The Story Behind the Prayers
In late May 2017, I was asked if I would consider delivering a weekly prayer to our fellowship called the “Prayer of Confession and Forgiveness in Christ.” I agreed, and to date (June 2023), these two hundred and three (203) corporate prayers of 111,431 words and 319 pages, have been offered.
Presenting this document now, does not mean there will not be future prayers of this sort, it simply means that there were plenty-enough to put into one document.
These prayers are designed to represent the “voice” of our fellowship in communion with God. This means, they are a type of “corporate” voice which represents us as both individuals and as a fellowship of believers in unity. They are intended to reflect our admiration of, and our covenant with, Almighty God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.
This approach endeavors to reflect, 1) our worship through unity of praise, 2) acknowledgment of our sin and God’s mercy to us in Christ, 3) our gratefulness to God for all he has done and will yet do, and 4) our sincere desires and requests of him as our God and Father, for we belong to him; we are His and He is ours.
It is the hope of the elders, that these prayers will serve, to illuminate the heart of the message, given by God to the Pastor that week. We deeply desire, that God be glorified in our worship. Which is never just one thing, but always at least three: Prayer, Praise and Proclamation. These elements are to exhibit harmony and continuity, one lifting the other. It is to be a tapestry, weaved together, for the display of the images and truths, which God seamlessly knits together.
It has certainly been my honor and pleasure to write and present these prayers; desiring that God would indeed knit them together in our worship. And, I have seen the evidence every week that he has. For although there is no human collaboration, the Holy Spirit coordinates these prayers, with the pastor’s dialog and the music selections.
God always brings it all together. It is, as though he sat down with us at table and explained how to gracefully connect these elements. In fact, I do not doubt, that it is him who arranges and coordinates all aspects of our worship. He is present in the prayers, the music and the message of our worship.
Because God, uses our awkwardly spoken words and insufficient attempts to reveal his truth to the world, I have prayed that he would, sort-it-all-out, for his glory. So, I am thankful that these prayers have connected with many hearts and minds, and that they have served with of the other elements of worship.

Regarding Prayer Design
While many Christians today are of the opinion that all prayers should be done in an impromptu or extemporal fashion, I was compelled by an older tradition to carefully design these prayers over time to capture scriptural themes. It occurred to me that these prayers must include some poetic cadence which might serve to illuminate important biblical notions and edification. And if God so designed, they may perhaps, help us to better perceive the things of God amid our worship.
Writing them over an average of four to five hours each, not including related study, has certainly affected me personally. It has served to enlightened the passages under examination and to connect them with the whole of scripture. God is One, and his Word is One with him. So, worship elements being in harmony does not surprise me. What would surprise me would be if they were not.
As to structure, the first 17 prayers were written prior to my decision to use a specific outline called A.C.T.S, although the same elements are present within them. I learned this pattern from the late, R.C. Sproul. He has been a mentor of mine since I became a Christian, and I have even chatted with him, on at least one occasion. I also appreciated the fact, that the acronym spells out the first word of the book which chronicles the beginning of the church, “The Acts of the Apostles.” The acronym A.C.T.S. stands for “Adoration—Confession—Thanksgiving and Supplication.”
While only I, have required myself, to follow this pattern, it is not a necessary structure. However, prayer should always have a to be followed. We are a people created by God, in his image, so that our pleasure might rest in him. God has weaved us together with him and we are in the custody his Spirit. God is who God is.
Therefore, we must address him in a fitting manner. He is alone, holy. He is alone almighty. He is Father, Savior, and Redeemer. We can address him with intimacy but also with loving caution. We are cautious, to not let our familiarity cause us to forget, who it is we are addressing. Yet, we are to be lovingly familiar with God. After all, he has personally made us his children,
chose us in Christ before he made the foundations of the earth, and he loves us beyond our understanding.
Nevertheless, God is always God. We may sin against him intentionally or unintentionally, and so, we need, and really must, desire, his forgiveness. He gives everything for life and joy. If he is our joy, we are right to always thank him. He tells us to ask him for our needs and wants, and he tells us, ‘If we do not have, it’s because we do not ask.’
If we believe he can do what we ask, as we desire his will for us above our own, then we can ask nothing too great. If our prayers are meant to test God, then we have not understood a thing about him; which would make us a sorrowful lot. But if we mean to honor and glorify him in the midst of our appeals, then our joy and treasure will always be fulfilled in him.

Prayer in General
Finally, prayer in general is an act of worship, meant to glorify God and bring before him our adoration of him, and esteem and joy in him. It is a Scriptural weave, a tapestry of beautiful and frightening truth from God. By our confession of belief and of our repugnance for sin, we acknowledge our thankfulness for what he has done and what he shall yet do. He hears our requests and desire as a father would his little ones. He knows what we can or cannot carry. So, the heaviness of the world is on his shoulders; he’ll work everything out for our good.
So, prayer is both a moment of focused communion—and a flow through time in intimate awareness, that all good things come from the hand of God.
We see various forms of prayer is Scripture and many books have been written about prayer; some are good and others, not-so-much. So, as mentioned, the Bible does not prescribe one specific approach to prayer. Even the “Lord’s prayer,” though it outlines very important elements, is not a pattern that we are commanded to use. But it is certainly a beautiful pattern we should include into our prayers.
In Matt. 6:5-15 Jesus says “Pray like this,” and he then presents an approach to God which is sincere and honoring. So, we try to capture such elements in our prayers, both private and public. He also says there is a way of praying that we should not follow. We should not pray as the hypocrites do, so as to be seen praying by others. This implies a display of false piety for self-aggrandizement. Rather, there is a better way to pray that is God honoring and this is done in private.
Now, Jesus was not saying that there should be no corporate prayers. We see many examples in Scripture of prayers being given in public, before, and for the people of God. Corporate prayers are of the sort of prayers which each believer can understand and resonate with. In every heart and mind, the words of corporate prayer are those we would speak in private prayer; at least, this is their intent.
The A.C.T.S outline is an effort recognize some very important elements of prayer in order to help us focus some simple, yet profound questions and answers. Such as, who God is—who and what we are—to whom and for what are we thankful—and what are the desires of our hearts, which only he can fulfil?

I confess the likelihood that these prayers have blessed me more than their intended blessing to others. For in writing them, God has come into view more clearly and has weaved his design before me more plainly. It seems that the distance between us, is somehow lessened. Yet, may God bless the reader, more that the writer.
It was inevitable that such a project would include many repeated and resurfacing themes, as well as common biblical language throughout. This, I believe, imitates how Scripture repeats themes and serves to connect us with God’s revelation of Himself, from beginning to end.
My prayer is, that they might flow in a complimentary fashion, within the weave and tapestry of God’s word to us. Plus, that they reiterate an orthodox theology and doctrine which God has given us to enjoy and depend upon, so we may better enjoy Him and depend upon Him. This too I pray, that what is written here echoes with the passions of the Reformers prayers and confessions.
I have sought to maintain appropriate Trinitarian distinctions and roles. Any unclear mixing of these precepts, is unintended. I have strived to avoid any unclear connections between themes or circumstances, yet always show the harmony we find Scripture. (Any spelling, word usage, punctuations, “editing artifacts” or other oddities are solely my errors and oversites.)
Michael O. Mulconery, Elder
Sovereign Grace Fellowship, Nampa, Idaho
Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Colossians 2:7

Prayers 2017

04/09/2017 #1
Father in heaven—Holy God, it is in Jesus’ name and by his righteousness—that we come before your thrown in prayer.
Lord, you are holy, so, may we love all that you love and rightly hate all that you hate.
Because you are humble, may we live in humility; and when we do not, may you discipline your people—for you see our hearts as they are and you shape us in your Son. All honor and glory are yours.
Lord, we confess that we are sinners, both by nature and in practice—our thoughts words and deeds confirm it…. yet by your mercy, you have rescued us from our depravity and have not left us to ourselves.
We were mockers and scoffers, condemned to die in our rebellion, yet because of the righteousness of Christ—who took our sins upon himself, suffered, died and rose again— your mercy and grace has fallen onto us.
In spite of our doubts and failings, you assure us of our redemption in Christ; for we are those whom you gave to your son—that he might present us now and forever to you.
Because of your unfailing love, we are secure and shall persevere in confidence knowing that all is well.
Thank you for sending your son who suffered the punishment which we earned. We thank you for your blessings in Christ and give you all praise and glory. Thank you for redeeming us through faith in Christ who has accomplished what we cannot.
You credit His righteousness to us through faith—and by faith, you build your Kingdom. We pray that our worship and doing the work of belief shows the gratitude of our hearts. May our thoughts, words and deeds bring you honor and glory.
May our actions and attitudes be informed by your Holy Spirit—and may our daily lives be acts of worship, pleasing in your sight holding you alone as our treasure.
Now Father, look upon us once again in Grace and Mercy for the sake of Christ. Cause our hearts to desire all truth as your Word quickens and
forms us for your glory alone. May your Kingdom soon come…all this and more for the sake of Christ our savior, amen. †

04/17/2017 #2
Almighty God, you have raised Jesus from the grave and crowned him Lord of all. We confess that we have not fully bowed before him in acknowledgment and recognition of his rule in our lives.
We have failed in so many ways to give you the glory you so rightly deserve.
Even now, with the knowledge of our redemption, we are yet easily distracted by the things of this world. The pursuits of self-interests continue to obstruct our vision and rule our wandering hearts.
Forgive us Lord and raise us from the grave of our sins. Purify us by your grace and heal our sight so we may see you more clearly. May our minds and hearts be focused upon your glory and that in raising Christ from the grave—you have also raised us to new life.
Restore daily our faith we pray, amen. †

04/23/2017 #3
Father in heaven, we thank you that you always hear our prayers and always forgive us our sins. Thank you for adopting us into your covenant family through Christ.
May our lives reflect that we are a people who honor your name in thought—word and deed. Help us to be gracious—for you are gracious.
Grant us wisdom that we might serve you wisely. Help us to be winsome and authentic in demeanor—that you might use us as instruments of redemption and reconciliation.
Help us to develop and grow in the virtues that bring forth an honorable and Christ like character. May our lives daily be worshipful—-and a pleasing aroma in your courts.
Help us to do all things well and for the sake of Christ- that you might be glorified, amen. †

04/30/2017 #4
Father in heaven, your mercy has enlarged our hearts— And your gift of faith has healed our blindness.
The Lord has placed our burdens and transgressions upon himself; for he alone could endure the wrath which we have earned. He alone has secured a full and lasting atonement that lets us be welcomed home as sons and daughters.
We thank you Father, Son, and Spirit for lovingly choosing, graciously redeeming and perfectly applying your wonderful gifts of life, forgiveness and fellowship to your people.
We were lost, but you changed our hearts, that we would desire Christ. We were dull and unworthy, but you removed our unworthiness and lifted us to Glory in Christ.
The Lord is our refuge. May you, O’God, be glorified as we praise you for your Love, Mercy and Grace, as well as your Justice and Judgment of all creation. In Christ we pray, amen. †

05/14/2017 #5
Lord God, author of all grace and comfort, come now and work repentance in our souls; show us the depth of our sin in all its horrible colors—that we might hate it as you do.
Melt our hearts by your majesty and mercy. Show us our ruined self and the redemption in Christ alone. Teach us to see Christ; his ability to save, his open arms and his compassion for the low and outcast.
May we confide in his power and love, commit our souls to him without reserve, bear his image, observe his laws, pursue his service and be an everlasting tribute to the value of his victory.
Make our self-dependent hearts willing to be saved in Christ’s way, seeing nothing in ourselves but him.
Help us not only to receive Christ but to remain in him, depend upon him, commune with him and be conformed to him.
May we follow him, pressing forward, even as imperfect as we are—not complaining of our labors, but valuing rest, not murmuring about our trials—but thankful for the mercies you have imparted to us.
Thank you for your many gifts and especially the gift of faith by which we are saved and persevere. May we live by truth and by the trust invested in your perfections. We hold to you as our source of our hope, our joy, and our work.
Perceiving nothing in ourselves to boast of, may we find in Christ wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption everlasting. All this we ask for the sake of Christ, amen. †

05/21/2017 #6
Father in Heaven, we thank you always that you hear our prayers.
We are overwhelmed with gratitude, knowing that in Christ, you have forgiven our sins past, present and future. Your love for us is beyond our understanding.
May we desperately hold true, to what is good and may we, in thankfulness and respect, hate evil as you do. May we love as you love, for you have loved the unlovable.
Forgive our sins of loveless rejection of those who scorn us. Help us to have an unearthly affection for the lost and dying and remind us daily to love one another as we should. Teach us to be honorable that we might honor each other.
Forgive us for our weaknesses in showing true compassion and renew our eagerness to serve you with all of our heart, mind and strength. Bring to our hearts the memory of your mercy to us so that we might practice mercy and patience as we should.
Keep the fullness of grace ever present in our hearts –that we might endure hardships and rejoice in faithful expectation. May we bless our brothers and sisters in times of need as we welcome them to the table you have prepared.
Finally, may our prayers be persistent and true as we pursue and endure the conforming of our minds and bodies to the righteousness of Christ.
We pray these things always for the sake Christ and your glory, amen. †

05/28/2017 #7—Sermon Passage: Rom. 12:14-16
Father in heaven, you have blessed us—your people, in unparalleled ways.
When we were yet your enemies you showed us mercy and showered us with blessings. When we persecuted and mistreated you, you gifted us with faith. May we now, as your possessions, and by your indwelling Spirit, bless those who wrong and offend us. Let us not curse what you did not curse.
In striving always for a love that is unified in you, may we live in harmony, rejoicing and weeping together as one people. May we live rightly because you are righteous.
May we live honorably—to honor you. May we reject self-interests, arrogance, pride and conceit, so that we can—as you have done for us, embrace the impoverished.
Remind, and help us daily, to hold in contempt –our prideful tendencies and inclination to seek after self-importance.
As you have made the ordinary, lowly and rejected into a strange and extraordinary thing, may we by your Spirit continue your works of love and reconciliation. We know your Kingdom is at hand; may your will be done in us through Christ Jesus, amen. †

06/11/2017 #8—Sermon Passage: Rom. 12:17-21
Father in heaven—Lord of life, you have created for yourself a People. Once we were rebels and willing hostages, but you redeemed us from the depths of our captivity to sin.
For our many evils and ungratefulness, you did not repay to us our just-deserves; but sent your Son to exchange Himself for us. We pray therefore,
that our lives will bring you honor as we restrain our yet corrupt urges to repay evil for evil. Help our unbelief that we might live peaceful and honorable lives as your emissaries in a lost and dying world.
When we are wronged and mistreated, give us calm demeanors by which we might display our trust in you and in faith give to you our hearts so desperate for vengeance…
…For we are always confident that you know what is best, and we stand in awe of both your mercy and your fierceness in Reprisal.
And when those who make themselves, our enemy are weakened and in need, cause our hearts to know compassion toward them, that such kindness might serve you and overcome their malevolence.
For we were once your enemy, but you showed us mercy, had compassion us, loved us and brought us into your home, not only as friends but as sons and daughters evermore. All this we ask in deep reserve and hopeful assurance—for the sake of our Lord, Jesus Christ, amen. †

06/18/2017 #9
Father in heaven, we give you all praise and glory. You have given grace and mercy to your people. Before we existed, you loved us, chose us and then redeemed us in the midst of our rebellion.
Your anger against our wrongs, your gracious–loving hand of discipline and your covering of perseverance, gives us assurance that we belong to you.
Forgive us for attempting to pacify your tender chastisement with promises we always fail to keep.
Teach us that we cannot satisfy your law, thinking that such efforts might justify us. Remind us daily that because of our unrighteousness the righteousness of Christ was needed and imputed to us.
Make our hearts to be afflicted and humbled knowing that you have separated us from our sins thru perfect reconciliation. Help us to be fixed on Christ, not trusting in anything we have done but trusting only in what Christ has done for us. Help us to keep ever-present—thoughts and desires focused on your perfection.
Forgive us when we think we have achieved some pleasing holiness in ourselves, as you cause your righteousness to surround us and mold us into the image of Christ.
Thank you for the multitude of gifts in Christ; and for granting us a position of justification by which you have ushered us into your throne room. Though sanctified by our positional standing in Christ, help us to grow in sanctification, that your work might be clearly seen in our lives.
We always ask in the name of, and for the sake and glory of Christ, amen. †

06/25/2017 #10—Sermon Passage: Rom. 13:1-7
Almighty God our Father, all praise—honor and glory belong to you forever and ever. All of creation subsists under your authority. You know all and have created all things, and so, all things stand or fall by your hand.
Though nations flounders in rebellion and the illusion of autonomy, we, your people, are at peace, for we know that this world is your world and that our lives are in you care.
We know there is no authority except from you. In wisdom, you have established archetype rulers and governments for our well-being.
We dedicate our right behavior to you and gladly receive the approval it brings from society. We thank you that there are consequences for those who misbehave and wrongly rebel. We thank you for the power of the sword which you have wisely commissioned for our protection and welfare.
We pray now, give us comfort in relation to our trust in you. Help us in our unbelief, that we might please you as we submit to all you have put in place, and yet, server you courageously when you call us to resist corruption.
May we trust in you in all circumstances, whether good or bad, knowing that it is you alone who hold us firmly in Christ.
It is for your glory and the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, amen. †

07/16/2017 #11—Sermon Passage: Rom. 13:8-10
Lord of heaven and earth, Father-Son-Spirit: We praise and thank you.
All creatures and creation belong to you and came into being through your act of love. Your perfect Triune love creates the universe and your steady hand upholds your laws. Whether-or-not men or demons approve, they must yet live in your world.
Thank you that your laws are within us and stand over our lives perfectly fulfilled in Christ. Our debts are paid, and so, we freely give honor and respect where it is due.
We now know that nothing is owed, and through life in Christ we freely give forth authentic love, as he has done for us; showing grace and mercy to the undeserving… this is how we know our souls seek you.
Because the law is perfectly fulfilled in Christ, we desire to love one another. We desire to be loyal and true. We reject our proclivities to murder, steal and crave what you have not given us… For you have remade our hearts, and refashioned our souls so that we might love as you love.
May we no more do what is wrong, and may of our hearts be indistinguishable from your perfect fulfilled law, so that you may look upon your people as you look upon your son.
Thank you for the beauty and power of your love. We ask for your constant guidance and assurance in the deepest recesses of our hearts, that what comes out of us, will bring you joy.
This we ask for the sake of our almighty savior Jesus Christ, amen. †

07/23/2017 #12—Sermon Passage: Colossians 3:1-17
Lord God, our hearts cry out to you in deepest gratitude. You have chosen and set apart for yourself, a people who are to be in but not of the world.
Though what we were has died, what we shall be, is not yet; for you have given us life in Christ and hidden us within him… granting righteousness to the unrighteousness.
By grace and mercy, your Spirit informs our minds. Though our redeemed souls are within Christ presently, we are yet fighting to escape the proclivities of our fallenness.
We struggle against the things we once embraced and are desperate for rest.
Your Word assures us, that steadfastness and endurance will bring you honor and glory. We know your grace is sufficient, and such knowledge is enough. We believe and trust in Christ—help us in our unbelief and our inconsistency.
You alone know how much our earthliness burdens us, for our tents are staked out on battle ground. Though we are here as your agents of reconciliation, we know the wrath that is coming against all idolatry.
Help us therefore to rightly hate all fallen desires so that we might love well all that you love.
While we cannot forget what we once were, let us never return to the streets and alley ways of that time; for we lived as the dead live and desired what the dead desire. Make us to exercise the habits and virtues of true life which you have put into our hearts.
Help us to be righteous and to rule over our hearts and mental lives as reflected in our daily behaviors… For you alone are God. We belong to you and not to ourselves.
We are not a people of varying races or diverse worldviews, but a single people seeking after the mind and way of Christ… And as one people, may we exercise every virtue of our Savior: to love the Lord our God with all our heart and all our mind… and to love our neighbor as ourselves.
All this, we ask for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. †

07/30/2017 #13—Sermon Passage: Mark 4:3-20
Father in Heaven, all glory and honor belong to you. Thank you for always hearing our prayers. We are forever grateful that in Christ, you have forgiven our sins—past, present, and future.
Your love for us is far beyond our understanding. You have spoken to the wise and the proud of the world in parables; yet, they decide what they will and will-not do with it.
While the worldly ponder and dismiss your Word, you have given your people renewed minds and hearts that we should listen and understand the language of your Kingdom…
For it is in your good soil that we will have found purchase; and you have made us to flourish, and to spread across the face of the earth. But to the lost and dying, who love and embrace darkness, your Word is divided as among thieves, and made-out to be merely clever sayings.
It is evaluated poorly and given no special place in the self-reliant heart. It is you, who have placed us, and all people, where they find themselves. Your people know that your Word is life and that you alone are Truth.
You have unconditionally rescued many from the heart of their depravity. Those you have chosen are known by you, and cannot resist your mercies. They will persevere wherever they go, and even in death, they will claim your victories.
Bless us now with your presence and keep us always in your service. Help us to be good and faithful servants until the day you bring us to the home you have prepared; for we are yours and you are ours.
We belong heart and soul to you O’God. We ask all things, always for the sake and the glory of Christ, amen. †

08/13/2017 #14—Sermon Passage: Rom. 14:1-12
Father, we thank you, may your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
We know that whether we live or die, we belong to you, for you are the truth, the light, and the life.
We acknowledge and give you praise that you are Master over the hearts and minds of your people. We did not create ourselves, nor did we save our own souls. You have given us everything we have.
We have no right to boast but in Christ. You alone are our judge, and we stand only by your grace and mercy. We admit that we do not fully understand or appreciate your gifts to us.
We are thankful that you love a variety of individual attributes in your people… for you are the artist who varies the tone and theme of your masterpiece… its beauty—a foretaste of what is to come. We are thankful that you are the living God who governs over all creatures from whom you will rightly receive an accounting.
Give us therefore, constant awareness of your grace in our lives, that we might reproduce it as a gift to others. Forgive us, for in our arrogance we have often set foolish standards which impose ignorance upon your word and ignore what you really require.
Let us not stand in judgment over the souls you have chosen, yet help us to weigh all things in light of your standards and the right application of your Word…for we are yours and not our own.
We are the hearts and minds which you have brought to life, help us to wisely reject thoughts, words and behaviors that fail to represent you as our God. We always thank you for what you have done, what you are doing and what you will yet accomplish, for the sake of Christ, amen. †

08/20/2017 #15—Sermon Passage: Rom. 14:13-23
Father in Heaven, we thank you and give you all honor, praise, and glory.
You are not a God who leads his people into temptation but rather, delivers them from the evil One. You warn us always to be cautious of our thoughts, words, and deeds, and You present us with the truth at every turn we take.
You have made nothing unclean in itself but have given us freedom and understanding so that we might see goodness in all you have created. Help us then to be discerning in both our mature and immature understanding of what you require.
Help us to love one another as you love us. Enlighten our minds and soften our hearts every moment. Help us to stop focusing on our own ideas of righteousness and the distractions of peripheral matters.
For it is by your Spirit alone that righteousness, peace and joy have their meaning. Your Kingdom is made up of those whom you have accepted and approved of by grace.
We are not judge advocates but fellow servants, help us then to build up and fortify one another for the glory of your Kingdom. We pray that you will guide us always, for we are prone to misguide ourselves, even to the confusion of those under your care.
You have given each of us a particular and intimate faith, a trust that serves your design for us. You have placed it in the secret place which is known only to you and ourselves.
Therefore, we never have reason, nor latitude, to criticize what we should not, but by faith, to make a right judgment. Thank you for forgiving our sins and helping us to proceed in all things by faith. For real faith, is trust in you alone, amen. †

08/27/2017 #16—Sermon Passage: Acts 2:42-47
Father in heaven, we esteem and proclaim your excellence to all creation, for we are yours and your Holy Spirit indwells us.
We confess our sins to you of which we are ever-more aware as we grow in our understanding of holiness. Thank you for your merciful forgiveness. Thank you for your countless blessings and for hearing our prayers of appeal and request.
We desire that your will be done in all circumstances. We ask, as did Augustine, that you command what you desire and grant by grace what you require.
You have redeemed us for fellowship… first with you and then naturally so, with one another. May our hearts be devoted to authentic Christian living. May we embracing every teaching as we fellowship and pray with both mind and heart before your throne.
May we hold all gifts from your hand in common, seeing that not one of your chosen is ignored in unresolved want. May we be gracious to unbelievers, seeing in them what we once were.
You have provided for those of us in need through the sharing of gifts, graces, and hearts eager to be generous. You have shown favor to the poor, enriched them in every way, and increased their numbers manifold.
We stand in awe at what you have accomplished, of your longsuffering mercies, and in anticipation of what is yet to come. We are thankful for everything you do; for we know it is for the sake of your Son, our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ—amen. †
The A.C.T.S. Model

09/03/2017 #17—Sermon Passage: Mark 10:13-16
Adoration: Father, we give you praise and glory. All Wisdom, Honor, Strength and Power belong to you O’Lord.
Nothing subsists that you are not knowingly sustaining with every moral reason and proof.
We know this because we know your virtues are perfectly balances without separation of any. This is the simple splendor of your being, to not be made of many things but to be one perfect and glorious God.
Confession: We confess our immoral thoughts and our cavaliere words—spoken without any consideration of consequence.
You are truly our source of righteousness…for we are weak, but you are strong. We are destitute but you provide our souls with wealth and our intellect with sustenance.
Thanksgiving: We are deeply beholden to you for your loving and patient care over us. You give us mercy when judgment was our due.
Nothing we have from you is anything we have earned or deserved. Thank you for saving the fragile and changing the perishable into the imperishable… …the dead into the living.
Supplication: Forgive us our sins—we pray, as we forgive those who sin against us. Help us to understand reality clearly by your indwelling Spirit; for you know better than we do what deceives us and what dwells in our hearts.
May we be virtuous, and in innocence bring before you all that is beautiful and precious in your sight… May what we esteem be pleasing to you because you intended it to be so.
May we never presume that you need us to perfect or purify anyone other than ourselves. Forgive us when we reprove, reject or disavow what we should not. Help us to see as you see, speak as you speak and think as you think.
Cause our prideful hearts to fail us at every offense and mold us into humble—useful vessels we pray. Teach us to think before we act or speak. Cause our emotions, so like a raging river, to be turned toward your will,
rather than toward our own rash impulses. We desire that your hand would shape and command our intellect from birth through death to life everlasting.
Clam our hearts we ask, so that our spirits will not be restless and prone to wander. Remind us of when we were much less inhibited, and show us your Kingdom in the eyes of our children; that as we look into them, we might see the depth and character of your Province.
May we enter there at that perfect precipice—and know you as our God. For the Sake and Glory of Christ we pray, amen. †

09/10/2017 #18—Sermon Passage: Rom. 15:1-7
Adoration: Lord of Heaven and earth—Father, Savior-Son, and Spirit…we give you praise and glory. All Wisdom, Honor, Strength, and Power belong to you O’Lord.
Through Christ, you have brought many souls into one home; to live in harmony, to speak and act together, and to live for your glory and the splendor of Christ.
Confession: Forgive us our sins we pray, as we forgive those who sin against us. Forgive us and correct our thoughts when we reprove, reject or disavow what we should not.
We confess that we often respond with words and deeds that are not carefully thought out nor patiently brought before you first.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for the assurance that we cannot remove ourselves from your love.
Thank you for your patience when we act out of self-interest or make otherwise good circumstances foolish, because we failed to act with love and wisdom.
We are ever grateful that you bear with us and bring back to mind how we are to respond and whom it is—that we are to glorify. Thank you for your providential design in all things…even using our wrongs to make rights…
Supplication: Help us to apply your moral law to our hearts first, so that we know very well what you despise—that we may also hold them in contempt.
Help us to understand, by your indwelling Spirit, all that was written in former days for our instruction; for you know our hearts much better than we do, and we are encouraged to endure by your Word.
May we never presume that you need us to perfect or purify anyone other than ourselves. Help us to see as you see, speak as you speak and think as you think.
Cause our prideful hearts to fail us at every offense and mold us we pray, into humble—useful vessels. Though we were weak, you strengthened us in Christ. You have therefore, commissioned us to endure the weak as Christ endured us.
We shall no longer pursue our own satisfactions but those of our brothers & sisters whom you have graciously welcomed. May we see your Kingdom clearly as your hand shapes and commands our intellect from start to finish—through our days—into life everlasting.
May you be glorified through your people as we call out with one voice proclaiming the excellence of Christ, amen. †

09/17/2017 #19—Sermon Passage: Isaiah 58:6-9
Adoration: Lord God, you are the first and the last, the Alpha and Omega, besides you, no other exists. Three persons, one glorious God…You are holy, and upon your elect—your favor has settled.
By the cross of Christ, you redeem your own. By his perfect obedience—even to death on the Cross and by his resurrection, you justify the unjust—placing them in him, that they would live and enjoy the perfection you have required of them, and can be obtained no other way.
You make free the enslaved—worthy the unworthy— blameless the guilty.
Confession: And even-so, we struggle in a lesser position than that place you hold us at. Forgive us when we think that some righteousness in our selves has satisfied you.
Our confession, is that we have thought and acted as though it would. We have fasted and appeared humble only to please ourselves. We have arrogantly thought that our outward deeds and false praise would bring you glory.
But you look at the heart, you know our sins of disobedience, how we have often failed to free the oppressed and share with those in want—what you have given us in abundance.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful that you have endured us in our sins and our working out our sins to righteousness. We have known in our hearts and minds what you require… that what you desire, we also shall desire… …for you have given your Holy One to dwell within us, to inform our ways, and lead us into all truth.
Supplication: As your children, we gather together and in solitude, and pray to receive your gifts—
We cannot give you something you need… for you are completely fulfilled…so, you alone who give meaning and substance to our prayers. Our gift from you come not by our words or in how we express ourselves, but in your provisions for us.
Therefore, in praise and proclamation, may our hands and feet serve you, as you set right every wrong and fill your Kingdom to your designs. What we do not know—teach us; what we do not have— grant us—and what we are not now—make us…For in Christ, all our hope rests.
May your Kingdom come—for the sake of our God and savior,
Jesus Christ, amen. †

09/24/2017 #20—Sermon Passage: Rom. 15:8-13
Adoration: Father in Heaven, we praise you; we praise the Son— we praise the Spirit. You are God almighty and have made yourself evident and knowable to all. You created all things!
Your power and majesty fill the universe which you brought into being. You O’Lord, have fashioned both the seen and unseen—the greatest to the smallest, and all living creatures—each with a purpose to fulfil…
You created and endowed mankind with your image. You made for him a body and breathed into him life—a spirit that cannot die… And this man’s body and spirit was the seed of all who followed… his kind are made from him—and all are tied to him and his ways.
All your mighty works are and perfect. And in the man both mind and heart knew nothing impure, until impurity was birthed by another seed…the destroyer of perfections…an enemy of man and God.
So, in great love and wisdom, our Lord condescended to become a servant, satisfying the promise only God could make and fulfill.
Confession: We confess that by our sinfulness, we have diminished and distorted your image. We have sinned against our righteous King and Savior, and our transgressions are ever before us.
We have partnered with evil and ignored your mighty works…escribing to them mysterious origins—calling your works “natural” as though the word signified a god.
But you have change and open our hearts; so, we rejoice—for you are faithful to forgive us our sins in Christ—and to purify us from all that is ignoble and unrighteous. You alone change, reform and repurpose defiant hearts.
You give faith to the faithless, and enable them to turn from idols and rightly praise you as their God.
Thanksgiving: We thank you for your overwhelming love and faithfulness to a people who were lost.
With patience and perseverance, you weave together a torn and tattered tapestry, once ugly and becoming now attractive. Within your providential care and constant working, you are shaping an image of Christ himself…a nation of priests.
We trust in you alone O’God, for you know every secret thing and hold together our very existence…knitting us together as in the womb of life.
Supplication: Help us therefore, to be steadfast. Strengthen our resolve, reshape our desires and our motives and deliver us from evil at every step we take.
It is in you that our fear of the days to come resolve. Our hope and our trust rest in you. May we dwell as one living and believing people, set apart to praise you for what you have done and shall yet accomplish.
Come Lord Jesus we pray, and in all splendor, claim you bride. In solemn and joyful expectation, we ask that all things, smallest to the greatest, be for your glory alone, amen. †

10/08/2017 #21—Sermon Passage: Rom. 15:14-21
Adoration: Lord of heaven and earth, all honor, praise and glory belong to you forever and ever. We proclaim with the Angles that you are our most worthy and powerful Prophet—Priest & King. There is no God but you alone… Father, Son and Spirit.
Jesus Christ entered the world and you in him, to achieve a salvation that we could not achieve for ourselves.
Day by day you convert and transform individuals into a new humanity…and you will one day renew the whole world and all of creation as you have determined the reclamation of both the “what” and “who.”
Confession: We confess to you—our great God and Savior, that we have sinned and are sinner by nature. We have fallen short in our love for you and for one another.
It is astounding to know, that although we yet sin, we are—at the same moment—accepted.
Thankfulness: Thank you for your forgiveness in Christ. Thank you for the gospel of Christ which differentiates the Christian message from all others.
It is deeply satisfying to know, that we are not reconciled to You through our own efforts and record, as in all other religions, but through Christ’s efforts and record.
Supplication: We pray that we may be your display… So, that the good news is seen in what you have done to reach us, and not in what we must do to reach you. We pray for your help and strength to turn away from temptations of disobedience.
You have chosen and given a people to Christ…And we—your people, will proclaim that the gospel is the good news of gracious acceptance to those who trust in Christ.
“Those who have never been told of him will see, and those who have never heard will understand.” Help us in our precious and joyful duties we pray. Let every advance we enjoy be for the sake of Christ, amen. †

10/15/2017 #22—Sermon Passage: Rom. 15:22-33
Adoration: Our Great God and Father, we thank you that you have adopted us into a covenant family of believers and that you always hear our prayers.
You have delivered us from unbelief and given us your full and complete blessings in Christ. We know that we have nothing you need, for we are entirely dependent upon you.
Confession: We confess to you, that we have a sorrowful and repugnant realization of our sins daily. As such, we acknowledge our sins before you and repent of them.
May our repentance serve as an offering to prove our unity with Christ whom you see in our stead. Peace and fellowship between us, has come.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, our Lord and our God, for giving us such perfect union with you. Thank you that the perfection you require of us, is ours in Christ—though we shall strive to shape ourselves as you grant the privilege.
Thank you that you have not demanded that we shall stand before you of our own accord, but rather, in mercy, on the accord of Christ…for we would be ash if our deeds were to be judged on their merits alone.
Supplication: We pray now for fellow believers everywhere with whom we shall share eternity.
You have given both spiritual and material blessings so that we might help one another as we strive together to serve. We ask for wisdom so as to make the most of every opportunity you have given us.
Help us to understand and have a high view of your Kingdom work. Help us to be patient and develop winsome characters that reflect Christ’s own. We desire an authenticity that conveys grace and openness to all.
Help us to discipline our tongues and our deeds, that others would see you in our ways, and ask the reason for our hope. May our hearts and actions be full of integrity and serve to demonstrate the behaviors of truth—which reveal that you, Lord, are the guide of our lives.
When we are apathetic or inactive, energize us with renewed vision. When we feel helpless or fearful, strengthen us according to your glorious might.
When we are weak and ready to quit, give us energy to endure, and help us to do everything for the sake of Christ with thankfulness and joy.
Overall—we pray, help us to walk in a manner worthy of you that we might always bring you glory, for the sake of Christ, amen. †

10/29/2017 #23—Sermon Passage: Job 38:1-33
Adoration: Father, Son and Spirit, our great God: You are holy and you alone are to be praised and glorified. You are due every honor.
All things are dull and fragile in your presence. You have given us proof of your magnificence through your glorious and mighty creation.
By your Word, you have spoken to us directly and personally. We are like the grass and flowers of the field that wither and fade away, but your Word O’Lord will stand forever.
Before the foundation of the world, you loved us, and so, made us in your image. Yet—we betrayed your love and brought ourselves and the world into ruin.
Confession: We confess that as children of Adam we are sinners by nature. So, we have lived and wallowed in the fallenness that surrounds us.
We confess our arrogance by thinking we could somehow correct what we have broken. Forgive us for our pride and drive to control.
Thanksgiving: While the righteous cry for justice and will have it, the unrighteous must plead for mercy. Therefore, we always give you thanks for your mercy.
Thank you for the gift of faith, by grace in Christ alone which redeems us.
Supplication: Our prayer is that you would use your people to glorify yourself. Lead us not into temptation but deliver us from evil… for you are our great and glorious God and we shall live to your glory alone.
We pray all things for the sake of Christ—our Lord, Savior and King—
amen. †

11/12/2017 #24—Sermon Passage: Luke 7:1-10
Adoration: Father in heaven, your mercy has enlarged our hearts—
Your gift of faith has healed us and given us eyes to see you for who you are. All praise—honor and glory belong to you forever and ever.
Your people and all others are under your perfect authority; they shall stand or fall by your hand.
Confession: Our confessions are the recognition of our great need of salvation. We know what is right is every circumstance, but we fail to obey even our own voices that plead in our hearts—to not be ignored.
For you have made us to desire what is right—though we yield often to the power of rebellion—even a rebellion against that damages us in the end.
Our hearts—the mind’s seat of emotion—are gullible…
In the pursuit of illusions and the delight of sin, we are easily swayed to ignore good reasoning and the better way…for the heart wants what it wants, as the saying goes…
Only when you have brought us to our senses O’Lord can we truly see where we have been and what we have done. We were blinded and had no sense of where we were…
Thanksgiving: For what you have done Lord-God—our gratefulness shall join with you eternally. Thank you that you hear our daily prayers and confession.
You are always faithful to forgive our sins and shortcomings. We thank you always, and in every circumstance, for you are gracious in every way. You alone know the true desires our hearts—our thoughts and intensions are not hidden from you.
The wonders of your merciful love have been displayed for us in ways we could not have imagined. We are reminded daily, that by grace, you give faith to the faithless—such as we once were.
Supplication: Help us at every moment to grow in our understanding of you and what you desire.
Remind us always to look upon the world with the compassion with which you looked upon us. May we be good and faithful servants who go where you send us and do what you command…
For you alone are God—great, good, and wonderous— and such knowledge overwhelms our souls. Your love engulfs us like a great and powerful wave—that gently delivers ashore.
The comfort is this: We belong to you and not to ourselves…not any man or demon alike. May we therefore, be united to you as a single people, seeking the mind and will of Christ in all things.
We make every request for the sake and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. †

11/19/2017 #25—Sermon Passage: Psalm 107:17-22
Adoration: Lord-God, our Father and Creator, we give you every praise, honor, and glory. Your righteousness fills the heavens.
The world is both condemned and redeemed by your just and merciful hand.
Confession: We confess our sinful ways by which we have earned our own destruction.
We confess our cavalier and reckless friendship with death.
When our hearts are turned in on ourselves, we suffer accordingly.
Nevertheless, you are a great and good God who will not let your people go the in the way they are inclined.
We cry out to you—and you prove your love over and over.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your steadfast love that refuses to abandon us to our own destruction.
It is joyful to tell the world of your magnificence.
We delight in giving you thanks and are grateful for the good work you have begun within us.
Thank you for every kindness and mercy you have shown us.
Your unwavering love has restored us, and our sanctification grows daily.
Supplication: We ask that you would continue shape our hearts and minds so that we might be wise, true, and purely inclined to honor you.
May our thoughts, words and deeds prove both our faith and our gratefulness.
You have done all things for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ; may we also do the same. It is for His glory we pray, amen. †

11/26/2017 #26—Sermon Passage: Romans 16
Adoration: Father in heaven, you have formed a living people through the blessings of Christ. We are utterly astounded… all praise, honor and glory burst forth from the souls of the redeemed in Christ…
By your grace and mercy, you have rescued us from our depraved and wayward lives. Like Rufus, Julia, and Olympas we have been redeemed and approved by the work of Christ.
As with the saints of old, you have chosen us in Christ to be fellow workers with Him. What greater honor is there? You O’Lord, are the Way—the Truth and the Life. We are what you have made us to be…
Confession: Yet, we confess, that in and of ourselves, we are ever inclined to disobey you…for we are so often drawn in by sin…our thoughts, words and deeds confirm it.
Without much difficulty, we slumber and forget even the simple things you have asked of us. We fail to recall that in Christ we are the new humanity which you have weaved into the tapestry of the world.
Our confession is before you O’Lord. We shall move forward in renewed assurance that you shall help us in our efforts to be clearly known as your people.
Thanksgiving: In deepest gratitude we bow down before your thrown. It is love which bends the knee.
Not love for the sake of reward but for sake of your perfect love for us. What a thing it is to be loved by Almighty God our Creator. We thank you with our words but pray also you will see opened before you, the unspoken gratitude or our souls.
Our thanks to you is as true as we, in our inadequacies, are able to express.
Supplications: Help us now O’God: May our hearts abandon the things of this world; including the illusion that comfort and happiness are of main concern. Guide our hearts, help us to not pursue what is momentary and perishing.
Remind us daily that you have made us for yourself; we are not our own, but yours; and because of this, as Augustine said, our hearts are restless until we find our rest in you.
Remind our hearts and intellect that, you are our daily bread. Only you can strengthen us according to the gospel which has been revealed to all the world.
We pray to know you better, to seek you more honestly and be the image of Christ to the world, through the transformation and renewing our souls.
We thank you, and ask all things for the sake and glory of our Lord Jesus Christ evermore, amen. †

12/10/2017 #27—Sermon Passage: Matt. 1:18-25
Adoration: Lord of heaven and earth, you are the only God, there is no other.
Though many will worship false gods—the work of the evil one; your people know you and you know them. They are not deceived for long.
They belong to you and you to them. You alone will judge the hearts and minds of every living soul. We praise you with all that we are, for you are worthy beyond our comprehension. All honor and glory surround you and we are silent in our awe.
Confession: We confess—that after the fall, as with all humanity, our hearts did not desire you; we were conceived in sin and are sinners by nature.
We confess now, that even as your redeemed people, we have not loved you—O’Lord our God—with all our heart, all of our soul, and all of our mind. Nor have we loved our neighbors as ourselves.
We confess to you our sins—and you are faithful to forgive us. You are faithful to shape us daily to the image of your son— this is our desire and our petition.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, that from the dawn of the fall of man, you made a promise to your people—that the offspring of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent for his evil deed.
Thank you that we have beheld the virgin who conceived and bore a son—Jesus Christ our Savior—who saves us from our sins. He is Immanuel—God with us.
Supplication: He has satisfied your wrath on our behalf, imputed his righteousness to our credit, and fulfilled everything according to your will. There is no greater Love—
Because of this—we come now and forever into your presence with everlasting gratefulness, through the name and righteousness of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen. †

12/17/2017 #28—Sermon Passage: Luke 2:1-15
Adoration: Father in heaven, we praise you and thank you for your son our savior, Jesus Christ. He is our Lord, our wonderful Counselor, mighty God, everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace.
We choose now and always to put Him at the center of our lives and uniquely so as we celebrate His birth. The Lord is with us. He is Immanuel.
Confession: We confess that we have wandering hearts and have not lived up to our deepest calling.
Our proclivities are our source of shame and discomfort. Because we sin, we must daily adjust our views or at the end of the day, confess our missteps and our failures.
But, you O’God are faithful to forgive us our stumbling…the sins we do and yet detest.
Thanksgiving: We lay before you our grateful words and thoughts.
We do not simply declare to the day that we are thankful without pronouncing to whom we are thankful… that is the way of unbelievers and fools.
Our gratitude is to the Lord of Lords and King of Kings, from whom come all good things. You are both the object of our faith…the source and focus of our thanksgiving.
Supplication: We pray you will keep us from distractions and help us put you at the forefront of all our activities.
Teach us to pray soberly and help us to glorify and worship you during both full and empty times of our lives. Give us a spirit of wisdom and revelation that we might know you better and show your excellence in our lives.
Open our eyes to realize this each day as we interact with others. Help us to be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving one another, just as you forgave us.
Fill us with overflowing concern for the lost. We ask you to save those in our family who do not know you. In your mercy, open their hearts that they may trust and love you.
Help us to share your Truth and be your light, for we desire passion about the things you are passionate for. Bring the truth of your word to life through our prayers.
Open the eyes of our hearts and enlighten our resolve for the hope to which You have called us. You alone are the riches of our glorious inheritance.
Help us to announce the incomparable beauty of your life and your gift to the world in Christ our Lord. We pray in his great name and for his sake—
amen. †

12/24/2017 #29—Sermon Passage: John 1:1-18
Adoration: Lord God our Father, Creator, Redeemer and King, you are the God of all that is true. Your glory shines over all of reality—for there is no other god, no other Perfection, and no other Savior.
Our Lord Messiah—with God in the beginning—creating all that is—author of life—the light of men and God almighty…Your light shines forth and the darkness flees.
With every redeemed soul, we also bear witness that you are God—the true light of the world.
Yet the world has rebelled and denied you.
Confession: We confess that we were once among them—that we once turned our hearts away from you in sin.
But having been born from above by the intimate will of the Father, we now receive you and by your gift—believe.
You have made us sons and daughters of the most-high and we are free to confess our sins daily, and daily you graciously forgive us.
Thanksgiving: We thank you with all of our being for the blessings you have given.
Thank you, for it is for our sake that you came into the world…that you took on flesh and walked among us.
We fall to our knees in praise and gratitude; your beauty and purity are ever before us.
Though we have never seen nor touched you, we know you are the Father’s only Son…and nothing shall ever again separate us from you.
By your loving kindness, you have blessed us with grace upon grace and mercy upon mercy.
You have fulfilled every requirement and credited your righteousness to those you love.
You have opened our minds and hearts and made the Father known to us.
Supplication: We can ask nothing greater than what you have already given…even so, you graciously look upon our every request.
For our daily lives afford us hard realities and your great providence is difficult to comprehend. Give us therefore, greater patience to wait and see.
Give us—we pray—a simple yet satisfying perspective… for we struggle to keep our hearts and intellect from wandering into apprehension and shallow solutions.
Help us we ask, to be steadfast in your love and to increase our trust…for we are the people of hope, and our hope is with our God.
Blessed be our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ—amen. †

12/31/2017 #30—Sermon Passage: 1 Cor. 10
Adoration: Lord God—three in person—one glorious God, we praise you… All Wisdom, Honor, Strength and Glory belong to you O’Lord.
You are the alpha and omega—the first and the last—there is no other. All of our hopes rest upon you.
You have settled your favor upon your people. We have all received the same spiritual food and drink that is Christ.
We know you are pleased with those in Christ our redeemer; and yet, our sin is ever before you. It is surely a displeasure to your Spirit—and to our own conscience.
Confession: We confess to you our many sins—our weaknesses and our attraction corruption.
We confess that our hearts and tongues react in sin before they yield to virtue. We have mingled together the bitter and distasteful with the sweet wine and bread of our Lord.
We have spoken of our love and devotion to you—while holding the hand of evil. Forgive us our sins we pray.
Thanksgiving: Thank you…for you have lifted restrictions laws we could not maintain. You have made all thing—that are not sin against you or one another—permissible.
Thank you for holy discernment, that we might weigh both our hearts and our deeds in light of your perfect law which is endowed in us in Christ. We are grateful that you have freed us from bondage to rebellion and failure.
Supplication: Help us we pray to appreciate what is good and helpful—and to embrace that which you have provided for our enjoyment.
Help us to turn away from our personal agendas so that we may build up and bless our neighbor. Help us to be authentic and to turn our hearts immediately to Christ in every circumstance we encounter.
Make us to be ambassadors who are virtuous examples of truth and not just actors playing a part. Purify our hearts fully that we may glorify and enjoy you now and forever. This Lord, is our confession of need and our petition of desire. We ask all things in the name and for the sake of Christ, amen. †

Prayers 2018

01/14/2018 #31—Sermon Passage: Luke 9:23-27
Adoration: O ‘God of our salvation, abundant in mercy and steadfast in love, you have shown us your glory in Christ; we have witnessed his coming and are blessed by his good deeds.
Every opposing tongue will be silenced by the knowledge and understanding of your Word.
Every unbelieving spirit shall be vanquished and the sacrifices of broken and contrite hearts shall be laid at the foot of your thrown.
Confession: We confess that our hearts are not pure. We are your disciples—but we continually look back and desire what we should not… The proof is in our disloyalty to you and our fellow believers.
So, we confess our sins knowing that you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Thanksgiving: Hear our words of thanksgiving and see that we are always needful of your mercy.
Thank you for the unbounded grace you have given your people and for that measure of common grace you afford to mankind—though he is rebellious in heart and deed.
Your graciousness is like a dream that continues to surface amid a harsh wilderness. It is a reality more material, greater and more substantial than any we can experience in the physical realm.
Supplication: Help us Almighty God, to deny ourselves and lose the life that is not in you alone. We know there is no profit in gaining the world at the cost of our lives…
May we stand unashamed now and always having suffered with Christ in death and rebirth. Place your hand upon us daily, that we might bear the cross in loving obedience and trust.
We pray for endurance to stand firm in a desperately fallen world. Although sin is all about…create in us clean hearts, O’God, and renew a right spirit within us we pray, amen. †

01/20/2018 #32—Providence-Unification in Christ’s Kingdom
Adoration: Lord of heaven and earth, our Triune God—though imperfect in ourselves—we praise and glorify your name.
All Wisdom, Honor, Strength, and Power belong to you O God.
We did not create ourselves, nor did we save our own souls; you have given us everything we have. We stand only by your grace and mercy in Christ.
Confession: We confess that we have not fully understood nor appreciate your gifts to us. We confess that we have practiced arrogance when humility was needed. We have set foolish standards when wisdom and compassion should have prevailed.
We have imposed ignorance upon your word and displayed outward acts of worship while ignoring inward acts of sin.
Thanksgiving: We are therefore, deeply thankful for your mercy in Christ and all that he has done. We are thankful that you are the living God who governs over our lives.
Thank you for your providential designs. In Christ you have walked with us and now keep us close in your love. Your holiness destroys our pride.
Supplication: Forgive us our sins we pray and correct our thoughts when we reprove, reject, or disavow what you do not.
Help us to apply your moral law to our hearts, so we may know well what you despise. Cause our prideful hearts to fail us at every offense and mold us we pray, into humble—useful vessels.
Help us to see as you see, speak as you speak and think as you think. Though we are weak, strengthen us we pray—in Christ. Help us to no longer pursue our own satisfactions but rather, those which are pleasing to you.
May we see your Kingdom more clearly, as you shape our intellect daily and evermore. May you be glorified through your people as we proclaim the excellence of Christ in one unified voice.
May your Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven—for the sake of our Lord—our Savior—amen. †

01/28/2018 #33—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 13:1-6
Adoration: Father in heaven, we esteem and proclaim your excellence to all creation, for we belong to you in body and soul. Your Holy Spirit indwells your people.
In your great mercy you have redeemed us for fellowship, with you first and then naturally so, with one another. You were kind to us when we were on the outside, so we also shall be kind to strangers. As we grow in sanctification, so grows our grasp of your holiness.
Confession: We confess to you our sins—of which we are evermore becoming aware. We confess that we have often been drawn away from you by the inclinations of our former rebellion.
We confess that to one degree or another, we yet practice unexamined behaviors—while knowing all along the blessings of the new-life.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your kind and merciful forgiveness. We know we are forgiven and shall yet be forgiven.
Thank you for your countless blessings and for hearing our prayers of appeal and request.
Supplication: May our hearts now be devoted to authentic Christian living. May we embracing every instruction you have provided, as we fellowship before your throne.
May we closely examine our daily thoughts, words, and deeds so that they are a sweet aroma to you rather than the bitter smelling fires of hypocrisy.
O’God, you are our helper and sustainer. We pray: discipline our ways, soften our hearts and keep our minds focused on your perfections.
For you will surely never leave nor forsake your own. We will not fear what man nor creature can do. By your indwelling Spirit all darkness will flee.
We stand therefore, in awe at what you have accomplished and of your long-suffering mercies. We are thankful always for everything you do—for we know it is for the sake of your Son, our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ, amen. †

02/04/2018 #34—Sermon Passage: 1 Cor. 12:1-13)
Adoration: Lord God almighty, Father—Son—Spirit, we praise and adore you. You alone have the power of being. You alone are eternal. You alone give life—and destroy. Even the slightest grasp of your holiness is staggering to us.
We can barely imagine such purity; for continuously, your blessed angles sing your praises—calling to another saying: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory!”—and the foundation of all creation trembles at your voice.
Confession: Though you have purified and sanctified your chosen in Christ, we confess that our struggles with sin are yet ongoing.
We confess that the quiet beauty of virtue—which you have instilled in our hearts—is all too often disfigured by the noise of our vice. Yet, because the Spirit indwells our souls, we know that to love as you love is our great calling, for we are nothing if we do not.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for being patient and kind with us.
Thank you for disciplining us when our behaviors dishonor you, and also—for the rewards of holiness. Thank you for helping us to mature into the people you intend us to be.
You have loved the unlovable and redeemed us from certain destruction—we are forever grateful for all you have done.
Supplication: We pray now, that at every moment, you would shape our intellect, and our hearts to show and be compassionate.
Help us to see ourselves in the unlovable, and to love them. We plead that the Holy Spirit would overwhelm our hearts in such a way, that we are truly patient, truly kind and truly humble.
May the substance of truth pour out from us. Help us to stop thinking of our own needs and self-satisfying desires. Help us to know and love virtue, and to pursue it as an offering to you.
We ask that you help us to bear and endure all things, help us to trust only in what is true, and to place our hopes in all that you have promised. May we now stand firm in faith, hope, and love, looking forward to your soon return—all things for the sake of Christ—amen. †

02/18/2018 #35—Sermon Passage: 2 Phil. 2:1-11
Adoration: Our God and Father, to your glory—you have highly exalted your Son. You have given him the name that is above every name.
He is our Lord, High King of Heaven—and at his name, every knee in heaven, on earth and under the earth must bow.
For he holds the keys to the Kingdom; all history culminates in him.
In Christ all things are fulfilled; the Law and the prophets are satisfied and the consummation realized.
Confession: We confess our sins in the midst of confessing that Jesus Christ is Lord.
We confess that we have practiced selfish ambitions and sought-after self-importance, failing at times to exercise even a portion of the humility our Lord has proven.
We confess that our resolve to serve you well, has been unbalanced and unreliable.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful that you are perfectly balanced and forever reliable. With deepest gratitude that we thank you for forgiving us our sins.
Thank you for staying close to us—your chosen, and for reforming our hearts and minds daily to the reality the gospel. We are thankful that in the Lord’s great humility, he has done for us –what we could never have done for ourselves.
Supplication: Help us now is to make our manner of life worthy of the gospel of Christ. Help us to stand firm in one spirit, with one mind –striving side by side for the faith of the gospel, not frightened by anything or anyone.
Give to us courage and help us to be steadfast so that now and always, Christ will be honored by our intellect, in our bodies and through our customs.
May he receive all honor and glory through our lives—by our deaths—and by our life in him everlasting; amen. †

02/25/2018 #36—Sermon Passage: 1 Cor. 13:13
Adoration: Lord God almighty—Creator—Ruler and Sustainer of all; we praise you—your mighty works and your ever mysterious formation of the spirit and body of man.
That we hold your image reveals to us your deep and abiding love. The perfect and complete love within your holy-trinity is an unimaginable beauty to us; yet you have given man both the ability and mandate to love—as you love.
We know that our life in Christ unites us with your love and that of the Spirit. There is truly no Christian life or love apart from our knowledge of you as our triune God.
We know what we were made to be—and we confess that we know what we became. Your perfect image—tarnished and disgraced by our sin.
Confession: We confess that we have not trusted in your perfect love and promises—and have brought shame upon your kingdom.
We confess that we are seldom patient and we struggle with kindness, envy, and arrogance.
We confess that we have not trained our tongues to avoid the language of rudeness for our hearts find it easier to embrace resentfulness than forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: We thank you that you are the one and only God who loves and forgives his impatient and discourteous children.
You know our struggles with sin and are patient to mold us over time into new and bright bodies and souls for your pleasure. We thank you that you are intimately shaping our hearts and intellect to embrace patience—humility—kindness and love in its highest form.
Thank you that while all other things end, your love will never end. Because you—our great God and Father—have placed us in Christ, we know our confessions—our gratitude and our requests are ever before you—your throne room is filled by them continually.
Supplication: Therefore, we ask that you will help to be mature in our desires and thoughts, rather than as children who insist on their own way—subject to immature reasoning.
Help us in our unbelief to trust, be courageous in hope and above all else—to love as you love… for without love we are forever children of wrath. These things and more we ask in hope of the fullness to come—and for the great sake of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen. †

03/11/2018 #37—Sermon Passage: Prov. 3:1-12
Adoration: Eternal ever-living God, Father of our Lord, and savior Jesus Christ—In your goodness and holy resolve you have chosen a people to serve you—not with hands that build alters but with hearts that build faith and sincere love for you and one-another…a people who do not forget your holy and precious commands.
For although tragedy, sorrow and pain fill the length of our days, so too does your loving kindness.
You have secured the peace between us and assured us in our hopes. You have written your name upon our souls and ours upon your hand. You have made us fearless in the face of horror. Our courage is in you.
Though we struggle daily to consistently to turn away from our sins, like a garland, you have bound wisdom and steadfastness around our necks and clothed us in righteousness.
Confession: We confess, that living at the surface of life has caused us much trouble. Thinking ourselves wise, we have leaned upon our own understanding—and it has proven its deficiency.
We often forget that we cannot survive in the shallows—but only in the depths of your being.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your kind and gracious acts of mercy in Christ. You have forgiven our rebellion—so full of sin—and made us citizens of your holy kingdom. You have made us wealthy, so as to bring the treasure of your salvation to a lost and dying world.
Supplication: We ask now that you would increase our trust—and may the deepest desires of our hearts be to you a fragrant and pleasing aroma.
Because your love for us is beyond our understanding and certainly nothing we’ve earned, we desire your discipline and reproof—and we pray that you
would strengthen our resolve with the knowledge of your love; for it surpasses all other knowledge.
Our deep desire is that you—LORD God would be glorified on
earth as you are in heaven. All things forever—for the sake of
Christ—amen. †

03/18/2018 #38—Sermon Passage: 1 Peter 1
Adoration: Lord God—Great King High and Holy, you have given grace and mercy to a fallen people—chosen in Christ before the foundation of the world to be holy and righteous according to the purpose of your will.
We praise you for your glorious grace and every spiritual blessing. According to your great mercy through our hope in Jesus Christ, you have caused us to be born again—now to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled and unfading like the world.
Guarded through faith by your power and love, we believe and rejoice in the salvation to be revealed in the end. Our trust is in you now and evermore, we shall not want.
Confession: We confess to you, our great Savior, that we are grieved by many disheartening trials which test our resolve and legitimacy.
We often fail by forgetting that through such fires, you are shaping a precious bride to be sanctified and blameless.
We confess that by our own efforts we cannot fully achieve a holy and virtuous soul. Though this is our desire, our hearts are often sidetracked by our former ignorance and confused assessment of what to trust and what to reject.
Thanksgiving: Therefore, thank you for continually shaping our souls to be sober, that our minds might be clear—so as to see the world as it is—that the deceptions, illusions and corruptions must no more rule or distract our hearts. Thank you for seeing us through the trials we endure which bewilder and perplex our thoughts.
Thank you that we may confidently know we will obtain the conclusion of our faith in the salvation of our souls.
Supplication: We appeal now to your mercy and kindness—that as exiles in a parched and foreign land, you would both grant and cause us to be conformed to godliness.
You have commissioned our days that we should desire to be holy because you are holy. Help us to see the beauty of such purity—that we might rightly crave what we should and reject-all that wars against it.
May our souls be purified in obedience to the truth, with sincere love for one another flowing from a pure and imperishable heart. Though secure in your love, we are as withering grass and falling flowers yet your Word lasts forever.
We make all requests for the sake and glory of Christ, amen. †

04/08/2018  #39—Sermon Passage: Philippians 1:1-11
Adoration: Lord God, Our Father, Son, and Spirit—by your great and abounding love, you oh LORD, spoke into the naught— and all things came into existence.
You created all living beings and at the panicle—mankind in your very image. You rein over everything seen and unseen. We give you all our adoration, honor and praise; you are worthy beyond our understanding.
Confession: O’Lord of all, you know our sins better than we do. They are ever before you and we confess to you the shadows and dark regions of our hearts. Our failures surpass our victories in a sorrowful manner.
Yet at the core of our corruption and lowest abyss, your Spirit shines and raises us up. Your Son our Lord restores us; our confessions are rightly under his shield of protection and his righteous covering.
Thanksgiving: We are deeply grateful, for he shall bring his good work in us, and all creation, to a completion on that great day to come. Thank you for what you have done for us and in us.
Thank you, that with all your redeemed, we are partakers of your grace. Thank you for your gifts of knowledge and discernment, that we may
approve and embrace all that is excellent. You have made us an earnest and joyful people.
Supplication: We now entreat you Lord God, help us and make us to be pure and blameless for the coming day of Christ.
To your glory and praise—fill us with the fruit of righteousness through our Lord, that our partnership in the gospel is always approved of by you.
Help us to serve well, first in heart and then in deed. We ask all things and hope all things in our lord and savior, Jesus Christ, amen. †

04/15/2018 #40—Sermon Passage: Philippians 1:7-11
Adoration: Lord God, you are ours—and we are yours. You are the God of mercy and grace—yet the world rejects both. You are the God of peace and reconciliation—yet men continue to create havoc and refuse to reconcile. Your people however, are at peace with you.
Everything you have done for us is by your love. You have made us to be a nation of priests—given us eyes to see and ears to hear.
You alone O’God are due all honor, praise, and glory.
Confession: Because we are yours, we confess to you our struggles, our conflicted hearts, and our desperate need for guidance.
We know that our companionship with sorrow and corruption has been exposed, for you know our sins well— both those that sit clearly in the shallows and those that go deep.
We confess that without your affection for us in Christ, we would be destroyed by your holy verdict.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for hearing our prayers. Thank you for forgiving our sins and reshaping our minds and hearts.
You hold us in your mighty hands of mercy and have made us partakers of grace. Though we are imprisoned in a fallen world, you have given us true and unwavering hope.
We are grateful beyond our ability to express. And though all is paid, we are forever indebted.
Supplication: Our pleadings are to you alone O’Lord—that you give us more knowledge of you and Christ-like discernment—so that our love may prosper in excellence.
We pray you will continue to purify us in innocence for the coming day of our Lord. Fill us we pray with the fruit of righteousness—to your glory and praise through our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. †

4/29/2018 #41—Sermon Passage Philippians 1:12-14
Adoration: Great are you O’Lord and greatly to be praised. All of your people in all the earth bless your holy name.
Singing the song of your salvation, we declare your glory among the nations—all splendor and majesty are the works of your hands.
Let the heavens be glad, and the earth rejoice; let the seas and all that is in them roar; let the fields and everything in them celebrate!
When you come—even the trees of the forest shall sing for joy; for you come to judge the world in righteousness.
Your law and commandments are holy, righteous, and good.
Confession: Because you are merciful and kind, we humbly confess to you, our sins. Having done what is evil in your sight, we confess our sins have been against you.
We confess that we do not do the good we want, but the very evil we do not want is what we keep on doing. Though sin dwells within our flesh, it is an affront to renewed hearts and minds. Our desire is to do what is right, yet an inability to carry it out subsists in our flesh.
The law which wages war against the acts our minds delight in, reminds us of our wretchedness. And though our flesh serves the cravings of sin, our minds and hearts dwell with Christ—the Righteous One.
Thankfulness: Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord—He has gone into the deep darkness of our sin and captivity and freed us from the misery of our own making.
Our imprisonment is now to him—for him and by him. For there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Thank you for the Spirit of righteousness—renewed minds and the promise of life to our mortal bodies. Thank you for peace and joy through Christ who has done for us what we could not have desired—nor done for ourselves.
Supplication: And now—being confident in the Lord, we entreat you to empower us to advance the gospel through whatever adversity may come. May we be bold to speak your perfect Word completely assured and without fear.
We pray that all creation would soon be set free from its bondage to corruption—that it also might obtain the freedom of your children—to the praise and glory of our savior Jesus Christ…amen. †

05/13/2018 #42—Sermon Passage: Philippians 1:15-18
Adoration: O’God of our salvation, you are abundant in mercy and steadfast in love. Your grace to your people has no bounds. You have shown us your glory in Christ; we are blessed and redeemed by his sacrifice and purity.
All other gods are only illusions from the minds of men and demons. You alone are God, there is no other. It is in you that we rejoice and rest assured.
May every opposing tongue be silenced by the knowledge and understanding of your Word. May the spirit of unbelief be overcome and may the sacrifices of broken and contrite hearts—be laid at your feet.
Confession: We confess our sins to you, knowing that you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We confess that in-and-of our own efforts—our hearts and minds are impure. All too often we look back and desire what we should not.
Our proclivity toward self-aggrandizement and unhallowed ambition—mitigates against the humble heart of Christ.
Thanksgiving: We are grateful that you are a God who turns sin, even the sins of your people, into a good that was not intended in its doing.
Thank you for your patience and for hardships which shape our hearts and minds though we complain. We are lovingly indebted for all time to come.
Supplication: Make us a people—we pray, who despise envy and contention in favor of compassion and good-will. Let our pretenses and selfish-inclinations be halted at the start and help us to proclaim Christ in grace and truth.
Help us to deny ourselves and lose the life that is not in you alone. For we know there is no profit in gaining the world at the cost of our lives. Create in us clean hearts O God and renew a right spirit within us for to live is Christ.
We ask these blessings in Christ—for his sake and for your glory, amen. †

05/27/2018 #43—Sermon Passage: Philippians 1:18-26
Adoration: O’God of our salvation—Holy Trinity, in your fellowship we have fullness of Joy. Our apprehensions and doubts are put at ease. Your love is steadfast and your mercy overwhelms us.
We praise you not only publicly—but in our solitude. We rejoice to proclaim Christ in the mundaneness of life—as in other providential moments.
May our hearts, words, deeds, and perspectives be a defense of the gospel…. that our rejoicing be validated by the glory you receive.
Confession: Day-by-day we confess to you, our sins. Even as your redeemed, we often think our situation to be desperate.
We confess that our transgressions haunt our souls and as your children—bring us forms of rightful judgment. Even in natural-disobedience, your supernatural hand is upon us. Your Spirit watches over us… so, moment-by-moment we desire to be renewed and restored.
Though reconciled to you in Christ, positionally justified by his deeds and sacrifice, we desire to be that-very-thing which you will one-day make of us.
Let our confession be true.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful Lord, for you are a God who knows our struggles, you have walked among us, and struggled with us.
Thank you for enduring the hardships we could not endure. Thank you for your covenant of grace so harshly but beautifully obtained.
Thank you for imposing peace upon our rebellious hearts and ushering us into your very presence.
Supplication: We pray that our hearts and minds bloom with a fragrance which delights you.
May our prayers with the Spirit of Christ transport your will as you have intended. Whether by life or by death, make us a courageous people— that Christ may be honored in our minds and bodies.
Continue to give us abundant cause to glory in Christ Jesus we pray. And as reconcilers, may every part of our character and conduct make a serious yet agreeable impression upon others, which might compel them to ask the reason for our joy.
We ask these many blessings in Christ our Lord—for his sake and for your glory, amen. †

06/10/2018 #44—Sermon Passage: Philippians 1:27 & 2 John
Adoration: LORD God almighty, you are the one and only true— living God—infinite in being and perfection—purest Spirit— invisible—without frame-parts or passions; unchanging, vast, inexplicable, eternal—all powerful, most wise—most holy— most free—most absolute, purest love.
All things in their purpose, seen and unseen, all creation and of all history as providence, stand as record—in evidence of your splendor. Neither the evil of angles nor of men can diminish your glory—but to their humiliation, will magnify it….
Your design is eternal, your resolve cannot be shaken.
Confession: We confess now that even as your holy chosen, we often fail to live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ.
We do not always stand firm in one spirit, having one mind— striving for the faith of the gospel. We confess our distraction when we fear our opponent—the adversary who roams about in the light of day.
Yet, day and night our souls acknowledge in earnest, that our trust is in you for our salvation-for we know the truth of your assurance.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for endowing our souls with the righteousness of Christ’s and his perfect obedience— Thank you for true life, legitimate faith
and the kinship through your Holy Spirit. Surely the truth that abides in us now will be with us forever.
And although there are many deceivers in the world, we will never lose what our Lord so powerfully purchased.
Thank you for the true story of reality your word brings to us; all illusion is ruined by it. We are thankful in knowing that you always hear our prayers and are patient with us.
Thank you for forgiving us our sins; we know they have been and shall be many.
Supplication: We ask now that you would grant to us what you command of us…that we might walk in truth and live in a manner worthy of the gospel of Christ. And with the shared mind of Christ, may we strive together in faith and deep-seated courage.
Let our trust in you stand as evidence to the world of the judgment to come. As we walk according to the commandments, may our salvation reveal the ruin of our adversaries.
We ask all things, hope all things and anticipate all things for your glory and the sake of Christ—amen. †

07/08/2018 #45—Sermon Passage: Philippians 2:1-4
Adoration: Lord God almighty—high king of heaven—our shield, our rock and our strength.
We give you all praise, honor and glory, for you are the only true God and ruler. All creation belongs to you; our lives are not our own but in your merciful hands.
You judge heaven and earth in righteousness, for those who hate you, who war against you—there is no comfort, no joy, no encouragement. You will surely avenge their evil deeds. But for those you love, those whom you have redeemed, those who call you Father, there is no condemnation.
You are our loving and gracious God. In Christ Jesus, the Way, the Truth and the Life and by the eternal Spirit of Truth, we stand before you in humble accord.
Confession: Because you are God—our God, we confess to you, our sins. In awe of your great mercies, we fear no one and no thing.
Our confession is true—for by knowing you we have seen ourselves as we are. We always seek forgiveness for our sins against you.
We confess that the tensions of life and our own sinfulness make us weary. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, you are faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness…
Even amid our struggle, there is joy, encouragement and comfort; for you alone have delivered us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you now for saving us by your sovereign choice.
Thank you for sending your own precious son who suffered and died—paying the price of our rebellion. Thank you for finding us in Him and His righteousness, rather than in our sorrowful attempts to set things right.
Thank you that our acts of contrition come in response to the gift of your Spirit. We are forever grateful to you, and in love, shall praise you ever more.
Supplication: We ask now that our encouragement would be found in and through Christ… that the comfort of love, the sharing of the Spirit, all affection and understanding—would be ours to your glory.
May we therefore be in full accord and of one mind. Help us we pray to do nothing from selfish motivation or pride. Help us to learn and practice humility that we might consider others more important than ourselves.
Help us to place our own welfare alongside the wellbeing of others—that we might be to you, a pleasing aroma.
We ask all things for your glory—blessed be our Lord and savior, Jesus Christ—amen. †

07/15/2018 #46—Sermon Passage: Philippians 2:5-11
Adoration: Lord God Most High, you are our loving God, our strength, and our comfort. You are the Father of your people, and you will avenge the schemes and lies of the evil one.
Your Son, our LORD has led your chosen to victory; for He is the Bread of life, the True Vine, and our High Priest. You have sent Him to us—born in our likeness—in form— God, yet a humble servant—obedient even to death on a cross…
And to us he has sent the Spirit of Holiness, our helper, comforter and counselor. You O’God—have brought peace to our hearts and minds and have made sense out of all that surrounds us.
Confession: We confess our sins to you…both those of wanton intent and those we assign no notice to.
Though you have forgiven our foolish-rebellions in Christ—we always seek your dear pardon…not out of dread or the idea that we have lost anything you have given, but for the devastation of realizing our offenses against you.
We confess that we are slow to conform as we should… however—
Thanksgiving: …thanks be to you O’Lord—the Lover of our souls. For your Spirit has entered that secret place, illuminated our hearts, and altered our inclinations.
Thank you for salvation in Christ—by his perfect obedience— suffering in our stead, punished for our sins. We are grateful that you did not leave it up to us to set things right.
We escape your wrath under cover of your love; it is a shield that cannot be broken.
Supplication: Give us now we pray, all that you desire and we in turn yearn for. Gant us the mind of Christ amongst ourselves, that we may inform and discipline our hearts to understand what you have provided.
As our Lord emptied himself to serve, may we grasp his humility and embrace his obedience.
In all lands and provinces—may every knee bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord; for his name is above every name—to the glory of God the Father almighty, amen. †

07/29/2018 #47—Sermon Passage: John 21:4-19
Adoration: Lord God Almighty, we do not worship any imagined god, but rather, the only true God. You, O’Lord are sovereign.
You are the God of Love, grace, mercy and wrath. We abide in your shadow and shelter. You are our refuge and our fortress—we give you all praise and honor.
And at your right-hand sits—our Lord and Master—the desire of all nations and true Bread of Life. He is our High Priest and King.
Here with us, your Holy Spirit Comforts—draws and teaches. We have not been left orphans, for you have come to us— granting life—reassurance and endurance. You O’God are ours and we are yours.
Confession: Therefore Father, we confess as children, that we have often thought ourselves righteous in our own accord. Because you are holy and have awakened our hearts and minds, we know our guilt and confess the sins we have committed.
Both as a people and individually, we all have sinned and fallen short of your glory. We will not conceal our transgressions— wherein the heart will cannot prosper—but we shall confess and forsake them—that your mercy may be obtain.
That our sins may be blotted out, we repent and turn back by the righteousness granted in Christ alone.
Thanksgiving: Thank you that we are now justified by your grace— as a gift, through redemption in Christ Jesus. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. You have made us your children and given us everlasting life and peace.
We cannot help but know who-you-are and give you thanks. We are your lambs and sheep. You have fed-us, loved-us and charged-us to do the same. Lord, you know everything.
Thank you for loving us, that we may now love you with true hearts—words—thoughts and deeds.
Supplication: We ask now that you grant us fortitude in grace, that we might be gracious.
Grant us mercy, that we might be merciful. Help us to follow where you lead, that we might be used by you—and that in us others might see you. Grant us knowledge in the art of gentle persuasion, that as ambassadors, there would be beauty-and design in our service to you.
May everything, we do, say, and believe be consistent with our service to you our-God.
We ask all things, desire all things, and hope all things in the name and authority of our Lord and Savior—Jesus Christ… amen. †

08/19/2018 #48—Sermon Passage: Philippians 2:12-24
Adoration: LORD God Almighty, you have stretched out your hand and brought everything that is, into existence. You spoke, and your every-word found purchase, creating the heavens and the earth and all that is in them.
In you is life. It is the light of men. Your light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory, as of the only Son from the Father—full of grace and truth.
To all who receive him, who believe in his name, he gives the right to become children of God. They are born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God.
We praise you because we belong to you—we are not our own—and you, our great God and Savior—belong to your us…your love endures forever.
Confession: Forgive us our sins we pray. We confess to you, that our understanding of reality is more often-than-not, narrow-minded and misfocused.
We see ourselves at the end of every endeavor—how it affects us—what gain we’ll enjoy—what sorrows we will avoid…
We confess that even our renewed hearts-and-minds, yet mingle with improper and selfish motives. We further confess that although we have the very fragrance of life, the stench of death still troubles us.
We look upon the evil about us, and briefly forget who you are. Forgive us for our instabilities we pray.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’LORD that you have forgiven our sins— past and future. You have provided for our well-being in ways we cannot comprehend. You have conquered death and given us the Spirit of life.
Thank you for every redeemed soul you have commissioned, to bring the gospel to your people as a blessing, and to the world as judgment.
We are thankful to you, for we know that every good and perfect gift comes down from above. We are thankful that you do not change as do the shifting shadows of time.
Thank you that salvation is not of ourselves, but by grace through faith, a precious gift from your hand.
Supplication: We entreat you now O’LORD—our needs and desires are before you. In everything we pray, we ask that your-will be done, and that ours be conformed in faith. For it is you we trust in—and not in our own desires or ways of thinking.
You know now—and have known like-us—our every desire. Help us to prove-our-worth to one-another—that such value would glorify you.
Help us to see the sorrows of each other as our own. Be our guide in every effort we pray. Shape our hearts, words, and deeds into everything you desire of us.
Give us resolve to not be anxious about anything, but that in every situation—we would pray and petition you in thankfulness. All this and more, we ask for the sake of our Lord and savior— Jesus Christ—amen. †

09/09/2018 #49—Sermon Passage: Philippians 2:25-30
Adoration: Lord God—creator—savior and sustainer, your glory fills all creation…whatever its boundaries are, you remain present—ruling over all.
How foolish is mankind, whom you made in your image and gave every-proof of your glory—to think that he is the measure of all things.
Yet there is nothing mysterious to you. The upheaval of man gives you no cause to ponder. Your mighty hand destroys the wicked and at the same moment—redeems the unworthy. Your mercy-in-love is too wonderful for our thoughts to grasp.
Confession: We confess to you that our hearts were as dark as any. Our illness was just as fatal and our hearts of rebellion were just as proud. We confess that—we know what we were—and that our struggles against the old-inclinations, are yet a raging-battle.
Our service to you and others is often lacking…we confess both our deliberate turning-away and our unintended oversights. Yet even as we confess our sins, we know that you are faithful and just to forgive us our sins—and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
Thankfulness: We are thankful—knowing and trusting in your mercy through Christ, who suffered for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh but made alive in the spirit.
We rejoice in all that our LORD has done in his present and future kingdom. His ruling hand comforts our souls. Thank you for the gift of faith that we might trust in everything you have promised to those who love you.
Supplication: We appeal to you now—still come and work repentance in our souls—show us the depth of our sin in all its horrible colors, that we might hate it as you do.
Melt our hearts by your majesty and mercy. Show us our ruined self and the redemption in Christ alone.
Help us to be—with your elect: fellow workers—soldiers— messengers and ministers. Teach us to see Christ; his ability to save, his open arms—and his compassion for the low and outcast.
May we confide in his power and love, commit our souls to him without reserve, bear his image, observe his laws, pursue his service and be an everlasting tribute to the value of his victory.
All this—we ask for the sake of Christ, amen. †

09/16/2018 #50—Sermon Passage: Philippians 3:1
Adoration: Father, seeing your creation—makes it impossible to not know of your great majesty. Yet you have done more than just let us wonder in astonishment.
You have revealed your very essence to us in your word—in the lives of men and especially in your very own Son—our LORD and Savior.
Your Holy Spirit moves across the face of humanity and brings the chosen to their God. Our-chief-end is to glorify and enjoy you forever. Your word—our Lord and the indwelling Spirit teaches us how.
Your decrees reveal your eternal purposes, according to the counsel of your will, whereby, for your own glory, you have foreordained whatsoever comes to pass.
Confession: We confess to you our sins amid our sorrow over such offenses; yet what joy and relief it is to confess to our loving and gracious God. Our sins—the memory of them and our confession are with us in our souls, we remember daily how mercifully you granted us pardon.
Having forgiveness, we will not be hindered by the indictments of the accuser—that wicked and ancient serpent.
Our confessions are true. We know who we are—and what you have done for us. So, let that roaring-lion prowl about, and in the heart our confession—we will be sober-minded and watchful.
Thankfulness: We are thankful that Christ is the principal object of our joy. We always have reason to rejoice in Him; in the greatness of his person and in your mercy through him. He alone, able to save all—saves those you gave to him. His intercession has kept safe all of those committed to him.
Thank you that he is our Arbiter who mediates on our behalf. Thank you for all he does and has done. He takes care of everything pertaining to your glory.
He makes reconciliation for the sins of his people; and with joy we draw the water of life out of your wells of salvation. We rejoice knowing that sin is finished and an everlasting righteousness has arrived.
We rejoice in thankfulness of Christ’s resurrection for our justification. We rejoice in his ascension, and in his session now at the right hand of God.
Everything he has done, is to our advantage. We are thankful that He is our King, husband to his bride, father to the fatherless—brother to the botherless and friend to the friendless.
Supplication: We now entreat you O’God, be our only true source of delight. That our pleasure and happiness would be to live according to your will in all its goodness.
Help us to better understand—fix it all more strongly in our memories—that we may be the more established and confident in the truth.
Help us to not be sluggish or fearful in response. Preserve us from the errors of the wicked; that for the sake of Christ, we will never be finally or totally deceived. Be both our shield and sword.
Help us to recall daily, that the gospel is the means of keeping us from the deception of evil-men. May we repeat often and confirm the truth which keeps us on guard—safe from deception and heresy.
Be our protector in all we think, say and do we pray. In Christ alone, we rejoice—amen. †

09/23/2018 #51—Sermon Passage: Philippians 3:2-3
Adoration: Lord God, Father—Son—Spirit, you govern your creation with sovereign joy. Everything is yours to give and take as you determine. You are perfectly free in every way. We praise you—our loving and just God. Your holiness overwhelms us.
Our hearts cry out with the blessed ones: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty …all of creation is full of your glory and trembles at your voice.” You call out to your people and they hear your voice—your Sprit has made it so—the righteousness of our Lord given to many. What a mystery it is to receive your loving mercies and to be silent—knowing that you are God alone.
And who are we O’Lord-God—that you have brought us so far? All that you have done leaves us speechless. We have no understanding, but that you are who you are… for you know and have known your chosen; you determine both their birth and rebirth. Let your name be magnified in your servants we pray.
Confession: We confess now, that even in the center of your mercies, our old-proclivities yet move us in ways we abhor. In certain times of
forgetfulness—our hearts and those of evildoers—seem kindred. Yet, we glory in Christ and put no confidence in our old ways, which were even a badge of pride to us… we know that way, was our destruction.
So, we are your true-people in confession—and you alone Father—Son and Spirit preserve us. We confess our familiarity with sin—and our awareness that any confidence in the flesh is simply bankrupt—our assurance therefore, is only in you. Draw us always back in mercy as with the mercies before.
Thankfulness: Thank you, that by your will, our trust—that is faith, was born. Thank you, that we can worship now in spirit, by your Spirit and in the glory of Christ Jesus.
We are thankful that your Word destroys the foolish notions of false teachers… those who would have us believe in the majesty of ourselves and the value of our deeds.
We know full well, that their enticements are insidious, flowing from the father of lies. Thank you that you have opened the hearts of your people— so that no deceptions will finally capture them.
Supplication: And now, we pray that your strong hand will continue to guide us. Strengthen our resolve and sharpen our minds—that we may think, speak and act wisely—and always in a manner worthy of your love.
Though dogs-and-evildoers encircle us, help us to recognize and reject everything that is outside of Christ. Help us in love—to speak-truth into a lost and dying world.
Be our guiding-light in both the mundane and exuberant times of life. Come soon O’Lord we pray. May all things be to your glory— forever and ever—amen. †

09/30/2018 #52—Sermon Passage: Philippians 3:4-11
Adoration: LORD God—most high King of Heaven—Spirit of truth…we take refuge in you—to know and enjoy you ever more. You shelter your people and they sing for joy. Those who love your name triumph in you—for you O’Lord are mighty.
You avenge your people, judge the earth and destroy the wicked…for you are the only true God. You alone make peace; giving grace and mercy to whom you choose. The world hates and reviles you—knowing the end of
your lenience is near. Yet in your safe embrace, your children call you Abba—Father.
Confession: We confess to you, our Father in heaven—that our journey has been rugged and uneven. We have frequently strayed from the path that you built for us. We have often misconstrued both your word and your requirements of us.
We have all done things to gain your favor—or to suppress your righteous judgment. We have all sinned and then tried to balance the scales-of righteousness that are not ours to balance. We confess that we have repeatedly failed to understand what a broken spirit and contrite heart really means.
Thankfulness: Thank you therefore—for your forgiveness of our sins; your goodness and grace are irresistible. Your love for us endures forever.
Every good and perfect gift is from you O’Lord. Your love draws us away from our selfish-desires and the pain of circumstances we cannot change.
Thank you for your promise of sovereignty over even the smallest concerns we raise. Thank you for hearing our prayers and accomplishing your perfect will.
Supplication: Now, in our many petitions—may our hearts and motivations prove true. We ask—help us to have no confidence in the flesh—but rather, that our only assurance of righteousness be in Christ alone.
Help us to put no trust in deeds or even fellowship—that such things do not distract us from our first love. May we count all such trust as foolishness—for we know the surpassing worth of our Lord, Jesus Christ.
Help us to turn our backs on all things that have no place in your kingdom—that you might be glorified in us. May our only virtues therefore, be found in Christ through faith; for we desire to know him and the power of his resurrection—sharing in his sufferings—in hope of being like him—both in our death and rebirth to life everlasting.
To God alone—Triune, be all glory, now and forevermore, amen. †

10/14/2018 #53—Sermon Passage: Philippians 3:12-21
Adoration: Lord God almighty maker of heaven and earth; Christ our savior and redeemer; Holy Spirit our comforter, you have made us your own—we are yours and you are ours. To you O’God—all glory—honor and praise is due.
There can be no rogue molecules, evildoers or circumstances that are not subject to you; for by your sovereign authority all creatures, events, and nature itself stand or fall. You are the God of Justice—Mercy—Grace, and Peace; you reconcile with whom you will. Your very name is Jealous. All of the altars and pillars to false gods—will fall.
Confession: Having found favor in your sight—through faith in
Christ, the righteous of Christ come now into your midst O’Lord. Pardon our sins and iniquities—and take us as our Lord’s legacy.
We confess our struggles, conflicted-hearts, and our desperate need of salvation. Though you hear our confessions, you know our sins very well—those plainly seen and those we hide in that deep and dark place—let your light shine there especially.
We confess that without your love for us in Christ, your righteousness judgment would condemn us and reduce us to ashes. We pray, forgive us if ever we approach you with less reverence than those angles which cry out “holy-holy-holy is the Lord God almighty.”
Thanksgiving: We thank you now —that through faith in Christ we may share his sufferings and become like him—attaining the resurrection which he obtained before us.
Thank you for renewal and the reshaping our hearts and minds—that our trust may be fully realized. Thank you that by faith—which you provision—we can push forward to what lies ahead.
We are grateful evermore that our past has no hold upon us and that the bonds which once held us—have fallen away.
Supplication: Help us now, we pray, to hold true to what we have attained. Help us to be worthy ambassadors—that our heart-of-faith and our integrity in Christ would be valued and emulated by others.
May even those who worship false gods find no true cause to convict us. We entreat you alone O’Lord, give us more knowledge of yourself and Christ honoring discernment. May we prosper in love and excellence for your sake.
Continue to fill us with the fruit of righteousness—purifying us for the coming day of our Lord. We pray this to the glory of God through our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. †

10/21/2018 #54—Sermon Passage: Philippians 4:1-3
Adoration: Our Father in heaven—Lord and Creator, your goodness encourages us to come before you. Your mercy abolished the gulf which separated us from you. To call upon you—our Father—is the delight of our hearts. For in you we find everything our hearts could and should desire.
Your light illumines our minds—enabling us to know you more deeply. Your many graces, even those we fail to recognize, flow down upon us continually. Because of your great mercies—our souls are now weaved into your life ever more. Beyond all other gifts, you have given yourself to us; and though we were once miserable in our sin and rebellion—by our Lord’s sacrifice and the desire of your will—you have made us anew. Confession: So, Father, as a people you have personally gathered—even at great cost—we confess to you our sins, which are not in rebellion but because of those wearisome inclinations we abhor.
You know that our confessional hearts are weary and that we long for that final consecration. We confess that we have not always stood-together for the Gospel. Though as your people we love you—the only true God, and embrace together the same truth—ambition sometimes clouds our unity and scars our witness.
There have been issues of tension and discord either individually or corporately causing separation rather than union. We shy away from vigorous and faithful debate—which reforms our thinking—separates us from error—and brings honorable reconciliation for the sake of the gospel.
Thanksgiving: We are therefore thankful that you are always at work within us so that outwardly, the world may see you.
Thank you for binding together fellow workers who labor side-by-side. Thank you for being long suffering for the sake of your people—those now with you and those to come.
Thank you for the book of life wherein the record of your beloved is kept. Thank you that you have called us to be of one-body and one mind in which the peace of Christ rules.
Thank you for liberty in Christ—who loving every sincere expression of faith—gives to us both unity and hearts of charity toward one-another.
Supplication: We pray now, that you will guide our steps—so that we will walk upright in an upside-down world.
We pray that we will be of same mind as we strive side-by-side to finish the race together.
We ask that you would teach our tongues silence when silence is better than words and that when we speak, our words would honor you. Help us to fight the good fight, for you O’Lord are good; your steadfast love endures forever, and you are faithful to all generations.
We ask all things for the sake of your glory in Christ, amen. †

10/28/2018 #55—Sermon Passage: Philippians 4:4-7
Adoration: Father in heaven, it is in the name of Jesus of Nazareth—our Lord and savior, that we come before you in reverence.
We rejoice in Christ and all he that has accomplished. By your mercy and grace through his suffering—his righteousness is our banner and our stay.
We are those whom you gave to your son—that he might present us now and forever to you for your glory. Our great delight is to see that your love, praise and glory be proclaimed to all creation.
May the beauty of your mercies and the magnificence of your domain—humble even the most unwilling of hearts. Surely, we shall glorify your
goodness and mercy to the last moment of our lives, with every beat of our heart and every drop of our blood.
May our lives be a hymn of adoration to our God.
Concession: We know you are at-hand O’Lord and we confess to you our most grievous sins and those we count as slight—but are not.
We never wish to hide from you, though sometimes we think we might. There is nowhere to flee from your presence. If we ascend to heaven, you are there. If we descend to realms of death—there you are.
Wherever we should wander—even in forbidden lands, your hand shall guide us home, your right hand shall hold us firm. The darkness of sins we harbor, are not hidden from your sight.
We confess that our sins have condemned us, yet by the righteousness of Christ—who took them upon himself, suffered, died and rose again—your mercy and grace has fallen upon us.
Thanksgiving: We thank you now and forever for sending to us— your son, our Lord. He did not earn what he received on that day nor did we earn his righteousness and reward.
We pray that our worship and doing the work of belief— reflects the gratitude of our hearts. Thank you, that by trusting and comforted hearts—we have the peace of God. Such perfect concord surpasses all understanding—for your Holy Spirit O’Lord confidentially guards our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Therefore, we shall fear no man or fallen creature. We shall not embrace worthless or progressive philosophies—nor worldly demeanors.
Our thankfulness shapes us—our belief is not just in ideas but in the person and work of Christ Jesus. In Christ, we have embraced reality and abandoned all illusion.
Supplication: Now, in our comfort, hear our prayers and supplications as we faithfully make known our requests. Help us to be the most realistic and jubilant people of all this fallen realm.
Help us to have attitudes of joy—with minds that can reason well, so that both our natural and unnatural anxieties are replaced with expectant and grateful prayer.
Help us to practice Christ-like virtues in all that we do and desire. We do not ask for the happiness of circumstances which the world desires—but rather—for hearts strengthened, trusting in your providential care and comforted by your sovereign hand.
May your Kingdom here now and coming soon, set the tone and color of our lives for your glory and for the sake of Christ our Lord and savior, amen. †

11/11/2018 #56—Sermon Passage: Titus 3:1-8
Adoration: Our Father in heaven—Lord God creator, our savior—Holy Spirit our possessor—you have made for yourself a people. You have given them knowledge of the truth for the sake of faith, and granted them godliness with the hope of eternal life.
Your promises are eternal, true, and proven by your word and the Savior you’ve entrusted to us. Your commands are not just ideas for the world to consider, but reflections of your holy majesty, and the grace and peace brought down to us in Christ Jesus our Savior.
Therefore, being inside of his purity, having received sound doctrine and trustworthy instruction, his ways are to govern our every move and interaction. Through faith O’Lord, you have ended our insubordination, established trust, replaced our empty talk with purpose and reproved the deceptions of the world.
Confession: We confess that we are prone to wander from your loving ways—forgetting at times the grace and mercy of your salvation, and acting carelessly—as though we were uninformed.
Once we were foolish, disobedient and passionate for the things you abhor. And such proclivities yet draw and insult our minds. We confess that we have not always scolded, spoken confidently or bravely to those among us who contradict the truth by what they impose upon your word.
At times we forget our own violations which make us ineffective—like those unfit for good works. So, Lord, in this our confession, find also our hearts dwelling in Christ—who took all our sins upon himself—even as they occur—that in your mercy and grace you redeem us—shall be our banner.
Thanksgiving: So, forever we shall thank you Father, for the goodness and kindness of our Savior, who saved us not because of works we’ve done or a righteousness we’ve produced, but according to his mercy—by the washing of regeneration and the renewal of the Holy Spirit so richly poured upon us.
We are ever thankful for justification by grace according to your promise and hope of eternal life. While these words are true, may our godly behaviors we hone—prove it so.
May we receive your discipline when we behave like the unredeemed, we once were—rather than like Christ, in whom we now abide.
Supplication: Our prayers and supplications are not always what they should be, yet we ask now, help us to learn the ways of holy and obedient submission.
Teach us we pray—and remind us in our souls and by your providential orchestrations—that we are a people set-apart for good-works. May our desires and your design always be well-suited.
When we are not gentle, remind us of your gentleness. When we are discourteous, remind us of Christ’s courtesy and gallant heart. Help us to avoid all quarreling, but help us also to skillfully argue for the truth.
Teach us to be careful with words and more so with thoughts. Help us to be devoted to good works, kind to one-another and to our adversaries. Help us to avoid worthless pursuits and to daily review and reform our understanding of what you desire in us.
May our lives be on display—and as such, bring you glory in all of our thoughts, in all of our words and all of the deeds we do. We ask this for the sake of our God and Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. †

11/18/2018 #57—Sermon Passage: Philippians 4:10-13
Adoration: Father—Son and Spirit in heaven—ever-present in all of creation, ever merciful and kind; you have loved your chosen and made them your work of art in Christ.
Even before you laid the foundations of the world, our names—our very souls—were loved by you. Even our moment of conception—our first and second births—our lives of sin before faith and after—were known to you before any fiat of creation appeared.
Our renewed lives upon faith in Christ, forever displays your love of us and for all to see. We rejoice greatly in you O’Lord. Your concern for us and ours for one-another come from the same true source.
Your love for us is both apparent and mysterious. You choose whom-and-what you will for the heart of glory and honor. Christ has provided himself and has brought peace and fellowship between us—so we know—all is well.
Confession: Because you alone are our God, we desire to confess our sins before you.
Though the darkness is as light to you, we acknowledge our sins in sorrow…even crying out from the heart of forgiveness. In so doing, our sins are exposed to our view as grievous and discouraging trials.
Our sins test our deeper resolve and the validity of our claims. Sin is what the sinful see in us first, for they are well acquainted and familiar with its ways.
So, if we prove ourselves hypocrites, they will appreciate the kinship. The fires we have created in disobedience are ever near us, ready to burn and ruin us.…or so it would seem.
Your sovereign hand however, keeps us safe, that we might press on, proving we are yours and finding rest from the battle. We confess that we sometimes forget that through such fires, you are shaping and sanctifying a bride for your son.
The hills and valleys of our days are in your design, for we know that in-and-of ourselves, we can never fully-achieve a holy and virtuous life. Though this is our desire, our hearts are often diverted by our assessment of what to trust and what to reject.
Thanksgiving: And through it all, we are thankful to rejoice amid your loving care. Your concern for us is eternally proven in Christ our Lord.
In Him, our every need is met. Whether in our daily lives we consider our circumstances as good or bad, our souls are content in you O’Lord.
You have taught us, that whether we are brought low or flourish—whether we have plenty or suffer hunger—in abundance or need, we can do all things through you. Your eternal countenance and sovereign care are upon us from beginning to end—moment to moment…and we are evermore thankful.
Supplications: And so, we rejoice to bring before you our petitions, not for comfort in life, nor freedom from trials, but for a deeper understanding of your presence, indwelling and lordship over everything seen and unseen.
Teach us daily we pray, to seek more knowledge of you—to honor you in our bodies and minds—to be loyal to you and one another—to respect all things worthy of admiration—to trust you because our faith is from you—to be humble as our Lord is humble—to seek after the wisdom which your word provides and to have the ability to exercise those virtues which bring you glory forever and ever.
We always ask these and all things by the authority of our Lord Jesus Christ, to the glory of God, amen. †

12/09/2018 #58—Sermon Passage: John 1:14
Adoration: LORD God Almighty—Father-Son-Spirit, despite the foolish and evil thinking of unbelief, you are the one and only, the true living God—Purest Love, Infinite Being and Unchanging Perfection.
You have not only created and chosen a people who truly delight in you, but you have also given them life-everlasting in your own Son’s image.
He was in the beginning with you, creating all things. In him was life, the light of mankind. His light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not, nor shall not overcome it.
We know that all things, seen and unseen are full with purpose. All events, all timing and all circumstances, stand in evidence of your splendor and providential care.
Nothing can diminish your glory… all efforts to do so have failed. All offenders will suffer the humiliation of their passions, their evil intents being reversed for your glory. Your resolve cannot be shaken nor misdirected.
Confession: Our souls, which were once tarnished and entirely dulled by sin, now enter your inner courts—your very dwelling place—brought into your presence by the righteousness of Christ cleaned and purified.
We confess our sins directly to you through him who bore witness to the light and redeemed us to the glory of God. All who believe in him confess their sins though they be a multitude of transgression.
We no longer ignore our disobedience. What is sorrowful to you, is likewise to us. We know when we sin, and rightly hate it. Yet the sins we once ignored or even enjoyed, are still with us… like a disfigurement we try to hide; yet they are there reflecting back to us, now powerless.
Thanksgiving: LORD-God, we are thankful for all you have done.
Though the world did-not and does-not know you, the ones you chose—who believe in your name and are in fact your children, know you. We know we have been born us into the light—not by the will of the flesh—but by the very fiat of God almighty who was and is and is to come.
Though the right to life and dignity stands by your image in us, the right to become your children is never found in us. We thank you for grace upon grace and the mercy which you gave to us without condition or any feeble efforts by us.
By your sovereign choice, you have made your people a fellowship of grace, and we are forever thankful.
Supplication: We pray now for the lost and dying, that you would extend your mercy upon them.
Though our vision is distorted in such matters, we know that our prayers are in some fashion an important part of your providence. Help us to be disciplined—so as to think as you think, for we know the natural appearing world is not the standard of our intellect.
Grant us more faith and increase our trust in you. Help us to not misevaluate your work in the hearts of those we bring before you. Forgive our frustrations and our narrow-minded tendencies and give us the mind and heart of our Savior.
Help us we pray, to see as He sees and love as He loves… for the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, we have seen his glory as the only son of the Father, full of grace and truth.
For your kingdom and glory through Christ we pray, amen. †

12/16/2018 #59—Sermon Passage: John 3
Adoration: O’Lord, our Lord—how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
When we look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet, you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet…
O’Lord, our majestic God, may your name be hallowed over all the world and throughout your creation.
Confession: We confess to you our sins because we are sorrowful over them. Unlike the world from which we sprang, we are born anew by the very Spirit of grace.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. And so, our confession is in the spirit—our souls which you have made to know you. Your kingdom within and your kingdom external is our home and refuge.
The wind blows where it wishes, we hear its sound, but we do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So-it-is with everyone who is born of the Spirit. Yet amid our forgiveness, we cry out, forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us, lead us not into temptation but deliver us from the evil one—for this is your world and the sins and schemes of its creatures will not prevail.
Thanksgiving: Lord-God our Shepard, as those born from above, who have heard your voice and received your testimony, we give you our songs of thankful chorus.
We who were of the world, and now by your mercy—only in the world, give you our praise and gratitude. It shall forever fill the universe—even in its darkest recesses.
Thank you, for you so loved the world that you gave your only son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. You did not send him to condemn the world, but that the world might be saved through him.
We who believe in the only Son of God are not condemned, but those who do not believe are condemned already; for belief is trust and trust is faith and faith is confidence in what is true. We are thankful that both salvation and judgment are in your hands and that our place in your glory is to act and always speak the truth in love.
Supplication: And now Lord, hear our petitions of faith. We ask that you increase your work in our hearts that we might speak light into the hearts and minds of the lost and dying.
We pray you would use our words and our lives as a vehicle of the Spirit’s work. That we might be the proof that the light has come into the world. And if we are true, we pray you would use our intellect and gentleness of spirit for the benefit of those who love the darkness; who hating the light—do now wicked and evil things.
May the light Christ expose the horror of their embrace. May we be your witnesses that whoever does what is true, comes to the light. And may it be clear to all that God has carried this out.
For we know that he whom God has sent utters the words of God, and he gives the Spirit without measure. We rejoice in knowing that our Father loves His Son, and has given all things into his hands.
We rejoice in knowing that whoever believes in Him has eternal life; yet, in sorrow, whoever does not obey him shall not see life—but the wrath of God. May the rebellion end in the hearts of the children of wrath and the Savior be worshiped. In Christ’s name and for his glory we pray…amen. †

12/23/2018 #60—Sermon Passage: Luke 2:8-14
Adoration: O’God, eternal and unchanging—God of our salvation, abundant in mercy and steadfast in love, by your Spirit, you have presented us with your Son, you have shown us your glory in Christ; we have witnessed his appearance through the eyes of shepherds, wise men, kings and peasants.
He has come to your people—chosen in him for your glory. We are blessed by his intercession—he has done every good and righteous deed on our behalf.
May every opposing tongue be silenced by the knowledge and understanding of his advent. May the spirit of unbelief be overcome as broken and contrite hearts are laid down before you…
For it is you who watch over the flock of your people. You are the Shepherd and Guardian of our souls. Your glory is all around us…and though we tremble in fear, yet you have comforted us, saying, “fear not” I bring you good news of great joy, the high King of heaven is born.
Confession: And so, we confess our sins in the light of Christ. We know that in-and-of ourselves, our hearts are not pure; we are in desperate need of mercy.
Though we are your disciples and betrothed, we are yet children, continually looking back and desiring what we should not. The proof is in our acceptance of things from the world into our language and laughter.
Our secret thoughts are not secret before you. They are in fact, a continual frustration to our blessings. Help us to restore our first-love passions, for we cannot be faithful through our own strength.
Our confession shows us both our heart as-it-is and our need of forgiveness through grace. So, we confess our sins—knowing that you are faithful and just to forgive us and cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
May our desires become a pleasing and joyful aroma to you.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your grace and mercy in Christ who is our comfort. Our thankfulness for redemption in him is to say that, He alone is the way, the truth, and the life.
We come to you Father—through Christ who has come as one of us and yet God in very substance. His walk among us has enlightened our gratefulness. We will forever sing his praises to the glory of God.
We are thankful for the knowledge of Christ as God; that no other name will save, and that no other way will lead true.
Supplication: Helps us now O’God, to deny ourselves and lose the life that is not in you alone. We know there is no profit in gaining the world at the cost of our lives.
May we stand restored and unashamed before your throne now and always. We entreat you our LORD and God, that you place your hand upon us daily, that we might bear the cross in loving obedience and trust.
We pray for endurance to stand firm in a deeply fallen world. Although sin is all about…create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew a right spirit within us. And with all the heavenly host we praise you saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace among those with whom you are pleased!”
May all things work for the sake and glory of our Savior—Jesus the Christ, amen. †

12/30/2018 #61—Sermon Passage: Matthew 28:16-20
Adoration: Lord God, our Father, Son, and Spirit—in love and by your almighty power, you spoke into the naught—and the universe leapt into existence.
You created all that lives upon the face of the earth and in the heavens—and man to bare your image. Over the seen and unseen, you rule your Kingdom; it is not left in the hands of evildoers or forces beyond control.
You call your own to your mountain that they may worship you. Though men with angels-fallen, create false gods to disparage, distort and divert the truth, in all places and at all times—this is your world O’Lord—everything is subject to your will.
You create and destroy nations. You lift up the lowly and seemingly defeated. You defend the pure of heart whom you have secured for your glory.
All honor, praise and adoration belong to you—and to our redeemer is given all authority in heaven and on earth.
Confession: We confess to you our sins O’Lord. For we have at times followed distorted and sorrowful ways. You know our sins better than we do; may what we fail to recognize in ourselves be brought to light; for we know our sins are ever before you.
The shadows and dark regions of our hearts and the impurities of our judgments, are never hidden from your eyes. Though our failures may surpass our victories, your forgiveness is our triumph.
Even at the core of corruption or the lowest abyss, your Spirit shines and restores us; our confessions are rightly under the shield of our Lord and Savior.
Thanksgiving: And so, we are deeply grateful; for He shall bring his good work in us and all creation, to a completion on that great day to come.
Thank you, Lord Jesus, for giving us a clear view of what is true by showing us yourself and revealing the Father. What your Spirit has done in us and for us, is life itself—never ending.
We are thankful for your gifts of knowledge and discernment so we may approve and embrace all that is pure and excellent. You have made us a sober and jubilant people.
Supplication: We now entreat you Lord God, help us to go forth and make disciples of all nations. That we might baptize them in your name as our Triune God, Father, Son and Spirit.
Help us to observe and teach others to observe everything that you have commanded. For your commands are true. They bring your blessings to your people—that they should stand blameless at the coming day of grandeur.
To your glory and praise—fill us with the fruits of righteousness, that our participation in the gospel should display you to the world as you are. In assurance that you are with us to the end of the age, help us to serve you well in both heart and deed.
We ask and hope all things for the sake and glory of Christ, amen. †

Prayers 2019

01/13/2019 #62—Sermon Passage: Acts 8:12
Adoration: Glory to God Almighty. To our Father—His Son our Lord—to the Spirit of Mercy, we sing the Magnificat. May our souls magnify you O’Lord. We rejoice in our Savior who has done great things for his people; holy is His name.
His mercy is for those who fear Him through all generations. He displays his strength as he scatters-asunder the proud in the thoughts of their hearts.
He has brought down the mighty from their thrones and exalted those of humble estate. He has filled the hungry with good things and the rich—he has sent away empty.
All praise, honor and glory belong to the Lord our God.
Confession: Hear now our confession merciful Lord. All our sins in some measure, manner or moment, have ravaged your church.
You alone have determined our time of reconciliation. We know our hearts were not always yours. We have been both those who scatter and those who are scattered.
Once sinners, lost in self-love and the desire of false gods, we now bow down as children of the true God. While still in the sins and transgressions of a fallen race—you renewed our hearts and minds.
Our remembrance of a Spirit thoroughly dead—brings us daily to our confession. For you have made your chosen alive in Christ. So, we confess our sins now as new creatures, free to see our sins as they were and are now… each one resolved and accounted for in Christ.
You have healed the afflicted and banished the unclean…our hearts will forever rejoice.
Thanksgiving: So, we thank you O’Lord God, for you have relieved us of our foolish superstitions, and opened our eyes and our ears and our hearts that we may know you.
We no longer seek false contentment in worldly-myths and practices. Thank you for changing our earthly souls and intellect that we might sore to the heavens.
Thank you for the truth which dispels flawed and ignoble speculations. Thank you for clear-thinking minds, that we should appropriately discern the real from the illusive—the counterfeit from the true.
Thank you for Christ—our Prophet, Priest, and King…the one and only Savior—who dwelt among us and by dispelling the darkness—proved his strength. May we in our weaknesses be
His glory.
May you bring us to where you command us and carry us away as you will; for it is not ours but your good pleasure we serve.
Supplication: We pray now, help us to speak clearly the gospel. Whether to those close by or distant, help us to explain the certainty of your Word in Christ.
Help us to rise in faith, trusting in where you have sent or settled us—that the good news entrusted to your people might be told and lived in earnest. Help us to pierce through barriers which use the flavor of truth to appeal—but afford no hope or nourishment.
We pray Father-God, that with your Holy Spirit and we in Christ, you make us guides of your word to those whom you place before us, that they might understand what they have heard or read regarding you.
You alone are the worker of goodness; may we be your helpers as you have determined it.
We pray always in the name and for the sake of Christ, amen. †

01/20/2019 #63—Sermon Passage: Matthew 22:34-40
Adoration: O’Lord our Triune God, you have created all things and set all boundaries. You alone are good and you deal with sin fittingly.
You are the living God who speaks to your people—a people whose hearts and spirits have been joined together by faith in one-and-the-same Spirit.
Though your word is clear and true, and many are astonished at it, it will not find purchase in the hearts of the condemned. They turn away of their own accord.
But with those in whom your word has rooted—you shall fill your wedding hall. You O’God are Light and Love; and the Just destroyer of evil doers, murders and thieves. You bind the defiant and hateful—hand and foot, and you cast them out into darkness they served—for though many are called, few are chosen.
And those who in malice plot against you, who put you to the test—neither knowing the Scriptures or the power of God, will be amazed…for you are not the God of the dead—but of the living.
You are not a god who sits idly by or goes away. You are the God who moves and acts as you determine— working always for the good of those who love you.
Confession: Father, it is with both glad and sorrowful hearts that we confess our sins to you; for we know you are faithful to forgive us our sins.
We desire, but cannot fulfill your greatest and most perfect commandments—to love the Lord our God with all our heart, soul and mind and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves. Not even for one moment have we truly accomplished these commands. If we say we have, we are lying.
So, with the assurance that Christ has fulfilled these requirements for us, we confess that which you know already. In that He is our Lord, we stand in his righteousness before your thrown; the peace between us is everlasting.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Father, having favor through Christ, we know that we are yours. You have dealt with us not as we deserved but according to his excellence. Because of our Lord, you have smiled upon us and our hearts and minds have been opened.
Thank you for the law, which in perfection, could only be fulfilled by One person—both God and man. By it we may grasp your mercy and see your beauty which grace reflects.
We know that our salvation—by your choice—is in Christ alone.
Supplication: We now humbly pray that you will sanctify us even as we seek to purify ourselves from all sin.
Command of us what you will and give what you command. Breathe into us life, that our thoughts may be holy. Act in us— that our works may be blessed. Draw our hearts to truth—that we may love what is hallowed.
Strengthen us to defend all that is holy and guard us against that profane-spirit who roams about like a lion. May we constantly stand in the light of our Savior who has given his all—that we may live and glorify our God.
Help us Lord-God to seek after nothing that opposes your glory.
May all things serve Christ-our-Savior who is the beginning and the ending; who was and is and is to come—who puts history and all creation in its place—for his own glory. For his sake we pray, amen. †

02/10/2019 #64—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 1:12-2:11
Adoration: O’Lord our God—Father-Son-Spirit, all praise, glory, and honor is eternally yours. Nothing can diminish your glory; not our sins, nor the sins of ne’er-do-wells who are wasting away by their own accord.
And to his certain distress, even the deceptions of the evil-one are but fuel to serve your glory. For you are God almighty, maker of heaven and earth, there is no other God before or after.
The false gods of the mind and heart are products of evil. You alone are the fountain of life, truth and wisdom from which man may drink and discover what you have given him to know.
Though men believe themselves to be clever, they cannot create what already is. Only you, O’Lord, can make the crooked—straight and fill that which is lacking.
You ordain all things, but men deceive themselves by loving madness and folly. Befriending the deceiver, they acquire nothing but the winds of death and hopeless vanity.
Confession: O’ Father, cleanse your people from all unrighteousness. For with the heart, one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved.
So, as we survey and confess our sins to you-and-one another, we are both sorrowful-and-hopeful. Our guilt and spiritual conscience reveal the truth and remind us of what we were—and who we are now in Christ…yet unbelievers know of their guilt and repress it.
We are encouraged, knowing that you have healed and are healing our minds and hearts to conform us in righteousness. It is certainly vain to think we have gained anything that was not given to us by you.
Forgive our oft failure to see and glorify you in the routines of daily life; for our perspectives are small and narrow. We confess our transgressions because you have enabled our confession.
So, by your grace and mercy we cry out to you daily and ask for increased of faith—the only worthwhile trust. We will not cover-up our iniquities but shall acknowledge them before you. You are the forgiver and restorer of our lives.
Thanksgiving: We give to you—our God-and-Savior, the gratitude of our hearts, that you would count it as a praise offering. Thank you for truth and wisdom, for knowledge of your holiness, hearts that seek to honor you, to be loyal in service and to do as you command.
Thank you for the gift of faith that we may believe, and for the evidences you have graciously afforded us to undergird our trust. Thank you for making our reliance on you a part of your gift to us.
We are thankful that you are a God of the miraculous and the ordinary. You reveal yourself in things both astounding and mundane. If we fail to see it, we are perhaps blinded by our own desires.
May our every thought and action reflect our gratitude; and may our behaviors and the words of our mouths prove authentic to all bystanders, and bring not shame but honor to our God.
Supplication: Hear now our petitions O’God. May what we ask from our desires be also your perfect will.
Forgive us our broken perspectives, for we are distracted in a land, where joy and sorrow strangely mix. Here in this place, we have seen that knowledge often increases sorrow; so, protect us we pray from grotesque and despairing knowledge.
May the things in which we find pleasure, be also pleasing to you. May wisdom override foolishness in all we say, think and do. Keep the shortness of life ever clear in our thinking and may our perceptions be eternal rather than transitory.
Deliver us from a false view of success. Remind us that nothing built with hands or bought with money will last, but that everything worthy in your sight—is worthy evermore.
There is nothing we desire more than your Glory in Christ. All things we pray for his sake…amen. †

02/17/2019 #65—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 2:12-26
Adoration: Lord God—High King of Heaven—Counselor, Comforter and Keeper. The glory of your name and your mighty works overwhelm us, your people—and cause your enemies to cringe before you.
The fool proclaims “Come and see what I have done,” but the wise shout-out the praises of God, saying, “Come and see what God has done and is forever doing.”
While the rebellious exalt in themselves, the humble of heart rejoice in God. For God keeps his eyes on the nations as well as on the hearts of men. He has brought forth his chosen to be among the living, let the sound of his praises be heard.
He has tested his people as silver and gold are tried by fire, he has brought them into his net, and as well—through difficulties to honor—to a place of abundance.
Confession: May the sorrow of our confessions be also the fuel our praise in forgiveness. We confess O’God that we have—more than not—been narrow minded, self-indulged and walked in darkness like the foolish you disdain.
Nevertheless, by the light of the way, we have gained wisdom to see your blessings in even the simplest of our toils and striving. Yet still, in the mists of your blessings, we confess that we have despaired and wondered over the value of our drudgeries.
We have counted our sorrows and not understood why. We have not appreciated that our questions are not yet answered; it is only our view that is shrouded by our lack of trust.
So, we confess that we have little faith, but also, that we are desperate for the wisdom of it. Our assurance is only fragile because our trust is tenuous. Where we fail O’Lord, lift us up to see your view—even if only a glimpse, until we confess no more—our shame forgotten.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Father for the forgiveness of our sins in Christ. Thank you for life—just as it is every day.
Thank you for the everlasting life you have given us by your grace and mercy through Christ our Savior. We are thankful for the gift and wisdom of faith by which we confess and are forgiven.
You have loved and taught our souls to know you and to turn away from the darkness. While the world lavishes in useless pursuits of grandeur, you have shown us that all things, even the mundane and seemingly hopeless, are filled and surrounded with purpose.
Thank you that we can say, “the unknown will not trouble our hearts, for our hearts belong to you,” for you know us better than we ever could. Thank you that we may now rejoice in you always and in all circumstances whether harsh or endearing.
Thank you for all that is true, all that is honorable and all that is just. Thank you for the pure, lovely and commendable. Thank you that we may think about and praise you for all things excellent and things worthy of praise.
Supplication: We entreat you now O’Lord: In that we rejoice in you alone, may our rationality be known to the whole world.
Because you are at hand, may we not be anxious regarding anything, but in everything, by prayer, supplication, and gratefulness—we shall make our requests known to You.
We ask that your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus. We ask for healing and a right perspective.
We ask for your more apparent presence and that you open our eyes to it; for apart from you O’Lord who can have lasting enjoyment in life? Give to us steadfastness and endurance we pray.
Give to us wisdom, knowledge, and joy that we might please you in all that we do; for we know that the defiant are given shallow tasks to benefit those who love you, yet it will afford them nothing of value.
While some reject your mercy, those who are in Christ—are by your grace securely sealed. For the sake of our Lord, may all glory, honor and praise come to you O’God now and forever, amen. †

02/24/2019 #66—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 3:1-15
Adoration: O’Lord-God—Spirit eternal, you have established your throne in heaven and your kingdom rules over all.
Men cast lots to determine their actions but every decision is from you; for nothing happens without your consent, knowledge and ordination.
The heart of man plans his way but you establish his steps. You do your will among the hosts of heaven and among those who inhabit the earth; and none can stay your hand or say to you, “what have you done?”
We cannot overlook the truth, that one day is as a thousand years to you and a thousand years as a day. You supply our every need according to your riches in glory— in Christ.
What you do O’Lord endures forever, nothing can be added or removed. We see both terror and serenity weaved through out your creation and we know that you alone—are God.
Confession: We confess now our lack of thought and reflection on the days we live. Though free and inclined to turn to our own ways, we are yet under authority and we know it; for you set the times and events in their course as you have all creation.
You open the womb and you close our eyes; we plant and you bring the harvest. You preside over both killing-and-healing, weeping-and-laughter, justice and mercy…all things are subject to you.
We confess also our forgetfulness as to how to stand firm and recall to mind that you are God and there is no other. You have declared the end from the beginning and from ancient times-things not yet done.
We confess our lack of trust. Though we know you have spoken, and will bring everything to pass which you have purposed, our memories are frail and our steadfastness lacking.
We confess our stubbornness, for in and of ourselves, we are far from righteousness.
Thanksgiving: So, Father, even more—we thank you that Christ is our righteousness and if found in Him, we are perfected in Him.
Thank you that you have made everything beautiful in its time. You have put the desire of eternity into our hearts—it is a knowledge to great to know—our grasp of it is insufficient.
We are grateful for the wisdom you have given us through knowledge of yourself and the paths you have set for us. We thank you, that whether we know sorrow-or-rejoice, built up-or-tear down, keep-or-discard, you are our God, we will acknowledge you and give our thanks, at all times and in all things.
Supplication: We pray now and always for your continued care and that comfort which surpasses all experiences and trials. We pray Lord, open our minds and hearts to see you working in all things, even though we have little understanding.
We ask that you would redeem not only our minds and hearts but also those of our families and our enemies. Teach us to better understand the circumstances and events of time and eternity.
Help us to see the continuity and harmony inherent in your purposes…and when we cannot, teach us to trust more and to love everything you have commanded. For it is in such things that you will have glory.
May all things that come to pass and are yet waiting, bring praise, honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. †

03/17/2019 #67—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 4:1-16
Adoration: LORD God, all the worlds and ways of your creation rise or fall by your mighty edict. You are holy and all that you redeem is sanctified for your glory. Your holy condemnations are good.
You have lifted the curse upon your chosen by the sacrifice of your Lamb, the Lion of Judah. By his powerful command, every king and kingdom will bow down and every chain will fall away.
As his possession, the fallen will rise with him—broken hearts restored to declare his praises. O’Lord our God, you are compassionate and gracious—slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.
You have not dealt with us according to our sins—nor treated us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your lovingkindness toward those you love.
As far as the east is from the west, you have removed our transgressions from us. Who can stop the Lord almighty?
Confession: So, gracious Father, hear our confession—for our sins are too heavy for us to carry—they are too real for us to hide, and too deep for us to undo.
It is because of what you have done for us that we can freely confess our great brokenness. It is a confession that we would never have given on our own.
Before you opened our hearts, we did not hate what oppressed us, but now in tears we see the truth of it—and we struggle. Forgive what our mouths have feared to say—and what our hearts can no longer bear—for the burden of rebellion is a consuming fire.
Because of your mercy to us—we confess that we have sinned against you by what we have done, and what we have left undone. Our thoughts, words and deeds suffer from corruption.
We have not loved you with our whole heart, mind and body and we have not loved our neighbors as ourselves. Continue, we pray, to set us free from a past that we cannot change.
Grant us the grace to grow each moment into a closer likeness of Christ. It is for his sake that you have had mercy on us and forgiven us. May we may delight in you alone and walk in your ways to the glory of your name, and may you also delight in us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for all that you have done and will do to restore all that was broken. You have quieted our souls and brought us to your table.
You have cleansed us and dressed us in white. We no longer strive in futility and failure. Thank you for showing us that two working together is better than one and that threefold is better still.
We are forever grateful that Christ is our Prophet—Priest and King. We have no earthly authority to appeal through, for there is only one in heaven who is our advocate.
May our thankfulness be weaved throughout your kingdom as a sweet aroma forever.
Supplication: Hear now O’Lord our requests. May they be rightly given to you in humble accord and obedience.
Free us still from oppressors who have and yet still draw our attention away from your glory. Give us depth of discernment so we may see and refute the evil deeds of men and angles.
Alert our hearts to the sorrow of envy. Guard us from the old ways so they cannot deceive us by reappearing in new forms. Give us insight into all of the things we embrace—that we might never hold to what fools proclaim.
Help us to find our satisfaction in your provisions and to never seek after anything we should not. Shape our desires we pray, to be what you desire for us, that our hearts should wander no more.
We ask all things, hope all things, and desire all things for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, amen. †

03/24/2019 #68—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 5:1-7
Adoration: Our God and savior, you are King-of-kings and Lord-of-lords. You declare that all things are made by your hand, and by your hand, all things came to be.
Even so, you declare: “this is the one to whom I shall look—he who is humble and contrite in spirit and trembles at my word.” You are indeed our high King of heaven; your footstool is upon the earth.
You have made some men to be wise—and left others in their madness. In adoration, the prudent fear your holy and righteous character; they tremble at the knowledge of your sovereign design and their own lack of understanding.
By your love—their trust in you both humbles and glorifies the soul. Fools on the other hand, don’t know or care about the danger they are in. Their cavalier and dismissive approach to you is the story of their demise.
Their souls delight in outrageous acts of rebellion. They do not draw near to listen and obey—but rather, to get benefits and favors for which they are not thankful. They even demand more while cursing you by word and deed.
Their false piety and claims of grandeur are continually evil in your sight. Their own numerous and reckless words condemn them. Because you are holy—you rightly give them over to unholiness, and by their worship—they destroy themselves.
You O’God, will be glorified in the day of judgment and the eternal fires to follow; and you will comfort your people in the circle of your throne.
Confession: Father, you know all there is to know about us, and still, we confess that we have not always approached you with awe and wonder as wise and loving servants should.
We are guilty of uttering meaningless words during worship and making vows that we have forgotten or never fully paid. We confess that we have done acts of piety yet in the end we diminished the virtue we gained. So, we have not always been careful to do all that has passed our lips as vows.
Yet we of all people know that our words are not just sounds but the resounding expressions of both heart and mind. The truth of the soul is heard from the mouth and seen in the eyes.
We, like unbelievers have looked for an excuse-or rationalization to forget our pledges. In our confession, we cannot say that we are innocent, for we know O’Lord, that resolved vows shape us-and-others by your will.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Father, for all your ways and the Word of life you have given us.
Your grace and mercy in Christ shape our souls. He is the final Word you have spoken. You have revealed those things in Him which bring you delight and you have made a people for Him by your perfect design.
We are thankful that you have not left us to ourselves, for on our own we are a crooked and wanting people. Thank you for shaping and endowing us to shape our hearts— so that our thoughts and words are meaningful and our worship—true.
Supplication: We know Father, that you delight in responding to our right petitions and to sacrifices given in love. Give us always the wisdom and discernment that makes our words few and true.
Help us to approach your throne with proper and humble resolve. Make us gentle as you fully shape our spirits in accordance with our brokenness.
Help is to never make rash or foolish vows like the vow Jephthah made (Judges 11:29-40). We ask that you would help us to think and see clearly the things we are to do.
Help us to be mature in ways that honor you. Be our focus in every thought—act and behavior we embrace. Help us to reject immature bartering with You-our-God, for we know we are to simply bring our petitions before you and to love your will for us…
May you hone our dullness and shape us as you have determined for your glory. In Christ we pray, amen. †

03/31/2019 #69—Sermon Passage: 2 Timothy 3:16-4:5
Adoration: O’Lord our God, by your will, mercy, and grace—our trust in you is founded. According to all we have heard, seen, and discovered—all praise, honor and glory belong to you. For there is none like you, and there is no God besides you.
Your word O’Lord is living and active. It is sharper than any two-edged sword. It pierces to the very division of soul, spirit, joint and marrow. It even cuts to the discerning of our thoughts and the intentions of our hearts.
By your Spirit and our Lord, you have breathed-out all Scripture; and by it—all that is true. It is trustworthy; in fact, it is the story of how things are.
All teaching—scolding—correction, and training-in righteousness are in your word; by it, we are made complete and equipped for every good work. It is a lamp to our feet.
By guarding ourselves according to your word it fuels our desire to keep our ways pure. O’Lord our God, we know because we see the grass wither and the flower fade, that your word will stand forever.
Your ways are perfect and your word proves true. You are a shield for all those who take refuge in you. The unfolding of your word O’Lord gives light and imparts understanding to the simple.
Confession: We confess to you Father that we are desperate for your guidance in our every effort.
As your representatives, we confess that as doers of the word we have not always been careful of our behaviors. We know that if we only hear your word but separate it from our ways, we are deceiving ourselves and others.
So, although it is also painful, our hopes lie in your loving discipline of our hearts. You have given us appropriate and doable tasks, yet our difficulty in carrying them out is only because we have failed to put you first.
You know that we strive in life for the renewal we have—it is the way our spirits yet work which causes our strife. So, by our confession we pray, forgive us for our inconsistencies and wanderings—for we shall struggle until that day of glory, even so, with hearts open and contrite before you.
Thanksgiving: We thank you now and forever our Lord and King. You have given us your word and the way to keep it.
Only by your strength and intentional effort have we found wisdom to build our homes upon the rock. Although fools and deceivers abuse your word for gain, we are thankful that you have given us your holy, pure and supernatural word.
By your word we know you better and can tell others about you. For your Holy Spirit speaks to the reality of life. The depth of our gratitude cannot be expressed enough.
You have charged and commissioned us with a great task O’Lord, we are to speak your words after you. We are to be accurate in our interpretation and true to its meaning.
If we ignore the context, we are subject to rebuke and rightly so… for you judge the living and the dead… by the appearing of our Lord and his kingdom. May we be obedient to our charge and in humility, carry it out.
Supplication: Hear now our supplications we pray: Help us to endure and to love and exercise sound teaching. Help our intellect and our emotions to shape our passions for you.
Help us to dispel all myth and the foolishness within the church-universal. Keep us sober minded and encourage us to endure suffering as we fulfil your ministry in a lost and dying world.
Train us as we read and hear your word, so that in turn may we write and speak your word through prayer and
In awe of your majesty, may we pray with care and thoughtfulness and not simply the drone of rambling and repetition. Guide our mouths O’Lord to speak your word and to think your thoughts after you so we may do what you command of us.
Shape our intellect we pray and help us to do all things without grumbling or disputing, so that we may be blameless and innocent, children of God without blemish amid a crooked and twisted generation, among whom we are commanded to shine as lights to the world—holding fast to the word of life.
All good things for the sake of Christ we pray, amen. †

04/14/2019 #70—Sermon Passage: Matthew 21:12-17
Adoration: O’Lord God, what an honor and privilege it is, to address you as our Father. We do not take the significance of it lightly.
Our familiarity will never invite contempt, for we know you honor the unworthy. By your grace and mercy, you have chosen to bring faith to the weak and disreputable—the poor and destitute.
You have made us from the dust of the earth and breathed into us a spirit that flows now through all flesh…we share from the beginning both goodness and failure.
Your name O’Lord is majestic in all the earth! Your glory is inand-above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes—to still the enemy and the avenger.
When we look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what are we that you are mindful of us, and the son of man that you care for him?
By your name, those whom you love proclaim that your house—is a house of prayer. May those who make it otherwise be driven out by your mighty hand.
May those who cheapen and distort your word, who steal hearts away with foolishness, know this: Our God has arrived; he has not kept silent; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth below, that he may judge his people, and he says: “Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens O’Lord declare your righteousness, for you alone are the judge!
Confession: We pray now Father that our confessions will show that our bodies and souls are yours alone. In your mercy, forgive us our sins; for we are yet inclined to grumble rather than praise and be self-focused rather than noble. As though we were dreamers without knowledge, we gather our discouragements before us—forgetting the promise and the comfort of your love.
With nearsighted passions, we forget—that more than all the people of the world—we are to think and speak carefully and fearfully about who you are and what you have commanded.
We confess that we have often disregarded your providential care. And though our confession is true—we are slow to amend our ways. Yet our thoughts continue to search-out our souls that we might yield ourselves more deeply.
For we know that you Lord, are the way, and the truth, and the life. And no one comes to the Father except through you.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful to you for all things—that you are God alone and there is no other, is embossed upon both shield and sword.
Though nothing can change what our sins have been—for what is done is done—we embrace your forgiveness, for you have removed our sins from your sight. The blind and the lame are healed and the dead are restored to new life.
Thank you, Lord of heaven; for you are our great high priest and King. You stand in judgment over every realm. The foolish in their madness ignore the fact, that this world—is your world.
We are thankful that you have been kind to us and mindful of our days. You are even preparing a place for us, so our hearts may not be troubled.
And we know you will come again to take us to yourself, that where you are, we will also be. Seeking others as you sought us, our gratitude will show.
We are thankful for the mystery of providence, which has taught us to watch, wait and wonder. We know and appreciate the wonderful things you have done, and with those before us, we too cry-out “Hosanna to the Son of David!”
Supplication: And so, to you O’Lord—by faith—we make our requests known: We entreat you, for you have saved us—and we pray, “save us still O’LORD!”
Help us to see you working even in the paradox and contradictory lives of the unregenerate. May we embrace your image in mankind and so never miss what you are doing.
Help us to never be indignant to the things around us that we might affect those things for you. Help us to see as you see, and to recall that we were once like those who are now ignorant and discourteous.
Give us insight we pray, into-even the most reprehensible of hearts. Help us to be compassionate toward those who deny you— whose minds are blinded and low… for we know there are no depths beneath you and no heights above.
You rescue whom you will and restore ruins from the dust. You prepare praise for yourself where our imaginations had not gone. You both turn and leave-alone the souls of men for your glory. Praise be to you O’God of our salvation.
May the Lord Christ sanctify and perfect us in himself, amen. †

04/21/2019 #71—Sermon Passage: 1 Cor. 15:1-11
Adoration: Lord God, perfecter of our faith—bearer of all truth, we have heard, witnessed, and received the stewardship of your grace—given to us in the gospel through the apostles. By great revelations, you have made the mystery of Christ known to your people and to the world.
What was shrouded and pondered in antient times, was revealed by the Spirit to your holy apostles and prophets. Which being: that the Gentiles are fellow heirs, members of the same body, and partakers of the promise in Christ Jesus through the gospel.
According to the gift of your grace and mercy, the unsearchable riches of Christ have been brought into the light for everyone to see. Through him all things were created.
In him is revealed the mystery of the plan hidden for ages: That through the church the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly places. This was according to the eternal purpose realized in Christ Jesus our Lord.
We place our confidence in him, and through faith, we have boldness and access to the throne of God Almighty. All praise, Honor and glory be to our Lord and Savior.
Confession: Our confession is too often tied to forgetfulness and distractions.
We loosen our grip too easily and forget to stand-firm. For the gospel preached to us, and received by us, by which we are being saved, is not ineffective, but is steadfast in our weakness.
We confess, that what we once denied but knew-to-be-true, had haunted both our sleep and our waking. We confess our sin against you O’Lord and against one another. Yet by faith—our trust and assurance are in you and what Christ has done for us.
We know that you have forgiven our rebellion and immoralities. You remind us amid our confession: go—and sin no more. And so, our greatest confession is this: Jesus Christ is Lord; our hearts and minds have every reason to trust that Christ was raised from the dead by God, and as God,
he himself has risen from the grave. The work of God-the-Spirit teaches us to trust these simple and profound truths.
The reality is, whoever denies the Son denies the Father, but the one who confesses the Son has the Father also; and is brought-up from death to life-evermore in Christ.
Thanksgiving: So, our thankful spirits cry out “aba-Father.” Only as man and God could our Lord do all that was needed for salvation.
We are thankful for Christ’s perfect life and sacrifice. His vindication by resurrection and ascension prove-true his powerful loving work. Only the chosen can thank you O’Lord, saying before men: “Jesus Christ is the Son of the living God—Messiah and Savior. We abide in Him and He in us—there is no other…
Our gratitude is known now and forever in the praise of song and poem—our minds and bodies belong to you O’Lord.” By His grace—we are what we are.
Supplication: So, we pray that we will not lose heart during the sufferings which shall afford glory to God. May we continually acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord—to the glory of God the Father.
Give us the strength we pray, to carry out what our tongues confess and reality proves true. For there is no other resolve. Your word in evidence of creation is apparent.
This witness and the Spirit’s testimony have found purchase in your people. It verifies that your grace toward us was never in vain. We are yours and you are ours. You have conquered the sting of death and so the voices of the redeemed resound throughout creation…
All blessings come to us in Christ—and all things forever—for his sake, amen. †

04/28/2019 #72—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 5:8-20
Adoration: Most high God—bread of life—Spirit of truth: hear our songs of adoration and salutation. The works of your hands reveal but portions of your wisdom, goodness, and mercy.
O’Lord, you have spread beauty over all the earth and your exquisite creation shows forth your power. All things speak of your beauty and are inexplicable.
Such knowledge and the glory of your gospel enlightens and comforts our souls. Our faith is supported by your deeds…it is trust well placed. Those who remain your enemies will never be convinced. But those you make alive recognize the voice of their Shepard; they hear and follow.
We are yours and you are ours. And our faith is not now—nor never was blind. You have afforded every proof to satisfy wandering hearts. You have given our intellect cause to embrace and glorify your name.
You have made us people of reason and purpose in a world where neither is understood nor valued. O’Lord on high, there is nothing which can sway the resolve of our trust—while sorrowful arguments against truth abound, they are without merit and insufficient.
We say with confidence “bring forth every objection, we fear no accusation—neither do we fear the notions of men or the deception of demons.” For all creation is your creation and whether all agree or not, it is—as it is, you are who you are.
Confession: Yet seeing about us the violations of justice and virtue, we confess that we are guilty of a measure complacency and disbelief.
Although unrighteousness and cruelty are exactly what we should expect in a hopeless land, and we are pressed here to forget what is right, we know such things cannot endure long.
Father, forgive us for our preoccupation with sorrow, distress, money, and wealth. For we know, but forget, that true joy, contentment, and wealth reside with you.
We admit, that our pride and unworthy desires have clouded our minds, our hearts, and our vision. We have even become deaf to the cries of others…thinking of ourselves first.
We confess too, that in seeking satisfaction from the world, we have mistakenly followed our hearts and emotions. We have eaten in darkness, suffered displeasure, sickness, angst, and anger. Though encouraged above all people, we have embraced the ways of the downhearted.
For the world misleads our hearts; and where our hearts tell us to go—cannot be trusted. Without introspection, we are driven by our emotions. As
such, they are changing winds which tear at our minds and mouths so that we speak and act before the gusts have settled.
But you O’Lord, have never and shall never mislead us. O’ that we would just remember!
Thanksgiving: So, we give thanks to you for forgiving our many sins.
Thank you for the assurance of ultimate justice and simple times justice which you have work in the minds of rulers. Thank you, that in every way, our King is committed to cultivating his fields. Even now, his threshing floor is set and his winnowing fork is at work.
Thank you, that although we were born as all are born, we shall not leave this life in the same way. And our gratitude for your salvation will evermore resound.
You have freed us from our captor and our own deeply rooted death. Our sins are forgiven and though we sin, we will not look back.
Supplication: Hear now our requests O’Lord: Teach us to confess in earnest and to not want what will never satisfy.
Help us to maintain an eternal perspective even as many unjust rulers and judges act as gods and defy all righteousness. For such immoralities injure the people and causes them suffering.
Remind us daily, that although our labors are under those who drive the cart, our rest and joy is in you alone. Help us to not be slaves to the many ways our hearts drawn. Shape our desires we pray, that we may have hearts—minds and bodies which please you.
May we fully embrace introspection and virtue, so that you might find joy and sincerity in the hearts of your people. May we never honor what the world honors: —the ignoble, immoral, and grotesque; but rather, seek always the beautiful, honorable, and noble.
May our contentment in you alone and for the sake of Christ in all things, to the glory of God now and forever, amen. †

05/12/2019 #73—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 7:1-13
Adoration: Father—Lord—Eternal Spirit, you are God most high—great and awesome. Our strength is in you—the only true God.
Your love is a perfect and jealous love. You defend—judge— avenge and destroy. You capture your people out of the hands of evil and restore peace; for you are the God of peace. Your hand in war cannot be overcome; even the flight of an arrow and its target are determined by you.
Glory—strength—honor and holiness are ascribed to your name. In light of your splendor, the families of earth tremble before you; for you have establish the world and all that is in it.
So, let the heavens be glad and let the earth rejoice, and let them say among the nations, “The Lord reigns!” Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; let the field and everything in it revel. Let the trees of the forest sing for joy before the Lord, for He comes to judge the earth.
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; for His steadfast love endures forever.
Confession: Father, before your throne—we confess to you our sins—you know them all. Our true and hidden motives are clearly known by you. Nothing is concealed from you.
We confess our weakness of faith—for life is mysterious in the fallen world, and in your wisdom, you do not answer all our questions. Forgive us our frustrations and our anger, for we fail to grasp your perfect ways. Who can make straight what you have made crooked?
We confess that our laughter is not always the laughter of joy but of a foolish heart that fails to distinguish the vulgar and crass from the decent and the beautiful.
Thanksgiving: All thanks be to you Father, for your reprimands redirect our steps and set straight our paths. Thank you for forgiving our sins, we commit them like fools who know no better.
Thank you, Lord-God, for showing our minds what is true so we can discern what is false. Thank you for eyes that now see perfect beauty so they may recognize what is ugly.
We are thankful for the wisdom which protects us and inspires our desire for what is honorable and pure, lovely, and just; for such things are worthy in your sight. And by such wisdom we will know everything that is excellent and commendable of praise.
Supplication: Hear now our petitions: In our state of need, help us to develop a good name, for your name is good. Help us to live with our trust in you until the day we ascend.
Help us we pray, to keep our minds focused on the deep and eternal things and to not wallow in momentary defeat and shallow perspectives. May our sorrows outweigh our laughter, as through them we discover joy; for the hearts of the wise are in the house of mourning.
Help us to have patient and humble spirits for we are prone to the contrary. May our soberness and sensibility be known to everyone, not being anxious about anything but in everything—by prayer, supplication, and thankfulness—making our requests known to you—our great God.
Your peace O’Lord surpasses all understanding; so, may it guard our hearts and our minds in Christ Jesus…
May you joyfully use us for the sake of Christ our Lord, amen. †

05/19/2019 #74—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 7:14-29
Adoration: Lord God—all of creation is at your command. Your Holy Spirit sees all that is in heaven, earth, and hell.
Both the foolish pursuits and the righteous quests of men are clearly understood by you. Your eye is on the redeemed and the condemned. Our rebellion in Adam brought us to where we are.
All things change—but you O’Lord never change. You gave us wise counsel to guide our hearts; but serving foolishness, we went our own way…each of us with the body and spirit you created at the beginning.
Without clean hearts, we cannot desire to do what is right, yet we think ourselves wise. You made us good and upright, but we sought out many schemes.
So, all praise be to you Lord-God, for in your mercy you have turned the hearts of many, and in mystery you have let others go their own way…loving all that you hate…
Though we are ignorant of the details, your deeds among us prove our resolve to trust in you. Everything is subject to you. And because you have made our minds to know you, we know this: You always have sufficient moral cause for what you permit and what you restrain.
The evil of men and angles will not alter your resolve. So, by grace and your great love and kindness, you have covered your people with righteousness and sent the King to lead us home.
Glory and honor be to God forever, for He who saves and destroys—embraces and excludes—can do no wrong.
Confession: So, in desperation and worship we confess our sins to you, and you are faithful to forgive us our sins. Father, we confess that our minds cannot grasp the heights of wisdom nor depths of depravity.
We are too often dismayed by the prosperity of evil and the poverty of innocence. But you have taught us to watch and wait upon you. Because your integrity is on display, we can trust that the outcome will always prove the method true.
We confess our confusion in the battle but still wield the sword that you O’Lord have sharpened. For your Word is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword—piercing and dividing soul and spirit—joint and marrow.
You alone judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. No one may hide their face from you.
Thankfulness: With good reason you discipline us in love. We are thankful that all things are in your hands. Thank you for all that you have done for us and all you have charged to our care.
May we be righteous but never self-righteous—finding our virtue in Christ alone. We are thankful that you are behind our wisdom and so, move us to think and speak carefully—for we do not represent our selves but you; for you have made us ambassadors in a lost and dying land.
Thank you, Father, that we are not left to our own understanding; for we trust in you with all our heart, mind, and soul.
Supplication: Help us now and always to acknowledge you in all our ways; for it is you who make straight our path. We cannot see all that is coming but you know every moment to come. You are here and you are there—the Lion and the Lamb.
So, help us to never be wise in our own eyes and to keep our fear of you pure—so that we may always turn away from evil and embrace your goodness.
Heal our flesh and refresh our bones Lord-God, that we may honor you with our health and with the wealth which you have provided. Yet in our infirmities we will praise you also; as though we were without them.
May Christ be glorified as all thing are conformed for His sake and the sake of his chosen bride, amen. †

06/16/2019 #75—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 9:13-18
Adoration: Lord God almighty—King of heaven and earth— Creator of all we see—and all that is hidden. Your mighty hand moves across the face of the earth. Your smallest utterance shakes its foundations. All that you command will be accomplished.
The fear and awe of loving you—is the beginning of wisdom. To see only a glimpse of your grandeur causes our hearts to melt and our knees to shake. Oh Lord our God, your Word and your Deeds remind us—as well as the condemned, that this world—is your world.
We know therefore, that the ways of the evil one and his household—and those who are foolish, will fail. For you will not always withhold your mighty hand and even now you judge some.
We know that the devastating-and-great day of Christ is coming soon, but even then, the fool will continue to say, “there is no God.”
Confession: And though we are redeemed, does not our sin yet show our own rebellion. But by your grace and mercy you honor our confessions of sin and our turning. Your forgiveness is beyond understanding.
So, we confess, that we, like the world, have loved folly— been distracted and charmed by its madness and acted as those who follow the false gods. We may blame our angst on the powers that surround us— but it is without reason and short of trust, for we know in our hearts and minds that you shall keep us safe.
We might say that our acquiescence with the world is simply for survival—but we know it is not true; and that you have already conquered such forces. For if we are wise for ourselves only—we will also bear the penalty of that wisdom.
So, forgive us our sins O’Lord and redirect our hearts to yours daily. Even before we ask, we know it will be so.
Thanksgiving: So, Lord-God, we are thankful beyond measure that you have forgiven us our sins and our folly. Thank you for your perfect wisdom, for you are its source and sustainer. We see it in every connected thing and event.
Thank you for watching over our lives—our minds and our bodies. We are thankful for mercy in our health and illnesses. Thank you that you have created us to live forever and that death has been conquered in Christ our Savior.
For He is our Prophet—Priest and King. And in that timeless time to come, our gratitude will never cease. Our minds will be free to know you as you are and praise you ever more.
Supplication: Hear now our solemn prayers. Heal further our minds we pray, that our hearts and emotions may be properly aligned. May the virtue of wisdom hold our minds and mouths in check.
May we embrace silence when silence is best and may we speak the truth boldly when the time seems right. May we learn wisdom even to the marrow of our bones.
May the way-of-wisdom be heard in our words and seen in our deeds. May our thought-lives be pure and always honoring to you. And when our strength diminishes over time, may the wisdom you have taught and invested in us, prove true your word, and glorify you ever more.
We ask all things—hope all things—and anticipate all things in trusting alliance with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, amen. †

06/30/2019 #76Sermon Passage: Jonah 2
Adoration: Lord God almighty, eternal creator and lover of souls; you O’Lord hold all things together. You have knit together all things as a mother knits a garment.
There is no depth—nor height—nor distance—nor time that you do not watch over and care for. Whatever seem powerful and mighty to us in the world—is as nothing in your hands.
All things—all hearts—all minds and all deeds are before your gaze. Everything is in your mighty hand. Blessed are those who make you their trust. They will not turn to the proud who boast and weave together lies.
Their minds will not be deceived—for you have chosen your people—and their ways will be your ways. O’Lord our God, you have multiplied your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us; nothing can compare with you!
Though your works are more wonderful than can be told, we shall proclaim to the world everything we know about you.
Confession: O’Lord, we confess that our sins have put us in distress, for they are more than the hairs of our heads… So, hear now our confessions, each one from the heart; for we know your love is wonderous and that you will not withhold your mercy from us.
Though evils have encompassed us beyond number and our iniquities have overtaken us and darkened our reasoning, your steadfast love and faithfulness will ever restore and preserve us. Be pleased then O’Lord to deliver us!
O’Lord, make haste to help us; for we battle the sin inherent—and those which swirl about.
Thanksgiving: So, Lord God, we give you all thanks and praise. You have inclined your ear to us and have heard our cries. You have drawn us up from the pit of destruction, out of the miry bog, and set our feet upon the rock, making our steps secure.
We know we are poor and needy, but you have given thought to us and deliver us from our sin. You have put a new song in our mouths, a song of
praise to our God. Because of this, many will see and fear, and put their trust in you.
Your grace and mercy will not go unnoticed. May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you. May those who love your salvation continually say: “Great is the LORD!”
Supplication: Because only you are God—and our God, we know Father that you always await our prayers. Though you know what is on our lips before we speak it—and those things which tear at our hearts, we yet bring them all before you in humble anticipation.
Our minds and words are unaware and wanting—may our Lord make them clear and beautiful to your hearing. Help us we pray—to see into those things in front of us, so that we might grasp their meaning in eternity.
We pray you will daily reform our thinking as it fuels our behaviors and informs our worship. May our desires and deeds honor your every command. Give us wisdom we pray, to turn away when turning away is right. But when it is not, help us to stand our ground with sword and shield.
Give us discernment and decision-making skills so we may bring honor and glory to you. Renew always our compassion for the lost and dying. Our instructions are simple but our abilities are weak. Strengthen therefore our resolve and forbearance that we might serve you well here and now.
Salvation belongs to the LORD! We pray, may now all things be shaped and prepared for the sake and purpose of Christ, amen. †

07/14/2019 #77—Sermon Passage: Ecclesiastes 10
Adoration: O’Lord our God—Perfect in Wisdom and Holiness—Your right hand is glorious in power; with it—you shatter the enemy and make known the path of life.
In your presence there is fullness of joy; and at your right hand are pleasures evermore. Your steadfast love is our refuge. We fear no enemy for you are with us.
We will not be dismayed, for you are God and there is no other. You strengthen us and help us to please you. You uphold your people with your righteous right-hand—and our assurance rests in you alone.
Confession: Lord, we confess our sins in sorrow, for you have given us your Holy Spirit that we may do so. His indwelling beauty informs and reshapes our conscience. And the righteousness of Christ is our fortress—we are preserved in Him.
We confess that our behaviors serve to reveal our imprudence. We know that one indiscretion or folly overshadows wisdom. Though we are prone to it, we yet hate the foolishness that offends you.
May therefore our thoughts and deeds prove that wisdom is ours—for you have not redeemed a nation of fools but of priests and ambassadors. We confess that we often forget to trust in your providential care over all things; and that our prayers are also for your use.
We ask forgiveness as though it were not ours, yet our souls know what you have done for us. When the edge is before us, you stay our feet. When we wonder-off as though we knew no better, you pursue us—for we belong to you.
Thanksgiving: And so, though our words of thanks seem hardly sufficient; may our hearts thus prove. You have given us the very things we need and what the imagination cannot know.
—And though we are distracted by the weight of daily burdens, we know you are aware and moving within our steps. We don’t know what-is-to-be but we know the promises you have given us.
Thank you for watching-over what we do not know; for we may certainly delight in your integrity—and though the darkness abounds, our trust is settled in you alone.
Supplication: We pray now Lord-God, help us to honor you in every endeavor. Clam our confusion and slow our many words so they do not consume us.
Help us to be humble, and by insights of wisdom—see circumstances and the things-about-us for what they are. May our spirits with your Spirit, observe our own thoughts as they come; so that our tongues have barriers to cross.
Make us wealthy in wisdom and rescue us from the poverty of foolishness. Help us to understand true prosperity; for many have much but the poor are richer than any.
Give us wisdom that we would pursue our pleasure in you. Bring our love, our intellect, and our deeds into perfect alignment with you… this and more to the glory of Christ… amen. †

07/21/2019 #78—Sermon Passage: Mark 12:28-34
Adoration: O’Lord our God, you are the one God and there is no other besides you. You are the Triune God—complete in every way; perfect in Love and companionship.
You know all there is to know and you need nothing. You hold all things together or cast them asunder. With what shall we come before the LORD, and bow down before God on high?
Shall we come before you with burnt offerings, with calves a year old? Will you be pleased with a thousand rams or ten thousand of rivers of oil? Shall we give our firstborn—the fruit of our bodies for the sins of our soul?”
No—you have told us what is good; and what you require of us: to do justice, to love kindness and walk with humbly before you. You are God alone, the God who loves first and then creates what he loves.
You have invested within us—your very image. Therefore, with all of our heart, all our soul and all of our mind and strength, we shall love you and others as you have loved us. Only these gifts shall please you; for such is your desire.
Confession: And are not our confessions of sin, in turning away from them, tied to our gifts? Yes; and we confess the worst to you first: Have mercy on us Lord—for we have failed to love you and others as we should.
We, like the world around us have sought vengeance, held grudges, and embraced bitterness—even against your people and ours. Woe to us whom you have chosen, that we should fail you, our God.
You are perfect in every way and so you command and deserve perfection from us. How else should an image bearer think? And we confess that
even when our external behaviors seem true, our hearts are not often the same. We seldom see ourselves clearly.
Anyone who says they are without sin, is either delusional or lying. Some will say they are simply mistaken or misinformed, but all of these are insufficient defenses.
The truth of the matter is, that they have disregarded, diminished or detested the very Holiness of God.
Thanksgiving: So, in desperate thankfulness—we bow mind, heart and body before you O’ Holy God. As our Father, by your love in grace and mercy, you have not only forgiven us but have given a Savior in Christ.
He alone is the perfection you demand. So, in him only–we stand in righteous position—perfected and without flaw. Even so, you yet mold us into the image of your Son, to grant yet new perfections.
There are no words to express our depth of gratitude. In fear and trembling we know that you see our hearts as they are. So, look upon them Father and see what is there. If we are true, you will know it. Our trust and assurance are treasures from your Spirit.
Supplication: So, we pray Lord-God, reform us as you will, for we desire renewal and those things that we cannot do for ourselves. Turn our hearts away from self-regard that our minds and hands my serve you well.
Keep before us the truth of our salvation in Christ—that we may never think we have achieved something that was not to given us. And though you have given us everything we need; you yet delight in our special requests and appeals.
And so, we pray with joy for healing, redemption, and reconciliation. May we always bear in mind that you hate and detest haughty eyes and lying tongues.
The shedding innocent blood, wicked hearts and those quick to rush into evil. You abhor a false witness and those who stir up conflict. May these things be far from our hearts.
May we therefore love all that you love; for we can love because you first loved us. And may you even now say to us: “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” In Christ we pray, amen. †

07/28/2019 #79—Sermon Passage: Gen. 50 & Rom. 8
Adoration: Lord and Creator—God alone—You are both Sustainer and Destroyer—and your goodness fills the heavens and earth. You have done for us in Christ what we could never do.
All knowledge and power belong to you. Your mercy and grace have removed the obstacles that we created. Between you and us the vail is ripped in two. You have redeemed and taught our souls to know you in Christ. In you—is everything our hearts could possibly desire.
Before your love restored us, we had barely understood our search for goodness, beauty, and truth; but you have made these precious things clear; and now we see them in all things worthy—yet also, their distortion in all things despised.
You have spread beauty over all creation; simple observation proves it. Your goodness is on display everywhere; everything worthy reflects of your mysterious Beauty.
You have enlightened our minds by faith, that we might recognizes you and return true adoration.
Confession: We confess now our sins with sorrow, and yet, the joy of your forgiveness overwhelms us. We confess that although your Spirit is within us, we often forget to trust you.
Our minds get confused and easily distracted; our gasp of reality often fades. We forget about your providential workings and dread the day needlessly. Help us therefore to watch our lives carefully so that our confessions may serve in our shaping.
For we know that we were once great offenders; miserable and hostile creatures—not the least bit concerned with your holiness; yet, we long now peace through those precious memories of mercy and redemption.
Thanksgiving: Your goodness O’Lord encourages us to cry out to you in thankful repose. You have removed our deepest fears of being good enough on our own. And in thankfulness, we are even more eager to make our calling and election sure.
So, thank you, Father, that we no longer walk according to the flesh and the world; for in doing what is right, we know we will never fall—and that a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of Christ—awaits.
Supplication: In Faithful resolve, we ask all things of you Lord-God, that you may know our dependency is on you alone. Keep us, we pray—humble; give us daily assurance of your presence.
Be our shield in times of trouble and calm. Cause us we pray, to live well within your story as it unfolds. Help us to see ourselves as you see us, for our perspectives are fragile and uncertain.
Lord God, in all that we do, in all that we ask and in all that you have planned—glorify yourself; receive honor and love and worship evermore. May all things be and become, as you have determined.
Let glory, honor and praise fill the earth and heavens, for God is our Savior—In Christ alone we trust, amen. †

08/11/2019 #80—Sermon Passage: Eccl. 11
Adoration: Father in heaven, High Priest our Lord, Spirit of Life… You O’God are our strength and defense against all manner of evil.
You are God and there is no other. We praise and exalt your holy name here and in the halls of creation. By your beauty, truth and goodness, everyone shall know—you are God alone.
You planned all things and brought them into being. This is your world and we are your people. You lifted us up out of sedition and hopeless struggle; from the hordes of humanity who rely upon their own council, you removed us and brought us to your table.
You shared with us your wisdom and the very bread of life. Though the world is unpredictable, fallen, and perilous, you O’Lord have renewed our minds and calmed our hearts.
You have gifted our ways with insight and passion for the lost. You have commanded us to seek-out your chosen—that your table would be filled with joy and laughter evermore.
Confession: So, in great anticipation, we confess our sins; for you are merciful and your love is boundless. Though we know it is already granted, we ask your forgiveness and that you would strengthen both our trust and resolve.
We do not ask in self-loathing despair which has no remedy, but with the knowledge of who you are and what you have done for those who love you. We lower our heads in gratitude and confess that we have often let the noisy world distract us from our true desire; for we love your mercies and yearn to follow your every command.
You have surely commissioned us in word and deed, that we should prove to all that you Lord, are sincere in everything you do.
Thanksgiving: Therefore, with thankful hearts we will show you to be the source of all that is worthy, all that is real and all that is true.
We thank you that you are the God of all we see; and that the unseen world is under your command. We thank you that we can have assurance—not only regarding our position in Christ—but also in our purpose and service.
In all things we give thanks; for what we do not see—cannot understand and are impatient over—you will resolve to your glory.
Supplication: Remind us we pray, that whatever our involvements or relationships might be, we are the people you have designed and love. Keep us close to you we pray, that our rapport with you and others shows true.
Help us to bear in mind that the perfection of timing is in your hands and not ours. Forgive us Father when we look for—or identify signs of our own making…like necromancers ignoring your council and looking to the stars for knowledge—as though that were how you speak…
For you have made your will and how we are to respond to it known; there is no mystery for us to solve. Help us then to stop dwelling upon our ailments and frustrations for you are all healing and all sufficient.
Help us we pray to embrace wisdom, so that the voice morality is heard above the loudness of vice. For you have set perfect boundaries for us and you assess all human deeds according to your righteous judgment.
May all honor and glory be yours in Christ our Savior…amen. †

08/18/2019 #81—Sermon Passage: Eccl. 11:7-12:8
Adoration: Lord God—Eternal, Unchanging, All Knowing—you are Beauty and Grandeur. Your Magnificence in beyond our understanding; for our imaginations are far too shallow.
You are holy; and the fiery-ones and childlike cherubs surround your thrown singing the praises of your holiness. They can do no less, for you have made them to see you as you are.
If what they know moment by moment could be seen by us, we would surely perish. We are dust before you O’Lord; yet in your own image you have made us. You have made our souls to live through the vail of death— which for a time separates our being.
You alone O’God, hold life and govern over death. No one can say that your timing and providence is flawed; may our mouths remain shut but to praise you in all that happens. For within your presence is the comfort, perfection, and beauty which we desire and can find nowhere else.
Confession: So, Father in heaven, we confess that we have all admired or cared for our own appearance and achievements above yours. In our fallenness—our vanity is ever present.
Our ambitions overtake us and those around us. When humility and wisdom should flow from our souls to others, we fail you through our hidden agendas and mixed motives.
We confess our proclivity to wonder. Our thoughts have often been empty and unproductive. By wayward hearts and eyes of dim sight, we have, more-than not, imagined we could stand on our own. We were wrong.
Thanksgiving: Therefore, having understood our proclivities, though hastily so—and been forgiven in Christ, our thankfulness shall stretch out forever before us.
We shall never forget what you have done for us—even when we know that we shall never again sin. Thank you for the future you have promised us. You shall remove all anger from our hearts and all pain from our bodies and souls.
For the judgment we earned has been severely dealt with in the sufferings of our Lord. Thank you, Father, for choosing to save so many. Though you could have left us all to judgment, you chose to be merciful, and in your grace, redeem a people for your glory. You have removed the terror of wrath and the sin that blocked our way.
Supplication: Lord we pray, do not hold back our sight from your glory. That we would see and remember you in every moment, from birth to death is our prayer.
Let those days of darkness now here and those coming, cause our eyes to see you more clearly. We will not stumble about like the blind with no helping hand. Give us true perspective we pray.
Help us to not dwell on the sorrows and unpleasantness of our days but to see the eternal now and to come. Help us to have a firm hold on reality. Give us those experiences which you value—and keep us from the pursuit of those of no value.
Inform our minds daily through you Word and help us to employ the gifts you have given us… For when life ceases and we return to you, may it be, that in the image of Christ, our lives have pleased you.
All things we ask, we ask for His sake—amen. †

08/25/2019 #82—Sermon Passage: Eccl. 12:9-14
Adoration: Father in heaven, you are our Shepherd and our God. You require loyalty suitable from those who you love. A loyalty that is authentic.
To them who fear you with highest regard, you give knowledge of yourself and the wisdom of your ways. Your Word and Spirit teach us to have forethought in all that we do.
We know to be careful with our knowledge of you—to weigh it—to study it and to fix it within our hearts. It is the core of life—delightful and truth.
Every reflection from the heart of man that resounds of beauty—truth and goodness, and reveals his desire to repair himself and the world—hoping for perfection. His attempts are futile…for you alone O’Lord quench our longings of hearts and satisfy every good desire which you have implanted.
Confession: O’Lord, we confess that our hearts and minds have too often been restless. We forget to find our rest in you—and to trust. You have made us so that your joy and ours would be the same.
Yet we are easily distracted and wander about here and there—far from the path to our home. If we would only cease our striving for things beyond your guidance and provision…for we confess that we have made a mess of many precious things.
We plead guilty to the charges against us, for we have sought knowledge that we should not have sought—and it has left us weary… We have trusted in the unreliable. Like those who have no teacher, we have believed what others say and failed to considered the madness of the world about us.
Thanksgiving: It is then, in tearful repose, that we thank you Father… for you have reshaped us and given us a right direction. You have forgiven and even reward to us with a payment that was not the wage we earned.
You have put our just-deserves upon another and redeemed us in Christ evermore. We thank you for this, and this day and the days ahead…for we know you are here today in every moment now and there tomorrow the same.
We are grateful for the boundless blessings of your love and kindness. We see it even in the unseen where you hold all things together. All reasoning—reasons back to you, for both substance and foundation is bound together by you.
Supplication: We pray now, keep us true—and grant us steadfastness, that we might keep your commandments with wonder and awe. Show us your powerful hand in all that we survey. May the mind, heart, and hands of Christ, think through, love through and work through us. May your will be done first in us and then to the ends of the earth—as is your way.
Guide us by the wisdom of all you have spoken. You are our one and only shepherd. May your rod and staff be present to protect us throughout our days. May you direct our desires and shape our intellect and emotions so that we never forget who we are by your choosing.
Bring therefore every deed and every secret thing—whether good or evil, into judgment—that all of creation would be still and know—that you are God alone. We pray—hope and find all things in Christ our Lord, amen. †

09/08/2019 #83—Sermon Passage: 1 Corinthians 1:18-31
Adoration: O’Lord God, Father—Son—Spirit most holy… may our songs, prayers and proclamations reveal the adoration of our hearts. For our souls long for your dwelling place. Our mind, heart and flesh sing for joy in your presence.
Blessed are they who dwell in your house. Blessed are those of your choosing—whose strength, knowledge and wisdom flow from the throne of heaven—from the very heart of the living God.
Let the one who boasts—boast in the Lord. Righteousness Redemption and Sanctification are from Him who became to us wisdom from God. Amid our perishing, you showed us our madness and destroyed our wisdom of dark-discernment.
The cross has brought us fellowship through sorrow and reconciliation through judgment. Your beauty and holiness are proven by your wrath. The glory of your love and kindness to the undeserving is profound; no one can fully perceive it.
Confession: And so, Lord-God, because you have made it so—we are yours—you have enabled us to confess the sins of our hearts, those acts of sin in secret and those openly seen by others.
We confess—that having allowed the imprudence of the world to guide us—we have repeatedly relied on our own understanding. Our own acts of sin bewilder us.
Seeking desires that are no longer for us, we often fail to see the danger—Yet we know that the story of the world is no longer ours.
Thanksgiving: So, hear now O’God our rites of thanksgiving. In declaration of you as God alone: we thank you for your grace and mercy—forgiving our every sin… for we know the power of the Cross and Christ crucified.
We shall stumble no longer in darkened ways and dreadful thinking, for you are the light that shows the way—all other paths lead only to death. Thank you, Father, for choosing the foolish, weak, and low to shame the wise, strong and high.
By your love and justice: Things that were not—bring now to nothing—things that are. No words of gratitude can capture what our minds and hearts know of you. We have considered our calling—and cannot yet fully grasp it.
You O’God, have done for us in Christ what cannot be done any other way. Therefore, our boasts of you are acts of worship—proclaiming with confidence everything you have-done and will-do.
Supplication: We ask now that you would in-fact, make us your boasters and braggarts. As we mature in Christ, may we speak the truth in love. Help us to put away all falsehood.
As members one of another, help us to speak the truth in all matters and to all people. May anger never result in sin but be justified—quenched in compassion. May we never give an opportunity to the evil one.
May no demeaning talk come out of our mouths, but rather that which is good and fitting as grace to others. May we cease to grieve the Holy Spirit who sealed us for redemption.
Help us to put away all bitterness, wrath, anger, and malice. And instead, be kind, tenderhearted, and forgiving of one another as in Christ you forgave us. Blessed be the one who trusts in you.
May Christ always be seen and praised in your people…amen. †

09/15/2019 #84—Sermon Passage: John 10: 1-21
Adoration: Father—Son and Spirit O’God, you prove over and over that you are the true God. You give every evidence for mankind to weigh.
Yet, he is dead in his sins and trespasses unless—and until, you may quicken his soul—raising him up to see above the barriers he himself set in front of him.
Your Word—O’ Savior—is the door through whom we enter; your little ones follow you—their messiah. Their numbers are immeasurable. You remove barriers and set for him beautiful boundaries—a fence of protection…and you lift him up high.
You stand on the seas and land…for to the earth the High King of Heaven has come—just as we heard you would. You have sought out your own and they alone know your voice, the voice of their Shepherd.
We follow, for there is no other way, no more perfect voice speaking words of life. You guard us by night and watch over us by day. As you protect and restore us, you take the punishment for our wrongdoing—
You give up your life as proof of your love—then take it back again—as proof of your magnificence. Indeed, the tables and halls of heaven will be filled like the stars fill the sky and the sands fill the shores. As such, love has gathered to you—your promises fulfilled.
Confession: We whom you shepherd O’LORD, confess that we know what our sins have been and are yet. Though the Spirit resides within us, we still do what is wrong and weaken our witness.
Because you are holy and hate all sin—you have set us apart— so we too shall hate sin. And when we Look carefully at ourselves, we see the strangeness of our ways—yet we do desire to do all that you command of us.
Sanctify us—for we need your care O’God-our Shepherd. That you protect your chosen fold and care deeply for them, gives comfort and assurance. Our welfare is at your side.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Father that you are patient with us. That you have given us our Shepherd and he has stood true. Thank you, great shepherd, for standing watch over us and for giving us the true story.
Your weapons of rod-and-staff are both uplifting and assuring to your people…we would perish without them. Thank you that you have not left us in the hands of strangers…or abandoned us when we stray.
You even guard us from those false guides who push a design of their own making… …illusions to entice and draw away. With no evidence for proof, they create their just-so stories and offer paths for that a foolish soul may follow—and so did we and would yet, if not for your redeeming hand.
You have rescued your little-one’s form thieves and murders. Our gratitude is as deep as eternity itself. We know what you have done for us because we now see the abhorrence of rebellion.
Thank you for giving us ears to hear your voice and to know you as you are.
Supplication: We implore you now great shepherd, be with us every moment. Keep us faithful to our charge as followers of Christ. Keep us constantly aware of those self-appointed messiahs who try to sneak in from the outside.
They are fraudsters and deceivers of the heart—cruel dreamers who delight in misdirecting the people of God. Help us to be sober-minded—scriptural and discerning.
Help us to immediately see the weakening of truth—that we may defend your word whatever the cost. Make us steadfast ambassadors who keep sacred all that is sacred.
Show us from your word and by your Spirit every hill we must not surrender. Guide us always in our steps and our paths, that we may represent the way of Christ our Lord, amen. †

09/22/2019 #85—Sermon Passage: Acts 1:1-11
Adoration: Most-high almighty God—Our Lord and Savior—Holy Spirit of truth: We see your glory within and with-out everything you have created. By your love and power, you connect the earth with heaven.
As you move throughout the world, we ponder your path and follow your lead. In awe and wonder, we hear and repeat forth your Word— and see your mighty acts.
Because you have opened our minds, we perceive beauty, truth, and goodness wherever it is found; for you O’Lord will not be hidden.
Even in people and places that seem desolate to us, you have shown yourself in precious ways.
Save for those whom you have personally redeemed, all of mankind looks upon your glory and rebels; he cannot respond as he should—his heart is his own. The Holy Spirit enlightens and commands whom he has chosen.
So, after suffering and many proofs, the Lord showed himself alive—displaying to everyone the very kingdom of God. Through the promise of the Father—those baptized in the Holy Spirit—move about in their time;
and with bold accord— they reveal with certainty—what was once uncertain.
Confession: Our sin is before us but you O’Lord God have made our confession possible.
When as natural sinners, loving to revolt against the holy; we did our good deeds of sin with utter joy. Denying the knowledge of our sin—we deceived ourselves.
We acted in harmony with the world around us as we followed our own hearts where they led. How great your love is for sinners Father—that you would send your only Son to suffer and in mercy apply his righteousness to the undeserving. How wonderful that we can confess our sins to you—and you are faithful to forgive us our sins.
Thanksgiving: Our minds O’Lord are hardly capable of grasping your gifts of compassion.
Though we cannot comprehend eternity, we shall sing your praises and give thanks forever. For now, the depths of our thanksgiving are shallow—yet we strive to deepen in our gratitude.
We strive to understand more and are thankful that by grace, steadfastness and desire, our hearts will mature.
Supplication: Father, we always want to know more than we need.
We know times and seasons are fixed by your authority; and as we await the appearing of our Lord, help us to trust in your timing. Help us to work faithfully every moment with the singular focus of the gospel.
Let Christ-Crucified be our vision, our walk and our story. May the Holy Spirit shine from within us and about us as darkness enfolds the world.
Help us to fearlessly speak the truth in love even as lying tongues condemn us; for we are yours and you are ours. We will fear no man or the presence of evil.
We will not acquiesce or compromise to false ideas or demands upon our souls. Help us to speak softly and gently the language of your word.
May we not do or say anything that you have not given us; and may we do so—even to the ends of the earth.
May our Lord be lifted high in all times, all seasons and all places, for he alone has descended and ascended, there is no other one who has done all things well. In Christ alone we trust, amen. †

10/13/2019 #86—Sermon Passage: Gen. 11:9 & Rev. 5:9 “MAF talk”
Adoration: Lord God, Creator—Sustainer—Judge and Savior; your law and your love O’Lord are perfect. They are a refuge to your people. Where you are, is where our hearts long to be.
By your Spirit and power—our faith rests in you and not the views of men. Neither the wisdom nor corruption of this age shall find purchase in our hearts; for such is doomed to pass away.
Your decrees set before the ages—are the foundation of our trust. As it is written: “What no eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor the heart of man imagined—what God has prepared for those who love him.”
Confession: We confess that the stones you gave to us were strong; yet in weakness, we made bricks from mud and built-up pride in ourselves.
We have trusted in our ways and means—forgetting, ignoring, and shunning the God who created us and set his image upon us. Our rebellion had eternal consequences.
Though they might have proven honorable, our ambitions have offended you. We have thought well of our achievements; calling them beautiful—good and true; but until you, Lord, restore our sight, we cannot see our sins for what they are. Our every endeavor will be distorted—and ruin will fill our days.
But—the haughty looks and the lofty pride of men shall be humbled and brought low; for you alone O’God—will be exalted. And in Christ alone, you have forgiven and restored your people.
Whatever their language or wherever they live, you have given them one-language and one-home. Only you can reestablish our knowledge of beauty, our pursuit of goodness and our love of truth.
Thanksgiving: We are deeply grateful. For you O’Lord have done— and are doing—great things. You have replaced our confusion with clarity—and our muddled singing with a new song.
So, with the angles we sing: Holy-Holy-Holy is the Lord God Almighty—He alone is worthy—and by His Blood has cleansed His people of every nation and every tongue.
We shall weep no more for you have opened the scrolls of heaven, making a kingdom and priests of your people.
Supplication: Therefore, as your people, the bride of Christ and in him true, we bring our requests to you in hope and assurance that you will see your perfect-will in all that we ask of you.
Help us to do everything you have determined for us. Give us godly wisdom and insight. Protect us from our yet present sins which you have forgiven in Christ.
Lead us away from worldly temptations and any yielding to its demands. By your grace and mercy, you chose your people, we cannot turn away. Your recompence is holy and good.
You have restored us—rescued us from our depravity and made us to persevere. Weather you send us far off or plant us here deep, may we bloom as you have commanded.
In all things, we pray you will bring glory to yourself in and through Christ who is worthy—beautiful—good and true. For His sake in glory forever, we pray, amen. †

10/20/2019 #87—Sermon Passage: Acts 1:12-26
Adoration: Lord God most high—our Shield—our Strength, our True Vine… the Way, the Truth, and the Life…
In Love and truth, the Spirit of Holiness searches hearts and knows the way of the soul; bringing about all that was from the beginning set into motion. And the Vinedresser grafts and prunes—making His vineyard perfect… dressing branches to bear-true… removing others to wither and burn.
You O’Father, know what is in the hearts of all. You O’Lord are the vine and we are the branches. Your Word has cleaned your people and apart from you—we can do nothing:
By this, be so glorified. If we would bear much fruit, we will prove we belong to you. Where you lead—we shall follow. For as the Father has loved you, so have you loved us. And we stand in your love.
And if we keep your commandments, just as you have kept your Father’s—you shall stand in us and together we shall be in the father’s love; for it is there that our home resides.
Confession: We know you have forgiven us our sins. Yet Father, we confess to you our sins in deepest sorrow; for they are many.
We confess, though our desire to do so presses upon us—we have not loved one another as you have loved us; nor have we loved you our God—with all our heart, all of our mind and all of our soul.
We have often lost sight of what you have placed directly before us. Even as days pass into years and our awareness comes in review, we see more clearly the truth of your mercy.
And, while a share of the ministry is allotted to some of ill intent, the reward of their wickedness is in your hands— solemnly timed.
Thanksgiving: In thankfulness we fall to the earth. The things you have spoken to us have given us peace. As joy fills you, so does it fill your beloved.
Thank you, Lord, for your fellowship; for although a servant does not know what his master is doing; you have called us friends, and you have made known to us all that you have heard from your Father.
We are thankful, for we did not choose you, but you chose us and appointed us to bear fruit and prove steadfast in love; for we shall know and enjoy everything the Father has given to us in you.
Supplication: We ask now that you would be with us—and move through us—that in one accord we may devote ourselves to prayer; for the scriptures have been and must be fulfilled.
Help us to be strong of heart. Help us to be the people of courage which you have given to our hearts and inspired in our minds. Give us resolve and tenacity as we wait and hope in the LORD.
May we know and practice the virtues you have instilled within us through Christ; for our righteousness—justification— salvation and sanctification are in Christ and our union with him.
We ask Father through Christ by the Holy Spirit, that you strengthen our hearts, that we may prove to ourselves and the world around us, that our relationship-of-solidarity is in Christ alone.
For His sake and for Your glory, we pray, amen. †

10/27/2019 #88—Sermon Passage: Acts 2:1-13
Adoration: Father in heaven, our Lord, our Comforter and Spirit of truth. You O’Lord have come down from above. We have seen the fire and heard the wind rushing in and through; and by grace and mercy you baptize your own. You fill them with life—they cannot die as before, for the day of first-fruits has arrived.
You give your people knowledge and clarity—comfort and resolve. A depth of understanding surrounds them with mystery and power. The wind blows and the Spirit moves; we hear it—but from where it comes and to where it goes—we know not.
Yet, we see that the dead, filled with the breath of God—rise and live. In providence, dominion and power, the Spirit moves across the earth in every direction and in every darkened corner; this wind blows where it will.
He speaks every tongue clearly; there is no confusion, his words are never muddled. And, it pleases him to send his people out—to tell of the mighty-works of God in every language and every nation.
Confession: So too, we confess our sins in every language, for the language of sin is heard from every mind and every mouth.
Every sinful act tells the story of the heart from which it comes; yet every soul God has redeemed will be cleansed. Those souls shall not be left to themselves; their position in Christ is secure.
We confess that only inadequately do we hate sin. Yet, the message from God shall be heard; it shall restore many souls—his perfect law will stand forever.
Christ will return—a new day will dawn—then, no more will we confess sin, for like the death which it brings—it too shall be conquered.
Thanksgiving: Now—on that day—and then evermore, we thank you O’Lord for forgiveness of our sins. Thank you for giving us life and union in Christ.
Amazed and perplexed, we can but wonder what it all means. We thank you for what we know has happened—and yet, we have only the smallest grasp of what shall be.
In gratitude, our forever thankful hearts belong to you—our God. We thank you that you always hear our prayers. Thank you that you have adopted us into your covenant family.
We know that we have nothing in and of ourselves to offer you—for we are entirely reliant upon you—and we stand in repose with all believers.
Supplication: So too, we bring our petitions before you; your thrown of grace and your indwelling Spirit give us comfort and ease to do so.
May our ease-and-fear before you—bread only more admiration, deeper respect, and greater appreciation. O’ Spirit of life, give us the words we should and must speak.
Bring together all the devout—to whom you have taught the language-of-truth by the Word of love. Cause us to tell the world of your mighty works—the true story of life that overrides every-other false and misleading story.
May the evil one and his helpers—suffer defeat eternally—for they strive ceaselessly to avert all from knowing Christ—the Truth, the Life and the Way. Help us we pray to always see deception for what it is.
And though we shall be mocked, ridiculed, and murdered, may our lives bring you glory and honor in Christ. By his authority we pray, amen. †

11/10/2019 #89—Sermon Passage: Acts 2:22-33
Adoration: O’Lord our God, —Father—Son and Spirit, you are proven by your mighty works, wonders, and signs. At the right time and in the right place, you O’ Son of Man, appeared and united with your people in everlasting union.
By plan and foreknowledge, you took on our flesh, lived righteously, suffered—and died at the hands of lawless men. By your works—your stripes to death and resurrection to life, you redeemed all that is yours.
Bearing our sins and the wrath of God in your body and soul, the just for the unjust, according to the Scriptures, you have done what could not be done by any other.
You died, but death could not to hold you—and through all this, you give to your people—life everlasting.
Confession: We confess to you, that our spirits—through Adam, were there in the hearts and hands of the lawless. We were them and they us. We are no better than them, yet, you O’Lord, our savior, are better than all—and have made us one with yourself.
For what we have been and what we have done, we are cut to the heart with sorrow—but still, you redeemed us, gave us faith to exercise trust and repent from sin… not only have our sins been forgiven in you, but you have given your very Spirit to live in us.
Still, our confession of sin is not a hollow claim; for we sin even while in union with sinlessness. And you alone are the sin forgiver. Though this crooked generation injures the mind and spirit, we vow to pursue you and your righteousness at every turn and endeavor.
Turning the desires of our hearts toward you alone; we will seek after beauty, truth, and goodness… For these belong to you and we desire to know you more and to capture your virtues.
Thanksgiving: We give thanks to you our God and Savior. We rejoice in gladness. Our songs of praise cannot be silenced…and our hearts will not be shaken by scoffers or accusers.
We know you will not abandon our bodies and souls to death—but that you will raise up your beloved in glory—to stand at your side.
Thank you for your promise to us and to our children…for we were as those who were far off form you, yet you save everyone whom you call to yourself, whom the Father has given you.
Thank you that we may know for certain that you are both Lord and Savior—God almighty in union with man, now and forever.
Our songs of love, praise and gratitude will fill the universe and resound throughout time…let the glory of it all be heard in heaven and hell alike…even in that place of eternal despair.
Supplication: And so, we pray—these our requests before you: Reform our hearts and minds day-to-day O’Lord God. For we seek your mercies and grace every day—from our rising up to our laying down.
Give to us all that you are, for in you, all that is in us, is bound together. Help us to understand your Word better that we might stand and fall in awe of who you are and what you have done. Cause us we pray to know more of you.
Stir up our hope and give us certainty of purpose; for you are the God from whom all blessings flow. We pray—we hope—we desire that all things will soon be redeemed and reshaped for your glory…
As you are in us and we in you, come Lord Jesus, bring us into perfect union— amen. †

11/17/2019 #90—Sermon Passage: Acts 2:34-41
Adoration: LORD God, mighty and true—your name is holy and splendid. And there is no god beside you—you know of none. Though fools who love false gods dream their rebellions, you are unamused—they dream their own demise.
We are yours and you are ours. We praise and lift you up. Out of the mists of unbelief and the cackling of idols, you rise above all. The earth is your footstool, all your enemies are crushed.
Though crucified—dead and buried, you are raised in power. Your people are confident in you—our Lord and Messiah. And, great are your works O’Lord. They are studied by all who delight in them.
Your works are full of splendor and majesty. Your wonderous works of righteousness are remembered …and will endure forever. They prove you to be faithful and just, and that your covenant is trustworthy. You have sent redemption to your people.
Confession: So, it is in both sorrow and confidence that we confess our sins before you… We know our sins are many, yet we know too that, redemption and blessings reside with you… for you hear our confessions and forgive.
As great sinners we have asked, “what shall we do?” and even as the Spirit himself moved over the face of the waters, forming the void and lawless into substance and submission, so too—by His power—do we repent and are baptized… Your forgiveness has shaped our very souls.
So, we confess and turn anew, yet only you Lord can atone for our sins, and this you have done for us and our children if so ordained. You O’Lord call to yourself whom you will—whom the Father gives and the Spirit overshadows.
Amid our poverty, you have made us wealthy. It is a wealth we did not afford.
Thanksgiving: So, Lord our God, here within our souls, we give you thanks with whole heart and mind and with bodies bowed down. Our loyalty is the badge of honor you have given…we shall boast in you alone.
Though we were once far off from you, you found us as you promised you would—and you called us to yourself—out of the hoard, out of the darkened mire, we came.
And we are now souls united with many others in worship— condemned no longer—giving you thanks day and night. While the world stands guilty and thankful for nothing, our gratitude shall flow openly and deeply to your thrown evermore.
Thank you for the message of the gospel and for entrusting us to deliver it. Whether by the gospel you redeem or by it condemn, we thank you for including your people in all that brings you glory.
Supplication: And now we pray, save us entirely form this corrupt and foolish generation. In everything we think—do—and proclaim, keep us true to you—and in Christ redeemed.
Grant us always what you command, for without your endowments—we will wander and stumble—as we are so inclined. Keep us we pray from being misled even a little.
Give us discernment; help us to review our every confidence and to reform every design when it is outside of true. Keep us vigilant in the fields of spiritual war; strengthen and shape our resolve, that we may stand firm and uncaptured.
Help us to recognize deception for what it is—the fallen from the risen. Keep our feet firm upon Christ that he in us shall battle against the hoard and destroy the designs of the Evil-One.
For in Christ alone our faith resides. Nothing that rises-up against Him will long stand…for He will not yield and inch to the enemy—It is for his sake and glory we pray, amen. †

11/24/2019 #91—Sermon Passage: Acts 2:42-47
Adoration: O’ Sovereign Lord, you are God, great and awesome—holy and true. How majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens and upon a multitude of souls, you have lavished your mercies.
You create fellowship where there was none. You bring home the homeless and satisfy the longings of the souls you indwell. In your presence there is no despair. Every hope fashioned by minds in the shallows—you prove too dull. Your mighty wonders and signs reveal but a portion of what is to follow.
When we look upon your heavens, the work of your fingers and all that you have set in place—who are we that you are mindful of us… that you would crown us with honor and glory, bringing everything in submission to Christ our Lord?
Confession: Now Father—and day-by-day—hear our confessions of sin—we can hide nothing. So that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment—have mercy on us Father.
Cover our sins, great-and-small according to your unwavering love. Wash away our immoralities, and cleanse us of our depravities! For we were all conceived and brought forth in sin and weakness.
In shame our inward being was blind and unknowing. But you O’ Father delight in the truth and teach us wisdom through renewed hearts. Our broken bones and crippled lives rejoice; for you are God— our God.
You alone restore us in the joy of your salvation, and uphold us with a willing Spirit. You alone deliver us from guilt and hopelessness. Only you Lord, can provide what we need—we otherwise hunger in vain.
Thanksgiving: And so, with glad and plentiful hearts, we give you our thanks. Because of our fellowship with you, our fellowship with one another is true.
All that we have is from your hand… all that you give us is yours—and we have nothing which you have not given. Even a broken spirit and contrite heart are from you and only your love can create hearts for everlasting companionship.
Thank you for reforming the souls of you people. For from many, you have formed one. Your sovereign grace brings fellowship to those you love…and kindness to all others.
For all who believe are together and have all things in common. One bride with one groom joined. One God—One Savior—One Spirit.
Supplication: So, though you hear all our petitions and wisely provide—we also pray, open our minds to understand your word. Open our hearts, that what we love is what you love.
Increase our fellowship with you that our fellowship with one another might flourish. For you have intended that your own will move and have their being in Christ.
For this reason, our prayers shall find purchase in both heaven and earth. Provide us daily with insights into what will move our minds closer to yours. That in us, Christ’s identity will be clearly seen by the world.
Let nothing we do tarnish our witness. Let nothing we think or desire diminish the truth. Help us Lord to live right side up in an upside-down world. Help us to straighten what so many have bent.
We desire this and more…and so pray this and that our prayers and your will shall weave Glory for Christ, amen. †

12/08/2019 #92—Sermon Passage: Acts 3:11-26
Adoration: Almighty God, Father—Son—Spirit: Creator of the seen and unseen—Savior of the lost and Sustainer of heaven and earth, you are great and good O’Lord.
You need nothing—yet you give everything. Only fools and thieves claim that there are other ways to acquire life. They are deceivers who feed stories to the poor rather than bread.
They are dead in spirit and so offer only death, delusion, and half-truth. But, Father, we take heart in you. For you are the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob—the one and only God—and there is no other. You alone glorify your servant—our Lord, the very author of life.
We have seen your mighty works and heard your Word of life; and we are utterly astounded at what you have done—how you have restored health to the sick—given hope to those in despair and courage to those who cower. We are mystified by this and the oddities of life.
But there is nothing you do not fully know, you leave nothing unsettled, you rightly judge every thought, word, and deed. For you have created all things and govern over every creature.
You bring into service even the most seditious and ruined souls—and so also—every soul you have purified with mercy… For no one can alter your plan, nor change the course that you have set.
Confession: So, Father, forgive us our sins, we know they are too often before you. We confess that we have been like those who deny the Holy and Righteous One.
We confess that although our hearts and minds belong to you, we do not always do the good we want but rather the evil we do not want. Yet in some mysterious way it is no longer us doing it—but those sins which dwell within. And in absolute spite of all we have done and do wrong, you love us still.
When we turn away from you and fall into sin, when we close our hearts to you and disobey your perfect law—breaking all our relations with you and others—you continue to restore us; for we are your children in Christ—and you love us as does he.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Father, for blessing us and turning us from our wickedness. You blot out our sins and refresh our souls. You have given us what we do not deserve and could never earn.
And as you promised long ago, you have appointed to us our Savior until the time of restoring all things comes. Thank you for raising our Lord from his grave and us with him.
You have provided the world with a multitude of witnesses— and proven that our faith in Christ Jesus is well founded. So, we give you thanks evermore. With whole heart and sound mind, we will tell everyone of your wonderous deeds and the forgiveness of sins.
Supplication: And, this also is our prayer request, that we might love you our God with all our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind.
Help us to never speak or act out of ignorance, that our witness would prove you to be as you are. We pray, keep our feet on wisdom’s path until the time of restoring comes.
Finally, Father—we ask that in Christ, you would strengthen us and our children after us for however long the world shall last. Help us to always be sincere; to listen to the Lord, and to do whatever he tells us.
For in him—by grace, the covenant of life resides—and the whole earth is blessed. May you be glorified for the sake of Christ our Savior—amen. †

12/15/2019 #93—Sermon Passage: Acts 4:1-22
Adoration: Hear O’Lord our words, songs, and prayers of adoration; see our hearts and search our thoughts. Fill our souls us O’ Spirit of God—that Christ might be glorified in us and the Father in him.
Use your servants as you have determined even before the sun, moon and stars gave forth their light. Make us vessels of your mercies, for all good deeds are your good deeds, Lord.
We understand Father, that the dark and lifeless are always angered by the gospel and the proclamation of Christ risen from the dead; but to those who hear the Word and believe, the beauty, goodness and truth of Christ has come.
In boldness and courage, the message will not be silenced; even its whispering shakes the foundations of the earth. By the power of the One Name above all names—Jesus Christ of Nazareth—all things wonderful come into being and astound even the faithless.
Confession: O ’Father, we are conceived in iniquity—we have been crippled by our sins. Like a tapestry, our crimes are weaved throughout: for
we are the offspring of Adam; the material of his body and the substance of his soul—cohorts in corruption.
But you are the God of glory who sends the Lord to heal and restore. And out of the mass of humankind—you heal your people. Both body and soul, you clean and beatify our tattered and torn garments… And we stand now with Christ in exquisite rejection, the cornerstone which cannot be ignored.
What you have done—in mercy and goodness—stands boldly before the world; in opposition, nothing can prove you false nor command your silence…the evidence is overwhelming and cannot be denied.
Thanksgiving: And our grateful hearts overwhelm us. We are your creation, Lord God. You are ours and we are yours. Though we had no understanding of our need, you have given us everything we needed.
And we are deeply grateful; for you needed nothing from us— nor could we give you a thing you did not already have. Thankfully, we are not our own nor on our own.
You have bought us for a price we could not afford—willing that we live by the grace of our Lord—in communion with and love for God. So, with deepest gratitude we shall glorify you and fully enjoy you forever.
The world will threaten and hate all that is good; but we shall joyfully say: “do your worst, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard in praise of the God who is.”
Supplication: Now, we bring our petitions before you our great God; knowing that even before we ask, you know everything we need. You are good in both your yes and your no; of that we are assured.
Forgive us then our arrogance when we think you have not heard or have not concerned yourself with our matters. Set us, we pray O’Lord, amid inquiry—that we might prove the soundness of our trust and the truthfulness of your Word.
Keep us close to you in our body and soul—in life and death, for you are our comfort. All that we are, is everything you grant. May what we do, say, and think fit your purposes for our salvation.
Let our every outward and inward expression show forth the life of Christ: that even these things might display your splendor to the world. Help daily us to conduct ourselves in a manner befitting our charge—that you would receive all honor and glory forever, amen. †

12/22/2019 #94—Sermon Passage: John 1:1-14
Adoration: Lord God above—Creator of heaven and earth and all that is in it… Author of life and conqueror of death… all honor, glory and praise are yours—and yours alone.
In the beginning you set in motion the seen and unseen, their places and powers established. You spoke, saying: “let it be”—and it was. At your command, the worlds and creatures with their ways and abilities—leapt into existence.
You have made all things, yet the creatures in their rebellion have diminished themselves and all they have touched. In you, was and is and shall forever be life. You are the light of mankind.
Darkened and defiant places—the hearts and minds of the fallen, have no power but what delusion affords; for you overpower every dark and diminished realm. With purest light you destroy foundations set in sand.
No force can withstand you; the true light has come into the world and defeated every foe.
Confession: Who then are we O’Lord…that you should be mindful of us…that you should come as one of us, to save us from judgment and certain death?
You have recovered us amid the battle. You captured us out of the ranks and battalions of darkness. You came into the world, but we, like those first ones, did not know you; for our hearts were inclined away…as wanderers in a desolate and corrupt land.
Even so, you became flesh of our flesh and made your home among us. You showed us your glory as the only Son of God from before all ages full of truth and grace—And because you loved us first, we can love you.
Though our sins were and are the deepest filth, you have cleansed your people and presented them to the throne of God—as a bride before the altar.
Thanksgiving: For what you have done for our salvation—and at this moment yet do—we offer our grateful hearts and intellect renewed. We are
thankful in ways we cannot express nor fully comprehend and so you perfect our words of gratitude.
What we are now, is not what we shall be—for you are the sculptor and we the clay—chosen as vessels for useful service and lasting beauty. It is you who have created and recreated us for your glory and our good.
What words of thanks are there? For to all who receive you, who believed in your name, you have given the right to become children of God, born not of blood nor of the will of the flesh or man’s desire, but of God almighty—the one and only…
For in the fullness of your being, we have all received, grace upon grace. Though the perfect law condemned us, you O’Lord, have given us mercy, grace, and truth. You make the Father known to us and we are sealed in God by the Spirit of God.
Supplication: And how can we ask for anything more? Yet in mercy to our quandary, and for your glory, you command us—”ask.”
You have made us confident, that if we ask anything according to your will, you hear us and grant our requests. Father, impinge upon our hearts that we would never ask wrongly: according to our passions, rather than your will.
May we abide in you as we abide in your word; that our asking proves your designed. For we know your answer is coming even before we ask—and while we are yet speaking. You do all things well.
Let any complaint we voice, be against ourselves and reflect upon our character. May our faith be a trust that undergirds every desire, that your glory would be seen in Christ.
Keep us secure in him we pray, amen. †

12/29/2019  #95—Sermon Passage: Colossians 2:6-15
Adoration: All glory and honor and praise are yours O’Lord. You O’ Messiah—God in the flesh—are God’s Mystery. Fully God and fully man—yet unchangeable; one with the Father and Spirit most holy.
Both Savior and Destroyer—your Simplicity is purest beauty. All our understanding resides in you. You are Eternal, Ever Perfect, Holy and Just.
Your invisible virtues and power are apparent in the splendor of your creation.
Your holy and divine Word teaches us all we need to know for life and joy. Certainly, the terror and comfort of our salvation enfolds us. You encourage our hearts and knit us together in fellowship.
Having full assurance, and the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, we cannot be deceived. Our firm understanding in Christ, defeats every idea on which fools make their stand.
For your flawless Word and every evidence, shatter eloquent arguments at their core.
Confession: Yet, it is not strange that we would desire to confess our many sins which still live in us. Odd though, it seems the renovation of body and soul moves slower than we desire. For you O’Lord have taught us a better way.
Though we desire to weigh all things in you, we are yet sluggish in our efforts; and still, you forgive. Though the winds and gales of sin tear at our flesh, seeking to uproot and rip us apart—what you have planted stands.
For you alone establish us in good-soil and root us firmly in your very being. You alone are the head of all-rule and authority—so we shall fear nothing—not men—nor powers—nor the evil one himself.
Though human traditions, clever ideas and empty deceitfulness abound, you watch over us—and we are yours to care for. And though we do yet sin, you continually hold us in the depths of love and forgiveness.
Thanksgiving: And from the depths and heights of love which you have wrought—our souls cry out in grateful chorus—in splendid harmony and perfect tone—hear O ’Savior our psalms of thanks.
May it fill the courtyards and halls of heaven. May it destroy the fortresses of evil and bring to ruin every barrier and rival story. Thank you for your countless blessing—those we see clearly and those we have not yet understood.
Thank you for working in the unseen realms and the material world. You have purified us without hands—putting off this body of flesh—we are
buried and raised in Christ through your powerful workings, for you are God almighty.
You have forgiven us our trespasses and cancelled our record of debt which demanded its penalty. Our guilt, though once overwhelming, fades away into your love at the cross.
The powers-that-be have been overcome and disarmed; they are shamed, pathetic and toothless—their fate has already come.
Supplication: Because you are good and trustworthy, to you, our gracious God, we bring our every request; asking that you guide us even in our very steps, that we may walk steady upon the narrow way.
May we breathe in and out your Word of life. May the substance of our worship prove that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that he alone has done all that is needed to redeem us from the wrath we have earned.
Let no one pass an unfit-judgment upon us, or disqualify us for our faith. Help us we pray to trust in you even though our bones are crushed and our bodies fall to dust.
Keep us from pursuing false virtues and self-imposed regulations—the foolish doing of deeds to gain your favor. For we are the clay and you are the Potter. In Christ’s holy name we pray, amen. †

Prayers 2020

01/12/2020 #96—Sermon Passage: Acts 4:32-5:11
Adoration: God of Heaven—Eternal King and Creator: You are the Beginning and the End—the one whose years are not measured out as though you change.
You establish the flow of time, yet are not affected by its march. While we change each moment, you are unchanging and everlasting. You are exalted above all that is.
Though our knowledge is limited, you reveal yourself to us. We see your sovereignty in your mighty deeds and words. How is it then, O’Lord God, that we may come before your mighty throne…that you grant us access and give hearing to our words?
How can it be that you concern yourself with our needs and desires? There is nothing more astounding—our hearts are faint at the truth of it. Apart from Christ, we are scattered about the face of the earth.
But in your boundless mercy you have made us a united people of one heart and one soul. Our lives and all that we have is yours, do with it all as you please—And we shall testify to the world that you are the Lord—the risen one—King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
Confession: And we pray—forgive us our sins O’God-eternal; for we want nothing unsettled between us. We are your redeemed—and though we know you have accounted for our sins; we yet confess them and trust in your promise of forgiveness.
We are aware of our offenses and that we have Jesus Christ our advocate—at your very right hand. Forgive us, for we confess—that we all listen and pondered the songs of that evil-being; who sings his lying words with sweet melodies.
Forgive us also the deeds which our minds yet contrive; they break us to pieces and deny you that which you have redeemed. Yet even in this, you care for us, you preserve us and you restore us.
Thanksgiving: And so, with thankful hearts we sing praises to you, the rock of our salvation. We enter your gates and court yards with tribute; for you are good and your steadfast love endures forever.
Your faithfulness to all generations proves that your grace and mercy are beyond our understanding. Your love and judgment are perfect. Who can question what you have done?
So, with all of our hearts and minds as one, we give you thanks. The roots of our souls go down to you and our lives are built upon you. Our trust in you grows stronger moment by moment.
The truth you have taught us is everything we need to know. Our hearts overflow with joy and thanksgiving.
Supplication: We pray for wisdom, for an offense lies in our failure to understand that your thoughts are not our thoughts, nor are your ways our ways.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth so are your thoughts and ways higher than ours. We ask: Teach us O’Lord; help us to know and
understand you better; for our intellect is feeble and our words and thoughts are inclined to recklessness.
Therefore, sharpen and refine our ways of thinking and speaking of you; for we do not desire to pervert any facet of your beauty nor to diminish you in any way.
May we never lie to you as we have to our friends, families, and enemies. May we never to test your Holy Spirit or make foolish decisions based on signs we think were sent to lead us. For you have given us every faculty needed for wisdom and prudence.
We worship you—confess to you—give thanks to you and ask of you all things in Christ Jesus—amen. †

01/19/2020 #97—Sermon Passage: Psalm 139:14
Adoration: O’Lord God, you know all hearts and minds perfectly well; and those of your beloved, you watch over. Wherever they are in the heights above or the depths below, their thoughts, words and deeds are ever before you.
Night and day, you concern yourself with their ways. Though the fallen world is a hard place, and full of harsh mysteries—suffering and want, we will not waver…for there is nothing unknown to you.
And because you always know what is best, you have placed boundaries around our lives and laid your hand firmly upon us. Father, you have given us wonderful knowledge which we cannot afford; for it is too great for our souls to comprehend.
Wherever we may go, your Spirit is there with us. Even in the darkest valley and the very camp of the enemy, your presence is both within and about us.
You prove our faith true even when we doubt. Everything you do—is well done. We praise you always, for we are fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are all your works—our souls know it full well.
Your hand shall lead us and your right hand shall hold us; even in the abode of the dead we shall have no fear, for the darkness we see—is not dark to you—and the night is as brightest day.
Confession: And we confess to you our sins Father, for we have foolishly thought we could hide them from you—but it was an illusion. For as much as we have thought we could outwit you, it is you who formed our souls and knitted us together in the wombs of our mothers. It is you who have made the earth and the heavens above.
It is you who chose and redeemed what is yours. You sent your messiah to suffer and to prove every word true. And in earnest, your Spirit teaches and shapes us. He knits us together in this place of sorrow—as children of the Most-High.
Thanksgiving: So, we are thankful forever that you are our God. We are grateful that nothing is hidden from your sight and that all things are subject to you.
How precious are your thoughts to us O’God… how immense is the totality of them! And that you care for us—is astounding… it is beyond our ability to grasp.
May our thankful hearts prove your goodness to every defiant soul and whereas all deeds reflect the substance of the soul, may ours show you our gratefulness—even in small and mundane concerns and tasks.
Supplication: We give to you also our requests—every desire we hold in prayer. May each one be aligned with yours… May we never pray as though negotiating with an equal— trying to exchange this for that.
And though our hearts rage loudly as circumstances engulf us—may we approach you in solemn homage—bowing low and speaking carefully…remembering to whom it is we speak. For you are the King of heaven—the earth is your footstool…
You know perfectly well what is happening; and we must bear-in-mind that the obstructions of life we endure are not purposeless. Help us we pray to be wise and to trust you only.
And while the fallen-world yet turns, the wicked will continue their assaults…their malicious intent is weaved into every story they tell and every insult we hear.
So, we pray that you would capture them, heart and soul, as you have us. May well the wickedness of the people and their hatred against, you meet defeat in your love…
May they—each one you have chosen, be seized by you, captured and freed by you, their skills and gifts redeemed to your service. Yet, your wrath is perfectly unleashed against the unholy.
Father your hatred of evil is complete and faultless… for you are holy and nothing unholy will endure. Teach us therefore, we pray, to stand with you. Search us O’God and know our hearts; try us and know our thoughts…see if there be any grievous way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.
It is for the sake of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ, we pray, amen. †

01/26/2020 #98—Sermon Passage: Psalm 139 “God is the giver of life”
Adoration: God of all creation, you are the author of life, the giver and lover of souls. You knew us—loved us in eternity. Even before our conception, you looked upon our days.
Whether we had been given only moments, days, or many years in strife, every second of life we are under your loving gaze. And in death, we that you shall keep, are gather up by your loving hand.
For it is you who form, knit, and shape us. Whether we serve you into the twilight of life or we parish in that secret place, we are in your care. You watch over your chosen, you remake our every flaw into perfection.
You do wonderful things Lord; of that we are certain. Man’s sorrowful designs are no barrier for you… For who can stand against you? Who can—with evil intent—defeat the goodness you have set in motion?
We praise you for we know you are holy. We trust that every wrong we shall be turned back upon itself. For you are the God of the living and there is no other.
Before you formed us and before our births, you consecrated and appointed us to the ways we should go.
Confession: We confess that we have seen much-sorrow and intervene too little. Forgive us O’Lord for our confusion, and that our conscience has not burned against our complacency as it should.
Our understanding and our reasoning have been muddled at times; we have not thought carefully. We have not grasped the severity and cleverness of evil acts, and have failed to see things as they are…
In your grace to us, open our minds, hone our intellect. We confess, that in times past, we have believed the stories the wicked have told us and so embraced wickedness too.
They who practice the death arts have flaunted their profanities with the rhetoric of lies and flawed reasoning. By our confession, make us always to see through the fog of deceit and to know, hear and speak the truth of the matter less we partner with it.
Thanksgiving: And we thank you O’God; for you are the God who takes everything into account. Yet, you do not ponder this and that as do we; for you need no such thought to consider your path.
You do not weigh the sins of your people and less so the sins of the world, yet one is afforded mercy and the other wrath. You are righteousness itself and the core of every virtue.
You punish and forgive perfectly. Your love, mercy and grace are much greater than your wrath; yet your wrath has no equal and by some unimaginable measure, is never quenched.
We thank you for your mercy and for the promise of justice— the setting right of all things. You do everything well—use your people as you will.
Supplication: We pray Father that the heritage and blessings you have given your people as defenders of life are no-longer denied. We pray that what you have fearfully and wonderfully made will be cherished and honored as it should…for life in your image is sacred.
Make our mouths therefore like sharpen swords. Hide us in the shadow of your hand and wield us as you will. Make us as polished arrows in your quiver from which you administer your Word of truth.
Make us your servants we pray in all matters that glorify you; and we shall never say: “we have labored in vain; we have spent our strength for nothing, for surely our ways are with you; our recompense is with our God.”
The time of reckoning approaches; we know it is here now; and you have laid out the way we shall go. And you set us aside before our births; called us by your grace and revealed to us your Son—that we might preach him into a dead and dying world.
Therefore Lord-God be glorified in this and all places. Bring reconciliation and life. May Christ be known and honored forever; amen. †

02/09/2020 #99—Sermon Passage: Acts 6:8-15
Adoration: God of heaven and earth—eternal King and Father, you are our dwelling place, our way, and our safe harbor. But to others, you give no root—nor safe passage—nor anchorage.
Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world—from everlasting to everlasting—you are God. Only fools say, “there is no God,” and yet others say you are “different” than what you have said.
You laugh heartily at their attempts to overthrow you. Their insubordination is a cricket chirping in the night. Although they accuse your messengers of lying, it is they who are dishonest.
Like the withering grass, their tongues will dry up in their mouths—for they shall be ended by your anger… by your wrath they shall be dismayed.
Evildoers do not call upon you, for they have no knowledge. They desire to eat up your people like lions eat their kill; but they will not withstand your Spirit—nor overcome the wisdom of your word.
Yet to their amazement, you capture and restore even the worst of them. And some who warred so ruthless against you, shall sing your praises evermore.
Confession: Because you are our Great and powerful God, we confess to you as Lord, that our own pride and impenitence taunts us. It is a problem to be solved moment by moment.
Our lack of understanding affects our words and our witness; but still, you are there to uphold us. Our thoughts of you and our hold upon your grace is sorely inadequate…
We struggle to do all that you command and to speak as boldly and as gently to others, as you have to us. We know Father, that our confessions do not change us, but that your forgiveness does.
Our guilt is ever before us, but you have cleansed our souls in ways we cannot comprehend.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful to you every day O’Lord. We know you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love.
And though calamity comes, you cover your people. They sit in the shade of your love. Thank you, almighty God, for left to ourselves, we too would spout out foolishness.
Like those elders and scribes of old, we also would stir up the heart of ignorance that the world considers wise. Thank you, that you have renewed and reshaped our souls— and placed in our mouths both the dangerous and glorious words of truth.
Supplication: We pray Father, help us therefore to make no uncareful or false statements—as many already accuse us of doing.
Help us to speak full-out blasphemy against the spirit of the world; for the truth shall be its downfall. The world rises in protest; and with loud and dark voices, they openly and secretly instigate the wicked to dispute the light of truth.
May their temples and their rituals of deception become as dust—as the brightness of your glory shines upon them. May any abuse we suffer, be a reflection of the honor you have given us. And may any pain inflicted upon us, bring you glory and honor—and confirm in us—a loyalty we have not yet known.
May we never rely upon our own strength or upon worldly schemes and influence—but upon the wisdom and power of the Holy Spirit, who informs our minds and moves our tongues to confess Jesus Christ as Lord. All this, for the sake of Christ we pray, amen. †

02/23/2020 #100—Sermon Passage: Acts 8:9-25
Adoration: Lord God, Father—Son—Spirit, how immense and eternal is your love for us. Our love for you is but a reflection of yours for us; for it is you who loved us first.
Before you spoke creation, before we came-to-be and before we understood much: you loved us. You established and re-established our ways even though we trusted the world and lived intentional lives of ignorance. You possess every perfection and virtue infinitely.
When you give to us grace, mercy, and reconciliation, you divest yourself of nothing. The least to the greatest can see that you alone are without comparison. You alone are great and good.
Our bodies and souls—live and move and have their being in you. We cannot increase your glory when we glorify you. Your every perfection and fullness neither increased nor decreased by our acts of obedience.
Neither is your infinite and necessary hatred of sin made any more intense by our transgressions. You do not change with circumstances but remain the same always and forever.
Confession: Though you need nothing and give everything, hear now our groanings of confession—that we might understand you and ourselves better.
For we previously and somewhat still, are captivated by wrong things and impressive people. Though we have received your very Spirit, we are prone to mishandled your word.
We look for signs to confirm our own desires, claiming promises, leadings and callings that are not ours to claim. We have thought that our service and gifts might balance out our inadequacies—when Christ alone has done that for us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord-God for opening our hearts, that we should see more wisely our problem and proclivity for sin. For you have given us your son; and he himself has come to save us through obedience, death, and the gift of your indwelling Spirit.
When even the intent of our heart was not right before you, the Lord removed our bitterness and our bonds of depravity which made us friends with the world.
With no part in the matter, nor choice to claim—your grace enabled our souls to act—to turn in desperation for mercy. Thank you for your compassion toward us Father—for the vindication of our Lord and for your Spirit possessing our souls.
Our gratitude will resound forever as we enjoy your boundless glory.
Supplication: So, we pray Father, help us to not simply embrace you intellectually, but to know you better by your indwelling Spirit.
You give freely to those whom you choose—whom your hand is upon. And we ask that you would cause us to reflect your kindness to the world, lest they receive the wages they have earned.
Guide us we pray in our thought life, that it would honor you even as we dream. Guide us in our words, for from the words of our mouths the truth of the heart is revealed.
Guide us also in our deeds and behaviors for those also reveal the condition of the soul. Keep us from being amazed by anything that has not come by your hand or that implies something of power.
For we know that you are the source of all power; so, may illusion and sophistry never draw us into its snare. May Christ be our only guide to your thrown; for his sake and glory we pray, amen. †

03/08/2020 #101—Sermon Passage: Acts 9:1-19
Adoration: Gracious Father, you have sent us your beloved Son— and he is our Messiah—the Holy Spirit has told us so… From heaven, our Savior has come.
He has amazed our darkened hearts with knowledge and wisdom—and yet we have pondered: …who is this that commands the unclean spirits—and they obey him?
Who is this to whom the wind and the sea submit and to whom the creatures of the sea yield? Even the elements submit—and bread and wine appear.
He commands that our bodies to heal and we are restored— our souls see the truth of it in his power to grant life.
Those he came for, follow, and obey him.
Who is this but the one we have heard of and awaited, for not even the grave can hold him?
He himself has told us: I am he—the Bread of life—the Light of the world—the Door of the sheep and the good Shepherd. I am the Resurrection, the Way, the Truth, and the Life—I am the Lord.
Confession: So, before you O’God—High King of heaven, we stand exposed and speechless. Your light shines in every corner of our being.
Our blindness has injured our souls and we confess every sin in want of healing.
Our guilty plea leaves nothing unsaid. We are silent before you but our guilt is not—for you know who we are—what we have done and have failed to do.
You have healed our hearts and minds and all the substance of the soul.
Only the LORD can cover such evil with such kindness; for by His perfect life, atoning death, and vindication, we are forgiven every sinful thought and deed.
We do not confess to idols of wood and stone, or to a priest who makes light of sin with acts of penance… Our confession is before the very thrown of God—
Even these prayers of contrition—are shaped by the Son and the Spirit—and are forgiven by the very one we have offended.
You alone, Almighty God, bid us—”rise and be strengthened, forgiveness is yours.”
Thanksgiving: Only our Lord and Savior can fully express our gratitude to you O’ Father. The groanings and gratefulness of our hearts—is the language of song and joy to you—our redemption a sweet aroma.
We shall thank you when we rise and when we sleep—when we are injured and in our deepest sorrows. Let our tears be filled with praise and our laughter be united with yours.
And in all things, we shall say: “Here we are Lord, command us as you will—we call on your name, for there is no other. We follow the Way, for it is to you that we belong.
Supplication: We pray therefore, bring us to the homes of the high and the low; whether to kings or children, or to those who threaten and murder, send us where you will…
Give us each day all that you have for us; may our desires and our needs be the same. Though we may suffer, may we carry your name and the Way to every ear that you have prepared—whom you alone know.
As your chosen, may your Spirit be with us, infill us and move through us—as you grant us all that you command. Deliver us from the Evil-One who would lead us astray. And though fearsome to ask—forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.
May your kingdom fill the earth as it does heaven and may your will always be done—for it is perfect in every way.
In the name of Jesus of Nazareth, we ask all things be for the sake and glory of our Almighty God, amen. †

03/15/2020 #102—Sermon Passage: Acts 9:20-31
Adoration: Father God—Judge of the earth—full of Grace and Kindness—our Great Savior and True Vine—Eternal Spirit of Holiness: You O’ Triune God have rescued us from our spiritual blindness and blessed us with understanding, truth, and mercy.
You have given us new names and in love you mold and remake us with skillful precision…shaping our hearts, our words and our thoughts. Inasmuch as you have redeemed our lives, we cannot but immediately proclaim: Jesus Christ as Son of God.
Let everyone know who and what we were, that they may be amazed at what you have done. For though we had proven ourselves to be destroyers and haters by nature, moving through everything like locust, you captured us amid our fury and clamed our angry march.
Our faces of havoc have been reshaped into welcoming smiles of fellowship. By our redemption, let the world be confounded and bewildered—some on to judgment and others to insight.
And may the angels of Abaddon—the hosts of wickedness— and the father of lies, be shaken to the core—with all delusions aside, as into the pit they go.
For you O’Lord prove your Sovereign hand in every circumstance. Nothing will stand against you—nothing confounds you and by your mighty command, all things are set right.
Confession: Even we are set right by the faith you have instilled. It is in fact—a trust, which we could never have acquire on our own.
So, by your gift of trust, we confess our sins and repent, assured that you have forgiven us our sins. You have us your strength—even in the weakness of our efforts.
For if we conceal our disobedience, we will not flourish, but if we confess and forsake our defiance, we will obtain mercy. Only by your grace in mercy do we acknowledged our sins.
Forgive us O’Lord our many iniquities. Lead us to where we should go—with steps straight, narrow, and true.
Thanksgiving: Hear now and always our songs of grateful joy. You are the Rock of our salvation—good and steadfast, your love endures forever.
With all our heart, mind, and soul, we give you thanks; all of your wonderful deeds are clearly evident. Because of your righteousness, we sing praises to your name—our Most High Lord.
In thankful repose, may our souls bless you and all that is within us, bless your holy name! We will not forget your gifts of forgiveness, for you heal our
diseases, you redeem our lives from the pit and crown us with love and mercy.
You give us good things; and like an eagle to flight, you renew us over and over; our thankfulness overwhelms our hearts.
Supplication: Now Lord, our petitions and appeals are many; and may it please you to receive them all. May our roots grow down into you and our lives be built upon you.
Cause our faith to grow strong in the truth you have taught us and let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. May we devote ourselves to prayer, being watchful and knowing that every good and perfect gift comes down from you, the Father of lights—with whom there is no variation or shadow of change.
Help us O’ Father to not be anxious, but in everything by prayer and thanksgiving, making known to you our requests and our desires during times of both peace and distress.
For nothing goes unseen by you…not what we do, nor where we go… Your presence is close to us in every moment and every place. And though we are prone to think more of our desires than we should, may we instead seek and always accept your perfect will.
For we know full well that you are working all things for our good… And we shall trust in everything you promise—for your integrity is our strength and hope.
It is for the sake of our LORD and his Gospel that we pray, amen. †

05/10/2020 #103—Topical Sermon Honoring Mother’s
Our Father—Holy Spirit and High King of heaven, we glorify your name in our hearts, with our words and by our actions. You alone are the Eternal One.
You fill the earth and the heavens with your perfect gifts. You decree kindness upon individuals and nations. You have loved us and taught us to love.
We are confident in you alone—for the shadows of change never darken your path. You are always aware and watching; nothing is outside your view. You do not deliberate your next move, nor ponder how to deal with the circumstances of men. Your wisdom is perfectly ordered and flawless—though we are too shallow to see it all.
Your compassion flows like a river over dry lands. Those who love you will do what you command. The laws and the foundations you have established—are dear to us.
To honor and worship you are perfectly natural; yet, in pride and arrogance, the unnatural world has rebelled and injured all that is pure. Your beauty alone remains…
Great and wonderful are your mighty works O’God; our souls know it full well. For you have formed our inward parts and knit us together in the wombs of our mother’s—And though fallen and damaged, we are yet fearfully and wonderfully made.
In confession of sin, repentance, and redemption in Christ, we offer ourselves, untethered from worldly restraints. For you have given us the way we should follow, which shows us your heart.
You alone will be our God. We will not worship things, nor speak your name as though it meant nothing. We will keep the day of worship holy for you are holy.
We will honor our father and our mother whom you have given us. We shall not be murders, adulators, thieves or liars and we will not desire what belongs to someone else.
Thank you for the boundaries you have set for us…which parents, who honor you—impose. Their instructions and teachings are the beautiful jewels we ware.
As they honor you, may we also honor them; and if they are corrupt people—may we yet love and honor them as though they were not. For you are our God…the God who rights all wrongs and brings to naught the evils of mankind… Because you chose to love us, we shall choose also to love others.
So, we thank you now for our mothers, whose lives reflect your kingdom, and their ways inform our hearts.
They are to us precious jewels. We trust in them… and our lives are enhanced… for they will do no harm but only what is good. By her love and virtue, she provides and works always to uplift her family. The fruits of her labor—is our lack of want.
Night and day, she watches over husband and children. They are fed and clothed because she makes it her mission. She even cares for those outside of her home, for this is how the Lord has fashioned her heart.
From her eyes and mouth come wisdom and kindness and she will not rest until all is well and set in its place.
Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her, saying: “Many women do commendable things, but you have surpassed them all.”
Charm is deceitful, and beauty fades, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.
Our prayer O’Lord, is to ask for your continued blessings upon our lives in the grace you have shown to our mothers and wives.
May all things bring you glory, amen. †

05/17/2020 #104—Sermon Passage: Acts 13:1-12
Adoration: Lord God Almighty—Father—Spirit—Son. You are Holy and your mighty works prove to us the certainty of your being. We are astonished at your teachings and the very universe is a small expanse in your hands.
You have given us intellect, both high and low, that we may grasp the evidence of truth. You have dispelled all that is false and foolish; and disabused us of our follies.
You have given us gifts of prophesy and teaching to build up, encourage and comfort us. You have embraced us in love and truth and set us apart for holy service. You bring glorious duties to your chosen; they do the work you have set before them.
The hands you ordain to lay upon some, confirm their service. You send out and you call home. You stay the journeys of some and loose the pathways of others…each proclaim your Word to the world…to hearts and minds prepared by you to receive you.
Though false prophets and fools clamor with loud and vile opposition—for it is their dark-duty to turn people away from trust in God—the most Holy Spirit will crush them in their path. For they are the sons and daughters of the evil-one—the enemy of all righteousness.
They are full of deceit and treachery, for they delight in telling lies, in distortions and misdirection. Their stories cannot be trusted. Mist and darkness shall fall upon them and they will have their reward.
Confession: Our confession O’Lord, is that we have not been astonished enough at your great and wonderous works.
You defeat the enemy of our souls and we have not grasped the amplitude of it. Your mighty hand in battle protects the encampments even while they sleep unawares.
We confess, though you have done everything for our good— we yet sin. We have been self-satisfied and have feared things that have no power over us.
And other sins have we done without consideration of the depravity they reveal. In as much as our hearts shall turn from them, forgive us our sins and transgressions O’Lord.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for the gift of redemption in Christ. His perfect sacrifice has brought us recompense. He has atoned for our revolts both large and small. Thank you for renewing our souls, for promises kept and for assurance now—and going forward.
Thank you for watching over us and training our minds to recognize the villainy of the enemy. You have opened our eyes and made us aware. Your Word is the sword of our tongues in combat.
Supplication: So, we pray Holy Spirit, help us to master the weapons you have imparted to us. May we speak the truth in gentleness and love—yet too, with power and precision that pierces to the core.
Make us the clear-and-dangerous enemy of everything false that grinds about us in ever-increasing volume. For he who speaks truth tells what is right, but a false witness deceives.
He who walks with integrity and works righteousness, speaks truth in Christ at every moment… and in the presence of God.
In the name of Jesus Christ our Lord and Savior we pray— amen. †

05/24/2020 #105—Sermon Passage: Acts 13:13-52
Adoration: O’Lord, hear our prayers of adoration and contrition. May also our thankfulness and pleadings reveal the sincerity of our hearts. In fear and awe, we acknowledge you in all our ways. We shut our mouths and listen to your instruction; for you have given us the truth in all aspects of life.
You are ruler over all creation and to the people you have chosen, you are their God, loving—true and just. The story of your care, concern, patience reward and punishment, are all tied-up within us…both our disobedience and our compliance are on record.
Our accuser reveals nothing new by his accusations against us. We know full well who we are and what we have done. But also, who you are and what you have done!
And that you are merciful and kind, covering our failures with virtue and turning our shame into honor, the case against us is shattered. The Savior of your people stands before you…we in him and he in us. He is our advocate and redeemer.
His argument is perfectly sound and Just; for he has done everything that was needed for our gain. And blessed is the one whose transgressions are forgiven and whose sins are covered.
Blessed is the one to whom the LORD counts no iniquity and, in whose spirit, there is no deceit.
Confession: So, we will confess to you our sins O’ Righteous God. For when we keep silent, our very bones waste away and we hear our own groanings both day and night.
For in our attempts to conceal our lingering depravity, our spirits are never at ease. Your hand falls heavily upon us and the heat of it dries out all our strength. For we know there are no secrets kept from you; and no hidden attempt to deceive you will succeed.
Even in the place of righteousness, our guilt is ever before us—. So, we shall cease to hide our iniquity and acknowledge our sins before you; for and you are faithful to forgive us our sins and to restore us to yourself daily.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for you have given us an understanding of our Savior in every way needed. In creation, proclamation and by miraculous deeds, we have beheld our messiah—the reclaimer of souls. No corruption has ever darkened or tarnished his beauty.
Thank you that our Lord fulfils every requirement which we could not. In him alone is freedom and the Good News we have desired to receive. In Him every promise is kept and every blessing is found.
Supplication: We pray now, help us to shine as the only light in a world darkened by ridicule and mocking. For you love those who hate evil and you care for those who spread the truth of your Word.
Fill us with your Spirit, that we may know the Joy of assurance even in the midst of abuse and false accusation. And forgive our enemies their sins—may they enter our fold by your design; and with us in fellowship, shake off the dust of corruption; for otherwise, the destruction of the soul is the wage they will earn.
Shape now our intellect and our passions to suit your requirements of us. Give us the way to speak everything you have said, that glory and honor will come to the Lord in all the earth—now and forever, amen. †

05/31/2020 #106—Sermon Passage: Genesis 9
Adoration: Father in heaven—Spirit—and LORD of lords, we are utterly astonished at the works of your hands and how you shape and mold all you have made. Who can question your sovereign ways and your perfect commands—only fools who say they-themselves are the center of truth?
But they are deceived and are deceivers. Whether or not they care to say so—they know you are God, and their guilt will ravage their souls; it will not let them rest—for the sins of their hands and hearts reveal the truth.
Only you, O’God, have set out the ways we are to go. Your covenants cover the earth and all that dwells there. You give boundaries to lovingly restrict and unbound gifts to bless. You hold all creatures accountable; and in holy love, and righteousness—you free the souls of the forgiven.
What powers we have—you have granted us. You have commanded us to do right things and to flourish and enjoy your gifts. You have bound yourself to us in relationship—that we may live and not be destroyed.
You have set us in a place of fear and dread, by which both men and beasts dismay. You have ensured justice and commanded reckoning—that violence might not rule our lives and that you, the only God, may be known through it.
Confession: Our many confessions are accepted by you, only in accord with true sorrow. You have made us capable of knowing and doing what is right; yet we often embrace the opposite…our hypocrisy knows no shame.
And so, our unconfessed sins support the reckonings of your covenants. The curse from our rebellion grows up from below and falls from above; yet by your grace and mercy in Christ, we are redeemed.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father for all you have delivered into the hands of your servants …every living thing upon the earth…to care for and use properly.
We are thankful that your perfect covenant has come to us by perfect providence. Your grace and mercy in Christ have adorned us with righteousness and life everlasting. The seal you have placed over us declares every promise true—a pure red covering of blood, shed for our cleansing.
Supplication: Our prayers flow up from within the covering—and we ask you to further heal us. For our bodies are easily broken and our minds are easily distracted.
Give us we pray, a fuller grasp of your divine care, and lead us according to our trust in you—that by faith we would know you better and see ourselves more clearly. We ask all things in Christ, amen. †

06/14/2020 #107—Sermon Passage: 1 John 4:7-21
Adoration: O’Lord God—you are perfect, pure and glorious Love. Your one essence and triune subsistence are mysterious and beyond our grasp.
Your love, as with your every attribute, is the core of your being. You are eternally content and have no needs. You are the One and only God, distinct as Father—Son and Spirit most Holy; divergent in person and activity, yet moving as one glorious God.
In love you created the universe and all that is in it. You made mankind in your image—virtuous, able to love and to do all you command. Though fools love foolishness, in love and wisdom, you permit—what you permit, that man may perhaps know and love you better.
You’ve given the chosen to your Son, and in love He redeems them; even as the Spirit restores and awakens the dead—all known in eternity and by your decree—redeemed.
We cannot grasp or fully appreciate the meaning of it all, but we know there would be no love in the world, without you. Love only is because it comes from you. Sin is hatred against you, it shall find no purchase in heaven—nor survive among your people.
Confession: Father, we have not loved you or others as we should. It is a sin we cannot afford. Therefore, we confess our sins to you daily, even the greatest one.
O’Lord, forgive us our sins and cleanse us. We are confident in your every promise to redeem us and to renew our minds that we may be restored in perfection.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your deep and enduring love of us in Christ. You foreknew us in love—our past, present, and future are a tapestry weaved to show the beauty of your love and our redemption.
We have been given new life by your Word and are eager to love one another in the way that you have loved us.
Supplication: May we desire everything you desire. Help us to not be a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal; speaking of love—yet failing to love. If we do everything in burden-of-duty but have no love, we are nothing and we gain nothing.
Father, remind us every waking moment and in every wandering dream, that we love because you first loved us. Remind us constantly, that Love is patient and kind; it does not envy or boast and is never arrogant or rude. Help our love and lives to be real.
For if we truly love, we will not insist upon our own way; nor be short-tempered, resentful or do wrong things. Rather, we shall find joy in doing all that is right…enduring all difficulties, believing—hoping and standing steadfast for all things true.
Your love for us O’Lord has taught us that love never ends… And that when the Perfect arrives, all other proofs—shall pass away. Help us therefore, to stop thinking, speaking, and reasoning in childish ways and to mature in accordance with your love for us.
For we know that one day, we shall be face-to-face with you. On that day we will see clearly and fully, everything that is now so dim.
While now trust, courage, and love have formed us, we know the greatest of these is love—yours for us, ours for you and for others… may it be always so in Christ our Lord—now and evermore—amen. †

06/21/2020 #108—Sermon Passage: 2 Timothy 3:10-17
Adoration: Our Father in heaven, how very holy and beautiful you are. Your kingdom and your will—are the foundations of heaven and earth. Both shine-out to engulf the deep and ominous gloom.
Though evil-men and demons demand their privileges, we shall remind them that this is your world and we are your beloved. Our names are written in heaven and you have given us both armor and sword to withstand the schemes of the evil-one.
We are your children and we shall train our little ones accordingly. Through faith in Christ, you have primed our hearts with your word to make us wise and wary of imposters.
They are deceivers who want only to distort and destroy what they cannot appreciate. And we know that our struggle is not against flesh and blood but rather, against those malevolent rulers, authorities, and the forces of evil who roam the realms of earth.
But you O’Lord—our Father, have trained our minds to be alert and to see clearly the old-serpent who lies, tempts, and accuses the holy. He is a murderer and thief from the beginning, and shall not prevail.
For you Lord-God, have reproved him and the gospel of peace smothers his flaming arrows and deluded talk.
Like an ancient fallen King, those who see him, shall stare at him, and ponder: “Is this really the one who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms and roamed about in ravenous ways?”
Confession: And we pray, forgive us Father, for our confession is that we have been distracted and have not trusted you enough, nor have we kept our hearts from worry.
Your authority over all, leaves our thoughts in disarray. Yet you have made your word clear to us and proven yourself throughout history. We confess our sins in remorse—our penance is in the hands Christ our Lord.
We pledge our repentance yet he fulfils our debts. Still—it is right that we ask your forgiveness. According to your tender mercies, wash us thoroughly and cleans us from our sins we pray.
Thanksgiving: And by your loving kindness, may our thankfulness be clearly seen in our words, our deeds, and thoughts. In thankful repose, though you would lift us up to your embrace, we kneel at the foot of your thrown.
Who can thank you fully even in days without-end? But we shall praise you forever—our God and Savior. We shall recall and sing of your kindness and glorify you ever more.
Supplication: Now Father, help us in our weaknesses, for we suffer many. May we stand as you have commanded, strong and courageous, unafraid, and encouraged; for it is you who are with us and you who go ahead of and behind us in battle.
Your desires are upon our hearts and we shall impress them upon the hearts of our children; talking of them when we sit in safety and as we travel through dangers and uncertainty.
May we bind the symbols of truth upon our hands and foreheads and write them upon the door frames of our homes; for we know from whom we have learned the truth.
As we follow your lead, may our faith—patience—love and steadfastness prove exquisite in the face of evil.
By the Word and life, you have breathed into us, may we reprove, correct and train ourselves in righteousness— equipped for every good work; and do the same for those in our charge. For the sake of Christ, amen. †

07/12/2020 #109—Sermon Passage: Acts 16:1-15
Adoration: Lord God, you are the one living—true and Triune God who founded the earth and all that is in it by wisdom. You established the heavens by understanding; and by your knowledge and fury, you broke open the watery depths, yet still, the dew of night—greets the morning sun.
We praise you O’Lord, for you have put all things into their paths. You abandon nothing—not even what you knowingly leave to itself.
Though fools embrace defiance for the sake of defiance, and worship their own fierceness, they cannot see where their affections will take them. Their devotion to nothing of value, delivers them to a void—empty of grace, mercy, and love.
But you O’ mighty God, have taken for yourself a people from every nation and tribe…you have rebuilt and restored what was fallen. For your name’s sake, you have done everything for them…made them wise, humbled their hearts and made them truly free—that their affections should flow naturally and forever to their God; for your grace—mercy and love are never ending.
Confession: Even so Father, we know we are inclined toward vain and fleeting things: the elements of the world rather than the substance of your love.
We have placed too much importance on our control of circumstances—over declaring all you have done. Forgive us when we have put you to the test or placed a yoke on the necks of our brothers and sisters which you had removed…
So, we shall confess our sins to you daily—both those we know of and those we fail to acknowledge. And with Augustine, we confess, that the houses of our souls are yet narrow; enlarge them Lord, that you may enter in.
We have suffered ruin—repair us Lord, that we—in and of ourselves would not displeases you. Cleans us from our secret faults O’Lord and rescue your servants from their sin.
Thanksgiving: Hear always our prayers of gratitude—our praise to the Lord for his cross of our salvation.
Thank you, Father, for you alone know the heart. You have given us your Holy Spirit, who by faith cleans the soul that you prepared through mercy.
You have sung the songs our salvation, and by your will, we have entered into grateful harmony, with chorus that resounds throughout creation—and brings to dust the house of rebellion.
Supplication: And we pray Father, help us to turn from vain things. Strengthen our hearts that we might move by faith through many troubles, so as to stand on the final day.
Through difficulties to honor—may we fulfill the work you have commissioned for us. Give us grace and courage O’Lord that we would answer the call of our Savior Jesus Christ—and proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation.
May we and the whole world perceive the glory of his marvelous works. Make us we pray, instruments of your peace.
Where we should not go, stop us—and to where we must go, transport us. Whether by visions, the hands of evil men or angles… bring us to where you want us and to those you have foreordained to salvation.
Open up closed hearts and byways, bring us into their presence by any path, road or avenue you draw us down. And in all things may we be judged-faithful to the Lord, and may all glory and honor be to our God now and evermore…amen. †

07/19/2020 #110—Sermon Passage: Genesis 22:1-19
Adoration: Father in Heaven, Son, and Spirit—you O’God are rich in blessings and mercies to an unworthy and destitute people. You have made great provision for our wrongdoings, our corruption, and our guilt.
A thousand years in your sight is like a day or as a night-watch that passes. You sweep men away as with a flood; they are like a dream, like grass that is renewed and flourishes in the morning and in the evening—fades and withers.
Yet, you have been our refuge in every generation. Before you brought forth the mountains, or formed the earth or the stars of heaven—from everlasting to everlasting, you are God.
And what is man that you are so mindful of him. For our bodies are dust and our lives are a vapor. And though returning to dust, you preserve us still, our souls are in your hands—our bodies you rebuild. You have surely blessed us in unimaginable ways.
We have not been justified through our own efforts—but by the exquisite labors of our Savior. For the Gift of Christ-our-Lord, has, satisfied your virtuous wrath and your perfect-justice for those who love you. We shall praise and highly exalt you—our God forever.
So, here we are Lord, you always know what is best for us. Let everything be done to us as you have determined. Let what pleases you also bring you honor and majesty.
If our bones be crushed or our blood be drained to nothing, we are yours to command—yours to turn to the north or to the south—and yours to shape as you desire; assign us and test us as you will.
Confession: And daily, merciful Lord, forgive us our sins we plead—those of commission and omission—of hardheartedness, unbelief, and pride. Forgive us for the dishonor we knowingly or unknowingly bring to your name.
For if we receive just a glimpse of your holiness, we are shaken by our dullness and ignorance of who you are….test us O’Lord.
Forgive us for uncleanness of thought—for speaking without careful reflection and for deeds done without discernment of consequence; for we are easily deceived, easily moved and always prone to wander.
Thanksgiving: So, we thank you Father, for you desire that your holiness be known and valued as it should be. Because we have sinned against you, you require recompense—a true sacrifice for sin. And so, you alone built an alter and provided—the Lamb of God.
All this you have done for yourself, on our behalf and to our benefit; for we were-not and are-not equipped to do what is needed…
What you require of us, you give to us, that we may return to you what is yours. This fulfils no need in you, for we alone are shaped and molded by the glory you receive.
Supplication: Hear now the pleadings of your beloved: Help us to withhold nothing from you—for all things are yours; we are in your world and we are your chosen. Thank you for wanting as family.
And Father, even though it is already so, be gracious to us and bless us. Make your face to shine down upon us, so that through us, your Way may be known in all the earth, and your salvation among all the nations.
For the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ we pray, amen. †

07/26/2020 #111—Sermon Passage: Acts 16:16-40
Adoration: Almighty God—our Father in heaven—merciful Son and Spirit so pure—Creator and Sustainer of the seen and unseen: We reach up to you in faith—the very gift of reliance from your hand.
Our trust, hope and love are founded in you alone; for you are the one true God—infinite in being and perfection, unchanging and inexplicable—the very source of life.
By wisdom and righteousness O’God, you work all things according to your good and perfect will; may it be-done on earth as in heaven!
Yet mankind, made in your-image, in Adam—willed also; and his will was to sin against you.
In dark desire, he fell from the righteousness and communion he had enjoyed with you. For rebellion-sake and his own glory—he chose death over life.
Every endowment you gave, every faculty he enjoyed, became utterly defiled. Both his spirit and body and everyone formed from it, became vessels of dishonor… And we can neither help ourselves—nor reverse what is done.
Furthermore, we know that you, O’Lord, are holy and cannot but hate sin. You are terribly-Just and startling in your judgments—you will by no means acquit the guilty for whatever merit they had considered to have achieved.
Confession: But you O’ Great God—beyond our understanding— are most loving, gracious, and merciful. For your own glory you have not left us in the mire of death.
Yet you carefully consider our sins and our confessions of sin. Our sins are not unknown to you, though we might imagine to hide them or somehow compensate you for our debts.
So, we are foolish in that way, forgetting who you are and what you have done…failing to recall the forgiveness we have. You, our good and loving God, are indeed long-suffering.
You cover us in abundant goodness and truth—forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin in the work, sacrifice, and mercies of Christ.
Thanksgiving: Hear then the words of thankfulness we cannot form to speak. Yet, our Lord makes them understood. For he reads the hearts of his own—the children you have restored.
Though our words may be inadequate, and our thoughts muddled, his words on our behalf are more than adequate, for they are spoken close to your ear and made perfectly clear.
Supplication: Father we ask everything of you that you have every intention to grant. May we proclaim the way of salvation in word and deed to everyone. May all barriers and taunting spirits be ruined in the name of Christ.
May every prison wall and foundation rebellion has formed— turn to dust and every wound healed. May those who believe in God, who he is and what he has done, rejoice. For if we live, we live to the Lord. And if we die, we die to the Lord.
Whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s. So, being in Christ himself—we pray these things through him our savior, amen. †

08/09/2020 #112—Sermon Passage: Acts 17:16-34
Adoration: Father of lights—our Lord and Spirit of Truth—You
O’God are our God alone—and we are your portion: selected from among the nations who followed the false gods of old, and who yet pay homage to them.
It is because our hearts rest with you, that we can see and hear the ways of the dead clearly…for as they are, so were we. And the dead—thinking themselves wise—go about life in a mist and fog of ignorance; praising themselves and their ways as good and virtuous.
But having lived there, we know that the way which seems right to them—is indeed the way of death. So, they Spend their time and effort on nothing. Embracing useless objects of worship—as their gods lead them blindly to the grave.
And those ancient beings celebrate what they have ruined and taken to naught by a false gospel; for the lost cannot see that they sacrifice to demons—rather than to the living God.
And, are not our souls rightly annoyed by all this Father? Our sorrow for the lost grows daily as the provocations of evil seep into every crevasse of life; and in constant assault— leaves nothing alone.
It is as loud as the clamoring was at Babel, when for a time, you gave the nations over to themselves.
Though many—awakened to darkness—hear the truth and think it nonsense, to some, you will be the spark of life; some, you will awaken to the light; and give them the gift faith and reasoning, to understand the propositions which truth affords.
Confession: So, we confess, that although we were once in darkness and you were unknown to us, by grace, you made us to find you. As though we had some ability to find our way out of the misty fog, the truth of your word resonated in our souls.
Yet, our reasoning and your will are compatible, for you have given us dignity and freedom to know you as-you-are and not as we have imagined. So, to the world we shall confess that you are Lord of heaven and earth, maker of all that was, is and ever shall be.
We shall declare that you are the God who can be known. The only God who gives life and breath and everything else to all mankind… and that in you alone, we live and move and have our being.
Thanksgiving: And when we are thankful, we are not thankful to an unknown god or the planets or the stars of heaven, which you have made…but we are thankful to you who created us through one fallen man and restored us through another who is righteous.
To you alone our thanks is due.
Supplication: So too, may the strange message we bring to the ears of the lost—be amplified by you as true. May we reason with dead minds and hearts, that you might restore them to new-life by the gift of faith through the efforts of your servants.
Lord, we ask that you help us to be clear thinking in our witness. That we may present cogent arguments with gentleness and respect as we revere Christ our Lord.
And may we always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks the reason for the hope we have. We ask this for the sake of Christ our Lord; afford our desires we pray, amen. †

08/16/2020 #113—Sermon Passage: Acts 18:1-17
Adoration: LORD of heaven and earth—our God and Savior—you are the almighty creator. Every living-being, every plane, mountain and ocean is yours. You have named every star. You do with them as you wish, for everything owes its subsistence to you.
All of the universe cannot contain your presence. Every creature finds its purchase the place you have made. You watch over both the righteous and unrighteous; one to flourish and the other to perish.
You are there in every encampment of man; for in those places, even in the strongholds of evil, your people move about and conduct your business.
They are your workman and so by your directive, build what you have designed.
While you have given some over to their gods, you make it known to all, that, you alone are God and there is no other. And the ruler’s—authorities—principalities and thrones now shutter, even in defiance of their own ruin.
Because we are yours, they despise us; for we speak plainly about sin—what it is, what it is not, and with how it is dealt. So, they drive us out of their courts. Their own hatred kills them.
By themselves, they have drained-out their own life-blood and set their hearts to a grim course. But you O’Lord, establish your holy ground where you choose; and to where you bring your people, you bring also yourself.
You indwell them and your holy temple resides with them. You send them out to gather what is yours, for you have many people. We are not afraid of the world or the Evil-One, for you are always with us and within us.
Confession: We know you are the Lord of armies, of both angles and men. It is a massive host. We confess, that we know our charge is to recover lost ground. Yet in all we desire to do well, we often fall short.
Still, we confess to you our sins and the glory of your forgiveness enfolds us. For in all we do, say and think, our hope rests in Christ and not in our own strength or cleverness.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Lord-God, for it is not our elegance in speaking which saves the elect, but the elegance of the Spirit who captures the hearts of his enemies and renews them by divine decree.
Thank you, for what the world calls misconduct and a vicious crime against the conscience of fools—you call the gospel— the teachings of the word of God.
Supplication: So, Father, we pray that we would always be occupied with your word… and in so doing, affirm the truth in the midst of false teachings and opposition.
Help us to reason well with the lost and to persuade them by the most winsome demeanor. And may we shake-off the dissent of fools who say “there is no God”—and as an act of virtue, leave them in your hands.
Yet also, may we disciple those you have chosen from before the worlds began. For by providence, we shall encounter what you have set before us. We ask too, that you will use us in our trades, our worship, and everyday practices, to display the reality of our trust in you.
May we never be silent about who you are and what you have done; for we know that many hearing of it—will believe.
May even our life and death reflect your veracity to the world; that they might see what they have hated, was good and righteous, while what they have loved, was vile.
May all things arise to the glory to God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now and will evermore be, amen. †

08/23/2020 #114—Sermon Passage: Acts 18:18-28
Adoration: Lord God, Great-Creator of all-things and every living creature, you uphold—direct and arrange all in accordance with your perfections.
Nothing can move you from your course, for you are unchanging and holy evermore. From the greatest to the least, you govern all things in knowledge, wisdom, and love.
All who live on the earth are nothing compared to you. You do what you desire with the heavenly armies as with those who live on earth. No one can hold back your power or say to you, ‘What have you done?’
For glory’s sake, you do all things to the praise of your goodness, wisdom, justice, and mercy. Because you will to do so, you have made us your children. Your love for us is simply astounding.
Our love and trust in you are only complete in Christ; it is made apparent in our everyday habits and our thoughts which are always before you. The seat of worship is seen in how we love others and all that you are.
Both the seen and unseen are always before you. Even the slightest glimpse of your providence, brings an awe to our souls—and it is all around us if we could but perceive.
For you are there on the dark-trails and in the misty-valleys we tread. You are present as we make, break, and maintain our vows. We come and go—here and there—in and out as we desire, yet we know you have set the path we freely walk.
Still, the words we speak—the thoughts we hold and the acts we perform, are our own. The mystery is an enigma we cannot comprehend.
Though you do not require the use of means, you give purpose to all that happens and you will not abandon anything that brings you glory.
Confession: Father, we confess our lack of understanding and our wandering ways. You give us a glory that we do not deserve and cannot earn, and still—we are often dull.
The light of your glory is suppressed by our lack of courage and the weight of opinion. Our confession always considers what you have done for the world and what simple loyalty affords.
Yet, it is you who are loyal and we who are capricious. Forgive us our sins we pray. Look upon us and see our savior, for we cannot stand before you on our own.
Thanksgiving: In our weakness O’Lord, hear our thankful songs and words of joy. For all you are and what you have done—the souls you have restored bring offerings of thanks.
In joyful recompense, the prophet—priest and King of your people has sacrificed himself; his offering is our salvation.
Supplication: So, we ask for that you strengthen your people to reason with others, that they may see the world as you have made it, though injured by us all through sin.
Help us to strengthen one another. And before the audiences you have assemble, may we be eloquent and persuasive, showing competence and trust in the Scriptures.
May also our spirits be passionate—even willing to face death for the cause you have given us. May well the truth be intensified in every word spoken, as we accurately teach the things and ways concerning Christ.
Keep us also teachable and humble, yet confident and courageous. Improve our accuracy in the truth daily, that we might help those who believe through grace.
May we with gentleness and for love’s sake, refute false teachings, showing that Jesus is the Christ-and there is no other savior. For his glory and to his honor we pray, amen. †

08/30/2020 #115—Sermon Passage: Acts 19:1-20
Adoration: LORD God, three in persons—one in essence; you O’God are the living and everlasting King, Pure—Holy and True.
At your wrath, the earth trembles. Your outrage and hatred of sin is a force which no one can stand against. You have told us: “You Are that You Are”—and so we praise you, the Great “I am” amidst the beauty of creation, and in every dark and foreboding corner.
Even where the Evil-One stakes his tent and his armies ravage the earth, there, we shall cry out: “Hear O’ world, the LORD our God is one LORD. He alone establishes the path of life and the road to death. He is the first and the last, besides Him, there is no other.
So, to the world we shall proclaim the God who is has sent us, for he is the only wise God. He is the eternal, immortal and invisible King—Creator and Sustainer of all. Therefore, give him honor and glory forever.
He commands that all who believe, be baptized into the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Lord, we know that although you have tolerated the unholy, each person dies and is rewarded their due.
We know you have saved us out of the hoard; for you save whom you will—and assign the rest to the place their desires have forged. For they have had no other concern but for themselves.
There in that place, they will know what they have done; that the truth they heard and called a lie—was indeed their condemnation. And they will recall that you are certainly God—and hate you even more.
Confession: So, we will always confess our sin to you Father. Our confession is both that we have sinned and that you have forgiven us our
sins. For who among your children has not sinned and then known the comfort of forgiveness?
We know by faith that if we are honest and sincere in our confessions, you will forgive us our sins. Our Lord therefore, sits at your hand as our witness and priest.
Our trust is in him, for he is with us, and we with him. He has done for us: all that we could not do for ourselves. Still, confession and reconciliation are part of our journey; they are with us as we go.
Thanksgiving: In humble repose O’God, we are ever thankful to you for what you have done. Forgiving us our sins and capturing our hearts has given us everything and brought us a future we did not deserve.
Our gratitude will never wane, not in ten thousand years nor in the forever that follows.
Supplication: We ask now that you would grant us wisdom in all that we do and in how we should reason with others.
May we be clam, authentic and confident—using the gifts you have provided, to persuade many regarding the truth of your Kingdom. May you use the Word you have spoken through us, in extraordinary ways.
We ask that you would remove both the hardness of hearts and any spirit who possess the souls of those destined to be yours. For where you send us and where we stand is holy ground.
May the question “Who are you?” never be asked of us by evil. May it be clear to them who we are. And may the forces of evil shutter at your presence before them.
May it be completely evident, that you are in your temple— the people you love. We pray that your Word continue to increase and mightily conquer all for the sake of Christ, amen. †

09/20/2020 #116—Sermon Passage: Acts 20:17-38
Adoration: O’Lord God, in grace, mercy and love, you have opened our hearts and informed our intellects. What we once ignored has risen as a flood and overwhelmed our souls with fear and trembling.
We fall into the dust, and sit in the ashes of our sin. In your presence, we cover our mouths, for you are almighty God, who sits enthroned on high.
Though we were dead—now we live. What we were and what we have done, belong to us; for sin and death were our craft. But by your grace and mercy, you exchanged it for goodness and life; for they belong to you.
You have compassion for—and make covenant with those whom you choose. Those that you love honor your name. They are weak but you are strong. They are momentary but you are eternal. They walk in the shadows but you move in light.
You are behind, within and ahead of all things. No one can know from where you come or to where you go. For spirit is born of Spirit and flesh of flesh.
Confession: We confess to you Lord God, and you know it is so: that the works we did in the past, and yet occasionally still, are evil. But the awareness of your beauty and the trust you have instilled, has turned us from our dreadful ways.
We confess that our self-interests are too often the product of our desires in exclusion of yours. For we are prone to walk one way while looking the other. Yet when we see where we are, we hate the duplicity and return then to your provision.
See our repentance O’Father in heaven. Forgive us our sins and be pleased with the LORD, for it is in Him that our worth shall prosper.
Thanksgiving: Hear also our songs of gratitude—our appreciation for the salvation which you have provided and always sustain.
Thank you for defending and protecting us in the midst of the storms that affront us. For the forces of malevolence are all about; speaking twisted ideas and making disciples even here in this place of refuge.
Supplication: We pray Father, though the world shall plot against us, be our strength to serve the Lord in all humility.
Help us to suffer through the tears and trials which you have designed for our good. May we never shrink from declaring publicly, every profitable thing in you. For all that is of value—is in, of and from you alone.
Help us, as you always do, to pay careful attention to ourselves and to all the fellowship. For the Holy Spirit himself, has made overseers to care for the church of God, which was obtained through the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ.
And may your glory alone be the source of our devotion. May we be as doves bringing back an olive-branch and not as ravens who go their own way. As you strengthen us, we cannot shy away from declaring you to a world that has no understanding of the profit of repentance and trust in the Lord.
Help us in our commission O’God and consecrate your work in us. For the word of your grace and your acts of mercy build up your kingdom—our inheritance in Christ.
As it is more blessed to give than to receive, may we give forth as we have been given. To the glory and majesty of Christ our Lord, giver of all good things, we pray, amen. †

09/27/2020 #117—Sermon Passage: 2 John
Adoration: Lord God our Father, full of Grace, Mercy and Peace; you are before all things, and in you, all things hold together. Who in creation can grasp your eternal, infinite nature? Who among us can perceive you as you fully are?
We live in the shallows; so, fear the deep reaches around us. We dare not go on-ahead, as we hunger to be where you have put us; for there, is where you are also. And there in your counsel, you show yourself to us—our guidance is in you…
Before time began or the worlds and stars sang their song, you chose for your Son a bride—the many-as-one in truth and love—different, yet alike in every facet and virtue—one weaved with the other—for you are unchanging and are all of your attributes—fully.
You walk among us at the surface and above and below us too. Both tangible and intangible, you are the truth that abides in us and are with us forever.
Confession: We confess to you O’Lord, that we have sometimes separated truth-and-love as though they were not one. But that is a fool’s task, which destroys both. It cannot be done; the consequences are too awful to imagine and makes a mockery of Almighty God.
Forgive us then, when we neglect understanding to walk in our own ways. We have pit emotion against reason; and this is not what you have commanded us to do. You command us to love you and to love one another. These are the pure results of belonging to you and the foundation of everything from beginning to end.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Lord, for you have placed thorns at the sides of our path to bring us pain when choosing “this-over that,” as though one were greater, when they are the same.
Thank you, Father, for enduring our childhood. You and we together shape our hearts and minds. You watch over us to purify our ways and teach us what is right and enduring.
Thank you for causing and helping us grow, to receive the full reward you have set before us; we are forever grateful.
Supplication: We pray now, that our requests would honor you and strengthen our resolve. We ask for guidance and patience, for comfort and diligence—and that we should not lose what we have worked for—and which you have worked in us to receive.
May we train ourselves and our children to recognize the deceivers—those antichrist hordes who speak smoothly in tangential terms in order to hide their wickedness. And who water-down the truth to ruin it—to make their lies palatable?
Help us to be as a sly fox who turns the table of their wickedness back upon them. Let their own mischief be their downfall. We will not give them quarter in any corner of our homes or hearts—for You dwell there with us, face to face.
Because you are for us, who can stand against us?
May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is the truth, the life and the way—the Love of God the Father and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, be with us all now and forever, amen. †

10/11/2020 #118—Sermon Passage: Acts 21:1-16
Adoration: Merciful Father—who hears all our prayers. You know our hearts as they are—and as you mean them to be. You set and watch all things on their course. For you are the one true and living God; infinite in being and perfection.
You are invisible and inexplicable, yet you give us a direct understanding that we can trust. You are almighty and unchanging; holy, pure, eternal, and gracious. And we the fallen—are weak, transitory, fleeting, and impure. We struggle in our nature to be kind, for we are too easily crude and harsh.
Yet you O’Lord, cleanse us with your wholesome Spirit and extend your goodness and glory to our lives. You are life itself, simple and supreme—and you have given us a Savior in whom we subsist.
Therefore, you say to us: “Be kind, pure, and holy as I am holy. I am Perfect, so you too must be perfect. It is not your love that perfects—but my love in you, to you and through you which finishes the course.”
Confession: With opened eyes and minds renewed, we see now our sins clearly—and so confess them straight out. We bid them farewell—though they return, haunt, and survive with mysterious and taunting derision.
Even so dear Father, you have done in Christ all that is required of us. You have forgiven our sins as they were, are now and will be yet—though never those we do not regret—if that were even possible.
We have made a straight path crooked and a smooth surface rocky. But with love, mercy and grace, you take our hands and leads us onward, that your will in us—would be done.
So, you carry what is too heavy for us to bear. And though we die and depart, and still fear the unknown, we know our journey is yet safe, for you have told so—and we have believed it.
Thanksgiving: Our hearts O’Lord, melt in gratitude. By this thankfulness—they are shaped. You have given us everything we have and shall have forever. The heavens cry out in thanksgiving —even the rocks cannot remain silent.
All the universe yields to its creator; whether to praise or perish, every knee will bend. Those who hate and defy you shall continue to do so forever. But
those whom you have loved and so love you too, shall praise and give thanks evermore.
Supplication: We pray now, an awareness on this journey, that you are there with us and before us. Though we are ready to die or suffer the terms you have set, with farewell wishes and love we will depart—promises given and fulfilled by your hand.
For we cannot endure the world alone, as though we had no savior. You are within, beside, and ahead of us, our light and our comfort. We pray—your will be done as you so determine.
May we always and daily understand and know, that you are the LORD, who exercises kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth—for you delight in all these things.
Your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as in heaven, for the sake and glory of our Savior, Jesus Christ, amen. †

10/25/2020 #119—Sermon Passage: Acts 21:27-22:29
Adoration: O’Lord God, in mercy and to your glory, you have drawn a people out of the earth which you created. From the time and place you appointed them to, you choose whom you are pleased to choose, and so cause their redemption to shine.
You are not compelled by anything to redeem so many; yet you have lavished your love upon the wicked. You have made destroyers into fellow creators and brought calm to many in an angry mob; though others, you gave up to themselves and the way they desired to go.
You put offenders to death, proving the value of their wage. The same throw dust into the air as they cry out their demands and stir up rebellion. And it does not go unnoticed or unpunished by you. Every sin is accounted for in both mercy and wrath. Your judgments are flawless and your compassion is beyond our understanding.
You use every means to accomplish your will—even to employing those evil cohorts, whose actions you taper and shape. With perfect timing and precision, you achieve your design and purpose. You are Good and your determinations are always upright.
Confession: So, how can we, whom you have restored, not fall down in desperate wonder, understanding now our offenses against you—our holy God. Though so inclined, running into danger was our own. We confess that our foolish struggle is now clear to us, and we see what we have done.
Following the deceitful promises of false and heartless gods, we have been damaged and have damaged ourselves. So, we confess that though our hearts once cried out the treacherous demands of fools, you have cleared our thoughts and warmed our hearts…
For you are the God who gives sight to the blind and restores broken, vile and useless vessels into new, pleasing and suitable ones.
Thanksgiving: How great you are O’God. And now with our words and songs of praise we thank you O’Lord. You are Jesus of Nazareth, the worker of salvation from God almighty. By the covenant made in glory, we are saved.
In love, you have done great and mysterious things for us which the mind can hardly grasp. And, there in that hidden place, shines unspeakable gratitude. It has been captured there in our souls and cannot be extinguished. You alone O’God, know what is there, and so, assure us of its certainty.
Thank you for making us citizens of your Kingdom; the kingdom of the living God; for it was at great cost that we were purchased. And, now by this seal upon us, even that dark spirit withdraws himself in fear and trembling.
Supplication: So, Father and Spirit, we ask that you would show yourself to us even more in that place where you dwell. Give us even greater assurance and boldness to carry out our love arisen duties.
Help us we pray, to show and express the courage you have instilled within us. May our renewed minds prove the intellect of belief and show forth the defense of the truth in shining glory.
We ask that everything, both large and small, mysterious and mundane, dangerous and safe would all serve to glorify of Christ our Lord, amen. †

11/15/2020 #120—Sermon Passage: Acts 24
Adoration: O’God of Grace, King of Glory—that your way and majesty may be known on earth and your saving power among the nations, make your face to shine upon us.
Let everyone praise you as they should. You judge the people with equity and your own people with grace. In mercy you cover your little ones and all the earth trembles at your name.
The world makes its case against us—saying we are a plague in the midst of their cities. And her children cry out: “away with them—one and all.” But they are both deaf and dumb; for we joyfully admit to our misdeeds: To declare your name throughout creation; to bring salt to the tasteless and light into its darkest corners.
So, let the dead now prove their case against us. Only kindred liars understand their own rhetoric. We admit our sedition against powers which bind hearts and souls to the grave. For where you are with your beloved O’Lord—the grip of depravity is loosened: the blind receive their sight, the lame walk, lepers are cleansed, and the deaf hear, the dead are raised up, and the poor have the good news preached to them.
Rise up O’Father of lights; scatter your enemies like smoke that is driven away or as wax melts before fire. This is how the wicked perish before God. But you give gladness to the righteous. You shelter them and keep them safe for your glory alone.
Confession: Only by your hand: We are now, what we were not; and are not what we were. Repentant and set aside, we confess our sins—and praise your holy name. You have forgiven us our sins and so we gladly stand before our accusers.
What can they do to us that we should fear them? In our hearts we laugh at their stories for you have taught us the truth. And if they say we are sinners, we will say yes, just like you; but in Christ, no longer condemned.
Thanksgiving: We thank you Father for faith in Christ Jesus, for his righteousness upon us, for self-control which you have taught to our souls and for the coming judgment. Our thankfulness is to God alone, Father-Son and Spirit. Our gratitude is to the God of armies, to whom we give praise, as he delights in all he has done.
Thank you, LORD, for in that hour and on that day, you shall raise-up both the just and the unjust. And there will be mercy to many and wrath to others. You are our shield both now and to come.
Supplication: We ask now everything you have designed for us, yet foremost—for your very presence now and in our time of need. Give us perfect resolve to be your people and yours alone. Help us to stand when standing is right and to yield when yielding serves you best.
We pray that we may continue to display your Way to the world, especially through the trials it brings. Help us to laugh at the threats because of our confidence in you. Give us assurance that your strength, shall be our resolve in the face of danger.
Teach us to be patient and give us wisdom to proceed according to your will, to say and do as the Spirit guides. We ask always that Christ be glorified now and forever, amen. †

11/22/2020 #121—Sermon Passage: Acts 25
Adoration: Our Father in heaven-holy and true; Great-Lord our Savior and Spirit of life: We fall at your feet and weep. We do not complain like those who have no knowledge, but as those who suffer the troubles we shall also endure. We look to you in distress, and trust in you—even as our bones are broken.
For you are God alone and our God only, there is no other. Deliver us into your courts we pray. Yet here, we mean to keep on—for you give hope, courage, and perseverance to your beloved.
So many serve the false gods—deceivers and frauds. They do the will of their father, who was, and is a murderer from the beginning. Like him, they have nothing to do with the truth because there is no truth in them.
When they lie, they speak out of their own true character; for their father is a liar and the father of lies. It’s only natural that the children speak their father’s language; and he is pleased with them from generation to generation. Their pride in themselves is a delusion of strength.
They cannot see themselves as they are. They are righteous appearing people with dismal authority, hearts full of hate and love of power. They
give dark favors to one another and accuse the innocent of things they cannot prove. They hate righteousness, for goodness and truth are offensive to them—and understandably so, considering the darkness of soul.
But the righteous say: “We have no fear of them. Let them meet us face to face and bring their treachery into the light. We will make our defense and shall not run from death, if death is what we get.
Yet still, the truth will be known. Let the immoral judges and corrupt councils hear it clearly—and let it condemn them in that final hour.”
Confession: And to you—our God-Creator and Savior—we confess that we need you at every moment. Be in our days awakened, in our night’s weariness and in our dreams mysterious. We lament too seldom and hope too little. Remind us often, for we are feeble and always flirting with mischief.
In the morning and evening, we think of our sins and confess them as they are. In that moment, we turn away from them and hate them more that day—than in the day prior. If not for our Lord, we would still own every-single-one; even the smallest would condemn us.
Forgiveness in Christ is the grace, love, mercy and hope or our fleeting days and years. We cannot perceive the eternal, yet deeply desire it. It is that place for which we search.
And even as we sin, you declare: “Return to me with all your heart, with fasting, weeping and mourning. Rend your hearts and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.”
Thanksgiving: You alone O’Lord have brought us such a high welfare. Our thankful hearts and the language of our soul seem inadequate.
Yet, we want it to be known and seen in every task we do and every thought we have. With gratefulness from every corner of our being, we cry out in thankfulness to you O’God.
Supplication: We ask now Lord, that you guide us and direct our souls in the way we should go. Let your wisdom permeate our minds and when we speak, may our every thought and word be pleasing to you, and honoring to Christ. It is for his sake and your glory we pray, amen. †

11/29/2020 #122—Sermon Passage: 1 Peter 1:13-25
Adoration: Father in heaven—Lord and Spirit, you O’Great God have brought us grace—peace and salvation. Therefore, wherever the winds take us—there we are—and there also are you. Our true home and place of rest is you. You are our inheritance, our birthright, and our true Father in Christ.
Foreknown, so foreloved, you have chosen new Israel; yet knowing ourselves, we cannot grasp the mystery of it. Fading flowers and withering grass are we, but you O’Lord are a strong tower and our shelter evermore.
“For what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet…”
You sanctify us now in our spirits and as we walk; the gradual and the final moving together in hallowed step. You have set us apart from the fallen—out of the mire and misery of sin. You make us holy and righteous before you; and in ourselves, we strive for it—to be actualized and found in Christ, our Lord. For his atoning work has cleansed us—his blood has saved us.
Our suffering is always behind our purification. It is like a strange companion who reminds us to look forward, to remember what God has done, that in some portion we may become as he is. For we are now united to God in Christ, blessed and reborn.
Our Lord has risen, and in covenant with him—we go. A living hope—and pledge of assurance to those being purified, tested and perfected. To the world, we will prove holy, for he is holy, honorable for he is honorable and praise worthy, for he is due all praise.
Confession: So, Father, hear now our laments and confessions. For when averted by evil, we are disobedient, but when resolute again, steadfast. We desire to be sensible and soberminded and not like the frivolous and foolish.
We confess our inclinations toward sin’s dark attractions, yet always, you find us there and like Hosea with the daughter of Diblaim, bring us back again. Still, sin contaminates our thoughts and whispers to us in soft and friendly tones. Its fellowship presses always to bring us in. It draws us in
like a counselor’s arm around our shoulders to ease our concerns. “There’s no problem here” he says, but you O’Lord shake up our hearts and quake the earth beneath us.
For you are our true Guide, your Spirit our counselor, your Son our redeemer; and by such, we wrench loose from sin’s strong embrace. It is a hard confession, but we will not soften our guilt before you. Sin is our bane and our thorn, but in learning the enemy’s ways, we will not be fooled for long.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’God of glory, for you have set us apart in ways that even angles ponder. You have placed your love underneath and above us. You have made us your children and our obedience shall reflect our gratitude.
Supplication: Lift our minds O’Lord we pray—our souls belong to you. Help us to never fear what you have fully conquered. Protect our souls and sustain our faith to the end.
Keep us from futile living and the hopelessness of generations gone by. Help us to live out our salvation with pure hearts and true obedience. May our thought lives—the words in our mouths from out of our hearts and the deeds of our hands, bless you and prove your greatness to all creation.
Judge us accordingly O’Father in Christ; that grace may show its fruits in mercy. For in Christ, we have our being and in him alone—both live and die, amen. †

12/13/2020 #123—Sermon Passage: Acts 26
Adoration: O’Father, Son and Spirit—our most precious God. You are the God who saves the repentant and condemns the defiant. You are the God who reaches down—for we cannot reach up. We stand in your courts now for you have fulfilled your promises in our Savior.
Shine down upon us; for you are the light of the world, brighter than the sun. You have appeared in our hearts for a purpose. We will not remain blind. We shall stumble no more in darkness. We shall fight against you no more, for we have struggled too long in foolishness.
Free now to worship and serve you: In loving obedience we will witness to the dead and dying crowds—to the killers of souls and to the haters of truth.
Though you have spoken, the foolish are deaf. Those who love corruption will embrace it even more—but those who see their wickedness, will know what must be done…
For you send many to open the eyes of both the small and great; who trust only in themselves and scoff at what is true and rational. You have given every evidence needed that they might turn from darkness to light and from the power of Satan to God.
Everything you have accomplished is before them; that they might receive the forgiveness of sins and a place among the sanctified.
You O’Lord do nothing in a corner, nothing escapes notice. So, let us speak boldly that we might persuade others with simple words, right motives, and careful insights.
Confession: Hear now our confessions. Let our sins be known and dealt with as you have determined. We are desperate for your grace and mercy.
Help us also to confess our sins to one another, that we may pray together for healing. For we know that the prayer of the righteous has great power as it is working.
We believe and trust in all that you have said and done. Christ alone is our anchor. He has done every good work for us and the eternal wrath we have earned is vanquished in the fires of his passion.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father for the wonderful gift of faith and salvation in Christ. Thank you for the fellowship and circumstances you have arranged for us; that we might not suffer alone but in comradery share our troubles and our joys together.
So, as many who are one, we praise you and assign to you all honor and glory. You are good and your love endures forever. We were lost—but have now enter your gates with thanksgiving and your courts with praise!
We give you our thanks; may our gratitude and praise bless your Holy name.
Supplication: Now Lord, capture daily our wandering hearts. Turn them as we wake and before we sleep again. May we be a humble and desperate people.
May our reliance be clearly on you O’God for we are wanders by nature. No request is too great or too demanding for you. Your compassion and power assure us.
Yet our desires are from our passions, we cannot see what you see; so, shall trust and praise you regardless of outcomes. Let every moment find us renewing our assurance; for we are creatures of time, living moment to moment.
Bless us O’Lord and increase our faith we pray. May you find us humble and true of heart; and serving you, even as you conform us to Christ us in the crucible of providence. All glory be to God, amen. †

12/20/2020 #124—Sermon Passage: Acts 27
Adoration: O’Lord God, gracious and true. You watch over every moment and every circumstance. You stand before us; we belong to you. Our love, respect and devotion are our offering. You have directly assured us, “Do not be afraid, complete the journey I have assigned for you.”
So, with great and tender power you assure us the covering of your love and the holding close of our fellowship. Hence, we shall take heart and trust in you. For you keep your promises exactly as given. Through clam seas with gentle breeze or in tempest gales dark and foreboding, your hand covers us.
We fear and hate death but always believe that you will bring us to sacred-ground and fair haven. You treat us kindly and as a friend and father, you care for us. Though the wind blows against us and does not allow us to go as we want, you are moving them for that purpose. You both cause and calm the storm.
Our seasons and our troubles are never what they seem; for we do not imagine their purpose well. Though we may fight against the forces which drive us, we shall give way to you, and see where you will take us.
Though we incur injury and loss, and suffer from natural fears, we will take comfort in you as best we can.
When neither sun nor star appear, and great troubles fall upon us, when all hope might be abandoned and we resign ourselves to fate, then—let us remember and trust in you even more.
Confession: Yet, we confess Lord, that our fears have injured our trust and made us reckless. They have moved us in strange and uncertain ways. We have feared the seas and storms and ignored the calm of your assurance. We have forgotten that we are yours. Our anxious hearts confuse our thinking and we ignore your counsel to pray, ask and give thanks.
We confess Father, that when you have run us aground, is when we have best understood our folly. When the devices and desires of our minds are calmed, we will wait and watch and breath in the gathering vision which forms again and again by you grace.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Lord, for though tattered and torn, you bring us to your home, sit us by your fire and feed us at your table. With you, we are safely found alive, though we were dead.
Our gratitude is in our contrition and a new and better way. And by your wrath satisfied, we are anchored and assured; for if we were not brought to safe harbor, we would have never known true sorrow, nor considered our wisdom as foolish.
Supplication: We pray now, help us O’God. Secure our hearts upon your shores. Give us stable footing and let our strength be in you.
Give us stamina to forge ahead and the skills to fight in battle. Move us swiftly to higher ground to surprise the enemy as they perish. Give us wisdom and passion to carry out a strategy you have planned.
Encourage us as we reassure others. Find us always loyal in faith and pleasing in your sight. May Christ invade and conquer every ill stronghold, and in glory bring a finish to the powers of evil.
In Christ evermore we stand, amen. †

Prayers 2021

01/10/2021 #125—Sermon Passage: John 14:15-26
Adoration: Mighty God, our creator and sustainer; the hearts you have renewed, gifted with faith, and sanctified in Christ, are yours evermore.
We will not let them be troubled; we will not turn away and we will not look for another. For the belief you have caused in us, finds all that is fashioned by it.
In depth of praise of immutable love, we bow in adoration and awe. Though heaven and the world with all its desires shall pass away, the truth living in us will forever be. It shall stand evermore, as you have determined.
Our Lord prepares a home for our bodies and our souls; and shall return to gather us there. We desire the journey’s end for we know where we are going. In your home O’God, we are home. There we shall flourish for there you are, our assurance and joy complete.
For you O’Lord are the Way, the Truth and the Life. Through you alone the Father of lights shines upon us; and to the core encircles us in truth, beauty and goodness… we are yours and you are ours. In you O’Lord we have seen the Father and know him.
His holy decrees are proven in you. With all authority he does what he wills even as our pleas desire it. You O’Lord give us all that we need and have shown us the Father.
We see now more clearly how you glorify him and he you; and the Holy Spirit our helper glorifying both.
Beyond our grasp he indwells us, yet we hold it as precious and true. The world neither sees or knows the Spirit of Truth and cannot receive him; for he is not theirs.
Confession: O’Lord, we confess that we long to make your every command our offering of love; to love you as we should for you are worthy. Yet we are weak and easily distracted.
So, we confess in sorrow that we have not fully kept your gracious rule in either proof of love or fear of wrath.
We confess our sins against you and against others, even those you love. And still, you have not left us as orphans but like travelers in the night, have brought us in to lodge with you.
Though we stumble and fall, you have asked the Father and he has granted us the Spirit of life, in whom we know repentance, for he reminds us daily and in same accord, forgiveness, kindness and restoration.
Thanksgiving: May our gratitude be forever a blessing to you; our thanks, a garland for your head. May our appreciation be proven by our actions and our desire to follow you at every turn and in every moment.
For we are not a people who have to wonder what love is or who we should thank. We know whom it is that we serve. It is not man, nor the stars nor an unknown God; but the one true, living—holy God. Because He lives, we also shall live.
Supplication: So, now we ask all things in Christ in whom we dwell. The Father’s will is not secret but is in everything the Son has provided.
Help us in our feeble attempts Lord, to keep the words of the Father. May the Spirit teach us all things and remind us of all that you have said.
We ask this by our assurance in Christ, amen. †

01/17/2021 #126—Sermon Passage: Acts 28: 17-31
Adoration: Most holy God, our shield and strength, High Priest, True Vine and Eternal Spirit: You have kindled a fire and welcomed us in—out of the cold-dark-rains. What misfortunes will accost us now, that cannot be shaken-off?
You O’God, have honored us exceedingly. Your love has opened the hearts of our souls and the intellect of our minds. Our eyes see now what was hidden and your words ring steadily in our thoughts.
What was once just noise to dispassionate ears and nonsense to dormant souls, is now a beautiful melody of flawless reasoning. We have heard your voice and have seen your countenance. We know now who you are.
While we are not privy to your secret designs, we do not need holy insight but holy faith. So, where you lead, we will follow…
For you O’ mighty God, are great and holy—true and righteous. You create and destroy both the seen and unseen. Nothing exists or has power over the world which you have not sustained. Whether to function in providence with obvious accord—or by riddle and curious interlude—evade our grasp, you and you alone know.
Even though sifted by unjust arbiters, accused of crimes against their ignorance; and delivered as prisoners to the floor, there in that place, we shall expound and testify to the truth.
And in so doing, convince some and condemn others. It is good that some hear to their repentance and others to their ruin. For they are dull with hate and refuse to believe. They hear only the crassness of their own laughter and see only the lusts of their own hearts. The salvation of God will not be theirs.
Confession: In our sorrow we confess to you our sins and trespasses. We know we have covered them up and bargained with you as though we had the power to appease your wrath.
You know our sins better than we can imagine. Yet may they always become clear to us in process from mind to heart to deed. For we are yet prone to pursue both comfort or safety at the expense of others.
We are distracted by transitory things rather than attentive to the eternal vision. You open our eyes and ears and we are healed. You take away our sins at repentance and our ongoing transgressions of life.
Thanksgiving: We thank you O’God. Your love redeems us moment by moment and forever. Though the world is in all ways fallen, we will take courage in the center of discord and tyranny.
You cause our minds to perceive the realities before us and though our hearts melt, you restore us. Our gratefulness as one portion of love shall be with us and to your glory always.
Supplication: So, we ask you Lord: Help us always to hear and understand correctly what you say—and to do as you direct. Help us to see and perceive your way at every turn as our own. With fully formed hearts and sharpened minds, remove the dullness we often suffer.
Give us assurance of our salvation daily, that we may proclaim without hinderance your kingdom and teach the truth of Jesus Christ with boldness.
These things we pray and desire in earnest, amen. †

01/24/2021 #127—Passage: Luke 18:15-17 “Sanctity of Life”
Adoration: Father God, your name is sacred. Your Kingdom was—is—and shall forever be. You do all that you decree. Your every desire is perfectly good and discerning. You permit what you hate, yet will vanquish both the heavens and the earth at final verdict.
In love, you crafted man from the dust of the ground. In the forming dust you placed a soul—and inward there—your very likeness. An image of inconceivable wealth, beauty, and splendor. Though once fit and true vessels, we sought out weak and inadequate visions; yet, you did not abandon the ewers.
You gave to us a portion, to have a knowledge of purpose and of your magnificence. Whether to reflect you in glory of praise or to create mocking tributes to ourselves, we have the visage of your gift, which cannot be denied.
When we fall, does not the ground open its mouth to receive the body you have formed? You have even given our blood a voice that cries out from the there. And when we kill do you not ask, “What have you done? Where is your brother? Where are the little ones?” Why have you risen against innocence —against me?
Do not you know that life is more than food and the body more than clothing. Against God and his image are the mortal sins of man; he worships the false god, fashions a savior that cannot save, misuses my name, forgets I am holy, dishonors mother and father, murders with joy, adulterates himself, steals, lies, and craves what is not his.
Do not behave in these ways toward the Lord your God; for this is what the enemy does. Every repulsive act which the Lord hates, they have done for their gods; for they even burn their sons and daughters in fires to their gods.
Confession: Lord, forgive us our sins. Because you formed our souls you know our hearts. Our number of our days have been determined. You have set the limits for each one of us.
What sin we have done and the goodness we have failed to do, stand together—one and the same. Yet in grace and mercy you forgive even our slightest offence as much as those we most regret.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for your kindness to us. Even before we were conceived, you consecrated us; you appointed us to receive forgiveness and the Holy One within. We have never been unknown to you.
With sacred compassion, you watch over us and those who perish in the secret place. For it is you who fashion us all from the womb; you who skillfully wrought us in the depths of the earth. Our framework is never hidden from you.
We give you all thankfulness. You have fearfully and wonderfully made us; our souls know it very well. All your works are wonderful.
Supplication: So, we pray, teach us in our waking and in our dreams to return to innocence; to see the world with you at the forefront.
Help us to not cower from the rhetoric of fools but with courage to say: Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable.
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Blessed be the Lord our God, amen. †

01/31/2021 #128—Sermon Passage: Isaiah 33:14-15
Adoration: O’Father, out from the depths of wisdom you form the fulness of time, moment-by-moment. You move from in and out of the weave with beauty and resolve.
In perfect certainty, day follows night and night—day. The sun, moon and stars give their light—and the rain waters the fields of both the wicked and the righteous. It is indeed a ponderous thing.
If the godless wonder at all about their lives, they will not wonder long, for you will appear soon at their ruin. Being too far off, no one shall help them.
But the Lord, merciful-and-gracious, shelters his people forever. When they’re immoral, they are confronted from within. It becomes a stench all too familiar; a reminder of what they turned from. For they are not to be as the rest, but to be in full portion—pure, holy and righteous…to see God sitting upon his throne, high and lifted up. With the whole earth full of his glory.
For he is a consuming fire, from everlasting to everlasting, the Lord of hosts—holy, holy, holy is the Lord God almighty. The very foundations of heaven and earth shake at his voice. He calls out and smoke—fire—lightning and thunder fill creation…every dark corner is exposed.
All who have seen the King—the Lord of hosts; fall-down in woe. We who love God, know that our lips are unclean and that we dwell amid a people of unclean lips. Yet you O’God touch our mouths with fiery coals, the Lord has atoned for our sins and our guilt has been removed.
Confession: We confess to you our sins and struggles; our pursuit of holiness is not lost in our weakness. For you O’Lord are our strength and our perfection. We are transformed by the power of your grace. Your forge and anvil give shape to our pledge.
We shall arise and shine; for your light has come and your glory has risen upon us. You are the Light of revelation to us, and the glory of your people Israel—sharing in the nourishing root.
Thanksgiving: In gracious mystery, you embrace those you have known from the start. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude.
Thank you for the gift of faith we exercise freely, for the path we follow carefully. It is not a trust out of duty but out of love. Our grateful hearts find contentment in you alone; for you have accomplished everything we could not.
Supplication: Lord, help us to share in all that you delight in, and in all that grieves you too. Teach us to reject the violent words, thoughts, and deeds of the godless. We will not approve of their perversities or of what they say is good, when it is clearly evil. We will not accept perversions as though they were not, nor look upon what greaves you—as though it were normal.
Cause us to see as does the Spirit who indwells our souls. Help us O’God of our salvation; for you Lord-God are as the sun and shield. You give grace and mercy and withhold no good thing from those who walk with you honorably.
Guide us with your counsel we pray, and after all is done, receive us into your glory forever, amen. †

02/14/2021 #129—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 1:1-3
Adoration: Father God Almighty, from the time of the fall—on, you gave types-and-kinds, and words to prophets. You gave dreams to dreamers and whispered to weary hearts. The minds of the faithful searched the heavens for signs and answers.
With great care, you shaped the years into their fullness; and when the time came, you spoke the Final Perfect Word: “Jesus Christ.”
And the Word, that was with you in the beginning—speaking creation—beauty—truth and goodness, became the life and light of men. The true light, which gives light to everyone has shown into the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it.
So, make straight the way of the lord. For all things were made through him and for him. The world does not know him but those for whom he came, know him. And all who receive him, who believe in his name, have become the very children of God, born not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor man, but of God himself.
And he has given birth to his promise, to dwell in the flesh among us. We have seen his glory and his radiance—as the only son from the father, full of grace and truth. Out of his steadfast love we have received grace upon grace.
Out of his fulness, we have received mercy and assurance; and though no one has ever seen God, the only God, who is at the father’s side, he has made him known to us by his exact likeness.
From there upon the throne, by his power and majesty, he sustains all that he has made. As both lion and lamb he has satisfied the Father’s wrath and made purification for the sins of his people.
Confession: Hear now O’Lord, both our confession of faith and our confession of sin. You alone know the sincerity of our hearts. Each sin differs but none go unnoticed. Our conscience convicts us, for you indwell us. For if we keep silent, our bones will waste away through the groaning and unrest of our souls.
We confess that our resolve is weak, our lives are awkward and our remedies inadequate. Though we love all that is upright we are seldom
able to be noble for long. But you, our Prophet, Priest, and King—are noble.
You have forgiven us our sins and yet forgive our sins; for we confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. With sufficient knowledge, confidence, and whole heart, we know that God raised him from the dead and as such—we are saved.
Thanksgiving: Our gratitude is indescribable; for the peace of Christ rules over our hearts. Thank you for calling us into one body and one dwelling.
Thank you that we may teach and caution one another in all wisdom, and in harmony, singing back to you your very words in everlasting thankfulness.
Supplication: Father, help us each moment we breath to draw near to you, even as you draw near to us.
As we seek you first, cleanse our hands and purify your hearts. Guard us from the double-mindedness of this age. Work in us the very disposition you approve of.
Help us to not be anxious about anything, but in everything, through prayer and supplication, make known to you our requests.
We ask that our desires be identical to yours; and that your peace, which surpasses all understanding, will forevermore guard our hearts and minds in Christ Jesus, amen. †

02/21/2021 #130—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 1:4-7
Adoration: O’Lord God, how excellent is your name in all of creation. Before the hosts of heaven and all of mankind, the Father sings your praises. All authority is folded into you and your majesty is proven before us. Superior in every way, humble and true, all of God’s angles are astounded and moved to worship the Son.
So, bless the Lord all you souls who bless, for his thrown is forever—the Father’s wrath is pleased.
For this is he who clothes himself with splendor and majesty. Like a garment, he wraps himself in light. He stretched out the heavens like a tent and laid the beams of his chambers upon the waters. The clouds are his
chariot and he rides upon the wings of the wind; for his messengers are the winds and his ministers—the flames of fire.
Who is like God? There is none. You O’Lord sit upon the thrown eternal, holding the scepter of righteousness. It is you who set the earth on its foundations. Like a garment, you covered it with the deep fathoms.
When the waters stood above the mountains, you rebuked them and they fled; at the sound of your thunder, they took to flight. The mountains rose, the valleys sank down to the place that you appointed. You set the boundaries for the waters that they cannot not pass ever again to cover the earth.
It is you who made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun to rise and set at your command. You made the beasts of the field and Man in your image that he should love God, love others and rule over your works.
You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness. O’Lord, how manifold are your works! In wisdom have you made it all. And though it will certainly wear out and perish, you remain forever; for you are the same always—your years have no end.
When you hide your face, all living things are dismayed. When you take away their breath, they die and return to dust. Yet when you send forth your Spirit, they who have inherited salvation, are restored.
Confession: Our confession is that we know the truth, yet have not made it our garment. We act wise but don’t often understand…
We have sought after answers to the riddles which torment us, but our struggles laugh—heartily and increase. For if we forget or ignore your promises, we accept them as deep and unsolvable mysteries.
But you O’Lord, if we would but daily believe, are our refuge and our redeemer. You are our place of safety. In you, every riddle is solved, for you are God, our God in whom we trust.
You rescue us from every trap and protect our soul’s day and night. You cover and shelter us. Your faithful promises are the armor which protects us.
Thanksgiving: No words are sufficient for gratitude? Yet, moment by moment, we thank and praise you. You know in the depth of our being whether it is true or only false murmurings.
If we do what you say, out of love for you, we are speaking the truth in love, our gratitude is clear. So, we are thankful from the core—out, that you are our God.
Thank you for loving us first, so we may give—reflect—return and restore love in similar ways. Because you forgave, we now forgive. Because you died, we now live. Truly we are restless—if we search for rest outside of you.
Supplication: So, Lord-Christ, we pray now, be our all in all. Help us to keep your name—which is above every name, in our minds and on our lips. For you are the Father’s Final Word—spoken into a fallen world. May we speak You to those who will hear and understand your language.
May we sing to you as long as we live and praise you while we yet have our being. May our meditations and rejoicings please you. May our souls bless you by everything we embrace; and so, the thoughts of our hearts and the words from our mouths.
May your glory endure forever; as you rejoice in the works of your hands. For your sake O’Lord and your glory above all things, we pray, amen. †

02/28/2021 #131—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 1:8-14
Adoration: O’Father, you have shown us your countenance in your most holy Son. The Light has become flesh—purity dwelling in the house of corruption—the deep, wading through the shallows. He is anointed with sorrow and gladness—which spills over onto his own. He is that he is— forever.
And by his word of power, he upholds the universe he has made, and moreover, the bitter souls turned sweet. All things are under his gaze, nothing is hidden from him in the shoals or fractures of the world. You O’Lord are Life among the withering grass and the fading flowers with whom you have walked, loved and chosen.
For we have seen your radiance, the warmth that touches the winter vales and hills—to bring forth your right of inheritance, full of truth, beauty and goodness.
From the right hand of Majesty O’Lord, you rule over the great and the small, the visible and invisible—and the destinies of all creatures.
They are all under your scepter of righteousness, mercy or censure; —many to eternal rewards, yet others, by their own aversions—to everlasting judgment.
So, let all of God’s creatures worship the Son. For the nations and the ends of the earth are his possession. He breaks them with his staff. He shatters them to pieces like useless pottery.
Now therefore, O kings, be wise; be warned, O rulers of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and you perish in the way, for his wrath is quickly kindled.
Blessed are all those who take refuge in him.
Confession: In sorrow O’Lord, we confess our sins, for we have seen their horrid outcome; yet in gladness we confess our love and trust in you. For it is by means of what you have given to us and sustained within us, that we can rejoice to confess.
Truly, it is with the heart that one believes and is justified, and with the mouth that one confesses and is saved.
You O’God have closed our wounds and opened our minds. Our eyes and ears are focused upon your glory—and our souls are freed from this place of death. Nevermore shall we return to receive the wages of sin.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, that when we acknowledged our sins and did not cover our iniquity and transgressions you forgave all such wickedness.
Only now from the height to which you have brought them, so grateful are the souls who have seen where they were. For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus alone.
Supplication: So, we pray Lord, help us to draw near to you as you shall to us. Cleanse our minds and purify our hearts. Stand at the forefront in our good fight of faith.
Help us to be dedicated to you in the life to which you have called us and about which we have made a good confession in the presence of many. Help us to weigh every thought that guides us to action.
Help us to hold our tongues when silence speaks more clearly, yet in wisdom to boldly proclaim all that pleases you. We ask all things, endure all things and hope all things in Christ our Lord—amen. †

03/14/2021 #132—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 2
Adoration: Lord God our King, in various ways from the beginning, you have told us who you are, what we are to do and how the world is to be. You have stated the truth about all things clearly and have held to a steady course.
You have shepherd your people with grace, mercy and justice. Both in blessings enjoyed—and in curses suffered—your every word has proven reliable. Both mercy and reckoning flow-out from your righteous scepter.
We shall therefore, hold fast to all we have heard and seen. As you sustain us, we will not drift away or neglect this great redemption. For there is no escape for those who pronounce themselves just.
The fires of their own passions consume them. But you O’God, first declared this wonderous salvation—and all your chosen have attested to it. By miracles, signs, wonders, and gifts of the Spirit, you have borne witness according to your will.
You O’Father, have been mindful of man and so the Son of man, nurturing us moment-by-moment, surveying our thoughts, and understanding our hearts. Through dark of night and light of day you have cared for him and crowned him with glory and honor; and subjected everything to his stewardship and rule.
And so, only the Son of man, the Lord and founder of our salvation, can make propitiation through his own humiliation, suffering and the taste of death for all. Then rising—proving that all creation is subject to his sway; and in so doing, bringing many sons to glory. We are perfected and made holy through his blood. We are his and he is ours.
Confession: So, our confession is straightforward. It is heard in our praises and seen in our ways; our behaviors reveal our hearts. We trust solely in him who has walked these same streets of flesh and blood.
He is our only Priest who never falters to do what is right and pure before God, on our behalf. We are the offspring of Abraham in spirit—the children God has given him. So, we do not look to Angles or fellow creatures for salvation.
Thanksgiving: Our gratitude O’Lord is eternal; for you have destroyed the power of death that the Evil-One enjoyed—yet no more will he regale in his delusion. No more will his schemes and diversions confound us.
Though we suffer temptations, we thank you for being our perfect helper, and for proving to be so much better than the lures of false joy.
Supplication: So, as our great Prophet, Priest, and King we are not afraid to ask you for all things. And these things we pray: that our hearts would be true and our word to others—our bond; that we would not wade into sin but cross through on dry land; and that we would have right perspectives, so as to see clearly the wheat from the weeds—the lies amongst the truth.
Give us discernment O’Lord, so that your reasoning, is ours and ours is not the world’s. For you are God alone, for whom and by whom all things exist. You have brought your children to glory and made them perfect through suffering, and you are not ashamed to call us brothers.
For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified, are all of one source. We make these petitions for your glory, through our salvation in Christ, amen. †

03/21/2021 #133—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 3:1-6
Adoration: Lord of creation—our Savior and God, you have called us to rise out of the bondage of death—our souls to be dull no more—our minds be restored and our hearts to cease their downward spiral. You have adorned us with holiness and freed us from the mire and bleakness of sin.
Because you were faithful, we have heard your testimony, seen your mighty works, and shared in a heavenly calling which you have herald. For you are our advocate and high priest, God’s messenger, and final Word. So, we have pondered you and pondered over you in every way. We have seen you by the scriptures. In every sign, and good proof you have given—there you are.
Though lowly by their own appraisal and faithful to their charge, we esteem those who came before you; for they spoke of you and pointed forward. They knew they lived and labored in the house that you had built. They were honorable, but you O’God, O’Son of God, are greater and more glorious than all.
For God is the only builder and the Son watches over the house of his inheritance. And the children given to him by the Father— are those who hold fast to courage, trust, and hope—to which, they boldly make claim.
For you have said to everyone who confesses you before men, you also shall confess them before the angels of God.
Confession: In this vein, we confess our sins to you; those done in the storms and recklessness of life; and those we have failed to recognize until later in the calm.
Though sins all the same, may our negligent offenses never flow out of arrogance but only from oversight of zealous passions.
Nevertheless, all sin damages the workmanship of your hands and fouls the vessels’ you have cleansed. That you have accounted for such wickedness in one perfect-eternal-resolve, must lend pause to our every thought, the words of our mouths and actions that might naturally follow.
Thanksgiving: In giving thanks continually, which our hearts know full well, we shall strive to see sin as it begins and give it no further purchase. Only true gratitude will process our courage and give prudence to our fight.
Thank you O’God for you are the source of our gratitude and founder of our souls.
Supplication: So, what more shall we require than the life you have restored. Yet we know we are feeble. So, we ask O’mighty God that you go ahead of and behind us. Make our hearts and intellect to know your simple and perfect will.
May what salvation has formed and perseveres to form still, bring you even greater delight, if that were possible. Help and cause us to hold onto the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope to the very end. Receive us then into you glory in Christ, amen. †

03/28/2021 #134—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 17:41-51
Adoration: O’Lord God, creator of heaven and earth—of stone, flesh and spirit. Many are they that stand in defiance against you; and so too—those whom you love. But you assure your own, saying: “Be strong and courageous; do not fear or be discouraged, for I am the Lord your God who goes with you; and shall never forsake or leave you.”
O’Lord, you never dismay or abandon your people; there is none like you, we know that full well. For you are boundless and your name is greatly to be praised in all the earth.
You are to be feared above all gods, for they are but wood, rubble and dust. They are only creatures who deploy their throngs for evil. They are gods of nothing—and like rabid dogs, to be beaten off with a stick.
In delusion, the father-of-lies gathers-up his abhorrent armies. So, the chosen of God draw-up to the line of battle—a valley between them. And as the repugnant hoards stand in the mire—they holler out threats and pomposities with loud and loathsome voices—to cause dissuasion, fear and uncertainty—for that is all they have.
The armies of Living God laugh at their coercions and ask: “Who are these ignorant buffoons that defy the LORD our God? He is the light of our
salvation, so whom shall we fear? The LORD is our stronghold and source, so of whom shall we be afraid?”
Your greatness O’Lord, is proven in your power and majesty over all domains. In glorious victory you exalt yourself as head over all. Indeed, everything that in heaven and earth owes its subsistence to you. For you are the triumphant King. You sustain all things, even those which you bring to ruin and utter destruction.
Confession: So, it is with contrite hearts that we confess our every sin, and so too, Christ our redeemer. We confess that you are our God, the only true God—for there is no other.
We confess you Father—Son and Holy Spirt from whom all blessings flow; the purveyor of mercy and justice, changer of hearts, minds, and lives.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father; for such great a love you have bestowed upon us, that we could be called children of God; and such we are. The world does not know the Savior, so neither does it know us.
He has done great things for us and redeemed us from the ranks of the condemned. How thankful we are that we do not have the spirit of fear, for the Spirit which God gave to us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love, and self-discipline.
Supplication: So, Father we pray, help us to be always on guard, and as such—impossible to deceive. Help us to stand firm in our trust of you, to be courageous and strong, taking heart as we wait for the LORD. Help us to trust in you with all our heart and mind, so that we cannot lean on our own understanding.
May we submit all things to you, for you have made our paths straight, our thinking sound and our desires true. May we in turn, obey your will quietly and adjust ourselves to every circumstance of daily life. For you can do far more and abundantly beyond all that we ask or think. According to the power you work within us, may your will be done.
Blessed be you O’God, Father of our Lord. Your Spirit affords us such great mercies, the cause of our rebirth into a living hope in the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.
Guide us always through this life. Hold us dearly in Christ we pray, amen. †

04/11/2021 #135—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 3:7-19
Adoration: Our Father in heaven, how wonderful is your name. Great are your deeds and perfect are your decrees. You have made and chosen your children. You have loved them, not for their works but from the mysterious chambers of your being— where love, grace and mercy reside.
Though many among them benefit and make a clever showing, they cannot maintain their appearance for long. Their unbelieving hearts provoke you and you will show them for who they are.
With hardened hearts, built stone upon stone, they laugh and scoff at the voice of God. Your words O’God are nonsense to them, for they cannot make them out; the condition of their hearts prevents it. They hear what is right but refuse to do it.
The outward evidence of their lives convicts them, for they do not persevere in goodness but in anarchy. And by your righteousness O’God, you swear wrath against them. Why should they enter in to a blessing they have despised? Your place of rest is not their due and your glory is in their judgment.
All people rebel; all go astray—some for only a time and others for eternity. The unashamed will know a sorrowful recompense to the God they deny. Yet those who have heard your voice, whose hardened hearts you have softened, will no more rebel.
They will share in Christ and persevere to the end. Their confidence will hold firm in the heart of saving trust, and their prayers for the disobedient, will go up to God daily.
Confession: So, our confession Lord-God, is the confession of the children of faith whom you have birthed—the depraved become righteous—the lost become saved. Through faith alone—in Christ alone—by grace alone, your little ones O’God, turn to you alone.
We confess that we were rebels, but our rebellion is over, our resistance—overcome by mercy. Though deceived by sin, you have conquered our hearts and minds; renewed our souls and given us the way we should go. We confess you to the world in joy.
Thanksgiving: Our gratefulness is beyond our ability to express, yet we give thanks to you in our hearts, our mouths, and our conduct; for you are good and your love endures forever.
We will tell of your wonderful deeds to all who rebel; for you to save as you will—or condemn as you choose. Either way, we shall give you due thanks for your righteousness, and will sing praises to your name—our Lord most-high and holy. Our souls overflow with thankfulness.
Supplication: We pray O’ gracious Lord, that both your mercy and justice shine forth. May you abolish every evil and unbelieving heart that strives to lead astray your flock. Yet, may your gathered be cleansed.
May the dross rise to the surface and removed. Help us trust you just as firmly as when we first believed.
May our roots grow down into you as we build our lives upon you. May our faith grow strong in the truth you have taught us. And may the peace of Christ rule in our hearts, to which we were called to one body—in Christ, amen. †

04/18/2021 #136—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 4:1-13
Adoration: O’ Lord, great and mighty, hear our songs of praise—the joyful noise of our hearts. You are the Rock of our salvation, our Lord and great God—King above all.
The perverted who masquerade as gods and their followers, suffer from delusion. For who is like God? In your hand are the depths of the earth and the heights of the mountains. The sea is yours, for you made it, and your hand formed the dry land.
We worship you and bow down. We kneel before you, our maker and sustainer; for you alone are God—our God, and we are the people of you pasture—the sheep of your hand. There is none like you.
The words of our Shepherd draw us to where we go. They are sweet and clear. We hear his voice, lift our heads, and follow. And it is not that such good words are kept from anyone. But the hard-of-heart are hard-of-hearing. What is sweet to us is bitter to them.
They keep themselves and are kept from understanding. They cannot trust and they will not trust. The word of life is gibberish to them. They weigh it as
they see it, and find no profit there. So, the Shepherd leaves them where they sit, with their pride and pomposity intact and unbroken.
But the bodies and souls of those united in faith—being trust, gain everything—life, rest, and everlasting joy, just as he has promised. For the Word of our God is living and active. It is a sword sharpened on both sides. It pierces deeply and disjoins both body and soul. It discerns the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
Nothing is hidden from God’s sight; everything lies naked and exposed before his eyes, for to him alone we must all give an account. The Lord is slow to anger, and none of us, save one, understand the power of it. His greatness defeats all who rise up against him. The guilty will not go unpunished; his judgment consumes them like chaff.
Confession: So, let us all confess our sins to our great and mighty God; that we may be healed. For If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
We acknowledge our sin to you O’Lord; our iniquities are uncovered; and you have forgiven our every transgression in Christ. By his righteousness we stand; confessing him as Lord, and believing in God who raised him from the dead—our salvation is assured.
Thanksgiving: Therefore, O’Father, Son and Spirit God, we joyfully bless your holy name and give you all thanks. For you are good and your steadfast love endures forever.
Thank you for your faithfulness through the generations. Thank you for being long suffering; your love, goodness, justice, and mercy endure forever.
Supplication: We are blessed now to bring you, our requests. So, in part we pray: Keep us as a people whose hearts do not go astray; for our outward behaviors reveal our inward desires.
Keep us as a people who remember and practice your ways in everything we do. Save those whom you choose while your promise of still stands.
Embolden our trust in you—as a possession of true faith. May our spirits be reverent and in awe before you. Deliver us from the decay of all that surrounds us; for the roots of man are shallow, but never so with you. Keep fresh our acquaintance with our Lord’s high sacrifice, for it has swallowed up your wrath, the judgment against us.
May we enter into your very life, and there, be at rest evermore; the work of redemption, complete in Christ—amen. †

05/09/2021 #137—Sermon Passages: 1 Tim. 1:3-5, 2 Tim. 3:14-15 “Mother’s Day”
Adoration: O’Lord, blessed are you, the God of our fathers, forever and ever. Yours O Lord, is the greatness, power, and glory of victory evermore. For all that is in heaven and earth is yours, and you are exalted as Master over all your kingdom.
Both riches and honor come from you. In your hand are power and might. You make great and give strength to your advocate. And to your enemies, you give cautions and warnings before judgment.
O’Lord, nothing in the material realm will satisfy our hearts—only the fulfilled eternal order—our desire for you—can quench the fires you have stoked within us.
Though mortal beings formed in the heart of a sensuous earth and way, we are yet, attracted to the eternal and destined for its embrace; one to glory, the other to despair. One to the hearth stone, the other to the shadows.
For we know, that whoever would save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for the sake of Christ, will find it. For what will it profit anyone who gains the whole world: human love— children—possessions, yet losses their soul for these things? Or what shall anyone give in return for their soul?
For the Son of Man will come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what they have done. Having been loved—did they love? Having received mercy and grace—does mercy and grace go forth from them?
Your word upon our hearts O’Lord, informs our souls. So, when we sit in our homes, walk by the way, lie down, and rise again, we shall diligently teach our children all of your ways. They will know that we are yours when they hear and see you—moving through us.
Confession: And yet Lord, we confess our ill-conceived notions and our futile efforts to control a destiny apart from your word. Our desires are often
confused but you O’Lord, bring us clarity, joy, solemnness, and perseverance.
We confess what our understanding has not always considered: That no one, but One, can redeem the life of another or give a price for that life; for it is costly to redeem from the grave—to pay for life-everlasting. These precious things are in your hands.
Thanksgiving: O’Lord, our God, we thank you and give praise to your glorious name. We are thankful to serve you, for you chose your servants, the children of forebearers—who in clear conscience bore witness, prayed, and gave thanks.
Day-by-day, with glorious vision of things to come, they exercised the faith you gave to them—and by your mercy bore children enjoined to faith.
Supplication: So, we pray Father, help us remember and ask that the gift of faith go also to our beloved. May our prayers fill your throne room night and day with harmonious tones—that through our tears and longings, we may be filled with joy.
May our holy desires, reflect the faith of our fathers, mothers, and grandmothers through whom our spirits did emerge, to prove that you have shown mercy-and-grace evermore.
Help us now to continue in all we have learned and firmly believed, knowing from whom we learned it, and how from childhood, by those who loved us in you and acquainted us with your hallowed word, have been made us wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus.
In his glorious and powerful name, we pray, amen. †

05/30/2021 #138—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 5-6:1-12
Adoration: O’Lord our Savior, as God and man, you have loved God and rejoiced in obedience of all that the Father commands. You are at the very heart of the Father. Your laws O’God are as nourishment to our souls and you delight to be our righteousness. In our stead you fulfill everything required of us.
Though some, as recompense for sin or to balance the scales, will perform acts of concession, they cannot appease your wrath. For they are unable do for themselves—what only the Son can do. The great and awful burden is His alone. Only purity and Joy can endure and conquer the despair and corruption of the world.
But still, the reckless priests, like those whom they serve, are wayward, ignorant and spineless. They are disobedient and bathe themselves in every offense toward God. They are weak-willed, faint-hearted, and cowardly.
But never so with the Son. As a man, in obedience through suffering, he was, is and became the pure-spring-of-salvation. His people drink from him for he is life and liberty. All who obey and trust in him—live; for he is the Truth, the Life, and the Way; indeed, the only means to the Father.
Sinless vicar—perfect and final sacrifice; he appeases God’s wrath with himself, for others. He is the only entrance to heaven revealed. In heart, mind, soul, and strength his love and reverence for the Father’s will is proven by his passions and deeds. His prayerful petitions attest to the truth, that he alone is our high priest and the King of heaven forever.
Many are drawn only to the taste of knowledge and the pleasure of gifts—the good things of God and his glorious power, but they crave only the benefits and not the benefactor.
Their acts of false repentance show their contempt for God’s grace and mercy. They drink from the source of Joy even as they embrace the worthlessness of their own desires. They seek the blessings but not him who blesses. God however, delights in right motives which only righteousness affords.
Confession: So, with both fallen and yet rising hearts, in Christ, we can and will confess our daily sins. For as we understand them better, they trouble us more deeply and we despise them more sincerely.
In confession, O’Lord, awaken us daily in greater love for you—that our sins may ever sleep in the dust, never to arise again. We so confess our need and desire, that our sins be restrained now and soon forever subdued.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father for salvation in Christ—our great high priest and King. Thank you for mercy which through grace and death you grant life everlasting to your own.
Thank you for being long suffering throughout our complacencies—moving us along at various times and in various ways as you mold our misshapen souls. Thank you for the simple doctrines that have taken us into the depths of your word—where there we see you.
Supplication: Keep us now O’Lord from being dull of mind, dull hearing and easily confounded by your revelations. Help us to not evade any spiritual issues or to cut moral corners to take the easy way out.
Help us to be more sympathetic and loving to others; for we are prone to be self-centered and lost in self-pity. For all such things serve only to pull us under and sweep us away.
Teach us to do all things with reverence as we ought. Train us through constant practice to distinguish between good and evil. Help us mature into teachers who carefully consider the heart of each matter; being skilled in the word of righteousness and no longer lacking discernment, like infants unable to speak.
Help us to mature with full assurance of hope until the end, and through faith and patience, to inherit the promise. For the glory and sake of Christ who has perfectly done all that is needed, and in beauty and authority of his name, we pray, amen. †

06/13/2021 #139—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 6:13-20
Adoration: O’Lord our God, no one is greater than you. Your promises are perfectly trustworthy. The moment you speak them—is as though they proved true long ago.
Though you guarantee with an oath, your swearing is upon yourself. Though our faith is weak, your integrity stands strong. You prove over and over that what you say you will do—you do. When you say you will do this or that—it is done.
There is no wavering, no shadow of doubt can shake your pledge or cause you to move off course. Those who wait patiently have nothing to fear; for they possess already—what they cannot see or yet touch, but with us it is not so; even when we speak a perfect vow, our hearts are yet corrupt and we forget what we promised, or have said without strength.
So, while we change, hope weakly and fear greatly, our courage is in you—our unchangeable and true God—who does not lie; and our hope is in Christ—our righteousness King forever.
He is the promise that is set before us; the steadfast anchor of our souls, who sits at the right hand of the Father. In perfect love, power and might, he acts always on our behalf.
As Prophet, Priest and Righteous King forever, he stands before his beloved and beckons: come forth, He fulfills all that we have failed to fulfill and sustains every one of us to the end.
Therefore, let us stop our wondering about what we must do and dispense with all uncertainty, for we are his and he is ours, there is no other.
Confession: Yet, we must confess: it is a lie to say we have mastered our confidence; or that we no longer need reminding. It is a lie to say our trust does not wavier or that we never forget your promise.
So, Lord God, we confess our sins and our irrational weaknesses. We confess our lack of faith—for we know that all things are possible for those who believe; and though we believe, help our unbelief.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your gracious and merciful treatment of the lost. You provide life for those who fear you and you remember your covenant with them forever.
We give all thanks to you Lord King of righteousness. You have clothed us in holy garments, that we may stand before you unashamed. So, we praise you Lord and give you thanks with our whole heart. For you are majestic in all your ways and we delight in every one—your righteousness endures forever.
Supplication: Now O’Lord, help us to fear no man but to grow in wisdom, righteousness, fear and wonder of our great God. May our praises of you endure forever! May we look upon our circumstances, upon heartache,
unrighteousness and evil and know that you are God—your steadfast love endures forever.
Give us now the assurance we have not rallied on our own. For though our souls are earthbound you are heavenly and dwell deep within our being. We ask all things, hope all things, and endure all things in the love of Christ our Savior, amen. †

06/27/2021 #140—Sermon Passage: Galatians 1-2, 2:20
Adoration: Blessed be God—Eternal Father, Son, and Spirit most holy. Hollowed be your name O’ High King of Heaven. You give grace and peace to all who are with you; whom you have formed again and set aright.
And according to your perfect will Father, our Lord and Savior gave himself for our sins, delivering us from this present evil to the glory of God forever and ever. Christ is–and has given the gospel. Its content is set; there is no other—we know of none.
Only the dead in spirit claim a contrary view and create deception with cunning options and enlightened opinions. They decimate their own lives and the lives of others; for they are the enemies of God and hate all that he is.
Their own ruin is at the center of this rebellion. Many approve of their rhetoric and pomposities; for such, is pleasing to their love of sin. Let them, each one be saved or accursed according to your will Father. Either way, each will know that you are God and there is no other.
And the servants of Christ cannot waiver, will not compromise and shall not stand down. For the gospel of man is rubbish and awash with the stench of death. And though we have no want of sin, its scent is yet upon us and we taste it in the air.
It is a strange state of being—this transformation and disapproval of sin. You only O’God give us grace through our trust in Christ. Even before our birth you set us apart from the decaying world. You send us away, as it were, to bring us back anew, no longer destroyers but builders—planters—tillers and harvesters.
And though we travel fast through our days, we do not run in vain; for we are no longer slaves to our own desires. For Christ did not die without purpose but for righteousness to stand; that the schemes of the evil one and the foolishness of men, would fade away.
Confession: So, we confess both our involvement and our disapproval of sin’s worthlessness. Rooted in the fragrance and beauty of Christ, our lives are now his and we gladly confess our dependance upon him and the Holy spirit who sustains us to his glory. We further confess that our sin does not make Christ a servant of sin, for he is sinless.
We cannot rebuild what is torn down—this is the way of sin; for though the law of God destroys, the kindness of God restores and brings to life what has died. And if we are crucified with Christ, he lives within us—we can never again be what we were.
Thanksgiving: So, our gratitude O’ King of heaven, is upon your altar. Thank you, for we know that we are not what we were, nor yet what we shall be.
Thank you that we are justified through faith in Jesus Christ—trusting in him alone for our righteousness and not in our own pitiful deeds. For His law rests upon our souls; we shall no longer follow the rules we’ve created to have praise in ourselves. In Christ, our souls are free from such toil and strife.
Supplication: Now Father, we ask always that you keep us in step with the truth of the gospel. New life is by faith in the Son of God who loves us and gave himself for us; increase therefore, our faith.
May the influential and the powerful make no difference to us; for you O’Lord are not partial to human persuasion. May we give the right hand of fellowship to all, for it is a gracious and merciful gift from God who always remembers the poor.
Help us to keep hypocrisy from our works, that it should not seep through the cracks of our weaknesses. All this, we ask for the Sake of Christ—to the glory of God, amen. †

07/25/2021 #141—Sermon Passage: Ephesians 2:1-10
Adoration: Blessed be you O’God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. You have given us the Word of truth, the Gospel of your salvation, and we have believed in him whom you sent.
Though we were dead in our sins—the passions of our flesh and our desires for disobedience; you have saved us from all of that. And sealed us in the Holy Spirit, the assurance of our inheritance—to the praise and glory of Christ our Lord.
O’Father, by your will—desire—grace and mercy in the work of our Lord, we are the Saints of Christ; faithful by design, at peace through his suffering and redeemed from the mire of death and sin.
For in Christ, we are blessed with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. Even before the foundations of the world were set, you chose us in him, for our redemption—to make us holy and blameless before you.
In love, you predestined us and adopted us to yourself, that according to the purpose of your will, we would become your sons and daughters through Christ. And all of this was done to the praise of your glorious grace in your beloved Son, our Lord.
According to the riches of your grace which you have lavished upon us in Christ through his blood, we have redemption and the forgiveness of our sins.
In all wisdom and insight, you have made known to us the mystery of your will, which is according to the purpose you established in Christ, Jesus. From the heart of eternity came a plan, that at the fullness of time you would reunite all things in heaven and on earth in Jesus Christ.
Confession: Lord God, in realization of your mercies, we mournfully confess, that like the rest of mankind, we were by nature, children of wrath.
But in joy we confess, that even though we were dead in our sins and trespasses, because you are so very rich in kindness and have loved us
beyond our comprehension, you have made us alive together with Christ. Who can understand such compassion?
We confess Cheerfully, that we have been saved by grace through faith. Our trust in Christ—is life itself. And so, as Scripture proves: it is only by grace that we can confess our faith in Christ alone, to the glory of God alone. These things, as one thing—we confess.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father for raising us up with Christ; and seating us with him—who sits with you; our sojourn arrived, the heavenly places—found. Thank you also for the confidence in—and the assurance of the days to come, where you shall display your endless riches of grace and kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.
We are so very thankful, that none of this is by our own doing. It is neither the result of our decision, nor of any works to appease your wrath, but rather, it is the gift of blessings in Christ to us. So, our gratitude is eternal.
We cannot and shall not boast of anything; for we are your workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which you prepared for us in advance, so that by grace, we may humbly and confidently, walk in them.
Supplication: Therefore, we ask only this: Be glorified O’Father—Son and Spirit God. Let all the world fade into dust and return anew, cleansed. Let every star fall and the sun hide its face at the return of our savior Jesus Christ.
Our desire now, is for your glory, honor and majesty. This is our prayer in Christ our Lord, amen. †

08-08-2021 #142—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 9-10
Adoration: Father God, your grandeur, mercy, and grace embrace us; we know it full well. You have put your laws in our minds and written them upon our hearts.
You are God alone and we are your people. You make yourself known to us and we know you. Your light is upon us and your Word intreats us to see
you clearly. For many say they have come to know you, but do not keep your commandments; they are liars, and the truth is not in them.
At the beginning, you weaved together body and soul—spirit and blood. From the dust of the earth, you formed our bodies and from your very mouth you breathed into us—living spirit. You imbued your image upon us and set us upright in the way we should go. By your design, we are both many and one; blood-of-blood—spirit-of-spirit.
The life you give is a tapestry of the visible and invisible—for the substance of our lives are both. Though they are easily parted, apart, we are less; for as one—body and soul flourish.
The visible makes known the invisible; earthly points to the heavenly. You give the tangible to reveal the intangible—the more coherent and real. Our minds cannot fully conceive what our hearts wholly desire.
So, the forgiveness of the sins of wretches, is doled out upon them by judgment in the body of virtue. The flow of innocent blood to give life and freedom to the captive and dead.
A new covenant full of grace and righteousness; Almighty-God sitting at the right hand of God-Almighty. He is destroyer of sin, the sword of justice; the Word become flesh and the light of men that darkness can never overcome. Who can grasp what has been done by God?
Confession: And what can we do but confess that we have lived wickedly, chosen sin-over-virtue and rebellion-over-obedience? But you, O’God, are merciful toward our iniquities and you remember our sins no more.
Born of Adam—born in sin, we confess now our need of rebirth-in-Christ—our Lord and Savior. He is the torn curtain, through which we enter the holiest place.
So, this is our profession of trust: Whoever confesses that Jesus Christ—the Holy One of God; is the Son of God—God abides in him, and he abides in God. Not just by these words spoken, but by the power of God in regeneration to new life.
Thanksgiving: So, we give thanks to you in Christ O’Father-God. We give thanks to you throughout all our circumstances; for we know that they are your will in Christ Jesus. Thank you for the forgiveness of our sins.
We give thanks to you, for you are good and your steadfast love endures forever. Thank you that in Christ we have entered the Holy of Holies as both our home and destiny come. Through all eternity—we shall sing your praises.
Supplication: Lord, now we pray that you will be our strength and our shield. That our hearts and minds will stay true to Christ who knows our sorrows and our joys, has compassion upon our lives and is with us always.
May our hearts exult you O’Lord with our songs of thanksgiving and may our minds always be set upon your glory. Cleaned from an evil conscience and washed in purest water, may we draw near to you with hearts in full assurance and trust.
There is nothing we can ask that you cannot do, so we ask that your perfect will be done on earth as it is in heaven. It is for your glory in-Christ we pray, amen. †

08-15-2021 #143—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 10:19-39
Adoration: O’Father, you have given us your Son, and He, the Spirit. Be glorified now in your people as your eternal glory shines through all creation. For you by your Word O’God—spoke, and the universe soared into existence.
Who are we to have access to your thrown room? That you should even consider us, is inexplicable. Yet, we can approach you in faith, trusting in every promise and every gift. For it is you, who in love, hold us tight to life. We are living, for you O’Lord, are living. You are the living God who sustains us.
We know all that you have done, for you’ve taught us by the language of life. In you O’ High-Priest, the vail is torn open, all obstacles fall aside, all
condemnation fades from our souls; and we soar now upon your presence and cast ourselves upon your love.
With submissive hearts, cleansed and full of trust, we have been purified-by-purity, made virtuous-by-virtue and now live within life’s core: it is to you O’Lord that we hold fast.
Through perseverance we stand with you—a community against all who provoke your kindness by their foolish-deeds and false-teachings; who worship false-gods and curse your name. They trampled the Son of God underfoot and violate the covenant of his blood; and the Spirit of grace is outraged.
Because their conscience reveals what is true, their judgment is worse than others. Let those who live a false-way, who do not trust, do not obey, and do not bear the fruits of godliness, be accursed; for they have rejected authentic-true-virtue to follow their own concessions, as indeed their feeling direct.
Confession: Our confession of faith O’ Father, is true and not of our own making. It is out of the love you have proven in Christ. We were steeped in sin and condemnation, but by mercy and grace in Christ, have been forgiven.
By such, we are encouraged and will encourage others. By such, we follow the Messiah with confidence into the holy-place where you reside. His blood has cleansed us and changed us from combatants to innocent and pure children; no longer distant but familiar and intimate.
We are embraced by a confession of hope that will not let us waver—but see us through. We shall wander no more, nor toil in vain. Your teachings produce hope and trust, for you are faithful and you prove it so, day-in and day-out.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for the gift of faith, for salvation, life, and the glory to come. Thank you for all that encourages our endurance, and the assurance of Christ, our inheritance.
Supplication: We ask now that you would be with us who are sick and wounded. Help us to exercise endurance by practicing your will. Keep us
from Shrinking back and inviting your displeasure in us. Help us to never retreat or surrender.
May we strengthen one another to trust you rather than the weak and unrooted ideas of the heart. Help us to never reject what we have trusted and understood, but to be wise in our endurance.
Help us to return to you humbly if should willfully sin. For if we are truly yours, we can never refuse to repent of our sins; it is not possible. Preserve now and forever our souls in Christ, we pray for the glory of Christ, amen. †

08-22-2021 #144—Prayer of Adoration, Passage: Hebrews 11 “God’s Gift of Faith”
O’God—our Father, Our Lord, and Spirit of Holiness; we are assured, confident and secure in our hopes and convictions, and you commend us for trusting in you—and you alone.
You grant to us assurance and hope like no other. It is not just an idea of what belief is—or of our desire that a thing be true, but rather, a superior trust based in the evidences you have displayed everywhere. No corner of reality stands on its own accord.
By your mighty and powerful command, you brought the universe into existence—all that is in the cosmos: the stars and worlds, the earth and space, living bodies and spirits. Everything seen and unseen—is from your hand.
You O’God have established all things and have blessed our souls with kindness. Your mighty works support our reliance upon you. You give us just what we need and praise us for bringing it to bear.
Because you are holy, our sacrifices will be holy. We shall not bid you false or unsuitable tribute, but shall honor your name with what pleases you. So that even in death, our declarations of life will be known.
For you are the King of life. You reward and watch over those who trust and honor you, who draw near to you with confidence and who do your will in reverence and awe.
Many are saved and many condemned by the faith of one. Though we may suffer from reticence, in wonderous anticipation, we shall go to where you send us O’God. For we trust in your faithfulness.
Like the stars of heaven and the sands by the seas, you have multiplied your people in love. Like those before us who saw the promise from afar, we seek the homeland beyond.
We are wonderous travelers, strangers, and exiles in a land clearly not our own. For it is you and no other who bids us well and summons us to the city of promise. We are therefore, confident that nothing can halt your plans for us.
If we stumble, you will help us up; if we are injured, you will heal our wounds and if we die, you will raise us from the dead. Surely your blessings now and those to follow—are the foundation of our hope.
And so, we shall not fear Kings, rulers, or authorities; for reproval from Christ—is a much greater fear. For it is better to be troubled, poor and mistreated with family, than to enjoy the life of a fool with those whom the Destroyer pursues.
And though we will be mocked, imprisoned, beaten, and tortured to death, we shall not acquiesce: For we know that God will raise us up to glory and bring down to ruin his enemies. Neither death by sword or escape of the sword will change our resolve.
The people of God trust in God. Out of weakness, we are made strong. As we receive God’s promises, we shall: Enforce justice, be Mighty in war and Conquer Kingdoms. Though we might fear distress, we will walk with assurance into the heart of the furnace and the lion’s den.
Though we will wander through deserts and mountains, and in the depths earth; we will no longer be part of a world unworthy of those in Christ. We shall pass safely through the shadows of death and fear no evil; for the LORD our God—is God in the heavens above—and on the earth below. Blessed by our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, now and evermore, amen. †

09-12-2021 #145—Sermon Passage: Zephaniah 3:14-20 “Ode to Joy”
Adoration: Father God, you are the Potter and we are the clay. Many know that you are God alone, yet, they make their abode with the gods of the earth. But you are indeed—God alone and you dwell with your people always. Those whom love, stand with you. Those who oppose you, and have no regard for the Holy will be swept away in righteous judgment.
You will completely remove the wicked. For they seek only what they desire and are easily moved to swear by what they think might work. They worship everything but Almighty God. Their chattering prayers and mumbled chanting provoke you O’LORD and kindle your wrath against them.
They fill your house with violence and fraud, for they intermix the Holy and the profane. They are blind and staggering; for their blood is lifeless, like the dung and dust of the earth. Your burning anger O’Lord will be their reward.
Though healing and truth come from the God they offend, they persist in their passions and deceit. Yet, still you warn them O’God, saying: “Be silent before me; for my judgment is near, and is coming to the dull-hearted who disregard my glory. For them, my wrath will be bitter. I will flood their houses with distress, anguish and ruin.
Their reckless mocking’s will be answered, for I am God alone. And by my wrath, the remnant will have hope, assurance, and joy. For I am mindful of them who stand and rejoice with me. My judgment and revenge are their victory and restoration. My fame will fill the heavens and the earth and the truth of the matter will be known.”
Confession: Hear then our confessions O’LORD and forgive us our sins. Though we no more follow our self-passions, we have not stood against the world as well as we could. We have not stopped it, but given quarter to the enemy.
So, all that is forbidden is still among us; and we have listened to the dull-of-heart too quietly; and considered their words as though worth considering. The ugliness of their ways and the stench of death is all about.
But you O’Lord emanate beauty and fragrant life. How could we have missed it for a moment. Forgive us O’mighty God and awake us from our
stupor. In your great mercy, gather us together again and again, for our joyful return is in your hands.
Thanksgiving: Our songs of thanksgiving will fill the mountains, forests, and deserts. Its very resonance will demolish every stronghold and crush every temple. You have taken away the judgment against us and destroyed the enemy, and we rejoice in our praise of you.
Thank you, O’LORD, for giving us our voices; that with the sound of the trumpets will reverberate and fill the universe with your glory.
Supplication: Change now our language, and that of the nations, to a pure tongue. May we be humble and lowly; find our refuge in you; do nothing unjust, speak no lies, practice no deceit and fear no evil. May we rejoice in the assurance that you are in our midst.
For we know that you are the mighty one who saves, who delights over us and quiets our hearts with your love. Bring us in O’Lord, gather us to your thrown. We speak and pray through Christ our savior, amen. †

09-26-2021 #146—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 11:20-23
Adoration: Father in heaven—giver of light and life—O’Lord our savior and Holy Spirit our Perfector: You are God. You are our creator, the sculptor of body and soul—the universe and all that is in it. You are Worthy—Reliable—Unchangeable and Pure.
You are Holy, and Purity beyond our grasp. Yet, that we may know you, trust you and obey you, you have revealed your unknowable-self, in your Son—our Lord. For it is you who have established our reasons for trusting. The confidence we enjoy is not of our own making; it is based in all that you are, all that you have done and all that you have promised to do.
You have given our hearts the greatest respect for your holiness. We see Justice and Mercy flowing as a river from your love. For your love is holy and cleanses your people—all chose before a word was spoken. So, we shall both live and die in complete trust of you.
Those who love you, know and believe you. What you do and have done, testifies to them, of both your integrity in promises and the reality of their fulfilment. You O’God are faithful, for you are merciful to your people. We subsist in and upon your grace. A trusting heart, is a gift-given to those to whom the Son reveals you.
Our faith is not a thing of our own making. For we are but a clay that is shaped and molded by a king. He makes us into useful vessels and objects of beauty from the dirt of the earth. And because we know him, our trust is justified, for by it, he justifies us.
It is the essence of deep fellowship; for we do not know him from a distance but from within. He has taken us into himself.
Confession: Lord, we confess that you are the author of our faith yet we are its employer. Help us when we forget, for we should be, by now, deeply rooted and fully growing.
We confess our weaknesses and our wavering. We know that the only true privilege is the trust that you have undergirded in us; for there is no greater privilege than this—that true knowledge based in trust: agrees, approves, accepts and complies joyfully.
So, our confession is that we will trust in you O’LORD, yet our trust is weak. You have enlightened our minds with knowledge of you and given us fellowship with you; and we joyfully acknowledge our dependence upon you to be our source of right thoughts—right words and right deeds; for our fallenness, though no longer complete, yet damages our resolve.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’God for the gift of faith. Thank you for the grace and mercy behind it.
We shall prove our gratitude throughout eternity; for it is the forever condition of our hearts.
Supplication: We ask now for your blessings. That we will with every breath recognize what is true, and that it always unites with mind and soul to change our very image into that of Christ.
We pray Father, increase our ability, and resolve that we may more deeply trust in all you have said and done. And if our ideas or desires ever differ from yours, strengthen our tenacity and courage to discard them.
Help us to trust in you and not in our own understanding. Make us immovable in Christ, for it is in Him and through Him we ask all things, amen. †

10-10-2021 #147—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 11:24-28
Adoration: O’God our Father—LORD of Lords—Holy Spirit of truth, how wonderful are all your ways. You have made us yours and you are ours. You love whom you choose and redeem all that you love. From all things low and great, you bring about your purposes.
Nothing is outside of your view and resolution. You are Holy, Good and Righteous—our Lord and friend. You are as a flowing river of life, making a jagged rock—smooth. Yet those that will not turn, are reduced to sand. Nothing and no one can stand above you; for this is your creation and you alone are Lord and King over it.
The powerful and perverse pursue immorality with deftness. They have made corruption into an art that yields them wealth and prosperity. Their skills of mistreatment and self-importance have shaped only misery.
With no discernment, they cannot see their own impoverished souls. Every word spoken against you, will go back as rotten food, into the mouths of fools. The sin they swallow has becomes their nourishment.
But not so for those whose trust is not in themselves. Whose food is the bread of life and whom you are making smooth and beautiful. You O’Lord are their desire and treasure. Those who know and trust you, know that nothing so brief as the pleasures of sin will profit them.
For you have made them to see down into the heart of the world from where they came. So, they joyfully join with those of whom the world has no need. Even in the severest trials and darkest valleys, there you are with them.
Confession: Our confession O’Lord is our acknowledgment of who we are, and who our God is. It is of what we have done and what you have undone. It is of the knots we tie which you have unloosed.
Let therefore, our confession be true, that our suffering is little—compared to the glory of Christ. We confess both our fears and our stance against fear; for you O’Lord are our shield and the center and object of our trust.
We cannot and will not trust in anyone but you, for you have reasoned with our hearts and are now the means of our reliance. Yet still, we confess our haunting doubts—the remnant of our nature. But you are kind and long enduring. You give to us and teach us the virtue of trust. It is the foundation of all other virtues.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for every gift you give and yet promise. Your gifts and deeds reflect your glory and are the heart and key of our assurance. Thank you for being the truth, our source of life and the foundation of our trust.
Because You prove yourself trustworthy in all things, we do not have a faith divorced of reason. It is never a blind faith, but with eyes and heart wide open, we trust you in full assurance.
Supplication: Give us now an integrity that does not faulter; that the world may see your integrity in ours, and know that the source of our trust, is solid. Increase our faith we pray.
We ask all things in Christ, who can do all that we ask and more, amen. †

10-17-2021 #148—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 11:29-31
Adoration: O’Gracious God our Father, with Son and Spirit Almighty. How greatly does the world hate and insult your holy name? They will not and cannot see through the deep, for the darkness keeps its secret. Unless you quicken their souls, they cannot trust in what is true. The minds and hearts of the dead embrace their dissent with unshakable faith.
And your chosen will suffer reviling and the withering assaults of the enemy. Yet at every onslaught and insoluble front, you give them safe passage; either for a time or through the corridors of glory.
Your strong-arm wheels destruction; for you are the victor and the victory; the great warrior King who goes first into battle; never yielding—or giving quarter to the enemy.
Yet still, they fail to grasp their demise or the consequence to follow. Every criminal knows that the Judge is fair and just; and he hates that Judge for it. He wants to do away with all judgments; and even more, to brings evil against the Judge and all that the Judge loves deeply.
Yet the verdict still comes, a fair punishment still falls. The valleys and walls of death engulf the wicked. The Judge himself strikes them into dust. The arrogant and prideful become as shivering stalks of tare.
For they have miscalculated and disregarded whom it is—they have engaged. All those who hate God and all that God loves, will sink into a dark and eternal depth of despair.
So, we—God’s own, must exclaim: Let the sea rage and do its worst—our trust is in God. Let the enclosures, that the rebellious have built, fall to the ground—our trust is in God; and let the defiant perish in their delusion, for our trust is in God who has warmly welcomed us into the Way of Life—by the Son of Truth.
Confession: We confess O’Lord, that we are not who we were. We have come to see our sins for what they were and are. Although they whisper to our conscience, our backs are turned against them. We are moored as wheat in good soil, moved by wind and bathed in light, you have nurtured us for the harvest.
We confess that you have made our trust possible; and although weakly, we bear it nobly. So, our faith compels us to confess, that you are God alone and our means of knowing you. You are trustworthy and sufficient in every way and all circumstances.
Therefore, in you, we will walk on solid ground; the earth itself a companion. While many sink in the sand—death falling in upon them—we shall yet walk
straight and true; for as a trusted shield, your grace and merciful array—surround us.
Thanksgiving: Our thankfulness to you O’God is our banner. We are thankful for your Word to us and that you hear our words back. Thank you for your reliability and strength during the calm and in the heat of battle. Thank you for being completely honest, for we know you cannot lie and you always keep your promises.
Supplication: Give us we pray: Strength through Humble Submission; Escape from pride and the lure of sin and Discerning and Careful hearts—ready always to speak the truth in love and kindness. Keep us from evil that pursues the mind and confronts the heart daily.
Give to us clear passage, yet teach us also how to fight and die well. These things and more we ask in Christ our Lord, amen. †

10-24-2021 #149—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 11:32-40
Adoration: O’God, what more can we say than what you have revealed to us through time: in heroes—by deed and word—Flesh and Spirit? Lord-God we trust: You are one; the only living and true God; self-existent, infinite in being and perfection.
Who but yourself can understand your essence? You are exquisitely pure Spirit—immense—inexplicable and whole. Your love and understanding do not waver.
Though your ways are unfathomable, we discern—as you reveal. Yet your character is unchanging and almighty. You dwell in eternal burning-light, which no one can approach—lest you shield them. For you O’God are Holy in every countless aspect.
Perfectly wise and free, you work all things according to your righteous will—for the express purpose of your glory. The counsel of your steady righteousness—is a set course; it does not move from center.
Loving, gracious, merciful, and patient, you overflow with goodness and truth. For glory-sake, you forgive the remorseful of their iniquity,
transgression, and sin. They are overjoyed by your countenance, for you reward those who seek you diligently. Yet still, your judgments are perfectly fair and altogether terrifying.
For you hate all sin—and the guilty—who have given their souls away, will be punished forever. Their offenses are no small matter. And we know that you O’Lord, are all-sufficient. All splendor—life—beauty and goodness dwell in you.
You do not require the presence of any creature you have made—nor do you receive your glory from them. But rather, you demonstrate your glory in them, by them and upon them as you please. For you alone are the source of all being.
Everything is from you, through you, and to you. All things are laid bare, open, and evident before you—for you know all things as they are and are to be. Your plans, works and commands are holy and every creature owes you alone their worship, service, and obedience and whatever else, that you are pleased to require of them.
Confession: O’God of wonder, joyfully we confess, that we are yours and you are ours. Therefore, we know what must be done.
For you have said: “If anyone loves me, he will keep my word, and my Father will love him, and we will come to him and make our home with him. Whoever does not love me, does not keep my words.”
So, although our workings lack perfection, in Christ, perfection is granted; in him we move and have our being.
Thanksgiving: So, with thankful hearts O’Lord, our souls are in your refuge. We give thanks, for by faith you have conquered kingdoms and circumstances of every kind.
Every promised, holding true now and in all the days to follow.
Supplication: Father-God we pray: If torture is allowed, keep our hearts strong, that we will refuse any offer but yours—to rise again to a better life. May we endure every mocking-mouth and every abuse that is not justly averted.
Whether thrashings, imprisonment, or death, we are safely held by your mighty hand. Though in deserts, on mountains, or in the dens of the earth, keep us true to Christ and your indwelling Spirit.
Father, Son, and Spirit, you O’God are the foundation of all of our fellowship. Our dependence is upon you and in you. You are our comfort now and forever-and-ever, amen. †

11-14-2021 #150—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 12
Adoration: O’Father in Heaven, Almighty God—Lord Christ, Founder and Perfector of Our Faith—and most Holy Spirit of Truth: How great are your ways; how magnificent are your works and how beautiful is your appearance to the poor, meek and hungry.
Who does not fall-down as a quaking reed before you? Even the delusional—who hate you passionately, know that their hour soon approaches.
But you have surrounded us with true witness, lifted from us our clinging sins and given us strength to persevere, our burdens suffered by Christ. For though he hated the shame of his cross, he endured it in view of the beauty at his Father’s right hand…the very throne of God.
Therefore, we shall not grow weary or faint of heart. For though we have not suffered as he, we are yet sons and daughters of the King—thankful for his discipline and correction—so that we do not spoil like the illicit and the dead.
Though in discipline our hands be slapped, our tongues be hedged and hearts be allayed, we esteem the Father who loves us; who trains us for peace and righteousness. Your holiness O’God brings an end to our rebellion. May any hardship you warrant, cause us to see your glory more clearly and your love more plainly.
For a tempest of blazing fire or darkness and gloom do not stay our approach. We do not tremble in fear of death, but in awe of the living God, his glory, his heavens, and his justice. With the angles, with all who are
made perfect, we praise the judge of righteousness—his covenant and our mediator the Lord through his sacrifice of blood.
We will not refuse or reject your word O’God. We do not desire an escape from truth. Those who throw-it-away never loved you, never yielded, nor cared to understand. For it is your voice that shapes—and shakes all of creation—from, and into dust.
It is your winds that save or blow-away the sands-of-time and the folly-of-men. And the things that will not be destroyed, that have been hidden, will appear as-they-are and evermore shall be.
Confession: O’Father, hear now our confessions through our Lord, for the Spirit has moved our hearts and humbled our ways. Our swords were neither true, nor righteous; so are put away into their place.
For you bless the peacemakers, and call them sons of God. You have shaken us to the core and remade us from the dust. We stand now in confession with the armies of your realm.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for giving us a kingdom that cannot be shaken. Thank you for your mercy to us, that in reverence and awe our worship may be suitable.
We are grateful to know, that you are a consuming fire and a flowing river, a gentle voice and with a word that builds and destroys. For you bring down false empires and build the true city. No one can touch you but you touch whom you please and they are not destroyed.
Supplication: O’Lord help us to lift our drooping hands. Strengthen our weak knees. Help us to walk straight paths with feet you have healed. Help us strive for peace and holiness, without which, we not will see you.
May we obtain your perfect grace where no bitterness remains. May we be morally attractive and a delight to you. For salvation, glory and power belong to you O’God and your judgments are true and just.
Through our Lord and savior Jesus Christ we pray, amen. †

11-21-2021 #151—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 13:1-19
Adoration: O’Lord God of Heaven, Maker of earth, giver, and sustainer of life, you have loved us as sons and daughters from before the foundations of the world. You have given us brothers and sisters, together, as one people—all approved by you for your glory.
Though we were as strangers and wonderers, you O’Lord have brought us warmly to your home. You have shown us mercy and grace and have set us at your table—in the presence of angles.
Magnificent are your ways and wonderful are the laws you have written upon our hearts; indeed, it is true love to do your will. To do as you say with joy, is to speak the language of love. For you have engraved our names—on the palms of your hands.
Long before our souls lived or stirred in the body, you knew us as though we were already. And as in time we appeared, you cared to watch over us—through all our striving and woes. Even now, you are faithfully moving us to—where-and-what—we shall be.
So, we cannot help but trust you O’Lord. You have told us that you will never leave nor forsake us, and this we believe. You are our true-helper, so we shall fear nothing and no one.
Though the world may ply its worst against us, we will not fear, for you O’Lord, are the same yesterday, today and forever. You are our strength, our song—and our salvation.
For our great blessing, you suffered through blood and shame O’Lord. So, we shall not fail to come to you by any or very similar means. For we are no more at home here. This place and life do not last—but all that you provide—and have done for us—does.
Confession: So, we confess gladly in our songs of praise for salvation, that you are our God and we are your people. We confess that we are fully nourished by the fruit of the truth. For it is there in what you have done within-us and all about—and in what is yet to follow.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for every servant you have chosen to lead us; who spoke your word to us and watched over us—your family of souls. Thank you, that we may consider their lives, through faith in Christ, as lives to emulate.
Thank you for strengthening our hearts by grace that we might know authentic devotion and steadfast resolve. Thank you for a clear conscience and the desire to act and live honorably regarding all things.
Thank you, Lord-God, for your love is unwavering and endures forever. Out of our distress we have called upon you and you have answered. With you as our helper and there at our side, who can prevail against us? For we trust in awe of you and not in man.
Supplication: We pray, that you always remind us of those in prison for your sake; and of those who are mistreated and discouraged, for we are present with them in Christ. Help us also to desire only what you have provided, so that wealth is never our passion, friend, or comforter.
May we honor our marriages, remaining devoted, as you are to us. May we be morally pure as you are pure and may truth and high-honor permeate and surround our thoughts and deeds. May we reject all unreliable and odd teachings; for they are wedges-that-divide. May the Lord himself be our path, for he always tells us the truth—and gives life everlasting to everyone who trust in him. We ask all things in his name, amen. †

11-28-2021 #152—Sermon Passage: Hebrews 13:1-19
Adoration: O’God our creator and savior, you are holy; you have loved us and made us your own. You are eternally true and your love is upon those who know you. In you, we have found rest from our labors. You have made our burdens lighter and easier to bear. The works you give us to do, are works of joy.
You are gentle and patient with us. From the humbleness of your heart, you have taught us all that is needed. You have brought us into your courts above, where there is life, safety, and comfort; our souls are at ease.
Great things you have done for us O’Lord. You have filled our hearts with laughter, for we have seen your glory. That we love one another and continue in love, reflects your love for us. That we welcome strangers, keep the beloved in mind, and suffer with them, are all good things, and we desire all that is good.
Everything you require O’ Lord is good—to honor marriage with purity, to be trustworthy, to be unattached to useless desires and content with what you have provided. For we know that loving grace and mercy strengthens and reshapes our hearts. So too, we know your judgments are perfectly righteous.
We are confident in you O’God. You are behind us, before us and within us, our helper, and our strength. No one can stop or change what you have done. We fear nothing, for our reverence is yours alone. And whomever speaks your word truthfully, we shall follow. For if true to you, their lives will also prove true.
Because you are the Lord and do not change, we will recognize deceivers and frauds by their useless pursuits.
Confession: Our confession of faith O’God, is before you in our lives. We live as we believe. We are either of this world or here from outside its gates, sojourners in the valley of shadows. Yet we confess, that we sometimes struggle to discern where we are.
Our place here—and our life there—sometimes gets blurred and we lapse in our distinctions. Deception weaved together with truth is a dark and weary deceit. Yet, O’God of truth, you always bring our hearts back into focus and we remember who you are, all you have said and all you have done.
Thanksgiving: Thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such is your gracious will.
And we know that: All things have been handed over to the Son from the Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. For this, and all else, we are truly thankful.
Supplication: We pray O’Great God, help us to bear the same reproach Christ bore from the world; for we are in him and he in us. May our acknowledgment of his name prove as a sacrifice of praise; and may it be to you—a sweet aroma.
Help our resolve to obey you and those who watch over our souls. May you see joy in our meekness and in the harmony of our calling. Restore us daily with clear conscience, for you are the God of peace, of our great shepherd and eternal covenant.
Equip us we pray, to do your will and the work that is pleasing in your sight. Through our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ we pray, amen. †

12-12-2021 #153—Sermon Theme: “God as our Shepherd"
Adoration: Lord God—Creator and Shepherd of Heaven and earth; Sovereign over all you survey. You—O’Lord, have ushered your flock into captivity, freedom and exile. You have gone before us in the wilderness and out into green pastures.
You have watched over us through our troubles and our woes. The toils you have arranged for us, are always for our good, to secure virtues, a future—and the praise of your glory.
Our admiration is ever before you. Our souls have heard the beauty of your voice, soothing and familiar; and so, we rise and follow where you lead. By your rod and staff, you protect us. You wheeled them exquisitely to decimate our ravenous enemy.
We have seen him fall like lightening from heaven. You have ruined his plans and scattered his flock. Your vengeance rages against them all, as your wrath quickly approaches.
Your judgments are terrifying. It is a great comfort—to stand behind you; as heretofore we stood in affront. Your power is stirred up and you save your people. You restore us and shine your face upon us.
And though a valley of shadows and the stench of death surround us, you have calmed our fears with a sweet fragrance, and anointed our souls with
hope. And this, not of our own accord—but of that which only you afford, for you have made us righteous, dwelt within us, and restored us. Your goodness and mercy enfold our souls. We want nothing more.
For you who are enthroned above the cherubim, shine forth! Your power and might radiate throughout the universe and you make your little ones greater than the stars of heaven.
You are our God; our Father, our Shepherd, and our Comforter. Your ways are firmly set and your heart is gentle toward us. You search for us and you find us. You drive us and guide us. You steer and direct our ways with counsel and wisdom. You take us through danger, rescue us out of the thick, fight for us, and strengthen us in our weariness.
You lead us home amid the mayhem and burning fires. So, whom shall we fear?
Confession: When we sin and confess to you our sins, you are faithful to forgive us and restore us. For we know you delight in truth in our inward being where in our secret heart, you have taught us wisdom.
So, though we have sinned and sin yet, you restore to us the joy of your salvation and uphold us with your willing spirit.
Thanksgiving: Our gratitude is beyond our words, yet O’Lord, with our mouths we declare your praise. So too, may you delight in the thankfulness of our hearts, in the songs sung from out of the depths.
Supplication: Lord we pray, as you bless us and keep us close beside you; that your face will shine upon us and that you will lift-up your countenance to us. Give to us grace, mercy and peace in our Lord Jesus Christ, now and forever, amen. †

12-19-2021 #154—Sermon Passage: Luke 1:26-56
Adoration: Lord God, nothing is impossible for you. The magnificence of our dreams—were not magnificent enough. Our imaginations were too dull and our hearts too inward. Our understanding suffered from our own foolishness.
Yet in marvelous grace, you have sent your heralds to declare astounding truths—your promises from the time of the fall. Having seen only threads intertwined, you bring now the tapestry into view. All the weaving—now a beautiful cover upon us.
O’God, you have not desired sacrifices. In sin offerings, you have taken no pleasure. But behold, there is One who came to do your will, O’God, as it is written of him in the scroll of the book. In the fullness of time, out of the house of David, by the body and soul of a virgin so approved: the birth of the Promise is given.
And, blessed is she among women, and blessed is the fruit of her womb! For from her, by her Creator and Spirit most high, a son is born, Jesus the Savior of his people—Emmanuel-God with us, Messiah, Lamb of God, Light of the world, Lord of lord’s, King of kings, Man of sorrows, Mighty God, Prince of peace, the Resurrection, and the Life. Of his kingdom, there will be no end.
So, with sweet Mary we sing: “May our souls magnify the Lord and our spirits rejoice in God our savior.” He employs his servants in the best possible ways. He has made the mystery of his will a blessing; for he is holy and mighty and does great things for his chosen ones.
Through the halls of time, he makes them into a nation. From generation to generation, he has mercy on all—who in awe and truth esteem him.
He is the almighty who displays his strength, his strong love, and his holiness. He changes the nature and alignment of souls, yet scatters the proud in the thoughts of their hearts. He lifts-up the humble, yet brings down the mighty from their thrones.
He fills the hungry with good things. But those who believe themselves rich—have no needs; so, he sends them away empty. In his mercy and kindness, he helps his servants and he deals with the world through them. They are all his offspring forever and they rejoice in the house of God. All things belong to him.
Confession: Thus is our confession, that we are yours and you are ours. So, use us O’Lord as you desire, as your perfect will determines. We confess to
you now, that where you send us, there we shall be. What you give to us, that we shall desire.
The Joy you send to us, we shall enjoy. What sorrows may come, those we shall endure. For though our sins are many, you have dealt with them all—and all that will follow.
Thanksgiving: Glory and thankfulness to you O’God. All circumstances are in your hands and we give thanks always. We will be watchful in our thanksgiving, for your touch of grace is everywhere. Our hearts are full of gratitude.
Supplication: May we continue steadfastly in prayer. May our lives be a beacon of your love and truth to the world. Use us O’Lord to bring glory to yourself and to you free the captive heart.
Sing to the lost through the songs of our souls and cause the world to know and honor you. We pray with confidence in your grace and mercy. May your glory in Christ forever ruin the darkness, amen. †

12-26-2021 #155—Sermon Passage: Psalm 29 “Glory to God alone”
Adoration: To you alone O’God, be Glory and Honor and Praise. Because you are worthy, you have created us to know you, to enjoy you and to glorify you forever. Our Love of you and our admiration for you, is authentic—for you are trustworthy, the source of all that is beautiful.
And in your home of beauty and splendor, we have found our rest. In resplendent glory, you have formed us to worship you, and to proclaim your praises to all of creation.
As with our forefathers in faith, you have called us by name, and redeemed us for yourself. Out of the body and soul of the house of Adam, you have adopted the children of promise, whom you have loved and watched over. From before they sprang forth, you are with them, the chosen in Christ—your beloved now and forever.
The seas, rivers, fires, and flames shall not swallow them or burn them to ash. What overwhelms the armies of the world, will not overcome those who stand with you; whose wrath against them has been spent.
For your voice O’God is over the waters, the splendor of your holiness burns hotter than any fire. It flashes forth with frightening fury, yet soothes and comforts your little ones; those who are precious in your eyes, whom you love and honor; for whom Christ has given his all.
For you are the Lord-God, the Holy One and Savior of all who struggle with you, a people, chosen for a purpose. So, whom shall we fear? For you are powerful and your thunder fills the universe with majesty; you bring all resistance to naught.
You shake the wilderness, strip away the bindings and give birth to all that lives. For you are the living King, enthroned forever. You gather your beloved from the east and the west. You say to the north, “give them up;” to the south you say, “do not withhold them—bring forth my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.
Bring everyone who is called by my name, whom I formed and created for my glory. You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servants whom I have chosen, that you may know, believe, and understand, that I am He. Before me no god was formed, nor shall there be any after me. I, I alone am the LORD, and besides me there is no savior.
Confession: So, out of our reliance upon you O’God, hear our confessions of belief and offense; for you see both more clearly than we.
May you delight in the first and have mercy in the second. For we are not what we were, nor yet, what we shall be.
Thanksgiving: Hear our thankful hearts O’God, as we rejoice and pray without ceasing. We thank you in Christ Jesus through all circumstances, and for the strength and peace you afford us.
Supplication: We pray now in earnest: Govern our hearts and hedge us in, for you know that we are wonderers. Help us to test everything and hold fast to the good. Help us to abstain from every evil, for you are the Father-of-lights and all-that-is-good.
O’LORD—Most Holy God, Lover of souls, Judge—Creator—Destroyer and Restorer, watch over your people and be glorified. The riches and glory of your mystery in Christ are upon your beloved.
We pray that every tongue would confess Jesus Christ as Lord, to the glory of God-the-Father on high, amen. †

Prayers 2022

01-09-2022 #156—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel Chap. 1 “God has heard”
Adoration: O’Glorious God—Father and Savior, Comforter of your people whom you have chosen and formed—body and soul. You have created all people—with minds, intellectual skills, and hearts which you alone understand. Many go their own way, doing as they please and all that seems right to them.
They say in their hearts: “We have what we need; we are full and we are wise.” They joyfully torment the poor and gracious of heart. But certainly, it is them who are desolate, their pride blinds and robs them. They do not and will not desire what is right.
Yet, in love and mercy O’God, you lift-up the weak. You know their hunger and anxiety. Through their weeping, you hear their vows and pleadings; and you remember them in due time. All that you grant—is for your glory. All that you do—is for their good. Instruments of your power—you dwell within them.
So, you establish your house O’God; its foundation is set in the eternal hall, where all that was, is and ever-shall-be—resides. You prepare and send your people to where you are. Judgment, grace, and mercy flood over their iniquity. They are the seed, the promise, and the image you have given the world. In them, you build your house over the ages, and it stands forever.
And the mouths of the chosen speak and sing your praises. The refrain echoes from heaven over the hills and the valleys of all creation, saying: “Do not break God’s covenant; for his ways and his Word are over-and-above the dreams of man. He guides our wayward thoughts into focus and he calms our restless hearts. Our bent toward misdeed is averted for he has done great things for us. Glory to God on high.”
Confession: Hear then our confessions O’God, our sins are ever before you and we despise our rebellions. For you O’LORD are in the right-actions and deliberations of your people.
Through the images and shadows of history, you have proclaimed the truth in love, and so must we. Yet still the war rages and we shall not be complacent against the lures of the world. We will not acquiesce to provocations or even threat of death. For you have weened us from the world and established your word within us.
Thanksgiving: So, who knows the Lord, knows to thank him. And we thank you O’Father, for you have heard your servants and remembered their pledges, their burdens are in your hands.
You have rescued our barren and destitute hearts—so we sing: “God has heard and God has granted.” Our gratitude in chorus, shines into the darkness and evermore throughout the heavens.
Supplication: We pray now: May our worship and sacrifice please you. We ask all things of you in trust and confidence. For our understanding is shallow, but nothing is hidden from you. And we know you love us and always give us a double portion.
Give us resolve when provoked. Help us to endure the testing and enticements of the Evil One, for you are more to us than any treasure in life. Our faces are no longer sad, for we are in your presence O’LORD and shall dwell there forever.
In Christ, who is all in all, we pray, amen. †

01-16-2022 #157—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 2:1-11, “Hannah’s Prayer”
Adoration: O’LORD God, we are triumphant in you, our hearts are satisfied, our strength and our peace are in your hands. Be then exulted in your people. Rejoice in them O’God, as they do in you, their savior.
For your enemies are surely our enemies, they do not even rise to our ridicule. They mock your holiness, and your hatred for them is a holy and pure hatred.
Those who will not bend a knee, show themselves for who they are. Their hearts are proud. Their pompous talk is swollen with pretense and deceit. They are more than satisfied with themselves.
Their stronghold is vanity and their comfort is arrogance. They build their homes upon the sand and expect them to last. When they fall, they are amazed. They have fooled only the foolish, for God protects a humble heart.
You have quieted our minds O’LORD, to understand you when you speak. Your voice is familiar to us and your beckoning is welcomed. You are the Foundation of our Fortress. In the light of truth, O’God we see where you are leading, and follow.
You know our deepest desires, for you love our souls and have reshaped our innermost being. Our solace is in your covenant—the promise and joy of peace, beauty, and love.
There is none besides you O’Great God; for none but you are holy. There is no other Rock where man’s soul may anchor, for no other mooring will hold. In your presence, every proud word will fade to a murmur and fold in upon itself. Every understanding will dissolve to dust, in view of your knowledge. For you weigh all worldly wisdom and find it amiss and wanting.
But your word neither withers nor fades. It breaks the bows of the mighty but strengthens and satisfies the weak and hungry. It brings them forth to life, out of the dust and ashes.
The lowly are dignified and lifted high; for their God—is God alone. He gives and takes life, he builds and destroys empires, he gives and takes fortunes and constantly—searches the heart of man.
Confession: O’Lord, daily we confess our sins to you and daily you forgive us. Some of them have become so familiar that we forget they are with us; yet we still hate them and strive against them.
When we are complacent, they are an enemy who taunts us; but we shall not give in. When we talk proudly or feel the stirring of arrogance rise, we
shall remember and confess our lord and savior, and his gracious mercies to us.
Thanksgiving: With thankful hearts O’LORD, we rejoice in your salvation. We have seen your mercy to us in Christ and his grace is our refuge.
Thank you, for you captured our wayward hearts and gave us exile, in the world where we stand. May our gratefulness prove true to you in our every word and deed.
Supplication: Lord we pray now, deliver us from our enemies, evil men and spirits who plan evil things in their hearts and always stir up malevolence.
Protect the innocent and ill-equipped from the proud, for they have hidden their traps and thrown out their nets to capture them. We pray O’God, hear our petitions; search us and know our hearts.
Try us and know our thoughts. If there are any shameful ways in us, remove them and lead us to the way everlasting. In and through the sacrifice of Christ we pray, amen. †

01-23-2022 #158—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 2:12-36 “Consequences of Contemptible Worship”
Adoration: O’LORD our God, Maker, and Sustainer of all creation; which you hold-and-bind together, lest it return to naught. Everything exists by your mighty power and great love.
You give a path and movement to the heavens, and by your grace, the earth rides upon its orbit and alignments. With precision, you have set its axis in place, and every creature owes you allegiance.
For even the ignorant know that they move and have their being in you. You give life and goodness to every living being. If they keep quiet and fail to praise you, even the rocks will cry out in acclaim of your glory. For you are worthy of true adoration and honest praise.
As sincere love gives root to natural obedience; so perfect trust illumines mercy, hope and gratitude. For you O’God are worthy of our purest love, our deepest worship and our genuine submission.
You are worthy of glory in the highest order; for you are holy and all things lay in the depths beneath you. You O’LORD hold reign over every circumstance. Every step of man and spirit is ordained by you, either for blessing or for curse.
Even rebellion entails permission, though severe judgment is assured. What man thinks is in his hands, under his foot and in his preview, is only a dream without substance. But those who trust in God hold in gentle grasp on what belongs to him.
For even though a man may proclaim himself to be the measure of all things, he is but dust; whose soul will decay forever. For worthless men do not know the Lord and have no desire to.
They make no search for what they do not want to find. They ignore the customs and decorum’s of heaven and earth. They take what does not belong to them and threaten violence if their demands are resisted.
They do whatever pleases them, and live in contempt of what ought to be esteemed. The blood upon their hands and vestments is unrighteous blood, for they make war against the hallowed with tributes that are profane and disgraceful.
But the robes of the pure in heart are cleansed in the righteous blood of salvation. Their sacrifices are holy and honorable. For God Almighty blesses his beloved and the hearth of their homes are filled with peace.
They delight in his steadfast love and see his scepter of justice enact his wrath. They ponder the ways that are blameless before God and strive to walk with integrity.
Confession: Each one, openly confesses and proclaims: “I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I will be careful to live a blameless life. I will rightly hate the works of those who fall away; and will have no part of it. It will not cling to me in any way. A perverse heart shall be far from me and I will have nothing to do with what is evil.”
Thanksgiving: A life of thankfulness outweighs ten thousand words. Silent obedience makes shouts of gratitude, as a whisper.
O’LORD God, hear then the pleadings of the heart which you have shaped anew. Our minds are open before you, and you alone know us fully.
Supplication: Father in heaven, may we always pray in a manner that honors you. May they be in the shape and sound of truth. May your name be hallowed and your will be sought in our every request. May your Kingdom come and your will be done.
Give us our daily needs and forgive us our sins as we forgive others theirs. Lead us away from temptations’ and protect us from the Evil-One. We ask as your people whom you have formed for your glory in Christ forever, amen. †

01-30-2022 #159—1 Samuel 3:1-21 “Heeding the Lord’s Call”
Adoration: LORD God our Father—Good Shepherd—Eternal Spirit our helper: Your written Word O’God is the call. Moving within and without, it is spoken to the world, yet only the chosen discern it, and capture what has happened.
Your true good-word brings bounty; for it is forthright, simple, and clear. It is the only call to life. It commands all of us to repent and place our confidence in you alone. For to whom Lord, would we go, when you alone have the words of eternal life? Yet, to the obstinate, who fight out of prideful hearts, your word is an edict of judgment—that is rightly earned.
But in the child-hearts of both young and old, whom you come to stand with, you have done great things. You have opened their eyes to see your beauty, their ears to hear your melodies and their hearts to settle from war. So, they turn from the battle of discord, lay down their arms, and fight no more.
And in the melodious strain of righteousness, you carry out judgment on those who have despised you from the start. For though you are all around them if they would but perceive, they have made their gods to approve of their ways. For who stops to listen to a refrain they hate and words they abhor?
So, as destinies are set, you call your servants from morning to evening, some two times and others three. Even amid a violent storm you pursue your own with repeated tenderness. Your lamp, lights the path for all who walk it.
So, though all know about you, not all souls yield to you. They know they are guilty and that it will not be removed. So, they suppress its troublesome presence, and say to themselves, “Surely, we will not die. God will not destroy us if we are mistaken.”
But not so the servants of God. For in the temple of the Lord and he rouses them, calling them from their sleep to give them understanding and knowledge the world distains. It is not a weak call they follow but a strong command that they embrace with joy.
It is to arise and proclaim the Word of God. To be a simple prophet, saying that, “the lord and the word of the Lord are inseparable, they are certain and true. The Lion has roared, who will not fear? The Lord has spoken…so we shall speak truthfully, and fear no one who ignores the limits of their knowledge.”
Confession: Our confession is this: “The word is near us; it is in our mouths and in our hearts. It is the word of trust that we proclaim.
For if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord and believe in our hearts that God raised him from the dead, we will be saved.
For with the heart, one believes what is true and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses Christ and is saved.” For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame. For he is One Lord over all, bestowing his riches on all who call upon him.”
Thanksgiving: It is for all this and more, that our hearts are always grateful. Our thankfulness is ever before you.
Supplication: Lord, you have spoken and your servants have heard. May we never fear to tell of all that you have done.
May none of your Words ever fall to the ground but reveal you to heart and mind in Christ, amen. †

02-20-2022 #160—1 Samuel 4-5
Adoration: LORD God of hosts, the armies of heaven stand ready to march; to swarm across the earth and destroy every stronghold. They are loyal, every-one; yet with man, it is not so. If you are with him, one man against a thousand is enough.
For you are like a great fire that engulfs his enemies. He goes out to battle, but the victory is in your hands. When your people humble themselves, you prove your steadfast love.
But if they have no regard for you, whatever they fight, will defeat them. On the field of battle, they will fall, and their prideful banners will burn. Then they will cry out, “Why O’God—why do you not save us from our enemies?” Their downfall is your response, and your silence O’LORD will shock them; for their lives are shallow, and their hearts have turned inward.
They have feigned obedience and become dispassionate in their duties. But you O’God, are worthy of only true love. Yet, they exchanged their love, their faith in you, to trust in schemes and artifacts. They disregarded the One who ordains the outcome, to call upon the power of relics.
Though you have clearly spoken O’God, a fool’s heart is deaf. You have given fair and perfect commands, but the arrogant make their own plans. They plot and organize, but their strategies come to naught.
They trust in their own cleverness, for their conceit has no bounds. Because they have not believed, the enemies’ dark-and-sinister courage—rises. He boldly breaks through to capture, slaughter and destroy.
Yet, where the enemy has lifted-up his false gods, the one-true God, will decimate and dismember it. Where the enemy boasts of his victories the one-true God will strike him mute, deaf, and blind. So, if he becomes courageous in evil, the people of the one-true God, will be twice as courageous for good.
And, to his wayward, disobedient-and-contrary people, God holds out his hands. For unless the Lord builds the house, those who build it, labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in
vain. It is in vain that many rise-up early and go-late to rest—and eat the bread of their anxious toil.
They have failed to grasp what is soon to come? For the Kings of the earth, will shut their mouths because of him. What has-not been told to them, they will see, and what they have-not heard, they will understand?
Having the true God, ought not those whom he looks over—trust in him and wait upon him? Ought they not be humble, faithful, and obedient? Ought they not pursue wisdom? How many O’Lord act the role, to have you in their quiver. How many O’God disregard your word—to do what seems right to them?
How many will say on that day: “Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy, cast our demons, and do mighty works in your name? And you shall declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’ But God gives to his beloved sleep; and they do what is in their Shepheard’s heart. Night and day, they fear nothing, but his displeasure.
Confession: So, the true-in-heart profess their love. They obey, trust and joyfully bow down. When they sin, and in sorrow confess, their LORD is faithful to forgive them and restore them fully.
Having now new hearts, we confess to you Father, that we still wander and fall short daily—yet daily, you bring us back, feed us, hedge us in, and show us your great love.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Lord, for watching over us. You discipline us, find us where we hide and comfort us in our distress. You have overwhelmed our adversary and crushed his head.
The line is drawn and we will stand as you have place us. Now and forever—our gratitude is boundless.
Supplication: We ask Father, please deliver us from the Evil-One and crush all arrogance within our own hearts.
Remind us daily, that it is you who go before us; that we have been forgiven in Christ, and must also forgive.
May your commands be our desires—one in the same. And may your will be done on earth through Christ as it is in heaven, amen. †

02-27-2022 #161—Sermon Passage: Titus 3:4-7 “Grace Alone”
Adoration: God, Almighty Father—Christ our Savior—Holy Spirit, reformer of our souls, before the ages began, you promised grace in mercy, justice in truth and beauty in righteousness.
By your trustful Word, you have blessed us with knowledge of the truth. You have created faith within us, that our trust in you would be manifest. It is clear to us, that no-one deserves such gifts.
Your Word O’God affords to us transcendence, purity, and the hope of eternal life. You command: “Put in order what remains,” and so, our course is set. Though even more so, for the leaders you give us, we also will be above reproof.
For whom you save, you also mold into a blameless vessel and a steward of virtue. As such, we will be faithful, true, and devoted to our spouse and children. That by receiving such great virtue, they will desire to be virtuous.
Therefore, cowardice, dishonesty and disobedience will leave our hearts. Arrogance, unjust-anger, greed, and the love of violence, will fall away to humility, self-control, moderation and courage. In all things, be our strength O’LORD.
Holding firm to your reliable word, we love-now sound doctrine, and stand firm against whomever-or-whatever denies it. For you are God, the one who watches over us—and we shall do what you command.
If we are your obedient children, we will not conform to the passions of our former ignorance. But shall be holy in all our conduct, for you who have called us to yourself, are holy. Our thoughts, words and deeds belong our God.
And you implore us, “beware,” for many who claim to love you, are frauds who think wickedly of others. They offer the empty words of their still-stone-hearts, for they are devoted to deception. Nothing is pure in a ruined and unbelieving soul.
They profess to know God, but deny him by their works. They are in fact, unfit for any good works. Their minds and their consciences suffer from corrupted. Yet, the pure in heart, those whom God has redeemed and adorned in Christ, are delivered from ruin.
Confession: So, this is our confession: We are saved by the goodness and loving kindness of God our Savior; not because of our works of righteousness, but because of his great love and mercy. It is the Holy Spirit himself, who has washed us.
He has cleansed us in Christ to stand beautiful before the thrown of God. We have been justified by his grace and so, have inherited the eternal life, which only he provides.
Thanksgiving: Thanks be to God on high, to Christ our Savior and to God the Holy Spirit. We give you thanks O’LORD. You are trustworthy and good and your love endures forever. Our hearts overflow with thankfulness, which the world cannot know.
We know full well, that every good and perfect gift, comes down to us from above. For you are our Father, the Father of lights, with whom there is no deviation or shadow of change.
Supplication: LORD, now we pray, help us to know you better. Enhance our minds with even more knowledge of you. Make our roots grow-down-deep into you. Hedge us in and cause our lives to be built solely upon you.
Help our faith to grow strong in the truth of you. Make and keep our hearts entangled-up with yours. Reassure our souls and perfect our thinking. Increase our love and our trust in you through Christ alone, amen. †

03-13-2022 #162—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 7 “Repentance and Grace”
Adoration: O’Lord God, High king of heaven, Shepherd of the house of Christ, you are One—we are yours. We do and shall love you, with all of our heart, all of our soul and all of our mind. Your saving words are written upon our hearts. We shall tenderly teach them to our children—talk of them in our homes and on the path as we walk.
When we lie down at evening and rise-up at morning, your word will be on our thoughts and in our bones; for you shape every vessel in which you dwell. Like strings upon our fingers, we will bind your word to us, and attend to it carefully. We will write it on the gates and doorposts of our homes.
Receiving all gifts from above, we’ll ne’er forget who gives them. May the awe and songs of souls, fill the heavens above. For you alone are due honor, glory, and worship. You alone are God; the God of great glory, majesty, and power. We cannot but bend our knees, and bow our heads in utter esteem.
Yet, your enemies, even though you have been good to them, give honor to nothing. They make themselves as chaff on the threshing floor. So, you thunder with a mighty sound and drive them into madness. You subdue and strike them down. You burn them to ash, like the grass of the fields.
Your anger is kindled against those who deal with you falsely. You declare to them: “Go and cry out to the gods whom you have chosen; let them save you in your time of distress.”
Yet, by grace, you save whom you will. You place a Stone in their midst as a witness to them; it is one of peace and forgiveness. It is a Stone of remembrance that cannot be moved.
In the same way, your mercy and grace are before us; you will not remove it. You make us into an alter wherever we go. For you are a jealous and holy God, and there will be no god’s before you.
They were our shame, but with joy, we have cast them out. The old ways no longer guide us. For out of death, and by your decree, you deliver us from our delusions; your wrath is stayed. You have awakened our souls from their sleep, and set us on a narrow path. Out of the house of slavery, a new home has arisen.
Confession: Hear then our confession O’King of glory: Our sins were egregious; we were blind to them. Though now justified, we struggle; for they are ever before us. Yet by faith and repentance, our resistance advances. For you O’Lord, restore what is fallen.
All whom believe, and as you choose, rise-up to walk. By grace, you have given faith to the faithless; the virtues of trust and truth. So, we shall lament
no more—our weeping has stilled. What is yours, is redeemed. Whom then we shall serve? You assure us of our standing—and into the battle, we go.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for your saving graces O’Lord. You could have abandoned us to the dismal depths of sin, but you did not. You could have left us to ourselves, but you chose not.
Though our hearts were hard and our thoughts were dire, you showed us mercy and grace. Our souls are ever thankful, O’Lamb of God.
Supplication: We pray now, help us to walk as hallowed, for you have set us apart. Keep us ever diligent, focused on your word, wise to think carefully and humble to follow your directives.
Give us wisdom and patience to wait upon you. Help us to serve Christ in all that we think, say and do. For his sake and ours we pray, amen. †

03-20-2022 #163—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 8 “Give us Tyranny”
Adoration: O’Lord our God, you are great, and have blessed our souls forever. Your magnificence is beyond description, for you are enclothed in purest light.
The heavens, like a tent stretched-out across the skies, are a preview of your majesty. In brilliant array, the beams of your chambers are laid out upon the waters. You ride upon the wings of the wind, and make the clouds your chariot.
It is you who have set the earth on its foundations, so that it should never be moved. It is you who destroy, and you who renew the face of the ground. It is you who covered it with deep waters like a garment rising high above the mountains.
You commanded the deep with your voice of thunder, and the waters fled away. You set their boundaries, which cannot be crossed. And the mountains rose and the valleys sank to the places you assigned for them.
You made the springs rush forth to flow between them, and give drink to every man and animal. The birds of the heavens dwell beside them and sing
their songs of joy, as you taught them. You cause the grass to grow and you bring forth food from the earth. You give man wine to gladden his heart, oil to make his face shine and bread to strengthen him.
You planted the cedars and the fir trees of Lebanon where the stork and sparrow build their nests. You made the moon to mark the seasons and the sun to rise and set in perfect rhythm. You gave the darkness of night, so the beasts of the forest can steal about.
The young lions roar and stalk the prey you have placed before them. When the sun rises, they go back to their dens to rest. And man goes out to do his work until the evening; he moves across the earth to subdue it, and every creature fears him.
O Lord, in wisdom, you have you created all things; your works are all-embracing. Every living thing, both great and small, depend on you to feed them. When you open your hand, they are filled with good things. When you hide your face, they are dismayed.
When you take away their breath, they die and return to the dust. You look upon the earth and it trembles. You touch the mountains and they smoke. For you are not a King who takes what is not yours already. You do not need man to serve you, as though you were in want. All the earth and all its beauty, is yours. Yet in his rebellion, man’s sin has diminished and tarnished it all.
He has blinded himself and made his heart a source of madness. He has rejected your glory, for the fleeting vapors of the world. You make him a judge for righteous sake; but in wickedness, he perverts justice and does what ought-not be done. He deceives and insults the innocent and pure of heart. In his corruption and love of profit, he takes what is not his.
Confession: We confess O’God, how much like them, we are. We are prone to want worthless things, and to reject you for the slightest reason.
We confess our erratic ways and our need to repent.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Lord for being long suffering. Thank you for loving us in our foolishness and saving us, even during our acts of rebellion and of discarding what is precious, beautiful and true.
Supplication: We pray O’LORD, may you rejoice in your works, and in those who love you. May all our ways be pleasing to you.
May we choose your glory over that of the world; and rejoice in you forever. Glory to God on high and Jesus Christ our Lord, amen. †

04-10-2022 #164—Sermon Passage: Matt. 21:1-11
Adoration: O’Lord, Messiah, King of Jerusalem—King of heaven and earth, King of all creation—Humble Conqueror—Liberator of your people.
A voice has cried out in the wilderness, “Prepare the way of the Lord; make straight his way in the desert. Every valley shall be lifted-up, and every mountain and hill, made low. The uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places—smooth. The Lord has spoken and revealed his glory; it is hidden from no one.”
And the word became flesh, and dwelt in our presence. He stirs the waters in the “House of Mercy” and makes the springs of Gihon flow into the city. He enters through its gates, upon the foal of a donkey—a beast of burden.
As the Prophets have said: “Great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our God! His holy mountain stands high and beautiful. It is the joy of all the earth. Within her strongholds, God has made himself known as a fortress. Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Has it not been told to you from the beginning? Have you not heard? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the world; its inhabitants are like grasshoppers.
It is he who stretched out the heavens like a curtain—like a tent to dwell in. It is he who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth fall like chaff. In him, the LORD has declared comfort to his people, their warfare has ended. Their iniquity, though great, is pardoned by the hand of the Lord.
This Jesus of Nazareth, is the long-awaited promise of God. Expect no other; let no one deceive you—it is he. So, let us then spread out our
cloaks—our prayer shawls upon the road; for the promised Messiah has come.
He has traveled far from his home. Cover his path with green palms, for he is worthy. Let them quell the dust—our High Priest has come; the fruit of the palm has ripened.
Praise, honor, and glory belong to him, for he is the Lord-of-lords and King-of-kings…and there is no other. Rejoice and celebrate his victory. All the earth be glad, and sing a new song to the LORD. He is good and all that he does is good.
Confession: Listen to him O’stubborn of heart, confess you sins and repent. For all flesh is grass, and its beauty is like the flower of the field. When the breath of the Lord blows on it, the grass withers, and the flower fades; but his word stands forever.
Behold, the Lord God comes with power, and his reward is with him. As a shepherd he tends his flock, and gathers his lambs to his bosom.
Thanksgiving: Thanks, and praise be to our God. All the nations are empty and less than nothing before him. For he alone restrained the waters in the hollow of his hand and he alone marked off the heavens with a span. He enclosed the dust of the earth to give it its portion.
He set the hills in balance and weighed the mountains on a scale. So, who can measure the Spirit of the LORD, or advise him on how to proceed? Give him praise and thanks O’man, for Justice, knowledge and understanding belong to him.
Supplication: Lift up now your eyes on high, and see. Make your requests known to him who creates, names, and upholds all things. Not one thing is out of place. He does not faint or grow tired; but gives strength to the weary.
He does not require works to balance the scale, but alone sets it right. All who wait upon him are renewed, and he sends his messiah, our savior, to gather his little ones. Lay out your life before him and worship him forever, amen. †

04-22-2022 #165—Exodus 34:5-7 “Christ Alone”
Adoration: LORD God, this day and forevermore, we praise your holy name. From the rising of the sun to its setting, we praise you. You have made known your name and declared your righteousness to all creation. For you O’God are the LORD, sitting high above heaven and earth.
From far above, and from deep within, you examine all the nations and the evil works of man. Yet you are gracious to him and slow to anger. Even in his wandering dullness, you preserve him for your glory.
Who is like you O’LORD? You proclaim your name. You descend in the clouds and stand by your servants. You reveal yourself so that all the earth may know, that you alone are God; LORD of lords and KING of kings. You prove daily to be merciful and gracious. You stay your wrath and your steadfast love abounds in faithfulness.
For iniquities, transgressions and sins, your love stands firm upon the precipice of ruin; as your forgiveness envelops your own. Yet by no means will you justify the obstinate. Upon those who ignore their guilt, deny their shame and hate your name, you will pour out your wrath, and so too, on their children and their children’s children, for generations.
So, who is like the LORD our God? You exact mercy and justice to the praise of your people. You raise the poor from out of the dust. You lift the needy from the ashes and exalt them. You bless the one whose transgression and sin is forgiven. Blessed is he against whom you count no evil, in whose spirit no deceit is found.
To all creation, O’God, we proclaim, your beauty and righteousness; for if we did not, our bones would waste away and our souls would groan in agony. All that is in us gives way to the praise of you name. Forgiveness, glory, and honor reside in you only; for you alone are the way, the truth and the life.
Confession: While upon this earth, we will always confess and acknowledged our sins before you. Our iniquities are not hidden from your sight and your forgiveness is esteemed in awe and wonder. So, let all who are godly appeal to you while they may.
For to them, you have stayed the rush of great waters coming to engulf the wicked. To your own, you are a hiding place. You preserve us in times of trouble; and surround us with shouts of deliverance. You instruct and teach us in the way we should go. You counsel us to give us understanding, so we are not like mules—restrained by the bit and bridle.
Thanksgiving: We are thankful O’God, and greatly desire to always stay near to you. Our sorrows are mixed with joy and you have blessed us in the midst the wicked. We thank you with every breath, that we are not our own, forging ourselves to greatness or obscurity.
But in all things belong to you O’Lord our savior, who forged us from the dust and gave twice the breath of life. Your steadfast love surrounds us; we will trust in you alone.
Supplication: Now Father—Lord Savior—Spirit Divine: Give to us your blessings in ways that glorify you and honor your name. Give to us all that we ask which pleases you to give.
May our hearts burn and rise in sweet aroma to your thrown. May Christ be glorified in us, and may darkness flee from his presence. In Christ we pray amen. †

05-08-2022 #166—Sermon Passage: Deuteronomy 4:1-14 “Mother’s Day”
Adoration: O’LORD God, you have only begun to show us your greatness and the power of your mighty hand. For who is like you in either heaven or earth? Who can do such mighty works as you? In power, love and wisdom, you create, preserved and destroy. You decree it, and it is so; our eyes have seen it all.
Though you destroy as you determine, you preserve those whom you love and who love you. We love, because you first loved us. Your perfect love removes all fear of punishment. Whoever fears, does not know perfect love.
If we love you O’LORD, we will listen and do all that you teach and command. We shall live and our worries shall fade into shadows. For your
ways are merciful—your statutes are beautiful, good and true. We shall not add to or take away from them.
We hold fast to your every promise—for you O’Lord, are the promise. Every good and perfect gift comes down to us from you. For you are not like man, who is capricious and lies to suit his needs. You do what you say you will, without variation or shadow of change. Your integrity comforts us. And you are never far from us—you keep yourself near.
Out of the midst of the fire—your formless beauty in a voice, declares your covenant to us. Yesterday, today, and forever are in your hands, so we cannot fail. We will take care, with diligent souls; to never forget the things our eyes have seen, our ears have heard and our minds have known.
Through all our days, your word shall never depart from us. In great and fearful reverence, we will keep them and make them known to our children—and to our children’s children. That by your will and our faithfulness, they will learn to honor you—and their little-ones to praise your holy name.
With our fathers and mothers true to us—or not, motherly teaching is wisdom; it is precious and true. For she says, “Hear children, heed my advice. Desiring only happiness, the foolish follow where the heart leads; for it wants what it wants. Yet, the heart is desperately wicked. It is deceitful above all things and cannot be fully understood.
But if you trust in the Lord our God, he will bless you. He is the one who searches the heart and knows the mind. He is the one who tests us according to our ways and according to our thoughts, words, and deeds.
For every word of God proves true; he is a shield to those who take refuge in him—this, is a matter of life and death. So, in all your ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct your path.
Do not be anxious from desire, and do not give your strength and beauty to a fool. For such, is to be carefully preserved before God. Embrace moderation and cherish honesty and hard work in everything you do… For what you obtained too easily, you will esteem too lightly.
Confession: Confess all your sins and transgressions against the one true God. Ask him for mercy, forgiveness, and cleansing—and he will be faithful
to forgive you and restore you. For he delights in truth in the inward being, and he will teach you wisdom in the secret heart. And the bones that he has broken, will rejoice.
But if you say you have no sin, you deceive yourself, and the truth is not in you. For God will never despise a broken spirit. A broken and contrite heart—he will honor.
Thanksgiving: Give now thanks to the lord from the depths of your being, and he will uphold you with a willing Spirit. Sing aloud of his righteousness and praise him for his mighty works. Thank him for his kindness, day, and night.
Supplication: Ask God humbly for your every desire; yet, long more that his good will for you, be done. For it is he who formed you in your mother’s womb. It is he who knits together from ancient times, both body and soul, out of his own breath of life.
It is he who spoke and the universe leapt into existence. He will sort things out and restore everything in righteousness—to his glory.” Praise be to God our Father—Son and Holy Spirit—forever and ever, amen. †

05-15-2022 #167—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 9-10
Adoration: O’Lord God, our Father—Redeemer and Consoler, how great you are, and how wonderful your ways. You ordain all events for the goodness of your people. According to your knowledge and steadfast will, you govern all things.
Your wisdom, power, mercy, and justice, cover the universe. To the praise of your glory and goodness, your providential care always shows true. Nothing lacks in purpose; for you shape and draw out the path of all things.
In your infinite righteousness, you preside over all creatures and events—nothing escapes your eye. From the greatest to the least, the beginning—to the end, all is in the weave of your tapestry.
Though sin disfigures and diminishes the soul, you have determined its substance, its being—is set. Out of evil you bring good to frustrate its resolve. In flawless wisdom, beauty and power, everything yields—everything outside, melts to wax.
Through Prophets, Priests, and Kings, you have made known your word, so that man can see the way he should go. You rush upon hearts and they are changed. You quell their resistance and save them from your wrath. You turn ugly rebellion into yielding beauty.
Your love, mercy and wrath are all magnificent to the redeemed. Still, others you pass over, and leave them to their own way; for they have stirred themselves to ruin. Though you deliver multitudes from oppression, calamity and distress, many will not believe, but will reject your provisions and make their demands.
For only the foolish say in their hearts “there is no God.” They look upon creation, but see no further. Their resolve is willful and their hearts are shallow. They use only the book of the dead to guide them; for the worthless despise God and all he has ordained. Like their father, they lie, murder and destroy.
Without wisdom, knowledge or righteousness they ridicule those who are greater than themselves. God, Holy and Righteous, has not given them permission to sin; for sinful acts arise only out of the hearts of angles and men. Yet in wisdom and power, he holds them to their demands as a judgment.
So, until the end of all things they feed on the darkness, despair, and havoc of their ways. For the Angle of God has said: “Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.”
Confession: O’Lord-our God, we confess, repent and rejoice in what you have made of us. For we had lived in contempt of you, despised you and proudly thought: “How can this man save us?” We have been rightly chastised, and now humbly dismayed; for you have saved us from out of our pit.
All of our delusions have faded too naught; never again to reject your great love and kindness. Even now you refine us; you remove the dross from our ways and cleanse us from all that corrupts. You have made the disgraceful, depraved and impenitent—remorseful, righteous and honorable.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for all you have done. Thank you that your almighty power, unsearchable wisdom, and infinite goodness are so thoroughly demonstrated in your providence, that the sinful actions of both men and angels cannot alter your sovereign plan.
Supplication: Father now we ask, deliver your family from the besetting kingdoms of the world; from those who call evil-good and good-evil. Help us to discern every ploy of the Evil-One moving in the hearts of men.
Let us never mistake the dark for light or the bitter for sweet. Come now merciful Lord, gather up your fellowship and bring down your recompense. We ask all things in Christ, amen. †

05-22-2022 #168—Sermon Passage: 2 Cor. 4:1-18
Adoration: Father in heaven, creator, and lover of our souls. In the face of our Lord, is knowledge of you. In the Spirit-of-Mercy, you are gracious to your children. You show us compassion throughout the torrents of our sorrows.
Your Word encourages us, so we shall not lose heart. Even as the malice of the world rejects you and us in its midst, your firm foundation holds strong around us. For amidst all this fallenness, you are shaping a new creation, and it aches to come forward—to envelop the darkness.
So, neither money, approval or power motivates our service to you; for we are impoverished, despised and meek. As the sun rises and sets, our bodies wither down, but our souls grow stronger and more robust. For in beauty, power and truth, your word enriches us.
We shall not weaken, compromise, or diminish it. It shall not lack in its flavor—bitter to some and sweet to others. You have not cheapened the cost of righteousness and nor shall we.
Still, many refuse to believe. Their god—the shadow of the world, blinds and makes deaf the unbelieving soul. So, they turn away from the light of the gospel—of the glory of Christ, who is the very image of God. They offer up no resistance to their Captor, but join with him—and perish.
What we proclaim is not from the imagination but from the One who said “Let there be light,” and the darkness fled. He has done the same thing within us. And this light is Christ, who has made us his servants.
It is the light of the knowledge of God’s glory, in the face and life of Jesus Christ. So, this is the treasure we hold and yet give away; for it is God’s treasure and he gives it as he pleases.
Though we may be stricken, mystified, mistreated, and put to death, we are never crushed, we are never hopeless, we are never desolate and we are never destroyed. For the Lord himself raised us up and shall do so again. We speak what we believe because it is proven and trustworthy, and we do not lose heart, for we sit with Christ at the side of the Father.
Confession: Still, we confess O’Lord our present weakness. The strength of our lives is not in our bodies—for they are withering grass and falling flowers, nor is it in any other fleeting thing, for the souls of the elect, unseen-and-eternal, you hold close. So, our trust in you is our confession; we need no other comfort.
Thanksgiving: Our thankfulness—is the banner of our camp. In all circumstances we give you thanks. That your will in Christ Jesus be done, is the cause of our gratefulness.
For you in him are our strength and shield; our help and the source of our trust. So, in prayer, praise, and proclamation, we give the thanks of grateful hearts.
Supplication: Give us now, we pray, even more sufficient trust. Bring us daily an insight into the weight of your glory, that we may show true every word you have written upon our hearts. Help us to maneuver throughout this broken world. Guide us in the way we should go and protect us from the assaults of the evil one.
And may the light that you have created in us, dispel the darkness, and the salt you have given to us flavor the bitterness. We do not desire any other glory than that of Christ.
For the Spirit you have given us, glorifies him, and in him you are glorified. In Christ and for his sake, we pray, amen. †

05-29-2022 #169—Sermon Passage: Psalm 127:1-5 “Unless the Lord…”
Adoration: Father almighty, Savior, and Spirit of fellowship, you have built your house—the house of God and the people of God. The city you have built is yours to cover-over and care for. You shepherd your beloved, give them sleep in your presence and clam their restless souls.
For you O’God in Christ, have created all things in heaven and earth, whether visible or invisible. No ruler or authority can stand apart from your sufferance; for all things are created through you, by you, and for you.
You are in heaven—you do as you please—you always do good. Even as you endure the evils of man and give him over to himself, your goodness and mercy come down from above. It flows over all the earth.
The world and all that is in it, belongs to you. From before our salvation, you keep watch. And in the hour you have set, you move—you renew and you restore.
So, from the valleys, we lift-up our eyes to the hills and see from where comes our help. It is from our LORD, maker of heaven and earth. You O’Lord, will not let us fall, for you watch over us day and night. You are our keeper and your right-hand shades us from the burning sun.
By grace, you keep us from our own evil. We cannot wander far. In our going out and our coming in, you keep us. Many are the plans of our hearts, but it is your purpose that always prevails. Even what will happen tomorrow, is a mystery to us.
For what are our lives? We are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. So, in everything we will take comfort. If it is your will, we shall live
and do what seems best; but if not, we shall lean upon your grace. For from all eternity your love has set our path.
You have fixed your glory above the heavens. You have revealed your majesty through the weak. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you establish strength to still the enemy. Come what may, we will declare your mighty acts and righteous deeds.
So, let the heavens rejoice, let the earth be glad; let everyone know and proclaim that the Lord—our God, reigns. And he is worthy to receive all glory—honor and power. For it is he who created all things—by his power they were created and in him alone—they have their being.
Thus, even the children you have given us, will stand with us against the enemy. For you O’Lord have made it clear, that the fight is not ours alone. Without you, we are lost, but with you, even death is finished-evermore. From those you have adorned in grace, you remove disgrace and sorrow.
You wipe away the tears from every shinning face. Now and in that day, we sing: “This is our God—our Lord in whom we have trusted. He proves himself forever and saved us in his glory; rejoice in his salvation.”
Confession: We confess our sins O’God and our trust in your mercy. We confess our dependance upon you and your kindness to us. Our confessions strengthen our resolve to love and obey.
Thanksgiving: So, as we look about to our circumstances, we are thankful moment-by-moment and day-by-day. You have given us what we cannot afford. Our hearts are content in your care.
Supplication: We ask now for the sake of Christ, help us to endure in our sorrows, and to suffer well the insults, hardships, and misfortunes of a fallen world. May your strength be magnified in our weakness. May we persevere in Christ alone, amen. †

06-12-2022 #170—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 11-12
Adoration: Lord God, our Father—Redeemer and Comforter: you are Eternal—Immortal and Invisible. You alone are God—living and true—perfect and unchangeable. Life and truth reside in you and so, all who are in you.
There is no god before you and none to ever arise. For you are the One who is high and lifted-up, who inhabits the eternal realms and whose name is Holy; God Almighty—Father—Son and Spirit.
You have told us clearly, that you dwell in the high and holy place. Your army—the hosts of heaven, with those of contrite and humble spirit, dwell with you. For you restore the spirit of the lowly, and embrace the penitent heart.
You will not contend with some-men forever, nor will you always be angry with them. For you know their spirit—and the breath of life which you have made, would grow faint within them.
So, you make peace with those who are far away and with those who are near. You break the bones of the chosen, yet you heal them—and make them immortal.
But not so with the wicked, for they are like the tossing sea that will not be quieted. Its waters heave-up the muck and mire to cover the land that you have made. For the wicked do not want peace—nor shall peace be given to them. They have their god—the king of the pit. The yoke they wear—they have placed upon themselves. It holds them close to what they love.
So, we shall heed your warnings O’God, to not make a treaty with the them when we lack courage or have no insight. Our lives O’LORD are in your hands. You have warned us saying: “Those who give themselves to the enemy—become like them. For if you capitulate, if you yield even one step, sit at their table or wink at their idols, their ways, like mud—will capture your feet.
For their god greatly desires to turn-you at the core—to have the soul that I have made; and to disgrace Me through you. They desire to break through the thicket—which separates us-from-them.
So, do not weep but kindle a righteous anger. Do not be afraid or tremble before them, nor embrace their ways for the sake of peace. For the Lord your God, the only true KING, goes with you and will not fail or forsake you.
Therefore, be on the alert, for I am that I am is your hammer and your weapon of war. I am the One who saves and I am the One who destroys. So, bring up strength and courage from the depths of your souls which I have made and which I have shaped. Let your ways be courageous. Be watchful—stand firm—hold fast and trust me.”
Confession: Hear now O’ LORD our confession of repentance, you are the Witness against us. We have forsaken you, sinned against you, been dishonorable and lifted-up, corrupt kings and immoral rulers. For we are yet prone to be aimless and imprudent. Though in our distress we have turned-back to you.
We confess now O’LORD our reliance upon you. May our confession, repentance and obedience be as one thing in proof of love. For if we profess every godly-truth but that one-thing that the world hates, our confession in Christ is false.
If we flinch at that one-small-point, everything falls asunder. Our loyalty is no longer confirmed, and our flight from the battle enfolds us into the world to prove our departure.
Thanksgiving: We are so thankful to you Father. Because of your love and kindness to us, we shall not be put to death. To our great rejoicing, you have worked salvation in us. We are grateful that for your name’s sake, you have made a people that you will not disown.
We thank you for your justice and your mercy; and that you will come with vengeance and recompense—and to save your own, all for glory of your name.
Supplication: We pray now Father, instruct us daily in the good and right way, remembering all that you have done—that we should never forget to
praise you. May our respect, reverence, and awe of you—prove true by our service and trust in you.
And may the wicked be swept away with their kings. For where the battle rages, there the loyalty of the soldier is proven. So, help us to be steady on all the battlefield; that we may be solid on all fronts; and courageous in Christ—who goes before us and stands behind us. In all things, help us to be true. In the almighty name of Christ we pray, amen. †

06-19-2022 #171—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 12:15-25
Adoration: O’Father our God, Lord of heaven and earth, Creator and Sustainer of the universe and all that is in it: glory and honor and power be to your name now and forever.
You are our Father and our God and have given us one-Lord and one-Savior—Jesus Christ; through whom we exist, and in whom we live and have our salvation. You are worthy O’Lord. You alone are holy. Who will not fear you and glorify your name? …Only the fool in his heart…
For if we do not exalt you, if we are ambivalent to your commands and neither serve nor obey your word, we will have silenced your voice in the noise of our rebellion. What we think will go well for us, will not. For your hand will be against us and against our leaders whom we have chosen.
There is great wickedness but it has no power like the wrath of God—which rips asunder every element, every high-place, and every throne. Before the eyes of rebels O’God, you send mayhem—unrest and ruin so they may see that it is you and not them, who is the measure of all things. You sweep the worthless and their empty rituals into the void.
So, we lift up the great things that you have done for us O’LORD. And if our hearts are contrite, even though we have added to our sins, if we cry out to you for mercy, turn to you and aside from our ways—you are faithful to forgive us, and to be our God.
For we are the clay, and you are the potter. We are the work of your hands and from your holy dwelling, you surround us with peace, hope and
kindness. Father to the fatherless and Protector of abandoned souls, you have shown us compassion and made us into the brood of your kingdom.
Confession: So, we will not fear to confess our sinful weakness, but shall strive to daily reform. We know we cannot justify our failures, nor restore our own brokenness with meaningless works. Nor can we afford your salvation or give you some recompense for your mercy.
Thanksgiving: Yet, in our daily gratitude, in our words, deeds and thoughts, we will give thanks for all circumstances which come by your will in Christ Jesus. We are in your care and are content in you O’Lord, and that your holy name and nurture rests upon us.
You have overwhelmed us with your surpassing grace. May our thanksgiving be an offering of tender hearts which you have tempered; for you are good and your steadfast love endures forever. So, we will not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer, supplication, and thanksgiving, make our requests known to you, O’God.
Supplication: We pray, strengthen us, that we will serve you with all our heart, mind and soul. Keep us vigilant to never turn aside at any point or threat of peril.
Keep your great name upon our heads to prove to the world, that you have made us for yourself, a people like you, who will not compromise. Help our unbelief fade into naught and embolden our compassion for others.
May we serve you faithfully, always considering the great things you have done for us. Sweep away the wickedness of our hearts as we praise you this day and, evermore in Christ, amen. †

06-26-2022 #172—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 13 “The Danger of Self-Importance”
Adoration: O’LORD our God, how can we grasp the weight your goodness or the depths of your kindness. Our understanding is shallow and our hearts are encumbered. We are vapor and dust.
That we speak and you hear us, that you know our minds and hearts as they are, is all beyond our comprehension. That you are merciful to us and
give us the good and right way, is a delight to our souls. Your light illuminates our minds so we may know you better.
Your Word restores creation that man has diminished and ruined. You set an eternal course for us. It is a path we cannot fathom and a journey beyond our reckoning. Everything the redeemed heart desires, is found in you.
For you are Holy, and though we were hopeless, you gave yourself to us as a treasure we cannot hide. You join with us and our confusion lifts to clarity; our misery and sorrow fade to joy. Our brief—momentary lives ascend into permanent—everlasting substance.
We are no longer what we were, nor yet, what we shall be. To keep your commands O’LORD is a sweet obedience. It is to meld within you and know you with gentle and lowly heart. You are the rest and ease of our souls. Your word surrounds and stands before us, so we will fear no man or angle.
For men dread other men when they do not fear God. In his pride he thinks himself the only measure of power, and that whatever he chooses will stand unopposed. He has not considered the danger of his ways, for everything he holds dissolves into mist.
And though the enemy assemble their forces against us, our retort is this: “There is but one God and no other. Heaven and earth are his and every man is a vassal who owns nothing but his sin.” For God alone shapes or leaves alone the hearts of men. It is an impenetrable mystery.
Confession: Our confession then O’ Lord is of you. For you have loved us and formed our being. You have saved us from wrath deserved. We know how—by Jesus Christ. We know it is for your glory. But as to why us, we have no insight. You have restored the image we had tarnished with sin.
Until we are perfected O’God, hear our confession of repentance as we struggle daily against ruin. You alone are our only comfort in life and death. We are not our own, but belong to you both body and soul. For you O’Christ our faithful Savior, have paid the price in blood and torment.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’LORD: you have freed us from the power or our cruel adversary. You watch over us, that not a hair can fall from our heads apart from your will.
O’Father in heaven, thank you for working all things together for our good. Thank you for changing hearts and minds and opening eyes and ears for salvation. Thank you for the assurance of eternal life and for making us sincere, willing, and ready, now-and-forever, to live for you and to bring you glory.
Supplication: We ask in Christ, O’ Father, that all you have planned for us—comes now to pass. May your salvation to the final-multitude be complete. Still, help us in our fight to argue your case wisely and compassionately. Keep us humble in our defense but bold in our stance.
Let us speak truth in love, that by your power, rebels abandon their fight—to become brothers and sisters among us. We pray, Come Lord Jesus—judge and restore all things for your glory, amen. †

07-10-2022 #173—Sermon Passage 1 Samuel 13 Pt. 2 “The Danger of Self-Importance”
Adoration: Father in Heaven—our Savior Lord—Holy Spirit our Comforter, you O’God are holy, almighty, and all-knowing. For those who are called according to your purpose—according to your love for them and their love for you, you work all things together for good.
You have pledged to carry us to a land of rest and beauty—where you dwell—and we shall gain. Our hearts are poised on the precipice of the already and not-yet, between here and there. So, we watch and wait; and trust in you, in the mystery of this place.
For you are with us in our sojourn. And you have readied us for the passage, saying: “Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
How true it is that the heart of man plans his way, but you O’LORD determine his steps. For though the mind of man makes many plans, it is always your purpose and verdict that stands. No power of evil can withstand your fury or resist your commands.
No temptation uncommon to man, can overtake your chosen. For you O’God are faithful. You restrain enticements beyond our ability to resist, and you give us in that moment—an escape. From the very heart of glory, you give us a spirit not of fear, but of power, love and self-control.
Through dark night or bright day, your guide to us is the fruit we shall eat. And you charge us this: “Be strong and courageous, do not be frightened or dismayed, for I am with you wherever you go. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble; so, do not be anxious about tomorrow. For I am your light and your salvation, the stronghold of your lives, so, whom shall you fear, of whom shall you be afraid?”
O’LORD, when the cares of our hearts are many, your solace cheers our souls. For you have given us peace; not as the world perceives it in moments, but such that our hearts, at their depth, will not be troubled, neither shall we fear what might come tomorrow.
Confession: And we have two confessions, first as it was: that before your kindness was cast upon us, selfish ambition and conceit was our way. We lacked humility and found no joy in counting others more significant than ourselves.
The pride we held out before us, that we clothed ourselves in, brought us only disgrace. We treated the humble as foolish, weak and beneath our wise review. The fruit of death was our food. Had we been meek before you, we would have known that you exalt the humble and raise them high above the stars.
Yet, now our confession is of you our God—our savior from the wrath we have earned. That you have redeemed us from our sins and transgressions is a kindness beyond our grasp. You alone have humbled our proud hearts and given us harmony with one-another. You alone have given us all that we could not have otherwise obtained or imagined.
Thanksgiving: So, we give now all thanks to you, our God. You alone are God—perfect in love, justice, and mercy. You have taken our burdens upon yourself and sustained us in righteousness, never to be withdrawn.
How thankful we are for all you have done, are doing and shall yet do. May the gratitude our souls show in our obedience—the sign and test of our love.
Supplication: We pray now O’God, equip us to love better, to stand firm, be merciful and humble. To live the opposite of those who love their self-importance. May we embrace all that is lowly and pure of heart. And may we live right-side up in the upside-down.
And if we for a moment think ourselves wise for what we have done, chastise us as little children who have wandered into danger. Keep us also compassionate, kind, meek and patient in the impatient world. Increase our faith we pray, that we will love you with all our heart, soul, strength and mind, and our neighbor as ourselves.
These things and more, we pray for your sake O’LORD, amen. †

07-17-2022 #174—Sermon Passage:1 Samuel 14:1-23 “It May be”
Adoration: O’Sovereign Lord—our God most high. You are our shield, great and awesome; our strength and avenger; the judge of all the earth and only true God.
You are the God of peace, who, when your enemies make war, you decimate them, even as your grace and mercy is lavished upon your friends. And you nourish the chosen with the Bread of Life and the fruit of the True Vine. You surround them in holiness and companionship. The Eternal Spirit of life enfolds them as his little ones.
You are God—our God, so, we will be strong and courageous and do the work. We will not be afraid or discouraged, for you O’LORD are with us. You will not fail or forsake us, so, we will not fear the enemies of our God, nor shall their threats and clamoring-noise frighten us.
We shall stand firm and let nothing move us. We will give ourselves fully to doing what must be done; for we know that you will set nothing before us in vain. And the valor of a few, will give rise to courage in the hearts of the cowardly and fearful.
So, we shall go bravely—with mettle and daring; for our triumph is through you O’Lord, and nothing can hinder you. Whether we are few or many, we
are knit together in heart and soul. If you O’God, direct our feet and our hands in battle, who can stand against us?
You set the path of the arrow and spear and guide them to their mark. Whatever the enemy does—shall seal their fate. Their own evil craft will betray them, and cover them over as a crashing wave.
Before the sword of the Lord, their confidence will wither into panic and confusion and their arrogance will melt into fear and trembling. They stand on threshing floor of God.
But you O’LORD are our shepherd, so we lack nothing. You comfort us with good things that refresh our souls. You guide us along the right path for your name’s sake.
So, whether in a deep darkness or on the field of battle, we will fear no evil, for you are with us; your rod and your staff, comfort us. You bless and anoint us in the presence of our enemies. Your goodness and love follow us all of our lives. For we dwell in your house now and forevermore.
Confession: Let then our confession be heard in all the earth and in the heavens above: We belong to God and he belongs to us—we are his and he is ours. We are strong in the LORD and his mighty power.
The Lord is our God, so, we shall not be put to shame—nor fear disgrace, humiliation or even death. For we will no longer dwell in futility and shame, wondering “from where shall come our help.” Our help comes from the Lord our keeper, who made heaven and earth. It is he—to whom an accounting must be given.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’God for your goodness and love to us which endures forever. Because of your righteousness, we will sing praises of thanks to the name of our Lord, Most High.
Thank you for training us in both the gentle and courageous way; and proving that it is your sword of ferocity which concours, even by the hands of your servants.
Supplication: O’Lord we pray, be our shade and our right hand. Watch over us day-and-night and keep our hearts from all evil. Keep our lives close to you as we go-out and as we come-in.
Be our strength and shield from this time forth and forevermore—in the name and for the sake of Christ, amen. †

07-24-2022 #175—Sermon Passage: Psalm 46
Adoration: O’God—Father—Savior and Comforter, you are our fortress, our refuge and our strength. Who can stand before you? Who can say to you: What are you doing? For you always do what is right and good. You are always with us and for us. Nothing can take us from your mighty grip or remove us from your presence.
LORD, your enemies are our enemies. In their depravity they will not stop what they are doing. They will not choose a right path. And when your anger is stirred and you are put to the test, you will be exalted. In the midst of their ruin, you will be feared!
For in times of assault and strife, you stand with your people. You are their refuge and strength. You make them your dwelling place; a city on a hill. You are their sanctuary of meeting and worship. The city you have founded, stands on holy ground. It cannot be overcome or diminished by those who bring siege and despair.
So, lest we fail to trust in you, we shall not fear the quaking earth or the roaring sea. They are but wild nations and stumbling empires. We will not consider a different course, for you are our heritage and our Way. So, we will tread boldly out—over the high and low places, for it is you who inhabit our steps.
It is you who see through our eyes and inform our thoughts. You make your case to the world through deed and word—mercy and judgment. You bring the good news of reconciliation and of the end of war.
Yet still, at the center of conflict with its ramparts of rage, your city will not be moved or shaken. You break the flashing arrows. The shields, swords, and weapons of war are crushed into dust.
The fire of your vengeance engulfs the land of your enemies and you melt the earth with an utterance. The voice which creates life and beauty, tears asunder the vile and decaying.
You stay all warfare. At your reproof, both rider and horse fall stunned. Their spears, bows and tools of war, break in their hands. The stouthearted are stripped of their spoils and sink into sleep.
For you arise to establish judgment and save the humble of the earth. You remove the clamoring noise. The stillness and silence declare you—Most High, true and only God.
The rivers and streams of your glory flow from your holy abode to bring gladness and joy to your people. You are always with them; for they are the work of your hands.
Confession: Our confession O’Lord is simple: We were like every man, dead in our sins and trespasses—enemies of God. Our inclinations were to always do evil.
But God snatched us from the hoard and made us his own. Not because we were worthy but because he chose to love us and make us into a people and a city that will not fall.
Thanksgiving: Our thankfulness O’God is beyond measure. That we are no longer our own but all that you have made of us in Christ, is extraordinary.
May the proof of our gratitude be clear in our trust and adoration of you O’LORD.
Supplication: Hear us O’Father, we believe—yet help us in our unbelief. You are all that is true and real; help us to master this wisdom so we may see the world as it is.
You are our Sovereign Father and we are your children. Christ is our Lord and there is no other. Through him we live, pray, and have our being—now and forever, amen. †

08-14-2022 #176—Sermon Passage:1 Samuel 15
Adoration: O’Father God—Lord Savior—Holy Spirit our comforter: Your goodness and purity O’God are beyond our grasp, yet they have become our delight and our shield. Day and night, we cannot but ponder your beauty and enigmatic ways. That you are merciful to some with eternal-love and dole-out wrath in recompence to others, gives us pause.
For at length your splendor and glory arise and we are silent with awe and wonder. The contemplations of our hearts and minds have captured us. To see fury, mercy, righteousness, and love flowing parallel, has shown us the Way to your thrown.
It is you who are at the core of the settlement we enjoy. All who are with you shall dwell in safety. Your compassion for us is greatly more than we have imagine or afforded.
You bring truth and justice to bare upon the deviant and the guilty. You right all wrongs and make straight the crooked ways. You reject those who reject your Word; who instead, hear only what their hearts and other voices offer.
You despise presumption against obedience. For it is not out of careful reasoning, but out of rebellion and aberrant desires to make the pieties of evil—seem good. So, the proud and defiant will have no ascension, nor a proxy for their sins.
They oppose you O’God at every turn and they scoff at your mercies. You give them good things which they disfigured and misshapen. Clear things are made opaque and honorable things—repugnant. The straight things, they have twisted, and they do everything that should not be done.
For ruin and depravity have spread across the earth, waring against it and its people. Its flowing decay overwhelms everything it touches. It goes from parent-to-child and man-to-beast. Both body and spirit dissolve beneath its weight. It permeates the realm, and even the ground cries out for redemption.
So, we shall vow daily to not take their wares, ornaments, or symbols into our homes. For to accept their ways is to embrace corruption. And, we shall not give quarter or safety to what you, O’God, have devoted to destruction.
Your wrath upon the proud and defiant, who destroy the innocent, is also goodness and mercy to the world. For you O’God are holy, exquisite and pure. Everything you have created is good, and all that you do is righteous. If we know its meaning at all, it is you have opened our hearts to see it.
To love you is to trust in you, and to listen and obey you are our greatest of offerings; all other actions are less.
Confession: We confess O’Lord that we struggle against sin. For even though you always give good things to us, sin is relentless, nagging and always at our door.
We confess the pride we have had distracts us from all that you are. We confess our desperate need of your goodness, grace, and mercy and of your pardon of sin in Christ—our very source of life.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Good Shepherd for laying down your life for your sheep. Thank you, for granting to us all things pertaining to life and godliness.
You O’Lord have redeemed us from our unexamined lives and given us the gift of faith in you. You called us out of war and despair into your home of peace, hope and glory.
Supplication: May the adoration of our hearts show in our honest yearnings to worship and honor you O’God. May we exalt you at the center of your goodness. May our esteem of you and our obedience increase daily and bless you infinitely.
May we fully desire to know you fully and to enjoy you forever. Keep us from consenting to anything you have forbidden. Help us to yield and obey. Make us now as our Lord is, forever and ever.
These things we pray through Jesus Christ—our Savior, amen. †

09-11-2022 #177—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 16
Adoration: Lord God, you are Alpha-and-Omega. The first, and greatest of all beings. The creation sings the praises of your glory.
True prophets declare: “Give homage to the LORD, for He alone is God.” The Son—our Lord says, “See Me, see the Father.” Your Holy Spirit gathers close your beloved—the souls of the house of heaven—little ones under your wings. Glory be to God forever and ever.
Above the heavens and into the deep, on the earth and under it, your glory is displayed with brilliance. It blinds the eyes of darkness and rips asunder the fabric of rebellion. For you are the LORD—God Almighty—most high.
You proclaim to every creature: “I am light of the world, in me there is no darkness. Whoever follows me cannot walk in darkness, for the light-of-life indwells them. My word is a lamp to show the way—a light for their path. I alone have immortality, for I dwell in unapproachable light which no one has ever seen or can see.
The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness cannot overcome it. I am the Lord, and there is no other, besides me there is no God; I equip you, though you do not know me, that people may see, from the rising of the sun and to its setting, that there is none besides me; I am the Lord, and there is no other.
I form the light and create darkness; I make well-being and create calamity; I am the Lord, who does all these things. I do not choose as men choose and no one is my counselor. I do not look on appearances; for I see clearly all that is in the heart. Those who love me, do as I command. They shall live well before me and before others.
They will see the darkness clearly, hate-what-I-hate and love-what-I-love. For I know well their joys, their sorrows, and their desires. They shall not embrace grief, nor be anxious about tomorrow; for they know that I have held and yet hold today, tomorrow, and forever close to me.”
Confession: Lord we confess that you are God alone, our God our savior and our comforter. Our trust is in you; yet our resolve is weak and our need
of assurance—is constant. We confess to you our weaknesses and look to you for our strength. Though we are people of the deep, we are too often moved by what lies on the surface.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Lord, for drawing our hearts away from the shallows of life into the depths of your love and the heights of your wisdom. Thank you for enduring our constant wavering. Thank you for directing our strewn-about thoughts into reasoning.
Thank you for training us, for helping us to consider our words and our actions carefully, to not abruptly spill-them-out as an injury you will not approve.
Supplication: We ask O’Lord, remind us moment-to-moment, morning-to-evening of your majesty and of the birth-rights you have showered upon us.
Sanctify us, Father, help us to be people of valor; and at war—to be skilled beyond the enemies of our God. Help us to have dignity and presence, and to be careful in our speech and our actions.
For you are God most high, LORD of Lords and King of kings—and you have born us into the world as your body, the image of the living God on the fields of battle. May Christ our Lord be glorified in all that we are and all that we shall be, amen. †

09-18-2022 #178—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 17/Gen. 3:14/Rom. 5:12-21
Adoration: O’LORD God, you have made us in your image. The wonder of our being is from your very hand. Though in Adam we have all sinned, with tarnished and diminished souls, and as our reward—the sting of death; in mercy and grace you have set us apart in Christ—to be redeemed, restored and healed to abundant life.
For in him dwells the fullness of God and through him all things on earth and in heaven are reconciled to God. Making peace for many by the blood of his cross, he is the head of the body—the church. For he is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, and so, preeminent in all things. In him, all things hold together and have their being; for all things belong to him.
So, who is this, who draws up a line of battle on the land that God has made, to make war against the house of glory? Who is this that stands in the presence of the Living God, spuing forth the vomit-of-defiance morning-and-evening? Let our hearts not fail because of them. The fight they bring, is less than what they shall receive. The armies of God will meet them face to face, and return to them twice their own violence.
For the mountains on which they stand and the valleys in-between belong to the LORD. The gods of the enemy are as chaff in the hands of the Living God. God’s man-of-war shall give an answer to those who defy him. With consuming fire, they will be driven from the land that God has given. In terror they will flee into the darkness from which they came. But destruction will follow them wherever they go.
For the LORD delivers his own from the hand of his enemy. He is with them in the small and great battles; for the victory belongs to him even before an arrow or spear is launched. For it is he who directs them to their target; from the hand of his warrior, to the heart of the enemy, all will pierce through, and find their mark.
Confession: Our confession of sin O’LORD is before you. You see all of them clearly. Yet, you justify those whom you love, removing their sin in mercy and grace irresistible. So, if our repentance is true, our faith proves rooted in you O’Lord. For your word is living and active, a sharp two-edged sword that pierces to divide soul, joints, and marrow.
You discern the thoughts and the intentions of our hearts; nothing is hidden from your sight, and all shall give an account. Yet because we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, we cannot but hold-fast our confession of faith, and enter our rest.
Thanksgiving: Father we are so thankful, for you loved us before we were; you brought us into being and redeemed us in Christ by your covenant of Grace.
Thank you for the peace of Christ you have given to rule in our hearts and to gather us into one body.
Thank you for your goodness and your steadfast love that endures forever.
Supplication: And though we are unrighteous on our own account, we can give good gifts to our children when they ask; so how much more, when we ask, are the good gifts from your hand O’Father.
So, in our prayers and our appeals O’LORD, we ask: Heal our hearts further from the damage of our own sins, and the hearts of those whom we’ve sinned against. Heal our bodies from the things that have ravaged them. Help us to believe amid doubt and confusion—to pray and not lose heart.
Help us to daily recall your love for us while-we-were-yet-sinners; for which Christ suffered and died in our place to resolve. We know, even though our words be few, that your gifts are greater than what we ask or comprehend.
Lord, you have enlightened the eyes of our hearts to see the hope which you have given us. You have called us to grasp onto the riches of your glorious inheritance, that we might enjoy you and your love for us forever. This is the immeasurable greatness of your power toward those who believe.
Our hope, our trust, and our expectations rest with you alone O’God. Glory be to you our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, now and forevermore, amen. †

09-25-2022 #179—Sermon Passage:1 Samuel 17/Gen. 3:14/Rom. 5:12-21 Part 2
Adoration: O’God our Father, Lord Christ our Savior, Holy Spirit our counselor and comfort; we worship you—O’Triune God. We look to you for every need in this life and the life to come. Only fools say in their heart, “There is no God.”
Their corruption and vile deeds—prove no goodness in them. You O’LORD, look down from heaven upon the children of man, to see if there are any who understand and seek after God. But no—they have all turned aside; together they have become corrupt; there is not even one who does good.
Turn us O’LORD in the way we should go—watch over us and move mightily within us O’Holy One. You rightly and gloriously hate the sins of both angles and man. The Evil-One you have cursed forever, crawls in the
dust—on his belly—and yet prowls around like a roaring-and-ravenous lion; constantly looking for someone to devour.
From his abode of darkness, he spreads delusion, division, strife and death. With deep animosity for all that is holy—all that is righteous and all that is true of God—this Father of lies—our adversary—searches, schemes and murders. More delusional than when first his pride appeared, he fights a war which is already lost.
For you O’LORD have frustrated, crushed and ruined him. His head is under your foot; yet his children make war against the children of God. Like their father—they want what he wants and hate what he hates.
From the shadows and in the shallows, they do whatever wrong they can conceive. They despise and defy God, and so too, the people of God who stand against them.
All that is pure and established by God’s word, they have twisted to deceive the ignorant. They are ravenous dogs against all who oppose them. But we will oppose them upon even at the slightest affront. Upon the line of battle, you O’Lord will not let our foothold move.
For it is you who keeps us, and you neither slumber—nor sleep. So, all the earth will know there is a God and that he is the LORD who saves not with sword and spear—but by the power of his Word, pay them now their wages O’LORD; for the battle belongs to you.
Confession: O’Father we confess our sins and our trust in you to reconcile and restore us to yourself. For though many died through one-man’s trespass, many shall live by your grace and mercy in the one-man—Jesus Christ.
Thanksgiving: We, thank you always for your gift to us O’God. For it is not-at-all like the consequence of the one-man’s sin—our sin—which brought us condemnation.
Though in-and-of ourselves—worthy of destruction—your precious gift of Christ, the second-man, has brought us righteousness—our justification through love. For though death reigned through one-man’s trespass, life reigns through the grace and righteousness of Jesus Christ.
Supplication: We ask now of you Father, keep us vigilant and ready to fight sin however and wherever it desires to have us. Give us always the wisdom to not be deceived and the strength to stand where you have placed us.
Make us to be a vision of Christ to the world, that all the earth may know that you are God—our God, the one and only. This we ask and more, for the sake of Christ and the glory of God almighty, amen. †

10-16-2022 #180—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 18
Adoration: Father God—Lord Savior—Holy and Gracious Spirit—to you and you alone O’God, be glory, honor, and power. It is you who sets the course that men shall walk. They make their plans and cast out their nets, but you bring them success or failure, harvest, or famine.
You O Lord are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter. We are the work of your hands. You have knit our souls together from out of mother and father—and we are knit together with brothers and sisters. You have made for yourself, useful vessels; ewers of honor.
Some for righteous use; and yet others which become worthless cisterns; only to be broken and brought to naught—useless for anything but the glory of your judgment.
You have made your covenants with your people, which they have broken; but your covenant in Christ, a covenant of grace and mercy, cannot be ruined or divided.
Because you loved us, you gave us your pledge in crimson—the precious blood of your Son. You have given us white robs, armor, a sword, and a bow, in power and truth; your Word is all of this and yet—much more.
We are your servants and the children you have birthed. Whether we move through the mountains, valleys, shadow, or light, you are with us—we do not walk alone.
It is you who gives us success in everything though it’s not ours to see; for your goals in the hard things are difficult for us to perceive. We know your
ways are perfect and ours are driven by desire. But you give us pause, introspection and remembrance, that we would turn back to you daily.
For we are poor and have no standing. Who are we that you would be so kind? Who are we that you should love us? Our enemies pursue us continually but you make your name highly esteemed in us. You watch over us, that honor and peace would be our food and purest water our drink.
The snares the wicked set for us, become their own entrapment, for you have foreseen them doing their worst, and always restore us out of the midst of ashes.
Confession: Our confession O’LORD is offered daily and your kindness to us is our deep desire. For like a theater performance, our sins are ever before you, both material and immaterial—they are always played out on our mortal stage.
We cannot say we were unaware of these acts; for they emerge from the heart, yet from the same spot they are suppressed and despised. Your forgiveness is our only hope. Restrain our hearts from sin O’LORD.
Thanksgiving: Our thankfulness now and daily, is laid at your feet O’God of glory. Your covenant in Christ is our final station.
Thank you for the gift of faith, to have trust in you has set us free. And we bind our gratitude to you in promise and hope. For you are the source of our courage, strength, and forbearance.
Supplication: Grant us now Father all that you command of us. Give the grace and strength to obey and live our lives as you have directed. Help us to see that our trust, which is our faith, is not proven by our deeds but by your love for us.
That nothing we can do makes it more valid but we conform all to things in love. We pray this in and by Christ, amen. †

10-23-2022 #181—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 19 Life & Promise Preserved
Adoration: Glory to you O’Father God, O’Savior and Devine Councilor. The earth and stars tremble at your voice. The mountains fall and the Valley’s rise at your bidding.
Who is there that can stand against you? Only in delusion and utter bankruptcy does one lift himself up in the world you have made. For your mighty hand is upon all things—in—below and above the world.
The heavens and earth are the gardens you have planted; and you sustain it all by the power of your will. You have founded life and set the path of all that lives. Nothing is in the hands or your creatures but their own sin, rebellion and pride. These are the winds and the waves moving their vessels across a darkened sea.
In light you observe every dark corner. You see every soul both righteous and unrighteous and watch over your elect—the sheep of your flock. Life—promise and preservation are your mercies to them and cannot be disarrayed.
Neither an evil spirit or the foolish actions of men can ruin what you have shielded. Nothing overcomes your blessed. Nothing can move the foot you have set down.
For every soul, those in the depths of Sheol and those at its heights, are in your hands. Though your little one’s wander, they will do as you command. The spears and arrows of the disobedient are launched against them in vain for they will not find purchase.
And if your Spirit comes upon them, even the worthless will utter prayers and praise to you, and warn one another of what is to come. Their strength and self-control will succumb to you and their hostility will fade into submission.
For you shall strip them of all they have and humiliate them in their foolishness and futile striving. Their aggressions will be humbled before your chosen.
Confession: Lord God hear now our confession, for we were among the scoffers and worthless hoard. With heart or sword, we have shed innocent blood and fought without cause. We have tread upon the holy and given ourselves to sin. But now, our old ways are gone.
You have brought light into darkness and given us new life, preservation, and hope. You have forgiven us and restored us by promise and covenant. We had no power to do even the smallest of good, for you alone are good and have covered us evermore in robes of purity.
Thanksgiving: Glory and thanksgiving forever is all we can give. The exercise of our trust in you, speaks our words of gratitude. To obey your commands O’God is to show you our hearts as you have made them now.
That our inner and outer lives prove true before you, are a small thanks, but nonetheless our humble return.
Supplication: Now Father we ask, see us before you as we are. Help us in our unbelief and remind us always of your covenant in Christ to us. Give us quiet hearts amid disquiet.
Help us to see through the disguises of the world and to know with comfort, that you are God and there is no other. You will see us through all things in Christ. For his sake we pray; amen. †

10-28-2022 #182—Sermon Passage: Rom. 1:16-17 + related “Reformation Sunday”
Adoration: O’God of glory—righteous and true, author of our faith—redeemer of souls and reformer of hearts once lost to ruin. You O’God have not abandoned your people to the dark, but are the light on the path you have forged.
So, we shall follow where you lead, for you alone are the way the truth and the light. Nothing can stop or shame us in our march forward; for to everyone who believes, salvation by the power of God has come.
Those in right standing before you O’Father, trust in all that you have given them to trust in. By your power, in love, mercy and grace you give life
everlasting—the message of salvation. You bring the good news that floods over the earth; it is powerful, kind, and true.
You sift through every claim and thought of those who use your name; who add to or take away from your word as they please. They distort it to satisfy their sins. When your church wanders, and your word is compromised, you cleanse it. You preserve for yourself the remanent—the humble in heart.
You give faith that faith will be true—the gift of eternal life. You give direction from morning-to-evening. Christ lifted-up, is founded in all who believe, not with self-righteousness by works of the law, but by Christ’s perfect righteousness through faith.
O’God, you made our Lord—who knew no sin, to become sin for our sake, that in him we might to you by his grace, and beauty. In love, he was lifted up from the earth to draw all people to myself. So, our souls are turned upright within us to live by faith and righteousness.
Confession: LORD God, we confess that our faith is true if it is truly our trust in you. If it is sincere, it has grown from the seed you planted. The seed contains everything the plant becomes. So, we shall nurture it with humble care; and add to it only what you give us: that we should trust; hold fast, and believe in you.
We confess that it is you who proves our faith true and us who find it daily. Our sins and imperfections are always before you but it is Christ whom you see. It is he who has satisfied the law and we who enjoy its end.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’LORD for our Savior. For the law we cannot follow, will not now condemn us. Thank you for our salvation through faith, which you have birthed in us in Christ, from start to finish.
Thank you O’God for molding and remolding our minds and hearts daily. Thank you reforming all our foolish ways into wisdom. Thank you for capturing our naked and wandering hearts and clothing us in perfection, purity and purpose.
Supplication: Now O’God we ask, keep us true in all that we say and do. Hone our minds and hearts to be as sharp as they might. Help us to make right judgments and to weigh all things by your word. Help us to be
compassionate for the lost and dying and uncompromising in the face of threat or demise. Keep us we pray to the narrow path.
That Christ might be our all in all—the champion of the battle and the perfection of our faith, we pray, amen. †

11-13-2022 Robert Elliot: #183—Sermon Passage: 2 Thes.1:1-2 “In a hostile world, it matters who God is”
Adoration: Praise and glory to you O’God our Father, to Jesus Christ our Lord and to the Holy Spirit our Counselor and Comforter—Almighty God.
O’LORD, by your command, all things were created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible; for you are before all things, and in you, all things hold together. You rule over both great and small. You are our refuge, our strength, and our help. You are present in our troubles, our joys, and our sorrows.
So, we shall not fear. Though all the earth give way beneath us and the mountains fall around us, we shall not stumble. Though the world is lost and dying, we will trust in you—and out of your holy city, your provisions for us.
For you are in our midst. You comfort us at mornings’ dawn and in darkest night. You give us insights that the world cannot know. At the sound of your voice, the righteous rise-up to glory and the wicked melt down into emptiness.
You have shown us that anguish and desolation are the fruits of disobedience. But joy and gladness—all the fruits of Love, are there in submission. For in obedience, love and a trusting heart are proven.
Your people will do all you command. They will move in step with the hosts of heaven—or they will wait, keep still and watch. For you are our God and we serve no other. You are our only Prophet—Priest and King—and we shall exult you O’LORD in all things.
By your command O’God, all war ceases. You break the bow and shatter the spear, your burn with fire every effort of the enemy. Their means of war
are turned to ash. Yet you are our shield and our fortress. For you have established one Savior in new covenant—the old has vanished.
You have written your laws on our hearts and in our minds. You have been merciful toward our iniquities and you remember our sins no more. So, while we have our being, we shall sing praises to you O’God.
We shall not trust in ourselves, nor in others; not in things, nor in deeds, nor in anything that perishes. You alone are our salvation. You alone have the words of life. You alone are our God.
Confession: So, LORD God, hear our confessions and know our hearts; our sins against you are ever before us; yet your mercies are ever upon us. We confess that our hope and trust rest in you only.
You are the maker of heaven and earth; forever trustworthy and faithful. You feed the hungry and judge the wicked. Every creature is under judgment and all righteousness is by your mercy.
For the world and all that is in it, belong to you. You open the eyes of the blind and lift up the lowly in Christ. In justice, you bring the wicked to utter ruin.
Thanksgiving: We thank you now and forever O’LORD, for you have cleansed us from our sins. From out of the world, you chose us—a people for yourself and forgave us our iniquities.
By mercy and grace in Christ—you made your desired—righteous within him. Thank you for being ours and making us yours. You are God—our God—and there is no other.
Supplication: So, we ask now Father: Help us—and use us as you gather in all of your beloved.
Walk with us and in us and be always our mighty shield. Break the weapons of the enemy and bring yourself glory upon glory. Move the immovable soul that is blind to sound reasoning and soften the hardened and wayward heart.
Heal us and our beloved purely for the sake of your fame. It is in and for Christ, who reigns forever and ever, that we pray—amen. †

11-20-2022 #184—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 20:18-42 “Affirmations & Arrows”
Adoration: Blessed Father in heaven, Jesus Christ our Lord, Holy Spirit our consoler—O’LORD, our LORD, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens and your splendor is around us day and night. Out of the mouths of babies and infants, you establish strength; you still the enemy and silence the avenger.
When we look upon your heavens, the work of your hands, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the earth and have put all things under his feet.
We shall evermore recount your wonderful deeds, rejoice in you and enjoy you forever. For you sit upon your throne to give both righteous judgment and unmerited favor. You sustain your people and prove your love to them over-and-over.
For their sake, you rebuke entire nations and make the wicked to perish. You blot out the names of your enemies forever and ever. The very memory of them will pass into the abyss of endless ruin.
For you O’LORD sit enthroned forever. You judge the world and every being in righteousness. Those who know you, put their trust in you; for you, O’LORD, will never forsake anyone who truly seeks you.
You never forget the cry of the afflicted and you avenge them all in due time. The enemy stumbles in your presence; they turn back only to perish from the face of the earth.
But you O’LORD have set apart your chosen—given them promise and hedged them in for their good. So, we shall not sit at the table of evil doers, nor join in their causes. For all their ways lead to death.
The fruits of their deeds are poison. And though there is but a step between us and death, we shall not fear, nor die but once. May you take swift and final vengeance on your enemies, O’LORD.
Confession: Father we confess: we know what we have done, and what we are guilty of. For we too were once dead in our trespasses and sins. We once followed the course of this world and the spirit of disobedience.
Like the rest of mankind, we lived only by our passions and desires, by nature—wayward children of wrath. Our Spirits were poor and proud, but you—O’God are humble and rich in mercy.
Because of the great love with which you loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, you made us alive together with Christ. By grace through faith, we have been saved.
And this was not our own doing; but by your gift to us of regeneration and faith. For we are your craftmanship and we take comfort in your great mercies to us.
Thanksgiving: With whole heart; mind and body, we are thankful to you O’God. Our thankfulness shows in our trust in you; in everything you have done and are about to do.
We thank you forever; for you redeem lost souls and restore broken lives. You reveal our adversary and make him cower in darkness and delusion. You deliver us from evil in the heart of desolation and affliction.
You give your people abundant and eternal life in Christ. So, O’LORD, may our deep-deep appreciation bless you ever more,
Supplication: Father, now we humbly ask for your blessings and every mercy you might grant. For all good things come down from above.
So, we ask not only for provisions and healing, but also for strength and wisdom to stand against every offense you have warned us of: Haughty eyes, a lying tongue, shedding innocent blood, a divisive heart that makes a wicked plan, feet that rush to do evil, lying and bearing false witness and sewing discord among brothers.
May our efforts to do as you have taught us, be out of love rather than rule. Make us true-disciples in every thought—word and deed we pray: for we are in Christ and he is in us.
Your wonders O’God are the greatness—power—glory and majesty in heaven and earth. Yours is the kingdom forever and you are exalted above all things, amen. †

11-27-2022 #185—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 21—”Seeking Sanctuary”
Adoration: LORD God—our Creator—King of heaven and judge over all, both great and small: We shall always bless you O’LORD and continually praise you by our mouths and in the vaunts of our souls.
So, may the humble hear and rejoice with us; may the watchful see and the doubting trust in you O’God of mercy. In fellowship, let us as one, magnify you, our God. We shall exalt your holy name in all that is common, as in the extraordinary, in all that is gradual and steady, as in the sudden and unforeseen.
You are always with your people. O’LORD, you answer our cries and delivered us from our fears. For you make radiant the faces of those who look to you. They are not alone and shall never be put to shame. You hear the poor and rescue them in their troubles.
Your beloved Angel makes his home with your chosen—to watch over them. His wrath and anger destroy worlds; but his beloved taste and see, that God is good. Those who fear you, take their shelter in you and lack for nothing—not one good thing.
Only fools will not desire life, goodness, and peace. Only a fool says: “There is no God.” That: “Man is the measure of all things—of things that are…and things that are not…” But the wise who love you O’God keep their tongues from speaking evil and deceit—with hearts focused on your mercies. They turn away from evil. They desire life, seek goodness, and pursue peace.
For your eyes O’LORD are upon the righteous and your ears hear their cry’s. Your face is against those who do evil, you shall cut off the memory of them from all the earth. In mercy and kindness, you stay near to the brokenhearted and rekindle the crushed in spirit.
Though the righteous suffer affliction in the world, you redeem their lives. None who take refuge in you are condemned. You deliver them out of the world into the hearth of peace. But the wicked are slain by their afflictions. They make war against the righteous and are condemned in their hatred.
Confession: O’LORD hear our solemn confessions and forgive us when our resolve turns weak—when our troubles have overwhelmed us, and we forget in whom our trust and our peace reside.
The world knows our sins but cannot know our remorse, nor the restitution paid. For the Lord has lifted-up our souls to you O’God; the God of our salvation.
May then our enemies not gloat over us, nor put us to shame. For all who wait on you O’LORD will not be disgraced; but the unfaithful and proud will suffer their due wage.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father for choosing your beloved ones. Thank you, Lord, for standing in our place, to do for us what we could never have done. Thank you, Spirit, for applying your mercy and grace to us in Christ.
With thankfulness in our hearts: We shall do whatever we do, in word or deed, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ—giving thanks to you our Father, through him—our Savior.
Supplication: O’Lord, now we ask: Keep evil outside our doors and within where you dwell. Make us to always know your ways and show us daily the path to walk.
Lead us in truth and teach us all things; for you are the God of compassion—knowledge—wisdom and salvation. According to your steadfast love restore us always for the sake of your goodness.
Help us to be holy—kindhearted—humble—meek and long-suffering. Bind together all the virtues of heaven within us. Let them always be in perfect array. We pray this and all other things in Christ our Lord, amen. †

12-18-2022 #186—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 23 “Fleeing to the Rock of Escape”
Adoration: Father in heaven, we bless your holy name—our Lord be pleased and Holy Spirit delighted. Hear the praises of our hearts and mouths flowing upward to your thrown. Our souls are now risen with Christ—the rock of our escape.
Certainly, we shall indeed boast of your endless deeds and in the power of your mercies. Let all humble souls rejoice together and magnify you O’LORD. With the holy angles, we applaud your Kindness, Power and Beauty.
Through all our difficulties, we seek you O’God; to find wisdom, comfort and guidance. You always deliver us from our confusion and fear. When anxiety is great within us, your solace brings us joy. You save us by your mighty hand and justify us by your great love. You give your strength to dwell in us and your ear to listen to the cries of our hearts.
You subdue the hateful-minds against us; who set themselves above your glory; who love war and hate peace; who call evil good and good evil. In your very presence, they made themselves your enemy and ours. Though lost in delusion, you shall be a dread to them, a sword that cannot be stopped.
Still, what can flesh do against us? All day long they work to injure our cause; all their thoughts are evil in your sight. The adversary and his children proudly set up camp on holy ground—and declare victory. They advocate strife, despise the righteous and lie in wait to murder the innocent. But will they escape from their crimes?
No. For you will surely enter their camp—even as they sleep—and return to them either mercy or justice. For by their own hand, they have secured their judgment and measure of price. By your faithfulness O’God, you will put an end to them. Surely you will put an end to the stranger in your house.
But to us in Christ, you are our helper and the upholder of our lives. You are gracious to us and are with us in our sufferings. For you have delivered us from every trouble, and our eyes see now and shall yet see your triumph.
So, we shall not fear but put our trust in you O’God. Day and night we will ponder your words, teach them to our children and remember your great deeds of compassion. It is in you we trust; so, we shall not dread the moment.
Confession: O’Lord, now we confess that we have neglected to pray for the reclamation of souls—our enemies in flesh. Were we not as they are now and yet you loved us in our rebellion?
We declare to know righteousness but confess that we have practiced it poorly. We confess our poor memories of how you saved us from certain death and gave us eternal life. We plead guilty to every charge against us and fall before you, always desperate for your mercy.
Thanksgiving: O’Lord, accept our offering of thanks by the truth of our vows and the openness of our hearts. You have delivered our souls from death and kept our feet from falling. By your grace and mercy in Christ, we may walk before you in truth and in the light of life.
Supplication: O’God, we pray now for our enemies: May you renovate and possess them as you have us. May we yet fight the battles before us with fervent hearts, the armor you have made and the sword you have forged.
We ask Father be the God of those who worship the darkness, who have exchanged their souls for the pleasures of the world they love and for all the corruptible things for which they have given their souls.
May we take root downward to bear fruit upward. Be our lamp day and night. Give us compassion and wisdom to discern our every thought and word as we move through these dark valleys. This and more we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen. †

Prayers 2023

01-08-2023 #187—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 24 “May the Lord Judge”
Adoration: LORD God—Almighty Father, Son, and Spirit. You are God alone, All-Powerful—Holy—Supreme. Heaven and earth give ear to your words. Your teachings and revelations fall as rain upon tender grass. Your words are as the dew-of-morning—a song and a credo, giving life to all that you have knit together.
Your dialog of truth is as salt, giving flavor to the bland and tasteless. Your love-and-wisdom O’God are as a soft and gentle rain. You are resolute in all things. Your judgment is a violent and dreadful storm; your mercy—a tender and soothing breeze. You play a symphony of yielding and immovable power together in concert.
You have given us birth O’LORD. We are your beloved, so we proclaim your name to the world. We attribute all greatness of life and beauty to you O’God. You are our Rock and our Salvation. Your works O’LORD are perfect and all of your ways are just. You avenge the guilty and cover the innocent.
You are unchanging—faithful—righteous and forever merciful to your chosen ones. By the wisest measure O’God, you have divided mankind and fixed borders around your people. We are your portion, inheritors, children of joy in your everlasting presence. We shall look upon your goodness forever, in the land of the living!
For you found us in a desert land, and in the howling waste of the wilderness you encircle us, care for us, and make us the apple of your eye. Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and flutters over its young, you have hidden us in the shadow of your wings and captured us when we fell. No foreign god can fool us now or lead us astray. Our wandering hearts are in your hands.
Yet the world of dark and bitter hearts, call to their gods from their orchards and temples. With corruption, pride and want, they negotiate their demands with the gods they have formed. They repay your kindness and patience with indignation and provocation. They are a foolish, senseless, and
irreverent people. You created and established them, yet their recompense is rebellion.
To your own you teach: “Do all things without grumbling or disputing, that you may be blameless and innocent children of God without blemish amid a crooked and twisted generation. Among them, you will shine as lights in the darkness—holding fast to the word of life. So, that in the day of Christ you may be proud to see, that you did not run nor labor in vain.”
Confession: Our confession O’LORD, is that: although we yet sin, still—you justify us. We rely on your forgiveness, goodness, and forbearance. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your steadfast love toward those who fear you. As far as the east is from the west, so distant have you remove our transgressions from us.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Father that you show compassion to us, your children; you know the awe of our hearts for your kindness. You never forget that in our framework, we are as dust. The substance of your love sustains us and brings us into form, eternally.
Supplication: Give now your ear to our pleadings O’Father. Each heart is known by you. Help us to be at peace when our passions war within us. Help our thoughts and desires to honor you. Suppress and reform our covetous hearts daily.
Help us to ask you for right things. Remind us always, that be a friend of the world, is to be at enmity with you. For the Spirit you have made to dwell in us is humble and full of grace for our benefit. Help us therefore, to not be double minded but to draw near to you with purified hearts, in reverence and humility. In Christ we live and pray, amen. †

01-15-2023 #188—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 25:1-22 “The Anatomy of a Fool”
Adoration: Father in Heaven—Exalted Lord—Eternal Spirit, our one mighty God in three glorious persons. We adore and revere you O’God. Your essence and beauty are above all that we esteem.
You have given us purchase within yourself to root us deep in life eternal. We hold fast to you—our lifeblood and everlasting core. You saved us while in our state of failure. The depravity of our souls made drab the splendor of your work.
What was brilliant became blurred; a treasure buried down in mire. Yet, you would not let us all rot there. You recovered us—washed us—brought us into your home—and made us your children.
You have given us knowledge because of our deep esteem, for you know all things. You have lifted our lives for honor and swallowed up our wickedness in virtue and goodness. You have taught us what it means to be to be loyal and steadfast, for you are always trustworthy and unfailing.
O’Lord receive our worship, awe, and respect. There is nothing that captures our hearts as you have. Because you first loved us, we know love and give love. You have granted us faith, that we would be faithful.
You humbled yourself O’Lord, that humility would also be our way. Your word has given us wisdom, that we may reject folly. Your power has enabled us to act in a pleasing and approved manner; and to discern the world as it is.
Father, you have revealed that only fools despise wisdom and instruction; that not everyone cannot accept the things of your Spirit, for they are unable to grasp spiritual truth.
For what lies beneath this ignorance is in their hearts daily, as they hold close and trust—that there is no God. So, all that they do is corrupt. Their deeds and their passions are repulsive. None of them do good.
Their religious ways are not true religion, but evidence for their condemnation. For you have shown us O’Father, that the word-of-the-cross is foolishness to the perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of your mercy and grace.
And have you not O’God, made foolish the wisdom of the world? For by your wisdom O’LORD, the world cannot see you through theirs. So, it pleased you speak in parables and preaching that seems as madness to them, yet is salvation to those who believe. Such things are too great for us to comprehend.
Confession: So, our confession is that we daily ponder the wonders of your love. We believe in all that you have done and shall yet do. Though many stumble and laugh at our message and are condemned in their rebellion, we will yet confess you and all that is true.
Thanksgiving: Father thank you for giving us your word and wisdom as a treasure. You have renewed our hearts to love knowledge and understanding of you. You are a shield to all who walk in your integrity. Thank you for guarding our paths and watching over our ways and times.
Supplication: Give us now greater understanding of virtue, justice, fairness and every good way for wisdom to enter our hearts and minds. For all of this is pleasing to you.
Deliver us from the evil around us and those who rejoice in doing it. May Christ be glorified in and through our lives, as we live in proof of you to a lost and dying world; amen. †

01-22-2023 #189—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 25:23-44 “Discerning and Beautiful”
Adoration: O’LORD our God, how beautiful is your name. We praise you always, for our souls are moved to worship. We boast in you for all you have done.
Let the world in its noisy rebellion, hear our praises, and know that you are God alone—there is no other. You O’God, are perfectly holy, righteous, and blameless in every judgment. You are merciful as your choosing so allow. Your forgiveness, care and faithfulness to your beloved are beyond measure.
All guilt of every wrong thought and deed, is upon us, your servants, and the enemies of your realm. Yet you give ear to our pleadings and compassion in our ponderances. You suffer our doubts, inconsistencies, and flaws. In loving mercy, you frustrate our efforts to save ourselves. Through our trials, restore our sanity and humble our proud hearts.
You know the worthless deeds of the enemy, no matter their disguises. They abuse power and intellect. They deceive the weak minded with
persuasive words. Their evil thoughts and plans are not hidden from you. You see clearly their foul and dishonest ends.
For having no life or wisdom within, they cannot see their corruption, so they trod joyfully over all that is good, beautiful, and true. The perfected hatred of you O’God, is their goal. Their predatory passions are never satisfied.
Still, O’LORD you forgive the trespass of your servants. You make certain the house of your beloved and they serve only you, both in peace and war. Wickedness is not found in them where your Spirit dwells.
When your enemies rise-up against your beloved—who are under your care—in house of the living, you shall hurl them into utter darkness, as rocks slung out from the hollow.
When the morning light blinds them forever, they shall see nothing but justice earned. When you return the evil of the Evil-One back upon his house, he and his children shall dissolve in the abyss, forever.
So, we shall sing your praises now and evermore: “Blessed be the LORD who avenges all the insults and offences of the enemy against the Him. Blessed be the LORD who gives patience to his servants, that they may see the glorious day of his vengeance.”
Confession: Father, we shall not neglect the confession of our sins—we know our guilt; it is real—loathsome and dismal. So too, we will not neglect the confession of our faith, our trust in you—your magnificent love, grace and mercy. It is real—beautiful and bright; the shape of our souls in your hands.
Thanksgiving: Father, thank you for your kindness to us, even when we are unthankful and thoughtless, and when we neglect to show others the grace and compassion you have shown to us.
Thank you for your goodness to us. Your gifts are beyond our understanding and your mercy gives us pause. Our hearts are overwhelmed with gratitude and praise.
With authentic appreciation and true gratitude, may we make right any offenses we have done, may we ponder every thought, word, and action before it is given out; that the outcome might please you.
Supplication: Remind us daily O’LORD of who we are when we imagine our deeds have become our salvation. You alone rescue the lost and dying. Keep us humble by any measure, for you know the depths of our pride. Let not our emotions ever replace our patience, reasoning, or compassion.
Give us strength to endure a hard yet wonderful providence. In and for Christ we pray, amen. †

01-29-2023 #190—Sermon Passage: 1 Samuel 26 “David shows mercy again”
Adoration: O’LORD, our eternal God and Savior, we are the workmanship of your hands, the abode of your Spirit. We belong to you, serve you, worship you; no other shall we adore. When you go out before us, we no longer fear.
When we plead our case to you, you listen. You lift us up, so we can turn away from our sin. You give us passage, humble our hearts and make us soldiers of virtue. You are our strength and our courage through adversity and hardship. Our militance shall serve your glory.
O’God, how merciful you are to us—the wretched. You have captured us, corrected our errors—healed our wounds, and cleansed us within. In robes of white and crowns of gold, you have adorned your people. We depend on your mercy and grace and await your great hand of justice.
That by your decree, the worthy in your hands and the worthless in their own, shall all stand before you. Both forgiveness and vengeance are yours O’LORD. All reckoning and all kindness belong to you.
You have rescued your beloved, even some at the end. In due time, the foot of your enemy shall slip. Their calamity adjoins them and your imminent judgment rushes upon them.
For you O’LORD are a God of recompense. You will fully repay the wages of your adversary. Your vengeance against those who hate you, who have decimated your temple and trampled on your mercies, is soon to pass.
For you have declared: “I shall punish these people and their nations. I shall avenge myself for the things they have done against me. When I sharpen
my flashing sword, and my hand takes hold upon justice, I will render vengeance on my adversary, and repay him who hates me.
I am the Lord, God of hosts; the Mighty-One of Israel, and I shall be relieved of my adversary and avenge myself on my foes. Their nakedness will be uncovered, their shame and depravity also will be exposed. I will take vengeance. I will not spare even one, no, not one shall escape.”
And your beloved sing: “Shine forth O’Great God; for you are jealous, avenging and wrathful. You have reserved your wrath for your enemies but your love—for your beloved. Blessed be the LORD our God who was and is and shall forever be. Blessed are his mercies and his judgments.”
Confession: And we who love you will confess it, and so too, our offenses against you. We will acknowledge our transgressions, not to retreat in horror, but to fall upon your many graces.
O’Father, your forgiveness gives us repose. We turn away from our wandering desires. The battle takes a tole but you have given escape: Christ has sheltered us from your righteous wrath, and we confess him, both morning and evening—evermore come our praises of victory.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Lord for your strong and tender salvation. Thank you for entering this fallen valley and drawing out from the hoard an heirloom, the gift of the Father as the right of the Son.
Thank you, O’LORD, for your intercession and eternal love: for you have done everything you have determined to do.
Supplication: May we serve you in peaceful abandon; without worry of tomorrow. May our sacrifices to you, be a broken spirit and a contrite heart; for you will not despise such an offering.
May your reputation be glorified in our submission, our love of you and of those before us. May we cherish Christ and be content in him above all else forever; amen. †

02/12/2023 #191—Sermon Passage: 1 Sam 28:3-25, Ps. 50 “Saul looks for answers”
Adoration: O’Gracious Father—who sits enthroned above, you O’Spirit, most humble and mighty God—summon the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting. Out of the heart of glory, you shine forth in perfect beauty and terror. Majestic and regal: a consuming fire and a mighty tempest go out before you. Who can stand near you and survive?
You speak and all of creation shutters. You call to the heavens above and to the earth below and weigh every soul according to your righteousness. You will not keep silent but when silence serves.
The heavens declare your goodness, for you are God—Judge—Slayer…the Great and Humble Lamb. From within your covenant, your faithful one’s rise, praise and draw near to you with assurance.
Yet still in the world, you harken them: “Hear, O my people, and I will speak; O’Israel, I will testify against you. I am God, your God. Not for your sacrifices do I rebuke you; your burnt offerings are always before me. I will not accept a bull from your house or goats from your folds.
For every beast of the forest and the cattle on a thousand hills belong to me. All the wild birds and all that moves in the field, is mine.
If I were hungry, I would not ask you for anything, for the world and all of its fullness are mine. Do you think I eat the flesh of bulls or drink the blood of goats? Offer to me a sacrifice of thanksgiving; perform your vows before me, and call upon me in your day of trouble; then I will deliver you, and you will glorify me.”
But to the wicked you say: “What right have you to recite my statutes or take my covenant on your lips? For you hate discipline, and you cast my words behind you. If you see a thief, you are pleased with him, and you keep company with adulterers.
You are always ready to speak evil and you never hesitate before lying. You sit and speak against your brother. You slander your own mother’s son. These things you have done, and I have been silent, so you have thought that I was like you.
But now I will take you to task and layout my charges against you. Listen to this, you who ignore me, or I will tear-you-apart and there will be no one to save you. Giving thanks is the sacrifice that glorifies and honors me. To one who orders his way rightly, I shall surely spare.”
Confession: O’Father, we confess, that when it seems you have not answered, we have sought other remedy—things and means, that are worthless and futile.
We have disguised our motives from others and forgotten that you see the heart. Forgive us our transgressions O’God—our ugliness at the heart of beauty and our weak and fleeting faith.
Thanksgiving: LORD God, receive now the earnest substance of our thanks. Thank you for loving us, drawing us out of the hoard, and making Christ our covenant—his life and death our deliverance.
Thank you for forgiving us our sins. Thank you for everlasting truth and eternal living joy.
Supplication: Father, make us now to be truthful in all ventures with conscience free and honest. Help us to seek remedy in you, by your Word and wise counsel; doing what seems right by reason and wisdom—as you give.
Give us not over to our own devices, nor let our paths grow darkened by hollow faith. Be our guide at every turn and make clear our home port in darkest night. In Christ—by the covenant of grace—amen. †

02/19/2023 #192—Sermon Passage: 1 Sam 29 “A Way to Escape”
Adoration: O’Father God—Savior and Spirit of Glory, bring to yourself praise and eminence for all things. We honor and adore you O’God.
All the wonders of your mighty hand show everywhere and in everything; in creation, in the Word, in all that is seen and unseen. You are not the God of fools and transgressors but of those who respect, love, and obey you. They are righteous because of you.
Blessed be you O’God of our salvation. You are our deliverance from death and safe passage through an imminent and tragic world. Though in it, yet not of it, out of it we come.
We are no more its children, but yours. For you set the ways and boundaries of all things. From all that we are spared, in all that we endure and amid all that enfolds in upon us, you are our Rock of escape.
O’LORD, as a matter of conscience, we are subject to those who govern; for they are established and exist by your authority. Though their edicts may be evil, you are our God and we respect the way in which you move. We shall honor you alone in all that we do, and pay all that that is required of us; respect and honor, to whom it is due.
Still, always our spirits are in your hands, as you are in us. For to those, who in perseverance do good, seeking glory, honor, and immortality, you shall give eternal life. Whoever serves you must follow you. For your servants will be where you are; to obey you in all things.
Because you live and are truly Life, we shall be upright and virtuous; especially so amid our enemies. Though they are blind, they will see whom it is we serve. They will find in us only that which they already hate. Though we will stand blameless—having done nothing dishonorable, they will yet loath us as they do you.
O Lord, God of our salvation, we cry out to you day and night. Let our prayers come up before you; incline your ear to our cries! For our souls do feel forsaken in troubles, as our lives draw near to death.
We know like all, we shall die, yet not to descend but to rise-up; for our life is there, in you. Our prayers O’Father, come always before you; our hearts are open to you. From morning to evening, we look up.
We embrace the way you lead us. Your steadfast love and faithfulness are bound about our necks and written on our heart. You have brought peace to those who were far off and to those who were near. The peace you have given us, is added to us. You give us to know you—your favor and your goodness surround us.
The peace you give to us, is not like that of the world. Our trust rests in you. We will not fear anything which you have overcome; nor forget your love in troubled times. For you have conquer the world and swept away its power.
Confession: So, we confess all our ways to you O’God; our apprehensions and our transgressions; yet more-so, our confidence in you O’LORD, Creator of heaven and earth. We trust in all that you have done and shall yet do.
That you came to us a man; lived a perfect life, took our sins upon yourself and died the death we had earned. You descended to your faithful dead and freed them from the shadows. You resurrected—rose to the Father’s right hand and from there, shall return to judge the living and the dead.
We trust in God the Holy Spirit, your universal church, our unity as your chosen, the forgiveness of our sins and the resurrection of our bodies to life everlasting.
Thanksgiving: Thank you O’Father for calling us into one body, where the peace of Christ dwells and surpasses all understanding. Thank you for guarding our hearts and minds. We are grateful that you have not given us a spirit of fear but of power, love and self-control. Thank you for truth and justice and for all that is to soon take place.
Supplication: We ask now strengthen our resolve to trust in you with all of our heart, mind and soul. Help us to lean on you rather than ourselves. Give us constant reassurance for we are needful and in anguished without it. If our trust is not enough, please help us to have enough. We know that if we can have true confidence in you—all things are possible.
So, to you our eternal King, who is immortal, invisible, the only God—be honor and glory for ever-and-ever, amen. †

02/26/2023 #193—Sermon Passage: 1 Sam 30 “Strengthened in the LORD”
Adoration: O’LORD God, you are now, have always been and shall ever be, LORD of lords and King of kings—our Creator, Savior, and Sustainer. Your Kindness and great virtues assure us. For we are now at ease to speak with you freely, that by the words of our Lord you will know our hearts.
With humility and awe—in Christ, we come directly to you. With reverence, reason, and trepidation we present our pleas. We have raised our voices and wept above the noise of our struggles. Our strength fades into dreams, and our feeble mutterings into non-sense.
We come to you out of bitter times and though the Lord speaks for us, forgive us our lack of elegance. We plead always in hope and anticipation of your goodness and accord. Keep us then from stumbling over wrong desires, as those who run in darkness. For our true strength is now in you, O’God our Father.
Your mercy has put an end to the distance between us. The Holy has made noble the desolate. The wretched have become hallowed through your forbearance.
To know that you hear us and listen to our case O’God, is a delight to our souls. We once lived in darkness with darkened thoughts but you pierced through it and renewed our troubled hearts. Now in you, we see all that our hearts have desired.
Such grace and mercy are beyond understanding, yet we grasp hold of it as a child to their mother, and the misery of our endurance fades to the back. For you cover us in assurances that flow down from above. Even in the face of immanent death, your mercies in Christ surround us, your very Spirit transforms us.
In the day we called out to you, you answered us; made us bold with confidence in you and strengthened our souls come what may. You set us upon a path to pursue, overcome and destroy the works of our foe.
In his own courts and strongholds, you struck him down, and all who fought against you were returned to dust. All the wicked and worthless will understand whom it is they fought.
Confession: Father, forgive us yet our sins though we are justified in Christ. We confess that our depravities yet injure us and others.
Forgive us when we think ourselves more honorable than those you did not send out; for we are born of the same house.
Forgive us for when we have thought our knowledge to be a prize we earned, rather than a commission of duty, greater humility, and greater trepidation.
For you give to your little ones everything they need. If greater knowledge and understanding, then greater weight to carry.
Thanksgiving: So, in retrospect of all our blessings, it seems to feeble minds that our thanks and adoration are never enough. Yet our words of gratitude surely match our hearts. You alone know O’Lord, you alone know all things.
Supplication: We pray Father, bring to our thoughts our daily blessings, that we should not stumble over momentary trials. Build our faith into an impenetrable fortress in which sling and arrow, sword and spear cannot find purchase.
Be deeply engrained in the trenches of our minds, that every thought and act will be captive to your glory. Bring us always to the place you have prepared in Christ, amen. †

03/12/2023 #194—Sermon Passage: 1 Peter 3:18-20 “The Decent of Christ”
Adoration: O’God, we praise you from our inmost being, our souls that you have formed, worship your holy name. The good things you give to us, we shall not forget. You are with us in hard times and there with us in the dark. You have forgiven our sins and redeemed our lives from the pit.
O’God, we cannot heal ourselves but you heal and restore us. You crown us with steadfast love, mercy, and compassion. You satisfy our needs with good things and restore us as though a young eagle.
You O’Lord, are just and you work righteousness for our sake. Death and iniquity surround us, yet our hope is never shattered. For you are compassionate, gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in love.
Your ways are higher than ours and your kindness is renowned. You show all mankind that you are God. It is evident to them, because you have made known your deeds.
They are without excuse, for ever since the creation of the world your eternal power and divine nature have been clearly perceived in the things that have been made. Yet who has honored you? Who has held on to you? Who has thanked you? With futile thinking and foolish darkened hearts, they adore what they create and despise their Creator.
And you rightly find fault with the guilty and unrepentant. Your wrath is harbored against those who insult your righteousness and offend your purity. Your fury and anger are rightly proven against the wicked forever. Yet not so for the elect. For you do not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities.
As high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is your love for those who fear you, and esteem your holy name. As far as the east is from the west, so far have you removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so you have compassion upon those who fear you.
For you know how we are formed, and you remember that we are dust. Our mortal lives are set. Our days are like the grass and flower of the field. We flourish for a time; the wind passes over us, and we are gone; this place considers us no more. But from everlasting to everlasting, your life is weaved in upon us. Your love and mercy surround us—both body and soul.
Those who honor you, with whom you covenant, who remember your precepts and trust in your ways, know you have established your throne in the heavens, and your kingdom—rules over all.
So, from the depths of our souls we bless you. With the mighty angles who obey you and do your bidding, we praise you. For all things are under your domain. You shake the earth and under the earth as well, saying: “It is finished!”
You have harrowed the pit and broke it apart. You save the faithful in glorious march—victory from the bonds of death… O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting? Those who trust in you, you will never forsake nor abandon. You redeem all that is yours.
Confession: You have made our confessions true. From out of the soul, we confess your life, death, and resurrection. All that you are, is fully upon us. We are yours and you are ours. You O’Lord—are our confession.
Thanksgiving: With thankful hearts our souls praise you O’Lord. We give thanks, for you have given us victory over sin and death. We thank you in all circumstances; for peace, salvation, eternal life and your soon return.
Supplication: LORD, you have made us righteous in Christ. Your eyes are upon us. Your ears are open to our prayers. Help us then, to seek all that is precious to you: The enduring beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, unity of purpose, sympathy, brotherly love, tender hearts, and humble minds. Help us to exercise grace toward one-another, that our prayers will not be hindered.
Help us to bless and not to harm. Renew our minds daily and keep us aware of our every thought and deed. Help us to quiet our hearts before our tongues speak evil or deceit. Help us be zealous for what is good even if we should suffer for righteousness’ sake.
We know the sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. So, we thank you always O’God, for you have given us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. May we honor Christ as our Lord in everything—finding it better to suffer for what is good, rather than do any evil in harm of our witness. Amen. †

03/19/2023 #195—Sermon Passage: Psalm 85 “Revive Us Again”
Adoration: LORD God—our shield and our strength, bread of life and Spirit of truth, you see and know all O”LORD, past and future.
We always see what-was more clearly than what-is, and the future, as only shadows. Our sins have weighed us down, injured our perceptions and brought us uncertainty. But your mercy O’God—lifts our sins from off our souls, frees us from our burdens and open our eyes to see.
Our sin, repugnant and foul, was a stain we could not cleanse. Yet your mercy hid it and us in Christ who has borne it, and carried it away. Under the cover of love, every spot and wrinkle has been obscured and wonderfully hidden from sight. We lament over it, but you do not. For we are no more an affront to heaven.
O’LORD, you are gracious and good. You have not dealt with us in your fierce anger against our rebellion, but have poured out your fury upon our Savior, to satisfied justice. Though we complain of a hard providence, our memory of your mercies—restoration—forgiveness, and peace—enfold us, and we know well your great compassion toward us.
O’LORD, all the earth belongs to the you and all the heavens are your courts. You own and rule over all. You judge and destroy the wicked, yet your give favor to your people forever. Our longing for the new and restored land, is always our lament. It is before you day and night. Yet, your plan for our good is our comfort. You are faithful to your covenant—O’God of our salvation. You revive us, and love those who fear you. Our hearts are entrenched in you and your Word is our hope and glory. We shall never return to our madness nor the distractions of the world. We are captivated by your beauty—the merging of Love, Faith, and Peace. Your righteousness O’LORD, comes down to us from above.
Confession: Always in sorrow, we confess our sins—yet we rejoice, that the iniquity which hindered peace and separated our bond, is gone now forever. In Christ, forgiven and settled, you delight now in our innermost being. For you have given us a way to trust and taught us wisdom in the secret heart.
Thanksgiving: O’LORD, we enter your gates with shouts of thanks and your courts with songs of worship. Hear then our tidings and blessing of joy. Your steadfast love and faithfulness endure forever; for you are always good.
Receive our praise O’Rock of our salvation. We give all thanks to you and bless your holy name. In every word and every deed; we will tell the world of your wonderful works of righteousness.
Supplication: Yet Lord, so our reward is true, help us to never practice virtue only to be seen by others. Help us to never be pretenders, who make a big noise over our good deeds—in want of the praise of others.
And when we give, let it be that our left hand knows nothing of what our right has done in secret. For we know Father, that you see in secret and all that the heart esteems. So too, may our prayers be hidden with our fellowship and in the secret place where you are.
Father, keep us now from all evil, and keep our lives close to yours, as we go out into the world and return-again. For your glory and our life in Christ we pray, amen. †

03/26/2023 #196—Passage: Rev. 5:9-10 “God Knows & Loves every Languages”
Adoration: O’LORD Father, your kindness and mercy have shown us your tender heart. We abide in you and you in us. You have given us your Son and sent us your Spirit. You watch over our souls and comfort us in our trials. Your everlasting love always assures us.
O’Creator, Crafter of worlds and nations: By your Word all-things and everything is framed for your glory. You—who are all knowing—know every thought of man and love all his languages; especially, the secret language of the heart. Your love breaks through the barriers of dialect and the fetters of culture. Your message is clear us—to whom you give knowledge. We are one with you and one-together.
Before the foundations of the world were laid, you loved us and planned our pilgrim journey. The days and places we roam, are in your hands. We are
not our own, for we are yours. Because you first loved us, we love. Because you gave us life, we live.
Where we your children gather O’Lord, there you are. With one-another and the armies of heaven, we sing: Holy, Holy, Holy is our Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come. You have established a kingdom of priests for your glory. We are all-together in awe of your love and justice. We wait for the final war. Then, you will rip apart the garment and remove the mixed and mingled threads. You will separate the fabric of the world from its evil weave and make all things right. Come Lord Jesus, we long for your return.
Confession: Until then, O’God, hear our confessions of sin in sorrow. So too, our confession of belief and trust. We confess our great desires: to honor you in our homes and daily ventures; to teach our children and those in our charge; to walk in the light of your authority and to bring integrity to your name in all that we think, say, and do.
Thanksgiving: Thank you Father, for redemption and reconciliation in Christ. Thank You O’Spirit, you restore us and ensure our perseverance. You strengthen us to endure whatever may come. We thank you O’LORD—for your wonderful display of power in salvation and the re-formation of lives.
Thank you, Lord—our Advocate. You stand before the Father adorned in righteousness—where you intercede and plead our case. Thank you for your sacrifice which atoned for the sins of all who believe.
Supplication: Give us now, we pray—stronger resolve and greater command of belief; that we may show our devotion by how we have kept your commands. May our lives in all aspects, show renewed minds in Christ. Whether you send us out but a few steps or to another continent; make us holy by your word—that it will not return empty, but accomplish all you have determined. As you have commanded, help us to make disciples in every tribe and every nation. For all who call upon you—will not be disheartened.
We praise you O’God our Savior. As it is in heaven, may you be glorified from every plane, on every mountain and in every valley upon the earth—amen. †

04/09/2023 #197—Easter—Passage: 1 Cor. 12-26 “Why Resurrection Maters”
Adoration:LORD God in Heaven, Holy Father, Son,and Spirit—you are almighty God, there is no other; Eternal—Triune—Holy, and Splendid. You are Transcendent—Immanent and Inexplicable: Perfect in beauty—perfect in love—complete in every way. One and three—together ruling with grace, mercy, and justice. You are the One source of all things—yet there is nothing you need. You spoke—and all things formed—fashioned for their purpose. You command what you will, and so it becomes.
In your eternal love and wisdom O’God you knew all your little ones. You determined our course from before the world was set afire and the structures of the earth arose. Though in shame we fell beneath the waters, in love, you gave us your Son, who willingly came forth for our sake, obedient, omnipotent,and free.
O’LORD, our simple minds can capture only-but-a-hint of your glory; yet enough to reveal our-troubled-state. For our wounded minds, doleful words, and unfolding visions—are inadequate means to praise you fully. Our attempts to form proper thoughts and sufficient passions are leaden and dull, every effort—falling short of your acclaim. Yet we shall speak of you as you have taught us, that the world may come to know you better.
Still, like infants yearning fora mother’s embrace, a father’s strength, and a place of shelter, we delight in all that you do. Receiving mercy by providence, trusting in your provisions, desiring life, and peace from depth of need, you adorn us in righteousness and goodness. For you doall things for the good of those who love you. You show us yourself in unimagined ways. Though content in you now, you shall forever open our hearts and build our intellect—that we would know you at greater depth and enjoy you ever more. Yet for now, can we only dream—and see in portion of what beauty will come. Your splendor—willgive us everlastingly ascent.
Confession:O’Father, our confession of truth, peace, and forgiveness is dear to us: For our Lord was conceived by Holy Spirit to the sweet-virgin whom he formed. She bore him into the world, and for a while, his home was here, in this place of ruin. He endured sorrow, suffering, and death to
serve justice and the dire-price of peace. He took our sins onto himself and covered us in his perfection. In his boundless love, he made us his pure and beautiful bride.
For all of this—our sin and his love—he was crucified, dead, and buried. He went down into the depths of the dead, and from there arose to prove God’s favor, his victory, and our faith. He rose to the Father’s side—Almighty-God-in-heaven. From there, on the secret day, he will return to judge every spirit—living and dead. His people-his-church, shall persevere to the rising—the resurrection of the body—and life-everlasting. In all this, we believe and rejoice.
Thanksgiving:Thank you, O’Lord Messiah—for death-our-enemy has fallen and we celebrate—giving you thanks and tribute. You were the first to rise and we shall be next—you know whom you have chosen. Thank you for your glorious victory over the Evil-One. Your victory is ours—we are forever grateful.
Supplications:Help us now O’Lord, to live well, grow wise and to trust in you more for all things. Make us a blessing to others. May our outer-and-inner person show true. Help us remove all pretense from our ways—that we might show you to the world as you are.
Give us wisdom, strong resolve, and presence of mind to live and die well. Train our hearts in courage, kindness, and courtesy. Increase our desire for your virtue and make us a blessing to the world—yet keep us always fierce in battle.
Because you live, may we live in this place with confidence.Because you suffered, may we walk through our suffering. Because you conquered death and rose out of the grave, may we never fear it, but look through the mist and shadows, to see our lives there, deep within your glory.
Christ has risen from the dead—our Lord has risen. The tomb is empty. Upper Sheol is abandoned. The Evil-One has fallen and heavens angles rejoice. Glory and power to Christ forever and ever, amen. †

04/16/2023 #198 Intro to the Gospel of John
Adoration:O’LORD—our Strength—our Teacher—our Comforter, Blessed God, King of Kings and only Ruler: You are our Sovereign—our Creator and our Sustainer—God of Peace and Bread of life. You are holy and your name is above all names: Abba Father—True Vine—Spirit of Holiness.
Your goings forth are from long ago, from the days of eternity. You are before all things, and in you O’Lord—all things hold together. You are the first and the last, the beginning and the end. You are from and with the Father. Our Fathers have heard your voice, looked upon you, and touched you—(the Word of Life) with their hands.
So it is, that we too have seen you, testify of you and proclaim you to the world. You have shown life eternal to the dead and have captured the living in your hands. You have placed your right hand upon us, saying, “I am the living One, do not be afraid. I was dead, yet behold, I am alive evermore, and I hold in my hands the keys of death and the abyss.
All of us like sheep had gone astray. Each one of us turned to his own way; But you O’Lord, caused the iniquity of us all to fall upon You. For you made us for yourself. Not from any need, but for the love and joy you give to us. We are children in your image, to reflect you, be like you, and enjoy you without end.
We are not our own and we praise you for it. Our restless hearts find rest in you only. For you are life and you are truth—the Rock from which living water flows. Our sojourn-home is in your presence O’Shepherd of our salvation.
Confession:We confess our sins daily and daily you forgive us our sins. For we can never do what is truly good, nor make rightour debts to you. You and you only are the brightness of the Father’s glory. We are no longer a natural people but have the Spirit of renewal. Our sufficiency is in and from you alone. Without you we can do nothing.
Thanksgiving:We thank you, that you have adopted us into your covenant family; followers—believers by your will which is now ours too. We thank you that you always hear our prayers; for we know, that we have nothing
without your gifts to us—we are content to rely upon you. Your grace and mercyalone are our source of thanksgiving and trust.
Supplications:Give us this day—and in all our days, your bread of life; to sustain, to encourage, and be hope to us. Help us for the sake of true-love, to abandon the momentary things of the world: self-interests over interest in others, illusions of success above true success and the pursuit of happiness rather than character.
Grant us wisdom to make the most of every moment for your sake. Remind us daily what is means to serve other as you have served us. May our brief lives be honorable because you are honorable. May you cause us to live in such a way that everything we do brings honor and glory to your name. May our countenance communicate grace and our hope prove appealing –that the lost will ask: “What is this hope in a world of sorrow? “It is Christ and him alone,” we shall say, amen.†

04/23/2023 #199 Passage: John 1:1 The Divine Word-Prolog
Adoration:Father-God—our Shepherd and Redeemer of souls, we call out to you in humble approach, to praise, confess, thank, and ask for your countenance upon us. If your way is in us, your Son has approved us. For our salvation He came down from heaven; Light from Light—God from God, our strength and perfection—in whom we dwell and have our being.
You O’Lord, are from all eternity—full of Grace and truth; Maker of heaven and earth. Before either void or form, you were. You spoke, and at once both the hollow and elements appeared. You shaped each by command from above the waters of the deep—and all goodness leapt into existence: In obedience, the stars in their orbits and the universe in its circle, stretched out. The earth, sun, and moon settled in their places and man looked upon his home—your majestic decree—a perfect display of glory and splendor.
By your word the heavens were made and by the breath of your mouth—all their hosts. From the dust of the ground, you formed man; and by your breath of life—he became a living being—innocent and pure. Yet by his own accord, he turned away to ruin. Still, in steadfast love, you suffered to sing
truth and peace to all who could hear. And from the spoil, you delivered all who turned and trusted. You made righteous the unrighteous and stayed forever death eternal.
Apart from you O’Lord, nothing was made that has been made. With power, justice, and truth, you shall wipe clean the mire restore beauty to the disfigured and reunite the divided. You alone O’Lord are preeminent in all things. For no one makes us children of God but God himself. From the Father’s thrown, through the Son and by the Holy Spirit…to those who believe, the is given right to become children of God.    
Confession:In Joy we confess our belief in one God, Father, Son, and Spirit. We confess with sorrow that we have and yet do sin. But Christ has justified us in himself by his works before you O’Father. Our repentance is by his grace and his mercy restores us daily.
Thanksgiving:Our thankfulness is from the depths of the souls you have redeemed. Thank you, O’Lord our God, High Priest before the thrown of God who has dealt with all our iniquities, weaknesses, and needs.
We are thankful for your power and work in our lives. Thank you for your goodness and blessings untold. You are our hope and our strength through difficult times. You are always with us and will never leave us, so, we shall endure. We give you all praise and thanks, for you alone are worthy!
Supplications:We pray, strengthen us now for your purposes. Help us to enclose ourselves in robes of truth, peace, and hope. Open our hearts and eyes throughout our sojourn and renew our spirits daily. Morning and night, in our waking and our sleep, fill our minds with your Word and increase our dependenceupon you. In Christ we trust—through him we pray, amen.†

04/30/2023 #200 Passage: John 1:1-5 The Majesty of Christ “Prolog”
Adoration:Gracious Father, Savior—King, Sanctifier of our souls—O’God: All glory and honor belong to you. All things are from your hand; nothing outshines your presence. You are the Beginning and the End. All things are dull in contrast to you.
All beauty is from your beauty. There is nothing more Exquisite, nothing Purer, and nothing as Magnificent. The dreams and visions of men can only—at great distance—imagine your splendor—the fulness of which belongs to you only, our Triune God.
You spoke your will, and it was so. In an instant, the heavens and earth formed. Below you, all of heaven with its armies and all of earth with its creatures burst upon the scene; praising God from whom all blessings flow. In you alone is Life and light, beauty and wisdom, joy and wonder, wholeness, and delight.
Indeed—you made everything in perfect order and finished purpose. All things precise—all things whole—seamless and resolved. Hence, you made man in your image, alive with beauty and virtue. You formed him out of the dust—and in him, all mankind. You gave life and light to flesh and soul.
Even so, out of awakened desire—and the turning of his heart, he brought forth sin and disobedience. He embraced the darkness of joyless—dismal death; and descended from fellowship to solitude, peace to disquiet, and from ease to hardship. His brilliance faded, his virtues ebbed, and his beauty dulled—cast off into the shallows. From darkness of heart and corrupted longings, he formed for himself—chaos, disorder, and madness.  
Then you—God’s final Word spoken, pure and humble, surged through and ruptured the darkness. No greeting came to you but death, no salute but the stones gathered to throw and no embrace but that of a cross.
Still the darkness could not overcome your splendor, but rolled back before you. The blackness of sorrow—bathed in light. And the Prophets yet cry out: “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary;
his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power tothe faint, and to him who has no might, he increases strength.”
Confession:  Father, from the depths of our being, we confess Jesus as our Lord and Savior, and not so from natural reasoning, but by the power of your love, O’God. We confess our awe and wonder for what he has done for us. Yet we are still weakened by an inclination to wander. We confess that our imperfect faith clouds our thoughts.
For when we pray, when we ask for the desires of our hearts, it is hard to look beyond the pain. When we pray for one thing—it is always against another. You have known every sorrow, so, we know you hear our weeping, our pleas for help and our arguments. For the world drops trouble upon us daily. In anger, it bears a grudge against us. Disease, violence, and the evil of men surround us, and move in upon us.
Horror and dismay enter our dreams and a raging wind and tempests beat down. So, our confession includes our plea: “Deliver us from evil O’Lover of our souls.”  
Thanksgiving:Nevertheless, in all things, we are truly—truly thankful. Your grace is sufficient—your promises are true. We praise you in our hearts and with our tongues.
You comfort our souls and we are thankful. Even in the middle of death, we are grateful. That your love always covers us and your will is for our good, gives us hope and a path to you.  
Supplications:Give now an ear to our prayers O’LORD, our pleas for mercy are before you day and night. Help us to pray as we should, that our prayers are a delightto you and our obedience a joy.
Grant us our requests if you will, and help us with joyful heart, to reason through their denial.
May our desires meet up with yours in fullest and trustiest submission.
In Christ, we pray, amen.†

05/14/2023 #201 Passage: John 1:19-34 Sermon Title: The Trifold Witness”
Adoration:LORD God, our King—Creator—Source of all Virtue and Purity: You are Life, Love, Righteousness and Truth; there is no other. Great shame and reproof—upon all challengers. Their delusions are born of sin and so—their judgment. They are deaf and blind. Yet, we hear your perfect silence and deafening call; both give brilliance and fellowship to those who love you.
The world in distain and pointless affront, demands to know what we say of ourselves—they are disingenuous—and we shall offer them only our silence. Yet about the glory of God, we will cry out in humble refrain: “Our unholy warfare has ended, our iniquity is pardoned. The Lord himself has atoned for our wickedness. He has appeased the Father’s wrath against us in double measure. By his works and his suffering, he has resolved our great debt. By his love, he makes all things new.”
Yet still, from ancient of days to even this moment, a voice cries out in the wilderness: “Prepare the desert for the way of the Lord; make straight a path for our God. For every valley shall be lifted high, and every mountain and hill, made low; the uneven ground shall become level, and the rough places a plain. The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh together, shall see it, for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
The Word of God stands forever. Along with him, we cry out: “All flesh is grass, and all its beauty is like the flower of the field. When the breath of the LORD blows upon it, thegrass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God shall stand forever.”
O’Lord, Son of God and Son of man, you stand among your chosen. The Spirit, like a dove, has descended from heaven to baptize his little ones. The Lord calls them; they hear his voice and they follow. He makes them his hands and feet. His sorrow and theirshas turned to joy. The world has no part in it.
Confession:We confess O’Lord, that although we should not be troubled, nor doubt in the face of your assurance; our sin troubles us and our doubts haunt us. Yet our disbelief has turned to trust and our trust to wonder-and-worship.
For you have shown us yourself and so we have seen the father. You have given your life for us—our salvation is assured. Surely, whoever believes in you is not condemned, but those who will not, are condemned already. For they do not believe in your name—the Father’s only Son.
Thanksgiving: Thank you for the Light that has come into the world, though people love their blindness—our eyes are fixed upon you. We have seen plainly what we have done in your sight O’God, and are thankful that only you can take away our sins and those of the world. Thank you for giving us the courage to no longer fear our sins exposed. For by your mercy and grace, we live.
Supplications:Forgive us again every day we pray, and when we grow restless in the silence, help us to hear the Father’s Final Word—our Lord. May we hear every tone and nuance of his voice. May it resonate in our words, thoughts, and dreams. May all creation be shaken to the core by its sound and may the proud be reduced to nothing. Humble our hearts and help us to always speak the truth in love. We ask all things in Jesus Christ, our Lord, amen. †

05/21/2023 #202 Passage: John 1:35-51 Sermon Title: “Come and see”
Adoration: Our Father in Heaven, praise, honor, and glory be to you, to your beloved Son our Lord, and to your Eternal Spirit who dwells in us, evinces love—joy and peace; manifest patience, kindness, and goodness; gives rise to our faithfulness, and bring about gentleness and self-control. Against such things, the law can compete nor cause us to do what truly honors you.
For in mind—heart and body, we are yours. Our souls wander in foreign lands but our home is with us—and ever before us. Our eyes have opened to seethe true Lamb of God. The blindness of our hearts has fallen away. The noise of the desert winds and the oppressive heat, have calmed.
His voice, softly-and-clearly—soothing-and-familiar, moves through the clamor of our angst, to give us new names. To baptize us with Holy Spirit; and see heaven above opened; the angels of God ascending-and-descending on him, who takes our sins away. This is the Son of God—our
God, who has given us what we had not pursued—and bids now: “Follow; come to where I am; come andsee all you that have not imagined, and more than your dreams have promised. I have called you—and with you, I will call others—even a multitude you cannot perceive.”
Everything good has come to you and found you where you are, even in the depths of depravity from which I have brought you up. For you were dead and could do nothing for yourself but the King of the Universe did not forsake you, and has brought you to his courts to live for all time.  
Confession:LORD we confess our belief in all you have done. Even before the foundations of the world were formed you chose us, you saw us when we were far off and called us to your home. All of this, not for some virtue that we would demonstrate, but for the virtue you demonstrate to the world through your Son.
So, in every dark venue and every clamoring crowd, we shall confess that the light has come, the stillness has spoken and the enemy has fallen. We will confess all you have said, proven and shall yet prove; that what is-and-is-not-yet, are never estranged—but always united in Christ.
Thanksgiving:Our gratitude is here seen—in the condition of our hearts. We do not offer only the words of thanks, but in love, all that you have commanded of us and now see in our hearts. So, in unity, our songs of praise and thanksgiving are never trite but hold every truth we can gather.
Your willing Spirit O’God, is the joy of our great salvation. Our gratitude is now before you. You have shown us that nothing we have earned—remains. We know you will show us greater things than we could hope for.
Supplications:Help us now to comprehend something of what we will be. For death, though conquered, is a frightening thing. Help us to see the fullness of life beyond what looms about us here. For the truth of life eternal is inviting, though deaths’ embrace is yet a sorrow. It encompassed us on all sides and pursues us day and night; but only once, and never again.
Help us we pray, to see more clearly. For our vision is often tunneled and the peripheral dims around us. Our hope is at times is fleeting and a feeling of abandonment fills the night. But we will trust you and always ask that your good pleasure be done in us now and forever, amen. †

05/28/2023 #203 Passage: John 2:1-12 Sermon Title: “The Good Wine”
Adoration:Our Father in heaven you are blessed, righteous, and pure. All honor, glory, and awe are due your name. Every creature owes you homage, worship, and praise. The Lord is mediator before you. He is our priest and king. He is the true prophet and champion of heaven and the Holy Spirit, his great and faithful armor bearer.
LORD, an assault against you is an assault against the eternal. Crimes against you are the highest offense. For an attack on infinite purity, goodness, and beauty is like no other. It is a rebellion of perpetual enmity against the Fount of Love and Righteousness.
It is an incursion of pure wickedness into what is wholesome and good. Eternal justice against an eternal crime of perpetual animosity, brings an eternal sentence and proves as Just for the severity of the offense.
So, at the fulness of time, in the presence of the beloved and the enemy as well, the signs, wonders and warnings came as marvels: to accredit, distinguish, and prove that the Word of Truth had arrived. To givepurchase to the prophecies and serve as markers, the herald of reality arisen. All prior illusions must melt away for the Kingdom of God has arrived.
The Bridegroom has come to claim and purify his bride for the wedding celebration. His presence causes our hearts gladness. You have made for us, new and abundant wine, and lavished us in mercy and grace.
O’Son of man, you have come to your beloved in wonderful adornment; sitting, speaking, eating, and drinking at table. Freeing us from the old ways and thefaçades of virtue. From out of the common waters of man, you have made a rare and pleasant wine of celebration, the shadow of your own life-giving blood.
Confession:We confess O’Lord, that we cannot fathom your choice and we sin when we look to something in us that appealed to you. Why such a great desire for such an unattractive slew?
We were as water in clay jars, earthen vessels, muddled with debris, spirits without flavor. Yet you poured us into stone-vessels to make us something
new, flavorful, incorruptible, and pleasing. So, we confess that we are not what we were and not what we shall be. We have seen your marvelous works and we believe.
Thanksgiving: All thanks be to you O’God. You manifest your glory in your people and right every wrong justly. You have made us something mysterious, citizens of grace, people of the way and children of the one true God. Thank you for taking a bride whose beauty is revealed in your home, by your side, and to the world.
Supplications:Lord, we pray, help us to ask for what we should. Teach us to always do what you say. Make us attractive because you are beautiful. Tell us again and again what we ought to do, and we shall do it. Make us tasteful in a tasteless world, and a  pleasant fragrance amid the wafting stench.
Help our trust in Christ to grow, we pray, amen.†