Saturday, February 28, 2015

February 28, 2015 … Our Signs Catch Up With Us

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 59

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the contemporary Christian group, Point of Grace, singing the poignant song … Heal the Wounds; … declaring the reality that God’s mercies are there forever of the Christian to be cleansed and healed for past sins … that God will heal the wounds even though He leaves the scars to remind us of who we are in Him. 


Highlight Passage Psalm 32: 3 [NKJV] … 
3 When I kept silent, my bones grew old … through my groaning all the day long. 
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Highlight Context - Psalm 32: 1-5 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 51 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Another confessional song of repentance by King David

Reference Passage #2 - Lamentations 3: 22-23 [NKJV]
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. 23 They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness!. 
… God’s faithfulness and His mercies are forever available.

Reference Passage #3 - 1st John 1: 9 [NKJV]
9 If we confess our sins, He (The Lord) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. 
… God’s promise of cleansing from past, present, and future sin! - [emphasis added]

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, told a illustrative story for his readers today. He wrote: [A Pastor] was chatting with an older man to whom he had just been introduced. “So, you used to work for a utility company,” the pastor said, naming the organization. “Sure did,” the man responded. The pastor remarked that when he was a kid the cables from that company ran across his parents’ property. “Where did you live?” the man asked. When the pastor told him, the man said, “I remember that property. I had a tough time keeping the cable warning signs up. Kids were always shooting them down.” When the pastor’s face flushed with embarrassment, the man said, “You were one of the shooters, weren’t you?” And indeed he was. 

 The pastor in the story apparently labeled his confessional story: “Be sure your signs will find you out,” … a clever play on Moses’ words in Numbers 32: 23b 

  “Be sure your sin will find you out.”

 And perhaps readers here with me can identify with this story, … perhaps having past sins which were uncovered, … post-transgression. Or perhaps you’ve remembered sins which have been hidden and never confessed or revealed to another soul.

 King David had that problem in the Bathsheba affair, where his sins of adultery and murder were covered up by the King for over a year. But his sins caught up with him in the Prophet Nathan, who “outed” the King [see 2nd Samuel, Chapter 12], which ultimately led David to write two of the most provocative Psalms in the Bible (see Psalms 51 and 32 - written historically and chronologically in that order). The sins of David certainly found him out and were uncovered. But as we read in these two repentant songs, David came clean with God AND God’s people, expressing how burdensome his coverup had been and committing Himself to the restoration and renewal provided by God’s forgiveness (see also Lamentations 3: 22-23 and 1st John 1: 9).

 Aren’t you glad, as am I, that we have a faithful and forgiving Lord, Who is willing and able, as the group Point of Grace sings, in the linked song above, to heal our wounds … even though He so often leaves the scars to remind us whom we are … AND … Who He is?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I repeat my prayer of yesterday … that Your mercies are new every morning and Your faithfulness is forever. You are healing my wounds in spite of the scars which remain … to remind me of Your cleansing and renewal. … 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, February 27, 2015

February 27, 2015 … Walking the walk of faith!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 58

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the Maranatha Singers singing their poignant worship hymn … The Steadfast Love of the Lord; … declaring the reality that God’s mercies are new every morning. … Yes, great is the faithfulness of our Lord.


Highlight Passage Daniel 6: 10 [NKJV] … 
10 Now when Daniel knew that the writing was signed, he went home. And in his upper room, with his windows open toward Jerusalem, he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days. 
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Highlight Context - Daniel 6: 1-10 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  …
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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, follow Him and He will direct your path. 
… The prayer of Jeremiah - emphasis added!

Reference Passage #2 - Lamentations 3: 22-23 [NKJV]
22 Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed. 23 They are new every morning. Great is Your faithfulness [O Lord]
… The prayer of Jeremiah - emphasis added!

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, took his readers (me included) to the powerful true story of the consistent faith walk of the Prophet Daniel. Walking the walk of faith for over 80 years of service to God and steadfast faith in His Lord, Daniel witnessed to three regimes of rulers. And in the highlight passage from Daniel, Chapter 6 [linked above], in the later years of Daniel’s walk in Babylon, we read of Daniel being put in the lion’s den because of an unjust plot against Daniel’s faith. But as we know from this wonderful story, God protected and delivered the steadfast Daniel from the clutches of death.

 And isn’t that what the steadfast love of God has done for us in King Jesus’ deliverance from the clutches of sure death to eternal life (I’m sure many are thinking of John 3: 16 right now). But also meditate on the Old Testament passages above from Prov. 3: 5-6 and Lam. 3: 22-23, which clearly declare God’s steadfast love and mercies to those who trust in Him, mercies that never cease and are new every morning.

 Today, I’m bolstered to “walk-the-walk” of faith and live in Christ’s ever faithful love for me. … HOW ABOUT YOU?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Your mercies are new every morning and Your faithfulness is forever. I rest 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, 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, February 26, 2015

February 26, 2015 … Changing Perspective

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 57

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the Maranatha Singers singing their poignant worship hymn … Open Our Eyes, Lord; … declaring the reality that all Christians should seek a Godly perspective on the world and the way we live.


Highlight Passage Acts 17: 16 [NKJV] … 
16 Now while Paul waited for them at Athens, his spirit was provoked within him when he saw that the city was given over to idols. 
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Highlight Context - Acts 17: 16-34 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
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Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 14: 22-33 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK …  
… Jesus knew that His Disciples needed a total change in perspective to see what real faith was all about … hence, He sent them out into a storm to let them see how their Messiah could command the waves and walk on water

Reference Passage #2 - Acts 9: 1-22 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… God had to break Paul so that His future Apostle could see the real Jesus

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Randy Kilgore, took his readers (me included) to the scene in Athens (see the highlight passages linked above) where Paul noted that the Gentile intellectuals gathered on the Areopagus to see after new thoughts and ideas. I’ve been on that place in Athens where one can look up at the great Temple and look down into where the marketplace bustled with people.

 Paul had observed that these Athenians used statues (i.e., idols) to depict their seeking after the image of God. So, the new Apostle Paul, probably remembering how God had given him (Paul) a whole new perspective in life (see Acts 9: 1-22 linked above), gave these seekers a new image of God; and it was a whole new way of looking at the truth. And as we read in the Acts 17 account, a number of these men had their eyes opened to see Jesus for Whom He really was.

 Jesus, when He was leading His 12 select Disciples, in one of my favorite stories in the New Testament (see the Matthew 14: 22-33 link above), recognized that His inner twelve needed a change in perspective after they had seen Him feed the thousands on that hillside near Capernaum, So, the Lord sent them out on the sea where God’s Spirit incited a life-threatening storm; and when Jesus came out to the men in the boat, they saw Jesus as a “ghost,” but then they recognized Him for Whom He really was, … The Messiah walking on the water.

 Sometimes in our lives we need a change in perspective to really see our Lord … or to see Him more clearly, as the Maranatha singers sing in the linked song above. I pray today that any reading here join me in praying for and seeking a clear view of our Savior and Deliverer today [see attached photo].

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Help me, … no, Lord, help all of us who love You, … to see You as You really are - our Messiah - our Redeemer - OUR 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, 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, February 25, 2015

February 25, 2015 … He chose me!!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 56

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Avalon singing their poignant contemporary worship song … No Orphans; … declaring the truth of all Christians being CHOSEN by God to be adopted into the family of God.


Highlight Passage 2nd Thessalonians 2: 13-14 [NKJV] … 
13 But we are bound to give thanks to God always for you, brethren beloved by the Lord, because God from the beginning chose you for salvation through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth, 14 to which He called you by our gospel, for the obtaining of the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 
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Highlight Context - 2nd Thessalonians 2: 13-17 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  … 
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Reference Passage #1 - Isaiah 44: 1-2 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Even the Prophet Isaiah wrote of the “chosen ones” of God

Reference Passage #2 - Ephesians 1: 3-6 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Paul reinforces the truth of our being CHOSEN by God before the foundations of the world

Reference Passage #3 - 2nd Timothy 1: 8-9 [NKJV]
  8 Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, nor of me His prisoner, but share with me in the sufferings for the gospel according to the power of God, 9 who has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us in Christ Jesus before time began, … 
… Paul, again to Timothy, reiterates the truth of all Christians being chosen before time began for God’s purposes …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Joe Stowell, used a personal story to relate His devotional point that Christians are “chosen ones.” And when I read this morning’s ODB I was reminded of my own personal illustration of what it feels like to be chosen. 

When I was in elementary school, about 12 years old, we used to run, on a sunny day, onto the playground at school for recess; and the 5th-6th graders would claim the basketball court for a game during the 20 minutes we had to play. And quickly we’d gather and two sixth graders were selected by a rock-paper-scissors contest to choose sides for the game. And as sides were chosen, I was gratified to be selected early in the choosing rounds. It felt good to be chosen early, which happened because, at that time, I was one of the biggest boys in my class and played on the school basketball team. But I’ll never forget the “left-out” look on the face of the last one chosen to play each day. And it was usually one of the smallest and least athletic of the group.

 It feels great to be chosen to fit into the group, doesn’t it? And no matter when any of us come to surrender ourselves to the Savior, I hope we all realize what the Apostle Paul was trying to convey to all Christians in his letters to the Thessalonians (see the highlight passages linked above) as well as to others in his epistles (see Ephesians 1 and 2nd Tim. 1passages linked/copied above).

 As the group Avalon sings in the linked devotional song above, “There are no orphans” in the family of God. Do you get it, my dear one, whoever you are?!! Though we surrendered our hearts and lives to Christ voluntarily, receiving His deliverance as born-again Christians, HE, and HE ALONE, chose us first to be a part of the family of God. So, as the attached photo depicts, … before time began, … if you are, like me, born-again, God pointed to our eternal future and selected us to be HIS … forever!!

 Do, I sense a loud and genuine outcry[?] … of … "HALLELUJAH!!!"

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I am Yours!! … You chose me, Jesus! … And may I live as worthy of Your choice. … 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, February 24, 2015

February 24, 2015 … Man of Steel!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 55

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Jeremy Camp singing his powerful contemporary worship song … Jesus Saves; … declaring the truth of The Messiah, Who came to deliver all from the bondage of our sin … Jesus saves!!!


Highlight Passage Matthew 1: 20-21 [NKJV] … 
20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit. 21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save [or also “rescue, deliver”] His people from their sins.” 
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Highlight Context - Matthew 1: 18-25 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 2 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… King David sings of a new King of kings to come to deliver His people from their bondage of sin

Reference Passage #2 - Isaiah 61: 1-3 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… 700+ years before Christ’s birth, God, through Isaiah prophesies of His coming to deliver His people from their bondage - see Luke 4: 18-21 linked below, where Jesus declares that HE is the fulfillment of this prophesy

Reference Passage #3 - Luke 4: 18-21 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Jesus declaring that HE is the one David wrote about in Psalm 2 and Isaiah in the prophesy, linked above.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, took his readers (me) to the modern film phenomena of the Marvel Cartoon character, SUPERMAN. Beginning with the comic book series in the late 30s, and theTV Series in the 50s, which I loved as a boy, and then the many films that have been made depicting the “Man of Steel,” … all of which have been box-office bonanzas, we were given in Superman one who came to earth to deliver mankind from himself.

 Crowder, in today’s ODB, wrote the following, quoting Amy Adams, who starred in one of the most recent of those movies and was asked why she felt the movies were so successful. Adams said, … “Who doesn’t want to believe that there’s one person who could come and save us from ourselves?” 

And what Christian wouldn’t say, “AMEN!” to Ms Adams; and then we can refer to THE ONE Who has come, our God delivered “Man of Steel,” who would come to us in the form of a babe in a manger. But therein lies the reason why our “Super Man,” and LORD, Jesus, was rejected. The Jewish people, especially the religious leaders of that day were looking for a super deliverer, a powerful king, to conquer Rome and rule God’s people as their deliverer.

 King David had written a song about it (see Psalm 2). The Prophet Isaiah had prophesied about The Deliverer-Messiah, some 700+ years BC (see Isaiah 61: 1-3);… and then along comes this baby to be born of a virgin, … Mary; and the Angel, Gabriel, who declares to Joseph (see Matthew 1: 18-25) that this little baby would be called “Yeshua,” which means “God Who saves.”

 And the people, even including The Lord’s closest disciples, couldn’t grasp that this was their Messiah, Who had declared Himself to be their deliverer (see Luke 4: 18-21); and they nailed Him to a cross, which was the vehicle God used with His perfect Lamb of God to give us our deliverer, our Savior, … our “Man of Steel.” Yes, as Jeremy Camp sings (linked above), … JESUS SAVES!!!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … You have saved me from my self; and all there is in my heart to say is ”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, 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, February 23, 2015

February 23, 2015 … Unseen Warriors!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 54

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of an anonymous group leading in worship, singing the classic hymn … Onward Christian Soldiers; … declaring the reality of our every day march into battle against our unseen enemies


Highlight Passage Numbers 22: 23 [NKJV] … 
23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. 
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Highlight Context - Numbers 22: 21-31 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Ephesians 6: 12-13 [NKJV]
  12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 
 … Every day we will confront a battle field of unseen warfare. Hence we must be prepared to do battle for the Lord wearing the full armor of God. …

Reference Passage #2 - Ephesians 6: 12-13 [NKJV] ... USE THIS LINK
… Wearing the full armor of God, using the Sword of the Spirit, and taking the high ground of prayer to do battle against an unseen enemy every day.

Reference Passage #3 - 1st Peter 5: 8-9 [NKJV]
  8 Be sober, be vigilant; because[c] your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. 9 Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world. 
… And even every moment we must be vigilant, knowing our enemies stalk us and we must be prepared to stand and fight.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Jennifer Benson Schuldt, used the illustration of microbes [see attached photo] to depict that there is much of the world that we cannot see, but must confront, every day. She wrote in today’s ODB, … " Did you know that the microbes on just one of your hands outnumber all of the people on the earth? Or that millions of microbes could fit into the eye of a needle? These one-celled, living organisms are too small for us to see without a microscope, yet they live in the air, soil, water, and even in our bodies. We constantly interact with them, even though their world is completely beyond our senses." 

Then ODB author, Schuldt, turned to one of the most bizarre stories/encounters in the Bible to highlight the reality of dealing with an unseen world. And in this story, linked above, a prophet Balaam angers God and actually has a confrontation with the Angel of God; and in the process, his donkey speaks for God.

 Well, today we may not have any interactions or encounters as bizarre as did Balaam; but be assured, as declared by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians 6: 10-18 [copied/linked above], EVERY DAY we will encounter a spiritual battle field, which we cannot see, but is, nonetheless, very real; … and where Satan and his minions are out there to confront the disciples of Christ.

 And yes, of course, God is in control; but we, His very human warriors, must do all we can to be prepared to go to battle and stand, as Paul wrote, against these unseen enemies. Hence, Paul’s exhortation for his warriors (that’s us!) to be wearing the full armor of God, … to be carrying a well-sharpened and well-practiced sword of the Spirit, … and to take and hold the high ground of prayer …EVERY DAY!

 We may not be able to see our enemies today; but be assured they stalk us (see 1st Peter 5: 8-9 copied above) as a pride of lions stalks a flock of sheep. So, I pray that we are all armed and ready to do battle against our unseen enemies.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I’m here to put on Your armor, take up Your sword, Holy Spirit, and to defend today’s high ground in battle. … 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, February 22, 2015

February 22, 2015 … ??? - Go to THE Teacher

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 53

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Selah singing the old hymn… Be Thou My Vision; … declaring the truth that God’s Spirit has become our teacher and leader and vision in all things as the “High King of Heaven” leads and enlightens His faithful by His Spirit through His word.


Highlight Passage 1st Corinthians 2: 16 [NKJV] … 
16 For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” [Isaiah 40: 13] But we have the mind of Christ. 
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Highlight Context - 1st Corinthians 2: 9-16 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - 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. 
… God’s word - in the Bible - is our teacher …

Reference Passage #2 - John 16: 13 [NKJV]
  13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.
 … Jesus’ promise to His Disciples (and to you and me) that He would send the “Spirit of truth” to guide us to the mind of Christ …

Reference Passage #2 - 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 has given us HIS WORD that we may be “thoroughly equipped for every good work” …

Reference Passage #3 - James 1: 5-6 [NKJV]
  5 If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 
… If we truly desire - in faith - to seek and find the mind of God - we can!! …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Julie Ackerman Link, bolstered me with encouragement as she exhorted her readers by declaring, … When you open your Bible, ask the Author to open your mind and heart!” And I was encouraged by her highlight scripture in 1st Corinthians 2: 9-16 [linked above] because that truly is my desire and my discipline EVERY MORNING as I come here to dig into God’s truth.

I know and believe in the truth of God’s promises with regard to His Holy Word (see Isaiah 55: 11 and 2nd Timothy 3: 16-17 below). And God also promised that if/when I desire His mind - i.e., the wisdom of God - I could ask it of my Lord - in faith - and He would provided His truth to me in abundance. And that is exactly how I start each day in my quiet times with God. I beg of Him to provide me with His wisdom. I pray that He will show more of Himself to me each day - i.e., what I need to negotiate the path of life [see Prov. 3:5-6 and Ps. 119: 105] - and so that I can know my God more today than yesterday, knowing tomorrow He’ll reveal even more of Himself through His word. 

Every day when I come here, God’s Spirit is my teacher through His word (see the attached photo). And every day my God reveals more of Himself and shines a light on my path, leading me through the minefields of life.

How about you? Do you want to know God more today than yesterday? Do you desire to let God teach you? … Well, dig deeply into His word today; and with the faith HE will give you, God’s Spirit will enlighten, enrich, and enable you to travel His way … in His time. That promise is good enough for me. How about you?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I pray, as I do every day, that You will help me to know You more today through Your word and to follow You more effectively than ever before. … 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, February 21, 2015

February 21, 2015 … Into the Light of Truth

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 52

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Marty Goetz singing his interpretive psalm of Isaiah being called as a Prophet… Heneni; … declaring, as he came into the presence of God, “Here am I … send me!”


Highlight Passage Isaiah 6: 5 [NKJV] … 
5 So I said: “Woe is me, for I am undone! Because I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips; or my eyes have seen the King, … The Lord of hosts.”
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Highlight Context - Isaiah 6: 1-8 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… Isaiah - in the presence of God’s glory and light and able to see the essence of who he really was. 
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Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 31: 6-8 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Before God’s people enter the Promised Land, having been purged of their national sin, they can see who they are in God’s light and where they must go, …

Reference Passage #2 - Psalms 119: 105 [NKJV]
  105 Your word is a lamp to my feet … And a light to my path. 
… God’s word shines a light on our sin nature and leads us out of the darkness into His light …

Reference Passage #3 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV]
  28 And He [King Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me. … “ 
… In the light of Christ, we can see who we REALY are and where we must follow …

Reference Passage #4 - 1st John 1: 9 [NKJV]
  105 If we confess our sins, He (God) is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and cleanse us from ALL unrighteousness. 
… By seeing our self in the light of God’s truth, God’s Spirit - His light - will convict us of our sinfulness and allow us to be cleansed by our confession …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Lawrence Darmani, uses an interesting word picture to highlight his main devotional point … that walking closer and closer with Christ reveals our sin nature more and more.

 Here’s what Darmani writes, … [see the attached photo helping to illustrate the author’s focus] …  "It used to bother me that the closer I drew to God in my walk with Him, the more sinful I felt. Then a phenomenon I observed in my room enlightened me. A tiny gap in the curtain covering my window threw a ray of light into the room. As I looked, I saw particles of dirt drifting in the beam. Without the ray of light, the room seemed clean, but the light revealed the dirty particles. … What I observed shed light on my spiritual life. The closer I approach the Lord of light, the clearer I see myself. When the light of Christ shines in the darkness of our lives, it exposes our sin—not to discourage us, but to humble us to trust in Him. " 

Have you noticed this Spirit-enlightenment, as have I? When I was a young, immature Christian, years ago, when I was finally made aware of some sins, they seemed so trivial in my life at the time. Then you might hear me say, something like, … “Hey, eating too much - what’s the deal; at least I’m no longer looking at p0rn!” … But now, years later, and hopefully much more mature in my walk with Christ, my ill-begotten, and sinful, eating choices seem like a really BIG DEAL and an affront to my LORD as I follow Him (see Luke 9: 23). The light of Christ in my life makes my sin nature so much more aware to me.

 You know, when the glory of God finally was brought to the Prophet, Isaiah, (see the highlight passages linked above) Isaiah really saw whom he was in the presence of God. And he declared what you read copied above in Isaiah 6: 5. … “Woe is me!!!” 

I’ll not go on with more of my puny words here. But I will say, and pray, that I’m grateful for the light of God’s word, each day, lighting my path (see Psalm 119: 105, and shining a light on my sin so that I can confess and be cleansed (see 1st John 1: 9).

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … thank You for shining Your light of truth every day here … to help me be cleansed and to light my path in 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, 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, February 20, 2015

February 20, 2015 … Weighed Down *

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 51

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Sara Groves singing her poignant song… Eyes On The Prize; … declaring the task of all Christians to retain focus on our Lord and His purposes for our lives.


Highlight Passage Hebrews 12: 1-2 [NKJV] … 
1 Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
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Highlight Context - Hebrews 12: 1-6 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Note the quote in verses 5-6 of Proverbs 3: 11-12
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Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 6: 1-5 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God’s strong command to give Him our ALL…

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV]
  23 And He [King Jesus] said to them all, “If anyone would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross DAILY, and follow Me. … “ 
… Which part of deny ourselves don’t we understand? …

Reference Passage #3 - 1st Corinthians 9: 24-25 [NKJV]
24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 
… Paul’s exhortation to all Christians to run the race of life as if we’re striving to be winners!

Reference Passage #4 - 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 had his failures along the say (see Romans, Chapter 7); but in the end he realized that his disciplined pursuit of the path and purposes and the grace of King Jesus had allowed him to finish the race a winner!

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dennis Fisher, convicted me to the core of my being … physically, emotionally, and Spiritually.

Fisher, in his ODB devotional [*BTW, I stole Fisher's title today], spoke of the charge from God by the author of Hebrews to prepare for and run the race of life by taking off any burden of excess weight … so that we can be more effective as runners in God’s lifetime marathon. And this theme was also echoed by the Apostle Paul to the Corinthians in 1st Cor. 9: 23-25 and to Timothy in 2nd Tim. 4: 7 [both passages quoted above], as the Apostle used this word picture of life being like a marathon with the Christian needing to prepare for and run the race to win - for King Jesus!!

 And my conviction today from ODB is very personal and practical. Early this year, I was convicted that I had let myself take on about 10 extra pounds of “burden” in running the race of life, … especially having to deal with my “thorn” in life (see 2nd Cor. 12: 7-11), Type 2 Diabetes. So, I committed (not an oath, but a goal) to somewhat of a New Year’s Resolution … to lose 10 pounds by April first and then to keep it off for all of 2015. Well, today’s ODB whacked me up side of the head, with the realization that I was in no way living up to Jesus’ command of His disciples [see Luke 9: 23, quoted above, to deny myself, to take up my cross of gluttony DAILY, and to follow Him. … So, … I PTL for this mind-jogging reality; and I retake up the challenge of Hebrews 12: 1; and my commitment to get this weight off by using the “battle plan” which I had devised in January.

 And maybe there’s some conviction or re-direction for you as well from today’s ODB and my journal entry. I leave that between you and God’s Spirit.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … thank You for Your chastisement and conviction; help me to unburden myself of this excess weight so that I can run more effectively for You in my race of 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, 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, February 19, 2015

February 19, 2015 … His Will … Really?

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 50

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Shawn Craig explaining the inspiration behind his song … All Is Well; … and THEN ON TO THIS LINK to view another video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing the song with lyrics.


Highlight Passage Genesis 39: 2, … 21 [NKJV] … 
2 The Lord was with Joseph, and he was a successful man; and he was in the house of his master the Egyptian. … 
21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him mercy, and He gave him favor in the sight of the keeper of the prison. 
… In spite of Joseph’s circumstances, God was with him, … The Lord’s will and plan in effect … 
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Highlight Context - Genesis 39: 1-6, 2-23 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 31: 6, 8 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… For the faithful, God will never leave us unguarded; … in fact will go ahead of us …

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. 
… Maybe one of the toughest truths in all of Paul’s teaching to believe and live …

Reference Passage #2 - 1st Corinthians 10: 13 [NKJV]
  13 No temptation [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. 
… Another tough Pauline teaching to internalize and live …

  Reference Passage #2 - Philippians 4: 6-7 [NKJV]
  6 Be anxious for nothing, but IN EVERYTHING by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7 and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 
… BUT … are our prayers for God’s will or our own? …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by C. P. Hia, convicted me to realize and confess (and prayerfully repent) that all too often my prayers are prioritized to seek MY WILL rather than God’s.

How about you?

 If you desire to read/meditate on all that Brother Hia has to say, use the link below in the “Blogger Note” to go to the ODB entry for today [Insure it’s for 2/19/15]. And I’m not going to try to bore any reader here with any more of my own writings; because if you’ve taken in the attached photo, the linked song, written by Shawn Craig, and highlight Scripture passage Hia used about Joseph, as well as my own reference passages, which came from verses I’ve memorized in the past, you won’t need any more of my thoughts for your meditations today.

 I will pray for us all to seek - and find - HIS WILL, refraining from our own.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … ALWAYS!!! … May YOUR WILL be done and may we, who meditate here today, seek You first, rather than our selfish desires. … 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, February 18, 2015

February 18, 2015 … Mirror, Mirror In God’s Word

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 49

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Phillips, Craig, and Dean singing their song … He’ll Do Whatever It Takes, expressing the truth that God will, when we surrender to the truth found in His mirror of Truth, His Word, He’ll do whatever it takes to reveal where we need to change to become more like our King, Jesus.


Highlight Passage James 1: 25 [NKJV] … 
25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. 
 … James revealing tells us what we must do to become more like his brother, Jesus
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Highlight Context - James 1: 19-27 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Isaiah 55: 11 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… God, through Isaiah, describes the revealing and regenerating power of God’s word, … His revealing source of truth …

Reference Passage #2 - Philippians 1: 3-6 [NKJV]
  3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; … 
… Especially note the completed work Jesus, through His Spirit, is working to complete in us as we look into God’s mirror of truth …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, uses a very effective word picture to discuss his main point - that we must do more than just know God’s word, … we must obey it!! Actually McCasland also points out that there are many word pictures used in Scripture to describe God’s word: a mirror (James 1:23); fire and a hammer (Jer. 23:29), a lamp (Ps. 119:105), water (Eph. 5:26), a two-edged sword (Heb. 4:12), a seed (1 Peter 1:23), food (Job 23:12), and milk (1 Peter 2:2).

 And of these word pictures, I think I like “the mirror” analogy the best! Why, … because it is so, so descriptive of how God’s word reveals our real self when we really look deeply into it. And actually, though social research seems to show that mankind looks into mirrors often each day, I maintain that we Christians, revealed as sinners by nature, don’t like to look into mirrors because they are so self-revealing.

 And I often teach that there are three basic ego reactions when we look into a mirror. The first one is a DENIAL reaction; because what we see in God’s word may make us so angry at self that we’d like to break the mirror; and we often may try to do so by getting angry at anyone trying to help us be more like Christ. … The second response is a DEFENSIVE reaction, which causes us to turn away, not wanting to see the reality in front of us being revealed by God’s truth. And we often do so by turning away from God’s word. … But the final word picture is the most healthy response, and that is to become DETERMINED to do something to change what we see as God’s word reveals us. I could go into depth on each of these; but for brevity I think the ODB today was pointing me to keep coming back here day-by-day to look deeply into God’s word so that His Spirit can reveal to me where I need to change and to show me what I must do to let God do his Philippians 1: 6 business of refinement in my life.

 I simply must realize and recognize, as pictured in the attached photo, that, as Isaiah wrote in Isaiah 55: 11, God’s word is all about reshaping me into the image of my King, Jesus; and to do that I must know, from His word, see clearly what Jesus looks like and let Him reveal where I need to change to be more like Him tomorrow than today and more like Him today than yesterday.

 So, I will be back here tomorrow again, looking into God’s mirror of truth to let the living truth show me where/how I must change.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … I look into Your mirror of reality, Your word, to see where I am not like You and to do what it takes to be reshaped, precious Spirit, into the image of My King. … 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, February 17, 2015

February 17, 2015 … Bridge Building

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 48

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the famous Simon & Garfunkel song … Bridge Over Troubled Waters, declaring how one can be a bridge of encouragement when someone in our lives is down & out by lifting them up by just providing love, … for us Christians, … God’s love. … And then ... USE THIS LINK ...  and hear another 60s classic, written by Burt Bacharach and performed by Jackie DeShannon, What the World Needs Now Is Love Sweet Love … and I’m totally convicted to help bridges of love and encouragement to others!!


Highlight Passage 1st Thessalonians 1: 8 [NKJV] … 
8 For from you the word of the Lord has sounded forth, not only in Macedonia and Achaia, but also in every place. Your faith toward God has gone out, so that we do not need to say anything. 
 … The Apostle Paul, teaching, yet encouraging, his beloved fellow Christians in Asia Minor, and any Christian reading, exhorting them [us] to reach out in faith and share the Gospel and God’s love. 
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Highlight Context - 1st Thessalonians 1: 1-10 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Philippians 1: 3-5 [NKJV]
  3 I thank my God upon every remembrance of you, 4 always in every prayer of mine making request for you all with joy, 5 for your fellowship in the gospel from the first day until now, …
… Another of Paul’s encouraging letters to fellow Christians …

Reference Passage #2 - Revelation 3: 7-13 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… Jesus’ exhortation of perseverance of the faithful Church, i.e, for all Christians, to “keep on keeping on,” building bridges of love, between God and those who need Him (everyone!) …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Bill Crowder, primarily highlights the words and sentiments written by the Apostle Paul to fellow Christians [see the passages from Philippians and 1st Thessalonians above], writing to encourage them (us) to become bridges of encouragement, much as Paul Simon wrote into the classic pop song, which he and Art Garfunkel sung, Bridge Over Troubled Water [please use the link above to hear the song with the lyrics].

 And as I was listening to Paul Simon’s song, I remembered another old 60s classic, [these were songs of my youth, friends!] What the World Needs Now is Love Sweet Love; and both of these classic songs, along with the exhortations from the Apostle Paul above (as well as from Jesus in Revelations 3), totally convicted me that I need to do more to build bridges of love and encouragement with those who come into my life.

 And isn’t that just about everyone?!!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … help me to build bridges of love between You and those whom You need to use me to edify. … 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, February 16, 2015

February 16, 2015 … That Wild and Unruly Beast!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 47

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Steven Curtis Chapman sining his song … His Strength Is Perfect, declaring the reality of our weakness, for example in training our tongue; but God’s grace is sufficient to give us HIS POWER to develop our self control.


Highlight Passage James 3: 8-9 [NKJV] … 
9 With [the tongue] we bless our God and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the similitude of God. 10 Out of the same mouth proceed blessing and cursing. My brethren, these things ought not to be so. 
… Jesus’ brother reflects on the reality of how the unruly tongue can be used for glory of the Savior or for the gory of self.
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Highlight Context - James 3: 1-12 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Proverbs 23: 7 [NKJV]
  7 As a man thinks in his heart so is he. … 
 … What we think, in our hearts, often is reflected in our words and actions. …

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 9: 23 [NKJV]
28 “If any of you would come after Me, let him deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me. …”
 … Jesus’ charge of discipleship …

Reference Passage #3 - Galatians 5: 22-23 [NKJV] … 
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering [patience], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness [meekness], … AND … self-control.   
… Notice that Peter places “self-control” as the final of the nine fruit of the Spirit, and this placement was likely because it is the most difficult fruit to mature in our lives.

Reference Passage #4 - Ephesians 4: 29 [NKJV] … 
22 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but [only] what is necessary for edification that it may bring grace to the hearers. … 
 … God through Paul gives us the way to control our tongues. If what we say cannot edify or give someone grace, DON’T SAY IT!!!

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, reminds his readers (me) of the reality of how we can tame all kinds of wild animals but so often, in our flesh, we have so much trouble taming one of the smallest organs in our own bodies, … the unruly tongue.

“Sticks and stones may break my bones; … but words will never harm me!”NOT!!!

Whoever wrote that old adage, certainly hadn’t looked at the reality of the latent and overt emotional wounds inflicted by parents in what they’ve said to their kids, which has caused so many social ills in our world. Nor did that fool take into account how the words of cyber-bullies affect teenagers in our world today. In fact, many teen suicides can likely be tracked back to the damage done by the words of others, especially parents, in the lives of these young ones wounded by words.

 Jesus’ brother, James, was right on when he wrote, inspired by God, his treatise on the unruly tongue in James 3: 1-12, highlighted and linked above. He wrote truth … that this tiny member of our bodies is probably the most difficult to bring under control.

 Have you ever noted how the Apostle Paul, when he was listing the fruit of the Spirit, which is really a description of the qualities of Christlikeness which are implanted into all Christians when they come to Christ, “self control” is listed last on the list? And I believe that it was/is because, of all those qualities of Christ, to which all Christians must aspire, “self control” is the most difficult to bring to maturity/completeness. And our taming of the tongue may be the most difficult area in the pursuit to bring Christlikeness into all areas of our self.

 What we say, as Jesus’ brother wrote in the James 3 passage linked above, is SO MUCH TRUTH!!! The tongue can bring about vast damage to others or it can bring glorious grace as well. And God, through Paul, gave us the guidelines on how to control the tongue when he wrote, in Ephesians 4: 29, the two best tongue-controller criteria. To paraphrase, he wrote that if what we say is not going to either lift someone up or bless the hearer with God’s grace, then we simply shouldn’t say it.

 And I’ve spouted enough words on the subject here - FOR SURE! So, I pray we all realize that what we think becomes the precursor for what we say [see Proverbs 23: 7]; and so, we must pursue more of Christ in our minds so that what we say will be a reflection of our Savior. Nuff said!!!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … make what I say and write a reflection of 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, February 15, 2015

February 15, 2015 … “Bring Him To Me!”

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 46

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the group Hillsong United singing the song they wrote … Mighty To Save, declaring the truth of our God, our Savior who is indeed mighty to save!!


Highlight Passage Mark 9: 19b [NKJV] … 
19b “ … How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.” 
… Jesus responds with compassion to one in a large crowd challenging Him after the man brought his son, with demon-possessed seizures to Jesus in faith [see verses 23-24].
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Highlight Context - Mark 9: 14-27 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 11: 28-29 [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. …”
… Jesus’ invitation of compassion …

Reference Passage #2 - John 3: 16 [NKJV]
 … Do I really need to copy this verse here? I think I would insult readers to do so.

Reference Passage #3 - 1st Peter 5: 6-7 [NKJV] … 
6 Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, 7 casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 
 … Peter teaching Christians about God’s mighty hand of mercy and deliverance, for which we must humble ourselves and come to Him in faith.

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Marion Stroud, highlighted the story of Jesus putting His compassion and power to heal on display as man with only a modicum of faith brought his son to Jesus in a crowd of people following The Messiah. And Jesus, as He so often did, during His earthly ministry, invited the boy to be brought to Him for healing.

 I’m reminded that Jesus wants to heal us all, broken as we are (see attached photo); and The Lord has called to us to come to Him. We don’t know how and when He will heal all who are born-again believers. We only know that He will. So, today, why don’t we all, as Peter writes in 1st Peter 5: 17, “… cast all our cares on Him because He cares for [us].”

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Heal me, 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, 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, February 14, 2015

February 14, 2015 … My #1 Valentine

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 45

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of an anonymous young person quoting in God Tube online from Paul’s famous “love chapter,” … 1st Corinthians, Chapter 13, declaring the truth about the power of love … and THEN to this You Tube link -  - where Sara Groves sings her poignant tribute to love in singing Without Love … Please don’t miss this lovely song and video before reading my journal below …


Highlight Passage Mark 12: 29-31 [NKJV] … 
29 Jesus answered him [to one of the Jewish Scribes], “The first of all the commandments is: ‘Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God, the Lord is one. 30 And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ [Deut. 6: 4,5] This is the first commandment. 31 And the second, like it, is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ [Lev. 19: 18] There is no other commandment greater than these.” 
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Highlight Context - Mark 12: 28-34 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Deuteronomy 6: 4-5 [NKJV]
  4 “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.
 … God, through Moses, states His Law of Love … notice in Mark 12: 30 how Jesus added the phrase “with all your mind,” adding emphasis to God’s Law of Love.

Reference Passage #2 - 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.”
 … Jesus’ Law of Love …

Reference Passage #3 - 1st John 4: 7-21 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… John, the Apostle of love, expresses how we know God through our love of others …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Julie Ackerman Link, targeted the subject of “love” for today. Anyone surprised? … It’s Valentine’s Day! {:>)

But seriously, author ODB Link quotes the 17th Century Roman Catholic Monk, Brother Lawrence, … who writes, while working in a Monastery kitchen, … “Count as lost each day you have not used in loving God." … And from Wikipedia online, I also read of this monk, … “For Brother Lawrence, ‘common business,’ no matter how mundane or routine, could be a medium of God's love." 
Yes, for this monk, as it should be for all Christians, doing our every day’s work, if unto the Lord, no matter how lowly a task, is our way of expressing our love of God.

 So, if you’ve taken in the video links above, meditated on the attached photo and the highlighted/referenced Scriptures above, do I really need to write any more here to journal what God has commanded us to impart into the world with our lives? … I think not!! … It’s all wrapped up in what the ODB devotional is asking today, … Is our life a life of love?!

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Help me to love my wife, my family, and others the way You have loved 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.

Friday, February 13, 2015

February 13, 2015 … Living the Living Word

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 44

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of an anonymous soloist singing the old 19th century hymn, which quotes from Psalm 119 … Open My Eyes That I May See, declaring the truth of what God’s word does, … it opens our mind’s eye to the truth of our God and how following His word leads us in life …


Highlight Passage Psalm 119: 18, … 24 [NKJV] … 
18 Open my eyes, that I may see … wondrous things from Your law. … 
 24 Your testimonies also are my delight and my counselors. 
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Highlight Context - Psalm 119: 17-24 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalm 119 - yes, all of it!! [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
… The Psalmist with a love affair for God’s word …

Reference Passage #2 - 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. … 
 … God, through the Prophet, declaring the the power of God’s word when it’s applied for HIS purposes.

Reference Passage #3 - 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. … 
… Truth from Paul to his protege about the power of God’s word in our lives …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C Egner, quotes from the writings of the 17th century German theologian, Phillip Jacob Spener, who wrote, “The more at home the Word of God is among us, the more we will bring about faith and its fruits.” 

And then today’s ODB author highlights the Spirit-inspired writings of the Psalmist who wrote the longest psalm in the Bible, … Psalm 119 [linked above]. David Egner also wrote today’s ODB entry,  … "The Word of God comes to us in many forms. Bible-centered preaching, Scripture reading, songs, study groups, and devotional articles bring to us the truths of God from Scripture. But, we can’t overlook personal reading and studying [the Bible] either."

 And I hope and pray today that anyone reading along with me recognizes the truth of Egner’s main point today, … which is born out and emphasized by the reference Scriptures I’ve either quoted or linked any readers above. And first we have the example of the Psalmist (whoever he was) who wrote Psalm 119. And if one takes the time to read, study, and meditate on this wonderful acrostic poem/song, you would have to come away inspired that any believer must use all of God’s word (i.e., Scripture - see 2nd Timothy 3; 16-17) to guide us through this life we live for the glory of God. God’s purpose through His word is His guarantee of Spirit-power in our lives (see Isaiah 55: 11); and so, to try to live our lives on our own power - without God’s word - is absolute foolishness.

 I pray today that anyone - EVERYONE! - reading here is into God’s word EVERY DAY and is doing all he/she can to get God’s word deeply in your hearts. That’ the charge and the challenge of Psalm 119; and I would exhort anyone with me here to go back and study ALL of Psalm 119, linked above, and see if those words, God’s words, don’t speak life to you.

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Open my eyes, Lord, that I may see more of You through Your word every day of 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, 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, February 12, 2015

February 12, 2015 … My All … Really??

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 43

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of Dennis Jernigan, who wrote the song, singing with Natalie Grant … You Are My All In All, along with many Scriptures proclaiming and showing that our God is all we need in life … that He is our sustenance … our living waters.


Highlight Passage Jeremiah 17: 7-8 [NKJV] … 
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, And will not fear when heat comes; but its leaf will be green, And will not be anxious in the year of drought, Nor will cease from yielding fruit. 
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Highlight Context - Jeremiah 17: 1-8 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Psalms, Chapter 1 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… King David writes of the life-giving power found in obedience and living close to God’s living waters …

Reference Passage #2 - Isaiah 53: 6 [NKJV]
  6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.
 … God, through the Prophet, declaring the coming Messiah to give us all we’ll need in life

Reference Passage #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.
… Jesus’ promise to provide His enabling grace to cover our weaknesses …

Reference Passage #4 - 2nd Peter 1: 2-3 [NKJV]
9 And He said to me, 2 Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, 3 as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue,
… Peter proclaims the truth of all we have, in Christ, to live Godly lives …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Joe Stowell, opens with a story about a friend of Stowell’s who lives in Montana, where the Big Sky country can seem so dry and barren at times. However, near the rushing rivers, such as the mighty Missouri River which traverses through the state, one can find beautiful forests on the banks of those bodies of water … as well as teaming trout fishing. It is the life-giving waters from those rivers which allow the vegetation to grow and the fish to spawn.

 And as Stowell writes in today’s ODB, this is the word picture which the Prophet Jeremiah uses [see the highlight passages copied/linked above] to describe the providence and power available to the believer who trusts in God and is obedient to His commands. God’s truth is our “living water,”… to provide the sustenance and empowering grace we need to live in this life. And we can thrive when we follow the Lord in all we think, say, and do. God wants our all so that we can give us His all.

 The challenge for me today is: … Am I giving my ALL to my LORD?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Show me where I can do all that You seek 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, February 11, 2015

February 11, 2015 … Alive in Christ !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 42

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of the Gaither Vocal Band singing the Gaither classic… He Touched Me, proclaiming the coming alive experience which all Christians experience when Christ touches the life of anyone who surrenders to His Spirit.


Highlight Passage Ephesians 2: 4-5 [NKJV] … 
4 But God, Who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), …
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Highlight Context - Ephesians 2: 1-10 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - 2nd Corinthians 5: 17 [NKJV]
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. … 
 … God, thru Paul, declares the newness of who we become when we’re made alive in Christ

Reference Passage #2 - Philippians 1: 6 [NKJV]
6 … being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ; … 
… And once we’re made alive in Christ, His Spirit will remake us into our Lord’s image …

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Mart De Haan, opens with a story of a man who hid from his marital/family responsibilities for over 2 decades and was declared dead by the courts. However, after many years he surfaced again, but because of legal technicalities a judge would not declare him alive again. Bummer, for sure!!

Well, if you’ve taken in the scriptures from the Apostle Paul in Ephesian 2: 1-10 [linked above for your study], I hope all Christians realize that we were dead spiritually before, we, in faith, received God’s life-give grace, which reached down from Heaven and touched us with Christ’s saving grace. As the Gaither group sings in the linked song above, “He touched (us) and made (us) whole!”

Do I sense a very appropriate …“HALLELUJAH!!!” … from any reading with me here.

 When I realize how dead I was when I was lost - without Christ - and how, in His loving mercy, He was willing to reach down into the sea of my sin and pull me out, giving me life - and yes, even life eternal, - really all I can do is pray and thankful prayer of praise. I certainly could do nothing to earn His life restoring touch of grace. But He touched me and made me whole! And every day I recognize and acknowledge that He’s remaking me into the newness and wholeness of Christ’s image [see 2nd Cor. 5: 17 and Phil. 1: 6 copied above].

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … You touched me and I am alive in You. … 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, 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, February 10, 2015

February 10, 2015 … Everyone Needs It !!

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 41

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of music and lyrics of the poignant song… Mighty To Save, [or also entitled Everyone Needs Compasssion]… expressing the reality of how Jesus is Mighty to Save, showing His divine compassion to all who receive Him as Lord and Savior.


Highlight Passage Matthew 25: 36 [NKJV] … 
36 I was naked and you clothed Me; I was sick and you visited Me; I was in prison and you came to Me. 
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Highlight Context - Matthew 25: 31-40 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Matthew 15: 32-39 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
 … Jesus shows compassion on the thousands who were hungry by feeding them with a few fishes and loaves

Reference Passage #2 - Luke 4: 18-19 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… The Messiah’s mission in life, which had been foreseen in Isaiah 61: 1-2

Reference Passage #3 - John 4: 1-21 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… Jesus shows compassion on the Samaritan woman at the well

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 … 
… The characteristics of Christians, growing in Christlikeness, through God’s grace

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by David C McCasland, tells of friend of his who found great fulfillment after she became a Christian by visiting elderly and in-firmed people in hospitals and nursing homes. He said that God had given him a gift to be “a visitor.”

 Such testimonies of people who had been selfish, and even greedy, before they came to Christ and then becoming filled with compassion and mercy after they were born-again as Christians is very human witness to the transformation brought about in the growing Christians [see 2nd Cor. 5: 17]. Certainly the life exhibited by Jesus Himself when He walked in this world during His earthly ministry was our ultimate model of compassionate living, wasn’t it?

 And Jesus clearly stated His mission which had been prophesied by Isaiah (see Luke 4: 18-19); and then our Lord put His divine compassion on display (see the Matt.15 copied above); and finally preaching that all in God’s Kingdom (i.e., all born-again Christians) will find a place in HIS mission by serving others with compassion, providing them with His living waters (see the John 4 story of Jesus serving the woman at the well).

 Hence we read of Paul declaring that Christians, being filled by God’s Spirit, will exhibit the fruit of the Spirit (described in Galatians 5: 22-23) as opposed to the fruit of the flesh (see Gal. 5: 19-21). My personal challenge from today’s ODB entry is just how much compassion and Spirit-led fruit am I sharing with others to fulfill Christ’s mission (again see Luke 4: 18-19)?

 Personally, … I am challenged to grow more … to do more … to share more. How about you?

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Help me to be more fruitful in Your Name and for Your glory. … 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, February 09, 2015

February 9, 2015 … 50 Years As One

Daily Berry Patch Devotions in 2015 - Day 40

Devotional Song: ... Go to this link  … Please take the time to take in a video of music and lyrics of Paul Stocky, along with Peter, Paul, and Marry singing Stookey’s poignant song… The Wedding Song, … expressing the reality of a man and woman becoming one in marriage as God designed the institution for mankind’s pro generation and if His glory.


Highlight Passage Genesis 2: 24 [NKJV] … 
24 Therefore a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and they shall become one flesh 
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Highlight Context - Genesis 2: 18-25 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK
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Reference Passage #1 - Ephesians 5: 22-33 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… Inspired by God’s Spirit … Paul gives Christians God’s instructions on marital relationships

Reference Passage #2 1st Peter 3: 1-7 [NKJV]USE THIS LINK …  
… Inspired by God’s Spirit … Peter gives his take on marriage

My Journal for Today: Today’s Our Daily Bread devotional entry, authored by Dave Branon, writes of how he met his wife, a cute little girl in a yellow raincoat. You can use the link below in the Blogger Note to read it. But Branon’s personal story caused me to reflect on how I met the girl who would become my bride, … a little Dutch girl who was the first “foreign exchange” student in my high school.

 Her Dutch accent was so compelling as I got to know her because our lockers were very close; and I was a very impressionable 16 years old at the time. And when this Dutch Senior in our school asked me to be her date to the junior-senior prom, I was a goner.

 It’s a long story of how we fell for one another, with two-years of teen-age correspondence as she went back to The Netherlands; and then how she came back over to emigrate to the USA. But next June 13th, we’ll have been married for 50 years, raising two daughters and becoming the grandparents of five beautiful, and healthy grandkids.

 No, it hasn’t all been a bed of roses and sweetness; but as God’s word says above, when we were married, half a century ago, we became one; and we have walked this road, called life, TOGETHER as one, traversing the rough roads as well as the joyous, smoother ones. But both of us, having found an individual and shared relationship with Christ, can now celebrate the melding of our spirits in Christ and our mutual decision to follow our Lord in marriage.

 If any reading here are married or aspire to marriage, I pray that you find what Elly, my wife, and I have found … that pursuing our individual relationships with Christ just brings us together more and more closely over time into the oneness that Christ has with His spouse, the church (see the Ephesians 5 and 1st Peter 5 passages linked above).

My Prayer for Today O Lord, … Thank You for the oneness You have given me in my wife. May I continue to treat her as You have Your Bride, The Church. … 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.