Tuesday, December 9, 2008


"But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light." 1 Peter 2:9

In spite of what one often hears on so-called Christian television these days, the nation mentioned in this verse is not referring to the United States of America. No, the nation-race-priesthood-people here is clearly referring to God's Kingdom, those who "proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light."

It took me a long to to figure out what the bible is talking about when it says "God's Kingdom." I had a vague understanding that it meant the church, but I always wondered which one. I mean, the Catholic Church has been around for a long time now, and most of them would understand that it is truly God's Kingdom. And in a sense, they're right, but not completely.

My own church, the church my parents regularly attended way, way back when I first sprang into this world, and to which my sainted mother still goes each and every week; the same church my wife and I attend each and every week; the church where I was baptised as a scrawny 9-year-old, the same church in which I was married...twice; the church where I baptised my own sweet and scrawny 9-year-old daughter; that same old church, along with the other churches with which it is associated, always seemed to me to be God's Kingdom. And it is. Sort of.

But the thing I've come to understand is that God's Kingdom exists in the people who proclaim God as their King! God's Kingdom is anywhere and everywhere there are believers, regardless of physical or denominational boundries. You know, it's that "...where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there..." sort of thing.

So when it talks about a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, it's talking about us! About you and me!

Holy cow. Seems a little intimidating.

Lord, I believe you have chosen me. Why, I'm not sure, but I believe it's true. I want to be what you have chosen me to be - royally priest-like and holy for you because you are my God and my salvation. Without you I would be in darkness but you have called me into your light so I can see and understand how much you have truly blessed me and how marvelous you are, my Father. Bless you, Lord. You are one excellent God. I love you!

Monday, December 8, 2008


"Whoever trusts in his riches will fall, but the righteous will flourish like a green leaf." Proverbs 11:28

Does it ever seem like someone is trying to tell you something?

I mean, first, our pastor at church has been going through a series of sermons about money, or more specifically, riches, and the fact that when the Bible addresses the "rich," it's talking to us...to me, because the definition of "rich" is to have more than one needs - and almost every American is rich by that definition.

Then, one of the last times I posted here, the daily verse that popped up dealt with honoring God with our (my) riches.

Now this. What is God trying to tell me?

Well, I do find it interesting that this verse seems to be saying that you cannot trust in your riches and still be righteous. Am I trusting in my riches? It certainly doesn't feel that way, but then again there's this quote from Dave Ferguson that I saw the other day:

"Greed is when I have to choose between my comfort and meeting someone else’s need. And I choose my comfort."

So, not only am I rich, but I am often greedy. I'll admit it. If that quote is correct, I am often truly greedy. A greedy person trusts in his riches.

Ta-da. Guilty as charged. I am one greedy muthuh.

But guilt is a terrible motivator...at least that's true for me. It does nothing but make me feel bad. It does not inspire me to flourish like a green leaf, that's for sure. No, my inspiration to righteousness can only come from God's presence in my life and my focus on his love for me, his will for my life, and his daily mercies. And out of that can spring a focus on serving others...on meeting another's needs in spite of my own discomfort.

My own righteousness eventually deteriorates into meaningless greed and devotion to my billfold. It is only the righteousness that comes from God that will flourish like a green leaf.

Father, everything I have is from you. I have no right to anything I own. It is yours. Help me to let go of it all and to stop trusting in my money to get me through. Help me instead to trust in you, and thereby allowing me to let you use my riches for those in need as you see fit. I give my all to you, Father. I love you.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


"Beloved, we are God's children now, and what we will be has not yet appeared; but we know that when he appears we shall be like him, because we shall see him as he is." 1 John 3:2

Our struggle as Christians is to be Christ-like, is it not? I know I struggle daily to live the kind of life that honors God. I am tested every day by circumstances that sometimes make it feel like everything is against me, and moment by moment I am tempted by my old sin nature, by lust, greed, dishonesty, selfishness, unfaithfulness, and most any other kind of bad thing that leads nowhere except away from the presence of God in my life. I'm continually tested and constantly tempted, and I consistently fail, I'm sad to say. Not always, but regularly.

But this verse grants the victory in Christ: We shall be like him.

I shall be like him. That's the promise. I don't know yet exactly how that's going to look, but nevertheless, I will be like Jesus. All the stupid stuff I've ever done will be gone, burned off in the Refiner's fire, and all that will be left of me is Jesus. Every bad decision I've ever made will be gone for good. Every missed opportunity to do something worthwhile will no longer haunt me. I will be free. I will be like him.

We were on vacation one year when my kids were quite young. My son was probably about four years old, and since our little car was packed from stem to stern, he was smushed between his little sister's car seat and a couple of sleeping bags in the middle of the back seat where I had a clear view of him in my rear-view mirror.

I think we were somewhere near Joplin, Missouri, when I happened to notice that my beloved firstborn son, the fruit of my loin, was using his right index finger to scour out the inside of his left nostril. After a moment of concentrated digging, he produced a rubbery black booger which he proceeded to roll between his fingers and then, much to my chagrin, he popped the little ball of dried snot into his mouth, chewed a moment and swallowed.

Once my stomach stopped lurching, I reminded him that he shouldn't be putting things in his mouth . . . especially things that used to be inside of his nose. Of course, he already knew that, and when he realized that I had seen him, he cried. I felt bad, and so did he, but we moved on and finished our vacation and had a lot of fun. I'll admit that I stopped looking in the rear-view mirror.

My point is this: I loved my son, even if he ate boogers. It disgusted me, but I still loved him. I knew that day, though, that he would eventually grow out of that particularly revolting behavior, and that he would eventually mature into a man. Here we are more than 25 years later, and I am confident that my son no longer eats his boogers, and I still love him.

I think it's just a little bit like that with our Father God. Oh, he hates our sin, no doubt about it - it disgusts him. But he loves us anyway and because he has provided the victory in Christ, he knows that we will eventually become what he wants us to be - to be like Jesus. Our booger eating days will be behind us, we will be perfect in Christ, and we will see the Father face to face. Until that day, God is willing to love us in spite of the stupid stuff we do because he knows what we will become.

Father, thank you for loving me so much even when the things I do disgust you. Be with me today and help me to remember who I am - your beloved child; and who I will be - perfect in Christ. Help me to grow daily, for as long as you give me life here on this old earth, into that person you have planned for me to be - mature and Christ-like. Oh, and if my son is still eating his boogers, help me to never see it in my rear-view mirror - I don't want to know about it. I love you, Father.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008


"Honor the LORD with your wealth and with the firstfruits of all your produce; then your barns will be filled with plenty, and your vats will be bursting with wine." Proverbs 3:9-10

Interesting that this verse should pop up right now since our youthful new pastor is in the midst of a series of sermons entitled "How to be Rich." Note that he isn't talking about how to get rich, but how to be rich. The fact is that almost anyone living here in these United States of America is truly rich by the standards of the rest of the world. We don't like to think of ourselves as being rich, and most of us try to deny the fact, but it is still the truth.

Even those of us who owe more on our houses than they're worth, who struggle to pay our credit card bills each month, who settle for Netflix instead of going out to the theater, still have much, much more than most of the rest of the world. Almost all of us Americans own at least one car, a couple of televisions, a DVD player, a computer or two, a lawnmower, a hairdryer, and a heck of a lot of other things that half the rest of the world would consider extreme luxuries. The fact is that, by definition, anyone who has more than they actually need to live is rich. And so the sermons have been talking about how to "be" rich - how that ought to look in our daily lives.

The pastor's messages have been based on this verse:

"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. Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share. In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life." 1 Timothy 6:17-19

Folks, whether we like it or not, you and I are the ones he is talking about here, the ones who are "rich in this present world."

But for me, the main thing is that first phrase from today's verse, "Honor the Lord with your wealth." If we can get that right, even when we don't feel especially wealthy, all the rest will fall into place - which is what he's saying in the last part of the verse, I think. I do not think that God is promising to increase our wealth if we give generously! No, I think he's just saying that if we use everything we have for him, we will be satisfied.

God, I want to be satisfied with what you have given me and to recognize the fact that I am truly wealthy. I am rich. I don't feel rich, and I don't like saying it, but it is nevertheless true. Help me to never put my faith in my riches, to never be arrogant, but to put my hope in you alone. You're the one who has blessed me with everything I have, and if I struggle to get by, it isn't your fault. I want to honor you with my wealth and to do good with what I have rather than always spending everything I have on myself. I want to recognize the fact that everything I have belongs to you. Thank you, Father, for always, always providing for my needs, and help me to stop complaining when my wants aren't always met. Help me to honor you, Lord. I love you.


"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

A most beloved and oft-quoted verse, and rightfully so. I love this verse and regularly sing it to God as part of my personal worship. You know the song since the words are almost literally from the scripture:

Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
And into his courts with praise;
Be thankful unto him, bless his holy name;
For he is good, his mercies eternal;
His truth endureth to all generations.

Reading this verse always leaves me with an overwhelming, awestruck gratefulness for God's eternal faithfulness and love for me. And not just for me, but for all generations, past and future - faithfulness to all my ancestors, and the exact same faithfulness to every descendant to come - something that becomes more meaningful to me now that I am becoming a grandfather for the first time.

This attitude of gratefulness is the attitude I want every time I come before the Lord in prayer. And considering what I said yesterday, I guess it's the attitude I want to have all the time, since I aspire to pray at all times.

Lord, I do enter your gates today and every day full of thanksgiving and praise for your faithfulness. Even though I have never earned it, you are faithful to me - you are there for me when I turn to you even when I don't deserve it. Your love for me is staggering. I love you, Lord.

Monday, December 1, 2008


"Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." John 6:27

I mean, really, somehow I don't think my family would appreciate it if I didn't "labor for the food that perishes." But I think I know what Jesus is saying here, and it isn't that I ought to spend my paycheck on canned Spam instead of fresh vegetables.

No, I think Jesus is commenting on my focus.

I think Jesus is saying that I shouldn't be living my life in order to put food in my mouth.

And I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that I'm going to say "instead of living to eat, we ought to be eating to live." And while I do think that's probably true, if somewhat trite, I still don't think that's what Jesus is saying.

No, I think Jesus is saying that instead of living to eat, I ought to live for him and not worry about eating at all. Not about eating or sleeping or shelter or health or money or anything like that, but just living my life in service to him, depending upon him and expecting him to take care of all those other things because I believe . . . I know that he has my best interest in mind.

Sometimes it doesn't feel that way. But when that's how I'm feeling, it is a sure sign that I'm focused on eating and not on him.

Lord, help me to focus on you today, this afternoon, this very moment. Help me to let go of my concerns for this physical life and let you take over. If I eat, I eat for you, Lord. If I excercise, I excercise only for you, because this body is yours and I want to take care of it for your sake, and not for mine. And if I don't have enough to eat, I will trust in you, my Father, to provide according to your will and I will be satisfied. If you help me. Help me to be yours and yours alone. I love you, Father.


"Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 1 Thessalonians 5:1

We talked about this in our small group a couple of months ago. Not about this verse in particular, but about praying without ceasing and what that might look like if we could actually accomplish it.

Some of the folks in our group, the leader in particular, suggested that it doesn't really mean that we are supposed to be constantly in prayer, but that our prayers should not cease. In other words, if we normally pray for ten minutes on a daily basis, we should never stop doing that.

Personally, I think that's sort of a cop-out.

If you put the phrase in context with the rest of the verse - "Rejoice always...give thanks in all circumstances" - it makes it difficult to avoid the superlative, the absolute quality the verse seems to indicate. No, to me, "pray without ceasing" means that I ought to be constantly in prayer, 100% of the time, no matter what I'm doing. With every breath, with every heartbeat, with each and every thought I need to be in prayer.

Seems a little impractical, doesn't it? I mean, how am I supposed to get anything done if all I do is sit around praying?

Well, that's not what I'm talking about and I don't think it's what Paul meant, either. To me, praying without ceasing means being in constant communion with God. It's nothing more than a realization, a recognition that God is constantly with me, beside me no matter where I am, no matter what I'm doing, and his desire, his will, is that I acknowledge his presence and simply talk to him, communicate with him - yes, even chat with him.

When my lovely spouse and I take a road trip, I often eat sunflower seeds in order to stay alert on the road, and, to be honest, it annoys my wife. Why? It isn't because she dislikes sunflower seeds (even though she does), and it isn't because I spit the shells all over the floor of the car (which I never do). It's just because I can sometimes drive for hours at a time without talking to her, and it can appear as though I'm eating my seeds instead of communicating with her - using the seeds to keep me alert instead of staying alert by chatting with her. She gets jealous of the seeds because it seems like they're taking her place.

I think it's sort of the same with God. He wants us to talk to him and stop ignoring him. I mean, he's sitting right there and we go on as if we were alone in our thoughts, ignoring him and focusing on those other things that we think are so important. And yes, I think God, the Creator of the Universe, gets a little jealous . . . maybe even a lot jealous of those things that get in the way of our relationship with him.

The thing is, we don't have to change the way we live, the way we work, the way we interact with other people - we don't have to stop eating sunflower seeds - we just have to let God in on our lives and remember that he is always with us and he wants to be involved in our lives. Once we learn to live with the recognition that God is constantly with us and to include him in every thought, we are truly in constant prayer.

Father God, help me today, right now, to be continually aware of your presence. I want more than anything else to be in touch with you with my every thought, and to be constantly thankful for your love and guidance and protection in whatever circumstances I find myself - because no matter where I am, you are right there with me. Thank you, Father. My heart rejoices every time I remember. I love you, Lord.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


"Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who lives and believes in me shall never die. Do you believe this?"" John 11:25-26

(By the way, that double quote sign at the end bothers me. It always bothers me when I see it, but since I do see it quite often in books or articles, I suppose it is correct. I could probably leave off my quote marks altogether and anyone would still get the idea that I'm quoting something here, but for now I'll just leave it as it is. It still bothers me, though.)

And yes. The answer is yes. I know he wasn't speaking directly to me, but I'm answering anyway. Yes.

It is an odd thing to say, though, or at least an odd way to say it. And it seems to be a bit of a paradox. First, whoever believes, though he die, shall live. Then, whoever lives and believes will never die. A little confusing, isn't it?

I guess maybe the last part of the verse relates to his first statement, claiming that he is both "the resurrection and the life." The resurrection in that, through him, through faith in him, through a trusting relationship with him, we have new life. Our old self dies and he gives us new life. We die, yet we shall live. Yes? Make sense? There's probably more to it than that, but for me, that's enough for now.

But then, as he claims, he is not only the resurrection, but he is life itself. Through belief in him, faith in him, a trusting relationship with him, we will not die.

This part seems harder to me - harder to formulate, to explain in terms that make it perfectly clear to me. It's the "never die" part that trips me up, you know? We all die, after all - he just said so, sort of. But I think I have to try to understand what he means by dying.

My body will die, no doubt about it. Everyone I know will die...their bodies, anyway. So I don't think Jesus was talking about our physical death. No, I guess maybe he's talking about the death of our old sin nature in the first part of the verse (which has happened and yet I live), and then true death, the death of our spiritual nature (which cannot happen in Christ), in the last part.

My old sin nature is dead, but my spirit has been raised...resurrected with Christ and will never die. In fact, my true nature, the real me, isn't really even tied to this old dying body anymore, which is so often infected by my old dead sin nature. No, the real me is with Christ in heaven right now.

Hey, I am already in heaven!

Don't believe me? Check this out:

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Colossians 3:1-4

Father God, help me to remember that this world is no longer my home, but that I am with you in heaven. This old sinful nature is dead and the life you've given me to live here now in this body is yours and yours alone. Be with me today, moment by moment, to live my life for you, through you, and to worship you and serve you with everything I have. I love you.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


"Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God." James 1:19-20

Anger has never been one of my problems. Or, at least that's what I've always thought. If I'm truly honest with myself, though, anger has been a problem for me, but not in the way it is for some people.

Most people who know me (except maybe for my kids) would say that I never get angry, and that's what I've always said about myself, too. But let's face it, everyone gets angry. Don't you? Yes, you do. I get angry, but my problem with it is that I don't express it, never let it out, never let anyone know that I'm angry. I suppose that's no more healthy than someone who goes around exploding in anger all the time - oh, I might be somewhat more pleasant to be around than that sort of fellow, but still, it probably isn't particularly healthy.

The verse says to be slow to anger, it doesn't say never to get angry. It doesn't say it's a sin to be angry, it just says that you need to listen carefully first to be sure you understand before you get angry. There are some things that are worth getting angry about, but probably not many. If we listen carefully and try to see things from the other guy's point of view, it becomes easier to see the difference.

But still, the verse says that the "anger of man" does not produce the "righteousness of God," so even if we express our anger over something that is worthy of it, the best we can hope for is a cathartic release of our pent up emotions. It does not make us a better person when we get angry, even in appropriate situations, but it might make us a healthier person, a generally happier person, a person who chews fewer Tums.

I have a really big bottle of Tums in my nightstand drawer, and that really makes me angry.

Not really.

Father, help me to get over my silly fear of expressing my anger. But at the same time, help me to maintain my God-given, normally unruffled nature and express my anger only in appropriate, productive ways - never ever with the intention of hurting anyone. I don't really want to change, Father. I like the way you made me and I certainly don't want to be an angry person at all. I only want to be honest and healthy about it and to stop holding my anger inside of me where it does no good at all. But somehow I just can't do it. I just can't seem to honestly express my anger, so as always, I need to rely on you, my Lord. Be there with me, Father, when I need to express my anger and speak through me. Help me to speak the truth in love.

Monday, November 24, 2008


"For we who live are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our mortal flesh." 2 Corinthians 4:11

I'm not exactly sure what this verse is referring to in context (and I don't want to take the time right now to find out), but this difference between our dead old sinful nature and our living spirit in Christ is something I've been thinking about lately. The fact is that our old nature is dead in Christ, having been crucified with him and "the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God."

But the thing I appreciate about this verse is that it says that it is a continuing process, not just a one-time deal.

You know, sometimes I feel like the "real me" is something nobody else ever sees - it's that secret part of me that is controlled by sin, the part of me that I never show to anyone else. But the fact is that that is not the real me at all! No, that part of me is dead...or at least dying. The real me is in Christ, with Christ: the life of Jesus manifest in my mortal flesh - that is the really real me, and not that silly sinful guy who's constantly urging me to do things I don't want to do anymore.

God help me to always realize and remember who I really am: the life of Jesus manifest in my mortal flesh. I am not that sinful self that sneaks up on me and messes with my mind, telling me I'm no good and wanting me to do things you wouldn't want me doing. But I can only do it through your spirit in me, the same spirit that gives me this life. Fill me with your spirit, Father, and give me strength to consider my old nature dead - to give it over to death for Jesus' sake every single day, every single moment of my life, and to truly and constantly live my life by faith in you, Lord. Help me to fully and completely give myself over to you every single day, Father.


"Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good." Romans 12:21

I continually struggle with my sinful nature and often find myself doing things I know I ought not - much more often than I'd like to admit, in fact, and in stupid, silly ways that are thoroughly embarrassing to me. And in the midst of my struggles, I have often wondered how I can overcome, how I stop being so stupid, be the person I want to be and avoid falling into those sins.

It feels absolutely impossible.

I've heard it said many times that the trick is not to try harder but to trust more. In other words, rather than focusing on the sin and trying to overcome it, to focus on God and his grace and mercy, trusting him to carry me through. I do believe that, but this verse seems to be telling me that there's more to it than just focusing my thoughts. It seems to say that focusing my thoughts ought to translate into action - doing good, not just thinking about good. And how true! If I focus my energy into doing something good, whether it's doing my best to be a good and faithful husband, concentrating on my work and doing my very best as an act of worship, volunteering at church, helping the needy, or even just being a good friend, my energy won't drift toward those other silly things that drag me down.

At least it ought to make it more difficult.

Help me, Father, to do good today in order to overcome the evil that lurks in my old sinful self, and wants me to do all those things of which I am so ashamed. I'm sitting here working today, so since that's what I'm doing, help me to do it as an act of worship to you and do my very best rather than filling my mind with unproductive trash. Everything I do, Lord, I give to you, everything I am I give to you. I am yours and not my own. Help me, Father. Help me to give up myself, to let go and let you take over - I cannot do it apart from you because it truly is impossible without your grace. This is my deepest desire, to honor you in everything I do. I love you, Lord Jesus.


"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith." Galatians 6:9

It does seem like it's easy to grow weary of doing good, doesn't it? Especially if it's never recognized or acknowleged. But this verse promises that sowing good will reap good...in due season. That "good season" might not be until later, much later, maybe not until after our time on this earth is finished. But it will come, no doubt about it, and we can trust God for the harvest - a plentiful harvest when we keep on sowing and don't give up.

Lord, give me strength today to do good, whether or not anyone even notices. You notice, Lord, and that's enough for me. Help me to sow good. And not just so I can reap a harvest of good, but just because that's my job for as long as I'm here, the job you have given me to do, and I want to honor you in everything I do - every single step I take, every breath I take, I want to praise you, my Lord and my God. I love you!!


"Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God." Psalm 42:11

Whenever we wonder why everything seems to be against us, when we're discouraged because life isn't what we had hoped for, when we feel rejected or anxious or depressed, when we disappoint ourselves and don't live up to who we know we ought to be, the problem truly is that we have lost our focus. If we keep our focus on God and remember that he is in control and that he loves us more than we can ever understand, then the "things of earth will grow strangely dim," and we can regain our joy in life.

It reminds me of this:

"Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in his wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of his glory and grace."

Lord, help me today, moment by moment, to keep my eyes upon you, my thoughts focused on working for you in whatever I'm doing, my heart full of your love, remembering the fullness of your love for me and that the plans you have for me are for good and not for my destruction...even when I can't see that for myself, help me, Lord, to remember that it's true.

Thank you, Lord, for your grace.


"For if, because of one man's trespass, death reigned through that one man, much more will those who receive the abundance of grace and the free gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man Jesus Christ." Romans 5:17

I find this concept to be just a little difficult to grasp, but basically I believe it's saying that Adam's sin introduced death which has reigned ever since, but God's grace through the victory of the cross introduced life, and through this grace, life can reign in us.

I do not, however, think that this verse is saying that we are somehow guilty of Adams offence - I, for one, know that I have more than enough offense of my own, and the penalty I face is due to my own sin, I'm sure, and not poor old Adam's, who as far as I can tell, only slipped up once. However, Adam's offence was the first among many, and as such, introduced sin into the world, sin of which we have all been guilty, each in our own way, and only through God's precious grace can we be free from the deadly consequenses of that sin and live a life in relationship with God - the kind of life we were designed to live with him...the kind of life where righteousness reigns through grace...the only kind of life that truly is life.

That's the life I want, Father. I give up all I am to you, my Lord, and my life is yours. Help me to live that life. Grant me your daily mercies and fill me with your grace. Give me your righteousness...not based on the law, but based on your love and grace through Jesus. I love you, Lord.

Daily Mercies

This, my first post here, will just be a short explanation of what in the world I'm doing here.

Well, first of all, I'll just be posting my own short devotional-type things which are responses to the daily bible verse widget thing I have on my desktop. Each day a different verse pops up and I usually write a short article/essay/blurb about what I think it means to me, and follow it up with a prayer inspired by the verse.

Second, I may occasionally post my thoughts about particular issues that come up, either in my personal life or in life in general as a struggling Christian in America these days. Although I've known Jesus as my Lord now for over 45 years, I call myself a struggling Christian. But it isn't because I am struggling with my faith, not in the least, but I struggle because I believe that, in reality, all true Christians struggle. It's the life to which we've been called here for as long as we inhabit this mortality, this tenuous thing we call life here on God's green earth. We struggle with our flesh, our sin nature, and we struggle to understand how God can love us the way he does, and how we can ever live up to that. And we struggle to understand that we can't live up to that except by grace and remembering that God's mercies are new every morning.

Hence the title, Daily Mercies.

God, help me to seek your mercies every day, moment by moment, and to remember that they are new every morning. No matter how much I've screwed up, you are there for me as soon as I turn to you. Help me to live in that knowledge - that you are always right here next to me, always loving me and always wanting the very best for me.

I love you, Lord.