Names of God – Thu – 22-12-01



Have you noticed how names given to newborn babies seem to cycle in popularity? According to the United States Social Security Administration, the names Denise, Karen, Brett and Bryan are becoming less popular. I’ve known many people with those names. Today, the most popular names are Liam, Noah, Olivia and Emma. Sixty years ago, the most popular names were Michael, David, Lisa and Mary.

I suppose the popularity of God’s names also changes some. Oh, I don’t mean God changes his name. The popularity of many of his names changes with us. We like to think of God with some names and forget others. Take the name “Lord of Hosts.” People don’t use it much these days. You can find it in the King James Version in 1 Samuel 17:45. It records the speech of David to Goliath in their ultimate face-off. It says, “Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the name of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.”

The name Lord of Hosts emphasizes God leads an army of angels. In his taunt, David emphasized that God leads a vast army of angels and the army of Israel. This name should give us boldness like David’s. If we step forward to do God’s will, what giant can defy us?


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Names of God – Wed – 22-11-30



Peace. Don’t we all want peace? I’m sure the people of Ukraine want peace. They want an end to the death and destruction inflicted in the current war. I’m sure the people of Russia want peace too. Another type of peace we all want is freedom from crime. We want peaceful streets we can walk without fear.

Peace is the lack of conflict, the security from any attack. Whether people realize it or not, another peace they need is peace with God. Because we disobey God, we are subject to his justice, his punishment. We need peace.

Gideon understood this when he met an angel of the Lord. Listen to the account in Judges 6:22-24, ‘When Gideon realized that it was the angel of the LORD, he exclaimed, “Ah, Sovereign LORD! I have seen the angel of the LORD face to face!”
But the LORD said to him, “Peace! Do not be afraid. You are not going to die.”
So Gideon built an altar to the LORD there and called it The LORD is Peace.”

The phrase “the Lord is peace” tells us God initiates peace, pays the price and restores the relationship. Remember what the angels said to the shepherds at the birth of Jesus? Luke 2:14 records it: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom his favor rests.” Today, praise the Lord who is peace.


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Names of God – Tue – 22-11-29



Have you ever pondered someone’s nickname. Some nicknames are given in jest. Like the huge man everyone calls “Tiny.” Others are variations on a longer name, such as “Bob” instead of “Robert.” Then there are the names that don’t make sense to us because we don’t know the story.

The same can be true of God’s names. They are important because they teach us about him. But some may cause us to scratch our heads if we don’t know the story. Try this one, “the Lord our righteousness.” It is found in Jeremiah 33:15-16, “In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David’s line; he will do what is just and right in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.” (NIV)

So, what does “the Lord Our Righteousness” tell us about God? Well, it refers to Jesus. He is the branch sprouting from David.  He fulfills this prophecy from Jeremiah. God supplies what is needed to satisfy his own justice. Jesus’ death on the cross pays the penalty so we can be declared righteous.

As 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (NIV) Today, worship the Lord our righteousness.


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Names of God – Mon – 22-11-28



Aren’t family members wonderful? Oh, ok. I know that many people have some terrible people in their family. Let me rephrase. Aren’t good family members wonderful? I’m sure you agree.

Do you have anyone in your family who is dependable? You know, they’re always there when you need them. I can say that about my father, father-in-law and about many of the others in my family. One is my brother-in-law, Roger. Years ago, I faced a discouraging time in my job. We picked up the land line – see, I told you it was many years ago – We picked up the land line and called Roger and Mary. They told us to come on down. So, we drove 10 hours to spend a little time with family. I’ve seen Roger care for others in his family as well, including his parents and our father-in-law.

God is also always there when we need him. In fact, he is even better than that. He is present in  ways no human being can be. Psalms 46:1-3 says, “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging.” (NIV)

Even in the worst disaster we can imagine or experience, God is ever present to help us.


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Names of God – Sun – 22-11-27



Have you noticed how much mothers are tuned into the cries of their babies? They distinguish between their child’s cry and that of another. The cry can also tell them whether the baby is fussy, mad or in pain. Long before a child has words, a mother hears and understands her baby’s cries.

Something similar happens with dog owners. They recognize the barks of their pet, often distinguishing between those that are playful, seeking attention or warning of an intruder.

Why all this talk about crying babies and barking dogs? I want you to understand how the one who cares listens to cries and calls. Mothers care for and listen to their babies. Pet owners care for their animals and listen to them.

Did you know God, who cares for us, listens to us? According to the bible, God listens like the shepherd of sheep. I’m sure shepherds can identify their sheep by their bleats. They may even understand the difference between bleats of hunger and those running from a predator.

Psalms 80:1-2 says, “Hear us, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock; you who sit enthroned between the cherubim, shine forth before Ephraim, Benjamin and Manasseh. Awaken your might; come and save us.” (NIV)

This week we examine more of the names of God. One of these is “Shepherd of Israel” or “God our shepherd.” He knows our voice, hears us when we call and comes to our rescue.


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Thanksgiving – Sat – 22-11-26



The old hymn urges us to “count your blessings, name them one by one.” It is a great practice. Can you spend two minutes praying to God and listing everything for which you are thankful? I could go longer. I’m thankful for Jesus and the spiritual blessing I have through him. I’m thankful for God’s spirit who transforms my life. My wife and children are high on my list of thanksgiving. As are my parents and other family members. I’m really thankful I live in this country in this time period. Running water, electric heat and air conditioning are great things. So is modern medicine and technology. I could go on listing all kinds of things for which I’m thankful. Can you?

Which brings up an interesting question. Will we still be giving thanks in heaven? Yes, we will. Revelation pictures events in heaven, and guess what? Giving thanks is one of the activities. But you might be surprised for what people thank God. Revelation 11:16-17 says, ‘And the twenty-four elders, who were seated on their thrones before God, fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying: “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”’ (NIV)

Rather than focused on themselves, the elders are thankful God has used his great power to reign. Today, thank God for using his power to accomplish his will in your life.


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Thanksgiving – Fri – 22-11-25



“What do you say?” As a child, did your mother every prompt you with those words? Remember, someone gave you something. Maybe you visited someplace and the host gave you a cookie or piece of candy. When you took it, your mom said, “What do you say?” She wanted you to say thank you. Mothers, fathers and grandparents often prompt a child to express thanks. They don’t want the child to become a rude, self-centered person. Polite people say thank you and good parents want polite children.

But a lack of thankfulness can be far more serious than rude behavior. Romans chapter one tells us that God’s wrath is revealed from heaven against all human wickedness that suppresses the truth about God. Paul then gives two reasons to support why God is justified in punishing sinful people. First, verse 20 explains that no one can claim they didn’t know about God. He is revealed through creation. They should know better than ignore him. And second, verse 21 says, “For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.” (NIV)

The basic sin of all mankind is the refusal to acknowledge and thank God for his blessings. Today, make the time to express your thanks to God. Here, let me remind you. Look at your day. Now, what do you say?


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Thanksgiving – Thu – 22-11-24



Happy Thanksgiving! May you and yours celebrate all the goodness of God today.

The Thanksgiving holiday originated in the United States. But this holiday is observed in other countries as well. The second Monday of October is celebrated in Canada. The observance may have begun with French settlers. However, migrants from New England probably also shared many of the American traditions, such as eating turkey.

Norfolk Island, an external territory of Australia, celebrates Thanksgiving on the last Wednesday of November. The observance was brought to the island by American whaling ships.

Brazil established an August holiday in 1949. An ambassador observed celebrations at a cathedral in Washington. Brazil’s official holiday was later moved to the fourth Thursday of November.

Liberia celebrates the holiday on the first Thursday of November. It was brought to the nation by freed slaves from the United States.

The Philippines observes Thanksgiving as a cultural rather than national holiday. The observance started when the Philippines were a colony of the United States. *

A few other nations have an observance as well. Note that many of the observances were started by or influenced by a connection with the United States. I don’t say that to prompt national pride. I think the attitude of thankfulness is contagious. In the midst of a nation fussing over power and politics, we must be thankful. God has blessed us and our country. May our thankfulness be contagious.


*”Thanksgiving,” Wikipedia, last updated October 20, 2022, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thanksgiving

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Thanksgiving – Wed – 22-11-23



When you were a child, did you ever get a secret decoder ring in a box of cereal? The secret decoder ring was a fantastic tool to uncover hidden messages. Of course, it was powered by sheer imagination.

Even today, people often want something to uncover hidden meaning or messages. For example, many consult their horoscopes. For Christians, we often seek to know God’s will. We usually ponder God’s will when facing specific decisions. For example, is it God’s will to take a specific job? Does God want me to marry a specific person? Is God leading me to move to a new city? People often ask questions like these. Don’t get me wrong, these are appropriate questions to ask. However, do you know the will of God for every day of your life?

God actually wants certain things for all of his people. Do you know them? You can find three of them in 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” (NIV)

Notice each of these things are marked by the words always, continually and all. Also, we must actively perform them. Is your life marked by rejoicing, praying and giving thanks? Each is a challenge in some way. The specific challenge for thankfulness is giving it “in all circumstances.”

Regardless of how our day goes, God’s will for us today, is to give thanks to him.


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Thanksgiving – Tue – 22-11-22



People get excited over things that are the first. The United States celebrated the first Black President at Obama’s inauguration. Decades before, the first woman on the Supreme Court was celebrated. Kitty Hawk is famous for the first powered airplane flight. Americans celebrated when the first man walked on the moon. Chillicothe, Missouri, is proud it be the first place where sliced bread was packaged and sold.

This week the podcast is focused on thanksgiving. Not just the holiday, but on the topic of giving thanks. Today, we examine the first time giving thanks is mentioned in the bible. It is not in Genesis, or Exodus. We find in in Leviticus 7:11-12, “These are the regulations for the fellowship offering a person may present to the LORD: If he offers it as an expression of thankfulness, then along with this thank offering he is to offer cakes of bread made without yeast and mixed with oil, wafers made without yeast and spread with oil, and cakes of fine flour well-kneaded and mixed with oil.”

This passage specifics the form of offering the ancient Hebrews gave in order to thank God. The meat sacrificed was accompanied by different forms of bread. It was also eaten on the same day.

 I’m glad I live in this era, where offering thanks to God is much simpler. Aren’t you? Take a moment today and offer your thanks to God.


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Thanksgiving – Mon – 22-11-21



Have you been surprised in the past couple of years to find empty spaces on store shelves? I have. Sometimes the food item I usually buy is out of stock for three or more weeks. Our favorite bread was out of stock so long, the store doesn’t even carry it any longer.

Sometimes, I am also surprised by the bible. I think I’ll find something in it, but it’s not there. For example, did you know that the book of Genesis has no record of people thanking God? Oh, I’m sure people did. But that word is not used for any of the sacrifices they performed or prayers they prayed.

Take Noah. After working tirelessly to build the ark, he floated in it for over a year. When he finally left the ark, Genesis 8:20 says, “Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it.” (NIV) Personally, I would have been very thankful to leave the ark. But Noah’s offering is not specifically called an offering of thanksgiving.

A similar thing happened with Abraham. Commanded by God to sacrifice his son, Abraham proceeded to do so. But God halted the sacrifice and provided a ram instead. Yet there is no mention that Abraham thanked God. Surely, he did.

And what about us? I hope those who know us can easily see our thankfulness to God.


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