March 13 When I Am Afraid

Image by Nathan Ward

Image by Nathan Ward

Numbers 19:1-20:29;  Luke 1:1-25;  Psalm 56:1-13;  Proverbs 11:8

“When I am afraid,

I will trust in you.

In God, whose word I praise,

in God I trust; I will not be afraid.

What can mortal man do to me?”

Psalm 56:3-4

* * * * *

When my head hits the pillow

after day is done

thoughts hit me

 between the eyes

and keep me awake

as adrenaline


to the tips of my toes

taunting me

to rise

to do

one more thing.

Whose voice do I hear


“you’re not finished yet,

you must’nt sleep,

you’re not done.”

The enemy comes

to steal and destroy

and rob me of much

needed rest.

But, I will speak back

to the voice

and claim my King’s


to “Come to me,

let me carry your burden

this night,

just rest in Me.”

I breathe deep

and listen to His


Peace closes my eyes,

ushers in a good night’s


and gives me strength

for a new day.

* * * * *

“In God, whose word I praise,

in the Lord, whose word I praise–

in God I trust; I will not be afraid.

What can man do to me?”

Psalm 56:10-11

Lord God, in the quiet of the night fear steals into my mind to rob me, tempt me, distract me from your truth.  May your words come to me in the dark, in the deep place of my heart to chase away the lies.  May your word of truth fill me with hope, with rest, with peace.  Let me remember that you are my Shepherd and you lead me beside still waters; you restore my soul.  You give me sleep.  Thank you Lord, for hearing my prayer.  In the name of Jesus I pray, Amen.


March 12 When The Winds Blow


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

“The Lord brought an east wind upon the land all that day, and all that night; and when it was morning, the east wind brought the locusts…Then Pharoah called for Moses and Aaron in haste…And the Lord turned a mighty strong west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the coasts of Egypt.”  Exodus 10:13,16,19

See how in the olden times, when the Lord fought for Israel against the cruel Pharoah, the stormy winds wrought out their deliverance; and yet again, in that grandest display of power–the last blow that God struck at the proud defiance of Egypt.  A strange, almost cruel thing it must have seemed to Israel to be hemmed in by such a host of dangers–in front the wild sea defying them, on either hand the rocky heights cutting off all hope of escape, the night of hurricane gathering over them.  It was as if that first deliverance had come only to hand them over to more certain death.  Completing the terror there rang out the cry: “The Egyptians are coming!”

When it seemed they were trapped for the foe, then came the glorious triumph.  Forth swept the stormy wind and beat back the waves, and the host of Israel marched forward, down into the path of the great deep–a way arched over with God’s protecting love.

On either hand were the crystal walls glowing in the light of the glory of the Lord; and high above them swept the thunder of the storm.  So on through all that night; and when, at dawn the next day, the last of Israel’s host set foot upon the other shore, the work of the stormy wind was done!

Then sang Israel unto the Lord the son of the “stormy wind fulfilling his word.”

“The enemy said, I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil…Thou didst blow with thy wind, the sea covered them: they sank as lead in the might waters.”

One day, by God’s great mercy, we too, shall stand upon the sea of glass, having the harps of God.  Then we shall sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb: “Just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”  We shall know then how the stormy winds have wrought our deliverance.

Now you see only the mystery of this great sorrow; then you shall see how the threatening enemy was swept away in the wild night of fear and grief.

Now you look only at the loss; then you shall see how it struck at the evil that had begun to rivet its fetters upon you.

Now you shrink from the howling winds and muttering thunders; then you shall see how they beat back the waters of destruction, and opened up your way to the goodly land of promise. ~Mark Guy Pearse

Though winds are wild,

And the gale unleashed,

My trusting heart still sings:

I know that they mean

No harm to me,

He rideth on their wings.

Lord God, when the storms rage all about us, may we be stilled with Your presence and peace in the midst of them.  Thank and praise You for You are stronger than any gales–any problems–that we may face in this world.  We especially thank you for Jesus–who not only calmed the storms without, but calmed the storms within and continues to do so when we look to Him in repentance and faith.  In His name we pray, Amen.

March 5 True Courage

“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever–the Spirit of truth.  The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him.  but you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.”

John 14:16-17

* * * * *

Christians can depend on nothing except Christ, their Lord and God.  For the sake of Christ, they surrender everything and declare, “Before I deny or leave my Christ, I will abandon food and drink, honor and possessions, house and property, spouse and child–everything.”  A Christian’s courage cannot be fake or weak.  It must be genuine and certain.  For Christians cannot encourage themselves with any temporary thing on this earth.  Instead, they cling only to the Lord Christ, who was crucified and died for us.  So Christ will say, as he promises in this passage, “Because you acknowledge me, you have this advantage and this comfort.  Your courage won’t mislead you, for your Helper is the Spirit of truth.”  All other courage comes from the father of lies–a false spirit that cannot please God.  But whatever Christians do, or suffer, for their faith in the Lord Christ is done for the truth.  They have done what is proper and right.  They can boast truthfully and joyfully what they have done is pleasing to God and the angels.  Christians can feel so confident that they don’t have to fear the devil, or the world.  They don’t have to be afraid of any threat or terror.

Let this encourage you, for nothing on earth can comfort you more during times of need than a confident heart.  As long as your heart is plagued with uncertainty and doubts, you cannot be courageous.  But if you live in truth, you can be sure that any suffering you experience isn’t caused by you own sin.  You’re not suffering because you tried to attain possessions, honor, or praise for yourself.  The only charge against you is that you believe in the Lord Christ and trust in his Word.

Devotion taken from Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional, by Martin Luther

Lord God, thank you for sending the Counselor–the Holy Spirit– to guide us into all truth and to keep us in the one true faith.  Thank you for the strength and meaning and purpose that you’ve given us via the Cross of Christ and His sacrifice for our sins.  May we always look to Him and stand firm.  In His name we pray, Amen.

February 18 Trouble All Around

Image by Kevin Carden

Image by Kevin Carden

Leviticus 6:1-7:27;  Mark 3:7-30;  Psalm 37:1-11;  Proverbs 10:3-4

“Do not fret because of evil men or

be envious of those who do wrong;

for like grass they will soon wither,

like green plants they will soon

die away.

* * * * *

Trust in the Lord and do good;

dwell in the land and enjoy

safe pasture.

Delight yourself in the Lord

and he will give you the desires

of your heart.

* * * * *

Commit your way to the Lord;

trust in him and he will do this:

He will make your righteousness shine

like the dawn,

the justice of your cause like

the noonday sun.

* * * * *

Be still before the Lord and wait

patiently for him;

do not fret when men succeed in

their ways,

when they carry out their wicked


* * * * *

Refrain from anger and turn

from wrath;

do not fret–it leads only

to evil.

For evil men will be cut off,

but those who hope in the Lord

will inherit the land.

A little while, and the wicked will

be no more;

though you look for them,

they will not be found.

But the meek will inherit the land

and enjoy great peace.”

Psalm 37:1-11

* * * * *

Trouble all around

but peace is close at hand

for those who trust in

the Lord.

Don’t worry

when evil brushes up

against your legs

and threatens

to drag you down.

The Lord

is by your side,

His righteousness


over you

with His victorious

strength and power.

You are safe

in Him.

Lord God, we hear about, read about, see with our own eyes really bad things happening in this world.   It’s scary and can be quite depressing.  We’re tempted to worry and then take things into our own hands instead of waiting for You and your direction.  Lord, forgive our fretting and fearing.  Help us to remember that the victory you won on the Cross, is the same victory over all the badness that we see in the world today.  By your Spirit, motivate us to trust in you with all our hearts and to share with others the hope that we have within us.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.


Proverbs 10:3

August 12 Surround Sound

photo by M Jones

photo by M Jones

 Nehemiah 3:15-5:13;  1 Corinthians 7:25-40;  Psalm 32:1-11;  Proverbs 21:5-7

“Therefore, let everyone who is godly

pray to you while you may be found;

surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.

You are my hiding place;  you will protect me from troubles

and surround me with songs of deliverance.

I will instruct you and teach you in the way

you should go;

I will counsel you and watch over you.

Rejoice in the Lord and be glad, you righteous;

sing, all you who are upright in heart.”

Psalm 32:6-8,11

Difficulties and distractions

hard choices and rocky paths

clanging contradictions

 pounding heart beat of panic and fear

all threaten to drown out

the sound of my Savior’s voice-

the sweet sound

calming sound

steady sound

of His redeeming love song

which alone can soothe



“Amazing grace how sweet the sound…”

His words of comfort and hope

surround me

“Fear not, for I am with you;

be not dismayed, for I am your God;

I will strengthen you,

I will help you,

I will uphold you

with my righteous right hand.”

Isaiah 4:10

Lord God, your mercies are new every morning.  Thank you for providing the sweetest sound in all the world–‘your sins are forgiven…you are my child…the apple of my eye…I take great delight in you.’  May I always remember my Savior’s words on the Cross “It is finished.”  He accomplished what I could not and for that I give you thanks and praise.  Help me to live this day for you.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

August 4 Out Of The Blue

Image by Zach Fonville

Image by Zach Fonville

2 Chronicles 35:1-36:23; 1 Corinthians 1:1-17; Psalm 27:1-6; Proverbs 20:20-21

“The Lord is my light and my salvation,
whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life
of whom shall I be afraid?
Though an army besiege me,
my heart will not fear;
though war break out against me,
even then will I be confident.
For in the day of trouble
he will keep me safe in his dwelling.” Psalm 27:1-3,5

Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful.” 1 Corinthians 1:7-9

Out of the blue
trouble comes,
stirs up the waters
of my life.
“Didn’t see that one coming!”
Life is like that–
this fallen, imperfect world
I live in.
Life isn’t fair,
but that’s OK
because my God is
The good work that He
began in me,
that spark of faith life
remains steady because of
His promises to me,
“I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
Trouble will come
in many shapes and forms
but it need not define me.
I am not depression.
I am not joblessness.
I am not broken relationships.
I am not cancer.
I am not addiction.
I am not loneliness.
I am not…
I am faithful
because my God is faithful.
He will not let me be tempted
beyond my ability.
He provides my way of escape
from the enemy that surrounds me.
He hears my prayers.
He is my Light and my Salvation.
Praise His holy name!

Thank you Heavenly Father for defining my life for me–for calling me to be your own–for being with me in times of trouble, for helping me endure. Thank you for your faithfulness in sending the promised Messiah–Jesus Christ, my Lord, who broke the bonds of sin and death and now lives and reigns with you now and forever! Amen!

May 25 Peace Like No Other


Photo by Paul Burger

2 Samuel 7:1-8:18;  John 14:15-31;  Psalm 119:33-48;  Proverbs 15:33

“Peace I leave with you;

my peace I give you.

I do not give to you

as the world gives.

Do not let your hearts

be troubled

and do not be afraid.”

John 15:27


How would you describe world peace?

   The absence of war…crime…poverty?

         Perfect harmony in relationships?

What makes the peace that Jesus gives to us different?

   The absence of fear in the midst of conflict…illness…tragedy…difficult circumstances?

What have you experienced?

    World peace?

          The peace of God?

Which peace is truly possible?

Lord, I thank you for your peace which passes all human understanding–a peace which I have experienced when bank accounts were low, when depression lingered long, when I’ve had more questions than answers, when relationships were strained.  Your peace comes to me freely because I’ve been made your Child through Faith.  Your perfect love casts out all my fears.  Forgive me Lord for the times when I have doubted your love and have let worries and fears dominate my thoughts.  Help me to keep my eyes on You…on the Cross of Christ…and off of myself.  For Jesus’ sake I pray, Amen.


May 15 Thursday Praise


Photo by Laura Jostes

1 Samuel 17:1-18:4;  John 8:21-30;  Psalm 111:1-10;  Proverbs 15:11

“Praise the Lord!  I will give thanks to the Lord with my whole heart.

Great are the works of the Lord studied by all who delight in them.

Full of splendor and majesty is his work and his righteousness endures forever.

He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered.

The Lord is gracious and merciful.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;

all those who practice it have a good understanding.

His praise endures forever!”

Psalm 111:1-4,10


Photo by Laura Jostes

The Creation–Magnificent!

But more magnificent than this is the creation of a new life, born of water and the spirit in whom faith now sees the face of the Creator–and believes!

The old has passed away–the new has come.

Sin no longer reigns!

A power much greater dwells in a believer’s heart and mind–

the mind of Christ.

What’s not to rejoice about!

His Divine work switches on the Light and casts out fear.

His Divine work strengthens weak knees and lifts bowed heads.

His Divine work of redeeming souls never ends!

We remember your works, O Lord, at Creation, on the Cross, in our hearts and we give you all glory and praise!  Thank you Lord Jesus!  Amen.


Photo by Laura Jostes

April 25 Wide Eyed Praying


Photo by Kevin Carden

Judges 4:1-5:31;  Luke 22:35-53;  Psalm 94:1-23; Proverbs 14:3-4

“When he rose from prayer and went back to his disciples, he found them asleep, exhausted from sorrow.

“Why are you sleeping?” he asked them. “Get up and pray that you will not fall into temptation.”  Luke 22:45-46

“Go to dark Gethsemene,

All who feel the tempters power;

Your Redeemer’s conflict see,

Watch with Him one bitter hour;

Turn not from His griefs away;

Learn from Jesus Christ to pray.”

~ James Montgomery


Impending financial disaster






Conflicts within Family, among friends

all can wring joy out of living;

rob us of hope


we close our eyes and let the darkness overcome us and lull us into spiritual slumber.

Jesus tells us to WATCH–keep your eyes open–and pray!

Pray–so that the temptation to give up or act foolishly out of fear doesn’t obscure the picture of Christ

on his knees

praying with all His might,

experiencing the human emotions of fear, dread and panic,

yet not succombing,

being strengthened by the angel,

to keep His eyes on the prize-

the Salvation of those whom He loves–

you and me.

Lord Jesus, help us to keep watch and pray, especially during the difficult, challenging times in our lives.  Help us to keep our eyes on You and to remember how you suffered and struggled, but ultimately yielded to your Father’s will, how you willingly went to the cross to pay for our sins.  You didn’t avoid the pain by sleeping or ignoring or running away.  You endured.  Strengthen us through your word and help us endure as well.  In your name we pray, Amen.

February 20 Rider Of The Storms


Photo by Ron Loveday

Leviticus 9:7-10:20;  Mark 4:26-5:20;  Psalm 37:30-40;  Proverbs 10:6-7

“And a great windstorm arose and the waves were breaking into the boat, so that the boat was already filling.  But he (Jesus)  was in the stern, asleep on the cushion.  And they woke him and said to him, “Teacher, do you not care that we are perishing?”  And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace.  Be still!”  And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.  He said them, “Why are you so afraid?  Have you still no faith?”  And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him?”  Mark 4:37-41

He cares enough to ride through life’s storms with us.

We get rocked, He gets rocked.

We get soaked, He gets soaked.

We tumble about and so does He.

And because He is God,

He will calm our fears and

still our waves of anxiety.

He will sustain us

and keep us afloat.

Does He care?

The Cross answers that question.

Have no fear!

Lord Jesus, you indeed care, even when it seems that prayers go unanswered and the waves about us crash harder and harder, you  care.  You grant us peace that passes human understanding–so when chemo continues, our spirits have smooth sailing;  when finances stretch unbearably thin, your calm steadies us; when relationships turn rocky, your hand helps us over the unsteady path.  By your death and resurrection you have mastered all the storms that we will ever encounter.  Thank you, Lord, for being our Stay.  In your name we pray, Amen

“The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord,

he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.”

Psalm 37:39