Glorious Day

Glorious Day

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises

One day when sin was as black as could be

Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin

Dwelt among men, my example is He

Word became flesh and the light shined among us

His glory revealed


Living, he loved me

Dying, He saved me

Buried, He carried my sin far away

Rising, He justified, freely forever

One day He’s coming

Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain

One day they nailed Him to die on a tree

Suffering anguish, despised and rejected

Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He

Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree

And took the nails for me


One day the grave could conceal Him no longer

One day the stone rolled away from the door

Then He arose, over death He had conquered

Now He ascended, my Lord evermore

Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him

From rising again


One day the trumpet will sound for His coming

One day the skies with His glories will shine

Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing

My Savior, Jesus, is mine


To me this is the perfect song about the sacrifice of Jesus – It was written a long time ago, but recently redone by the band Casting Crowns.

Michele Edgel

Books on Sacrficial Living

The Hiding Place & Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom

Corrie ten Boom was a Dutch Christian who along with her father and other family members, helped many Jews escape the Nazi Holocaust during World War II.  She was imprisoned for her activities.  Her first book, The Hiding Place, tells about this ordeal.  Tramp For the Lord is the sequel.

The Duty of Delight:  The Diaries of Dorothy Day

Dorothy Day was an American journalist, social activist, and devout Catholic convert.  She tirelessly served the poor by creating a community dedicated to direct aid for the homeless. 

Love Mercy by Lisa Samson and Ty Samson

This is the story of a family’s journey from living in a five-thousand square foot house in suburban Baltimore to caring about justice, mercy and the kingdom of God breaking into our suffering world.  They eventually sold their home to purchase a run down Victorian which they call a “hospitality house,” open to those who need a place to heal, be safe, or just relax for a while.  Lisa and daughter, Ty, eventually travel to Africa to chronicle the AIDS crisis.

The Diary of Elisabeth Koren (1853-1855)

This diary takes us on a journey across the Atlantic to the frontier of the Middle West with her young husband who served many Lutheran congregations.  Travel is primitive;  her husband is gone for weeks at a time, and Elisabeth lives with other families in a crowded Iowa log cabin until the first parsonage is finally built.

These women can be mentors for us in trying to be a “living sacrifice.  Have you read any of these books?  Will you?  Do you have others to suggest?  Let us know.


Catchy title isn’t it?  So the question is – Why did Jesus Christ have to die?  I want you to take a minute and get the visual picture of our Lord on a rough, splintered cross; he has been severely beaten, lashed with a whip, and NAILED to a cross.  Do you have the visual yet?  Why? Because we are bad period.  We are full of sin and without the sacrifice of the ONLY totally sin free person to walk the earth we would DIE.  Sounds harsh, doesn’t it.  Well as they say the truth hurts, but thanks to the ETERNAL love of God we have the perfect sacrifice so we have eternal life.  All month we have blogged about sacrifice but today just a few days before the recognition of Christ’s sacrifice (Good Friday), it came to me that I haven’t given the credit to the one responsible for my eternal life in a fitting manner.  So let me delve into this subject a little bit.

The church I attend is currently studying the Book of Romans and recently we reviewed the 5th chapter and the following verse has been following me around all day, I saw it in a devotional I read & heard it on a radio broadcast I was listening to)

 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die—  but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Romans 5:6-8

This verse is pretty powerful – He died because we are UNGODLY – it doesn’t say a little bit bad it says UNGODLY.  Wow – if we are honest with ourselves (we rarely are) we would admit that we are totally corrupted by sin.  It affects everything we do, and I mean everything.  I will give you a recent situation that involves me personally:

I wrote an article for our church’s newsletter in January (Posted here as Love Thy Neighbor) and one of my fellow congregants came up to me to tell me that they enjoyed it and it made them think a lot about how they treat others.  I thought – that’s great, what a good thing I did – Oh well it may have been good but now I tainted it with sin – Pride is a sin and I was proud of the reaction I got.

How can we combat this inclination we have?  I don’t know if we can, we are human and unfortunately sin seems to permeate everything we do, if it wasn’t for God’s redeeming grace, I fear that I would get a one way ticket to the great down under.  But fortunately, I thanks to Jesus’ sacrifice, I am headed on a one way ticket to Heaven.  Wow I got a first class ticket to eternal life and I didn’t do anything to deserve it, NOT ONE THING.  How great is the love of our Father.

Not that any of this means we stop doing the good things, just that we understand how even our good is tainted.

Remember that it is by Grace thru Faith for Works that we live.

Thank you Jesus for giving your life for me, a sin infested, ungodly miscreant who did not deserve it.

So I know this blog was a little harsh, but I want YOUR feedback – the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Let me know.

Remember God Loves You And So Do I

Michele Edgel


Sacrificial Songs

“Through, Jesus, therefore, let us continually offer to God a sacrifice of praise—the fruit of lips that confess his name.”  Hebrews 13:15


Lutherans are called “the singing church” probably because Martin Luther thought so highly of music.  He called it “a fair and glorious gift of God” and said, “besides theology, music is the only art capable of affording peace and joy of the heart.”  He wished to see “all arts, principally music, (used) in the service of Him who gave and created them.”


Hymns and spiritual songs can be “the fruit of lips that confess his name.”  When we meditate on the words, songs can teach us.  When we sing them with God’s love in our heart, they become prayer.  In the worship service, we praise God with our songs.  Singing together builds community.


I thought it would appropriate this month (and maybe every month) to share a song that captures our theme. 


  1. Take my life and let it be
    Consecrated, Lord, to Thee.
    *Take my moments and my days,
    Let them flow in endless praise.
  2. Take my hands and let them move
    At the impulse of Thy love.
    Take my feet and let them be
    Swift and beautiful for Thee.
  3. Take my voice and let me sing,
    Always, only for my King.
    Take my lips and let them be
    Filled with messages from Thee.
  4. Take my silver and my gold,
    Not a mite would I withhold.
    Take my intellect and use
    Every pow’r as Thou shalt choose.
  5. Take my will and make it Thine,
    It shall be no longer mine.
    Take my heart, it is Thine own,
    It shall be Thy royal throne.
  6. Take my love, my Lord, I pour
    At Thy feet its treasure store.
    Take myself and I will be
    Ever, only, all for Thee.

What is your favorite hymn about sacrifice?  What have you learned from it?

We want to hear your ideas!

What is a God Pleasing Sacrifice?

“And do not neglect doing good and sharing, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.”  Hebrews 13:16


There’s an old saying I’ve heard many times in Christian circles –if the devil can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy.  When I get together with some of the women of our church, we usually spend time complaining about how busy we are.  Of course, we’re busy doing good things like teaching Sunday School, preparing for Bible study, cooking for fellowship dinners, serving in community organizations — but still, it can become overwhelming.  We lose sight of why we are doing those good things (for the glory of God, as Kate told us in Sacrifice and Love) and they just become items on a ‘to do’ list we need to check off.


We can also become so busy we miss the small, yet important things we can do spontaneously every day.  We become too distracted to really listen to our husband, child or friend.  We don’t have time to send a card or note to someone who is ill or a shut-in.  We keep meaning to invite that lonely person to dinner, but never get around to it.  We have good intentions, but you know what they say about that!


In Hosea 6:6, God tells us, “For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.”

God doesn’t just want our time, He wants our life. Michele talked about that in the post, Living Sacrifice.  He doesn’t want us to become so caught up with the chores of the church that we neglect His people.  He wants us to read the Bible in order to know Him, not to memorize verses or historical facts.


Now I know some of you are thinking, somebody has to do these things!  You’re not alone.  Martha said the same thing in Chapter 10 of the book of Luke.  Do you remember what Jesus told her?

“Martha, Martha, you are anxious and troubled about many things; one thing is needful…”Luke 10:41-42.


We need to be good stewards of our time and talent.  We need to spend time every morning offering the day to God.  Martin Luther did.  Read this quote:


If I fail to spend two hours in prayer each morning, the devil gets the victory through the day. I have so much business I cannot get on without spending three hours daily in prayer. –Martin Luther


Maybe I can’t live up to this standard, but I can start the day with prayer, asking God to prioritize my time, and use my day in accordance with His plan not mine.  I can pray before I volunteer, and try to listen for direction.  I can stop worrying so much and trust God.  What about you?  What is your plan to become a God-pleasing sacrifice?  Send us your thoughts.

Love and Sacrifice

The other day, my husband asked me to pick up his dry-cleaning on the way home. Jokingly, I said ‘well, what do I get’ ??

I think we all suffer from this occasional (ok, sometimes constant) selfishness. It seems natural to hope that any effort I put into anything will result in some sort of reward for myself. With this internalized mindset, it is hard to wrap my head around the idea of a God who wishes for us to sacrifice our time, energy, and worldly possessions to others without requesting anything in return. How do we, as sinful beings, accomplish this without feeling constantly aggrieved?

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.” John 15:12-14

I think it helps me to remember that we are not doing our good works for men but for God, that he should be pleased. After all, Jesus died on the cross for our sins. What bigger sacrifice can there be? When he rose from the dead, did he turn to the disciples and say, “sooo…..what do I get”? I doubt it.

I’ll try to remember this the next time I’m asked to pick up the dry-cleaning. In fact, maybe instead of being asked to do something, I will simply offer to do it. When I consider all the sacrifices that my Lord has made for me, sacrificing for others in return does not seem like such a bad deal after all.   🙂

A Sacrificial Example

He (Job) said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return there;  the Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;  blessed be the name of the Lord.”  Job 1:21


My friend, Paul, was a good man and he was dying. After retiring from a successful career, he spent much of his time volunteering at the local rescue mission, working with alcoholics and addicts.  He was a faithful, generous member of our congregation and an example of Christian living to all who knew him. 


The rare and aggressive form of leukemia which Paul contracted did not respond to treatment.  Yet he did not rail against his fate or question God’s goodness. He simply continued to use the time God had given him.  Each time he was hospitalized he pushed his IV pole through the wards, handing out Bibles and telling others about Jesus. 


Paul knew that everything he had belonged to God:  his time, his money, even his life.  He spent it all wisely.  His life was a “living sacrifice.”


Gracious God, teach us to remember that everything comes from your hand.  Help us to use all our circumstances as an opportunity to praise and thank you.  Amen 


For further reading check out Lamentations 3:1-24; Philippians 1:12-30; Matthew 26:36-42; Psalm 23

Who has been an example of living sacrifice to you?

Sacrificial Speech

“It must be a decisive rule of every Christian fellowship that each individual is prohibited from saying much that occurs to him.”

Dietrich Bonhoeffer in Life Together

In Michele’s post What is Sacrifice?? she mentioned that people give up all kinds of things as a sacrifice to God during Lent.  We can give up anything that prevents us from directing our life toward God.  So here’s an idea:  consider fasting from careless or uncaring talk.  The book of James says,

“If any one thinks he is religious, and does not bridle his tongue, but deceives his heart, this man’s religion is in vain.” James 1:26

In other words, failing to control our tongue is very important.  It can make our other sacrifices worthless.  We all know that words can hurt, yet we still say damaging things and then try to excuse them:  “I was only telling the truth,” “I just didn’t think,” or “he (or she) shouldn’t be so sensitive.”  Keep in mind that gossip and foolish talk are included in Biblical lists of sinful behavior (2 Corinthians 12:20, Ephesians 5:4) right along with things we consider much worse.  We can’t excuse sins of the tongue, any more than we can excuse theft or murder.

In point of fact, we are not just called to abstain from cruel words, but to speak positively as often as possible.  In a recent sermon on the Ten Commandments, our pastor directed us to Martin Luther’s explanation of false witness in the Small Catechism:

“We should fear and love God that we may not deceitfully belie, betray, slander or defame our neighbor, but defend him, speak well of him, and put the best construction on everything.

Notice this explanation goes beyond saying, “if you can’t say something good, be quiet.”  It goes further than telling us not to lie about others.  It says we should speak kindly about everyone and truly believe the best of them.  We could boil it down to these words from Ephesians:

“Do not let unwholesome talk come out of your mouth, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”  Ephesians 4:29

So during the Lenten season, let’s not just give up foolish speech, let’s replace those words with others that encourage.  Say, “thank you,”  “I care about you,”  I appreciate your hard work,”  or “how may I help?”  There are many opportunities to affirm someone every day.


One Sacrifice

In our Lutheran worship service each week, we confess our sins and the pastor announces that we are forgiven.  Notice the word in bold, announces?  This means we are not forgiven at that moment, we are not forgiven because of our confession, we are already forgiven. This segment in the service is to remind us that the work of  atonement has already been  done.  Because of Christ’s sacrifice, we have been forgiven once and for all–for every sin–those we committed last week, last year and even the ones we will commit next year.  As Jesus said on the cross, “it is finished.” John 19:30

It took me a long time to get this.  It makes more sense to think that we have to somehow make up for our sins, even if that only means acknowledging them and feeling remorseful.  The author of Hebrews tells a different story in Chapter 10:

“Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties;  again and again he offers the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.  But when this priest (Jesus) had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God.  Since that time he waits for his enemies to be made his footstool , because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.  The Holy Spirit also testifies to us about this.  First he says:

This is the covenant I will make with them, after that time, says the Lord.  I will put my laws in their hearts, and I will write them on their minds.’

Then he adds:

‘Their sins and lawless acts, I will remember no more.’

And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.” Hebrews 10:11-18

It’s hard to grasp, but think about it.  No further sacrifice is necessary:  not by you or anyone else.  We’ve been handed a get out of jail free card that never expires.  What grace and freedom we have in the faith!  Any sacrifices we make, are not sacrifices for sin, but thank offerings, in gratitude for the forgiveness Jesus has given us.  The old system has been replaced.  We live under grace, not law.

How does this make you feel?  Please send us your thoughts and comments.


Count It All Garbage

We all know we’re to put God first.  If we’re honest, we also know how impossibly hard it is to do this.  Maybe we delude ourselves into thinking we’re putting God first if we are in church every Sunday and any other time there is a service.  Maybe we tell ourselves we’re putting God first if we tithe.  We may think having a quiet time of devotion or praying for a set amount of time each day qualifies us.  In actuality although all of these things are good and laudable and all of them lead us further in the process of sanctification, none of them are good enough.

Here’s a brief account of the standard God actually sets for putting Him and His kingdom first:

…the kingdom of God is like a merchant seeking beautiful pearls, who when he had found one pearl of great price, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”  Matthew 12:45-46

Is God and his kingdom worth more to you than everything else you own?  Would you sacrifice everything, including your life for it?  The Apostle Paul says he would:

Yes, everything else is worthless when compared with the infinite value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord.  For his sake I have discarded everything else, counting it all as garbage, so that I could gain Christ.”  Philippians 3:8

Paul did not always measure up to his own expectations, because he also says, “I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate.”  Romans 7:15  In all his human failures, Paul is still a better person than I am.  At least he really wanted to surrender everything.  Knowing how tightly I cling to the things of this world, I fear I would behave more like the rich young ruler in the book of Mark.  Remember what Jesus said to him when he asked what he had to do to gain eternal life?

“Jesus looking at him, loved him and said to him, ‘You lack one thing:  go, sell all that you have and give it to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven:  and come, follow me.”  Mark 10:21

This young man went away sorrowfully because he couldn’t make that sacrifice.  He had great wealth which stood between him and making a complete commitment to Jesus.  Where is the gospel in this story?  Check out the very first sentence:  “Jesus …loved him.”  Jesus knows that none of us, even the most devoted can make the grade.  He had to do it for us, and He did it because He loves us.  As He tells the disciples in the same chapter,

“With man it is impossible;  but not with God.  For all things are possible with God.”  Mark 10:27

So consider what you are called to sacrifice for the kingdom and then do it.  It may be uncomfortable.  It may be IMPOSSIBLE.  You will probably fall short.  But remember, even when you fail, Jesus still loves you and so do I.

Let us know what you are trying to sacrifice for the kingdom of God.