Monday, April 14th
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed for I am your God.
I will strengthen and help you;
I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
What this means to me is my dad has chose a bad way to live his life and it makes me really angry. But I know that God will be there for me when Im angry.
MIRACULOUS THINGS WILL HAPPEN.
John 21: 1-6
Miraculous things happen when we follow HIS direction.
The first verse I would highlight in the above passage is vs. 3 Im going out to fish, Simon Peter told them, and they said, Well go with you. So they went out and got into the boat, but that night they caught nothing.
We set about our daily tasks and expect to be productive, especially at all the tasks we know so much about. Life and the way we do things become so routine we seldom seek new ways of going at any given task. The way we mow the lawn, our morning routine, the meals we eat, the way we live out our faith and so on. Productive or not, we continue the way WE know best. In the scripture reading the disciples go about the task of fishing. They grew up fishing and Im sure have all the fish secrets ingrained in their minds. How is it then they come up empty? Oops! How embarrassing to fail at something that should be second nature.
Jesus in this story was standing on the shore, but the disciples did not realize it was Jesus. In my life when my nets come up empty and wonder why, I only have to take a look to see Jesus standing right there asking me a very embarrassing question. Are you productive? Jesus asked the disciples, Have you caught anything? Why does Jesus ask the question? He knows the answer! Maybe so we can come clean. Confession time! No, Jesus, I have come up short; I am not successful; I dont have the right answers. After my time of confession comes direction and assurance. Jesus simply says, throw your net on the RIGHT side.
The disciples found that listening to Jesus once again proves fruitful. Jesus never told the disciples to give up fishing and what they know best, He just redirected them in how they used their gifts that were given.
Turning what we do best over to HIM and then we will experience miracles!
Prayer: Heavenly Father, self examination and confession isnt always easy, so bear with me, Lord. Allow me this moment not only to experience your presence but to hear your direction. Then after the direction, Lord, give me the will to follow. Amen
Wednesday, April 16, 2003
When I went through my troubles last year with the sickness, the congregation and my family were there every time. People drove me to my doctor appointments when I needed to go, even if it was short notice. I received cards, phone calls and lots of prayer. I have been totally blessed. I have never had so much care and concern from so many people. What I felt can not be put into words. From being such a loner before, and now, feeling the love and concern from my family to say nothing about the friendship and caring that have come into my life from people I have only known for a few years, has really touched my heart. I just hope and pray that with all the great feelings I have experienced from your kindness and concern, that I can touch you or help in some small way to express my thankfulness I feel because of how greatly you have touched and help me.
Prayer: Almighty and loving Lord, thank you for everything - the good and the bad. Without the bad, like sickness, I never would have experienced the great feelings I had and am feeling these feelings are thanks to you and all the great people who are in my life. Thank you for blessing me and please bless all these great people. Because of all that they have done for me, they have blessed me. Amen.
Maundy Thursday, April 17th
Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left th ehouse and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed. Mark 1:35
Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of him to the other side, while he dismissed the crowd. After he had dismissed them, he went up on a mountainside by himself to pray.
When evening came, he was there alone Matthew 14: 22-23
What had happened to cause Jesus to send his disciples on and then to go up on a mountainside alone to pray? Had he had a busy day? Did he have the rush of things to get done like you and I do? When Jesus had learned that a friend, John the Baptist, had been beheaded, he had tried to be alone only to have a large crown find him and he had compassion on them. He had just fed 5,000 men plus women and children. Yes, our Lord had a very busy day. So busy he had to take time to be by himself with God and to pray.
How often are we so busy that we just dont have time to pray and rarely have time to be alone with Him. Luke 5:16 says, But Jesus often withdrew to lonely places and prayed. As we look to the sacrifice of Christ for each of us, may we realize the love that greatly warrants our time more than anything else we can put on our calendar.
Prayer: Lord, grant me the desire and the undeniable will to spend time with you this day and perseverance to stick with it regularly so that I might get to know you as my friend as well as my Savior.
Friday, April 18, 2003 In Memory of Nelle Erickson, 4/25/18 2/19/03 (written by Nelle for our 1999 Devotion Book)
Lord, I have loved the habitation of thy house, and the place where thy honor dwelleth. My foot standeth in an even place; in the congregations I will bless the Lord. Psalm 26:8, 12
In a recent sermon, Pastor Rick state what a great thing it is that there is an absence of conflict in our church, which doesnt seem to be true in many churches. We should have a good feeling about that and give credit to our pastor as well as all of our members and try to maintain that unity.
Certainly we show fellowship and goodwill as we greet each other and with such enthusiasm each Sunday in our Sharing of the Peace.
Along with our fellowship comes the reverence we should experience as we enter Gods house. This time should be used to feel His presence near us, to receive comfort if were troubled, to feel peace and comfort He can bring us to put our daily lives on hold for this short time during a busy week. We need to prepare our minds and thoughts to perceive His presence in our midst.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank you for your presence in our church. Guide us as we work together to glorify your name, and be with us as we come together in your house. Amen.
Saturday, April 19th
To Whom It May Concern:
I just had to write to tell you how much I love you and care for you. Yesterday, I saw you walking and laughing with your friends. I hoped that soon youd want Me to walk along with, too. But you never invited me to. So I colored you a rainbow to guide you on your way. As the day grew to an end I watched you grow tired and weary so in need of rest. So, I painted you a sunset to close your day and whispered a cool breeze to refresh you. I waited, you never called; I just kept on loving you. As I watched you fall asleep last night, I wanted so much to touch you. I spilled moonlight onto your face trickling down you cheeks as so many tears have. You didnt even thank me; I wanted so much to comfort you.
The next day I exploded a brilliant sunrise into a glorious morning for you. But you woke up late and rushed off to work you didnt even notice. My sky became cloudy and my tears were the rain.
I love you. Oh, if youd only listen. I really love you. I try to say it in the quite of the green meadow and in the blue sky. The wind whispers my love throughout the treetops and spills it into the vibrant colors of the flowers. I should it to you in the thunder of the great waterfalls, and compose love songs for birds to sing for you. I warm you with the clothing of My sunshine and perfume the air with natures sweet scent. My lov for you is deeper than the ocean and greater than any need in your heart. If youd only realize how I care
I DIED JUST FOR YOU.
My Dad sends His love. I want you to meet Him. He cares, too. Fathers are just that way. So please call Me soon. No matter how long it takes, Ill listen because I love you.