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Have you ever planned and carried out that plan just to feel differently about it afterward? Goodness, everything was riding on that one big moment, yet it fell flat. What happened? Did we misunderstand? It seemed perfect, but where do we go from here?   Thinker - Rodin - During the holidays, we plan changes we’d like to make in the new year and contemplate our future. We’re excited about fresh prospects and making the most of every opportunity. However, as our plans come to fruition, sometimes they aren’t what we expected, and we’re dumbfounded.   That’s when we must take a step back and remember, as Jeremiah did, “…the way of man is not in himself—it is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.” [1]   How did Jeremiah know this truth?   Jeremiah was the son of the priest, Hilkiah. He was too young to be a priest himself since thirty was the age for entering the priesthood. Yet, Jeremiah studied and believed God’s Word. In it, he saw tha

This is Christmas!

Image As his knee touched the ground, the soldier bowed his head, knowing the battle could not be fought or won in his own strength. The burden heavy and the task grueling, yet whispered prayer escaped his heart, and an unseen joy surrounded him, lifted the load, and encouraged his spirit.   He stood, and as he did, light from somewhere bounced off his golden armor. It hit his helmet, then his breastplate, traveled from shield to belt, and down to his shoes. Finally, it landed on the sword dangling at his side. Feeling the need to unsheathe, he heard scraping metal pierce the silence. Flashes flickered with every move. And holding this sword high and lifted, [1] the Word he needed filled him.   Moving forward, the bulk of his armor disappeared, but he knew it was there—he felt God’s power. Approaching the battle, more of the Word came to mind. Then sensing the LORD of Glory before and behind, he stepped toward the anguish-str

Always Abound With Thanksgiving

  Does history intrigue you as it does me? When I read historical accounts, a movie seems to play in my mind, and I can picture the event and sense the emotions.   That happened this week when I considered Thanksgiving and found myself reading The Mayflower Compact. So, let me set the scene. On a crisp September morning, over one hundred men, women, and children prepared to set sail from England to reach a new, unsettled land across the Atlantic. Calm and smooth seas prevailed at first, but soon the wind whipped. Great swells rocked the mighty ship, and storms churned the waters. Overcrowding made the voyage uncomfortable. Hot tempers emerged and desired to dominate as they sailed toward their destination—northern Virginia.   But these passengers were Christians on a specific mission. And they believed if a man’s ways please the LORD, He establishes their thoughts, makes enemies to be at peace with them, and He alone directs th


THREE DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA’S 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS:   Day Three, Tuesday, November 8, 2022 Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash Hear our prayer, O LORD, give ear to our supplications! In Your faithfulness and righteousness, answer us, Your servants, and withhold judgment—for, in Your sight, no one living is righteous. These last 21-1/2 months, the enemy has persecuted our souls. They have tried their best to crush our lives to the ground and make us dwell in darkness like those who are dead. They have overwhelmed our spirits and distressed our hearts. LORD, yes, we are sinful people! But if we feel this grieved about the incessant evil in our nation, surely this grieves You a hundredfold. So, Father God, we humble ourselves before Your throne and REPENT for our own sin and the sin of our country—our proud looks, lying tongues, and the shedding of innocent blood. We repent for the hearts that devise wicked plans, the feet swift in running to evil, false witnesses, and those who so


THREE DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA’S 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS: Day Two, Monday, November 7, 2022 Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash We cry out, O LORD, with our voice, and with our voice, we make supplication. We pour out our complaint before You and declare to You our trouble. Since the election of November 3, 2020, our spirits have been overwhelmed within us, but even then, You knew our path . On that day, evildoers secretly set a snare on our right hand. Any refuge failed us, no one acknowledged our complaints, and no one cared for our souls. Therefore, we cried out to You, O LORD, and said, “ You are our REFUGE and our portion in the land of the living.” Attend now, O LORD, to our cry since we feel very low and imprisoned in our supposedly “free” country. Bring our soul and nation out of prison, O LORD our God, that we may praise Your Name. [1] Deliver us from our persecutors, the perpetrators of this evil, for they appear strong and weaponized against us. Yet


THREE DAYS OF PRAYER FOR AMERICA’S 2022 MIDTERM ELECTIONS:   Day One, Sunday, November 6, 2022: Photo by Timothy Eberly on Unsplash LORD, we cry out to You! Make haste and give ear to our voices as we cry in Your presence. Let our prayer be set before You as incense , the lifting of our hands as the evening sacrifice. Set a guard, O LORD, over our mouths; keep watch over the door of our lips. Do not incline our heart to any evil thing—to practice wicked works with those who work iniquity. And do not let us partake of their deceitful delicacies. If our thoughts and choices for this election are not following Your holy will, O LORD, let the righteous correct and rebuke us—it shall be kindness and as excellent oil. Let our heads not refuse it. For still our prayer is against the deeds of the wicked. So, therefore, on Tuesday, November 8, 2022, let Your people, O LORD, overthrow their judges, representatives, senators, governors, school boards, et al., in every position and

Do You Need A HELMET?

Fall leaves anthony-lee-zZ-G8iQOwa8-unsplash   Wind whips. Leaves swirl. And just like that, we’ve arrived at fall—the season for pumpkins, cornstalks, multicolored mums, and trees displaying God’s handiwork in the most glorious shades of reds , golds , oranges , and browns .   And…it’s the time of year believers are more keenly aware of evil swirling around us. I’m not talking only about the creepy Halloween decorations, but also the evil we can’t see but know is there. You know, the thing horror movies use to saturate patrons with fear.   Yet writers and producers have no idea what they’re really dealing with—they think it’s all in fun—Oooo, ghosts and goblins and ghouls! Oh my!   Still, fright creators and those who attend for the thrill seem to be taunting the devil and his minions. Why—to force a paranormal event? Do they think it exciting to see a disembodied spirit? Or maybe they need to prove Satan doesn’t exist?   Horror enthusiasts know nothing of who or w