Dry and Weary

Dry and weary… Are you parched for encouragement?… Are you weary from the news?  The illness?  The loss of life?  The division? Many of us are tired and discouraged - but most of us are not running for our lives like King David. Most of us are not holed up in a cave somewhere waiting for the enemy to pass by and wondering where our next drink of water will come from. Look at David’s response to the worst of times. He didn’t stomp his foot and demand the Lord deliver him because he was the anointed king.  In other...

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Jesus Christ – The Same Always

Fifty-two years ago I trusted in Christ for my salvation. We have so many terms for a person like me - a born-again Christian (John 3:7), a child of God (John 1:12), a believer…so many “names” for those like me who recognize their need for a savior, turn from their sin to Christ who gave his life for ours and then victoriously came out of the grave to prove God’s acceptance of His sacrifice for us. Today’s verse is such a wonderful reminder that Jesus hasn’t changed one iota in that 52 years. In fact, He hasn’t changed between...

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Expand Your Devotion Time to Include Bible Study

Beyond Devotionals:There are so many great devotion books available today! Aren’t we blessed?! Or maybe you do the daily devotion in YouVersion (The Bible App). I find that such a good way to start my prayer and Bible study time in the morning. And they have some amazing reading plans. Many of those are brief devotions with a verse or two to support the writing. My only fear about this mass availability of devotions is that many of us are not really STUDYING the Bible. Let’s assume for the moment we know the reasons we SHOULD study...

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The Majesty and Glory of His Name

People who know me know that if someone asks about a favorite (food, movie, song, Bible verse, hymn, worship song, etc.), I struggle to pick one. Hasn’t God given us SO MANY great things to enjoy?! But today’s verse of the day in the Bible App brings me to my favorite worship song of all time. Mind you, it was composed in the late 1970’s. But I don’t know anyone who has heard or sung it who does not consider it to be a fabulous setting of Psalm 8. You can listen here and let me know what you think. Close your eyes. Don’t get caught...

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The Marvelous Things He Has Done

Oh to be as grateful and thankful as I should be for all that God has done for me! The Old Testament writers often admonished the Jewish people to call out what God had done for them – start with rescuing them from the bondage of Egypt.  We should follow that example and take regular time to look back on all God has done for us! When I was 8 years old He showed me my need for Christ.  He had already been teaching me about Himself for some time. He allowed me to bear two wonderful sons. He redeemed my failure at marriage...

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Have You Ever Been Called a Rebel?

I’ve never thought of myself as a rebel. I’m actually a very loyal person and a notorious rule-follower. And yet, as I encountered the New Living Translation of a very familiar verse, I was convicted. “But he was pierced for our rebellion, crushed for our sins. He was beaten so we could be whole. He was whipped so we could be healed.”   ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭53:5‬ ‭NLT‬‬ (emphasis added) Isn’t it wonderful how God – the maker of all things new – brings fresh awareness or significance to a verse that has become routine? In my study translation...

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Chill Out and Know That I Am God

Be still. When I was growing up, I think that imperative statement had an exclamation point at the end of it.  When my mom or my Grandma Cook said it, it was an urgent command. So I have to change my perspective when I come to this verse.  Instead of thinking of this as a harsh command to quit whining over something that doesn’t make any difference, God is calling us to relax.  The Hebrew word rapa means to slacken or weaken.  The New American Standard Bible translates this “Cease striving.”  What if you...

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And That Is Why It Is Called Good Friday

Have you read the accounts of Good Friday?  Luke 23:26-49 was part of my Lent reading plan and though I've read or heard this passage many times over the years, I saw something new this time. This is an awful scene.  It is interesting that the crowd that had come to watch (not his women followers) went away in sorrow.  It makes you wonder what they expected when they were shouting “Crucify him!”  And we don’t even know what the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were thinking.  We only know that they went later to help prepare...

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God Is Doing a New Thing

Beginning in Genesis 1, God is at work doing something new. You can trace brand new, new again, and renewal for God’s people all the way to the eternity future when God says He will make ALL THINGS NEW. In studying  for the Bible study I am writing on this theme, I noticed that while God might use people that don’t belong to Him to accomplish something new, the good part of newness is always for His chosen ones. Sometimes we say we want something new, but when the time comes, we really don’t want to do what it takes to have...

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Lent – Day 2 – What’s Your Response to Christ?

“Six days before the Passover celebration began, Jesus arrived in Bethany, the home of Lazarus—the man he had raised from the dead.”‭‭John‬ ‭12:1‬ ‭NLT‬‬https://www.bible.com/116/jhn.12.1.nlt I love the song, “Broken and Spilled Out” that tells this story. Recently I have really started paying attention to people’s reactions to Jesus in the Bible as they are often so varied. And then I pray about what my heart response is. Not 50+ years ago when I originally gave my heart to Christ - but today. Mary, Martha and Lazarus - making him...

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Lent – Day 1 – Jesus’ Name and Character

It is only Day 1 but the Lord is already encouraging me and speaking to me through the first devotion in the “40 Days of Lent” reading plan in YouVersion. Today’s passage was Matthew 21:1-11. It’s not like these are new verses. I’ve read them in many Easter seasons over many years. I’ve taught through Matthew in Sunday School. But don’t you love how God reveals something to you every time you come to His Word? One thing I like to do as I study scripture is write down any names of God (or highlight them) and underline any words...

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No Complaining!

Life is hard. Over 30 years ago when I was going through a divorce and becoming a single parent to two small boys, I received a card from a co-worker that I still keep.  It is a reminder of a difficult time and a friend’s desire to comfort me. The front said, “Life is hard,” and had a picture of a large disheveled woman slouching in a chair.  The inside said, “It’s just breathe, breathe, breathe all the time.”  I am confident I laughed then, even as I do when I run across it now. Life IS hard.  No doubt.  But have you ever thought...

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Loving the Lord With All Your Strength

Deuteronomy 6:5 - Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. This is such a familiar verse!  And sometimes those are the hardest to internalize, aren’t they? The Bible app devotion today was so helpful, too (as usual!). Love - means to trust God and want His will more than my own.  Show me, Lord, where I stand on this from YOUR viewpoint. Heart - not just emotions, but your thoughts and your will.  I find my pride showing up in my thoughts more often than I like to admit!  This is...

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Biblical Obedience – Praying for Those In Authority

Praying for the government is commanded in scripture and I used to be much better at it...at least I did it more regularly.  But in the past several years, I have given it "a lick and a promise" occasionally with intermittent times that I was more intentional and passionate about it.  You know - maybe early in the pandemic, during some of the worst rioting surrounding race relations, right before the election, during the events surrounding the attack on our capitol, and on inauguration day. Thursday has been the day I focus on this...

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Dear Lord and Father of Mankind – A Prayer for Today

The opening phrase of this hymn came to mind this morning as I started my prayer time. It’s old (public domain old)… It has thee’s nd Thou’s… But it is a mighty prayer that Christ’s followers need to be praying… Won’t you pray with me? Words - John G. Whittier; Tune (Rest) - Frederick C. Maker

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