kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Thursday, October 19, 2017

Thirsty?

Here's "Gatorade" for your soul😊

Prayer for the week:  “Lord God, grant unto us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and accept your word and thereby, being cleansed in mind and renewed in life, we may live to you, here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.207). 

Bible reading for the day: John 7.37-39
On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.’” 39 Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Prayer (based on TRIP method**):  Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for the one who alone is true drink: your Son, Jesus. Thank you. My self is a tainted even a dry well for sure; repent me of drinking the swill of me and my will. Reveal to me hourly the true depth of my thirst, quench it with Jesus… and pour him out through me for others. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

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)

Hymn: follow this link to a favorite of our family that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xjTk4011gvI


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.  

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Little Jack Horner?

Sitting in your corner? Nope, not you😊. Here's why...

Prayer for the week:  “Lord God, grant unto us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and trust your word and thereby, being cleansed in mind and renewed in life, we may live to you, here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.207). 

Bible reading for the day:  I Thessalonians 1.1-10
1 Paul, Silvanus, and Timothy,
To the church of the Thessalonians in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ:
Grace to you and peace.

We give thanks to God always for all of you, constantly mentioning you in our prayers,remembering before our God and Father your work of faith and labor of love and steadfastness of hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. For we know, brothers loved by God, that he has chosen you, because our gospel came to you not only in word, but also in power and in the Holy Spirit and with full conviction. You know what kind of men we proved to be among you for your sake. And you became imitators of us and of the Lord, for you received the word in much affliction, with the joy of the Holy Spirit, so that you became an example to all the believers in Macedonia and in Achaia. For not only has the word of the Lord sounded forth from you in Macedonia and Achaia, but your faith in God has gone forth everywhere, so that we need not say anything. For they themselves report concerning us the kind of reception we had among you, and how you turned to God from idols to serve the living and true God, 10 and to wait for his Son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delivers us from the wrath to come.

Prayer (based on TRIP method**):  Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for turning us from idols to serve you… thank you for choosing me and my congregation to be your own.  Repent us of being a “little Jack Horner congregation” and keeping your choice for ourselves. In affliction and joy, make us imitators of you and preachers of the gospel so that your message may ring out through us…and more people may turn from idols to serve you, the living and true God.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

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)

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djaXi1ZBXcw


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, October 17, 2017

Untangling your malicious pride

... Jesus cuts right through it😊.

Prayer for the week:  “Lord God, grant unto us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and accept your word and thereby, being cleansed in mind and renewed in life, we may live to you, here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.207). 

Bible reading for the day:  Matthew 22.15-22
15 Then the Pharisees went and plotted how to entangle him in his words. 16 And they sent their disciples to him, along with the Herodians, saying, “Teacher, we know that you are true and teach the way of God truthfully, and you do not care about anyone's opinion, for you are not swayed by appearances. 17 Tell us, then, what you think. Is it lawful to pay taxes to Caesar, or not?” 18 But Jesus, aware of their malice, said, “Why put me to the test, you hypocrites? 19 Show me the coin for the tax.” And they brought him a denarius. 20 And Jesus said to them, “Whose likeness and inscription is this?” 21 They said, “Caesar's.” Then he said to them, “Therefore render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, and to God the things that are God's.” 22 When they heard it, they marveled. And they left him and went away.

Prayer (based on TRIP method**):  Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for not falling for our traps nor caring about our opinions.  Thank you for being our Lord instead a candidate for our religious approval.  Repent us afresh of wanting to survive you rather than serve you.  Every day speak your straight, strong word right to us… that we may be untangled from our sinful selves and freed to give you what is already yours: our whole lives and all we have, now and forever.  Amen.

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)

hymn: Follow this link to a contemporary rendition of a beloved hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0Byp7aK2DA


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: repentance/regret
                                                          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, October 16, 2017

The Subject of the verb

...paying attention to the subject will give you humility and profound joy.

Prayer for the week:  “Lord God, grant unto us your Holy Spirit that we may hear and accept your word and thereby, being cleansed in mind and renewed in life, we may live to you, here and hereafter; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p.207). 

Bible reading for the day:  Isaiah 45.1-7  (note: in 539 B.C., the heathen King Cyrus reigned over Persia; the Lord used him as his instrument to free Israel from Babylon and bring her back from the Exile)
1 Thus says the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus,
    whose right hand I have grasped,
to subdue nations before him
    and to loose the belts of kings,
to open doors before him
    that gates may not be closed:
“I will go before you
    and level the exalted places,
I will break in pieces the doors of bronze
    and cut through the bars of iron,
I will give you the treasures of darkness
    and the hoards in secret places,
that you may know that it is I, the Lord,
    the God of Israel, who call you by your name.
For the sake of my servant Jacob,
    and Israel my chosen,
I call you by your name,
    I name you, though you do not know me.
I am the Lord, and there is no other,
    besides me there is no God;
    I equip you, though you do not know me,
that people may know, from the rising of the sun
    and from the west, that there is none besides me;
    I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form light and create darkness,
    I make well-being and create calamity,
    I am the Lord, who does all these things.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, you alone are sovereign. You are the doer and subduer, the chooser, the maker, the opener, the breaker and cutter… the giver. Thank you for exercising your sovereignty and doing all this most clearly in Jesus Christ.  Repent me and the whole human race of seeking to be our own sovereigns.  Each day, humble me and your whole church to confess that you are Lord, you alone and no other.  I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved, classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord, sing along and belt it outJ: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X2bhHosLHmI

Our Father, who art in heaven…”
What does this mean?
God encourages us to believe that he is truly our Father, and that we are truly his children, so we may boldly and confidently pray to him, just as beloved children speak to their dear father. (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.  

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Go ahead, ask for restoration

... proud ones like you and I need it daily😊

Verse for the week:  Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.  I Peter 5.7

Bible reading for the day:  Psalm 80.7-19 (note: the “vine” which God brought out of Egypt is his people, who flourished and then rebelled against him)
7 Restore us, O God of hosts;
    let your face shine, that we may be saved!

You brought a vine out of Egypt;
    you drove out the nations and planted it.
You cleared the ground for it;
    it took deep root and filled the land.
10 The mountains were covered with its shade,
    the mighty cedars with its branches.
11 It sent out its branches to the sea
    and its shoots to the River.
12 Why then have you broken down its walls,
    so that all who pass along the way pluck its fruit?
13 The boar from the forest ravages it,
    and all that move in the field feed on it.

14 Turn again, O God of hosts!
    Look down from heaven, and see;
   have regard for this vine,
15    the stock that your right hand planted,
    and for the son whom you made strong for yourself.
16 They have burned it with fire; they have cut it down;
    may they perish at the rebuke of your face!
17 But let your hand be on the man of your right hand,
    the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself!
18 Then we shall not turn back from you;
    give us life, and we will call upon your name!

19 Restore us, O Lord God of hosts!
    Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Lord, thank you for your right hand man, your son, Jesus Christ and his rescue of us.  You transplanted our forebears from slavery in Egypt to the promised land…and then they fell into slavery to themselves. Repent us of the same slavery.  Each day restore us and teach us – even when it takes the hard way – to call on your name, Jesus’ name. Amen.

Song: here’s what Josh Turner sings about God’s right-hander: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zHRWteKVDSY

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)


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, October 4, 2017

There are two kinds of tenants

... wretched, religious ones and humble, fruitful ones. Hmmm...

Verse for the week:  Cast all your anxieties on him, for he cares for you.  I Peter 5.7

Prayer for the week:  “Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly, and while we now dwell among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (Adapted from the Leonine Sacramentary by Frederick B. Macnutt, The Prayer Manual,  p. 17). 

Bible reading for the day:  Matthew 21.33-46
33 “Hear another parable. There was a master of a house who planted a vineyard and put a fence around it and dug a winepress in it and built a tower and leased it to tenants, and went into another country. 34 When the season for fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the tenants to get his fruit. 35 And the tenants took his servants and beat one, killed another, and stoned another. 36 Again he sent other servants, more than the first. And they did the same to them. 37 Finally he sent his son to them, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ 38 But when the tenants saw the son, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Come, let us kill him and have his inheritance.’ 39 And they took him and threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. 40 When therefore the owner of the vineyard comes, what will he do to those tenants?” 41 They said to him, “He will put those wretches to a miserable death and let out the vineyard to other tenants who will give him the fruits in their seasons.”
42 Jesus said to them, “Have you never read in the Scriptures:
“‘The stone that the builders rejected
    has become the cornerstone;
this was the Lord's doing,
    and it is marvelous in our eyes’?
43 Therefore I tell you, the kingdom of God will be taken away from you and given to a people producing its fruits. 44 And the one who falls on this stone will be broken to pieces; and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”
45 When the chief priests and the Pharisees heard his parables, they perceived that he was speaking about them. 46 And although they were seeking to arrest him, they feared the crowds, because they held him to be a prophet.

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you that you are the Lord of the vineyard and that you have redeemed sinners like us to be your pleasant planting… your tenants.  Repent me and your church of not heeding your Word from your servants and from your own Son… repent us of seizing your vineyard for ourselves rather than obeying you.  Indeed crush us… and by your grace bring forth from us the marvelous new wine of your vintage. I ask this in Jesus’ name, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved hymn which gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0Byp7aK2DA

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 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, October 3, 2017

From the rubbish pile...

to solid ground. Here you go.

Prayer for the week: “Grant us, O Lord, not to mind earthly things, but to love things heavenly, and while we now dwell among things that are passing away, to cleave to those that shall abide forever; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen” (Adapted from the Leonine Sacramentary by Frederick B. Macnutt, The Prayer Manual,  p. 17). 

Bible reading for the day:  Philippians 3.2-14  (note: the “dogs” is a reference to the circumcision party who trusted in our works to prove us worthy and good)
Look out for the dogs, look out for the evildoers, look out for those who mutilate the flesh. For we are the circumcision, who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in Christ Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh— though I myself have reason for confidence in the flesh also. If anyone else thinks he has reason for confidence in the flesh, I have more: circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; as to the law, a Pharisee; as to zeal, a persecutor of the church; as to righteousness under the law, blameless. But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith— 10 that I may know him and the power of his resurrection, and may share his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11 that by any means possible I may attain the resurrection from the dead.

12 Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. 13 Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method**): Gracious and almighty father, thank you for Christ, the one worthy of our confidence, and for Paul’s witness to him.  Repent me and your church of confidence in the garbage pile of our will, our accomplishments… heaped with our religious nips and tucks… that pile gets really stinky after all.  Vouchsafe unto us faith in Christ – in his death and resurrection – so that we may forget our garbage and press on in serving our neighbor… not because we have something of our own to prove, but because Christ has made us his own. I ask this in his name, Amen. 

Hymn: follow this link to a beloved classic hymn that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rkMapZB8qMk

“Thy will be done…”
What does this mean?
The good and gracious will of God is done indeed without our prayer, but we pray in this petition that it will also be done among us.
How is this done?
God's will is done when he hinders and destroys every evil design and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful nature that would keep us from hallowing his name and prevent the coming of his kingdom. And God’s will is done when he strengthens us and keeps us steadfast in his Word and in faith to the end of our earthly lives. This is his good and gracious will.  (from The Small Catechism, by Marty 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.