Walking with Him — Quote #2

In all your course, walk with God and follow Christ as a little, poor, helpless child, taking hold of Christ’s hand, keeping your eye on the mark of the wounds on his hands and side, whence came the blood that cleanses you from sin and hiding your nakedness under the skirt of the white shining robe of his righteousness.

Jonathan Edwards

For more about Jonathan Edwards see:

Heaven is a World of Love by Jonathan Edwards — Book Review

The Holy Spirit and Prayer #2

Walking Together

My husband recently retired after 17 years as the pastor of St. Paul’s Free Lutheran Church in Leitersburg, Maryland. At his retirement dinner, his younger sister, one of our members, spoke about what his ministry had meant to her. She said that since Terry is 16 years older than she is, they really didn’t grow up together. It was only as a church member that she really got to know him. In fact, she said, after those years of being in church together, Terry is now the sibling she feels closest to.

That got me to thinking about this verse in Proverbs:

“One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin,
    but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

When we are walking with Christ, we are also walking with a whole new group of people who become our brothers and sisters in the faith. We have a common goal; we come together weekly (and often more); we share, through prayer requests, our hopes and concerns; we grieve and celebrate together. We do indeed, often become closer to these “adopted” siblings than our biological family.

What a blessing to know that:

“… you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. Ephesians 2:19-22

You’re never walking alone!

For more about the household of God see:

Submit to One Another?

Being a Family Blessing

Living as a Family with One Another

Let Us Walk in the Light of the Lord

“Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5)

Walking in the light of the Lord — what does that mean? When we walk in the light, we experience the presence of God in our daily lives; we understand and want to follow His ways and His plan for us; our eyes are not darkened by false idols or worldly philosophies. While researching this short phrase from the Bible, I came across this little song for children about walking in the light. I enjoyed it and hope you will, too.

Walking In the Light Of the Lord (action song) – GBA Children – YouTube

For more songs for children see these posts:

Jesus Loves Me

I Am Jesus’ Little Lamb

God is Love #2

Walking With Jesus–Devotion #10

Greater love hath no man than this that he lay down his life for a friend.” John 15:13

How many of us would follow through with the above Bible verse? Would you give up your life for another person?

Someone once said, “It is a good thing to be rich, and a good thing to be strong: but it is a better thing to be loved by many friends.” Did you ever want someone to be your best friend? You tried everything, but they did not want to have you for their friend. And that hurts. But, wait a minute, don’t we all have one very best friend that we sometimes forget about? Someone who will stick closer to you than a brother? That someone is Jesus.

There are “fair-weather” friends. Maybe someone in school who knows you are a good student. They may want you to be their “friend” if you give them your homework paper. But later it turns out that they will have nothing to do with you. They are like the honey bees sipping the nectar of your generosity only to leave you high and dry. They associate with you only for a while as long as you give them what they want. But as soon as something happens to you and you need their help, they can’t be bothered.

Do you remember the song, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”? (Story Behind the Song: What a friend we have in Jesus!). Look it up in the Lutheran Worship hymnal, it’s #516. What comforting words are in those three verses. Whatever we need, that need will be supplied by our friend, Jesus. But we must trust in Him always.

Although you may live in a very small house or in the finest of mansions, you can be wealthy with friends. You can know the friend of all people. You can tell others about Him.

For more posts about friendship see:

Make a Friend, Be a Friend, Bring your friend to Christ

Jesus, Our Friend

Friends in the Lord

Billy Graham–Film Review

This documentary film is one of the PBS series, American Experience. Billy Graham has been called “the protestant pope” and “America’s pastor.” He died at the age of 99, a national icon.

The film focuses on his rise to prominence and how he came to influence both national politics and the evangelical movement. Many factors including his good lucks, charismatic personality, and gift for evangelism played into his success. Early on, William Randolph Hearst publicized his revival in Los Angeles, boosting attendance and turning him into a religious celebrity. He firmly believed that the United States was meant to be a positive influence in maintaining world peace, and that capitalism and Christianity were allies. To this end, he cultivated the friendship of politicians and encouraged church members to vote and elect moral leaders who shared their Christian goals.

The Watergate scandal left him deeply disappointed in President Nixon, who he had supported vigorously. After that, he became more cautious about endorsing particular candidates, and evolved a more global outlook, taking revivals to England and many other countries.. At one point, he was considered the most well known person in the world.

Many clips of Graham are used, as well as interviews with historians and family members. He is not presented as a hero, but a person who pursued the work he felt God had given him with persistence and confidence.

VERDICT: 4 STARS. It was an interesting perspective, but don’t expect to learn much about his personal life.

For more movie reviews see:

Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood — Movie Review

Harriet–Movie Review

Unplanned — Movie Review

Walking With Jesus–Devotion #9

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delighteth in his way…” Psalm 37:23

Have you ever watched a young couple teaching their baby to walk? They stand or sit a few feet apart and gently entice the little one to take a few steps. How happy they are when the baby turns loose and takes a few steps on his own. They hug the child and the baby is happy.

Sometimes in life we have sickness and trouble which cause us to try to walk again. A lady broke her leg in a car wreck and after many weeks of not walking was told she could start again. She thought of when she learned to walk as a baby, and that made her laugh. Soon she was going to try to walk again, like a baby.

As Christians we are eager to walk with Jesus. We try to serve Him but make mistakes and must learn to walk with Him all over again.

How safe a Christian should feel, knowing God cares for us when we come to an obstacle too hard to cross. When walking with small children, you will notice that their legs get tired or they come to a step too high for them — well, we just lift them up and carry them over.

Jesus in the same way holds our hand and lifts us. He is happy to see us come to Him. He will never turn us away, no matter what the problem or situation is. Can’t you just see Him with arms outstretched reaching for His child who needs help? His is always there to guide our steps and help us over the rocky parts of our lives.

Difficult steps, fearful steps, misunderstood steps, sinful steps, painful steps– wherever your path will lead you–you as a child of God, have the assurance that Jesus will help to see you through your difficult times.

“Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you; and you shall glorify me.” Psalm 50:15

  1. What do you remember in your life as a difficult step?
  2. How did you handle it? Did you ask God to guide you or did you try to work out a solution on your own?
  3. What happened in your situation when you asked for God’s guidance? What happened when you tried to “do it alone”?\

James Chapter 5–What Stands Out

Well, I’ve made it to the final chapter of James in my lectio divina study. Here’s what stands out to me:

You have lived on the earth in luxury and self-indulgence.” James 5:5a

When I compare my life, and the things I own, to others around me, I like to imagine my lifestyle is modest. However, the truth of the matter is:

*My husband and I own two cars

*We have a nice condo in a quiet neighborhood

*We buy pretty much whatever we want at the grocery store

*We have a tidy sum set away in our retirement accounts

*We go on vacations and other trips a couple of times a year

*We go out to eat several times a month

*We have a closet full of clothing

To most of the world, somebody like me, somebody with a pretty “average” life in the United States is living in the lap of luxury. Most people in the world live in poverty. 85% of the world live on less than $30 per day, two-thirds live on less than $10 per day, and every tenth person lives on less than $1.90 per day. In each of these statistics price differences between countries are taken into account to adjust for the purchasing power in each country. In addition, many of the consumer goods we enjoy (things like clothing, electronics and even chocolate) depend upon the work of people who are either enslaved or forced to work in horrible conditions.

I feel guilty and I should. However, I’m not sure what to do about it, or how to change things .I can only rely on the forgiveness of God and His mercy.

 Indeed, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.””

 Those who heard this asked, ‘Who then can be saved?

 Jesus replied, “What is impossible with man is possible with God.” Luke 18:25-17

For more on the book of James see:

Luther and the Book of James

James Chapter 3–What Stands Out?

James Chapter 1 — What Stands Out?

Nothing by Natalee Creech –Book Review

In this book, attractively illustrated by Joseph Cowman, children learn about the depth of God’s love. Whether we are traveling in a train, boarding an airplane, flying into outer space, rafting down a raging river or diving under the ocean in a submarine, the love of God follows us. God does not abandon us when we say or do things that we regret. His love is permanent and unending. NOTHING can separate us from God’s Love!

Nothing: Nothing Can Separate You From God’s Love!

Youngsters will love the colorful pictures and winsome rhymes. The words are energetic and seem to bounce off the page! The message is biblical and easy to understand. It brings the verse below to life in a way that young children can grasp. This would make a great addition to any toddler’s library!

“Nothing can separate us from God’s love in Christ Jesus our Lord: not death or life, not angels or rulers, not present things or future things, not powers or height or depth, or any other thing that is created.” Romans 8:38-39

For more books for children see:

When God Made You by Matthew Paul Turner

GraceFull by Dorena Williamson — Book Review

The Gift That I Can Give For Little Ones by Kathie Lee Gifford–Book Review

Walking With Jesus–Devotion #8

A certain farming practice of 40-50 years ago provides the backdrop for this particular story. During the summer months, green corn was chopped and blown into cement silos to be used as winter food for the cattle. At certain intervals a malt or dextrose based substance was added to the chopped corn. The combination of sugars, moisture from the corn and summer heat created a wonderful substance (to the cows anyway) called silage. This process of turning the corn into proper silage often resulted in a good deal of liquid that would seep out of the silo at ground level and seep into the surrounding ground, creating a very smelly quagmire. Small children were warned to “STAY AWAY!!!” for obvious reasons. And it is here that our story begins.

The little girl was very intent on finding the batch of kittens the mother cat had hidden in the barn. Daddy said their eyes were open and the little girl couldn’t wait to gather the little balls of fur into her arms and watch the antics of the kittens as they stalked imaginary mice. So intent on her mission was she, that she accidentally stepped into the silage quagmire. And stepped again. Within minutes she was stuck fast in the mud, unable to pull her foot and shoes free.

“Mommy!! Mommy!” After what seemed an eternity with no response, the little girl called again. She tried to pull her feet free with little success. Tears began to flow down her cheeks as she again called “Mommy!” Suddenly big hands lifter her up and out of the mud and the rather gruff voice of her grandfather said, “Looks like you got yourself into a bit of a mess. Mommy isn’t going to like this.’ Despite the smelly, messy mud dripping from the her feet, the grandfather hugged her close, pulled out his red bandana handkerchief, wiped her nose and tears, and said “Let’s get you cleaned up before we go and find Mommy.” With that he reached his bare hands into the mud and pulled out the shoe that had remained stuck in the muck.

At the well, the grandfather again used his handkerchief to wash the smelly mud from her feet and legs and rinsed the shoes as best he could. Although a large and normally gruff man, his actions were kind and gentle and the little girl’s sobs soon subsided. No words passed between them, but when the mud has been washed away in the clear, cool water, the grandfather took her small hand in his big round one and together they walked to the house in search of Mommy and clean socks.

We, like the little girl, often walk into the quagmire of sin, and find ourselves unable to get out of the mess in which we find ourselves. Oh, we may struggle and fight and even appear to be making progress, but alas, it is all in vain. We cannot get free on our own. But when we call out to our heavenly Father, the freedom that we seek is there. Given to us willingly and freely through the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting live.” John 3:16

“…I am the way, the truth, and the life, no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6

Walking With Jesus — Devotion #7

This devotion contains some personal details, so I just wanted to remind our readers that all the devotions I’ve posted were written by different people who attended a family retreat in 1992.

We recently enjoyed an afternoon with two other military families we had met while living in Germany. One family had just moved back to the Washington D.C. area–their 4th move in as many years. So it was no surprise that the conversation turned to moving, or in military jargon PSCing (permanent change of station). We laughed a lot as the stories were told–they were funny in retrospect, but there were also memories of the pain and sense of loss one often experiences when moving to a new location.

And just this past week a letter arrived in the mail from another friend–an Army nurse. Her previous letter had been posted from Arizona…. this one was from the Honduras! Not an easy move by any means as her husband and child remain in Arizona with most of the comforts of home. Her new duty station hospital is lacking a great deal and she shares her office with rats. Yet when the orders came for the move, she went–as any good military person does despite the personal pain.

Abraham and Sarah of Bible times did a good bit of PSCing, too — 13 times as a matter of fact. At least with the modern military, a moving van pulls up to your house, packers pack the household and in most cases your belongings arrive at your new destination in good shape. Abraham and his family had to pack the tents themselves, load the camels, corral the livestock and set out on foot for the next place God required their presence and witness. There was no Holiday Inn complete with indoor heated pool, jacuzzi, room service, etc., along the way in which to spend the night. No McDonald’s or Pizza Hut, either.

Thirteen moves –but always with God. Trusting in Him completely. Trusting in the call to pull up stakes and move to a new home. Trusting in the promise that he, Abraham would be the father of a great nation and from that nation would come the Savior. Trusting.

For more posts about responding to God’s call see these posts:

Your Dream. God’s Plan. by Tiffany Smiling — Book Review

Your Calling

When God Says go by Elizabeth Laing Thompson–Book Review