From Where?

I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the Lord , who made heaven and earth.” [Psalms 121:1-2]

Oh sinner;
and foolish,
and pride-filled;
from where does your help come?
Does it come from your self-determination?
Does it come from your wisdom?
Does it come from your advanced degree(s)?
Does it come from your many acts of service?
Does it come from your many friends?

From where does your help come?
Be honest, oh sinner;
from where does it come?
If it comes not from the Lord Jesus,
then you have no real and true help.

As for me;
a weak and foolish and pride-filled person?
My help comes from…

The Lord!

It is HE who made the heaven and the earth.
It is HE who knows my very frame.
It is HE who has every hair of my head numbered.
It is HE who knew me before I was born,
and knows me now.
It is HE from whom I have forgiveness through Jesus Christ.
It is the Lord.
My help comes from Him.

The Lord!

So I ask again, oh sinner;
and foolish,
and pride-filled;
from where does your help come?

The Pastor -|—

Strength and Shield

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.
[Psalms 28:7 ESV]

Oh Lord,
You are my Strength.
You are my Shield.
In You I am found safe and secure.
In You I am on firm footing.
In You I shall never to be moved.
And thus I praise You,
oh Lord,
for many would assail me,
Satan’s torments crash against me as the waves of the sea.
Sin is constantly enticing me to turn away from You.
On my own I am weak.
On my own I would surely succumb to the evil one.
On my own You are not glorified.
But You ARE my Strength.
You ARE my Shield.
And thus I am here to praise You.
My heart exalts.
My heart is over-joyed.
For You help me,
and You shield me.
You place a hedge of protection around me.
And there is nothing and no one that can snatch me out of Your hands.
And so, as I begin this new day,
may I ever remember You as my Fortress,
and say with confidence and boldness,
Satan, bring it on.”
To You, oh God, be all glory and honor and strength and praise.
In Jesus name I pray,

The Pastor -|—

Morning Lifting

Holy Father, mighty God,

I lift my prayer to you this morning as I begin my day; ready to face all that will confront me.

I lift my prayer to you this morning as I begin my day; seeking Your will and the faith to stand strong.

I lift my prayer to you this morning with a heavy heart for those who are around me; those who know you and those who know you not:
~ For the lost that they may see Your redeeming face.
~ For the misguided that they may know the Truth of Your son, Jesus Christ.
~ For those who serve false gods as they should serve You; may they see the error of serving gods that will not and can not save.
~ For those who have heard Your name but live in fear of living for You. Grant them confidence, hope and peace.
~ For those who believe in Your Son, Jesus Christ, but feel they have nothing to offer; show them their worth.
~ For those who believe in Your Son and live boldly; may they continue to live boldly for You.
~ For those in leadership that they may live above reproach; giving glory to You through their lives.
~ For the Church that it may be faithful with it’s gifts and talents; boldly proclaiming the coming Kingdom and serving those in need.
~ For those who have heard the name of Jesus but have turned away; carry them home as a shepherd seeking and restoring a lost sheep.

And I pray for those who I have not thought of praying for; may they be brought into my life that I may serve them as You would have me serve them.

Receive my prayer this morning, oh God, that Your glory may shine bright in this dark world.
Receive my prayer this morning, oh God, that I may live for You.
Receive my prayer this morning, oh God, that Your Kingdom may come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.

And as I do this “heavy lifting” this morning, lighten my load with the knowledge and faith that all those who come to You will find a burden that is easy and a load that is light; for it is You that does the “heavy lifting”.


I lift this prayer to you as I head out into this wonderful creation.
Guide me,
Teach me,
Show me
Your most holy way.

In Jesus name I pray, Amen

The Pastor -|—

Avoiding the Legos


Walking in a dark room can be a dangerous undertaking, especially in my home; one filled with toys from a 2 year old and an 8 month old. I have learned the hard lesson to never take for granted safe passage through our dark living room. I either use my smart phone or activate the screen on my Fitbit to cast just enough light to guide my path.

[In case you’re wondering why I don’t turn a lamp on – my little girl’s room is right off the living room with only French doors and a curtain to keep the light out]

And to travel through this dark world without the light of God’s Word is also a dangerous undertaking; but for far worse reasons than simply stubbing your toe or stepping on a Lego. God’s Word lights the path of righteousness that we are to walk .

“You lead me in paths of righteousness for Your name’s sake”
(Psalm 23:3)

For when darkness descends upon us, Satan is going to be quick to be a false guide to lead you away, or worse yet ~ Your adversary, the Devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour(1 Peter 5:8) It’s only the light of God’s Words that is going to reveal Satan’s evil schemes to deceive you (or devour you).

I can think of a few times in my life when darkness descended upon me but the Spirit led me to the light of God’s Word:
~ After our failed adoption I was lead to the Psalms (lament and praise)
~ After the Charleston shooting last week I was lead to 1 Corinthians 15:54-57.
~ After a rough morning with my 2 year old I was lead to Matthew 4.

God’s Word was indeed a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
God’s Word shined a light on the prowling lion waiting to devour me.
God’s Word shined a light to keep me on the right path when the path of bitterness seemed like a good way.
God’s Word shined a light on the righteousness won for me through Jesus.
God’s Word shined brightly in the darkness to cast away my fears.

So never think you know how to navigate dark times. Just because you may have been there before, never take for granted that you know the path. It’s in that complacency that you will step on the proverbial Lego and turn away. Activate the light of God’s Word in your life to avoid stepping on those Legos as you follow the path of righteousness no matter how scary the path may look; trusting God’s Word and not your fears.

Holy God, I am in awe that you would give us Your holy Word. May we use the light of Your Word to guide our way and trust the path that is revealed. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Lists of Praise

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14 ESV)

Oh God, You are my…
All in all
Sure foundation


Oh God, You are…


Oh God, I am…
at Peace
a Disciple
a Evangelist
Your child
Your handiwork
Your servant
Your creation


Oh God, I lift my praise to You. Keep me steadfast in Your Word that I may never turn aside after false gods. And may I continue to add to these lists for they do not even come close to describing You, oh God. All praise and worship be to You, through Christ Jesus my Lord, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Good News in a bad news world


Teen dies after ‘simple, common wisdom teeth extraction’

Mpls. police investigate fatal shooting

Teen charged with murder in toddler’s violent death

Man found guilty of attempted murder at party

Heavy rain from Bill threatens new floods in North Texas

Bad news, bad news, bad news; it’s all around us. And these are just a few headlines I found on the website of a local TV station. And as you look further out into world news, it doesn’t get much better:
~ Wars
~ Terrorism
~ Extreme poverty/hunger
~ Genocide

Closer to home, your news may seem even worse:
“Your prognosis is not good”
“I want a divorce”
~ “Your position is being eliminated”
~ “There was an accident…”

And just reading those headlines makes me depressed. Sure, there are those feel good stories that the late evening news shows from time to time, but it’s not enough to numb the pain and heart ache that dominates the headlines. A story of a young child saving her mother, who was having a diabetic reaction, warms your heart and puts a smile on your face, but then a following story about ISIS seemingly takes that all away.

Bad news, bad news, bad news.
We need some Good News.

He is not afraid of bad news; his heart is firm, trusting in the Lord. [Psalm 112:7]

And then I read this verse from the Psalter; not afraid of bad news. Why? Because of the Good News that the psalmist has in his heart: trusting in the Lord.

The bad news that seems to dominate headlines (because for some reason that seems to grab more ratings) is only truly bad news if your hope is only in this world. If you are putting all your eggs in one basket; putting all your senior officers in one shuttle craft, then there is much to fear when all hell seems to be breaking lose.


If your hope is in the Lord; trusting in His promises, then THE Good News (Jesus Christ) will dominate your headlines and snuff out that life draining bad news that Satan is trying to promote. Feel good stories are great and give us a glimpse of God working in the lives of people, but the ultimate “feel good” story is Jesus Christ dying for your sins and then rising to New Life that you may have the hope of the resurrection. And after the resurrection; no more bad news.

I like that and now I feel much better.
Joy has been restored.
Good News trumping bad news.


Bring on the bad news, Satan, for you can not top THE Good News of Jesus Christ; for it is this Good News I will focus on and thus trust in my God.

Holy God, when bad news threatens to steal my joy remind me of the Good News of Jesus Christ; whereby my hope is placed. In Jesus name I pray, Amen.

The Pastor -|—

Pass the Salt


Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person. [Colossians 4:5-6]

Speaking with “outsiders” about matters of faith can be a frustrating thing; especially when they don’t seem to get it. We talk about what we believe and then get attacked. One then gets defensive and fiery attacks continue. And before you know it, it’s a volley of barbs being thrown back and forth; causing more damage. This may continue indefinitely or you just give up and commend the outsider to be an outsider forever.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul tells the Church to “Walk in wisdom towards outsiders…” meaning, seek the wisdom of God when you are speaking to and living among outsiders. The temptation is to use cleverly worded arguments but that does not work if they are not Spirit lead; if they are not “salted”. When we walk in our own wisdom we get caught up in our own agenda and timing. We want the outsider to come around to our way of thinking and right now; not realizing that our way of thinking may not be God’s way of thinking. And when our agenda does not happen as we want and when, we get frustrated, and therefore what really get’s accomplished?

Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of the time.

because the time is not yours but God’s. We don’t see the whole picture. We don’t understand God’s plan. It may not be the outsider that God is after but maybe you. Maybe it is not about making the outsider an insider but rather drawing you closer to God in order to help you see what your role is with outsiders. All very confusing and maybe a little time consuming, but remember, the time is not your’s but rather God’s. So make good use of what God gives you and trust Him.

And Let your speech always be gracious

because you know the saying, “You can catch more flies with honey than can with vinegar.” Getting defensive and argumentative with people about matters of faith is not going to win people over; but rather push them away. When things are getting heated with an outsider, stop and think what you are doing.
Is your speech gracious?
Is it giving God glory?
Are you being selfish?
This is convicting for me when I think about past encounters with outsiders. So get out the honey and put away the vinegar.

So therefore let your speech be seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

knowing the answering of each person is something that comes from God. I am not smart enough to deal with outsiders but thankfully God is, so why not appeal to God in these matters? Why not let God, through the Holy Spirit, season your words? For the wisdom of God is greater and higher than anything man can come up with. That’s the side I want to be on.

So seek God’s wisdom;
continue in scripture;
let your light so shine,
trust in God’s timing.

May God be glorified as you speak to and live among outsiders.

Holy Father, please pass the salt so that my words may be seasoned with wisdom and power that can only come from you; that the outsider may come to give you praise and glory. In Jesus name, Amen.

The Pastor -|—