Image by Marian Trinidad

Image by Marian Trinidad

“When Jesus had said these things, he departed and hid himself from them.  Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him, so that the word spoken by the prophet Isaiah might be fulfilled:

“Lord, who has believed what he heard from us, and to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?”

Therefore, they could not believe.

 For again, the prophet said,

“He has blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, lest they see with their eyes and understand with their hearts, and turn, and I would heal them.”

* * * * *

Isaiah said these things because he saw his glory and spoke of him.  Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue;

for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.

* * * * *

And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me.  And whoever sees me, sees him who sent me.  I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.”  John 12:36b-46

Lord God, many folks have a hard time “seeing” you, believing that you came into this world in human form, to live like us, to die like us.  Many have a hard time believing that Jesus was raised from the dead and lives eternally even now.  Many doubt and just give up.  Lord have mercy on them.  Draw them near to you through the power of your Holy Spirit, cleanse them from their sin and unbelief and give them eyes to see.  Thank you for opening my eyes and giving me faith to believe in you.  Help me to be a bold confessor amid the scoffers.  Forgive me for times when I have remained silent rather than speak your Name.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.


April 27 OK To Hate?

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Judges 7:1-8:17;  Luke 23:13-43;  Psalm 97:1-98:9;  Proverbs 14:7-8

“Let those who love the Lord hate evil,

for he guards the lives of his faithful ones,

and delivers them from the hand of the wicked.

* * * * *

“Light is shed upon the righteous

and joy on the upright of heart.

* * * * *

“Rejoice in the Lord, you who are righteous,

and praise his holy name.”

Psalm 97:10-12

* * * * *

OK to hate?

Take a stand and hate:

Aborting innocent babies,

Taking a life through assisted suicide,

Acquisition of wealth while impoverishing the spiritual, social and emotional lives of one’s family,

Pornography so easily accessed

and seen by so many,

Senseless killing of children by children

by means of guns, drugs, alcohol,

Worship of “tolerance” instead

of the true God whose Word

is sharper than any two edged sword,

Easy come, easy go attitudes

towards sexuality:

cohabiting before marriage,

recreational sex,

adulterous affairs,

threesomes, mixedsomes, samesomes,

anything but one man, one woman

in a lifetime marriage,

Abuse of any kind–physical,

mental, sexual, emotional,

Consumptive greed that feeds the need

for wars and conflicts,

Indifference to the things of God:

holiness, mercy, compassion, salvation

through one means only–faith

in Jesus Christ.

Hate what God hates

and pray,


and give thanks

that He has rescued you

from such evils.

Think upon Him

and His faithfulness to all


to you.

One day you will be with Him

in Heaven

where His light that shines upon

your heart now

will continue to illuminate

and cause exceedingly great


* * * * *

Oh give thanks unto the Lord for He

is good

and His mercy endures forever!

O Lord God, merciful Father thank you for saving us from the darkness of sin and for shedding abroad in our hearts the light of your salvation through your Son, Jesus Christ.  We gratefully receive your grace and mercy with joy!  Let us not grow weary or lose hope though the world around us churns with turmoil.  May we keep our eyes on Jesus–our beacon of light.  In His name we pray, Amen.

February 17 Dark Vs. Light

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Leviticus 4:1-5:19;  Mark 2:13-3:6;  Psalm 36:1-12;  Proverbs 10:1-2

“An oracle is within my heart concerning the sinfulness of the wicked:

There is no fear of God

before his eyes.

For in his own eyes he flatters himself

too much to detect or hate his sin.

The words of his mouth are wicked

and deceitful;

he has ceased to be wise and to

do good.

Even on his bed he plots evil;

he commits himself to a sinful course

and does not reject what is wrong.

* * * * *

Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens,

your faithfulness to the skies.
Your righteousness is like the mighty


your justice like the great deep.

O Lord, you preserve both man

and beast.

How priceless is your unfailing love!

Both high and low among men

find refuge in the shadow of

your wings.

They feast on the abundance

of your house;

you give them drink from your

river of delights.

For with you is the fountain of life;

in your light we see light.”

Psalm 36:1-9

* * * * *

And God

sent His Son

into this world

to die

on a Cross




Pray for your


that they might

see the


Thank God

for His

Love and


Lord God, if it weren’t for your Spirit living in me, I could very well be given over to wickedness.   I could be in darkness.  I could be flattering myself with all kinds of lies and heading straight to everlasting separation from you.  But you sent your Son–for me–and for all people–to defeat the powers of darkness:  sin, death and the devil.  Thank you for His redeeming work on the Cross, for splitting the wall of separation between us and you.  In Jesus’ name we give you thanks and praise!  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!

July 23 Turn Me, Lord

Image by Doug Shelton

Image by Doug Shelton

2 Chronicles 8:11-10:19; Romans 8:9-21; Psalm 18:16-36; Proverbs 19:26

“He reached down from on high and took hold of me;
he drew me out of deep waters.
He rescued me from my powerful enemy,
from my foes, who were too strong for me.
You save the humble
but bring low those whose eyes are haughty.
You, O Lord, keep my lamp burning;
my God turns my darkness into light.”
Psalm 18:16-17, 27-28

Turner of darkness
turn me back to You.
Pull me out of the deep
and revive me, O God.
Restore to me the joy of
your Salvation.
Kindle anew the fire
of my heart’s devotion.
Turn me gently,
back to You.

July 7 Morning Prayers

Photo by Leslie J

Photo by Leslie J

1 Chronicles 4:5-5:17;  Acts 25:1-27;  Psalm 5:1-12;  Proverbs 18:19

In the morning, O Lord, you hear my voice;  in the morning I lay my requests before you and wait in expectation.”  Psalm 5:3

As the sun rises in the eastern sky;

so do my prayers arise to you, O Lord.

 As the sun sheds it great light

granting energy, warmth and power

I trust in you to do the same for me

this day.

Grant me your grace and love and mercy.

Empower me to live for you.

In your light

may I be light

in a dark world.

For Jesus’ name sake, Amen.

July 3 Zeal Reveal

Colorado2 Kings 22:3-23:30;  Acts 21:37-22:16;  Proverbs 18:11-12;  Psalm 1:1-6

“Paul, standing on the steps, motioned with his hand to the people.  And when there was a great hush, he addressed them:…’ I am a Jew, born in Tarsus in Cilicia, but brought up in this city, educated at the feet of Gamaliel according to the strict manner of the law of our fathers, being zealous for God as all of you are this day.  I persecuted the Way to the death binding and delivering to prison both men and women…

“As I was on my way and drew near to Damascus, about noon, a great light from heaven suddenly shone about me.  And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me?’ “I am Jesus of Nazareth whom you are persecuting.’ ‘Rise and go into Damascus and there you will be told all that is appointed for you to do…’

And Paul was told…

“The God of our Fathers appointed you to know his will, to see the Righteous One, and to hear from his mouth; for you will be a witness for him to everyone of what you have seen and heard.”

Acts 22:1-15

Stopped in his tracks

   Blinded by the Light

the voice of Jesus

  cut to Paul’s heart.

Knees gave way,

  he knelt before

the Risen One

  with power to save,

    to change a life,

       turn it around.

Zeal met zeal–

one worldly, one holy.

Paul would never be the same,

   his life no longer his own.

On a new mission,

    sent by Christ Himself

        the story of Salvation to tell,

Paul went, he suffered, he died for

the Zeal revealed

     to him.

Lord God, You have revealed Your will to me through the water and Word of Baptism–you have called me by name to be your own.  Fill me with your zeal–your love for the lost.  Give me a heart tender and true to your Word to take to the streets your message of mercy and hope and forgiveness through Jesus.  Open my lips that I might speak confidently, confess boldly, testify honestly the hope that lies within me–that without you I am nothing, but in You I am whole.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

May 22 Light Shines


2 Samuel 1:1-2:11;  John 12:20-50;  Psalm 118:19-29;  Proverbs 118:19-29

“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.  If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.  The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day.  For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment–what to say and what to speak.  And I know that his commandment is eternal life.  What I say therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”  John 12:46-50


The Light went out

when in the Garden

Adam and Eve

listened to Serpent words

sounding smooth

and oh so wise.


The Light went out

and darkness of heart

blocked life

of perfect oneness.


God spoke then

the Promise

to provide a way back

to Him

NOT in what man could do,

but in what the Divine

would do for man.


The Word of Truth

“Love the Lord your God

with all your heart

with all your soul

with all your strength

with all your mind.”


Light returned to earth

sheathed in human form

to do what man could not do

to live a self-less life

to do the Father’s will

to speak the Father’s words

to overcome the dark.


For those who believe,

who speak the name of Jesus–

not as a curse word as many do–

but as Source of joy and life,

Light shines

dispels the shadows

removes all fear.


“The Lord is God,

and He has made his light

shine upon us.

You are my God,

and I will give you thanks.

You are my God

and I will exalt you.

Give thanks to the Lord,

for He is good

and His love endures


Psalm 118:27-29


April 4 Still Praising!


Photo by Laura Jostes

Judges 17:1-18:31;  John 3:1-21;  Psalm 104:1-23;  Proverbs 14:20-21

“Bless the Lord, O my soul!

O Lord my God, you are very great!

You are clothed with splendor

and majesty

covering yourself with light

as with a garment

stretching out of the heavens like a tent.”

Psalm 104:1-4


Photo by Laura Jostes

…and fluttering like a butterfly in the springtime breeze

past the lilac and dogwood,

sprouting from the earth

unfurling tender leaves

while roots slip deep

beneath the light.


“Bless the Lord, O my soul”


You have caused me to be born of

water and Spirit

and given me eyes to see and believe

that all creation has come

from your hands.


Photo by Laura Jostes

Spirit gives birth to spirit.

Your light shines


and I do not shrink away

for my heart carries

the light of

your grace.


When one speaks evil against me

I hurl not back hurtful words,

I look with eyes of


on one

not yet reborn.


I hold lightly to


and what I do have

I share with those

who have not.


Photo by Laura Jostes

Yes, I’m still praising- for you

are yet creating,

and loving,

and gracing.


Praise your Holy name!

In Jesus’ name,




February 17 Dark Shadows


Image by Will Wallace

Leviticus 4:1-5:19;  Mark 2:13-3:6;  Psalm 36:1-12;  Proverbs 10:1-2

“And the scribes of the Pharisees, when they saw that he was eating with sinners and tax collectors said to his disciples, “Why does he eat with tax collectors and sinners?”  Mark 2:16


“And the Pharisees were saying to him, “Look, why are they doing what is not lawful on the Sabbath?”  Mark 2:24


“Again, he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand, and they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so they might accuse him.”  Mark 3:1-2

Everywhere Jesus went, ‘religious’ eyes watched.  Not eyes of faith or love or service, wanting to see sins forgiven, limbs made straight or sight restored.  These dark shadows followed Jesus seeking to discredit him, to make him shut up, to make him go away.

Dark shadows continue to follow closely on the heels of Christ-followers today.

Say that you don’t believe in abortion….

    Say that marriage, instituted by God, is between one woman and one man…

        Say that God is the only one to determine when life ends….

             Say that you believe God created the heavens and the earth…

Dark shadows follow and shout and demean and threaten and ridicule.

Remember Jesus…He continued to speak the Truth, to act in love and obedience, to trust His life to His Father in Heaven. Jesus triumphed over the dark shadows of sin, death and the devil.  He died and rose again so that we who believe in Him need never fear the dark shadows.

Lord God, “we fear no evil; your rod and your staff, they comfort us.”(Psalm 23)  “For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.  Oh continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!  Let not the foot of pride come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.”(Psalm 36)  Keep us ever near to You, O Lord.  For Jesus’ sake we pray, Amen