Category Archives: Journal Entry

A Good Man

Father, thank You for the provision that only You can bring – my salvation and Your mercy and grace. I am who I am and am where I am solely because of You. Praise Your holy name!

Matthew 1:18-19 (<<click the green)

Lord, Your Father’s choice as to whom Your earthly father would be was spot on (as is everything Your Father does!). Just in these couple of verses we see the kind of person that Joseph was. Verse 19 states that he was a “good man”. He was a devout man – he knew all the rules and regulations – and Mary had seemingly crossed some very serious lines. He obviously would have been implicated in her pregnancy, which was a serious implication, to say the least. Intense shame would have been upon them both but strict adherence to the Law could easily have meant the death of them both.

Knowing he had nothing to do with the pregnancy, Joseph would have had every right to be upset. Any man in his situation would understandably feel angry and betrayed. But that was not his response. Being the “good man” that he was, his love for Mary was more than his love for preserving his pride – his reputation even…and that is some very strong love! Instead of defending his innocence, he instead decided “to break the engagement quietly.” Being a “good man” truly is an understatement!

Lord, You are God’s son, yes, but though it may be difficult to comprehend it all, Joseph had a great impact on You as Your earthly father, as all fathers do. Joseph was a “good man” in so many ways. Even before You were born, he loved others more than himself – what an example.

Lord, thank You for the examples You have set before us. Even before meeting You, Joseph lived out his relationship with his God, as we are all called to do. With Your touch and models of people like Joseph may I do no less. Amen.

Sept 11th, Mon, 6:39 am

A Strand of the Tapestry

Thank You, Father, for this beautiful Sabbath day. Thank You for Your Word this morning. May Your word to each of those in attendance at both services be implanted in their hearts and may the fruit it yields bring glory to You and Your kingdom. Amen.

Matthew 1:1-17 (<<click the green)

Lord, this list at the beginning of Matthew’s Gospel can be a bit overwhelming. I remember as a child, the King James Version, instead of saying “was the father of” used the word “begat”. I learned what it meant but, that’s a lot of “begats”!

It’s easy to just skim through the list. Some names are familiar – Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Ruth, David, Solomon. Some, as my study Bible* states, were a little “shady” – Tamer and Rahab. Others were your typical “Joe Shmoes” – regular guys like Hezron, Ram, and Nahshon. There were some evil characters as well – like Manasseh and Abijah. (Go to www.biblegateway.com and type in any of their names to find out more about them – several interesting stories!)

And this is not just any list – it is Your genealogy, Lord – Your family tree. All kinds of people contributed to who You would become. Just as we have bits of genetic material from all of our ancestors, so did You. The good, the bad…even the “shady”, all of them are a part of who You are.

AND today, You do the same with us. As followers, we are all a part of Your body – the body of believers. No matter who we are, no matter what we’ve done, when we willingly follow You, we each have a part to play in bringing Your will to fruition in this world. You are eager for us all to have a hand in seeing Your kingdom come to completion.

Thank You, Lord, for using me – for using all of us! We are all a strand in the beautiful tapestry of Your plan. May we all dedicate ourselves to eagerly do our share! Amen!

Sept 10th, Sun, 7:56 pm

Baggage

What a privilege to sit with You this morning, Father. That You would want to take time to be with me, the fact that You love me enough to do so is almost beyond comprehension. Thank You…

Hebrews 12:1 (<<click here)

  “… strip off every weight that slows us down…”

Baggage…we all have this tendency to want to lug it around – at least spiritually. But why do we do that? It’s sure not something we enjoy in life! When I travel, and it’s time to move my suitcase, I sure don’t want to carry it or drag it any further than I have to. It’s heavy. It’s bulky. It’s cumbersome. It just slows me down and keeps me from experiencing my travels.

So why do I do it spiritually? Sometimes they’re not very big but I feel more comfortable having them with me – little security blankets. For example, it’s very easy for me to over analyze. Should I say this, do that, will they laugh with me or think I’m weird. Will it show I care or drive others away? Not a lot of weight but it sure slows me down.

“Unmentionables” can be a problem, too. They’re not something we want others to see but quite often they’re there. We get tangled up in them and they can cause us to fall. Addictions trip us up for sure – drugs, alcohol, porn, gambling.

“Collectibles” aren’t something we would normally take on a trip but spiritually we can make a habit of it. We can’t seem to let go of the guilt of our past – things we’ve done, things we’ve said, Lord, if we’ve asked You to forgive us then they are no longer of concern to You. Help us to cast them aside.

Lord, help us to drop the baggage. We don’t need any of it for You provide all we need.

May 25th, Wed, 5:56 am

Grow Down

Father, forgive me for yielding to distraction…this is my time with You and Facebook should have no part in it. My phone is down and my attention is on You. Please help me hear and listen to what You have to say to me today.

Ephesians 3:14-21 (<<click the green)

Lord, help me to be “empowered…with inner strength through Your Spirit.” I know You have been doing a new work in me, accomplishing things that I could never do on my own (Praise Your Holy name! All the glory to You!) and I pray that I will cling to You. May my inner strength continue to be powered from Your “glorious, unlimited resources.”

This wonderful passage admonishes me to let my roots “grow down into Your love and keep me strong.”  Without You, I am surely weak and helpless! In my own strength, I fail. Only in You am I victorious. Thank you, Lord…

I am incomplete without Your love. Help me so that my overwhelming desire will be to “have the power to understand how WIDE, how LONG, how HIGH, and how DEEP Your love is”! May I “experience the love of Christ” – overwhelm me with Your love. May it gush and splash over on to all I meet!

And “through Your mighty power at work within me accomplish infinitely more than I might ask or [even] think”!

April 27th, 2015, Mon, 6:30 am

Assurance, Come What May

It is early enough that it is still dark outside, Father, but I am glad that we are here together. I need You today, to hear Your voice, to feel Your touch, to have the calm assurance that You are with me all the way. Amen.

Last night was one of those nights! I’m sure I dream more regularly than I recall but last night’s is still fresh in my mind. My dreams are always wacky and this one was no different.

As many of my dreams do, this dream involved church. I was not preaching but was leading the music. First of all, the speaker wasn’t there but there were other people on the platform and I had no idea who they were. There was a mess on the platform that for some reason I had contributed to but there was no time for questions on any front – the service was beginning. I walked to the pulpit for the first hymn and could I find it in the hymnal? Nope! It was #40 and no matter how many pages I flipped through I couldn’t get out of the sixties! I thought the PowerPoint would help if the words would just pop up but instead, a cartoon of babies in the nursery began singing – and playing instruments! – and it wasn’t even the hymn we were to be singing!

Oh, the nightmares of pastors! We’ve all had days like that and it is much more frustrating in reality! We can’t just wake up and it’s over.

As my opening prayer alluded to, we need You, Lord. No matter what the day may hold, when we keep our hearts and minds on You, we can tackle anything. The calming assurance of Your presence can calm the wildest sea. We can’t anticipate everything that we will come across throughout our day, but we can know that whatever comes, You will always be by our side. Thank You, Lord, for Your active presence in my life. Thank You for being our assurance come what may. We would be lost without You.

Sept 5th, Tues, 6:25 am