And…

The light shining in the darkness.
The anchor in the chaos.
The lifeline in the quicksand.
You are my God and Rock.
Peace in the midst of turmoil.
Mercy in my suffering.
Compassion when all seems lost.
You are my God and Hope.
When the wind and the waves rage.
When the lion lurks in the shadows.
When the enemy fires his arrows.
You are my God and Shield.
I know I am never alone.
For You are my loving Father.
Being Your precious child.
I praise You through Christ my Lord.

Hope-Filled Heart

Merry Advent everyone! That’s right, Advent is here but better yet, Jesus is coming. No, not some earthly birthday party where presents are exchanged in celebration, but rather our King is coming – here – soon – to bring his Church home.
That’s the joy in my heart.
That’s the excitement in my soul.
That’s the longing of my heart – my hope.
So join me in worship as we sing praises to God our Father through Christ Jesus the Lord.


Father in heaven, it is fitting and natural to sing Your praises at all times and in all places as joy overflows from our hearts. You sent Jesus to be born in our likeness – to take on our frail form and then to suffer and die, only to shatter the fetters of death that we may be free. And now we anxiously await Jesus – this time to gather his church for an all-out banquet feast as we engage in uninhibited worship of You, oh God, with all the saints. And so, we prepare our hearts to receive our King as we join with the church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing our joy-filled refrains of praise to You.

Adventing

Everybody is waiting for something:
Sales
Opportunities
Meaning
Healing
Everyone is waiting,
and waiting,
for something.
Waiting anxiously
Waiting hopefully
Waiting expectantly

But how time is wasted waiting wrongly?
How much energy is expended?
How much hope is drained?

Dashed hopes

Wait on Jesus and you won’t be disappointed.
Hope
Peace
Joy
Love
Wait on Jesus

The Evil Monster

Satan,
you are an evil monster,
deceiving and leading away,
the father of lies,
hiding in the shadows,
a lurking lion waiting to pounce,
a wolf wearing sheep clothing.
To hell with you.
Away.
Your dominion has been conquered by my Lord Jesus Christ.
He has shattered your hold through his resurrection.
And that is no lie for Jesus is the Truth.
You try to sell despair, but Jesus is the giver of Life.
You try to blind hearts, but Jesus gives the Holy Spirit to reside therein.
You try to reign but Jesus is the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
You are nothing.
Defeated,
Crushed,
Condemned.
I will not listen to your whispers – no, I will not listen.
I will not buy what you are selling – throw it on the dung heap.
Silence and to hell with you –
forever.
My Lord Jesus reigns.
He is my Truth.
He is my Hope.
He is my Life.
Silence and away with you.

Praying the Psalms ~ Psalm 88

It is okay to be honest with God. It is okay to open the flood gates and pour out your heart to God. God can handle it. God can handle your feelings. You are not going to hurt God’s feelings with your laments and crying out to Him. Yes, there will be dark times in your life and yes, it is okay to run to God with your fears and despair. Too many people have been taught to be careful what you say to God, but one of the things the Psalms teach us is to raise our voices to God, but to do so in faith; for God is faithful.

Notice at the beginning of the Psalm, the psalmist refers to God as my salvation. It is in that light that I offer this prayer for you…

____________________________________________________________________________

O Lord, God of my salvation, I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
[Psalms 88:1‭-‬2 ESV]

Oh Lord, my God, I am in utter despair.
I am lost.
I feel embattled on all sides.
My hope is waning, especially when I look to this world; seeing the hatred and violence, oppression and division, walls and weapons, loveless words and hate-filled rhetoric.
Oh God, I cry out to You but it appears a hopeless endeavor at times.
People close to me are hurting.
People that I love are in pain.
People dear to my heart are without hope and I am at a loss for words.
I don’t know what to say to You. I don’t know how to pray.
Turn Your ear to my prayer.
Look upon my sorrow.
Gaze upon me with Your love.
Though I feel You are distant, I know that You are not.
Though it feels like You are not listening, I know that You do.
Though is feels like I am abandoned, I know that I am not.

But I, O Lord, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
[Psalms 88:13 ESV]

Enemies attack.
The Evil One is having a party in my midst.
Darkness surrounds me.
Oh Lord, my God, show me Your glory.
Touch me with Your mighty hand.
Speak to me with Your still, quiet voice.
Hold me in Your loving arms.
I cry out to You in hope, for You are ever present.
I cry out to You in hope, for thy will be done.
I cry out to You in hope, for I am Your beloved child.
Oh Lord, my God, You and You alone are my salvation.

Amen.

Overflow

This is part of the Holy Communion liturgy that I wrote based on the preaching text, Luke 10:25-37, the Parable of the Good Samaritan…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God through Christ Jesus our Lord. For through Jesus’ death and resurrection, You have shown mercy and compassion to an unclean, sinful and lost people. You did not pass us by, but You have bandaged our wounds of sin and have brought healing to our souls. You have given us a home for which we long. You have given us hope. May our hearts be filled with Your love, so much so, that it overflows into acts of compassion and mercy to our neighbor; as we walk humbly with You. And so, with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven we join in singing Your unending praise…

Bold Witnesses

Today is Ascension Sunday and thus I will be preaching on Luke 24:44-53. The following is the Great Thanksgiving liturgy I wrote for Holy Communion with this context in mind. Stand firm for the Truth and never, ever shrink back in fear…

It is indeed right and salutary that we should at all times and in all places give thanks and praise to you, oh God. You have shown us Your glory through Your son Jesus Christ.
You have opened our eyes to the Truth.
You have cradled us in Your arms.
You have given us hope.
Oh God, Creator and Redeemer, through faith in Jesus’ death and resurrection we rest secure. My we live as bold witnesses of that Truth that others may come to know You as their Lord and God. May we not shrink back but stand firm; ready to die if called to do so. And so, since we have such a sure and certain hope we join with the Church on earth and the hosts of heaven in singing Your unending praise…