Sunday, September 30, 2012


Zephaniah 3:17 The Lord your God has arrived to live among you.

He is a mighty savior.

He will rejoice over you with great gladness.

With His love, He will calm all your fears.

He will exult over you by singing a happy song.

I often put a date in my Bible next to a verse or verses that I think God has given me as assurance, or for strength, or for direction.

There's a date next to this one. It was during a particularly difficult time in my life. I was in transition to I didn't know what, while at the same time dealing with a difficult situation & difficult people.

The part that stood out for me then was "With His love, He will calm all your fears."

I couldn't see how He could, in view of the restless lack of direction I felt, the difficult situation I was in, & the difficult people who made things... difficult. ;-)

I should tell you that by the end of that year, God had most definitely guided & directed me through that restless period of transition, alleviated the difficult situation, & removed the difficult people completely from my life.

What's more, the season that followed may be some of the most halcyon days of my life, so far.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that even when things look bleak, God has a way of bringing us out. Looking back, I marvel at my lack of faith that God would pull me out of that tough season. Sometimes I feel that way now. But now, in hindsight I can see that He was at work, moving me ever so steadily out of it all.

And I figure if He'll do that with & for me, He'll do it for you.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

all i got this morning

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge & strength,

     always ready to help in times of trouble.

2 So we will not fear,

     even if earthquakes come

       and the mountain crumble into the sea.

Friday, September 28, 2012


How would I have made it to today without these verses, & others?

Read the Bible every day. God will give you stuff to hold onto, especially when you need it the most.

Isaiah 46:3b I created you & have cared for you since before you were born.

4 I will be your God throughout your life time - until your hair is white with age.

I made you, & I will care for you.

I will carry you along & save you.

Proverbs 3:5 (The Message)

Trust God from the bottom of your heart;

   don't try to figure out everything on your own.

Listen to God's voice in everything you do,

     everywhere you go;

He's the One Who will keep you on track.

Hebrews 10:35 So don't throw away this confident trust in the Lord,

     no matter what happens.

Remember the great reward it brings you!

36 Patient endurance is what you need now,

     so that you will continue to do God's will.

Then you will receive all that He has promised.

Thursday, September 27, 2012


Psalm 44
3 They did not conquer the land with their swords;

     it was not their own strength that gave them victory.

It was by Your mighty power that they succeeded;

     it was because You favored them & smiled on them.

Only by Your power can we push back our enemies;

     only in Your name can we trample our foes.

6 I do not trust my bow;

     I do not count on my sword to save me.

7 It is You who gives us victory over our enemies

8 Oh God, we give glory to You all day long & constantly praise Your name.

The longer I live, the more I realize that any good that comes out of my life & connection with others is no due to any cleverness or wisdom on my part.

It's simply the favor of God.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


Acts 20:24 My life is worth nothing unless I use it for doing the work assigned me by the Lord Jesus - the work of telling others the Good News about God's wonderful kindness & love.

Once a quarter I get the alumni magazine from my college from my alma mater, Asbury College (now Asbury University!)

In it is news of stuff going on at the university, but there's also news from fellow alumni, faculty, & friends.

I learned this week of the death of one of the faculty who was teaching when I was there. Although I never took Dr. Neff for a class, he was a dear & trusted teacher & friend to all of us who were a part of the student body. As I thought about him this week, I thought about the ripple effect of his life on the students.

Some of my friends from those college days have passed away. Many have, are, or will retire soon. Some have had quite glamorous lives. Some have simply been who they are in their lives as a Christ follower & loved the people around them well. All of them have had or will continue to have an eternal ripple effect in the lives of those who come in contact with them.

Since long before going to Asbury, I've heard this chorus from a poem by CT Studd, & so many times since then that it's become kinda redundant, but it still is true, none the less. I quoted the whole poem a few days ago.

"Only one life, 'twill soon be past. Only what's done for Christ will last."

I know this sounds like I'm putting myself out to pasture.


I'm still relatively young at 62. (I'm still waiting to grow up!) If the Lord chooses, I still have MANY years left to connect with people for Him.

I still know there are loads of people all around me all the time who still need to know what I've come to know - "the Good news about God's wonderful kindness & love."

It's just very interesting how even now, as we wait, how He's insinuating me into the lives of people here.

I've lived long enough, & watched the good, bad, or indifferent lives of enough people, to know that we who follow Jesus are to simply be who we are in Him & connect with the people God draws into our lives.

And connecting with those people is the thing that makes our lives worthwhile - not what we acquire, nor the power, position, or prestige we attain. It is the part of Him we leave in the lives we touch that gives our lives worth - it is this eternal ripple effect that we leave to this poor old beat up world that really matters.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012


Isaiah 41
9b For I have chosen you

     & will not throw you away.

Don't be dismayed,

     for I am your God.

I will strengthen you.

I will help you.

I will uphold you w/ My victorious right hand.

(I believe God gave me this promise on April 13,2010)

Matthew 6:33-34 (The Message) This is Jesus speaking during what we call "The Sermon on the Mount"

Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God -provisions.

Don't worry about missing out.

You'll find your everyday human concerns will be met.

Give your entire attention to what God is doing right now,

     & don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow.

God will help you deal w/ whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

(I feel God gave me this in October, 2011, to hold on to especially during 2012.)

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says,

I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.

I will advise you & watch over you.

(I believe God laid this assurance on me just a few days ago, on Saturday morning, September 15, 2012.)

Hope is an important thing.

It is that thinking that keeps us moving forward.

If we don't have hope, we stagnate, we languish, we become despondent, we don't continue, we become defeated.

But it is hard to have hope when things seem hopeless.

But which state is better? Is it better to hope, even in the face of a seemingly hopeless situation, & continue to move on, to live & be alive?

Or is it wiser, more prudent, more realistic to face reality & give up hope, & wait for the thing we dread to happen?

I can choose to believe that God spoke to me through these verses. They give me hope. They are promises. And God never goes back on His promises.

Or I can choose to not believe them in the face of what seems to be reality.

So, basically, my choice is a simple one - I either believe & trust God; or I don't.

I choose to believe & trust.

Monday, September 24, 2012

the poor

In a day when there is much rhetoric about the poor & the working poor,I think this passage (written how many millenia ago?) sheds some light on how we should deal with them.

Psalm 41:1 Oh the joys of those who are kind to the poor.

     The Lord rescues them in times of trouble.

2 The Lord protects them & keeps them alive.

     He gives them prosperity & rescues them from their enemies.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

chock full

Sometimes there a psalm that is just chock full of all kinds of stuff. I've underlined a lot of things in this one.I've also dated some things. It's interesting to look back at those dates & think about what was going on then,& how it all came out.

God is faithful, even when we do see it or feel it - or maybe He's especially faithful when we don't see it or feel it?

Psalm 40:1 I waited patiently for the LORD to help me,

  and he turned to me and heard my cry.

2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair,

  out of the mud and the mire.

He set my feet on solid ground

  and steadied me as I walked along.

3 He has given me a new song to sing,

  a hymn of praise to our God.

Many will see what he has done and be amazed.

  They will put their trust in the LORD.

4 Oh, the joys of those who trust the LORD,

  who have no confidence in the proud

  or in those who worship idols.

5 O LORD my God, you have performed many wonders for us.

  Your plans for us are too numerous to list.

  You have no equal.

If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds,

  I would never come to the end of them.

6 You take no delight in sacrifices or offerings.

  Now that you have made me listen, I finally understand —

  you don't require burnt offerings or sin offerings.

7 Then I said, "Look, I have come.

  As is written about me in the Scriptures:

8 I take joy in doing your will, my God,

  for your instructions are written on my heart."

9 I have told all your people about your justice.

  I have not been afraid to speak out,

  as you, O LORD, well know.

10 I have not kept the good news of your justice hidden in my heart;

  I have talked about your faithfulness and saving power.

I have told everyone in the great assembly

  of your unfailing love and faithfulness.

11 LORD, don't hold back your tender mercies from me.

  Let your unfailing love and faithfulness always protect me.

12 For troubles surround me—

  too many to count!

My sins pile up so high

  I can't see my way out.

They outnumber the hairs on my head.

  I have lost all courage.

13 Please, LORD, rescue me!

  Come quickly, LORD, and help me.

14 May those who try to destroy me

  be humiliated and put to shame.

May those who take delight in my trouble

  be turned back in disgrace.

15 Let them be horrified by their shame,

  for they said, "Aha! We've got him now!"

16 But may all who search for you

  be filled with joy and gladness in you.

May those who love your salvation

  repeatedly shout, "The LORD is great!"

17 As for me, since I am poor and needy,

  but the Lord is thinking about me right now..

You are my helper and my savior.

  O my God, do not delay.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

life's short

Psalm 39:4 "LORD, remind me how brief my time on earth will be.

  Remind me that my days are numbered —

  how fleeting my life is.

5 You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand.

  My entire lifetime is just a moment to you;

  at best, each of us is but a breath."    

6 We are merely moving shadows,

  and all our busy rushing ends in nothing.

We heap up wealth,

  for someone else to spend.

7 And so, Lord, where do I put my hope?

  My only hope is in you.

So many of us act like we're gonna live forever.

So many of us put off stuff - we'll do it tomorrow.

All we have is right now.

And all the things we think are so all fired important will be meaningless.

I know it's a trite saying, but the longer I live the more I realize it singular truth...

     "Only 1 life, will soon be passed...

           Only what's done for Christ will last."

Here's the whole poem by C T Studd...

“Two little lines I heard one day,
Traveling along life’s busy way;
Bringing conviction to my heart,
And from my mind would not depart;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Soon will its fleeting hours be done;
Then, in ‘that day’ my Lord to meet,
And stand before His Judgement seat;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, the still small voice,
Gently pleads for a better choice
Bidding me selfish aims to leave,
And to God’s holy will to cleave;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, a few brief years,
Each with its burdens, hopes, and fears;
Each with its clays I must fulfill,
living for self or in His will;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

When this bright world would tempt me sore,
When Satan would a victory score;
When self would seek to have its way,
Then help me Lord with joy to say;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Give me Father, a purpose deep,
In joy or sorrow Thy word to keep;
Faithful and true what e’er the strife,
Pleasing Thee in my daily life;
Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Oh let my love with fervor burn,
And from the world now let me turn;
Living for Thee, and Thee alone,
Bringing Thee pleasure on Thy throne;
Only one life, “twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.

Only one life, yes only one,
Now let me say,”Thy will be done”;
And when at last I’ll hear the call,
I know I’ll say “twas worth it all”;
Only one life,’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last. ”

— extra stanza —

Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.
And when I am dying, how happy I’ll be,
If the lamp of my life has been burned out for Thee.”

Friday, September 21, 2012

something from Micah?

I'm reading in the "minor prophets" these days - that's those short books at the end of the Old Testament. (Don't worry - I still read in Psalms every day, as well as in the New Testament,too!)

The minor prophets are pretty grim. They mostly talk about how terrible Israel is, how sinful they are, & how God's going to punish them. Yeah, really uplifting stuff!

But every once is a while, there something that speaks to today. I was reading in Micah 7 this morning. Here's some stuff that came up off the page.

Micah 7:7 As for me, I look to the Lord for His help. I wait confidently for God to save me, & my God will certainly hear me.

16 All nations of the world will stand amazed at what the Lord will do for you.

18d You (as in God) delight in showing mercy

19 You (as in God) will trample our sins under Your feet & throw them into the depths of the ocean! 20 You will show us Your faithfulness & unfailing love as you promised...

And then there was a pivotal statement for all of us in Acts 15...

Acts 15:11 we are all saved the same way, by the special favor of the Lord Jesus.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

shut up & wait

Here's some stuff that came up off the page this morning. It was for me, but maybe it's for you, too

Micah 6:8 the Lord has told you what is good & this is what He requires:

     to do what is right,

     to love mercy,

     & to walk humbly w/ your God.

Psalm 37:1 Don't worry about the wicked
  or envy those who do wrong.
2 For like grass, they soon fade away.
  Like spring flowers, they soon wither.

3 Trust in the LORD and do good.
  Then you will live safely in the land and prosper.
4 Take delight in the LORD,
  and he will give you your heart's desires.

5 Commit everything you do to the LORD.
  Trust him, and he will help you.
6 He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn,
  and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun.

vs 7 Be still in the presence of the Lord,

     & wait patiently for Him to act.

The way this is translated in the Dan Waits Reversed Version of the Psalm is like this: "Shut & & wait."

23 The LORD directs the steps of the godly.
  He delights in every detail of their lives.
24 Though they stumble, they will never fall,
  for the LORD holds them by the hand.

25 Once I was young, and now I am old.
  Yet I have never seen the godly abandoned
  or their children begging for bread.

34 Don't be impatient for the Lord to act!

Put your hope in the LORD.
  Travel steadily along his path.
He will honor you by giving you the land.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

shades of the summer of 2000

Psalm 36:5 Your unfailing love, O LORD, is as vast as the heavens;

  your faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds.

6 Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,

  your justice like the ocean depths.

You care for people and animals alike, O LORD.

7   How precious is your unfailing love, O God!

All humanity finds shelter

  in the shadow of your wings.

8 You feed them from the abundance of your own house,

  letting them drink from your river of delights.

9 For you are the fountain of life,

  the light by which we see.

10 Pour out your unfailing love on those who love you;

  give justice to those with honest hearts.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

how you read it

It all depends on how you read it...

Just sayin'...

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says,

     I will guide you along the BEST pathway for your life.

     I will GUIDE you along the best pathway for your life.

     I will guide you along the best pathway for YOUR life.

     I will guide YOU along the best pathway for your life.

     I will guide you along the best pathway for your LIFE.

     I (THE LORD GOD OF THE UNIVERSES) will guide you along the best pathway for your life.

     I will advise YOU & watch over you.

     I (THE LORD GOD OF THE UNIVERSES) will advise you & watch over you.

     I WILL advise you & watch over you.

     I will advise you & watch over YOU.

     I will advise you & WATCH OVER you.

     I will advise you AND watch over you.

     I will ADVISE you & watch over you.

Monday, September 17, 2012

some stuff from Psalm 34

Psalm 34:1 I will praise the LORD at all times.
  I will constantly speak his praises.
2 I will boast only in the LORD;
  let all who are helpless take heart.

4 I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me.
  He freed me from all my fears.
5 Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy;
  no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
6 In my desperation I prayed, and the LORD listened;
  he saved me from all my troubles.
7 For the angel of the LORD is a guard;
  he surrounds and defends all who fear him.

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good.
  Oh, the joys of those who trust in him!

15 The eyes of the LORD watch over those who do right;
  his ears are open to their cries for help.

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted;
  he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.

19 The righteous person faces many troubles,
  but the LORD comes to the rescue each time.

22 But the LORD will redeem those who serve him.
  No one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

It's interesting to me that I can go for days & nothing comes up off the page - btw coming up off the page means God speaks to me with a particular verse or verses.

And then there's a morning when a bunch come up. And other mornings, it's like the Bible is blowing up w/ verses He wants to speak thru.

Then there's a verse that kinda hangs there in my mind & won't go away. Most recently, on Saturday, the 15th, has been Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you & watch over you."

And God keeps poking me with this scripture since Saturday morning.

Ya know, I was an idiot all those years (52 1/2!) for not reading the Bible EVERY day! It's the only thing that's held me together these last 2 yrs.

Anyway, these are the verses that came up today. They speak to me. Maybe they speak to you. I hope so. If you need them as much as I do, let's believe them together today.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

who ya gonna trust

Psalm 33:4 For the word of the Lord holds true, & everything He does is worthy of our trust.

vs 10 The Lord shatters the plans of the nations & thwarts all their schemes. 11 But the Lord's plans stand firm forever; His intentions can never be shaken.

vs 20 We depend on the Lord alone to save us. Only He can help us, protecting us like a shield.

So, the psalmist is saying here what?

Is it, "Who ya gonna trust?"

And who is it we trust?

Is it God, or is it in ourselves, doing what we think God wants us to be & do?

Do we expect ourselves to do it, because we wanna control how things happen, in a time frame acceptable to us?

Do we really trust Him?

Do we trust Him enough to relinquish control?

Do we REALLY trust Him enough to quit trying to make things happen & wait for Him to show us what to be & do each step along the way?

These are all questions I've been asking myself (among a gajillion other ones) especially over the last 2 yrs.

I think I know the answers, some of which aren't all that comfortable.

I also think we all prolly need to ask ourselves these questions.

Just a thought...

Saturday, September 15, 2012


Psalm 32:8 The Lord says, "I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you & watch over you." (NLT)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. (NIV)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my eye upon you. (ESV)

I [the Lord] will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with My eye upon you. (Amplified)

I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will guide you with My eye. (NKJV)

The Lord says, “I will teach you the way you should go; I will instruct you and advise you. (GNT)

Ok, now, we either believe this, or we don't.

If we do believe this, then our life opens up, because the possibilities are endless with God - He's very creative. We also know that basically God's got our back. And He says He'll guide us along the BEST pathway - iow, what He's got in mind for us is His very BEST for us.

If we don't believe this, then what? We're out here on our own? We can't trust God to do what He says?

Y'all know that the last 2 years haven't been easy ones for me. And, quite frankly, part of the problem for me is that I haven't fully believed this. My question has been "What in the world is goin' on?"

Well, if you really must know,it's been more like "What the hell is goin' on?!!!"

(Yeah, I'm REAL holy these days!)

But ya know, I've simply GOT to REALLY start believing this. And I've got to put my life on the line if I really do believe it.

Hey! What have I got to lose?! Things ain't exactly been sweetness & light these last 2 years. Maybe fully trusting Him would at least lessen the stress?

I guess what I'm saying here is we've got to believe this, or not. Believing it means we're trusting the God of the universes to be wise enough, smart enough, holy enough, & whatever enough to do what He says He will - guide me along the BEST pathway for my life, advising me,& watching out for me.

Or I can not believe it & trust in myself, or something else.That doesn't seem that smart a move at this juncture in my life.

God either is gonna be & do what He says He's gonna be & do, or He's not.

I choose to believe He is.

Don't know where this is gonna lead me. Guess we're fixin' to find out.

Friday, September 14, 2012


Psalm 31:24 Be strong & take courage, all you who put your hope in the Lord!

Iow, keep on keeping on.

Thursday, September 13, 2012


This is for someone out there who's lost hope. If God pulled King David out of some pit of despair, He'll do it for you & me.

Psalm30:1 I will exalt you, LORD, for you rescued me.
  You refused to let my enemies triumph over me.
2 O LORD my God, I cried to you for help,
  and you restored my health.
3 You brought me up from the grave,* O LORD.
  You kept me from falling into the pit of death.

4 Sing to the LORD, all you godly ones!
  Praise his holy name.
5 For his anger lasts only a moment,
  but his favor lasts a lifetime!
Weeping may last through the night,
  but joy comes with the morning.

6 When I was prosperous, I said,
  "Nothing can stop me now!"
7 Your favor, O LORD, made me as secure as a mountain.
  Then you turned away from me, and I was shattered.

8 I cried out to you, O LORD.
  I begged the Lord for mercy, saying,
9 "What will you gain if I die,
  if I sink into the grave?
Can my dust praise you?
  Can it tell of your faithfulness?
10 Hear me, LORD, and have mercy on me.
  Help me, O LORD."

11 You have turned my mourning into joyful dancing.
  You have taken away my clothes of mourning and clothed me with joy,
12 that I might sing praises to you and not be silent.
  O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

honor Him

Psalm 29:1 Honor the LORD, you heavenly beings*;
  honor the LORD for his glory and strength.
2 Honor the LORD for the glory of his name.
  Worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness.

3 The voice of the LORD echoes above the sea.
  The God of glory thunders.
  The LORD thunders over the mighty sea.
4 The voice of the LORD is powerful;
  the voice of the LORD is majestic.
5 The voice of the LORD splits the mighty cedars;
  the LORD shatters the cedars of Lebanon.
6 He makes Lebanon's mountains skip like a calf;
  he makes Mount Hermon* leap like a young wild ox.
7 The voice of the LORD strikes
  with bolts of lightning.
8 The voice of the LORD makes the barren wilderness quake;
  the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
9 The voice of the LORD twists mighty oaks*
  and strips the forests bare.
In his Temple everyone shouts, "Glory!"

10 The LORD rules over the floodwaters.
  The LORD reigns as king forever.
11 The LORD gives his people strength.
  The LORD blesses them with peace.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

down & up

Psalm 28
1 O Lord, You are my rock of safety.

     Please don't refuse to answer me.

For if You are silent, I might as well give up & die.

6 Praise the Lord!

     For He has heard my cry for mercy.

7 The Lord is my strength from every danger.

     I trust in Him w/ all my heart.

     He helps me, & my heart is filled w/ joy.

I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Interesting contrast of where the psalmist was in verse 1, & where he was in verses 6 & 7.

Some of us are in verse 1 right now.

Eventually, we'll get to verses 6 & 7. (Let's not forget to remind each other occasionally)

Monday, September 10, 2012

slam full of stuff

Psalm 27
1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
  so why should I be afraid?
The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger,
  so why should I tremble?
2 When evil people come to devour me,
  when my enemies and foes attack me,
  they will stumble and fall.
3 Though a mighty army surrounds me,
  my heart will not be afraid.
Even if I am attacked,
  I will remain confident.

4 The one thing I ask of the LORD
  the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the LORD all the days of my life,
  delighting in the LORD's perfections
  and meditating in his Temple.
5 For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
  he will hide me in his sanctuary.
  He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
6 Then I will hold my head high
  above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
  singing and praising the LORD with music.

7 Hear me as I pray, O LORD.
  Be merciful and answer me!
8 My heart has heard you say, "Come and talk with me."
  And my heart responds, "LORD, I am coming."
9 Do not turn your back on me.
  Do not reject your servant in anger.
  You have always been my helper.
Don't leave me now; don't abandon me,
  O God of my salvation!
10 Even if my father and mother abandon me,
  the LORD will hold me close.

11 Teach me how to live, O LORD.
  Lead me along the right path,
  for my enemies are waiting for me.
12 Do not let me fall into their hands.
  For they accuse me of things I've never done;
  with every breath they threaten me with violence.
13 Yet I am confident I will see the LORD's goodness
  while I am here in the land of the living.

14 Wait patiently for the LORD.
  Be brave and courageous.
  Yes, wait patiently for the LORD.

Sunday, September 9, 2012


Acts 3
1 Peter and John went to the Temple one afternoon to take part in the three o'clock prayer service. 2 As they approached the Temple, a man lame from birth was being carried in. Each day he was put beside the Temple gate, the one called the Beautiful Gate, so he could beg from the people going into the Temple. 3 When he saw Peter and John about to enter, he asked them for some money.

  4 Peter and John looked at him intently, and Peter said, "Look at us!" 5 The lame man looked at them eagerly, expecting some money. 6 But Peter said, "I don't have any silver or gold for you. But I'll give you what I have. In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, get up and* walk!"

  7 Then Peter took the lame man by the right hand and helped him up. And as he did, the man's feet and ankles were instantly healed and strengthened. 8 He jumped up, stood on his feet, and began to walk! Then, walking, leaping, and praising God, he went into the Temple with them.

  9 All the people saw him walking and heard him praising God. 10 When they realized he was the lame beggar they had seen so often at the Beautiful Gate, they were absolutely astounded! 11 They all rushed out in amazement to Solomon's Colonnade, where the man was holding tightly to Peter and John.

12 Peter saw his opportunity and addressed the crowd. "People of Israel," he said, "what is so surprising about this? And why stare at us as though we had made this man walk by our own power or godliness? 13 For it is the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the God of all our ancestors—who has brought glory to his servant Jesus by doing this. This is the same Jesus whom you handed over and rejected before Pilate, despite Pilate's decision to release him. 14 You rejected this holy, righteous one and instead demanded the release of a murderer. 15 You killed the author of life, but God raised him from the dead. And we are witnesses of this fact!

  16 "Through faith in the name of Jesus, this man was healed—and you know how crippled he was before. Faith in Jesus' name has healed him before your very eyes.

  17 "Friends, I realize that what you and your leaders did to Jesus was done in ignorance. 18 But God was fulfilling what all the prophets had foretold about the Messiah—that he must suffer these things. 19 Now repent of your sins and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped away. 20 Then times of refreshment will come from the presence of the Lord, and he will again send you Jesus, your appointed Messiah. 21 For he must remain in heaven until the time for the final restoration of all things, as God promised long ago through his holy prophets. 22 Moses said, 'The LORD your God will raise up for you a Prophet like me from among your own people. Listen carefully to everything he tells you.' 23 Then Moses said, 'Anyone who will not listen to that Prophet will be completely cut off from God's people.'

  24 "Starting with Samuel, every prophet spoke about what is happening today. 25 You are the children of those prophets, and you are included in the covenant God promised to your ancestors. For God said to Abraham, 'Through your descendants all the families on earth will be blessed.' 26 When God raised up his servant, Jesus, he sent him first to you people of Israel, to bless you by turning each of you back from your sinful ways.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

this read may be for you

Just thought I needed to put up these two sections, one in Psalms & the other in Acts. They both hold a lot of stuff.

Psalm 25
1 O LORD, I give my life to you.
2   I trust in you, my God!
Do not let me be disgraced,
  or let my enemies rejoice in my defeat.
3 No one who trusts in you will ever be disgraced,
  but disgrace comes to those who try to deceive others.

4 Show me the right path, O LORD;
  point out the road for me to follow.
5 Lead me by your truth and teach me,
  for you are the God who saves me.
  All day long I put my hope in you.
6 Remember, O LORD, your compassion and unfailing love,
  which you have shown from long ages past.
7 Do not remember the rebellious sins of my youth.
  Remember me in the light of your unfailing love,
  for you are merciful, O LORD.

8 The LORD is good and does what is right;
  he shows the proper path to those who go astray.
9 He leads the humble in doing right,
  teaching them his way.
10 The LORD leads with unfailing love and faithfulness
  all who keep his covenant and obey his demands.

11 For the honor of your name, O LORD,
  forgive my many, many sins.
12 Who are those who fear the LORD?
  He will show them the path they should choose.
13 They will live in prosperity,
  and their children will inherit the land.
14 The LORD is a friend to those who fear him.
  He teaches them his covenant.
15 My eyes are always on the LORD,
  for he rescues me from the traps of my enemies.

16 Turn to me and have mercy,
  for I am alone and in deep distress.
17 My problems go from bad to worse.
  Oh, save me from them all!
18 Feel my pain and see my trouble.
  Forgive all my sins.
19 See how many enemies I have
  and how viciously they hate me!
20 Protect me! Rescue my life from them!
  Do not let me be disgraced, for in you I take refuge.
21 May integrity and honesty protect me,
  for I put my hope in you.

22 O God, ransom Israel
  from all its troubles.

Acts 2
14 Then Peter stepped forward with the eleven other apostles and shouted to the crowd, "Listen carefully, all of you, fellow Jews and residents of Jerusalem! Make no mistake about this.15 These people are not drunk, as some of you are assuming. Nine o'clock in the morning is much too early for that.16 No, what you see was predicted long ago by the prophet Joel:

17 '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.
18 In those days I will pour out my Spirit
  even on my servants—men and women alike—
  and they will prophesy.
19 And I will cause wonders in the heavens above
  and signs on the earth below—
  blood and fire and clouds of smoke.
20 The sun will become dark,
  and the moon will turn blood red
  before that great and glorious day of the LORD arrives.
21 But everyone who calls on the name of the LORD
  will be saved.'*

  22 "People of Israel, listen! God publicly endorsed Jesus the Nazarene* by doing powerful miracles, wonders, and signs through him, as you well know.23 But God knew what would happen, and his prearranged plan was carried out when Jesus was betrayed. With the help of lawless Gentiles, you nailed him to a cross and killed him.24 But God released him from the horrors of death and raised him back to life, for death could not keep him in its grip.25 King David said this about him:

'I see that the LORD is always with me.
  I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me.
26 No wonder my heart is glad,
  and my tongue shouts his praises!
  My body rests in hope.
27 For you will not leave my soul among the dead*
  or allow your Holy One to rot in the grave.
28 You have shown me the way of life,
  and you will fill me with the joy of your presence.'*

  29 "Dear brothers, think about this! You can be sure that the patriarch David wasn't referring to himself, for he died and was buried, and his tomb is still here among us.30 But he was a prophet, and he knew God had promised with an oath that one of David's own descendants would sit on his throne.31 David was looking into the future and speaking of the Messiah's resurrection. He was saying that God would not leave him among the dead or allow his body to rot in the grave.
  32 "God raised Jesus from the dead, and we are all witnesses of this.33 Now he is exalted to the place of highest honor in heaven, at God's right hand. And the Father, as he had promised, gave him the Holy Spirit to pour out upon us, just as you see and hear today.34 For David himself never ascended into heaven, yet he said,

'The LORD said to my Lord,
  "Sit in the place of honor at my right hand
35 until I humble your enemies,
  making them a footstool under your feet."'*

  36 "So let everyone in Israel know for certain that God has made this Jesus, whom you crucified, to be both Lord and Messiah!"

Friday, September 7, 2012

who's in charge here

Psalm 24
1 The earth is the LORD's, and everything in it.
  The world and all its people belong to him.
2 For he laid the earth's foundation on the seas
  and built it on the ocean depths.

3 Who may climb the mountain of the LORD?
  Who may stand in his holy place?
4 Only those whose hands and hearts are pure,
  who do not worship idols
  and never tell lies.
5 They will receive the LORD's blessing
  and have a right relationship with God their savior.
6 Such people may seek you
  and worship in your presence, O God of Jacob.    

7 Open up, ancient gates!
  Open up, ancient doors,
  and let the King of glory enter.
8 Who is the King of glory?
  The LORD, strong and mighty;
  the LORD, invincible in battle.
9 Open up, ancient gates!
  Open up, ancient doors,
  and let the King of glory enter.
10 Who is the King of glory?
  The LORD of Heaven's Armies—
  he is the King of glory.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

read this with fresh eyes

This psalm is read so much at funerals, we sometimes don't think about it as a psalm for the living.

Read it now as a psalm for you (& me) for today & the days ahead...

Psalm 23 (NLT)

1 The Lord is my shepherd;
    I have all that I need.

2 He lets me rest in green meadows;
    he leads me beside peaceful streams.

3     He renews my strength.
He guides me along right paths,
    bringing honor to his name.

4 Even when I walk
    through the darkest valley,
I will not be afraid,
    for you are close beside me.
Your rod and your staff
    protect and comfort me.

5 You prepare a feast for me
    in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
    My cup overflows with blessings.

6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me
    all the days of my life,
and I will live in the house of the Lord

And here it is in The Message paraphrase...

1-3 God, my shepherd! I don't need a thing.
   You have bedded me down in lush meadows,
      you find me quiet pools to drink from.
   True to your word,
      you let me catch my breath
      and send me in the right direction.

 4 Even when the way goes through
      Death Valley,
   I'm not afraid
      when you walk at my side.
   Your trusty shepherd's crook
      makes me feel secure.

 5 You serve me a six-course dinner
      right in front of my enemies.
   You revive my drooping head;
      my cup brims with blessing.

 6 Your beauty and love chase after me
      every day of my life.
   I'm back home in the house of God
      for the rest of my life.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

hold on

Anybody feel like this today? Then this psalm is for you. Over the past 2 yrs, I've felt so many of these emotions & thoughts. But there are so many, many promises to hold on to in it.

Psalm 22
1 My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?
  Why are you so far away when I groan for help?
2 Every day I call to you, my God, but you do not answer.
  Every night you hear my voice, but I find no relief.

3 Yet you are holy,
  enthroned on the praises of Israel.
4 Our ancestors trusted in you,
  and you rescued them.
5 They cried out to you and were saved.
  They trusted in you and were never disgraced.

6 But I am a worm and not a man.
  I am scorned and despised by all!
7 Everyone who sees me mocks me.
  They sneer and shake their heads, saying,
8 "Is this the one who relies on the LORD?
  Then let the LORD save him!
If the LORD loves him so much,
  let the LORD rescue him!"

9 Yet you brought me safely from my mother's womb
  and led me to trust you at my mother's breast.
10 I was thrust into your arms at my birth.
  You have been my God from the moment I was born.

11 Do not stay so far from me,
  for trouble is near,
  and no one else can help me.
12 My enemies surround me like a herd of bulls;
  fierce bulls of Bashan have hemmed me in!
13 Like lions they open their jaws against me,
  roaring and tearing into their prey.
14 My life is poured out like water,
  and all my bones are out of joint.
My heart is like wax,
  melting within me.
15 My strength has dried up like sunbaked clay.
  My tongue sticks to the roof of my mouth.
  You have laid me in the dust and left me for dead.
16 My enemies surround me like a pack of dogs;
  an evil gang closes in on me.
  They have pierced my hands and feet.
17 I can count all my bones.
  My enemies stare at me and gloat.
18 They divide my garments among themselves
  and throw dice* for my clothing.

19 O LORD, do not stay far away!
  You are my strength; come quickly to my aid!
20 Save me from the sword;
  spare my precious life from these dogs.
21 Snatch me from the lion's jaws
  and from the horns of these wild oxen.

22 I will proclaim your name to my brothers and sisters.*
  I will praise you among your assembled people.
23 Praise the LORD, all you who fear him!
  Honor him, all you descendants of Jacob!
  Show him reverence, all you descendants of Israel!
24 For he has not ignored or belittled the suffering of the needy.
  He has not turned his back on them,
  but has listened to their cries for help.

25 I will praise you in the great assembly.
  I will fulfill my vows in the presence of those who worship you.
26 The poor will eat and be satisfied.
  All who seek the LORD will praise him.
  Their hearts will rejoice with everlasting joy.
27 The whole earth will acknowledge the LORD and return to him.
  All the families of the nations will bow down before him.
28 For royal power belongs to the LORD.
  He rules all the nations.

29 Let the rich of the earth feast and worship.
  Bow before him, all who are mortal,
  all whose lives will end as dust.
30 Our children will also serve him.
  Future generations will hear about the wonders of the Lord.
31 His righteous acts will be told to those not yet born.
  They will hear about everything he has done.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

never give up

2 Corinthians 4 (NLT) (This is Paul speaking here)
1 Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. 2 We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don't try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.

  3 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing. 4 Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don't believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don't understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.

  5 You see, we don't go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus' sake. 6 For God, who said, "Let there be light in the darkness," has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.

  7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

  8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

  11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

  13 But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, so I spoke." 14 We know that God, who raised the Lord Jesus,* will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself together with you. 15 All of this is for your benefit. And as God's grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.

  16 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are* being renewed every day. 17 For our present troubles are small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! 18 So we don't look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

here it is in The Message...

1-2 Since God has so generously let us in on what he is doing, we're not about to throw up our hands and walk off the job just because we run into occasional hard times. We refuse to wear masks and play games. We don't maneuver and manipulate behind the scenes. And we don't twist God's Word to suit ourselves. Rather, we keep everything we do and say out in the open, the whole truth on display, so that those who want to can see and judge for themselves in the presence of God.

 3-4 If our Message is obscure to anyone, it's not because we're holding back in any way. No, it's because these other people are looking or going the wrong way and refuse to give it serious attention. All they have eyes for is the fashionable god of darkness. They think he can give them what they want, and that they won't have to bother believing a Truth they can't see. They're stone-blind to the dayspring brightness of the Message that shines with Christ, who gives us the best picture of God we'll ever get.

 5-6 Remember, our Message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful.

 7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus' sake, which makes Jesus' life all the more evident in us. While we're going through the worst, you're getting in on the best!

 13-15 We're not keeping this quiet, not on your life. Just like the psalmist who wrote, "I believed it, so I said it," we say what we believe. And what we believe is that the One who raised up the Master Jesus will just as certainly raise us up with you, alive. Every detail works to your advantage and to God's glory: more and more grace, more and more people, more and more praise!

 16-18 So we're not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There's far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can't see now will last forever.

Monday, September 3, 2012

don't get discouraged & give up

God gave me this verse to claim for 2 people in my life. And I'm claiming it as well for our present situation.

I also got a strong impression this morning that this is for someone out there today. Let's claim it together ;-)

Galatians 6:9
So don't get tired of doing what is good. Don't get discouraged & give up, for we will reap a harvest of blessing at the appropriate time. (NLT 1st ed.)

Let us not become weary in doing good,(A) for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up. (NIV)

So let's not allow ourselves to get fatigued doing good. At the right time we will harvest a good crop if we don't give up, or quit. (The Message)

Let us not grow tired of doing good, for, unless we throw in our hand, the ultimate harvest is assured. (J.B. Phillips)

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. (ESV)

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Psalm 19

1 The heavens proclaim the glory of God.
  The skies display his craftsmanship.
2 Day after day they continue to speak;
  night after night they make him known.
3 They speak without a sound or word;
  their voice is never heard.*
4 Yet their message has gone throughout the earth,
  and their words to all the world.

God has made a home in the heavens for the sun.
5 It bursts forth like a radiant bridegroom after his wedding.
  It rejoices like a great athlete eager to run the race.
6 The sun rises at one end of the heavens
  and follows its course to the other end.
  Nothing can hide from its heat.

7 The instructions of the LORD are perfect,
  reviving the soul.
The decrees of the LORD are trustworthy,
  making wise the simple.
8 The commandments of the LORD are right,
  bringing joy to the heart.
The commands of the LORD are clear,
  giving insight for living.
9 Reverence for the LORD is pure,
  lasting forever.
The laws of the LORD are true;
  each one is fair.
10 They are more desirable than gold,
  even the finest gold.
They are sweeter than honey,
  even honey dripping from the comb.
11 They are a warning to your servant,
  a great reward for those who obey them.

12 How can I know all the sins lurking in my heart?
  Cleanse me from these hidden faults.
13 Keep your servant from deliberate sins!
  Don't let them control me.
Then I will be free of guilt
  and innocent of great sin.

14 May the words of my mouth
  and the meditation of my heart
be pleasing to you,
  O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

2 verses 4 some 1

Don't know who these are for, but they're for someone. Hope they help ya with whatever's goin' on.

John 16
vs 24 You haven't done this before. Ask, using my name, and you will receive, and you will have abundant joy.

vs 33b Here on earth you will have many trials & sorrows. But take heart, because I (Jesus) have overcome the world