Facing A Vast Army?

Image by Adrienne Olguin

Image by Adrienne Olguin

“Then Jehosophat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the Lord in front of the new courtyard and said:

‘O Lord, God of our fathers, are you not the God who is in Heaven?  You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations.  Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you.  O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham your friend?  They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for your Name, saying, “If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgement, or plague or famine, we will stand in your presence before this temple that bears your Name and will cry out to you in our distress, and you will hear us and save us.

* * * * *

But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them.  See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession you gave us an inheritance.  O our God, will you not judge them?  For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.”

2 Chronicles 20:6-13

Lord God, you knew of the “vast army” facing us –you knew its tactics, its strength, its means, its plans to destroy us.  And you sent us your Son to do battle for us.  By Jesus’ death on the cross he defeated forever Satan, sin and death’s grip on our lives.  Ours sins are forgiven.  We can use the name of Jesus to ward off Satan’s attacks.  We can look death in the eye and not fear.  Lord, there are other battles that we face day to day because we still are in the world and so we look to you today asking for your strength, your help, your deliverance and we give to you all glory and praise!  We pray in the strong name of Jesus, Amen!

“Be exalted, O Lord, in your strength;

we will sing and praise your might.”

Psalm 21:13


January 26 Oh, Love How Deep

Photo by Marian Trinidad

Photo by Marian Trinidad

Exodus 2:11-3:22;  Matthew 17:10-27;  Psalm 22:1-18;  Proverbs 5:7-14

“During those many days, the king of Egypt died and the people of Israel groaned because of their slavery and cried out for help.  Their cry for rescue from slavery came up to God.  And God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  God saw the people of Israel–and God knew.”  Exodus 2:23-25

As ones who believe that Jesus is our Lord and Savior, we still can fall into ‘slavery.’  Our sins, our fears, our guilt, our unwillingness to forgive, our hurts, our grievances can all entangle us and keep us from experiencing the freedom that Christ won for us on the Cross.

But God is faithful!

He knows the condition of our hearts.

And He desires to extend His mercy and compassion.

He wants to rescue us!

Cry out to Him with your needs and He will hear.

He will act.

He will save!

His love for you is very great.

He invites you to “Come to me all you are weary and heavy laden and I will give you rest.”

Oh, love how deep, how broad, how high,

Beyond all thought and fantasy,

That God, the Son should take

our mortal form for mortal’s sake.

* * * *

For us by wickedness betrayed

For us, in crown of thorns arrayed.

He bore the shameful cross and death;

For us he gave his dying breath.

* * * *

For us he rose from death again;

For us he went on high to reign;

For us he sent his Spirit here

To guide, to strengthen, and to cheer

* * * *

All glory to our Lord and God

For love so deep, so high, so broad.

The Trinity whom we adore

forever and forevermore!

~Thomas a Kempis

Lord God, you know and hear the cries of our hearts this day.  To you we leave our burdens at your feet.  You know what they are.  You know what we need.  Thank you for answering all our prayers through your son, Jesus Christ.  To Him we give our thanks and praise.  In His name we pray, Amen.

December 27 Make A Difference

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

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

“Praise the Lord, O my soul.  I will praise the Lord all my life;  I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.

“Do not put 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 in the Lord his God,  the maker of heaven and earth, the seas and everything in them–the Lord, who remains faithful forever.

“He upholds the cause of the oppressed and gives food to the hungry.  The Lord sets prisoners free, the Lord gives sight to the blind, the Lord lifts up those who are bowed down,  the Lord loves the righteous.

“The Lord watches over the alien and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

“The Lord reigns forever!”

Psalm 146

* * * * * * * * * * * *

Because I believe in the One who made the heavens and the earth–I can make a difference.

Because I believe in the One who healed the sick, made the blind see, and set prisoners free–I can make a difference.

Because I believe in the One who bears the burdens of those weighed down by heavy burdens–I  can make a difference.

Because I believe He did it all for me–He bore my sins, unshackled chains of guilt and shame, set my spirit free.

I can make a difference–not because of who I am, but because of Whose I am!

And with a heart made light, there’s room to see those ‘people-hurts’ around me.

Because of Him–I can make a difference.  I can carry the Light into dark places bearing His name and His love.

He’s made all the difference in my life, and He can make the difference in yours.

To God be the glory–He’s the game changer.  He’s the One to trust.

Faith in Him makes all the difference in the world!

Lord God, you sent your Son to make a difference in this world.  His life, death and resurrection unleashed a power to change it–one heart, one life at a time.  Continue, Lord, to make a difference in this world through the faithful living of your beloved, we who call upon your name.  May our lives truly make a difference and point the way to you!  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

To the triumph of your Cross

Summon all the living;

Summon us to live by loss,

Gaining all by giving,

Suffering all, that we may see

Triumphant in surrender;

Leaving all, that we may be

Partners in Your splendor!

~ Martin Franzmann

September 6 When Troubles Fall

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Song of Songs 1:1-4:16;  2 Corinthians 8:16-24;  Psalm 50:1-23; Proverbs 22:22-23

“Offer to God a sacrifice of thanksgiving

and perform you vows to the Most High,

and call upon me in the day of trouble,

I will deliver you,

and you shall glorify me.”

Psalm 50:14-15


“The one who offers thanksgiving

as his sacrifice glorifies me;

to one who orders his way rightly

I will show the salvation of God.”

Psalm 50:23


In this world troubles fall

come without warning

big and small

True test of faith

comes to all:

“Who you gonna call?”


Call the parents, friend or spouse?

Experts with PhD.s?

Call upon one’s inner strength?

“Who you gonna see?”


Our Lord bids me come to Him.

Do I?

Will I?

To recognize my weakness

and His Almighty power

is not my true nature.

I  chafe and strive

against His will,

His wisdom,

and His love.


Forgive me Lord,

and help me

“To you I’m gonna call.”

And for your gracious mercy,

for giving me your aid

I humbly bow before you

and say my prayers of thanks.


Oh give thanks unto the Lord,

for He is good

and His mercy endures forever!”


(And by the way…

I’m in trouble each and every day

because I sin

in thought, word and deed,

fall short of God’s perfection

each and every day.


But thanks be to God

forgiveness comes to me

through Jesus Christ, my Lord

whose blood sets me free

each and every day!)


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.

January 17 Can’t Go Wrong


Photo by Travis Silva


Genesis 35:1-36:43;  Matthew 12:1-21;  Psalm 15:1-5;  Proverbs 3:21-26

“My son, do not lose sight of these–keep sound wisdom and discretion and they will be life for your soul and adornment for your neck.  Then you will walk on your way securely and your foot will not stumble.”  Proverbs 3:21-23

King Solomon gave good advice to his son–‘keep your life focused on God and His Word–you can’t go wrong.’

He was right.  God never leads down wrong paths.  His words are sure.  Life giving. Wise.  Always.

Like Adam and Eve–and everyone since them–we take our eyes off of God and listen to other sources of wisdom–wisdom NOT from above.  We listen to the world, our flesh, the angel of light (Satan).  We take a path of temptation and end up falling–big time!

We sin.  We fail.  We cry out–Lord, help!

And He does!

He forgives.

He sets us upon our feet and bids us to keep our eyes on Him

Lord God, we thank and praise you for rescuing us when we lose sight of your truth–your wisdom–when we take our eyes off of Jesus.  Thank you for restoring our balance and making our walk with you secure.  Thank you for your promise to keep us from falling out of your sight.  No one is beyond your grasp who looks to you.  It’s true–in you, we can’t go wrong!  Praise your Holy Name!  Amen.

“He who walks blamelessly and does what is right and speaks truth in his heart…he who does these things shall never be moved.”  Psalm 15:2,5

September 19 Rest


Photo by Brandi Wood

Isaiah 30:12-33:12;  Galatians 5:1-12;  Psalm 63:1-11;  Proverbs 23:22

High gear challenge,

my feet move to the frantic

beat of my heart.

“Gotta do this, gotta do that.”

Fear pushes me faster

and farther

from the One

who desires to help.


“Read this, read that.”

The ‘experts’ know it all

but Him

who is all Wisdom,


and Compassion.


“Listen to this, listen to that.”

More voices claim truth,


I try this, I try that,

but understanding eludes,

peace stays far off.


Exhausted, spent

head and heart numb,

I stop.

Holy Spirit whispers to me.


“In returning and rest you shall be saved;  in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.

And though the Lord give you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, yet your Teacher will not hide himself anymore, but your eyes shall see your Teacher.  And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying “This is the way, walk in it, when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.”

Isaiah 30:15


Lord God, forgive me for not seeking you when trouble comes;  when I have sinned and rebelled against your ways.  Thank you for saving me through Jesus who is my Way, my Teacher who gives me direction and leads me Home.  Thank you for being my Strength , for settling my frantic heart and mind–for stilling my soul.  Grant, Lord, that I may tell others of you when they face adversities and are searching for answers.  May they know the same comfort and peace of Your Rescue.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

“O God, you are my God,  earnestly I seek you.

On my bed I remember you through the watches of the night.

Because you are my help, I sing in the shadow of your wings.”  Psalm 63:1,6-7


September 15 Blindside


Photo by Brandon Doss

Isaiah 19:1-21:17;  Galatians 2:1-16;  Psalm 59:1-17;  Proverbs 23:13-14

Nose to nose with the enemy,

getting pushed and tossed around.

I call for help and watch

and listen.

My Strength responds with active voice,

“Be gone” and “leave her be.”

For I am His; sealed with love

and spirit-born,

hidden safe within.


Gnash and snarl and slink


but me,  you cannot have.

I am the daughter of the King.

You have no claim on me.


My Savior’s got my blind side.

He’s moved death’s line to life.

This side of Heaven He’s got my back.

He’ll never let me down.


Thank and praise you, Lord of Lords.

Your love takes hold of me.

Mercy and compassion

lift me up.

Glory, glory be!

Oh Lord, on this day of rest, I worship and adore you!  For you alone are worthy of praise.  You alone are the Lord.  You alone are the Holy One.  You alone are the Most High, Jesus Christ!  My Rescuer, my Hiding Place.  In Your name I pray, Amen.

“Deliver me from my enemies, O God;  protect me from those who rise up against me.  O my Strength, I watch for you;  O God you are my fortress, my loving God.  O my Strength, I sing praise to you;  you, O God, are my fortress, my loving God!”  Psalm 59:  1,9,17

September 6 Sweet

Copy of 2013_0807Shawgardens0032

Song of Songs 1:1-4:16;  2 Corinthians 8:16-24;  Psalm 50:1-23;  Proverbs 22:22-23

“Sacrifice thank offerings to God, fulfill your vows to the Most High, and call upon Him in the day of trouble;  I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”  Psalm 50:14




Come to my aid!

Words that make music in my Savior’s ears,

a sweet fragrance rising to my God and Lord.


to the worldly- wise

who praise ‘self-made’


go- it- aloners

and shun Heaven’s 911.

Humble cries for help,

Weak waits for deliverance,

Empty longs for filling.

“To Him we cry all the day long,”

And are not disappointed.




Thank You, Jesus.

“He who sacrifices thank offerings honors me, and he prepares the way so that I may show him the  salvation of God.” Psalm 50:52

Lord God, thank you for coming to my rescue, for saving me, your creature, from the mess I made, when I rebelled against your goodness.  Thank you for Christ’s sweet sacrifice on the cross, which as awful and terrible as it was, keeps the line open between You and me 24/7.  Thank you for Christ’s intercession for me and for all who come to you in faith. In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen

March 29 Be Still My Soul

Deuteronomy 11:1-1-12:32;  Luke 8:22-39;  Psalm 70:1-5;  Proverbs 12:4

If Jesus can still the stormy waters…He can still my soul.

If Jesus can still the raging demons…He can still my soul.

On the cross…His body was stilled.

For you.  For me.

Our souls may be stilled…

When disease rages,

When paychecks cease

When all seems lost.

Be still my soul.

Sunday comes.

Jesus lives!

“Return home and tell how much God has done for you.”  Luke 8:39 

Lord God, thank you for stilling my soul, erasing my sins,  and giving me new life.  Open my lips that my mouth will shout out your praises to the skies!  In Jesus’ name I praise, Amen.

“You are my help and my deliverer.”  Psalm 70:5