Monday, December 31, 2012

yearly verses


(The Message) Matthew 6:33 Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative,God-provisions.

Don't worry about missing out.

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

34 Give your 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 with whatever had things come up when the time comes.


Psalm 32:8 The Lord says,

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

     I will advise you

        & watch over you.

Sunday, December 30, 2012

hold on to this

2 Corinthians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort.

4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others.

     When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.

5 For the more we suffer for Christ, the more God will shower us with his comfort through Christ.

6 Even when we are weighed down with troubles, it is for your comfort and salvation!

        For when we ourselves are comforted, we will certainly comfort you.

        Then you can patiently endure the same things we suffer.

7 We are confident that as you share in our sufferings, you will also share in the comfort God gives us.

8 We think you ought to know, dear brothers and sisters, about the trouble we went through in the province of Asia.

We were crushed and overwhelmed beyond our ability to endure, and we thought we would never live through it.

       9 In fact, we expected to die.

       But as a result, we stopped relying on ourselves

             and learned to rely only on God, who raises the dead.

10 And he did rescue us from mortal danger, and he will rescue us again.

We have placed our confidence in him, and he will continue to rescue us.

11 And you are helping us by praying for us.

           Then many people will give thanks because God has graciously answered so many prayers for our safety.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

last minute thoughts

Ya know how when you're talking to someone on the phone, or in a texting conversation, or on Facebook IM,or Skype, or Facetime, when you come to the end of your conversation,you kinda jam a lot of last minute things thoughts & ideas?

That's what the apostle, Paul, is doing here at the end of his first letter to the church in Corinth.

It was a bunch of people who were new Christ followers, trying to make their way in a wicked, wicked world.

Paul had talked about a lot of stuff with them, writing some of the foundational thinking for the early church, as well for us now.

Here's what he said to those newby Christ followers in Corinth - I think it works today for us, too...

1 Corinthians 16

13 Be on guard.

Stand true to what you believe.

Be courageous.

Be strong.

14 And everything you do must be done with love.

Friday, December 28, 2012


Here's some verses & thoughts that I had this morning, for what it's worth.

Psalm 131:1b I don't concern myself w/ matters too great or awesome for me. (dan note: which, these days, seems to be most stuff!)

Psalm 131:2a I have stilled & quieted myself,just as a small child is quiet w/ its mother. (dan note:that, or I'm just struck mute!)

1 Corinthians 15:10a whatever I am now, it is all bc God poured out His special favor on me. (dan note: boy howdy - & w/o it, yur nuthin')

1 Corinthians 15:58b nothing you do for the Lord is ever useless. (dan note: someone remind me of this every day!)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

His Word

Psalm 130:5 I am counting on the Lord;

     I have put my hope in His word.

Since 2003, the Lord has given me verses to hold on to each year.

Also, along the way, He's given me verses that have spoken to needs or situations in my life, or in the lives of others.

I can't imagine how I would have made it if He hadn't.

I don't know how I made it through the years when my Bible reading was higgledy-piggledy at best.

I can't imagine not depending completely & utterly on what He says to me through the Bible.

Please read the Bible every day.

God will mess with you.

But His speaking to you through the Bible will quickly become the anchor of your life.

Trust me on this.

It's what the Bible has become, & more importantly, what the Lord has become, to & in me.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012


Turn Your Eyes upon Jesus - Helen H. Lemmel

1. O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus.
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

2. Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
O’er us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conqu’rors we are!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

3. His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

that night...

Luke 2:8 That night there were shepherds staying in the fields nearby, guarding their flocks of sheep.

9 Suddenly, an angel of the Lord appeared among them, and the radiance of the Lord's glory surrounded them.

        They were terrified,

        10 but the angel reassured them. "Don't be afraid!" he said.

               "I bring you good news that will bring great joy to all people.

               11 The Savior—yes, the Messiah, the Lord—has been born today in Bethlehem, the city of David!

               12 And you will recognize him by this sign: You will find a baby wrapped snugly in strips of cloth, lying in a manger."

  13 Suddenly, the angel was joined by a vast host of others—the armies of heaven—praising God and saying,

            14 "Glory to God in highest heaven, and peace on earth to those with whom God is pleased."

  15 When the angels had returned to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, "Let's go to Bethlehem! Let's see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has told us about."

  16 They hurried to the village and found Mary and Joseph. And there was the baby, lying in the manger.

17 After seeing him, the shepherds told everyone what had happened and what the angel had said to them about this child.

18 All who heard the shepherds' story were astonished,

19 but Mary kept all these things in her heart and thought about them often.

20 The shepherds went back to their flocks, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen.

            It was just as the angel had told them.

Monday, December 24, 2012


iow, we don't get to make plans & take action & then ask the Lord to bless it?

we basically say to God,"whatcha want me to be &/or do?" & then follow His lead?

That sounds like total surrender.

That sounds like we have no rights or say in the matter

That sounds like that's not fair.

God gave me a brain & I should use it!

Psalm 127:1 Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is useless.

     Unless the Lord protects a city, guarding it w/ sentries will do no good.

Sunday, December 23, 2012


so much for "the devil made me do it" - no excuses!

1 Corinthians 10
13 remember that the temptations that come into your life are no different from what others experience.

And God is faithful.

He will keep temptation from becoming so that you can't stand it.

When you are tempted, He will show you a way out so that you will not give in to it.

Friday, December 21, 2012


1 Corinthians 8:1b While knowledge may make us feel important, it is love that really builds up the church.

2 Anyone who claims to know all the answers doesn't really know very much.

3 But the person who loves God is the one God know & cares for.

There was a period of time in high school that I was trying to figure out what was important. Looking back, I see how much it influenced the rest of my life.

I was trying to figure out what were the things that really mattered about our lives, things that define our lives.

Was it wealth? Fame? Lots of education & degrees? Power?

Somewhere along the line, I realized that in the end, what REALLY mattered was that when we are dead i& gone, people will think to themselves, "my life is better because this person was a part of it."

And that decision has shaped the rest of my life.

It's all about love, ladies & gentlemen. It's all about loving people well.

As the decades have passed,I have found nothing that supercedes that basic truth.

It's all about loving people well.

Thursday, December 20, 2012


Psalm 123:2 We look to the Lord our God for His mercy,

        just as servants keep their eyes on their master,

        as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

Do any of us keep this sort of high intensity attentiveness with God?

Or do we make our plans & then ask Him, or expect Him, to bless them?


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

one body

1 Corinthians 6
12 You say, "I am allowed to do anything",

         but not everything is good for you.

And even though "I am allowed to do anything," I must not become a slave to anything.

13 You say, "Food was made for the stomach, and the stomach for food."

        (This is true, though someday God will do away with both of them.)

But you can't say that our bodies were made for sexual immorality.

They were made for the Lord, and the Lord cares about our bodies.

14 And God will raise us from the dead by his power, just as he raised our Lord from the dead.

  15 Don't you realize that your bodies are actually parts of Christ?

Should a man take his body, which is part of Christ, and join it to a prostitute?


16 And don't you realize that if a man joins himself to a prostitute, he becomes one body with her?

            For the Scriptures say, "The two are united into one."

17 But the person who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with him.

  18 Run from sexual sin!

           No other sin so clearly affects the body as this one does.

For sexual immorality is a sin against your own body.

19 Don't you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you and was given to you by God?

You do not belong to yourself, 20 for God bought you with a high price.

So you must honor God with your body.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

my help

This video goes with this note...

Psalm 121
1 I look up to the mountains—
  does my help come from there?
2 My help comes from the LORD,
  who made heaven and earth!

3 He will not let you stumble;
  the one who watches over you will not slumber.
4 Indeed, he who watches over Israel
  never slumbers or sleeps.

5 The LORD himself watches over you!
  The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.
6 The sun will not harm you by day,
  nor the moon at night.

7 The LORD keeps you from all harm
  and watches over your life.
8 The LORD keeps watch over you as you come and go,
  both now and forever.

Monday, December 17, 2012


1 Corinthians 4:20 For the Kingdom of God is not just fancy talk; it is living by God's power.

How many of us really live by God's power?

And how many of us live under our own steam?

How many of us never put ourselves in situations that will cause us to be totally dependent on God & His holy power to see us through?

And how many of us simply live our lives just talking about depending on God, but we never do?

Sunday, December 16, 2012


1 Corinthians 3:18 Stop fooling yourselves. If you think you are wise by this world's standards, you will have to become a fool so you can become wise by God's standards.

What does this mean to you - what is Paul trying to say to us here?

Saturday, December 15, 2012

our minds

Just think about this for a minute...

1 Corinthians 2
12 And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

  13 When we tell you these things, we do not use words that come from human wisdom.

          Instead, we speak words given to us by the Spirit, using the Spirit's words to explain spiritual truths.

14 But people who aren't spiritual can't receive these truths from God's Spirit.

       It all sounds foolish to them and they can't understand it, for only those who are spiritual can understand what the Spirit means.

15 Those who are spiritual can evaluate all things, but they themselves cannot be evaluated by others.16 For,

"Who can know the LORD's thoughts?
  Who knows enough to teach him?"*

But we understand these things, for we have the mind of Christ.

Friday, December 14, 2012

God talkiing

Psalm 119:105 Your word is a lamp for my feet & a light to my path.

I put up a pic on my FB timeline yesterday that was pretty singular. It said...

Prayer - how you talk to God.
Read scripture - How God talks to you.

Sometimes I think people don't get it when I talk about reading the Bible each day. They think it's some sort of duty that I just grit my teeth & do each day because I'm "a good Christian."

Nope, that's not it at all.

God speaks to me when I read the Bible.

It's just that simple.

Reading the Bible is the major way God speaks to me.

I figure if He uses the reading of the Bible as the major way He speaks to me, then there's a good chance He'll speak to you,too.

I will warn you though...

If you read the Bible every day, God will talk to you.

He will mess with you.

And He will mess with you in ways & places in your life that you don't want Him to mess with.

But God loves us to much to leave us where He found us.

Just a thought...

(Read the Bible - God will talk to you - lots!)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

closing words

If we write an email,or a letter, or a card (does anyone do that anymore?!) or if we write a private message on Facebook, toward the end we sometimes write a bunch of random stuff, trying to finish up all we wanted to say to that person.

That's what the writer of Hebrews did in chapter 13. (No, we don't really know who wrote it.)

So read through these & see what applies to life for you...

Hebrews 13
1 Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters.

2 Don't forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!

3 Remember those in prison, as if you were there yourself. Remember also those being mistreated, as if you felt their pain in your own bodies. (dan note: if we REALLY thought this applies to all of us, how would we then live?)

  4 Give honor to marriage, and remain faithful to one another in marriage. God will surely judge people who are immoral and those who commit adultery.

  5 Don't love money; be satisfied with what you have. For God has said,

"I will never fail you.
  I will never abandon you."
(dan note: the second part of verse 5 is my life verse - iow, it's the verse I carry with me, that difnes my life w/ God, & is something I hold on to through thick & thin - it's God directly speaking to me.)

6 So we can say with confidence,

"The LORD is my helper,
  so I will have no fear.
  What can mere people do to me?"

  7 Remember your leaders who taught you the word of God. Think of all the good that has come from their lives, and follow the example of their faith.
 8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 9 So do not be attracted by strange, new ideas. Your strength comes from God's grace, not from rules about food, which don't help those who follow them.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

good stuff

Just read this slowly, then maybe again - there's some good stuff here, encouraging.

It may be for you & where you are today. I know it is for me.

Hebrews 12
1b ...let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us. 2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith. Because of the joy awaiting him, he endured the cross, disregarding its shame. Now he is seated in the place of honor beside God's throne. 3 Think of all the hostility he endured from sinful people; then you won't become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin.

  5 And have you forgotten the encouraging words God spoke to you as his children? He said,

"My child, don't make light of the LORD's discipline,
  and don't give up when he corrects you.
6 For the LORD disciplines those he loves,
  and he punishes each one he accepts as his child."

7 As you endure this divine discipline, remember that God is treating you as his own children. Who ever heard of a child who is never disciplined by its father? 8 If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means that you are illegitimate and are not really his children at all. 9 Since we respected our earthly fathers who disciplined us, shouldn't we submit even more to the discipline of the Father of our spirits, and live forever?

  10 For our earthly fathers disciplined us for a few years, doing the best they knew how. But God's discipline is always good for us, so that we might share in his holiness.11 No discipline is enjoyable while it is happening—it's painful! But afterward there will be a peaceful harvest of right living for those who are trained in this way.

  12 So take a new grip with your tired hands and stand firm on your shaky legs. 13 Mark out a straight path for your feet so that those who follow you, though they are weak and lame will not stumble & fall but will become strong.

14 Work at living in peace with everyone, and work at living a holy life, for those who are not holy will not see the Lord. 15 Look after each other so that none of you fails to receive the grace of God. Watch out that no poisonous root of bitterness grows up to trouble you, corrupting many. 16 Make sure that no one is immoral or godless like Esau, who traded his birthright as the firstborn son for a single meal.

  25 Be careful that you do not refuse to listen to the One who is speaking. For if the people of Israel did not escape when they refused to listen to Moses, the earthly messenger, we will certainly not escape if we reject the One who speaks to us from heaven! 26 When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: "Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also." 27 This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain.

  28 Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. 29 For our God is a devouring fire.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

5 words

Exodus 3

this is the burning bush scene between Moses & God.

This is when God tells Moses to go lead the Jews out of slavery in Egypt.

Moses asked Him how he would lead the Jews out of Egypt.

I think that is a reasonable question.If God said that to you or me,I think we'd carefully asked how He was gonna pull this off.

God simply said 5 words that obviously God thought answered the question completely, utterly,& eternally.

"I will be with you."

I think that's what God says to all of us when He tells us to be or do something.

"I will be with you."

Monday, December 10, 2012

hold on

Here's 2 verses I held on to for the last 2.5+ years.

They've helped me walk through some dark days...

Hebrews 10
35 Do not 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 you will continue to do God's will.

Saturday, December 8, 2012


One of the verses for 2013 - will there be more?

Psalm 32:8

The Lord says, I will guide you along the best pathway for your life.

I will advise you

  & watch over you.

Friday, December 7, 2012

not to us

Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us,
  but to your name goes all the glory
  for your unfailing love and faithfulness.
2 Why let the nations say,
  "Where is their God?"
3 Our God is in the heavens,
  and he does as he wishes.
4 Their idols are merely things of silver and gold,
  shaped by human hands.
5 They have mouths but cannot speak,
  and eyes but cannot see.
6 They have ears but cannot hear,
  and noses but cannot smell.
7 They have hands but cannot feel,
  and feet but cannot walk,
  and throats but cannot make a sound.
8 And those who make idols are just like them,
  as are all who trust in them.

9 O Israel, trust the LORD!
  He is your helper and your shield.
10 O priests, descendants of Aaron, trust the LORD!
  He is your helper and your shield.
11 All you who fear the LORD, trust the LORD!
  He is your helper and your shield.

12 The LORD remembers us and will bless us.
  He will bless the people of Israel
  and bless the priests, the descendants of Aaron.
13 He will bless those who fear the LORD,
  both great and lowly.

14 May the LORD richly bless
  both you and your children.
15 May you be blessed by the LORD,
  who made heaven and earth.
16 The heavens belong to the LORD,
  but he has given the earth to all humanity.
17 The dead cannot sing praises to the LORD,
  for they have gone into the silence of the grave.
18 But we can praise the LORD
  both now and forever!

Praise the LORD!

Thursday, December 6, 2012


Sometimes I share verses that mean something to me. Every so often, I share stuff that I feel is for someone else.

This morning is one of those times - I get the feeling this is something for someone who needs encouraging to keep on.

If that's you, this one's for you...

Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unjust.

He will not forget how hard you have worked for him

     and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,

     as you still do.

11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts,

         in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.

Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises because of their faith and endurance.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

solid food

Hebrews 5:12 You have been believers so long now that you ought to be teaching others.

     Instead, you need someone to teach you again the basic things about God's word.

You are like babies who need milk and cannot eat solid food.

13 For someone who lives on milk is still an infant and doesn't know how to do what is right.

14 Solid food is for those who are mature, who through training have the skill to recognize the difference between right and wrong.

So, what is the"solid food"?

I think a concerted effort to read ALL of the Bible on a regular basis. Trust me, God will mess with us in ways we cannot imagine. We will grow or die trying if we read all the different parts of the Bible.

Another way is equally obvious - talk to God- or maybe more importantly, let God talk to us.
Now, it will take a while & some practice to learn to listen, but it can be done. If I can do it, you can do it.
Just ask Him a simple question - "do You have anything You wanna say to me?"
One word of warning: we shouldn't ask that question unless we're prepared for the answer.

One more way to embrace the solid food of living & following Him is to ask Him to bring hurting people into our lives that we can help connect with God.
Trust me on this: if we ask Him to do that, He will bring crazy people into our lives. He'll bring people we don't know how to begin with.
But if God truly brings someone into our lives, He provides us with His strength & wisdom to deal with them.
And we don't have to be great theologians - all we have to do is listen to people - that's all they really want.

Think about these 3 things, 3 ways to start encountering the solid food of being a Christ follower.

Just a thought...

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

as followers...

Just read this slowly & absorb what we have  available when we follow the Lord...

Psalm 112:1 Praise the LORD!

How joyful are those who fear the LORD

  and delight in obeying his commands.

2 Their children will be successful everywhere;

  an entire generation of godly people will be blessed.

3 They themselves will be wealthy,

  and their good deeds will last forever.

4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly.

  They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

5 Good comes to those who lend money generously

  and conduct their business fairly.

6 Such people will not be overcome by evil.

  Those who are righteous will be long remembered.

7 They do not fear bad news;

  they confidently trust the LORD to care for them.

8 They are confident and fearless

  and can face their foes triumphantly.

9 They share freely and give generously to those in need.

  Their good deeds will be remembered forever.

  They will have influence and honor.

10 The wicked will see this and be infuriated.

  They will grind their teeth in anger;

  they will slink away, their hopes thwarted.

Monday, December 3, 2012

following willingly

Just read slowly through this & consider what it means...

Hebrews 3
1 And so, dear brothers and sisters who belong to God and* are partners with those called to heaven, think carefully about this Jesus whom we declare to be God's messenger and High Priest. 2 For he was faithful to God, who appointed him, just as Moses served faithfully when he was entrusted with God's entire* house.
  3 But Jesus deserves far more glory than Moses, just as a person who builds a house deserves more praise than the house itself. 4 For every house has a builder, but the one who built everything is God.
  5 Moses was certainly faithful in God's house as a servant. His work was an illustration of the truths God would reveal later. 6 But Christ, as the Son, is in charge of God's entire house. And we are God's house, if we keep our courage and remain confident in our hope in Christ.*
  7 That is why the Holy Spirit says,

"Today when you hear his voice,
8   don't harden your hearts
as Israel did when they rebelled,
  when they tested me in the wilderness.
9 There your ancestors tested and tried my patience,
  even though they saw my miracles for forty years.
10 So I was angry with them, and I said,
'Their hearts always turn away from me.
  They refuse to do what I tell them.'
11 So in my anger I took an oath:
  'They will never enter my place of rest.'"

12 Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God. 13 You must warn each other every day, while it is still "today," so that none of you will be deceived by sin and hardened against God. 14 For if we are faithful to the end, trusting God just as firmly as when we first believed, we will share in all that belongs to Christ. 15 Remember what it says:

"Today when you hear his voice,
  don't harden your hearts
  as Israel did when they rebelled."

  16 And who was it who rebelled against God, even though they heard his voice? Wasn't it the people Moses led out of Egypt? 17 And who made God angry for forty years? Wasn't it the people who sinned, whose corpses lay in the wilderness? 18 And to whom was God speaking when he took an oath that they would never enter his rest? Wasn't it the people who disobeyed him? 19 So we see that because of their unbelief they were not able to enter his rest.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

verses for 2012 & 2013

Back in October, 2011, during a sermon my Pastor John, God poked me & let me know this passage was for me to hold on to during 2012 (& beyond?)

I wasn't expecting to get the verses for 2012 that morning. It just happened. God's pretty creative sometimes when He speaks to me.

You have no idea how spot on it's been this year.

Matthew 6 (The Message)

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

Don't worry about missing out.

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

34 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 with whatever hard things come up when the time comes.

I have at least one verse for next year.There may be more - we've got another month.

I wonder how this verse will be played out in my life next year?

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 think we're fixin' to find out...