Views

The views expressed here are those of each individual devotion writer. Thank you to our writers for their contributions to this ministry!

Tuesday, April 30, 2019

The Resurrection of Christ

Now, brothers and sisters, I want to remind you of the gospel I preached to you, which you received and on which you have taken your stand. By this gospel you are saved, if you hold firmly to the word I preached to you. Otherwise, you have believed in vain.
For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures,  that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures. 1 Corinthians 15: 1-4a



Monday, April 29, 2019

The Shepherd


"The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.  He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me besides quiet waters, he restores my soul.  He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake." Psalm 23 

"He tends His flock like a shepherd:  He gathers the lambs in His arms and carries them close to His heart; He gently leads those that have young." Isaiah 40:11

"I am the good Shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me..." John 14

As I reflect on these verses from both the Old and New Testaments of the Bible, I am in awe!  God is our Shepherd, loving us Always, especially when Life's hardships have rejected and hurt us.   If we turn to Him, He will love and care for us always.  He will carry us and guide us.  He knows when we need him most and what we need, just like the Shepherd tending his Sheep.

God's Love and Mercy is our greatest gift.  It is the Infallible Gift, which keeps on giving ALWAYS as he remains our forever Shepherd!

I'd like to share a story:

Every once and a while, a ewe will give birth to a lamb and reject it. There are many reasons she may do this. If the lamb is returned to the ewe, the mother may even kick the poor animal away. Once a ewe rejects one of her lambs, she will never change her mind. These little lambs will hang their heads so low that it looks like something is wrong with its neck. Their spirit is broken. These lambs are called “bummer lambs.” Unless the shepherd intervenes, that lamb will die, rejected and alone. So, do you know what the shepherd does? He takes that rejected little one into his home, hand-feeds it and keep it warm by the fire. He will wrap it up with blankets and hold it to his chest so the bummer can hear his heartbeat. Once the lamb is strong enough, the shepherd will place it back in the field with the rest of the flock. But that sheep never forgets how the shepherd cared for him when his mother rejected him. When the shepherd calls for the flock, guess who runs to him first? That is right, the bummer sheep. He knows his voice intimately. It is not that the bummer lamb is loved more, it just knows intimately the one who loves it. It's not that it is loved more, it just believes it because it has experienced that love one on one. So many of us are bummer lambs, rejected and broken. But He is the good Shepherd. He cares for our every need and holds us close to His heart so we can hear His heart beat. We may be broken but we are deeply loved by the Shepherd.  
Author unknown

Prayer: Shepherd God, thank you for your forever Love and Mercy and guidance.  I pray that I may turn to you more frequently in prayer, in your Word, and in living your example of caring for others in their time of need.  I want to let you carry me when I need to be carried and am lost and rejected. 

Connie Barry

Friday, April 26, 2019

John 20


Jesus Appears to His Disciples

On the evening of that first day of the week, when the disciples were together, with the doors locked for fear of the Jewish leaders, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  After he said this, he showed them his hands and side. The disciples were overjoyed when they saw the Lord. Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone’s sins, their sins are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.”

Jesus Appears to Thomas

Now Thomas (also known as Didymus ), one of the Twelve, was not with the disciples when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord!” But he said to them, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe.” A week later his disciples were in the house again, and Thomas was with them. Though the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you!”  Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here; see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it into my side. Stop doubting and believe.” Thomas said to him, “My Lord and my God!” Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

The Purpose of John’s Gospel

Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name. John 20:19-31



Thursday, April 25, 2019

John the Baptist


John the Baptist was, “filled with the Holy Ghost, even from his mother’s womb.” Luke 1:15 Jesus said, “Among them that are born of women there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist. Matthew 3:8. John said, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” John 1:29

During Easter season it is good to think of the man God allowed to be born who would identify the Messiah.

John the Baptist was a different sort of man with one purpose, to proclaim Jesus Christ as the son of God. The two men met while each was still in his mother’s womb. John leaped with joy when Mary, pregnant with Jesus, came to visit his mother. John did what few people can do as he became less as Jesus became more. He even saw his key disciples leave and attach themselves to Jesus says Henry Morris in his Days of Praise booklet.

How many of us can become humble as John the Baptist did?

Prayer: Dear Lord, Please give us some of John the Baptist’s humility. Let us put others before ourselves in this crazy world of things like, money, power, self-confidence in the wrong way and narcissism. Help us to see Jesus with wonder turning our hearts to others. Amen.

Sandra Hilsabeck

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Even When...Will I Still Believe?


Why do you complain, Jacob? Why do you say, Israel, “My way is hidden from the Lord; my cause is disregarded by my God”? Do you not know? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.  He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.  They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:27-31 (NIV)

I wait [patiently] for the Lord, my soul [expectantly] waits, and in His word do I hope. My soul waits for the Lord more than the watchmen for the morning; more than the watchmen for the morning. O Israel, hope in the Lord; for with the Lord there is lovingkindness, and with Him is abundant redemption. Psalm 130:5-7 (AMP)

Meanwhile, the moment we get tired in the waiting, God’s Spirit is right alongside helping us along. If we don’t know how or what to pray, it doesn’t matter. He does our praying in and for us, making prayer out of our wordless sighs, our aching groans. He knows us far better than we know ourselves, knows our pregnant condition, and keeps us present before God. That’s why we can be so sure that every detail in our lives of love for God is worked into something good. Romans 8:26-28  (MSG)

For several years, I've been earnestly praying for an estranged relationship. I'm often asking God, “Why?! I just don't understand!” and “How long do You want things to go on like this?!” and “Isn't there something more I could do to move things along?” It seems as if God's not answering my questions.  I've tried to wait patiently for His timing, but it's SO hard!

This situation is truly putting my faith to the test. Even when things don't get better...even when I don't get answers...will I still believe? Unfortunately, when I worry and fret over this estranged relationship, I'm showing that I don't trust God to handle everything. It's a struggle not to put what I want ahead of what He wants.  But ultimately, my relationship with Him needs to come first...I must place my complete trust in who He is.

God sent me a hopeful, encouraging reminder in church recently. As we sang one of my favorites, “Everlasting God” (based on the scripture from Isaiah above), I remembered another time He spoke to me through that song. This time, God reassured me, “I've got this. Trust me. I haven't forgotten you. I've heard your prayers.” Oh, how my soul needed to hear that. I now feel strengthened for the journey ahead. 

I'm so thankful that God sometimes helps us in the waiting by sending us little--and sometimes big--reminders that He's heard our prayers. And He reassures us that, even when we don't see or understand how, He's still working for our good. So if I keep my eyes and ears open, I just might find the encouragement, strength and guidance I so much need. 

Prayer: God of Hope, forgive us for letting our faith waver when life's disappointing and doesn't go the way we want. During trying times, please give us the strength we need to hold tightly to hope. And thank you for the many ways you've been faithful throughout our lives. May we remember this to give us encouragement for today. Amen.

Sharon Irvin

Tuesday, April 23, 2019

The World God Created


You shall not pollute the land in which you live, for blood pollutes the land, and no atonement can be made for the land for the blood that is shed in it, except by the blood of the one who shed it. You shall not defile the land in which you live, in the midst of which I dwell, for I the Lord dwell in the midst of the people of Israel.” Numbers 35:33-34 ESV

The Lord God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. Genesis 2:15 ESV

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” Genesis 1:26 ESV

“If you come across a bird's nest in any tree or on the ground, with young ones or eggs and the mother sitting on the young or on the eggs, you shall not take the mother with the young. Deuteronomy 22:6 ESV

And God made the beasts of the earth according to their kinds and the livestock according to their kinds, and everything that creeps on the ground according to its kind. And God saw that it was good. Genesis 1:25 ESV

Earth Day was yesterday (I chose to post something about Easter instead), but here are some verses about the earth and some photos of God’s glorious world!





Donna Gustafson

Monday, April 22, 2019

Mark 16

Jesus Has Risen

When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?”
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
“Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him.  But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’”
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark 16: 1-20


Friday, April 19, 2019

Good Friday




Jesus Sentenced to Be Crucified
Then Pilate took Jesus and had him flogged. The soldiers twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on his head. They clothed him in a purple robe and went up to him again and again, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” And they slapped him in the face.
Once more Pilate came out and said to the Jews gathered there, “Look, I am bringing him out to you to let you know that I find no basis for a charge against him.” When Jesus came out wearing the crown of thorns and the purple robe, Pilate said to them, “Here is the man!”
As soon as the chief priests and their officials saw him, they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify!”
But Pilate answered, “You take him and crucify him. As for me, I find no basis for a charge against him.”
The Jewish leaders insisted, “We have a law, and according to that law he must die, because he claimed to be the Son of God.”
When Pilate heard this, he was even more afraid, and he went back inside the palace. “Where do you come from?” he asked Jesus, but Jesus gave him no answer. “Do you refuse to speak to me?” Pilate said. “Don’t you realize I have power either to free you or to crucify you?”
Jesus answered, “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above. Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin.”
From then on, Pilate tried to set Jesus free, but the Jewish leaders kept shouting, “If you let this man go, you are no friend of Caesar. Anyone who claims to be a king opposes Caesar.”
When Pilate heard this, he brought Jesus out and sat down on the judge’s seat at a place known as the Stone Pavement (which in Aramaic is Gabbatha).  It was the day of Preparation of the Passover; it was about noon.
“Here is your king,” Pilate said to the Jews.
But they shouted, “Take him away! Take him away! Crucify him!”
“Shall I crucify your king?” Pilate asked.
“We have no king but Caesar,” the chief priests answered.
Finally Pilate handed him over to them to be crucified.
The Crucifixion of Jesus
So the soldiers took charge of Jesus. Carrying his own cross, he went out to the place of the Skull (which in Aramaic is called Golgotha). There they crucified him, and with him two others—one on each side and Jesus in the middle.
Pilate had a notice prepared and fastened to the cross. It read: jesus of nazareth, the king of the jews.  Many of the Jews read this sign, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and the sign was written in Aramaic, Latin and Greek. The chief priests of the Jews protested to Pilate, “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that this man claimed to be king of the Jews.”
Pilate answered, “What I have written, I have written.”
When the soldiers crucified Jesus, they took his clothes, dividing them into four shares, one for each of them, with the undergarment remaining. This garment was seamless, woven in one piece from top to bottom.
“Let’s not tear it,” they said to one another. “Let’s decide by lot who will get it.”
This happened that the scripture might be fulfilled that said,
“They divided my clothes among them
    and cast lots for my garment.”
So this is what the soldiers did.
Near the cross of Jesus stood his mother, his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother there, and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to her, “Woman, here is your son,” and to the disciple, “Here is your mother.” From that time on, this disciple took her into his home.
The Death of Jesus
Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19: 1-30 New International Version (NIV)

Thursday, April 18, 2019

Maundy Thursday




Preparing the Passover

Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread, which is called the Passover, was approaching. The chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they might put Him to death; for they were afraid of the people.

And Satan entered into Judas who was called Iscariot, belonging to the number of the twelve. And he went away and discussed with the chief priests and officers how he might betray Him to them. They were glad and agreed to give him money. So he consented, and began seeking a good opportunity to betray Him to them apart from the crowd.

Then came the first day of Unleavened Bread on which the Passover lamb had to be sacrificed.  And Jesus sent Peter and John, saying, “Go and prepare the Passover for us, so that we may eat it.”  They said to Him, “Where do You want us to prepare it?”  And He said to them, “When you have entered the city, a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him into the house that he enters.  And you shall say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says to you, “Where is the guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”’ And he will show you a large, furnished upper room; prepare it there.” And they left and found everything just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.

The Lord’s Supper

When the hour had come, He reclined at the table, and the apostles with Him.  And He said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer;  for I say to you, I shall never again eat it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He said, “Take this and share it among yourselves; for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine from now on until the kingdom of God comes.”  And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”  And in the same way He took the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup which is poured out for you is the new covenant in My blood.  But behold, the hand of the one betraying Me is with Mine on the table. For indeed, the Son of Man is going as it has been determined; but woe to that man by whom He is betrayed!” And they began to discuss among themselves which one of them it might be who was going to do this thing.

Who Is Greatest

And there arose also a dispute among them as to which one of them was regarded to be greatest. And He said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who have authority over them are called ‘Benefactors.’  But it is not this way with you, but the one who is the greatest among you must become like the youngest, and the leader like the servant.  For who is greater, the one who reclines at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who reclines at the table? But I am among you as the one who serves.

“You are those who have stood by Me in My trials; and just as My Father has granted Me a kingdom, I grant you that you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom, and you will sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan has demanded permission to sift you like wheat; but I have prayed for you, that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”  But he said to Him, “Lord, with You I am ready to go both to prison and to death!” And He said, “I say to you, Peter, the rooster will not crow today until you have denied three times that you know Me.”

And He said to them, “When I sent you out without money belt and bag and sandals, you did not lack anything, did you?” They said, “No, nothing.” And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.  For I tell you that this which is written must be fulfilled in Me, ‘And He was numbered with transgressors’; for that which refers to Me has its fulfillment.” They said, “Lord, look, here are two swords.” And He said to them, “It is enough.”

The Garden of Gethsemane

And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them, “Pray that you may not enter into temptation.” And He withdrew from them about a stone’s throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying, “Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done.” Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him.  And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground.  When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow,  and said to them, “Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation.”

Jesus Betrayed by Judas

While He was still speaking, behold, a crowd came, and the one called Judas, one of the twelve, was preceding them; and he approached Jesus to kiss Him. But Jesus said to him, “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?” When those who were around Him saw what was going to happen, they said, “Lord, shall we strike with the sword?”  And one of them struck the slave of the high priest and cut off his right ear. But Jesus answered and said, “Stop! No more of this.” And He touched his ear and healed him. Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders who had come against Him, “Have you come out with swords and clubs as you would against a robber?  While I was with you daily in the temple, you did not lay hands on Me; but this hour and the power of darkness are yours.” Luke 22:1-53

Wednesday, April 17, 2019

Devastation

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. James 2: 14-17


The March weather has caused devastation to Nebraska in so many ways. The highway in front of the road to my house was closed as two different bridges to the east had been destroyed by the icebergs rushing through. The water sits in front of my house in the fields where farmers should be planting crops but may not be able to this year. So many other fields are permanently destroyed for growing crops. The number of dead animals is tremendous. Many families' lives are disrupted from their homes and jobs.  


One thing remains constant: God is with us. Each day I pray for answers for those who are struggling. Each time I see more of what damage has been done I turn to God in prayer.   


One morning after driving through my muddy road, staring at the fields still so full of water, I felt a sign of God’s love. It was 15 or more semi trailers loaded with bales of hay headed east; I can’t describe the feeling but it was overwhelming. It was God’s work at hand. Then later I went to Fonner Park and just happened to see them loading bales into a chopper to drop to cattle that can not yet be reached by road. So many things are happening that are God’s work.   


The strength that is needed is there for the asking from God. He is Alive and working in our lives. Helping us to work in other's lives.  


Prayer: Dear God: Thank you for always being there even in our moments of doubt. Thank you for your guiding hands in our lives. Lead us to do for others that which we may not be able to do for ourselves. Lead us to our knees to find our true callings. Lead us to find the true values in our lives. Amen


Lori Hood




Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Self-Exaltation


If anyone thinks he is something when he is nothing, he deceives himself. Galatians 6:3

I had my GPS. I didn’t need any help getting around the flood on my way to Kansas City. After all, I was a Nebraska farm girl. I was raised knowing what was north, south, east and west. We lived 10 miles north of town and 2 miles east of town when I was a child. I could tell which direction I was going. I had been to Kansas City many times.

Okay, the GPS doesn’t work in the Kansas vortex blocking the phone signals. The road signs are small, the traffic on Highway heavy, and I missed the turn on Highway 36 to St. Joseph. I ended up in Topeka. No problem, I will just head east and will get there. The problem was that I wanted to get there in time to see my granddaughter’s twins at dinner before they had to go to bed.

Now, I am on the wrong road west. Must stop and get the GPS back on the phone. Well, it did get me on Interstate 70, through tolls and to my daughter’s in time. However, I would say I was stressed and felt it in my chest. Rush hour on Interstate 70 from Topeka, by Lawrence into Kansas City didn’t help my stress level.

The peace of God is something I didn’t pray for. On the way home I called my friend to tell her about my trip. I was now looking for Love’s filling station as that was the place on the east side of the river where Highway 36 met Interstate 29. She prayed for me to find the right road and get home safely. All of a sudden my GPS talked to me, it had been silent most of the trip, and it said take the next exit. This was just in time for me to turn west on 36 and the south by-pass of St. Joseph was so smooth taking me to Nebraska. I hadn’t reached Love’s yet. Where was my prayer before?

Now, to top it all off, I prayed for her as she thought she had a stress fracture in her foot and needed to walk well in her next day’s travels. I prayed for healing for her foot. She called and said it was better right away when she walked to the mailbox.

Prayer: Dear Lord, please help us to remember you are there with us in all circumstances and will give us peace as travel on this world. You are able to relieve our stress at all times. Please keep us from thinking we are something when we are nothing. Thank you. Amen.

Sandra Hilsabeck-Hastings


Monday, April 15, 2019

Joy, Hope, Peace

“May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Romans 15:13

“Rejoice in hope, patient in suffering, persevere in prayer.” Romans 12:12

Do you know anyone married on Easter? I do. My sister and her husband were married on Easter, March 25, 1951.  My sister stated that their wedding anniversary has never been on Easter. I researched it and found that she was correct. Since 1700, Easter has only been on March 25 five times –1731, 1742, 1883, 1894 and 1951. The next time Easter falls on March 25 is 2035. Easter can fall anywhere between March 22 and April 25. The lunar cycle and the date of the March equinox determine Easter’s date.

Both Easter and weddings share feelings of joy, hope, and peace. We rejoice in Christ’s resurrection on Easter. We have hope that through the power of the Holy Spirit, God is always with us. Easter reminds us that God offers us a new beginning again and again. As an Easter card proclaims, “Easter is just God’s way of saying, ‘I love you forever’.”

Through the promise of the Resurrection, God is with us, now and forever. With the Resurrection, we celebrate the renewed life, hope, and joy that God, who sent Christ to live among us, continues to work with and through us each new day.

Prayer: Dear God, fill us with your joy every day, not just on Easter. By the power of the Holy Spirit, share your hope daily. We need your peace today and every day. Amen.


Lois Poppe

Friday, April 12, 2019

Palm Sunday

Jesus Comes to Jerusalem as King

After Jesus had said this, he went on ahead, going up to Jerusalem. As he approached Bethphage and Bethany at the hill called the Mount of Olives, he sent two of his disciples, saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you untying it?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it.’”
Those who were sent ahead went and found it just as he had told them. As they were untying the colt, its owners asked them, “Why are you untying the colt?”
They replied, “The Lord needs it.”
They brought it to Jesus, threw their cloaks on the colt and put Jesus on it. As he went along, people spread their cloaks on the road.
When he came near the place where the road goes down the Mount of Olives, the whole crowd of disciples began joyfully to praise God in loud voices for all the miracles they had seen:
 “Blessed is the king who comes in the name of the Lord!”[b]
“Peace in heaven and glory in the highest!”
Some of the Pharisees in the crowd said to Jesus, “Teacher, rebuke your disciples!”
“I tell you,” he replied, “if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.”

As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes. The days will come upon you when your enemies will build an embankment against you and encircle you and hem you in on every side. They will dash you to the ground, you and the children within your walls. They will not leave one stone on another, because you did not recognize the time of God’s coming to you.” Luke 19:28-44


Thursday, April 11, 2019

Gratitude

O love the Lord because he hath heard my voice and my supplications. Psalm 116:1

Isn't it wonderful that our God not only hears our prayers of gratitude for all that He has done for us, but He also hears our prayers when we ask for his help. Sometimes when I am troubled by a problem and know that I need lots of help from God, I may forget to thank Him for all the wonderful blessings that He has given to me and immediately begin my prayer by asking for help. Do you sometimes wake up in the middle of the night and have difficulty falling asleep again? It is at these times that I pray to God, thanking Him for all the many blessings that he has given me and asking Him for His help for the day that will be dawning soon. These prayers help me relax and fall asleep again. When I awaken in the morning, I feel that God is with me and that He will be with me throughout the day, guiding me in all that I do and say.

Prayer: Our Heavenly Father, thank you for all the many blessings that you have given us. You are with us every second of every day, watching over us as your children. Help us to always do your will and to be a witness for you in everything that we do and in everything that we say. In Your name we pray. Amen.

Linda Douglas (reprinted from Eastridge Daily Devotion book, printed in 2008)

Wednesday, April 10, 2019

The Tattered Butterfly


But they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. Galatians 6:9

I often photograph butterflies and other insects, and sometimes their wings are tattered. Occasionally, I wonder how they can continue to fly. But they do, and still look beautiful, if a bit worn. (That's a photo I took in Iowa last summer below).

I think of humans, and how we may look and feel a bit worn by the end of the day, or as we’re approaching the end of an ordeal, or even at the end of our lives. Like these insects, we have gone through much and have something to show for it!

God is with us, through it all. If we call on Him, He can give us strength. Maybe calling out in prayer will help give us:

·      that extra boost to make it through the day  

·      that sense of peace that settles on one’s heart when attending the funeral of a loved one

·      that calmness of spirit when one has gone through an illness, or has nursed a loved one through an illness

This isn’t to say we won’t experience grief, pain, fear. But when we ask, God will go along with us. We may end up a bit “tattered”, but that’s okay.

Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for being with me on the hard days. Renew my spirit with your guidance and love, so that I may continue to serve You and others while on this earth. Amen.

Donna Gustafson

(Click on photo to view larger)