Hope

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Hope of the world, Thou Christ of great compassion;  speak to our fearful hearts by conflict rent.  Save us, Thy people, from consuming passion, Who by our own false hope and aims are spent.

Hope of the world, God’s gift from highest heaven, bringing to hungry souls the bread of life, still let thy Spirit unto us be given to heal earth’s wounds and end our bitter strife.

Hope of the world, afoot on dusty highways, showing to wand’ring souls the path of light, walk Thou beside us lest the tempting byways lure us away from Thee to endless night.

Hope of the world, who by thy cross didst save us from death and dark despair, from sin and guilt, we render back the love thy mercy gave us; take thou our lives and use them as thou wilt.

Hope of the world, O Christ, o’er death victorious, who by this sign didst conquer grief and pain, we would be faithful to thy Gospel glorious.  Thou art our Lord!  Thou dost forever reign

~ Hymn by Georia Harkness, 1891-1974

Lord God, Heavenly Father, thank you for giving us Hope through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  In His name we pray, Amen.

 

 

United We Stand

Photo by David Christian

Photo by David Christian

“Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night.

He is like a tree planted by streams of water,

which yields it fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither.

Whatever he does he prospers.

Not so the wicked!

They are like chaff

that the wind blows away.

Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgement,

nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous.

For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous,

but the way of the wicked will perish.”

Psalm 1:1-6

Photo by David Christian

Photo by David Christian

* * * * *

In Christ we shall stand

righteous

before the Father

not because of what we have

done

but because of what He has done

for us.

If you believe in your heart

that Jesus Christ died for your sins on the Cross

and rose from the dead

and lives and reigns in Heaven

you shall stand.

THAT is something to celebrate

on this 4th of July weekend!

Photo by David Christian

Photo by David Christian 

Thank you Lord God for the true freedom we have in Jesus Christ no matter where we live is this big wide world! To you be all honor, glory and praise!  Amen.

April 28 Who’s In Charge?

Image by Kyle Wright

Image by Kyle Wright

Judges 8:18-19:21;  Luke 23:44-24:12;  Psalm 99:1-9;  Proverbs 14:9-10

“The Lord reigns,

let the nations tremble;

he sites enthroned between the cherubim,

let the earth shake.

Great is the Lord in Zion;

he is exalted over all the nations.

Let them praise your great and

awesome name–

He is holy.”

Psalm 99:1-3

* * * * *

The Lord looks down from

Heaven

and sees

the brokenness of our world,

Broken buildings,

broken cities,

broken hearts,

broken justice systems,

broken families,

broken bodies,

broken minds.

Is He aloof?

Does He not care?

And yet the Psalmist

confidently writes,

“The Lord reigns.”

He IS in charge.

“His love endures forever.”

His Son broke

on the Cross

for our broken world,

our broken promises,

our broken obedience,

our broken devotion

and by His Resurrected Life

He mends,

forgives,

restores,

makes new.

Even in the midst

of earthly disasters,

disruptions,

sorrows and pains,

He comforts us with

His love and Compassion.

* * * *

“And after you have suffered a little while,

the God of all grace,
who has called you to his

eternal glory in Christ,

will himself restore,

confirm, strengthen,

and establish you.

To Him be the dominion forever

and ever.  Amen”

1 Peter 5:10

Lord God,  we pray to you as our God who reigns and ask for mercy upon those suffering the devastating loss of life in Nepal.  We pray for those who grieve the loss of the Baltimore man who died needlessly from his arrest.  We pray for those who feel helpless, angry, and hopeless in light of these tragedies.  Please have mercy on and comfort all these people.  May they find Hope in You and strength for the day.  We pray in Jesus’ name, Amen.

December 9 Written For You

Image by Mark Stuckey

Image by Mark Stuckey

Joel 1:1-3:21; Revelation 1:1-20;  Psalm 128:1-6;  Proverbs 29:18

“John, to the seven churches that are in Asia:

Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead and the ruler of the kings of the earth.

To him

who loves us and has freed us from our sins by his blood and made us a kingdom, priests to his God and Father, to him be glory and dominion forever and ever.  Amen.

Behold

he is coming with the clouds and every eye will see him,

even those who pierced him, and all tribes of the earth

will wail on account of him.  Even so.  Amen.

“I am

the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God,

“who is and who was and who is to come,

the Almighty.”

Revelation 1:4-8

***

Written for us

living in times ending,

observing the season of

Advent-

a time of reflection,

of repentance

of humble adoration

of the One who is, who was, and who

is to come

to deliver us from a world,

though wonderful and bright,

pales in comparison to the

glorious kingdom of Heaven

lit up by the very presence

of God!

Come, Lord Jesus, Come!

Lord God most Holy, I await for your return.  Please give me patience and faith to do so!  During this season of Advent please search my heart and bring to light all that is impure and unholy.  On bended knee please hear my prayer and forgive my sins, for Jesus’ sake.   May I be still and really hear your message of redeeming love for all the world.  Amen.

September 22 Through His Eyes

Image by Doug Shelton

Image by Doug Shelton

Isaiah 39:1-41:16;  Ephesians 1:1-23; Psalm 66:1-20;  Proverbs 23:25-28

“Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

Has it not been told you

from the beginning?

Have you not understood since

the earth was founded?

He sits enthroned above

the circle of the earth,

and its people are like grasshoppers.

He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,

and spreads them out like

a tent to live in.

~

He brings princes to naught

and reduces rulers of this world to nothing.

No sooner are they planted,

no sooner are they sown,

no sooner do they take root in the ground,

than he blows on them and they wither.

~

“To whom will you compare me?

Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

~

Lift your eyes and look to the Heavens:

Who created all these?

He brings out the starry host one by one,

and calls them each by name.

Because of his great powers and mighty strength,

not one of them is missing.

~

Why do you say, O Jacob,

and you complain, O Israel,

“My way is hidden from the Lord;

my cause is disregarded by my God?”

~

Do you not know?

Have you not heard?

The Lord is the everlasting God,

the Creator of the ends of the earth.

He will not grow tired or weary,

and his understanding no one can fathom.

He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.

Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall,

but those who hope in the Lord

will renew their strength.

They will soar on wings like eagles;

they will run and not grow weary,

they will walk and not be faint!”

Isaiah 40:21-31

~

Lord God, give me eyes to see the world from your perspective:  to see ISIL for who they are–men in need of  prayers and your Salvation;

to pray for the world’s leaders, that they be guided by your Truth and Wisdom;

to help the poor and needy who are precious in your sight;

to offer encouragement to those weighed down with disappointment even as you have given me strength and encouragement when I was weak and weary.

Lord, let me carry in my heart this day Isaiah’s words of your power and majesty–

that you call out the stars by name,

for I will remember that you have called me by name

and will keep me safe in you until Christ’s return.

Praise your Holy Name!

Amen.

September 11 Back To The Future

Image by Jeff Brown

Image by Jeff Brown

Isaiah 8:1-9:21;  2 Corinthians 12:1-10; Psalm 55:1-23;  Proverbs 23:4-5

“Nevertheless, there will be no more gloom for those who were in distress.  In the past he humbled the land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, but in the future

he will honor Galilee of the Gentiles, by the

way of the sea, along the Jordan.

The people walking in darkness

have seen a great light;

on those living in the land of the

shadow of death

a light has dawned.

You have enlarged the nation

and increased their joy;

they rejoice before you

as people rejoice at the harvest,

as men rejoice

when dividing the plunder.

For as in in the day of Midian’s defeat

you have shattered

the yoke that burdens them,

the bar across their shoulders,

the rod of their oppressor.

Every warriors boot used in battle

and every garment rolled in blood

will be destined for burning,

will be fuel for the fire.

~

For unto us a child is born,

unto us a son is given,

and the government will be on

his shoulders.

And he will be called

Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,

Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

Of the increase of his government

and peace there will be no end.

He will reign on David’s throne

and over his kingdom,

establishing and upholding it

with justice and righteousness

from that time on and forevermore.

The zeal of the Lord Almighty

will accomplish this.”

Isaiah 9:1-7

Image by Lenin Rodriguez

Image by Lenin Rodriguez

Lord God, into a tumultuous world riddled with warring nations fueled by mankind’s greed, pride and lust for power you sent your Son.  Our world seems no less different today than the one into which the prophet Isaiah spoke and the one into which Jesus was born.  Sin and evil abound.  But thanks be to You, O God–our Wonderful Counselor has come!  Our Mighty God has broken the chains of sin and death!  Our Everlasting Father reigns above!  We have met the Prince of Peace!  Days of righteousness and justice are coming!  Lord, may faith increase in our world–that people will look to you for their salvation.  Help us to be your faithful witnesses, for Jesus’ sake, Amen.

August 8 Mercy Answers

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes


Ezra 7:1-8:20; 1 Corinthians 4:1-21; Psalm 30:1-12; Proverbs 20:28-30

“I will exalt you, O Lord for you lifted me out of the depths
and did not let my enemies gloat over me.
O Lord my God, I called to you for help and you healed me.
O Lord, you brought me up from the grave; you spared me from
going down to the pit.
Sing to the Lord, you saints of his;
praise His holy name.
For His anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime.
Weeping may remain for a night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:1-5

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes

O all embracing Mercy,
O ever open Door,
What should we do without you
When heart and eye run o’er?
When all things seem against us,
To drive us to despair,
We know one gate is open,
One ear will hear our prayer.”
~Oswald Allen

O Lord, hear the cries for mercy rising up to you from all corners of the world today and in your great mercy, listen, comfort, forgive, strengthen and defend in Jesus name and for His sake, Amen.

Photo by Laura Jostes

Photo by Laura Jostes