Thursday, July 31, 2014

July 31, 2014 … Just As I Am

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 212

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a lyrical video of Brian Doerksen singing the classic evangelistic invitational song … Just As I AM, used for many years at the Billy Graham Crusades as Billy offered his invitation for any/all to come - just as they are - to receive God’s free gift of salvation.
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Highlight Passage: Isaiah 55: 3 … [NKJV] …
3  Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you … 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Isaiah 55: 1-7 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: John 3: 16 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  Again, … I’m sure you know this one by heart …  

Reference Passage #2 - NKJV: John 4: 1-42 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  Jesus saves the Samaritan woman at the well …

Reference Passage #3 - NKJV: John, Chapter 21 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  Jesus restores the repentant Peter after his betrayal …  

Reference Passage #4 - NKJV: Romans 10: 9-13 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  The plan of salvation is laid out in all its simplicity …  

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Anne Cetas, reminded me of how Jesus received me, … broken, yea even dead in my sin; and in His infinite mercy and forgiveness, Christ reached down into His ocean of forgetfulness and pulled me out of myself and into Himself and saved me. He took me after 22 years of bondage to habitual sexual sin, 12 of them unfaithful to my wife; and HE SAVED ME - just as I was.

Today, the attached photo could have been me when I came to Christ on April 13th, 1983, searching for life, … dead in my sin, and my Savior gave me life eternal in spite of myself, … just as He did for the woman at the well (see John 4 linked above); and just as He did when He restored the Apostle Peter (see John 21) after His Disciple had denied The Lord three times. My friend, have you come to our Lord, Jesus, in your brokenness and received His free gift of eternal life - just as He declared to Nicodemus in John 3: 16?

Are you saved?

If not, come to Him today - just as you are. Tell Him you believe in Him. Repent of your sin; and ask Him to save you. And it is His promise that He will receive you into the Family of God … JUST AS YOU ARE! [See the Romans 10: 9-13 passage linked above]

I pray that all who use the link and hear Brian Doerksen sing that classic old hymn which Billy Graham has used for over 70 years of evangelism to invite any/all who would come - no matter what their condition - to God’s throne of saving grace … to receive what our Savior will offer to anyone who repents and seeks after God’s grace of salvation. Yes, I came - just as I was - and He saved me. Has He you?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I pray all who read here have come, just as they are for Your saving grace! … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

July 30, 2014 … Wearing God’s Love

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 211

Devotional Song: Go to this link – Please take your time to see a lyrical video of the group Avalon singing their son … Testify to Love, reminding Christians that every time they reach out in the Name of God to witness to His love they identify themselves as part of the family of God. 
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Highlight Passage: 1st John 4: 7 … [NKJV] …
7 Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: 1st John 4: 7-16 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: John 13: 34-35 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  Whenever others see Christians loving one another, as Jesus declares, they see the label of God’s love on display …

Reference Passage #2 - NKJV: Romans 5: 8 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK … 
8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 

Reference Passage #3 - NKJV: 1st John 3: 1-3 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK … God’s love is on display when the family of God love on one another …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, uses an interesting word picture to illustrate Christian love on display. The author makes reference to the famous sweaters made in the Aran Islands, a group of islands just off the coast of Ireland, where the families (i.e., Irish clans) identify their clan markings with sweaters, which are knit by the various clans to identify themselves. And now those beautiful 100% wool sweaters, bed covers, and scarves are marketed world-wide because of their beauty and distinctiveness. One will know the identity of the clan who made each patterned sweater by the distinctive patters of knitting in the various items [see attached photo].

When John was writing his first letter to the church while in exile on Patmos, he wrote a reinforcement to a principle he had earlier written about, quoting Jesus, in John 13: 34-35 (see link above). In today’s ODB highlight verse, [see 1st John 4: 7] John wrote, ”Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God.” In other words, taking both of these passages into account, others can recognize that we are part of the family of God when they see us loving one another, especially when we obviously show love to one who is very unloveable. It’s like wearing an Aran sweater from a certain clan, maybe the “Maloney” clan. That is, people know that I’m representing the “Maloney” family if I’m wearing a Maloney clan sweater. Likewise, people will see that I’m part of the family of God, when I’m wearing his love for all to see.

So, the question becomes, will I be wearing the love of God, openly and for all to see, as I walk about in the world today? Will I, as Avalon sings in the linked song today, “Testify to Love,” by the way I live and move and have my being? Will others see me wearing the identifiable garment of love which identify me as part of God’s family as I go out today?

We’ll see!

And yes, prayerfully others WILL DEFINITELY SEE God’s love on display as I show off my family markings of love today.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, let me wear Your colors of love today! … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

July 29, 2014 … Bold Access To Grace

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 210

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of Fernando Ortega singing his classic hymn with lyrics … I Need Thee Every Hour, a hymn of surrender with the acknowledgement in faith that we can come to God’s throne of grace anytime, anyplace, and anywhere. And Hallelujah !!! for the truth of this gift of God’s grace.
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Click on photo to read text; click back arrow to return to blog

Highlight Passage: Hebrews 4: 16 … [NKJV] …
16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Hebrews 4: 14-16: 5: 1-2 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 
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Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: Exodus 19: 10-16 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  Old testament fear of being in God’s presence …

Reference Passage #2 - NKJV: Leviticus 16: 23-34 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  What it took in the OT to be a Priest in the presence of God in the Holy of Holies …

Reference Passage #3 - NKJV: 2 Samuel 6: 7-8 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK  And no wonder the children of God were so afraid of the presence of God in their midst …

Reference Passage #4 - NKJV: 1st Peter 5: 7 [NKJV] …
7... casting all your care on Him for He cares for you. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, especially with a lot of Old Testament reminders of how God’s people had to tread so lightly and take so many precautions as God made His presence and power known to the people. If one reads through and meditates on how God’s presence was made manifest in those Levitical OT times, it’s easy to see why the people were “sore afraid” to be in God’s presence.

But here we are, as the author of Hebrews so eloquently reminds us, being able to come in faith - BOLDLY before God’s throne of grace - being in surrender to all God did for us on the cross; … and to bring our petitions to a God Who’s so very willing (and able) to pour out His grace from His throne as He now resides in our hearts. So, do we realize that we can do so ANYTIME and ANYWHERE? And as any young person would not likely say today, ”HOW COOL IS THAT!!”

What is your need today? Do you feel, as Fernando Ortega sings in the linked hymn today, that you need Jesus every hour? I certainly do! And I’m bowled over with gratitude, praising my Lord’s Holy Name, that I can come, as Peter wrote (in 1st Peter 5: 7), casting all my cares on Him … because as the author of Hebrews also wrote, HE CARES FOR MY (and your) NEEDS!!

So, let’s do come BOLDLY to His throne of grace today, and bring all our cares to Him, humbly requesting, with contrite hearts, that we need our Lord every hour of every day.

My Prayer for Today … I need THEE every hour, most gracious, LORD! … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Monday, July 28, 2014

July 28, 2014 … Surrendered And Faithful

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 209

Devotional Song: Go to this link  – Please take your time to see a video of Steve Green singing his classic song with lyrics … Find Us Faithful, exhorting all of us who have surrendered in faith to Christ to be faithful to do all we can to spread the Gospel message.
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Highlight Passage: Acts 28: 15 … [NKJV] …
15 And from there, when the brethren heard about us, they came to meet us as far as Appii Forum and Three Inns. When Paul saw them, he thanked God and took courage.
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Acts 28: 11-16; 30-31 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Acts, Chapter 13: 18 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: 2nd Corinthians 11: 22-32 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 

Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: Romans 8: 28 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #2 - NKJV: Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #3 - NKJV: Hebrews 11: 1 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David McCasland, refers to the chronicles of the Apostle Paul by Luke in the book of Acts and by Paul himself in his letters; … i.e., accounts of incredible dedication, consistency, and courage to spread the word of Christ’s saving power all over the known world at the time.

When one reads the book of Acts (see links above) and Paul’s own accounts of his harrowing trials [see 2nd Corinthians, Chapter 11], one has to be bowled over by Paul’s total surrender to his own exhortation in Romans 12: 1-2, which I hope we all know by heart and do all we can to follow as a command from God.

I’m afraid I’ve got some growing to do to find myself in even the minor leagues when it comes to being willing to surrender myself as a major-leaguer Gospel messenger like the Apostle Paul, who, as you can read in the passages linked above, was willing to do anything as a “living sacrifice” of courage in sharing Christ all over his world.

 Prayerfully we can reflect at least some of the courage and commitment exhibited by Paul as we living our lives for Christ in our days and times.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help those of us who’ve been redeemed by Christ to have the courage to share this good news with others. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

July 27, 2014 … God’s Divine Perspective

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 208

Devotional Song: Go to this link   – Please take your time to see a video of a local church congregation singing the old classic hymn with lyrics … Be Thou My Vision, reminding all Christians to strive to see the world though God’s perspective.
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Highlight Passage: Habakkuk 2: 1, 3 … [NKJV] …
1 I will stand my watch and set myself on the rampart, … [and God responded] “… 3 For the vision is yet appointed for a time; but at the end it will speak, and it will not lie. Though it tarries, wait for it; because it will surely come; … “
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Habakkuk 2: 1-14 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Habakkuk 3: 17-18 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: Proverbs 3: 5-6 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 

Reference Passage #2 - NKJV: Romans 8: 28 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 

Reference Passage #3 - NKJV: Hebrews 11: 1 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Poh Fang Chia, used an interesting word picture to depict the Christians’s pursuit of a divine perspective … or what is now being labeled as a “Christians world view.”

The story is of a young man trying to get to the top of the Empire State Building to view the “Big Apple.” From the streets below, he saw the world as hectic and even troublesome; but when he got to the top of the Empire State (see attached photo), the perspective was very different … i.e., very organized and well laid-out.

That was the change which the Prophet Habakkuk found when he took his earthly perspective, i.e., his human world view to God (see Chapter One of Habakkuk’s three chapter song). He was dismayed by what he saw in the world; and he couldn’t understand why God would allow all the chaos and disobedience from God’s chosen people. But God told Habakkuk to go up to a “rampart” or “a strong tower” (the Hebrew word, pronounced “mat-sore” in Habakkuk 2: 1) so that the Prophet could have a more Godly perspective on what was about to transpire. And Habakkuk did exactly that; and when he finally got to that high place, he was able to find God’s view on things, … giving him a whole new, divine perspective.

If you go back and read the entire song of Habakkuk, in Chapter One you read of a totally confused, perplexed, and acutely depressed Prophet looking at life. That was life from the street level of New York City. Today we see all the violence and the horror of man’s injustice to man. But then, when you get to the last chapter of Habakkuk’s journal, for example in Habakkuk 3: 17-18, linked above, you see that the Prophet finally sees things from God’s divine perspective; and what he sees - though there is still the potential for bad things happening - will not take away Habakkuk’s joy, finally well-grounded in faith.

That, my friend, is the view we have when we truly believe the truth of passages like Proverbs 3: 5-6 and Romans 8: 28 and Hebrews 11: 1, all truths - linked above - which I hope we all have memorized and internalized by faith. Because if we do, we will have a divine perspective from on high, seeing the world from God’s viewpoint rather than our lowly way of looking at the world.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me to go to a high place today to see the world from Your viewpoint. And when I do I will have Your joy to replace my anguish. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

July 26, 2014 … Junkyard Living

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 207

Devotional Song: Go to this link  Please go this video link to hear my friend Clay Crosse and two of his friends, Bob Carlisle and Bebe Winans singing I Will Follow Christ, which proclaims the decision all Christians must make and live out our lives … in order to be fruitful and to live with our Lord in eternity.


Highlight Passage - NKJV - Isaiah 17: 10-11
10 Because you have forgotten the God of your salvation, and have not been mindful of the Rock of your stronghold; therefore, you will plant pleasant plants and set out foreign seedlings; 11 In the day you will make your plant to grow, and in the morning you will make your seed to flourish; but the harvest will be a heap of ruins in the day of grief and desperate sorrow. 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Isaiah 17: 7-11 [NKJV] … Go to this ink
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Reference Passage #1 … 2nd Chronicles 28: 22-25 [NKJV] … Go to this ink

Reference Passage #2 … John 14: 21 [NKJV] … 
21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 

Reference Passage #3 … John 15: 5-7 [NKJV] … 
5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. … “ 

Passage #4 … 1st John 2: 15-16 [NKJV] … 
15 Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 16 For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world. 

My Journal for Today: In today’s Our Daily Bread devotional, the author, Julie Link, reminds the readers of some biblical history, … i.e., the days when King Ahaz ruled the southern kingdom of Judah; and he lost faith in God and made alliances with the world powers of his day. Ultimately he paid the price of disobedience to God as prophesied by Isaiah in those days (see the highlight passages copied/linked above).

 And besides the biblical history, Ms. Link, uses an interesting comparison and word picture to make her point that believers always have a choice of the outcomes of life. We can either choose obedience to God which will produce a field of His fruit; or we can choose, as did King Ahaz, to be disobedient; and see life become a junkyard [see attached photo].

 We New Covenant Christians have such an advantage over those who walked the earth before Jesus, as did King Ahaz. History and Scripture gives us the actual commands of the God-Man, the One Who walked this earth, pronounced His mission (see Luke 4: 18-19), and fulfilled all that His Father sent Him to earth to accomplish, saving all who would come, in faith, repent of their sin, and be obedient to His word. And in our faith relationship with Jesus, being obedient to His word, we can overcome the doubts that a King Ahaz might have.

 But do we? … Do we do what God’s word proclaims in 1st John 2: 15-16 and reject the world’s ways in lieu of doing what Jesus Himself proclaimed in John 5: 5 and John 14: 21, and that is to simply follow His commands … just as God had commanded His people to live in the days of Ahaz (or before). It’s out choice, isn’t it? We can be obedient and become fruitful; or as the ODB piece for today pictures, we can ignore God’s ways and become a junkyard (see attached photo).

Our choice; … I don’t know about you; but I’m not going to choose to become a junkyard dog.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me to follow Your truth and live fruitfully for Your kingdom. ... Amen

Blogger Note: Every day during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK; on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Friday, July 25, 2014

July 25, 2014 … Looking for Zacchaeus

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 206

Devotional Song: Go to this link – Please take your time to see a video of Steve Green, singing… People Need the Lord, reminding me that today I may pass by a “Zacchaeus,” i.e., someone who is lost and is seeking salvation from the only One Who can save him/her; and I may be the only person who can share my Lord with this one - up a tree with no where to go.
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Highlight Passage: Luke 19: 9… [NKJV] …
9 And Jesus said to him [Zacchaeus], “Today salvation has come to this house,… “ 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Luke 19: 1-10 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: Romans 10: 9-13 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, as did the song I’ve linked readers to, reminded me of a scary truth; … that I may pass by a lost soul today, as did Jesus when he walked by Zacchaeus in that sycamore tree, … one who needs the Lord and is desperately seeking salvation; … but one who hasn’t got a clue that He’s just within reach through my testimony of Christ saving anyone who seeks Him.

You’re probably like I am and love that story of the sinner, tax-collector, Zaccheaus, in Luke, Chapter 19, the little guy who was so desperately seeking salvation, being convicted of his sinful life; and so, he climbed up a tree to get a glimpse of Jesus Who was walking into his town followed by a crowd of people (see attached photo).  And Jesus, just being the God-man, knowing the heart of Zacchaeus, called him down out of the tree and was willing to consort with this reprobate, knowing that the tax-collector needed what only He, Jesus, had to offer.

Today, we need to be willing, if given the divine appointment, to share what we have - and that being salvation in Christ - with any Zacchaeus if we encounter one who is lost and is seeking what God has given us … the blessing of salvation in Christ.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, if any Zacchaeus comes my way today, allow me the privilege of sharing what You have given me with him. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Thursday, July 24, 2014

July 23, 2014 … HALLELUJAH !!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 204

Devotional Song:   Go to this link –  Please take your time to see a video of a powerful chorus performing with full chorus and orchestra, singing… The Hallelujah Chorus, taken from Handel’s Oratorio, The Messiah. Hearing it says it all!!! … And the attached photo was copied from Handel’s original manuscript with his own title for this great musical masterpiece.
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Highlight Passage: Psalm 147: 4… [NKJV] …
14 He counts the number of the stars; … He calls them all by name. 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Psalm 147 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK 
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Highlight Context #2 - NKJV: Psalms 146-150 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK    ============​

Reference Passage #1 - NKJV: Psalm 117 [NKJV] … GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #2: John 3: 16… [NKJV] … [Oh, surely you know this one! If you do so; … HALLELUJAH!!] …

Reference Passage #3 - NKJV: Romans 15: 7-13 - See verse 11 [NKJV] GO TO THIS LINK 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional directed me to a Hebrew phrase that I use often in my Christian prayer life, which is “Praise the LORD!” in English or the Hebrew equivalent, “HALLELUJAH!” You probably use the praise phrase as well, … maybe even the modern TEXTing version, … “PTL!” 

But what the ODB piece, authored by David McCasland, did for me today was to help me more deeply appreciate the depth of meaning in this praise. I’m afraid that I had become somewhat guilty of trivializing it’s meaning when I so often casually, in my prayers, will flippantly praise our Lord with almost reflexive or automatic references to “praise the lord” or “hallelujah” (emotionally with a small “l” in LORD or a small “h” in “HALLELUJAH”).

BUT George Frederich Handel certainly didn’t trivialize the Hebrew expression in his 18th century Oratorio, “The Messiah.”  And if you’ve ever been to a production of The Messiah, when the orchestra/chorus finally come to the rendition of The Hallelujah Chorus, it is always stirring to me to see the audience rise to its feet in collective recognition that Jesus Christ, Our Messiah, is being celebrated in chorus and song.

Do you realize, however, that the phrase “Praise the Lord,” which is the collective Hebrew word “Hallelujah,” is found over 60 times in the NKJV of Old Testament Scripture, is only found in one place in the New Testament? That is in Romans 15: 11, which is a quote from Psalm 117: 1. However, if you go to today’s highlight passages from Psalms 146-150, you’ll see that the Old Covenant believers, as with the author of these five psalms, looking forward to the coming of Messiah, were much more prone to utter the phrase “Hallelujah!” or “Praise the LORD!”

Please go back and see how often - and with emphasis - the author of the last five Psalms declares a pointed - and repeated - proclamation of “Hallelujah” “Praise the LORD!!” And then go back and take the time to meditate on how much we need to PRAISE OUR LORD ... perhaps by listening to the rousing God Tube rendition of the Hallelujah Chorus (linked above). Maybe you might even be roused to stand to your feet - at least emotionally rise - when you hear the “Hallelujah Chorus” being sung by full orchestra/chorus.

And then join me in our prayers today with a loud declaration - from our hearts - saying … HALLELUJAH! … HALLELUJAH! … HALLELUJAH! 

My Prayer for Today … YES, LORD … HALLELUJAH!!! … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

July 23, 2014 … White Flag of Surrender

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 204

Devotional Song: Go to this link –  Please take your time to see a video of a poignant song, performed by the Faith Hill, singing… I Surrender All, reminding us that the white flag of surrender to Jesus is the only posture of salvation and living worship.
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Highlight Passage: Deuteronomy 6: 4-5… [NKJV] …
14 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one! 5 You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Deuteronomy 6: 1-9 [NKJV] ...  GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1: Luke 9: 23… [NKJV] … [Oh, surely you know this one!] …
  23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. ... "

Reference Passage #2 - NKJV: Romans 10: 9-13 [NKJV] ... GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #3: Romans 12: 1-2… [NKJV] … [Please memorize this one!] …
   1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional points to a truth on which I’m afraid all too many who call themselves Christians miss out; and that is the “white flag” of surrender attitude that is necessary … first for salvation and then for the process of sanctification.

 First, Joe Stowell, the author of today’s ODB, relates a story illustrating the attitude of true worshippers of Christ. He relates … ”Recently, while watching a video of a church service held in South America, I noticed something I had never seen before in church. As the pastor passionately called his flock to yield their lives to Jesus, one of the parishioners took a white hankie out of his pocket and started waving it in the air. Then another, and another. With tears running down their cheeks, they were expressing full surrender to Christ.”

The white flag (see attached photo) has always been the international symbol of SURRENDER; and that’s the attitude, also captured in today’s devotional song link, which is absolutely necessary for one to come into a saving relationship with Christ [see Romans 10: 9-13; and then by extension, for a born-again believer to be reformed into Christ’s image, an attitude of white flag surrender is necessary on a day-by-day, even a moment-by-moment, basis for God’s Spirit, working his wondrous work of completion (see Phil. 1: 6) to regenerate the heart of a believer into an attitude of Christlikeness.

So today, as the Apostle Paul wrote about in Romans 12: 1-2 (see above), we have to ask ourselves, … Are we waving the white flag of surrender today in our pursuit to be more like Jesus today than yesterday … and even more tomorrow than today? Ask yourself that question in meditation as you use the link above to hear Faith Hill singing, I Surrender All

My Prayer for Today … Lord, prayerfully, I DO surrender all. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

July 22, 2014 … Any Regrets?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 203

Devotional Song: … Go to this link ...   Please go this video link to hear Josh Groban singing a love song which could have been sung to Jesus My Confession, which reminds me of the passion which David must’ve had when he penned – first Psalm 51 and then Psalm 32 with his regrets for the sin involving Bathsheba.


Highlight Passage - NKJV - Psalm 32: 3
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old through my groaning all the day long.
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Psalms 32: 1-7 [NKJV] … Go to this ink 

Reference Passage #1 … Psalms 51 [NKJV] … Go to this Link 

Reference Passage #2 … Romans 8: 28 [NKJV] …
28 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.

Reference Passage #3 ... 1st Peter 5:7 [NKJV] ...
7 Cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.

Reference Passage #4 ... 1st John 1: 9 [NKJV] ...
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

My Journal for Today: Ever had any regrets? Most of us have, haven’t we? “Oh, man, … I wish I hadn’t done … this or that!”

In Scripture, certainly the royal story of regrets has to be that of David, who, in a fit of momentary weakness and stupidity, allowed himself to become involved in the Bathsheba affair, which was followed by equally monumental intrigue and cover-ups; and then the King languished in regret, mental turmoil, and anguish for over a year before he was finally busted by the Prophet, Nathan.

Then, and only then, did he come to confess his sins before God and the people in Psalms 51 [linked above] and also somewhat later in the highlight passage for today from Psalm 32. And in the latter we read of David’s regret for having committed the series of sins which became infamous reminders of our vulnerability to our evil, and very human, hearts (see Jeremiah 17: 9).

But David’s vulnerability, his actions, and his confession were part of God’s plan, weren’t they? If not, why did God allow David to go through all of that? Once again, we have a test of our New Testament revelation and truth from the Apostle Paul from Romans 8: 28. And then, we are blessed from the equally important truth in 1st John 1: 9, aren’t we?

Yes, … David’s foibles with Bathsheba and following are illustrations of the truths we know as New Covenant Christians … that we serve a loving, merciful, and forgiving God … a God who, as He did with David, will forgive our sins and cleanse us, when we’re truly repentant, from any – AND ALL – unrighteousness.

I’m sure many of us [I certainly can!] empathize with King David’s regrets; but I pray that any of us who’ve had such regrets for past sins can recognize and realize that we serve a God Who, when we come humbly to Him with our confession, will completely and utterly forgive us for ALL of the sins we confess. God did it for David; and he’ll do it for you and me.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, to that truth I can only say “HALLELUJAH!!!” And thank YOU!!!, ... Amen

Blogger Note: Every day during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK; on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Monday, July 21, 2014

July 21, 2014 … Parched and Dry

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 202

Devotional Song: Go to this link –  Please take your time to see a video of a poignant song, performed by the Calvary Men’s Choir singing… Springs of Living Water, reminding us that in this is a parched world, famishing for the living waters that only Jesus can provide … and then ON TO THIS LINK  to hear Steve Green singing, People Need the Lord - no explanation necessary - only reality.
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Reference Passage #1: Isaiah 49: 6 … [NKJV] …
13 Jesus answered and said to her, “Whoever drinks of this water will thirst again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst. But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life.” 
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Highlight Context - NKJV: John 4: 7-15 [NKJV} GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #2: John 7: 37-38… [NKJV] …
37 On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. 38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional offering declares a very obvious reality; … that we’re living in a parched earth; and people need the living waters that only Jesus can provide. As the ODB author today points out, … ”Although 70 percent of the world is covered by water, less than 1 percent of it is drinkable by humans. Water conservation and sanitation are crucial matters in many parts of the world, as all life depends on having sanitary water.” And this reality is no more starkly illustrated in parts of the world which are practically starving due to draughts and the lack of water in the middle east, … water becoming more valuable there than the prolific supplies of oil.

People all over the world are parched; and they need living waters.

Probably no story in the Bible illustrates mankind’s need for the living waters which only Jesus offers than the story in John, Chapter 4 of Jesus’s encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well. And in this story the woman found THE source of life, … i.e., “living waters” … for which she was desperately searching; and which she received from Jesus’ offer gladly when it was offered to her. 

And Jesus offers the same “living waters” to all (see also John 7: 38); and as the men’s choir and Steve Green sing in the linked songs above, so many in this world need the living waters that only Christ can provide. Are we going to take it to them today?

My Prayer for Today … Lord, my I be a vessel of Your living waters today to someone who is parched and dry. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

July 20, 2014 … God Things in Small Packages

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 201

Devotional Song:  Go to this link –  Please take your time to see a video of a poignant song, performed by Steve Green singing… Find Us Faithful, reminding us that any service given to others or for God’s glory which is given in living sacrifice, no matter how small or seemingly insignificant, is a worthy offering for God’s kingdom.
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Reference Passage #1: Isaiah 49: 6 … [NKJV] …
6  Indeed He says, ‘It is too small a thing that You should be My Servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob, and to restore the preserved ones of Israel; I will also give You as a light to the Gentiles, that You should be My salvation to the ends of the earth.’
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Highlight Context: Isaiah 49: 1-6 [NKJV} ... GO TO THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1: 1st Kings 19 [NKJV] ...   GO TO THIS LINK

Reference Passage #2: Zechariah 4: 10a…  [NKJV] …
10  For who has despised the day of small things?  

Reference Passage #3: Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV] ...  GO TO THIS LINK

My Journal for Today: Today's Our Daily Bread, reminded me that our culture over values BIGGER, FASTER, and SPLASHIER in lieu of smaller, steadier, and less explosive. What ever happened to “good things come in small packages?” [see attached photo]

This Christmas I gave my wife a simple pearl pendant which was topped by a beautiful, perfect, small diamond; and like those in the photo it came in a very small package. But the look of love on her face when she opened the gift was recognition of the love and sacrifice from the heart of the giver to its recipient. Yes, good things - even great things - can come in very small and very mundane looking packages.

Yet, what does the world value … and almost demand; … BIG, FAST, and POWERFUL; … right?! … You know I’m right; but if you read through the Scriptures above we read of God presenting a powerful package (i.e., message) to His people in a very mundane package - Isaiah. The Prophet Zechariah (see Zech. 4: 10a above) despaired of those who looked down on the insignificant ones, like himself, who were called to bring VERY IMPORTANT messages to God’s people. And who would have ever thought that God would present Himself to the world in the package of a babe in lowly manger.

Right now, I want you to think of someone, maybe in your church, who does very significant work for God’s kingdom behind the scenes with almost no recognition. You might even find it difficult to think of someone because we tend to think of those in high places of authority or the ones who are out front on the podium on Sunday, like the Preacher, as the ones who are significant. But God values all who come to give of themselves, humbly, and often almost without notice, … i.e. all those who are his gifts of living sacrifice as Paul wrote about in Romans 12: 1-2.

I pray that many who read with me here are, in some way - maybe as a small package - giving all we can for our God’s glory today.

My Prayer for Today: … Lord, may all who read here know that any gift of living sacrifice, given unselfishly for God’s glory, is seen by our LORD as an offering worthy of Gods’ grace. And I pray that today I can be one of those packages. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

July 19, 2014 … THE SAME ... yesterday, today, and tomorrow!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 200


Devotional Song: Go to this link    Please take your time to see a video of a poignant song, performed by Chris Tomlin… [b][i]How Great Is Our God[/b][/i], reminding us that our God, Who is the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, is the same great God Who led Moses and His people through the Red Sea; ... the same God Who died for you and me on the cross; ... and the same God Who'll save any who believe in Christ as Lord and Savior.
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Reference Passage #1: Psalms 102: 27 …  [NKJV] … [All who come to Him will be lifted from death into life.] …
14 But You [LORD] are the same, and Your years will have no end.
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Highlight Context - NKJV: Psalm 102: 18-28 …  GO TO THIS LINK
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 Reference Passage #1: Proverbs 3: 5-6…  [NKJV] …
5 Trust in The Lord with ALL your hears and lean not on your own understanding. 6 In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Reference Passage #2: Hebrews 13: 8 …  [NKJV] … [Forever is forever!!] …
15 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 

My Journal for Today: Today's Our Daily Bread, authored by Randy Kilgore, hits on one of the most important doctrines in all of Christianity; ... i.e., the doctrine of "immutability." It's a big word with a very simple meaning; and that meaning is wrapped up in two passages which Kilgore uses in his devotional piece today, one from the Old Testament (i.e., Ps. 102: 2- the highlight verse above); and one in the New Testament (i.e., Heb. 13: 8), both saying that God never changes.

In a nutshell this means that the God of the Old Testament is the same God of the New Testament; and when God became man, in Jesus, The Christ and our Messiah, mankind was able to behold identify and deal with God, the Father, in the flesh ... the same God Who parted the Red Sea for Moses; ... the same God Who led His people into the Promised Land; ... and the same God Who died on a cross to save mankind from their [our] sins.

I hope you share with me the comfort we Christians have in the truth of [Hebrews 13:8; because if our God was a changing, every growing god, as some misleading deists claim, we would never be able to trust in our Lord. But as He is our LORD; and as He never changes, we can TOTALLY trust Him to lead us as we follow Him (as He commands in Luke 9: 23 and we have confidence in following - see Prov. 3; 5-6).

My friend, our God never changes; and I can know and trust [as you can] that He HAS saved us and IS saving us and WILL save us to be with Him in eternity - FOREVER. I pray that you have the same confidence in our immutable God.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, I follow You with the eternal confidence that You will never change. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK   on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Friday, July 18, 2014

July 18, 2014 … Living Bridges of Trust

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 199

Devotional Song: Go to this link  PLEASE … go to this video link to hear the group Hillsong singing of Jesus, You’re All I need, reminding us that God is the root of all our trust; and He is all we need; and then ON TO THIS LINK  to hear Simon and Garfunkel sing that classic song of theirs Bridge Over Troubled Waters, which is as if Jesus is singing to us what He does for us when we’re in troubled waters … i.e., to lay Himself down and lift us up.


Highlight Passage - NKJV - Jeremiah 17: 7-8a
  7 “Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord,
And whose hope is the Lord. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters,
Which spreads out its roots by the river, … 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Jeremiah 17: 5-10 … Go to this link

Reference Passage #1 … Psalms 1 [NKJV] … Go to this link

Reference Passage #2 … Proverbs 3: 5-6 [NKJV] … 
5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart;
 and lean not on your own understanding. 
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him; 
and He shall direct your paths. 

Reference Passage #3 … Matthew 11: 28-30 [NKJV] … Go to this link

Reference Passage #4 … 2nd Corinthians 12: 9-10 [NKJV] … 
9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. 10 Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread author, Jennifer Schuldt, uses a natural phenomena which can be found in Cherrapunji, India, [see the attached photo] where bridges over their rivers in that area have been built by roots from trees which are rooted along side the rivers and are woven into living bridges. It takes about 10-15 years for each set of roots to be matured long enough to weave into these natural bridges, which create very reliable bridges for the locals to cross the rivers.

 Schuldt uses these bridges to illustrate what Jeremiah spoke of in today’s highlight truth, which focuses on how we followers of Messiah must trust Him completely as we try, as Simon and Garfunkel sang, to cross the troubled waters of life [see above song link]. With these troubled waters we must cross, Jeremiah writes (in Jer. 17: 7-8) that the man/woman of faith, who trusts in the Lord, can cross those turbulent rivers without fear just as those in India can trust those living bridges over their rivers. Yes, as the song by Hillsong singing above, Jesus, is all we need!

 Testing, testing , TESTING!! … God certainly tests our lives of faith with living waters which are troubled and turbulent, doesn’t’ He? And I don’t know whether Paul Simon realized it when he wrote the song and Art Garfunkel sang it, but their song, linked above, was as if Jesus was singing to His beloved about how HE is a “bridge over troubled waters.” And that’s exactly what Jesus implied when He spoke to His disciples in Matthew 11: 28-30 [see above] and promised to be there to lift them up when they (we) encounter the troubled waters of life.

 Our question, as I’m often challenged by my daily Our Daily Bread devotionals is: “Do I believe God’s word as truth; and do I live my life trusting it’s truth as is spelled out clearly in the passages to which I’ve copied or linked above?” I’m being challenged by these truths from God’s word today; … how about you?

My Prayer for Today … Oh, LORD, help me to trust You and walk with You, lifting me up as my bridge over troubled waters. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Thursday, July 17, 2014

July 17, 2014 … Lookin’ Good!!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 198

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … PLEASE … go to this video link to hear the group Point of Grace singing of Heal the Wounds, reminding us that God’s completed act on Calvary has freed us from the need to hide or cover up for our past because He has freed us from our shame and has allowed us to show others the changes He has wrought in our lives.


Highlight Passage - NKJV - Hebrews 10: 24
  24 And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works, … 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Hebrews 10: 19-25 … Go to this link

Reference Passage #1 … 2nd Corinthians 3: 18 [NKJV] … 
18 But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Reference Passage #2 … 2nd Corinthians 5: 14-17 [NKJV] … Go to this link

My Journal for Today: As today’s Our Daily Bread author, Cindy Kasper, reminded me (and you, if you link to the online entry for 7/17/14 – see below disclaimer), we have a tendency to avoid looking into mirrors because we want to LOOK GOOD; and we’ll do almost anything to hide the scars from our past.

Take a look at the attached photo. They are the work of a make-over artist who took a homeless Vet and made him over into the “AFTER” image you see in the photo. Cindy Kasper related a story of how her daughter challenged her on why she was wearing a certain pair of sunglasses. The daughter knew that Cindy had bought the sunglasses, not to protect her eyes from UV rays; but as the daughter called Cindy out, she had bought the glass to “look good.” How many of us hide who we really are with all sorts of masks or devices to hide the scars from our past, … primarily because we imagine – in shame – that if others saw the real me they would reject me.

That’s “lone-ranger” Christianity; and it’s what both the author of Hebrews was trying to get Christians to reject when he (or she) wrote, in Heb. 10: 24, that we must come TOGETHER, in the body of Christ, to accept and encourage one another – no matter what our past scars might be. It’s what today’s linked song, Heal the Wounds, is all about, isn’t it? We need to let others know that Christ, as the Apostle Paul wrote, is healing and transforming our scarred past into a glorious new future (see 2nd Cor. 3: 18 and 5: 17).

 And so today, if God gives us the opportunity, let’s show off our true selves and tell others how Christ is transforming our ignominious scars into glorious stars.

My Prayer for Today … Oh, Lord Jesus, thank you for doing Your make-over in my life. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

July 16, 2014 … Chained?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 197

Devotional Song: Go to this link  PLEASE … go to this video link to hear Nichole Nordeman singing of Finally Free, reminding us that God’s completed act on Calvary has freed us from any bondage we have had in our own sin. … And then ON TO THIS LINK to hear the young group, Dave’s Highway, singing Everything We Need, which tells us when/how we can find freedom in Christ, … i.e., when, in faith, we have TOTALLY surrendered to His Lordship.

To read script, click on photo and then return to blog

Highlight Passage - NKJV - Psalms 16: 1-2
  1 Preserve me, O God, for in You I put my trust. 2 O my soul, you have said to the Lord,
“You are my Lord,
My goodness is nothing apart from You.” 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Psalm 16 … Go to this link

Reference Passage #1 … Proverbs 3: 5-6 [NKJV] … 
  5 Trust in the Lord with ALL your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. 6 In ALL your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your paths.

Reference Passage #2 … Philippians 4: 11-13 [NKJV] … Go to this link

Reference Passsage #3 … 2nd Peter 1: 3-4 [NKJV] … Go to this link

My Journal for Today: As today’s Our Daily Bread author, Dennis Fisher, reminded me (and you, if you link to the online entry for 7/16/14 – see below disclaimer) there were a number of Old and New Testament saints who understood that we can walk free from the bondage of self when we are in total surrender to Messiah, … our Savior.

King David obviously internalized this truth, as evidenced in Psalm 16, as did the Apostle Paul when he wrote Philippians 4: 11-13; and so did the church leader, Peter, when he wrote to persecuted Christians in 2nd Peter 1: 2-4 [all passages linked above for your study/meditation].

 And when we take in the truths from God word through these Saints of old, we should recognize that in our surrendered relationship to Christ we have been set free, as Nichole Nordeman and Dave’s Highway sing above, when – BUT ONLY WHEN – we live, move, and have our being in the faith relationship we have when Christ is truly our LORD.

 So, as I’m dealing with my faith conviction this morning, I’ll leave you to deal with the question as to whether we’ve totally surrendered – in faith – to the contentment we can find and the freedom we can achieve ONLY in Christ.

My Prayer for Today … Oh, Lord Jesus, I pray that my heart finds – everyday as today – the freedom I have in You. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

July 15, 2014 … True Loyalty

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 196

Devotional Song: Go to this link  PLEASE … go to this video link to hear Steve Green singing of Find Us Faithful … and … God and God Alone, reminding us that all is God’s and we are to remain faithful to His sovereignty and His unfailing love for us.


Highlight Passage - NKJV - 2nd Corinthians 11: 30-31
  30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 31 The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who is blessed forever, knows that I am not lying. 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - 2nd Corinthians 11: 23-31 … Go to this link

Reference Passage #1 … Lamentations 3: 22-23 [NKJV] …
  22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed; because His compassions fail not. 23 They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness. 

  Reference Passage #2 … Luke 9: 23 [NKJV] … 
23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me. …”

Reference Passsage #3 … 2nd Corinthians 12: 9 [NKJV]
  9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

My Journal for Today: I’ve taken the title for today’s Our Daily Bread devotional [go read it from the link in the disclaimer below]; and the author, David McCasland, illustrated the title by using the word picture of the frequent flyer miles program developed by the airline industry to promote customer loyalty for the airlines by passengers, especially those who traveled regularly.

Then McCasland shifted his illustration to that of a dedicated first century Christian traveler, the Apostle Paul, by relating, from his 2nd letter to the Christians in Corinth, what he went through in his travels, illustrating completely Paul’s loyalty and faithfulness to the call of Christ to “follow Him.” (See that call in Luke 9: 23) Paul certainly wasn’t into his travels for the frequent flyer miles, spreading the Gospel message into Asia Minor and even the 1st Century Europe. And the trials and tribulations he encountered in his missionary journeys certainly became a model for all Christians, then and now, of what should be our loyalty to God in spreading His Good News.

 And we should always strive to follow-the-leader when it comes to our witness (see Acts 1: 8 and Matt. 28: 19-20) … first to follow Christ’s unfailing loyalty and mercy (see Lam. 3: 22-23); … and then to follow the model of called ones, like Paul, who would brag only in what His Lord had done for him in bringing him salvation. Paul was willing to wade through any challenge to share his testimony in his day. Are we as loyal in our day?

So, … what can we do today to be a loyal witness to God’s unfailing grace?

My Prayer for Today … Oh, Lord Jesus, I pray that in some way I can be used today to be loyal in service to Your Kingdom. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Monday, July 14, 2014

July 14, 2014 … His Power For Ours

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 195

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … PLEASE … Once again this day, go to the same video link as posted yesterday to hear Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly singing Beauty for Ashes, reminding us that our loving and merciful God provides His enabling and empowering grace so that we can experience beauty in lieu of the ashes which would be our lot if the world had its way. - - AND THEN TO THIS LINK to hear Steven Curtis Chapman singing his song, His Strength Is Perfect, which is self explanatory in what we need from God’s Strength to cover our human frailties.



Highlight Passage - NKJV - Psalm 72: 16
  16 There will be an abundance of grain in the earth,
On the top of the mountains; …
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Psalm 72: 12-20 … Go to this link

Reference Passsage #1 … Matthew, Chapters 5-7 [NKJV] …   Go to this link

Reference Passsage #2 … Mark 9: 14-29 [NKJV] …   Go to this link  

Reference Passsage #3 … 1st Corinthians 1: 18-31 [NKJV] … Go to this link  …

Reference Passsage #4 … 2nd Corinthians 12: 9 [NKJV]
  9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

My Journal for Today: From today’s Our Daily Bread devotional [go read it from the link in the disclaimer below], the author, David Roper, makes reference to Psalm 72 (partially inked above), attributed to Solomon, which, according the Matthew Henry’s commentary was more likely penned by David before he died and given to Solomon to pass along to God’s people.

In verse 16 of this Messianic Psalm, written to commemorate the Kingdom of The Messiah, the author makes reference to plentiful crops growing on the tops of mountains. Have you ever seen a mountaintop with plentiful vegetation growing? Of course NOT!!! It’s an observable absurdity in worldly reality; but it’s the promise of God when The Messiah comes into His kingdom. And it’s another way of depicting, with word pictures, that with God all things are possible, … yes, even things which seem ridiculous to us.

 When Jesus, THE MESSIAH, about Whom David/Solomon wrote about in Ps. 72, came into His earthy ministry (in His Sermon on the Mount – linked above), He preached of a way of life which was humanly absurd, … way too good for man to capture in real life because it reflected the way life would be in heaven. Such a life required strength of character which was way beyond the reaches of the strength of man, … that is, requiring strength which no man or woman could find on his/her own [see the Mark 9 passage linked above, especially verse 23]. And so, Jesus – and later His Disciples - spoke of our needing HIS STRENGTH to cover our weakness [see the Pauline passages above], as Steven Curtis Chapman sings in the second song linked above or the attached photo represents.

 And so, join me today, praying for God’s strength to lift us up and display what He will one day give us when we are with Him in His kingdom, the fruitfulness and power that only God can provide. But realizing that to the degree we have faith in Christ TODAY, we can have at least a portion of His strength to cover our weaknesses.

My Prayer for Today … Oh, Lord Jesus, I pray that in some way I can be used today – in my weakness – to display Your strength. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

July 13, 2014 … No Grace?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 194

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … PLEASE … go to this video link to hear Crystal Lewis and Ron Kenoly singing Beauty for Ashes, reminding us that our loving and merciful God provides His grace so that we can experience beauty in lieu of the ashes which would be our lot if the world had its way. 


Highlight Passage - NKJV - 1st Peter 4: 8
  8 And above all things have fervent love for one another, for “love will cover a multitude of sins.” 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - 1st Peter 4: 1-11 … Go to this link

Reference Passsage #1 … Proverbs 10: 12 [NKJV]
  12 Hatred stirs up strife,
But love covers all sins.

Reference Passsage #2 … Lamentations 3: 22-23 [NKJV]
  22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, 
because His compassions fail not. 
23 They are new every morning. 
Great is Your faithfulness.

Reference Passsage #3 … Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV]
  1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

My Journal for Today: From today’s Our Daily Bread devotional [go read it from the link in the disclaimer below], I ponder the question of what the world … and this life … would be like if God’s mercy and grace through His love, which, according to Lam. 3: 22, is “new every morning,” were not here to restrain evil? Crystal Lewis & Ron Kenoly sing (see the song link above) of God providing beauty for ashes. Can you imagine what this world would be like if Satan and His demons were not restrained by God’s Spirit through His grace?

Well, the horror would be the great tribulation, which, one day, will come upon mankind as prophesied in the Revelation. And, even though there are signs of the coming evil by what we see on the loose in this world today because of God allowing Satan a degree of dis-grace to transpire (see Romans 1: 18-32), God still provides some degree of mercy/grace, I believe, to cover the remnant of believers who are still willing to be that light in the world which Jesus described in Matt. 5: 14-16, … the grace of God’s love which shines His love light for all to see and to glorify a loving Father God.

Oh how I pray that we all can at least be a Christlike candle shining a glimmer of His love into this very dark world today.

My Prayer for Today … Oh, Lord Jesus, I pray that You shine Your light of love through all I think, say, and do today. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Saturday, July 12, 2014

July 12, 2014 … Strong Name of Jesus

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 193

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … PLEASE … go to this video link to hear Chris Tomlin singing Blessed Be The Name of the LORD, reminding us that we, as Christians, must bless the Name of the Lord with our lives … and THEN ON TO THIS LINK to hear a praise ensemble singing Jesus, Name Above All Names praising the greatest of all of God’s Name … that of His Son and our Lord, Jesus, The Christ


Highlight Passage - NKJV - Proverbs 18:10
 10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower. The righteous run to it and are safe.
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Highlight Passage [Context] - Proverbs 18: 1-10 … Go to this link

Reference Passsage #1 … Psalms 7: 17 [NKJV]
  17 I will praise the Lord according to His righteousness,
And will sing praise to the name of the Lord Most High.

Reference Passsage #3 … Romans 12: 1-2 [NKJV]
1 I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

My Journal for Today: From today’s Our Daily Bread the author, Joe Stowell, points out the power of a nickname to endear or to ridicule someone. He told of how he was given the name of “liver lips” as a kid because he had rather prominent lips; and he felt derided and hated the name and was very glad when it didn’t stick.

And as a more personal example, with the last name of “Berry,” and being an Elder in our church, many of fellow church members call me “ElderBerry,” and I sort of like the endearing quality of its reference and hope that I can be a fruitful leader in our church, especially in the ministry/mission I’ve been called by God’s Spirit to lead (see this link).

 And we Christians know that God has many biblical names, which help to single out and identify our LORD”S character, names like …
Elohim, the God above all gods …
Jehovah Jireh, the God who provides …
El-Shaddai, the almighty God …
Jehovah Rapha, our healer God …
Jehovah Shalom, our God of peace …
Jehovah Shamma, our God who is present … and
Jehovah Yahweh, our loving, covenant-keeping God.

 And then, of course, there is the greatest of all of God’s Name, given to His Son and our Lord, JESUS, the Christ … our Redeemer, … Emmanuel, … Who is God with us.

Don’t you just revel in praise to even audibly and verbally call out the Name of our Lord?! Why don’t you just join me this day and praise the Name of our Lord by becoming, as the Apostle Paul wrote – a living sacrifice – to His Name.

My Prayer for Today“Jesus – Jesus – Jesus” … I just love to say Your Name, my LORD! …

Amen Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Friday, July 11, 2014

July 11, 2014 … Reverse Paranoia

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2014 - Day 192

Devotional Song: Go to this link  … PLEASE go to this video link to hear Krristyn Getty singing a song co-written by her husband, Keith, By Faith, declaring the truth at the heart of the power in our relationship with Christ … OUR FAITH and GOD’S LOVE.


Highlight Passage - NKJV - 1st John 4: 18
18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love. 
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Highlight Passage [Context] - 1st John 4: 1-6; 17-19 … Go to this link

Reference Passsage #1 … Proverbs 3: 5-6 [NKJV]
5  Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6  In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

Reference Passage #2 … 1st Corinthians 13 [NKJV] … Go to this ink

Reference Passsage #4 … Hebrews 11: 1 [NKJV]
1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 

My Journal for Today: The author of today’s Our Daily Bread Devotional, Phillip Yancey, has an interesting take on the definition of the concept of FAITH. He reports that it came to him when he was viewing the unfolding of the fall of communism on the TV News in the early 90s. Yancey reports watching many of the Soviet Union citizens staring down tanks and throwing back the overwhelmingly more powerful communist governments and admiring the faith of these revolutionaries. He further wrote in the ODB devotional for this date …
“ Watching the newsreels from Red Square on … television [in 1991], I came up with a new definition of faith: ‘paranoia in reverse.’ A truly paranoid person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of fear. Anything that happens feeds that fear. Faith works in reverse. A faithful person organizes his or her life around a common perspective of trust, not fear.”

Therefore, as Yancey proposes, anytime we can put a halt on fear and focus on some very trustworthy goal, person, or outcome, our trust (i.e., our FAITH) will drive us to respond in ways we never could or would when our fears were dictating our decision-making.

 So, as you take in the attached photo, the linked song by The Gettys, and the absolute truth from the Bible passages above, I think we need to ask ourselves … “Is my life moving with the power of anti-paranoia [i.e., faith] or am I being driven (or maybe halted) by my fears?” 

And when we answer that question in a very personal way, we’ll see how we need to apply paranoia in reverse, leaning and trusting our God, to move us onward for God’s glory and His kingdom.

My Prayer for Today … Lord, help me look to hills from which You come, to worship and praise You in all I think, say, and do. … Amen

Blogger Note: Everyday during this year, my daily devotional blogs are influenced by the reading and study of the online devotional blog entitled Our Daily Bread [TGIF], distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK  on the date of my blog, you’ll find a link to read the Our Daily Bread blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.