Given For Us!

“A glad heart makes a cheerful countenance…A cheerful heart has a continual feast.”  Proverbs 14:13, 15

Kelsey Johnson Bread

Thank you Heavenly Father for feeding us the Bread of Life.  May we smile and be glad this day!  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.


On My Heart

Brad Castaneda

On my heart imprint Your image, blessed Jesus, King of grace,

That life’s riches, cares, and pleasures never may Your work erase;

Let the clear inscription be:  Jesus, crucified for me, is my life,

my hope’s foundation, and my glory and salvation!

Text by Thomas Hansen Kingo, 1634-1703

“Make me to know your ways, O Lord;  teach me your paths.  Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation;  for you I wait all the day long.”  Psalm 25:4-5


May 5 Don’t Let The Song Go Out of Your Life

Found on

Found on

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

“When they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushments…and they were smitten.” (Chronicles 20:22)

Oh, that we could reason less about our troubles, and sing and praise more!  There are thousands of things that we wear as shackles which we might use as instruments with music in them, if we only knew how.

Those men that ponder, and meditate, and weigh the affairs of life, and study the mysterious developments of God’s providence, and wonder why they should be burdened and thwarted and hampered–how different and how much more joyful would be their lives, if, instead of forever indulging in self-revolving and inward thinking, they would take their experiences, day by day, and lift them up, and praise God for them.

We can sing our cares away easier than we can reason them away.  Sing in the morning.  The birds are the earliest to sing, and birds are more without care than anything else I can think of.

Sing in the evening.  Singing is the last thing that robins do.  When they have done their daily work; when they have flown their last flight, and picked up their last morsel of food, then on a topmost twig, they sing one song of praise.

Oh, that we might sing morning and evening, and let song touch all the way through.

Don’t let the son go out of your life

Though it chance sometimes to flow

In a minor strain; it will blend again

With the major tone you know.

* * * * *

What though shadows rise to obscure life’s skies,

And hide for a time the sun,

The sooner they’ll lift and reveal the rift,

If you let the melody run.

* * * * *

Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Though the voice may have lost its trill,

Though the tremulous notes may die in your throat,

Let it sing in your spirit still.

* * * * *

Don’t let the song go out of your life;

Let it ring in the soul while here;

And when you go hence, ’twill follow you thence,

And live on in another sphere.

* * * * *

“Sing to Him, sing praise to Him;

tell of all His wonderful acts.

Glory in his holy name;

let the hearts of those who seek

the Lord rejoice!

Look to the Lord and his strength;

seek His face always.”

Psalm 105:2-3

Lord God, You are the song that fills my heart with joy and peace and love.  May it flow through me this day yielding in kind words and in loving deeds towards those around me.  In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen.

February 25 Out Of Love

Image by Marian Trinidad

Image by Marian Trinidad

“The entire law is summed up in a single command:

“Love your neighbor as yourself.”

Galatians 5:14

“This statement is expressed in a beautiful and powerful way:  “Love your neighbor as yourself.”  There is no attitude more outstanding, respected, and virtuous than love.  No one can show you a model that is better, more certain, and more real than yourself.

 * * * *

If you want to know how to love your neighbor and want to have a clear example of it, then pay careful attention to how you love yourself.  In times of need and danger, you certainly want to be loved and helped with all the advice, resources, and power of everyone everywhere.  So you don’t need a book to teach and admonish you how to love your neighbor.  For you have the best and most lovely book about all laws right in your heart.

* * * * *

You don’t need a teacher; just consult your own heart.  It will thoroughly teach you that your neighbor should be loved the way you love yourself.  Further, love is the highest virtue.  Its prepared to serve not only with words, hands, money and possessions, but also with the body and even life itself.  It’s not motivated by reward or anything else.  It’s not slowed down by unworthiness or ungratefulness of a neighbor.  We should serve our neighbor out of love, just as a mother cherishes and cares for her child out of love.”

Taken from  Faith Alone: A Daily Devotional (Writings of Martin Luther)

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

January 23 For The End Of The Day

Photo by Adam Major

Photo by Adam Major

Genesis 46:1-47:31;  Matthew 15:1-28;  Psalm 19:1-14;  Proverbs 4:14-19

“The heavens declare the glory of God;

the skies proclaim the work of his hands.

Day after day they pour forth speech;

night after night they display knowledge.

There is no speech or language where

their voice is not heard.

Their voice goes out into all the earth,

their words to the ends of the world.”

* * * * *

“The law of the Lord is perfect,

reviving the soul.

The statues of the Lord are trust


making wise the simple.

The precepts of the Lord are right,

giving joy to the heart.

The commands of the Lord are radiant,

giving light to the eyes.

The fear of the Lord is pure,

enduring forever.

The ordinances of the Lord are sure

and altogether righteous.

They are more precious than gold,

than much pure gold;

they are sweeter than honey,

than honey from the comb.

By them your servant is warned;

in keeping them there is great reward.”

Psalm 19:1-14

Lord God, you are altogether more precious than gold, sweeter than honey, radiant, right, and perfect!  Thank you for your word that is the power to save, to strengthen, to renew–that goes out to all people throughout the world.  At the end of this day, Lord, I give you thanks for the forgiveness of sins and for the hope that I have in you, for your saving Grace.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

December 1 Who Do You Love?

Image by Samuel Kaylor

Image by Samuel Kaylor

Daniel 8:1-27;  1 John 2:1-17;  Psalm 120:1-7;  Proverbs 28:25-26

“My dear children, I write this to you so that you will not sin.  But if anyone does sin, we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.  He is the atoning sacrifice for our sins, and not only for ours but also for the sins of the world.

“Do not love the world or anything in the world.  If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For every thing in the world–the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does–comes not from the Father, but from the world.  The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”  1 John 2:1-6, 15-17

Who do you love?

What do you love?

What do you love to do?

Who or what occupies the throne seat of your heart?

I’m afraid I occupy the place where Jesus should be most of the time.

Selfish gain, desire for “security”,the lust of my eyes pushes aside faith, humble service, and devotion to the One who cares for me, who died on the Cross for my sins and gives me hope for everlasting life.

The Apostle John, the beloved of the Lord, saw the struggles of current Jesus-followers and of those to come and by the Spirit encourages us:  “we have one who speaks to the Father in our defense–Jesus Christ, the Righteous One.”

John also warns us:  “Do not love the world or anything in the world.”

Who do you love?

What do you love?

What do you love to do?

Lord, look into my heart and shine a light on the seat where you belong–who or what sits there?  Turn my eyes to you alone.  Forgive me for loving and worshiping gods of my own making.  You are the only one who saves me, comforts me, wisely guides me in the this world.  During this fever-pitch, media driven, commercial “season” leading up to the “holidays”, help me to keep my focus on the very essence of Christmas–You, Jesus, my Lord and God!  In your name I pray, Amen.

October 17 Teach Me, O Lord

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Jeremiah 30:1-31:26;  1 Timothy 2:1-15;  Psalm 87:1-7;  Proverbs 25:18-19

“Teach me your way, O Lord,

and I will walk in your truth;

give me an undivided heart,

that I may fear your name.

I will praise you, O Lord my God,

with all my heart;

I will glorify your name forever.

For great is your love toward me;

you have delivered me from the

depths of the grave.”

Psalm 86:11-13

Lord God,  thank you for your grace and mercy that rescued me from a most unholy path.  Through water and the Word you destined me for another path–one of faith in a Most Holy God–a path paved by the blood of Your Son Jesus Christ.  Continue to teach me, guide me, direct me in all your ways, O Lord, today and every day until you return.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

September 26 Yes, I do!

Photos by Laura Jostes

Photos by Laura Jostes

Isaiah 48:12-50:11;  Ephesians 4:17-32;  Psalm 69:1-18;  Proverbs 24:5-6

“Now I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles (unbelievers) do, in the futility of their minds.  They are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardness of heart.  They have become callous and have given themselves up to sensuality, greedy to practice every kind of impurity.

“But that is not the way you learned Christ!–assuming you have heard about him and were taught in him, as the truth is in Jesus, to put off your old self which belongs to your former manner of life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and to be renewed in the Spirit of your minds, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.”  Ephesians 4:17-24

Golden butter

I know Jesus,

yes, I do.

I know Jesus,

how ’bout you?

I know His ways,

yes, I do.

I know His ways,

how ’bout you?

I walk in His ways,

yes, I do.

I walk in His ways,

how ’bout you?


Not because I’m “special.”

Not because of what I’ve done.

But, all because of Jesus,

all that He has done.

He paid the price

with His own life

to free me from my sin,

to give me new life

through faith

that I might walk with Him.

A new change of clothes

were given me

through the Water and the Word,

a miracle!

For apart from Christ

I’d be dressed in a different

set of garb.

My heart would still

be hard.

So pretty

Thank you, Jesus, for clothing me in your white robe of righteousness purchased for me on Calvary’s unbecoming Cross.  May my life reflect the new life I have through faith in You.  Help me to remember the great clothing exchange at my Baptism–the heart exchange–the life exchange–the giving up of the Old Adam, for the New.  May my thoughts, words and actions today bear witness to the only life worth living–the life in You.  In your dear name I pray, Amen.

“And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.  Let all bitterness and wrath and hatred and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice.  Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”  Ephesians 4:30-32

September 18 Live Wisely

Image by Jessica Kelley

Image by Jessica Kelley

Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31;  Psalm 62:1-12;  Proverbs 23:19-21

“Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart

on the right path.

Do not join those who drink too much wine

or gorge themselves on meat,

for drunkards and gluttons

become poor,

and drowsiness clothes them

in rags.”

Proverbs 23:19-21


You talkin’ to me, Lord?

A binge every now and then’s OK,

isn’t it?

It’s entertainment!

Stuffing myself every now and then

doesn’t hurt anyone,

does it?

My friends all do it.

“What if it becomes a habit?”

Surely it won’t.

“Surely, it could.

Remember, you are not your own,

I bought you with a price–

the price of my only son.”

Forgive me Lord.

Help me to choose wisely

the company I keep.

Help me to remember that I belong to You.

and to honor you with wise treatment of the

body you’ve given me.

For Jesus’ sake, I pray, Amen.