Armor of God – Mon – 22-06-27



When I played high school football, our team followed a tradition to prepare for the game. We entered the locker room in silence. We quietly donned our gear and carried our helmets to the area just outside the building. When everyone was present, the coach gave us a pep talk. We pulled our helmets on and our captains led us on the walk two blocks to the field. Now we made noise, calling out “Let’s go Red.” We entered the field, running in single file past the opposing team. We formed lines and warmed up, yelling the exercise cadence as loudly and deeply as we could. Part of our routine was psychological. Part of it was necessary. You really do need cleats, helmet and shoulder pads to play American football.

In the spiritual battle of life, we also need equipment. That’s why Paul lists different items as the armor of God in Ephesians 6. Everyone needs helmet, shield and a sword right? But that is not the first thing he mentions. No, something else is of first importance for the spiritual battle. Verse 14 says, “Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist.” (NIV)

Today, many try to pressure us to change our beliefs about the value of life, equality, gender, sexuality, and more. The first defense we need is a clear understanding of truth. We need to read and study God’s word. Be sure you “buckle on” some bible today!


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Armor of God – Sun – 22-06-26



I have never experienced war. I can’t imagine what people on the front lines in Ukraine experience. The intense pressure of attacks, the restless nights of bombings, the worry for loved ones. Yet many stand firm. The words “stand firm” are appropriate for people in battle. Standing firm is the opposite of running, hiding, retreating.

At one time, this was literally true. In Jesus’ day, soldiers lined up with swords and spears to face each other. Standing fast, standing your ground, standing firm – that was an important key to success. Perhaps that is why Paul uses the language to describe the Christian life in Ephesians 6:10-13, “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.” (NIV)

Have you noticed we are now in a spiritual battle? We do not just face disinformation and discouragement. We are bombarded by malignant ideologies and pressured to hide our faith. If you follow Jesus, be bold. Don’t hide or retreat. Stand firm.


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Fathers – Sat – 22-06-25



Parenting is hard. Sometimes children break your heart. They make decisions that lead to pain, sometimes death. Many parents have mourned because their children succumbed to drugs or entangled themselves in gangs or landed in prison or pursued unhealthy relationships. Sometimes, children disown their parents. Many parents grieve for their wayward children.

The pain of a broken-hearted father provides the backdrop in the story of the prodigal son. A son demands his inheritance and runs off. He lives contrary to every wish and teaching of his father, wasting his inheritance. Eventually, broke and desperate to eat in an economic downturn, he returns to his father, seeking a job. But the father sees him coming and runs to hug him.  The father throws a party because his lost son returned. The older brother doesn’t understand the father’s joy. So the father has to explain it to him.

This story highlights the attitude of God toward all of us. We are the wayward children. He waits for us to come to our senses and return to him. He longs to hug us and celebrate our return. His attitude is that of the father, who said this to the older brother in Luke 15:32, “But we had to celebrate and be glad, because this brother of yours was dead and is alive again; he was lost and is found.” (NIV)

Remember, God desires a relationship with you. He is a loving father.


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Fathers – Fri – 22-06-24



When I was growing up, my father disciplined me. Sometimes, that involved a spanking. I know, that’s out of fashion today. But my dad was not harsh. I always deserved it. I never remember him disciplining me in a rage. He wanted to teach me respect and consequences for breaking the rules.

I suppose it is also out of fashion to think about God as a father who disciplines us. But that is exactly what Hebrews 12:7-11 says about hardship. It says, “Endure hardship as discipline; God is treating you as sons. For what son is not disciplined by his father? If you are not disciplined (and everyone undergoes discipline), then you are illegitimate children and not true sons. Moreover, we have all had human fathers who disciplined us and we respected them for it. How much more should we submit to the Father of our spirits and live! Our fathers disciplined us for a little while as they thought best; but God disciplines us for our good, that we may share in his holiness. No discipline seems pleasant at the time, but painful. Later on, however, it produces a harvest of righteousness and peace for those who have been trained by it.” (NIV)

Are you going through something difficult and painful? Remember that God loves you, even in the midst of tough times. He will use your experiences to produce righteousness and peace in you.


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Fathers – Thu – 22-06-23



Did you ever write something down so you wouldn’t forget it? I’ve seen people jot a phone number on their palm when they didn’t have paper. Many of us use a paper shopping list. Others jot out sticky notes and plant them on the refrigerator, the counter, mirror or door frame. I sometime use them to place a note to myself on my desk. Walk through any office and you’ll find at least one computer screen adorned with sticky notes

The act of writing something down and posting it helps us remember. Maybe that’s why Deuteronomy 11:18-21 stresses an ancient practice much like sticky notes. Speaking of God’s commands, it says, “Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates, so that your days and the days of your children may be many in the land that the LORD swore to give your forefathers, as many as the days that the heavens are above the earth.” (NIV)

God’s word is important to remember and observe. Take a moment today to jot down a verse of scripture on a sticky note and plant it in a place it can remind you of Him.


Fathers – Wed – 22-06-22



I enjoy contemporary Christian music. Many songs celebrate the fatherhood of God, but a few talk about being a father of children. Steven Curtis Chapman’s haunting piece “Cinderella” brings tears to my eyes, as it recounts a daughter growing up. But it seems contemporary Christian music generally lacks songs that celebrate the faithfulness of our parents or forefathers. At least, I couldn’t find any when I searched.

I also like old hymns. One old hymn celebrates the faith of those who went before. “Faith of Our Fathers” was written in by Frederick William Faber in 1849 to honor martyrs who were faithful unto death.*

We are blessed by the faith of those who go before us. I had great examples of faith. My father, father-in-law and grandfather were all followers of Jesus who were faithful to him and to their families. I’ve been blessed by their example. For many people, it is not their immediate family, but a father figure who has blessed their life as an example of faith.

Psalms 22:4-5 celebrates both the faithfulness of God and the Jewish forefathers. It reads, “In you our fathers put their trust; they trusted and you delivered them. They cried to you and were saved; in you they trusted and were not disappointed.” (NIV)

Remember, your faith is an example for those who follow. Remain faithful to God and love the people around you.


*”Faith of Our Fathers,” GodTube, https://www.godtube.com/popular-hymns/faith-of-our-fathers/

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Fathers – Tue – 22-06-21



When my children were toddlers, I sat one night in the recliner, deeply engrossed in a novel. I don’t remember the title, but it was probably sci-fi or something by Tom Clancy. One of my children stepped up beside the recliner and asked for a drink of water. Without taking my eyes from the book, I automatically answered, “No.” Elaine heard my reply from the kitchen. She broke my concentration and asked if I knew the answer I had given. I’m sorry to say, I didn’t even remember the question. When I understood the request, of course I wanted to give my child a drink of water.

Thankfully, God is never distracted. He always hears our prayers. Listen to Luke 11:9-13 talk about God’s response to our prayers, “So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.  For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (NIV)

Our God is a father who hears us and gives us good things!


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Fathers – Mon – 22-06-20



Have you ever developed a blister? I’ve gotten blisters on my hands, usually from using garden tools without gloves. I’ve also had them on the heel of my foot. Those on the foot can make it painful to walk. Nobody likes blisters!

Blisters form under constant irritation. Something continually rubs against your skin, like a new pair of shoes. The constant friction eventually raises the blister. This is a great mental picture when reading Colossians 3:21, “Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” (NIV) The word embitter means to stir up, to provoke, to irritate. It talks about one who is continually needling another person.

This is inappropriate for fathers. They must avoid constant friction with their children. Continually harping at them and irritating them discourages them. Think of it as an emotional blister. A parallel passage in Ephesians 6:4 gives the alternative. It says, “Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.”

So, combining the instruction in these passages tells fathers to encourage their children, train them and teach them about God. As an example, watch the heavenly Father. God challenges, corrects, teaches, loves and encourages. But He does not irritate or provoke us to anger. He is a God of love and grace. If you are a father, be like him!


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Fathers – Sun – 22-06-19



Today is Father’s Day, a day to honor the approximately 70 million fathers currently living in the United States.* I suppose that number includes both baby daddies and real fathers. Being a father is certainly more than being involved in a child’s conception. Fathers take the time to love us, provide for us and train us for adulthood. How will you honor your father or the men who were like fathers to you?

The first known observance to honor fathers occurred on July 5, 1908 when a Virginia church held an event to honor men killed in an explosion at the Fairmont Coal Company mines.* But the annual observance actually began in Washington state the following year. People have been honoring fathers on this day in different ways since that time.

One interesting event occurred in 1916, when President Wilson honored fathers in a snazzy new way. Thanks to the telegraph, he pushed a button in Washington D.C. and a flag unfurled in Spokane, Washington, thousands of miles away. One of the first instances of remote control.* Ahh, the remote control. Fathers still like those today!

Of course, we don’t need a national observance to know honoring fathers is good. We have the Ten Commandments. Exodus 20:12 says, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you.” (NIV)

Take time today to honor your father.


*”Father’s Day 2022,” History, May 31, 2022, https://www.history.com/topics/holidays/fathers-day.

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Daniel – Sat – 22-06-18



Nobody wants to break the law. Oh, ok, I take that back. There are many people who are quite willing to break the law. But I’m sure the listeners of this podcast are law abiding folks. So why am I talking about breaking the law? Because the Old Testament prophet Daniel was a law breaker. Did you know that? Oh, he didn’t break every law, just one. His political enemies hoodwinked the king into passing a law forbidding prayer for 30 days, except to the king. Those who broke the law, would be executed.

Daniel 6:10 tells what Daniel did, “Now when Daniel learned that the decree had been published, he went home to his upstairs room where the windows opened toward Jerusalem. Three times a day he got down on his knees and prayed, giving thanks to his God, just as he had done before.” (NIV)

Daniel broke the law against prayer. The king threw him into the lion’s den as the law demanded. But God’s angel saved Daniel. Then the king executed those who had tricked him into passing the law. And he issued a decree to honor God.

Daniel is an example of faith and commitment. Do we live our faith openly? If following Jesus were illegal, would we continue to follow him? Would people catch us breaking any laws against faith in Christ? We must follow what God says is right. We must dare to be faithful and committed, just like Daniel.


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