Love Link

Image by Khya Barkema

Image by Khya Barkema

Jesus prays to His Father in Heaven….

“Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.  O, righteous Father, even the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”  John 17:24-26

* * * * *

As believers, we are indelibly linked to those first disciples who knew Jesus first hand, who heard His words–words given to Him by His Father in Heaven–and believed!

* * * * *

And His love received from His Father flowed from Christ to His disciples–and flows down to us today.  We are linked to one another in that same love no matter what denomination or church affiliation –we are all united into Christ through His Word, His Love.

* * * * *

The world cannot see this large, holy temple of the living God surrounding the globe with faithful hearts and praise, who confesses that Jesus Christ is Lord of all, but it can see you and me.  May we show the love of God today!

* * * * *

God grant protection and strength to Your Holy temple of living stones this day.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Church of God, elect and glorious

Holy nation, chosen race;

Called as God’s own special people,

Royal priests and heirs of grace:

Know the purpose of your calling

Show to all His mighty deeds;

Tell of love that knows no limits

Grace that meets all human needs.

* * * * *

Church of God, elect and holy,

Be the people He intends;

Strong in faith and swift to answer

Each command your Master sends:

Royal priests, fulfill your calling

Through your sacrifice and prayer;

Give your lives in joyful service–

Sing His praise, His love declare.

~James E. Seddon


April 11 To Follow Jesus

Photo by Julie Ayers

Photo by Julie Ayers

Joshua 3:1-4:24;  Luke 14:7-35;  Psalm 80:1-19;  Proverbs 5:1-7:15

“Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them he said, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters–yes, even his own life–he cannot be my disciple.  And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple.

* * * * *

“Suppose one of you wants to build a tower.  Will he not first sit down and estimate the cost to see if he has enough money to complete it?  For it he lays the foundation and is not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule him, saying, ‘This fellow began to build and was not able to finish.’

* * * * *

“Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king.  Will he not first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand?  If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace.  In the same way, any of you who does not give up everything he has cannot be by disciple.”

Luke 14:25-33

* * * * *

Jesus asks for the impossible.

Hate others to follow him?

Hate my own life to follow him?

Carry a cross, a death sentence

to follow him?

Give up everything that is precious

and dear,

of great worth to me

to follow him?

* * * * *

Jesus knows a bit about giving

up things dear to him–

Jesus, “who, although He existed in the form

of God, did not regard equality with God

a thing to be grasped,

but emptied Himself,

taking on the form of a bond-servant

and being made in the likeness of men.

And being found in appearance as a man,

He humbled Himself by becoming obedient

to the point of death,

even death on a cross.

Therefore, God has highly exalted Him,

and bestowed on Him the name which

is above every name,

that at the name of Jesus

every knee should bow, of those who are in heaven and on earth and under the earth,

and every tongue confess

that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.”

Philippians 2:6-11

* * * **

Because Jesus took up the cross to fulfill

his mission of redeeming mankind

we are now able through faith

to do the same,

to carry our cross

to the glory of our Lord

Jesus Christ!

Lord God, you call us to follow you and you provides the means to do so–our faith.  Thank you for this precious gift that fills our hearts with gratitude and with the desire to follow you no matter what the cost.  Thank you for enabling us through the power of Your Word and the Holy Spirit to say no to things of this world and to say yes to the things that mean the most to you–loving you and loving one another.  Praising you with Easter joy!  Amen.

March 6 Trusting Now

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert, compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“We trusted” (Luke 24:21).

I have always felt so sorry that in that walk to Emmaus the disciples had not said to Jesus, “We still trust”; instead of “We trusted.”  That is so sad–something that is all over.

If they had only said, “Everything is against our hope;  it looks as if our trust was in vain, but we do not give up;  we believe we shall see Him again.”  But no, they walked by His side declaring their lost faith, and He had to say to them, “O fools, and slow of heart to believe.”

Are we not in the same danger of having these words said to us?  We can afford to lose anything and everything if we do not lose our faith in the God of truth and love.

Let us never put our faith, as these disciples did, in a past tense–“We trusted.”  But let us ever say, “I am trusting.”   From CRUMBS

The soft, sweet summer was warm and glowing,

Bright were the blossoms on every bough:

I trusted Him when the roses were blooming;

I trust Him now….

* * * * *

Small were my faith should it weakly falter

Now that the roses have ceased to blow;

Frail were the trust that now should alter,

Doubting His love when storm clouds grow.

~The Song of a Bird in a Winter Storm

Lord God, like the disciples on the road to Emmaus, when we are clouded with grief or fear, we too are tempted to doubt your presence.  Forgive us Lord.  Strengthen our faith through your Word of Promise that You will never leave us nor forsake us no matter what storm threatens and help us always to cling to You and You alone.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.

“I am trusting You Lord Jesus

Trusting Only You

Trusting You for full salvation

Free and true.”

~ Frances Havergal

February 9 True Rest

Image by Kyle Wright

Image by Kyle Wright

Exodus 29:1-30:10;  Matthew 26:14-46;  Psalm 31:19-24;  Proverbs 8:14-26

“Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemene, and he said to them, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray”.  And taking with him, Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, he began to be very sorrowful.  Then he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.  Remain here and watch with me…

And he came to his disciples and found them sleeping…

And he came to them again and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy…

Then he came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on.  See the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.”

Matthew 26:36-46

* * * * *

Caught sleeping

heavy eyes

betray them

devoted disciples

close their eyes

to their Lord’s

bent frame,

his tears,

his sorrow.

(Haven’t we done the same?)

* * * * *

Little  do they know

that soon

sleep will evade them

when scenes of torture

and death

play over and over

in their minds

and their hearts


their cowardly


* * * * *

They will long for sleep,

but its gift of refreshment

won’t come again


they see their risen Lord,

touch him,

eat with him,

walk with him,

and know that they

are forgiven.

* * * * *

Our Lord never slumbers,

He never sleeps.

When life’s troubles

chase sleep from

our eyes

He’s there to remind us

that He, too prayed

and wept bitter tears;

that He conquered

enemies of darkness;

that He brings sleep to those

who trust in Him.

* * * * *

Jesus promises to sustain us

even when sleepless nights come.

He knows.

He saw from the Cross

our humanness,

our weakness,

our sins.

He stayed awake

long enough to say,

“It is finished!”

Lord Jesus, thank you for staying awake for us.  For not succumbing to fear.  For offering your very body and blood as the atoning sacrifice for our sins on the Cross.  In our weakness, Lord, hear our prayers and give us your strength to remain awake and vigilant when trials and temptations come our way.  Help us to remember that You were victorious over sin, death and the devil and that through faith, we are too!  May we find our rest in you this day.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

“Be strong, and let your heart take courage,

all you who wait for the Lord.”

Psalm 31:24

January 15 Sending Words

Image by Collette Varanouskas

Image by Collette Varanouskas

Genesis 31:17-32:12;  Matthew 10:26-11:6;  Psalm 13:1-6;  Proverbs 3:16-18

“So do not be afraid of them.  There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known.  What I tell you in the dark, speak in the daylight;  what is whispered in your ear, proclaim from the roofs.  Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul.  Rather be afraid of the One who can destroy both body and soul in hell.  Are not two sparrows sold for a penny?  Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs of your head are numbered.  So, don’t be afraid;  you are worth more than many sparrows.”  Matthew 10:26-31

* * * * *

Child of mine

I send you forth

my message to proclaim.

What I speak to you behind closed doors,

in the quiet of the morn

proclaim aloud with no restraint,

hold nothing back–

I’ve got your back.

* * * *

Child of mine

as you go forth

my message to proclaim

not everyone will listen,

some hearts will grow cold

and hard.

You may be hurt,

your body destroyed,

yet faith keeps you

alive in Me.

Nothing can separate you from

my love.

So fear not,

fear not,

fear not–

you mean the world to me.

Lord Jesus, you sent your disciples into the mission field with three “fear nots”.  You knew they would be afraid because you knew the enemy they were up against.  You send us forth with three strong fear nots, for we too face the world, the devil and our own flesh with fear and trepidation. Help us to remember that your have conquered our foes on the Cross and that one day the final judgement will come.  Keep us firm in our faith and determined to share the Gospel message no matter what the cost.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

January 6 Clear On Love

Photo by Carlos Lerma

Photo by Carlos Lerma

Genesis 13:5-15:21;  Matthew 5:27-28;  Psalm 6:1-10;  Proverbs 1:29-33

“You have heard it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemies!’  I tell you:  “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you that you may be sons of your Father in heaven.  He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.  If you love those who love you, what reward will you get?  Are not even the tax collectors doing that?  And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others?  Be perfect, therefore, as your heavenly Father is perfect.”  Matthew 5:43-48

Lord God, you demonstrated your great love for us that while we were yet sinners, Christ died on the Cross for us.  Through faith we receive your gracious love and we pass that love onto others;  love that transforms self-centered lives into self-sacrificing lives; love that serves someone entirely different from us.  Help us to remember that all people benefit from your care and that you desire all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the Truth.  Thank you Lord, for your great love!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

June 7 Can’t Stop

Image by Brendon Sceroler

Image by Brendon Sceroler

1 Kings 2:1-3:3;  Acts 5:1-42;  Psalm 125:1-5;  Proverbs 16:25

“The Apostles performed many miraculous signs and wonders among the people…Crowds gathered also from the towns around Jerusalem, bringing their sick and those tormented by evil spirits and all of them were healed.

“Then the high priest and all his associates who were members of the Sadducees were filled with jealousy.  They arrested the Apostles…

“We gave you strict orders to not teach in this name…

“Peter and the other apostles replied, “We must obey God rather than men!”

“When they heard this they wanted to put them to death.   But a Pharisee named Gamaliel stood up and said, “…Leave these men alone!  For if their purpose or activity is of human origin it will fail.  But, if it is from God, you will not be able to stop these men;  you will only find yourselves fighting against God.”

“Then they called the disciples back in and had them flogged.  Then ordered them not to speak in the name of Jesus and let them go…

“Day after day, in the temple courts and from house to house, they never stopped teaching and proclaiming that Jesus is the Christ.”  Acts 5:1-42, select verses

God breathed life into

the first man,

Adam breathed out, breathed in

breathed out

meant to be forever

life without end

in the Garden God created.

Breathe in, breathe out

the life God intended


cut short

met its end

because of man’s sin,

man’s desire to be like God

knowing Good and Evil.

Life interrupted

Breathe in

breathe out…

the still,




If not for God’s promise

it would have been

the forever end.

Life would cease

with one’s last breath.

But Christ breathed

his last on the Cross–


“It is finished!”

The price for sin

paid in full.

Breathe in, breathe out

three days later

Resurrection life

triumphed over the grave.

Christ breathe in, breathed out

and has not ceased to be.

He breathes His breath of life

in me.

I can’t stop–

breathe in, breathe out

the Spirit speaks through me

the message of hope and Salvation

just like the Apostles

breathed in, breathed out

the life giving message–

God’s Word continues.

Nothing can stop it.

His love never ends.

Breathe in, breathe out

and live in Jesus’ name!


Lord God Heavenly Father, thank you for the breath of life given to me through the Water and the Word.  Thank you for the breath of Life given and shed for me for the forgiveness of sins.  May your Spirit continue to breathe through me the message of hope and life through your Son to those who need to hear the Good Word–to hear of your love and forgiveness, grace and mercy–that they may breathe in, breathe out–and live.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

May 24 It’s About Love, Love, Love


Photo by Ales Cerin

2 Samuel 4:1-6:23;  John 13:31-14:14;  Psalm 119:17-32;  Proverbs 15:31-32

“A new command I give you:  Love one another.  As I have loved you, so you must love one another.  By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”  John 13:34-35


“Love, love, love

that’s what it’s all about!

Cause God loves us,

we love each other–

mother, father

sister, brother

Everybody sing and shout

Cause that’s what it’s all about.

It’s about love, love, love.

It’s about love, love, love.”

~Children’s song



we say the word

but can we


the Word

like Jesus?



it’s easy to say

but so

hard to do

like Jesus.


Loving us

meant dying

for us

and He wants

us to do

the same

for others.


even if it means dying

to our own dreams,

our own desires,

our own preferences,

and plans

so that we


the Hands and Feet

and Heart and Mind

of Jesus

to a World

in need of Him.


Love, love, love.

Lord, love the world

through us





May 23 To The End


Image by Kyle Reed

2 Samuel 2:12-3:39;  John 13:1-30;  Psalm 119:1-16;  Proverbs 15:29-30

“Now before the Feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour had come to depart out of this world to the Father, having loved his own who were in the world, he loved them to the end.”  John 13:1


“This is it.

I am the Pascal Lamb

for the world.

My Body and Blood

given for you…

and you…

and you.

Bread and wine


never forget

how much I love you

how I gave my life

for you…

and you…

and you.


This world is not your

forever home.

Where I am, there

you shall also be

with the Father Creator

in Paradise splendor.


My Presence will satisfy

and keep you

to the end.

So, come, take eat,

this is my Body.

Take drink,

this is my Blood

given and shed

for you…

and you…

and you

for the forgiveness

of all your sins.


This is it-

the forever Feast

for those I love

to the end.”

Lord, I am touched by the special mention of how you loved your disciples to the very end.  They were with you from the beginning of your ministry.  They learned and labored and loved right beside you.  And you faithfully loved them in spite of their fears, their insecurities, their pride and their doubts.  I know you will love me to the end as well.  Your gift of your Body and Blood in the Lord’s Supper reminds me of the sacrifice you made so that my sins can be forgiven and of your never ending love for those who call upon your name.  Thank you Lord Jesus for your very Presence in my life when I kneel at the Pascal Table and receive the bread and wine.  In Your Name I pray, Amen.

April 29 Heavenly Thread


Image by Brad Casteneda

Judges 9:22-10:18;  Luke 24:13-53;  Psalm 100:1-5;  Proverbs 14:11-12

“When he led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, he lifted up his hands and blessed them.  While he was blessing them, he left them and was taken up into heaven.  Then they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy.  And they stayed continually at the temple praising God.”  Luke 24:50-53


Blessing and praise

mingled and wove

a never-ending thread

connecting Savior

and Saved,

Ascended Lord and

earth bound disciples.


Temple time, worship time,

close to God time.

It was more that just

an hour or two

on Sunday.

Prayer and worship

linked them to God.


Down through the generations

the never ending thread

weaves it’s way through

the days of our lives.


Blessing and Praise

His Word–our response.

May it continue until the day

of our Lord’s return!

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name.  Thy kingdom come.  Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.  Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.  Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.  For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever!  Amen.

“Shout for joy to the Lord,

all the earth.

Worship the Lord with gladness;

Come before him with joyful songs!”

Psalm 100: 1-2