Saturday, December 3, 2011


“God loved the world so much
that he gave his one and only Son,
so that everyone who believes in him
will not perish but have eternal life.”
John 3:16 NLT

Most of us have been familiar with John 3:16 for so long that at times we have taken it for granted. Let’s take a moment to refocus on how incredible God’s love is.

When we consider the creation of heaven and earth - from the endless expanse of space to the microscopic forms of life – from angels – plants – animals - God is the creator of them all. As a climax to His creation He said, Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. The “us” in this passage is a reference to the Trinity. He designed us with the ability to communicate and have fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit as they have with each other. Of all His created beings, only people are made in His image - which is the only way He can have the warm and loving relationship He longs to have with us now, and throughout eternity.

We all know what happened in the Garden of Eden. Sin separated the human race from the God of love who also is the God of justice and requires that the penalty for sin be paid in full. Our sinful nature makes it impossible for us to pay the penalty we are charged with.

This is where God’s love comes to the rescue – He loved us so much that he gave his one and only Son. We get our first glimpse of the Son in human form as a helpless infant in the manger of Bethlehem. At the outset of His ministry He was tempted by the Devil, and each time He fought him off by quoting appropriate scriptures. Hebrews tells us He has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. That makes Him absolutely unique. Only He had the credentials to pay the penalty that human sin incurred.

Throughout the years of His ministry He was keenly aware why He had come to this world. He came not to be served but to serve others and to give his life as a ransom for many. Repeatedly He said, it was written long ago that the Messiah would suffer and die and rise from the dead on the third day. Even though He knew He would rise again, He also knew taking our sin upon Himself meant separation from the Father, and that was unthinkable. So in Gethsemane He repeatedly cried out in prayer, My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine. His love for us won out – He went to the cross and died in our place!

“Oh, love of God,
how rich and pure!
How measureless and strong!
It shall forevermore endure -
The saints’ and angels' song.”

Click on  THE LOVE OF GOD  to Hear Billy Graham and The Gaithers 

Saturday, November 5, 2011


It is good
to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to the Most High.
It is good
to proclaim your unfailing love
in the morning,
your faithfulness in the evening.
Psalm 92:1-2 NLT

As December is associated with Christmas, so November automatically brings Thanksgiving to mind. To be thankful doesn’t take much of an effort when everything is going our way, but when hard times come it becomes more of a challenge.

Whether our situation in life makes it easy or difficult to give thanks, it is always good to give thanks to the LORD because everything our Lord allows to come our way is always for our good. To give thanks for His gifts makes them all the more precious to us. Not to be thankful for His provision reveals a proud and presumptuous heart which looks at His blessings as something deserved. That kind of attitude leads to grumbling and complaining when things don’t go our way, and that’s not good.

Relationships are strengthened where mutual gratitude is shown. When we express thanks to others, it lifts our spirits and the spirits of those whom we thank. It is good to give thanks.

Studies at the U of California at Davis as well as other studies find overwhelming evidence that gratitude has a profound positive effect on peoples’ lives. “Gratitude journals” – in which people make a daily list of things they are thankful for – have become a popular practice and have proven even helpful for people to come out of depression. It is good to give thanks.

Now if it is a good thing to thank each other and to think about things we are grateful for - how much better and how much greater the benefits if our thanks are also directed to the LORD. . . Most High! Thanking and praising God throughout the day for His unfailing love and faithfulness needs to be our goal. He wants us to continually PRACTICE AN ATTITUDE OF GRATITUDE. In 1 Thessalonians 5:18 Paul writes “Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you who belong to Christ Jesus.” It is good to give thanks to the LORD!

Saturday, October 1, 2011


“The Lord directs the steps of the godly.
He delights in every detail of their lives.
Though they stumble, they will never fall,
for the Lord holds them by the hand.”
Psalm 37:23-24 NLT
If you have a toddler, or ever had one you can easily remember how carefully you held their hand and helped them maneuver up or down steps – step by step until they cleared the last one. Even when they mis-stepped, they didn’t go crashing down the stairs; instead, they found themselves dangling from your hand until you safely set them down again. Children are a precious gift from God and every conscientious parent does everything possible to protect them from harm. It brings us incredible joy and satisfaction as we watch them develop and grow through the various stages of life.

If we who are so far from being perfect and so limited in our abilities - do as well as we do - in protecting our children from falling, how much more is our perfect – all powerful – loving heavenly Father able to keep us from falling.

We are so blessed that our spiritual safety does not depend on us holding onto the Lord’s hand. We wouldn’t be any safer than a toddler holding unto their daddies’ hand. The first stumble, and that little hand would lose its’ grip and down they’d go. Our safety depends on the fact that our Lord holds us by the hand. His grip is secure, and will protect us from falling. His promise is, Though they stumble, they will never fall. It was when we committed ourselves to Him, that He took hold of our hand, and now even though we (spiritually speaking), misstep at times - trip over things – lose our balance – get banged up, we never go down all the way! Because He holds us by the hand!!

The amazing truth is, that God almighty who created heaven and earth, not only has “The whole world in His hand," but personally holds each believer by the hand! We are precious to Him, and He delights in every detail of our life and lovingly directs our steps.

If you are going through troubled times these days, and it seems like you're all alone, and no one understands or even cares. Bad as it may seem, you really are not alone. He is holding you by the hand! Trust Him, He will hold you up, and once again set your feet on solid ground. He will lead you all the way home, step by step.

Listen to the Broolyn Tabernacle Choir sing:    MY LIFE IS IN YOUR HANDS

Saturday, September 3, 2011


“I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people.
Ask God to help them;
intercede on their behalf,
and give thanks for them.
Pray this way for kings
and all who are in authority
so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives
marked by godliness and dignity.
This is good and pleases God our Savior.”
I Timothy 2:1-3 NLT
We are living in troubled times. Our nation is involved in several military conflicts – one longer than any war we have ever been involved in. It has cost us thousands of precious lives and billions upon billions of dollars. Poor financial management on every level has brought us into deep financial problems - lost jobs – bankruptcies – foreclosures and a skyrocketing national debt – resulting in our nation losing its AAA credit rating. People of every political persuasion are angry and are expressing themselves in no uncertain terms. It’s easy to get caught up in the hateful, negative criticism of our president and elected officials.

But as Christians, we have a higher calling than to fill people’s ears and inboxes with corrosive ranting over our broken national economy, and blaming our political leaders for causing it or allowing it to happen.

Paul writes Timothy, I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. Our higher calling is to pray for all people - not just for our family and close friends - and those who treat us right, but even for people who may treat us like dirt at times. We are to pray even for our enemies. Ask God to help them; that their needs may be met – intercede on their behalf - pleading with God that they will put their trust in Jesus and be saved - and give thanks for them. Even the worst of people have some merit for which we can be grateful.

Pray this way for kings and all who are in authority. Our higher calling is not only to pray for people we commonly associate with, but also for governmental and civil leaders - for the president – judges – members of our national or state senate and congress as well as local officials - whether we voted for them or not. (Even the most inept or cruelest leaders are better than no leaders.) Ask God to help them; intercede on their behalf, and give thanks for them. - so that we can live peaceful and quiet lives marked by godliness and dignity. This is good and pleases God our Savior.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


We live in a changing world. Over the past fifty some years we have gone back to the Dakotas many times to visit family. Not only did places look different, but our families kept changing - they were aging and there were fewer and fewer. Some died of old age, disease and some by accident.

Besides places and families changing, there are continuous clothes and hair style changes. Tattoos on women and body piercings on men are increasingly common. While these, for the most part, may be morally neutral, increasingly Christians are  involved in life style changes which clearly are not morally innocent.

Practices which fifty or sixty years ago, were unthinkable, are becoming more common. Divorce used to be rare among Christians, now the rate is about the same as with non Christians. Living together before marriage is becoming more prevalent. Gay couples are becoming more numerous and are demanding the rights of one man one woman marriage partners. Unimaginable not too long ago - some Christians are now saying: "Gay couples should be granted the same rights as traditional partners."

Add to all the above changes – changes in our national security due to terrorists’ threats – worldwide economies on the verge of failure – widespread political revolutions around the world – earthquakes – violent weather conditions, etc. etc.

With all these changes around us, it is truly assuring that that which counts the most is eternally secure! God’s Word does not change with the changing culture of this world, it is eternally changeless, as God Himself is changeless. In John 1 John speaking of Jesus says, “In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God. He existed in the beginning with God.” When Jesus became the incarnate Word He was the visible expression of the Word of God. In Luke 21 He said “Heaven and earth shall pass away: but my words shall not pass away.” To this, Hebrews 18 adds, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”


Listen to:

Saturday, July 2, 2011


“If the Son sets you free,
you are truly free.”
John 8:36 NLT

Frances Scott Key witnessed the bombardment of Fort McHenry by the British Royal Navy ships in Chesapeake Bay during the War of 1812. Two years later he wrote “The Star Spangled Banner.” By congressional resolution and signature by President Herbert Hoover it became our National Anthem in 1931. Though we usually only sing the first stanza, it has four – each ending with “O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave!”

In 1832 Samuel Francis Smith wrote “My Country, 'Tis of Thee” commonly referred to as “America.” Though we normally only sing stanzas 1, 3-4 it has eight. Freedom and liberty are common themes in our patriotic songs. Liberty - referring to being free from foreign control, and having the ability to govern ourselves.

Freedom was so highly valued by our forefathers that the First Amendment to the United States Constitution (enacted in 1791) addressed freedom of religion, speech, and the press, as well as the right to assemble and petition the government.

In our time some of those freedoms are being threatened. Special rights groups are attempting to pass laws which could deny Christians the freedom of publicly declaring their convictions which are deemed politically incorrect. Some are claiming freedoms and rights that end up denying the freedoms and rights of others. If this trend continues it could get downright scary.

However, the entire human race has always, and is now faced with a “freedom issue” which is more fundamental than any freedom which can be granted or denied by any civil government. The most far reaching, “freedom issue” is spiritual and has eternal consequences. When the first couple disobeyed God in Eden, they brought all humans under Satan’s rule – resulting in immediate spiritual death and eventual physical death for everyone. No military power is capable of overthrowing Satan’s rule of this world, nor is there anything we can do to free ourselves from Satan’s control. Only the sinless Son of God was able to break Satan’s’ rule over us by dying in our place and rising again. Only the risen Christ can set us free. Free not only from the consequences of sin, but also free to do the will of God. By faith in Him we are truly free no matter under what civil government we live.

Listen to:    HE SET ME FREE - Gaither Homecoming

Saturday, June 4, 2011


“Honor your father and mother.”
This is the first commandment
with a promise:”
Ephesians 6:2-3 NLT

As a reader of this blog over time you have learned that I was the youngest in my family. My parents were in their 50’s when I came along, so the mental pictures I have of my Dad are images of an old man.

I remember him as an old gray haired man with a crippled right hand. In his sixties his hand was crushed when he tried to stop a water pump from sliding into the well. For some reason the doctor didn’t set the bones – he just sowed up the wound. Despite his handicap I remember my Father repairing barbwire fencing - plowing the vegetable garden with “Topsy” pulling a walk-behind single bottom plow. I see him peddling a large grinding wheel sharpening the blades on a sickle for the hay mower. He was always puttering around doing something. He never drove a car or tractor – horse drawn vehicles were his transportation.

My dad spoke a German dialect called Schwabish but virtually no English. He signed checks with an X. He never attended Public School, however he was able to read his German Bible which he most likely learned to do in German Sunday School Class.

I don’t remember my father having conversations with me that much or playing with me, but never the less he left a positive impression on me. He always prayed at every meal, and regularly led family devotions by reading a passage from his German Bible and leading in the singing of a hymn – after which everyone knelt and prayed out loud at the same time. He was faithful to see that his family attended church regularly. During testimony time at church I remember him often giving testimony of his faith in Christ. Though the words were pretty much the same every time – his sincerity could not be doubted.

The fifth commandment (to honor our parents) carries with it the promise of lifelong benefits. We honor them by obeying them - speaking well of them, and living a life that brings them joy and pride. Our parents are to be honored not only if they meet certain requirements, but simply because they have brought us into this world - giving us the gift of physical life and the opportunity to choose to serve God and spend eternity in heaven.

May we honor our fathers not only once a year but always – while they are alive and beyond - for as long as we live.

Saturday, May 7, 2011


“Her children stand and bless her.
Her husband praises her.”
Proverbs 31:28 NLT

A mother has a most intimate relationship with her children. In a normal pregnancy she carries the child for nine months where it is fearfully and wonderfully made. What she eats and drinks or does to her body has a positive or negative effect on the child. She delivers it with great pain and feeds it with her own milk. Providing for its needs and welfare consumes her life. In a normal situation she has the greatest influence on the formation of that young life.

I was the last of my mother’s eleven children. As the “baby” of the family, by a number of years, I got a lot of attention, and probably was a bit spoiled. All my childhood memories of my mother are very pleasant. I can actually see myself, as a youngster, cuddled up on her lap and feel the warmth of her comforting arms around me.

During my grade school years I can see her working in the garden - butchering chickens and dipping them in scalding water and plucking the feathers – sometimes I helped with the feathers. She was a wonderful cook. I always sat next to her at the dinner table. I can see her bent over the wash tub, scrubbing clothes on a scrub board. Though my mother was a very hard worker, I don’t remember her ever pushing me aside. She always seemed to have time for me.

I was the only one in the family who went to school beyond the eighth grade. Living on a farm 20 some miles from a High School required that I room and board in town. During those years I broke my mother’s heart by going the way of the world. In my mind I can still hear her weeping and pleading with the Lord for my salvation. At the age of 21 I accepted Christ as my Savior. Just a few years later when she was in her 80’s she went to be with the Lord. I am eternally grateful for her love and prayers. I am the only one left of her children, and as long as I live I will stand and bless her.

We please the Lord by blessing our mothers as we recall and give testimony to the blessing she has brought into our lives. I encourage you to take the opportunity to stand up for your mother and bless her now and always. Most likely there is no one who has impacted your life more than she has. Let her know how much you appreciate her while you have the opportunity.

Saturday, April 2, 2011


“Father, if you are willing,
please take this cup
of suffering away from me.
Yet I want your will to be done,
not mine.”
Luke 22:42 NLT

When we read about early Christian martyrs being tortured for their faith in Christ, amazingly some of them sang praises to God and some even welcomed the flames that killed them. They wholeheartedly believed what Paul wrote, to be absent from the body is to be present with the Lord. Death held no fear for them. They knew Christ’s death assured them eternal life. Jesus taught, I am the resurrection and the life. Anyone who believes in me will live, even after dying. (physical death) Everyone who lives in me and believes in me will never ever die. (spiritual death – eternal separation from God.) As born again believers we can confidently face physical death because our Lord has suffered the spiritual death we deserve.

As Jesus approached the time of His crucifixion He said, “Now my soul is deeply troubled. Should I pray, ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But this is the very reason I came! Father, bring glory to your name.” The night He was betrayed He prayed in Gethsemane “Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Then an angel from heaven appeared and strengthened him. He prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.

Jesus struggled so profoundly at the thought of dying for our sins because it meant complete separation from His heavenly Father. It meant the fellowship - peace - joy - glory and fulfillment which He had enjoyed with His Father from all eternity would be cut off. He would be in utter darkness, completely removed from all light. No wonder Jesus cried out from the cross, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? In absolute darkness – totally separated from His Father - He suffered the hell our sins deserve.

For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ. The Father was completely satisfied with the sacrifice of His sinless Son so on the third day after His death, having fully paid for our sins on the cross, He raised Him from the dead.

“Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!”
-- Robert Lowry

Listen to  RESURRECTION  - Guy Penrod

Saturday, March 12, 2011


“To those who use well
what they are given,
even more will be given,
and they will have an abundance.
But from those who do nothing,
even what little they have
will be taken away.”
Matthew 25:29 NLT
This verse comes after the parable of the Ten Bridesmaids and the parable of the Three Servants which set the scene for the Final Judgment all of us are going to face some day. The point is there is no way of knowing when that day will come, nor will it be possible for us to make preparations once the day has arrived.

Ever since God has put people on this planet, He has given them gifts of ability, opportunity, and privilege along with the responsibility to use well what they are given. To use those gifts in a God honoring way results in getting more abilities, opportunities, and privileges which keep on growing and developing as we serve the Lord.

To neglect God’s gifts and not put them to use in this life will bring unimaginable tragic results – all abilities, opportunities, and privilege to know and serve God will be taken away, and those people will be cast into outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth. This kind of language is only used of people who refuse to put their trust in Jesus. Since God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life. Not to make use of the gift of salvation through Christ cancels out all other eternal gifts.

However, by putting our trust in Jesus, we take that first vital step which opens the door to the possibility of using all the rest of God’s gifts well. Whether those gifts are great and numerous or whether they are average or even minuscule – it really doesn’t matter. What really matters is - are we using well the gift He has given us.

I have to acknowledge that I often don’t use well opportunities the Lord gives me. Most likely I am not the only one who needs help in this area. But we must not take comfort in telling ourselves “others have the same problem.” Rather we need to cry out to God for His help because we truly want to be among those who on the Day of Accounting, will hear our Lord say, Well done, you were faithful over a few things, I will put you in charge of many things – let’s rejoice together.

Click on Change My Heart Oh God and let it bless you.

Saturday, February 26, 2011


“The Lord is close to all
who call on him,
yes, to all who call on him in truth.”
Psalm 145:18 NLT

It doesn’t take much time in the Scriptures to become aware that some of God’s promises are unconditional (meaning God will bring about what has been promised no matter what). For example, Jesus said,
Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

God has also made promises that are conditional (meaning a condition or conditions must be met before the promised benefits can be realized). Our key Bible verse today is an example of a conditional promise. The Lord is close to all who . . .

The Lord is present everywhere, all of the time, and in that sense He is close to everyone, believers and unbelievers as well whether we are aware of it or not. But the closeness of the Lord referred to in today’s promise is something special! It is the sensing of the loving presence of the Lord which only believers are capable of experiencing, and only when they meet the conditions - call on him, yes, . . . call on him in truth.

To call on the Lord in truth is more than just saying some religious sounding words and going through the motions. It means, like David, sincerely calling out to God from the bottom of our heart – Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. As we turn from what offends God, He forgives us, and deep within we sense His comforting nearness.

When life moves along smoothly with few bumps we can be tempted to let the things of the Lord slip. Bible reading, prayer and Godly living are easily neglected, and before we realize it, we don’t sense His precious nearness as we once did.

On the other hand, our life may seem way out of control, with trouble on every hand – finances – health – marriage . . . and it feels like the Lord is worlds away. Then added to our aloneness is the realization that we have drifted from Him and have neglected our relationship with Him.

No matter what may have caused us to lose that close relationship we once knew with our Lord, it wasn’t the Lord who moved. The way back into that closeness is the same for all of us: CALL ON HIM IN TRUTH for The Lord is close to all who call on him, yes, to all who call on him in truth.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


“As your days,
so shall your strength be.”
Deuteronomy 33:25 KJV

It goes without saying - the days of our lives are not all the same. At times we are very thankful that they aren’t. Other times we wish certain days would never end.

Though our relationship with our Lord is an eternal one, He has a way of providing for us on a daily basis. This principle is so clearly seen in the daily provision of the manna in the wilderness, and in His teaching us to ask Him to give us this day our daily bread.

Whatever comes into our lives is allowed by our loving Heavenly Father, and with each day He provides what we need for that day. Days filled with “Ho-hum” and boredom, or days full of excitement and anticipation – His promise is - As your days, so shall your strength be. Days of good news filling us with gratitude and joy, or bad news that strikes pain and terror into our hearts – His promise is - As your days, so shall your strength be.

Almost 150 years ago this wonderful truth was captured by Karolina W. Sandell-Bergn (the “Fanny Crosby of Sweden”), in her beautiful hymn “Day by Day.” (tr. by Andrew L. Skoog)

Day by day, and with each passing moment,
Strength I find, to meet my trials here;
Trusting in my Father’s wise bestowment,
I’ve no cause for worry or for fear.
He Whose heart is kind beyond all measure
Gives unto each day what He deems best—
Lovingly, it’s part of pain and pleasure,
Mingling toil with peace and rest.

Every day, the Lord Himself is near me
With a special mercy for each hour;
All my cares He fain would bear, and cheer me,
He Whose Name is Counselor and Pow’r.
The protection of His child and treasure
Is a charge that on Himself He laid;
“As thy days, thy strength shall be in measure,”
This the pledge to me He made.

Help me then in every tribulation
So to trust Thy promises, O Lord,
That I lose not faith’s sweet consolation
Offered me within Thy holy Word.
Help me, Lord, when toil and trouble meeting,
E’er to take, as from a father’s hand,
One by one, the days, the moments fleeting,
Till I reach the promised land.

Click on  DAY BY DAY and let this beautiful song encourage your heart today.

Saturday, January 22, 2011


“A man will leave
his father and mother
and be united to his wife,
and the two will become one flesh.
This is a great mystery:
but I speak concerning Christ
and the church.”
Ephesians 5:31-32 KJV

Sixty years ago on the 30th day of January Donna and I were married in her home church, West Center Street Baptist in Madison, SD. It was 20 degrees below zero, but our hearts were anything but cold. I sang to her “I Love You Truly” and before God and witnesses we promised each other “to have and to hold, from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, until death do us part.”

Marriage between a man and a woman has been God’s design from the beginning of time. As precious and meaningful as the husband and wife relationship can be, it is but a shadow of the infinitely deeper and eternal relationship between Christ and His Church (true born-again believers) - “The Bride of Christ”.

In New Testament times the Jewish custom was for the bridegroom to leave his father’s house to visit the home of his prospective bride and negotiate her dowry with her father. Once the price was paid the bride belonged to the bridegroom. However, she stayed at home and got herself ready for the wedding, while the bridegroom went back to his father’s house to prepare a place for his bride. When all was ready, the bridegroom came back to get her. Though she didn’t know when he would return, she prepared herself for the big day - continually looking for his return.

Wow, what an illustration of Christ, the bridegroom, and His bride, the Church! He came to this world to become one of us, yet without sin. Incredibly, He chose us to be His bride. Giving himself up for us on the cross He paid the dowry, making us His very own. After His resurrection as He was getting ready to return to His Father’s house, He encouraged His followers by telling them, I am going to prepare a place for you. When everything is ready, I will come and get you, so that you will always be with me where I am. Some day, He is coming back to take us, His bride, home. We don’t know when it will happen, but it will happen!! First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever.

 When our bridegroom comes for us, He will be the King of Kings and Lord of Lords - HALLELUJAH!!! (click on this link and let it bless your heart).

Saturday, January 8, 2011


“The LORD bless you
and keep you;
The LORD make His face
shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The LORD lift up His countenance upon you,
And give you peace.”
Numbers 6:24-26 NKJV

This passage is probably the most famous blessing in the entire Bible. Aaron, the high priest, and his sons were instructed to pronounced it over the people of God. We recognize it as a blessing that is often spoken over a congregation by the pastor at the close of a worship service. Even though it is known as a benediction, I believe it can be very meaningful at the beginning of a new year. We are so familiar with it, it is easy to miss the depth of the meaning of the words. Allow me to bless your 2011 by paraphrasing these verses with the help of some Hebrew scholars.*

“May The LORD God who exists from all eternity bless you with gifts that meet your deepest needs, and may He like a Sheppard guard and protect you as He builds a hedge around you to keep you safe from the devourer.

“May the loving face of our eternal LORD; shine on you, warming your soul and spirit and driving away any darkness that may still linger in the corners of your life.

“May The LORD God who exists from all eternity be gracious to you making your life beautiful with warmth, love, friendships, community, and the material things you need.

“May The LORD God who exists from all eternity set His loving face on you, and give you peace (shalom);a peace which expresses itself in completeness, wholeness, and perfection; a peace which includes health, and soundness of body and soul; a peace that is rest, tranquility, and harmony; surrounded by prosperity and is a stranger to agitation and discord.”

May this blessing surround and fill your life throughout 2011 and all your years and days to come!

Click on link below to hear the Tyler Junior College
A Cappella Choir sing:


- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

*For those interested – here are the Hebrew scholars’ notes which I used to roughly paraphrase Numbers 6:24-26.:

When we see the word LORD in capital letters it stands for (Yahweh) God’s name which literally means “He who exists.” Bless in this passage is (barak) which means to “kneel down” and conveys the idea of respectfully kneeling down to present a gift. Keep is (shamar) which here refers to the guarding and protection a Sheppard provides for his sheep at night by building a hedge of thorny brush. Face (paniym) reflects the Hebraic sense of motion as the face reflects many different moods, emotions and thoughts. Shine (or) means to "give light" – “enlighten.” Gracious (hhanan) “A place of beauty”. Nomad camps consisted of many family tents, arranged in a circle, and were viewed as a place of beauty. Not just the appearance of beauty but the action, a place of warmth, love, friendship, community and sustenance. Coutenance (paniym) means "face." Give (siym) literally means to "set down in place." Peace (shalom) means completeness, wholeness, health, peace, welfare, safety, soundness, tranquility, prosperity, perfectness, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord.