Who Is Like the Lord Our God?

photo by Seminary staff

“Praise the Lord!

Praise, O servants of the Lord,

praise the name of the Lord!

Blessed be the name of the Lord

from this time forth and forevermore!

From the rising of the sun to its setting,

the name of the Lord is to be praised!

The Lord is high above all nations,

and his glory above the heavens!

Who is like the Lord our God,

who is seated on high,

who looks down

on the heavens and the earth?

He raises the poor from the dust

and lifts the needy from the ash heap,

and makes them sit with princes,

with the princes of his people.

He gives the barren woman a home,

making her the joyous mother of children.

Praise the Lord!

Last night was graduation from Concordia Seminary in St. Louis.  I stood with my fellow graduates thankful for God’s faithfulness to all of us for seeing us through our seminary training–for me as a deaconess and the rest as future pastors.  We serve the Lord our God who does the impossible for the poor, the needy and the barren.   Just as we have been raised up and made to bear fruit by the power of the living God through the Holy Spirit we give thanks and praise to the Lord our God.  Who is like Him?

No one even comes close!

Lord God, thank you for the privilege of being called your servant.  Have mercy on me and grant me grace to faithfully serve and love others in Your most Holy Name.  For Jesus’ sake I pray, Amen.





“This is uncanny, Lord:

a rutted sandy road

running through grass

to a railroad crossing,

a semaphore

against a blue sky

and a white cloud,

a little water color

on a piece of rough paper.

I’ve seen this all a thousand times,

but here it is,

trapped and alive and held:

the golden hue of every glorious summer day,

the everlasting simple grass and sand and sky,

a bit of the first morning,

when the morning stars sang together

and the sons of God shouted for joy.

Adam could walk across this railroad track

and eve, still nude and unashamed.

Uncanny is hardly the word for it;

call it a miracle.

I thank you Lord

for the miracle

of this artist’s eye of innocence,

this deep adoration of Your handiwork

that lets me look upon Your world again

as once Your Son could look

on lilies of the field

growing in Galilee.”

Prayer by Martin H. Franzmann, Pray for Joy





Photo by Laura Jostes

“Almighty God,

You have ordained the authorities that are;

You have clothed them in a majesty

   that is higher and stronger

   than the given facts of their history,

a majesty that wakens fear in us

   and claims honor from us.

O God, remember in Your mercy

   the men who bear the burden of this majesty,

   men like us, easily bent

      by the pressure of temptation,

      by the impact of expediency.

Remember them and strengthen them

      when they are moved

   to shade the truth to their own ends,

   to withhold what should be told,

   to distort what must be told,

   to disclose what does not serve

      our common weal.

Keep intact their honor and their credibility”

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

Prayer by Martin H. Franzmann, Pray For Joy

“Every person is to be in subjection to the governing authorities.  For there is no authority except from God, and those which exist are established by God…Render to all what is due them: tax to whom tax is due; custom to whom custom is due; fear to whom fear; honor to whom honor.”  Romans 13: 1, 7

One Life

All aglow

“Do not toil to acquire wealth;

be discerning enough to desist.

When your eyes light on it, it is gone,

for suddenly it sprouts wings,

flying like an eagle toward heaven.”

Proverbs 23:4-5

* * * * *

“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”
C.T Studd

Lord God, thank you for giving me life.  May it be lived for you!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

May 26 Snip Away, Lord!


Photo by Laura Jostes

2 Samuel 9:1-11:27;  John 15:1-27;  Psalm 119:49-64;  Proverbs 16:1-3

“I am the true vine and my Father is the vinedresser.  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Abide in me, and I in you.  As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

I am the vine, you are the branches.  Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”

John 15:1-5

* * * * *

So much exuberance!

So much growth

that takes place in Spring!

So much potential for endless blooms

forever fruit.

Greening plants sprawl

about the garden

untamed, reaching, striving

for more sunlight,

more earth to spread its roots

to claim as its own.

But, spread too thin,

too quickly, too far

plants lose their ability

to nourish,

to supply their

wandering branches

with enough nutrients

to sustain,

to produce.

The wise gardener knows this,

ignores the bursts of celebration

and gently,



steps into the garden

to tame the party,

to snip back into order

and guide the pulsing,

dancing plants

into productivity.

* * * * *

O Lord, may you do the same

with me.

Direct my energies, desires

and creative wanderings

back to you.

Use me as you will

to serve your purposes,

to bear witness to your

great mercy and love

in my life,

so that I may bear the Fruit of the Spirit’s

Life in me:

Love, joy, peace

patience, goodness, faithfulness,

gentleness and self-control.

May this fruit be abundantly evident

to the glory of your holy name!

In Jesus’ name I pray,


* * * * *

“The plans of the heart belong to man but the answer of the tongue is from the Lord.

All the ways of man are pure in his own eyes,

but the Lord weighs the heat.

Commit your work to the Lord,

and your plans will be established.”

Proverbs 16:1-3

March 16 Parable of the Canyon


Photo by Laura Jostes

From the devotion book Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“For our profit.”  Hebrews 12:10

In one of Ralph Conner’s books he tells a story of Gwen.  Gwen was a wild, willful lass, and one who had always been accustomed to having her own way.  Then one day she met with a terrible accident which crippled her for life.  She became very rebellious and in the murmuring state she was visited by the sky pilot, as the missionary among the mountaineers was termed.

He told her the parable of the canyon.  “At first there were no canyons, but only the broad, open prairie.  One day the Master of the prairie, walking over his great lawns, where were only grasses, asked the prairie, ‘Where are your flowers?’ and the prairie said, ‘Master, I have no seeds.’

“Then he spoke to the birds, and they carried seeds of every kind of flower and strewed them far and wide, and soon the prairie bloomed with crocuses and roses and buffalo beans and the yellow crowfoot and the wild sunflowers and the red lilies all summer long.  Then the Master came and was well pleased; but he missed the flowers he loved best of all, and he said to the prairie: ‘Where are the clematis and the columbine, the sweet violets and wildflowers, and all the ferns and flowering shrubs?’

“And again he spoke to the birds, and again they carried all the seeds and scattered them far and wide.  But, again, when the Master came he could not find the flowers he loved best of all, and he said:

“‘Where are those my sweetest flowers?’ and the prairie cried sorrowfully:

“‘O Master, I cannot keep the flowers, for the winds sweep fiercely, and the sun beats upon my breast, and they wither up and fly away.’

“Then the Master spoke to the lightening, and with one swift blow, the lightening cleft the prairie to the heart.  And the prairie rocked and groaned in agony, and for many a day moaned bitterly over the black, jagged, gaping wound.

“But the river poured its waters through the cleft, and carried down deep black mold, and once more the birds carried seeds and strewed them in the canyon.  And after a long time the rough rocks were decked out with soft mosses and trailing vine, and all the nooks were hung with clematis and columbine, and great elms lifted their huge tops high up into the sunlight, and down about their feet clustered the low cedars and balsams, and everywhere the violets and windflower and maidenhair grew and bloomed, till the canyon became the Master’s favorite place for rest and peace and joy.”

Photo by Laura George

Photo by Laura George

Then the sky pilot read to her: “The fruit–I’ll read ‘flowers’–of the Spirit are love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness–and some of these grow only in the canyon.”

“Which are the canyon flowers?” asked Gwen softly, and the pilot answered:  “Gentleness, meekness, longsuffering; but though the others, love, joy, peace bloom in the open, yet never with so rich a bloom and so sweet a perfume as in the canyon.”

For along time Gwen lay quite still, and then said wistfully, while her lips trembled: “There are no flowers in my canyon but only ragged rocks.”

“Some day they will bloom, Gwen, dear; the Master will find them, and we, too, shall see them.”

Beloved, when you come to your canyon, remember!

Lord God, in the midst of canyons deep where it seems the sun’s light is weakest, remind us that it is still there and it is enough to nurture beautiful things in our lives.  For you, O Lord, reach down to us with your never ending love and fill us with your life giving Spirit.  To you we give our thanks and praise!  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

February 26 Thank You!


Thank you to Julie (aka Cookie) at cookiecrumbstoliveby.com who nominated me for this award.  I’ve passed on award nominations in the past, but am inspired to do “the honors” and to share it with others who have inspired me along life’s way.

To share seven thoughts about me:

I prefer:

1. Plains to the Mountains

2. Lakes to the Oceans

3. Morning to night

4. Chinese food to Italian

5. Quiet evenings at home to a night on the town.

6. I am the oldest of four daughters and the mother of three sons!  Go figure!

7. I treasure most that I am a Child of God —Father, Son and Holy Ghost!

Since this is an Inspirational Type of Award I’d like to share the sites of bloggers whose words, photos, drawings,paintings, and doodlings inspire and lift me up. My thanks to all of you for your contributions that bring forth smiles and make me grow.

James at adoptingjames.wordpress.com  As a writer I appreciate his hints and illustrations.  Thanks James!

K. Q. Duane at kqduane.com  Straight talk and resources regarding feminism in our society.  Now I know why I didn’t like The Feminine Mystique!

Judy at crookedtracks.com gives me glimpses of the state of Minnesota which I called home for several years after college graduation.  In spite of the cold…..it was beautiful!

Dan at danfrugalberg.com has stunning photography and original poetry that always lights up my day.

Steve at steverebus.com is my “across the pond” inspiration for all things related to photography and the Christian faith..

Margie and Gail at ajourneybetweenfriends.wordpress.com uniquely combine their love of painting and closing the distance between friends through this inspiring site.

Anna at daughterbydesign.wordpress.com combines love for the Lord with her love for serving others through inspirational and scriptural thoughts that I find very refreshing and encouraging.

Karina at karinasussanto.wordpress.com always has a genuinely caring, Christian word of encouragement.

Liz at prayerpointsbyliz brings home a gently challenging thought about how we treat others in light of the Gospel.  Thank you dear friend.

beejai at tworiversblog.com also does a daily devotion based on the One Year Bible readings that I use for “What’s The Good Word?”  I appreciate his pastor-perspective and applications.

Levi at levithedford.com shares from his heart and from C.H. Spurgeon–both are inspiring.

Natalie at sacredtouches.com provides lovely, lilting poetry and prose from others and from her own treasure chest of ideas along with gorgeous photos.  You’re in our prayers, Natalie!

Shannon at doodlesinvigorate.wordpress.com creatively reminds me of God’s truths.

Marcela at photgraphyartplus.wordpress.com supplies me with absolutely stunning photography of flowers-so real that I can almost smell their fragrance.  Muchas gracias!

“Oh give thanks unto the Lord

for HE is Good

and HIS mercy

endures forever.”

To Him be the glory!

Thank you, dear Lord, for all of the wonderful people whom you inspire to share the beauty of Your world and Your truth.  Bless them and keep them always in your care.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

For those nominated for this award please do the following should you decide to accept it:

1) Post the The Very Inspiring Blogger Award Image on your blog. 2)Tell us seven things about yourself and 3) Nominate 10-15 other bloggers whom you liked the world to know and be inspired!  Thanks!

December 4 Lesson On Love

Image by Marian Trinidad

Image by Marian Trinidad

Daniel 11:36-12:13;  1 John 4:1-21;  Psalm 123:1-4;  Proverbs 29:2-4

“We know that we live in him and he in us, because he has given us his spirit.  And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.  If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he is in God.  And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.


“God is love.  Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.  In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgement, because in this world we are like him.  There is no fear in love.  But perfect love casts out all fear, because fear has to do with punishment.  The one who fears is not made perfect in love.


“We love because he first loved us.  If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar.  For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen.


“And he has given us this command:  whoever loves God, must also love his brother.”  1 John 4:13-21


But I can’t.  I can’t lover her…I can’t love him…I can’t love them.

“Why not?”

They’re not like me.  They don’t like me.  I don’t even know them.

“Love.  I loved you when you were the opposite of me.  I am perfect.  Holy.  Just.  All knowing.  All wise.   And I loved you who were anything but…even on your better days.”

“I loved you when you ignored me, scoffed at me, scorned me.  When you swore in my name.”

“I loved you in your self-pity, excuse ridden world.”

“I love you still and always will.”

“Will you love as I have loved you?”

“If you believe in me and love me, I will always be with you.  I can help you with your loving.  It’s not the world’s kind of love that shines only if you are worthy, if you’ve made it, if you made the round of talk shows.”

“I will love you in your corner of the world and will help you love–in your corner of the world.”

“By your love, others will learn of me–that I am love, and that I am all they need.”


O.K.  It’s you and me, Lord.

“I know.  Just love.”

November 4 Hope Until The End

Photo by Andy Lyons Getty Images

Photo by Andy Lyons Getty Images

Ezekiel 10:1-11:25;  Hebrews 6:1-20;  Psalm 105:16-36;  Proverbs 27:1-2

“For God is not unjust so as to overlook your work and the love you have shown for his name in serving the saints, as you still do.  And we desire each one of you to show the same eagerness to have the full assurance of hope until the end, so that you may not be sluggish, but imitators of those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”  Hebrews 6:9-12

Lauren Hill, battling with terminal brain cancer has hope, has faith in God, has purpose even though she hurts and cannot do the things she once so easily could do.

With the time she has left Lauren wants to serve others, be a part of the team, make contributions both on and off the basketball court.  She wants to encourage other young people with cancer to “keep going.”

During a particular trying time earlier this year, Lauren cried out to God “what do you want me to do??”  God has answered her by giving her these days to live for him–one day at a time.  He has given her the grace to be a beacon of light and hope to others.  Her body may be giving out, but her hope and faith keep her light shining bright!

In difficult times, call upon God.  He will continue to use you as a beacon of hope and inspiration for others.  Your life has purpose and meaning because of Him who loved you and gave Himself up for you on the Cross.

God keeps his promises–He will use your adversity to be a blessing to others.  He himself will comfort you and sustain you.  He will give you strength to remain faithful to the end.

Lord God, bless Lauren Hill with your peace and love and joy this day.  Keep her faithful to the end–until you call her Home.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.