The Voice of the Lord

REUTERS/Richard Carson

REUTERS/Richard Carson

“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength.

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name;  worship the Lord in the splendor of holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters; the God of glory thunders, the Lord, over many waters.

The voice of the Lord is powerful; the voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The Lord sits enthroned over the flood; the Lord sits enthroned as king forever.

May the Lord give strength to his people!  May the Lord bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:1-4, 10-11

Hurricane Harvey and the hiddenness of God.  We ask the question “why,” but God on His throne who is beyond our understanding doesn’t give us the answer.  His voice however booms “I am with you always.  I will never leave you nor forsake you!  I will give you strength!  I will give you peace!”

God the Father gave us His Son, Jesus, who stemmed the damning flood of sin in our lives by shedding His blood for us.  And by His almighty power He raised Jesus from the dead. His powerful voice now bids us to call upon Him in the day of trouble–In the midst of deep waters, call to Him, and He will answer!

Lord God, we see the rising flood waters and are afraid.  Please turn our eyes to Jesus who sits at Your right Hand in Heaven.  Help us to trust in Him during these difficult times.  We trust in Your faithfulness to hear our prayer for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.


January 17 The Truth Is…

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

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

“Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?

Who may live on your holy hill?

He whose walk is blameless,

and who does what is righteous,

who speaks the truth from the heart

and has no slander on his tongue,

who does his neighbor no wrong

and casts no slur on his fellowman,

who despises a vile man

but honors those who fear the Lord,

who keeps his oath

even when it hurts,

who lends his money without usery

and does not not accept a bribe against

the innocent.

He who does these things will never be shaken.”

Psalm 15:1-5

God desires to be surrounded by perfect people–His holiness will not tolerate anything less.

Am I perfect?

Am I holy?

Can I get close to God?

The answer is YES!

But not because I am all of those things.  But I believe in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God who did lead a holy, perfect life.  Because I believe that Jesus paid the price for my ugly unholiness called sin when he died on Calvary’s Cross.  Because now, through faith, He has put upon me his robe of righteousness which the Father sees instead of my ragged, stained rags.

God the Father does see me as perfect and holy because of faith and one day I will stand before Him fully confident that He will let me live on His holy hill!

Lord God, I thank and praise you for the saving work of Jesus on the Cross.  That his sacrifice has won me a place in your presence.  This weekend as I worship, may I glorify you with songs and prayers of praise and receive your good Gifts through Word and Sacrament.  In Jesus’ name, I pray, Amen.

We all believe in one true God, Father Son and Holy Ghost,

Ever present help in need, praised by all the heav’nly host;

All he made his love enfolds, all creation he upholds.

* * * *

We all believe in Jesus Christ, Son of God and Mary’s son,

Who descended from his throne, and for us salvation won;

By whose cross and death are we rescued from all misery.

* * * *

We all confess the Holy Ghost who from both in truth proceeds

Who sustains and comforts us in all trials, fears and needs.

Blest and holy Trinity, praise forever yours shall be.

~ Tobias Clausnitzer

October 17 Why Pray?

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

“I urge, then, first of all, that requests, prayers, intercessions and thanksgiving be made for everyone–

for kings and all those in authority, that we may live

peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

This is good, and please God our Savior, who wants all men to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.  For the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all men–the testimony given in its proper time.”

1 Timothy 2:1-6


Why pray?

It keeps Satan at bay,

the name of Jesus on our lips

curls his toes,

scats this enemy of God away.


Why pray?

It ushers in the peace of God

into our hearts and minds

and overflows,

over throws

all dark demise.


Why pray?

Many have yet to hear

the Good News as

time grows shorter with

each passing day.

They need to know

that there is One

who loves them;

seeks to draw them near

and save them from



Why pray?

Because He bids us as

He himself prays for the souls

of those under His care.

He prays for us.

Lord God,  thank for the faithful prayers of the saints who have gone before us–who prayed for peace so that Your Word might be spread;  prayed that evil would be stayed;  that your truth of Salvation would be heard and believed.  Press upon our hearts the incredible urgency to continue the prayers of the saints.  And we beseech you, to hear the prayers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who intercedes for us.  In His name we pray, Amen.

October 10 My Prayer For You

Image by Kristianne Ripple

Image by Kristianne Ripple

Jeremiah 14:11-16:15;  1 Thessalonians 2:10-3:13;  Psalm 80:1-19;  Proverbs 25:1-5

“Now may our God and Father himself, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way to you, and may the Lord make you increase and abound in love for one another and for all, as we do for you, so that he may establish your hearts blameless in holiness before our God and Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus with all his saints.”

1 Thessalonians 3:11-13

Paul’s prayer for the believers at Thessanolica is my prayer for you:

That you may know the fullest depth

of God’s love for you;

that despite your wayward, sinful ways

your belief in His Son Jesus Christ

bridges the gap,

His love pours forth,

His righteousness becomes yours.

My prayer is that whatever

you are dealing with right now,

that you may know that our wise,

omnipotent God

who is as near to you as your breath,

who anchors your todays and tomorrows

in Him

will not let you drift out of His reach.

My prayer is that your love for the Lord will know

no bounds;

that it will spill over onto others

igniting in them a hunger and thirst

for true love and peace,

pushing the question from their lips,

“Why are you so different?”

I pray that a growing faith in Him

will cast aside all doubts and fears,

that His peace and joy

will inform your heart and mind,

directing all your ways.

I pray in confidence,

knowing that God hears

and answers prayer.

I leave you, my dear friend,

in His Hands


In Jesus’ name, I pray.


August 5 Plain And Simple

Image by Sandara Lee

Image by Sandara Lee

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

But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things to shame the strong. He chose the lowly things of the world and the despised things; so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us the wisdom from God–that is–righteousness, holiness and redemption.” 1 Corinthians 1:27-30

No fancy talk,
no detailed plan,
no step by step
to happiness.
God reached down
plain and simple
took my hand
and led me to see
that I needed Him.
Needed Him to
wash me up,
fill me with the
Bread of Life,
to know His Son
who died for me.
That nothing I could
say or do
would make Him
love me less.
Plain and simple
Faith takes hold
of that unseen
and walks ahead with Him.
“For God so love the world
that He gave His only begotten Son
that whosoever believes in him
will never die,
but have everlasting life.” John 3:16

Plain and Simple!

May 14 Throw No Stone


Photo by Carter Carroll

1 Samuel 15:1-16:23;  John 8:1-20;  Psalm 110:1-7;  Proverbs 15:8-10

“Early in the morning he came again to the temple.  All the people came to him, and he sat down and taught them.  The scribes and Pharisees brought a woman who had been caught in adultery…”Teacher, this woman has been caught in the act of adultery.  Now in the Law Moses commanded us to stone such women.  So what do you say?”  This they said to test him, that they might have some charge against him… And as they continued to ask him, he stood up and said to them, “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.”


“But when they heard it they went away one by one, beginning with the older ones and Jesus was left alone with the woman standing before him.  Jesus stood up and said to her, “Woman, where are they?  Has no one condemned you?”  She said, “No one, Lord.”  And Jesus said, “Neither do I condemn you;  go and from now on, sin no more.”  John 8:2-11

Caught in the act

jerked out of bed

thrust before the crowd

guilty she stood,

the woman

before men

chomping at the bit

to catch Jesus in the act

of defiling their teaching

to entrap him

in their snare

and declare him


“What do you say, Teacher?”

Jesus, who knew the Law

knew their hearts

knew her heart

desired mercy

to save their souls–

all of them.

Failing to spring the jaws

of the trap

he said,

“Let him who is without sin

cast the first stone”

to rid this woman, caught.

She stood

heart pounding

full of guilt

head bowed

before the crowd

and heard them walk away

until just One


Jesus spoke

“Has no one condemned you?”

“No one, Lord.”

The sinless One, her Savior

stood beside her

and condemned her not

though He knew she

deserved the stones.

The people watched in awe

and their hearts

stirred with hope.

We all deserve the stones.

His mercy frees us

to “go

and sin no more.”

Lord God, we stand before you guilty as charged.  But Jesus stands beside us–his perfect holiness he lays across our sins and covers up our shame.  We raise our faces to you, forgiven and redeemed, no longer doomed to be condemned.  What joy fills our hearts and we are released to live for you.  Thank you for your great mercy through your son Jesus Christ–our Savior!  In His name we pray and praise–Amen.

Febraury 5 The Voice


Photo by Chris Bearing

Exodus 21:22-23:13;  Matthew 24:1-28;  Psalm 29:1-11;  Proverbs 7:6-23

“Ascribe to the Lord, O heavenly beings,

ascribe to the Lord glory and strength!

Ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name.

Worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

The voice of the Lord is over the waters;

the God of glory thunders,

the Lord, over many waters.

The voice of the Lord is full of majesty.

The voice of the Lord flashes flames of fire.

The voice of the Lord shakes the wilderness.”

Psalm 29:1-4,7-8


….and it has shaken me!

His Voice shattered walls of shame, doubt and fear.

His Voice proclaimed me His child.

His Voice gave me Hope

and filled me with Peace.

His Voice whispers in my ear–

“I am in your midst.

I am mighty to save;

I will quiet you with my love;

I will exult over you with loud singing.” (Zephaniah 3:17)

Have you heard His Voice?

He is calling your name!

Lord, we worship you in the splendor of your holiness.  Thank you for letting us hear your voice!  Grant, that through faith, we may heed your voice to love as you have loved us; to forgive as you have forgiven us; to bring peace as you have brought us peace.  Lord, may we be your voice in a dark world and speak the words of the Gospel that others may come to know you and hear your voice for themselves.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen.


February 4 Holy Smoke


Image by Phyl Brown

Exodus 19:-21:21;  Matthew 23:13-39;  Psalm 28:1-9;  Proverbs 7:1-5

“On the morning of the third day there were thunders and lightenings

and a thick cloud on the mountain

and a very loud trumpet blast,

so that all the people in the camp trembled.

Then Moses brought the people out of the camp

to meet God, and they took their stand at the foot of the mountain.

Now Mount Sinai was wrapped in smoke because the Lord

had descended on it with fire.

The smoke of it went up  like the smoke of a kiln,

and the whole mountain trembled greatly.

And as the sound of the trumpet grew louder and louder

Moses spoke,

and God answered him in thunder.

The Lord came down on Mount Sinai,

to the top of the mountain,

and the Lord called Moses to the top of the mountain,

and Moses went up.”

Exodus 19:16-20

Holy Smoke!  God gets close and the people back away!

Holy Smoke!  God wants to get close to us, but our sinful nature in the presence of a Holy God causes us to back away—way back!

But wait!  Someone goes before us, just like Moses, to speak to God on our behalf!

That someone is Jesus:  “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him will never die (go up in smoke!) but have everlasting life.”  John 3:16

Lord God, thank you for sending down your Son–to be our intermediary–our go between your demands for holiness and perfection and our sinful waywardness.  His perfect life was sacrificed on the altar–the Cross-which you found acceptable though it caused you much pain to see Him suffer and die.  So great was your love for us.

Thank you, Jesus, for your obedience–your willingness to stand before your Father bearing the sins of the world; to be totally rejected by Him and to die completely alone.

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for working faith in our hearts to believe that because of Jesus we no longer need to fear the wrath and punishment we deserve.  Thank you for letting us experience the joy and peace of being near to Almighty God and to know His love and mercy.

We give you all thanks and praise and look forward to being with you forever!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

July 20 Free


Photo by Cathy Ginder

2 Chronicles 1:1-3:17;  Romans 6:1-23;  Psalm 16:1-11;  Proverbs 19:20-21

“Just as you used to offer the parts of your body in slavery to impurity and to ever increasing wickedness, so now offer them in slavery to righteousness leading to holiness.  When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness.  What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of?  Those things result in death!  But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.  For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord!”  Romans 6:19-23

Lord God, Heavenly Father I give you my thanks and praise for peeling off the bonds of sin that held me firmly in its grip and made me do its bidding.  I was indeed a slave to sin, but you set me free by sending your son, Jesus who allowed himself to be bound by the confines of humanness with all its weakness and limitations, bound and handed over to be crucified.  Lord, I willingly desire to be a slave to righteousness–to be bound to a perfect Master who wills nothing but good and love and peace and life everlasting for me.  May I live for you this day and tell others how you set me free!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“You have made known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”   Psalm 16:11