kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, July 19, 2018

Your ransomed soul...

...He leadeth.


Verse for the week:  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6.2

Prayer for the week: “Lord, take our bodies and our minds and make them wholly yours.  So increase your grace in us that not our own desires but your holy will may rule us all in all; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 185). 

Bible reading for the day:  Psalm 23
1 The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3 He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name's sake.

4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5 You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
forever.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you: in Christ you have given me and your whole church our rightful Shepherd, the Good One.  Thank you!  Repent us of wandering off and following our own paths... because they are not righteous. Each hour, grant me to know the table of life you have spread before me, guide me to invite others to the same, and defend me against the evil of the Devil, the world, and my sinful self.  I ask this in the name of my Lord and Shepherd, your Son, Jesus Christ.  Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with our Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cHWMltF9_8   

“I believe in Jesus Christ…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from “The Small Catechism” by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.  Amen.  II Cor 13.14



*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com).  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

You are not your own... but his


Verse for the week:  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6.2

Prayer for the week: “Lord, take our bodies and our minds and make them wholly yours.  So increase your grace in us that not our own desires but your holy will may rule us all in all; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 185). 

Bible reading for the day:  Ephesians 2.1-10
1 And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience— among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved— and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages he might show the immeasurable riches of his grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for saving us by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. Our boasting can be so subtle and yet so prevalent; put it to death, Lord… that we may be free to be your workmanship instead of our own… and may walk in the good works you have already prepared for us. In Jesus’ name I ask this, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp3wXUoJnO8

I believe in Jesus Christ his only Son, our Lord…
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with us all.  Amen.  II Cor 13.14



*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com).  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: repentance
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 


Tuesday, July 17, 2018

What sheep need


Verse for the week:  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6.2

Prayer for the week: “Lord, take our bodies and our minds and make them wholly yours. So increase your grace in us that not our own desires but your holy will may rule us all in all; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 185). 

Bible reading for the day:  Mark 6.30-34
30 The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. 31 And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. 32 And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves. 33 Now many saw them going and recognized them, and they ran there on foot from all the towns and got there ahead of them. 34 When he went ashore he saw a great crowd, and he had compassion on them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd. And he began to teach them many things.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you: sheep like us need a shepherd and you have given us the true & rightful one, your Son Jesus Christ. Thank you! Repent us of wandering away from him and looking for an easier one.  Each day, make us hungry for his teaching… that we may taste and enjoy true life. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0cHWMltF9_8

“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true! (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther, ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  The God of hope fill us with all joy and peace in believing, that we may abound in hope, in the power of the Holy Spirit.  Amen.  (Romans 15.13)



*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com).  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 

Monday, July 16, 2018

Bad Shepherds and the Good One


Verse for the week:  Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6.2

Prayer for the week: “Lord, take our bodies and our minds and make them wholly yours.  So increase your grace in us that not our own desires but your holy will may rule us all in all; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 185). 

Bible reading for the day:  Jeremiah 23.1-6
1“Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” declares the Lord. 2 Therefore thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, concerning the shepherds who care for my people: “You have scattered my flock and have driven them away, and you have not attended to them. Behold, I will attend to you for your evil deeds, declares the Lord. 3 Then I will gather the remnant of my flock out of all the countries where I have driven them, and I will bring them back to their fold, and they shall be fruitful and multiply. 4 I will set shepherds over them who will care for them, and they shall fear no more, nor be dismayed, neither shall any be missing, declares the Lord.
5 “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will raise up for David a righteous Branch, and he shall reign as king and deal wisely, and shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. 6 In his days Judah will be saved, and Israel will dwell securely. And this is the name by which he will be called: ‘The Lord is our righteousness.’

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for our righteous, shepherd king, Jesus.  Deliver us from fealty to any other… such misplaced faith only scatters and destroys us.  Keep us in your flock, O Lord, for then no matter what trouble befalls us we are saved and secure.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Music: follow this link to a scene from G.F. Handel’s “Messiah” which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x5jeelU1Vb4

“I am the Lord your GodYou shall have no other gods.” Exodus 20.2
What does this mean for us?
We are to fear, love, and trust God above all things.
(from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

Benediction:  The peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.  Phil 4.7



*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com).  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

Independence Day Prayer

“For you were called to freedom, brothers. Only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another.”  Paul in Galatians 5.13

Gracious and almighty Father, this is the day that you have made
And we rejoice in it.
Thank you... for creating us for freedom in your creation.
Thank you for granting us true freedom in Jesus Christ,
And for enabling us to keep your law in freedom and love.
Thank you!
Repent us of shallow celebration; of poor stewardship of this freedom; of neglecting our responsibilities, abusing our privileges, and of remaining silent when you call us to speak.
Keep us from the selfishness that stifles freedom,
From the narrow-mindedness that limits freedom,
From the hatred that destroys freedom.

Enable us and people everywhere
To live under free government,
To hear your Word,
And to know true freedom in Jesus Christ, our Lord,
In whose name we pray.  Amen.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Scorpions under your backside?


Verse for the week: I lift up my eyes to the hills.
    From where does my help come?
My help comes from the Lord,
    who made heaven and earth.
   Psalm 121.1-2

Prayer for the week: “O most loving Father, you want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing you, and to lay all our cares on you, knowing that you care for us.  Protect us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds in this mortal life may hide from us the light of your immortal love shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.”  (Prayer for Trust, LBW #204, Minister’s Ed., p. 111). 

Bible reading for the day:  Ezekiel 2.1-7 (note: Ezekiel prophesied to those exiled in Babylon from 593-571 BC.) 
 And he said to me, “Son of man, stand on your feet, and I will speak with you.” And as he spoke to me, the Spirit entered into me and set me on my feet, and I heard him speaking to me. And he said to me, “Son of man, I send you to the people of Israel, to nations of rebels, who have rebelled against me. They and their fathers have transgressed against me to this very day. The descendants also are impudent and stubborn: I send you to them, and you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord God.’ And whether they hear or refuse to hear (for they are a rebellious house) they will know that a prophet has been among them. And you, son of man, be not afraid of them, nor be afraid of their words, though briers and thorns are with you and you sit on scorpions. Be not afraid of their words, nor be dismayed at their looks, for they are a rebellious house. And you shall speak my words to them, whether they hear or refuse to hear, for they are a rebellious house.

prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for sending preachers to speak your word to us… and for sending your living word in the flesh, Jesus Christ. Repent me and your whole church of refusing to hear you. Give me and all preachers of your word such trust in you that though we may sit on scorpions, we may yet speak your saving truth to your people. I ask this in the name of the one who was killed – and raised – for being your word, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a recent rendition of a classic hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-aIA13eKBNo

“Hallowed be thy name…”
What does this mean for us?
God's name is indeed holy in itself, but we pray in this petition that it may be kept holy also among us.
How is this done?
God's name is hallowed when his Word is taught in its truth and purity and we, as God's children, lead holy lives in harmony with it. Grant this to us, dear Father in heaven! But whoever teaches and lives in ways other than what God's Word teaches dishonors the name of God among us. Prevent us from doing this, heavenly Father!   (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

benediction:    Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21) 



*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com).  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God. 

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Drawn up


Verse for the week: The Lord is my light and my salvation;
    whom shall I fear?
The Lord is the stronghold of my life;
    of whom shall I be afraid?”
Psalm 27.1

Prayer for the week: O most loving Father, you want us to give thanks for all things, to fear nothing except losing you, and to lay all our cares on you, knowing that you care for us.  Protect us from faithless fears and worldly anxieties, and grant that no clouds in this mortal life may hide from us the light of your immortal love shown to us in your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.  (Prayer for Trust, LBW #204, Minister’s Ed., p. 111). 

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 30
1 I will extol you, O Lord, for you have drawn me up
    and have not let my foes rejoice over me.
O Lord my God, I cried to you for help,
    and you have healed me.
O Lord, you have brought up my soul from Sheol;
    you restored me to life from among those who go down to the pit.

Sing praises to the Lord, O you his saints,
    and give thanks to his holy name.
For his anger is but for a moment,
    and his favor is for a lifetime.
Weeping may tarry for the night,
    but joy comes with the morning.

As for me, I said in my prosperity,
    “I shall never be moved.”
By your favor, O Lord,
    you made my mountain stand strong;
you hid your face;
    I was dismayed.

To you, O Lord, I cry,
    and to the Lord I plead for mercy:
“What profit is there in my death,
    if I go down to the pit?
Will the dust praise you?
    Will it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear, O Lord, and be merciful to me!
    O Lord, be my helper!”

11 You have turned for me my mourning into dancing;
    you have loosed my sackcloth
    and clothed me with gladness,
12 that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent.
    O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever!

prayer(based on the TRIP** method): Gracious and almighty Father thank you: in Christ you have indeed drawn me up, not just out of the small puddle of my own emotions, but out of the clutches of my sin, my death and the power of the devil. Thank you! Deliver me from trusting in my prosperity and from giving you cause to hide your face from me. Keep your promise and keep your grip on me Lord, that morning by morning I may sing your praise and not be silent. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dTKIqmdfHSk

“I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord…”
What does this mean?
I believe that Jesus Christ — true God, begotten of the Father from eternity, and also true man, born of the Virgin Mary — is my Lord. He has redeemed me, a lost and condemned creature, and has freed me from sin, death, and the power of the devil, not with silver and gold, but with his holy and precious blood and his innocent suffering and death. He has done all this in order that I might be his own, live under him in his kingdom, and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence, and blessedness, even as he is risen from the dead and lives and reigns for all eternity. This is most certainly true!  (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther ©Reclaim Resources, Sola Publishing, 2011)

benediction: Now to him who by the power at work within us is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (Eph 3:20-21) 

*There are many patterns for devotions.  This pattern has been followed by God’s people for centuries.
**The T.R.I.P. approach to prayer is based on the way Martin Luther prayed and taught others to pray.  It was later developed by Walter and Ingrid Trobisch and then adapted by Mount Carmel Ministries (Alexandria, MN www.dailytext.com).  The method is founded on scripture and easy to remember:                                                                                        T: thanksgiving
                                                          R: regret (repentance)
                                                          I: intercession (asking God to take a specific action)
                                                          P: plan or purpose
Reading a biblical text and then applying this method gives one a sound, simple way to form one’s prayers...not to mention that it helps one learn how to faithfully reflect on God’s Word and talk to God.