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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October 7 Good Advice

Photo by Jason Rutel

Photo by Jason Rutel

Jeremiah 8:8-9:26;  Colossians 3:1-17;  Psalm 78:32-55;  Proverbs 24:27

“Finish your outdoor work and get your fields ready;

after that build your house.”

Proverbs 24:27

Good advice.  Sage advice.  Voice of experience.

Sometimes we listen.  Sometimes we don’t.

Sometimes we do it all backwards–get the house, get the furniture, get the outdoor grill–then figure out how to pay for it all without opening yet another credit card account.

God cares about even the smallest details of our lives, enough to share wise words like the above Proverb.

God cares enough to help us through our mistakes and blunders and to help us get back on track.  That’s Grace!  That’s the reality of Christ’s death on the Cross–to remove the sting of sin:  lust, greed, unfaithfulness, stubbornness and stiff-necked living.

His Grace–unmerited favor and love–gives us opportunities to follow His advice and begin anew.

Time to go outside…I’ve got some work to do!

Lord God, thank you for the wise words recorded in your Word.  Thank you for your grace and favor through your Son Jesus Christ that picks us up when we fall down, when we don’t listen to sage advice, but do things our own way.  Help us this day, to live according to your word, to be humble enough to take good advice and to trust you for the outcome.  We pray this in Jesus’ name, Amen.

“And let the Word of God dwell in you richly

as you teach and admonish one another with

all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and

spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.”

Colossians 3:16

September 19 Fourth Commandment Living

Photo by Joel Millhouse

Photo by Joel Millhouse

Isaiah 30:12-33:12;  Galatians 5:1-12;  Psalm 63:1-11;  Proverbs 23:22

“Listen to your father, who gave you life,

and do not despise your mother when

she is old.”

Proverbs 23:22

Honor your mother and your father.

“What does this mean?”

It means that

“we should fear and love God

so that we do not despise or anger our parents

and other authorities,

but honor them,

serve and obey them,

love and cherish them.”

(Luther’s Small Catechism)

Lord God,

help us to keep the Fourth Commandment.

Bless and preserve our family relationships

that your Name may be glorified.

In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

September 18 Live Wisely

Image by Jessica Kelley

Image by Jessica Kelley

Isaiah 28:14-30:11; Galatians 3:23-4:31;  Psalm 62:1-12;  Proverbs 23:19-21

“Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart

on the right path.

Do not join those who drink too much wine

or gorge themselves on meat,

for drunkards and gluttons

become poor,

and drowsiness clothes them

in rags.”

Proverbs 23:19-21

~

You talkin’ to me, Lord?

A binge every now and then’s OK,

isn’t it?

It’s entertainment!

Stuffing myself every now and then

doesn’t hurt anyone,

does it?

My friends all do it.

“What if it becomes a habit?”

Surely it won’t.

“Surely, it could.

Remember, you are not your own,

I bought you with a price–

the price of my only son.”

Forgive me Lord.

Help me to choose wisely

the company I keep.

Help me to remember that I belong to You.

and to honor you with wise treatment of the

body you’ve given me.

For Jesus’ sake, I pray, Amen.

September 15 Really?

Photo by Matt Gruber

Photo by Matt Gruber

Isaiah 19:1-21:17;  Galatians 2:1-16;  Psalm 59:1-17;  Proverbs 23:13-14

“Do not withhold discipline from a child;

 if you strike him with a rod, he will not die.

If you strike him with a rod, you will save his soul

from Sheol.”

Proverbs 23:13-15

Really?

Really.

Discipline is for our good

and for our children’s.

Discipline means setting limits

and providing consequences when they are breached.

A crooked sapling needs the subtle pressure of a guiding

rod or rope to coax it to grow straight and tall.

We and our children bend with our

human nature–

our old ‘Adam’–

and our loving God applies his discipline

through His Word and the power of the Holy Spirit

to straighten us up,

to make us more like him.

Sparing discipline is not a recipe

for growth.

Wise discipline applied with love and discernment

protects the growing child

and gets him/her to adulthood

in one piece!

Lord, grant that we submit to your loving discipline and grow.  Grant that all children may have loving caregivers whether they be parents, teachers, guardians, or grandparents who will help them to grow strong in mind and body and soul.  For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

August 6 Direct Me, Lord

Stardust
Ezra 3:1-4:24; 1 Corinthians 2:6-3:4; Psalm 28:1-9; Proverbs 20:24-25

“A man’s steps are from the Lord, how then can man understand his way?” Proverbs 20:24

“The heart of a man plans his way, but the Lord establishes his steps.” Proverbs 16:9

“Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand.” Proverbs 19:21

I am bent in my own way,
headstrong and determined,
but God bends me back,
molds me,
shapes me,
kneads me useful
for His purpose.
I make my to-do lists
long,
detailed,
triumphant
based on my priorities,
my goals,
my objectives
but as a child of the Heavenly Father
I admit that His list for me
takes precedence:
love, believe, share, witness,
forgive, serve, sacrifice
and I pray that I will
accomplish what He wills
for me this day.

Lord God, Just as Jesus was obedient to your to-do list, may I be faithful as well by your grace and power. Grant that my words and deeds this day be directed by You. May I trust You to accomplish what You will through me. For Jesus’ sake, Amen.

July 9 A Good Thing

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

1 Chronicles 7:1-8:40;  Acts 27:1-20;  Psalm 7:1-17;  Proverbs 18:22

“He who finds a wife finds a good thing and obtains favor from the Lord.”  Proverbs 18:22

 

“An excellent wife is the crown of her husband.”  Proverbs 12:4

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

“House and wealth are inherited from fathers, but a prudent wife is from the Lord.”  Proverbs 19:14

 

“An excellent wife who can find?  She is far more precious than jewels.  The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.  She does him good and not harm all the days of her life.”  Proverbs 31:10-12

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Lord God, by Your grace and mercy you have helped me be a “good thing” in my husband’s life.  You have enabled me through your Holy Spirit and Your Word to grow into the wife –the helpmeet–you knew my husband needed me to be.  You’ve forgiven me when I’ve done harm and not good, when I’ve been a tarnished crown, and less than sterling jewels in my husband’s life.  By your grace you’ve polished me back up.  Continue to help me be the wife  my husband can trust wholeheartedly, who reflects your favor and goodness in all that I say and do. Thank you for granting me the privilege of being a wife!  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.