born,

And Holy Ghost eternally.”

* * * *

Merry Christmas to all those who stop by “What’s The Good Word?” today.

Know that Christmas is all about Jesus

who came down for Heaven just for you!

Blessings ~  Laura

December 24 Night Time Prayer

Photo by Rachel Wilcox

Photo by Rachel Wilcox

Zechariah 6:1-7:14;  Revelation 15:1-8; Psalm 143:1-12; Proverbs 30:24-28

“Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,

for I have put my trust in you.

Show me the way I should go,

for to you I lift up my soul.”

Psalm 143:8

* * * *

Early  morning hours

when all is still

except for thoughts

and fears

and feelings of undoneness,

of lostness,

and aloneness

bang around in my heart

and in my head

turn to me O Lord

and hear my prayer:

Show me your way,

point me in the direction

you have in mind for me.

Let me know your love

in real time,

in down time

in your time.

Give me faith

to see the meaning behind

all the Christmas dazzle

and trust that you

have more for me

besides presents underneath a tree.

Let me see what the Shepherds saw,

the Magi worshiped,

and Mary pondered.

And let me trust You

with my future

and the future of the

ones I love.

For Jesus’ Sake,


* * * *

“For your name’s sake, O Lord,

preserve my life;

in your righteousness, bring me out

of trouble.

In your unfailing love,

silence my enemies;

destroy all my foes,

for I am your servant.”

Psalm 143:11-12

December 23 By My Spirit!

Photo by Ben Branum

Photo by Ben Branum

Zechariah 4:1-5:11;  Revelation 14:1-20;  Psalm 142:1-7;  Proverbs 30:21-23

“This is the word of the Lord to Zerrubabel: ‘Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the Lord of hosts.  Who are you O great mountain?  Before Zerrubabel you shall become a plain.  And he shall bring forward the top stone amid shouts of ‘Grace, grace to it!'”

Zechariah 4:6-7

Around 519 B.C. the prophet, Zechariah, received visions and messages from the Lord who called himself the “Lord of Hosts”.  The title ‘Lord of hosts’ is significant–it refers to someone of military stature who has many under his command.

At this time the Jewish exiles have been allowed to return to their land being released by the Babylonian king, Darius.

The center of Jewish life, the temple, lay in ruins.  Zerrubabel, the civil governor of Judah, is undertaking the restoration project–a daunting assignment considering the memory of the previous, glorious temple that Solomon had built and that looms large in the hearts and minds of the exiles.

This then is the context into which God’s word of encouragement comes to Zerrubabel :  “Not by might, nor by power, but by my Spirit!”

So like God–to use what little we have, to accomplish His work–through “my Spirit”–by spiritual means and not depending on us.

He strengthens our hearts, our hearts, our minds– and moves mountains.  He moves us forward, taking away obstacles in our path, leading us through our times of trouble and challenge.  Above all, He removes the mountains of sin and guilt.  He straightens our path to Him through the death and resurrection of His beloved Son, Jesus Christ.

He is Lord of Hosts–and He will send forth his armies to see us through.

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

These words are a fitting gift from our Lord this Christmas season.

Thank you Lord of Hosts!

“For lo, the days have come to pass

By prophets seen of old.

When down into the circling years

Came Christ as was foretold.

His word of peace shall to the earth

God’s ancient promise bring.

And all who take this gift will hear

The song the angels sing.”~Edmund H. Sears

Lord God, we thank and praise you for your strong words of encouragement. We thank you for surrounding us with your angel hosts, the same hosts who announced to the world “Glory to God in the Highest and on earth peace among those with whom He is pleased” as God’s Son, our Savior, born in Bethlehem lay resting in a manger.  May we keep the focus of Christmas on YOU as we worship and gather with loved ones in the days ahead.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

January 6 Epiphany


Image by Kevin Carden

Genesis 13:5-15:21;  Matthew 5:27-48;  Psalm 6:1-10;  Proverbs 1:29-33

“Because they hated knowledge

and did not choose

the fear of the Lord,

would have none of my counsel

and despised all my reproof,

therefore they shall eat the fruit

of their own devices.

For the simple are killed by their turning away,

and the complacency of fools

destroy them;

but whoever listens to me will

dwell secure and will be at ease,

without dread of disaster.”

Proverbs 1:29-33

Lord God, thank you for sending the Holy Spirit to teach me your ways; to hover above and impart grace and truth and life through faith in your Son, Jesus Christ.  Thank you for taking me to task, for showing me how I fall short of your perfection and in love and compassion how you closed the gap.

This last day of Christmas  I remember your gift to the Three Magi who followed a star to find the Truth, the new King; who realized that the little boy they knelt before was meant for them, too.  You opened their eyes–an Epiphany!  Thank you for opening my eyes, Lord.  Like the Magi, may I respond to what you have revealed.  Grant that I too may follow where you lead.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

January 4 Remembered

Genesis 8:1-10:32;  Matthew 4: 12-25;  Psalm 4:1-8;  Proverbs 1:20-23

“But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals

and the livestock that were with him in the ark,

and sent a wind over the earth

and the waters receded.”

Genesis 8:1


In troubled times, when the rains come down,

or perhaps fail to come,

when patience is sorely tried,

Faith speaks to us, says, “Don’t give up,

hang on for the ride.”

He’ll lift you up above the deep

your soul in Him will keep.

And in His time He’ll set you down,

feet on solid ground.

Just like Noah.

God remembered.

And He’ll remember you.

Lord God, you remembered…Noah… your promise to send a Savior.  We remember these remaining days of Christmas that you remembered… and sent Jesus.  Thank you Lord for remembering!  Grant that this day we remember you and to give you thanks and praise.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen!


He will lift you up, close to the heavens
Feel His embrace rushing down like the rain
Turn up your face and thank your Heavenly Father
For He will lift you up

For He will lift you up

 ~Amanda Stott



December 27 No Christmas Redo


Photo by Tim Lester

Zechariah 10:1-11:17;  Revelation 18:1-24;  Psalm 146:1-10;  Proverbs 30:33

Brand new toys–defective.  Sweater–too small.  Video game–won’t load.

Lots of hype, lots of disappointment.

I ALWAYS asked Santa for a horse–never got one.  Kinda made me mad and lose faith in Santa.

Thank heavens Christmas is more than Santa, more than presents, more than hype that often disappoints.

Christmas is God keeping His promise–one He made to Adam and Eve–to fix the brokenness sin caused.  Jesus–the Reason for the Season– will never need a redo or be ‘returned’.  What He did on the Cross was done once and for all!

“Praise the Lord!

Praise the Lord, O my soul!

I will praise the Lord as long as I live;

I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Put not your trust in princes,

in a son of man, in whom there is no salvation.

When his breath departs, he returns

to the earth;

on that very day his plans perish.

Blessed is he whose help is the God of Jacob,

whose hope is in the Lord his God,

who made heaven and earth,

the sea, and all that is in them,

who keeps faith forever;

who executes justice for the oppressed,

who gives food to the hungry.

The Lord sets the prisoners free;

the Lord opens the eyes of the blind.

The Lord lifts up those who are bowed down;

the Lord loves the righteous.

The Lord watches over the sojourners;

he upholds the widow and the fatherless,

but the way of the wicked he brings to ruin.

The Lord will reign forever,

your God, O Zion, to all generations.

Praise the Lord!

Psalm 146


Lord God Heavenly Father, we give you thanks and praise for your promise kept–for sending your Son, Jesus, the perfect gift, the perfect remedy that we so desperately needed.  Thank you for healing our sin sick soul, for opening our blind eyes, for setting us free.  We need look no further, seek no other for we have all we need in You.  Thank you!  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.


December 25 Merry Christmas!

Brendan Sceroler

Zechariah 8:1-23;  Revelation 16:1-21;  Psalm 144:1-15;  Proverbs 30:29-31

“O Lord, what is man that you care for him, the son of man that you think of him?  Man is like a breath;  his days are like a fleeting shadow…Part your heavens, O Lord, and come down…Reach down your hand from on high;  deliver me and rescue me.”  Psalm 144: 3, 5, 7

He cared to send His very best.  This Christmas remember how He parted the heavens, reached down his hand and sent us a Deliverer who saved us– lightweights, mere breaths, shadows.  Our lives are lighter than a snowflake, but in Christ we have the weight, the permenance of Heaven in our hearts.  To Him be all honor, glory, and praise!

Lord God, may the true meaning of Christmas shine in our hearts this day.  As we give and receive gifts, let us remember you are the greatest gift of all.  Thank you for coming to save us, to be our Deliverer!  Thank you!  In the name of Jesus, the Savior of the world, Amen!