January 12, 2021

Must we be divided?

This quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln is actually a word from Jesus:

"And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand. And if a house be divided against itself, that house cannot stand," Mark3:24-25, King James Version (KJV.)

Regardless of our political preferences and despite our worse fears, may God's people come together as one Body of Christ!

Until the Lord comes again, the Family of God is the hope and the hands-on instrument of healing unity for individuals, the church, our country, and, indeed, the world.

Pray for wisdom!

Pray for the Lord's power to flow through us - mightily.

Pray for the Kingdom of God!



...

Poetry Editor: 3 ways to read a poem

Poetry Editor: 3 ways to read a poem: If you've been reading poetry the way you read other genres in hopes of understanding something interesting or new, you might have missed the big difference in reading (and maybe writing) poems....

December 31, 2020

Praying with Jeremiah


As 2020 comes to an end, let’s pray with Jeremiah for our nation(s) to return to the Lord God. Let’s seek God’s healing and salvation for ourselves and all peoples. Let's praise the Lord throughout the New Year. 


May 2021 be blessed! And may we be a blessing to others in Jesus' blessed Name.


...



December 17, 2020

What Are Your Favorite Daily Devotional Books?

 

This year, my husband and I read Jesus Always every evening with additions from my book Kneeling on the Promises of God at various times of the day. I highly recommend Jesus Calling too. But, what about you? Do you have a daily devotional book that speaks to you?

 

This week, Group Publishing kindly sent me a review copy of the new 365-day devotional Jesus-Centered Daily by Rick Lawrence. Turning to today’s reading, “The Safety Fallacy” reminds us how people often say “Be Safe” or “Stay Safe” instead of “goodbye,” then adds this timely word:

 

…’Be Safe!’ is not a kingdom-of-God imperative. The message of the Incarnation is a prod to adventure into the darkness, not retreat from it. Jesus invites us to walk with him into the ‘valley of the shadow of death’ because (as David reminds us) his ‘rod and staff’ will bring comfort to us. In his hand the Good Shepherd carries two metaphoric necessities – a staff to rescue and a rod to defend. That’s why his hello’s and goodbye’s so often convey the opposite of ‘Be Safe’.

 

At the top of the page, the devotional suggests reading Psalm 23, and below the main text the layout consistently includes three columns followed by a prayer. For this day’s example:

 

Wonder

“What are the unintended consequences of using ‘Be Safe’ for ‘goodbye’?”

 

Jesus

“How can anyone enter the strong man’s house…unless he first binds [him]? (Matthew 12:29, NASB).”

 

DO

“Instead of ‘Be Safe!’ try ‘Be Christ’s!’ or ‘Stay awake!’ or ‘Live Large!’”

 

“Pray: Jesus you are my safety.”

 

 

And, of course, in perilous times or not, we have the option of saying the original phrase that was eventually compressed into “goodbye” – “God be with ye.”

 

Most of us will be glad to see this year end! Although we can’t control much of what’s going in the world, we can make next year better for ourselves and those around us if we choose to be Jesus-Centered Daily. Amen?

 

God be with ye!  

 

©2020, Mary Harwell Sayler, poet-writer, Bible reviewer

 

 

Jesus Always

 

Kneeling on the Promises of God

 

Jesus Calling

 

Jesus-Centered Daily


To order a devotional book to start your New Year, click on the above title of interest. If you have a favorite devotional book, let us know in the Comments below. Thanks and God bless.

 


Bible Reviewer: The Passion Translation: NT with Psalms, Proverbs,...

Bible Reviewer: The Passion Translation: NT with Psalms, Proverbs,...A few years ago, BroadStreet Publishing kindly sent me a boxed set of several books in The Passion Translation (TPT) to review, but this year I’ve been wanting a single volume of the New Testament with Psalms to reread, hopefully forever!

November 13, 2020

Bible Reviewer: Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience

Bible Reviewer: Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience:   In Eyewitness: The Visual Bible Experience , which Group Publishing kindly sent me to review, author Jeff White offers a first-person perspective for each of the 39 Bible people represented in this sturdily bound picture book for adults.

...

November 2, 2020

Kneeling on the promises of God


[The following article introduced the book, Kneeling on the Promises of God.]

As you have likely heard, the hymn “Standing on the Promises” encourages us to trust God and take Him at His word. But from the very beginning of time, the matter of believing God arose in the Garden of Eden with the doubt-producing question, “Does God really mean what He says?” That contagious thought gave mankind an excuse to disobey, and distrust gave birth to death!

Now, as then, wariness of God brings uncertainty and the ongoing scramble to find, “Who can I trust?” Sometimes we can’t even trust ourselves! So where do we turn? Do we place our hope and faith in money, power, politics, institutions, traditions, or trends?

The trouble with those options is that people change their minds. Money changes hands and value. Political leaders come and go. Institutions become something unlike their original selves, and trends are, well, trendy. Facts get disproven as new information comes to light. Even the ground beneath our feet trembles, and stars careen from the sky. Everything changes! But God does not change, and neither does God’s word.

Mysteriously and paradoxically, the Holy Spirit is invisible to us yet the most solid matter. So, too, are the promises God gives – promises so stabilizing, we can build our whole lives on them. Promises so truthful and trustworthy, they can become the basis of our most powerful prayers. But why should we believe those promises? Why should we place our faith in God?

According to the Bible, God is Love – forgiving, compassionate love that can always be trusted to do what’s best for us and our spiritual well-being. Nothing and no one is greater, kinder, holier, or more trustworthy than God.  Nothing and no one can offer us more power or purpose for our lives. Once we realize we can totally trust the Lord, we can build our marriages, families, churches, and occupations on the promises God gives.

We can build our prayer lives on those promises too. We can take God at His word, knowing He agrees with our prayer requests because He has already promised the very things we claim or ask Him to do. Therefore, to kneel on a promise God made means claiming that promise and praying it into our lives.

To put this belief into practice, the book Kneeling on the Promises of God includes heartfelt, conversational prayers following each Bible promise – promises found in a variety of translations but paraphrased into everyday English. These prayers are to give you an idea of how you, too, might kneel on the promises in God’s Word.

The hope is that relevant prayers will also come to you as you meditate on the scripture verses, and write down your prayers, claiming God’s promises in the space provided on the lower part of each page. But, before doing this:

Pre-pare with pre-prayer!

Pray for the prayers to pray.

Regardless of our denominational affiliations or cultural backgrounds, let’s agree to stand on the promises  of God throughout our lives and kneel on those promises as we claim God’s Word each day and night in prayer.

May God bless you and your prayer life in the Lord!

Mary Harwell Sayler


For actual prayers from the Bible, visit the Bible Prayers blog.



October 9, 2020

October 8, 2020

Bible Prayers: Praying to hear and be heard

Praying to hear and be heard - new on Bible Prayers blog 

Many Psalms began as the personal prayers of King David, who consistently turned to God with his problems and praise. These prayers and others in the Bible still speak for us today.

...


October 7, 2020

Poetry Editor: Comparisons work in poetry, not in life!

Poetry Editor: Comparisons work in poetry, not in life!:   Comparing one person to another or one thing to something better (or worse!) does not work well in real life. In poetry, however, comparisons can reveal the abstract in visible terms readers can picture and, therefore, better understand.

September 21, 2020

Bible Reviewer: KJV Sword Study Bible

Bible Reviewer: KJV Sword Study Bible:   After learning Whitaker House had published the KJV Sword Study Bible with the direct words of God in red, I just had to order a copy. Although many New Testaments can be found with Jesus’ words in red, I’d never seen a red-letter edition of the Old Testament.

Must we be divided?

This quote often attributed to Abraham Lincoln is actually a word from Jesus: " And if a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingd...