There are a number of things coming up on my blog site that I am not posting. I’m sorry for the inconvenience and will try to get it straightened out. Thank you for your patience and your willingness to return to my site.
God’s richest blessings,
A prayer for your day –
Gracious Lord God, You have created mankind and all that is. The heavens declare Your glory, and all the earth shows Your handiwork. The mark of Your life is upon all that exists. And You have made me. You knew me before I was born, and created me for Your good purpose. I have not always sought to know that purpose, or follow it when I did. Forgive me, Good Lord. Yet, You have redeemed me through Christ Jesus, and because of Him I can always be restored again to Your grace. You have given me each breath that I take, and You have given me spiritual breath by the presence of Your Holy Spirit. You continue to guide my life, and give me strength for every situation. You have given me family and friends, and material blessings beyond anything I deserve or could earn. For all of this, Good Lord, I am forever grateful. My desire is to come ever closer to You, and to give you thanks and praise for all eternity. To You be glory and honor, now and forever, through Christ Jesus my Lord. Amen.
[category Good Morning]
This is the time of year for New Year’s greeting, wishing people well for 2019. I like the way St. John did it with a friend of his named Gaius in his brief letter – III John 1:1-2. “To my dear friend Gaius, whom I love in the truth. Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” John desires to see that all goes well with his friend. But even more than that, that “his soul is getting along well”. Or that his soul “prospers” as in another translation. This becomes the foundation for all the rest of life. There are times when all doesn’t go well, or that health fails. What sees us through these times is a soul that has prospered. Soul here in the Greek original is psuchē meaning breath. When God created mankind He breathed into them the breath of life and man became a living being.(Genesis 2:7) It is God’s breath of life that sustains us in all times, not just the good ones. I have the same desire for each of you – that all would go well with you in this New Year, but even more that through Word and Sacrament, through prayer, study, and the fellowship of believers that you would grow in the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ.
I hope you have a very Merry Christmas –
but even more that this be a very blessed Christmas for each of you.
This is the day of Immanuel, God with us, now and always.
May the fullness, and strength of His life be upon you whether days are always merry or not. And may your love for Jesus always grow deeper.
God’s richest blessings,
Irvin and Audrey Stapf
Most of Psalm 52 speaks of the evil people do and their rejection of the good God desires. Then it ends with these last two verses. “But as for me, I am like a green olive tree in the house of God; I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever. I will give You thanks forever, because You have done it, And I will wait on Your name, for it is good, in the presence of Your godly ones.”(vss.8-9) A few words often catches my attention. “But as for me…” I don’t know what you have before you this day. We all have our trials, and schedules, and demands. We all live in this broken world with it many uncertainties and fears. “But as for me … I trust in the lovingkindness of God forever and ever.” Lovingkindness is what we see when we look in the manger. The manger which we know is overshadowed by the cross. That is the lovingkindness of our God in giving us life and strength. Whatever it is that we must deal with today, we make our response “but as for me….”