Archive for the ‘Application of Biblical Principles’ Category

Not my cooling board. . .not my winding-sheet:

January 23, 2021

Today, as I stepped out of the shower, and thanked God once again that I could take a shower on my own and that no one had to bathe me. As I was rejoicing and expressing my gratitude, I had a flashback of an experience occurring while growing up in a small Black church in mid-town Gary, Indiana in the 1950s. On countless Sunday mornings, the congregation gathered between the end of Sunday School and the actual opening of the morning service, and I recall that a dark-skinned deacon, whose name I can’t remember, would rise to lead the church in prayer. Beginning with familiar expressions of gratitude to God, the elder church official began with a prelude, slowly mounting in intensity before ending with a grand crescendo to lead the people of God to the Throne of God.

After a time, a couple of my buddies and I memorized the opening lines, snickering to ourselves as we bowed our heads repeating the familiar refrain that went something like this:

“Lord, thank you that the four walls of my room was not my grave, that my bed was not my cooling board, and my cover was not my winding-sheet.” I knew from context what the deacon meant, but I later learned that in African American culture a cooling board is a board used to present a dead body. According to definitions.net, “In winter months it would be difficult to bury the dead due to the earth being frozen, so the body was wrapped and propped in a barn until the ground thawed out.”

I learned the meaning of the term “winding-sheet” in graduate school while working on my doctorate with a minor in Afro-American Studies. I was introduced to a powerful short story, “Like a Winding Sheet,” by Ann Petry, a Harlem Renaissance author with whom I had something in common. We were both Black writers who were pharmacists. Because of my exposure to African American literature, I learned the meaning of this term used in the deacon’s prayer.

In my daily time of prayer, I give thanks to God for another day that I am alive and well and “clothed in my right mind,” another phrase from the deacon’s prayer. Having been diagnosed with prostate cancer more than twenty years ago, I have come to understand on the deepest personal level exactly what the good deacon was saying in his prayer that was repeated on Sunday mornings across the land back in the day. In reflecting on my childhood experience, I was moved to tears and inspired to write this psalm of praise to God:

Lord, thank you for my soul.

That my soul may sing praise to You and not be silent.

O Lord my God, I will give thanks to You forever.

Psalm 30:12 (AMP)

Lord, thank you for my soul. My God, you are so kind.
I woke up this morning sleeping in my own bed,         
Another day you clothed me in my right mind,       
Not wrapped in a winding-sheet but in your love instead.

If it had not been for you, I could have been dead,
Laid out on a cooling board, but one more time you remind
Me you are God of the living just as Jesus said.
Lord, thank you for my soul. My God, you are so kind.

Lord, you healed my body and gave me a sound mind.
You are my healer, and I believe what you said.
What you loose in heaven, no power on earth can bind.
I woke up this morning sleeping in my own bed.

You showed when you raised Jesus out from among the dead
The spirit of the living God cannot be confined.
Lord, I trust you—you alone know what lies ahead:
Another day you clothed me in my right mind,

Before you touched my soul, I was deaf, dumb, and blind.
After all I’ve been through, Lord knows I should have been dead,
But one more day you kept me clothed in my right mind,
Not wrapped in a winding-sheet but in your love instead.

From the soles of my feet to the crown of my head,
My total healing from the Lord is what is I find.
Yes, I can still pray, thank you for the presence of mind.
Lord, thank you for my soul.

I discovered this recording by Donny Hathaway, “Thank You, Master, for My Soul” where he mentions the familiar phrases I discussed and makes sidebar comments, “Y’all don’t know what I’m talking about.” I chuckled and fought back the tears, saying “Oh, yes I do!” Listen and reflect with gratitude with me.

What do you know? Three responses

January 16, 2021

Recently I thought of the expression “What do you know?” as I began my day in a reflective way. That phrase was also the title of a quiz show heard on BBC radio in the 1950s and 1960s. Generally used as a rhetorical question,  the expression also brings to mind a previous blog post entitled “These three things I Know,” revised and re-posted here:

  1. Some things I know
  2. Some things I don’t know
  3. Some things only God knows

Some things I know. . .

One thing I know for sure is that that God loves me.  I know that I love God and that’s really all that matters.  Not only do I know that God loves me and that I love God, but these lyrics express what I really know:

I know that I know that I know that I know.

I know that I know You still love me.

I know that I know that I know that I know.

I know that I know You still love me.

No matter how many times I go astray

And leave your side and choose to disobey. 

When I’m overwhelmed and can’t even pray,

No matter what I do or do not say.

I know that I know that I know that I know.

I know that I know You still love me.

I know that I know that I know that I know.

I know that I know You still love me.

No one else knows my heart: You are the one

To call me home when I have no place to run.

When I look all around at all that I’ve done,

Despite all my failures, You still call me Son.

I know that I know that I know that I know.

I know that I know You still love me.

I know that I know that I know that I know.

I know that I know You still love me.

Romans 8:28 is my favorite verse in the Bible, and it offers this reminder that because God is good, “We know that  all things work together for the good, to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” So no matter how bad any situation may appear to be,  I know that it will work together for the good.

Some things I don’t know. . .

I recall the lyrics to one of my all-time favorite Gospel songs “I Don’t Know about Tomorrow.” This song was especially meaningful because it was a song that my late sister-in-law, Phyllis Warren Murdock sang. Listen to this recording of the song that she sang so beautifully.

Without question, I don’t know the answers to many of life’s enigmas that seem to defy the mind of man. Quite honestly, I don’t know the answers to the questions that God asked Job. Some things are not mine to know. . . if God doesn’t tell me in the Word or by revelation, then I just don’t know

Romans 11:33-34 reminds us of this truth:

33 O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

34 For who hath known the mind of the Lord? or who hath been his counsellor?

I recall the lyrics to the hymn “I Know Whom I Have Believed” which states a series of things that the hymn writer does not know:

I know not why God’s wondrous grace
  To me He hath made known,
Nor why, unworthy, Christ in love
  Redeemed me for His own.

The chorus of the familiar hymn resounds with this assurance found in 2 Timothy 1:12 :

But “I know Whom I have believed
And am persuaded that He is able
To keep that which I’ve committed
Unto Him against that day.”

The last verse brings to mind something that neither I nor anyone else knows:

I know not when my Lord may come,
  At night or noon-day fair,
Nor if I’ll walk the vale with Him,
  Or “meet Him in the air.”

Some things only God knows . . .

When asked about his return to the earth, Jesus Christ responded in Matthew 24:36:

But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Although we are assured that the Lord Jesus Christ will return, no one is privy of the exact day and hour, but “of the times and seasons we have no need,”  as I Thessalonians 5:1-3 remind us that the Lord’s return will happen suddenly, at the precise time that no one knows, only God.

When confronted with staggering vision of the dry bones, the prophet Ezekiel is asked a question in Ezekiel 37:3:

“Son of Man, can these bones live?” He responds, “O Lord God, You know!” As the New Living Testament puts it, “O Sovereign Lord,” I replied, “you alone know the answer to that.”

In thinking about things that only God knows, I recall this original poem written to express that very idea:

“Lord, You Know!”

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities:

For we know not what we should pray for

 as we ought: but the Spirit itself makes

intercession for us with groanings

which cannot be uttered.

Romans 8:16

Many times we journey and don’t know which way to go.

When the right words won’t come, and we can’t even pray.    

Sometimes the only thing to say is “Lord, you know!”

We set our sights above but our thoughts fall below.

Though we walk by faith, we stumble along the way.

Many times we journey and don’t know which way to go.

We triumph in Christ and rise to defeat each foe.

Even though we wage spiritual warfare night and day,

Sometimes the only thing to say is “Lord, you know!”

God puts us in a place for us to prove what we know;

He tests us to see whether we rebel or obey.

Many times we journey and don’t know which way to go.

God leads the way and only asks that we follow.

We start in strength but often seem to go astray.

Sometimes the only thing to say is “Lord, you know!”

We long to serve the Lord, the one who loves us so,

But doubts and fears arise and somehow still dismay.

Many times we journey and don’t know which way to go.

Sometimes the only thing to say is “Lord, you know!”

Despite what we may think that we know and what we may think that we don’t know, we are comforted and assured with the words of I John 3:20:

For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things.

We conclude our discussion with the classic hymn, “I Know Whom I Have Believed” which actually responds to what I know as well as what I do not know:

One more reminder: God is in control

January 14, 2021


A new day dawns after the horrific unfolding of events taking place in the Nation’s Capital and elsewhere across the globe last week. As we continue to pray, I recall a silver-framed plaque that was given to me with the words “God is in control.” This quotation is a comforting reminder during these stressful, perilous times described as “difficult to deal with.” The quote also brings to mind Psalm 46: 10:

Be still and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen; I will be exalted in the earth.

Here is the entire psalm from the Amplified Bible:

1 GOD IS our Refuge and Strength [mighty and impenetrable to temptation], a very present and well-proved help in trouble.

2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change and though the mountains be shaken into the midst of the seas,

3 Though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling and tumult. Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

4 There is a river whose streams shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the Most High.

5 God is in the midst of her, she shall not be moved; God will help her right early [at the dawn of the morning].

6 The nations raged, the kingdoms tottered and were moved; He uttered His voice, the earth melted.

7 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our Fortress and High Tower). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

8 Come, behold the works of the Lord, Who has wrought desolations and wonders in the earth.

9 He makes wars to cease to the end of the earth; He breaks the bow into pieces and snaps the spear in two; He burns the chariots in the fire.

10 Let be and be still and know (recognize and understand) that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations! I will be exalted in the earth!

11 The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our Refuge (our High Tower and Stronghold). Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!

Verse 10 also introduces this poem with the first three words of the psalm as its title:

Be Still and Know

Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
Psalms 46:10

Be still and know that I am God, that I am the eternal one.
Though your cherished dreams seem to have faded and gone
The way of all flesh, my divine plans you shall see,
As I weave the tapestry of eternity.
Though you seem forsaken, you are never alone,
Even when the burden of dark sin cannot atone,
And the hearts of men have hardened and turned to stone:
Be still and know that I am God.

Though storms may overwhelm, and friends may abandon
When diseases surface to assault flesh and bone.
These scenes will reveal the people we thought we could be,
As words of the Psalmist comfort to remind you and me,
When this life is over, and all is said and done:
Be still and know that I am God.

As we pause and calmly think about that—as we “selah” this Psalm, we also give heed to these words—

Be Still

Be still and know that I am God.
Be still in your soul and be at peace.
Rise above your circumstance and rest in me.

In closing, listen to Steven Curtis Chapman singing “Be Still and Know.”

Imitating God by walking in love

January 7, 2021

Taken from Ephesians 5:1-2 (NLT), the Verse of the Day for January 7, 2021, offers this exhortation:

[Living in the Light] Imitate God, therefore, in everything you do, because you are his dear children. Live a life filled with love, following the example of Christ. He loved us and offered himself as a sacrifice for us, a pleasing aroma to God.

The Amplified Bible puts it this way:

Therefore be imitators of God [copy Him and follow His example], as well-beloved children [imitate their father].
2 and walk continually in love [that is, value one another—practice empathy and compassion, unselfishly seeking the best for others], just as Christ also loved you and gave Himself up for us, an offering and sacrifice to God [slain for you, so that it became] a sweet fragrance.

Verse 1 establishes the idea of being followers or imitators of God, and verse 2 provides a notable example of such a faithful follower, as displayed in the life and ministry of Jesus Christ, the ultimate illustration of “Like father, like son.”

The passage from Ephesians also brought to mind something written more than ten years ago that we can apply to our lives, especially today:

In the Footsteps of Our Faithful Fathers

Follow the steps of good men instead,
and stay on the paths of the righteous.
Proverbs 2:20

We still walk the paths of the righteous, chosen ones,
In the footsteps of our faithful fathers, as sons
And daughters, we follow their lead as they show us the way,
Acknowledging God in all that we do and say.
We have not been here, for each step is strange and new.
Moving ahead, our eyes are now only on You.
As we continue to pursue the paths of truth,
We see Your guiding hand has been there since our youth.
Former days intertwined in confusion and strife,
In darkened, dead-end pathways, all bearing no life.
Along our journey, we have known Your grace before,
Assured that Your favor will abound even more.
We are strengthened and encouraged in this new phase
And pledge to press onward for the rest of our days.

Elevation Worship offers “Walk in Love” inspired by Ephesians 5:1-2 and other verses:

Good News Day—Break it Down–What the Scriptures Say

January 2, 2021

 This is the day the LORD has made;
 we will rejoice and be glad in it.
 Psalm 118:24

As the New Year unfolds, I remind myself that I don’t make New Year’s resolutions, but I resolve that each day will hold “Good News!” I often recite the original poem “Good News Day” on birthdays and other occasions of celebration. I recall sharing the poem on my birthday when I happened to be part of a Bible study taught by Thamo Naidoo from South Africa. After hearing my joyful recitation, he remarked. “This isn’t just a nice poem, but it’s a prophetic declaration from the Lord.” Years later, I thought about his comment, and I decided to look at the poem more closely. Today’s blog post examines some Scriptural references that come to mind as we examine the poem line by line:

It’s a good news day

The title brings to mind the account of the four leprous men who entered the camp of the enemy and made a remarkable discovery:

8 When the men with leprosy arrived at the edge of the camp, they went into one tent after another, eating and drinking wine; and they carried off silver and gold and clothing and hid it. 9 Finally, they said to each other, “This is not right. This is a day of good news, and we aren’t sharing it with anyone! If we wait until morning, some calamity will certainly fall upon us. Come on, let’s go back and tell the people at the palace.”

no blues day

Psalm 30:11 (AMP)

You have turned my mourning into dancing for me; You have taken off my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
I have also composed some originals related psalms: “No Mo Blues” and “Little Boy’s Blues” which reiterate the same message.

new shoes

This line makes me think of “Parable of the Prodigal Son” the source of inspiration for “Homecoming” another original poem “Homecoming.” Here is a reference:

Luke 15:22 (KJV)

But the father said to his servants, bring forth the best robe, and put it on him; and put a ring on his hand, and shoes on his feet:

no way to lose

2 Corinthians 2:14 (AMPC) reinforces the same message:

But thanks be to God, Who in Christ always leads us in triumph [as trophies of Christ’s victory] and through us spreads and makes evident the fragrance of the knowledge of God everywhere,

What a good news day!

It’s a great day

Psalm 42:8 (NLT)

But each day the LORD pours his unfailing love upon me, and through each night I sing his songs, praying to God who gives me life.
I have also composed a number of original songs from a collection: “Songs in the Night Sung in the Morning”

I can’t wait day!

We look forward to each new day with great expectations:

Romans 10:11 (AMP):

For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM [whoever adheres to, trusts in, and relies on Him] WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED [in his expectations].”

lift your voice

let’s rejoice

Philippians 4:4 (AMP) reminds us of this reality:

4 Rejoice in the Lord always [delight, take pleasure in Him]; again, I will say, rejoice!
Rejoice in the Lord, always, and again, I say rejoice

Good God, a good news day!

Here are verses to remind us that we serve a “Good God!”:

Psalm 34:8 (NKJV)

Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good; Blessed is the man who trusts in Him!

Lamentations 3:25

The LORD is good to those who wait [confidently] for Him, To those who seek Him [on the authority of God’s word].

It’s a payday

For those who serve the Lord, every day is a payday:

Psalm 68:19 (NKJV)

Blessed be the Lord, Who daily loads us with benefits, The God of our salvation! Selah

I often encourage believers to make every day a “Pay Day.” Although that’s sweet, I’m not talking about a candy bar. To illustrate what I mean by “get paid every day,” I often recite “Barter” by Sara Teasdale. Here is a definition of the verb barter: to exchange (goods or services) for other goods or services without using money.

Isaiah 55:1 expresses the same sentiments:

“Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink— even if you have no money! Come, take your choice of wine or milk— it’s all free!

goin my way day
no nay–all yea
what you say

When it comes to the promises of God, there is not yes and no, but this verse clarifies the matter:

2 Corinthians 2:20 (AMP):

For as many as are the promises of God, in Christ, they are [all answered] “Yes.” So, through Him, we say our “Amen” to the glory of God.

Such a good news day!

It’s a live it up day
overflowin cup day

This line brings to mind one of the most recognized lines from Psalm 23:

Psalm 23:5 (NLT):

You prepare a feast for me
in the presence of my enemies.
You honor me by anointing my head with oil.
My cup overflows with blessings.

It’s a bright and bubbly
doubly lovely

This line refers to our gracious, beneficent Father:

Isaiah 62:7

Instead of your [former] shame, you will have a double portion; And instead of humiliation, your people will shout for joy over their portion. Therefore, in their land they will possess double [what they had forfeited]; Everlasting joy will be theirs.

Show-nuff good news day!

 Mandisa offers a musical summary of  the celebratory poem with “Good News”

There may be other scriptures that come to mind when you hear “Good News Day. If you would be so kind, share them in the comments below, and may each day of 2021 be

‘. . . a bright and bubbly,
Doubly lovely,
Show-nuff good news day!’

Whiter than snow: What do you mean?

December 17, 2020

This morning, I awoke and opened the blinds to see the residual effect of the first snow since we moved to Northern Virginia more than a year ago. A snowstorm swept through much of the area, depositing more than a foot of snow in some parts of the state. Even though it may accumulate in seeming excess, the silent splendor of falling snow is a glorious sight that reminds us that God has made everything beautiful in its time. As I looked upon the crystal beauty of the landscape, I thought of Isaiah 1:18, a verse that mentions a series of similes, or comparisons using “like” or “as” that describe contrasting views of sin and allude to the purifying process of repentance:

Isaiah 1:18 (NLT)

“Come now, let’s settle this,” says the Lord. “Though your sins are like scarlet, I will make them as white as snow. Though they are red like crimson, I will make them as white as wool.

According to notes from Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible,

The rabbis say that when the lot was taken to select a scapegoat as a sacrifice a scarlet thread was bound on the scapegoat’s head, and after the high priest had confessed his and the people’s sins over it, the fillet [A narrow strip of ribbon or similar material] became white: the miracle ceased, according to them, forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, that is, exactly when Jesus Christ was crucified. . . . Hebrew for “scarlet” radically means double-dyed. . . .

We recognize that without repentance there is no remission of sin. With repentance, however, sins can become “white as snow,” and “white as wool,” that is, restored to an original un-dyed state of whiteness.

There is a grand wonder in winter, as such scenes unfold in breath-taking splendor, to remind us of the soul-cleansing power of the blood of Jesus Christ which came to mind and inspired this poetic description:

Frosted Wood Scene

“Come now, and let us reason together, says the LORD,
though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red like crimson, they shall be as wool.
Isaiah 1:18


The stark nakedness
of the dark bark
blooms with crystal leaves.
Where death once reigned,
blossoms now flourish,
even as grace
did much more abound
and flower as
graceful almond trees.

I stand enraptured,
surrounded by
the fragile beauty
of the landscape
etched in a fuller
white than any
angel’s bright raiment.

The frosted wood scene
shows God’s design
to cleanse and make whole
the soul of man
that he might surely
know the pure love
that cleanses, covers
whiter than snow,
Lord, whiter than snow.

We close with another contemporary song of praise: “Whiter than the Snow”

Even deeper: Enhancing our relationship with the Lord

December 10, 2020

This morning as I began my time of meditation and prayer, I thought of words of encouragement spoken to those age 50 and older in our church, Grace Covenant Church, Chantilly, VA. Minister Michelle Jones exhorted the believers present on a Zoom call to go deeper in our relationship with the Lord and with His Word. We are living in tumultuous times, as we all are facing blinding rain and Hurricane-force winds that seek to toss us about and overwhelm our souls. In the midst of it all, God is calling believers to a deeper relationship with Him.

During this period of unprecedented upheaval where everything that can be shaken is being shaken, Psalm 42:7 (NIV) comes to mind:

Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.

Timothy Jemly, comments on this verse in his book, God’s Submarines: Go below the waves of stress, anxiety, and heartbreak using these simple tools to deepen your relationship with God.


“God dwells in the depths, and He has put within us a deep longing that cries out for Him; under all of our busyness is a longing for stillness of the deep.”


He goes on to explain:

“The last part of the verse says, “Your waves and breakers have passed over me.” That carries a different connotation than being tossed by the waves. If they sweep over you, then you are below them

The United States Navy tells its submarine captains that in the event of approaching hurricanes, they are to head for the nearest spot where they can dive into the depths. Why? Because even in the biggest hurricanes, things are calm down in the depths.”

I express my heart’s desire for even greater intimacy, for a relationship that is

Even Deeper

More intimate than friend or kin or wife
Is close-knit love God weaves within my life.

Lonnell E. Johnson

I have learned to value the foremost relationship
That transcends the deep affections of a loving wife,
Beyond Hebron, the place of our closest kinship,
Even above the heights of our most cherished friendship,
For, this relationship impacts all facets of life.
Above all else, this I know: God loves me–I love Him.
I vow to honor and obey as long as I live.
I will admonish and encourage and be strengthened.
All the borders of my heart I promise to lengthen.
I will not harbor resentment but willingly forgive.
My faith in the true and living God may it increase.
Even in the midst of strife, I sow seeds of peace.
Striving to maintain this primary relationship
Builds even deeper levels of intimate worship.

As we are blessed to close out another year, our hearts overflow with gratitude to God whose loving-kindness and tender mercy have brought us thus far along the way. We look ahead with even greater vision, knowing that the New Year holds blessings beyond anything we could ever ask or think, as we strengthen our relationship with the Lord who calls us to go even deeper.

We close with a moving song of worship: “Deep Calls unto Deep”:

Hold your peace and trust in the Lord

December 8, 2020

This morning during my time of prayer, I noticed the verse sent to those praying for Carolina College of Biblical Studies this week, one of my favorite verses related to abiding in the peace of God as we trust in the Lord, Isaiah 26:3 in the Amplified Bible. However, to appreciate more fully what the verse reveals about trust, we need to examine the following verse as well, a familiar reference that also speaks about the individual who trusts in God:

Isaiah 26:3-4 (NLT):

3 You will guard him and keep him in perfect and constant peace whose mind [both its inclination and its character] is stayed on You, because he commits himself to You, leans on You, and hopes confidently in You.
4 So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Psalm 56:1-4: in the New Living Translation also speaks of trusting in the Lord. This particular passage offers great comfort, as a reservoir of strength and encouragement:

1 O God, have mercy on me,
for people are hounding me.
My foes attack me all day long.
2 I am constantly hounded by those who slander me,
and many are boldly attacking me.
3 But when I am afraid,
I will put my trust in you.
4 I praise God for what he has promised.
I trust in God, so why should I be afraid?
What can mere mortals do to me?

Verses 9-11 also reiterate the Psalmist’s determination to trust God:

9 My enemies will retreat when I call to you for help.
This I know: God is on my side!
10 I praise God for what he has promised;
yes, I praise the LORD for what he has promised.
11 I trust in God, so why should I be afraid? What can mere mortals do to me?

The Word of God speaks to each believer to learn to trust in the Lord, as you renew your mind and

Hold Your Peace

So, shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him.

Isaiah 59:19

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.

Exodus 14:14

These days when the enemy enters as a flood
With distress and intense pressure on every side,
Despite signs of defeat, the Lord God is still good.
In the thick of battle, in peace, we will abide.
The Spirit of the Lord raises a bold standard:
Lord of Hosts bears His arm, as Jehovah Nissi
Covers us with His love; though foes may have slandered,
His royal banner is displayed for us to see:
Faithful Adonai has never slept nor slumbered.
He is not slack but hastens to perform His Word.
Despite outward signs, we are never outnumbered,
For we know that the battle belongs to the Lord.
On the battlefield, fierce attacks seem only to increase,
But as God told Moses, “Stand still and hold your peace!”

As we walk by faith and learn to trust God more than ever before, we recall two acronyms to remind us of the meaning of T-R-U-S-T:

We proclaim that we will maintain a

Triumphant attitude” with
Rugged determination” and
Unswerving commitment,” as we further develop
Strengthened believing” and
Tremendous confidence”

We are also learning to T-R-U-S-T:

Taking Risks Under Stressful Times.

Even as David encouraged himself in the Lord in Psalm 56 and throughout the Psalms, so we too encourage ourselves, as we trust God with all our heart and do not lean to our own understanding but acknowledge Him in all our ways, knowing that He will direct our paths.

We close with a song of trust written and performed by Gary Oliver: “I will trust in you.” The lyrics refer to Isaiah 26:4 which reinforces the comforting and reassuring message God will keep us in a state of perfect peace as we trust Him. As a result, we should trust in the Lord God forever, for He is the everlasting Rock of Ages:

A reminder: God is faithful

November 29, 2020


The Psalms overflow with prayers of thanksgiving, as expressed in the Verse of the Day for November 29, 2020, found in Psalm 136:1, 26:

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever.
Oh, give thanks to the God of heaven!
For His mercy endures forever.

One of the awesome attributes of God is that He is a God of mercy, and His mercy never fails. Although our Father is a God of justice, he tempers justice with grace and mercy. Justice has been defined as “getting exactly what one deserves.” Whereas grace is said to be unmerited favor or getting something that one does not deserve, while mercy is defined as “withholding merited judgment” or “not getting what one deserves. God ever displays His mercy toward His children, as Lamentations 3:22-23 reminds us:

It is of the Lord’s mercies that we are not consumed because his compassions fail not.

They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.

The mercy of God as expressed in Lamentations 3 is the inspiration behind one of my favorite hymns: “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”

Throughout the Psalms, we also see that God abounds in mercy:

Psalm 119: 64:

The earth, O Lord, is full of thy mercy: teach me thy statutes.

Psalm 57:10:

For thy mercy is great unto the heavens and thy truth unto the clouds.

Psalm 69:13:

But as for me, my prayer is unto thee, O Lord, in an acceptable time: O God, in the multitude of thy mercy hear me, in the truth of thy salvation.

Psalm 103:17:

But the mercy of the Lord is from everlasting to everlasting upon them that fear him, and his righteousness unto children’s children;

During these unprecedented times of stress and distress with the constraints and challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, as believers, we need to be reminded that God’s faithfulness endures to all generations. For those who may have forgotten, here is a word of encouragement:

A Reminder: God Is Faithful

For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister.

Hebrews 6:10



The good deeds that you have done may not be extolled
When the fervor of God’s love has long since grown cold.
Some quickly forget all the good that you have done
And fail to recall that you were the only one
To answer the call, seek the Lord and intercede.
Time after time you were the one to meet the need.
When others were busy and chose to walk away,
You were there and remained in the thick of the fray.
In dark times when words of thanks are distant memories,
Recall that God knows all things, for He alone sees
Your labor and saves all the tears that you have shed.
Our Father is ever mindful of how you serve,
And He shall reward you beyond all you deserve.
As you strive to finish your course, have no regret:
Our God is faithful–He will never forget.


We close with this reminder “Great is Your Faithfulness’ offered by Life Worship:

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, every day is Thanksliving Day

November 26, 2020


We are in the “Thanksgiving season,” with an almost automatic association with turkey and dressing, cranberries, and pumpkin pie (or sweet potato pie, depending upon your ethnic tastes). For Christians, however, thanksgiving is more than a holiday observed the fourth Thursday in November. Actually, “Thanksgiving” is always appropriate. “Thanksgiving” is the reason, not only for this season, but “thanksgiving” should be the reason for every season, even in the midst of the current COVID-19 pandemic, especially during these unprecedented times of uncertainty.

When I use the term “thanksgiving,” I look at the word in its most literal sense, meaning “to give thanks” or “to show one’s self grateful.” It is an expression of gratitude, a form of prayer specified in I Timothy which speaks of “requests, prayers, intercession, and thanksgiving. . . .

As a Christian believer, expressing thanks to God for His grace and goodness should never be confined to a single period of time. God desires that we show ourselves grateful at all times. Scriptures remind us of this truth in a number of places:

Colossians 3:17

And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.

A similar reminder is found in Ephesians 5:20:

Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Word of God reveals that the giving of thanks is to be more than an occasional act of gratitude; it is to be an ongoing part of our lives.

Philippians 4:6

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.

Perhaps the most dramatic reminder to live in continuous thanksgiving is found in I Thessalonians 5:18:

Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ.

Every situation offers an opportunity to be thankful, no matter how bright or bleak life may be. We can always find something to be thankful for something, if for nothing more than that we are alive or that our situation could be worse. We can begin by thanking God that we are alive and then adding to the long list of blessings we are enjoying at that moment. Each time we set our minds to be thankful, we are doing the will of God, the innermost desire of every believer.

We desire to do more than merely occasionally expressing how grateful we are, but we desire to maintain a continual “attitude of gratitude,” which some have called “thanksliving.” The essence of our attitude of endless gratitude is expressed in this poem:

Thanksliving

What shall we render to the Lord for all
His grace? What can we say to offer praise
Worthy of His glory? How can we call
With all our being upon His name and raise
A new song from the depths of our heart?
We must do more than mouth a platitude–
To express our soul in words is an art;
Yet words cannot express our gratitude.
Our words are empty and without merit.
“Thank you” too soon becomes a hollow phrase.
So, we must worship God with our spirit
And must give thanks well for all of our days.
To live is to give thanks with tongue and limb.
With each breath, each move, let us live thanks to Him.

Beyond merely saying “thank you” to God, more than simply tithing or sharing of our abundance or giving of our time or material goods, thanksliving is a way of life, expressing gratitude to God in everything we say and do. It is more than the arrival of Friday (TGIF), for which the workaday world thanks God. We must show how grateful we are with all of our being, “Thank God, it’s Sunday through Saturday.” As we do so, we counteract the negative effects of “stinkin’ thinkin’”: thoughts of disappointment, discouragement, despair, and any other toxic emotions that seek to keep us from being all that God designed us to be.

We close with a music video described as the best Thanksgiving song ever, expressing the power of gratitude, praise, worship, and adoration: