Wednesday, November 11, 2009


New Christmas praise song by Bryan Thomas...

(Verse 1) A baby in a manger lay,
While shepherds bowed and angels sang.
From a bed of straw, redemption came,
And the world’s never been the same.

(Verse 2) The hope of birth, the gift of grace.
A call to bow, before His face.
A carpenter walking on the waves,
And the world’s never been the same.

(CHORUS) Hallelujah, Christ has come.
Born to save. Son of love.
Salvation is His gift to us.
Hallelujah, Christ has come.

(Verse 3) A star that shone up in the sky
To guide three kings through the night
Shines in our hearts to change our lives.
And we’ll never be the same.

(CHORUS) Hallelujah, Christ has come.
Born to save. Son of love.
Salvation is His gift to us.
Hallelujah, Christ has come.

(Bridge) And we will worship Him.
We will worship Him.
We will worship Him, Christ the King.

(CHORUS) Hallelujah, Christ has come.
Born to save. Son of love.
Salvation is His gift to us.
Hallelujah, Christ has come.
© 2009 Anchored Music Ministries, Inc. Written: 11/10/09

Monday, October 12, 2009

Leave of Absence

Due to a family emergency I am having to take a brief respite from my blogs. I will be back as soon a I can devote appropriate attention to quality postings. Please pray for us during this difficult time.


Thursday, September 24, 2009


Reading: "For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whomsoever believeth in Him would not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16

The passage is so well known, it sometimes seems like a cliche. God loves us. Do you know that? Let me say it again: You are loved by the God of the universe. All He asks in return is faith. Just belief in Him.

Most of us have a hard time accepting God's love. Love from a being so perfect, so all knowing, just seems so beyond understanding, let alone the fact that it feels so undeserved. How can God love a sinner like me? How can someone who fails so much be loved by someone who never fails? Ever ask these questions?

The love of God is something he gives freely. There is no way you can ever earn or deserve it. Being a depraved, sinful being, you are incapable of earning or deserving that kind of love. But you simply don't have to. Like so much of human love, God's love is a choice. He chooses to love you. Yes, you! And as a result, you never have to doubt his love is there. He has loved you since before you were formed, the Scriptures assure us, and He will love you forever.

How does it feel to be loved? Do you ever just stop, think about it and give Him thanks? Maybe you should. Freely loved by the one true God! What a gift you have? Isn't it time to acknowledge and appreciate it a bit?

Prayer: Lord God, thank you for your love, which is always with me. I know there is nothing I could ever do or say to deserve it. Thank you that I don't have to. Amen.

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Blessed Be Your Name

Daily Reading: "Then Job stood up, tore his robe and shaved his head. He fell to the ground and worshiped, saying: 'Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked I will leave this life. The LORD gives and the LORD takes away, Praise the name of the LORD." -- Job 1:20-21

Job is one of those books I just don't read that often. For one thing, it's kind of depressing -- the story of a man who is stripped of everything he hold dear. His friends tempt him to curse God, to turn from his faith, but Job remains faithful. At the beginning of the story, his entire family, servants, and livestock are all wiped out. That's just the beginning. Yet Job surrenders and worships.

As I go through my own life, seasons of discord and struggle, I get discouraged. I want to give up. Until I'm reminded of the story of Job. Compared to what Job went through, my struggles seem like nothing. They seem like even less when compared to what Christ bore on the cross for me. Yet my first instinct in such times doesn't tend to be worship. Worship seems against my nature, yet worship is what I was made to do, and in such times, worship is the response God most desires from us.

As I face uncertainties today, going through another period of questioning and trial, I have made an effort to echo the words of Job: "You give and take away. Praise be the name of the Lord." How will you deal with times of darkness and uncertainty in your own life? Will you bow in worship or will you stand and scream out in anger? Which pleases God more? He is still sovereign. He is still in control. And He still loves us more than we can ever imagine.

PRAYER: Lord, help me change my instincts to worship first in all of life. Help me to praise you even when I feel dismayed, knowing that I can trust in your faithfulness and love. Amen.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


DAILY READING: "He also saw a poor widow put in two very small copper coins. 'I tell you the truth,' he said, 'this poor widow has put in more than all the others.' -- Luke 21:2-3 (NIV)

The two coins were small, hardly anyone’s treasure, but she clutched them tightly as she stood in line at the temple treasury. For they were all she had. Her husband had died, and she was poor and alone. When her turn came, the poor widow placed the coins joyfully in the offering, knelt and prayed. Jesus and the disciples marveled at her smile as she walked away. Jesus knew the depth of her sacrifice and He was touched. Counted by percentage, hers was the largest gift of all.

How do our gifts measure up? Do we give gladly or begrudgingly? Are our steps joyful or full of dread? Do we just give leftovers or do we give our all? Jesus gave His all, how can we give less? It’s so easy to forget His sacrifice amidst our own greedy longing for more and more.

Sometimes we’re tempted to think what we have is ours. Other times it seems worth so little, it could hardly matter. We forget that Jesus’ measures are different than out own. The willingness of our hearts and the act of giving mean as much as the amount to Him. Let’s remember always that our gifts are the least we can give back to the One who’s given so much for us.

PRAYER: Father God, help me not to begrudge you my meager gifts. Help me to always remember that all I have is a gift from you. Amen.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Following The Plan

Daily Reading: "For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD, "plans for your welfare, not to destroy you, but to give you a future and a hope." Jeremiah 29:11

This is one of my favorite passages of scripture, and yet sometimes it is also one of the most overused. But just this past Sunday, a member of my worship team was headed off to college and I was asked to give her a word of scripture/advice. I couldn't think of a more appropriate passage.

The time a young person first heads off, away from home for the first time, is an incredible time of discovery. So many new experiences, so many expectations, and so many changes all come together. And so, knowing this, and remembering my own experiences, I wanted to tell my friend this and remind her that the only way to come through well would be to make sure she walked with God every moment of every day. I reminded her that her expectations are good but God's expectations for her are far superior than anything she can dream up for herself. Therefore, as she takes each step, to place it in God's hands, is the best thing she can do. That way, when she arrives at the destination and finds it different than her expectations, she still knows she's arrived where she's supposed to because she's in God's will and he led her there.

So often when our expectations are not met, our tendency is to blame God, instead of thanking Him. It's ironic that we know He is omnipotent and omniscient and therefore far more capable of making a great future for us than we are ourselves capable of, yet when we don't get what we expected, God gets the blame. I know God has great surprises in store for my friend, and rather than see her disappointed, what I hope happens is that by committing her plans and thoughts to the Lord, she will instead come through praising. For God's plans for her are so much better than hers, and they are meant to create a hopeful, joyful future, overcoming sinfulness and a fallen world. I can't think of a better future for anyone, can you?

As we walk, let's commit our expectations and plans to the One who is always faithful and will never let us down, when we trust in Him. And we can rest assured we will always end up where we're supposed to be, in a far better place than our limited human perspectives could ever imagine.

PRAYER: Father, I commit my hopes, my dreams, and my plans to you. Please help me to walk where you would have me, and not be distracted by own stubborn will and limited expectations. Take my life and let it be yours. Amen.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Daily Reading: "10 David praised the LORD in the presence of the whole assembly, saying,
"Praise be to you, O LORD,
God of our father Israel,
from everlasting to everlasting.

11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness and the power
and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, O LORD, is the kingdom;
you are exalted as head over all.

12 Wealth and honor come from you;
you are the ruler of all things.
In your hands are strength and power
to exalt and give strength to all.

13 Now, our God, we give you thanks,
and praise your glorious name.

14 "But who am I, and who are my people, that we should be able to give as generously as this? Everything comes from you, and we have given you only what comes from your hand. 15 We are aliens and strangers in your sight, as were all our forefathers. Our days on earth are like a shadow, without hope. 16 O LORD our God, as for all this abundance that we have provided for building you a temple for your Holy Name, it comes from your hand, and all of it belongs to you. 17 I know, my God, that you test the heart and are pleased with integrity. All these things have I given willingly and with honest intent. And now I have seen with joy how willingly your people who are here have given to you."
1st Chronicles 29:10-17

I love rediscovering scripture I had forgotten about. This is one such passage. What a great expression of praise, thanks and recognition of our place next to our heavenly Father. Everything we have comes from Him, and yet when we give back, we should give with gladness. We are just visitors here, and yet God allows us to make a home for ourselves. Some have royal palaces compared to others. Do we recognize, whatever our position that God has placed us there?

Reading this passage after a long time away from it so reminded me how precious are the many gifts we have been given. There are so many things we take for granted that are given us each day. We need to have hearts full of gladness every moment, because even the air we breathe itself is a gift. The more comfortable our lifestyle, the easier it is to forget what God has done for us. The easier it is to start thinking we somehow deserve the many blessings He's given us, as if we earned them somehow.

Pride can be a real burden for us as human beings. We don't like to acknowledge we need anything or anyone, sometimes. Yet when we do acknowledge it, we tend to forget God. "I need my wife," "I couldn't make it without my kids," "I am so fortunate to have this nice home to live in." What happened to God?

David's prayer of praise is a reminder that we are here because He put us here. And all we have with us are gifts from God Himself. Let's take the time today to thank Him for all He does for us daily and acknowledge how much we truly need Him.

Prayer: Oh Lord, help me to never forget that I need you. Help me to constantly remember all you've done for me and be thankful. Thank you for your love and care for me. Amen.