Monthly Archives: June 2020

Deut 21; Psalms 108,109; Isaiah 48; Rev 18

“She bought great quantities of gold, silver, jewels, and pearls; fine linen, purple, silk, and scarlet cloth; things made of fragrant thyine wood, ivory goods, and objects made of expensive wood; and bronze, iron, and marble.  She also bought cinnamon, spice, incense, myrrh, frankincense, wine, olive oil, fine flur, wheat, cattle, sheep, horses, wagons, and bodies-that is, human slaves.  “The fancy things you loved so much are gone,” they cry.  “All your luxuries and splendor are gone forever, never to be yours again.” Revelation 18:12-14 NLT

Reading through this list of luxuries, I think about the wise men giving the frankincense and myrrh to Jesus.  I look into my own heart.  How is it like Babylon? What am I grasping onto for myself?  Am I looking to others for what they can do for me? Or am I genuinely loving them like Jesus?

“This is what the Lord says-your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel: “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you what is good for you and leads you along the paths you should follow.  Oh, that you had listened to my commands! Then you would have had peace flowing like a gentle river and righteousness rolling over you like waves in the sea.  Your descendants would have been like the sands along the seashore-too many to count!” Isaiah 48:17-19 NLT

What am I looking to for fulfillment? I don’t want to miss out on spiritual blessings, because I am so consumed with the things of this world.  And hold on to them so tightly that it becomes an idol…forgetting that it is all His anyway.

“My heart is confident in you, O God; no wonder I can sing your praises with all my heart! Wake up, lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song.  I will thank you, Lord, among all the people.  I will sing your praises among the nations.  For your unfailing love is higher than the heavens.  Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.  Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens.  May your glory shine over all the earth.  Now rescue your beloved people.  Answer and save us by your power.  Oh, please help us against our enemies, for all human help is useless.  With God’s help we will do mighty things, for he will trample down our foes.” Psalms 108:1-13 NLT

Dear Father, I want to have a grateful heart.  Thank you for all the ways you have provided for me.  I desire to be a good steward of your gifts.  Give me eyes to see your beauty all around me.  Help me to have an eternal perspective.  You get the glory. Amen.




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Deut. 20; Ps.107; Isa. 47; Rev. 17

Photo by Mandy Baldwin

I love a good story. My dad tells the best ones. My favorites are the ones that get him laughing so hard he can’t finish. They usually involve his siblings when they were growing up or college years filled with pranks. By the time he gets to the funny part, I’m laughing right along with him.

I love to wonder about people’s stories. I see old barns like the one above and I wonder who walked in and out of it when it was new. I wonder who hid in it…who worked in it…who was the last one in it. I will never know their stories, but i still wonder.

There are stories that are wonderful to hear. Stories of healing and reconciliation. There are stories that tear the heart open and cause pain. Stories of trauma and hurt and fear. In Psalm 107, we as a redeemed people are called to share our story.

“Let the redeemed of the Lord tell their story— those he redeemed from the hand of the foe, those he gathered from the lands, from east and west, from north and south.”

Psalms‬ ‭107:2-3‬ ‭NIV

Not every story we tell will have a happy ending. However, as a redeemed people, every story we tell will include a good God. We have to tell our stories because the world needs to hear of the goodness and faithfulness of God…even when the heartache comes… fear comes…death comes. The world needs to know that our God is good, even when our circumstances are not.

Not only do we need to tell our stories…we need to listen to the stories of others.

Dear God, give us words to tell the stories of the lives you have given us. Give us the words that speak of your goodness, faithfulness, nearness and holiness. Even in the dark nights give us the words. And give us ears to hear. To hear the stories of your children, whom you love. Amen.


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Deuteronomy 17; Psalm 104; Isaiah 44; Revelation 14

“And it shall be with him, and he shall read in it all the days of his life, that he may learn to fear the Lord his God by keeping all the words of this law and these statutes, and doing them, that his heart may not be lifted up above his brothers, and that he may not turn aside from the commandment, either to the right hand or to the left, so that he may continue long in his kingdom, he and his children, in Israel.” (Deuteronomy 17:19-20 ESV)

I am not a ruler but I am a leader in my home and in my workplace.  I think the advice applies to me as well.  I need to be reading God’s word regularly, keeping His commandments and not letting myself feel superior to others.

“May the glory of the Lord endure forever; may the Lord rejoice in His works, who looks on the earth and it trembles,, who touches the mountains and they smoke!  I will sing to the Lord as long as I live; I will sing praise to my God while I have being.  May my mediation be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the Lord.  Let sinners be consumed from the earth, and the let the wicked be no more!  Bless the Lord, O my soul!  Praise the Lord!” (Psalm 104:31-35 ESV)

I also need to daily notice how amazing God’s creation is and that He is in complete control of it.  God is sovereign.  Whatever happens, it’s for a purpose and for His glory.  May I sing a song that a pleasing aroma of praise to Him.  I am so thankful for the hymn writers of yesterday and Christian artists of today that penned beautiful lyrics to sing.

“Fear not, nor be afraid; have I not told you from of old and declared it?  And you are my witnesses!  Is there a God besides Me?  There is no Rock; I know not any.” (Isaiah 44:8 ESV)

My natural instinct in life is to fear at the first sign of bad news.  But God’s word tells us over and over again not to.  He is to be our Rock.  He is capable of handling any situation we ask Him to handle.  May I one day make this my first thought instead.

“Here is a call for the endurance of the saints, those who keep the commandments of God and their faith in Jesus.  And I heard a voice from Heaven saying, ‘Write this: blessed are the dead who die in the Lord from now on.’  ‘Blessed indeed,’ says the Spirit, ‘that they may rest from their labors, for their deeds follow them!” (Revelation 14:12-13 ESV)

No matter what happens in life, I know Who I belong to and where I am going when I die.  This alone should encourage me to be in the word, be a good leader, trust instead of fear, appreciation God’s creation and power and endure the race.  The prize at the end is more than worth it!


Help me to obey all of your commands, including ones that tell me to NOT fear.  Help me to be a diligent disciple and fight the good fight of faith as I navigate my way through this uncertain, fallen world.  Thank you for your faithfulness.


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Deuteronomy 16; Psalm 103; Isaiah 43; Revelation 13

It’s good to remember what the Lord has done. When I read through the Bible, I read of his history of faithfulness, provision, love and forgiveness. I read of his victory and sacrifice. I read of his power and plan.

In Deuteronomy 16, there are the celebrations of Passover, the Festival of the Harvest, and the Festival of Shelters. These celebrations unite the people in worship and remembrance. It’s important to worship and remember.

Psalm 103 is both worship and remembrance. When I meditate on God’s goodness and love, it stirs my soul. It comforts me. It gives me security to trust him.

Isaiah 43:1-7, NLT:

But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.
When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you.
For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior.
I gave Egypt as a ransom for your freedom;
    I gave Ethiopia and Seba in your place.
Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you.

“Do not be afraid, for I am with you.
    I will gather you and your children from east and west.
I will say to the north and south,
    ‘Bring my sons and daughters back to Israel
    from the distant corners of the earth.
Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them.’”

Deep waters, rivers of difficulty, fires of oppression–he says do not be afraid. He says you are honored and he loves you. He says he is with you.

It is important to remember his goodness, his faithfulness, his promises, his power.

13 “From eternity to eternity I am God.
    No one can snatch anyone out of my hand.
    No one can undo what I have done.” Isaiah 43:13, NLT

Held in his hands.

Courtney (66books365)

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Deuteronomy 15; Isaiah 42; Psalm 102; Revelation 12

Give generously to them and do so without a grudging heart; then because of this the Lord your God will bless you in all your work and in everything you put your hand to.  There will always be poor people in the land. Therefore I command you to be openhanded toward your fellow Israelites who are poor and needy in your land.- Deuteronomy 15:10-11 NIV

Commands are not suggestions. Your love is without condition but your provision is so much greater when I give without hesitation.  Renew my trust in You.  It is not only financial but giving generously from my heart. 

 Then I heard a loud voice in heaven say: “Now have come the salvation and the power and the kingdom of our God, and the authority of his Messiah. For the accuser of our brothers and sisters, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down.  They triumphed over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; they did not love their lives so much as to shrink from death.  Therefore rejoice, you heavens and you who dwell in them! But woe to the earth and the sea, because the devil has gone down to you! He is filled with fury, because he knows that his time is short.” Rev 12:10-12 NIV

The imagery of the pregnant woman and the dragon in this passage gives a face to the enemy.  Identifying him makes me much more equipped to conquer him.  His is on the run and desperate.  He will try anything.  My time this morning is my armor for the day.  I am going into battle. He is cunning and good at what he does.  He may gain small victories but the but the Lord is greater and the war is His.  He has defeated Satan and will again and again and again.

The Lord will march out like a champion, like a warrior he will stir up his zeal; with a shout he will raise the battle cry and will triumph over his enemies. Isaiah 42:13 NIV

Like an athlete coming onto the field to the roar of a crowd knowing his or her task at hand, stir up passion for my day today.

Open the floodgates of my heart, Lord, that others may reap abundantly.  Expose the Enemy at every instance today. Father, I want to do Your Will. Amen.

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