Tuesday, December 15, 2009


There is a lot of destruction going on in and around us, even in this joyful season. Sunday's reading reminds me that as we call upon the Lord, we will also hear him calling out to us:

And it shall come to pass that everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved . . . there shall be those who escape, as the Lord has said, and among the survivors shall be those whom the Lord calls. - Joel 2:32

You may find yourself standing in the middle of a lot of rubble, but you ARE standing, and you are a survivor in every way that matters. May you and yours walk in the joyful realization that God can be trusted to make us stand (see Romans 14:3-5).

Monday, December 14, 2009


Be careful what you ask for, because you just might get it! I've put some thought into what I would ask of God as I prepare to enter the new year, since I know he will answer my prayers. Today I'm reminded of what can happen when we, God's people, insist on having our own way instead of following his. In Saturday's reading God spoke of Israel's request to be ruled by a monarch, just like the nations around them:

I gave you a king in my anger,

and I took him away in my wrath. - Hosea 13:11

How they cheated themselves! If you are like me, you might want what you've got it in your head to want; you may wish to have what everybody else seems to have. You could even strive with an angel and win, as Jacob did (Hosea 12:3-4), but is that what's best? I pray that God will will save us from our own dumbed-down desires, and open our eyes to see what's best. May he change our stubborn hearts to crave what he is willing and ready to lovingly supply.

I've prayed a wise prayer over you today, inspired by the words of the prophet (Hosea 14:3-7). May you not count on yourself or your very best friends, but on God himself. May our merciful God be like the dew to you, to cause you to blossom, and to cause your roots to spread out. May you find yourself beautiful, fragrant, and flourishing, dwelling in complete safety and comfort under the very shadow of the Almighty.

Let's not forget how utterly wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked we'd be, if not for the Lord in our lives (see Rev. 3:15-17). May we be continually strengthened to acknowledge him joyfully in all we say and do. May we find ourselves hot on the trail of his truth everyday, and unwilling to to ever, ever turn back. May you and I wisely ask God for nothing but his best, and then trust him relentlessly to fulfill his promises and purposes in us, now and always! AMEN.