I’m happy to be a writer – of prose, poetry, every kind of writing. Every person in the world who isn’t a recluse, hermit or mute uses words. I know of no other art form that we always use.      ~Maya Angelou




“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



February 8 Jesus Loves To Answer Prayer

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

Exodous 28:1-43;  Matthew 25:31-26:13;  Psalm 31:9-18;  Proverbs 8:12-13

“Be merciful to me, O Lord, for I am in distress;

my eyes grow weak with sorrow,

my soul and my body with grief.

My life is consumed by anguish

and my years by groaning;

my strength fails because of my affliction,

and my bones grow weak.

But I trust in you, O  Lord;

I say, “You are my God.”

My times are in your hands.”

Psalm 31:9-10, 14-15

* * * * *

Come, my soul, with every care

Jesus loves to answer prayer;

He himself bids you to pray,

Therefore will not turn away.


You are coming to your King,

Large petitions with you bring;

For his grace and pow’r are such

None can ever ask too much.


With my burden I begin:

Lord remove this load of sin;

Let your blood, for sinners spilt,

Set my conscience free from guilt.


Lord, your rest to me impart,

Take possession of my heart;

There your blood-bought right maintain

And without a rival reign.


While I am a pilgrim here,

Let your love my spirit cheer;

As my guide, my guard, my friend,

Lead me to my journey’s end.


Show me what I am to do;

Ev’ry hour my strength renew.

Let me live a life of faith;

Let me die your people’s death.

~John Newton, 1725-1807

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray, thee Lord, my soul to keep.  Guard and keep me through the night and wake me with the morning light.  Amen.

May 16 Fill Up and Drink Deep


Photo by Danny J

1 Samuel 18:5-19;   John 8: 31-59; Psalm 112:1-10;  Proverbs 15:12-14

“If you abide in my word,

you are truly my disciples,

and you will know the truth,

and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31


“Whoever is of God,

hears the word of God.”

John 8:47


“Truly, truly, I say to you,

if anyone keeps my word,

he will never see death.”

John 8:51

‘You are what you eat.’


Feed yourself junk food, and you’re junk?

Feed yourself rich fare, and you’re rich?

Feed yourself 100% organic, and you’re pure?


While there may be some truth to that, there is real Truth concerning Spiritual food:

St. Bernard of Clairvaux writes:

“I wish to follow with all my strength the lowly Jesus;  I wish Him, who loved me and gave Himself for me, to embrace me with the arms of His love, which suffered in my stead; but I must also feed on the Pascal Lamb,for unless I eat His Flesh and drink His Blood I have no life in me.  It is one thing to follow Jesus, another to hold Him, another to feed on Him.  To follow Him is a life giving purpose;  to hold and embrace Him a solemn joy; to feed on Him a blissful life.”

Lord God, apart from You I have no real life.  Thank you for making me Your own through faith, begun in the waters of Baptism and nourished through Your Holy Word and the Body and Blood of Your Son in the Lord’s Supper.  Through Word and Sacrament You preserve me in this world until I am safely home with You in Heaven.  Lord, I pray that all believers may find their strength, their joy, their bliss in You.  And I pray that Your Holy Spirit will move more hearts and minds to know Your Truth, to know Your Son Jesus Christ, to know of His Redeeming Love.  In His name I pray, Amen.

April 17 Hurt


Photo by Aleisha Knight

Joshua 15:1-63;  Luke 18:18-43;  Psalm 86:1-12;  Proverbs 13:9-10

“Jesus took the Twelve aside and told them, “We are going up to Jerusalem, and every thing that is written about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.  He will be handed over to the Gentiles.  They will mock him, insult him, spit on him, flog him and kill him.”   Luke 18:31-32


“IF I feel injured when

another lays to my charge

things that I know not,

forgetting that

my Sinless Savior

trod this path

to the end,

then I know nothing of

Calvary Love.”


~  Amy Carmichael

Lord God, may I meet injustice and suffering with the same grace as my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.   May I be slow to anger, quick to listen, and able to show love and mercy like your Son showed while he hung dying on the Cross for my sins.  I don’t deserve your Calvary Love, but I thank and praise you for extending it to me and to all the world.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God,

 slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”

Psalm 86:15



April 16 Fervent Prayer


Photo by Emmanuel Carizzo

Joshua 13:1-14:15;  Luke 18:1-17;  Psalm 85:1-13;  Proverbs 13:7-8

“Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.  He said: “In a certain town there was a judge who neither feared God or cared about men.  And there was a widow in that town who kept coming to him with the plea, ‘Grant me justice against my adversary.’ 


“For some time he refused.  But finally he said to himself, ‘Even though I don’t fear God or care about men, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will see that she gets justice, so that she won’t eventually wear me out with her coming!”  Luke 18:1-5


“If I have not the patience of my

Savior with souls who grow


if I know little of travail (a sharp

and painful thing) till Christ be

fully formed in them,

then I know nothing of Calvary love.”


~Amy Carmichael

Lord God, you did not give up on me.  You heard the prayers of those who faithfully brought my name before your throne of Grace asking that I might know your Love.  Thank you for hearing their fervent prayers and for answering them!  Now, Lord, help me to not grow weary in my praying for those who need to know your love and grace and mercy.  For we who have eyes to see the wonders of Salvation must intercede for those who don’t.  May our knees bear the weight of Calvary Love, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

April 14 Suspicions


Image by Wagner Daniel

Joshua 9:3-10:43;  Luke 16:19-17:10;  Psalm 83:1-18;  Proverbs 13:4

“If your brother sins, rebuke him,

and if he repents,

forgive him.

If he sins against you

seven times in a day,

and seven times

comes back to you,

and says,

‘I repent,’

forgive him.”

Luke 17:3-4


“IF I cast up a confessed,


and forsaken sin

against another,

and allow my

remembrance of

that sin to color

my thinking and

feed my suspicions,

then I know nothing of

Calvary love.”

~Amy Carmichael, Missionary

Lord God, during this Holy week when we remember Christ’s passion, help us to forgive even as you have forgiven us.  That Christ’s death on the Cross be not in vain.  Increase our faith so that we can forgive those who seem impossible to forgive.  Help us to love with abandon, with no thought for the cost.  May we live in the light of Calvary love, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

February 3 Monday Memo


Image by Rock Springs Church

Exodus 17:8-19:15;  Matthew 22:34-23:12;  Psalm 27:7-14;  Proverbs 6:27-35

“You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart

and with all your soul

and with all your mind…

You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Matthew 22:37-39

Lord, it’s the start of a new week.  There’s a lot to do.  Please help us to keep our eyes on you and to focus on your word.  Let your love reign in our hearts–that all we say and do reflect your grace and mercy towards us, remembering “that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”

You alone are good.  You alone are the Lord. 

The world would have us believe in ‘ourselves’ and in sheer will power to make the world ‘right’.  But we know we can do none of this without you in our lives.  Help us to love and serve others this week even as you love and serve us–for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

“But you may say:  Oh, it is utterly impossible for a person to keep these two commandments.   Yes, it is impossible for you to keep or perform them.  You cannot do it;  God must do it in you.  For him, it is possible.”

~  Martin Luther

November 1 Home


Photo by Stephen Corbett

Ezekiel 1:1-3:15;  Hebrews 3:1-19;  Psalm 104:1-23;  Proverbs 26:24-26

“Home is where the heart is.”   This saying adorns many kitchen plaques and hangs over many entry doors.  It’s origin is not modern.  It was written by Pliny the Elder, a Roman citizen who died in 79A.D.  He never married, spent many years in civic service, and commanded naval ships.  I wonder what kind of home he was thinking of when he penned those words.

“Home is where the heart is.”  Perhaps it refers to all that we attach loyalty, love, honor and devotion.

For we who believe this saying has a very special meaning.

Our heart is Christs’ home where He comes to dwell through faith.

“And we are his house, if we hold on to our courage and the hope of which we boast.”  Hebrews 3:6

Sometimes our earthly homes fall short of the idyllic “Home is where the heart is.”  At times our hearts may want to flee from home.  Because of sin, discord, tension and conflict disturb the peace and tranquility in our homes.

Thanks be to God through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, that sin need not rule and ruin our homes.  Christ conquered sin on the Cross.  He restores our hearts.  He restores our homes.  Christ in our hearts–that’s where home is!

Lord God Heavenly Father, thank you for making your home in our hearts through faith.  Thank you for sweeping the sin from our rooms, for opening the windows and blowing in the Spirit’s fresh air.  Thank you for the peace which you bring to our hearts.  Bless our earthly homes as well with your peace that passes all understanding.   Grace our homes with a strong foundation built on Your Word.  In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

September 7 Clean


Song of Songs 5:1-8:14;  2 Corinthians 9:1-15;  Psalm 51:1-19;  Proverbs 22:24-26

“Cleanliness is next to godliness.”

Some folks attribute this quote to Charles Wesley.  Some to Ben Franklin.  Whoever penned it echoed what King David of the Old Testament learned the hard way.

Psalm 51 is David’s firsthand account of dirt and soap.

David’s heart broke with godly sorrow after the prophet, Nathan, confronted him with his sin of adultery and murder.  No amount of self-justification (I’m king–I can do what I want) could hold David’s heart and soul together.  He broke under the truth.

Before God, David admitted his sin and asked for forgiveness.

God granted it.

David’s heart mended under God’s cleaning.

And rather than keep his whole affair “quiet” David declared that he would tell others of God’s mercy for sinners like him.

It’s a beautiful psalm.  A very personal psalm.  A hopeful psalm.  A psalm for you and me.

If your heart breaks under guilt and shame, know that your Savior’s body and blood shed for you on the cross is the perfect cleaning solution for you.

Cleanliness is next to godliness–that’s the business of the Cross!

Lord God, “wash me thoroughly from my iniquity and cleanse me from my sin…purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean, wash me and I shall be whiter than snow…create in me a clean heart O God and renew a right spirit within me.” (Psalm 51:2,7,10)  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

“O Lord open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise!”  Psalm 51:15