13. September 2020


Rest by the Quiet Waters

Imagine you are far from the din of city noise or people interacting. You are sitting down on thick soft grass under a beautiful shade tree. A gentle stream is quietly flowing next to you about 8 feet away. There is a whisper of a breeze and it’s around 70 degrees F. 

You are aware that you are not alone but that Jesus is with you sitting 5 feet away. He just wants to be with you, just you. What are you feeling? What are you thinking?

Is it possible He just wants you to want to be with Him near these quiet, peaceful waters under this protective, shade tree? Not only do I think it possible, I believe it is most probable. He loves you and me. He so badly wants us to be caught up in closeness and fellowship with Him. 

If you haven’t been with Him in awhile, find a place away from the din and just “be with Him”. If what was on your mind was needing to by a new washcloth, He, I’m convinced, would be thoroughly interested in this endeavor. Remember: He is humble and lowly in spirit, approachable, kind, and wholeheartedly for you. He is your Best Friend.

Let’s pray that each of us would meet with Him this very day.

“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He restores my soul.” (Psalm 23:1-3a ESV)

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8. September 2020


Learn From the Geranium

My wife, Barbara, loves flowers and gardening. I like them too, but I don’t like planting, weeding, or watering them. Basically I have a brown thumb.

On the front step she has a nice, red, potted geranium plant. It really is beautiful. Have you ever wondered why? If you were to water it, wait for 2 or 3 days, then gently pull the plant out of the dirt, chances are much of the dirt formed by the pot would come up and out with the plant.

The reason is that the God-designed beautiful plant has be drawing its very life from the dirt. Simply put, the roots nave been clinging to the soil. 

I think our relationship with Jesus is to be reflective of this. We are to spend much time with Him, reading and studying His Word, and praying to and fellowshipping with Him pretty much as a way of life.

The roots not clinging to the soil, when pulled up will easily become disengaged from the soil. This never to be the life of a follower (disciple) of Christ. Let’s pray for each other today that we would cling to, remain, or abide in the Lord and His Word. There is just no other way.

“I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.”  (John 15:5 ESV)

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2. September 2020


Trust Him When Your Life Screams Not To

At least once in your life, you will be brought to the end of your rope. You will wonder where God is. You will doubt if He is really for you. You will question if He is working on your behalf. 

I confess during my first wife’s 7 year battle with terminal cancer(diagnosed at age 33 with 4 children), I experienced the full misery of what seemed like God abandoning of me.

The chemotherapy, the emotional struggles she and we all of had, the incessant uncertainties of this wretched disease and the humiliating, distancing it causes in marriage brought me, the exhausted care giver to my knees. 

I can’t even watch a cancer commercial on TV. Even though I drove to a lonely park one day near the end and cried out to God that I felt abandoned by Him, I knew His character and His Word stated otherwise. That’s a defining term, “otherwise”. 

Either I was going to walk in anger and despair and listen to what my life was screaming at me, or I was going to love and obey God by trusting that He was a God of His Word. By God’s grace, accountability, and lots of tears and prayer, I chose the latter. I’m glad I did.

You may be here today. Perhaps tomorrow or maybe you’ve been in the dark of life.

Let us pray for each other that we would choose to put our hope and trust in Him and His Word which is eternally true.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”  (Proverbs 3:5-6 ESV)

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31. August 2020


Choose the Narrow Path

Have you ever gone hiking? If you’ve been in the military like many of us, you’ve gone on many fun and exciting hikes. Hm!

Seemingly, the best way to hike is to find the smoothest, widest, path…one that was made or repaved recently. Ah yes! Easy, wide, smooth. My self-centered nature prefers that path which gives me what ‘I want’!

If you have been a lover and follower of Christ for a certain period of time, His Spirit will lead you to a life changing option. Some call it a Turning Point. 

He will invite or summon you to take the road less traveled. He will say to you something like, “Turn. Come this way. Follow Me over here.” When I was 30, He brought me to this brokenness. I had been leaning my ladder against the wrong wall of success.

The path to worldly delights and applause is well lit and extremely attractive. Enticing!

Like me, many of you have been on this destructive path. Its Pain: Too deep to describe.

Jesus rescues His truly beloved, His Own Children. The Good Shepherd goes after His sheep.

Let’s pray He would pull us toward the good path.

“This says the Lord: “Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way isand walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”  (Jeremiah 6:16a.b.c. ESV)

Jesus said, “Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”  (Matthew 7:13-14 ESV)

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27. August 2020


Stay Your Thoughts on Him

Have you ever pondered a thought with intentionality? Have you studied something to the point that others wondered when “you’d come up for air”? I’m not too good at meditating. My mind tends to travel so fast I feel like a jack rabbit running on a hot bed of coals.

I’ve seen people in art museums, real art lovers, standing in front of some painting staring and pondering for minutes at a time. I often wonder what they are so enamored with. I think they are pondering, studying, and feeling deeply. Perhaps their very soul is moved.

I get that way sometimes when I listen to well written, well-orchestrated, and well performed symphonic music. I am moved deeply, stirred wonderfully, and with eyes closed, I envision some wondrous scene that reflects what I’m hearing and feeling.

I think Psalmists understood this in relating to Almighty God and His Scriptures. They loved all of God; His essence, His character, and His Word. They meditated upon Jehovah and His wondrous checed (Hebrew) unfailing, unconditional, and never ending love for His people (His children). Let’s pray for each other that we’d learn to do likewise today.

“We have thought (meditated NIV) on your steadfast love (checed), O God, in the midst of your temple.”  (Psalm 48:9 ESV)

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27. August 2020


Seek Him When the Ducks Are Nibbling

I went to an animal petting farm with our family when the kids were young. If you’ve not been to one, the experience is memorable. I loved holding the little chicks and petting the sheep, goats, and cows. At the same time, I was looking for that alcohol hand sanitizer!

As I was slowly meandering through the barnyard, suddenly a quick moving brood of ducklings ran up to my feet and began nibbling ferociously at my ankles. They were precious little things and they were persistent.

My thoughts immediately transferred to these little ducklings and their incessant nibbling. Wherever I went, they followed. My ankles knew no relief.

I have found that many days of my life have been like that. Priorities and urgencies, some small, some big, finding their way to my heart and soul nibbling away at my joy and attempting to distance me from fellowship with the Lord Jesus. Here in lies the danger.

I am, with great difficulty, learning to seek the Lord Jesus when seeking Him does not fit into my crazy, impulsive schedule or “To Do” list. You see, the way I’m wired, I’m a Doer… a”Get er done!” kind of guy. Most of you (including the ladies) are as well, no doubt. When I can cross stuff off my pressing list of things I “gotta do today!”,  I feel some temporary relief and my anxiety is reduced. Much of my life is about anxiety reduction. I seldom volunteer to do things. Why? Well, first, I learned in the Army… Ha! Second, if I take on new tasks, my anxiety thermometer just goes up and up.

I have to choose to seek Him. Putting other tasks on hold and then choose to seek and spend time with God and His Word tends to produce anxiety. Why? My flesh, when Jesus is not ruling my heart, wants ANXIETY REDUCTION!

I realize I must choose to seek Him no matter what. He, not getting things done, is my life. Let’s pray that we each would center in on this today.

“Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,” (Psalm 119:2 ESV)

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26. August 2020


Hope in the Hidden Places

I went for a walk in a mature pine forest near Wisconsin Dells. It was a beautiful summer morning. The sky was blue, the sun up, and the stillness armongst the tall pines was dripping with calm.

I found a nice tree and I sat down on the thick, soft bed of pine needles that had gathered by the base. I took in a deep breath of the pine scented air. I looked up. There, high up in one of the trees about 100 feet away, was a large red-headed woodpecker pecking his best trying to get a bug breakfast from under the bark.

I don’t think I’ve ever experienced such quiet and peace. No other sound filled the air except for this beautiful bird and the muffled, hollow sound of pecking.

I’ve told a few people this. I feel closest to God when I’m in a pine forest. The distractions of life are, for a moment, gone. I can just focus on God. His presence is real and so comforting. The pine forest is a hiding place for me and for the Lord. I long for it as I write. Let’s pray for each other today that we would find Him in the hidden places.

You are a hiding place for me; you preserve me from trouble; you surround me with shouts of deliverance.” (Psalm 32:7 ESV

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