Ready for the Challenge

Father, today is a day to get a few things done and also a day to enjoy some time together with Karen. Help me to be diligent and bless our time together – ever growing in love! Amen.

Matthew 10:1-15 (<<click the green)

Lord, moving forward with Your heart for reaching the lost You sent out Your workers, the twelve disciples, into the “fields”. You sent them to minister to the “people of Israel” and they readily obeyed Your command.

I realize that I am already in the tenth chapter but it seems to me that You have given them a hefty dose of responsibility right off the bat. Yougave them authority to cast out evil [unclean] spirits and to heal every kind of disease and illness.” No mention is made of any hesitancy on their parts, though some had only been following You for a year and the rest for roughly two years.

They have seen the Master at work and are up for the task at hand. You know them through and through and know they are ready to do as You ask.

Lord, I have followed You for a good part of my life. I have truly done my best to be obedient to Your call on my life. But it is easy to second guess myself. Lord…You know me through and through and You know what I am capable of doing to further Your kingdom. I am ready for the challenge. Guide me. Show me the way I should go. I give myself over to You. Use me and may I not be one to shy away from Your commands. Amen.

Mar 15th, 2018, Thurs, 8:00 am


Getting a later start this morning, Father, but our time together is important as I daily walk with You. Draw me close. Teach me what I need to learn this day. Amen.

Matthew 9:35-38 (<<click the green)

I can’t leave this passage quite yet, Lord. I’ve asked for forgiveness for my obliviousness but these last two verses need to be addressed.

When You saw the crowds. You said to Your disciples, “The harvest is great, but the workers are few. So pray to the Lord who is in charge of the harvest; ask him to send more workers into his fields.”

My study Bible* brings a very important thought to mind, “Many people are ready to give their lives to Christ if someone would show them how. Jesus commands us to pray that people will respond to the need for workers.”

As I reread Your words You command us to pray to God “who is in charge of the harvest” and we are to ask that He “send more workers into his fields.” I then have to pause…and think, “Who are these workers and from where do they come?”

It doesn’t take long to register in my brain that it is me! It is you! The followers of Christ, we are all workers! Does training or experience factor in? That may be helpful but it is by no means necessary! The most important quality in being a worker in God’s fields is…willingness. And if we struggle with that even, I truly believe He will help us with that as well!

Lord, You tell us that people are ready to hear of You and the Good News Your coming gives us. Help us not shy away but to be eager – to be willing – to share You word with all who will hear. Lord, use me to help bring in the harvest. Amen.

*Life Application Study Bible New Living Translation

Mar 14th, 2018, Wed, 9:49 am


Good morning, Father! Thank You for the good night’s sleep and for waking me up so we could spend some time this morning before the day starts moving along. Bless our time together. May I be attentive to Your word!

Matthew 9:35-38 (<<click the green)

Lord, we like to think of ourselves as self-sufficient and independent. Then like most of humanity, we have a tendency to project those attributes on those around us.

When I think of crowds I think of people rushing along busy metropolitan sidewalks beside streets full of bustling traffic and in my mind’s eye, I see them as driven, purposeful, on task to accomplish what needs to be done to maintain their self-sufficiency and independence.

I’m sure that some fit that view but, in reality, how many are “dispirited and distressed”? Truly how many are burdened down with loads of care, no hope, no light at the end of the tunnel.

And what is heartbreaking is that for most, their concern only goes as far as this life. Many have no thoughts beyond death. They have no plans because they don’t really know what, if anything, eternity holds for them.

But what is disturbing is the fact that my first thought, unlike Your’s Lord, is not compassion. I am ashamed to say it is obliviousness. It’s not that I am necessarily apathetic. My eyes take in the masses and…well, that’s about as far as it goes. I can acknowledge their existence but compassion….pity? For the most part the fact that they are “dispirited and distressed, like a sheep without a shepherd” eludes me.

Lord, before I say anything else, please forgive me. Forgive my obliviousness. Please let me see people through Your eyes. And in seeing, I would plead that, as You were, may I be moved with compassion and pity for them.” And, Lord, may I be moved not just because I am a pastor called to Your service but may I be moved because I am Your child and above all else, I want to be like You. Amen.

Mar 13th, 2018, Tues, 6:53 am

Don’t Hinder!

My need for You is great today, Father. I have no inkling as to what this day or this week has in store for me. But one thing I do know – my need for You is great. I need Your direction. I need Your correction. I need Your protection. I need Your compassion. Fill me with You. Amen.

Matthew 9:27-34 (<<click the green)

Hmmm…Lord, I noticed a little different reaction from You…but for good reason. “Two blind men followed along behind [You]” shouting for mercy – for healing. And Your response? It was not immediate. They followed You along the way and then followed You “right into the house where [You] were staying”.

First, You wanted them to verbalize their faith in Your ability to heal their sight but I believe, too, You knew what their response was going to do after they were healed and wanted to have them in a more intimate setting to warn them about what they were going to do. In fact, every translation I looked at uses one particular word to describe Your warning – sternly! defines stern as firm, strict, or uncompromising. Reading that description of how You warned them gave me pause to think but then I remembered another incident of healing that came with the same stern warning. It’s found in Mark 1:40-45 and Mark adds what the result of not heading Your warning was. Verse 45 states,

“But the man went and spread the word, proclaiming to everyone what had happened. As a result, large crowds soon surrounded Jesus, and he couldn’t publicly enter a town anywhere. He had to stay out in the secluded places, but people from everywhere kept coming to him.”

Because of disobedience, the entire dynamic of Your ministry was altered. Intimate interactions as we have seen become fewer and far between. Lord, You came to touch and impact those You loved, not just physically but spiritually. You did not come to be a spectacle. Your desire was not to be a showman.

Yes, You continued to minister. You touched thousands and thousands of lives – You did not hesitate to do so. But the aspect of personal, intimate ministry was greatly hindered.

Lord, help me to listen. Help me to do as You say. Help my exuberance to not hinder Your will. May I fall into step with Your plan. May I impact Your world as You would have me do, not as I think best. Amen.

Mar 12th, 2018, Mon, 6:14 am

Nothing Between

Father, I am truly blessed on so many fronts – family, work, church and my ongoing relationship with You! May I always count my blessings. May I never take them for granted. And may I strive to be a channel of blessing to those whose lives I touch. Amen.

Matthew 9:18-26 (<<click the green)

Reading this morning’s passage, Lord, I am reminded of an opening prayer from our time together last week. I wrote, “I am grateful [that] although there are literally millions and millions of people and situations clamoring for Your attention, that You are here with me. I don’t have to wait in line. I never have to take a number. An angel has no need to put me on hold when I call. You are always here, by my side, as we walk this journey together.”

When approached by a “leader of a synagogue” You didn’t hesitate. You didn’t put him off. You didn’t downplay his need. You “got up and went with him.”

When “a woman who had suffered for twelve years with constant bleeding…touched the fringe of [Your] robe” as You were on Your way You didn’t say, “Excuse me! Wait your turn!” Nope, You turned around and she was “healed at that moment.”

There is not a hint of irritation on Your part in the whole ordeal. You dropped everything that You were doing…and You loved. You were touched by an “untouchable” (her bleeding issue made her “unclean” much like the leper) and You didn’t even flinch. Even the finality of death didn’t slow You down in the least. You weren’t impeded by the raucous crowd mourning the girls passing, even though “they laughed and jeered” at You.

I rejoice in the fact that nothing – absolutely nothing – gets between You and Your love for us!

Romans 8:35-39 speaks volumes.

“Who shall ever separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword?…Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us [so much that He died for us]. For I am convinced [and continue to be convinced—beyond any doubt] that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present and threatening, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the [unlimited] love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” AMP

Amen and amen! Thank You, Lord!!!

Mar 11th, 2018, Sun, 6:32 am

Doing it right for once.