Sunday, June 30, 2013


Isaiah 28

23 Listen and hear my voice;
    pay attention and hear what I say.
24 When a farmer plows for planting, does he plow continually?
    Does he keep on breaking up and working the soil?
25 When he has leveled the surface,
    does he not sow caraway and scatter cumin?
Does he not plant wheat in its place,
    barley in its plot,
    and spelt in its field?
26 His God instructs him
    and teaches him the right way.

27 Caraway is not threshed with a sledge,
    nor is the wheel of a cart rolled over cumin;
caraway is beaten out with a rod,
    and cumin with a stick.
28 Grain must be ground to make bread;
    so one does not go on threshing it forever.
The wheels of a threshing cart may be rolled over it,
    but one does not use horses to grind grain.
29 All this also comes from the Lord Almighty,
    whose plan is wonderful,
    whose wisdom is magnificent.

The Lord is intentional and thoughtful in his relationship with us.  Just as a farmer plows, sows, cultivates, irrigates, and harvests, the Lord engages us and cares for us intentionally to grow us.  Just as a farmer knows the appropriate intensity of threshing for the particular plant and seed, the Lord deals with us with an appropriate intensity to accomplish his purpose but not destroy us.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your discipline and husbandry.  Lord, may I be responsive to your care and produce the harvest that you desire.  Lord, please help me grow.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Justice and mercy


12:6 "So you, by the help of your God, return, hold fast to love and justice, and wait continually for your God."

14:1-2 Return, O Israel, to the Lord your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity. Take with you words and return to the Lord ; say to him, "Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.

Even while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.

God has made a way for us to return to Him, in spite of our sin.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your love and kindness.  Lord, may I be a vessel for you to dispense your love today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013



6:3 Let us know; let us press on to know the Lord ; his going out is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."

6:6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God rather than burnt offerings.

Heavenly Father, please help me seek you.  Though I stumble and fall, please help me try again.  Lord, may I focus on loving you and knowing you, not being religious.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013



As I read through these prophecies of destruction, I am reminded of the promises of blessing and cursing in Deuteronomy 28.  It was very clearly stated that the people of Israel would be punished for disobedience. 

Yet, in the midst of prophecy of destruction of Israel and Judah, God gave several powerful statements of hope for ultimate reconciliation.

7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.
9:6 For to us a child is born,
    to us a son is given;
and the government shall be upon his shoulder,
    and his name shall be called
Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God,
    Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

11:1 There shall come forth a shoot from the stump of Jesse,
    and a branch from his roots shall bear fruit.And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him,    the Spirit of wisdom and understanding,
    the Spirit of counsel and might,
    the Spirit of knowledge and the fear of the Lord.And his delight shall be in the fear of the Lord.He shall not judge by what his eyes see,
    or decide disputes by what his ears hear,4 but with righteousness he shall judge the poor,    and decide with equity for the meek of the earth;
and he shall strike the earth with the rod of his mouth,
    and with the breath of his lips he shall kill the wicked.5 Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist,    and faithfulness the belt of his loins.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the promise of Jesus Christ.  Thank you for the hope of redemption and healing that we have in Him.  Thank you for saving us from the destruction that we deserve because of our sin.  God, thank you for your kindness, mercy, and grace.  Please help me show your loving kindness to others today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013


2 Chron 24

21 Then the leaders plotted to kill Zechariah, and King Joash ordered that they stone him to death in the courtyard of the Lord's Temple. 22 That was how King Joash repaid Jehoiada for his loyalty—by killing his son. Zechariah's last words as he died were, "May the Lord see what they are doing and avenge my death!"

Even though He gave us life and protected us, we rebelled against our Heavenly Father, and we killed his Son, Jesus.  As He died, Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."

Heavenly Father, thank you for your kindness and forgiveness through Jesus Christ.  May I live in faithful obedience to you today.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Simple obedience

2 Kings 5

Naaman had a choice:  maintain skepticism, or simply obey in faith.

Last week was a great experience at Olin College, and I believe that the Lord has opened this door for my family to live in Boston this fall semester.  I think I need to move forward in faith that the LORD will take care of me and my family as we trust him.  Ultimately, I believe that this opportunity is for the Lord to do good things as I faithfully obey him.

Heavenly Father, please give us peace and wisdom as we follow your leadership.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

enjoying life


It seems like some of Solomon's statements border on hedonism.  "Eat good food, drink wine, and have some fun, in addition to working hard, because everything is meaningless" (paraphrase)

In spite of his wisdom, I think Solomon's perspective was so skewed because he had allowed his many "wives" to pull him away from the Lord.

Indeed, we should enjoy life, but we should enjoy life in the context of a continuously growing relationship with the Lord.  He is the source of life, abundant life!  I believe this is the meaning that Solomon was missing.  Everything really is meaningless, apart from a growing relationship with the Lord.  But the joy of life lived in the presence of Jesus Christ and for His glory permeates and radiates into the lives of others.

Heavenly Father, you have blessed me in so many ways.  But I want to stay focused on you and growing in my relationship with you.  Lord, I want to submit to you as you mold me in to the image of Christ.  May you be pleased with me, and may I take joy in your redeeming work and continuous love and care.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013


1 Kings 11, Ecc. 1

It's been too long since I've blogged.  I've been working way too much.  But I don't know how to slow down the train.  It's like a snowball picking up size and momentum as it tumbles downhill.

At the recommendation of my pastor, I started reading a book called "They Smell Like Sheep", which is a very encouraging book about the Biblical principles and examples of shepherding.  It has really resonated with me, and I think I need to devote more time and effort to spending time with people.  Especially my wife and sons.  

Heavenly Father, please help me see the opportunities to shepherd that you have given me.  Lord, may I be faithful to try to shepherd and be sensitive to your Holy Spirit to teach me to shepherd like Christ Jesus.  Lord, please help me shepherd my wife and sons.  I love you, and I want your love to be shown through my shepherding.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.