kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Your partner in the foxhole that is life

 Verse for the week: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15.5  

Prayer for the week: Blessed is everyone who fears you, O Lord. Rescue me from my own way. Grant that I may walk in your ways, that your peace may be upon my children’s children; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (based on Psalm 128)  

Bible reading for the day: Genesis 2.18-3.1 (note: Right after he creates life and just before the battle with Satan is pitched, the Lord God establishes husband and wife in the estate of marriage.)
Then the Lord God said, “It is not good that the man should be alone; I will make him a helper fit for him.” 19 Now out of the ground the Lord God had formed every beast of the field and every bird of the heavens and brought them to the man to see what he would call them. And whatever the man called every living creature, that was its name. 20 The man gave names to all livestock and to the birds of the heavens and to every beast of the field. But for Adam there was not found a helper fit for him. 21 So the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and while he slept took one of his ribs and closed up its place with flesh. 22 And the rib that the Lord God had taken from the man he made into a woman and brought her to the man. 23 Then the man said,

“This at last is bone of my bones
    and flesh of my flesh;
she shall be called Woman,
    because she was taken out of Man.”

24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and his mother and hold fast to his wife, and they shall become one flesh. 25 And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.

3.1Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the LORD God had made.”  

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for not leaving me alone; thank you that my dog is not my best friend… my wife is. Under Christ we know no shame and we are perfectly paired for the battle against Satan; thank you. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.  

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=teI3ayeBxX0  

Lead us not into tempation…”

What does this mean?  God indeed tempts no one to sin, but we pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would guard and protect us from this, that the devil, the world, and our sinful nature may not deceive us or lead us into false belief, despair, and other great and shameful sins; and we pray that even though we are tempted in these ways, we may finally prevail and gain the victory. (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.  (Philippians 4.7)

 

*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, January 27, 2021

To the unmarried and the married

Verse for the week: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15.5 

Prayer for the week: Blessed is everyone who fears you, O Lord. Rescue me from my own way. Grant that I may walk in your ways, that your peace may be upon my children’s children; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (from Psalm 128) 

Bible reading for the day: I Corinthians 7.8-16 (note: Having laid our foundation on Christ crucified for the forgiveness of our sins, Paul continues to shed light on what this foundation means for singles, widows, and married persons.
To the unmarried and the widows I say that it is good for them to remain single, as I am. But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion.

10 To the married I give this charge (not I, but the Lord): the wife should not separate from her husband 11 (but if she does, she should remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband), and the husband should not divorce his wife.

12 To the rest I say (I, not the Lord) that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he should not divorce her. 13 If any woman has a husband who is an unbeliever, and he consents to live with her, she should not divorce him. 14 For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. 15 But if the unbelieving partner separates, let it be so. In such cases the brother or sister is not enslaved. God has called you to peace. 16 For how do you know, wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, husband, whether you will save your wife? 

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for your chief work: Christ crucified for the forgiveness of our sins. He was before all things and in him all things hold together. Rescue me and your whole church from the trap of putting our sexual desires before him. Use singles, widows, married persons, my wife and me as preachers of Christ for each other… that we and more persons may be saved. In Jesus’ name I ask this, amen. 

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://vimeo.com/46203440

Give us this day our daily bread…”

What does this mean? God indeed gives daily bread to all sinners, even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily bread? Daily bread includes everything needed for this life, such as food, drink, clothing, home, property, employment, necessities, devout spouse and children, an orderly community, honest and good government, seasonable weather, peace, health, a good name, true friends and neighbors, and the like. (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.  (Philippians 4.7)

 

*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, January 26, 2021

Her beauty...

Verse for the week: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15.5 

Prayer for the week: Blessed is everyone who fears you, O Lord. Rescue me from my own way. Grant that I may walk in your ways, that your peace may be upon my children’s children; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (based on Psalm 128) 

Bible reading for the day: Proverbs 31.10-31 (note: Both the Psalms and the Proverbs declare that the beginning of wisdom is the fear of the Lord. The book of Proverbs concludes with an acrostic – each verse beginning with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet – in praise of the woman who fears the Lord.) 

An excellent wife who can find?
    She is far more precious than jewels.
11 The heart of her husband trusts in her,
    and he will have no lack of gain.
12 She does him good, and not harm,
    all the days of her life.
13 She seeks wool and flax,
    and works with willing hands.
14 She is like the ships of the merchant;
    she brings her food from afar.
15 She rises while it is yet night
    and provides food for her household
    and portions for her maidens.
16 She considers a field and buys it;
    with the fruit of her hands she plants a vineyard.
17 She dresses herself with strength
    and makes her arms strong.
18 She perceives that her merchandise is profitable.
    Her lamp does not go out at night.
19 She puts her hands to the distaff,
    and her hands hold the spindle.
20 She opens her hand to the poor
    and reaches out her hands to the needy.
21 She is not afraid of snow for her household,
    for all her household are clothed in scarlet.
22 She makes bed coverings for herself;
    her clothing is fine linen and purple.
23 Her husband is known in the gates
    when he sits among the elders of the land.
24 She makes linen garments and sells them;
    she delivers sashes to the merchant.
25 Strength and dignity are her clothing,
    and she laughs at the time to come.
26 She opens her mouth with wisdom,
    and the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27 She looks well to the ways of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.
28 Her children rise up and call her blessed;
    her husband also, and he praises her:
29 “Many women have done excellently,
    but you surpass them all.”
30 Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain,
    but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
31 Give her of the fruit of her hands,
    and let her works praise her in the gates.

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you: after Christ Jesus the next best gift you have given me is my beloved wife. Her adornment is not deceitful charm nor vain beauty; her adornment inside and out is a right fear, love and trust of you, O Lord. Many women have done excellently, but she surpasses them all. Thank you, Lord, for giving us to each other under Christ’s lordship. In his name I pray, amen. 

Hymn: follow this link to a new hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WUfLZNtAtjA

Give us this day our daily bread…”

What does this mean? God indeed gives daily bread to all sinners, even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily breadDaily bread includes everything needed for this life, such as food, drink, clothing, home, property, employment, necessities, devout spouse and children, an orderly community, honest and good government, seasonable weather, peace, health, a good name, true friends and neighbors, and the like. (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.  (Philippians 4.7)

 

*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, January 25, 2021

The vine

 ...and olive shoots.

Verse for the week: “I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.” John 15.5 

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 128
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
    who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
    you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
 

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
    within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
    around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
    who fears the Lord.
 

The Lord bless you from Zion!
    May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
    all the days of your life!
May you see your children's children!
    Peace be upon Israel!
 

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, Christ is the vine; thank you for choosing to graft me and my family to him. Keep us in him, for then no matter what occurs, my family shall be like olive shoots around my table and your peace shall be upon us. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen. 

Hymn: follow this link to a new hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MimsQtU-ccQ 

Give us this day our daily bread…”

What does this mean? God indeed gives daily bread to all sinners, even without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that he would help us to recognize this so that we would receive our daily bread with thanksgiving.

What is meant by daily breadDaily bread includes everything needed for this life, such as food, drink, clothing, home, property, employment, necessities, devout parents, children, an orderly community, honest and good government, seasonable weather, peace, health, a good name, true friends and neighbors, and the like. (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.  (Philippians 4.7)


*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, January 21, 2021

Under him

 ...in his kingdom

Verse for the week: “For God alone my soul waits in silence, from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62.1

Prayer for the week: Once, O God, you have spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to you and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. Render unto even me, O Lord, your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen. (from Psalm 62)

Bible reading for the day: Ephesians 5.21-33

“…submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ. 22 Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord. 23 For the husband is the head of the wife even as Christ is the head of the church, his body, and is himself its Savior. 24 Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit in everything to their husbands.

25 Husbands, love your wives, as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, 26 that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, 27 so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish. 28 In the same way husbands should love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. 29 For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church, 30 because we are members of his body. 31 “Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” 32 This mystery is profound, and I am saying that it refers to Christ and the church. 33 However, let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you that Christ loves sinners such that he gave himself up for our salvation. Deliver me and my congregation from the pride by which we put ourselves above him and one another. Continue to grant to my beloved and me a solid marriage in which we submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. In his name I ask this, amen.

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

“I believe in Jesus Christ, God’s 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 peace of God which surpasses all understanding keep your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus our Lord.  Amen.  (Philippians 4.7)

 

*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, January 20, 2021

The freedom of a Christian

Verse for the week: “For God alone my soul waits in silence, from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62.1

Prayer for the week: Once, O God, you have spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to you and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. Render unto even me, O Lord, your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen. (from Psalm 62)

Bible reading for the day: Galatians 6.1-5    

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another's burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself. But let each one test his own work, and then his reason to boast will be in himself alone and not in his neighbor. For each will have to bear his own load.

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, I am nothing and Christ is everything… thank you! Guard me continuously from deceiving myself. Teach me to use my Christian freedom to keep watch on myself and bear responsibility for myself… and while I’m at it, to bear my brother’s burden with gentleness. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YcKlYUL5B0E

“Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us…”

What does this mean?

We pray in this petition that our heavenly Father would not hold our sins against us and because of them refuse to hear our prayer. We know we have not earned, nor do we deserve, those things for which we pray. But we ask that he would grant us all things through grace, even though we sin every day and deserve nothing but punishment. And so we, too, will heartily forgive, and gladly do good to those who sin against us. (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.  (Philippians 4.7)

 

*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, January 19, 2021

What your children most need from you

Verse for the week: “For God alone my soul waits in silence, from him comes my salvation.” Psalm 62.1

Prayer for the week: Once, O God, you have spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to you and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. Render unto even me, O Lord, your steadfast love, through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord. Amen. (from Psalm 62)

Bible reading for the day: Deuteronomy 6.4-12 (note: “Deuteronomy” means second law. A subsequent generation has learned from the Babylonian Exile and is now confessing with its own mouth what it means to the people of Yahweh)

“Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might. And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.

10 “And when the Lord your God brings you into the land that he swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give you—with great and good cities that you did not build, 11 and houses full of all good things that you did not fill, and cisterns that you did not dig, and vineyards and olive trees that you did not plant—and when you eat and are full, 12 then take care lest you forget the Lord, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.

Prayer (based on the TRIP* method): Gracious and almighty Father, in a world that clamors after other gods, thank you for choosing us to belong to you. To chase another god only lands us back in our old slavery. So, for my children and their children, continue to put your word on my lips at our kitchen table and bedside, when we lie down and when we rise, when we travel and when we are at home… that our heart, soul, and strength may be kept in you alone, O Lord. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

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

What does God declare concerning all these commandments?

He says: “I the Lord your God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children to the third and the fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing steadfast love to thousands of those who love me and keep my commandments” (Exodus 20:5b-6 ESV).

What does this mean?

God threatens to punish all who violate these commandments. We should, therefore, fear his anger and in no way disobey them. But God promises grace and every blessing to all who keep these commandments. We should, therefore, love him, trust in him, and gladly keep his commandments. (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.  (Philippians 4.7)

 

*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.