Posts Tagged ‘Sunday Devotion’



I shared this last year, but it speaks to me so, and I wanted to share again. Beannachtaí duit. Blessings to you.

A lorica is defined as “a Roman corselet or cuirass of leather.” As Christians, we are to wear the Word of God as armor, and this is what Saint Patrick expressed in his poem.


circa 377 AD

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity
Through belief in the threeness
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the creator.

I arise today
Through the strength of Christ with his baptism,
Through the strength of his crucifixion with his burial,
Through the strength of his resurrection with his ascension
Through the strength of his decent for the Judgement of doom.

I arise today
Through the strength of the love of Cherubim
In obedience to the Angels,
In the service of the Archangels,
In hope of resurrection to meet with reward,
In prayers of patriarchs,
In predictions of prophets,
In preaching of Apostles,
In faiths of confessors,
In innocence of Holy Virgins,
In deeds of righteous men.

I arise today
Through the strength of heaven:
Light of sun
Brilliance of moon
Splendor of fire
Speed of lightning
Swiftness of wind
Depth of sea
Stability of earth
Firmness of rock.

I arise today
Through God’s strength to pilot me:
God’s might to uphold me,
God’s wisdom to guide me
God’s eye to look before me,
God’s ear to hear me,
God’s word to speak for me,
God’s hand to guard me,
God’s way to lie before me,
God’s host to secure me
against snares of devils
against temptations of vices
against inclinations of nature
against everyone who shall wish me ill,
afar and anear,
alone and in a crowd.

A summon today all these powers between me and these evils
Against every cruel and merciless power that may oppose my body and my soul,
Against incantations of false prophets,
Against black laws of heathenry,
Against false laws of heretics,
Against craft of idolatry,
Against spells of women and smiths and wizards,
Against every knowledge that endangers man’s body and soul.

Christ to protect me today
against poison, against burning,
against drowning, against wounding,
so that there may come abundance of reward.
Christ with me, Christ before me, Christ behind me,
Christ in me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me,
Christ on my right, Christ on my left
Christ where I lie, Christ where I sit, Christ where I arise
Christ in the heart of every man who thinks of me,
Christ in the mouth of every man who speaks of me,
Christ in every eye that sees me,
Christ in every ear that hears me.

I arise today
Through a mighty strength, the invocation of the Trinity,
Through belief in the Thrones,
Through confession of the Oneness
Towards the Creator.

Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of the Lord
Salvation is of Christ
May thy salvation, O Lord, be ever with us.



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Lorica, Saint Patrick, Book of Kells

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Who hasn’t asked that at least once? Where is God? Doesn’t He care? Why doesn’t He do something?


He does not step out for some other, more important task. He is never distracted, nor is He ever late.


He is, however, God. And His ways are not ours.


“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55: 8-9


A few weeks ago I mentioned a book I had read, Living the Lord’s Prayer. And in it, the author (whose name escapes me) gives a vivid image of God vs man.


Pretty simple illustration. But so profound.


Basically, we’re not God. He sees and knows things that we cannot begin to understand. And when we have questions, sometimes we have to do the thing that goes against every fiber of our natural being, and accept the unacceptable.


Let me be brutally honest. I’ve been in a difficult season. And it has languished for so very long I feel like quitting. Giving up. I can’t, and I won’t. But I feel helpless and frustrated and so damned tired. And not a little bit angry. I’ve fended off depressions trying to creep back over me—I REFUSE to fall back into that abyss.

Add to that the waves of fatigue and weakness associated with RA, and the mysterious lack of words to write…


Everyone has hard days. God never promised any of us a rose garden. Even in the center of God’s will for your life, it won’t all be easy. Going through valleys is normal, and inevitable. You are either in one now, just got out of one, or are going back into another one. God is more than the God of the mountain tops; He’s the God of the valleys too!


Think about Joseph and Job in the Bible. These were two men that were righteous and who sought to honor God with their lives! They didn’t do anything wrong, yet they both had to endure hard days, and much suffering. It seemed like their journeys took them through valleys more often than not, but in the end, they came out on the other side!


But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold. My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside. Job 23: 10-11


The same can be true for you. Just because you are going through a hard time doesn’t mean you did something wrong. Hard days and seasons come to all of us.


He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.  Matthew 4:45


As a child doesn’t grasp how a parent provides food and toys, neither do we always grasp what Father God is doing. And as ingredients subjected to heat become bread or a cake, we don’t see how it happens. Neither do we always see how Father God manifests His will for us.


But know this—He is always working all things for our good. Sometimes, perhaps usually, “behind the scenes,” where we can’t, or don’t, see.


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.  Romans 8:28


Not all things in life are from His hand. And while yes, He does bring us to difficult things to test us, I would venture to say that the vast majority of hardships in our lives are by our own hand.


But God.


He is ever faithful, and takes those very things borne of our own stupidity or ignorance or negligence, and brings about His blessing and goodness to us who love Him.


Always, always seek His face. And as we know the sun is behind the clouds on a rainy day, so too, we know Father is there and he has not changed when circumstances cloud our faith.


Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.  Ephesians 3:20



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Where is God When Things Go Wrong, Isaiah 55: 8-9, Job 23:10-11, Matthew 5:45, Romans 8:28, Ephesians 3:20

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I had a plan for this week, had my post started—then I crashed. Part of the RA I hate the most. And while there’s a devotion hidden in there, I haven’t the oomph to extract it.



I give you, then, All Creation Worships.




#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Author Down, All Creation Worships

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I had planned to write about God in the ordinary moments. Then this week happened. My birthday, which was wonderful, but also an eye exam the same day. All.the.LIGHT in my eyeballs! I was wrecked for two days!


Then sad, sad news on Friday—my sweet kitty mama died. And I spiraled into sadness.


But God.


As He is wont to do—and does so often—He led me to two blogs by two of my writer friends with just such a topic.


Melissa Henderson’s blog is filled with lovely snippets of ordinary life—and sweet nuggets of God-wisdom nestled in, like nougat in a chocolate bon bon. Pop on over for a visit, and be sure to say Hullo!




Then I saw a post today (Saturday) by Jennifer Major, entitled Valentine’s Day Tubes. She talks about God in the small things, because He is in ALL things. Give her a visit, too, and a shout out.




Now, the neat thing about all this, and what really drives my point is this: even when I didn’t have it in me to write my own post, Father God directed me to not one, but two posts that say what I wanted to say. A God-wink as Melissa calls it. A “just suddenly” as my best friend and I used to say.


Because He is. In all the details, every moment. Even when we feel abandoned, even when the bottom falls out or an eye exam renders us with a blazing headache. Even when you have a blog post to write—and can’t.


I’ve seen a meme going around that makes the point that long before Zacchaeus needed a tree to climb, God planted one. In the exact spot ol’ Zachy would need it.

Father knew I’d need to see those posts this week. And I thank you, ladies, for planting that fig tree for me to climb when I needed my little blog post—and couldn’t see one.


Truly, isn’t that what the Body of Christ is? Being the hands and feet of Christ, to minister to those in need? Even if that need is just a little blog post.



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, God in the Daily Grind, #GodWink, Just Suddenly, Melissa Henderson, Jennifer Major, Zacchaeus

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I WANT IT! AND I WANT IT NOW!” Sounds like a small child, throwing a tantrum, doesn’t it?


But in this age of instant everything, don’t we as adults still do the same thing? We bring our petitions to God, blink, then ask, “Where is it?”


That’s not how faith works. God is not a genie in a golden lamp, and our prayers are not wishes cast upon his whim or mood.


Prayer is communication with Him, both speaking and listening. And in this noisy world it can be hard to hear His still small voice.


Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold the Lord passed by and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.  I Kings 19:10-12


But what about those prayers that are heart deep, soul-born? Prayers that are birthed from communion with Holy Spirit?


Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.  Psalm 37:4


Several years ago Father God showed me that verse is talking about desires He has placed in our hearts in the first place, and when we truly delight in Him, our desires are His desire. Of course, then, it is His delight and will to give them to us.


Why, then, if we are in line with Father’s will, do we have to wait. So long. For some of those dreams and desires?


I wish I could answer that, I truly do. Lessons to learn, human stubbornness and interference, timing.


I see memes about God’s timing all.the.time. And it doesn’t make the waiting any easier. Not one little bit. What I do know is to lean on Him in the waiting. It doesn’t make time go faster, but it does make the wait more bearable.


For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6


Even in that no man’s land of Waiting.


The problem is, the bit that makes the “heart sick,” is when we take our eyes from Father God. When we focus on the problem, or the dream, and not on Him.


But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.  Matthew 6:33


This is a basic “first and then” equation. But in our urgent, hurry everything lives, we try to rush to the “then” part, and it doesn’t work. What it does do, is create the “heart sick.” Anxiety, worry, angst, pressure to make a thing happen—a thing that’s not in our power to make happen. We take on what was never ours to bear, and are crushed beneath the weight of it.


And yet, He is always there, waiting for us to turn to Him, to release what was never ours to perform back into His hand.


I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.  Philippians 4:13


… is not a command to “do all the things.” Rather, it is a promise of Him enabling us to do “all things” He asks of us.


The more I spend time in Scripture, the more I meditate on His Word, the more I seek His face—the more I realize it is all about relationship with Him. That is where true peace is found. No matter the circumstance. And no matter the wait. He holds us in the palm of His hand—how, then, can our heart be sick?


Our hope is in Him. What He has promised, He will do.


… being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…  Philippians 1:6


He is our hope, and our all.




And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Hope Deferred, I Kings 19:10-11, Psalm 37:4, Hebrews 13:5-6, Philippians 4:13, Philippians 1:6, Romans 8:28,

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There is a misconception that once we accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior that somehow our life is suddenly golden, days of ease and bliss.


This is a Pollyanna ideal. And it is totally false.


While eternal life is golden, our days are filled with peace when ease eludes us, and joy when bliss seems a fairytale.


Jesus told us we would have trouble. But He also told us to be of “good cheer.” With one condition: that we remain in Him.


These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation, but be of good cheer—I have overcome the world. – John 16:33


So many times, we as believers, go about our lives by rote, including our churchy life.


I got news for ya. It don’t work that way!


To truly live as Christ, to live our lives IN Him, we cannot sit idly by and expect someone else to fight the battles. Certainly we must guard our hearts, and our personal time with Him—prayer time, Bible reading and study.


But as warriors for God’s Kingdom, we must step out of our comfortable box. And sometimes that means conflict.


I don’t know about you, but conflict is a very difficult position for me—I am a peace maker. It is in my nature—my God given nature—to smooth difficulties, not create them. To ease discomfort and allay differences. I don’t mean to make us all imitations of each other or make us all the same—Father God didn’t do that. Why would I want to do that?


But it is in my nature to find the most peaceable way to resolve conflict. And it is certainly NOT in my nature to stir up conflict. In fact, where I can, I look the other way… But that’s another post for another time.


Betimes, Father calls us out of our comfort zone. (usually, in fact) To step out of the boat, and walk on the water with Him. And for all that our faith sustains us, that step off a cliff—even knowing He is holding us up, and that we will not smash into the jagged rocks—that step is the hardest thing we’ll ever have to do.


And it’s not a one-time occurrence. Not daily, but surely as we grow in Him, He calls us to deeper waters. Higher waves. Taller cliffs.




Two weeks ago was one such event for me, and on Friday 25 January, I posted one of my boldest posts. Ever. In the days since, I have become more outspoken about the topic: abortion. WAY out of my comfort zone.


But it is something Father has laid on my heart. Something I cannot passively look the other way. It is, in fact, the thing that breaks my heart to the point of boldness.


But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8


He will and does for each of us. Are we all called to speak out on abortion? For all the horror it is, no. (And I don’t mean remain silent or turn a blind eye.) Father God stirs each of our hearts differently, individually.


That boldness? That’s all Him. 100% Holy Spirit. ‘cause I sure don’t—correction, didn’t—have the courage to speak out like that before.


There have been numerous times He called me to step out of the boat. Have I always? Surely not. One instance, one that was deeply personal to me, caused much grief and agony in the aftermath. In stepping out, I had to take an action I didn’t want to take, and I was met with great opposition. Accusations were spit in my face: “What about your faith?” and “I thought you had faith.”


I was crushed, devastated. And yet I knew I had done as Father directed me. I had, not terribly unlike Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, begged and pleaded with Father God for another way. Some other option than the action I had to take. But faith does not mean sitting idly by, waiting for Father to wave His magic wand and make everything all right.


He tasked me with a thing that propelled the necessary change. It was mine to trust Father’s heart in every detail and aspect of the situation.


And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28


Faith is a call to action. Sometimes that action is active prayer. Keeping out of the fray. Sitting by—not idly—as the tempest moves. Sometimes it is stirring the tempest.


Knowing the difference, knowing when to act and when to be still, can mean the difference between life and death. Knowing the difference comes only from being still before Him, listening to Him when we pray.


And stepping out in obedience when He calls us to task. There is great peace in obedience. Joy, too, though perhaps not always immediately.


Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice… I Samuel 15:22

But this is what I commanded them, saying, ‘Obey My voice, and I will be your God, and you shall be My people. And walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you.’ Jeremiah 7:23


The reward, the blessing in following His command, in heeding His voice, is beyond measure. Peace. Joy. Strength and courage.


He strengthens me, encourages me. Emboldens me. Because that’s what this life is about. Living as He lives. Living as though He’s right here next to me.


Because He is. Always. Every day, in every moment.


For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say:

“The Lord is my helper. I will not fear. What can man do to me?” Hebrews 13:5-6

Oh, and my situation? The one that so nearly crushed me? Changes, though slow in coming, have begun. Hope is shining where darkness and brokenness once were the only landscape. Father is making manifest His perfect will.



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Boldness and Courage, John 16:33, Acts 1:8, Romans 8:28, I Samuel 15:22, Jeremiah 7:23, Hebrews 13:5-6

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When the same thing, whether Scripture or something else, whether via a meme or some other means, keeps showing up in my face… it’s pretty clear Father is telling me something.

And that something, this time at least, is:


Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.  Isaiah 43:18-19


It’s so easy to do, isn’t it? Dwell on the past? Whether good or not so good, or utterly awful, the past follows us around, taunting us of what was or what might have been. Good we’ve perhaps lost. Or, as is true with me, failures that glaringly accuse me of what I should have done and what might have been.


But what does Father say?


He is doing a new thing. That’s what He says.


Does He give a time limit? Is it a one-time offer? No. Certainly we miss opportunities that will never come again. But our Father God is tender hearted, and He will not leave us forlorn at the dock, so to speak. If we miss one boat or plane or train, there will be another. He always extends His mercy, always offers another chance, whatever our situation might be.


Is it always the same offer? I don’t believe it is, and this is why—He is always doing a new thing. While He takes us as broken, tarnished, even ruined people and makes us new, restoring us, some opportunities only come once. Those opportunities are unique to each of us.


But our tender Abba Father never gives us on us, never turns His back on us; He is always, always, waiting for us to come to Him. No matter we’re on our knees (figuratively speaking) daily, or we’ve been running from Him for years, He is always waiting for us to embrace Him.


So what does this ‘new thing’ look like that He is doing? Springing up like a stream in the desert?


For the earth yields crops by itself: first the blade, then the head, after that the full grain in the head. Mark 4:28


I don’t know about you but when I have a dream or Father gives me a vision, I immediately long for the finished product. I don’t expect a packette of seeds or a box of jigsaw pieces. Perhaps it’s our hurry-up, instant everything world we live in, perhaps it’s basic human nature, but I want the dream, the vision, whole and complete, NOW. The moment I see it.


But if I don’t look for—and recognize—first the blade, then the head… then I might miss it altogether.


So I’m looking on my horizon, looking for that first blade emerging from the black soil of what is, and what has been. And I can see it, there alongside more mature plants, some in full grain and bloom, some dormant awaiting a new spring, new blades pushing through. Father’s “new thing” He is doing, in me and for me, and with me.


Father God is always doing a new thing. It’s who He is, a creator. He doesn’t change, His Truths never change, but He is doing a new thing.


We just have to have eyes to see it.




#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, A New Thing, Isaiah 43:18-19, Mark 4:28

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            Dedicated to Israel Jeremiah Burton 12-27-18 – 1-4-19


I read a book several years ago, Living the Lord’s Prayer. In it, the author (whose name I cannot remember) broke the prayer into its parts, a separate chapter for each phrase in the prayer. Of all the depth of revelations in it, it was the second chapter, “Who art in Heaven,” the meaning, and a single image that has stayed with me:


Basically, we’re not God. He sees and knows things that we cannot begin to understand. And when we have questions, sometimes we have to do the thing that goes against every fiber of our natural being, and accept the unacceptable.


Like death.


Do I believe that God had some reason to take this child’s life? No, I do not. Do I believe He allowed it? Sadly, yes, I do. Was his death some form of punishment? Or lesson? No, with all my heart and spirit, I do not believe that is how God operates.


I could rail against Him, rant in His presence, curse at Him even. But that won’t give me answers, and it certainly doesn’t make me feel any better.


Do I grieve with my friends? Yes, certainly. My heart breaks for their loss, and I feel the sting of it with them.


Does this mean God is not sovereign?  Not Who He says He is? No, not at all.


How, then, do we explain?


Sometimes, we just don’t.


Be still and know that I am God. Psalm 46:10


Sometimes, we have to let go of our natural understanding, and trust that our Father—who art in heaven—will see us through. Will carry us when we can’t go on.


That He weeps with us in our sorrow.



Those who dwell in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of His wing.  Psalm 91:1



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Sorrow’s End, Living the Lord’s Prayer, Death Comes as a Thief, Psalm 46:10, Psalm 91:1

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BLOGWORDS – Sunday 23 March 2018 – FRONT PORCH FELLOWSHIP – LUKE 2:1-20


And it came to pass in those days that a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This census first took place while Quirinius was governing Syria. So all went to be registered, everyone to his own city.

Joseph also went up from Galilee, out of the city of Nazareth, into Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed wife, who was with child.  So it was, that while they were there, the days were completed for her to be delivered. And she brought forth her firstborn Son, and wrapped Him in swaddling cloths, and laid Him in a manger, because there was no room for them in the inn.


Glory in the Highest


Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night.  And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid.  Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.”

And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying:

“Glory to God in the highest,
And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!”

So it was, when the angels had gone away from them into heaven, that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger. Now when they had seen Him, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds. But Mary kept all these things and pondered them in her heart. Then the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all the things that they had heard and seen, as it was told them.



#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Luke 2:1-20, Glory to God in the Highest

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Isaiah 9:6-74


For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given. And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end,
upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, to order it and establish it with judgment and justice from that time forward, even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.




#Blogwords, Front Porch Fellowship, #FPF, Sunday Devotion, Isaiah 9:6-7, Handel’s Messiah

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