Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for helping me through yesterday, getting some good progress made despite my struggles. Please encourage me along the path YOU would have me to go, Lord. Challenge me and inspire me and help me to feel certain that you are with me and blessing me — even if I do not see a physical manifestation of your blessing and care. Help me to trust you completely, and to do your will courageously, Lord. Help me to be patient with my family today, and just hand everything over to you, Lord. I trust you, Father. The only thing I know for certain is: God is Faithful!!
Hebrews 6:18-20 ERV
These two things cannot change: God cannot lie when he says something, and he cannot lie when he makes an oath. So these two things are a great help to us who have come to God for safety. They encourage us to hold on to the hope that is ours.
This hope is like an anchor for us. It is strong and sure and keeps us safe. It goes behind the curtain.
Jesus has already entered there and opened the way for us. He has become the high priest forever, just like Melchizedek.
Lord, I thank you for the insights you gave me early this morning, about my progress being either ends (goals met, in themselves — like bearing spiritual fruit) or means (steps toward a distant goal, like building income), and I cannot judge them both the same. In fact, the ideal way is to not judge anything, but to accept things however they may be and just keep following the Shepherd. But when I feel I must judge my own fruit, I need to remember to do this fairly, not looking at the lack of income as proof of my total failure, but rather realizing that I just need to keep building, completing the steps towards that goal. On the other hand, I need to appreciate the manifestations of spiritual fruit as evidence of God’s work in me, and hold these separate from the longing for worldly fruit which are not at the same level of “ripeness”. Jesus does not curse the tree on which he is growing spiritual fruit in me, just because he (or more likely, me and other humans) looks at the tree where I am growing the worldly fruit of income and sees immaturity and less fruit there. The two trees are separate. One is for eternity and is bearing fruit NOW, the other is temporal and is slower to bear fruit — in my case, anyways. Lord, please teach me your wisdom and help me be humble enough to accept it, and courageous enough to keep going despite the lack of visible progress. Amen.
Good morning, Father.
Thank you for your awesome, merciful protection yesterday. I had no idea that the furry little caterpillar I picked up — twice — was the most venomous caterpillar in America! I was just delighted to have something to show my daughter, as she is always bringing nature stuff home to show me. I took pics of him and set him up in a nice little temporary home with sticks and greenery and a bit of water. He went to sleep, clutched on the side of the cage, and I looked him up online. I was amazed to find out that he is capable of inflicting such pain that people have compared it to a broken bone, have said it is worse than a scorpion or jellyfish sting, and have even passed out from the pain! And little nature-lover me handled him without incident. Thank you for protecting me, Lord!! 😀
Mark 16:12-20 ERV
Later, Jesus appeared to two followers while they were walking in the country. But Jesus did not look the same as before he was killed.
These followers went back to the other followers and told them what happened. Again, the followers did not believe them.
Later, Jesus appeared to the eleven followers while they were eating. He criticized them because they had so little faith. They were stubborn and refused to believe the people who said Jesus had risen from death.
He said to them, “Go everywhere in the world. Tell the Good News to everyone.
Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved. But those who do not believe will be judged guilty.
And the people who believe will be able to do these things as proof: They will use my name to force demons out of people. They will speak in languages they never learned.
If they pick up snakes or drink any poison, they will not be hurt. They will lay their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”
After the Lord Jesus said these things to his followers, he was carried up into heaven. There, Jesus sat at the right side of God.
The followers went everywhere in the world telling people the Good News, and the Lord helped them. By giving them power to do miracles the Lord proved that their message was true.
Lord, I have no desire to go preaching to people and performing miracles, but you know I would obey you if you told me to do so. Still, I am extremely grateful for receiving a bit of your promise to your disciples — the ability to handle poisonous animals without being hurt!! I thank you again for your mercy, and for the delight I’ve had, watching this furry little thing in his little home. My daughter got to see him up close, and my husband recognized him right away — he got stung by one in his childhood! He said it was quite painful, but he’s had a scorpion sting him that was worse pain. I’ve been stung by a small scorpion in my youth and it wasn’t too bad. Still, I am very grateful for not only being spared the suffering yesterday, but also having the opportunity to be encouraged by your faithful care of me! Thank you, kind Shepherd!
Good morning, Father.
Thank you for the nice morning walks I’ve been having lately, and thank you for encouraging my art and my learning. Father, please help me not to get overly discouraged with my lack of income, but to keep doing what you have given me to do. I feel betrayed by my online business which I have been nurturing for 12 years now, and I feel frustrated and even disgusted. Part of me wishes I could just sell the whole thing and not touch another K-12 topic ever again — especially Spanish!! Still, it is obvious that the ease with which I create new products is still there, it is just the fact that there is NO reward for doing it, that is killing my motivation and desire to create them. Lord, is it YOU that is pushing me away from my educational websites — or is it the enemy trying to discourage me and steal my fruit? Help me see, Lord. Guide me, Shepherd. My heart hurts.
2 Chronicles 32:5-8 ISV
Hezekiah took courage and rebuilt all of the walls that had been broken down. Then he erected watch towers on them, and added another external wall. He fortified the terrace ramparts in the city of David and prepared a large number of weapons and shields.
He appointed military officers to take charge of the people, who gathered them together in the square near the city gate and spoke to them encouragingly,
“Be strong and courageous. Don’t be afraid or disheartened because of the king of Assyria or because of the army that accompanies him, because the one who is with us is greater than the one with him.
He only has the strength of his own flesh, but the LORD our God is with us to help us and to fight our battles.” So the people were encouraged from what King Hezekiah of Judah told them.
Lord, I started the “adult” segment of my walk with you soon after my first son was born, when you showed me how you are mightier and more worthy to be served than the grandest portrayal of King Arthur of Camelot. Now, both my adult son and myself are facing grave despair and discouragement, feeling like the path we have been walking is completely crumbling and falling away. Neither of us seem to have an alternate path, Lord. My son can go live at his best friend’s parents’ house and perhaps move to Colorado, but he lost his writing job and it may even appear to him that he has failed at writing, as it appears to me that I have failed at running an online business. He has sunk the last 6 years or so into an English education and writing career, and I have sunk a dozen years into my business. However, I do realize that all these things are mere appearances. I realize that we cannot know you or your ways, except through your Spirit. Therefore, I ask that you have your Spirit encourage both me and my son in the paths that YOU have for us, Lord. Show your mighty power by intervening on our behalf and restoring us each to a place where we can put our time and effort into something, feeling more certain that You are behind it, blessing it, Lord. Amen.
Good morning, Lord!
Thank you for this most awesome start to my day – time with the hubby, warmup exercise at home, then a 50-minute walk to the post office and back, passing up a few hundred cars stuck in the local traffic jam (and thus having ample opportunity for gratitude!!!). Thank you for my health and mobility and positive attitude, Lord! Please be with my husband today in his work, encourage his boss to pay him the money owed, and encourage my husband to be aware of your presence, helping him and protecting him. Please be with me in my work today, Lord, and guide me in what YOU would have me to accomplish this day. Thank you for the awesome encouragement in my art, making me able to somehow just “know” or “feel” what each piece “needs” — and having the courage to commit to it, sealing things down in place and just accepting it however it turns out. Thank you for my contentment, Lord. Amen!
Colossians 4:2 ERV
Never stop praying. Be ready for anything by praying and being thankful.
I love that! How cool is this: The way to be prepared for anything is to always be praying and maintaining an attitude of gratitude!! Our awesome God sure makes it EASY (i.e. doable, accessible) for us to be STRONG in Him!! I mean, even if our entire body is broken — like after a massive car accident or radical surgery — we can still PRAY, and there are ALWAYS things to be grateful for!! God does not tell us we have to be physically strong or even mentally competent. He does not even require us to have to FEEL like praying or being thankful! All we have to do is make a CHOICE to just start praying, and start thanking Him for whatever is not horrible in our lives, and that’s IT!! He does all the rest — provides for our needs, including our peace and joy, if we will accept them. And I can vouch for it from experience, it is hard to thank God for every small little detail in your life WITHOUT feeling more peaceful and lighter! It’s like God’s promise on temptation — He always provides a way OUT — all we have to do is trust Him and use the path He provided. Thank you, Merciful Shepherd!!
Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for giving me a bit of time with my husband in the early morning today, and thank you for helping his body fight off the sick he was getting. Please help me be patient today, Lord, for I feel like I’ve taken a step backwards with the hormones and am feeling worse again. I give it to you, Lord. I choose to be grateful for the awesome weather this morning, and the encouragement in my art, and even the good progress on my websites yesterday. I thank you for all the awesome books I have, and enough art supplies to make a bit more of my art, and even to start experimenting with water media! I am grateful for the Great Courses and my great love of learning! I thank you for making me aware and sensitive to nature, your creation, with a profound appreciation for your ALL your creation and its amazing structure and diversity! Help me to let go of my frustrations and worries, Father, and just hand them all over to you. I am just a servant, and my Faithful Shepherd will lead me to good waters. I trust you, Lord. Amen!
Jeremiah 51:15-19 ERV
God used his great power and made the earth. He used his wisdom to build the world and his understanding to stretch out the skies.
When he thunders, the waters in the skies roar. He sends clouds all over the earth. He sends lightning with the rain. He brings out the wind from his storehouses.
But people are so stupid. They don’t understand what God has done. Skilled workers make statues of false gods. Those statues are only false gods. They show how foolish those workers are. Those statues are not alive.
Those idols are worthless. People made them, and they are nothing but a joke. Their time of judgment will come, and those idols will be destroyed.
But God, who is Jacob’s Portion, is not like those worthless statues. People didn’t make God; God made his people. He made everything. His name is the LORD All-Powerful.
Hosea 6:3 ERV
Let’s learn about the LORD. Let’s try very hard to know him. We know he is coming, just as we know the dawn is coming. He will come to us like the rain, like the spring rain that waters the ground.
Lord, help me to know you better. Teach me something about yourself and your creation today. Give me a new reason to delight in your awesomeness! And help me to sincerely appreciate all that you have already blessed me with. Thank you, Father! 😀
Good morning, Father!
It is nice to be up and going, going, going long before sunrise, two days in a row! I didn’t even need to TRY to get up early, because you are so faithful and prodded me to do so. How cool is that?! Already got some work done, already went for a nice walk, greeted some other walkers, typed a little note, compared my past walking adventures. Now I’m ready to start a good productive day full of fruitful work on my websites, art, and learning! Father, please motivate my husband to get some of his own tasks completed, so that he does not continue to feel so bogged down. Thank you for providing a new phone service for him, so that he can be released from that stress, as well! Please be near my oldest son as he makes life changes, moving and changing jobs once again. And thank you once again for blessing all of us with good health and a mostly positive attitude!
1 Timothy 6:7-12 ERV
When we came into the world, we brought nothing. And when we die, we can take nothing out.
So, if we have food and clothes, we will be satisfied with that.
People who want to be rich bring temptations to themselves. They are caught in a trap. They begin to want many foolish things that will hurt them. These things ruin and destroy people.
The love of money causes all kinds of evil. Some people have turned away from what we believe because they want to get more and more money. But they have caused themselves a lot of pain and sorrow.
But you belong to God. So you should stay away from all those things. Always try to do what is right, to be devoted to God, and to have faith, love, patience, and gentleness.
We have to fight to keep our faith. Try as hard as you can to win that fight. Take hold of eternal life. It is the life you were chosen to have when you confessed your faith in Jesus–that wonderful truth that you spoke so openly and that so many people heard.
Father, I honestly DO feel content, even rich! I may not have a car, and may be living in a home that is literally falling apart, and wearing raggedy clothes and long-outdated contacts, but none of those things seem to matter one bit! I am FREE to love you, serve you, follow you. I have enough quiet to stay sane, and enough books to be really HAPPY! I have work to do and art to make. I have children to love and cherish, and a husband who desires to serve you. I no longer have a fragile little dog to worry about, and I certainly do not have any great wealth to have to protect. And even though I do have things that I desperately need (like my hormone cream!), I know that you will make what I have last until I can afford to buy more — or else you will just help me get along without it. Above all, I have HOPE. And all I ever need, in order to maintain that hope, is You, Shepherd. What else do I need?!
Good morning, Father!
Thank you so much for the nice, super-early start to my day, having time with my husband and time with you, AND a 45-minute walk, all before 8am! Thank you for all the things I am learning, and thank you for the personal instruction yesterday, your Spirit showing me clearly some of the errors in my thinking and how it SHOULD be, in order to be more in line with your Word. I delight in your correction, Lord, and I ask you to keep pruning things out of my life, my heart, and my mind, in order to make room for your Truth to take root and blossom. Thank you, Mighty Shepherd!
James 3:16-18 KJV
For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.
But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.
And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.
I am learning a great many things, “wisdom” from books and audiobooks, from the Bible and other digital and online texts, from the Great Courses and other videos, from observation and sythesizing parts I’ve learned from all over into my own versions, and also from what I consider to be direct teaching through the Holy Spirit. Still, I do not desire to be deceived by any “wisdom” that does not obviously set itself up against God’s Word — and therefore is easy to reject — but that is more sneaky, harder to discern as being against God. I was praying about his earlier, and the above verses came to mind (especially the center one). So I decided that when I finally sit down to write today’s Praying With the Word post, I’d do a word study of that verse, to help me discern any “wisdom” that is NOT “from above”. So here goes:
Wisdom is of course sophia, from sophos, the Greek word for wisdom. However, Strongs makes the point that it can be used for both wordly and spiritual wisdom.
from above is anothen = from the first, from ano or high up, the brim
surprisingly, first (…is first pure…) is actually TWO Greek words: proton men = firstly or chiefly + an affirmative particle, for emphasis
pure = hagnos = properly clean, innocent, modest, blameless, consecrated = set aside for holy use
peaceable = eirenikos = pacific (a word we do not use often any more which means “peaceful in character or intent”) – literally or figuratively
gentle = epieikes = appropriate, mild, faintly superimposed
easy to be intreated = eupeithes = good for convincing or pacifying
full of mercy = mestos eleos = replete (full up) with active or applied compassion
good fruits = agathos karpos = good in any sense + fruit as plucked (that which is taken or seized)
without partiality = adiakritos = not opposed, properly undistinguished, impartial
without hypocrisy = anupokritos = not decided falsely, not feigned, sincere
Wow, that is a LOT!!!
I think for now, I shall condense this (for my personal use) as:
Wisdom that is of God is set aside for His purpose and is able to both convince and appease.
It is mild, not forceful; compassionate and peaceful, not quick to blame or oppose.
That last line seems especially helpful. And it actually reminds me quite a bit of Jesus.
Thank you, Lord! Please keep teaching me, molding me, growing me. Amen!
Wow, Lord, I am so distracted and fuzzy-headed today that I had to actually check if I’d done my daily post on here or not — and of course, I hadn’t. Good thing I checked! Father, I am having so much trouble with both my computer and my body/mind that I just have to give it all to you and trust you to lead me forward. I wish I could just make art and read and learn and not even have to be on my computer at all, it is frustrating me so badly. Still, I must persist, moving forward on the things you have given me to do. Perhaps some day I can effectively “retire” from building my websites and being so frustrated and discouraged with the whole thing. For now, I just give it all to you, Father. Please continue to prune things out of my life that hold me back from being pleasing to you, and please give me the courage and motivation to keep doing the things YOU want me to do, Lord. Amen!
Psalm 5:2-12 ERV
My God and King, listen to my prayer.
Every morning, LORD, I lay my gifts before you and look to you for help. And every morning you hear my prayers.
God, you don’t want evil people near you. They cannot stay in your presence.
Fools cannot come near you. You hate those who do evil.
You destroy those who tell lies. LORD, you hate those who make secret plans to hurt others.
But by your great mercy, I can enter your house. I can worship in your holy Temple with fear and respect for you.
LORD, show me your right way of living, and make it easy for me to follow. People are looking for my weaknesses, so show me how you want me to live.
My enemies never tell the truth. They only want to destroy people. Their words come from mouths that are like open graves. They use their lying tongues to deceive others.
Punish them, God! Let them be caught in their own traps. They have turned against you, so punish them for their many crimes.
But let those who trust in you be happy forever. Protect and strengthen those who love your name.
LORD, when you bless good people, you surround them with your love, like a large shield that protects them.
Lord, I sincerely want to do things your way, but my head is so foggy that I can’t even know what I am supposed to do. I know you have said today is the last day I need to go without my hormone cream, so in a few days I should be back to “normal”, but I do not want to just be useless and floppy until then! Please guide me clearly, Lord, and help me to not keep beating myself up for not being more productive and fruitful right now. Help me to be as patient with myself as I would be with any other person. Please cover my weakness, Lord. Give me something I can do for you today, even when I cannot think straight. Thank you, kind Shepherd! 😛
Good morning, Father!
Thank you for getting me up bright and early for a morning wake up walk today! 😀 Thank you for caring intimately for me, Shepherd! I look forward to our adventures together, as I learn more about you, more about myself, and more about your people and your world. Thank you, Father, for giving me LIFE, so that I may have a chance to know you and be known by you. Thank you for pruning things out of my life, and giving me the courage to let things go, to make room for your awesome Word to take root. Keep growing me, Father! 😀
Isaiah 65:17-25 ERV
“I am creating a new heaven and a new earth. The troubles of the past will be forgotten. No one will remember them.
My people will be happy and rejoice forever and ever because of what I will make. I will make a Jerusalem that is full of joy, and I will make her people happy.
“Then I will rejoice with Jerusalem. I will be happy with my people. There will never again be crying and sadness in that city.
In that city there will never be a baby who lives only a few days, and every older person will live for a long, long time. A person who lives 100 years will be called young. And whoever doesn’t live that long will be considered cursed.
“In that city whoever builds a house will live there; whoever plants a vineyard will eat the grapes from that garden.
Never again will one person build a house and another person live there. Never again will one person plant a garden and another eat the fruit from it. My people will live as long as the trees. My chosen people will get full use of whatever they make.
Never again will a woman suffer childbirth and have her baby die. Women will not fear childbirth. I, the LORD, will bless all my people and their children.
I will answer them before they call for help. I will help them before they finish asking.
Wolves and little lambs will eat together. Lions will eat hay like cattle, and snakes will eat only dust. They will not hurt or destroy each other on my holy mountain.” This is what the LORD said.
What a beautiful promise!! My favorite part is “My people will live as long as the trees.” That is so cool! I’ve been listening to an audiobook, Braiding Sweetgrass, written by a Native American woman who became a scientist, and she shares both sides of her “training” — not only the scientific viewpoint which I am most familiar with, but also the deep understanding of partnership with the land and trees and water — with all of creation — that her ancestors believed in. I’ve always felt a sort of kinship with certain trees, especially willows and cottonwoods. And I’ve spent many hours sitting in the shade of great old trees, appreciating nature down to the intricate details in the leaf litter just in front of me. But to think that I could “live as long as the trees” gives me a new thrill, a new feeling of stability and fondness for nature. While I’m quite unfamiliar with the concept of building a house and/or enjoying a particular house enough to want to live there for life, I am quite familiar with the desire to plant a garden and eat the fruit of it. Planting a vineyard and an orchard and even nut trees — and then eating their produce year after year — wow, I really cannot imagine toooooo much more satisfaction and “Ahhhhhh!!!” factor than that! Thank you for this awesome, encouraging, hopeful promise, Lord! 😀
Good morning, Father.
I feel crampy and crabby this morning, quite uncomfortable, with the hormone thing again. But I trust you, Lord. I know you will get me through this difficulty, and you will keep me stable and sane. Please help me do my work and not be too distracted today, Lord. I thank you for my patient husband, and my ability to act out some of my frustration in a silly, fun, childlike way this morning — rather than resisting it and trying to be more “mature” and ending up just being irritable…! I thank you for my sympathetic daughter nearby, and I thank you for the increased communication with my youngest son lately, out of the blue! Thank you for the nice visit I had with my middle son last weekend, and please do guide me if and when to take a bus trip out to visit my oldest son soon. I really miss him, Lord. I do pray that you let me have a good visit with him soon. Thank you, Father. Amen!
1 Thessalonians 5:16-24 ERV
Always be full of joy.
Never stop praying.
Whatever happens, always be thankful. This is how God wants you to live in Christ Jesus.
Don’t stop the work of the Holy Spirit.
Don’t treat prophecy like something that is not important.
But test everything. Keep what is good,
and stay away from everything that is evil.
We pray that God himself, the God of peace, will make you pure–belonging only to him. We pray that your whole self–spirit, soul, and body–will be kept safe and be blameless when our Lord Jesus Christ comes.
The one who chose you will do that for you. You can trust him.
These seem good verses for me today, to fight off the crabbiness. I have much to be grateful for! My family is all pretty healthy and happy, I have work to keep me busy and art to keep me growing and Great Courses and books to keep me learning and happy! Any weepiness I feel is just due to silly hormones and such, and those feelings are not true reflections of reality. I can confidently hold onto my Shepherd and trust Him to bring me through this little valley safely and fruitfully. Thank you, Awesomely Faithful One! 😀
Good morning, Father!
Thank you for the nice early start to my day, and thank you for sustaining me and encouraging me through my days of struggle and growth. Thank you for your guidance in my work and also in my learning and developing in so many ways outside of the more obvious work tasks. Please continue to show me how to balance my online and offline time, as well as my time of input and output. Today I ask you to help me begin the process of finding the places online where I can join other artists in mutual encouragement. I only THINK I see, Lord. It is you who is my Shepherd, you who sees where I need to go to be with other sheep, to be a valuable part of a group where I can both give and receive. Thank you for giving me hope, Lord. Thank you for planting the seed of belief that I am GOOD, because I am YOURS.
1 John 3:1-3 ERV
The Father has loved us so much! This shows how much he loved us: We are called children of God. And we really are his children. But the people in the world don’t understand that we are God’s children, because they have not known him.
Dear friends, now we are children of God. We have not yet been shown what we will be in the future. But we know that when Christ comes again, we will be like him. We will see him just as he is.
He is pure, and everyone who has this hope in him keeps themselves pure like Christ.
Lord, you know how precious my children are to me. I thank you for them, and I thank you for considering me to be YOUR child! How awesome that is, to be so dear to your heart!! Please help me to keep myself pure for you, best as I can, so I can be more pleasing to you. Continue to prune things out of my life and heart to make more room for YOUR fruit to grow. I give you this day, my time, my heart, my hands, my mind. Guide me, use me, grow me, Lord. Amen!
Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for your enduring patience with me, even when I feel impatient with my own self! Thank you for your calm presence in my life, stabilizing me while I feel discouraged and alone. Thank you for your promise to do good things in my life, and please help me to trust you to make them happen, even when I feel like I just mess everything up. Thank you for working on me, building good fruit in me, even when you are the only one who sees it. Thank you for your faithfulness, Lord. Even when I do not know what I can do to be faithful to you. Help me to just rest in you, follow you, obey you, and praise you today, Lord. Guide me in what YOU want me to accomplish today. Thank you, Shepherd.
Proverbs 21:29-31 ERV
Good people know they are right, but the wicked have to pretend.
There is no one wise enough to make a plan that can succeed if the LORD is against it.
You can prepare your horses for battle, but only the LORD can give you the victory.
Lord, I thank you for all that you have accomplished in my life so far. Thank you for the health of my children, and for keeping my body and my husband’s body strong and resilient as well. Father, I am desperately sick of living in poverty. I ask you to please make plain to us anything we are doing that is holding back your blessing. I give everything I have to you, even if I were to lose it all. Please help me to be able to afford to get an eye exam and contacts, Lord. And please help us transition out of this falling-apart trailer, into a place that I can at least attempt to keep clean and in order. And please help me to just forget all that now, and do my work for you, being content with what I have NOW, and trusting you to give us whatever we absolutely NEED. Thank you for being so trustworthy, Lord!
Psalm 106:48 ERV
Praise the LORD, the God of Israel! He always was and will always be worthy of praise. Let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD!
Good morning, Father.
Thank you for the opportunity to visit my middle son today, and please bless my other sons with your presence and care in their lives. Please also bring my daughter either a mate or an idea what she wants to do for her future. Or both. Thank you for your awesome care of all of us, Lord, and thank you for keeping us all safe and healthy.
James 4:5-17 ERV
Do you think the Scriptures mean nothing? The Scriptures say, “The Spirit God made to live in us wants us only for himself.”
But the kindness God shows is greater. As the Scripture says, “God is against the proud, but he is kind to the humble.”
So give yourselves to God. Stand against the devil, and he will run away from you.
Come near to God and he will come near to you. You are sinners, so clean sin out of your lives. You are trying to follow God and the world at the same time. Make your thinking pure.
Be sad, be sorry, and cry! Change your laughter into crying. Change your joy into sadness.
Be humble before the Lord, and he will make you great.
Brothers and sisters, don’t say anything against each other. If you criticize your brother or sister in Christ or judge them, you are criticizing and judging the law they follow. And when you are judging the law, you are not a follower of the law. You have become a judge.
God is the one who gave us the law, and he is the Judge. He is the only one who can save and destroy. So it is not right for you to judge anyone.
Some of you say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to some city. We will stay there a year, do business, and make money.” Listen, think about this:
You don’t know what will happen tomorrow. Your life is like a fog. You can see it for a short time, but then it goes away.
So you should say, “If the Lord wants, we will live and do this or that.”
But now you are proud and boast about yourself. All such boasting is wrong.
If you fail to do what you know is right, you are sinning.
Lord, I thank you for the Spirit’s devotion to us, and pray that you help us be more devoted to you and to your Spirit! Help us to be humble, yet bold enough to draw near to you, to come before you as your children. Help us to build each other up, rather than tear each other down. Teach us how to help each other and encourage each other, and to avoid being stumblingblocks to others and their faith. Help us to trust you, Lord — help us to know your voice and your heart, so that we may respond to your call and do things your way, in your timing. And help us to accept the peace and joy you offer us, Lord, rather than trying to figure out if we deserve it or should “indulge” in it or not. Amen!
Good morning, Father!
I’m already having a good day — thank you! I am really enjoying adding to my two new just-for-me websites, Bahasa Saya (Indonesian) and Taxoni (Relationships in Nature)! Even though they are just little fledgling sites with a lot of kinks to work out, and even though they are not designed to make me money or anything of “value”, I am enjoying being able to have some simple success, so totally separate from the debilitating discouragement of my Spanish and other sites that feel like they are flat-out failing. The new sites are super-easy to add to, and they hit spot-on my interests. A couple of them, anyways, lol. Thank you, Father, for the much-needed encouragement, during this time when I feel betrayed by my own digital “children”. Still, I give this day to you, put my mind and hands and heart in YOUR hands, Lord, and ask you to guide me in my work and play. I want to be pleasing to you, way above feeling like any kind of “success” in this crazy world. Thank you for your enduring patience with me, Shepherd! 😀
Exodus 34:4-7 ERV
So Moses made two more stone tablets like the first ones. Early the next morning Moses went up Mount Sinai, just as the LORD had commanded. Moses carried the two stone tablets with him.
Then the LORD came down to him in a cloud, stood there with Moses, and spoke his own name.
That is, the LORD passed in front of Moses and said, “YAHWEH, the LORD, is a kind and merciful God. He is slow to become angry. He is full of great love. He can be trusted.
He shows his faithful love to thousands of people. He forgives people for the wrong things they do, but he does not forget to punish guilty people. Not only will he punish the guilty people, but their children, their grandchildren, and their great-grandchildren will also suffer for the bad things these people do.”
I love this! This is God telling us about Himself! Before He gets down to the business of the Ten Commandments — telling us His rules — He first wants us to know these things about Him: He is kind, merciful, and slow to anger (longsuffering!). He is full of great love and can be trusted. To me, all this repeats what my heart and spirit know so well: God is Faithful. What an awesome King we serve!!! 😯
Good morning, Lord!
Thank you for giving me new motivation and a way to balance my work throughout the day now. Please continue to show me new tricks to do my work more efficiently and effectively. Thank you also for encouraging my art in so many ways as well. I look forward to exploring new media and new projects and making new things with you, my Creator! Thank you for making me creative, and thank you for showing me that new concept this morning that I know you will bring to memory at the right times, so I can learn more. Thank you for your awesome love and care, Father! 😀
Psalm 114 ERV
The people of Israel escaped from Egypt. Yes, Jacob’s descendants left that foreign country.
Then Judah became God’s special people, and Israel became his kingdom.
The Red Sea saw this and ran away. The Jordan River turned and ran.
The mountains danced like rams. The hills danced like lambs.
Red Sea, why did you run away? Jordan River, why did you turn and run away?
Mountains, why did you dance like rams? Hills, why did you dance like lambs?
The earth shook in front of the Lord, the God of Jacob.
He is the one who caused water to flow from a rock. He made a spring of water flow from that hard rock.
Proverbs 12:13-18 ERV
The wicked are trapped by their foolish words, but good people escape from such trouble.
People get good things for the words they say, and they are rewarded for the work they do.
Fools always think their own way is best, but wise people listen to what others tell them.
Fools are easily upset, but wise people avoid insulting others.
Good people speak the truth and can be trusted in court, but liars make bad witnesses.
Speak without thinking, and your words can cut like a knife. Be wise, and your words can heal.
Lord, I thank you for working on my tongue — I am really seeing growth there! It is nice to notice things I COULD say, yet realize that those particular words are unlikely to yield good fruit, so I just hold my tongue. And when I do speak, I am more able to judge the effect of the words I chose, and notice when THEY are unfruitful, for they are not just lost in a whole ocean of words. Of course, I still spout off like a fool at times, and so I ask you, Lord, to continue this work in me. Keep training my tongue to sit still in my mouth, to give my ears more time to HEAR, to listen, to love. Amen!
Good morning, Father.
Thank you for the nice peaceful birthday with all the awesome COLORS! Thank you for encouraging my art, and please help me to overcome the DIScouragement I am facing with my educational websites. I do not know if it is you that is turning me away from all the K-12 stuff (teaching materials) or if it is just the enemy trying to steal my fruit again, Lord. Please make it plain to me what your will is for my work, and help me to obey and not get distracted by the enemy’s deceit. Show me YOUR vision for my websites, Lord. Guide me, Shepherd. Thanks! I KNOW I can trust you to be Faithful.
1 Chronicles 16:28-34 ERV
Praise the LORD, all people of every nation; praise the LORD’S glory and power!
Give the LORD praise worthy of his glory. Come into his presence with your offerings. Worship the LORD in all his holy beauty.
Everyone on earth should tremble before him! But the world stands firm and cannot be moved.
Let the heavens rejoice and the earth be happy! Let people everywhere say, “The LORD rules!”
Let the sea and everything in it shout for joy! Let the fields and everything in them be happy!
The trees of the forest will sing for joy when they see the LORD, because he is coming to rule the world.
Give thanks to the LORD because he is good. His faithful love will last forever.
I thank you, Mighty Lord, for your awesome Faithfulness that lasts forever. Thank you for choosing me, for nurturing me in your garden, for making me your workmanship. Thank you for your goodness and your awesome care. I put all my worries and upsets into your hands right now, Lord. I choose to follow you and do things your way. Lead on, Shepherd! 😀
Good morning, Father!
Thank you for a nice friendly start to my 45th birthday! Thank you for the awesome opportunity to expand my art-making capabilities and become a bit more mobile with it, and please do bless my parents-in-law for their thoughtful gift of Amazon credit that I can use to get what I want most! Please return their kindness to them tenfold, Lord. Amen!
Father, for my birthday I really would like to get some new members for my PrintableSpanish website, as I am very much discouraged on that. I really thought that the Spanish Trading Cards would be a big hit, and yet I am making LESS than I have in other years, and I’ve only gotten ONE tiny bit of feedback on the cards. I am tempted to feel like a failure with a big heart and good intentions — but with a terrible head for business. But I believe in YOU, Lord, and I really feel like you gave me the idea for the cards. Please help me to have faith, finish the cards despite the discouragement, and just do it for YOU, regardless of what comes of it. Give me courage, Father, to stick to what I believe in. Amen.
Lord, I would also like to finally begin two of my personal websites today: Taxoni (for my taxonomy love — relationships in nature!) and BahasaSaya (for my interest in Indonesia & its language!). I really think that these two “pet” websites will do me good, like a way to warm-up in the mornings, if I can ever stick with a routine. Perhaps they can help me establish a routine that is light and enjoyable, interspersing them with less desirable tasks (like the Spanish!).
Father, I give myself and my work to you. I thank you for keeping me alive through these 45 years on this planet. Thank you for keeping my heart warm and supple, not letting me ever grow cold and hard and harsh and hateful. Thank you for removing all desire for vengeance, for cruelty, and for manipulation and control. I am so much more joyous than I otherwise would be, if I had those bad fruits growing inside me. Thank you for planting the seeds of YOUR fruit inside me, Lord. Thank you for growing me in love, in patience, in joy… and please keep growing my self-control! Thank you, Faithful Shepherd, for your awesome, loving care. Truly I am blessed! 😀
Psalm 4:3-8 ERV
You can be sure that anyone who serves the LORD faithfully is special to him. The LORD listens when I pray to him.
Tremble with fear, and stop sinning. Think about this when you go to bed, and calm down. Selah
Give the right sacrifices to the LORD, and put your trust in him!
Many people say, “I wish I could enjoy the good life. LORD, give us some of those blessings.”
But you have made me happier than they will ever be with all their wine and grain.
When I go to bed, I sleep in peace, because, LORD, you keep me safe.
Good morning, Lord.
Thank you for the peaceful and pretty productive day yesterday, and thank you for the unexpected gift from my husband’s family. Thank you for the opportunity to get more art supplies! 😀 Father, I also thank you for the provision of my husband’s new work opportunity, and I ask you to bless his efforts and continue to give him favor with his boss and with his customers. Protect him and keep him safe, Lord. Thank you, Shepherd!
Luke 10:17-24 ERV
When the 72 followers came back from their trip, they were very happy. They said, “Lord, even the demons obeyed us when we used your name!”
Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan falling like lightning from the sky.
He is the enemy, but know that I have given you more power than he has. I have given you power to crush his snakes and scorpions under your feet. Nothing will hurt you.
Yes, even the spirits obey you. And you can be happy, not because you have this power, but because your names are written in heaven.”
Then the Holy Spirit made Jesus feel very happy. Jesus said, “I praise you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth. I am thankful that you have hidden these things from those who are so wise and so smart. But you have shown them to people who are like little children. Yes, Father, you did this because it’s what you really wanted to do.
“My Father has given me all things. No one knows who the Son is–only the Father knows. And only the Son knows who the Father is. The only people who will know about the Father are those the Son chooses to tell.”
Then Jesus turned to his followers. They were there alone with him. He said, “It is a great blessing for you to see what you now see!
I tell you, many prophets and kings wanted to see what you now see, but they could not. And they wanted to hear what you now hear, but they could not.”
Lord, I ask you to help me to be humble and willing and teachable, like a little child. Rebuke me when I THINK I know something, and help me to remember that the only thing I actually DO know for sure is that you are Faithful. Cleanse me, Lord, and make me more pleasing to you. Let me hear your voice and obey your guidance. And please help my heart tomorrow, when I am alone on my birthday, or so it is expected. Help me to not slip into any stupid pity-party, but instead remember that you are with me always, so I am never alone. Thank you, Father.
Good morning, Father!
Thank you for this awesome Monday morning, and thank you for the enthusiasm in my heart this morning, excited about art and even a bit about some other things in life right now — like the wonderful weather lately! 😀 Lord, I ask you to be with my husband today as he starts work for a new boss. Give him favor and wisdom and strength of mind and body. Help him to remember to reach out to you and include you in his work, and bless him with your stabilizing presence, Father. Be near him and hear him, Lord. Amen!
Hebrews 10:15-25 ERV
The Holy Spirit also tells us about this. First he says,
“This is the agreement I will make with my people in the future, says the Lord. I will put my laws in their hearts. I will write my laws in their minds.”
Then he says, “I will forget their sins and never again remember the evil they have done.”
And after everything is forgiven, there is no more need for a sacrifice to pay for sins.
And so, brothers and sisters, we are completely free to enter the Most Holy Place. We can do this without fear because of the blood sacrifice of Jesus.
We enter through a new way that Jesus opened for us. It is a living way that leads through the curtain–Christ’s body.
And we have a great priest who rules the house of God.
Sprinkled with the blood of Christ, our hearts have been made free from a guilty conscience, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. So come near to God with a sincere heart, full of confidence because of our faith in Christ.
We must hold on to the hope we have, never hesitating to tell people about it. We can trust God to do what he promised.
We should think about each other to see how we can encourage each other to show love and do good works.
We must not quit meeting together, as some are doing. No, we need to keep on encouraging each other. This becomes more and more important as you see the Day getting closer.
Lord, I lift my dear friend in New York up to you, and I ask you to let your Holy Spirit assure her of your Son’s redemptive blood on her heart, and the love and acceptance you have toward her because of THAT — independent of anything she may or may not do or be, herself. Draw her close and cleanse her deeply, Oh Lord. Remind her of who she is in YOU, and set her free from the enemy’s devices that threaten to rob her of your peace and joy. Lead her to your restorative waters of HOPE, Lord. Help her hold on to what she KNOWS about you and your love, and encourage her to continue to share your love with others she meets, so that both she and they may be comforted and encouraged by your Holy Spirit at work. Amen, thank you Lord! Truly you are Faithful! 😀
Good morning, Father!
Thank you for both a good night’s sleep and time with my husband! Thank you for allowing me to take things a bit slower this coming week, my birthday week! I hope to do more art and perhaps more reading this week, and definitely put less pressure on myself to work, work, work. Perhaps lightening up on myself will help me to get a better understanding of my priorities and of your will for me — YOUR priorities! I have my own ideas of what I am supposed to be doing, but I do not always know if you might be wanting me to either push myself harder in certain areas, or ease up a bit. Perhaps the birthday week easing up will help me to see all that more clearly. I pray that you open the eyes of my understanding, Lord, and help me to serve you with greater clarity. Amen!
Hebrews 3:1-14 ERV
So, my brothers and sisters, those chosen by God to be his holy people, think about Jesus. He is the one we believe God sent to save us and to be our high priest.
God made him our high priest, and he was faithful to God just as Moses was. He did everything God wanted him to do in God’s house.
When someone builds a house, people will honor the builder more than the house. It is the same with Jesus. He should have more honor than Moses.
Every house is built by someone, but God built everything.
Moses was faithful as a servant in God’s whole house. He told people what God would say in the future.
But Christ is faithful in ruling God’s house as the Son. And we are God’s house, if we remain confident of the great hope we are glad to say we have.
So it is just as the Holy Spirit says: “If you hear God’s voice today,
don’t be stubborn as you were in the past, when you turned against God. That was the day you tested God in the desert.
For 40 years in the desert, your people saw what I did. But they tested me and my patience.
So I was angry with them. I said, ‘Their thoughts are always wrong. They have never understood my ways.’
So I was angry and made a promise: ‘They will never enter my place of rest.'”
So, brothers and sisters, be careful that none of you has the evil thoughts that cause so much doubt that you stop following the living God.
But encourage each other every day, while you still have something called “today.” Help each other so that none of you will be fooled by sin and become too hard to change.
We have the honor of sharing in all that Christ has if we continue until the end to have the sure faith we had in the beginning.
What an amazing honor to be God’s HOUSE! I have been watching lots of Great Courses lately, learning about ancient history from all different perspectives — their basic history, their cities, their art, their food… and most of these ancient civilizations from all over the world have temples — houses for their gods — as the heart of their great cities. Even today, people make pilgrimages from all over the world to come to the special places of their religions. Yet, our Almighty God’s “special place” is right here inside US — our hearts, our spirits, even our very bodies! What an amazing, merciful, gracious Lord we serve, that He would dwell so closely with His people, putting His own Holy Spirit inside each of us. Making each of us His own house, His own temple, His own residence. I am in awe! 😯