“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

April 2 Keep The Skyward Look

Photo by Julie Ayers

Photo by Julie Ayers

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“They looked…and behold, the glory of the Lord appeared in the cloud.”  Exodus 16:10

On a day in the autumn, I saw a prairie eagle mortally wounded by a rifle shot.  His eyes still gleamed like a circle of light.  Then he slowly turned his head, and gave one more searching and longing look at the sky.  He had often swept those starry spaces with his wonderful wings.   The beautiful sky was the home of his heart.  It was the eagle’s domain.  A thousand times he had exploited there his splendid strength.  In those faraway heights he had played with the lightnings, and raced with the winds, and now, so far way from home, the eagle lay dying, done to the death, because for once he forgot and flew too low.  The soul is that eagle.  This is not its home.  It must not lose the skyward look.  We must keep faith, we must keep hope, we must keep courage, we must keep Christ.  We would better creep away from the battlefield at once if we are not going to be brave.  There is no time for the soul to stampede.  Keep the skyward look, my soul; keep the skyward look!

Keep looking up–

The waves that roar around thy feet,

Jehovah-Jireh will defeat

When looking up.

* * *

Keep looking up–

Though darkness seems to wrap thy soul;

The Light of Light shall fill thy soul

When looking up.

* * *

Keep looking up–

When worn, distracted with the fight;

Your Captain gives you conquering might

When you look up.

* * *

You can never see the sun rise by looking into the West.

~Japanese Proverb

* * *

“Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”

Hebrews 12:1-2

Lord God, may the faith graciously given to us by the Holy Spirit draw our eyes ever heavenward as we walk with You day by day.  Forgive our sins for Jesus’ sake.  Guide and direct us in Your paths always.  In Your name we pray, Amen.

March 19 Testing, Testing

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Devotion taken from Streams In The Desert compiled by Mrs. Charles E. Cowman

“Beloved, do not be surprised at the ordeal that has come to test you…you are sharing what Christ suffered; so rejoice in it.” 1 Peter 4:12

Many a waiting hour was needful to enrich the harp of David, and many a waiting hour in the wilderness will gather for us a psalm of “thanksgiving, and the voice of melody,” to cheer the hearts of fainting ones here below, and to make glad our Father’s house on high.

What was the preparation of the son of Jesse for the songs like unto which none others have ever sounded on this earth?

The outrage of the wicked, which brought forth cries for God’s help; then, the faint hope in God’s goodness blossomed into a song of rejoicing for His mighty deliverance and manifold mercies.  Every sorrow was another string to his harp; every deliverance another them for praise.

One thrill of anguished spared, one blessing unmarked or unprized, one difficulty or danger evaded, how great would have been our loss in that thrilling psalmody in which God’s people today find the expression of their grief or praise!

To wait for God, and to suffer His will, is to know Him in the fellowship of His sufferings, and to be conformed to the likeness of His Son.

So now, if the vessel is to be enlarged for spiritual understanding, be not affrighted at the wider sphere of suffering that awaits you.  The divine capacity of sympathy will have a more extended sphere, for the breathing of the Holy Ghost in the new creation never made a stoic, but left the heart’s affection tender and true. ~ Anna Shipton

“Find rest, O my soul, in God alone;

my hope comes from Him.”

Trust in him at all times, O people;

pour out your hearts to him,

for God is our refuge.”

Psalm 62:5,8

Lord God, thank you for keeping us dear to your heart in our times of testing.  In Jesus’ Name, who suffered for our sake, Amen.

November 14 Patience

Photo By Laura Jostes

Photo By Laura Jostes

Dear Friends,

Please pray that I can get computer issues resolved soon!  I’ve been journaling–on paper–my thoughts on the daily readings from the One year Bible.  God’s Word is always there to feed us, even when computers fail us!  “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways (even with computers) acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”  Proverbs 3:5-6

Weekend Blessings!


October 30 Infusion Of Hope

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Lamentations 2:20-3:66;  Hebrews 1:1-14;  Psalm 102:1-28;  Proverbs 26:21-22

“He has walled me in..He has weighed me down with chains….He shuts out my prayer…He has barred my way with blocks of stone; He has made my paths crooked.  He pierced my heart with arrows from his quiver…He broke my teeth with gravel.”

What God ordains is always good:

His will is just and holy.

As He directs my life for me,

I follow meek and lowly.

My God indeed in every need

Knows well how He will shield me;

To Him, then, I will yield me.

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall.  I remember them, and my soul is downcast within me.”

What God ordains is always good:

He never will deceive me;

He leads me in His own right way,

and never will He leave me.

I take content what He has sent;

His hand that sends me sadness

Will turn my tears to gladness.

“Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: ‘Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.  They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness,’ I say to myself; ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for him.'”

What God ordains is always good:

His loving thought attends me;

No poison can be in the cup

that my Physician sends me. 

My God is true; Each morning new

I trust His grace unending,

My life to Him commending.

“The Lord is good to those whose hope is in him, to the one who seeks him;  it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”

What God ordains is always good:

He is my friend and father;

He suffers naught to do me harm

Though many storms may gather.

Now I may know  both joy and woe;

Someday I shall see clearly

That He loved me dearly.

“For men are not cast off by the Lord forever.  Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.  For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of men.”

What God ordains is always good:

This truth remains unshaken.

Though sorrow, need or death be mine,

I shall not be forsaken.

I fear no harm for with His arm

He shall embrace and shield me;

So to my God I yield me.

~Hymn written by Samuel Rodigast (1649-1708)

~Jeremiah’s Lamentations taken from chapter 2:7-33, Selected verses

Lord God, you remind us that you are forever loving even when bad things happen in our lives.  You are there in the midst of our sorrow, pain and suffering, just as you were with the prophet Jeremiah who witnessed much suffering and experienced it as well.  Thank you for the words of hymnwriter, Samuel Rodigast, who penned words of hope and comfort that still encourage us today.  Thank you for giving us Hope everlasting through your son, Jesus Christ.  We look to Him and do not lose heart.  Please bring this message of hope to those who have no hope because they do not know you.  Open their hearts and minds to see your compassion and your desire to forgive and restore, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

July 16 All I Know

Image by Matt Dalrymple

Image by Matt Dalrymple

1 Chronicles 22:1-23:32;  Romans 3:9-31;  Psalm 12:1-8;  Proverbs 19:13-14

“For there is no distinction:  for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and we are justified by his grace as a gift through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God put forward as a propitiation by his blood, to be received by faith.”  Romans 3:22-25

All I know is that my faithful parents brought me to the waters of Baptism where I received the forgiveness of sins and the gift of faith.

All I know is that even as a child God had called me to be His own, to follow Him, learn from Him, be like Him.

All I know is that my life is far from perfect, but I desire to serve my God and King and that Salvation’s gift keeps the door open to His Presence.

All I know is that He loves me dearly, hears my prayers, and desires my worship and praise.  He forgives my sins and grants me the Holy Spirit whose fruit He nurtures day by day.

All I know is that without Him I would be lost in this world with no hope for the next.

I’m glad that all I know is Him–Jesus Christ and Him crucified, resurrected, and coming again!

Lord God, thank you for the gift of faith through your Son Jesus Christ–a priceless treasure.  May I share what I know–what I believe–what I have received by faith with others.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.


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.

April 11 Need Reminding?


Image by Derek Murphy

Joshua 3:1-4:24;  Luke 14:7-35;  Psalm 80:1019;  Proverbs 12:27-28

“On the tenth day of the first month, the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal.  And Joshua set up at Gilgal twelve stones they had taken out of the Jordan.  He said to the Israelites, “In the future when your descendents ask their fathers ‘what do these stones mean?’ tell them:  ‘Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.’  For the Lord your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over.  The Lord your God did to the Jordan what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over.  He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the Lord is powerful and so you might always fear the Lord your God.”  Joshua 4:19-24


Twelve stones

from the Jordan

stood complete,

rolled from the

dry river bed.

Each one declared

God’s power to save.


Stone reminders

answer to prayer

‘Lord how are we to get

from here to there?

How do we get to

the Promised Land?


Christ on the Cross,

picture complete

of sin nailed,

hands and feet

blood poured down.

He emptied himself

as our iniquities filled

him with dark, deep



Bread and wine


fill us

each time we partake

of the Lord’s Body

and Blood

in remembrance of Him.

Christ is the dry ground

we cross,

salvation holds back the

power of sin, death and


until we are safe on the

other side.

All glory to Him!