Friday, December 31, 2004

St. Theresa's Prayer:

I recently received this by email from a former student. I thought it was a good way to start the new year...

Saint Theresa is known as the Saint of the Little Ways. Meaning she believed in doing the little things in life well and with great love. She is also the patron Saint of flower growers and florists. She is represented by roses. May everyone be blessed who receives this message. Prayer is one of the best free gifts we receice.

St. Theresa's Prayer:

May today there be peace within.

May you trust your highest power that you are exactly
where you are meant to be.

May you not forget the infinite possibilities that are born of faith.

May you use those gifts that you have received,
and pass on the love that has been given to you.

May you be content knowing you are a child of God.

Let this presence settle into our bones,
and allow your soul the freedom
to sing,
and love.

It is there for each and every one of you.


Thursday, December 23, 2004

First week after Christmas

First week after Christmas
hope - peace - joy - love -LIGHT
prophets - Bethlehem -angels - shepherds -CHRIST
Discipleship -fellowship -ministry - worship -EVANGELISM

It’s not our job to change people so that God will accept them,
It is our job to accept people so that God can change them.

A Biblical Archeology Professor told this story about Neil Armstrong:
He is a devout believer and in the spring of 1988 he visited Jerusalem and stood on those steps. He asked his guide, "Do you mean to tell me that Jesus stood on these steps?" The guide answered, "Of course. Jesus was a Jew and went to the temple many times. And these steps were the main entrance to the temple. Of course Jesus stood on these steps." Neil Armstrong was quiet for a few moments, then said, "It means more to me to stand on these steps than to stand on the moon."

While I couldn’t find proof on the internet that he really said it, I once heard a pastor’s sermon that quoted Armstrong; “It’s one thing for man to walk on the moon- it’s quite another to have God walk on the earth.”

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent

hope - peace - JOY - love -light

"We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with his Son, Jesus Christ.” ~1 John 1:3

“If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose.” ~Philippians 2:1-2

It’s time to SHARE the joy. Here are some ideas from my friend Anne Bierling at the Shepherd’s House (Page 12, The Life Model; Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You:)

Building Joy:

Building joy means getting closer to God and to people. While it is a very authentic process that cannot be fabricated, here are some “joy-building” ideas to first practice with our families and then extend to the wounded community.

1. Smile whenever you greet those you love, and use sincere voice tones.

2. Ask questions that invite others to tell you truthfully how they are doing, and what they are thinking. Listen intently without interrupting.

3. Take a sincere interest in really knowing the other person. Work hard to understand the other’s fears, joys, passions, talents and pain.

4. Treat each other with dignity and respect. When ending a discussion, try to make both people feel affirmed.

5. Use touch whenever appropriate: Hold hands, link arms, give hugs and use physical connection as effectively as you can.

6. Discover what brings the person joy: a time to talk, encouraging notes, a helping hand, or evening walks. Custom fit your attempts to bring joy.

7. Give them little surprises that will cause their eyes to light up, and let your eyes light up, too! The joy builds as the glances go back and forth


Dear Jesus,

If it only takes a spark to get a fire going,
help me pass on the Joy that You give us this Christmas.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent
hope - peace - JOY - love -light
prophets - Bethlehem -ANGELS -shepherds -Christ
discipleship -fellowship -MINISTRY -worship -evangelism

“Do not cast me from your presence or take your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the JOY of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” Psalm 51:11-12

I want you to think of joy as a place. That’s right, you can be cynical and scoff or joke and call it your “happy place” like this is some kind of psychobabble, but try it. Think of joy as a place, but not just any place, think of it as your base-camp.

Say you want to take a day trip, hike a mountain, scale a rock face. Great, but when the day is done, you have to get back. Return to base camp. So you want to try some fly fishing or white-water rafting- awesome. You’re bound to get some cuts and bruises along the way, head back to base camp an get bandaged up. Go hunting, snowmobiling, para-sailing, you name it, but at the end of the day, if you’re gonna sleep soundly, you want to be somewhere safe, secure, dry, comfortable- return to base camp.

That’s what we all need every day no matter where we are, a home base. Well guess what, God is it. Our rock and our salvation. Spending time with Him is a delight- being with someone who loves you, that’s joy.

So Okay, the next time you have a stressfull day, remember, Jesus loves you, return to joy. Someone yells at you, lies about you, spreads rumors about you, return to joy. You try something new, it’s a little scary, but it worked out alright, in fact you’re kinda proud- return to joy.

Remember, joy is not temporary like happy. Joy may not always be exciting or euphoric like happy, but joy is more important, deeper, more stable, more meaningful then happy.

The next time life is rocky, whether it’s downs or ups, share it with God, you’ll be returning to joy.


Dear Jesus,

Every day, remind me that you are my safe place.
If Home is where you are loved,
I am always at home no matter where I roam,
because You promised that You will never leave me or forsake me,
and that You are with me even unto the end of the age.
Thank you Jesus.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

prayer for our soldiers

Please send this on after a short prayer for our soldiers...please don't break it


"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us.Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in ourtime of need. I ask this in the name of Jesus, our Lord and Savior. Amen."

When you receive this, please stop for a momentand say a prayer for our troops around the world There is nothing attached .... Just send this to all the peoplein your address book. Do not let it stop with you, please.... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marineand others deployed in harm's way, prayer is the very best one.

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

christmas trivia - facts and information about christmas, xmas

christmas trivia - facts and information about christmas, xmas:
"The 'Twelve Days of Christmas' was originally written to help Catholic children, in England, remember different articles of faith during the persecution by Protestant Monarchs. The 'true love' represented God, and the gifts all different ideas:
The 'Partridge in a pear tree' was Christ.
2 Turtle Doves = The Old and New Testaments
3 French Hens = Faith, Hope and Charity-- the Theological Virtues
4 Calling Birds = the Four Gospels and/or the Four Evangelists
5 Golden Rings = The first Five Books of the Old Testament, the 'Pentateuch', which relays the history of man's fall from grace.
6 Geese A-laying = the six days of Creation
7 Swans A-swimming = the seven gifts of the Holy Spirit, the seven sacraments
8 Maids A-milking = the eight beatitudes
9 Ladies Dancing = the nine Fruits of the Holy Spirit
10 Lords A-leaping = the ten commandments
11 Pipers Piping = the eleven faithful apostles
12 Drummers Drumming = the twelve points of doctrine in the Apostle's Creed "

Monday, December 20, 2004

Rapid Deployment Kits

Rapid Deployment Kits
Here's a great way to show the troops that you support them, and that you're praying for them.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent

hope - peace - JOY - love -light

"I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-­nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.”~ Luke 15:7

So we’ve established that Joy is being glad to see someone you enjoy being with, with whom you have some kind of love-relationship. We’ve even seen that it actually effects your brain chemistry in a positive way. Did you know that social workers and counselors look for a glossy glint in children’s eyes to tell if they’re being neglected or not?

Yeah, it’s not just drinking enough water to have healthy tear ducts, it’s a matter of whether or not your eyes “light-up.” As in “as soon as he/she enters the room your eyes light-up.” I think that’s what they mean when they say someone is the “apple of your eye.”

God delights in just being with you. One of the most memorable scenes in Frank Peretti’s series of novels about angels was in Piercing the Darkness when a human girl gets down on her knees in desperation and asks God into her life. The angels, in fact all of Heaven virtually EXPOLDE with joy and celebration.

Angels DELIGHT in being with God. Without sin as an obstacle, they get to enjoy His intimate presence all the time. Yet you are more important to Him than angels.

So imagine the explosive celebration when God’s own Son, Jesus was born to redeem you, me and all humans. I’d be blown away too if I was those shepherds.

You know the absolute ecstatic joy and delight parents have when they first get to hold their new born baby, right? And you remember the joy and excitement that you had as a little kid to get up Christmas morning and see all the things Santa brought you under the tree, right?

Christmas and Easter should bring you that same kind of ecstatic joy! The King of the universe came down at Christmas to save YOU! THE God loves YOU!


Dear Jesus,

Bring joy to your servant,
for to you, O Lord,
I lift up my soul. (Psalm 86:4)

I love You Jesus,

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent
hope - peace - JOY - love -light

“the joy of the LORD is your strength” Nehemiah 8:10b

I’ll be the first to admit it. Joy is a hard thing, especially this time of year. Joy is a sense of well being. If you’re like me, you don’t always handle stress well, or you suffer from bouts of depression. But you see, that’s all the more reason we need true joy.

I have a friend, Anne, who’s a family counselor. She used to be a school counselor. She contends that the true definition of joy is being in meaningful and reciprocated love-relationships.
Anne says that joy is being glad to be with someone who’s glad to be with you. That’s why Nehemiah 8:10 is SO true! God delights in you. He always, always LOVES to be with you. He LOVES it when you choose to spend time with Him: Prayer, reading His Bible, meditating on Him, His Word, & His love. Singing or listening to praise music.

This Christmas season, try setting aside time to spend with Him each day. It helps you get centered. It brings peace of mind and it works away those blues. Heck, when you’re most desperately lonely, afraid, or depressed, don’t you just wish someone would hold you and let you cry in their arms? He’ll do that too- cry yourself asleep while praying and you’ll probably wake up in a much better mood.

Are you as happy to be in His company as He is to be in yours? Try spending time with Him, it becomes almost addictive. The more time you spend with Him, the more you enjoy it. It’s good for your mental health- just like prayer brings peace, which is good for your health. Joy is too. Don’t take my word for it, see what these mental health professionals say:

“Having enough joy strength is fundamental to a person’s well being. We now know that a 'joy center' exists in the right orbital pre-frontal cortex of the brain. It has executive control over the entire emotional .system. When the joy center has been sufficiently developed it regulates emotions, pain control and immunity centers; it guides us to act like ourselves; it releases neurotransmitters like dopamine and seratonin; and it is the only part of the brain that overrides the main drive centers -food and sexual impulses, terror and rage.*”


Thank You Lord for wanting to spend time with me. Help me make time for you, show me what it’s like to have TRUE joy. Help me get my strength from being with You, so that You’ll renew my strength and lift me up on eagle’s wings!

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

(*Page 12, The Life Model; Living from the Heart Jesus Gave You, by Dr. James Friesen, Dr. James Wilder, Anne Bierling, Rick Koepke and Maribeth Poole. © 2000 Shepherd’s House, Inc. ISBN# 0-9674357-0-6)

Monday, December 13, 2004

Third week in Advent

Third week in Advent

hope - peace - JOY - love -light
prophets - Bethlehem -ANGELS -shepherds -Christ
discipleship -fellowship -MINISTRY -worship -evangelism

“9An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great JOY that will be for all the people. 11Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”~Luke 2:9-11

Merrium-Webster’s Dictionary puts it this way:

Main Entry: 1joy Pronunciation: 'joiFunction: nounEtymology: Middle English, from Old French joie, from Latin gaudia, plural of gaudium, from gaudEre to rejoice; probably akin to Greek gEthein to rejoice 1 a : the emotion evoked by well-being, success, or good fortune or by the prospect of possessing what one desires : DELIGHT

But Joy is really more than a mere emotion. Happiness, the emotion, is a reaction to circumstance. Joy is more than a reaction. Joy can actually determine emotions. Joy can improve circumstances.

Go back to the Latin root to rejoice. Like love and like peace, rejoicing is something you do deliberately. St. Paul even commands us to

“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!” -Philippians 4:4

Joy is intricately tied with things like hope, faith, peace, and love. That’s why it’s way more stable than the fickle emotion, happiness. Joy has to do with appreciation. To rejoice is not merely to thank God for something He’s given you, it’s showing Him your love for Him. This may make more since after tomorrow’s devotion.

For now try to remember that you have well-being, because unto you is born a Savior. Christ the Lord has had success in His mission to defeat death and the Devil.

You have good fortune because of the prospect of possessing what one desires, His forgiveness, His love, and His salvation, an eternal life with Him in Heaven.

You are His delight. He delights in you!


Thank You Lord for delighting in me.
It’s amazing to me that You would think of me as Your pride and joy.
Teach me to rejoice that the Savior has come.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

Friday, December 10, 2004

Festival of Lights

Click here to read a column I recently wrote about what Advent is, as well as Hannukka and Kwanza.

Second week in Advent

Second week in Advent

“This generation of Americans has already had enough - more
than enough - of war and hate and oppression. We shall be prepared if others
wish it. We shall be alert to try to stop it. But we shall also do our part to
build a world of peace where the weak are safe and the strong are just. We are
not helpless before that task or hopeless of its success. Confident and
unafraid, we labor on - not toward a strategy of annihilation but toward a
strategy of peace.” ~John F. Kennedy

“If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.” -Romans 12:18

”Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.” -
Matthew 5:9

"If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you” -Matthew 10:13

So what does peace have to do with Bethlehem or with Fellowship? Let me tell you. Peace is a verb, something you practice. Like ‘love is a decision,’ peace is not just a noun that you have, it is a verb that you do. Did you notice that in Matt 10:13, it’s something you share with others?

Being “in fellowship,” means that you are not “in conflict,” with someone. It means you share, you support, you encourage, you don’t injure or compete with someone.

The traditional Hebrew greeting that people in Bethlehem shared at the time of Mary and Joseph was “Shalohm.” Shalohm means, “God’s peace be with you.” Kind of like “Good Bye” means “God Be with Ye,” or “Adios” is short for “Via con Dios,” or “Go with God.”

But do you have room for peace in your heart? Do you have room for Jesus in your heart? Mary & Joseph found no room at the Inn. If your heart, your life, and your relationships are full of conflict, selfishness, worry, anxiety, anger, hate etc. etc., there’s no room for fellowship. And remember, that’s what Christmas is all about, God seeking fellowship with us, an end to conflict.

Shalohm to you.

“Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: May those who love you be secure.” -Psalm 122:6


Shalohm Lord Jesus,

Thank You for coming so that we can be at peace,

not war with God.

Thank You for coming so that we can be at peace,
not war with our fellow man.

Help me to make room for peace in my heart and in my life.
Help me to share Your peace with others.

I love You, Jesus, Amen

Thursday, December 09, 2004

Second week in Advent

Second week in Advent
hope - PEACE - joy - love -light

Sorry for the hiatus- I didn't have MS Word on my computer for a few days and it took a while to get it re-installed. Monday I had promised to look closer at Philippians 4:6-7 and how you can deliberately, carefully condition your mind to receive Christ’s peace. Here goes:

“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”

~Philippians 4:6-7

It’s easy to say do not be anxious about anything, but it’s another to not be, right?

St. Paul tells us how to ease our anxiety in the very next breath- “in everything, present your requests to God, with thanksgiving.”
Prayer is the key to peace. Dr. Bob Orr, director of clinical ethics at Fletcher Allen Health Care, the teaching hospital for the University of Vermont reported that prayer brings a definite physiological benefit.
"I certainly encourage people who are believers to pray," Orr said. "My observation is the person who prays is less stressed. He becomes less anxious, and his blood pressure and pulse improve."

One study showed the risk of diastolic hypertension was 40 percent lower among those who studied the Bible daily and attended church weekly. Another study concluded that elderly heart patients were 14 times less likely to die after surgery if they found comfort in religious faith.
It’s a simple if-then proposition.

Here’s a special Christmas song from one of my favorite Christmas movies, White Christmas, to help you remember Philippians 4:7...

COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS (Instead of Sheep) by Irving Berlin

Both Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney had hit versions of this song from their 1954 1954 movie White Christmas. "Count Your Blessings" was the 11th song introduced by Bing to be nominated for an Academy Award.

When I'm worried and I can't sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting smallI think of when I had none at
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings
I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
And one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
If you're worried and you can't sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you'll fall asleep counting your blessings

Thank you, Jesus

For being the blessings you bring me, including peace.
Please grant peace to my friends and loved ones who don’t have it this Christmas.
Teach us to pray, Lord.
Teach us to leave our burdens at your feet and count our blessings.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.


“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think about such things.”

~Philippians 4:6-7


Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Second week in Advent

Monday Second week in Advent
hope - PEACE - joy - love -light
prophets - BETHLEHEM -angels -shepherds -Christ

“6Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” ~Philippians 4:6

“I have, therefore, chosen this time and this place to
discuss a topic on which ignorance too often abounds and the truth is too rarely
perceived - yet it is the most important topic on earth: world

What kind of peace do we seek? Not a Pax Americana enforced
on the world by American weapons of war. Not the peace of the grave or the
security of the slave. I am talking about genuine peace, the kind of peace that
makes life on earth worth living, the kind that enables men and nations to grow
and to hope and to build a better life for their children - not merely peace for
Americans but peace for all men and women - not merely peace in our time but
peace for all time.” ~John F. Kennedy

This is not really a peaceful season is it? Whether it’s the stress of getting things done or the stress of family spending time together, the very time of year when we talk the most about “peace on earth,” seems to be one of the least peaceful.

As far as President Kennedy’s speech goes, I hate to be too cynical, but let’s face it, after September 11, 2001, do any of us really believe that world peace is possible?

But Paul’s not talking about either of those kinds of so-called peace. He’s talking about a deeper, truer, more lasting peace. An inner peace-of-mind. One that surpasses all human understanding. In my experience this is something that almost all of my students want most.

Whether it’s clinical depression, anxiety attacks, epilepsy, ADD, ADHD, bipolar, someone who’d molested them as a child, their parent’s divorce, money, grades, drug or alcohol addition, sex, guilt, fear, anger, hatred…the list goes on and on. Today’s teens desperately desire this kind of peace. A peace that let’s you sleep at night.

Jesus came to offer us this peace. All you have to do is ask Him for it. In tomorrow’s devotion, I’d like to look closer at Philippians 4:6-7 and how you can deliberately, carefully condition your mind to receive Christ’s peace.

Thank you, Jesus

For being the Prince of peace and for offering me escape, stability, and strengthening peace. Please be my anchor and my refuge this Christmas, please grant me peace.

I love You, Jesus, Amen.

Friday, December 03, 2004

First week in Advent


“And HOPE does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” ~Romans 5:5

Hope is so important. We all get depressed, especially this time of year. Without hope, we’re lost. Suicide rates rise this time of year because people lose hope.

I know you might just be tempted to avoid watching “It’s a Wonderful Life” again this season because you’ve seen it a million times and it’s become cliché’, but I want you to make a point of watching it again and this time keep reminding yourself that it’s a religious movie.

That’s right. It’s a religious movie. It’s all about faith, worth, hope, and love. George was desperate and depressed. He thought he was worth more dead than a live and attempted suicide. God sent Clarence the angel to give George hope. By showing him how much God had used him throughout his life, Clarence helped restore George’s faith that he had hope no matter how dire his situation. Even more so because he had given hope to so many people throughout his life without even realizing it, you reap what you sow (Galations 6:7).

You have worth, belonging, usefulness, importance, AND hope. For every recession there is eventually a recovery. Every war ends, every storm ends, it’s just hard to remember that while you’re in the midst of it. God used George Bailey of Bedford Falls as His instrument for good. Will you let God use you to share the hope of Christmas with others?

“For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD , "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you HOPE and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11


Thank you, Holy Spirit

for filling us with a hope that won’t let us down. Thank you Lord, for including me in Your plans. Please help me to live with that hope and to share Your hope with others.

I love You, Jesus,


Thursday, December 02, 2004

First week in Advent


“…we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. 24For in this hope we were saved. But HOPE that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? 25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.”
~Romans 8:23b-25

It’s not always easy to wait is it? It seems like the whole month of December is all about waiting. When we were kids we started waiting for Santa Claus. If you’re in high school or college, you might be counting down the days until vacation! Then you wait for family gatherings or friends’ parties. After Christmas we wait for New Year’s. On New Year’s Eve we wait for midnight. Then it’s only a matter of time till its back to school.

Thousands wait in line at stores and airports. We’re still waiting to receive some of the gifts we ordered for people on the internet to be shipped to us…

But what does it mean to wait eagerly for our adoption? For the redemption of our bodies?

It’s part of the “Now-Not-Yet” principle of prophecy.

Jesus has come and has defeated death and Satan, yet He is still coming again and will remove Satan and eliminate death once and for all. Hitler was doomed as of D-Day (June 6, 1944), but WWII didn’t quite end in Europe until V-E Day (May 8, 1945). When the Marines landed on Omaha Beach, millions of people were still stuck in concentration camps, waiting to be freed.

We already have salvation and a reconciled relationship with God thanks to Easter, but we continue to hope for Jesus’ SECOND coming promised in Revelation 20: 3-4 when God will live with us. We will be His people, and God Himself will be with us, He will wipe every tear from our eyes.

That kind of hope can get us through the hardest times. When I was depressed and exhausted by the worst summer jobs or the most difficult classes in school, I KNEW that it wouldn’t last forever. The summer would end and I could go back to school to escape that awful job. The semester would end and I’d swallow the poor grade and get to take a different class, hopefully one I’d enjoy more.

The point is I didn’t WISH the bad times would eventually end, I KNEW they would. That’s what real hope means. A genuine light at the end of the tunnel, but just a light, not the end. If there were no light, there’d be no hope. But if it were the exit already, you wouldn’t need hope. That’s the “Now-Not-Yet” principle.

Advent and Christmas are all about hope. We celebrate them to remind us that we only have to suffer in this world for a little while longer, Jesus is on His way.

Dear Jesus,
This Advent, help us to remember that we’re not just waiting for Christmas 2004 to arrive.
We are celebrating the victory that You have already won,
while waiting eagerly for you to liberate us from this corrupt and dying world,
our own frail and fickle flesh,
and the taunts and temptations of the defeated Devil.
Come Lord Jesus,

Wednesday, December 01, 2004

First week in Advent


“Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their HOPE in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their HOPE in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment.” ~1 Timothy 6:17

What do you hope Santa will bring you this Christmas? As a parent, I really hope that our daughters enjoy the presents that we’re getting them this year.

During the Vietnam War, ex Beatle John Lennon wrote a modern holiday classic.

And so this is Christmas, I hope you have fun! The near and the dear ones, the old and the young. A very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! Let's hope it's good one, without any fear.

Lennon hoped that the war in Vietnam would end. Unfortunately, as long as there are people, there will be wars.

As Christians, we have hope, even during times of war, Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 4, “we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.”

In his letter to Timothy, Paul told the young pastor to make sure that the members of his congregation didn’t get too wrapped up in the temporary things of this world. Presents are not what Christmas is all about. Even “peace on earth” isn’t what Christmas is all about- not peace as we know it anyway.

True peace, the peace which passes all understanding, comes from hope. The hope that there is eternal life, eternal enjoyment, and eternal peace – an end to our spiritual war with God.

My hope for you is not that you get what you WANT for Christmas (presents, money clothes, etc.) Instead, I hope you get what you NEED; Faith, Hope, Love, and Peace in Jesus.


Dear Jesus,

Please protect our soldiers overseas this Advent.
Especially the ones in places like Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea.
Boost their morale, Lord.
Remind them of the hope that eventually their tour of duty will end and they’ll get to come home to their families.
Help us to put our hope in You, not in money, toys, gifts, things, or even noble things like peace, but only in you.

I love you Jesus,

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Advent Candles

First week in Advent


“also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5And hope does not disappoint us because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.”

~Romans 5:3-5

You might have noticed that I have three words at the top of these devotions. The first is the theme that the candles represent, the second is the Biblical characters used to represent each theme. The third word that I’ve decided to add, represents each of the five purposes from the best-selling Christian book,‘A Purpose Driven Life” by Pastor Rick Warren. I think that these purposes fit in perfectly with the candles of the advent wreath.

Warren contends that in the Great Commandment (Matt 22:37-40) and the Great Commission (Matt 28:19-20), Jesus gives us five reasons for living. Five things that Jesus did on Earth and we should be doing as members of the Body of Christ (the Church on Earth).

Discipleship - you were created to become like Christ.
Fellowship - you were formed to be part of God's family.
Ministry - you were shaped for God's service.
Worship - you were planned for God's pleasure.
Mission - you were made to tell others about Christ.

A disciple is someone who follows a discipline. According to Webster’s Dictionary, a discipline is a field of study, a training that corrects, molds, or perfects the mental faculties or moral character, or a prescribed conduct or pattern of behavior.

If we follow Jesus, study His Word, and practice Spiritual disciplines like prayer, praise and meditating on God’s Word He will fill us with hope. But those things take work. Just like physical training for a sport. No pain, no gain.

Need help becoming self-disciplined enough to spend time with God everyday? Try Soul Journey they have cool daily devotions that you might want to check out- especially once Advent is over and I stop sending these to you!

Prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Micah, Zechariah, and Malachi studied God’s Word and followed His ways even before Christ came. They persevered in cultures that ridiculed and rejected them. They held onto the hope that God would send His Son.

During Advent we hope that the baby Jesus will come at Christmas, but we also hope He will return in Glory to renew all of creation. Right here, right now, we hope He will live in us and speak through us.

But if we are going to have any hope at all, we must follow Him


Dear Jesus,

This Advent, I want to be Your disciple and your prophet.
Draw me into spending time with You- in Your Word and in prayer-time.
Teach me Your ways and mold my character,
so that I can be someone you speak through
and so that I can have the kind of hope that does not disappoint.

Thank you Jesus,


Monday, November 29, 2004

First week in Advent


14But even if you should suffer for what is right, you are blessed. "Do not fear what they fear; do not be frightened." 15But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the HOPE that you have.”

~1 Peter 3:14-15a

There are five candles in an advent wreath. 3 purple or blue, and one pink on the wreath itself, and one white one in the center. Advent means coming. It is a season when we prepare for Jesus’ arrival. Purple symbolizes both His royalty and our repentance. The evergreen or holly wreath symbolizes both the eternal life He brings and the crown of thorns He wore to win it for us.

Each week a new candle is lit. each candle represents something.

The first candle is the “Prophets’ Candle.” It represents the hope that the people of Israel in the Bible had that someday their Messiah would finally come. His coming was predicted in the Old Testament by the prophets.

A prophet is not a psychic. A prophet is someone who speaks for God. Whenever we talk about God or His love for us, we are being prophets.
Last year kids from St. John’s Lutheran Youth Fellowship joined 600 other high school students from 60 different Iowa congregations in Des Moines last weekend for the annual District Youth Gathering.

The theme of the event was a Steven Curtis Chapman song, “Live Out Loud.”

We were reminded of who we are, loved and forgiven children of God. We were then challenged to live like who we really are without embarrassment, without hiding our love for Jesus. May your hope live out loud this Christmas.

Dear Lord,
This Advent, please remind me of the hope I have in You.
Help me to “Live Out Loud” for you
and to be prepared to explain where my hope comes from.
Thank you Jesus,

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Buy Nothing Day - Adbusters Culturejammers

Why fight the crowds? Instead, why not fight that nasty case of Afluenza?
Don't buy anything this year on the Friday after Thanksgiving. Click here:Buy Nothing Day - Adbusters Culturejammers

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Religion vs. Spirituality

Religion vs. Spirituality
contemporary American conservative-Christianity vs. "the Way"

Tonight I read Matthew 23. Holy cow!

Jesus is a radical. He doesn't want surface, shallow, politically expedient religion. He wants sincerity. He wants people who will genuinely open their hearts to Him.


Dear Jesus,

Make me "real"
forgive me when I take You out and put You on for a show, instead of being like You.
Create in me a pure heart, oh God
and renew a right spirit within me
(PS 51)


The Most Important Thing


"Dear Jesus,
More than anything else,
I want to know You intimately."

~Rick Warren, Purpose Driven Life

"Joy is the motor,
the thing that keeps everything else going...
Joy makes us strong."
~Richard J. Foster


Dear Jesus,
Restore unto me the joy of Your salvation.
In Jesus' name,

Prayer REQUEST: District Youth Gathering

St.John LYF, Charter Oak

Please pray for Jason, Jake, and me, we'll be there Nov 26-28. It's based on Galations 5:1

Thank You,

RENOVARE - Bringing the Church to the churches

RENOVARE - Bringing the Church to the churches
These are interesting people- former Quakers with a heavy dose of Lutheran theology, they focus on the Spiritual Disciplines and small group Bible study.

Tony Campolo.Org

Tony Campolo.Org & EAPE
Tony Campolo is one of my all time favorite Christian authors. He is a Sociology professor at Eastern University in Philadelphia.

Friday, November 19, 2004

If the World were 100 people

If the world were 100 people
There would be:

57 Asians

21 Europeans

14 from North and South America

8 Africans

52 would be female

48 would be male

70 would be nonwhite, 30 white

59% of the entire world's wealth would belong to only 6 people
and all 6 would be citizens of the United States

80 would live in substandard housing

70 would be unable to read

50 would suffer from malnutrition

1 would be near death

1 would be near birth

Only 1 would have a college education

99 of them will not see this message,
because only 1 would have a computer.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

American Prayer - by U2

American Prayer:
This is the time to finish what you started
This is no time to dream
This is the room
We can turn off the dark tonight
Maybe then we might see
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer
This is the land
The land that keeps your feet from getting wet
And this is the sky over our head
Remember that what you see depends on where you stand
And how you jump will tell you where you're gonna land
This is my American Prayer
American Prayer

My oh my, let's not get tired
Let's not kick at the darkness
Let's make the light brighter
These are the hands
What are we going to build with them?
This is a church you can't see
Give me your tired and poor and huddled masses
You know they're yearning to breathe free.

World Vision Daily Prayer Guide: Democratic Republic of Congo (11/18/2004)

World Vision Daily Prayer Guide: Democratic Republic of Congo (11/18/2004): "1 in every 1,346 African children under the age of 15 died of HIV/AIDS in 2001. Pray for World Vision as we fight against HIV/AIDS through the Hope Initiative."

The link above is to a daily prayer calendar from World Vision.

Bono's American Prayer - Christianity Today Magazine

Bono's American Prayer - Christianity Today Magazine

Bono, lead singer of U2 and former Eurythmics member Dave Stewart have composed a song that reflects the rocker's hope that America, and American Christians in particular, will respond to the AIDS crisis.
Bono debuted 'American Prayer,' a work in progress, during the Heart of America tour.

In early December, Bono sang:

These are the hands / What are we gonna build with them? / This is the church you can't see / Give me your tired, your poor and huddled masses / All are yearning to breathe free / American prayer, (This is my) American prayer.

It's one song that Bono is happy to explain. "My prayer is that this country, which has unparalleled economic, technological, military, and cultural power, will rethink its humble origins, the purpose that made it great," Bono told CT. "There are millions and millions of lives hanging in the balance in parts of the world, that depend on decisions made a long way from them. And there's the prospect of war around the corner. I'm not saying I know what to do, or what anyone should do. America has got to make up its own mind about all these problems and potentials, but it will make better decisions if it revisits the cauldron of ideas that the country came out of."

I Asked God

This was an email forward from a Senior in our church's youth group. Email forwards can be sappy and cheesy, but I found the theology of this one to be pretty sound even sage. Serious Spiritual wisdom from a high school girl's web-surfing.

I Asked God

I asked God to take away my habit.
God said, No.
It is not for me to take away, but for you to give it up.

I asked God to make my handicapped child whole.
God said, No.
His spirit is whole, his body is only temporary.

I asked God to grant me patience.
God said, No.
Patience is a byproduct of tribulations;
it isn't granted, it is learned.

I asked God to give me happiness.
God said, No.
I give you blessings; Happiness is up to you.

I asked God to spare me pain.
God said, No.
Suffering draws you apart from worldly cares
and brings you closer to Me.

I asked God to make my spirit grow.
God said, No.
You must grow on your own! ,
but I will prune you to make you fruitful.

I asked God for all things that I might enjoy life.
God said, No.

I will give you life, so that you may enjoy all things.

I ask God to help me LOVE others, as much as He loves me.
God said..Ahhhh, finally you have the idea.

Send this to ten people to brighten their day and
back to the person that sent it.


May God Bless You,

'To the world you might be one person, but to one
person you just might be the world'

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

uprising against the disorder

"To clasp hands in prayer is the beginning of an uprising against the disorder of the world."
~Karl Barth

He knows our needs

"It matters little what form of prayer we adopt or how many words we use. What matters is the faith which lays hold on God, knowing that He knows our needs before we even ask Him. That is what gives Christian prayer its boundless confidence and its joyous certainty".

~Dietrich Bonhoeffer

This is an image of the Jabez Prayer written in Persian, the language of Iran- perhaps this was a language that Jabez would have known well.

Prayer of Jabez:
Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez, saying, "I gave birth to him in pain." Jabez cried out to the God of Israel,

"Oh, that you would bless me
and enlarge my territory!
Let your hand be with me,
and keep me from harm
so that I will be free from pain."

And God granted his request.
~1 Chronicles 4:10 - NIV

“Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that your hand would be with me,
and that you would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain.”

"Bless me, O bless me!
Give me land, large tracts of land.
And provide your personal protection--
don't let evil hurt me."
~The Message

I want to share with you a little bit about each part of this famous prayer each day for the next few days. first lets take "Oh, that you would bless me indeed,"

Here's what Webster's Dictionary says it means to "bless:"

1 : to hallow or consecrate by religious rite or word
2 : to hallow with the sign of the cross
3 : to invoke divine care for
4 a : PRAISE, GLORIFY b : to speak well of : APPROVE
5 : to confer prosperity or happiness upon

Someone once told me that in Hebrew, "to bless" simply means "to make happy." Surely All seven Webster's definitions are things that each of us need. So when you pray the Jabez prayer, ask God to do these 7 things for you:


Dear Lord,

1 : hallow me, make me holy, consecrate me- Set me aside for Your use, for Your holy purposes. 2 : Put your mark upon me, write Your name upon my heart.
3 : Keep me and care for me as Your child
4 a : May I bring you honor and draw attention to Your love and Your power- b : Lord, find favor in me and may I be worthy of your approval
5 : Dear God, PLEASE provide for me, if it be Your will, even grant me material prosperity, certainly, please help me to find happiness in this life
6 Lord, preserve and protect me
7 : Lord, make me useful to You, grant me skills and talents so that I can be Your instrument.

In Jesus' Name,
Indeed! Let it be so! Amen

Some Christians have been very critical of this prayer because they're afraid that it's a selfish prayer. First of all, why would He put in inthe Bible if it's somehow wrong or sinful to pray it? Secondly, look back at what you just prayed, think about what it means to bless or be blessed. Surely God wants to bless you, His child. How can it possibly be wrong to ask Him to bless you?

Bless us, Lord, bless us indeed!

How to Bless Your Neighbors Through Prayer

How to B.L.E.S.S. Your Neighbors Through Prayer

Yes, I believe that "Oh, that you would bless me indeed," means that it's Okay to as for God to provide for you and even to prosper you. And yes, I think that includes materially.

But yes, I do believe that it is better to give than it is to recieve. I do think that Jesus set an example for us to be humble and selfless, not proud and shelfish.

So, why not ask God to bless your neighbors, to make them happy, make them holy, use them for His glory, protect them and yes, to provide for their needs and bring THEM prosperity?!

How can you do that? Click on the link above to learn more. It's all about usung the BLESS anagram:

Think of the word BLESS to remember five important ways to pray for your neighbors:
Body – health, protection, strength
Labor – work, income, security
Emotional – joy, peace, hope
Social – love, marriage, family,friends
Spiritual – salvation, faith, grace

Numbers 6:14-26 Prayer:

GOD bless you and keep you,
GOD smile on you and gift you,
GOD look you full in the face
and make you prosper.

Enlarge my territory

“Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that your hand would be with me,
and that you would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain.”
~1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV

So what does it mean to ask God to "expand your territory? Critics of Bruce Wilkinson's book The Jabez Prayer, feared that readers would try using this prayer as a get-rich-quick-scheme, as if God were some kind of Santa Claus who'll give you lots of STUFF.

But I think it's more like Saint Francis' prayer asking God to make him into His instrument.

"My willingness and weakness, plus God's will and supernatural power, equals... my expanded territory." ~Bruce Wilkinson, The Jabez Prayer

God wants to use you- to bless others, to pray for others, to help others, to challenge others.
We are our brother's keeper. Even if it's just offering a cold glass of water to a thirsty child, God wants us to be His hands and feet.

That's what expanding territory means, it means expanded responsibility.

"I know God will not give me anything I can't handle. I just wish that He didn't trust me so much." ~Mother Teresa

But look what that tiny woman, Mother Teresa did! Once, when I was feeling particularly overwhelmed and inadequate my pastor told me something that has stuck with me for YEARS. He said "It's not how much YOU can do, its what the Holy Spirit can do THROUGH you!"

What a thrill to not just be safe in God's hands, but to be His tool while He goes about His handywork. Gives new meaning to the bumper sticker, "My boss is a Jewish carpenter," doesn't it?

But it can still be a little intimidating to think that God wants you to take on greater responsibility. Dr. Norman Vincent Peale suggested conditioning your mind with positive thinking by repeating Philippians 4:13 ten times a day.

Try it. It's bound to inspire confidence:

  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. ~NKJV
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
  • I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.



Let me
make a difference
for You
that is
to who I am."


~John Piper

that your hand would be with me,

"Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that your hand would be with me,
and that you would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain."
~1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV

Certainly, this means you're asking for God's protection, but it also means you're asking for His guidance. And, frankly, I believe it also means you want His company, His companionship.

Think about our relationship to God, what would it compare to? Parent and child, right?

There were times when I was a little boy when I wanted my Dad to hold my hand. Like when I had to get a shot or when I went through a haunted house at the fair. Now that I'm a dad of two little girls, there are definitely times when I want them to let me hold their hand. Like in a crowded store or in a busy parking lot.

When I was little, I wanted that hand for the feeling of comfort and security. As a parent, I want to offer that hand for protection, safety, but also for guidance, for direction.

Who wouldn't want to hold hands with God. What a bodyguard, right? With God's hand upon you, nobody is gonna mess with you. On the other hand, you're not going to be able to get too far away from your Father either, are you?

The hand of the LORD was upon me there, and he said to me, "Get up and go out to the plain, and there I will speak to you."~Ezekiel 3:22

See what I mean about guidance?

One of the neatest feelings in the world when I was little was when my Dad would put his hand on my head and muss up my hair. He'd usually say something like "how ya doin, tiger?"
That hand meant approval and affection.

I don't read Hebrew, I don't know much Hebrew but one of my favorite Hebrew words is "PAGA." The Hebrew word for intercession, "paga," means "to meet" or "to touch."

I don't know whether or not paga is used in the Prayer of Jabez, but I understand that it appears 44 times in Old Testament. It means "to encounter, meet with, reach or stretch unto, to entreat, to strike, to touch, to attack"

Paga breaks down into two words:

QAL "to meet, to light upon, to join (used of kindness), to encounter, to fall upon (used of hostility), to entreat (used of a request), to strike, to touch (used of boundary)."

and HIPHIL "entreating, to interpose, to make attack, to reach the mark (as used in Phil. 3:13-14- striving on for the goal witch I haven't quite reached yet)."

A great way to think about that second part is to remember that Christianity is all about a relationship. "Hiphil," to me, is like when my 2-year old reaching up to me to try to get me to pick her up.


Dear Father-God,

May Your holy hand be upon me,

to protect me and guard me
to comfort and assure me
to guide me and lead me
to correct me and urge me
to let me know that You love me,
accept me,
enjoy me

I'm reaching out for You too,
I want to serve You, please You, be held and carried by You.

Thank you for your hand
for your protection
and for Your presence


“Oh, that you would bless me indeed,
and enlarge my territory,
that your hand would be with me,
and that you would keep me from evil,
that I may not cause pain.”
~1 Chronicles 4:10 NKJV

Other translations put it "that I might not KNOW pain."
It's a big difference in inference. One may sound more selfish- don't let evil hurt me, and the other more altruistic-don't let me hurt anybody. evil is not necissarily synonimous with Satan. Evil is the fact of suffering, misfortune, and wrongdoing. Evil is something that brings sorrow, distress, or calamity. There is evil in the world, and has been ever since the fall of Adam. Like it or not, there is evil in each one of us due to our sinful natures. And of course, Satan uses, delights in, and initiates all kinds of evil.

1 Timothy 6:10 says that money is at the root of all kinds of evil. Does that mean that praying the Jabez Prayer, is asking God to deny you money? Not at all.

If anything, this last petition is really a repitition of the first one. If you are being made happy (blessed), than you're being kept from sorrow and distress. What's the best way for that to happen? By surrenduring our will to Gods. Think about it, if you want what He wants, you'll always be happy.

"I cannot pray in the name of Jesus to have my own will; the name of Jesus is not a signature of no importance, but the decisive factor. The fact that the name of Jesus comes at the beginning does not make it a prayer in the name of Jesus; but this means to pray in such a manner that I dare name Jesus in it, that is to say, dare to think of Him, think His holy will together with whatever I am praying for." ~Sören Kierkegaard

There are two aspects of the Lord's Prayer here. Both the "Thy will be done on Earth on it is in Heaven," and "Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil."



If it's Your will,
protect me from suffering and misfortune.
don't let me have to experience sorrow or distress

Since You want to use me as Your instrument,
don't allow me, by what I say, do, or fail to do
to cause misfortune or suffering to others.
Don't let me cause sorrow or distress for others.

Protect me from
evil, sin, and temptation in the world
from my own sinful, evil human nature, drives and desires
and from Satan and his demons...

so that I will not experience or cause pain.

In Jesus' name,

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

mallory's milieu

mallory's milieu
this link is to my "umbrella" site. Click there and you have access to all of my other sites.

definition of a milieu

Monday, November 08, 2004

Joshua update from his parents

November 5, 2004

Dear Family and Friends,

Joshua remains hospitalized. His white blood cell count is still not high enough for him to come home. It has finally started to climb. We are hopeful that he can come home this weekend.It has been a difficult week. Joshua was in the hospital for both Halloween and his birthday.

Today is Andrew's birthday. We'll have a small party for him at the hospital so Joshua can participate.While it has been a difficult week Joshua's emotional state did seem to improve as the week went on. I believe this is an answer to prayer. Praise God! A few days at home certainly will be the best medicine.

A number of people have asked me this week how Lori and I are holding up. The answer can be found in Isaiah 41:10 - 'I will strengthen you and uphold you'.

I don't know that we would be holding up on our own. But I picture God holding us up - our whole family encircled in His arms and lifted up. He knows we are tired. He knows our burdens. We are being carried forward on this journey by Him. That's how we are getting through each day. He also continues to support us and encourage us through you.

Please continue to pray for healing for Joshua and for his emotional well being. Also, please continue to pray for trength and health for Lori and our yet to born child.

Ted's Column

Either I made a mistake writing the html code into the templates, or Blogger is having some technical dificulties because all of the links on my pages are malfunctioning lately.

Here is a list of my websites, I guess you're best off highlighting, copying, and pasting them into the address bar in order to get them to work.

http://tedscolumn.blogspot.comMy weekly columns from the Charter Oak-Ute NEWSpaper, as well as other rants on sex, politics, and religion
My Artworks, as well as those of my students, and some famous paintings too
My First year of Columns

http://malloryprayer.blogspot.comPrayer Blog- all new, prayers, devotions, and quotes about prayer Bulldog Cheer Coach’s Blog- also new, follow our season, as well as other notes on school spirit and positive thinking
Boyer Valley's Cheerleading Site

Portals of Prayer

Portals of Prayer

If you're at all like me, sometimes you're just so exhausted that you want to give up. Maybe you feel alone or even abandoned by God.
This morning I read a devotion in "Portals of Prayer," a quarterly devotional magazine (click on the link above) and I feel like God tried His best to reassure me that everything's gonna be alright:

"I have chosen you and have not rejected you. So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand." ~Isaiah 41:9-10



I don't understand why on Earth, You'd ever choose me.
Some days it feels like everyone else has rejected me.
I get scared, remind me that You're always here with me.
I get discouraged and disapointed, help me to trust in You as my God.
Strengthen me and help me
Hold me up with Your powerful touch and Your mighty right hand.

In Jesus' name,

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Please pray for Joshua, the son of one of our classmates from Concordia. Joshua has Lukemia and his chemotherapy has been very intence,
Joshua's Birthday is Nov 2nd (he'll be 8 this year) and Andrew's is Nov 5th (he is turning 3 ).

His Mom & Dad write:" We are learning about what life will be like over the next 7 months. Joshua should have a "good" week this week and be at home. This will be followed by 5 days in the hospital for a round of chemotherapy. Then he will be home for a few days until the side effects from the chemotherapy really kick in. This is also when he is likely to get an infection (though an infection could hit at any time). The result is that he goes back in the hospital for about a week. Then the cycle repeats itself - Good week, moderate week, difficult week.

Many people ask us, "How is Joshua handling all of this?" Joshua has always had very good comprehension. We have been open and honest with him about his disease and what the next 7 months will be like. He definitely understands. He doesn't talk a great deal about it but I am not sure how much any 7 year old would. He definitely clings more to both of us so that certainly says something about how he feels. He is bravely enduring everything he must go through. We are very proud of him!

Prayer requests:

- continued healing for Joshua

- that Joshua would get his appetite back and eat well this week

- prayer of thanks for everyone who is supporting us

Johshua 1:9 "Be brave"


Tuesday, November 02, 2004

Books For Soldiers - Care packages for the mind.

Books For Soldiers - Care packages for the mind.
Books For Soldiers - Care packages for the mind.
Hey this is really cool! What if everyone who found out about Books For Soldiers by landing on my Column site sent Bibles and devotional books like Prortals of Prayer, Daily Bread, or Upper Room or Guideposts?

Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel has another great way to illustrate "Hiphil."
Remember: "Come near to God and he will come near to you." ~James 4:8a


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Light House Prayer

Lighthouse Prayer
Above is a link to a way that you can be a becon, a lighthouse in a dark world, just by praying.

While you're at it,

I think we should pray for our enemies too. Is there some one who makes you angry? Someone who offends you? Or grates on your nerves? How about someone who believes differently than you? Are you a Republican who fears that Democrats somehow can't be Christian? Are you a Democrat who somehow imagines that all Republicans are judgmental or hypocritical?

And what should we REALLY do about Muslim terrorists?

Jesus says, be a blessing to your enemies.

"You have heard that it was said, 'Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I tell you: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get? Are not even the tax collectors doing that? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others? Do not even pagans do that?"~ Matthew 5:43-47

"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head." Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."~
Romans 12:19b-21

In the ancient Near East people would heap coals on their heads as a sign of repentance. What Paul is saying there is that if we love and bless our enemies, the Holy Spirit can work on their hearts to convict them of their wrong doing or their hard heartedness.

But don't be surprised if praying for them, and blessing them changes YOUR heart too. You might even discover that they aren't enemies after all.

See also Luke Chapter 6:27-36

So lets take the "Oh, that you would bless me indeed," line from the Jabez Prayer as our cue to ask God to bless EVERYONE, even people that we've pre-judged as beng downright evil.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004


"O Lord,
You know what is best for me.
Let this or that be done,
as You please.
Give what You will,
how much You will
and when You will."

~Thomas a Kempis (1380-1471)

"At their wits end

all men pray.

~William Shakespear

The Breton Fisherman's Prayer:

"Dear God, be good to me.
the sea is so wide,
and my boat is so small."

I really don't want to turn this into a commercial, this should be a house of prayer, not a den of robbers, but I just thought I'd provide a link HERE. These are the most powerful cough drops you'd ever want to try.


O Lord,
help me not to despise
or oppose
what I do not understand.

~William Penn (1644-1718)

"The only really happy people
are those
who have learned
how to serve."

~Albert Schweitzer


Teach me to serve.

Spiritual Warfare

With both Halloween and Reformation Day coming up on October 31, here are some quotes from Martin Luther about Satan himself. There is a legend that when Luther was translating the Bible into German, the Devil taunted him, Luther threw a ink bottle at him. This depicted in the engraving above.

"Why should you fear? Why should you be afraid? Do you not know that the prince of this world has been judged? He is no lord, no prince any more. You have a different, a stronger Lord, Christ, who has overcome and bound him. Therefore let the prince and god of this world look sour, bare his teeth, make a great noise, threaten, and act in an unmannerly way; he can do no more than a bad dog on a chain, which may bark, run here and there, and tear at the chain. But because it is tied and you avoid it, it cannot bite you. So the devil acts toward every Christian. Therefore everything depends on this that we do not feel secure but continue in the fear of God and in prayer; then the chained dog cannot harm us. But this chained dog may at least frighten him who would be secure and go ahead without caution, although he may not come close enough to be bitten."

"When the devil comes during the night to plague me, I give him this answer: "Devil, I must sleep now; for this is God's command: Work during the day, sleep at night." If he does not stop to vex me but faces me with my sins, I reply: "Dear devil, I have heard the record. But I have committed far more sins which do not even stand in your record. Put them down too. . . . . "

Some Christians have the impression that God and the devil are locked in mortal combat and that we, as God's people, are also engaged in this "spiritual warfare." For Luther, the devil is an agent of God.

"God uses the devil and the evil angels. They, of course, desire to ruin everything; but God blocks them, unless a well-earned scourging is in order. God allows pestilence, war, or some other plague to come, that we may humble ourselves before him, fear him, hold to him, and call upon him. When God has accomplished these purposes through the scourge, then the good angels come again to perform their office. They bid the devil stop the pestilence, war, and famine. So the devil must serve us with the very thing with which he plans to injure us; for God is such a great Master that he is able to turn even the wickedness of the devil into good." (see also Romans *:28)

Quotes found at How Martin Luther Dealt With the Devil



Especially when so many people are so fascinated by the macabre and the occult this time of year...

Keep me safe by Your hand, protect me with Your angels.

Guard me from the world, from myself, and from the Devil.

Keep me from physical harm, from mental and emotional fear and stress, and from spiritual evil, doubt and temptation.

Help me to remember that Satan is finite, while You are infinite. You are omnipresent, while Satan may have thousands of minions, he can only be in one place at one time. You are omnicient, he may be thousands of years old, but he is not all-knowing. You are omnipotent, he is impotent when confronted with the very name 'Jesus Christ.'

Thank You Jesus,


"People may refuse our love
or reject our message,

but they are defensless

against our prayers."

~Rick Warren, 'The Purpose Driven Life'



teach me to pray for others
teach me to pray for those who refuse and reject me
teach me to pray even for my enemies

In Jesus' Name,

Instrument of Peace

While I'm Lutheran, I've always loved this prayer from a Catholic Saint. At L.A.Lutheran High School one of our English teachers was a New York Irishman, he was a former Catholic and it always amazed me how he had this whole thing memorized. Even though he had it memorized, he always prayed it with great sincerity and passion:

"O Lord, make me an instrument of Thy Peace!
Where there is hatred, let me sow love.
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is discord, harmony.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
Where there is sorrow, joy.

Oh Divine Master, grant that I may not
so much seek to be consoled as to console;
to be understood as to understand;
to be loved as to love;
for it is in giving that we receive;
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned;
and it is in dying that we are born to Eternal Life."

~Saint Francis of Assisi b. 1182 -- d. 1226 A. D.