January 19 A Sowing Lesson

Photo by Praisaeng/FreeDigital Photos.net

Photo by Praisaeng/FreeDigital

Genesis 39:1-41:16;  Matthew 12:46-13:23;  Psalm 17:1-15;  Proverbs 3:33-35

“Hear then the parable of the sower:  When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what has been sown in his heart.  This is what was sown along the path.  As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy, yet he has no root in himself, but endures for a while, and when tribulations or persecutions arises on account of the word, immediately he falls away.  As for what was sown among the thorns, this is the one who hears the word, but the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and it proves unfruitful.  As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it.  He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Matthew 13:18-23

* * * * *

Sow and pray

that God’s Word

will have effect

on those we meet

this day.

Sow and pray

for Jesus’ sake.

Sow among your family and friends,

in the workplace,

the marketplace,

concert halls and soccer arenas,

at dance lessons,

funeral homes,

by the sick’s bedside,

 a baby’s bassinet.

God desires His Word of Salvation

to be scattered throughout

the world

until He comes


for Harvest.

Lord God, you are not picky about where your seed–your Word–is sown.  You don’t wait until the fields are cleared of rocks–or until people “get their act together.”  You throw your seed into spiritually “hostile” fields –into universities, think tanks, halls of alternative lifestyles, gambling pits, night clubs, mission fields near and far.  Lord, we pray that your Word will take root wherever it is sown. Continue to nourish our faith through the reading and acting upon your Holy Word and to continue sowing it all around us.  In Jesus’ name, Amen. 

“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life.  He does not come into judgement, but has passed from death to life.”  John 5:24


August 29 Living Letters

Art by James Donaldson

Art by James Donaldson

Job 31:1-33:33; 2 Corinthians 3:1-18;  Psalm 43:1-5;  Proverbs 22:8-9

“You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody.  You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence as this is ours through Christ before God.

Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves,

but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant–not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.”

2 Corinthians 3:2-6


God send us out as living


with the message

of the Spirit’s

power to

infuse faith

and change the way

we act,




to the world around us.

Send us out as living letters

spelling out




and kindness

to those we meet.

We may have

run on sentences,

misspelled words

or incorrect grammar,

but the message will be the same:

“For God so loved the world,

that He gave His only Son

that whosoever believes in him,

will never die,

but have everlasting life.”

John 3:16

Send us, Lord.

Signed, Sealed and

Delivered by You.



October 19 Saturday Reflection


Photo by Kevin Carden

Jeremiah 33:1-34:34:22;  1 Timothy 4:1-16;  Psalm 89:1-13;  Proverbs 25:23-24

” I will sing of the Lord’s great love forever;  with my mouth I will make your faithfulness known through all generations.  I will declare that your love stands firm forever, that you established faithfulness in heaven itself.”  Psalm 89:1-2


What a beautiful thought for a Saturday reflection!


“Oh give thanks unto the Lord, for He is good and His mercy endures forever!”


Lots of teams will play today

and cheer them on, we will.

Some will win and some will lose.

We support them either way.


And cheer we will for our Gracious Lord

whose faithfulness we praise.

Who’s YES to us

gave us life

when we could not save ourselves.


Many seek after other gods

wanting to appease

to work

to earn a place,

to prove themselves worthy

of eternal grace.


Our God through Christ

sought us

and found us

and did what we could not do.

Lived a perfect life

and died a death

we’d never dare to do.


Father, Son and Holy Spirit

Three in one Trinity

gave to us,

 won for us

our place eternally.

Lord God,  thank you for calling us to be on Your team through faith.  We didn’t have to try out, spend years training, or meet specific standards to receive your grace.  You called us to faith, sealed us with the Holy Spirit, and equipped us to live as redeemed people of God.   May Your name be praised!  Amen

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

August 28 Heaven Scent


Job 28:1-30:31;  2 Corinthians 2:12-17;  Psalm 42:1-11;  Proverbs 22:7

“But, thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere.  For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.”  2 Corinthians 2:14-16

What smell do you identify as being delightful–even heavenly?

Chanel No. 5?  A freshly mown hayfield?  A loaf of bread still warm from the oven?  A newborn’s fuzzy head?  Saddle leather and horse hide?

 My favorite is the latter.  The smell of horses evokes strong memories of many pleasurable hours of riding in the Texas and Kansas countrysides.

The Apostle Paul reminds the Corinthians that as believers we all cast a fragrance lovely to God.  As we live out our Christian faith day by day we spread the fragrance of hope, love and redemption through Christ our Lord.  His sacrifice of his body and blood on the Cross was the sweet smelling sacrifice that appeased our Holy God.

Jesus was Heaven’s Scent.

Lord God Heavenly Father, thank you for sending the perfect, once- for- all sacrifice, your dear Son, whose death broke open the bottle of the best perfume ever–Salvation No. 1.  May we never take His sacrifice for granted–a sacrifice that covered the stench of all our sins and now perfumes us with His righteousness.  Grant that we always be ready to give account for Heaven’s scent–the Gospel of our Lord and Savior.  In His name we pray, Amen.

“I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.” Romans 12:1

August 20 Love Trumps

ImageEsther 8:1-10:3;  1 Corinthians 12:27-13:13;  Psalm 37:1-11;  Proverbs 21:23-24

Like the immature spiritual children they were, the Corinthian Christians compared their “gifts.”  They may have sounded like this:  “I’ve got the gift of tongues!”  “But, hey, I’ve got the gift of faith–I just moved a mountain!”  “Well…my gift of prophecy trumps that.  I KNOW the secrets of the mysteries!”  (They wish….)

St. Paul quiets the “kids” (and us)  and gently tells them (and us)–“And now I will show you the most, excellent way.”  1 Corinthians 12:27

“Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil, but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.  Love never fails.”  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

The Giver of this gift–of love–lived love, died love, rose love–for us.  So we, through faith, can live in love–like Him.

Seek Him.  Seek love.  Live the gift He gives!

God’s love trumps all.

Lord Jesus, You are love incarnate.  Your entire life was lived in perfect love.  Whatever you said and did was done in love.  Your love changed lives then, and your love changes lives today.  Forgive us for the many times we have failed to walk in your love; have failed to love you with all our heart, soul, mind and strength; have failed to love our neighbors our ourselves.  May we who have known your love walk in love today.  May the works of our hands and the words of our mouths reflect the life changing love of you, our Lord and Savior.  In your Name we pray, Amen.

“And now these three remain:  Faith, hope and love.  But the greatest of these is love.”  1 Corinthians 13:13

August 6 If

Ezra 3:1-4:24;  1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4;  Psalm 28:1-9;  Proverbs 20:24-25

For the next week I am going to “take a break” because I’m having lots of company and need to be a gracious hostess!  I’ll continue to post the daily bible readings from the One Year Bible, but I will draw from a wonderful little book by Amy Carmichael called “If”.  I pray that her words will speak to your heart as they do to mine.   Blessings!

“IF I have not the patience of my 

Savior with souls who grow


if I know little of travail (a sharp

and painful thing) till Christ be

fully formed in them,

then I know nothing of Calvary love.”

August 5 Cross Talk


Art by Matt Dalrymple

Ezra 1:1-2:70;  1 Corinthians 1:18-2:5;  Psalm 27:7-14;  Proverbs 20:22-23

“For the message of the Cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.”  1 Corinthians 1:18

PhD scholars,

Mensa members,

Valedictorians and Rhode Scholars,

Nobel Peace Prize winners.

Do I live by their words day by day?

Words from the wise of this world

won’t heal my sin broken heart.

More books, more classes,

more seminars and degrees,

more formulas for successful living

still left me hungry

and wanting more.

Until I heard the cross talk,

the language of love,



The cross spoke of a God who cared–

who became one of us

to die for us,

to bridge the gap between

Heaven and Earth.

“It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God, that is our righteousness, holiness and redemption.”  1 Corinthians 1:30

Lord God Heavenly Father, thank you for bringing your wisdom into my life-for the cross talk that saved me.  Thank you for Jesus–the reason why the cross had something to say, not only to me but to all the world.  I pray, Lord, that more people will hear the cross talk and come to faith in you.  May we willingly appear “foolish” so that your Wisdom may heal the broken hearts in this world.  We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.


July 28 Unsearchable


Photo by Steve Jostes


2 Chronicles21:1-23:21;  Romans 11:13-36;  Psalm 22:1-18;  Proverbs 20:7

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge

of God!

How unsearchable his judgements,

and his paths beyond tracing out!

“Who has known the mind of the Lord?

Or who has been his counselor?”

“Who has ever given to God,

that God should repay him?”

For from him, and through him and to

him are all things.

To him be the glory forever!  Amen”

Romans 11:33-36

The apostle Paul ends his discussion about the faith of the Jews and the Gentiles with the declaration above.   Likewise, amid all the questions we might have about who is saved and who is not and who will be….we can know for sure that– God knows.  In His love and mercy–He knows.  To him be glory now and forever!

Lord God, we humbly come before you acknowledging that YOU are God and that we are NOT.  You alone know the hearts of those around us.  We pray that the Holy Spirit would continue to work through the preaching of your Word to draw people to you.  We pray especially for loved ones–family and friends– who need to hear the Good News of salvation–of your great love for them–that they may be at peace with You.  We ask this in Jesus’ name, Amen.


July 12 Hard


Photo by Suzie Gallagher

1 Chronicles 12:19-14:17;  Romans 1:1-17;  Psalm 9:13-20;  Proverbs 19:4-5


Hard to admit

that I’m no good,

that I’m bad to the core.


Hard to believe

that One so good

would give His life for me.


Hard to deny

the Power of God

to turn my life around.


Hard to contain

the joy and peace

knowing I’ve been called by Him.


“For I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…”  Romans 1:16

Father in Heaven,  you have loved us from the beginning of time.  You have called us by name–out of the darkness of sin and death–into your marvelous light!  May we, like Paul, never be ashamed of the gospel–that the world is in need of a Savior–and that Savior is Jesus.  The gospel doesn’t make sense, but it does have the power to change lives.  Thank you for changing mine!  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen and Amen.


“Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.”  Romans 1:7