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.

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Solid Faith

I know my faith is founded on Jesus Christ, my God and Lord;  and this my faith confessing, unmoved I stand on His sure Word.  Our reason cannot fathom the truth of God profound;  who trusts in human wisdom relies on shifting ground.  God’s Word is all sufficient, it makes divinely sure;  and trusting in its wisdom, my faith shall rest secure.

Increase my faith, dear Savior, for Satan seeks by night and day to rob me of this treasure and take my hope of bliss away.  But, Lord with You beside me, I shall be undismayed;  and led by Your good Spirit, I shall be unafraid.  Abide with me, O Savior, a firmer faith bestow;  then I shall bid defiance to every evil foe.

In faith, Lord, let me serve You;  though persecution, grief, and pain should seek to overwhelm me, let me a steadfast trust retain;  and then at my departure, Lord, take me home to You, Your riches to inherit as all You said holds true.  In life and death, Lord, keep me until Your heav’n I gain, where I by Your great mercy the end of faith attain.

Hymn text by Erdman Neumeister, 1671-1756

“Be gracious to me, O God, for man tramples on me;  all day long an attacker oppresses me;  my enemies trample on me all day long, for many attack me proudly.  When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.  In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust;  I shall not be afraid.  What can flesh do to me?”    Psalm 56:1-4

Lord God Heavenly Father, we may not be in danger of being pinned to a wall by a spear like David.  We may not be in danger from the perils of a sea voyage like Paul.  Yet, we do face enemies of body and soul because we still live in a fallen world.  Crime and violence surround our communities.   Godless belief systems conflict with Your good Word.  Our own sinful nature continues to threaten our peace in You.  So today, Lord, we entrust ourselves to You, to preserve us in the One true faith as we confess Jesus as our sovereign Lord and God.  Thank You for Your faithfulness to us through Jesus Christ.  In His name we pray, Amen.

Morning Song

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Now that the daylight fills the sky, we lift our hearts to God on high, that He, in all we do or say, would keep us free from harm today.

Would guard our hearts and tongues from strife; from anger’s din would shield our life; from evil sights would turn our eyes, and close our ears to vanities.

So we, when this new day is gone and night in turn is drawing on, with conscience by the world unstained shall praise His name for vict’ry gained.

“All praise to You, creator Lord!  All praise to You, eternal Word!  All praise to You, O Spirit wise!”  We sing as daylight fills the skies.

Hymn text–Latin c. 5th-6th Century.  Translated by John Mason Neale, 1818-66

Lord God Heavenly Father, we begin this day with our eyes on Your Word and Your promise to “never leave us nor forsake us.”  Enable us to be faithful in our vocations this day and to help our neighbors in need.  Open our eyes to see who may need a kind word or deed.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

 

Above All!

“I do not cease to give thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers,

that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory,

may give you the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation

 in the knowledge of him,

having the eyes of your heart enlightened,

that you may know what is the hope

to which he has called you,

what are the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints,

and what is the immeasurable greatness of his power

towards us who believe,

according to the working of his great might

that he worked in Christ

when he raised him from the dead

and seated him at his right hand

in the heavenly places far above all rule and authority

and power and dominion,

and above every name that is named,

not only in this age but also in the age to come.

And he put all things under his feet

and gave him as head over all things to the church,

which is his body,

the fullness of him who fills all in all.”

Ephesians 1:16-22

Lord,  help us to remember today and always that you alone are God and to you alone belongs our devotion and praise and trust.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

There Is A Time for Everything

There is a time for everything, a time for all that life may bring:  A time to plant, and time to reap, a time to laugh and time to weep, a time to heal, a time to slay, a time to build where rubble lay, a time to die, a time to mourn, a time for joy and to be born.

A time to hold, then be alone, a time to gather scattered stone, a time to break, a time to mend, a time to search and then to end, a time to keep, then throw away, a time to speak, then nothing say, a time for war till hatreds cease, a time for love, a time for peace.

Eternal Lord, Your wisdom sees and fathoms all life’s tragedies;  You know our grief, You hear our sighs–In mercy, dry our tear-stained eyes.  From evil times, You bring great good; Beneath the cross, we’ve safely stood.  Though dimly now life’s path we trace, one day we shall see face to face.

Before all time had yet begun, You, Father, planned to give Your Son; Lord Jesus Christ, with timeless grace, You have redeemed our time-bound race;  O Holy Spirit, Paraclete, Your timely work in us complete;  Blest Trinity, Your praise we sing–There is a time for everything!   ~Stephen P. Starke

O Lord, whatever this day may bring, we confidently know that it is in Your time.  Help us to use the time you’ve given us wisely for Jesus’ sake, we pray, Amen.

A New Song

“O sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done wonderful things, His right hand and His holy arm have gained the victory for Him.  The Lord has made known His salvation;  He has revealed His righteousness in the sight of the nations.  He has remembered His lovingkindness and His faithfulness to the house of Israel;  All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.

Shout joyfully to the Lord, all the earth; break forth and sing for joy and sing praises.  Sing praises to the Lord with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody.  With trumpets and the sound of the horn shout joyfully before the King, the Lord.

Let the sea roar and all it contains, the world and those who dwell in it.  Let the rivers clap their hands, let the mountains sing together for joy before the Lord, for He is coming to judge the earth; He will judge the world with righteousness and the peoples with equity.”  Psalm 98

Yesterday we celebrated the joy of Easter’s truth, “He is risen, just as He said!”   When you meet challenges, experience conflict, suffer illness and disease remember, “He is risen, just as He said!”  Jesus fulfilled God’s promise to save, to redeem us from certain death because of our sins that separated us from Him.  Jesus did this by dying on the Cross and bearing the guilt of all our sins.  His Resurrection broke the power of sin, death and Satan over us.  “He is risen, just as He said!”  The Psalmist invites us to sing and shout “because He has done wonderful things!”  And so we do, today and everyday!

Mary

nativity

And Mary said, “My soul magnifies the Lord, and my spirit rejoices in God my savior, for he has looked on the humble estate of his servant. For behold, from now on all generations will call me blessed; for he who is mighty has done great things for me, and holy is his name. And his mercy is for those who fear him from generation to generation. He has shown strength with his arm; he has scattered the proud in the thoughts of their hearts; he has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate; he has filled the hungry with good things, and the rich he has sent away empty. He has helped his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy, as he spoke to our fathers, to Abraham and to his offspring forever.”  Luke 1: 46-55
Lord God,

I’m just Mary.

All of my life I’ve listened to stories

of Your miraculous “right arm”

–battles won, babies born to barren women,

seas parted, sick people healed,

the dead brought back to life.

Pondering them fanned my hope

that You are still with my people,

that you still love us and have not forgotten us.

You have not forgotten!

I don’t know what lies ahead,

but I know that You will be with me,

just Mary,

your bondservant,

forever.

To You I give all my thanks and praise.

Amen.

We remember Mary, the mother of God and give thanks for the miracle of motherhood that came to her– a virgin– chosen and blessed.