August 2023

Man praying alone in a church.

For Our Father

A Messianic Prophecy

I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness. I will take you by the hand and guard you, and I will give you to my people, Israel, as a symbol of my covenant with them. And you will be a light to guide the nations. 

Isaiah 42:6 NLT

Looking back from the New Testament to the Old Testament, we find in Isaiah 42:6 that Jesus is not only the mediator of this covenant1 but is, Himself, the covenant. Jesus made the covenant through His Spirit and the Flesh. 

The “servant of the Lord” is to be in Himself not only the mediator of the covenant but the covenant, the meeting-point between God and man, just as He is the “peace” as well as the peacemaker (Ephesians 2:14). 

Ellicott’s Commentary for English Readers

Jesus affirmed this covenant in the Lord’s Supper.

And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” And likewise the cup after they had eaten, saying, “This cup that is poured out for you is the new covenant in my blood. 

Luke 22:19–20 ESV

The “Yes” and “Amen”

Jesus told us that “in that day,” the time of the new covenant2 in which we now live, we are to use His name when we ask God our Father to change times and circumstances. In the three years of Jesus’ earthly ministry, He brought about a confluence of events. Events that were prophecied about Him across millennia. They were fulfilled by Jesus because He is the “yes” and “amen3.”

Good News

So, the next time you get alone in your prayer closet4 and pray to the Father, remember to ask in the name of Jesus. Do this to respect God our Father’s sacrifice of His only begotten Son. Do this to respect the sweat of blood from Jesus when He faced His final decision to obey His Father. Do this to acknowledge the torture, punishment, and death so many prophets endured for thousands of years to proclaim God’s messages that helped to validate Jesus as the Messiah. Do this because you participate in His command to “do this” in remembrance of His death “which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins5. Do this because Jesus commanded you to pray this way6. Do this to receive from God the joy of your salvation7.


God our Father, I pray that you will open our hearts to receive Your will concerning how we pray. Help us to please you with our prayers. In the name of Jesus, I pray. Amen.

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  1. Jeremiah 31:31. Bible Hub. ↩︎
  2. John 16:23 Bible Hub. ↩︎
  3. 2 Corinthians 1:20 Bible Hub. ↩︎
  4. Matthew 6:5–6 ESV Biblegateway. ↩︎
  5. Matthew 26:26–28 Biblegateway. ↩︎
  6. John 14:13 Bible Hub. ↩︎
  7. John 16:24 Bible Hub. ↩︎
Cartoon of man being blown back by wind

Blown Away

Love is a fruit in season at all times and in reach of every hand.

Mother Teresa

I love metaphors, but more often, I use interjections. Wow, great job, and yikes, are interjections. One interjection that we used in our recent past was “blown away.” We would say things like, “Have you tried those new Dorito® taco shells at Taco Bell®? They blew me away!” Or, “I was blown away by Alan Jackson’s ”Gospel Songs“ album!”

Blown Away

These thoughts about interjections and metaphors came into my mind when I read King Hezekiah’s poem1. He used a highly descriptive metaphor that will remain in my thoughts forever. Here’s the verse, as translated in the New Living Translation of the Bible:

My life has been blown away
like a shepherd’s tent in a storm.

Isaiah 38:12

I can relate to King Hezekiah. There have been times when I felt like my life was being “blown away,” not like an interjection but as a metaphor. I could see pieces of my life being stripped off like the shingles on my roof during a derecho (high-velocity straight-line winds).

Perhaps, you have had a derecho experience in your life. Maybe you worked for the same company for several years, and then, suddenly, the company downsizes or goes out of business, and you’re stripped of your career.

Maybe you and your spouse raised your kids for 18+ years, and then suddenly, you are empty-nesters. Perhaps you find yourself fighting a serious, life-threatening illness; your life is what might be stripped away. It might be that you have invested many years of your life in a church ministry, and suddenly, the Holy Spirit is calling you to a new people, a new place, and a new purpose. Your tent is being blown away.

God miraculously healed King Hezekiah from certain death. God is not constrained by time or circumstances; He still does miracles. As King Hezekiah wrote in his poem, “Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.2

Good News

You can trust God the Father, Jesus, the Son of God, and the Holy Spirit. The Triune God lives in you if you are a believer. God is ready to be your Amen.

Amen: The basic meaning of the Semitic root from which it is derived is “firm,” “fixed,” or “sure,” and the related Hebrew verb also means “to be reliable” and “to be trusted.”

(2023, July 10). amen. Britannica.

When the storms of life try to blow away your tent, lean into the Amen of your life. He will allow you to keep what is in His will and He blow away the things that are not His will. In both the keeping and the losing, our God will always keep you, care for you, love you. You are in Good Hands. Be at peace.

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[1]: Isaiah 38 NLT – Bible Gateway.
[2]: Isaiah 38:19b NLT – Bible Gateway.

Man thinking


I have heard it said that life is all about problem-solving. For example, do I get out of bed now, or do I hit the snooze button again? Do I buy a coffee on my way to work, or do I drink the stuff my company calls coffee? Should I plan a night in or a community theater play and a unique restaurant for our wedding anniversary?

Minute by minute, we make decisions. Some are easy decisions like buying a cup of coffee, some are difficult – do I undergo radiation treatments or have my prostate removed, and some are heartwrenching – is it time to take the car keys away from my dad? Decisions fill our days and weave their way through our dreams at night.

Hitting Home

A couple of weeks ago, I shared a very personal concern with a friend. He replied, “Which do you want? Worry or grief!? You can worry every day, try each day to keep the thing you fear from happening, and still end up crushed by grief, or you can give your concern to Jesus each day, do reasonable actions that are not driven by fear, and if you suffer that loss, then you grieve and deal with it.” He was right. Worry is worthless; it gains nothing.

The path we walk to follow Jesus is not easy, but it is the right one. I’ve learned that few things in life are easy and right. The Apostle Paul wrote:

24 Five different times the Jewish leaders gave me thirty-nine lashes. 25 Three times I was beaten with rods. Once I was stoned. Three times I was shipwrecked. Once I spent a whole night and a day adrift at sea. 26 I have traveled on many long journeys. I have faced danger from rivers and from robbers. I have faced danger from my own people, the Jews, as well as from the Gentiles. I have faced danger in the cities, in the deserts, and on the seas. And I have faced danger from men who claim to be believers but are not” –

2 Corinthians 11:23–25 ESV – Are they servants of Christ? I am a – Bible Gateway

God’s Love Helps Us in Our Decisions

Our decision to follow Christ Jesus may lead us into problems, problems that carry high emotional, physical, or financial costs – like letting go of a dying parent. God may lead into dangers, like the storm the apostles experienced on the sea of Galilee1. And we may experience rejection that hinders our careers, the harmony in our families, or the duties we fulfill in our local churches. Still, we know that there is no consequence we will ever experience from following Jesus that comes close to the repercussions Jesus experienced by choosing to love us.

The bystanders at the cross yelled, “Save yourself 2.” “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.3” Jesus suffered beatings, ridicule, and the shame of death on a cross because He loves us. He has made our decision to follow Him easy because He gave so much more to us than we can ever give to Him, even if we lived a thousand lifetimes.

Good News

Oh, about making decisions. My wife and I have a rule we follow when shopping. If a salesperson wants us to make an immediate decision, then our decision is “no.” For example, no, we’re not going to buy that timeshare today. All decisions cause a history. We must ask ourselves if our decision will stand the test of time. Will it still be a right, Godly decision when we look back at it five or ten years later? Decisions all come down to this: Will our decision please Jesus when we stand before Him and give an account of what we did with the life He gave us 4?

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[1]: “Matthew 14:22–33 ESV – Jesus Walks on the Water – Immediately – Bible Gateway”
]: “Romans 5:8 NIV – But God demonstrates his own love for – Bible Gateway”
[4]: “2 Corinthians 5:10 ESV – For we must all appear before the – Bible Gateway”

golf ball near hole on golf course

Not the God of Almost

Today, as I prayed for a Christian brother and friend, the Holy Spirit reminded me that God is not the God of “almost.”

Job didn’t almost survive the devil’s attacks, Noah didn’t almost survive the flood, and Elijah didn’t almost survive an assassination attempt on his life. God didn’t almost save Isaac from being sacrificed; God didn’t almost deliver the children of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob from the Egyptians. Need I go on? The Israelites didn’t almost make it out of the desert, David didn’t almost kill Goliath, Solomon didn’t almost complete the Temple in Jerusalem. Elizabeth didn’t almost become pregnant with John the Baptist, and Mary did not almost become pregnant by the Holy Spirit. God is not the god of almost.

And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

Philippians 1:6 ESV

Our God, the One True God, always finishes what He starts. Think about this: God has never been surprised. He has never learned something new. God has never hoped for anything, needed anything, or been late for anything. He is God. “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. (Isaiah 55:8)

God’s Word applies human characteristics to God, but those are just anthropomorphic ideas, something that helps us gain some slight insight into the majesty of God.

Yours, O Lord, is the greatness and the power and the glory and the victory and the majesty, for all that is in the heavens and in the earth is yours. Yours is the kingdom, O Lord, and you are exalted as head above all.

1 Chronicles 29:11

God answers small prayers, but He desires us to pray big prayers. Don’t ask for the money to help build a church in Peru; pray that He will send you to help build the church. Don’t ask for the strength to mow your lawn and your church’s lawn. Pray that God will give you opportunities to mow your church’s property and the lawns of all the widows in your church. As Caleb asked Joshua, “Give me this mountain,” so we should ask God for the big mountains we face.

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