Saturday, January 31, 2015

January 31, 2015 … The Door Is Open !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 31

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of an anonymous chorus singing the old Fannie Crosby hymn… Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior, … with the plea of unsaved to be able to make their way through the only door into Heaven, … that receiving the finished work of Jesus Christ …


Highlight Passage 2nd Corinthians 6: 2b [NKJV] …
  2b Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation. … 
 … Did you get on the train in time?
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Highlight Context - 2nd Corinthians 5:18 - 6: 2 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God is pleading through the Saints for all to come to Him through the open door of Christ … 
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Reference Passage #1: Matthew 25: 31-34 [NKJV] … 
31 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats. 33 And He will set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on the left. 34 Then the King will say to those on His right hand, ‘Come, you blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: …” 
… Yes, there will be a time when Jesus will judge the nations …

Reference Passage #2: John 14: 6 [NKJV] … 
6 Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. … “ 
… Jesus is the only door into Heaven …

Reference Passage #3: Romans 10: 9-13 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK -  
… Paul explains the only way to get through the door to Heaven, … i.e., Christ …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Poh Fang Chia, illustrates the only door into heaven by referring to the door of a subway train.

 Perhaps you’ve seen this scenario. You’re on a subway train car; and you hear the warning that the door is about to close - beep - beep - beep and then the automated voice warning, ”Step back, … the door is closing!!” And then you see someone trying to desperately get onto the train by sticking their arm through the door (see attached photo), hoping the door will reopen and let them in.

 Well, as author Chia points out, many times that desperate attempt to get on the train is foolish because there’s another train coming, maybe just a few minutes later, to make the same route to the same destination. However, when it comes to making the train to Heaven, there may or may not be another time - or another day - to make the train. We just don’t know what tomorrow holds, do we? And the open door to Heaven, which is only that of Jesus, The Christ, may only be open for one last time to one who has yet to walk through that Door.

 Acknowledging our sin and receiving the finished work of Christ on the cross is the ONLY DOOR (see John 14: 6) unto Heaven; but one must walk through the Door (see Romans 10: 9-13, linked above). And I pray that any reading here today are on that train … destination Heaven.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … thank You for opening Your door for me; and I pray all who read here 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Friday, January 30, 2015

January 30, 2015 … Sledding & Praying

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 30

January 30, 2015 … Sledding & Praying 

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video one of my favorite songs sung by my good friend, Clay Crosse… When I Lift My Hands, … proclaiming the reality of reaching for heaven when we lift our hands and hearts to our Lord in prayer … 


Highlight Passage Mark 14: 32 [NKJV] … 
  32 Then they came to a place which was named Gethsemane; and He said to His disciples, “Sit here while I pray.” … 
 … Jesus, the night of His betrayal, took His disciples across the valley from the upper room to the Garden; and knowing what was about to transpire, the Lord went into prayer 
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Highlight Context - Mark 14: 32-42 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK … 
… Jesus, when He was concerned, retreated to the depth of His relationship with His Father in Heaven, which was always marked by prayer. 
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Reference Passage #1: Luke 6: 12 [NKJV] … 
12 Now it came to pass in those days that He went out to the mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God. 
… Sometimes Jesus’ prayers took all night. 

Reference Passage #2: John 12: 27-28 [NKJV] … 
27 “Now My soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save Me from this hour’? But for this purpose I came to this hour. 28 Father, glorify Your name.” … 
 … Sometimes Jesus’ prayers were short and to the point of His concerns 

Reference Passage #3: John, Chapter 17 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK -  … 
 … And this was Jesus’ prayer for all His disciples, including you and me. 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Davd Branon, illustrates that there is prayer … and then, there is PRAYER; and he uses sledding with his family as his word picture. Branon relates that his family, when the snow flies in Michigan where they live, he gathers up the plastic sleds and goes out with his grandkids to the hill behind their home to take 10 second sled runs in the freshly fallen snow. But then there were times when the family would travel farther north where they could sled for 10-20 minute runs down a mountain-side, which was much more serious and even risky sledding. 

So, as Branon points out, prayer can be like his sledding analogy. It take place quickly and spontaneously; or it can be undertaken with much more seriousness, time commitment, and concern. And that was certainly born out by Jesus’ prayer life in the New Testament; wasn’t it? And if you read and meditate on some of the moments of prayer undertaken by Christ, copied and linked above, we see that Jesus’ prayer life was at the essence of His connection with His Heavenly Father. 

 I’ve always said, “If it’s good enough for Jesus, … IT’S GOOD ENOUGH FOR ME!! 

 And so, today’s ODB devotional has me concerned (or maybe “convicted” is a better word) that I need focus in my prayer life to build a more intense connection between me and my LORD. I’ll leave the sledding analogy and Jesus’ prayer life to you to speak to how you pray to our Lord. But reading through Jesus praying about me in John, Chapter 17 convicts me that I need to be more intense and focused with my prayer to and through my Lord in the future. 

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Help me to come to You deeply and honestly with all of whom I am in prayer. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

January 29, 2015 … Climbing God’s Peaks

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 29

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of lovely mountain peaks as an anonymous chorus sing Isaac Watts old hymn … Oh God, Our Help In Ages Past, … proclaiming the glory of our God, Who is - and forever will be - the heights of truth as we pursue knowing our Lord and witnessing to His glory.


Highlight Passage Psalm 121: 2 [NKJV] …
  2 My help comes from the Lord, Who made heaven and earth. 
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Highlight Context - Psalm 121 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Getting to know the God sung about in this Psalm is worth climbing any peak to know … 
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Reference Passage #1: Psalm 90: 1-2 [NKJV] … 
1 Lord, You have been our dwelling place in all generations. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, Or ever You had formed the earth and the world, Even from everlasting to everlasting, You are God. 

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. …"  
 … Jesus expresses the rigor it takes to be His disciple

Reference Passage #3: Acts 1: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
 … Each life for Christ will have a different way of witnessing; but all of His disciples are called to be HIS witnesses, wherever we are called to witness for His glory.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David McCasland, illustrates the rigor of Christian discipleship by relating the story of a young, female mountain-climber, Lygon Stevens, who died at age 20 in an avalanche on Little Bear Peak in Colorado.

 All who knew Lygon Stevens marveled at the depth of her Christian witness, … who, in her young life, had climbed some of the most rugged mountains in the world [see attached photo of Lygon climbing Mt. McKinley], … each climb, she often declared, was her attempt to get to know God more deeply. And a Christian mountain-climbing organization now honors her life and witness with an annual mountain climb in Colorado (you can read about the organization at this link - http://climbingforchrist.org ].

 When Jesus told His followers what it took to be a true disciple of His (see Luke 9: 23), Lygon Stevens took that charge to discipleship seriously, was led to climb mountains as her witness for God’s glory (see Acts 1: 8). None reading here - certainly not me! - may have such a calling to get to know God and be His witness by climbing mountains. However, all who know Christ as Lord and Savior will be called - in some way - to deny our selves, to take up their crosses daily, and to follow Him by being His witness somewhere, … somehow, … in this life. Lygon Stevens gave witness to her Lord by climbing mountains and telling of His glory, … somewhat as the Psalmists did in the songs referenced above (see Psalm 121 and 90).

 I come here daily to climb the peaks of God’s truth in His word and then witness to the God I get to know by journaling in this place. What mountain will you climb today or tomorrow to get to know God and tell of His glory?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Thank you for displaying Your glory through your word. It’s a lot easier than climbing mountains. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

January 28, 2015 … Distractions from Worship

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 28

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group 4Him singing… The Basics of Life, … reminding us of how we, in this world, have drifted so far from the truth and what’s really important in life … Then USING THIS LINK any reader can hear the lovely song, Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus, sung by Michael W Smith, leading in worship with the admonition to keep our focus on the Lord to minimize the distractions of this world.


Highlight Passage Luke 10: 41-42 [NKJV] …
  41 And Jesus answered and said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 But one thing is needed, and Mary has chosen that good part, which will not be taken away from her.” 
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Highlight Context - Luke 10: 38-42 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus’ friend, Martha, was easily distracted by good intentions, but misguided attention … 
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Reference Passage #1: Isaiah 26: 3 [NKJV] … 
3 You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.

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 Passage #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. 
… Our life is our worship; … hence it should be undistracted by the world …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, makes reference to a common, modern-day reality which illustrates how easy it is now-days to get distracted in this world of information overload, texting-while-driving, and smart phones [see attached photo]. 

And then Crowder takes his readers (me) back to the time when Jesus was visiting friends Lazarus and his two sisters Martha and Mary; and how (in the Luke 10 passage) Martha gets distracted by her well-intentioned, but selfish, desire to serve her guest, Jesus; … but as Jesus points out to Martha, Mary kept her focus of attention on her Lord with her undistracted worship. And when I took in Crowder’s highlight scriptures from that story, I immediately thought of how easy, especially in today’s world, and as Michael W Smith sings in the linked song, it is to take our eyes off of Jesus. The Apostle Paul exhorted believers, in Romans 12: 1-2, to make our life focus the surrender of our worship … to become “living sacrifices,” not letting the world take our mind/hearts away from our primary focus on our Lord.

 So, as we meditate here today, especially taking in the truth from the Scriptures above, we must ask ourselves whether, as the other song above states, … do we need to get back and focus our worship and living on “THE BASICS” of life? Do we need to turn our eyes more readily back and focus on Jesus, not allowing the world to distract our living worship? Personally, I need to redirect my focus, as did Mary, and avoid letting good intentions, but distractions, as did Martha, to get in the way of my sight set on Jesus.

 But that’s why I’m here today; and it’s why I’ll be here tomorrow.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Help me to stay focused with my life on Your will, Your ways, and Your word. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

January 27, 2015 … The Creative Hand of God

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 27

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of a description, by Cosmos News of the pulsar nebulae which has created the image captured by NASA which they have titled … The Hand of God, … which certainly causes those of Christian faith to be uplifted by fascinating image reminding believers of the God’s creative presence in the Cosmos … Then USING THIS LINK  any reader can hear the lovely song, Creation Calls, sung by Brian Doerksen, which reminds Christians how God’s creation calls us to believe and see how great is majesty of our God 


Highlight Passage Psalm 63: 8 [NKJV] …
  8  My soul follows close behind You; … Your right hand upholds me. 
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Highlight Context - Psalm 63: 1-8 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… King David declares his praise of God glory and strength to hold him up in trials … 
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Reference Passage #1: Psalm 19: 1 [NKJV] … 
1 The heavens declare the glory of God; … And the firmament shows His handiwork. 

Reference Passage #2: Isaiah 41: 10 [NKJV] … 
20 Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.’ 

Reference Passage #3: Romans 1: 18-20 [NKJV] … 
18 For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. 20 For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, … 
… God, through Paul, says no excuses for those who claim there is no God … His glory is declared in His creation …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, uses a wondrous discovery by NASA, a photo of a spinning nebulae in the heavens, which has created an image which NASA has dubbed, fittingly, “The Hand of God.” It is a series of photos from a special Xray telescope which has the appearance of a vast hand encompassing a face crowned gloriously by what appears to be a crown of thorns.

 What is it? Why is it? … Who knows!! But “The Hand of God” image, I believe, is confirmation for Christian believers of the vast creative nature of God and the glory He can display anytime and in any way He sees fit. And as I took in the NASA images (see attached photo), as well as the linked song by Brian Doerksen, God’s glory and majesty was reinforced for me; and I remembered many times where God has given me glimpses of His glory from His creation to lift me up or surround me with His love.

 And so, during my meditation today, spurred by the Our Daily Bread entry this morning, a memory verse from God’s word bubbled up into my consciousness, … Isaiah 41: 10, copied above. And I pray today that all who read here are uplifted by God’s display of His glory in His creation; and we’re all spurred to believe more strongly than ever in the reality of our Lord's glory.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … You lift me up with Your mighty right hand.. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Monday, January 26, 2015

January 26, 2015 … Building The Temple Walls

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 26

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Steven Curtis Chapman singing one of my favorite songs… His Strength Is Perfect, … which is a declaration of the truth that God’s strength is perfect cover our weaknesses, whatever they are.


Highlight Passage Nehemiah 6: 9b [NKJV] …
  9 For they all were trying to make us afraid, saying, “Their hands will be weakened in the work, and it will not be done.” … Now therefore, O God, strengthen my hands. … 
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Highlight Context - Nehemiah 6: 1-9, 15 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Nehemiah’s task was great; his opposition was strong; but His God was stronger … 
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Reference Passage #1: Deuteronomy 31: 6 [NKJV] … 
6 “… Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 
… God to His people about to enter the Promised Land …

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: 2nd Corinthians 12: 7-10 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… God’s strength is ALWAYS sufficient to cover our weakness …

Reference Passage #4: Philippians 4: 13 [NKJV] … 
13 I can do all things through Christ Who gives me the strength.
 … Paul knew from whence his strength came. …

Reference Passage #5: 1st John 4: 4 [NKJV] … 
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. … 

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by C.P. Hia, took his readers [me] to one of my favorite true stories in the Old Testament, … that of Nehemiah being charged by God to rebuild the walls of God’s Temple in Jerusalem prior to God’s remnant of followers being led back to the faith from exile. It is a great story, illustrating the power of surrendered leadership, yielding to use God’s power, to cover our human weaknesses.

 I think any reader here would agree that there are times when know we must forge ahead toward Christlikeness; but we fee inept or too weak to move onward to carry out God’s will - even if we know what that will is. For Nehemiah, … God’s will was clear; but the opposition, as one reads about in Nehemiah, Chapter 6, was daunting. But Nehemiah trusted in God’s strength to cover His weakness, … just as Steven Curtis Chapman sings about in the song linked above.

 Perhaps, as you’re reading here today, you’ve got some challenge in life, especially in light of your own, recognized, weaknesses, which is holding you back. Meditate on the truths from God’s word above and realize that, … just as with Nehemiah, Solomon, or the Apostle Paul were challenged (see the scriptures above], … God’s strength is ALWAYS sufficient to cover our weakness; and as God’s word declares in 1st John 4: 4, … Greater is HE that is in me [or us] than he that is in the world!

Yes, we CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST Who gives us His strength!!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I yield to Your strength to cover my weakness. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Sunday, January 25, 2015

January 25, 2015 … Searching In Solitude

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 25

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of an anonymous chorus singing the old hymn… Near To The Heart of God, … a prayer in song for disciples to pursue the most intimate of relationships with God.


Highlight Passage:  Mark 6: 31a [NKJV] …
  31 And He said to them, “Come aside by yourselves to a deserted place and rest a while.” …
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Highlight Context - Mark 6: 30-32 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus and His concern for the well-being of His Disciples [i.e., you and me too!]… 
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Reference Passage #1: Deuteronomy 31: 6 [NKJV] … 
6 “… Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 
… God to His people about to enter the Promised Land …

Reference Passage #2: Psalm 4: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; … For You alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.

Reference Passage #3: Isaiah 26: 3 [NKJV] … 
3 You (Lord) will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.
… The Prophet declares from Whom our peace comes - from trusting in God …

Reference Passage #4: Matthew 11: 28-30 [NKJV] … 
28 “… Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” … 
 … Again, Jesus, becomes the answer to our plea for help or rest. …

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

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David Roper, reminded his Christian readers (me) of a discipline of the faith which promotes our pursuit of Christlikeness … but it’s a discipline which is difficult to utilize in this fast-paced world; and that is SOLITUDE (see attached photo and the song linked above).

 In our modern world of informational over-load and selfish pursuits, one has to work, does he/she not, to find a place/time on a daily basis where we can get alone in a quiet place with no cell phones, no demanding noises, … just a place to be alone with God, … a place where we can take time to let our Lord permeate our minds/hearts.

 If you go through the truth of the Scriptures, linked/copied above, … several of them repeated from my blog yesterday, … one has to see that our Lord desires that we get in a quiet place so that we can bring our cares to Him without being bombarded by the noise or information from the world.

 Fellow Christian, do you have such a quiet place and a special time - ON A DAILY BASIS - to be alone with God, putting thoughts about Him and taking your cares to Him? That’s where I am right now as I write this.

 It’s MY QUIET TIME … where I come EVERY DAY [!!!] to be alone with MY GOD.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I pray that any reading with me here today will start their day with You and seek the healing of solitude. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Saturday, January 24, 2015

January 24, 2015 … Crying Out For Help

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 24 

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link … Please take the time to take in a video of Han Zeck singing the poignant songHear My Cry, Oh Lord, … a prayer in song for God’s mercy


Highlight Passage:  Isaiah 30: 19 [NKJV] …
  19 For the people shall dwell in Zion at Jerusalem; … You shall weep no more. He will be very gracious to you at the sound of your cry; … When He hears it, He will answer you. 
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Highlight Context - Isaiah 30: 15-22 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… GOD, through Isaiah, proclaims His mercy to those who wait on Him …
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Reference Passage #1: Deuteronomy 31: 6 [NKJV] … 
6 “… Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” 
… God to His people about to enter the Promised Land …

Reference Passage #2: Isaiah 26: 3 [NKJV] … 
3 You (Lord) will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trust in You. 
… The Prophet declares from Whom our peace comes - from trusting in God …

Reference Passage #3: Lamentations 3: 22-23 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… God’s promise of the never failing, DAILY, nature of His mercy to those who call on Him

Reference Passage #4: Matthew 11: 28-30 [NKJV] … 
28 “… Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
 … Jesus, becomes the answer to our plea for help or rest. …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Joe Stowell, uses a cute personal story to illustrate his ODB truth for today. He writes …
  When my grandchildren were young, my son took them to see the stage production of The Lion King. … As the young lion, Simba, stood over his father, King Mufasa, who had been killed by his evil uncle, little Simba, afraid and alone, cried out, “Help, Help, Help!” … At that moment, my 3-year-old grandson stood on his chair in the hushed theater and shouted, “Why doesn’t somebody help him?!” 

If you’ve see the Disney classic, The Lion King, that scene where young Simba discovers his father, King Mufasa, is dead is one of the saddest in Disney lore. And one is wrenched in empathy for young Simba (see attached photo). When we experience a deep loss, perhaps the unexpected death of a loved one, we want to cry out for help, don’t we? And that is what God desires from His children, reaffirmed over and over in Scripture.

 And I hope all who read here have taken in all the references from God’s word above about how we can come to our Lord, even in the deepest chasm of loss in our lives, and cry out to Him for his love and mercy and grace. Like young Simba, I’ve been there; and my God was (and always will be) there for me.

 Go back and meditate on the truth of Deuteronomy 31: 6; and then if any reading here need God’s mercy or grace, cry out for them to our Lord.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … You have been, are, and every will be with me when I cry out for 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Friday, January 23, 2015

January 23, 2015 … The Race of Life

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 23

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of my friend Clay Crosse and two of his friends, Bob Carlisle and Bebe Winans singing the poignant song … I Will Follow Christ, … rI will run the race to the end - FOLLOWING MY LORD, CHRIST!!


Highlight Passage Philippians 3: 13-14 [NKJV] …
  13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, 14 I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. 
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Highlight Context - Philippians 3:12-21 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Exhortation from Paul to pursue the goal of heaven, won for us by Christ, running the race of life to the end … for God's glory!!
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Reference Passage #1: 1st Corinthians 9: 24-27 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK
… Paul uses the word picture of running a race to win the prize as a metaphor for life …

Reference Passage #2: 2nd Timothy 4: 7-8 [NKJV] … 
7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. 8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing. 
… Paul, at the end of his life, realized and proclaimed how he had run the race …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Randy Kilgore, reminded the ODB readers (me) of a word picture the Apostle Paul often used about our running the race of life [see the 1st Cor. 9, Phil. 3, and 2nd Tim. passages above]. Paul’s analogy was of a runner training for and then running a race … to win; … and Kilgore in today’s ODB depicts our life as such a race.

 I’ll let you use the link below [see "Blogger Note" below] to the ODB devotional, … to read what Kilgore wrote and then take in the song to which I’ve linked readers above today to realize that we must run the race of life with our eyes fixed on the end goal, as Paul wrote about in Philippians 3: 13-14, … that goal being heaven. So, as Paul also exhorted, we must ask ourselves, … are we running the race for Christ to win and to honor our Lord in the process?

 Oh, Lord, how I pray that I’m running the race with my eyes fixed on the goal of winning for Jesus!!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I prepare and run this race with you and for You everyday. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Thursday, January 22, 2015

January 22, 2015 … Hearts Exploding Love

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 22

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Jackie DeShannon singing the 1960s classic … What The World Needs Now Is Love, … reminding us all of what Jesus said to His disciples.


Highlight Passage John 13: 34-35 [NKJV] …
  34 “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another.” 
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Highlight Context - John 13: 31-35 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The “New Commandment” from the Son of God …
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Reference Passage #1: John 3: 16 [NKJV] … 
… You know this one, I’m sure … Jesus’ description of the extent of God’s love

Reference Passage #2: Acts 1: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 “… But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
 … Jesus, as He ascended into heaven, with His command for disciples to take His love through witness to the world …

Reference Passage #3: 1st John 2: 3-6 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …  
… John teaches how the one who walks as Jesus walked, in love, is a true disciple of Christ. …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Jennifer Schuldt, illustrated the point of her teaching today with a story from Katie Davis’ book, Kisses from Katie, where during a stint as a missionary in Uganda, Ms Davis adopted a young Ugandan girl. And one day the little adopted African girl asked Davis, “Mommy, if I let Jesus come into my heart, will my heart explode?” Well, Katie’s first thought was to say “NO;” but she rethought; and then used the answer to teach her new daughter how, when we surrender to Christ, our hearts are changed and they do, in a sense, explode with the love of God.

 I remember the late Pastor Adrian Rogers from here in Memphis, TN, once teaching that when we allow our hearts to be filled by the love of God, … and when we’re given the opportunity, …our hearts will overflow with love into the lives of others. And isn’t that so needed in our love-starved world today, as the song linked from the old 1960s classic above, What the World Needs Now Is Love?

So, ... as you read what I’m writing today, and especially from God’s Scriptures referenced above, perhaps you are challenged or convicted, as am I, to desire to let our hearts explode with God’s love, letting others feel, from our witness, the love God has poured into our hearts.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … let Your love bubble forth from my heart, expressing all that love You have give to me, so that others may feel it from me. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

January 21, 2015 … Remembering God’s Providence

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 21

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Krystyn Getty singing … By Faith, … with a remembrance of how we Christians walk by faith and not by sight, always remembering, by our faith, what God’s providence has brought about in our lives.


Highlight Passage Deuteronomy 8: 18 [NKJV] …
  18 “And you shall remember the Lord your God, for it is He who gives you power to get wealth, that He may establish His covenant which He swore to your fathers, as it is this day. ... "
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Highlight Context - Deuteronomy 8: 11-20 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Remembering God and His providence is hardest when all is going well in our lives … 
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Reference Passage #1: Ecclesiastes 12: 1 [NKJV] … 
29 Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, … before the difficult days come, ... 
Solomon warned of forgetting God’s handiwork during the good times in life … especially when one is young and care free …

Reference Passage #2: 1st Corinthians 11: 23-32 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …  
 … Paul warns believers how we must remember our Lord, especially by taking the ordinance of Communion …

Reference Passage #3: Hebrews, Chapter 11 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …  
… God’s word reminds us of the faith it takes to remember that we are the children of God’s promises. …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Lawrence Darmani, reminded his readers (me) of a natural tendency which all mankind has - to forget our God when things are going well in our lives. And he used the references to God in the national anthems of countries like Ghana, which declares, “God bless our homeland,” recognizing God’s providence and protection in their nation.

 Darmani, in today’s ODB, points out that it’s our NATURAL tendency to forget God’s providence when things are going well in our lives. That was certainly the tendency of God’s chosen people in the Old Testament, wasn’t it? Oh how often Moses and Solomon and other leaders had to remind the people [see today’s highlight/reference OT passages] to remember God’s covenant grace and mercy and deliverance, even when God’s children had been disobedient.

 The Apostle Paul to the church in Corinth [see the link to 1st Corinthian, Chapter 11] had to remind Christians of the remembrance of our Lord through the institution and observance of the Eucharist, where we, who’ve been saved by our God, remember our Lord with the reverence He deserves. … But the reality is such that we tend to forget God’s grace and mercy when things are rolling well in our lives. Hence the remembrance by the Author of the book of Hebrews (see Chapter 11 linked above) that we must remember our God in faith by the way others of faith have lived their lives; … and how we must live ours.

 I hope today that we stop, maybe even to have a Communion moment of remembrance, and we honor what our Lord and Savior did to save us, … remembering that His body was broken for us on that Cross and His blood was shed that we have eternal life … WITH HIM.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I remember!! … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

January 20, 2015 … Hearing God in the Quiet

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 20

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of a lovely anonymous voice singing … Sill Small Voice, … with a plea to listen and know more of our God when He “speaks” to us in those quiet times in our lives


Highlight Passage 1st Kings 19: 12 [NKJV] …
  11 Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice. 
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Highlight Context - 1st Kings 19: 1-12 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… Dejected to hear God, Elijah finally heard the Lord in a “still small voice” …
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Reference Passage #1: Deuteronomy 4: 29-31 [NKJV] … 
29 But from there you will seek the Lord your God, and you will find Him if you seek Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 30 When you are in distress, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, when you turn to the Lord your God and obey His voice 31 (for the Lord your God is a merciful God), He will not forsake you nor destroy you, nor forget the covenant of your fathers which He swore to them. 

Reference Passage #2: John 6: 60-68 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK …  
… In spite of seeing Jesus perform many wondrous miracles, many of Jesus’ followers had trouble hearing/understanding His words … and Jesus knew whom were His true followers by the ones who heard and believed …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Julie Ackerman Link, takes her readers (me) today to the story of Elijah, using the link above in 1st Kings, Chapter 19, to read/meditate on the story of Elijah after he had escaped Jezebel and was so despondent and needed to hear and sense the presence of God. And Elijah had been so used to seeing God work in LOUD and miraculous ways; and so, when God came to him in “a still small voice,” it was harder for Elijah to sense God’s presence.

 And that was the case when Jesus walked the earth in his last years of ministry, in those times before our Lord went to the cross. He claimed to be the very Son of God; and He demonstrated His divinity to the people and His inner twelve Disciples, over and over again, often in loud and showy ways with unspeakably wondrous miracles. But when the people, especially the Jewish religious leaders, heard Him speak in parables and quiet declarations of truth, only a small number could or would believe and continue to follow Him as He marched to the cross to save the faithful.

 We live in an age of proliferating messages and information, … most of it loud and distracting. That’s why it’s so important, as I am here this morning writing this, to get away from the hustle and bustle of the world and listen, in solitude, for the quiet and true voice of God - mainly through His word. And hearing God’s “still small voice,” we can sense His presence and glean the power of His truth to guide our lives.

That’s my prayer today … that we all quietly listen for God’s “still small voice” of truth.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … In the quiet here this morning, I hear You from Your word; and I will keep listening every day. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Monday, January 19, 2015

January 19, 2015 … What will I do now?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 19

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a shortened video of Martin Luther King declaring … ”I have a dream … “, … on a day that caused many to say, “What will I do now?” … And THEN ON TO THIS LINK where three friends make their choice about Jesus and they sing, I Will Follow Christ … Now we must choose. Do we believe and follow this man, Jesus! 


Highlight Passage John 7: 46 [NKJV] …
  46 The officers answered, “No man ever spoke like this Man!” 
… The people who heard/saw Jesus were forced to ask, “Now what do we do?”
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Highlight Context - John 7: 26-46 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus was in the Temple declaring His radical message of salvation …
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Reference Passage #1: 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. ... "

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C MacCasland, uses an illustration from today’s celebration of Martin Luther King day to illustrate just how one must encounter the reality of Jesus in life.

Today we celebrate the life, death, and message of a man who changed the course of history in America, … Martin Luther King. And many who read with me here today likely remember, as I do, that day in Washington, DC, when Dr. King spoke during the march on the Capital in 1963. I was watching Dr. King on a TV screen, much like the one in the short video link above, as he declared to millions watching that day, saying … “I have a dream!!!” And when many heard him that day, they, like me, had to be thinking silently, “What am I going to do now?” 

And in a like manner when Jesus walked the earth, during His last days, and when He spoke to the people; … and when He was confronted by the religious authorities of His day, all who heard Jesus were confronted with the reality of Whom they were hearing. The Pharisees and religious leaders thought Jesus to be a rabble rouser. Many in the crowds thought this man to be THE CHRIST. But all were likely confronted with the feeling, as we were when we heard Martin Luther King in the early 60s, … “What are we going to do now?”

 Today, on this national holiday, as we in the US are commemorating Dr. King’s life, we all should be remembering the One Dr. King followed, … the man, Jesus as He confronted His world just before He went to the cross. Today, this very day, … we are all confronted with the question, “What am I going to do with THIS MAN Who claimed to be our Messiah?”

 Personally, I’ve declared Jesus’ claims to be truth. I say He is my King! He is my Lord? I will follow Him forever as my friend Clay Crosse and his friends sing in the song linked above.

 What about you?

 When we remember what Dr. Martin Luther King challenged us to do in the 60s, what will we do? But more importantly, when Jesus speaks into the hearts of mankind from God’s word, calling us as He did to those who were following Him in those days [see Luke 9: 23 linked above], what will we do? …

 Well, … as for me … I will follow Christ?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Lead me; … I will follow 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

January 18, 2015 … Open My Eyes, Lord

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 18

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Michael W Smith leading an audience in worship, singing … Open The Eyes of Heart, Lord, … reminding all Christians the need to know the One Who created the wonder of who we are and can become in His Name.

Lateral View of the Human Eye

Highlight Passage Psalm 139: 14 [NKJV] …
  14 I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. 
… David’s desire to know the One Who created the wonder who was himself.
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Highlight Context - Psalm 139: 7-16 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… David declares in song the wonder of how we were made by God
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My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, quotes from a scientific website about the wondrous reality of the human eye, … quoting, … “If you were standing atop a mountain surveying a larger-than-usual patch of the planet, you could perceive bright lights hundreds of miles distant. On a dark night, you could even see a candle flame flickering up to 30 miles (48 km) away.” 

And yet, those of us with good vision, … even corrected vision, … do so take God’s created human eye for granted, don’t we?

 Well, King David didn’t take his created self for granted as he wrote the great Psalm, which we number as Psalm 139, where, in verse 14, he wrote, with a grateful heart, I will praise You (LORD) for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; … marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well.” David wanted to recognize the greatness and the wonder of the One Who had created all that he was; and he wrote about that pursuit in the highlight Psalm today (see the link above).

 And from today’s ODB devotional, authored by Bill Crowder, I realized that I must not take even the creation of my sight … my eyes … for granted; and so, this morning, I praise my God for giving me sight that allows me to read, study, and meditate on the glorious creation of His word, … which helps me to know my Lord more intimately, … which helps me to love Him more abidingly, … which helps me to serve Him more diligently.

 So, with the vision my God has given me, I seek this morning to know my Lord more today than yesterday; … and I will do so even more tomorrow when you come back here to read what He has written for me to study … so that I might know my Creator God more intimately than every before.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I’m so thankful for the sight which allows me to pursue knowing You more intimately 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

January 17, 2015 … Surrendered and Saved

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 17

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Hillsong leading in worship, singing … I Surrender, … reminding all Christians of the saving and sanctifying grace which comes when we surrender completely to God’s will and His way; … and THEN TO THIS LINK  to hear CeCe Winans singing the classic old hymn, I Surrender All


Highlight Passage John 4: 28-29 [NKJV] …
  28 The woman then left her water-pots, went her way into the city, and said to the men, 29 “Come, see a Man who told me all things that I ever did. Could this be the Christ?” 
… The Samaritan woman was willing to leave here water pots behind because she had surrendered to Christ and had found His living water.
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Highlight Context - John 4: 9-14, 27-29 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God reminds us of His everlasting and reviving truth - HIS WORD - which brings life to all who use it for God’s purposes
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Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 4: 18-22 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK -
… The fishermen, when called by Jesus, surrendered their way of life to come and follow Him.

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 18: 18-23 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK -
… The Rich Young Ruler was unable to surrender to Christ and went away doomed by his own selfishness.

Reference Passage #3 - Acts 1: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.”
… It was not until Christ rose into heaven that the Disciples discovered the power which was to come upon believers through their surrender to God’s Spirit

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Cindy Hess Kasper, takes her readers [me] to the story in John, Chapter 4 of Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman at the well; and we read of how this woman, saved by her surrender to the Stranger whom she believed to be the Messiah brought her salvation when she was willing to lay aside here water pots and receive Christ’s living waters.

 In much the same way, earlier in time (see Matthew 4: 18-23, linked above), Christ had called out four of His 12 disciples by the sea, the fishermen; and they were willing to surrender all - even their livelihood as fishermen - to follow Jesus. But it was not until over three years later, when Jesus ascended into Heaven after the resurrection, that they were able to see the power which would come to them via God’s Spirit through their surrender to follow Christ [see Acts 1: 8].

 And in contrast there is the tragic story (linked above in Luke 18: 18-23) of the so-called “Rich Young Ruler,” who came to Jesus, asking The Lord how he could be saved. And Jesus, recognizing the one part of this young man’s life which impeded his salvation, told him that he must surrender ALL his wealth and follow Jesus; but the young man was unwilling to do so and parted in tragic lostness.

 All of this begs the question, have we been willing, in our hearts, to surrender our all to our Lord, as the group Hillsong or CeCe Winans sing above in the linked songs? Because if we are, and we’re willing to follow Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we will be witnesses to Him now and for eternity. Our surrender is our power from God’s Spirit; so I pray we all are surrendered and following our Lord today.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Friday, January 16, 2015

January 16, 2015 … God’s Word Brings Life

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 16

Devotional Video: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of a lyrical presentation of God’s word from a conference called, “Scripture Jam,” entitled … The Word, … reminding all Christians of the power of God’s word to enlighten, enrich, enable, and empower our lives


Highlight Passage Isaiah 55: 11 [NKJV] …
  11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth. It shall not return to Me void, … but it shall accomplish what I please, … and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it. 
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Highlight Context - Isaiah 55: 8-11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
...  God reminds us of His everlasting and reviving truth - HIS WORD - which brings life to all who use it for God’s purposes
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Reference Passage #1 - Joshua 1: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. … 
 … God wanting us to thrive just as The Lord did for Joshua in leading God’s people into the Promised Land

Reference Passage #2 - Psalm 1 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK -  …
 … Those who dwell in God’s word will thrive as a tree planted near living waters …

Reference Passage #3 - Psalm 119: 11, 18, 25, 40, 88, 105, 144 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK  
… The Psalmist revived and living by the Word of God
   
Reference Passage #4 - 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17 [NKJV] … 
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work. … 
 … God’s truth - through Paul - of the permanence and power of God’s word

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, uses a lovely word picture to illustrate the life-giving power of God’s word to bring life out of death. If you’ve ever been in the desert after a rain shower, you may have seen what is illustrated in the attached photo, … how lovely flowers spring up out of the barren desert lands.

And ODB author today, Dennis Fisher, points out that God’s word, when it is applied to our lives, … and even lives which are barren and lifeless, … will never, as God says through the Prophet in Isaiah 55: 11, be void. In fact, as God, through Paul, also wrote to Timothy [and to us in 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17], Scripture is like the rain in the desert, producing life when things seem dead or barren in our lives.

 Today, I was led to go back and read and meditate on Psalm 119 (see the passages linked above), where the Psalmist shows his love affair with the word of God. And I believe, when any of us have that kind of love for God’s truth, getting it deeply into our hearts, as God spoke to Joshua in Joshua 1: 8 or through David in Psalm 1, we will come alive just as the blossoms do in the desert when they are fed by the rain.

 I pray that we’re all deeply into God’s word every day and being revived and fed by God’s living waters.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Your word is the source of life in my spirit; and it revives me daily. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

January 15, 2015 … God’s Kindness Gone Viral !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 15

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the lyrics of the poignant contemporary song, sung by Chris Tomlin, Kindness, … as we meditate on the love of God toward those who come to Him in faith. … He is SO KIND!!


Highlight Passage #1 Mark 10: 13-14 [NKJV] …
  13 Then they brought little children to Him, that He might touch them; but the disciples rebuked those who brought them. 14 But when Jesus saw it, He was greatly displeased and said to them, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.”
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Highlight Context - Mark 10: 13-16 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  Jesus on showing kindness to the little ones. [Story also found in Matthew 19: 13-15]
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Reference Passage #1 - Luke 17: 11-19 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK   … Jesus heals the lepers.

Reference Passage #2 - John 4: 1-42 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK   … Jesus’ showing kindness to the Samaritan woman at the well.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Mart De Haan, related the story of a photo which went viral on Facebook (see attached photo) in November of 2013. You can read about this story BY GOING TO THIS LINK .

 The story and photo, linked and copied above, was a simple act of human kindness, … where a subway rider allowed a man whom he didn’t know to rest on his shoulder for close to an hour as the two rode in the subway seated together. And the story was apparently so novel that people wanted to spread the story of this act of kindness to all of their friends when they saw the photo on the Internet. Isn’t it too bad that such acts of kindness are so radically novel in our culture?

 Jesus, when He ministered and shared His life with others during his three years of ministry often demonstrated His love to others - even those who were considered sinners or outcasts; and just a few of those instances of His radical love and kindness are linked and copied above for our mutual review.

 Today as we walk about in our little worlds, where can we … or where will we … show the love and kindness of our Savior?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Help me to let others see You with some act of kindness I can offer to another. … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

January 14, 2015 … God - ALWAYS faithful !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 14

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the lyrics of the poignant, old hymn, sung by Christopher Rice, Great Is Thy Faithfulness, … we meditate on the great truth of Lamentations 3: 22-23, … that we know of God as compassionate and merciful - EVERY DAY!!!

Blogger Note: Yesterday I made a “mistake” in posting the Our Daily Bread devotional for 1/14 on 1/13; but I did so, even realizing my “mistake” before the posting. BUT … God doesn’t make mistakes; so today’s posting - from the 1/13 ODB entry - was apparently needed for me or someone else in this order. … God, for sure, knows!


Highlight Passage #1 Psalm 77: 1-2, 13-14 [NKJV] … USE THIS LINK -  Asaph crying out to God in dismay or despair, [see verses 1-2] … yet in verses 13-14, he expresses His faith in our GREAT GOD!!
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Highlight Context - Psalm 77 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  Asaph, the worship leader for King David, wrote this great song when he was in the midst of a faith challenging set of circumstances
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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. 
... Here the weeping Prophet, Jeremiah, expresses his great hope and faith in the God of all mercy and compassion.

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. 
... Paul showing unwavering faith in God’s sanctifying grace.

Reference Passage #3 - Hebrews 13: 8 [NKJV]
  8 Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. 
... TRUTH - Our God never changes!!

My Journal for Today: Today’s [or actually tomorrow’s - see my note below] Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, took his ODB readers (me) back to a song written by King David’s worship leader, Asaph, … apparently at a time of much personal distress. And at the outset of Psalm 77, one can read how broken the song-writer was. And, as he sang of his dismay, one feels the distress of this man (see verses 1-9 of Psalm 77); but then in the remainder of the song, Asaph somehow remembers how God had delivered the sons of Jacob and Joseph - Asaph’s ancestors - and how the Lord had led them out of bondage through Moses and Aaron; and Asaph praises His ever faithful God.

 As any reader here takes in my musings, the song sung by Chris Rice (linked above), and God’s word in the Scriptures linked/copied above, the question comes up:
 … Do we really believe that our God is truly merciful EVERY DAY?!! 
 … Do we REALLY believe in the truths of Romans 8: 28 and Hebrews 13: 8?!

Because if we do, like Asaph, even when we’re down and out because of the circumstances of life, we’ll be thankful that our ever faithful, unchanging, God is leading us, as David wrote in Psalm 23, through the valley of the shadow of death into life everlasting with our Lord (see John 3: 16).

 And that’s the hope which I hold onto today.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … You are the same today as yesterday … and forever!!! Great is Your faithfulness!!! … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

January 13, 2015 … Is it worth it?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 13

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the lyrics of the poignant, personall song written and sung by Laura Story, Blessings, … where where Story reminds us that God’s blessings often comes in the difficult challenges we face in life; … and THEN ON TO THIS LINK to hear Steven Curtis Chapman singing, His Strength Is Perfect to remind us all of Christ’s message that His grace is sufficient to help us handle any trouble in life.


Highlight Passage ... 2nd Corinthians 11: 30 [NKJV] …
  30 If I must boast, I will boast in the things which concern my infirmity. 
… All Paul could brag about for all that he bore to spread the Gospel message were the infirmities he encountered or incurred, which Paul actually considered blessings.
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Highlight Context - 2nd Corinthians 11: 24-33 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …      Paul’s recollection of the trials he encountered to be able to share Christ with the world
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Reference Passage #1 - 1st Corinthians 10: 13 [NKJV]
13 No temptation [or also translated “test, trial, or tribulation”] has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
...  Here Paul exhorts a truth all Christians need to internalize … that God will never place a true believer in any set of circumstances that we cannot handle with His faithful assistance.

Reference Passage #2 - 2nd Corinthians 12: 7-10 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK  … Paul, after praying for relief from “a thorn” in his life, i.e., some physical infirmity, remembered what Jesus, His Lord, had said (see verse 9), that "God’s grace is sufficient …” to cover our weaknesses and the temptations which life comes our way.

Reference Passage #3 - Galatians 5: 22-23 [NKJV]
  22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. 
... God, through Paul, lists the fruit of God’s Spirit, one of which is “longsuffering,” which is also translated as “PATIENCE.”

Reference Passage #4 - James 1: 2-4 [NKJV]
2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. 
... Patience is a fruit which is difficult to pray for because what we must go through to become more mature in this area of life may be more difficult than we’d ever want to encounter.

My Journal for Today: Today’s [or actually tomorrow’s - see my note below] Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Marion Stroud, apparently was one I needed to read/study today or one that someone else needs to read here; … because I went to it online “by mistake,” pulling up the ODB entry for 1/14 instead of that for 1/13 (today). And since I believe nothing happens by “chance,” I will post my thoughts for the 1/14 entry; and come back and cover the 1/13 ODB entry for tomorrow.

 ODB author Stroud’s topic for 1/4 had to do with PATIENCE, one of God’s fruit (see Gal. 5: 22-23 above); and one which I, personally, find very difficult to develop or mature in my life. Sometimes the silliest things can try my patience to where I lose perspective and can’t seem to see “the forest for the trees.” And it becomes a bit dicey, maybe even problematic, to pray for patience, because I know that the methods God might use to develop my patience may present even more difficult challenges or trials in life.

 Paul had to encounter trial after trial after trial in his life as he carried out the calling which God had purposed for his life (see the 2nd Corinthians 11 context link above); and the Apostle even had to deal with a very painful “thorn,” which God allowed Satan to bring to him [see the link to 2nd Cor. 12: 7-10], much like Job had encountered in his journal (see the book of Job).

 And Paul prayed and prayed to be relieved of the pain of that thorn, whatever it was. However, in the process of dealing with the pain, Paul remembered something Jesus had communicated to him … (see 2nd Corinthians 12: 9) … i.e., that God’s grace is sufficient to give any Christian strength to cover our weaknesses (hear the song sung by Steven Curtis Chapman above).

 Actually, it’s not too difficult for me personally to see why God led me to Marion Stroud’s ODB entry for tomorrow. Right now, I am encountering and dealing with more than one “thorn” in my life, Maybe it’s not nearly as difficult to deal with as Paul’s “thorn,” or maybe a “thorn” you’re dealing with. But today, I needed to be reminded, as Laura Story and Steven Chapman sing, that my God is faithful; and He’s right here with me, giving me the enabling, empowering grace to deal with my “thorns.” And in the process, I now also am reminded and know that God is helping me develop and mature the fruit of PATIENCE in my life.

 How about you; … did you need this 1/14 ODB lesson today?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Give me Your strength to be more patient and to deal with my “thorns.” … 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, distributed online via email by RBC Ministries. If you GO TO THIS LINK on the date of my blog, you can read/study the ODB blogs; or you can subscribe to the blog via email at that site.