A Toddler’s Morning

I wake up and the house is quiet.  My nightlight is still on, but I don’t need it anymore because the sun is looking in my window.  The house is way too quiet.  I need to make a little noise because I think sometimes that I might forget how if I don’t practice.

“DADDY-O DAAAADDDYY-O” I start to sing.  My mommy and daddy have told me I have a beautiful voice, and they’re always trying to get me to sing for my grandparents so I expect they will be so happy to hear me this morning. I keep singing, getting louder and longer until my door squeaks open. It is the very person I was singing about! The door’s squeaking always surprises me. “Daddy, you scared me!” I say and giggle as he climbs into my big boy bed.  I love to snuggle Daddy in the mornings, and I love it when the prickles on his chin make me laugh! We snuggle for one million hours, and Daddy starts to snore a little bit. I hold his face and ask, “Daddy, can you talk?” With no response, I decide to go find Mommy and brother.  (Brother is usually awake after I poke him in the head a few times.) I just have to step softly on Daddy’s prickles so they don’t tickle my feet. I jump to the floor and run for the door. I am so fast! I can’t help it, I try to whisper, “quickly, quickly”, and head for Mommy’s door.  I reach for the door and Daddy picks me up.  I try to squirm down, but he’s really strong.  He asks me if I want breakfast. “Yeah! Yeah I do want breakfast! I want cupcakes and crisps!” I say it as nicely as I have ever said anything. Daddy is silly, he thinks I am yelling at him, so I show him what yelling sounds like.

I start to eat eggs and bacon and potatoes and then I see a toy car and I go get it. Obviously I am still eating, because there is food on my plate, but Daddy tries to take my plate to the kitchen.  He thinks I am yelling again, so I show him again what yelling sounds like.  Then I hear my brother! He’s awake! He’s so little and fun and I love to lay on him and roll around with him and play with him! He is just my size.  “Daddy, my brother is awake!” Daddy gets my brother and I am so excited when they come down the stairs.  We both start laughing! I try to help my brother get down from Daddy but Daddy thinks its time for me to finish eating my breakfast.  We finish our breakfast and then play on the rug. I zoom my cars and blocks past my brothers face so fast that he giggles.  We are all wrestling on the mat and then I hear the stairs squeak.

I am so excited! My Mommy is coming! “I’m Mommy’s boy!” I shout. I jump into her arms and bury my hands into her beautiful long hair.  I pull it and rub it on my face.  I am so happy!

Daddy says something to Mommy that sounds like, “Can you believe it’s only 7:45?”

Sunday Confessional

I confess that I preached today for the first time in almost a month.  David and Bathsheba, repentance, and forgiveness. After church we came home and had a pretty low activity afternoon.  Our two and a half year old had some quiet time while the baby slept, and the Mrs. and I started watching Firefly on netflix. It was nice to have a slow day.

Right before bedtime I went with some friends to hear the Machine Gun Preacher, Sam Childers, speak about his organization at a little church in Glenarm.  It was somewhat odd to be in Northern Ireland and hear a person with a Southern drawl from the United States.  I confess that I have tried to read Childers’ book and only made it about half way through before I grew disappointed in the literary genius and theological explanations that were given in the text.  I also confess that I made it about half way through the movie starring Gerard Butler called Machine Gun Preacher.  I confess that I enjoyed hearing Childers speak, though I feel as though the man is a walking contradiction. On one hand he said that God doesn’t want to change me, and on the other hand he said he wanted to preach to us to help us change.  On one hand he says he made a pact with God never to leave a child behind, and on the other hand he hasn’t spent Christmas with his own daughter in years.  On one hand he says he has a sustainable system set up, on the other hand it seems to be run by foreign aid.  On the one hand he confesses Jesus Christ as his Savior, but on the other he kills people in defense of orphans.

He is contradictory, but so am I.

On one hand my spirit is willing, on the other my flesh is weak.  On one hand I do not do the good I want to do, on the other hand I do the evil I do not want to do.  I confess that I too am a walking contradiction.  It is by the blood of Jesus Christ alone that I am saved.  Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

I’ve made my confession, now go and make yours.

Mother-in-Law Soup

I’m sitting here stuffing my face with this soup and I think I’ve finally come up with a good name for it. Chicken & Sweet Potato Soup just sounded too boring and this really is a spectacular soup! I wanted to do it justice with a good name. It features sweet potatoes and chicken, celery, red bell pepper, onion, and herbs.
Before I got married I heard plenty of horror stories about other people’s mothers-in-law. Thankfully, I can truthfully say I don’t have any horror stories of my own to share. I really am blessed with a wonderful mother-in-law! She has always welcomed me with open arms.


visiting us in Haiti in 2011

From our unexpected engagement, to our unconventional wedding, and through the birth of our two boys, she has always been supportive of her son’s chosen partner. We share a love for cooking, Bible studies, Chaco shoes, books, and outdoor adventures. She is encouraging, offers wise counsel, and is so good at maintaining her friendships! A nurse by trade, she also cares well for people in her personal life. In a house full of picky eaters (sorry guys, but it’s true) she loves to try new recipes and was experimenting this past year with various soups. This is one she brought me after the birth of our second baby and I loved it so much, I just HAD to have the recipe!

My mother-in-law copied it out of a book somewhere and her notes at the bottom state, “Takes a long time to prep. Best soup I ever made.”

While it does involve a lot of chopping, I’ve started doing this a couple days before and just keeping the chopped veggies in the fridge. That way, everything is ready to go when I’m craving this soup! It is the perfect soup to take to someone who’s had a new baby, is recovering from illness, or who just needs a meal. It also works really well with leftover turkey from Thanksgiving. I’ve made some adjustments according to the ingredients I usually have on hand. I hope you like it!

“Mother-in-Law Soup” aka Chicken & Sweet Potato Soup
Total time: 1 hour 45 min. Serves: 6-8 people
2 TBS real butter
1 small onion, diced
1 medium leek, sliced
1 red bell pepper, cored, seeded, & diced
3 ribs celery, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 cups chicken stock*
4 cups cooked chicken, shredded**
3 medium sweet potatoes, peeled & chopped into 1/2 in chunks
1 14.5oz can chopped tomatoes***
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp dried marjoram or thyme
1 tsp sea salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
a few handfuls of fresh spinach****
1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the onion and leek. Cook and stir until softened, about 15 minutes. Add bell pepper, celery and garlic and cook/stir 5-7 more minutes.
2. Add stock, chicken, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, red pepper flakes, marjoram/thyme, salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Bring to a low boil, reduce heat, and simmer uncovered for 1 hour.
3. Stack spinach leaves and slice them thinly. Put a handful into each bowl and ladle hot soup over it. Serve immediately.
Recipe notes:
*After roasting a whole chicken and saving all the leftover meat, I make stock from the bones in my crockpot. I put all the bones in it with a quartered carrot, celery rib, onion, and garlic clove, 1 TBS of apple cider vinegar, and then fill to the top with water. Keep on low 24 hours.
**After roasting a whole chicken, I pull off all the bits of meat I can find and store it in the fridge. That’s what I use in this soup.
***I use canned tomatoes in this recipe because fresh ones don’t grow near me and they’re not always in season. It’s easier for me to keep cans of tomatoes on hand in my cupboard than pay exorbitant amounts for fresh (underripe) tomatoes that are often mealy.
****You can use kale in place of the spinach, but you’ll want to cook it with the soup for 3-4 minutes.

On Being Perfect

A lot of people think I’ve got my life “together”. Maybe I do, maybe i don’t.
But as it turns out, I fail every single day.
I’m the girl who once drove off with a glass casserole dish on the roof of her car and, yep, it shattered into a thousand pieces in the middle of an intersection. One time I walked into the bedroom only to catch my 5 month old who was LITERALLY FALLING out of his swing because I didn’t buckle him in. I usually wait until dirty dishes cover every available counter space before i start washing them. I get irritable with my kids and seem to lose my patience every single day. Sometimes I feel like I try so hard to be perfect that my imperfections stand out even more.
You know what I’m starting to realize though?
No one is perfect except for The One.
I’m so grateful for God’s perfection because it’s super hard trying to be something you’re not. Understanding His perfection helps me to accept his grace in my moments of failure. It also encourages me to show grace to my own kids when my fuse is running short.
Because you know what else I’m starting to realize?
Raising kids is just as much about teaching yourself how to be a good person as it is about teaching them. 11108219_3411021752966_6257950281463444392_n
Sometimes (a lot of times) i need a wake-up call to notice my own self-centeredness. It’s not just my kids who are being selfish, but me too. It’s not just my 2 year old wanting his way RIGHT NOW, but me too. It’s not just the baby wanting to be fed RIGHT NOW, but me too (I get hungry).
Just as Christ set himself aside to love us, so we must also set ourselves aside to love our kids and show them grace.
I’m not perfect. God is.
He shows me grace. I (am learning to) show my kids grace.

Sunday Confessional

I confess that in the midst of moving to Northern Ireland and engaging in relational ministry, I have also been taking classes online through NTS. I have just finished up my 9th credit hour towards a Masters Certificate in cross-cultural ministry. This is actually a really big deal for me. Three years ago when we were living in Haiti working with the GO project I had an associates (two year degree) in auto mechanics and absolutely no desire to ever go back to school. The Lord has been working on my heart and my mind and since completing a Bachelors in Applied Organizational Leadership from MNU, I’m continuing my theological education at NTS.

When Abigail and I first felt the Lord nudging us to pursue His mission through the 365m program I was hesitant, mostly because I did not want to go back to school.  When we met with the program director I remember asking him if it would be possible for Abigail to get credit, and for me to audit with just a two year degree.  I don’t remember his answer but the more we prayed about it, the more we felt like that God was calling me to go back to school.

I quit my full-time job and went back to school full-time. Abigail and I both worked part-time, and God made ends meet. My program lasted a little over a calendar year, in which time I completed 74 college hours. It was kind of intense. But besides the intensity, it was a wonderful discipline. I fell in love with learning, and found myself hungry to learn more so that I could better worship God with my mind.

Fast-forward to today, I am working toward a Master’s, we are living in Northern Ireland, and we feel like we’ve come home.

I confess that pressing into God’s mission has led me and my family down a path that I never foresaw, but also a path so marked with blessing that I am often dumbfounded.

Press into God’s mission, and see where He takes you. I dare you.

I’ve made my confession. Now go make yours.

Lenten Devo 25: The Two Thieves

**We were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is about the two thieves on crosses next to Jesus. It fell on Day 46 of this series.**

Reading: Luke 23:39-43

Scenes from the Cross.

Luke 23:39-43

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.[a] 43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

It was no mistake that Jesus hung between two criminals.  They had equal chance of being saved, and yet only one of them sought salvation.  Philip Yancey wrote,

“Only one person in the Bible receives a direct promise of heaven—a thief.”

Jesus’ first word on the cross was a word of forgiveness. His second word was a word of hope. When the thief asked Jesus for ultimate deliverance, Jesus made a promise: “This day you will be with me in paradise.”

Let us rejoice in the fact that he spoke the words of forgiveness first! Forgiveness is such a wonderful and amazing gift.  When forgiveness flows forth it leaves room for hope.  It is fitting that his second word was one of hope.  Hope gives birth to new life.  Jesus is the one who breathes new life into each of us.

Maybe you are someone who has already turned your life over to Jesus.  What could you do to draw daily closer to him?  Maybe you find yourself longing for the forgiveness of Christ? All you have to do is ask.  Pray to Jesus, pray for a personal relationship with him!  What a glorious day it will be when we all gather together in heaven!

Prayer Focus: Let us pray for Pastor Ruth and her family today.

Lenten Devo 24: Death On A Cross

**We were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is about Jesus’ death on the cross. It fell on Day 45 of this series.**

Reading: John 15:13

Jesus Dies

John 15:13 Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends

I think its important, when reflecting on the death of our Lord and savior to remember that it was not something that would have been called joyful suffering.

A few years ago I came across an article that went in depth into the physical, and science behind the cross.  I think its important to share that article so that we can remember the love that Jesus has for us. It is also important to remember that Jesus could have stopped this from happening at any time during the crucifixion. The following excerpt is rather longer than most of these devotionals, but I fully believe it is worth your time.

“The exact events in this scenario may not have happened in Jesus’ specific case, but the account is based on historical documentation of crucifixion procedures used during that time period. Please be aware that the following is of a realistic and graphic nature.

It is important to understand from the beginning that Jesus would have been in excellent physical condition. As a carpenter by trade, He participated in physical labor. In addition, He spent much of His ministry traveling on foot across the countryside. His stamina and strength were, most likely, very well developed. With that in mind, it is clear just how much He suffered: If this torture could break a man in such good shape, it must have been a horrific experience.

Matthew 26:36-46, Mark 14:37-42, Luke 22:39-44

After the Passover celebration, Jesus takes His disciples to Gethsemene to pray. During His anxious prayer about the events to come, Jesus sweats drops of blood. There is a rare medical condition called hemohedrosis, during which the capillary blood vessels that feed the sweat glands break down. Blood released from the vessels mixes with the sweat; therefore, the body sweats drops of blood. This condition results from mental anguish or high anxiety, a state Jesus expresses by praying “my soul is deeply grieved to the point of death” (Matthew 26:38). Hemohidrosis makes the skin tender, so Jesus’ physical condition worsens slightly.

Matthew 26:67-75, Mark 14:61-72, Luke 22:54-23:25, John 18:16-27

Traveling from Pilate to Herod and back again, Jesus walks approximately two and a half miles. He has not slept, and He has been mocked and beaten (Luke 22:63-65). In addition, His skin remains tender from the hemohedrosis. His physical condition worsens.

Matthew 27:26-32, Mark 15:15-21, Luke 23:25-26, John 19:1-28

Pilate orders Jesus to be flogged as required by Roman law before crucifixion Traditionally, the accused stood naked, and the flogging covered the area from the shoulders down to the upper legs. The whip consisted of several strips of leather. In the middle of the strips were metal balls that hit the skin, causing deep bruising. In addition, sheep bone was attached to the tips of each strip. When the bone makes contact with Jesus’ skin, it digs into His muscles, tearing out chunks of flesh and exposing the bone beneath. The flogging leaves the skin on Jesus’ back in long ribbons. By this point, He has lost a great volume of blood which causes His blood pressure to fall and puts Him into shock. The human body attempts to remedy imbalances such as decreased blood volume, so Jesus’ thirst is His body’s natural response to His suffering (John 19:28). If He would have drank water, His blood volume would have increased. Roman soldiers place a crown of thorns on Jesus’ head and a robe on His back (Matthew 27:28-29). The robe helps the blood clot (similar to putting a piece of tissue on a cut from shaving) to prevent Jesus from sustaining more blood loss. As they hit Jesus in the head (Matthew 27:30), the thorns from the crown push into the skin and He begins bleeding profusely. The thorns also cause damage to the nerve that supplies the face, causing intense pain down His face and neck. As they mock Him, the soldiers also belittle Jesus by spitting on Him (Matthew 27:30). They rip the robe off Jesus’ back and the bleeding starts afresh. Jesus’ physical condition becomes critical. Due to severe blood loss without replacement, Jesus is undoubtedly in shock. As such, He is unable to carry the cross and Simon of Cyrene executes this task (Matthew 27:32).

Matthew 27:33-56, Mark 15:22-41, Luke 23:27-49, John 19:17-37

Crucifixion was invented by the Persians between 300-400 B.C. It is quite possibly the most painful death ever invented by humankind. The English language derives the word “excruciating” from crucifixion, acknowledging it as a form of slow, painful suffering.1 Its punishment was reserved for slaves, foreigners, revolutionaries, and the vilest of criminals. Victims were nailed to a cross; however, Jesus’ cross was probably not the Latin cross, but rather a Tau cross (T). The vertical piece (the stipes) remains in the ground permanently. The accused carries only the horizontal piece (the patibulum) up the hill. Atop the patibulum lies a sign (the titulus), indicating that a formal trial occurred for a violation of the law. In Jesus’ case, this reads “This is the King of the Jews” (Luke 23:38). The accused needed to be nailed to the patibulum while lying down, so Jesus is thrown to the ground, reopening His wounds, grinding in dirt, and causing bleeding. They nail His “hands” to the patibulum. The Greek meaning of “hands” includes the wrist. It is more likely that the nails went through Jesus’ wrists. If the nails were driven into the hand, the weight of the arms would cause the nail to rip through the soft flesh. Therefore, the upper body would not be held to the cross. If placed in the wrist, the bones in the lower portion of the hand support the weight of the arms and the body remains nailed to the cross. The huge nail (seven to nine inches long)2 damages or severs the major nerve to the hand (the median nerve) upon impact. This causes continuous agonizing pain up both of Jesus’ arms. Once the victim is secured, the guards lift the patibulum and place it on the stipes already in the ground. As it is lifted, Jesus’ full weight pulls down on His nailed wrists and His shoulders and elbows dislocate (Psalm 22:14).3 In this position, Jesus’ arms stretch to a minimum of six inches longer than their original length. It is highly likely that Jesus’ feet were nailed through the tops as often pictured. In this position (with the knees flexed at approximately 90 degrees),4 the weight of the body pushes down on the nails and the ankles support the weight. The nails would not rip through the soft tissue as would have occurred with the hands. Again, the nail would cause severe nerve damage (it severs the dorsal pedal artery of the foot) and acute pain. Normally, to breathe in, the diaphragm (the large muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity) must move down. This enlarges the chest cavity and air automatically moves into the lungs (inhalation). To exhale, the diaphragm rises up, which compresses the air in the lungs and forces the air out (exhalation). As Jesus hangs on the cross, the weight of His body pulls down on the diaphragm and the air moves into His lungs and remains there. Jesus must push up on His nailed feet (causing more pain) to exhale. In order to speak, air must pass over the vocal cords during exhalation. The Gospels note that Jesus spoke seven times from the cross. It is amazing that despite His pain, He pushes up to say “Forgive them” (Luke 23:34). The difficulty surrounding exhalation leads to a slow form of suffocation. Carbon dioxide builds up in the blood, resulting in a high level of carbonic acid in the blood. The body responds instinctively, triggering the desire to breathe. At the same time, the heart beats faster to circulate available oxygen. The decreased oxygen (due to the difficulty in exhaling) causes damage to the tissues and the capillaries begin leaking watery fluid from the blood into the tissues. This results in a build-up of fluid around the heart (pericardial effusion) and lungs (pleural effusion). The collapsing lungs, failing heart, dehydration, and the inability to get sufficient oxygen to the tissues essentially suffocate the victim.5 The decreased oxygen also damages the heart itself (myocardial infarction) which leads to cardiac arrest. In severe cases of cardiac stress, the heart can even burst, a process known as cardiac rupture.6 Jesus most likely died of a heart attack. After Jesus’ death, the soldiers break the legs of the two criminals crucified alongside Him (John 19:32), causing suffocation. Death would then occur quicker. When they came to Jesus, He was already dead so they did not break His legs (John 19:33). Instead, the soldiers pierced His side (John 19:34) to assure that He was dead. In doing this, it is reported that “blood and water came out” (John 19:34), referring to the watery fluid surrounding the heart and lungs. While these unpleasant facts depict a brutal murder, the depth of Christ’s pain emphasizes the true extent of God’s love for His creation. Teaching the physiology of Christ’s crucifixion is a constant reminder of the magnificent demonstration of God’s love for humanity that was expressed that day in Calvary.”

Allow this lesson to remind us of the Love that the Lord has for His children. Let us worship him with our every breath! God so desires a relationship with us that he would suffer in such a way!

Praise God for this Easter season.

Lenten Devo 23: Jesus Washes the Disciples’ Feet

**We were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is about the scene where Jesus washes the disciples’ feet at the Passover meal. It fell on Day 44 of this series.**

Reading: John 13:1-17

Just before the Passover festival, Jesus was eating with his disciples. In the middle of the meal he decided to get some water and a towel and wash his disciples’ feet. This was always a task given to a gentile servant; not even a Jewish servant would do this job. People in those times wore sandals and walked on dirt roads. Can you imagine what their feet would be like after a long journey? It should have been the disciples washing Jesus’ feet, not the other way around! Why do you think He did this?
In the first verse, scripture states that Jesus “loved his own… and loved them to the end.”
What does it mean to love someone “to the end”? I think it means to love completely, and therefore love enough to give up your life. Jesus knew that, after this meal, he was meant to give up his own life. So I think before he died on the cross, he wanted to demonstrate his love for his disciples in a tangible way. He humbled himself to the lowest station, and performed a servant’s task.
How can we set aside our own pride? How can we humble ourselves before others and before God?
In verse 14 Jesus tells us to go and do as he did. I don’t think he means to literally wash others’ feet (although I don’t think that’s entirely out of the question!), but rather to go and act similarly.
Setting aside our pride. Getting rid of our own agendas. Humbling ourselves. Loving completely. Loving God so much that we lay down our own lives.
I think this means something different for each one of us. What does this mean for you?
Thank you Jesus for laying down your life for us.

Lenten Devo 22: For Thine is the Kingdom, the Power, & the Glory Forever

**We were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is about the phrase “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever”. It fell on Day 39 of this series.**

Reading: Matthew 13:44

For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen

In reflecting on this powerful part of the Lord’s Prayer I am reminded of the beautiful Christian allegory calledA Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan.  If you haven’t read it then I would suggest getting a copy today.

The story begins with the protagonist, Christian, who lives in the city of destruction.  Christian becomes convicted of his own sin through the reading of a book, and meets a man named Evangelist, who tells him about the Celestial City on Mount Zion.  Christian tries to convince his wife and children to go with him, but to no avail.  He leaves everything behind and faces all sorts of trials on his journey to the Celestial City.

I won’t share anymore so that you can read it for yourself, but the allegory behind giving up everything for something as glorious as heaven is so wonderful.  It is something of a treasure hunt!

In Matthew 13, Jesus tells a story about a man who was working in a field digging.  There he is digging away, but what he doesn’t know is that in the field there is buried treasure.  Suddenly his shovel bumps into something hard.  The man bends down and picks up a chest.  When he is able to pry open the lid what he sees inside takes his breath away: beautiful, glittering, gleaming precious jewels! The man wants that treasure more than anything!  He runs home, sells everything he has and buys the field.  Then he runs back and digs up the treasure again.

Coming home to God is as wonderful as finding a treasure! You might have to dig before you see it, you might have to look before you see it. But being where God is, in His glorious kingdom, that’s more important than anything else in all the world.

Lets remember that God loves us with an unstopping, never-giving-up, always, and forever type of love.  His love is glorious and his kingdom is mighty. Praise God from whom all blessings flow.

Pray with me for all of our family members who don’t know Jesus.

Lenten Devo 21: Kingdom, Power, and Glory Forever

**We were tasked with writing some devotionals alongside Ruth for the Lenten season. Our theme for these 40 days is The Lord’s Prayer. This is about the phrase “For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever”. It fell on Day 38 of this series.**

Reading: 1 Chronicles 29:11

“For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever.”

As Ruth told us in the devotional for Day 36, this final line of The Lord’s Prayer is not actually in the Gospels. So why do we say it? Many experts theorize that it stems from a section in the Old Testament book of 1 Chronicles. Here, King David is telling his people about the magnificent temple his son Solomon will build for The Lord. David himself provided gold, silver, iron, bronze, wood, onyx, turquoise, colorful stones, and marble to build it! It is my understanding that the opulence is so great because this temple “…is not for man, but for the Lord God.” After he speaks to his people he asks them,
“Now, who is willing to devote themselves to The Lord today?”

He is humbled by the response. Leaders, officers, commanders, and officials all come forward and give willingly, and the people rejoice because everyone gave so freely. And the famous end to The Lord’s Prayer comes from the following portion of King David’s shouts of rejoice:

“Yours, Lord, is the greatness and the power
    and the glory and the majesty and the splendor,
    for everything in heaven and earth is yours.
Yours, Lord, is the kingdom;
    you are exalted as head over all.”

Let us follow David’s example and give freely and wholeheartedly (of our time and our resources), for His is the kingdom, the power, and the glory forever. Amen.

Prayer Focus: Join me in praying today for those with illness.