It’s Jell-O Day!!


Daily Prayer for July 12

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20, NIV

Almighty God, keep watch over us and lead us fully into the life of Jesus Christ. Let your Son Jesus Christ become truly living within us so that we may be full of joy because we belong to the realm of heaven and may live every day with faith in him. We thank you for all you have let us experience. We thank you with all our hearts that in your great compassion you have showered so much good on us who are not yet perfect in faith. Keep our hearts in the light, we pray. Keep us patient and dedicated, for then more and more can be done among us poor children of earth, to the glory of your name. Amen.


Daily Dig

In your inbox every morning……..

bfly8Jesus went directly to those who were outcasts. He much preferred to associate with the “sinners” than with those who proudly set themselves apart. Jesus shared the lot of the downtrodden because God himself loves those rejected by society, those the world deems unworthy. God wants to help all people, and raise the dignity they possess to the light.

Source: Everyone Belongs to God




    ~~~Dion Todd

Happy Days

But the Jews stirred up the devout and prominent women and the chief men of the city, and stirred up a persecution against Paul and Barnabas, and threw them out of their borders. But they shook off the dust of their feet against them, and came to Iconium. The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:50 WEB

Paul and Barnabas traveled from town to town preaching the gospel. Many people believed, but sometimes entire towns threw them out. They did not let it get to them, but shook it off, and went on to the next town. During all of this rejection, Luke wrote ‘The disciples were filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.’ Their joy did not come from their circumstances, but instead from their relationship with God.

Paul later wrote ‘Not that I speak in respect to lack, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content in it. I know how to be humbled, and I know also how to abound’ (Philippians 4:11). Paul concentrated on the invisible and eternal knowing that God was in control of His situation. His mind was fixed on Jesus, and that is where his strength came from (v13).

Once after Paul and Silas were beaten and thrown into prison, they were praying and singing hymns to God, when there was a great earthquake. Everyone’s chains fell off and all the doors opened, but Paul and Silas remained in their cell until the jailor came (Acts 16:25). Peace, joy, and contentment, was the normal lifestyle for them, even when in prison.

There is a joy and peace obtainable that surpasses our understanding and our circumstances. ‘The peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your thoughts in Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 4:7).’for the joy of the Lord is your strength’ (Nehemiah 8:10). ‘You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You; because he trusts in You’ (Isaiah 26:3).

I spent some seasons of my life working in construction. Many of those around me were just working for the weekend, which meant they were pretty miserable during the week while waiting for it to arrive.

There was this one particular guy that had a horrible attitude, he always seemed angry at the world. He watched me for a while, then one day while I was washing my hands before lunch, he walked up and asked me ‘Why are you so xxxx happy all the time? What’s wrong with you?’

Though I know it would have been a great time to witness, it surprised me as I did not realize that I was that happy myself. It seemed natural enough to me, but after looking around at the others, I could see that it was mostly, just me.

Those days I often worked in a man lift sixty feet in the air, mindlessly painting a giant warehouse. I could not attend church because I worked a twelve hour shift every Sunday while the plant was closed. So I listened to the Bible all day on a set of headphones. It was part of my normal equipment just as my hard hat, spray sock, and respirator. While meditating on the Word, I began praying and praising God under my breath. I just thought of it as a way to pass the time, but it began to change me.

After a while, I was as carefree as an eagle. Pranksters would come by my man lift, switch it to ground control, and bounce me up and down, which when extended out sixty feet in the air can be terrifying, but I could not care less and they eventually lost interest. ‘I have put my trust in God. I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?’ (Psalms 56:11).

Meditating on God’s word calmed my mind and brought His peace and joy in a special way. Spending time praying and praising God brings a deep settled peace that is hard to be shaken. Hearing about the end of the world only brings a smile and a spark of hope that we will soon be with Jesus. God’s word is treasure, and it is timeless. It worked for Paul, it worked for me, and it will work for you.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please give me a hunger for Your word and make me able to understand and retain it. Please fill me with Your peace and joy. Help me to focus on eternal things and not the temporary, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray. Amen!



Unstoppable! ‘Heading to Mary’s House’


Peter finally came to his senses [after the angel released him from prison]. “It’s really true!” he said. “The Lord has sent his angel and saved me from Herod and from what the Jewish leaders had planned to do to me!”

When he realized this, he went to the home of Mary, the mother of John Mark, where many were gathered for prayer.

— Acts 12:11-12 NLT

Key Thought

Let me make two simple observations for these verses:

  1. Peter “came to his senses” and realized that God had truly delivered him from Herod’s grasp through the work of the angel and as an answer to the prayers of other believers.
  2. Peter knew where to go to find the people who were praying for his deliverance: Mary’s house, “where many were gathered for prayer”!

Our houses can be described in many ways — beautiful, expensive, simple, craftsman, colonial, modern, etc. Shouldn’t we strive for our homes to be known like Mary’s home was known? I want my home to be known as a place where believers gather to pray big prayers, even seemingly impossible prayers, to God!

Today’s Prayer

O Father, may my home be known as a place of prayer. May my family be a family where believers feel welcomed and wanted. May our friends join us as we cry out to you. Our heart desires that your Kingdom come and that your will be done here on earth as it is in heaven. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

What Jesus Did! ‘A Childlike Kind of Faith’

When Jesus saw [the disciples stopping parents from bringing children to him], he was angry with his disciples. He said to them, “Let the children come to me. Don’t stop them! For the Kingdom of God belongs to those who are like these children. I tell you the truth, anyone who doesn’t receive the Kingdom of God like a child will never enter it.”

Key Thought

We must have childlike faith to be a part of God’s Kingdom. The Kingdom requires a “dangerous innocence” of us — a true purity and a genuine humility. Jesus demonstrated these childlike qualities. He wants us to travel along our religious journey as trusting children of God, not necessarily as worldly wise theologically astute scholars. Now don’t take me wrong; we are not told to throw away our brains to become Christians. However, we are taught to live in a way that is often upside down to the world and its conventional wisdom. To do so, we need to go back and experience the gift of salvation, the magnificence of God, and the wonders of grace as wide-eyed, excitable children who trust in God’s ways, God’s love, and God’s care.

Today’s Prayer

O God, make my heart childlike and my faith fresh and new each day. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Daily Wisdom:

Illustration of 1 Peter 2:17 — Show proper respect to everyone: Love the brotherhood of believers, fear God, honor the king.

Passion for Praise: ‘For Those Who Search’

Illustration of Psalm 70:4-5 — May all who search for you be filled with joy and gladness in you. May those who love your salvation repeatedly shout, "God is great!" But as for me, I am poor and needy; please hurry to my aid, O God. You are my helper and my savior; O Lord, do not delay.

A Year with Jesus: ‘Wisdom, Peace, and Righteousness’

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

When James wrote about wisdom and peace, he used terms whose meanings were rooted in what you call the Old Testament — The Law, the Prophets, and the Writings. To fully appreciate what James taught in today’s verses, you must understand what peace and wisdom meant when he used those terms.

For James, peace was much more than an absence of conflict. Peace was living in true shalom — the state of blessing and wholesomeness in life that comes when people live in complete harmony with the Father’s will. For James, righteousness would flourish, and compassion would be displayed when the joy of right living produced the place and the people where the Father’s presence would love to dwell. True shalom for them, and for you, is the blessing of living Our life in your world. True shalom is experiencing the blessedness of the Father’s presence and rule over every area of life.

For James, wisdom was not some theoretical attainment of mental excellence, but a life full of all the goodness and true shalom that come from the Father’s grace. This life flowed out of a person’s commitment to living the Father’s values in his or her world. James emphasized that this wisdom would be shown by a disciple’s example of good living. This kind of wisdom was not just the subject of some philosophical speculation. Instead, this true wisdom was about life being tuned to Our righteous character and gracious compassion. Wisdom would mean living in reverential respect for Us and living in harmony with your neighbor. This reverential respect for Us would then be the beginning of all wisdom:

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom;
all those who practice it have a good understanding.
(Psalm 111:10 ESV)

What I taught as the two greatest commands captures both elements of true wisdom — living in reverential respect for the Father and loving your neighbor:

And again the crowd was amazed. They were astonished at His [Jesus’] teaching.

Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, a group of Pharisees met to consider new questions that might trip up Jesus. A legal expert thought of one that would certainly stump Him.


Teacher, of all the laws, which commandment is the greatest?

Jesus (quoting Scripture):

“Love the Eternal One your God with all your heart and all your soul and all your mind.” This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is nearly as important, “Love your neighbor as yourself.” The rest of the law, and all the teachings of the prophets, are but variations on these themes.

(Matthew 22:33-40)

Wisdom springs from living these two principles. However, when jealousy and selfish ambition are found in a group or culture, true wisdom and peace go out the window. Chaos and evil flourish as each person competes for his or her own interest at the expense of others. Loving God is soon forgotten in the love of power, the pursuit of prestige, and the jockeying for position. Love of neighbor is ignored in the rush to love oneself and forget about others.

This kind of selfishness that masquerades as worldly wisdom has given the world the mess in which it finds itself. This selfishness is one way the evil one captures the hearts of people and enslaves them in what is not wise. This kind of selfishness never brings true wisdom and true shalom. So rather than focusing on what you can get for yourself, center your focus on how to live the character and compassion that you see in Me. Also, notice the characteristics that James said are from the devil and should not be found among My disciples:

  • Jealousy
  • Selfishness, selfish ambition
  • Pride

Now notice the character qualities that James urges you to pursue:

  • Purity
  • Peace
  • Gentleness
  • Deference
  • Mercy
  • Other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy

Make this last set of attributes the goal to bring forth in your daily life. If you do so, you will find yourself in God’s peace, the true shalom that brings real life. This harmony is true wisdom!

Verses to Live

James spoke in clear, simple language to remind you that heavenly wisdom and true peace will be found where the life of God is lived. Righteousness is the natural result of such a life lived in the Spirit.

Who in your community is understanding and wise? Let his example, which is marked by wisdom and gentleness, blaze a trail for others. If your heart is one that bleeds dark streams of jealousy and selfishness, do not be so proud that you ignore your depraved state. The wisdom of this world should never be mistaken for heavenly wisdom; it originates below in the earthly realms, with the demons. Any place where you find jealousy and selfish ambition, you will discover chaos and evil thriving under its rule. Heavenly wisdom centers on purity, peace, gentleness, deference, mercy, and other good fruits untainted by hypocrisy. The seed that flowers into righteousness will always be planted in peace by those who embrace peace.
(James 3:13-18)

Response in Prayer

O Father, please bless me with true wisdom. I commit to pursuing the things that bring peace and demonstrate wise living. Forgive me for the times that I have put my own desires and my own yearning for things and status above developing the true wisdom that brings peace. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.




When God Wants Change, What Does He Mean?

When God Wants Change, What Does He Mean?

The word change usually makes us think about our circumstances, or things that involve other people, not changes in us. But what about when God wants change? What is He looking for?

What Does Change Mean to You?

What does the word “change” mean to you? Most of us, if we admit it, think about our circumstances. Things like “government,” “culture,” “personal health,” “personal finances,” “job,” “family,”or  “difficult relationships,” may trigger a desire for some kind of change in things that affect us.

The pandemic we are living in right now has brought changes to our world and to our lives that we never imagined.

Everyone and everything else should change. But us? Hmm. That’s not usually my first thought. How about you? No matter what our circumstances, we’re not always interested in God changing us.

Does God Even Care?

It’s not that God doesn’t care about your circumstances. The God who created this world–and your own unique self–loves you so much He sent His own Son, Jesus, to die for you. He does care.

But God knows everything about us: our potential, our strengths, our weaknesses, our past, and our future. He has a plan for our lives, and He knows better than us how to accomplish that plan. It’s a good plan, one that will not only be good for us, but one that will bring Him glory. Ultimately, He wants to help us reflect Jesus in our lives, more and more.

And when true heart change happens in us, as we allow God to change our character, we actually free God’s power to change our world and maybe even circumstances for the better, one by one.

Trust Is the Key

While God is more interested in changing us than in changing our personal circumstances, He often does both. Sometimes when we change, our circumstances may change as a natural result. But whether they do or not, trusting God means welcoming His changes–whatever they are–and cooperating with Him to make them happen, even if those changes are painful. Here’s a daily prayer that might help you invite God to change whatever He wants in your life to make you more like Him:

Personal Daily Prayer for Change

Lord Jesus, I invite You to take control of my life in every way. You created me; you formed me in Your own image. And I truly want my life to reflect Yours. Create in me a clean heart. Change anything in me that needs changing or rearranging. Show me areas that are harmful and habits that keep me from being all you want me to be. If You also choose to change my circumstances, those around me, or things affecting me as well, then I’ll be grateful. And as Your child, I’m eager for You to do that. But either way, I trust You to bring the needed changes in my life so I can be more like You.

Day-votedly Yours,


Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires, (Psalm 51:10, TLB).

It’s Your Turn

What about you? Will you make it your daily prayer for God to change you to make you more like Him? I love to hear from readers. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.

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National Eat Your Jello Day – July 12, 2020

Jell-O was trademarked in New York in 1897, but it’s a classic dessert we all know and love! The best part of it is that it comes in a variety of flavors and can be combined with many ingredients for a simple, delicious treat. Thanks to some very crafty chefs, we can also from Jell-O into fun shapes. So get ready to celebrate July 12 by eating Jell-O just the way you like it!



164.17 million Jell-O snacks were eaten in the U.S.

Jell-O and other gelatin snacks were eaten by a whopping 164.17 million. That’s huge number!


Jell-O became an official Utah state snack

Utah State Representative Leonard M. Blackham wrote legislation recognizing Jell-O as an official state snack.


Jell-O shots where invented

An American musician named Tom Lehrer invented the idea of adding vodka or rum into Jell-O


Lime Jell-O was invented

Though Jell-O had come up with a few flavors in the 1900s, the still-popular lime Jell-O was invented in 1930


Jell-O was trademarked

Though the nutritional value of gelatin had been recognized since the 1800s, Jell-O wasn’t trademarked until 1897


  1. Make your own Jell-O

    Thankfully you can find Jell-O packets in almost any grocery store. Follow the instructions on the container and you’re good to go! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can find gelatin in some stores and try making it from scratch!

  2. Eat Jell-O, of course!

    If you don’t feel like making your own Jell-O for this special day you’ll most likely find it as a desert in some restaurants, or you can find it ready-made in most stores. You may also have some leftover Jell-O from a party or gathering, so you can finish whatever you have.

  3. Get crafty with Jell-O powder

    You can use Jell-O for other things besides eating. It’s possible to make a Jell-O-powered fuel cell battery, homemade Play-Doh, and even lipgloss. With the right tutorial, the possibilities are endless!


  1. There’s something for everyone.

    Jell-O can be made in almost any flavor, color, and shape. Plus, you can add fruits, nuts, and even alcohol (as long as you’re of legal age). You can always make Jell-O in a way that makes everyone happy.

  2. Gelatin is good for you!

    Gelatin is the ingredient that gives Jell-O its texture. Since it comes from animals, it’s usually high in proteins. It also contains collagen, which is great for your skin, hair, and bones. Plus, it’s low in calories.

  3. Jell-O is fun!

    It’s rare to be able to eat something in your favorite color or that has such a cool texture. You can have fun while making Jell-O by using fun containers and choosing a color and flavor you like.






Between Friends for 7/11/2020

9 Chickweed Lane for 7/11/2020

Aunty Acid for 7/12/2020

Phil Hands for 7/9/2020

Steve Kelley for 7/12/2020



Have a beautiful day!




Relaxing Sunday With God…


Daily Prayer for May 17

Let us, then, hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we have a great High Priest who has gone into the very presence of God – Jesus, the Son of God. Our High Priest is not one who cannot feel sympathy for our weaknesses. On the contrary, we have a High Priest who was tempted in every way that we are, but did not sin. Hebrews 4:14-15, TEV

Dear Father in heaven, we look to Jesus Christ, who is at your right hand, through whom you have promised help for the whole world. Unite us with him so that we may receive authority to help all people according to your will. May your name be kept holy among us, for your children have every reason to rejoice in the Savior you have given them. We thank you for everything you have shown to those who believe in you. We pray to you, hasten the time when your day shall come with glory, the day when you will give the glory to Jesus Christ, when he will reign and triumph over all evil and bring the peace you have always wanted to give the world. We wait and long for this. Amen.


Your Daily Dig

Eberhard Arnold
We must guard against the false notion that God is a purely transcendental power, removed from matter and the stuff of this earth. The coming community of life will be a kingdom of work on this earth. Work will be the binding factor in the cells of human community. The only work people can do with their whole soul, work full of spirit and pulsing life, comes from love. And there is no love that does not get to work.



    ~~~Dion Todd

The Road Ahead

He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He spoke to them openly. Peter took him, and began to rebuke him. But he, turning around, and seeing his disciples, rebuked Peter, and said, ‘Get behind me, Satan! For you have in mind not the things of God, but the things of men.’ Mark 8:31 WEB

‘Oh look at you! You did it again… you should just give up.’ These thoughts often play in our mind. It is a distraction sent by the enemy to try and break your focus on the Lord, to get you off course, to get you to stop trying. When the words of Peter no longer lined up with the will of the Father, Jesus turned His back to him and put him behind Him. When satan tried Jesus in the wilderness, Jesus told him ‘Get behind me satan.’ Jesus focused on the present will of God, and He put what did not agree with it behind Him.

Formula One race car drivers are trained to focus on where they want to go, and to not get distracted by the things around them. They are moving so fast that even a slight distraction could be a fatal one. Part of the training is to not to follow the car in front of them, for if it went into a curve too fast, then they would follow it and crash as well, also, they would never pass it.

Each driver runs their own race and if they spent their time looking behind them, then they would never be able to finish it. It takes complete focus on the goal, and ignoring all the noise around them to be successful. If they make a mistake, they recover as quickly as possible, get back in the race and try to concentrate on the road ahead. Paul ran his race like this (1 Corinthians 9:24).

So don’t look to the left or to the right, and give no attention to the past. Let what is behind you, stay behind you. Focus on the future that God has for you and stop listening to the voices that want you to fail. Stop comparing yourself to others for you are only responsible for the talents that were given to you. The devil does not want you to win this and the only way that you come out on top is by focusing on God completely, and tuning out the distractions around you. Stop looking behind you, and focus on the road ahead.

Prayer: Heavenly Father please help me focus on what matters. Give me a clear vision of what I should be focusing on, guide me and bring my desires in line with Yours, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.



world changing - When the World You've Known Keeps Changing, How Do You Respond?

Our world is changing rapidly. Pandemic fears rise and fall, depending on news reports, unemployment statistics, and confusing instructions. So many respond to our culture and all that is happening to Christian values in our world today that I rarely add my thoughts. But there are times when silence prayerfully begs for a voice.

In those moments, often the best way I can write is through a poem. Whether you’re a parent, a husband, a wife, or simply a concerned follower of Jesus, I hope these words will encourage you.

When the World You’ve Known Keeps Changing


Rebecca Barlow Jordan

When the world you’ve known keeps changing,

how do you respond?

How do you protect the values—

the ones that have made you strong?

When pandemic fears keep raging,

edging “normal” out,

where do you go for comfort?

How do you ease new doubts?

A country, loosed from its moorings,

a marriage stripped of its name;

a family split by a culture,

and no one knows who to blame.

A child, confused by the babble,

struggling alone to find hope,

while voices rage ‘tween the anthems,

searching for a way to cope.

When right is wrong, and wrong is right,

you cringe and wonder why,

And how, on earth, did it come to this?

You bow your head and sigh.

When evil now runs rampant,

and good is trampled down,

not just in our nation,

but in the world around,

what will you do; what should you do?

Can answers still be found?

You start by looking to Jesus,

our Counselor and our Guide.

You love by His example,

with arms open wide.

You keep on being faithful,

because others are watching you.

You exercise integrity,

no matter what you do.

You live your values constantly

wherever you may be.

You hold God’s Word in honor

and speak it truthfully.

You share of His amazing grace,

with sweet humility,

and ask for His forgiveness,

for not letting others see

the light of Jesus shining

through your life actively.

You pray, always praying,

that the Truth will still be found,

and that God will give you wisdom

to build up and not tear down.

You pray for God to intervene

for healing in our land,

while exercising kindness,

reaching out a helping hand.

You stand for what you know is right,

not giving hate a door;

refraining from reacting, knowing

love can say much more.

You wear a smile upon your face,

and live each day adorned with grace.

You teach your children every place

they walk is sacred ground.

You share that some things haven’t changed,

that values can’t be rearranged,

that every heart can be deranged—

without our Jesus—now;

and then you stop, look,

and listen

to the truth that sets us free:

Jesus is still the same yesterday, today, and forever.

And you set your sights above on Home,

the joy that is to come,

where every knee will bow before

the throne, the only One.

He’s not surprised by what you see

or hear on any day,

He’s always known the hearts of man—

and He’s still the only Way!

Jesus answered, ” I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6, NIV).

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence” (Jeremiah 17:7 NLT).

“I the LORD do not change” (Malachi 3:6 NIV).

My Personal Prayer for You

Lord, our world is changing faster than we can catch up. Keep us grounded in the things we know are right according to Your Word and Your truth. You have promised to meet every need, and sometimes you use others to do that. We want to be generous in giving as well. When we’re confused about the direction we should go, give us the assurance and the wisdom for our future.

We look to You for our daily bread–whatever provision You decide is necessary and good for us. Guard us from complaining and pointing blame at others or at conditions we see all around us. Instead, fill us with purpose, love, kindness, and determination to press on no matter what happens to us or around us. You are our only Hope. And You still want to fill our hearts with joy, confidence, and assurance. Our eyes are on You, Lord.

Day-votedly Yours,


It’s Your Turn

How do you respond to the changes in your world? How is the pandemic affecting you? What is the most difficult change you are dealing with right now? I’d love to hear from you anytime. You can always write me through my contact page and fill out the basic name and address info; then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.

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Unstoppable! ‘Distrusted’


When Saul arrived in Jerusalem, he tried to meet with the believers, but they were all afraid of him. They did not believe he had truly become a believer!

— Acts 9:26 NLT

Key Thought

Saul, whom we know better as the apostle Paul, had wreaked havoc on the church in Jerusalem and Judea before his Damascus road experience of Jesus. Believers in Damascus knew of Paul’s preaching about Jesus and his commitment to Jesus as the Messiah. Believers in Jerusalem only knew him as a fierce persecutor. Can a leopard change its spots? Can a pursuer and persecutor of Jesus’ disciples truly become a disciple? The believers in Jerusalem were cautious, even afraid of him. I think I would have been careful, too! We need to remember Saul’s situation when people hold onto our past mistakes. Nearly every one of God’s great leaders had moments where their faith life was less than stellar. God, however, doesn’t discard people quickly or lightly. His searching love is not just looking to redeem lost sinners, but also to reclaim fallen servants. We must give our brothers and sisters with a dark past the same grace. We recognize that this principle of grace is especially needed if the brother or sister with a dark past is us, so surely we need to extend the same grace to others! (Matthew 7:12)

Today’s Prayer

Father, I cannot thank you enough for the frankness and openness of the Bible about the failure and fallenness of your people and their leaders. Your grace toward them gives me confidence that you can use me because you have forgiven and remade me. Thank you for your indescribably amazing grace. In Jesus’ name, I praise you for your mercy, love, and grace. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Daily Wisdom:

Illustration of Proverbs 14:13 — Even in laughter the heart may ache, and joy may end in grief.

Passion for Praise: ‘Proclaim His Greatness!’

Illustration of 1 Chronicles 16:8 — Give thanks to the LORD and proclaim his greatness. Let the whole world know what he has done.

Spiritual Warfare: ‘God’s Faithfulness and Unfailing Love’

God’s Power for Our Battles

Illustration of Proverbs 16:6-7 NLT — Unfailing love and faithfulness make atonement for sin. By fearing the Lord, people avoid evil. When people's lives please the Lord, even their enemies are at peace with them.

Lord, You have been so loving and generous to me. Help me to show that same love to others. I want to be faithful to You, but I fail and sin in so many ways. Thank You for the forgiveness that comes through your unfailing love and faithfulness given to me through Jesus. Help me to be more faithful and loving, so I can avoid the evil all around me in this present world. Deliver me from my enemies, and cause them to look on me in peace. Open their eyes to Your loving-kindness through my actions. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Year with Jesus: ‘Back at the Beginning?’

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Sometimes things have a way of repeating themselves. The events in the verses below occurred after My resurrection. The apostle Peter and six of My other disciples were back where Peter was when I first called him to follow me (Luke 5:1-11); they were fishing. Once again, they caught no fish during a long night of fishing. Once again, I directed them how to catch fish, and they netted a huge haul of fish. After experiencing the miraculous catch of fish earlier when I was calling My first disciples, Peter fell at My feet and said:

I can’t take this, Lord. I’m a sinful man. You shouldn’t be around the likes of me.
(Luke 5:8)

I then called Peter to leave his life as a fisherman and follow Me to start reaching people with My good news.

After over three years of ministry with Me, Peter was back where he began. But I needed him ready to lead My disciples to take the good news to the world. However, Peter’s failure stood in the way. Despite My warning, he denied Me three times on the night I was betrayed. Despite his claims that he would not fail Me even if the other disciples did, he failed to live up to his word. Peter’s failure stood in the way of his leadership.

There was that other problem in the verses below: a problem symbolized by Peter’s jumping into the water, swimming ashore, and leaving the other men behind in the boat to take care of the fish. Peter needed to humble himself, do the little things that needed to be done and live faithfully for Me. Most importantly, the confession that he was a sinful man didn’t happen this second time. Enough time had passed for Peter to own the ways he had failed Me on the night I was betrayed. He had not done so. My appearance to Peter and the apostles on the beach — see the verses below — was My third appearance to them after My resurrection. Peter had not yet confessed his failure and asked for forgiveness from the disciples or Me.

Bottom line: Peter’s failure and his brash bravado stood in the way of his being a great servant leader in the new church that was about to be born. So I began My ministry of restoration with Peter. I would firmly, but lovingly, help him confront his failure in front the men who knew it best. I seized this opportunity to help Peter remember — to remember his initial call to become a fisherman for people and follow Me and to remember his failure to live up to his brash promises.

In tomorrow’s verses, you will join Me as I directly but lovingly confront and restore Peter. Today, however, I want you to think about how your own sin and failure can make you feel as if you have to start all over and as if you have to win My trust and earn your right to My grace. Please know that is not true.

I long to forgive and restore you. I do ask that you own your failure, that you trust the sufficiency of My grace, and that you get back to following Me. But don’t let shame destroy you. Don’t let your pride keep you from being honest with Me and others. Don’t let the evil one cloud your heart with doubts about My love for you. I long to restore you. I want to use you to grow My kingdom and share My grace. I will use your failures to help you learn to be gracious and empathetic with others so they can be restored, too. I did it with Peter. I will do it with you!

Believe in My love for you. Rely on the grace I have for you. Trust the plans that I have to use you. Follow me!

Verses to Live

Notice how similar this situation is to the first call of Peter (Luke 5:1-11). Then notice how these two events are different.

Why do you think I chose for this to be the scene of My third appearance to the apostles after My resurrection?

What do you think would have happened to Peter and his leadership if I had not confronted him about his failure before I returned to the Father?

There was one other time when Jesus appeared to the disciples — this time by the Sea of Tiberias. This is how it happened: Simon Peter, Thomas (the Twin), Nathanael (the Galilean from Cana), the sons of Zebedee, and two other disciples were together.

Simon Peter (to disciples):

I am going fishing.


Then we will come with you.

They went out in the boat and caught nothing through the night. As day was breaking, Jesus was standing on the beach; but they did not know it was Jesus.


My sons, you haven’t caught any fish, have you?




Throw your net on the starboard side of the boat, and your net will find the fish.

They did what He said, and suddenly they could not lift their net because of the massive weight of the fish that filled it. The disciple loved by Jesus turned to Peter and said:

Beloved Disciple:

It is the Lord.

Immediately, when Simon Peter heard these words, he threw on his shirt (which he would take off while he was working) and dove into the sea. The rest of the disciples followed him, bringing in the boat and dragging in their net full of fish. They were close to the shore, fishing only about 100 yards out. When they arrived on shore, they saw a charcoal fire laid with fish on the grill. He had bread too.

Jesus (to disciples):

Bring some of the fish you just caught.

Simon Peter went back to the boat to unload the fish from the net. He pulled 153 large fish from the net. Despite the number of the fish, the net held without a tear.


Come, and join Me for breakfast.

Not one of the disciples dared to ask, “Who are You?” They knew it was the Lord. Jesus took the bread and gave it to each of them, and then He did the same with the fish. This was the third time the disciples had seen Jesus since His death and resurrection.
(John 21:1-14)

Response in Prayer

O Father, thank You for grace. Thank You for repentance. Thank You for new starts. Thank You for being the God of comfort, forgiveness, and grace. I own my failures — I confess them to You and trust You will completely remove the guilt of my sin from me. I trust You will remove my sin from me as far as the east is from the west. I commit to follow Jesus, to live for Him, and to love You with all that I am and to love others by sharing Your grace with them. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.





Aunty Acid for 5/17/2020

Top funny quote with cartoon image





Let’s Hang Out!

Daily Prayer 

And in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ give thanks every day for everything to our God and Father. Ephesians 5:20, NEB

Dear Father in heaven, accept our thanks today for all you allow us to learn and to receive from you. Help us, your children, to follow the Savior with a right spirit and with true understanding. Protect us from evil, from all the works of Satan. In our generation may we experience your rulership and your wonders. In the name of Jesus we pray, reveal yourself with power. May your will be done on earth as in heaven, that all may realize they are in your hands and that it is your will to set everything right. Be with us this night. Bless and strengthen us for all the work entrusted to us. Amen.


Unstoppable! ‘A Complete U-Turn!’


[When Stephen told the Jewish leaders that he saw the Son of Man at God’s right hand,] they put their hands over their ears and began shouting. They rushed at him and dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. His accusers took off their coats and laid them at the feet of a young man named Saul.

— Acts 7:57-58 NLT

Key Thought

Nearly all of us who drive cars know the embarrassing and sometimes terrifying realization that we are driving the wrong way on a one-way street. Later, Saul made a complete U-turn away from persecuting Christians and then appreciated grace so deeply because he realized how terribly wrong he had originally been about Jesus, Stephen, and the early disciples. Paul apparently was in charge of this makeshift mob to Stephen’s death, because they laid their coats at his feet. The violence he advocated against Stephen hung in memory the rest of his life. Something about witnessing Stephen’s faith in Jesus and forgiveness of his accusers opened a place in Saul’s heart for Jesus’ grace to reach him. That grace would later lead Paul to turn completely and re-align his life with Jesus. The persecutor became the persecuted. The murderer became the martyr. The hate-monger became the grace-giver. Such is the power of Jesus!

Today’s Prayer

O Father, may my heart be ever-pliable to you and your will for my life. Because Saul, the persecutor, allowed his heart to be changed to become the apostle of grace, I know you can make me more than I can ask or imagine. I believe that the same Spirit who was present for Saul also works with power in my life, so I offer my heart to be used, re-aligned with Jesus, and sent into the world to make a difference. Please use me for your glory. I ask this, O God, in Jesus’ name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Daily Wisdom:

Illustration of Proverbs 19:1 — Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.

Passion for Praise: ‘Your Sacrifice’

Illustration of Psalm 50:14 — Make thankfulness your sacrifice to God, and keep the vows you made to the Most High.

Spiritual Warfare:     God’s Power for Our Battles

Illustration of Exodus 23:1-3 NLT — You must not pass along false rumors.  You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand. You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice.  And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.

You must not pass along false rumors. You must not cooperate with evil people by lying on the witness stand. You must not follow the crowd in doing wrong. When you are called to testify in a dispute, do not be swayed by the crowd to twist justice. And do not slant your testimony in favor of a person just because that person is poor.

Today’s Prayer

Lord, there is so much pressure for me to follow the ways of the world and pursue money, power, sex, and position. Deliver me from the evil influences all around me that appeal to my sinful nature. Help me resist the urge to follow the crowd so I won’t end up on a dead-end road. Save me from evil. Help me inspire others to a path of godliness as I follow the steps of Jesus. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Year with Jesus: ‘The Blessing of Believing’

Note from Jesus

Dear Seeker of Truth,

Believing in My resurrection is a real challenge. That’s understandable. Having a friend who dies and then suddenly appears, offers for you to touch him, shows you his scars, eats bread with you, drinks wine with you, has a bit of fish with you, and then shares your company doesn’t happen in your experience. But the most important purpose and meaning for your life hinge on your faith in My resurrection. Paul makes this clear when he says:

Now if we have told you about the Anointed One [Me, Christ] (how He has risen from the dead and appeared to us fully alive), then how can you stand there and say there is no such thing as resurrection from death? Friends, if there is no resurrection of the dead, then even the Anointed hasn’t been raised; if that is so, then all our preaching has been for nothing and your faith in the message is worthless. And what’s worse, all of us who have been preaching the gospel are now guilty of misrepresenting God because we have been spreading the news that He raised the Anointed One from the dead (which must be a lie if what you are saying about the dead not being raised is the truth).
(1 Corinthians 15:12-15)

Being My disciple hinges on your faith in My resurrection! Sooner or later, if you haven’t already done so, you must take the huge step of faith and entrust your future to this reality that is outside your experience.

Helping you to believe in My resurrection is the reason why My interaction with Thomas is so important a week after My resurrection. (See the verses below for this story.) Thomas was not a bad guy. He was not trying to be difficult or problematic. He just wanted to know for sure. He just wanted to know for himself. He would not believe until he saw Me face-to-face and touched my scars. The confession and commitment of Thomas after seeing Me and being able to touch Me, are powerful:

You are the one True God and Lord of my life.

Thomas’ confession and commitment are what I want from you concerning Me. Your problem is that I am not there for you to physically touch. That’s why I promised you the special blessing that I did:

Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.

The apostle Peter knew your challenge to believe since you haven’t seen Me. He taught and wrote to people who had never seen Me yet believed. He wrote to these disciples about the blessing of believing and the joy such faith brings:

Although you haven’t seen Jesus, you still love Him. Although you don’t yet see Him, you do believe in Him and celebrate with a joy that is glorious and beyond words. You are receiving the salvation of your souls as the result of your faith.
(1 Peter 1:8-9).

I want you to remember these blessings. I want you to remember these blessings every time you struggle with doubt. I want you to remember these blessings every time someone ridicules you for believing in Me and My resurrection. These blessings are yours because you believe! The Holy Spirit will help you strengthen your faith and have confidence that you can receive these blessings.

Here are a few of the many reasons to believe in My resurrection:

  • The eyewitnesses who wrote in the New Testament about My resurrection.
  • People like My own family, and especially My brother James, who did not believe that I was the Messiah and Son of God until seeing Me alive after My resurrection from the dead.
  • The change in the apostles from men who were scared and hiding to world-changing men of courage, many of whom were martyred for their faith in Me.
  • The experiences you have had of My presence in your life as you have served Me:
    – the times just the right word came from someone else,
    – the empowerment I’ve given you when you were on mission,
    – the rich sense of My presence when you’ve served the needy, and
    – the palpable sense of My presence as you’ve worshiped.
  • The testimony and resilience of My people over the centuries through oppression, martyrdom, and ostracism.

These are but a few reasons.

Verses to Live

Don’t get so hung up on the reasons to believe that you miss the two truths I want you to hear in the verses below:

  1. I know it is hard for many of you to believe — you’re like Thomas and many others like him. Keep seeking Me and you will find Me.
  2. There is a great blessing for you who find your way through doubt and come to faith in Me — for you who have never physically seen Me and yet still believe.

Please receive that blessing now as you read about Thomas, his struggle for faith, his incredible confession and commitment, and My blessing for you who believe in Me, yet have never seen Me!

All of the eleven were present with the exception of Thomas [that first Sunday evening after Jesus was raised from the dead]. He heard the accounts of each brother’s interaction with the Lord.

The Other Disciples:

We have seen the Lord!


Until I see His hands, feel the wounds of the nails, and put my hand to His side, I won’t believe what you are saying.

Eight days later, they gathered again behind locked doors; and Jesus reappeared. This time Thomas was with them.


May each one of you be at peace.

He drew close to Thomas.


Reach out and touch Me. See the punctures in My hands; reach out your hand, and put it to My side; leave behind your faithlessness, and believe.

Thomas (filled with emotion):

You are the one True God and Lord of my life.


Thomas, you have faith because you have seen Me. Blessed are all those who never see Me and yet they still believe.

Jesus performed many other wondrous signs that are not written in this book. These accounts are recorded so that you, too, might believe that Jesus is the Anointed, the Liberating King, the Son of God, because believing grants you the life He came to share.
(John 20:24-31)

Response in Prayer

Father in heaven, for many reasons, some of which I don’t fully understand, I do truly believe that Jesus was raised from the dead. I ask, dear Father, that the Holy Spirit strengthen that faith and that the Spirit help me to be aware that Jesus is there for me even when I do not perceive His presence. I believe, but I want to believe fully. I long for the day when my faith becomes sight, but I also rejoice that I know this faith inspires my hope and gives me longing for the day I see Jesus face-to-face. Thank You for this hope, dear Father. I thank You in Jesus’ name. Amen.



A Prayer for Parents, Grandparents, and Their Children

At times the challenges of parenthood are frightening and confusing. Prayer for parents is so important. I remember those years of parenting well, when my cries for wisdom and help stormed heaven’s gates daily. But during difficult times like these, when nothing seems normal, and so many families are struggling just to get by, I’m convinced even more of the need for prayer. Do you feel that way too? Our kids need prayer covering, but we as parents also need God’s help. In good times or challenging times, I still approach God’s throne with passion and urgency, and my petitions now include grandchildren.

Prayer can take wings and fly where we can’t travel. And when we pray for our children or grandchildren, God listens. He loves kids!

Maybe you don’t know where to begin to pray. If you are a parent or grandparent or you know those who are, here is a simple prayer for parents, grandparents, and their children in these difficult times that might start you in the right direction:

A Prayer for Parents, Grandparents, and Their Children in Difficult Times

Lord Jesus,

As parents we come to you as little children ourselves, with hearts eager to please, needing direction, ready to trust Your leading. Many of us are experiencing a new normal, and we are fearful ourselves, struggling to get by. Equip us for the challenge of parenthood, especially in difficult times. Help us deal with stress calmly and make wise choices each day. Bless the ones You place in our care that they might grow up to be like You.

Give our children and grandchildren eyes to see You clearly, hearts that love you dearly, arms that reach out to others, and legs that run quickly to do Your will. Guard them from temptation, and place godly friends in their path to influence them for good.

Grant Wisdom and Protection

Grant wisdom, a strong conscience, and protection from harm. Keep evil far from them–at all times, but especially now. Wrap them not in a cocoon, but in a spirit of readiness and obedience, unafraid to stand up for You, even if it means standing alone. Show them–and us–how to use our time wisely.

Reveal Your Purpose, Joy, and Beauty

Let them know that heaven is their real home, but reveal to them the beauty of all that You have made while they live on this earth. May they find purpose, meaning, and a joy-filled life in both small and great ways right now that You provide. Guard them from wrong motives, lies, and philosophies that may seem right but that will only lead them away from You. Fill them so full of Yourself, that they spill over with the character of Christ at every turn.

Help Us Offer Grace, Love, and Forgiveness

Guide us as parents and grandparents to train them up in the path they should go, teaching them that greatness and success are found in servanthood, kindness, and godly character–not in performance. Help us to offer them grace in the same way You have poured it into our lives. Let our love for them be unconditional, like Yours, filled with forgiveness, yet with faithfulness and firmness to teach what is right.

In every season of their lives and ours, make us steadfast, immovable, and faithful in our prayers for them. When we–or they–make mistakes, may we both look to You to correct those errors, to receive Your mercy, and to never give up in this spiritual journey with You.

Help Us Give Assurance and Comfort

May we as parents be slow to anger, quick to hear, and eager to accept our children and grandchildren for the precious treasures they are. Right now, they need our assurance of love and comfort more than ever. We’re all tired because of the added pressures in our lives. Help us to listen to their fears and their disappointments. Show us how to encourage them and to help them find creative ways to use their time and gifts. Show us–and our kids–how to express care and love for others during this pandemic crisis.

We know they are only gifts to us on loan, so we release them to Your safekeeping, yet never shirking the responsibility You entrusted to us to take good care of them, no matter what.

Thank You for the Privilege of Parenting and Grandparenting

Thank You for blessing us with the responsibility and privilege of parenting and grandparenting. At times we feel so weak, but You are strong. You will make a way through this. Our trust is in You.

You Are Our Model, Lord

Lord, You are our Model, our Guide, our very Hope. Keep us faithful no matter what, and let our prayers be a covering for these precious ones daily. This day–and throughout their lives–we dedicate our children and grandchildren to You, Lord.

Day-votedly Yours,


We will not hide these truths from our children; we will tell the next generation about the glorious deeds of the Lord, about his power and his mighty wonders. (Psalm 78:4 NLT.

*You might also like this post I wrote about Prayers with Kids at Bedtime.

It’s Your Turn

What are your biggest concerns about parenting or grandparenting during this pandemic crisis? Will you commit with me to pray for your kids and/or grandkids daily–both now, and in the days to come?  I’d love to hear from you anytime. You can always write me through my contact page. Just fill out the basic name and address info, and then the email will come to me. Your name or info will never be shared with anyone without your permission.

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Been there, done that.


This one is because most all of us are staying home and starting to get really bored.  You may also have been among the panicked and ran out to buy a ton of stuff (needing it or not) in preparation of the virus “stay at home” order.  Now what?

You may have grabbed things that you believe contain a longer shelf-life.  Do you even know what a “shelf-life” means?  Well, for those who do not:

It is the length of time you can keep food until it gets nasty, icky, buggy, or smelly, and you MUST throw it out.


If you do know what it means when was the last time you checked “use by” dates?

We have a small farm and a large pantry, so this is something we regularly review.  (We also practice rotation, but that is for another time.)  My email this morning included  a good one from, and it’s all about pantry items and shelf-life:

16 Pantry Items You’re Probably Keeping for Too Long

Ashley LewisUpdated: Apr. 08, 2020


Yes, Virginia, even cereal, can go bad.  My older sister picked up our depression-era mother’s bad habit of hoarding.  She didn’t go crazy on everything like you see in the hoarding shows, but she was obsessed with food.  Her pantry put ours to shame.


I was always very jealous of her pantry, at least until recently.  She passed away suddenly in 2018 (way before the pandemic), and since her passing, I have been trying to help her husband go through things in the house. Somethings, he had no real clue on how to handle them or why she had them.  He is overwhelmed with losing her, so going through things that she managed is tough for him.  I suggested he start with the pantry and expiration dates.  We actually had a giggle at her expense one day.  He pulled things out from the back of the pantry that were over a decade old – A DECADE!?

You have to remember that we three daughters were raised by a Depression-era Survivor mother.  Her family raised her to SAVE EVERYTHING, yes, even bits of string, because you never knew if you were going to need it later and could not afford it.  If you sit and think about it, that is not so different today:

  • Many people instantly out of work.
  • Items in stores are growing a bit scarce.
  • You find yourself wishing, more and more, that you had hung onto that rubber band on the bag of fruit you bought last week.
  • The big news is how to grow your own food (back then, some called them Victory Gardens – another story for another time) even if you live in an apartment.

So, this is my share for today – check your expiration dates, please!

Stay Safe!  Stay Well!

Stay safe  stay well


You can also check me out at: for fun stories from our farm.

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Paraproskodian sentence for this post:

“Why do Americans choose from just two people to run for president and 50 for Miss America ?



What About My Growing Fear of Death?

Facing a Deadly Plague

Below is an excerpt from an article by Joni Eareckson Tada, a friend of mine who has been a wheelchair-bound quadriplegic for over fifty years, ever since a diving accident when she was seventeen years old. Even so, Joni has traveled the world extensively all those years sharing Christ in many nations.

She is that passionate for the glory of Christ.

If anybody knows suffering—everyday suffering—Joni does. Yet I can tell you firsthand that the risen, ascended life of the Lord Jesus Christ flows through her in very tangible, powerful ways.

These few words will help you start finding a whole other perspective on what all of us are “suffering” right now—from someone who has faced death many times and kept going!

You might want to take time to read the entire article here. It’s titled “Why Should I Fear Death?” You will be blessed.


Joni Eareckson Tada: Why Should I Fear Death?

Christ’s death and resurrection give me a heavenly perspective on suffering and mortality.

“He too shared in their humanity so that by his death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death” (Heb. 2:14–15).

“Francie, please file this and make copies of this letter, would you?” I hardly looked up from my desk while talking to my assistant. “And, one more time,” I groaned, “would you please pull out the sofa bed?”

For the fourth time that day, I needed to be lifted out of my wheelchair and laid down. We had to readjust my corset—shallow breathing, sweating, and skyrocketing blood pressure were signaling that something was either pinching or bruising my paralyzed body. Francie wiped away my tears. As she shifted my body, examining my legs and hips for pressure marks, I stared at the ceiling. I was done with being paralyzed. I was tired of the never-ending, day-to-day disability routines. I’d had my fill of it and mumbled to the ceiling, “I want to quit.”

“Oh, come on,” Francie joked, “what are you always saying? You ‘can’t do quadriplegia,’ but you ‘can do all things through Christ’?”

I didn’t have a comeback for that one, so I remained quiet. We couldn’t find anything wrong with my body. Francie hoisted me into my wheelchair.

“Where do I go to resign from this stupid paralysis?” I said.

Francie grinned. She’s heard me say it scores of times. As she was about to leave, she paused. “I bet you can’t wait for heaven. You know, like Paul said, ‘We groan, longing to be clothed with a heavenly dwelling.’ ”

My eyes dampened again, but this time they were tears of relief. My Christian friend had just given me a very comforting, powerful reminder. “Yeah, it’ll be great,” I said.

That afternoon, the verse she shared stuck with me, and I whispered a prayer. “Yes, Lord, I do look forward to being whole, to having a body that will never know pain. But to be honest, what I really want is a new heart that doesn’t want to give up or quit.” I sat in my office and dreamed of what I’ve imagined a thousand times: heaven. Jesus’ death and resurrection secured for us many amazing things, and one is a firm hope of eternal life in the new heavens and new earth with no more sorrow, pain, or tears.

It’s all I needed. That afternoon, I jerked my will right-side up, refocused my emotions, and realigned my thoughts. I repeated Psalm 43:5: “Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God” (ESV). I kept talking to my soul, mentally rehearsing a flood of other heavenly promises: When we see him, we shall be like him. … For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality. … That which is sown in weakness will be raised in power. … He has given us an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade. … If we suffer with him, we shall reign with him. Before leaving the office that day, I found my courage and said with a smile, “Come quickly, Lord Jesus.”

Physical affliction and emotional pain are part of my daily routine, but I’ve learned that self-pity can be a deadly trap. I quickly move upward and onward. It takes resurrection power to do that. Christ’s death and resurrection won us many amazing benefits, but I think one of the greatest benefits is their power in our daily lives. The apostle Paul said, “I want to know Christ—yes, to know the power of his resurrection and participation in his sufferings” (Phil. 3:10, emphasis added). We share in Christ’s sufferings so that we might become like him in his death—that is, that we may have the actual power to die to the sins that he died for on the cross. In Christ, we have resurrection power to say no to ungodliness and yes to living self-controlled lives; we can become holy as he is holy; we can partner with the Holy Spirit in fitting ourselves for heaven (Titus 2:12; 1 Pet. 1:15; Heb. 11:16).

The death and resurrection of Jesus give weight to the reality described in 2 Corinthians 4:18: “So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” My useless hands—and your wrinkles, your torn meniscus, your failing memory, or your macular degeneration—are only temporary. It’s our response to those afflictions that is eternal. What’s more, those afflictions make the here and now seem so vaporous, so thin and wispy. The span of our earthly lives is limited; each of our bodies will inevitably fail. Christ’s resurrection assures me that a new splendorous body awaits me in heaven. So why should I fear death? It’s a glorious door into Healing with a capital H!

Paul’s desire to “know the power of his resurrection” was tied to this hope: “attaining to the resurrection from the dead” (Phil. 3:10–11). As Paul knew, Christ’s glorious resurrection assures believers of their own resurrection from death into eternal life (1 Cor. 15:21–22). For me, the death and resurrection of Christ have removed every ounce of fear from death. The Grim Reaper is no longer the heinous, sharp-fanged, menacing monster it used to be. Hebrews 2:14–15 is my safeguard against fear, for “by [Jesus’] death he might break the power of him who holds the power of death—that is, the devil—and free those who all their lives were held in slavery by their fear of death.” The Devil has no power over me. I’m free from being a slave to fear—especially fear of death. Affliction has helped make that clear to me.

Most of us are sequestered at home right now, and renewing our devotion to Christ through this time of isolation and “safe at home” guidelines. But how timely is this, given that we are in this season of Lent. This is what Christians do during the Lenten season! Hardships are one way God helps us get our minds on the hereafter. I don’t speak of the hereafter as a death wish, psychological crutch, or escape from reality. I mean “hereafter” as reality. Pilgrims aren’t supposed to feel at home on earth. Their hearts are on things above; they wait on the Bridegroom. They are looking forward to a new body, heart, and mind. Pilgrims think about crowns and rewards and casting them all at Jesus’ feet. Such realities provide a glorious vantage point from which to look upon our pain and problems. The soul that mounts up to heaven’s kingdom cannot fail to triumph.

It’s odd that it took a wheelchair—something that bolts me to earth—to make me see the futility of fighting spiritual battles on the earthly plane. We Christians need to shift to a higher battleground and choose a resurrection perspective in our daily lives. Looking down on my problems through the lens of God’s promises makes my trials look different. When viewed from a human level, my paralysis feels like a huge, impassable wall; but when viewed from above, the wall appears as a thin line—something that can be overcome. It’s a resurrection view, a bird’s-eye view (Isa. 40:31).

Such a heavenly vantage point on our hardships and our mortality is made possible only through the death and resurrection of our wonderful Savior. In the here and now, may we embrace the power of his resurrection to live a godly life. And may we look forward in confident hope to the day when we mortals will put on immortality.

Joni Eareckson Tada is founder and CEO of Joni and Friends, an organization that accelerates Christian outreach in the disability community. Joni is the author of numerous books, including Joni and Ken: An Untold Love Story and When God Weeps.





Gary Varvel for 4/16/2020

Aunty Acid for 4/19/2020

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Clothes Line Hanging Out Day

National Hanging Out Day

Date When Celebrated : This holiday is always held on April 19

So, you think you found a fun day to hang out with your friends, did you? Wrong!!! National Hanging Out Day is about having fun hanging your laundry out to dry. Now that you know what this day is for, you’re probably thinking “I’ve been tricked. This holiday should be titled “National Hang Your Laundry Day”. You are absolutely right on both accounts. We believe that the creator of this day was using word play, to have some fun on our account.

Did You Know? Electric and gas clothes dryers consume 5.8% of residential energy consumption.

National Hanging Out Day was created by Project Laundry List as a protest against local laws banning the hanging of clothes outdoors on an “ugly clothesline”. It was created to encourage people to dry their clothes, indoors or out on clothes line, and to fight for the right to do so. Project Laundry List also encourages and promotes the use of washing your laundry in cold water, for energy and environmental reasons.

For the Record:

  • The earliest clothes dryers were in England and France in the 1800s.
  • Early clothes dryers were called “ventilators”.
  • George T. Sampson of Dayton Ohio patented the first clothes dryer on June 7, 1892. It had a rack and used heat from a stove.
  • In 1955, only 10% of U.S. households had a clothes dryer, as they were too expensive for most families.


There are many reasons to use a clothes line to dry your clothes. Among them are:

  • It saves you money.
  • It saves energy consumption.
  • It’s environmentally “green”, as it does not use fossil fuels.
  • Drying clothes on a clothesline enhances freshness and helps eliminate strong odors.
  • It is gentler on clothes.
  • Hanging clothes requires a little exercise on your part.
  • Eliminates the risk of dryer fires.
  • Many people today, have no idea what a clothesline or a clothes pin is!

String up a clothes line. Search your basement for the clothes pins. And, have a very Happy Hanging Out Day!


History and Origin of “National Hanging Out Day”:

This holiday event was founded in 2007 by “Clothesline Activist” Alexander Lee. It started in protest to a growing numbers of local laws and regulations banning hanging clothes on “ugly clotheslines”. Lee and his organization Project Laundry List fought against these laws, citing the many benefits of hanging clothes on a clothesline and the right to do so.

This holiday is referred to as a “National” day. However, we did not find any U.S. congressional records or presidential proclamations for this day.






God bless and keep you all safe and well!!!!



Blessed Sunday!

Daily Prayer for January 26

The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. Psalm 145:18-19, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, Almighty God, your children look to you in prayer. Hold us always by the hand. Reveal to us that you hear us, that you are among us providing what is best for us, to the glory of your name. In this hour let us experience something from you, the good and merciful One. May we always be glad and thankful for all we have already received from you and for all we are still to receive in our lives. Amen.



Daily Dig for January 26

Martin Luther King Jr.

Time itself is neutral; it can be used either destructively or constructively. More and more I feel that the people of ill will have used time much more effectively than have the people of good will. We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people, but for the appalling silence of the good people. Human progress never rolls in on wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of stagnation.

Source: Seeking Peace


Verse of the Day~~~

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”  —Genesis 1:26

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

While we are creatures made by a loving Creator, we are so much more than animals. There is something distinctive and special about a human being compared with the rest of creation. God made us to rule over the animal world. But rule does not mean ruin! Since creation is part of God’s testimony to himself (Psalm 19 & Romans 1:20), then we certainly don’t want to ruin that testimony. In fact, being made in God’s likeness, we want to rule with the grace, benevolence, and care that God himself uses.

My Prayer…

Father, help me see all the beauty of your creation. Guard me from wastefulness. Guide me into the proper use of the natural resources with which you have so generously blessed me. Most of all, direct my decisions in the way I impact your creation. May my lifestyle and my personal life never damage the beauty of your voice in my world. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.




Morning, January 26
Your heavenly Father. Matthew (6:26)

God’s people are doubly his children, they are his offspring by creation, and they are his sons by adoption in Christ. Hence they are privileged to call him, “Our Father which art in heaven.” Father! Oh, what precious word is that. Here is authority: “If I be a Father, where is mine honour?” If ye be sons, where is your obedience? Here is affection mingled with authority; an authority which does not provoke rebellion; an obedience demanded which is most cheerfully rendered–which would not be withheld even if it might. The obedience which God’s children yield to him must be loving obedience. Do not go about the service of God as slaves to their taskmaster’s toil, but run in the way of his commands because it is your Father’s way. Yield your bodies as instruments of righteousness, because righteousness is your Father’s will, and his will should be the will of his child. Father!–Here is a kingly attribute so sweetly veiled in love, that the King’s crown is forgotten in the King’s face, and his sceptre becomes, not a rod of iron, but a silver sceptre of mercy–the sceptre indeed seems to be forgotten in the tender hand of him who wields it. Father!–Here is honour and love. How great is a Father’s love to his children! That which friendship cannot do, and mere benevolence will not attempt, a father’s heart and hand must do for his sons. They are his offspring, he must bless them; they are his children, he must show himself strong in their defence. If an earthly father watches over his children with unceasing love and care, how much more does our heavenly Father? Abba, Father! He who can say this, hath uttered better music than cherubim or seraphim can reach. There is heaven in the depth of that word–Father! There is all I can ask; all my necessities can demand; all my wishes can desire. I have all in all to all eternity when I can say, “Father.”   ~~~Charles H. Spurgeon


He Is There: Face-to-Face

Today’s Scripture

“For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV

Thoughts for Today
Jehovah Shammah. He Is There. He is there for every believer throughout their life on earth. And then in heaven. Forever!

Getting to know our Heavenly Father is a lifetime process. Though he is with us, we cannot begin to grasp the magnitude of his greatness. We see only a reflection as in a mirror. But in heaven we will see him face-to-face!

“Don’t let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me. There is more than enough room in my Father’s home. If this were not so, would I have told you that I am going to prepare a place for you? When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am.” John 14:1-3

Consider this …

Jesus has prepared a place for us—the ultimate healing of sicknesses, relationships, and sorrows.  “He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”   Revelation 21:4 NIV

Will you be there?

You can’t earn your way. You can’t be good enough. Jesus said there is only one way. “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” John 14:6 NIV.   We have all sinned. And because God is a holy God, no sin can be in his presence. That would keep us all out of heaven. But God made a way. Jesus, His Son, came from heaven to earth. He lived a perfect life and then suffered an excruciating death on the cross to pay the penalty for our sin. For your sin. He loves you that much. All he asks is that you receive the gift of forgiveness he has provided and follow him.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.”  John 3:16 NIV

Are you ready?


Father, I thank you for loving me. I thank you for Jesus. I believe he is your son. I believe he died on the cross for my sin. Please forgive me for all my sin. I choose to follow you.
In Jesus’ name …

These thoughts were drawn from … Knowing God My Father: Applying the Names of God to My Personal Life by Jimmy Ray Lee, D.Min. This curriculum is designed to help people strengthen their relationship with their heavenly Father by applying His names to their personal life. Along with helping Christians know God better, it can serve as an evangelistic tool by giving a true picture of God to people who may have a distorted view of Him because of an absent or abusive earthly father who did not or does not provide for them. This group can also help men who want to be better fathers. Note: This curriculum was written especially for small groups, and we encourage people to use it that way. However, it can also be used effectively as a personal study for individuals or couples.


A Prayer from Psalm 91
By: Debbie McDaniel

“He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalm 91:1

We trudged slowly back to the car through a crowded parking lot in the Texas summer heat. Hot, humid, full sun bearing down. I noticed my daughter matching my steps, walking close by my side the entire way back. Little legs stretching out as far as they could to match my stride. She smiled up at me and said, “Mom, look, I’m walking in your shade.” She’d found the shadow, the safe place to walk. I loved that my side was her shield, giving her protection from the heat.

We may not always see it, or feel it, we might forget it’s there at times, or even wonder if God has left us to fend for ourselves in the heat of hard situations of life. But His protection is real. He doesn’t, He can’t, forget us or ignore us. If we belong to Him, His love is too great to leave us on our own.

In whatever troubles we face today, God is the place of refuge we can run to, He is our safe place.

A reminder for us, especially in the tough stuff, that we never walk alone. Full heat of troubles bearing down hard, heavy, it’s a struggle at times to keep trudging through it all. Pressure and stress can seem as stifling as a hot afternoon summer sun. Yet God whispers truth, strong and sure, “Walk in my shadow, up close to my side.  It’s in the safe place that brings confidence; for when we are resting in God’s shadow, we will never face the full heat of our difficulties. He shelters from that pain. His shade, His shadow, diminishes what is actually felt in the intensity of all the heat. Rest, peace, and calm rise up strong, right in the struggling mess of life, and we’re assured, He’s in control.

Don’t ever doubt it. God works on behalf of those who love Him and honor His name. He is so good to us. We may never fully know, this side of heaven, how very much He has sheltered us from in this life.

A Prayer from Psalm 91:

Dear God, Thank you for your presence with us, thank you for your Almighty Shadow. Thank you that you go before us, and cover us from behind. Thank you that you are in our midst, and that our future is secure in the place you’re preparing for us.

Your words bring such hope and comfort. Remind us of your strength today, may we see glimpses of your glory and blessing along the way as we seek after you. For victory and salvation are found in you alone. In the Mighty Name of Jesus, Amen.

Editor’s Note: Content taken from the article “8 Powerful Promises of God from Psalm 91” by Debbie McDaniel. You can read that piece in full here. All rights reserved.


What Jesus Did! ‘Faith Finds Its Hope’

A man with leprosy came and knelt in front of Jesus, begging to be healed. “If you are willing, you can heal me and make me clean,” he said.

Key Thought

Sometimes we come to the Lord for help simply out of habit. Sometimes we come with a sense of entitlement, arrogantly approaching him as if he owes us something. Humility is not really part of our modern vocabulary. Begging is not in our nature or in our experience. We very much need to learn from this leper: We come to God out of great need, begging for healing, and fully confident that he can heal if he chooses to do so. When was the last time we threw ourselves on the mercy of the Lord? When was the last time we physically knelt in prayer in the presence of the Lord? Let’s throw off the shackles of our false pride and pseudo-sophistication and recognize our place in the presence of the Almighty God and his Son and our Savior.

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God, the one true Holy God, I bow before you in prayer. I thank you for your grace given to me in the gift of your Son. I recognize that I am not worthy on my own to approach you. Yet, dear Father, I know that as your child who is filled with your Spirit, I have the opportunity to approach you boldly. Have mercy on me, dear Father, for I need your presence and power in my life if I am ever going to be all that you want me to be. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Unstoppable! ‘In the Last Days’

[Quoting the prophet Joel, Peter said to the crowd on Pentecost,]

“‘In the last days,’ God says,
‘I will pour out my Spirit upon all people.
Your sons and daughters will prophesy.
Your young men will see visions,
and your old men will dream dreams.'”

Key Thought

Unfortunately, many people do not realize that we entered the last days of God’s salvation history on the Pentecost when the resurrected Jesus poured out the Spirit on his disciples. God had sent his Son to be the complete revelation of himself (Hebrews 1:1-3). Out of love, God was offering all peoples salvation through his Son (John 3:16-17). There is no other Savior, no other way, and no other name. Jesus is the only one who saves (John 14:6Acts 4:12). Jesus stands near, ready to return at any moment (Philippians 4:51 Thessalonians 4:13-18). We must share Jesus with urgency.

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God and tender Father, awaken your children from our lethargy. So many in our world do not know Jesus. They do not know your self-giving love for them. I ask you to send your Holy Spirit in a fresh way, a powerful way, to inspire us — to inspire me — to greater urgency in sharing your love. Help me as I help people know the real Jesus. I want others to know your faithful loving-kindness, righteous character, and gracious compassion revealed in Jesus. Use me, dear Father, to be your messenger of grace. In Jesus’ name, I beg this. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Daily Wisdom:

Illustration of Proverbs 14:21 — He who despises his neighbor sins, but blessed is he who is kind to the needy.

Passion for Praise: ‘No One is Holy Like the Lord!’

Illustration of 1 Samuel 2:1-2 — Then Hannah prayed: "My heart rejoices in the LORD! The LORD has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my enemies; I rejoice because you rescued me. No one is holy like the LORD! There is no one besides you; there is no Rock like our God."

Spiritual Warfare: ‘God’s Truth Will Set You Free’

God’s Power for Our Battles

Illustration of John 8:31-32 NLT — Jesus said to the people who believed in him, "You are truly my disciples if you remain faithful to my teachings. And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."

Lord Jesus, I believe in You and pledge my allegiance to You. My desire is to be a true disciple, obeying Your commands and following Your teachings and examples. Help me to remain faithful in spite of the temptations and trials and fears brought on by this evil world. Help me to remain in Your Word; fill me with Your truth. Grant me perseverance and persistence to be all You created me to be. I pray for the peace and freedom that comes only by being faithful to Your truth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Year with Jesus: ‘Do More than Roll Your Eyes!’

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Some of you roll your eyes or quickly speed-read past any biblical discussion of demons because you think that this kind of thing doesn’t apply to your “modern and enlightened” world today. But please do more than roll your eyes at the talk about demons below. Remember what the apostle Paul said:

Finally, brothers and sisters, draw your strength and might from God. Put on the full armor of God to protect yourselves from the devil and his evil schemes. We’re not waging war against enemies of flesh and blood alone. No, this fight is against tyrants, against authorities, against supernatural powers and demon princes that slither in the darkness of this world, and against wicked spiritual armies that lurk about in heavenly places. And this is why you need to be head-to-toe in the full armor of God: so you can resist during these evil days and be fully prepared to hold your ground.
(Ephesians 6:10-13)

I came to defeat the evil one and his “wicked spiritual armies” of dark demonic forces. I want to free you from their influence and lead you past their temptations. So rather than ignoring or fearing these powers, please understand what I said to my disciples when I was on earth. I have power over demons because I am superior to them in every way — holiness, power, and authority (Luke 11:17-22Colossians 1:15-20).

I am in no way subject to these evil powers. I do not get my power from them. I am not helped by them. I am even hated by them. They oppose Me and all who belong to Me, but they do not have the final word or authority over Me or those who follow Me! I AM the true “man of power” like I talk about in the story below. I am “stronger and better” than the prince of demons and all his powers arrayed against me.

So you need to choose which side of this holy war you are going to take: My side or the side of evil. There is really no middle ground or no other choice.

You need to be very clear about this. Following Me is not just about ridding yourself of what is bad in your life — it is not merely adhering to a good list of “DOs and DON’Ts”! A good, clean, and ordered life sounds very good to most religionists, even to a lot of do-gooders and humanists. Yet notice what can happen to this kind of person in the scripture below: the demonic influence can slip back in and greatly corrupt the life of such a person who is not filled with My Spirit.

I AM challenging you to do more than just trying to be a good person. I want you to be My person. I call you to follow Me and let Me be your Lord. Yes, you will do good things. More than that, you will bring God’s kingdom to earth. You will bring God’s goodness, justice, and mercy to a world corrupted by human ego, self-will, arrogance, and other evil influences of the devil (Ephesians 2:1-7).

Your world is in a spiritual war. You have to choose a side. Despite all the talk in your world about being nice, the real question is whether or not you are My disciple. I endured the cross for you. I left the tomb in triumph despite all the forces of hell wanting to keep me captive. Therefore, I remind you of two truths:

  1. I conquered death to give you life — unlike Satan who wants to deceive, manipulate, and destroy you.
  2. If you follow Me, you will share in My victory over sin, death, evil, and hell!

So do more than roll your eyes at the talk about the devil and demons: choose to follow Me and find life and victory!

Verses to Live

Talking about demons is always challenging. Having authority over them makes people afraid. But make no mistake about the truth: I have defeated the power of demons. I have the authority to defeat evil, demonic forces, and Satan, and I did! I demonstrated this victory when I walked on earth as God in human flesh and then overcame the worst that Satan could do to Me.

Picture this:

Jesus is exorcising a demon that has long kept a man from speaking. When the demon is expelled, the man starts talking and the people are amazed. But then controversy erupts.

Some People:

Do you know why He can cast out demons? It’s because He’s in league with the demon prince, Beelzebul.

Other people want to see more, so they challenge Jesus to give them another miraculous sign. Jesus knows what they’re thinking.


People, be logical. If a kingdom is divided against itself, it will collapse. If a ruling family is divided against itself, it will fall apart.

So if Satan’s kingdom is divided against itself, won’t his whole enterprise collapse? Does it make any sense to say I’m casting out demons by Beelzebul? Besides, if you’re saying it takes satanic power to cast out Satan, by whose power do your own exorcists work? If you condemn Me for an exorcism, you’ll have to condemn them. But if I by the power of God cast out demonic spirits, then face this fact: the kingdom of God is here, just as I’ve been saying.

When a man of power with his full array of weapons guards his own palace, everything inside is secure. But when a new man who is stronger and better armed attacks the palace, the old ruler will be overcome, his weapons and trusted defenses will be removed, and his treasures will be plundered. Can you see that I’m asking you to choose whose side you’re on — working with Me or fighting against Me.

When a demonic spirit is expelled from someone, he wanders through waterless wastelands seeking rest. But there is no rest for him anywhere, so he says, “I’m going back to my old house.” He returns and finds the old house has been swept clean and fixed up again. So he goes and finds seven other spirits even worse than he is, and they make themselves at home in the man’s life so that he’s worse off now than he was before.

(Luke 11:14-26)

Response in Prayer

Father God, I say this by the power of the Holy Spirit and with the conviction of my heart: Jesus is not only Lord of all, but I choose Jesus to be Lord of my life. I offer this confession and my commitment in Jesus’ name and for Jesus’ glory. Amen.



   ~~~Dion Todd

Our God cares so much for the lost sheep. He understands that it is not the healthy who need a physician but those who are sick. For wisdom on this subject, read today‘s message. This is from my book Forty Days of Love.

David Had a Little Lamb

David said to Saul, Your servant was keeping his father’s sheep; and when there came a lion, or a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock, I went out after him, and struck him, and delivered it out of his mouth; and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and struck him, and killed him. 1 Samuel 17:34 WEB

As a shepherd caring for the sheep, David knew each one of them. He was there when they were born, he knew their parents, he knew why they were different. He had seen this one get picked on at the water trough, and now was frightened to be around others. This other one had a black spot that set her apart from the rest. He saw the squabbles between them and who hung around with whom. Each lamb was unique and special in its own way.

When a lion or bear took one of the sheep from his father’s flock, David chased it down and killed it. He rescued the lamb and brought it back. That is what shepherds are supposed to do. They go after the lost sheep and the ones that went astray for whatever reason. They try their best to protect them and keep them safe.

We work for the Father, and His number one concern is the flock, and in particular the ones that are missing when night falls. I could quote a lot of scripture, but really Jesus said it all in Matthew 18:12 and Luke 15:4 where a man with one hundred sheep left the ninety-nine to go after the one that was lost.

If you are in any kind of leadership, meditate on Ezekiel 34. As shepherds we are to rescue the ones that are dragged away by the enemy, and not feed on them. If you are lost, have gone astray, or do not know Him yet, God is seeking you and calling your name. He knows your parents, your life, who you hang out with, and He knows and understands why you act the way that you do, because He was there the whole time.

God knows your black spots and they are ok. You are created unique and He knows everything about you, including how many hairs are on your head. Your weaknesses will not make Him love you less. Don’t let what you cannot seem to control drive you away from Your relationship with Him.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, I pray that You draw my heart to You. Use me to reach someone and bring them to You. Give me an encouraging word to speak and I will say it. Cause Your thoughts to flow through my mind. Increase the boldness in my life, in the name of Jesus Christ I pray.

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 Lisa Benson 1/23/2020

 Momma for 1/26/2020

 Aunty Acid for 1/26/2020

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Not Forgetful Thursday…


Daily Prayer for July 5

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. Romans 8:22–24a, NIV

Lord our God, we thank you for the great calling you have given us. We thank you that in all the evils of today‘s world you give us the hope and faith that you are leading us to a goal that is good, and you make us free. You make your children free so that throughout humankind a new spirit may come, a new life and a new power to serve you in time and eternity. Praise to your name that we can always have hope; nothing can discourage us, but everything must work together for good in accordance with your great purpose. Grant that your compassion may come to all the world, to all peoples, whom you have looked upon with mercy in sending Jesus Christ as Savior. Amen.



starfishThe healthy body is being constantly renewed. This is just as true mentally and spiritually. There is so much in God’s Word about renewal of life that it is strange that any conscientious Christian would be afraid of change in his outlook on life or even in his religious ideas. Of course, the fear is that change would mean loss of faith, but this is never true if the faith is in the living God and not in one’s ideas of God. God never changes, but our minds must be open to new knowledge or grow stagnant. When we quit growing we begin to die. Renewal can come to anyone at any time by turning to God in faith.

Source: So Who’s Afraid of Birthdays




Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Isaiah 12:4

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

It is wrong to think God’s love for the nations began only with Jesus and the Great Commission. Remember Jonah’s preaching to save Israel’s great enemy, Nineveh? Remember the precious story of Ruth, a foreigner grafted into the lineage of King David and ultimately Jesus the Messiah? God loves all people and wants them to come to share in his grace. As Christians, we are his salt and light. We are here to touch all the peoples of the world and beckon them to come back to the one Father who truly loves them.

My Prayer…

Holy God, stir in my heart a greater passion to share your love with the world. May my life, my money, and my concern be used to do more of your work throughout the world. Please bless the efforts of all those who share the Gospel of Jesus in a culture other than their own. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.




Sculpture of Saint Anthony Mary Zaccaria, at St. Peter's Basilica, Vatican | Cesare Aureli

Saint Anthony Zaccaria

Saint of the Day for July 5

(1502 – July 5, 1539)


Saint Anthony Zaccaria’s Story

At the same time that Martin Luther was attacking abuses in the Church, a reformation within the Church was already being attempted. Among the early movers of the Counter-Reformation was Anthony Zaccaria. His mother became a widow at 18, and devoted herself to the spiritual education of her son. He received a medical doctorate at 22, and while working among the poor of his native Cremona in Italy, was attracted to the religious apostolate. He renounced his rights to any future inheritance, worked as a catechist, and was ordained a priest at the age of 26. Called to Milan in a few years, he laid the foundations of three religious congregations, one for men, one for women, and an association of married couples. Their aim was the reform of the decadent society of their day, beginning with the clergy, religious, and lay people.

Greatly inspired by Saint Paul—his congregation is named the Barnabites, after the companion of that saint—Anthony preached with great vigor in church and street, conducted popular missions, and was not ashamed of doing public penance.

He encouraged such innovations as the collaboration of the laity in the apostolate, frequent Communion, the Forty Hours devotion, and the ringing of church bells at 3:00 p.m. on Fridays. His holiness moved many to reform their lives, but as with all saints, it also moved many to oppose him. Twice his community had to undergo official religious investigation, and twice it was exonerated.

While on a mission of peace, he became seriously ill and was brought home for a visit to his mother. He died at Cremona at the age of 36.


The austerity of Anthony’s spirituality and the Pauline ardor of his preaching would probably “turn off” many people today. When even some psychiatrists complain at the lack of a sense of sin, it may be time to tell ourselves that not all evil is explained by emotional disorder, subconscious and unconscious drives, parental influence, and so on. The old-time “hell and damnation” mission sermons have given way to positive, encouraging, biblical homilies. We do indeed need assurance of forgiveness, relief from existential anxiety, and future shock. But we still need prophets to stand up and tell us, “If we say ‘We are without sin,’ we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us” (1 John 1:8).



What Jesus Did! ‘Search Away from the Truth’

“But what did [Jesus] do?” [the Jewish leaders] asked. “How did he heal you?” “Look!” the man exclaimed. “I told you once. Didn’t you listen? Why do you want to hear it again? Do you want to become his disciples, too?”

Key Thought

Sometimes folks make themselves the enemies of the truth because they don’t want to discover it. The interchange between the authorities and the man who was healed reaches an absurd and almost humorous point. The authorities interrogate the healed man because they want to find some discrepancy in his story to discredit Jesus. They don’t want the truth, so the healed man chides them for their repeated questions. This bitter irony helps us understand that the authorities reject Jesus because they have decided he is the enemy and so they must re-write the truth of his grace and power. Unfortunately, there are those who do the same thing with Jesus today. Their evil deeds have alienated them from the truth. We, however, must love them, pray for their hearts to be changed, and live as people with a Christ-like character looking for an opportunity to share the Savior’s grace.

Today’s Prayer

Father, I have friends who are far from your Kingdom. I know that some of them have hardened their hearts because they are caught up in sin. Please use me and my influence to bring them to Jesus. Please be actively at work in their lives to do all within your will to give them reasons to re-evaluate their lives and the way they are living. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings





Rest Upon the Rock

Trust in the Lord forever,
for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.
Isaiah 26:4

Seeing that we have such a God to trust, let us rest upon Him with all our weight; let us resolutely drive out all unbelief and endeavor to get rid of doubts and fears, which spoil our comfort, since there is no excuse for fear when God is the foundation of our trust. A loving parent would be sorely grieved if his child could not trust him; and how ungenerous, how unkind is our conduct when we put so little confidence in our heavenly Father, who has never failed us and who never will.

It would be good if doubting was banished from the household of God; but it is to be feared that old Unbelief is as nimble today as when the psalmist asked, “Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable?”1 David had not tested the mighty sword of the giant Goliath for long, and yet he said, “There is none like that.”2 He had tried it once in the hour of his youthful victory, and it had proved itself to be of the right metal, and therefore he praised it ever afterwards.

Even so should we speak well of our God; there is none like unto Him in the heaven above or the earth beneath. “To whom will you liken me and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be alike?”3 There is no rock like the rock of Jacob, our enemies themselves being judges. So far from tolerating doubts to live in our hearts, we will take the whole detestable crew, as Elijah did the prophets of Baal, and slay them over the brook; and for a stream to kill them at, we will select the sacred torrent that flows from our Savior’s wounded side. We have been in many trials, but we have never yet been placed where we could not find in our God all that we needed. Let us then be encouraged to trust in the Lord forever, assured that His ever-lasting strength will be, as it has been, our deliverance and comfort.

1) Psalm 77:7 
2) 1 Samuel 21:9 
3) Isaiah 46:5



Charisma Caucus

5 Founding Principles That Made America Great


America was founded as a Christian nation, but not as a theocracy. Theocratic rulers claim a divine right to rule over their subjects. America’s founders held no such grandiose view of themselves or any human being, and they had rejected the theocratic claims of popes, bishops and monarchs. They had not, however, rejected Christianity.

America’s Founders, for the most part, identified with the mindset of those they called “dissenting Protestants.” The dissenting Protestant insisted that civil government should have no role in the church nor in matters of faith and conscience. Freedom from government tyranny in matters of faith was an ideal that pervaded the thinking of America’s Founders.

However, for there to be liberty without license, the Founders knew that the populace would have to be governed from within by virtuous values. That is why they all agreed that only Christianity provided the moral values and intellectual underpinnings for a stable and prosperous nation.

The principles that made America great are universal principles that span time, race and space. They will work with any people or nation who have the courage to apply them. Here are five founding principles that made America great and will make her great again.

Principle 1: Faith in God as the Creator and Moral Governor of the Universe

The Founders considered belief in the God of the Bible as being essential for good citizenship. Unless the citizens would have a moral sense of obligation to their Creator, they would tend to live selfish, unrestrained lives, harmful to society.

This was expressed by James Madison when he wrote, “Before any man can be considered as a member of civil society, he must be considered as a subject of the Governor of the Universe.” Madison, the chief architect of the U.S. Consitution, also wrote:

The belief in a God All Powerful wise and good, is so essential to the moral order of the world and to the happiness of man, that arguments which enforce it cannot be drawn from too many sources nor adapted with too much solicitude to the different characters and capacities impressed with it.

The Declaration of Independence begins by acknowledging the Creator and recognizing that all human rights come from Him. That is the basis on which John Dickinson, chairman of the committee for the Declaration of Independence, declared in 1776, “Our liberties do not come from charters for these are only the declarations of preexisting rights. They do not depend on parchment or seals; but come from the King of kings and the Lord of all the earth.”

After being sworn in as president with his hand on a Bible, George Washington issued a proclamation designating Nov. 26, 1789, as a Day of Thanksgiving. The proclamation assumes the obligation of all citizens to acknowledge God’s existence and to show honor to Him. It opened with the following statement:

Whereas it is the duty of all Nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey his will, to be grateful for his benefits, and humbly to implore his protection and favor, and whereas both Houses of Congress have by their joint Committee requested me to recommend to the People of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many signal favors of Almighty God.

Indeed, although there was tolerance for those of various faiths, there was a hostility toward atheism in early America. This was born out when a judge in the court of Chester County in the state of New York, threw out the testimony of a witness when the witness admitted he did not believe in the existence of God.

The judge said that by denying the existence of God, the witness had “destroyed all the confidence of the court in what he was about to say.” The judge went on to say that it was the first time he had met someone who did not acknowledge the existence of God.

This event was recorded by the French sociologist, Alexis de Tocqueville, and occurred during his visit to America in 1831. Tocqueville said the incident was merely noted in the newspaper without further comment.

Yes, belief in the all-knowing, all-powerful God of the Bible—the moral Governor of the Universe—was considered a necessity for a prosperous and stable nation by virtually all early Americans.

Principle 2: Belief in the Bible as the Source of Ultimate Truth

When George Washington placed his hand on a Bible to take the oath of office it was no mere formality, but a declaration that the Bible would be the ultimate source of wisdom and guidance for his administration. He also once said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

A 10-year project instituted to discover where the Founders got their ideas for America’s founding documents found that by far the single most cited authority in their writings was the Bible. They were people of the Book and consciously and unconsciously used it as the standard for measuring all other writings both ancient and modern.

Knowing how the Founders esteemed and reverenced the Bible, it comes as no surprise that The First Continental Congress was opened with Bible reading and prayer. It is also no surprise that when Benjamin Franklin called the Constitutional Convention to Prayer, he quoted from both the Psalms and the Gospels.

The Founders’ respect for the Bible is why the first English Bible published in America, in 1782, included a recommendation from Congress. The recommendation read:

Resolved: That the United States in Congress assembled, highly approve the pious and laudable undertaking of Mr. Aitken, as subservient to the interest of religion as well as an instance of the progress of the arts in this country, and being satisfied from the above report, of his care and accuracy in the execution of the work they recommend this edition of the Bible to the inhabitants of the United States and hereby authorize him to publish this recommendation in the manner he shall think proper.

The Founders lived at a time when the European Enlightenment and its emphasis on reason was drawing many on the European continent away from the Bible. America’s Founders, however, saw no dichotomy between the Bible and reason. William Novak says:

Everywhere that reason led, Americans found the Bible. If they read Francis Bacon, they found the Bible. If they read Isaac Newton or John Milton, they found the Bible. In Shakespeare, they found the Bible. In the world of the Founders, the Bible was an unavoidable and useful rod of measurement, a stimulus to intellectual innovation.

This primary role of the Bible in America’s founding was acknowledged by Andrew Jackson, America’s seventh president, when he said, “That book, sir, is the rock on which our republic rests.” Theodore Roosevelt, America’s 26th president, confirmed this, saying, “No other book of any kind ever written in English has ever so affected the whole life of a people.”

Principle 3: Human Nature Has Been Flawed by Sin and Cannot Be Trusted With Unlimited Power

The Founders held the traditional Christian belief that humanity had been created a noble creature in the image and likeness of God, but that this image had become marred because of the fall and sin (Gen. 1-3). Because the image was not erased, humanity is capable of very noble deeds; but since the image is marred, he is also capable of very dastardly deeds.

Although modern society does not want to hear about sin, human history cannot be understood apart from it. Only the Biblical account of the entry of sin into the world provides the context for understanding the wars, genocides, inquisitions, holocausts, and cruelties that have been an ongoing part of human history down to the present time.

Yes, salvation through Jesus Christ restores the image of God in mankind, but this restoration is a process that is not completed in this world. Humanity—even Christian humanity—in this flawed condition cannot be trusted with unlimited power.

The historian, Benjamin Hart, wrote, “A central assumption of America’s Founders was original sin, meaning the corruption of man’s character.”

“Take mankind in general,” said Alexander Hamilton, “they are vicious.” James Madison added, “If men were angels no government would be necessary,”

It was this mistrust of human nature that influenced the Founders to divide the powers of government into three branches and to provide checks and balances to keep any individual or group from gaining unlimited power. The Founders would agree with Sir John Acton, who said, “Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely.”

Marxism and liberalism claim that the problem with human corruption stems from corrupt institutions. The Bible teaches the opposite. It is corrupt human beings who create corrupt institutions. The Founders, therefore, not only instituted a limited government, but also counted on Christianity to provide the moral and intellectual influence necessary for a stable society, for only a virtuous people could be a truly free people.

Principle 4: Christian Values and Morality Are Essential for a Stable and Prosperous Nation

In his Farewell address after serving two terms as America’s first president, George Washington declared, “Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion [Christianity] and morality are indispensable supports.” He goes on to say that the person who would “labor to subvert these great pillars of human happiness” can never claim to be an American patriot.

Thomas Jefferson was in complete agreement and he made Washington’s Farewell Address required reading at the University of Virginia, which he had founded. And notice that Washington did not call religion optional. The word he used was “indispensable” and Jefferson obviously agreed. It should be remembered that when the Founders used the word “religion” they were referring to Christianity.

Jefferson may have had questions at times about certain aspects of Christian doctrine, but there is no question that he saw Christianity as providing the moral and intellectual system necessary for a stable society. Having read the Quran and the literature of ancient Greece, Rome and the Enlightenment, he stated, “Of all the systems of morality that have come under my observations, none appear to me so pure as that of Jesus.”

Jefferson’s commitment to Christian values is why he closed all presidential documents with the appellation, “In the year of our Lord Christ.” It is also why he took money from the federal treasury to pay for missionaries to work among the Kaskasia Indian tribe and to build them a building in which to worship.

Washington, Jefferson and all the Founders knew that the success of the nation they had formed hinged on the moral character of its citizens and their ability to govern themselves according to Biblical values. This is why John Adams, in a 1798 address to the officers of the Massachusetts Militia, declared:

We have no government armed with power capable of contending with human passions unbridled by morality and religion … Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious [Christian] people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other.

The Founders did not believe that there could be liberty apart from virtue, or freedom apart from morality. Only Christianity offered the moral and intellectual underpinnings that would preserve the nation they had brought into existence. This is why Novak says, “The founders did not believe the constitutional government they were erecting could survive without Hebrew-Christian faith.”

Principle 5: Government Exists to Protect Faith and Freedom

No part of the Constitution has been so mangled and misapplied as that part of the First Amendment that reads, “Congress shall make no law concerning the establishment of religion or hindering the free exercise thereof.” Secularists have wrenched this statement from its historical context and original intent and made it to mean, not freedom of religion, but freedom from religion.

The fact is, however, that the day after voting to ratify the First Amendment, those same Founders issued a proclamation for a day of prayer and thanksgiving. Congress continued to be opened with prayer and Bible reading and prayer continued to be a daily part of the normal school day in America. Presidents also continued to issue proclamations for special days of prayer and thanksgiving.

When Jefferson used the phrase “wall of separation” in a letter to a Baptist association, he was assuring them that the First Amendment guaranteed them protection from persecution by the state such as they had known in the Old World and even in Jefferson’s home state of Virginia. Jefferson saw the First Amendment as a unilateral wall erected to keep the government out of the church, not to keep the influence of the church out of government.

By implementing the First Amendment, the Founders were simply saying that America would never have a national, state church as had been the case in Europe since the time of Constantine. Indeed, it was from these oppressive state churches that their parents and grandparents had fled. They wanted to guarantee that no American citizen would ever be forced to act against their conscience and sincerely held religious beliefs.

The Founders would be astonished to see how the First Amendment has been distorted by modern secularists into a weapon against religious liberty, the very thing they meant to protect. Their simple purpose was to make sure that Christianity would be protected from government intrusion and that no denomination would ever be singled out for special favors.

America Founded as a Christian Nation

Yes, America was founded as a Christian nation. This is not to be equated with a theocracy where individuals claim a direct mandate from God to rule and govern a people. The Founders had rejected that sort of thinking, but they had not rejected Christianity itself, for they considered Christianity to be necessary for the nation’s success and survival.

America as a Christian nation was understood as late as 1892 as expressed in the Supreme Court ruling of Church of the Holy Trinity vs The United States. After reviewing thousands of historical documents, the nation’s highest Court declared:

Our laws and our institutions must necessarily be based upon and embody the teachings of The Redeemer of mankind. It is impossible that it should be otherwise; and in this sense and to this extent our civilization and our institutions are emphatically Christian … From the discovery of this continent to the present hour, there is a single voice making this affirmation … we find everywhere a clear recognition of the same truth that this is a Christian nation.

It is time to reject the lie that America was founded on secularism and multiculturalism. It is time for all freedom-loving people to stand up for truth. It is also time to pray for another Great Awakening that will return America to its founding principles, for only by returning to her founding principles will she ever truly be great again. 

This article is derived from Dr. Eddie Hyatt’s books5 Pillars of the American Republicand Pilgrims and Patriotsavailable from Amazon and his website Eddie has a passion to see another Great Awakening in America and he conducts “America Reawakening” events in which he shows how America was birthed out of a great Spiritual awakening and explains how we can expect another Great Awakening in our day.



National Graham Cracker Day July 5


National Graham Cracker Day is observed annually on July 5th.  The graham cracker was originally invented as a “health food” as part of the “Graham Diet”.  Developed by Presbyterian minister, Sylvester Graham in the early 1800s, graham crackers were originally made from whole-wheat graham flour with added bran and wheat germs.  The minister believed this snack would curb a variety of sinful cravings.

Modern graham crackers are made with bleached white flour and come in a variety of flavors including honey, cinnamon and chocolate. While a delicious snack on their own, they are also terrific ingredients for desserts. Crushed graham crackers blended with butter and pressed into pie tins or springform pans make excellent crusts when lightly toasted. One of the most popular treats made with graham crackers is the S’more.


Buy some graham crackers and have a snack. Post on social media using #GrahamCrackerDay to encourage others to join in paying it forward.


Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Graham Cracker Day.




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Tuesday Thinking


Daily Prayer for July 3

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy – being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. Philippians 1:4-6

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you for the work you are doing. We thank you for working through people of all kinds and of all vocations and through the many hearts that know your goodness. We thank you for the great work led by the Lord Jesus, who will overcome the world with patience and with gentleness. He will overcome the world, opening the door wide for all, including the poorest of the poor, to come to you, their Father in heaven. Grant that with the light we have been given we may remain firm and true. Do not let us come into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For the kingdom, the power, and the glory are yours forever. Amen.



DragonflyLove is like fire – when it is first kindled in us, small troubles and temptations smother and hinder it; but when it really burns, having kindled our eagerness for God, the more temptations and tribulations meet it, the more it flares, until it overcomes and consumes all injustice and wickedness.

Source: Love Is Like Fire. Riedemann (1506-1556) wrote this while imprisoned for his faith.




Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Proverbs 14:34

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

Wow, what an indictment. When we vote our pocketbook more than character and when we excuse the indiscretions, infidelities, and illegalities in the leaders of both political parties, we have reached a very sad state indeed! But before we rant and rave about the sad state of morality in our public officials, let’s make sure we’re honest in our own daily lives — that we don’t say cruel things about others, that we remain faithful to our marriages and our purity vows, and let’s make sure that we expect of ourselves higher standards than we do of others.

My Prayer…

God, you are not only the Almighty, you are holy! Holy, Holy, Holy are you, the LORD God Almighty. May the whole earth be filled with your glory and may that glory be shown in what I do and say. Forgive me of my own sin and hypocrisy. Bless me with purity, righteousness, and holiness as I pledge my life to your glory. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.




<em>Saint Thomas</em> | Georges de La Tour

Saint Thomas the Apostle

Saint of the Day for July 3

(1st Century – December 21, 72)


Saint Thomas the Apostle’s Story

Poor Thomas! He made one remark and has been branded as “Doubting Thomas” ever since. But if he doubted, he also believed. He made what is certainly the most explicit statement of faith in the New Testament: “My Lord and My God!” and, in so expressing his faith, gave Christians a prayer that will be said till the end of time. He also occasioned a compliment from Jesus to all later Christians: “Have you come to believe because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and have believed” (John 20:29).

Thomas should be equally well-known for his courage. Perhaps what he said was impetuous—since he ran, like the rest, at the showdown—but he can scarcely have been insincere when he expressed his willingness to die with Jesus. The occasion was when Jesus proposed to go to Bethany after Lazarus had died. Since Bethany was near Jerusalem, this meant walking into the very midst of his enemies and to almost certain death. Realizing this, Thomas said to the other apostles, “Let us also go to die with him” (John 11:16b).


Thomas shares the lot of Peter the impetuous, James and John, the “sons of thunder,” Philip and his foolish request to see the Father—indeed all the apostles in their weakness and lack of understanding. We must not exaggerate these facts, however, for Christ did not pick worthless men. But their human weakness again points up the fact that holiness is a gift of God, not a human creation; it is given to ordinary men and women with weaknesses; it is God who gradually transforms the weaknesses into the image of Christ, the courageous, trusting, and loving one.

Saint Thomas the Apostle is the Patron Saint of:

Construction Workers



What Jesus Did! ‘Parents Who Don’t Parent’

The Jewish leaders still refused to believe the man had been blind and could now see, so they called in his parents. They asked them, “Is this your son? Was he born blind? If so, how can he now see?” His parents replied, “We know this is our son and that he was born blind, but we don’t know how he can see or who healed him. Ask him. He is old enough to speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jewish leaders, who had announced that anyone saying Jesus was the Messiah would be expelled from the synagogue. That’s why they said, “He is old enough. Ask him.”

Key Thought

While many parents are conscientious and dedicated to raising their children in the Lord, unfortunately, there are also some parents who view their children only as mere biological products. Their tie to their children is simply genetic, neither spiritual nor emotional. That’s the kind of parents the healed man had. They were more concerned about their place in the synagogue than with their son’s healing and spiritual development. They leave their son on his own to defend himself and to fend for himself. As God’s people, we must remember his heart for the orphaned and abandoned, and we must defend and care for them as God’s people. We must care for our own families as well as those people who are abandoned and alone.

Today’s Prayer

Holy God, please help your people as we seek to care for the abandoned and helpless. We are horrified at some of the terrible things done to children in our world. We pray for courage to step forward and help protect them and for compassion to care for them personally. In Jesus’ name, and to his glory. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings





Suffer And Reign

If we endure, we will also reign with him.
2 Timothy 2:12

We must not imagine that we are suffering for Christ and with Christ if we are not in Christ. Beloved friend, are you trusting in Jesus only? If not, whatever you may have to mourn over on earth, you are not suffering with Christ and have no hope of reigning with Him in heaven. Neither are we to conclude that all a Christian’s sufferings are sufferings with Christ, for it is essential that he be called by God to suffer.

If we are rash and imprudent and run into positions for which neither providence nor grace has fitted us, we ought to question whether we are not rather sinning than communing with Jesus. If we let passion take the place of judgment, and self-will reign instead of scriptural authority, we shall fight the Lord’s battles with the devil’s weapons, and if we cut our own fingers we must not be surprised. Again, in troubles that come upon us as the result of sin, we must not dream that we are suffering with Christ.

When Miriam spoke evil of Moses, and the leprosy polluted her, she was not suffering for God. Moreover, suffering that God accepts must have God’s glory as its end. If I suffer that I may earn a name or win applause, I shall get no other reward than that of the Pharisee. It is required also that love for Jesus and love for His people should always be the mainspring of all our patience. We must manifest the Spirit of Christ in meekness, gentleness, and forgiveness.

Let us search and see if we truly suffer with Jesus. And if we do suffer in this way, what is our “slight momentary affliction”1 compared withreigning with Him? Oh, it is so blessed to be in the furnace with Christ, and such an honor to stand in the jail with Him, that if there were no future reward, we might count ourselves happy in present honor; but when the recompense is so eternal, so infinitely more than we had any right to expect, shall we not take up the cross with enthusiasm and go on our way rejoicing?

1) 2 Corinthians 4:17



Charisma Media

Actor Johnny Depp poses on a Cadillac in June 2017.
Actor Johnny Depp poses on a Cadillac in June 2017. (REUTERS/Dylan Martinez)

Reading the current Rolling Stone magazine exclusive interview with troubled superstar Johnny Depp pierced my heart deeply. I sensed an urgency to write this commentary to call Christians to engage in fervent prayer for this gifted and needy man who’s so in need of God’s love and recalibration of his life. His brokenness speaks to where we all were before repenting and trusting in the person and finished work of Jesus Christ.

Johnny Depp is regarded as one of the world’s richest and biggest movie stars. As he turned 55, his personal and financial world started falling apart. Concerned individuals pray for him and hope he will look heavenward as his ongoing restless life spirals dangerously out of control.

The increase of suicides by high-profile celebrities in their extravagant lifestyles raises the alarm. The Bible warns of “people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known My ways. … They shall not enter into My rest” (Ps. 95:10-11).

Depp resembles very much the individual described in the book of Ecclesiastes. Throughout the book, the writer presents a multitude of examples showing mankind’s fruitless pursuit of pleasure and contentment apart from a right relationship with God. Recently I wrote a commentary on the tragic ending of Robin Williams’ life, a man who had everything, but in the end hung himself instead of looking to the living God.

As societal and personal pressures increase, people without an anchor in God are subject to desperate moves. My daughter is currently engaged in a 39-city evangelistic mission to reach just such people. Yesterday she shared a note with me that broke my heart and strengthened my resolve to share the transformative message of the gospel consistently while equipping others to do likewise. I encourage you to use this free resource on YouTube so you’re prepared and confident in sharing your faith.

“I am a broken person. I am lost… I need a hand to guide me. I need a kind heart to love me. Every day, I wake up and I wish I hadn’t. I honestly don’t want to be on this earth anymore. I want to die.”

Not long ago, Kentucky-born Johnny Depp, who grew up absent a father and said his mom was “the meanest human being I’ve ever met” was asked by interviewer Larry King if he had faith. He replied, “Yes, I have faith in my kids. And I have—I have faith, you know, that as long as you keep moving forward, just keep walking forward, things will be all right. Faith in terms of religion, I don’t—religion is not my specialty, you know.”

Rare Rolling Stone Interview

I personally believe that Johnny Depp is reaching out for help but doesn’t know where to turn. In an extremely rare interview given to Rolling Stone magazine, he reveals the chilling and tragic details of a megastar on a fast track to destruction unless he repents and is born again.

Survey quickly who this man is and what he’s been “lucky” (his words) to achieve.

Unless you’ve been residing on another planet you probably know that Johnny Depp is arguably one of the most successful and most recognized celebrities in the world. He’s a global brand and a superstar heartthrob whose career was launched over 30 years ago as the star of the 21 Jump Street TV show.

He catapulted to worldwide fame starring as “Jack Sparrow” in the extremely successful Disney franchise, Pirates of the Caribbean films. He’s received numerous awards for his other movies: Edward Scissorhands; Charlie and the Chocolate Factory; Alice in Wonderland; The Lone Ranger; Sleepy Hollow; Rango and beyond.

Our celluloid film star has made $650 million from his movies that have grossed $3.6 billion!

The article discloses that Depp spent $75 million on 14 residences, including a Saint Tropez estate. Stephen Rodrick conducted this RS interview at the 10,500 square-foot London mansion.

In a mega million lawsuit being brought against Depp it alleges that he bought 70 guitars; 45 luxury vehicles and a yacht; 200 pieces of art; spent $200,000 a month on private air travel; has 12 storage facilities for his memorabilia; pays $1.8 million a year for round-the-clock security; spent $108,000 on suits from a trip to Singapore; plus bought an island for himself, following in the footsteps of his idol, Marlon Brando.

Depp boastfully refutes a claim in the suit that he spent $30,000 a month on wine. “It’s insulting to say I spent $30,000 a month on wine. It was far more!”

Of his earnings, Johnny “tells the truth” that “almost all of it is gone.”

Unbelievable? There’s More

Johnny has been involved in numerous lawsuits over the years but in this one he says people took his money. In the countersuit, associates allege that Johnny has a “$2 million-a-month spending disorder,” plus owes millions in unpaid loans and IRS taxes. In addition, he’s being sued by his bodyguards and is accumulating millions in legal fees.

Johnny shared the rambling interview while indulging in wine and hashish, admitting he loved the drug Quaaludes. We discover he used to live in “Dracula’s Castle” estate above Sunset Boulevard and his attempted record company, UNISON RECORDS, failed.

His romantic relationships in marriages and with high-profile actresses and supermodels have crashed and burned. His last divorce brought a lawsuit where the actress claimed Depp was “an alcoholic and a drug addict” and that his “drug and alcohol abuse had increased dramatically in recent years as had his violent behavior.”

Photographs of Depp in recent days have alarmed observers. The article mentions his appearance as gaunt and sickly now with a “scared, hunted look.” He’s resembling, “Elvis Presley’s last days.”

Stephen Rodrick mentions eerily that Johnny had them watch his friend Marilyn Manson’s video “KILL4ME” which featured Depp in lewd poses with scantily clad women. He referred to “acute depression” and our tragic figure saying, “I was as low as I believe I could’ve gotten.”

Reacting to this avalanche of accumulating, catastrophic events, Adam Waldman, Depp’s personal lawyer, commented, “No one challenges the monster of Hollywood and survives!”

At the close of the interview laced with profanities that spewed from Johnny’s mouth, Mr. Rodrick related how Johnny fumbled for 15 minutes trying to figure out how to open the gates to his mansion fortress. It was futile so the interviewer finally just climbed over the fence. “He is a lost boy who won’t find his way home before dark.”

He observed, “Depp turned and walked back to his gilded prison.”

Here’s the Deal

Tracing Depp’s descent is heart wrenching and should motivate all compassionate Christians to intercede for him. His carefree, quirky “Jack Sparrow” image masks a man desperately in need of Jesus.

Will you join with me in praying for divine intervention to rescue this “lost boy … to find his way home before dark?” God loves him so much. May his story be like George Bailey in the classic, It’s a Wonderful Life where a turnaround experience enabled him to discover what eluded him for so many years.

Larry Tomczakis a cultural commentator of 46 yrs, Intercessors for America board member, best-selling author and a public policy advisor with Liberty Counsel. His new, innovative video/book, BULLSEYE, develops informed influencers in 30 days (see




National Eat Your Beans Day July 3

(oops!  We had these yesterday!)


National Eat Your Beans Day is a “live healthy” holiday observed every year on July 3.  This day celebrates the bean vegetable in all sizes, shapes and colors.  Beans (legumes) are one of the longest-cultivated plants dating back to the early seventh millennium BCE.

Now, just as throughout the Old and New World history, beans are a major source of protein.  A very healthy choice for any meal or snack, they are also an excellent source of fiber,  low in fat and high in complex carbohydrates, folate and iron.

  • There are approximately 40,000 bean varieties in the world.
  • Only a fraction of these varieties are mass-produced for regular consumption.


To celebrate, head over to our National Day Recipes page for many recipes to choose from or enjoy a fava bean dip with goat cheese and garlic dip or black bean chili recipe.  Use #NationalEatYourBeansDay to share on social media.


Within our research, we were unable to identify the creator of National Eat Your Beans Day.




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(Jenni has that “extra”)

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Time for Tuesday


Daily Prayer for June 19

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

“Though the mountains be shaken and the hills be removed, yet my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed,” says the Lord, who has compassion on you. Isaiah 54:10, NIV

Lord, O great and almighty God,we thank you that you have given us the Savior, in whom we can become united and have peace on earth. May he, the Savior, work powerfully among us. May your Spirit come into people’s hearts so that they learn to acknowledge you as their leader and their God and to rejoice in their lives, which are intended for eternal life. Bless us through your Word and through all the good you do for us. Constantly renew and strengthen us in faith and in patience through the grace you send us. Remember all the peoples who should become yours in the name of Jesus Christ. May they all confess that Jesus Christ is the Lord, to the honor of God the Father. We praise you for the promise you have given us of a wonderful new day of help for all. We praise you that you have created all people to recognize their true calling and their way to salvation. Amen.



granite pebbleHave you ever noticed how much of Christ’s life was spent in doing kind things – in merely doing kind things? Run over it with that in view, and you will find that he spent a great proportion of his time simply in making people happy, in doing good turns to people. There is only one thing greater than happiness in the world, and that is holiness; and it is not in our keeping. But what God has put in our power is the happiness of those about us, and that is largely to be secured by our being kind to them.…I wonder why it is that we are not all kinder than we are. How much the world needs it. How easily it is done. How instantaneously it acts. How infallibly it is remembered.

Source: The Greatest Thing in the World 



The Word Made Flesh

Oscar Romero

This article is a chapter from the book The Scandal of Redemption, excerpted from Oscar Romero’s homilies during his three years as archbishop of El Salvador.

Christ is being born for us today. That is what the prophet Isaiah has told us: “A child has been born to us; a child has been given to us” (Isa. 9:6). He is here now for us.

Let us truly experience it this way, because I know that each one of you feels the need, just as I do, to embrace as our very own child that Jesus who is born for all and who, in giving himself to all, gives himself to me in particular. Indeed, each of us can speak in the first person as does Saint Paul: “He loved me, and he handed himself over for me” (Gal. 2:20). Let each of us truly proclaim, “The Lord is the redeemer of my family; he is my companion in life, my confidant in time of anguish, my own redeemer who is at the same time the redeemer of all.”

“God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him might not perish but might have eternal life” (John 3:16). That is the reason for the coming of the messenger of eternal life, the only Son of God, the One who in his divine essence has received the quality of Word, of Son. He is the whole eternal nature of God, the whole of life without end, the light that disperses all shadows, the solution of all problems, the love of all who despair, the joy of all who are sad. Whoever possesses this Son of God lacks for nothing.

If we want to find the child Jesus today, we shouldn’t contemplate the lovely figures in our nativity scenes. We should look for him among the malnourished children who went to bed tonight without anything to eat. We should look for him among the poor newspaper boys who will sleep tonight on doorsteps, wrapped in their papers…. In taking all this upon himself, the God of the poor is showing us the redemptive value of human suffering. He is showing us the value it has for redeeming the poverty and suffering which are the world’s cross.

There is no redemption without the cross, but that does not mean our poor people should be passive. We were indoctrinating the poor when we told them, “It is God’s will for you to live poor and hopeless on the margins of society.” That is not true! God in no way wants social injustice…. The greatest violence comes from those who deprive so many people of happiness, from those who are killing the many people who are starving. God is telling the poor, as he told the oppressed Christ when he was carrying his cross, “You will save the world by making your suffering a protest of salvation and by not conforming to what God does not want. You will save the world if you die in your poverty while yearning for better times, making your whole life a prayer, and embodying everything that seeks to liberate the people from this situation.”

Mary knew how to endure flight into exile, marginalization, poverty, oppression. Mary was the daughter of a people dominated by the Roman Empire. She saw her son taken prisoner and tortured. She saw him die unjustly on the cross. Mary cries out in holy defiance, declaring that God “will send the proud and the arrogant away empty-handed and, if necessary, bring the mighty down from their thrones. At the same time he will give his grace to the lowly, to those who trust in his mercy” (Luke 1:52–53).

By being born this way, Christ has a lesson for the poor countries and the humble hostels; he has a lesson for those freezing at night in the coffee harvest and those sweating by day in the cotton fields. He is teaching them that all this signifies something and that we shouldn’t miss the meaning of suffering. Dear brothers and sisters, if there is one thing that makes me sad in this hour of El Salvador’s redemption, it is the thought that many false redeemers are allowing the suffering that is our people’s force of redemption to go to waste. They use the people’s hunger and marginalization for demagoguery. The people’s suffering should not be made a motive for resentment and desperation; it should make people look to the justice of God and realize that this situation must change. And if necessary, like those who have already given their lives, we must be ready to die, but always with the hope that comes from our Christian faith.

How I wish that child, nestled in straw and humble cloth, would speak to us this Christmas of the sublime value of poverty! How I wish that all of us who are reflecting here would bestow divine value on our sufferings great and small! Starting tonight, let us be more intent on offering to God whatever we suffer.

Saint Paul told the Corinthians, “Our message to you is not yes and no. We announce Christ, who is the eternal yes of God” (2 Cor. 1:18–19). What a beautiful name for Christ: the yes of God’s promises! Christ is the yes in whom God has promised such extraordinary marvels as a new salvation, forgiveness of sins, and a call to all nations to form one single people united in love. God does not repent of his promises but fulfills them in Christ, even when that Son of his heart is taken and nailed on a cross. If that is the necessary condition for the fulfillment of God’s promises, Christ is willing to die crucified. The sacrifice is the seal on God’s great promises, and that’s why Saint Paul says that those who try to be faithful to God say amen to him (2 Cor. 1:20). This morning let us reassess that timeworn word, amen. Perhaps we use it so much it has lost its meaning for us, for in the liturgy when we say amen, we are really making an act of faith. The most beautiful word we can say is yes, for it is our human yes to God through Christ.

Christ is humanity’s amen to God. In Christ the hopes of all nations and of every person become amen because in Christ the promises of God become yes. In Christ is found the zone where those who are most needy and hopeless – the sinful people, the benighted societies – can glimpse the hope offered by a God who still loves us. That statement of Saint Paul, “Christ continues to be the yes” is a Greek grammatical construction, a tense that doesn’t exist in our Spanish language. It means that what happened then continues to be a reality down through the centuries: Christ is alive, and he lives in his church, and he lives in Latin America.

As we behold the risen Christ, our faith should overflow with gratitude and delight and hope. We should tell him, “You are the God who became man and who for love of humankind was not afraid to hide your grandeur as God and pass through this world as a man like any other. So little did you distinguish yourself from others that they associated you with criminals, and you died as an outlaw on the cross on Calvary. They buried you in the garbage dump of those who were crucified, but from there, from the garbage dump, from the depths of the abyss, from the descent into the realms of shadow and death, you now rise up as the divine risen One, truly anointed by God with the power of the Holy Spirit” (Acts 10:38).

This is where the incarnation of Christ is crowned. That God-Child whom the Virgin held in her arms, that child she caressed and nursed at her breasts, that man his enemies felt free to beat and despise – he was the flesh of God. God was there. God was embodied in Christ. The glory of the resurrection was necessary so that we humans could come to understand that the dignity of God is found in Christ humiliated and crucified, in Christ who for us is God made a man who understands us, in Christ who felt human exhaustion and sweat and anguish. Now we see it when the glory of God pours forth from his every pore, when his whole appearance and his whole being seem more like the bright sun than some mortal creature. Now we understand what Saint Paul assures us about the resurrection: “What was sown in ignominy is reaped in glory; what was sown in a mortal tomb and seen as death is reaped in glorious and immortal resurrection and will never die again” (1 Cor. 15:42–44). Death will have no dominion over him. He is eternal youth, eternal beauty, eternal springtime; he is life without illness or decline but only the fullness of joy and happiness.

He is Messiah and Lord,Kyrios, emperor and king, not with vain and grandiose triumphalism but with a divine royalty that makes him all-powerful, that makes him present in his church, that makes him the architect of history, that makes him the cornerstone of all human movements, and that makes him the compass that guides all of history toward its true destiny. He is the Lord of history, the Lord of ages, the Lord of eternity. He is the key which encompasses past, present, and future. “Christ forever,” says Saint Paul. Christ is the Lord. Christ lives. Christ has risen, and death no longer has dominion over him. But this Christ presents himself as the Good Shepherd. What a marvelous thing, to consider that this powerful king, this man who bears the marks of all his suffering now made into glorious stars, is now our great liberator and our great shepherd!

The prophecy of Isaiah tells us that the Servant of Yahweh will conquer and subject all the nations of the world, but he is not someone who will go shouting angrily through the streets. He is not unfeeling and violent but, rather, gentle and humble. Listen to what Isaiah says about this Servant: “A bruised reed he shall not break and a smoldering wick he shall not quench” (Isa. 42:3). What a magnificent image to describe the mercy of this redemption that is being offered to those who experience despair and to a people that feels like a candle that’s about to be extinguished. Even if we feel profound frustration because of our own sins, the sins of the social classes, or the political abuses – even if we feel like a nation unworthy of the name, a people that does not deserve the mercy of God, this prophecy should still fill us with hope: “A bruised reed he shall not break, and a wick that still has a flickering of flame he shall not quench.” In El Salvador we still have the ability to remake ourselves. The lamp of our faith and our hope can still be rekindled because our hope is here, in the Servant of Yahweh, Christ, who comes to free us from every form of slavery. He is our hope.

As long as we do not see Christ as true God and true man, we cannot understand the church or the saving mystery of the Lord. That is why God became man: so that by means of this God-man we might enter into the mystery of the divine. “I am the way. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6). God did not come to save humankind except through Jesus Christ, the only mediator. Blessed are those who know and believe in Jesus! Blessed are those who are aware, even in the midst of these dark hours of our history, that Christ lives! He lives powerfully as God, and he lives caringly as man. He is a man of our ways; he is a man of our history; he is a man like the one in a popular hymn. “God appears as a worker, as one walking in the park, working on the highway, or repairing tires in a gas station. God is incarnate in every person and understands everyone who wants to follow him and love him.”1 That is why Jesus said, “Whatever you do for one of these, you do it for me” (Matt. 25:40). He is the way to know humanity, just as he is the way to know God. No one can come to God except across this bridge, this way that is our Lord Jesus Christ….

This Christ comes, and he proclaims, “Whoever believes in me will do the works that I do and will do greater ones than these” (John 14:12). What does this mean? It means that all the saving power that Jesus brought from God will now be entrusted to this group that forms the newborn church, so that over the centuries and among many peoples the church will do greater things than Christ in a geographical and numerical sense. He saved the world with an objective redemption, we might say, by dying on the cross and leaving us the fountain of redemption. But his disciples have to set up channels to distribute this saving work to the whole world. Christ could already see his church extended among all peoples and doing greater things than he was able to do personally.

Christians must always nourish in their hearts the fullness of joy. Try to do that, sisters and brothers. I have tried it many times, and in the most bitter situations, when slander and persecution are at their worst, I have united myself intimately with Christ as my friend, and I have tasted a sweetness that all the joys of earth cannot give. It is the joy of God’s intimacy, the profoundest joy the heart can experience, even when people don’t understand you. Christ pronounced these words of joy on the tragic last night of his life, knowing that the next day even his disciples would abandon him. No doubt there was fullness of joy in the depths of Christ’s soul even when he was ascending Calvary in the bitter agony of his passion, because he was doing the will of his Father and he felt that God was not abandoning him despite all appearances of abandonment. “I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11).




Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Ephesians 5:25-26

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

For husbands, there is sacrificial love in our purpose and purpose in our sacrifice. We give up ourselves to love our wives. Jesus is our example here, and he gave up everything. His purpose? To make us holy and beautiful to God. Our motives are to be equally as sacrificial and pure in surrendering our rights to bless and love our wives. As Paul reminds us in Ephesians 5:21, we too are to submit, but this does not mean spinelessness, it means service and sacrifice to bless and bring glory to Christ.

My Prayer…

Holy God, help our families to be full of love and may this begin with me, today, in my family. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.





Christian Quote

“A man who governs his passions is master of the world. We must either command them, or be enslaved by them. It is better to be a hammer than an anvil. ”

– St. Dominic




Fresco of Saint Romuald | In the Dominican Cloister of Saint Mark, Florence, Italy | Fra Angelico

Saint Romuald

Saint of the Day for June 19

(c. 950 – June 19, 1027)


Saint Romuald’s Story

In the midst of a wasted youth, Romuald watched his father kill a relative in a duel over property. In horror he fled to a monastery near Ravenna. After three years, some of the monks found him to be uncomfortably holy and eased him out.

Romuald spent the next 30 years going about Italy, founding monasteries and hermitages. He longed to give his life to Christ in martyrdom, and got the pope’s permission to preach the gospel in Hungary. But he was struck with illness as soon as he arrived, and the illness recurred as often as he tried to proceed.

During another period of his life, Romuald suffered great spiritual dryness. One day as he was praying Psalm 31 (“I will give you understanding and I will instruct you”), he was given an extraordinary light and spirit which never left him.

At the next monastery where he stayed, Romuald was accused of a scandalous crime by a young nobleman he had rebuked for a dissolute life. Amazingly, his fellow monks believed the accusation. He was given a severe penance, forbidden from offering Mass, and excommunicated—an unjust sentence that he endured in silence for six months.

The most famous of the monasteries Romuald founded was that of the Camaldoli in Tuscany. Here began the Order of the Camaldolese Benedictines, uniting the monastic and eremetical lives. In later life Romuald’s own father became a monk, wavered, and was kept faithful by the encouragement of his son.


Christ is a gentle leader, but he calls us to total holiness. Now and then, men and women are raised up to challenge us by the absoluteness of their dedication, the vigor of their spirit, the depth of their conversion. The fact that we cannot duplicate their lives does not change the call to us to be totally open to God in our own particular circumstances.




The Strength of Brokenness
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
June 19, 2018

“The bows of the warriors are broken, but those who stumbled are armed with strength.” – 1 Samuel 2:4

There is an oxymoron throughout the Bible. It says that brokenness is strength. How can this be? How can brokenness be strength? In order to use men and women to their fullest extent, the Lord has to break His servants so that they might have a new kind of strength that is not human in origin. It is strength in spirit that is born only through brokenness.

Paul was broken on the Damascus road. Peter was broken after Jesus was taken prisoner. Jacob was broken at Peniel. David was broken after his sin with Bathsheba. The list could go on of those the Lord had to break in different ways before they could be used in the Kingdom.

When we are broken, we see the frailty of human strength and come to grips with the reality that we can do nothing in our own strength. Then, new strength emerges that God uses mightily. God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble.

Do not fear brokenness, for it may be the missing ingredient to a life that emerges with a new kind of strength and experience not known before. Pray for a broken and contrite heart that God can bless.



Charisma Media

Canada’s Supreme Court Rules Against the Bible

Trinity Worship Project performs at Rend Collective’s Good News tour. (Trinity Western University Facebook page)

In a ruling that is sure to send shock waves through the nation, Canada’s Supreme Court ruled 7-2 against Trinity Western University’s (TWU) Law School. In effect, what the court declared is that universities must choose between biblical standards and accreditation. Put another way, the court ruled that Christianity and higher education are incompatible. I am not exaggerating in the least.

Here’s a brief summary of the case for those who are not familiar with it. Trinity Western is a Christian university that requires its students and faculty to live by basic Christian standards. This means that to be a student or faculty member in good standing, you can’t commit fornication or adultery, nor can you engage in homosexual relationships.

There’s nothing surprising with these requirements, and there are thousands of schools in North America with similar standards. These include Christian schools from K-12, Christian colleges, Bible schools, seminaries and universities.

These standards have long been part of TWU’s mandatory covenant, which requires“that all students and faculty pursue a holy life “characterized by humility, self-sacrifice, mercy and justice and mutual submission for the good of others.” It requires members to abstain from using vulgar language, lying or cheating, stealing, using degrading materials such as pornography, and ‘sexual intimacy that violates the sacredness of marriage between a man and a woman.'”

Again, this is Gospel 101, the basic requirements of Christian discipleship. And it is honorable that TWU seeks to live this out on its campus.

Unfortunately, when TWU opened its law school, it fell afoul of Canada’s LGBT activists and their allies. They argued that TWU was discriminating against LGBT students, because of which students graduating with a bona fide law degree should not be allowed to practice law in Canada.

There was a ray of hope for TWU when a regional court ruled in its favor. But now, “In a pair of 7-2 rulings, the majority of justices found the law societies of British Columbia and Ontario have the power to refuse accreditation based on Trinity Western University’s so-called community covenant.”

Or, to paraphrase, the Supreme Court ruled that if a Christian law school wants accreditation, it must abandon biblical values. How else can this be interpreted?

“The majority judgment said the covenant would deter LGBT students from attending the proposed law school, and those who did attend would be at risk of significant harm.”

Significant harm? If so, why? Because of biblical teaching. Because of Christian values. This the locus of the battle. This is the point of conflict.

Parse it however you like, but this is the hardcore truth.

“[The judgment] found the public interest of the law profession gives it the right to promote equality by ensuring equal access, support diversity within the bar and prevent harm to LGBT students.”

In other words, “diversity” according to the LGBT lexicon. Diversity meaning “the LGBT way or the highway.” Diversity meaning, “all views are welcome other than biblical Christian views.”

That’s why we’ve been raising our voices for so many years. That’s why we’ve been warning. That’s why we’ve said that those who came out the closet want to put us into the closet. That’s why we’ve said that LGBT activism was never simply about “tolerance.” It was about the silencing of competing views.

And if it could happen in Canada, it could happen in America. (For the skeptics and mockers, give me one good reason why this could not happen here. And note that TWU was not some tiny school hidden in a corner. It has “40 undergraduate programs and 17 graduate programs.”)

On a more personal, individual level, what happens to all the law students at TWU? What happens to those who spent years studying and invested tens of thousands of dollars in getting a law degree, only to be banned from practicing law in Canada because their school holds to Christian values? What about the significant harm experienced by them?

Honestly, I don’t know where TWU goes from here. And I don’t know how the believers in Canada will respond.

But I can say this to my friends and colleagues and fellow-educators and communicators here in America: We either use our liberties or lose them. We either stand fast and stand tall and stand strong, or we cower in a corner. We either do what’s right today, or we apologize to our children tomorrow.

It’s time to push back.

What will you do?

Dr. Michael Brown( is the host of the nationally syndicated Line of Fire radio program. His latest book is Playing with Holy Fire: A Wake-up Call to the Pentecostal-Charismatic Church. Connect with him on Facebook or Twitter, or YouTube.




A Voice Calling Out, from James W. Goll

Prophetic Voice James Goll: How to Guard Your Heart in Seasons of Transition

How do you cope with loss when your life is on display for all to see? (Unsplash/Ahmed zayan)

“Be strong, and He will strengthen your heart, all you who wait for the Lord” (Ps. 31:24).

The state of your heart is crucial when walking through a valley or a traumatic season in life. How you close one door in a time of transition makes a huge difference in how well you walk through the next door in your life’s journey. One thing is certain—when walking through a valley (see Ps. 23), you can’t afford to sit down in that low place and have a long-term pity party. Sometimes, you have to choose to put one foot in front of the other and just keep on walking!

I went through three bouts of cancer over a nine-year period, lost the wife of my youth to heaven, became a single dad of four, and was plunged into hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt, having never missed a bill payment in my life. Then I attempted to rebuild my life while having an international ministry, which removed the privilege of going behind closed doors. (After all, I was James W. Goll, an international prayer and prophetic voice—I felt like I lived in a public gold fish bowl!)

Soon I discovered that I needed to take a deep look at the condition of my heart.

Watching Over Your Heart

I would have to guard my heart and look after its welfare, following the advice of the proverb: “Keep your heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life” (Prov. 4:23). To resuscitate it fully, I would have to learn how to speak life to it.

With plenty of Scriptures to go on, I knew the Lord would be more than willing to help me. For example, “For the eyes of the Lord move about on all the earth to strengthen the heart that is completely toward Him” (2 Chron. 16:9a). I may have thought that my heart no longer felt or even remembered anything but despair, but nevertheless it was still “completely His.”

It was vital that I figure out how to get it beating stronger than ever. I inaugurated a new goal: to end this race better than I started it. I decided that after I go home to God, I want people to say, “James Goll loved God and he taught other people how to love Him too.”

Finding My Bearings

Extended times of trial and transition can be hard on your heart. Even if you try to keep loving God and others as well as you used to, you just do not feel that you have as much to offer. Even when things settle down a little, you might remain exhausted from grieving and adjusting to your new reality. You know you are still on a journey, but you do not find it as easy to get your bearings.

Finding your bearings has to become part of the journey, or you will just go in circles. You have to ask yourself some really basic questions, such as: “Who am I?” “What do my roots tell me about myself?” “What do I love to do?” “What brings me life?”

“Who Am I?”

This is easy to answer, right? Well, not when you are still reassembling your identity after a major trauma or loss. I had been married to the same person for over half my life, and my functionality—and thus a major aspect of my identity—was wrapped up in being her husband. Now I was a grieving widower. Still, I was a father, right? Yet my kids were all leaving the nest to pursue careers, find love and marriage and build families of their own. This would have been a time of major readjustment for me, even without the cancer, the intense sciatic nerve pain, sleep deprivation and Michal Ann’s death.

I was still in full-time vocational ministry. I could teach. I still prayed; I was an active intercessor. I loved to write. I kept pondering and thinking about how to move forward in life. I found myself asking an odd question, “What do my roots tell me about myself?”

To find my bearings, I felt the need to reevaluate my personal life history. I decided to look back at my childhood and find some sweet spots to revive some pleasant memories.

Somehow, looking at my root system helped me find my bearings a little bit more. I soon realized I was born to sing.

Born to Sing

When I asked myself, “What do I love to do?” one of my first answers was, “I love to sing.” I have been singing since at least the age of 3, and in high school I won awards for singing, as other young guys might win awards for basketball or some other sport. I didn’t sing in order to win prizes; I sang because it was my life. I would go on walks down the railroad tracks, and I would sing Sunday school songs and hymns from the brownish-red Cokesbury hymnal. I would sing anything I heard. I would sing with the radio. I would sing in school programs. I would sing at church. I would even sing with Lawrence Welk. I would sing everywhere I went! I actually grew up being known as a “singer.”

I kept on singing after I grew up and when I got married. (Somebody gave me a T-shirt that says, “I Sing Real Loud.”) I would sing when I was happy, and I would sing when I was sad. I would sing in the shower and sing in the car. I would sing in during corporate worship, and I would break out into singing in the middle of my own sermons. It didn’t matter if I was having a “bad voice or good voice” day—I would just sing anyway.

But in the midst of my cancer treatments and severe traumatic pain, I had not been singing much at all. I was slowly losing my voice. One of my greatest joys in life was sitting with pitch-perfect Michal Ann at our piano bench and singing duets together. Once I put my finger on the fact that I was born to sing, I figured out that one of the best keys for healing my bruised and rather beat-up heart would be telling my heart to sing again. I would sing it back to life.

I think that is something anyone could do, even those who cannot sing a note. Even if you don’t use outright singing to do it, at least you could speak to your heart to revive it. Tell your heart the truth. Tell your heart who is on the throne. Tell your heart about God’s faithfulness and goodness and how much the Shepherd cares.

Ask yourself, “What brings me life?” Look back across the years to find precious memories and helpful clues about what brings life to you. Read the Bible as if it was written to you personally, rereading the parts that speak most to you. To experience the hidden power of praise and singing, start with Psalms 148, 149 and 150. Tell your heart to start singing!

I started singing again. Now I ease my pain and shift the atmosphere over my own life through song. I sing day and night. I sing in every hotel room I visit. I sing in my kitchen. I sing in the shower. I sing outside when I take a walk. I sing by myself and I sing with others.

Recently, I sang crooner songs in a marble lobby of a 5-star hotel in Taipei, Taiwan with a classical pianist. I found out what time of the day this pianist was going to be performing in the lobby. I even got dressed up, came downstairs and began singing inspirational songs with this world-class Berkley School of Music graduate. People started gathering around and asked where I was from and I proudly told them Nashville. They took videos thinking I was an internationally famous singer.

That brought life to my heart. I sang “Moon River,” “Hello Dolly” and “I Left My Heart in San Francisco.” But deep down I have always loved singing hymns the most.

“My hope is built on nothing less than Jesus’ blood and righteousness/ I dare not trust the sweetest frame, but wholly lean on Jesus’ name/ On Christ the solid rock I stand; all other ground is sinking sand/ … When he shall come with trumpet sound, oh may I then in him be found/ dressed in his righteousness alone, faultless to stand before the throne.

Hidden within the lyrics and melodies, the power of praise and worship builds up my heart and orients me in the right direction. It sometimes takes a moment to overcome the feeling of being shut down, too sad and tired to breathe out a note of a song, but once I make the effort, I am so glad I am alive and held in God’s capable hands.

What Is God Singing Over You?

God himself is the “singing God,” you know: “The Lord your God is in your midst, a Mighty One, who will save. He will rejoice over you with gladness, He will renew you with His love, He will rejoice over you with singing” (Zeph. 3:17). What is God singing over you? I can tell you that he is singing an anthem of hope. He is singing, “I love you and I have a plan for you. I have a great future for you. I have you on my mind and in my heart. I am working everything together for you.”

Closing Invitational Prayer

Father, I believe that all of creation is a painting of your beauty and majesty. I believe that you sing over your creation—including me. I believe that the heart is an amazing organ and that out of it flow the springs and issues of life. My heart needs to be revived. I want to tell it to sing again. I speak life to my heart and I declare, “Hope is standing right in front of me,” because you are right in front of me, even right inside.

Dr. James W. Goll is the founder of God Encounters Ministries, an award-winning author and communications trainer and has ministered in over 50 nations. For information on his webinars and online classes, visit James continues to live in Tennessee and is a joyful father and grandfather today.



National Garfield the Cat Day - June 19


Celebrated each year on June 19, it is National Garfield the Cat Day.  A fictional character, Garfield is a title protagonist from the comic strip Garfield which was created by Jim Davis.   Today is set aside to celebrate him and the entertainment that he brings us.

June 19, 1978, was the first publication of Garfield which chronicles the life of the lead character, the cat Garfield (named after Jim Davis ’s grandfather); Garfield’s owner, Jon Arbuckle: and Jon’s dog, Odie.

  • 2013 – Garfield is syndicated in roughly 2,580 newspapers and journals and holds the Guinness World Record for being the world’s most widely syndicated comic strip.

Set in Muncie, Indiana, common themes in the comic strip include Garfield’s laziness, obsessive eating, love for lasagna and coffee and hatred of Mondays and diets.  The focus is mostly upon the interaction between Garfield, Jon, and Odie.

  • Garfield was one of the cartoon characters to appear in Cartoon All-Stars to the Rescue.


Share your favorite Garfield memories or Garfield-like tendencies by using #GarfieldTheCatDay on social media.


National Garfield The Cat Day was first celebrated in 1998 on the 20th anniversary of the comic strip and Garfield’s birthday. Boca Raton City Council Member, Wanda Thayer, proclaimed June 19 as Garfield the Cat Day during surprise birthday party at the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton.





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Thursday Threads


Daily Prayer for June 14

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

In fact, this is love for God: to keep his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. 1 John 5:3–5, NIV

Lord our God, in the grace of Jesus Christ we pray to you that your will may be done for us and for all the world. Through Jesus Christ grant us faith that you love us, faith that we may live in your love, that we may hope in your love every day and have peace on earth, where there is so much unrest and trouble. Keep us firm and constant, remaining in your peace and in the inner quiet you give us because Jesus Christ has overcome the world. He has truly overcome, and this fills us with joy. We praise you, Almighty God, that you have sent Jesus Christ and that he has overcome the world. We praise you that he has overcome all evil, sin, and death, and that we may rejoice at all times in your presence. Amen.



striped gray rockIf I am soft to myself and slide comfortably into self-pity and self-sympathy, if I do not by the grace of God practice fortitude, then I know nothing of Calvary love. If I myself dominate myself, if my thoughts revolve round myself, if I am so occupied with myself I rarely have “a heart at leisure from itself,” then I know nothing of Calvary love.…That which I know not, teach Thou me, O Lord, my God.

Source: Bread and Wine




prayer - ask seek knock



<em>Opuszczona plebania</em> | Painting by Albert Chmielowski

Saint Albert Chmielowski

Saint of the Day for June 14

(August 20, 1845 – December 25, 1916)


Saint Albert Chmielowski’s Story

Born in Igolomia near Kraków as the eldest of four children in a wealthy family, he was christened Adam. During the 1864 revolt against Czar Alexander III, Adam’s wounds forced the amputation of his left leg.

His great talent for painting led to studies in Warsaw, Munich, and Paris. Adam returned to Kraków and became a Secular Franciscan. In 1888, when he founded the Brothers of the Third Order of Saint Francis, Servants to the Poor, he took the name Albert. They worked primarily with the homeless, depending completely on alms while serving the needy regardless of age, religion, or politics. A community of Albertine sisters was established later.

Pope John Paul II beatified Albert in 1983, and canonized him six years later. His Liturgical Feast Day is June 17.


Reflecting on his own priestly vocation, Pope John Paul II wrote in 1996 that Brother Albert had played a role in its formation “because I found in him a real spiritual support and example in leaving behind the world of art, literature, and the theater, and in making the radical choice of a vocation to the priesthood” (Gift and Mystery: On the Fiftieth Anniversary of My Priestly Ordination). As a young priest, Karol Wojtyla repaid his debt of gratitude by writing The Brother of Our God, a play about Brother Albert’s life.



What Jesus Did! ‘You Don’t Know My Father’

“Where is your father?” [the Pharisees] asked. Jesus answered, “Since you don’t know who I am, you don’t know who my Father is. If you knew me, you would also know my Father.” Jesus made these statements while he was teaching in the section of the Temple known as the Treasury. But he was not arrested, because his time had not yet come.

Key Thought

People can be so incredibly gullible about charlatans and scam artists, yet push away those who genuinely want to help them. Many people who followed false messiahs and false teachers rejected Jesus. As Jesus does so often in the Gospel of John, he emphasizes that when they reject him, they are also rejecting the Father who sent him. Yet the very fact that the authorities cannot and do not arrest him till it is God’s timing is testimony that Jesus is who he claims to be. Jesus continues his emphasis on the importance of our decision about him and our relationship with him. We do not have God if we reject him. It may not be very politically correct in many places today, but Jesus’ exclusive claims remind us that being politically correct is not nearly as important as being eternally correct.

Today’s Prayer

Holy and righteous Father, it troubles my heart that so many people do not know Jesus or have rejected him as your Son and their Savior. Please open the door of the hearts of the millions who need to know Jesus. Bless those who have crossed cultural and language barriers to share your grace. Bring a deep longing in the hearts of the people of the world to know Jesus, in whose name I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Quotemeal: Jun. 14th, 2018

Illustration of William Barclay — "Love always involves responsibility, and love always involves sacrifice. And we do not really love Christ unless we are prepared to face His task and to take up His Cross."




Perception Is Not Reality
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
June 14, 2018

“The lions may roar and growl, yet the teeth of the great lions are broken.” – Job 4:10

In the advertising business we often say that “perception is reality” for the person who views our advertising message. It does not matter whether the audience believes the message to be true, only that they perceive it to be true. Their actions will be the same whether they believe it or only perceive it.

The enemy of our souls is very good at this game. He may bring on us what we perceive to be true when it is a lie. It may appear that there is no way around a situation. He may bring great fear on us. When we buy into his lie, we believe only what we have chosen to perceive to be true. It usually has no basis of truth. Such was the case when Peter looked on the waters during a night boat journey with the other disciples. At first glance, he and the disciples screamed with fear, thinking that what they saw was a ghost. It was actually Jesus.

Satan’s name means “accuser.” He travels to and fro to accuse the brethren. He brings an impressive front to all he does, yet behind that front is a weak, toothless lion with a destination that has already been prepared in the great abyss. He knows his destination, but he wants to bring as many with him as possible; so he often has a big roar, but little bite.

The next time some event comes into your life that creates fear and trembling, first determine the source. Look past the emotions and evaluate the situation in light of God’s Word. Perception is not always reality.





June 14 is set aside to observe National Pop Goes the Weasel Day.  On this day people dig back into their memories to the nursery rhymes, they learned as children and celebrate the day singing “Pop Goes the Weasel.”

The origins of this nursery rhyme are believed to date back to the 1700s.

The original version went as such:

Half a pound of tuppenny rice,
Half a pound of treacle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.
Up and down the City road,
In and out the Eagle,
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.   

“The Eagle” in the second verse may refer to The Eagle freehold pub which was once at the corner of Shepherdess Walk and City Road in London.  Its second life, in 1825, was as a music house. Then in 1901 it was demolished and rebuilt once more into a public house.  It bears a plaque with this version of “Pop Goes the Weasel” along with the history of the pub.

An alternative version:

A penny for a spool of thread,
A penny for a needle.
That’s the way the money goes,
Pop! goes the weasel.

This version is interpreted as the “weasel” being a shuttle or bobbin, as used by silk weavers, being pawned in a similar way as the suits or jackets owned by the Cockneys.

There are many different versions of this nursery rhyme, and they are all fun, with the same catchy tune.


Use #NationalPopGoesTheWeaselDay to post on social media.


Within our research, we were unable to find the creator and the origin of National Pop Goes the Weasel Day.


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Thursday Thrills…


Daily Prayer for June 7

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Lord, you have been our dwelling place throughout all generations. Before the mountains were born or you brought forth the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. Psalm 90:1–2, NIV

Lord our God, our refuge forever, bless us who have gathered in your presence and who turn to you in all distress, not only in our personal need but also in the distress of the nations and peoples of the whole world. Grant that we may be your children, with a simple faith that gives us strength to go on working even when life is bitterly hard. We thank you for giving us so much grace, for helping us and never forsaking us, so that again and again we can find joy and can glorify and praise you, our Father. May your name be praised from heaven above and among us here below. May your name be praised by all people throughout the world, and may everyone on earth acknowledge you and receive all that they need from you. Amen.



green elm leavesDifficulties should not depress or divert us. The cause that has gripped us is so great that the small weaknesses of individuals cannot destroy it. Therefore I ask you only one thing: do not be so worried about yourself. Free yourself from all your plans and aims. They occupy you far too much. Surrender yourself to the sun, the rain, and the wind, as do the flowers and the birds. Surrender yourself to God. Wish for nothing but one thing: that his will be done, that his kingdom come, and that his nature be revealed. Then all will be well.

Source: Seeking Peace





11 Powerful and Uplifting Early Morning Prayers to Kick-Start your Day with God

One of the persons who showed us how decisively important the early morning prayer is, and who also happens to be its biggest proponent, is non-other than our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Other early risers depicted in the Bible are Abraham, Joshua, Moses, and David.

It was said of Jesus: And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he [Jesus] departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed Mark 1:35.

When you wake up in the morning, and your heart and mind feel really heavy, like the weight of the whole world is on your shoulder, you can always run to God for strength, encouragement, guidance, rest, or peace. You wouldn’t be the first to do this, Jesus Christ also did it.

Here are 11 powerful and uplifting prayers to kick-start your morning!

Prayer for the Gift of a New Day

Wonderful Father, full of mercy and grace. I give you praise for counting me worthy to witness another day on this earth. Thank you Heavenly Father, for the gift of a new day.

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your mind in Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 4:6-7

Lord, I laid down, slept in peace and woke up safely, because you were watching over me. You kept me all through the night, even till this morning.

I go into today with a heart of thanksgiving. I love you God for all that you have done for me! Amen.

Prayer for Guidance throughout the day

Lord, thank you for a great night’s rest and the opportunity to stand here today. Today is another day that you have made, I will rejoice and be glad in it.

Lord, I know you love me. Your word makes me understand the depth of your love for me, and I thank you for this boundless love.

If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. – James 1:5

Lord, I ask for your unfailing guidance, as I step out in search of my daily bread today. Let your mighty hands of protection and strength cover me as I walk through today. Thank you because I am safe in your hands. Amen.

Prayer for Divine Assistance

Father Lord, I feel like a million tons of weight is hanging over my head right now. I feel exhausted, stressed and overwhelmed, even though I just woke up. My heart is racing.

This burden on my shoulder is way too heavy for me to carry alone. Lord, I need you now more than ever. I can no longer pretend like I can help myself.

“I have set the LORD always before me. Because He is at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” – Psalm 16:8

As I go out today, show yourself strong for me. My God is all powerful and is able to do immeasurably more than all I ask or imagine.

So, today Lord, help me to safely anchor myself to you. Help me to recognize and accept your divine help when I see it today. I receive the grace to depend on you and not on myself. Amen.

Prayer for my Relatives

Dear Merciful Father, thank you for those you have surrounded me with. They have been a blessing to me and I want this great blessing to continue for a long time.

Lord, my prayer today is that your hand of divine protection and guidance will fall mightily on my relatives, in Jesus name. As they go out and carry out their different assignments, bring home safely.

I thank you for their lives all these years and I pray that you will be a present help to them every moment of their lives. Amen.

Prayer for Positive Influence

There is a reason you brought me to this new day, Lord. Shine brightly through me so that everyone that come across me today may feel your presence in me.

Take my hand, Lord and teach me to do that which is right.

As I step out today, let lives and destinies be blessed by my words and actions.

I refuse to be used to denigrate, insult or disrespect people today. I uplift, motivate and bless lives. Amen.

Early Morning Prayer for Wisdom

Dear God, you said in your word that if anyone lacks wisdom, he should ask of you who gives liberally, without reproaching or faultfinding.

So in response to your word, I come this morning that you fill me up with the type of knowledge that can only come from you.

Psalm 119:66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment, for I trust your commands.

I receive the grace to make wise decisions. I receive the capacity to choose wisdom over folly.

And I thank you for your blessings and wisdom, in Jesus name, Amen!

Prayer for Strength

Dear Father, I humble myself this morning and I ask for your strength. Lord uphold me with your right hand in this world of grave temptations.

By my strength I cannot do it, I need the strength that only you gives.

The strength to say “No” to sin and temptations. The strength to choose and do that which is right.

And, as I go through this trying period, create in me a pure heart, O God. Renew a steadfast spirit within me.

In Jesus’ mighty and powerful name I pray, Amen.

Prayer for Family

Lord, thank you for my family. Thank you for my spouse. Thank you for my kids.

I entrust all my family members into your mighty hand. As they go out into the world today, be with them. At the end of today, Lord God, bring us all back together.

Joshua 24:15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.

Lord, I pray that our relationship with you becomes better. I pray you draw us even closer to yourself.

In Jesus blessed name, Amen.

Prayer for Job and Career

Ithank you for my job because you, Lord, gave it to me. Heavenly Father, thank you for my career.

I ask for your leadership and wisdom as I do my job and go along with my career. Lord continue to direct my career.

Psalm 90:17 May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us, yes, establish the work of our hands.

As I go to work today, watch over me and keep me safe. I pray against accidents, no matter how small.

I pray against any power that may want to cause problems in the place where the income with which I support my family comes from. In Jesus mighty name. Amen.

Prayer for Opportunity

Lord God Almighty,  I thank you because you have been gracious to me.

As I go through today, I welcome the opportunities to contribute with the gifts that you have blessed me with, to the growth of the world.

I receive the opportunity to be used by you to bless others today. And I thank you and pray in Jesus’ name, Amen!

Prayer for Contentment

In this world of instant gratification, wild desires, unholy ambitions and evil dreams, Lord I ask that you give me the spirit of contentment.

Even as I pray that you will make my life better, I receive the capacity to be content in my circumstances. Amen.




Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of Psalm 90:2 and 4

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

So many things about our life are uncertain. This one thing, however, is sure: no matter where, when, or how long, God will be there and will be with us and for us.

My Prayer…

Everlasting Father, I find great comfort in knowing that I cannot be in a place or time where you are not. Stir my courage through your Spirit that I may be more bold, by your power and presence, to share the Gospel of Jesus. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.




bible reading


When a couple is unable to bear children, there can be a lot of pain and confusion. They want a family so dearly, but for whatever reason they struggle to get pregnant. Sometimes, couples choose to turn to different avenues in order to have the family of their dreams. While adoption is a great choice for some, many couples have also started looking into surrogacy.

The surrogacy process allows the couple to see a child through conception, pregnancy and birth. It also allows there to be a biological connection to the child for one of the parents. In this situation, a third-party referred to as the surrogate mother, will carry the embryo throughout the pregnancy. The surrogate will give up the baby to its intended parents at het time of birth.

While this practice has certainly grown in popularity over the decades, many Christians struggle to understand if this is the right option for them. What does God think, and what does the Bible have to say about it?

Story of Abraham and Sarah

The Bible does not address the issue of surrogacy directly. The closest Biblical story we have to surrogacy is of Abraham and Sarah in Genesis chapter 16. Sarah was unable to bear children, so she gave her servant, Hagar, to Abraham. This was a common practice during the Biblical times, since a childless woman was considered shameful. This story more closely resembles what we call “traditional surrogacy” today, where the mother is impregnated with the sperm of a man—often one whose wife is incapable of producing eggs—usually by means of artificial insemination.

There is also the option of “gestational surrogacy,” which involves transplantation of an already-conceived embryo containing the sperm and egg from a couple. In this case, the surrogate’s role is simply that of a carrier, which was not the case with Hagar.

Through Hagar’s story, we see how complicated a surrogacy process can be. There is a chance of pain, heartache and confusion for both the surrogate and the couple. Hager has problems giving up the child to Sarah when it was born, and this kind of problem can certainly still happen today. Giving away a child, despite the financial aspect of surrogacy, can cause incredible pain because of the bond that forms between the mother and the child she’s carrying before it’s born. However, many surrogate women and couples who employ them today are able to stick with their established and agreed upon roles happily and with contentment.

Morality of Surrogacy

The Bible does not forbid the practice outright, but it does bring up questions of if surrogacy itself is moral or ethical. In Psalm 127:3 we see that children are a gift to couples and not everyone is blessed with them. God will not always give us exactly what we want. Just as He blesses some people with incredible wealth, He only blesses some of us with the ability to have children. Could you possibly be going against God’s plan for you by trying to have a child anyway? In addition, marriage is designed to be between two people, and children are to be born of that union (Genesis 1:28, 2:24). To bring in a third party means that the child will have a third parent.

Further questions have to be asked that may be difficult to answer. For example, will the baby know its surrogate mother? Will there be visitation? How will the child be expected to feel about the surrogate mother and will there be jealousy?

Many Christians also struggle with the financial aspect that is tied to surrogacy. Some consider it to be selling a child, and go as far as to say it’s a form of human trafficking. In the United States, surrogate mothers are typically paid $20,000 to $25,000 for their help in the process.

Seek God for wisdom (James 1:15) and discern the root of your desire for a family. If using a surrogate is in defiance of God and a way to “get your own way,” that would be sin. If using a surrogate is a way for you as a couple to bring glory to God, then carefully plan and define each person’s role going forward and seek God’s blessing. All that we do should be done to glorify God (1 Corinthians 10:31). Couples who use a family member as surrogate can often head off problems before they arise if the surrogate has a strong bond with the couple and has their welfare and that of their child at heart.

While certainly moral issues are important to follow and abide by, it is difficult to judge anyone unless or until they “have walked a mile in the other person’s shoes.” This being the case, it is felt by many that infertility is a medical condition – and until anyone has actually faced the reality of not being able to have a child, it is difficult to get a feel for how truly devastating this situation can be. With all of this in mind, it’s truly up to God and the couple about what is right for them. Above all, those who are in the process should consistently pray for wisdom.




 Memorial for Franz Jägerstätter in St. Radegund | photo by Sziklai

Blessed Franz Jägerstätter

Saint of the Day for June 7

(May 20, 1907 – August 9, 1943)


Blessed Franz Jägerstätter’s Story

Called to serve his country as a Nazi solider, Franz eventually refused, and this husband and father of three daughters—Rosalie, Marie and Aloisia—was executed because of it.

Born in St. Radegund in Upper Austria, Franz lost his father during World War I and was adopted after Heinrich Jaegerstaetter married Rosalia Huber. As a young man, he loved to ride his motorcycle and was the natural leader of a gang whose members were arrested in 1934 for brawling. For three years he worked in the mines in another city and then returned to St. Radegund, where he became a farmer, married Franziska and lived his faith with quiet but intense conviction.

In 1938, he publicly opposed the German Anschluss, annexation, of Austria. The next year, he was drafted into the Austrian army, trained for seven months and then received a deferment. In 1940, Franz was called up again but allowed to return home at the request of the town’s mayor. He was in active service between October 1940 and April 1941, but was again deferred. His pastor, other priests, and the bishop of Linz urged him not to refuse to serve if drafted.

In February 1943, Franz was called up again and reported to army officials in Enns, Austria. When he refused to take the oath of loyalty to Hitler, he was imprisoned in Linz. Later he volunteered to serve in the medical corps but was not assigned there.

During Holy Week Franz wrote to his wife: “Easter is coming and, if it should be God’s will that we can never again in this world celebrate Easter together in our intimate family circle, we can still look ahead in the happy confidence that, when the eternal Easter morning dawns, no one in our family circle shall be missing—so we can then be permitted to rejoice together forever.” He was transferred in May to a prison in Berlin.

Challenged by his attorney that other Catholics were serving in the army, Franz responded, “I can only act on my own conscience. I do not judge anyone. I can only judge myself.” He continued, “I have considered my family. I have prayed and put myself and my family in God’s hands. I know that, if I do what I think God wants me to do, he will take care of my family.”

On August 8, 1943, Franz wrote to Fransizka: “Dear wife and mother, I thank you once more from my heart for everything that you have done for me in my lifetime, for all the sacrifices that you have borne for me. I beg you to forgive me if I have hurt or offended you, just as I have forgiven everything…My heartfelt greetings for my dear children. I will surely beg the dear God, if I am permitted to enter heaven soon, that he will set aside a little place in heaven for all of you.”

Franz was beheaded and cremated the following day. In 1946, his ashes were reburied in St. Radegund near a memorial inscribed with his name and the names of almost 60 village men who died during their military service. He was beatified in Linz on October 26, 2007. His “spiritual testament” is now in Rome’s St. Bartholomew Church as part of a shrine to 20th-century martyrs for their faith.



What Jesus Did! ‘The Gift of Teaching’

Then the meeting [of the Jewish leaders] broke up, and everybody went home. Jesus returned to the Mount of Olives, but early the next morning he was back again at the Temple. A crowd soon gathered, and he sat down and taught them.

Note: The oldest and best Greek copies of John do not have verses 7:53-8:11. Nevertheless, they are in nearly all translations because the content is certainly consistent with Jesus’ ministry.

Key Thought

Jesus gave people the gift of his teaching. His words were God’s word. He spoke and embodied God’s message. So when people gathered together, Jesus gave them his great gift of teaching. In this instance, he taught them with his words, and he also taught them with his life, his actions. Let’s never underestimate the importance of learning the truth from Jesus, through both his words and his deeds, and let’s never underestimate the importance of our deeds’ being consistent with our words.

Today’s Prayer

Almighty God and tender Shepherd, guide me into your truth. Conform me to the character of your Son Jesus. I especially ask for the help of your Holy Spirit to conform my lifestyle to the things that I believe to be true about Jesus. Help me to walk the talk and to put into practice the things I have learned. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Spiritual Warfare: ‘Guiding You to Eternity’

God’s Power for Our Battles

Illustration of Psalm 73:23-24 NIV — Yet I am always with you; you hold me by my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory.

Today’s Prayer

Lord, many days I feel lost and alone like I’m wandering in a foreign land with no friends. But that’s not true. You are always there, right beside me, holding my hand, and helping me along the way, even when I don’t realize it. Your gentle touch and still small voice resonates with my spirit. You are a constant companion, and Your promises are true. Thank You for being my anchor and my guide, and for giving me so much wise counsel in the pages of Your Word. Lead on, Lord, and I will do my best to follow in truth and righteousness. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Year with Jesus: ‘Prayer Power!’

Note from Jesus

Dear Disciple,

Yesterday I shared with you that while the key ruling council tried to intimidate My people, they were undaunted. Here was their answer to the threats of the religious leaders:

You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.

My disciples responded to the threats of the ruling council with prayer! They reached back and incorporated part of Psalm 2 in their prayer recorded in the verses below, and they trusted in the promise of the closing lines of this prophetic psalm:

But blessings await all who trust in Him. They will find God a gentle refuge.
(Psalm 2:12)

Notice the focus of the prayer My disciples prayed. They didn’t pray to have their difficulties cease, but that they be given strength and boldness to declare My message:

And now, Lord, take note of their intimidations intended to silence us. Grant us, Your servants, the courageous confidence we need to go ahead and proclaim Your message while You reach out Your hand to heal people, enabling us to perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.

They didn’t back down. Instead, they were “praying up” their work of sharing the good news and bringing My healing to those who were broken and lost.

I had promised in My earthly ministry that the Father would send the Holy Spirit to those who asked (Luke 11:13). I promised I would never abandon My disciples as they shared My message (Matthew 28:18-20) and testified before hostile audiences (Mark 13:11).

My early disciples believed in these promises. They believed in the power of the Holy Spirit. They believed in the great importance of their mission. Do you?

Enduring persecution, they rejoiced and they prayed. Facing intense scrutiny, they testified to the truth. Being threatened with death, they were undaunted. They chose to be My faithful witnesses no matter the cost. Do you? Will you?

Great blessing comes to those who are faithful under trial. Pray and ask for boldness. Seek the “courageous confidence” you “need to go ahead and proclaim” My message and do My work in your broken world. One of those blessings is experiencing the powerful movement of the Holy Spirit in your midst as you are empowered and inspired to do My work and speak My message. And notice, dear disciple, that this power and inspiration are for you, and not just a holy few who lived long ago:

All the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began speaking God’s message with courageous confidence.

Verses to Live

Prayer is powerful because you place your trust in Us — Father, Son, and Spirit. You trust that We will enter into your world and into your lives. You trust that We will do Our will through you by the power of the Holy Spirit working through you.

We long for you to invite Us to do in you, and through you, the very things that Our sovereign will longs to do. Often we are waiting for your faith to be displayed and for your prayers to ask Us to act. Look what can still happen when My disciples display that faith and, through their prayers, invite Us to act:

Jewish Leaders:

What do we do with these fellows? Anyone who lives in Jerusalem will know an unexplainable sign has been performed through these two preachers. We can’t deny their story. The best we can do is try to keep it from spreading. So let’s warn them to stop speaking to anybody in this name.

The leaders brought the prisoners [Peter and John] back in and prohibited them from doing any more speaking or teaching in the name of Jesus. Peter and John listened quietly and then replied,

Peter and John:

You are the judges here, so we’ll leave it up to you to judge whether it is right in the sight of God to obey your commands or God’s. But one thing we can tell you: we cannot possibly restrain ourselves from speaking about what we have seen and heard with our own eyes and ears.

The council threatened them again, but finally let them go because public opinion strongly supported Peter and John and this man who had received this miraculous sign. He was over 40 years old, so his situation was known to many people, and they couldn’t help but glorify God for his healing.

Peter and John, upon their release, went right to their friends and told the story — including the warning from the council. The whole community responded with this prayer to God:

Community of Believers:

God, our King, You made the heaven and the earth and the sea and everything they contain. You are the One Who, by the Holy Spirit, spoke through our ancestor David, Your servant, with these words:

Why did the nations rage?

Why did they imagine useless things?

The kings of the earth took their stand;

their rulers assembled in opposition

against the Eternal One and His Anointed King.

This is exactly what has happened among us, here in this city. The foreign ruler Pontius Pilate and the Jewish ruler Herod, along with their respective peoples, have assembled in opposition to Your holy servant Jesus, the One You chose. They have done whatever Your hand and plan predetermined should happen. And now, Lord, take note of their intimidations intended to silence us. Grant us, Your servants, the courageous confidence we need to go ahead and proclaim Your message while You reach out Your hand to heal people, enabling us to perform signs and wonders through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.

They finished their prayer, and immediately the whole place where they had gathered began to shake. All the disciples were filled with the Holy Spirit, and they began speaking God’s message with courageous confidence.
(Acts 4:16-31)

Response in Prayer

O Father, give Your disciples today the courageous confidence to proclaim Jesus and live before others as witnesses of Your grace. Fill us even more with the Holy Spirit, Who now lives in us. Fill us to overflowing so that not only will we display the fruit of the Spirit in righteous behavior and gracious compassion, but that we also will be bold in declaring the message of Jesus no matter the opposition or hostility we face. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Illustration of  —





Be Filled with Zeal

Be zealous.
Revelation 3:19

If you want to see souls converted, if you want to hear the cry that “the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our Lord,”1 if you want to place crowns upon the head of the Savior and see His throne lifted high, then be filled with zeal. For under God, the way the world will be converted is by the zeal of the church. Every element of grace will do its work, but zeal will be first; prudence, knowledge, patience, and courage will follow in their places, but zeal must lead the charge. It is not the extent of your knowledge, though that is useful, it is not the extent of your talent, though that is not to be despised, it is your zeal that will do great exploits.

This zeal is the fruit of the Holy Spirit: It draws its vital force from the continued operations of the Holy Spirit in the soul. If our inner life dwindles, if our heart beats slowly before God, we will not know zeal; but if everything inside is strong and vigorous, then we cannot but feel a loving urgency to see Christ’s kingdom come, and His will done on earth, even as it is in heaven.

A deep sense of gratitude will nourish Christian zeal. When we reflect on the miry pit from which we were lifted, we find plenty of reason for spending ourselves for God. And zeal is also stimulated by the thought of the eternal future. It looks with tearful eyes down to the flames of hell, and it cannot sleep: It looks up with anxious gaze to the glories of heaven, and it cannot stay still. It feels that time is short compared with the work to be done, and therefore it devotes all that it has to the cause of its Lord. And it is continually strengthened by remembering Christ’s example. He was clothed with zeal as with a cloak. How swift the chariot-wheels of duty went with Him! He never loitered on the way. Let us prove that we are His disciples by displaying the same spirit of zeal.

1) Revelation 11:15



Your Testimony
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
June 07, 2018

“I tell you the truth, we speak of what we know, and we testify to what we have seen, but still you people do not accept our testimony.” – John 3:11

Over the last several years I have seen two distinct types of Christian workplace believers. One type enthusiastically teaches their Bible knowledge to others. These people, though they may be genuine in their motive, lack one essential ingredient to being effectively used by God – a testimony. The second type of people I have encountered has a genuine testimony of what God is doing and continues to do in their lives. This was the case in the early Church. Men and women were able to give powerful testimony of events and experiences that could only be explained as a work of God.

God desires to build a testimony in each of us. Each of us is one of God’s chosen vessels to reflect His power in and through us. When others see this power reflected, they are impacted because they cannot explain that power. God desires to frame your life with experiences designed to reflect the character and nature of Christ. Sometimes these events can be very devastating, but they are designed to reveal His power in and through us.

Every one of us has a testimony. What would others say your testimony is today? Can others see God’s work in your life? Is your testimony one of Bible knowledge only? Are things happening in your life that can only be explained as God? These can be problematic questions for each of us. Ask God to build a testimony of His life in and through you today.



National Chocolate Ice Cream Day June 7


To observe National Chocolate Ice Cream Day on June 7 all you need is chocolate ice cream.  Who says you have to stop there, though? You can have it in a cone or make it from scratch.  Add sprinkles or syrup or whipped cream.

Chocolate ice cream is the second most common flavor, surpassed only by vanilla.  The chocolate flavored ice cream has been in existence well over a hundred years and has been popular in the United States since the late 19th century.

Cocoa powder is blended in with eggs, cream, vanilla and sugar to make chocolate ice cream.  The cocoa powder is what gives the ice cream a brown color.  Other flavors, such as rocky road or triple chocolate chunk, use chocolate ice cream in their creation.


Try this chocolate ice cream recipe and a chocolate milkshake recipe. Use #ChocolateIceCreamDay to post on social media.


Within our research, we were unable to find the creator of National Chocolate Ice Cream Day.


National Oklahoma Day - June 7


National Oklahoma Day on June 7 recognizes the 46th state to be granted statehood.

The panhandled state of Oklahoma is a dotted series of granite mountain peaks, sloping sandstone ridges, rolling hills, and plains. In 1803, the land became part of the United States through the Louisiana Purchase.

Across the state, significant sites record the result of the Indian Removal Act of 1830. The Trail of Tears National Historic Trail crosses nine states and describes the brutal impact on the lives of Cherokees, Chickasaws, Choctaws, Creeks, and Seminoles.

In 1889, several counties in Oklahoma became open to settlement by Land Run. Settlers could claim quarter sections of land only after a specific time (usually noon) on a set date. Some eager settlers would cross the boundary into the county seeking their preferred quarter section sooner than the stroke of noon, earning them (and the state) the nickname “Sooners.”

From the Arkansas River to the Neosho River, Oklahoma has scenic views, lakes and mountain trails. Put on your hiking boots and make some trail mix for an afternoon adventure. After a good hike, take in Route 66 for a drive and maybe pick up some barbeque or something fried.  Oklahomans seem to have cornered the market on nearly everything fried. To mention a few, we came across fried okra and lamb balls and catfish. For something fresh, don’t forget the state fruit. Strawberries!


Join National Day Calendar as we celebrate National Oklahoma Day. We’ll take a drive out on the open highway, and work up an appetite. Discover the best eateries in the state and explore the history that goes with them. Find adventure in The Sooner State and use #NationalOklahomaDay to share on social media.


Each week following the week of Independence Day 2017, National Day Calendar will be announcing a National Day in honor of each state in the order they entered the union. We start with Delaware on July 13 and will complete the celebrations with Hawaii on June 27, 2018, allowing for some time off for the holidays.





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Tuesday Testing

Tues Pray1

Daily Prayer for June 5

Christoph Friedrich Blumhardt

Surely God is my salvation; I will trust and not be afraid. The Lord, the Lord, is my strength and my song; he has become my salvation. Isaiah 12:2, NIV

Dear Father in heaven, we thank you that you are so near us and that we may be near you. We thank you that throughout our days we may be people who listen to you with all our hearts and minds, a listening people who can receive what is good and true for our lives and who can witness to the power you give us through the Savior. Protect us in all things. Look into our hearts and into the situation of each one of us, where many things are still faulty and unclear. Deliver us from evil, for the kingdom shall be yours. From you the power shall come. Your glory shall radiate from our lives, and we shall praise and thank you forevermore. Amen.



feather 19We must loathe lukewarm people. This message is found throughout scripture. Those who are violent are better off, even if initially they do evil. We cannot expect anything from souls who are slumbering; from those who do good – or think they do good – by abstaining from evil. A heart that is on fire, even if it bewilders us at times, is equipped to serve. God freely chooses his saints from among the great sinners, but never from among those who are lukewarm – from those who do not risk anything.

Source: Translated from the novel Mort, ou est ta victoire?





PRAYER: If God is for you, who can be against you

Majestic Creator, beautiful Lord, wonderful Savior, we rest assured that all of our days are held in Your hand, crafted into Your perfect plan for us. As we give our hearts to You today, Lord, open up our minds, bodies, and souls to receive the inflow of great wisdom of Your Word and overflowing, unspeakable joy.

Let it rain down from the heavens to touch each of us in a special way. We desire to know You Lord. We hunger and thirst after righteousness, we hunger and thirst for You, we hunger and thirst for peace and redemption. Continue to pour out Your beautiful Grace and Mercies. We thank You for all You’ve done for us and we praise Your Holy Name.

Joshua 23:10 – 11 One man of you shall chase a thousand, for the Lord your God is He who fights for you, as He promised you.  Therefore take careful heed to yourselves, that you love the Lord your God.

The Lord is fighting on your side

Lord, nothing is hidden from You, for Your Blessed Spirit runs to and fro throughout the whole earth. You know our hearts and what we desire. Your eyes behold both good and evil of the land.

Father, You and Your angels battle on our behalf when our hearts are focused on You and You alone. You are always on our side.

Life may consist of numerous battles but for us, only victory lies ahead! Oh what a great privilege it is to be Your child, oh loving Father, for those who don’t know the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ cannot depend on Him to fight their battles, they are surely doomed.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Ephesians 6:12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

Overcoming the evil around us

Father, help us fight against the evil spirits of this world. The devil’s army increases daily but we shall clothe ourselves with the full armor of You, Oh God. We charge into battle, confident the battle has already been won at the cross.

We bind every demonic force brought against us, they shall not prevail. Every attack against our finance, our health, our minds, our relationships and our joy shall not prevail! Hallelujah!

Jesus, Your Holy Spirit dwells within us, prayer and Your Word carries us through to Victory! We are crucified with Christ! We declare today that we are victorious and we take dominion over the devil and his lies through Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior! Victory is ours! In Jesus mighty name Amen!

No weapons formed against us shall prosper. Even though we walk through the valley of the shadow of death, we shall not fear, for You are with us, Lord. You are mighty to save!!

Romans 8:31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?

Prayer - If God is for you




 Saint Boniface. Engraving | H. Kipp after K. Clasen

Saint Boniface

Saint of the Day for June 5

(c. 675 – June 5, 754)


Saint Boniface’s Story

Boniface, known as the apostle of the Germans, was an English Benedictine monk who gave up being elected abbot to devote his life to the conversion of the Germanic tribes. Two characteristics stand out: his Christian orthodoxy and his fidelity to the pope of Rome.

How absolutely necessary this orthodoxy and fidelity were is borne out by the conditions Boniface found on his first missionary journey in 719 at the request of Pope Gregory II. Paganism was a way of life. What Christianity he did find had either lapsed into paganism or was mixed with error. The clergy were mainly responsible for these latter conditions since they were in many instances uneducated, lax and questionably obedient to their bishops. In particular instances their very ordinations were questionable.

These are the conditions that Boniface was to report in 722 on his first return visit to Rome. The Holy Father instructed him to reform the German Church. The pope sent letters of recommendation to religious and civil leaders. Boniface later admitted that his work would have been unsuccessful, from a human viewpoint, without a letter of safe-conduct from Charles Martel, the powerful Frankish ruler, grandfather of Charlemagne. Boniface was finally made a regional bishop and authorized to organize the whole German Church. He was eminently successful.

In the Frankish kingdom, he met great problems because of lay interference in bishops’ elections, the worldliness of the clergy and lack of papal control.

During a final mission to the Frisians, Boniface and 53 companions were massacred while he was preparing converts for confirmation.

In order to restore the Germanic Church to its fidelity to Rome and to convert the pagans, Boniface had been guided by two principles. The first was to restore the obedience of the clergy to their bishops in union with the pope of Rome. The second was the establishment of many houses of prayer which took the form of Benedictine monasteries. A great number of Anglo-Saxon monks and nuns followed him to the continent, where he introduced the Benedictine nuns to the active apostolate of education.


Boniface bears out the Christian rule: To follow Christ is to follow the way of the cross. For Boniface, it was not only physical suffering or death, but the painful, thankless, bewildering task of Church reform. Missionary glory is often thought of in terms of bringing new persons to Christ. It seems—but is not—less glorious to heal the household of the faith.

Saint Boniface is the Patron Saint of:





What Jesus Did! ‘Slow Search for Truth’

Then Nicodemus, the leader who had met with Jesus earlier, spoke up. “Is it legal to convict a man before he is given a hearing?” he asked.

Key Thought

One of my favorite stories in the Gospel of John is the story of Nicodemus. This wonderful seeker of truth came to Jesus at night because he saw in Jesus something of heaven. However, it wasn’t easy for him to come to Jesus all at once. God kept working on his seeking heart, leading him closer to Jesus through the events and circumstances of both Jesus’ life and Nicodemus’ role as a religious leader. Eventually, the events of the cross captured Nicodemus’ heart just as Jesus said they would. Even in today’s verses, in a hostile setting, Nicodemus’ search for truth and his love of integrity called him to stand up for Jesus. For me, Nicodemus is a great reminder not to give up hope on those around me who have not yet become Christians, but who keep having Jesus tug at their hearts. Let’s not give up on these precious people in our lives, but let’s work and pray for them to come to see Jesus in light of the cross!

Today’s Prayer

Father, please be with the folks in my life who are good-hearted and genuine, but who haven’t responded yet to the call of Jesus. Help me as I try to make my life a consistent and helpful witness to Jesus and his transforming power. Guide my words and give me wisdom for the proper timing to know when to talk with them about Jesus and what to say. Most of all, please be at work in their lives just as you were in the life of Nicodemus and bring them safely into your Kingdom. In Jesus’ name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

Daily Wisdom: Psalm 100:3

Illustration of Psalm 100:3 — Know that the LORD is God. It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture.

Spiritual Warfare: ‘Don’t Be Afraid – God Fights for His People’

God’s Power for Our Battles

But I said to you, “Don’t be shocked or afraid of them!The Lord your God is going ahead of you. He will fight for you, just as you saw him do in Egypt.

Today’s Prayer

Lord, I confess that many times I feel all alone. I feel lonely and afraid, and I build up my fears by focusing on them. Remind me, Lord, that when I’m full of fear, my faith ceases to exist. Fear and faith cannot coexist; one displaces the other. Help me to remember that You promised to go ahead of me and fight for me, and let this thought fill me with faith in Your promises so my fear will evaporate rather than my faith. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

A Year with Jesus: ‘Times of Refreshing’

Note from Jesus

Dear Beloved,

Are you stuck?

Are your days too predictably monotonous?

Do you feel that nothing is ever going to change?

I want you to look especially at the words highlighted in bold in the verses below. I want you to realize that when I ascended back to the Father, I didn’t abandon My disciples. I continued to be present in their lives. I worked in them through the Holy Spirit when they called on My name to help them.

Notice the following four different sets of words that tell the story of a paralyzed man trapped by his circumstances and of My grace that brings “times of refreshing.” Please realize that these “times of refreshing” are not just for the paralyzed man who was healed, but also for all who turn to Me!

Predictable Unwanted Daily Sameness:
The words “customary time” and “every day” help us enter the world of the lame man. His discouraging situation is also the world for every man and woman stuck in a rut that he or she wants to escape. The man whom Peter and John met had been “paralyzed since birth.” His routine was set by his physical limitations, his limited opportunities in society, and the limited number of people who chose to help him in their limited ways and with their limited expectations of what his life could ever be.

Power of My Name:
While the man who was born lame faced severe limits, these limits were removed by My gracious power. My power was released through Peter and John as they proclaimed the power behind the man’s healing: “faith in the name of Jesus of Nazareth.” Even though I had ascended back to the Father, Peter and John knew that I wasn’t gone. They knew My power and My grace were still available through the Holy Spirit to those who called on My name. They didn’t have money, but they did have faith. So they called on the power of My “name” and brought My presence and power near to address this paralyzed man’s needs.

A New Day Dawning:
The formerly paralyzed man’s life was changed forever! After he had been healed, praise was not something he watched from afar. He could stand, walk, leap, and dance in joyous praise. He was no longer dependent upon his friends to get him to the place where he could beg from other people for a few meager coins to sustain him. And if you listen to what Peter said to the crowd, you realize that the people in the crowd were paralyzed as well. They were stuck in their ways with low spiritual expectations. However, even for them, “a new day can dawn.” They, too, could experience “days of refreshing times flowing from the Lord.” Just as miraculous as a paralyzed man given the power to walk, these religious people could be delivered from their paralyzed religious forms into a life filled with My power and presence.

Life’s Ultimate Turning Point:
The folks stuck in their religious rut needed to “rethink everything and turn to God.” They could call upon the Father believing in My name. Believing in Me is something that you may have decided in the past. However, I hope that you will do it afresh each day, beginning today. Rethink everything! Call on My name! Believe in Me. Trust in My power and My presence! I do long to be present and powerful in your life and bring you “days of refreshing”!

Verses to Live

My apostle Paul said it well:

Therefore, if anyone is united with the Anointed One, that person is a new creation. The old life is gone — and see — a new life has begun.
(2 Corinthians 5:17)

Step away from the boring sameness of a predictable life. Leave behind dry religion if you find yourself caught in low expectations of what I can do. Turn your heart to the Father. Call upon My name. Trust that I will be present with you and powerful for you through the Holy Spirit. Even if you feel satisfied with your life, you can experience so much more through My power and grace that bring you “days of refreshing.”

One day at three o’clock in the afternoon, a customary time for daily prayer, Peter and John walked to the temple. Some people were carrying in a man who had been paralyzed since birthEvery day they brought him to a place near the beautiful gate (one of the temple entrances) so he could beg for money from people entering to worship. He saw Peter and John coming and asked them for a contribution. Peter gazed intensely at him — so did John.


Look at us.

The man looked up at them, assuming they were about to give him some money.


I want to give you something, but I don’t have any silver or gold. Here’s what I can offer you: stand up and walk in the name of Jesus of Nazareth, the Anointed One.

Then Peter took the man’s right hand and lifted him to his feet. Instantly the man’s feet and ankles grew strong. He jumped and walked, accompanying Peter and John into the temple where he walked, jumped for joy, and shouted praises to God. A crowd ran to the commotion, and they gathered around this man in an open area called Solomon’s Porch. There he was, standing on his own two feet, holding on to Peter and John. They knew exactly who he was — the beggar they passed at the beautiful gate every day. Everyone was absolutely amazed at this wonderful miracle; they were speechless, stunned.

Peter (to the crowd):

Why are you so amazed, my fellow Israelites? Why are you staring at my friend and me as though we did this miracle through our own power or made this fellow walk by our own holiness? We didn’t do this — God did! The God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, the God of Jacob — the God of our ancestors has glorified Jesus, God’s servant — the same Jesus Whom you betrayed and rejected in front of Pilate, even though Pilate was going to release Him. He is the Holy and Righteous One, but you rejected Him and asked for a murderer to be released to you instead. You not only rejected Him, but you killed Him — the very Author of life! But God raised Jesus from the dead, Whom my friend John and I have seen with our own eyes. So that’s how this miracle happened: we have faith in the name of Jesus, and He is the powerthat made this man strong — this man who is known to all of you. It is faith in Jesus that has given this man his complete health here today, in front of all of you.

Listen, friends, I know you didn’t fully realize what you were doing when you rejected and betrayed Jesus. I know that you, and your rulers as well, were acting in ignorance. God was at work in all this, fulfilling what He had predicted through all the prophets — that the Anointed One would suffer. So now you need to rethink everything and turn to God so your sins will be forgiven and a new day can dawn, days of refreshing times flowing from the Lord.

(Acts 3:1-19)

Response in Prayer

O Father, I call on the mighty name of Jesus. I pray to You by the power and presence of Jesus’ name. Give me eyes to see and a heart to believe, O Father. I know that You long to bring times of refreshing to me and to bring Your refreshing grace to others through me. So I offer You my heart. I seek Your Holy Spirit to help me rethink everything and see my world, my circumstances, and my influence through Your eyes of grace and possibility. Amen.





Christ Loved Me

Anyone who does not love does not know God.
1 John 4:8

The distinguishing mark of a Christian is his confidence in Christ’s love for him and in the offering of his love to Christ. First, faith sets her seal upon the man by enabling the soul to say with the apostle, “Christ loved me and gave himself for me.”1 Then love gives the countersign and stamps upon the heart gratitude and love to Jesus in return. “We love because he first loved us.”2

In those grand old ages, which are the heroic period of the Christian religion, this double mark was clearly seen in all believers in Jesus; they were men who knew the love of Christ and rested upon it as a man leans upon a staff whose trustiness he has proved. The love that they felt toward the Lord was not a quiet emotion that they hid within themselves in the secret place of their souls and that they only spoke about in private or when they met on the first day of the week and sang hymns in honor of Christ Jesus the crucified; it was a passion with them of such a vehement and all-consuming energy that it was visible in all their actions, evident in their conversation, and seen in their eyes, even in their casual glances. Love for Jesus was a flame that fed upon the core and heart of their being and therefore by its own force burned its way into their demeanor and shone there. Zeal for the glory of King Jesus was the seal and mark of all genuine Christians.

Because of their dependence upon Christ’s love they dared much, and because of their love for Christ they did much, and it is the same now. The children of God are ruled in their inmost powers by love. The love of Christ constrains them; they rejoice that divine love is set upon them, they feel it shed abroad in their hearts by the Holy Spirit, who is given to them, and then by force of gratitude they love the Savior with a pure and fervent heart.

My reader, do you love Him? Before you sleep, give an honest answer to this weighty question!

1) Galatians 2:20
2) 1 John 4:19



Effective Leadership
TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
June 05, 2018

“And when the Israelites saw the great power the Lord displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the Lord and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.” – Exodus 14:31

What makes an effective Christian leader today? Is it charisma? Is it ability? Is it communication and oratory skills? God’s view of an effective leader has nothing to do with these qualities. They may be a part of an effective leader. However, the core attribute of a Christian leader is his integrity with God and his obedience to follow Him. When this happens, God manifests His power in and through that leader. Moses was effective because he was willing to obey the commands God gave him. When Moses did this, God manifested His presence in him. The result was that people followed. They followed because they saw God working in and through the man. They saw that this man was worthy of following because God’s anointing was on him.

When people see the Lord’s power manifested in your life, they will have a healthy fear of the Lord. They will look at you and say, “This person has something I don’t have that is worthy of more investigation.” Your challenge is to seek the Lord with a whole heart, resulting in God’s power being manifested in the daily activities of your life. When this happens, you can expect others to be drawn to what they see in you. The problem with many Christians today is that non-Christians see nothing different about the way they live to motivate the unsaved to desire their faith.

What makes you different from your neighbor? Is your experience with God noticeably different from that of the man next door? If you’re not experiencing regular encounters with God, it’s time to ask why not. We don’t live day-to-day for the next spiritual experience, but we should see by-products of a life centered in God that is reflected in fruit from His presence in our lives.



Verse of the Day

Inspirational illustration of 1 Thessalonians 5:11

Thoughts on Today’s Verse…

While Paul’s exhortation here is excellent, it is the style of the exhortation we should especially notice. We live in an age where we are constantly pressured to emphasize the novel, new, or improved versions of things. But in our lives as Christians, our knowledge always exceeds our obedience. So more often than we like to think, we need to remind each other of what we are doing right and just simply say, “Hey, you’re doing well; just keep doing what you’re doing!”

My Prayer…

Faithful Father, thank you for noticing and keeping record of the things I’ve done that are good and pleasing to you. Please help me to keep doing those things that please you, only better, that you may be pleased and glorified. In Jesus name. Amen.




National Veggie Burger Day - June 5


When it comes to combining flavor and plant power, National Veggie Burger Day on June 5 proclaims it can be done!

Packed with flavor, protein and nutrients, veggie burgers show up at backyard barbecues, tailgate parties and on the menus of high-class restaurants.  Grill them, fry them or bake them. Layer all your favorite toppings like onion, tomato, lettuce, cheese, ketchup and mustard between crusty roll or bun and take a big juicy bite.  That’s one way to celebrate National Veggie Burger Day.


Give a veggie burger a taste. Have a veggie burger cook-off.  Invite your friends and family to grill up and stack up their favorite burger combos and share! Use #VeggieBurgerDay to share on social media.


Amy’s Kitchen founded National Veggie Burger Day to encourage everyone to eat a veggie burger and celebrate the positive impact plant-based veggie burgers have on us and the planet. The Registrar at National Day Calendar declared the day to be observed annually in 2017.




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