Friday, January 31, 2014


Matt 21:14 And the blind and the lame came to Him in the temple, and He healed them.

I know a couple of Brothers who are going through some really difficult situations.  But I have seen the Lord rescue my life from destruction and bring healing and restoration, so I pray that the Lord will do the same in their lives.

Heavenly Father, thank you for demonstrating your healing power through Jesus Christ.  There is no sickness, illness, or condition that you can not heal.  Lord, thank you for bringing restoration and healing in my own life; please use me to help others experience your healing and grace.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Faithful service

MAT 20:9-10 ESV

And when those hired about the eleventh hour came, each of them received a denarius.  Now when those hired first came, they thought they would receive more, but each of them also received a denarius.

We are all equally undeserving recipients of the grace of Christ.  Our responsibility is faithful service, not evaluation of merits. 

This past week, I have invested significant time in meeting with Brothers.  I feel the tradeoff in time between family, vocation, and spiritual Brotherhood/ministry.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace, and thank you for the opportunity to collaborate with you in your work.  May I be a faithful servant.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, January 28, 2014


MAT 19:26 ESV

But Jesus looked at them and said, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."

I read on a friend's Facebook post that "Joy is a discipline".  I like that.  "Be joyful always.

Both boys slept through the night last night.  BOTH.  Thank you, Lord!

Heavenly Father, I want to be a joyful and thankful person.  Please help me let go of my "hard to please" and "something could always be better" mentality.  Help me be humbly appreciative for everything that you have provided.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Monday, January 27, 2014


Matthew 19:4-6 NLT

"Haven't you read the Scriptures?" Jesus replied. "They record that from the beginning 'God made them male and female.'  And he said, 'This explains why a man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.'  Since they are no longer two but one, let no one split apart what God has joined together."

Marriage is such a critical relationship.  So fundamental to the family and even society. 

Brandi and I know a couple of couples who are having hard times right now.  I am so thankful that the Lord restored my marriage. He has been so kind to me.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your faithfulness.  Thank you for your patience.  Thank you for reconciling my relationship with Brandi.  Please use me to help others.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

extending mercy

Matt. 18

32 Then his master summoned him and said to him, 'You wicked servant! I forgave you all that debt because you pleaded with me. 33 And should not you have had mercy on your fellow servant, as I had mercy on you?' 34 And in anger his master delivered him to the jailers, until he should pay all his debt. 35 So also my heavenly Father will do to every one of you, if you do not forgive your brother from your heart."

Anything and everything that anyone could ever do to us is small potatoes compared to our sin against God.  And if He has forgiven us a debt that we could never pay, then He expects us to forgive anyone who sins against us.  This passage (as well as the Lord's model prayer, and Jesus's discussion following the model prayer) indicates that our forgiveness from God is conditional on our extension of forgiveness to others.  That seems pretty serious to me.  Sobering.

But it sure is hard to forgive when we have been hurt/wronged.  

I continue to be impressed by my wife and the forgiveness that she shows, especially to me.  I continue to grow in my appreciation for all of the things that she has forgiven me of, and how she continues to be patient with me.  The mercy and grace that she has shown is an extension and reflection of the grace and mercy that God has shown us through Christ.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your forgiveness.  Thank you for your patient love.  Thank you for Brandi and her faithfulness to you; thank you for the mercy and grace that you have given her and the way that she has extended that grace and mercy to me.  Lord, may I be so merciful and gracious.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Saturday, January 25, 2014


MAT 16:24-25 NASB

Then Jesus said to His disciples, "If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me.  For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Deny myself, mortify the sinful flesh, and follow Christ.

Systematic. Disciplined.  Daily.  Hourly.  Minute by minute.

Heavenly Father, I have to confess that I am not very good at denying myself.  Please show me the discipline of denying myself and taking up my cross.  Lord Jesus, I want to walk with you in the power of the Holy Spirit.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

par for the course

Today is the first day of classes for this semester.

As I was praying on my walk this morning, I realized that I was carrying a heavy load of trying to do things on my own.  Too much pressure, too much stress.  I began to pray, "Lord Jesus!  Lord Jesus!  Lord Jesus!"  I realized that I need to pursue Him, enjoy Him, and express Him.  So, I prayed, "Lord Jesus, would you be a good husband through me?  Please be a good father through me.  Please be a good teacher through me.  Please be a good researcher through me."  My goal is to experience Him and express Him, to accomplish His will and purpose through my life.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace and mercy.  Thank you for your faithful love.  Thank you for your kindness and generous providence.  Please help me stay focused on seeking first your Kingdom and righteousness, and trust you for all of the other details.  Lord, please use me to advance your kingdom today.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


When I was a kid, my dad joked that he had to walk to school uphill, both ways, in the snow.  This morning, on my walk back up the mountain, the wind was blowing down the mountain about 30-40 mph, and it made me think that, much of life, even when things are going well, seems like we are climbing uphill into a headwind.  But the Lord uses this to make us stronger, to build endurance and perseverance.  I think of it like CS Lewis described it in The Great Divorce.  It is the resistance that makes us have to work, and that work builds us into more substantial beings.

Heavenly Father, thank you for giving me strength and will to continue climbing the mountain.  Thank you for walking with me throughout the journey.  Lord Jesus, thank you for blazing the trail before me, and for inviting me into your yoke.  Please help me press on today, and every day.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Made perfectly whole

Matthew 14:35-36 NLT

When the people recognized Jesus, the news of his arrival spread quickly throughout the whole area, and soon people were bringing all their sick to be healed. They begged him to let the sick touch at least the fringe of his robe, and all who touched him were healed.

After Jesus fed the 5000 and walked on water, He healed.  The Greek word literally means "made perfectly whole" or "saved completely".

In addition to reading the New Testament in a year, i am also reading it through in a month, and I have been impressed with Jesus's compassion toward the sick and His power to heal.  There is nothing that He can not remedy - even sinful nature.

On another note, with respect to my New Year resolutions, I feel like I made an important decision yesterday to take today (MLK day) off from work and spend it with my family.  I feel like this is an important decision because I consciously chose to invest in my family instead of work.  I want to continue making choices like this - practically leading my heart to reflect my priorities in the way that I spend my time, and guarding against being a workaholic.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the love that you have shown and continue to show through Christ.  Thank you for demonstrating your power by saving and healing our broken, sinful flesh.  We know that one day, you will restore all things.  May I be an ambassador for you today, anointed and empowered by your Holy Spirit.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Saturday, January 18, 2014

"Wonderfully blessed"

As I scanned my mobile boarding pass to enter the gate to my plane, I asked the attendant, "How are you?". He replied, "Wonderfully blessed."

What an appropriate response for followers of Christ.   The Lord is so kind to us.  His salvation is so amazing, and His mercies are new every morning.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your kindness and consistent blessings.  May the joy of your salvation shine through me.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Prophet and King

MAT 12:38-42 ESV

Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered him, saying, "Teacher, we wish to see a sign from you." But he answered them, "An evil and adulterous generation seeks for a sign, but no sign will be given to it except the sign of the prophet Jonah.  For just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the great fish, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.  The men of Nineveh will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for they repented at the preaching of Jonah, and behold, something greater than Jonah is here.  The queen of the South will rise up at the judgment with this generation and condemn it, for she came from the ends of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon, and behold, something greater than Solomon is here.

In the commentary by Witness Lee, he points out that Solomon came chronologically before Jonah.  But Jesus's works of prophecy, death, and resurrection came before His reign as King.

Heavenly Father, thank you for the work of Christ.  Lord Jesus, you are prophet, priest, and King.  I trust your redeeming work, and I honor you and submit to you as King.  I love you, and I want to walk with you in your redeeming work.  I ask in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


MAT 12:18, 20-21 ESV

"Behold, my servant whom I have chosen, my beloved with whom my soul is well pleased. I will put my Spirit upon him, and he will proclaim justice to the Gentiles. ... a bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not quench, until he brings justice to victory;   and in his name the Gentiles will hope."

Jesus is King of Kings and has the authority and power to demand and enforce complete justice.  But he is gentle, humble, and patient. At least for the current dispensation.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your kindness, mercy, and grace through Jesus.  Lord, you are the hope of the nations.  I love you.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014


Matthew 11:28-30 NLT

Then Jesus said, "Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light."

Oh, that I would rest in Christ.  I am so busy and carrying burdens; I wish I would stop and lay them at His feet.  I want rest for my soul. 

Heavenly Father, thank you for Christ and his offer of rest.  Lord, may I walk with you and be found in you.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Sunday, January 12, 2014


MAT 10:5, 16, 20 ESV

These twelve Jesus sent out, ...  "Behold, I am sending you out as sheep in the midst of wolves, so be   wise as serpents and innocent as doves.  ...  For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you.

I appreciated the reminder of sentness today.  We are Christ's ambassadors; we are proclaiming the Good News of His benevolent lordship and the reality of His Kingdom. 

We had a good talk with Beau on the ride to our church gathering this morning.  How God is pleased with us as we show His love to others.  What a wonderful privilege to teach your children to seek the Lord.

Heavenly Father, please help me remember my sentness.  Lord, you have told us to go and make disciples.  May I be faithful to that charge each day.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.

Thursday, January 9, 2014


MAT 8:16, 26-27 ESV

That evening they brought to him many who were oppressed by demons, and he cast out the spirits with a word and healed all who were sick.
And he said to them, "Why are you afraid, O you of little faith?" Then he rose and rebuked the winds and the sea, and there was a great calm. And the men marveled, saying, "What sort of man is this, that even winds and sea obey him?"

He healed all of their diseases.  Reminds me of Psalm 103.  He is able and willing to heal.  I need to remember that. 

He even controls the wind and waves.  Nothing is out of reach for Him.  I need to trust Him.

Heavenly Father, I want to trust you.  I'm not sure why I try to maintain my own sovereignty.   Lord, please help me humbly submit to your direction.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Seek first His kingdom

Matthew 6:31-34 ESV

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'  For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.  But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.    "Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

Maybe I could extend this to: don't be anxious about your job, especially tenure.  I think this past semester has helped me see that I need to work hard based on integrity with respect to me obeying the Lord, not out of anxiousness for external pressure. 

The root of the Greek word for "anxious" is μερίζω - to divide, separate into parts.  Maybe like when you feel pulled in many directions.

Focus on His Kingdom.  And right standing with Him.  Integrity.  The simple joy of consistency in Him.  Trust.  Faith.

Heavenly Father, please give me clarity to see you, and resolve to seek you.  Lord, you have been so kind to me in providing everything that I need and so much more.  Lord, please help me focus on you and work for you.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Salt and light

Matthew 5:13-16 ESV

"You are the salt of the earth,   but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet.    "You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.  Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house.  In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

Heavenly Father, please help me be salty and bright.  Lord, may I be useful to you in your kingdom.  Thank you for answering prayers.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Word is Life!

Matt 4:3 And the tempter came and said to him, "If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread." 4 But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

Tomorrow morning, I have the privilege of sharing a message at our church gathering about daily enjoying and obeying Christ through the Scriptures.  My mom and dad have been consistent examples of reading the Word daily.  Over ten years ago, Pastor Robert Krause at Carrizo Springs shared a similar message on the last Sunday of December, and he invited us to join him in committing to read the Word daily.  One year, my aunt DB recommended that I consider reading through the Scriptures ordered chronologically, and I have since read it half a dozen times.

I am so thankful that the Lord has blessed me with people to lead me to the Word and teach me to learn Christ.  But the challenge remains to see grace and the Gospel every day through the spiritual disciplines.  We must be careful not to allow our hearts to become self-righteous, but to seek Christ and walk with Him in Spirit and in truth.

Heavenly Father, thank you for sustaining my spirit through your Word.  Lord, I want to seek you daily and meditate on your Word.  I want to know you and walk with you.  Please use my experience to help others taste and see that you are good.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus Christ.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Honor and humility

Matthew 1:1 NLT

This is a record of the ancestors of Jesus the Messiah, a descendant of David and of Abraham:

Jesus is a member of the covenant of Abraham, and he is of royal lineage.  But the list includes Tamar and Rahab (prostitutes), and Bathsheba (adulteress).  The Lord is gracious.  He invites us in to His family, regardless of what we have done.

Heavenly Father, thank you for your grace and kindness.  Lord Jesus, you can genuinely represent all of humanity, as the King of Kings, and the humble servant.  I love you, and I pray in the name of Jesus.


I want to be a disciplined, faithful, and responsible man.  These resolutions may not be significantly distinct from the past two years, but perhaps as you grow, your resolutions become more consistent and focused.

- daily read through the New Testament; take time to soak it in and pray through it
- daily spend quality time with my wife and sons; meaningful time
- daily mentor/teach my sons
- daily physical exercise
- daily eat healthy food
- daily rest, with sufficient sleep
- weekly discipleship; pouring in and pouring out
- develop regular spiritual teaching
- regularly take my family on short trips

Heavenly Father, may my lifestyle honor you.  May my resolutions be aligned with your will and plan, and may I continue to strive to be like Christ as you make me holy.  I love you, and I ask in the name of Jesus.