I debate within myself if Monday is the first day of the week. Or is it Sunday? For sure Saturday is the last day of the week, so that makes Sunday the first day of the new week. But I always get to Monday and I think, “Another week begins.” So Sunday becomes this wonderful bubble day between the end of one thing and the beginning of another. I pray your Bubble Day was a wonderful reprieve from your normal responsibilities and a day to rest and be refreshed.

Read: Lamentations 3:22-26

No matter which day you see as the first day of the week, it is certain that His mercies are new EVERY morning! Put your hope in him today and wait for his salvation! His refreshment comes down upon you like the morning faithfully dawns every day!

I look up to the mountains—does my help come from there?

My help comes from the Lord, who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.

Indeed, he who watches over Israel never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!

The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.

The sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm and watches over your life.

The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go, both now and forever.

Psalm 121

David wrote this psalm from the City of David. In a time when location was everything and safety depended on being able to see an approaching enemy, the City of David was in a valley. Located in the foothills of the surrounding mountains, it was not, logically, the safest place to live. As David looked around, he asked the question: Does my help come from the mountain? Is the mountain my safety?

His answer? No! The One who made the mountains is his protector. He is the one who watches over me and keeps me safe.

Today I remind you that it is not your plans that are your safety. Your protection is the One who made all things. He watches over you! He does not slumber or take the day off! Put your trust in the One who is genuinely trust worthy!

This morning I awoke with a vague sense of not being enough. Now, I am far enough in my journey to know that I can’t give much time to the feelings, but I noticed they were there. I acknowledged them, but without giving them power over me.

It seems, if I am looking, there is always a word of encouragement to help correct my thinking. Sure enough, I follow a particular blogger who wrote today about celebrating who I am. It was timely and I knew that the message was for me.

Are you wondering today if your life has value, meaning, purpose? Do you question the way you are put together? You know, what you like to do? Where you like to spend time? How you choose to dress?

Galatians 6:4-5 say: Pay careful attention to your own work, for then you will get the satisfaction of a job well done, and you won’t need to compare yourself to anyone else. For we are each responsible for our own conduct.

Be assured today that you bring delight to Father’s eyes. He watches you and sings over you. When we walk out who he made us to be, his heart is happy!

Have a blest Saturday preparing for worship tomorrow!

Read: Genesis 16:1-6

Abraham and Sarai had a promise from God. He was going to make them and their descendants into a great nation. In order for that to happen, they needed descendants. At least that is what Sarai concluded. And since there weren’t any forthcoming from her body, she took the promise into her own hands. And the world has been paying for it ever since. (Consider the trouble between Israel and Palestine.)

You also have a promise from God and it seems slow in coming. You have considered working it out your own way, you know – a short cut. It may seem like a good idea right now, but it is not God’s best for you. Wait on him. Do not become impatient when his timing is not your own. He is working all things out for your good and it will be beyond your wildest expectations. But in his time, not yours.

Read: Galatians 6:9

It doesn’t matter if you follow the rules or if you look like someone else or if you make yourself miserable to tame your propensity to sin. It matters if you are being transformed into the likeness of Christ.

Read: Galatians 6:15-16

The way in which God transforms your heart is up to him. It is your responsibility to listen for his voice and obey when he speaks. Transformation of the heart is the goal and Jesus is our model.

I have to say, when I read these verses my heart does a little dance! It matters if we are being transformed…period. So I receive God’s grace and mercy because I live by this principle and I am a part of the new people of God!

“This is extremely satisfying,” my friend said as we pulled together massive amounts of leaves gathered in the landscaping. “It’s hard work, but gratifying!”

The same can be said for eliminating debris in my heart. It is hard work, but so satisfying.

Read: Galatians 6:9

Don’t give up! The effort you give to living a new life in Christ will never be wasted. It is tempting to throw in the towel, but the change you desire is just around the corner! Keep on!

Spring clean-up. Right now, that is a loaded phrase and one that could send me running from the room screaming, holding my head. It always feels like this at this time of year. It is the end of April and we have had just enough warm days to raise our hope that winter is over and spring will prevail. And that lasts about two days and then it is cold, rainy and windy again. So we rush back indoors to wait out the last pushes of winter.

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What does it mean to follow Jesus? If it isn’t found in following rules and it isn’t found in a life of self-denial and it isn’t about mysterious experiences, what is it?

Read: Matthew 16:24; John 10:27; John 13:34-35

If I could summarize the verses above, it would sound like this:

Stop thinking about only yourself and what you want. If you really want to follow Jesus, you will listen carefully to everything he says without fear. Love for others will be the indicator that you are a follower of Jesus.

So simple, yet not simple at all. And that is why we turn to legalism, asceticism and mysticism – it’s far easier to keep those practices than it is to love others and to act in loving ways. Jesus said the greatest commandment is to love God with everything we have and to love others as our self. This is the litmus test of following Jesus.

How are you doing? Take a moment and ask Jesus to reveal any one in your life who could have used a little more love from you.

Read: John 20:1-10

An empty tomb! That’s what the women found when they rushed to the garden early that Sunday morning. Despair filled their hearts as they attempted to find Jesus’ body. It made sense to stay at the tomb.

I find it easy to stay at the tomb, to hang around outside. You know, the place where the dead things of my life are kept. Maybe the things I am just not quite ready to get rid of. It might be old friends, sinful habits, wounds – you know, dead things. I stand there waiting … for what?

Jesus died on the cross and they put him in the tomb because that is what happens to things that die. They are buried. But Jesus didn’t stay there. He overcame death and the grave! He walked out of tomb, left his grave clothes behind and left the area full of new life.

Today is an opportunity to worship the Father for all he has accomplished through the death and resurrection of Jesus. On the cross, Jesus experienced physical death for us and he took everything that stood against us and nailed it to the cross (Colossians 2:13-15). He declared it all finished, paid in full. When sin and death are taken off the table, it makes a lot more room for courageous, joy-filled, outrageous living. So let’s get with it! Walk away from the tomb, leave your grave clothes behind and embrace new life in Jesus!

THE LORD IS RISEN!

Read: Isaiah 53:4-9

Today – the hours between the crucifixion and the resurrection – the most disheartening day for Jesus’ disciples. Their hopes were high that Jesus was going to set them free from Roman oppression, that he was the Messiah. And then Friday happened and they hid. Hid away from the authorities – both Roman and Jewish – wondering what had gone wrong.

But they had forgotten what Jesus told them. He said he was going to die and be raised back to life. More than once, in more than one way, he tried to prepare them for this dark day. But they had forgotten.

I wonder if you are sitting between the crucifixion and the resurrection – between the day the bottom fell out of your world and the realization of a new beginning. Have you forgotten the promises of God? Do you remember that Sunday and the resurrection is coming? Are you cradling your head in your hands wondering what in the world you will do next? Is fear your companion?

Take heart! He said he is making all things new. He is doing something new. Don’t you see it? He has not forgotten or forsaken you, so look around and listen carefully because SUNDAY IS COMING!!!