Tag Archives: guilty

Tooting My Own Horn

Good morning, Father. It is good to have this time, in the quiet of the early morning hours – just me and You. Help me to listen and learn, for there is no better teacher than You.

Matthew 6:1-4 (<<click the green)

Sometimes it’s hard to do something nice for someone and keep it a secret. Now sometimes the recipient will know but sometimes we are just so proud of ourselves we want to toot our own horn, as the saying goes.

In this passage, Lord, You admonish us to “Watch out!” when it comes to doing our “good deeds publicly, to be admired by others”. When we do so that is our reward and we forfeit the reward You would give us. Now, I truly have no idea what that reward would be but is there anything this world has to offer us that can hold a candle to what You have to offer us, Lord?

It’s interesting knowing a little of the background of this passage – it’s a bit of knowledge I picked up from a wonderful man of God that I had the privilege of serving under several years ago. The “trumpets in the synagogues” were receptacles for offerings and for some of those able to give generously it was probably a great temptation to throw in a handful of coins letting anyone in the vicinity know that they had made a sizeable donation.

Lord, what is my motivation for doing and giving? Is my goal to receive praise for myself? Or am I striving to point others to You? May I be diligent in doing all I can do but help me be equally as diligent in not doing it for my glory. I don’t want to be guilty of tooting my own horn! Your rewards are worth waiting for!

Nov 28th, Tues, 6:32 am

New Every Morning

Ah…a peaceful morning to begin a new week, Father. I am so grateful that each day is a new day. Regardless of what past days have held, it is now behind and today is a clean slate, a fresh vantage point. Thank You, Father, for the wonderful assurance found in Lamentations 3:22-23 (<<click the green).

22The faithful love of the Lord never ends!
His mercies never cease.
23Great is his faithfulness;
his mercies begin afresh each morning.

Lord, I know that You understand. You came to live amongst us. You experienced life from our perspective. Hebrews 4:15 tells us that You “faced all of the same testings [i.e. temptations] we do, yet [You] did not sin.”

We struggle to be faithful. We do so well for quite a while and then…we think poorly of someone at work…we lose patience with our spouse and say things that should not be said…we become angry with other drivers on the way to work. We listen to things we shouldn’t listen to, we watch things we shouldn’t watch, we read things we shouldn’t read…and I am not alone – we are all guilty

Last summer my family made a trip to Waco, Texas and visited Chip and Joanna Gains’ Magnolia Market. While there we purchased a steel wall sign that says, “Today is a good day for a good day.” Lord, today – and every day – is that day. I am eternally grateful that Your “faithful love…never ends” and that Your “mercies begin afresh each morning.” May I be the child You know that I can be. Amen.

Aug 21st, Mon, 6:28 am

Skin of My Teeth

Father, thank You for an absolutely beautiful day! The sun is shining and it sure cheers the soul! Thank You for the wonderful gifts of creation!

1 Peter 4:4-6 (<<click here)

We are all guilty of doing things that we shouldn’t do. At least in this physical world, there are many things for which we are never held accountable. We get away with a lot. Sometimes they are things we do, words we speak. How many times would we be in big trouble if what we thought was out there for all to see or hear? Our spouse may not know all that we are guilty of or our boss or parents or friends or children and we think we are getting away scot-free but nothing could be further from the truth.

Every thought, every deed, every word, every glance…Lord, You know every single one of them! And there will come a day when we will have to face You and we will be judged for it all. And we will all be judged. We will be held accountable for our actions. And there will be no more excuses. We will be unable to blame anyone else. It will all be on us.

Those who have believed in You will find salvation in You…but we will still be judged for what we have done or haven’t’ done. We all build on one foundation – and that is You, Lord. No other foundation can be laid. 1 Corinthians 3:12-15 tells us what will happen to the materials, with which we choose to build,

12Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. 13But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. 14If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward. 15But if the work is burned up, the builder will suffer great loss. The builder will be saved, but like someone barely escaping through a wall of flames.

That last sentence makes me think of the phrase “by the skin of my teeth.” Of course there is no skin on my teeth but I realize that I need to be diligently working to things that will last for eternity. Material wealth, popularity are “wood, hay, or straw” and be “burned up.” Lord, when it comes time to stand before You my labors be made of “gold, silver, [and] jewels.” May what I do be worthy of Your name. Amen.

Feb 2nd, Thurs, 9:26 am

Log in My Eye

May this day be Yours, Father. May You be glorified in worship, and throughout the day in all we do. Fill us, change us. Amen

1 Peter 2:1 (<<click here)

As I sit here this morning, Lord, the portion of verse 1 that jumps out at me is, “Be done with…all unkind speech.” This, to say the least, is a challenge for just about all of us. My first thought went to all the absolutely awful assault of words, from both sides, following our presidential elections – “unkind” is an understatement! But then as I was pointing a finger at others, my own fingers pointed back at me. The last several days on the road have been stressful and on more than one occasion my words have definitely been “unkind”.

Whether it’s complaining about people at work, or expressing our dissatisfaction with a family member’s actions in a derogatory manner or thinking less of someone because they don’t do or think as we think they should – it all involves “unkind speech.”

Lord, forgive me. I am guilty and have no right to point out the faults of others. Your word from Mathew 7:5 comes to mind,

“Hypocrite! first get rid of the log in your own eye; then you will see well enough to deal with the speck in your friend’s eye.”

May it be so, Lord, Amen!

Nov. 13th, Sun, 6:13 am

Don’t Grumble!

Draw my heart to You this morning, Father. May I hear Your voice and act on Your direction. May I go into this day determined to live out my life in ways that would be pleasing to You. Amen

I must share before moving on,

O heavenly Father…
Thou hast taught me
     that faith is nothing else than receiving thy kindness;
     that it is an adherence to Christ, a resting on him,
          love clinging to him as a branch to the tree,
               to seek life and vigor from him. – The Valley of Vision

James 5:9 (<<click here)

“Don’t grumble against each other…or you will be judged.”

Lord, as You look out over us, don’t we all do this? We grumble on a regular basis. He’s driving too slowly. My meat is undercooked. She doesn’t do her share of the work. I don’t care for that kind of music in worship. Why don’t they do something about that barking dog? And I’m sure each of us could add to this list without much difficulty.

Our society is full of grumblers. Very few of us are not guilty of being routine grumblers. But the rest of verse 9 should give us pause to think. “… you will be judged. For look – the Judge is standing at the door!”

As a child, there was nothing much worse than saying or doing something mean to a sibling and once it’s said or done realizing your mom or dad had just stepped into the doorway and witnessed the whole thing. No excuse could be made – you were caught red-handed… and punishment was inevitable.

Lord, help me… I know I grumble – I am guilty. Fill me with Your presence, Holy Spirit. Help me to hold my tongue before grumbling spills out. As the first grumbling thought enters my mind, help me to stop it dead in its tracks. Help me to love. Help me forgive. May I see others as You see them and respond as You would. Amen

Oct 4th, Tues, 7:03 am