Wednesday, December 31: John 9- Both troubling and glorious.

Troubling and glorious are two words that flooded my thinking about one verse. I even wondered how this could be as I pondered deeper and deeper into the verse. What verse am I referring to? John 9:3, Neither this man nor his parents sinned,” said Jesus, “but this happened so that the works of God might be displayed in him.

Glorious… verse 3 is one of the opening verses that sets up the healing of a man born blind. Jesus miraculously heals him, and in so doing makes yet another statement as to His ability and origin. And the Gospel resounds with yet another person believing in Jesus! Like I said, GLORIOUS.

And yet at the same time this verse is troubling. This man was born blind and lived many years that way. I pondered what being blind might have meant for the man and his family…

·         He was different from most people.

·         Likely couldn’t work.  Did he have to resort to begging?

·         Like the disciples, people thought he or his parents sinned, causing his blindness. What weight that must have been. What scars did that cause?

This and certainly more was put on him so that God might get glory? And that is a bit troubling. Would God, could God, did God inflict pain so that by removing the pain He –God- might receive glory?!?

And so I sat this morning with my thoughts tumbling…

In my own life I have experienced pain, pain of loss, pain of rejection, pain of false rumors. It was no fun. Eventually God worked good out through it. Romans 8:28 proved true in my life. I hope and pray that the works and character of God were displayed through resolution of my situation too.

Would I sign up for that kind of hurt again? Not voluntarily but neither would I remove that time of sifting if the subsequent growth and maturity that came from it would be lost as well.

And my hunch is that the man born blind would gladly accept the pain of his early years for the joy of receiving sight, meeting the Savior, believing in Him and now living forever with God in heaven.

Are some parts of this verse troubling? Yeah but for me, the all surpassing glory of God displayed is FAR more glorious.

Lord, I do not always understand Your ways, but I do always trust Your ways. Your ways are higher than mine. Your thoughts, too, are higher than mine and I surrender to You now and always.

Even more, Lord, I lay myself on the altar of service.  Use me however You will, to bring glory to Your name. Through Jesus, my Lord, I pray. Amen.


Tuesday, December 30: John 8- NO belief in Jesus then you die in your sins .

John’s Gospel is like a rich 7-layer chocolate cake where every bite is filled with flavor. Each chapter is dense and rich providing any number of meditative and instructional stops.

My eyes and heart locked onto verses 23-34: But he continued, “You are from below; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins; if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins.

Jesus’ statement about death, belief and sin drew me in. As I read John’s Gospel this time, I am seeing so many instances where He makes it clear that belief in Jesus is the source of eternal life and/or freedom from sin.

I re-read the second part of 24 again: if you do not believe that I am he, you will indeed die in your sins. The positive truth about Jesus viewed from the negative side. NO belief in Jesus, then you die in your sins.

This is a powerful statement and a straightforward truth. Belief in Jesus gives freedom from sins at death. Non-belief leads to death in one’s sins…

Got it?!

Question of the day. Do you believe? Do I believe in Jesus, that He is God’s Son and Messiah? Do you?

Lord, I believe… show me how to live today so that my belief is attractive to others and helpful to others that Your Name might be glorified through my actions and living. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Monday, December29: John 7- Essential for Life.

Jesus, who went to the feast quietly, waited until the high point of the festival to announce Himself in a dramatic way.

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.” I wonder what people understood Jesus saying with these words.

When He used similar words with the woman at the well, she thought Jesus was talking about actual water.

In every culture water is life… a source of water is essential for life. It seems reasonable that Jesus was saying He was essential for life (probably spiritual life, since it was spoken at a Jewish Feast of Tabernacles).

Additionally, Jesus suggested that Scripture spoke of Him, since the rivers of living water in Scripture were granted through belief in Him. People began to put their faith in Him as messiah.

A smile came to my spirit at this point; I, too, believe He is the Messiah! My faith is in Him.

John now adds a bit of commentary and wisdom. By this, John wrote, he meant the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were later to receive. Up to that time the Spirit had not been given, since Jesus had not yet been glorified (37-39).

The gift of the Spirit in every Christ follower’s life is a river of living water… pristine, clean, refreshing and never ending.

Thank You, Jesus, for sending the Holy Spirit to live in, guide and direct all of us who believe in You! What a precious gift, to have the Person of the Spirit living in us. Halleluiah. Amen.



Saturday, December 27: John 6-.

In a chapter filled with the majesty and miracles of Jesus I paused on His declaration, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty (35). I was preparing breakfast at the time so eating and drinking provided immediate connections with me.

I needed the sustenance of breakfast to get me going for the day. My body, fresh from sleep was depleted nutritionally. Additionally my body craved water, I was a touch dehydrated. I downed a tall glass of water as I read. It was both refreshing and sustaining. The food cooking would soon provide me with the energy I needed to start a long day ahead.

Jesus declares, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. Is Jesus actual food? No more than He is actual light or a gate, two of His other “I am” statements.

The imagery of the statement is wonderfully rich and I pondered all the ‘sustenance and nutrition’ Jesus provides my life every day.

Life, food and water… I need regular doses of Jesus throughout my day… meditation in the morning, prayer and praise during the day, wisdom from the Lord throughout the day. I am not healthy if I do not keep ‘eating and drinking’ of Jesus regularly. My spiritual life depletes and my spiritual life diminishes.

Thank You, Jesus, for being ‘food and drink’ for my soul. Thank You, Jesus, for nourishing me with Your life and presence throughout my day. Thank You, Jesus, for providing all I need to live and grow in You, the Father and the Spirit. Amen.


Friday, December 26: John 5- Jesus is God.

John makes it clear from the outset that Jesus is God even as the Father is God. John begins his Gospel with those profound words, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God (1:1).

Now again in chapter 5 John underscores this truth and makes sure his readers understand that the Jewish leaders understood that Jesus was who He says He was…God. So, because Jesus was doing these things on the Sabbath, the Jewish leaders began to persecute him. In his defense Jesus said to them, “My Father is always at his work to this very day, and I too am working.” For this reason they tried all the more to kill him; not only was he breaking the Sabbath, but he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God (16-18).

Certainly Jesus was a great ethical teacher, but if you want to believe in Jesus as presented in the New Testament, then you cannot stop there. Jesus, as presented in the pages of the NT is God. Here is the truly earth shaking truth of the NT. Jesus is God, fully God. The Jewish leaders of His day got it, he was even calling God his own Father, making himself equal with God.

As CS Lewis said, ‘By saying this, Jesus was either a Lunatic, Liar or He is in fact the Lord God of the universe’.

I believe the latter. How about you?

And I will align my life to obey and serve Jesus as God. How about You?

Lord Jesus, I worship You along with the Father and the Spirit. I believe You are God and I serve You as my God. I trust Your words and the whole of the Bible which You, the Father and the Spirit inspired and I will align my life to fulfill Your mandates and teachings. In Your name Jesus,I pray. Amen.


Thursday, December 25: John 4- That people might believe.

The two major movements in today’s chapter end with belief. The woman at the well believes and then many in her town believe. The Galilean official’s son is healed and the entire family believes.

Belief, changing and opening hearts to believe is Jesus’ end game… that people might believe! To this end Jesus taught. To this end Jesus performed miracles. To this end Jesus held conversations… that people might believe Jesus is the Son, the Messiah and through believing they may have life eternal.

Am I dedicated to this task as Jesus was? Am I dedicated to this task with half the intensity Jesus had?

That people might believe…

Lord Jesus, Father and Holy Spirit, may I be dedicated to this, Your cause… that people might believe in You. That the truth of the Son Jesus might be presented to people in such a manner that they believe in Jesus. Amen and Amen.


Wednesday, December 24: John 3- Gospel in a sentence.


Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life, but whoever rejects the Son will not see life, for God’s wrath remains on them (36).

Simple, straightforward, and direct. I wonder why this verse doesn’t make the top 10 memorized verses.

Belief in Jesus is the dividing point…

I spent time chewing on this verse, simple, straightforward, direct, and TRUE.

On which side do you stand???

O God, I pray that people believe…





Tuesday, December 23: John 2- A loving son, a simple act, a mighty declaration.

After reading the entire chapter I returned to the opening account of changing water into wine and spent my pondering time there.

When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied. “My hour has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” What Jesus did here in Cana of Galilee was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him (3-11).

One of my first thoughts was about Jesus as a loving son. First the mom, who had been treasuring the events of his life since his birth, was perfectly comfortable coming to Jesus to ask this favor. He was her son and she had no reason to doubt that he would listen to her. For some reason Mary had angst for the bridegroom and didn’t want the wedding celebration spoiled because they ran out of wine. The reason isn’t given but I could imagine any number of scenarios. Imagining like this allows me to ‘enter’ the story. She knew Jesus could do something so she asked and Jesus responds. Love to ask, love in responding. It is amazing how much simple interactions can tell us about relationships.

Quietly Jesus gives a few instructions. No hocus pocus, no call of attention, calmly and quietly Jesus gives the nearby servants two instructions. No one but the servants and disciples witness this event. By the time the ladle reaches the steward the water has become excellent wine. With this simple act Jesus saves the bridegroom from loosing face.

But there is far more to the story than helping an unnamed bridegroom, as John tells us, this simple act was the first of the signs through which he revealed his glory; and his disciples believed in him. This simple act was the first mighty declaration of Jesus’ true glory, the glory of the One and Only Son (1:14). For Jesus, His miracles were always multidimensional.  Somewhere in the miracle is a declaration of who He is and an invitation to believe in Him…

Hoping and praying that everyone who reads this blog believes in Jesus too!

Jesus, thank You for using events in everyday life to reveal who You are. Like the disciples I believe in You. Use me as You used them. Bring around me a community that encourages me to ‘be all I can be in Jesus.’ Push me from my comforts and self-centeredness into more open proclamation of who You are to the world in which I have influence. I love You, Jesus. Amen.


Monday, December22: John 1- God in human flesh.

Even though I love John’s Gospel and look forward to reading it especially given that this is the Christmas season, I miss the Psalms. My last few weeks in the Psalms were rich and uplifting. I am sure John will be so as well.

I took a slow read through John 1, marveling in particular at the opening and John’s subtle but clear allusion to Genesis, In the beginning… (1).

I found myself marveling at the opening description of Jesus. When I read the Gospels, I watch the “fully human” part of Jesus, this morning I found myself immersed in the “fully divine” nature of Jesus.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind (1-4).

The Word, Jesus, was God. I allowed those words and that thought to wash over me. I soaked myself in that thought. Jesus is God… everything that ever has been created in the whole of the universe He created. I could feel my mind exploding… but this was a wonder-full explosion.

I follow and serve the God who created everything.

Our God chose to reveal Himself to me and to the world through Jesus and the written word of God. WOW!!!!

O God, Thank You for the Word and Word made Flesh. Thank You for revealing Yourself to me and to the world. Help me to be a bearer of Your name to the world. In Jesus’ name and for the glory of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. I pray. Amen.




Saturday, December 20: Psalm 17-.

David is honest with God. When he has a concern he lays it before the Lord. As I listen to his conversations with the Lord, I grow more and more impressed with his delight in taking whatever situation he is in to the Lord.

Even as I read today’s Psalm, it was 2 lines that caught my attention and invited me to meditate. … through what your lips have commanded. My steps have held to your paths; my feet have not stumbled (4b-5).

David built his life on God’s Word, “what your lips have commanded.” David was intentional about God’s Word, taking it into his life (see Ps1) and as importantly making God’s commands the foundation and guide for his life.

As these thoughts blossomed in my mind, the question shouted within me, “Do I do that? Am I building my life on God’s Word?”

It is one thing to read, even to meditate on the Word, but do I go the next step and begin building how I live, what I do, how I speak and so on, on what God says?

Lord, I pray that it would be said of me, ‘He stayed close to the Lord; he lived what God said to the best of his ability.’ I live to Your honor and glory, Lord… in Jesus’ name. Amen.


Friday, December 19: Psalm 16- When life is good.

Through the first 15 Psalms, so much of David’s life was filled with heartache, pain and concern from enemies. Today’s Psalm reminds me that life is a mix of good days and hard times. Today’s Psalm sings of a time when life is good.

What touched me deeply was that in this good time David leans heavily into the Lord and confirms that the Lord God alone is his God whom he will worship and serve all his days. Some of the lines that jumped off the page at me:

Verse 2: I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; apart from you I have no good thing.

Verse 5: LORD, you alone are my portion and my cup; you make my lot secure.

Verses 8-9: I keep my eyes always on the LORD. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken. Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices; my body also will rest secure…

These snippets of the Psalm speak of David’s unshakeable faith in the Lord and confront me with the depth of my faith and trust in the Lord. Is my faith in Jesus unshakable?

I have been through some times of testing but nothing like David endured. What I need to do is stay close to the Lord and continue to build my faith muscles through obedience, believing that when the day of testing comes, I will stand strong and remain faithful.

Lord, thank You for the life You have given me. I pray for strength to stand with and for You all the days of my life. Lord, I offer my life to You, use me as You will for Your sake and for Your glory. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen


Thursday, December 18: Psalm 15- God's high priorities.

Yesterday David sang about the fool and the utter corruption of us, humans. Today he sings of the blameless, those who may live on God’s sacred mountain… it is as if he has written two opposite songs.

How do the blameless live? They do what is righteous and speak what is true. They won’t slander a neighbor but revile the vile and honor those who fear the Lord. They keep their oaths to the Lord, even when it hurts. They lend to the poor without interest and do not accept bribes.

That is quite a list, and certainly it is not exhaustive, but rather suggestive.

The first stop of my mind is this. If I must do this perfectly, then I have no chance. It is easy to see how David has written, ‘Who is righteous? No, not one!’

But as a redeemed of Jesus, this Psalm gives me direction regarding how to live the high priorities on God’s list. And it certainly gives me focus for living as God would have me live…

Lord, I am far from perfect. But thanks to Your redemption, I have Your Holy Spirit in me. Today You remind me how I treat a neighbor, speaking with truthfulness, despising injustice and honoring righteousness. These are some of Your ‘to dos’. Spirit, give me strength to do Your ‘to dos’ today. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Wednesday, December 17: Psalm 14- God's answer for our problem.

The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, their deeds are vile; there is no one who does good.

The LORD looks down from heaven on all mankind to see if there are any who understand, any who seek God.

All have turned away, all have become corrupt; there is no one who does good, not even one (1-3).

David paints a terrible picture of humankind, but it is fair. We have all turned away from God and seek self above all else. We are not all as bad as bad can be, but when I look in the mirror I see what David is saying. I do some good but I also do some bad. I am a bag of mixed motives… just like everyone else.

Fortunately, God send a solution… God sent Jesus, God in human flesh, to save me and all who believe from the corruption that besets us.

The terrible situation that David acknowledges is offset by the work of Jesus Christ. Thanks be to God!

As I closed today, I paused to thank the Lord for the gift of salvation and reconciliation through faith in Jesus…

Thank You, O God, for taking care of the sin problem by sending Jesus. I pray, Lord, that You help me spread the word about Jesus and His grace to people near and far. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen


Tuesday, December 16: Psalm 13- Ever trusting.

How powerful I found this Psalm to be. With cries of anguish and bewilderment David reaches out to the Lord, “How long… How long… How long… How long will my enemy triumph over me?” (1,2).

David is distressed and he bangs on God’s door with cries for help. The tenor of this Psalm is pleading; he bangs and bangs and continues to bang… how long Lord until You help me?

I have been there, very likely you have been there, crying to God on the brink of despair.

And yet, it was not David’s honesty nor his relentless cries that sparked in my heart flames of faith. No, it was the manner in which he ended his prayer.

Where many others and I may despair because it seems like God has abandoned me, and is no longer listening to me, in David rises this amazing faith!

But I trust in your unfailing love;

my heart rejoices in your salvation.

I will sing the LORD’s praise,

for he has been good to me (5-6).

I need to type David’s words again, a message to my brain and heart. This is where deep and true faith lives even when it seems God is absent.

I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation. I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.

God IS always there. I may not feel it. His deliverance may not be as I hope or when I hope BUT God IS always there. His unfailing (I say that word aloud… ‘unfailing’) love is trustworthy. I can and will speak and sing God’s praise because He has been good to me.

Tempted by circumstance to forget all this, David reminds himself to trust, to praise, to rejoice in the Lord God who has revealed Himself to David.

Through David’s prayer, I am reminded that when I am tempted by circumstances to forget God, that is precisely when I, too, need to trust, praise, remember, and rejoice in God my Savior who has never let me down!

Praise to the Lord the Almighty, the King of Creation. O my soul praises Him for He is my help and salvation!!!

He hears me when I call… He hears me when I call.

Lord God I will praise You; Your love never fails… NEVER!

In the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, I pray. Amen.


Monday, December15: Psalm 12- Ahh, the human heart.


Life, it seems, doesn’t really change. The issues and concerns we face as humans don’t really change. Oh, the mechanisms and technology at our disposal changes a lot, but the way we humans relate to and with one another hasn’t changed since this Psalm was authored a millennia ago!

We humans deceive, we boast, we flatter, we lie, we malign, we stab in the back. The powerful overrun the weak. Those who can get away with things. It is maddening, disgusting and pervasive.

David seeing this, feeling this, experiencing this cries out to the Lord, “Do something, O God.” Help, LORD, for no one is faithful anymore; those who are loyal have vanished from the human race. … You, LORD, will keep the needy safe and will protect us forever from the wicked… (1,7).

Do I pray to God enough about the injustice I see in the world1? Honestly, probably not. God is the One who can do things. God is the One who can raise up empowered workers to take on injustice. God is the One we need for these situations that are way beyond our ability to handle and correct!

God, teach me to pray! Lord, teach me to intercede, to stand in the gap for the hurting, the downtrodden, the broken and bruised. Lord God, teach me to lament and to cry to You for others. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen


1 I am reading The Locust Effect by Gary Haugen. Its subtitle gives the plot: Why the end of poverty requires the end of violence.  It is a sad but powerful expose of parts of the world we do not want to see, but is the reality for millions. It offers more opportunities to intercede than I will need for a lifetime. It is a powerful read, if you have the time.



Saturday, December 13: Psalm 11- Under God's scrutiny.

David is in trouble again and he cries to the Lord for protection and help. How often we find ourselves crying to the Lord for help. Such is life in this world with devils filled, as Luther sings. We never graduate from needing the Lord’s help and salvation. David regularly and routinely reached out to the Lord when he was in trouble…

Do I? Do we? Or do we work to solve our problems through human strength and wisdom first before we turn to the Lord as our second resort?

In verse 4, David pictures God in heaven looking down, examining the whole earth.

The LORD is in his holy temple;

the LORD is on his heavenly throne.

He observes everyone on earth;

his eyes examine them.

God, David sings, is directly interested in the things of this world and how we, the people he created, live and act.

God is watching.

God is looking.

God is taking notes.

This is a sobering thought. From God’s vantage point He sees all, the righteous and the wicked, and God sees me. God is watching me and watching over me.

Because of my faith in Jesus I fear not God’s scrutiny. I recognize that I am imperfect and sin dots my life. And the Lord does certainly point out areas of sin that need to be confessed, repented of and dealt with… He watches me. And yet through faith in Jesus, God’s gaze is one that seeks to refine not destroy. I have been redeemed. I say this not with arrogance but utter humility. I can never ‘repay’ the Lord for all He has done for me. But love for Him presses me to live for Him and to live as He would desire…

Lord, God I am humbled before You. Words are slow to my tongue today; awed as I am that You saved me… that You watch over me… that You watch me.

May Your name be praised in my life and through out this world. Lead me to proclaim Your glory and name throughout this world. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Friday, December 12: Psalm 101- God defender of the needy.

This Psalm hit me square in the face, God is the defender of the needy. Humanity is capable of oppression and violence, putting oneself first at the expense and hurt of others, and even wanton violence. Despots reign through terror, moguls through the sheer power of their resources. Bullies push their weight around. Every culture, every continent, every era has seen violence and oppression of this group of humans by another simply because they could or can.

Humanity has plenty of examples of the ‘wicked man’ in verses 2-11.

It struck me that the psalmist reached out to the Lord, not the king, as the defender of the weak and oppressed. And this becomes an even more powerful thought if the Psalmist is King David, which is a possibility if the footnote to the Psalm (see below) is correct.

I don’t need the footnote to ponder this prayer. The psalmist cries out to the Lord to Arise and do something…

It hit me that too often I expect some human agency –the government, military, corporate or church leader –to do something about an injustice I see. The psalmist cries out to God. God’s answer will likely come as God prompts some person(s) to do something, but what I am realizing is that I, too often, turn to human agents rather than the Lord Himself.

This Psalm reminds me I have direct access to the Lord of Heaven and Earth, who is the defender of the weak. It makes sense then to turn to the Lord first and let Him move to prompt someone who then can take on the injustice in God’s power rather than his or her own power.

Hmmm. I have more pondering to do here…

Lord, arise and defend the weak and powerless…

Arise, LORD! Lift up your hand, O God. Do not forget the helpless. Break the arm of the wicked man; call the evildoer to account for his wickedness that would not otherwise be found out (12, 15).

Through Jesus, I pray. Amen


1Psalm 10 appears to be unnamed, unless we follow NIV marginal footnote which reads, “Psalm 9 and 10 may originally have been a single acrostic poem in which alternating lings began with the successive letters of the Hebrew Alphabet. In the Septuagint they constitute one psalm”





Thursday, December 11: Psalm 9- The Lord a refuge.

My thoughts were torn this morning; two different places in this Psalm beckoned me to meditate.

First came the opening. God had come through. David’s enemies had turned back and David was thanking and praising God for this. I will give thanks to you, LORD, with all my heart; I will tell of all your wonderful deeds. I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High. My enemies turn back; they stumble and perish before you. David’s thanks-filled heart authored this Psalm.

When the Lord comes through do I say’ thank You’? This is what I wondered. This is where I paused. My heart was warmed by David’s thankful heart. Like the healed leper in Luke 17:11ff who returned to Jesus, David thanked the Lord for saving him.

Lord, enlarge my heart with gratefulness and thankfulness to You and to others who do kindnesses for me…

After a few moments, I turned to my second stopping place, verse 9: The LORD is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.

Here I marveled at the character of the Lord, a refuge for the oppressed and a stronghold for people in trouble (parallelism of Hebrew poetry tells me the trouble is trouble inflicted upon them by others). Such is the Lord. He seeks and saves. He cares and helps.

Even as my heart began to offer praise to the Lord for this trait, which I have experienced, I also began to examine myself to see if this ‘God-likeness’ characteristic lives in me!

My answer? Much less so in me! I am not near as gracious and helpful of those in need.

I realize how MUCH more work the Holy Spirit needs to do in me in order to shape my heart to be like the Lord’s.  It seems, sometimes, that the longer I walk with Jesus, the more work in my life God still needs to do in me!!!

Lord, I give You permission to do whatever work You determine is needed to help me conform more closely to Your character and will. Spirit sanctify me, that I might better and more clearly reflect the character of my Lord Jesus to the world. Father may You be delighted and praised through the manner in which I live.

Praise be to You, Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Amen


Wednesday, December 10: Psalm 8- The majesty and glory of God.

I love the opening of this Psalm.

LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

in the heavens.

Even though the rest of the Psalm speaks about how humanity is placed above creation and below the angels and God’s glory, I found myself picturing and pondering the majesty and glory of the Lord our God.

How majestic is the Lord’s name, most wonderful in all the earth… the most wonderful in the world of everything I know. Nothing can compare with the Lord and the majesty of His name.

And if that is not enough, the Lord sets His glory in the heavens, above the earth for all to see! When I gaze into the heavens at the beauty of wispy clouds floating across the blue sky, when I see the sun move through its daily course and the stars glitter in the evening, when I see sunrise and sunset in its splendor, when storm clouds darken and rain from the heavens waters the earth… I see the hand of the Lord and the glory of His might. I see God’s creativity and inventiveness. I see the hand of my Redeemer and the wonder of the One I am invited to call, Abba, Father!

LORD, our Lord,

how majestic is your name in all the earth!

You have set your glory

in the heavens.

Praise be to You, my Lord and my God. Amen


Tuesday, December 9: Psalm 7- Reputation on the line.

Again David cries out during a time of trouble. Again he believes his Lord will hear and answer. David’s walk with the Lord throughout the years strengthens his resolve and understanding that prayer works. Prayer connects us with our Lord and all the gifts, treasures and resources that the Lord possesses. Prayer is a powerful gift from the Lord!

Listening to the Psalm, verse 8b caught my attention:  … Vindicate me, LORD, according to my righteousness, according to my integrity, O Most High. The boldness of David to pray this way!!! Wow! David was willing to put his reputation and character on the line before God in his prayer to be vindicated.

I guess you could take this as a bit of arrogance… “God, I am so good, You should vindicate me.” But that is not how I hear it. Instead I hear it as “God, I try to live for You. I try to make Your integrity my model. I live differently because You are Lord of my life. Please vindicate me against my foes…”

Where I meditated was more personal, filled with questions of myself under the microscope of the Holy Spirit.

Does my life shine for the Lord?

Can He be seen in the way I live my life?

Am in so intentional in how I live for Jesus that I might dare to pray with this boldness???

Lord God, my life should be different because of You… may I let my light shine for You in such a way that people see it and are drawn to You as they see Your character and love in me. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.


Monday, December 8: Psalm 6- How connected are you with the Lord?

David, ever expressive, turns to the Lord in a time of sickness.

The Lord was David’s ‘go to’ man. When David was in trouble, sick, in distress, fleeing from his enemies, etc. he prayed to the Lord. The more I think about it, when times were good he blessed the Lord.

David’s relationship with the Lord was woven into every aspect of his life.

I pondered what I just wrote, personalizing it and asking myself if every aspect of my life is woven into my relationship with the Lord.

The Lord led me on a brief review of the various areas/aspects of my life; together we probed my connection with Him in each area/aspect.







Play & Recreations…


And so my time with Jesus went, pondering how connected I am with Him, the Father and the Spirit in the various compartments of my life.

Lord, life is good and it is always best when shared with You. Thank You, Lord, for always being there with and for me, for helping me in distress, like David, today. Lord, you are the joy of my life, my rock and fortress. Praise be to You Lord God, Almighty. Amen.


Saturday, December 6: Psalm 5- Sustained by the Lord.

It is apparent from reading this Psalm that it was a morning prayer by David, a first prayer of the day by David. A ‘good morning Lord, the day is beginning’ kind of prayer.

This thought alone got me thinking how David cultivated his connection with the Lord. His day, the day he prayed this prayer at least, he began seeking God’s protection from his enemies. Significant times of his life David was on the run from people trying to kill him. Psalm 5 certainly fits into one of those times.

For me it is always a good thing to start my day with Jesus in prayer and The Word.

The psalm opens with David crying out to the Lord:

Listen to my words, LORD, consider my lament.

Hear my cry for help, my King and my God, for to you I pray.

There must be pain, concern, even fear on his heart because he is crying out to the Lord a lament for protection during the day.

Difficult times drive many of us to the Lord. God is there waiting to supply our need, to help us in our times of trouble.

As I read this Psalm, it suggests to me that David is in a season –an extended time of trouble. David, it seems, has the faith to rise this day –and probably many days- praying for God’s strength, protection and judgment upon his enemies.

Prayer isn’t necessarily an instant fix… but an on-going relationship with the Lord who is with us, sustaining us during the trials until He brings us out of it.

God is with me, in good times and bad. Joyous days and arduous seasons, the Lord sustains me, sustains all His children, who call out to Him.

Lord, like David, I call out to You in the AM.

Lord, hear my prayer.

Lord, like David and other psalmists, I cry out to You throughout the day.

Lord hear my prayer.

Lord, like saints throughout the centuries, when I lay my head down to sleep I call to You.

Lord, hear my prayer. Amen


Friday, December 5: Psalm 4- Close the day with Jesus.

It was evening when I sat to spend my time with the Lord today. Maybe that is why verse 4 arrested my attention.

Tremble and do not sin;

when you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent.

In distress David calls out to the Lord. I suspect his situation is what leads him to write Tremble and do not sin. In the face of difficulty we sometimes tremble as the situation crashes around us. But David calls to himself not to sin. Do not resort to doing something that would displease the Lord.

I pondered this. In tough, hard and distressful situations, I can be tempted to act in my best interest even when my actions aren’t righteous or honoring of the Lord. I hear David saying, ‘Tremble, yes, but keep trusting’. Allow God to move, let the Lord defend you. Do not resort to dishonorable actions to ‘save your skin.’

The second line seems like it might be a wise action for every day. When you are on your beds, search your hearts and be silent. Those few minutes after climbing in bed but before sleep are a good time to review the day.  Lord, have I lived honorably today? Have I done Your bidding, listened for and to Your voice, displayed Your character in my life today?

It is good to seek the Lord and to keep short accounts in life. Spending a few moments at the close of the day reviewing the day seems like a worthwhile habit…

What do you think?

Lord God, thank You for today. A day to live and breath and find my being in You. Bless You Lord. Thank You for today and all the grace You lavished on me and others today. I pray in Jesus name. Amen.



Thursday, December 4: Psalm 3- Trust.

What a marvelous psalm of trust…

But you, LORD, are a shield around me,

my glory, the One who lifts my head high.

I call out to the LORD,

and he answers me from his holy mountain.

I lie down and sleep;

I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.

I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side (3-6).

I found myself entering and imaging each word picture functioning over and around me.

The Lord, a shield around me…  image upon image filled my thoughts. God protecting me. His angels surrounding me as His shield is protecting me. The Lord stopping every dart or arrow of the enemy from getting anywhere near me. How wonderfully safe I felt within the protection of the Lord.

The Lord, lifting my head... Shame and other self-worth destroying hurts can weigh us down. The weight of shame can slump shoulders. I have seen people who find it difficult to look up and make eye contact due to shame and self-worth destroying hurts. God lifts the Psalmist’s head. God invites the broken person to look at Him, recognizing our self-worth comes not from the world but from the Lord. I felt God lifting my head, in so doing saying to me, “You are my son, my beloved. I am your Abba, I am your God, gaze upon me and be refreshed and restored…”

I call out and the Lord answers me… God hears me. The Lord answers my cries and my prayers. The Lord God Almighty hears and answers me!!! He invites me to pray and He delights in answering my prayers. Pray, ask, seek, commune… He beckons me, He beckons all his daughters and sons. “Come to Me,” He calls, “and I will answer you…”

Sleep and wake, sustained… God gives me rest. He gives me sleep!!! My body is tired from some long intense days; God gives me sleep, restful sustaining sleep. A deep sigh comes over me, Ahhh, the sweetness of God-blessed rest! I wake sustained by the Lord. In my sleeping and in my waking, the Lord sustains me. O the delight of being a child of the Lord.

No fear though trouble surround me… Some days and seasons are awash in trouble. Life can and does assail us, yet even then, even in the worst of seasons, we can say with David, I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.  I will not fear… I need not fear, the Lord is on my side! I am reminded of verse 3, the Lord is my shield. I am ushered back to thoughts of protection, God’s protection that is all about me.

Peace flowed over me, a peace growing not from life situations. No, it was the peace of the Lord, the peace I find in the Lord. I lingered, I rested, here in God’s peace and protection.

Lord, How blessed I am. How blessed I am to be counted among Your children… bless the Lord, O my soul. Bless the Lord

Bless the Lord, O my soul and forget not ALL His benefits! Amen.


Wednesday, December 3: Psalm 2- Ask for the nations.

Verses 8 & 11, grabbed hold of me as I read & prayed this Psalm this morning. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. … Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Recently I attended a 3-day workshop on prayer1. It was an incredibly powerful and encouraging workshop where we talked, learned and practiced intercession among other aspects of prayer.

God longs for His name to be broadcast and worshipped all over the earth and this connected in my heart with verse 8. Ask me, and I will make the nations your inheritance, the ends of the earth your possession. God wants us to pray for the advancement of His name to all nations, to the ends of the earth. At the workshop during times of intercession we prayed for the advance of God’s kingdom around the globe. It is incredible that God invites, even commands, us to join Him in spreading His fame and name around this globe! Ask me, says the Lord.

Lord, may we follow, call, and pray for the nations…

We pray what we believe and then, as verse 11 reminds us, we live what we believe. Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Lord, make me a praying and a serving son. Lord, make me a praying and serving disciple. Lord, make me a praying and serving person. All for your honor and glory. In Jesus’ name. Amen.


1The conference/workshop I attended was sponsored by PRMI (Presbyterian Reformed Ministries International, They have a series of 6 workshops on various aspects of the person and work of the Holy Spirit and this, the 3rd workshop, was on prayer. It was a powerful time of learning about and practicing prayer. I am so thankful that I attended. What a blessing it will be in my life.


Tuesday, December 2: Psalm 1- DELIGHT in the Lord.

The blessed of Psalm 1 is the person whose delight is in the law of the LORD (2). I found myself pondering those 8 words as I sat with the sky brightening as the sun rose upon the day.

Delight… for me is a fun word and a ‘light’ word. When I delight in something it is not a burden to do it.

I delight in my Monday extended breakfasts with my wife… we will sit and be with each other talking about life, the week to come, the week past, our kids, our life together, funny things, sad things… whatever. Often we are on our deck surrounded by nature and flowers and the beauty of God’s creation.

I delight in times in my woodshop. The smell of sawdust, the feel of wood in my hands, watching an idea or image in my mind take shape in wooden pieces around me. I delight in the sound and power of my machinery and in my hands that grow more rough and calloused when I have extended periods in my shop.

I delight in a hot shower after a hard workout. My sweat covered body being rinsed clean. My tired muscles relaxing under the streams of hot water. My lungs sucking in steamy warm breaths.

Things I delight in bring life to my inner being.

The psalmist says blessed is the person who delights in the Law of the Lord. I get that too. As I sit this morning, and most mornings, I fill my mind, my heart, my soul with God’s Word. I seek to linger in it, to steep my life in God’s Word. As water changes from plain clear water into tea as the tea leaves steep, so I feel God’s life and spirit changing me as I steep, as I sit, as I meditate and ponder God’s Law, God’s Word. This is not ‘heavy’ work for me. At one time it was duty, but in the latter years it has grown to delight… sitting with my Heavenly Father, my Abba, as He pours life, His life, into my life.

I hope and I pray that you grow to the place in Your life where God and God’s Word become your delight…

Bless the Lord O my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name!

Bless the Lord O my soul and forget not all His benefits…

Bless the Lord O my soul delight in the Lord and in His life breathing word.

Bless the Lord O my soul meditate on His word day and night…

Halleluiah Amen.


Monday, December 1: Song of Solomon 8- Don't give your love away too soon.

The line has been repeated numerous times through out the book. It was repeated in verse 4 and as the book comes to a close, I was drawn to meditate on it. Daughters of Jerusalem, I charge you: Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires. As I checked other translations the NLT was helpful: Promise me, O women of Jerusalem, not to awaken love until the time is right.

The passion and politely mentioned erotic love woven throughout this book certainly accents to the power of erotic love. As I said yesterday, within God’s bounds sexual erotic love is a beautiful gift. But its power easily translates outside God’s designated bounds. Our world is filled with the lure of erotic passion. TV shows are growing more and more graphic and the notion that sexual love is for marriage only is virtually unknown on TV. Most shows assume that dating couples are in bed with each other. And sex apparently sells… almost everything is hawked through sensual imagery.

The song keep repeating… Do not arouse or awaken love until it so desires… until the time is right. The door of sexual intimacy once opened is difficult to close again. So the singer says, don’t open it until the time is right, which in Scripture is at marriage.

As I meditated today, I pondered God’s good gift and how our world so misuses it. The pressure on young people, and dating couples in particular, is enormous. The temptation to taste the counterfeit wine of love is very strong in our world.

O, Lord, large segments of the Church are confused about sexual morals today. Help us to return to Your Word and take it to heart. Your Word is not confused. I pray in Jesus’ name. Amen.



Saturday, November 29: Song of Solomon 7-.

The song continues… the man ‘singing’ the praises of his beloved’s beauty. She ‘sings’ back to him. The delight, love and desire each has for the other is infectious.

It may be a surprise to read this suggestive talk in the Bible, but isn’t God the designer of love and intimacy? Yes, He is. He created us to love in all facets of love, from agape to eros. And as long as love and desire is within God’s order of ‘one man-one woman’ for a life, it is beautiful and wonderful gift of God to humankind.

I am so thankful for the gift of my wife. For 3+decades she has been my beloved and my life is blessed because I have lived with her and grown and been changed because of her.

God’s gifts are many and varied… spiritual gifts; life & health gifts; education & vocational gifts; and relational gifts. And for each one I am thankful and blessed. The Lord is so good and living in His world is a gift. Today I am very thankful for the relational gifts God has given me, particularly the wife of my youth.

Lord, God, thank You for all your blessings. You are the great and almighty God and I am so blessed to be part of Your family. Thank You and bless you, Lord. In Jesus’ name, I pray Amen.