kneeling fisherman

kneeling fisherman

Monday, July 26, 2021

Freedom from our old slavery

Verse for the week:  Behold, the kingdom of God is among you.  Luke 17.21

Prayer for the week: “Lord, you have promised to grant what we pray in the name of your Son. Teach us to pray aright and to laud and praise you with all your saints in the fullness of life everlasting; through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen.” (K.B. Ritter, Gebete fur das jahr der Kirched, 2nd  ed. Kassel: Barenreiter Verlag, 1948, p. 152). 

Bible reading for the day: Exodus 16.2-8  (just weeks after their deliverance from 400 years of slavery in Egypt, our forebears are complaining and wanting to go back to their old bondage.)

2 And the whole congregation of the people of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron in the wilderness, 3 and the people of Israel said to them, “Would that we had died by the hand of the Lord in the land of Egypt, when we sat by the meat pots and ate bread to the full, for you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger.”

4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day's portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not. 5 On the sixth day, when they prepare what they bring in, it will be twice as much as they gather daily.” 6 So Moses and Aaron said to all the people of Israel, “At evening you shall know that it was the Lord who brought you out of the land of Egypt, 7 and in the morning you shall see the glory of the Lord, because he has heard your grumbling against the Lord. For what are we, that you grumble against us?” 8 And Moses said, “When the Lord gives you in the evening meat to eat and in the morning bread to the full, because the Lord has heard your grumbling that you grumble against him— what are we? Your grumbling is not against us but against the Lord.”

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method*): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for being our Lord and for liberating us from not only from Egypt, but from slavery to sin, death, and the power of the Devil.  Repent me and your whole church of grumbling against you and preferring the destructive, predictable safety of our old slavery. Each day, call us into the wilderness adventure that is discipleship and give us the faith to follow Jesus on the frontier…and to receive our daily bread with thanks to you.  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: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V-BS4IUoghk

“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 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)

 

* 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).  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, July 22, 2021

Soli deo gloria

Verse for the week: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136.1

Prayer for the week: Lord God, your ears are open always to the prayers of your servants. Open our ears, hearts, and minds to you, that we may live in harmony with your will and receive the gifts of your Spirit; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Lutheran Book of Worship, Pentecost 10)

Bible reading for the day: Psalm 136.1-12, 23-26

Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the God of gods,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.
Give thanks to the Lord of lords,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

to him who alone does great wonders,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who by understanding made the heavens,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who spread out the earth above the waters,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
to him who made the great lights,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the sun to rule over the day,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
the moon and stars to rule over the night,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

10 to him who struck down the firstborn of Egypt,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
11 and brought Israel out from among them,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
12 with a strong hand and an outstretched arm,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;

23 It is he who remembered us in our low estate,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
24 and rescued us from our foes,
    for his steadfast love endures forever;
25 he who gives food to all flesh,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

26 Give thanks to the God of heaven,
    for his steadfast love endures forever.

Prayer (based on the T.R.I.P* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thanks and praise all go to you; for you alone are good, your love alone is steadfast. You alone made the heavens and the earth and all that is in them. Christ alone strikes down our enemies – the devil, the world and our sinful selves – and rescues us from their hand. You are the good one, not us… and yet you claim us as your beloved. Thanks to you, O Lord, indeed; in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hh1-85tfy04

“I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

What does this mean?  I believe that God has created me and all that exists. He has given me and still preserves my body and soul and all their powers. He provides me with food and clothing, home and family, daily work, and all I need from day to day. God also protects me in time of danger and guards me from every evil. All this he does out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore, I surely ought to thank and praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction: May Christ’s promise of forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation be upon you now and for eternity.

 

* 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).  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 21, 2021

Your family's proper starting place

Verse for the week: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136.1

Prayer for the week: Lord God, your ears are open always to the prayers of your servants. Open our ears, hearts, and minds to you, that we may live in harmony with your will and receive the gifts of your Spirit; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Lutheran Book of Worship, Pentecost 10)

Bible reading for the day: Ephesians 3.14-21 (This letter to the congregation in Ephesus was most likely written by Paul while he was in prison, sometime between 54-58AD. In this excerpt, Paul declares that our heavenly Father is the proper starting place for every family in heaven and on earth.)

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, 15 from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, 16 that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, 18 may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

20 Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, 21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

Prayer (based on the T.R.I.P* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for rooting my family’s identity in you. Protect them from the deadly trap of uprooting themselves and taking anyone else as their starting place. Continue their whole lives long to strengthen their trust in you… that they may comprehend with all the saints the breadth, length, height and depth of your surpassing love and fullness in Christ Jesus. In his name I ask this, amen.

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

“Our Father who art in heaven.”

What does this mean?  Here God encourages us to believe that he is truly our father and we are his children. We therefore are to pray to him with complete confidence, just as children speak to their loving father. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction: May Christ’s promise of forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation be upon you now and for eternity.

 

* 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).  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 20, 2021

God hidden... and revealed

Verse for the week: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136.1

Prayer for the week: Lord God, your ears are open always to the prayers of your servants. Open our ears, hearts, and minds to you, that we may live in harmony with your will and receive the gifts of your Spirit; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Lutheran Book of Worship, Pentecost 10)

Bible reading for the day: Mark 6.45-52 (Immediately prior to this excerpt, Jesus has preached to and fed 5,000 with what the disciples had: 5 loaves and 2 fish.)

Immediately he made his disciples get into the boat and go before him to the other side, to Bethsaida, while he dismissed the crowd. 46 And after he had taken leave of them, he went up on the mountain to pray. 47 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. 48 And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, 49 but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out, 50 for they all saw him and were terrified. But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart; it is I. Do not be afraid.” 51 And he got into the boat with them, and the wind ceased. And they were utterly astounded, 52 for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

Prayer (based on the T.R.I.P* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you for not passing by me and my congregation in our small boat. Deliver us from the terror that arises when you are hidden from us. Defeat the pride that hardens our hearts… and speak Christ crucified and raised for us and for our forgiveness… that we may take heart and fear, love, and trust you more than we do ourselves. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

Hymn: follow this link to a classic that gives further voice to today’s conversation with the Lord: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqjogTA4GA8

“Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

What does this mean?  The good and gracious will of God is surely done without our prayer, but we ask in this prayer that it may be done also among us.

When does this happen? God’s will is done when he hinders and defeats every evil scheme and purpose of the devil, the world, and our sinful self, which would prevent us from keeping his name holy and would oppose the coming of his kingdom. And his will is done when he strengthens our faith and keeps us firm in his Word as long as we live. This is his gracious and good will. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction: May Christ’s promise of forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation be upon you now and for eternity.

 

* 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).  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 19, 2021

What the rainbow is really for

Verse for the week: “Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; for his steadfast love endures forever.” Psalm 136.1

Prayer for the week: Lord God, your ears are open always to the prayers of your servants. Open our ears, hearts, and minds to you, that we may live in harmony with your will and receive the gifts of your Spirit; through your Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. (Lutheran Book of Worship, Pentecost 10)

Bible reading for the day: Genesis 9.8-17

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, “Behold, I establish my covenant with you and your offspring after you, 10 and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the livestock, and every beast of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark; it is for every beast of the earth. 11 I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of the flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.” 12 And God said, “This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: 13 I have set my bow in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.” 17 God said to Noah, “This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.”

Prayer (based on the T.R.I.P* method): Gracious and almighty Father, thank you: you care deeply, intimately about our relationship with you, and you have embodied your steadfast love most fully in the flesh of Jesus Christ. Thank you! Guard us from the wickedness and corruption that rejects your covenant. For Jesus’ sake, grant that every sighting of a rainbow may bring to mind your forgiveness of our sins. Amen.

Song: ready for some memorable, musical fun? Follow this link, scroll down just a bit and select the second video for “Bow in the Clouds.” https://faithink.com/books-of-moses-videos

“I believe in God the Father almighty, creator of heaven and earth.”

What does this mean?  I believe that God has created me and all that exists. He has given me and still preserves my body and soul with all their powers. He provides me with food and clothing, home and family, daily work, and all I need from day to day. God also protects me in time of danger and guards me from every evil. All this he does out of fatherly and divine goodness and mercy, though I do not deserve it. Therefore, I surely ought to thank, praise, serve and obey him. This is most certainly true. (from The Small Catechism, by Martin Luther)

Benediction: May Christ’s promise of forgiveness of your sins, life, and salvation be upon you now and for eternity.

 

* 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).  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, July 15, 2021

Greener pastures

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 lack nothing.
    He makes me lie down in green pastures,
he leads me beside quiet waters,
    he refreshes my soul.
He guides me along the right paths
    for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will fear no evil,
    for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
    they comfort me.

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

Prayer (based on T.R.I.P. method*): Gracious and almighty Father, you have not left me lost in the desiccated pastures of myself; you have sent Christ Jesus to be my good shepherd… thank you! When any other – the devil, the world, or my sinful self – would lead me away from him, come and defend me with the rod and staff of your strong Word. Restore my soul in the green pastures of your promise and lead me in paths of righteousness for your name’s sake. 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=LF2M8nvKK9k

“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)

 

*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).  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 14, 2021

The one 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)

 

*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.