Category Archives: Journal Entry

Tough Love

Father, I need Your help this morning. Things in life are crowding into my mind. Help me to give them over to You. My rehashing over them is accomplishing nothing. This is our time. Lead me down the paths You would have me go.

1 Thessalonians 5:14 (<<click here)

Lord, this verse truly shows Paul to be a proponent of tough love. In my mind’s eye I see him as a tough nut, not one to put up with much foolishness but also one who literally give you the robe of his back. He was a man of great love but also one who would not back down on the truth. Of course, he was just as human as I am but he truly strove to be like You in all he did.

Lord, help me, too, to be like You in all I do! This verse pulls out one small snippet of life but shows clearly how we must respond to life. Life is all about discerning situations, responding in love and patience, for myself and others to do the very best we can, even if there is some pushing involved.

Way too often we go the easiest route. We don’t warn the lazy – it’s easier to complain behind their back. It’s just too much work to change them. But if that is our response, nothing improves. Things don’t get done. We are frustrated. We think poorly of others and tear them down. Warnings with patience! Love is best.

Sometimes we respond the same way to those who are timid, though their lack of activity may be due to shyness or fear of doing something wrong. Again encouraging them with love and patience will move everyone farther down the desired path.

The path of least resistance may be easy, but unfortunately it doesn’t really get us anywhere. Tasks don’t get done with efficiency but more importantly we miss opportunities to love and lift each other up.

Lord, help me to invest in people with love and patience.

July 30th, Thurs, 7:46 am

Not Just Thoughts but Faces

I am eager to see what You have in store for me today, Father, both in our time here this morning and throughout the events of this day! Enable me to hear Your voice and to act upon Your direction. It’s exhilarating to realize that You choose to use me! Thank You for the privilege.

1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (<<click here)

Lord, there is much in these last few paragraphs of 1 Thessalonians and I don’t want to miss any of it! In these two verses Paul speaks of honoring our leaders in the Lord’s work. I feel the people I serve do so but I also strive to honor the other leaders of my churches as well. I am definitely not in it for the money but I am compensated well enough. The other leaders of my churches are volunteers. I respect them, I cherish their input. I look forward to worshipping with them each week and for the most part even enjoy our time together even when we must conduct the “business” of the church.

I work to live out my relationship with You, Lord, before them. I learn from You each and every day and want to pass that learning on but their lives teach me as well. My leaders pull weeds and scrub pews – servant leadership is a lifestyle for many. I watch as they struggle with difficult situations of aging parents and wayward children – yet their faith holds. I see them valiantly fight against cancer and remain strong though death pulls loved ones from their arms.

Lord, as each of these examples goes on paper, they are not just passing thoughts. Each one has at least one face that fills my mind’s eye – sometimes there are several faces. These scenarios involve those who are still with me today but I can think of many others that involved those who are no longer with me, but with You.

Your faithful followers continue to build Your church and all of them deserve to be honored and respected. I do my part but most assuredly I have not and cannot do it alone. Lord, give us Your direction and fill us with Your love to carry on. Amen.

July 29th, Wed, 7:06 am

Light Piercing the Darkness

Father, this day is Yours. Use me however You wish to accomplish Your will, at church, at home, with family. Help me to listen, enable me to obey.

1 Thessalonians 5:1-11 (<<click here)

Lord, I truly believe that Your return is imminent. Help me, as Paul says, to encourage and build others up. Everyone needs this.

My brothers and sisters in You – that is fellow believers need to be encouraged and built up to not give up in their faithful service to You. Our world keeps getting darker and darker but they and I cannot allow our lights to grow dim. From a reality viewpoint darkness cannot snuff out the light! Light pierces the darkness and will not be defeated. Darkness is merely the absence of light. So, Lord, help us to encourage one another to let our light shine all the brighter!

Those outside the faith need encouraged and built up, too! Help me to touch them with the light You have so graciously given me. It is treacherous walking about in the darkness. We’re to show them the truth of who You are then shine Your light upon their path. Enable me to be patient and loving in all my interactions today. Permeate my person with Your presence!

Yes, Lord, You are coming soon, that is Your promise and it will happen. And as 2 Peter 3:9 states, You are not slow about Your promise, as some people think. No, You are being patient for our sake. You don’t want anyone to be destroyed, but You want everyone to repent.

Lord, praise Your name for your patience and love!

July 26th, Sun, 7:03 am

Imminent Arrival

Father, thank You for my Daily Bread Devotional today! The reading from Psalm 37 was very encouraging, especially vs. 24 – “When [I] fall, I will not be hurled headlong, because the Lord is the One who holds [my] hand.” I am so very grateful, Father, that You hold my hand!

I Thessalonians 4:13-18 (<<click here)

Lord, it’s been 2000 years since You returned to Your Father and we still eagerly await Your return! The time does not dispel our hope and the assurance that Your arrival is imminent. Lord, help me to be diligent in the work You have for me! May I be sensitive to You as You bring others across my path. Embolden me. Give me the words. Fill me with Your love, so deep and wide. Thank You for Your long-suffering patience for You did not come “into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through” Yourself (John 3:17) Thank You for loving us so! Praise Your holy name forever and ever!

July 25th, Sat, 5:33 am

Authentically Genuine

Father, thank You for Your presence this morning. Thank You for making it possible for me to come before You. Only because of the sacrifice of Your Son, Jesus Christ, only because His blood covers my sins which are many can I be here with You.  I can never begin to thank You enough for Your grace and mercy, so undeserved but so generously extended. Take this day of mine and use it, use me, as You will. Amen.

1 Thessalonians 4:9-12 (<<click here)

Lord, I am called to love other believers and for the most part that is an easily achievable goal. But how I live my life before those who don’t believe, that can be a bit more difficult. You are surely working with me in this area. I know Your Spirit often stops me mid-thought from speaking or doing something that would be a poor reflection of You. I am to live and respond as You would, as someone who is authentically genuine and considerate, strong and insightful. Enable me to be more discerning in my conversations. May all my interactions be saturated in love – in Your love channeling through this vessel of clay. May I be found worthy to be called by Your name. I give myself over to You today, Jesus.

July 24th, Fri, 6:26 am