Western Hills Church of Christ
Western Hills Church of Christ

24 Days to Easter

“I Knew You Would Come!” – Danny (& Lauren)

March 31st

Daily Devotional 24!!!


“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in Me.
2 In My Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you.
I am going there to prepare a place for you.

3 And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come back and take you to be with Me that you also may be where I am.

4 You know the way to the place where I am going.”

John 14:1–4 (NIV84)


As we consider Jesus’ promise (which we know as a fact), I am reminded of a specific moment in my life when this Scripture came bursting forth with life and light.  Since that day (twenty-eight and a half years ago!), my appreciation of it, my counting on it, my rest and peace and joy in it has become a cornerstone and an anchor in my faith-walk.  I’ve shared this with you before (both from the pulpit and a couple of times in written form).  But this day, this event has been invading my thoughts as we celebrate Easter Sunday.  So, I proudly share it again and ask that you deeply consider the idea of knowing, of really knowing Jesus Is Returning!




In the Fall of 1995, back in the days of graduate studies at ACU, I had the privilege of  playing Mr. Mom in the mornings (sort of, anyhow… Twyla did most of the prep-work, I just made toast and drove the taxi to school).  One particular morning, I was a bit stressed finishing a paper for Systematic Theology about the importance of the spiritual, communal Family and how as “professional theologians” (my brother-in-law, Terry, calls us “paid Christian” J) need to be careful to treasure and learn from all in the Family.  The point being, as we believe GOD’s presence and work in and among us, we trust Him more today, and in the days to come.  In that trust we know – we absolutely know – that He mysteriously with us in this moment and is absolutely and most definitely coming back for us!  In one another, we see and experience His promise and presence… today and forever!


Here’s the conclusion to that paper…




As I write this conclusion, tears fall from my face.  This principle (learning from one another) has come to life for me today. 


This morning my eight year old daughter (Lauren) had a bad morning.  She did not get enough sleep and was cranky and fussy.  She got in trouble and many tears were shed. 


To top it off, she forgot her homework on the kitchen table.  This was discovered as I was preparing my breakfast after I returned from taking her to school.  Her eyes were still very red and puffy as I drove away.  As Twyla (my wife) and I discussed the relative lack of importance of this piece of homework, our hearts went out to her because of her “tough” morning. 


I decided to take it too her, basically out of fear that she might “go ballistic” when she discovered it missing.  Slightly miffed at the need to finish my breakfast in the car, I set out, homework in hand. 


As I peered into the classroom, worried about causing a disturbance to the teacher, I scanned the room for Lauren.  The teacher saw me and called Lauren’s name as she pointed her out.  I turned just in time to see my daughters eyes look up and see me.  She instantly and eagerly stood up - a smile, big and powerful, beaming on her face. 


She quickly made her way to me and with arms reaching up - not for the homework, but for me, for my embrace - she said through that gorgeously joyful smile, “I knew you would come!”  She hugged me tight. 


I melted. 


Time stopped. 


It was pure heaven. 


Two hours later (trying to finish the paper) I am still crying!  Why?  Because God used this precious little girl to remind me of His joy when I reach up and thank Him for coming through - like He always does - for me and for all of His people. 


Imagine, God reacting to me (to us) like I reacted to that hug from my daughter. 


“I knew you would come.”  I cannot wait to say that to my Savior when He returns.  I cannot wait to say that to Him today, and every day, for the many ways He comes to (and) rescue me (us).


May we never forget the love God has for each of us - all of us.  May we never forget the profound things we experience through and with one another.  May we never forget to be in awe of what God can and does teach us through one another.  We are a (marvelously treasured, highly favored, deeply blessed) community, a body, (His Family!).  Each member is significant and important.…


…  All are valuable to God.  All are tools in His hands.  Even, and most likely, a precious little girl.

24 Days to Easter

“Saturday” – Max Lucado

March 30th

Daily Devotional #23



Jesus is silent on Saturday. The women have anointed his body and placed it in Joseph’s tomb. The cadaver of Christ is as mute as the stone which guards it. He spoke much on Friday. He will liberate the slaves of death on Sunday. But on Saturday, Jesus is silent. So is God. He made himself heard on Friday. He tore the curtains of the temple, opened the graves of the dead, rocked the earth, blocked the sun of the sky, and sacrificed the Son of Heaven. Earth heard much of God on Friday. Nothing on Saturday. Jesus is silent. God is silent. Saturday is silent. Easter weekend discussions tend to skip Saturday. Friday and Sunday get the press. The crucifixion and resurrection command our thoughts. But don’t ignore Saturday. You have them, too. Silent Saturdays. The day between the struggle and the solution; the question and the answer; the offered prayer and the answer thereof. Saturday’s silence torments us. Is God angry? Did I disappoint him? God knows Jesus is in the tomb, why doesn’t He do something? Or, in your case God knows your career is in the tank, your finances are in the pit, your marriage is in a mess. Why doesn’t He act? What are you supposed to do until He does? You do what Jesus did. Lie still. Stay silent. Trust God. Jesus died with this conviction: “You will not abandon me to the grave, nor will you let your Holy One see decay” (Acts 2:27 NIV). Jesus knew God would not leave him alone in the grave. You need to know, God will not leave you alone with your struggles. His silence is not his absence, inactivity is never apathy. Saturdays have their purpose. They let us feel the full force of God’s strength. Had God raised Jesus fifteen minutes after the death of His son, would we have appreciated the act? Were He to solve your problems the second they appear, would you appreciate His strength? For His reasons, God inserts a Saturday between our Fridays and Sundays. If today is one for you, be patient. As one who endured the silent Saturday wrote: “Be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord” (James 5:7 NKJV).

Max Lucado

24 Days to Easter

“It’s Friday, but SonDay’s Comin’!”

March 29th

Daily Devotional 22


It may be Friday, the day they crucified our Jesus,
but we know… we KNOW…

SonDay’s comin’!!! 


Enjoy this Easter meditation from S.M. Lockridge (1913-2000),

pastor of Calvary Baptist Church in San Diego from 1953 to 1993. 




It’s Friday: Jesus is praying Peter’s a sleeping Judas is betraying…

But Sunday’s comin’


It’s Friday: Pilate’s struggling - the council is conspiring - the crowd is vilifying
They don’t even know…

That Sunday’s comin’


It’s Friday: The disciples are running like sheep without a shepherd

Mary’s crying - Peter is denying. But they don’t know…

That Sunday’s a comin’


It’s Friday: The Romans beat my Jesus. They robed Him in scarlet.

They crowned Him with thorns. But they don’t know…

That Sunday’s comin’


It’s Friday: See Jesus walking to Calvary. His blood dripping.
His body stumbling. And His spirit’s burdened.

But you see, it’s only Friday, and Sunday’s comin’


It’s Friday: The world’s winning. People are sinning. And evil’s grinning.


It’s Friday: The soldiers nail my Savior’s hands to the cross.

They nail my Savior’s feet to the cross.

And then they raise Him up, next to criminals


It’s Friday: But let me tell you something: Sunday’s comin’




It’s Friday: The disciples are questioning - what has happened to their King.

And the Pharisees are celebrating that their scheming has been achieved

But they don’t know

It’s only Friday, and Sunday’s comin’


It’s Friday: He’s hanging on the cross. Feeling forsaken by His Father.

Left alone and dying. Can nobody save Him?

Ooooh, It’s Friday… But Sunday’s comin’


It’s Friday: The earth trembles. The sky grows dark. My King yields His spirit.


It’s Friday: Hope is lost. Death has won. Sin has conquered.

and Satan’s just a laughin’


It’s Friday: Jesus is buried. A soldier stands guard. And a rock is rolled into place.


But it’s Friday…


It is only Friday…


SonDay is a comin’!

24 Days to Easter

“Easter Celebration” – Jen Longino

March 28th

Daily Devotional #21


This year I have the privilege of spear heading the effort to engage and educate the kiddos of WH about the wonder of Easter.  Tammy has helped immeasurably by leading Bible Classes, and Danny and Tara helped me hammer out the skit and fun we’re going to have Easter SonDay morning!  I’m excited about it!  It is going to be a little bit different than what we’re used to though.  So, I wanted to share with you a little bit of the behind-the-scenes thinking that led to the plan we’re taking. 

It was tough at first to pick a direction for Easter SonDay.  Easter is the culmination of the story of Our Lord and Savior.  It encompasses what went wrong after creation, what God has done to form a people to send the Savior through, that Savior coming, what He did and taught while He was here and what that action accomplished.  Most of us have been spending most of our adult lives studying these things, so I knew there was no way to get all of that successfully delivered to children.  But as I was thinking about it, the image that kept coming to mind was the curtain in the temple:

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

Matthew 27:50-54

This is referring to the curtain in the temple that kept the Holy of Holy’s separate.  The place where only the chief priest could enter once per year, after many purification rituals, to present the sacrifice for the sins of the people.  The place where God’s was, that we couldn’t enter because we, being sinners, couldn’t safely be in the presence of our Holy God.  And He, the Lord, first thing at the death of Our Savior, tore it, Himself.  We are no longer separated from Him!  We have been covered in the blood, made suitable for God, not because of anything we have done, but because of Jesus!  We have so much reason to celebrate!  And I want the kids to know it!  I want Easter to mean to them, whether they understand the full mystery of it all or not, that Easter is God making sure we can be with Him.  I want them to know that to God, and to us, this is a time for Joy!  I want them to see us, the adults of the church, enjoying this day.  Enjoying the together-ness, it allows us, with God and with each other! 


And, for better or worse, in our culture Easter comes with symbols we didn’t ask for.  Easter eggs for example.  I can’t find those in the Bible anywhere, but kids love them, and they are fun.  My kids especially love confetti eggs.  What kid doesn’t enjoy making a mess and laughing together?! 


So, when you come in Easter morning, in the Auditorium there will be a curtain on the stage, one that in a skit we are going to open, in honor of the curtain of the temple torn by Our Lord, and, we’re going to have fun with confetti eggs – one of which will be on each seat.  I mean, if you think about like us confetti eggs are broken things that have suffered emptiness.  And then, have been filled with joy and covered over with love!  And best of all, like all the wonderful things of God, they are for sharing!  So, at the end of the skit, when the curtain is open, and we’re all allowed in because the host of the Egg-stravaganza has provided us all with the admission price: a perfect egg (a confetti egg), we’re going to ‘share’ them with each other! 


Yes, you read that correctly, we are going to have fun confetti-ing each other, and the kids there, so they can see joy and associate it with the wonder that is Easter… even if it means I must vacuum for a couple of hours afterwards.  What could be more worth it?  He is Risen, and we can be with Him!!

24 Days to Easter

“Sweet Aroma” – Michele Thompson

March 27th

Daily Devotional #20



Let’s back up a couple of days prior to Palm Sunday and give some thought to a scene we are familiar with – but take a serious look as we prepare for the events that will occur during this Holy Week.  Matthew, Mark and John record it:

Six days before Passover, Jesus went to Bethany, where Lazarus, Mary and Martha lived.  He went to a dinner at Simon the Leper’s house. Mary took about a pint of pure nard, which is expensive perfume, and poured it on Jesus’ feet, wiping his feet with her hair.  The house was filled with the fragrance of this perfume.  Judas was indignant, saying it was a waste of good money – a year’s wages. Jesus rebuked him and said Mary’s gift would be remembered whenever the gospel is preached throughout the world.

What is nard?  It is an amber essential oil that comes from the mountains in India – 3000 miles away from Bethany. Only the wealthy could afford it. The Song of Songs refers to it. Its aroma, according to one reference, conveys sacred affection. It was often used on dead bodies to cover the smell of decay.

Use your imagination.  Find yourself sitting in that room, around that table. Those guys were probably accustomed to seeing Mary there, listening to Jesus while Martha worked in the kitchen. (That’s where no-longer-complaining Martha was in this scene.) Alive-again Lazarus is there. And what Mary does is scandalous! She uncovers her long hair, pours this expensive ointment onto Jesus’ feet, and uses her hair to wipe the ointment on his feet.  This is no 10-second swipe of oil. She is painstakingly, gently massaging Jesus tired feet with this oil – and her hair. And most likely her tears are intermingled with the oil. Are you staring in disbelief? Or looking away in embarrassment at this very intimate expression of love? Breathe in a deep breath, and you can smell this musky, rich perfume filling the room…filling your nostrils.  A smell like that isn’t easily forgotten and doesn’t quickly dissipate.

I imagine that strong scent of nard permeated Jesus’ feet, and the aroma followed him a couple of days later when he rode the donkey in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday.  Did Judas smell a hint of it when he came close enough to kiss Jesus? Did the Roman soldiers catch its scent when they nailed his feet to the cross? Did Joseph and Nicodemus smell just a wisp of it as they carried his body to the tomb and wrapped him with myrrh and aloes in strips of linen?

I also imagine Mary’s hair carried that aroma during the whole next week – from Palm Sunday to the crucifixion to Resurrection Sunday, when she went to anoint Jesus, again, this time in the tomb. I wonder if the smell of it became a continuous reminder of her last evening with him at that dinner in Simon the Leper’s home.


Do others breathe in our presence and think “there is something special about that person”? Do we carry the “scent” of Jesus wherever we go?

Paul says we do! Through us, God spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of Jesus everywhere.  For we are to God the aroma of Christ amongst those who are being saved – to them we are the fragrance of life. (II Cor 2:14-16, my paraphrase)

May our hearts be overwhelmed with love for Jesus, especially during this Holy Week of Easter, so much that we carry the fragrance of HIS life everywhere we go.

(Credit for this stream of thoughts goes to the 3/26 morning devotional on Lectio 365 app)

24 Days to Easter

“Lucky?” – Jen Longino

March 26th

Daily Devotional #19


Have you ever had that horrible mourning-like feeling at the end of good book?  You know, because you are going to miss the friends you made in it and the world you loved in?  And then you find out it is a series and you have a bunch more of them and you get elated?  Well the Bible, the Lord and His wonder, are like that elated feeling times a million.  For instance, I was listening to that podcast I referenced the other day of Jordan Peterson’s where he was talking to Bishop Barron, and the Bishop said that while not perfect, a fair way to read the Beatitudes is to replace ‘blessed’ with ‘lucky’.  Now, he wasn’t teaching on them, they were talking about psychological ideas and how they intersect with religious ideas.  So, everything at the thousand-foot view.  But I thought that was interesting, because I think I know what the Beatitudes are getting at in general, but that sounded like it might help.  So, I wrote out the below thought experiment doing just that, replacing ‘Blessed’ with ‘Lucky’.  Now as I said the bishop wasn’t teaching on the scripture specifically, so I ran it by Danny.  And Danny loves God-thought, so he appreciates the thought experiment, but also, he said that ‘Lucky’ is nowhere near as rich and wonderful and deep as the idea the Lord is going for with the word ‘blessed’.  You’ve heard him say about things before that the there was a regular word that meant x and God got a hold of it and turned it into so much more.  So, let’s use my thought experiment as a kind of an amuse-bouche to the 7-course meal that are the beatitudes.   And do not be afraid, there are plans for Bible classes and sermons ahead to help us get to that meal! 

So, what do you think of this thought experiment:

“Lucky” are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 

          You are lucky if you know you cannot save yourself, that you have nothing that can be of true value.  Because those people can come to the Lord needing filling – and that is what He does!

“Lucky” are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.

          You are lucky if you see that sin and death are a real problem.  One that needs to be dealt with by someone infinitely stronger than we are.  Because if you know that, you can search and find, that someone that strong, that wonderful, has dealt with, and will yet deal completely with sin and death.  And that one day, your mourning will be undone!

“Lucky” are the meek, for they will inherit the earth.

          You are lucky if you understand that force and power can really only bring subjugation and destruction.  Because then you can understand what the Lord means when He says things like ‘love your enemy’, because that is the only true way to end the need for force and power.  That is what He is about.  That is what He will accomplish, and if we understand that, we can have the privilege of joining Him!

“Lucky” are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they will be filled.

          You are lucky if you see God’s Law, His way, and recognize it as the life-giving, abundance spreading way that it is.  Because if we do, He will teach us to love it more and more and to live it out.  He will fill us with it!

“Lucky” are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy.

          You are lucky if you can forgive when you are wronged, because that is the only way Family isn’t broken and shattered along the way.  You will have a community, one the Lord is part of and proud of!

“Lucky” are the pure in heart, for they will see God.

          You are lucky if your heart wants one thing above all other things.  If it wants the right thing above all other things.  That is the only way you can love anything well.  And when we seek after God this way, as though He is the ‘Summum Bonum’ the supreme good, He will come to us, and make His home with us!

  “Lucky” are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

          You are lucky if you move through the world in a way that brings peace; as it builds, not destroys.  And, in the ancient view, a son (including us daughters!) would apprentice from His Father.  What His father did, he did.  And this is the way with us.  This is what Our Father is doing, let’s do it too!

“Lucky” are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven.

          You are lucky if you end up suffering because you follow The Father so well that the evil one, and all those who are against the Father feel the need to take notice of your efforts and move to stop you.  What better sign could there be that you are on the right track?  What better evidence that you have a new address in the Kingdom of Heaven and all your mail should now be forwarded there?  Your home and life are secured! 

What did you think?  None of these to-the-world bad things are to us bad.  To us, they are signs of what is to come.  We are lucky if the hard things of this world don’t get between us and God.  And we are lucky if the good things of life don’t get between us and God!  And I am so excited to see what else the Lord has for us in these verses.  Every time I think I see the end of His wonder, I am reminded that my imagination is not able to do so, luckily!

24 Days to Easter

“the True King” (df)

March 25th

Daily Devotional #18


Since our theme for 2024 is CALLED, I’d like to apply the question, “What does Palm SonDay CALL us to do/be/become?” to two a mashup of two things:  


First, yesterday was Palm SonDay – when Jesus entered Jerusalem knowing He was there for the Cross.  Jesus enters Jerusalem on the back of a young donkey in the manner of a king returning to his capital city in celebration after a successful military campaign – a triumphant king, a hero, a leader to be lauded and followed and served.  The crowd welcoming Jesus responded – at least on the surface level – appropriately, spreading their cloaks on the road and others spreading branched before Jesus while shouting “Hosanna!  Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David! Hosanna in the highest!” (Mark 11:7-10)  Their understanding of Scripture, their fervent prayer, their passionate hope was that a king in the line, the makeup of David would triumph.  Standing on this side of the Cross, we recognize their mistake.  Scripture’s promise was fulfilled.  Humanity’s expectations were incorrect.  It’s an “upside-down Kingdom!”  David was actually a king in the line and makeup of Jesus! What set David apart was not his military might.  Rather, it was his heart – a heart that longed for the heart of GOD and joyfully trusted and served GOD.  A heart that Jesus perfectly embodied and lived – and trusted the Father’s wisdom and plan so dearly that He fully submitted to it – even knowing it led to death on the Cross.


Second, as we look at that event while we stand on this side of the Cross, let’s take the perspective described above and add to it a devo from 2015 titled, “Ascended, the Lion & the Lamb” as we search for the answer to our question of what Palm SonDay calls us to do/be/become…


Our Jesus – our Ascended King who continues to be the ever-present One who meets us where we are, even if and when we are in a place we think is too dark, to dirty for His holiness completely and overwhelmingly loves us!  What an incredible comfort to know His empowering, victorious Presence continues to walk with us, lift us when we fall, forgive us, and then train us, equip us, and empower us to strength, maturity, and effectiveness in Kingdom living!  What a Great GOD we serve!


Keeping that image of our Servant King fresh in our minds, let’s take a look at the Biblical Conquering King as presented by John in a moment of greatest fear and concern… when the Victory of GOD was ready to be unleashed, John, along with all of Heaven experienced a moment of greatest terror: no one in Heaven, no one on earth, no one anywhere could be found that was worthy to unlock the scroll of GOD’s history… until…


Then one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep!

See, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has triumphed.

He is able to open the scroll and its seven seals.”

Then I saw a Lamb, looking as if it had been slain,

standing in the center of the throne,

encircled by the four living creatures and the elders.

Revelation 5:5–6a (NIV84)


Yep, that’s right!  Our Ascended Jesus is the only one worthy of unleashing GOD’s story… the final his-tory, the final and forever victory of GOD! 


By the way, did, you notice the “shape of His character?”


Jesus is, at the same time:

  1. the all-powerful Lion signifying and confirming that the Victory, as promised, is delivered through the “Root of David”, and is the triumphant King of Kings
  2. the slain, the purposefully sacrificed Lamb of GOD who gave Himself in our place to wash away our sins and to elevate us to the status of beloved and treasured children of GOD


Moments later in Revelation, all of Heaven… all of Heaven!!!... joins together in proclaiming the worthiness of our Ascended Jesus!  The triumphant and powerful and conquering Lion exercised the overwhelming power of GOD through His purposeful and loving sacrifice.  That is the victory of GOD.  That is the victory of His people.


Palm SonDay looks forward to the true triumph of the true King of Kings!  Palm SonDay doesn’t blink from the torture to come because it is rooted and confident in the Victory of the Sacrifice and Empty Tomb.


Palm SonDay CALLS us to see Jesus, not as those lining the road to Jerusalem with palm branches and cloaks and shouting “Hosanna!” did generations ago.  Palm SonDay calls us to see Jesus, believe in Jesus, submit to Jesus and proclaim Jesus for the Triumphant King HE is: servant, sacrifice, supreme in the Kingdom and supreme in our hearts!


Palm SonDay CALLS us to behold our King in His true glory, power, wisdom, and strength!


May we honor His sacrifice, His love, His dedication, and His victory by efforting greatly to become more and more like Him.


And may we respond to this CALL on our lives by singing the song of the angels…


“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain,

To receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength

And honor and glory and praise!”

Revelation 5:12 (NIV)


Blessed, Family,

Let’s Answer the CALL

to See Him Clearly

and then

Let’s Trust It so Deeply

That We Joyfully Go Out

and Live for Him!

24 Days to Easter

“Dis-orderd Love” – Jen Longino

March 24th

Daily Devotional #17



I hate that moment when it becomes crystal clear that I’m going to fail.  I tried making a beef pot pie from scratch the other week, and it was a school night.  So, dinner being late is a pretty big deal because baths and bed need to happen so that the next day can go smoothly for my small kids.  And they come home from school asking for food, so when I realized part way through that there was ZERO chance I was going to be able to have it ready before 8:15pm, it was unpleasant for all of us. 

That is a pretty easy to handle sort of failure.  I just switched plans and we ate the pot pie the next night.  And it was delicious.  But you know what I mean, right?  That moment when you realize you bit off way more than you can chew and whatever amount of people are counting on you are going to be let down.  Whether that is just dinner being late, or something a lot more serious. 

Something I don’t hate is the definition of sin as disordered love.  Loving your spouse is good but loving them to the point that they are your identity and worth will end badly.  Even if it goes well for 50 years, one day, they’ll die and then what?  Or loving your kids is great, but if you love them to the point where they are your worth and only source of joy in life, what happens when they grow up and leave you?  Or when you must deprive them of something they think they need so that they can become a good, well-rounded human being? 

I was listening to Jordan Peterson’s podcast the other day when he had Bishop Barron on as a guest, and they were talking about this.  They were talking about how in the garden we were given everything.  We could use the resources of the garden as we saw fit, except one.  The one that would make us ‘know’ good and evil.  Bishop Barron said a good way to say that is we would be ‘master’ of good and evil in that we could take for ourselves the right to decide what is good and what is evil.  We could order for ourselves the different ‘loves’ the different ‘goods’ in the world.   The only problem is every time we do this, we inevitably find ourselves in the moment of realizing that failure is imminent.  We weren’t made to do this.  We were made to thrive and have a full and abundant life, with everything at our disposal, so long as first things are first. 


Some time later God tested Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

Then God said, “Take your son, your only son, whom you love—Isaac—and go to the region of Moriah. Sacrifice him there as a burnt offering on a mountain I will show you.”

Early the next morning Abraham got up and loaded his donkey. He took with him two of his servants and his son Isaac. When he had cut enough wood for the burnt offering, he set out for the place God had told him about. On the third day Abraham looked up and saw the place in the distance. He said to his servants, “Stay here with the donkey while I and the boy go over there. We will worship and then we will come back to you.”

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and placed it on his son Isaac, and he himself carried the fire and the knife. As the two of them went on together, Isaac spoke up and said to his father Abraham, “Father?”

“Yes, my son?” Abraham replied.

“The fire and wood are here,” Isaac said, “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?”

Abraham answered, “God himself will provide the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.” And the two of them went on together.

When they reached the place God had told him about, Abraham built an altar there and arranged the wood on it. He bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. 10 Then he reached out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord called out to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!”

“Here I am,” he replied.

12 “Do not lay a hand on the boy,” he said. “Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son.”

13 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram[a] caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The Lord Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the Lord it will be provided.”
Genesis 22:1-14


Abraham had to obey without knowing the Lord would provide something other than what to him was the thing that most competed with God for the place of highest love.  I honestly don’t know how he did it, other than to say the Lord must have helped him.  We should know better than to put anything else in our hearts before the Lord.  We have seen that the Lord spared Abraham from having to make this sacrifice while knowing He Himself would have to make that exact same sacrifice.  This is the Lord we serve.  Put everything under Him.  He can be trusted. 

And more, when we love God first, and love the good things He gives us in the appropriate order, the Lord will give us the gift of being good for those that we love.  We can be the conduit through which His love for them can flow. He doesn’t want to be loved first because there is a famine of love, and He wants to make sure He gets His share.  He wants to be loved first so that everyone can have more love than they will ever possibly need.  He wants to be loved first so He can take care of us, and those we love.  He wants to be loved first because He loves so much.  Give Him everything. 


15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time 16 and said, “I swear by myself, declares the Lord, that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will surely bless you and make your descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as the sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of the cities of their enemies, 18 and through your offspring[b] all nations on earth will be blessed,[c] because you have obeyed me.”
Genesis 22:15-18

24 Days to Easter

“Alive” – Jen Longino

March 23rd

Daily Devotional #16




It often seems as if life is an episode of the Twilight Zone that drops you completely unprepared into a given situation with no solutions only trade-offs, and the millisecond you feel you’ve got your bearings and know what’s going on, it drops you into a different one….forever. 

And there’s a little score board over in the corner of each one of these scenarios that changes, letting you know if you got the point on that one, or if the game did.  And the situations it puts you in range from downright evil, to mildly cruel, to deceptively fun and gratifying, and thousands of others. And if you don’t have the right score at the end, you die.

You know, so, good luck.  Anyone feel equipped to handle that?  Of course not, we know we can’t.  We know how unable we are. 

But Jesus is Alive

There’s this beautiful quote in an old hymn that says:

Long may the accuser roar of sins that I have done
I know them all and thousands more
Jehovah knoweth none.

Bless, bless the conqueror slain
Slain by Divine Decree
Who lived, who died, who lives again
For thee my soul, for thee.

“Jehovah Knoweth none”

That cannot mean that He actually doesn’t know. 

It’s not saying that He was alive for a while and we managed to convince Him that we were worth Saving so He died for us.  But had He lived longer He would have seen that He actually didn’t want to do that. 

And it doesn’t mean that while He was alive, He found us worthy so He died for us assuming from that point on we’d be good, and were He able to un-save us when He sees us continue wrongly, He would. 

“Bless, bless the conqueror slain, slain by Divine Decree.  Who lived, who died, who lives again, for thee my soul, for thee”

It means He knew before, during, and He knows now afterwards EXACTLY who and what we are. 

It means His ‘knoweth-ing none’ is Alive. 

This is why nothing can separate us from Him.  Because knowing something is separating us from Him is simply unacceptable to Him. 

He does not and will not exist in a state of us being separated from Him by something outside of ourselves. 

And so, He destroyed the separation.  He destroyed the game.  He came down into it, played perfectly and lost anyway, For us. 

So that when He looks at us He can see glory, and beauty, and purity.  Knowing the only glory and beauty and purity is His own. 

Knowing He would have to give it away so He could know what He would see when He looks at us. 

And now when I play the game of life, which we do still have to play in this whole weird now and not-yet thing God’s got going on, it’s not the game’s rules that decide if I win. 

It isn’t success in the situations that labels me. 

I don’t have to fight for love, I was and am loved by Love Himself. 

I don’t have to fight for supplies or provisions, the Provider Himself is with me. 

I don’t have to fear, My Rock and My Salvation are with me. 

Because He is Alive to be so. 

And no roaring of any accuser is able to surprise Him, or offend Him, or repulse Him, or drive Him off. 

Because He Knew, He Knows, and He does not forget. 

And He is Alive! 

24 Days to Easter

“Hallowed Be Means You and Me” – df

March 22nd

Daily Devotional 15

(originally published April 13, 2019)


As I consider Jesus’ life through the lens of “Jesus knew, when He left His Throne, the doorway back was through the Cross.”  As Jesus lived, taught, healed, and interacted with those His Father passionately love(d/s) – which is all of humanity, right (John 3:16) – He did so knowing He was headed to the Cross.


For me, that “lens” seems to sharpen the picture of Jesus and His Word(s).  The lessons take on a more urgent intensity.  The compassion deepens as an eternal well of connection and movement towards wholeness.  The perfect and purposeful obedience is adorned with brilliant colors beyond imagination and ushering in Heavenly Royalty.


And then I stop.  And fall.  On my knees, my face to the floor. 


Jesus taught this is how we should pray, which, by the way, is how we should also live:


Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name…


We’ve studied, this prayer, this incredible life-perspective that needs to be seen and understood through the eyes and ears and hearts of the original receivers.


Can you imagine (please join me in doing so)…


You’ve followed the Teacher to a hillside, specifically to hear Him teach.  You know His Word(s) is (are) truth.  You know this is GOD speaking through Immanuel.  You know you have already said “YES!” to whatever He is going to bring from Heaven’s Gates to your obedient ears (heart, life).


Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name…


Immanuel calls us to our greatest challenge, our holy assignment, the eternal purpose of His Beloved.


Our Father in Heaven, hallowed be Your Name…


Our Father – our Master and Lord who chooses to call us Beloved – loves us like a good, and eternally purposeful father.  He knows what is best.  He shares His life-secrets.  He expects – and deserves – complete obedience to His perfect Way.  He is above all, in all, greater than all, and more terrifyingly loving than all.  


And we are to address Him as ours.


We are invited into His presence.  We, not just me, not just you, We are welcome in His presence. 


To commune with Him… to listen to Him… to completely obey Him… and to thank Him, and praise Him, and worship Him with every fiber – and every moment – of our being.


And we are to make His Name hallowed (revered, respected, honored).


For the original audience, “hallowed be Your name” was nothing short of an all-consuming mission.  When we pray, we are saying “YES!” to whatever GOD has for us.  And Immanuel, GOD-in-the-Flesh, is telling us (I’m tying the original hearers to any and all hearers throughout time… us!) our prayer and life-commitment begins by acknowledging the intimate love of Our Father, and Our commitment to live in full, joyful (because we are absolutely convinced His Law is the absolute definition and description of goooooood life!!!) obedience to Him with the goal – forever in front of us, and forever foremost on our minds/hearts/actions – of bring His Name the Honor it deserves.


Hallowed Be Your Name


In and through my life – our life – with You, may my/our primary, driving, hyper-focused upon goal be living the completely obedient life so that it brings glory and honor and the greatest respect to GOD Our Father.


I believe that was Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego’s “secret.”  Scripture does not record them asking for GOD to save them.  Scripture does record that they preferred  – and were willing – to die, rather than dishonor or give anything less than their absolute all to the Name and Honor of GOD.


I see this “secret” in David’s confidence when he faced the fighting-machine named Goliath.


I see this “secret” in the People of Israel when they trusted what surely sounded as a ludicrous plan, but went “full steam ahead” and shouted at the walls of Jericho.


I see this “secret” in the heart of Boaz as he rises up and accepts the mantle of Kinsman-Redeemer, reflecting and honoring and obeying the GOD who redeemed him.


I see this “secret” clearly lived and on full display in the humanity of Jesus when He prayed, “not My will, but Yours be done.”


GOD-the-Son, Immanuel, Fully-GOD-in-the-Flesh, once again emptied Himself, for the sake of hallowing the Name of His Father in Heaven.


The GOD of this universe has chosen to place the reputation of His Great Name in our fragile, all-too-often-small-faithed hands.


I suppose HIS love really is true, if HE calls us and trusts us – me and you… us – to make His Name Respected, Holy, Blessed, Consecrated, Alive, and Beautiful.


With a smile stretching from ear to ear, and joy filling us from the top of our head to the bottom of our feet… Let’s make Our Father’s Name well known!

24 Days to Easter

“the Champion” – Gospel in Life

March 21

Daily Devotional 14

Today’s devo is one we love from last year’s 24 Days to Easter.  It comes to us from Gospel in Life – and it’s a really good one!  Our GOD is a GOD of Salvation!  Psalm 68:19 (ESV) says, “Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up (lifts us in the midst of our burdens); God is our Salvation!”.  It’s a powerful, life-filling thought.  Today’s devo comes from the verses preceding and describing this incredible Trustworthy Truth.  Enjoy, be refreshed, and Blessed be the Lord, the God of our Salvation! df



The Champion

Psalm 68: 7-18 (ESV)

O God, when You went out before your people,
          when You marched through the wilderness, Selah
the earth quaked, the heavens poured down rain,
          before God, the One of Sinai,
          before God, the God of Israel.
Rain in abundance, O God, You shed abroad;
          You restored Your inheritance as it languished;
Your flock found a dwelling in it;
          in Your goodness, O God, You provided for the needy.

The Lord gives the word;
          the women who announce the news are a great host:
          “The kings of the armies — they flee, they flee!”
The women at home divide the spoil —
          though you men lie among the sheepfolds —
the wings of a dove covered with silver,
          its pinions with shimmering gold.
When the Almighty scatters kings there,
          let snowfall on Zalmon.

O mountain of God, mountain of Bashan;
          O many-peaked mountain, mountain of Bashan!
Why do you look with hatred, O many-peaked mountain,
          at the mount that God desired for His abode,
          yes, where the Lord will dwell forever?
The chariots of God are twice ten thousand,
          thousands upon thousands;
          the Lord is among them; Sinai is now in the sanctuary.
You ascended on high,
          leading a host of captives in Your train
          and receiving gifts among men,
even among the rebellious, that the Lord God may dwell there.




Psalm 68:7-18 is a song of praise for the power of God as seen in salvation. There are three movements in this passage. Verses 7-10 describe the power of God in delivering the people of Israel from their bondage in Egypt. Then, verses 11-14 recount the power of God in the present to preserve his people as they lived amongst their enemies. Finally, verses 15-18 rejoice in the power of God that will safely bring his people home to the mountain of God.


These three movements describe the life of a Christian. We are those who have been brought out from the bondage of sin and death, are being preserved in our present journey, and have been given a promise that we shall arrive safely home. How are all these wonderful truths possible? These benefits are secured for us because of our champion.


Psalm 68:18 refers to one who ascended on high, leading forth a host of captives in his train. According to St. Paul, this passage is describing Christ Jesus, particularly the victory accomplished by him through his resurrection from the dead (Ephesians 4:8).


In Hebrews 12:2 we are told to keep our eyes on Jesus, the “archegos” of our faith. Although it has been variously translated as “author” or “pioneer,” the best translation would be “champion.” In other words, Jesus went toe-to-toe with sin and death and won! He fought the battle on our behalf with death and secured the victory. Now, we can rest in him, knowing that the very same power that raised Jesus from the dead is also at work in us (1 Corinthians 6:14).


Do you find yourself anxious today, maybe fearful of what the future holds? Let the truth of these verses be a reminder that the power of God is present in your life because of the work of our champion. Because of him we have been brought out of bondage, are being preserved day by day, and through his grace we shall arrive safely home.





Heavenly Father, we give you thanks for the power present in our lives because of our champion, Christ Jesus, and would ask that today we would find ourselves equipped with courage and joy because of him who ascended on high. In Christ’s Name, Amen.




Copyright © 2023 Gospel in Life / Redeemer City to City, All rights reserved.

24 Days to Easter

“What If” – Jen Longino

March 20th

Daily Devotional 13


It feels like someone in my house has been sick for at least the last 6-8 weeks.  This weekend and still a little right now it is me.  I haven’t slept well, and I think I got pink eye.  Which is just my luck as I’ve committed to putting my face on the internet everyday of this 24 Days to Easter with the #myfavoriteline social media campaign.  I’m tired, and for some reason I’m afraid.  I’m afraid I won’t find or come up with good Devos to contribute.  And I’m terrified of Palm SonDay.  Dave and I are leading thoughts at Table as Danny is out of town, and I haven’t felt this underqualified in a long time.  What if I don’t do a good job.  What if the honor and praise due to the Lord, any week, but especially that week, isn’t given because I’m not enough? 


And yet, underneath all that, if I listen closely.  I can ‘hear’ what I already know: His strength is made perfect in weakness. 


In February when I had the privilege of leading Adult Bible Class I used the metaphor of working out.  And how if we wrongly believe all discomfort of body is bad then we can never get strong, because getting strong hurts.  And personally, I work out all the time.  It is part of my regular life and that sore feeling is a joy to me.  My body even likes it.  It has started associating it with feeling good and I welcome it.  What if this is possible with other kinds of trouble too?  What if like Michele and Gary talked about SonDay, I can learn to anticipate Him?  What if when I feel week I learn to get excited because that means His strength is about to be more obvious?  What if when the enemy feels near, I get excited at seeing how He will protect me?  What if everything turns upside down and can mean to us the opposite of what it means to the world because we anticipate His never-ending, over-the-top, to-the-point-of-death (yes, even death on a cross) love.  If all we have is weakness what if we give it to Him knowing He will, like the song from yesterday’s devo says (and the Bible!), work it all for our good? 


And very thankfully, there is no ‘if’.  ?


26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because[g] the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. 28 And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good,[h] for those who are called according to his purpose. 29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. 30 And those whom he predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom he justified he also glorified.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be[i] against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? 33 Who shall bring any charge against God's elect? It is God who justifies. 34 Who is to condemn? Christ Jesus is the one who died—more than that, who was raised—who is at the right hand of God, who indeed is interceding for us.[j] 35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword? 36 As it is written,


“For your sake we are being killed all the day long;
    we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38 For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, 39 nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 8:26-39

24 Days to Easter

“Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Jesus”

March 19

Daily Devotional 12


I’m not sure exactly how long ago I heard this song, “Let Me Tell You ‘Bout My Jesus”.  Its style is somewhere between “Power Ballad” and “Rock-a-Billy”… and the words, well, there’s the magic.  They are questioning, insightful, driving, and joyfully encouraging/challenging.  When I’m driving around and it comes up on my playlist, the volume immediately increases – significantly.  The decibel level of my vocals goes up dramatically.  And speaking of “dramatically”, my insides swell and my song-cries of “Hallelujah!” rattle the windows.


Does that sound like a teenager at a Taylor Swift concert?


Well, so be it then!  There is something special – powerful even – about music and its ability to transport us to a transcendent place.  That’s what this song does for me. 


That’s what the Empty Grave does for us.


So, if you dare, turn up the volume, open your soul, and click the link to the video below.  After you’ve listened a few dozen times, I’ve included the lyrics below the link.


May GOD move us to a transcendent place of worship and praise that cares not about social norms (see David’s adventure with this in 2 Samuel 5:17 – 6:23 [the full on worship and praise is in 6:12-15]).  And, may HE bless us with refreshed, rejuvenated, and confidently joy-full souls as we approach and celebrate the Empty Tomb!





My Jesus

Anne Wilson


Are you past the point of weary?

Is your burden weighin' heavy?

Is it all too much to carry?


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!


Do you feel that empty feeling

'Cause shame's done all its stealin'

And you're desperate for some healin'


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!



He makes a way where there ain't no way!

           Rises up from an empty grave!

                    Ain't no sinner that He can't save!


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!


His love is strong and His grace is free!

           And the good news is I know that He

                    Can do for you what He's done for me!


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus

           And let my Jesus change your life!








Who can wipe away the tears

From broken dreams and wasted years

And tell the past to disappear?


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!


And all the wrong turns that you would

Go and undo if you could,

Who can work it all for your good?


Let me tell you about my Jesus!


He makes a way where there ain't no way!

           Rises up from an empty grave!

                    Ain't no sinner that He can't save!


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!


His love is strong and His grace is free!

           And the good news is I know that He

                    Can do for you what He's done for me!


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus

           And let my Jesus change your life!






Amen! Amen! Amen!


Who would take my cross to Calvary?

Pay the price for all my guilty?

Who would care that much about me?


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus…


He makes a way where there ain't no way!

           Rises up from an empty grave!

                    Ain't no sinner that He can't save!


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus!


His love is strong and His grace is free!

           And the good news is I know that He

                    Can do for you what He's done for me!


Let me tell you 'bout my Jesus

           And let my Jesus change your life!












Let my Jesus change your life!


Anne Wilson

Anne Wilson is an American Christian musician and songwriter. Wilson made her debut in 2021, with the release of the single "My Jesus" through Capitol Christian Music Group. "My Jesus," was Wilson's breakthrough hit, having reached number one on Billboard's Hot Christian Songs chart and Bubbling Under Hot 100 chart. more »

24 Days to Easter

“the Coming King” – Gospel in Life

March 18th

Daily Devotional 11

(from Gospel In Life’s Devotional Series for 2024’s Season of Lent)


Zechariah 9:9-10 (ESV)

Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion!
Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!
Behold, your king is coming to you;
righteous and having salvation is he,
humble and mounted on a donkey,
on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim
and the war horse from Jerusalem;
and the battle bow shall be cut off,
and he shall speak peace to the nations;
his rule shall be from sea to sea,
and from the River to the ends of the earth.


In the Ancient Near East, a king entered cities riding on a warhorse in order to convey his military power, particularly when he was entering into newly conquered cities where his rule may have been regarded as illegitimate or met with suspicion or outright rejection. The exception to this custom was when a beloved king entered his own capital city. There he would ride in on a donkey — the benevolent king.


The prophet Zechariah speaks of a day when Jerusalem would see her king return. He would conquer the enemy once and for all, secure a lasting salvation and establish a new reign of peace for all. This hope of the true king, riding on a donkey, led the crowd to shout: “Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!” when they saw Jesus riding into Jerusalem, yes, on a donkey.


And yet this crowd soon became the angry mob that cried for blood: “Crucify Him!” Jesus, who was once welcomed as the returning king, would be met with the violent rejection of a hostile people. The True King returned to His capital city to find that it had betrayed Him. Yet still, He mounted a donkey, not a warhorse, and entered in peace. And He won the ultimate victory for His treacherous people by submitting Himself to their violence — our violence — confirming our guilt and achieving our forgiveness in one decisive victory. The enemy this King would conquer turned out to be us, and the cost of the victory we longed for was the death of our Beloved King. And He did it.


Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion. Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem!



Lord, we rejoice and shout aloud that you would give your life to pay the price for our treachery. We praise you as our beloved king we have been waiting for. Come reign in our heart, our lives and our city. In Christ’s Name, Amen.




Here’s a link to All of Gospel In Life’s Lenten Devotionals:


24 Days to Easter

“The Opposite of Forget” – Jen Longino

March 17th

Daily Devotional #10



Anemnesis.  We WHers know that word because Danny has taught us about it.  I really enjoyed talking about it.  The depth of what we are called to do when we’re told to ‘do this in remembrance of me’.  It’s a weird word though, and our modern version ‘remember’ doesn’t really do it justice.  At least it doesn’t the way we use it.  But then I heard on a podcast or somewhere, unfortunately I don’t remember where, I heard the speaker ask ‘what is the opposite of remember?’.  And that’s easy, right?  The opposite of remember is forget.

And that’s true…. When we are talking about the meaning of the word.  But think about the word itself.  The structure of it.  To re-member something is to make it again, part of the whole it has been removed from…. So the opposite of re-member is dis-member. 

I really like that.  That is what Danny told us.  We’re supposed to put ourselves into the story.  To make it part of us. 

Or…wait.  Are we supposed to make ourselves part of it?  That makes more sense.  He is The Truth, He is The Life.  I don’t want Him or any part of His Story to depend on me as its base.  It’s not even that big a compliment to be invited to make myself whole.  I want to do that anyway.  Why would I need this?  That isn’t what has been Dis-Membered.  We have.  We are the members, the pieces, that have been scattered and lost.  We need to be Re-Membered. 

That’s what the cross is, it’s the way we can be Re-Membered.  And thankfully, that involves making us whole, but it’s more than that. 

Did you hear it?  If we are the things that have been Dis-Membered, then that means that the Great and Glorious God of the Universe considers Himself unacceptably un-whole without us.  Go and see what He did so He could have you back.  That’s the compliment.  That our being separated is that unacceptable. 

That’s also how we live as part of God’s Kingdom.  We live as people who have re-joined a Real Kingdom, with Real Power and Real Knowledge of Good Life, Full Life.  No more guessing, no more worry over what to do and if it can be done.  It has been done!  We are, right now, able to end our Dis-member-ment and live so joined to Life Himself that we can bring it for Him, by His power, to the world! 


I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit[f] of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. 18 I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people, 19 and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is the same as the mighty strength 20 he exerted when he raised Christ from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, 21 far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every name that is invoked, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. 22 And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, 23 which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins, in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient. All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our flesh[a] and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature deserving of wrath. But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved. And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus, in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus. For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast. 10 For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Ephesians 1:17 – 2:10

24 Days to Easter

“Did You Have a Good Week?” – Karen Strong

March 16th

Daily Devotional #9



A friend recently asked, “Did you have a good week?”   I thought back.  Could I even say what I did last week?  It was just a normal week.  Pretty unremarkable.   Or was it?


What if the week was totally amazing and I was just oblivious?  What if I bumbled my way through a series of wonders, blind to all that went on around me?  What if I drifted through miracle after miracle without coming out of my fog long enough to advert to God’s artistry and power and love?


Imagine for a moment that a genie or a fairy or a unicorn provided you with magical glasses that would help you SEE.  Imagine that by putting on those glasses, the wonders around you suddenly stood out in kaleidoscopic vividness.  Imagine that immediately you become aware of the miracles that crowd into every day.  (See 2 Kings 6:15-17)


You step behind the curtain of Oz or the scales fall off your eyes or the veil that has shrouded the Holy of Holies is ripped open, and you see how the Almighty God of the Universe is actively working on your behalf every day.   (See Philippians 1:6)


With your amazing spectacles, you now have eyes to see, and what you see opens your heart to how deeply God loves you and how much He does for you day after day.  Now you see your week with new eyes, and it is anything but unremarkable.


You see the way Christ holds all of creation together (Colossians 1:16-17), making sure that the earth spins at the right speed and stays just the right distance from the sun.

You see how God provides your every breath (Acts 17:25), graciously waking you up every morning to a fresh day of possibilities.

With your new-found glasses, you can see the cloud of witnesses (Heb 12:1) that roots for you to run the race well.

You see the Spirit nudging your friend to text you encouragement just when you need it most.

You can see the way that butterfly is sent to dance in the sunlight to bring delight to your heart.


Suddenly, all the inconsequential things of your week are seen as an intricate pattern showing God’s faithful love, all interconnected, all orchestrated by the Father who loves us so much that he keeps calling us home, by the Savior who volunteered to come on an incredibly difficult mission to rescue us, by the Spirit who speaks on our behalf when we can’t advocate for ourselves.


Now it’s impossible to reflect on the past week and call it unremarkable.  Now we know we can’t call our weeks ‘normal’ when they are in fact so very extraordinary.   Now we see that our days are infused with the Supernatural.


All of that should cause us to think:  if God did all that last week – and He did – how does that change how I approach the coming week?  Will I move through my days watching for God’s fingerprints on everything around me?  Can I catch the telltale traces of His presence?  Can I live my week with the confidence that He is at work in me and for me as He has promised?


Of course, not everything is rosy.  

Yes, this world is broken.  Yes, there is ugliness around us.  Yes, there is pain and suffering and injustice and death around us.   But the promise of the resurrection is that God has started setting all things right in the world.  The power of his redemption is already taking hold, now that the Accuser is defeated.  The Lamb is victorious, and we are the beneficiaries.


May we resolve to be more attentive to the wonders of the week, to the glories of God’s work in our lives.  May we have eyes to see glimpses of the triumph of our Great God as we live day by day, and may we be blessed to see His work in the lives of those around us as well.


Hallelujah and AMEN!


24 Days to Easter

“the Battle” – Jerry Elzie

March 15

Daily Devotional # 8


This three day Battle. 

          The Sabbath Battle. 

                   The Awesome Battle.


                             FOR US!!


This has always been my wonder about 'Easter'…  The 'look' on the ancient spirits faces when they realized their final doom had arrived.  Their plan was trashed.


Like an opponent you just burned to score to win.  In his face.


Jesus wins then, now, and Forever.


And to realize He Loved Me enough to create Me, teach Me, and (torturously) DIE for Me!


I try to imagine all of that with my puny mind, and always come up lacking enough data to wrap (my mind) around it.  His Mysteries. Fascinating.   




We are told that the same power that raised our Lord is in Us (Ephesians 1:18-21).  Greater than any power on Earth.

          Awesome Power. 

                   Endless Grace.


Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, MOST High.


His Sovereignty is absolute. 

          Thankfully, so is His LOVE.


We just gotta LOVE Him back.

          His Way. 

                   Rejoice always!


Make yourself His clay. 

          His soldier.

                   In ALL things.

                             Study, practice, pray. 



Lord, come quickly.


Part of 'believing like a child' is… Wonder.

          And labor until the work is done.


I have found that working for Jesus never fails to make joy.

          More puzzling is that it is no matter how hard it seemed!

                   I Am Loved By THE King matters.

                   Defender,  Redeemer, and Friend.

          No other is worthy of me anymore. 





In Praise of Him.

His Love,


24 Days to Easter

“Be Full” – Danny

March 14

Daily Devotional #7


You know that all-too-rare feeling when you sit back, take a deep breath, and genuinely smile from your face to the depths of your soul because everything – at least at that moment – is really, really good? 


Maybe it’s at the end of a delicious meal with family or a group of close friends and you whisper a prayer of thanks for their presence in your life.  Maybe it’s late in the evening while you’re sitting out on your porch with a cup of coffee looking at the stars, or early in the morning and that coffee’s aroma mixes in with the brightening sky, vividly reminding you of the Creators artistry and majesty…


Your full. 


Full from your belly to your soul, from your heart and your mind to every crevice of your life.


Wouldn’t it be nice if that were our “normal”?


I’m becoming more and more convinced that it should be – and can be.


Join me on a Scripture-trifecta-journey:


16“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son,
that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:16 (ESV)


6Surely goodness and mercy (Hesed) shall follow me all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Psalm 23:6 (ESV)


Yes, you are correct, that’s only two Scriptures, not a trifecta.  But hang with me, the completion of the trifecta is coming.


Jesus, in talking with Nicodemus, wants to open the eyes (of the heart) of this teacher of Israel.  To reawaken GOD’s forever-Call in Nicodemus that GOD’s love and Hesed is not forever exclusive, only belonging to the bloodline of Israel.  Rather, GOD’s love/Hesed is, and was, always planned for all the world (Isaiah 42:6 & 49:6).


And David, in reflecting on his (and our) Great Shepherd reveals to us the absolutely incredible fact-of-facts that GOD’s goodness and Hesed (mercy, steadfast love, kindness, etc.!) pursue us all the days of our lives!!!  


You might be saying… um… wait a minute, where’s it say that?  Psalm 23:6 says “follow us all the days…”


The Hebrew word translated “follow” is the same word found in Hosea 6:3 (Let us acknowledge the Lord; let us press on to acknowledge Him) and some 70 times it is translated “press on” or “pursue” (as in the relentless pursuit of a goal or enemy).  It’s the OT word that was central to our 2021 Theme: Press On!


So, GOD’s love has always been intended for all who would believe and His goodness and kindness/mercy/steadfast love is always pursuing us, blessing us, drawing us and calling us Home.  And that leads to our trifecta completing Scripture:


1The Lord is my Shepherd, I lack nothing.

Psalm 23:1 (NIV)


Pursued by GOD we are full.


Pursued by GOD’s loving kindness and goodness and always-intended love, we are full.


Even in the valleys of life! 


(a quick semi-in-depth study:)

Notice that while “even though I walk through the darkest valley”
is smack dab in the middle of Psalm 23,
it is surrounded by “The Lord is my Shepherd” in front,
and “(GOD’s) goodness and Hesed pursue me all the days of my life” in back. 
In good Jewish literary technique, that which is first and last
infuses and fills and informs all that it surrounds
(which we see in Jesus identification in Revelation, 1:17-18 & 22:13).


David is absolutely convinced and confident that he will dwell in the House of the Lord forever.  He rested in it, basked in it, breathed it in, and sang it to the world!


Be full!!!


GOD’s great undefinable kindness pursuing you – your heart, your soul, your mind, and all your strength.


Rest in it.  Believe in it.  Be captured by it.


Be full.

“the JOY set before Him… and Us” – Danny

March 13

Daily Devotional 6

Part 2 of 2


Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us,

2fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
(Who) for the joy set before Him
He endured the cross
scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God.

Hebrews 12:1-3


In yesterday’s Devo we explored the first of two of the great “Joys” that were so “incredibly valuable and life-encouraging-and-empowering-enough” that Jesus stared down the cross of shame and made it repent - changing it to the Cross of Victory. 


The first great “Joy” was “simply to doing the Plan of GOD that was set before Him (His race to run).”  Jesus, in complete and confident Trust willingly and joyfully committed to and purposefully engaged in the very thing that caused such a deep anguish that He sweat blood (Luke 22:44).  Amazing Trust.


So, what could be the second “Joy”?  What “Joy” could be so powerful that it accompany absolute Trust and Obedience?








“the World.”



John 3:16 – For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.


Hebrews 10:14 – For by one sacrifice HE has made perfect forever those who are being made holy.


Hebrews 12:22-24 - But you have come to Mount Zion, to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem. You have come to thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful assembly, 23 to the church of the firstborn, whose names are written in heaven. You have come to God, the Judge of all, to the spirits of the righteous made perfect, 24 to Jesus the mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks a better word than the blood of Abel.


Did you notice?  While we’re all intimately aware of John 3:16, the two Scriptures in Hebrews one comes right before and one comes almost immediately after our beloved Hebrews 12:1-3.  And all three reveal a purpose-filled and overwhelmingly power-full love that acted to make us holy, perfect, life-filled recipients of the Victory of the Cross!!!


I LOVE the way it’s described in Hebrews 12:22-24!  Please, read it again with the eyes of your imagination wide open!  Thousands upon thousands of angels in joyful, joy-filled assembly are cheering and singing Jesus’ praises – and the Father’s praises – over the Victory that’s been lavished upon us through the first of the “great Joys of Jesus” that purposefully led to and resulted in the second of the “great Joys of Jesus!”


Heaven literally explodes in praise and Joy over Jesus’ second “Joy!” – Us!


Can you even begin to imagine the depth of that love? the intensity of that love?? the reality of that love???


The One and Only Son, in the ultimate act of GOD’s Hesed, GOD’s very real kindness, Joyfully faced the Cross and flipped it on its head.  No more shame. Only Victory and Joy…  because of His unflappable and immeasurable love for Us!




And yet, it is astoundingly, astonishingly, and profoundly so.



Two great “Joys”…


Amazing Grace.  Amazing Love.


Let yourself dwell with and within these two great “Joys”.  Let yourself be inspired and changed.  Let yourself learn to Trust in the One who invites us and leads us Home.  Let yourself follow His lead of absolutely Trustin obedience to the Call of GOD.  Let yourself bask in the overwhelming pure love and kindness GOD has for us.  And cling to – with all your might – the “Joys” set before Jesus that transformed the Cross from shame to Victory. These are the great and true “Joys” set before us as we Joy-Fully join Jesus and bring honor and glory to the Great GOD who calls us His own!

24 Days to Easter

“the JOY set before Him… and Us” – Danny

March 12

Daily Devotional 5

Part 1 of 2


1Therefore, since we are surrounded
by such a great cloud of witnesses,
let us throw off everything that hinders
and the sin that so easily entangles.
And let us run with perseverance
the race marked out for us,

2fixing our eyes on Jesus,
the pioneer and perfecter of faith.
(Who) for the joy set before Him
He endured the cross
scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand
of the throne of God. 



Last SonDay I preached a lesson by the same name based on Hebrews 12:2.  I broke it up and preached the “set up” and the “first JOY” that made it worth it for Jesus to endure the Cross as we gathered at Table for the Bread of Life.  I preached a “second JOY” as we prepared to share the Cup of Salvation.


This is one of those Scriptures that I could think about, study, and bask in over and over again.  It stretches my imagination – and my soul – to really sit with and allow myself to believe the two “Joys” that were worth Jesus’ life-changing, life-giving sacrifice.  So worth it, in fact, that He scorned the shame purposefully designed for those put to death on a cross.  The cross* wasn’t shame for Jesus.  Because of the two “Joys” set before Him, the Cross* became the Vehicle to Victory! The pathway to the Perfect Plan!


What are these incredibly valuable and life-encouraging-and-empowering-enough-to-do-the-hardest-things “Joys”?


So, like SonDay’s two-part sermon, let’s take a look at the first “Joy” in Today’s Devo.  Then, in tomorrow’s Devo we’ll explores the second “Joy”.


The first “Joy” was simply doing the Plan of GOD that was set before Him (His race to run).  Jesus’ absolute Trust in the Father made the decision to follow His (our) Father wherever He led – even to and beyond the Cross.  It’s one thing to talk about a plan, and even agree to it.  It’s quite another to purposefully put yourself in (the ultimate) harm’s way in order to see it through.  And yet, Jesus knew it was not only the right thing to do, He also knew it was worth it.  I am forever grateful for Jesus Trusting His (our) Father so deeply that He followed Him to the extreme. I am amazed at His extreme and purely absolute obedience to His (and our) Father!   Jesus believed it was the right thing to do, the right life to life, and the very best life in the universe. 


As you consider this “Joy”, I hope it you have something of an “Aha!” moment – like I did last week as I prepared: These verses Call us to follow Jesus in that “Joy!


I used a colorful, bold and italic effect on those words because that’s how it struck me last week.  Of course, I was amazed at Jesus Trust in the Father.  Absolutely, I was deeply moved by His fearless Faith that caused the cross to “repent” and become the Vehicle of Victory rather than the shape of shame.  And, without a doubt, I was blown away that Jesus believed it was worth it so intensely that it led Him to the horrendous action that it took to rescue us.


And then it hit me. 


The writer of Hebrews gives us this insight into the Core of Jesus Soul at the end of an extended plea to us to live as people of real, living FAITH.  And the ultimate example of real, living FAITH is our incredible and beautiful JESUS.  He leads us Home the right way, the best way, the most FAITHfully beautiful way – and He asks us to join Him in that life-transforming FAITH – precisely because it is – by far – the most FAITHfully beautiful, the absolute best, and the joyously right way to live this miraculously precious life we’ve been given.


The more I “sit with these observations”, the more convicted (in a very good way) I am.  Jesus blazed the trail that we are to follow.  He did it for us.  Our response is to do it for Him and for the world our Father so desperately loves.  And (thank you, Lord!!!) He walks the path He blazed with us!!!  What an amazing grace this life with Jesus is!!!


Let yourself dwell with this great “JOY”.  Let yourself be inspired by this Jesus-blazed-and-also-with-us path we are called to follow.  Let yourself lean into and learn to Trust in the One who invites us and leads us Home.  For, the “Joy” set before Jesus that transformed the Cross from shame to Victory is the “Joys” set before us as we follow His lead and bring honor and glory to the Great GOD who calls us His own!


*   I purposefully used the lower case “cross” when it was describing the “cross of shame”, and the upper case “Cross” when describing the Cross of Victory


24 Days to Easter

“The Morning” – Jen Longino

March 11th

Daily Devotional #4


As a fledgling minister and as someone who wants to seek after the Lord I decided to try and memorize more scripture.  I want God’s words in my heart when I need them, not vague ideas about what they say, not generalizations of His Love protecting me.  His words.  I Heard one too many youth group talks, sermons and devos on the importance of memorizing scripture to not think it is important.  Though I’ve often been less-than-motivated to memorize.  But I’ve found that when my own heart questions, or someone else’s does, generalizations of God’s promises don’t really help.  You need it from the horse’s mouth, so to speak.  You wouldn’t want someone summarizing your boyfriend’s proposal letter, would you?  You’d want to pour over every jot and tittle.  So, to be able to answer my own heart, and anyone else’s, I decided I’d try.  I don’t like to undertake anything without a plan, so I decided I’d find a scripture to pray in the morning, and then I’d add one for lunch time, and then one for evening, and add them in that way.  Morning, noon, night.  Sounded solid.  Naturally, I googled ‘good scriptures to pray in the morning’.  Google had many suggestions, and I decided on Psalm 143:8.  It says: ‘Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I entrust my life.’ 

It really is a great way to start the morning.  Making sure I pause, at some point, the earliest I remember too, to pause, breathe, and say that to the Lord.  It helps focus my priorities and orients my perspective.  But, it also scared me a little at first.  What if I pray it one day when I’m not happy with what is ahead.  When I have to live something hard.  Or I’m trying to be a comfort to someone in that situation.  What if they pray that, and then nothing comes with the morning that is a sign of God’s unfailing love?  What then?  Did He not answer the prayer?  Did His love fail?  And then one day, one of those thoughts that you can’t trace the origin of floated into my head and it asked me:  What if it doesn’t mean God will send something with the morning that will show His love, what if it is asking to see the morning itself as a sign of God’s unfailing love? 

I think that is a great perspective.  Every new morning is made by the Lord Himself.  Every breath we breathe comes from Him.  And to forget it, to not see it, is no way to live.  After all, whatever happens today is not as important as what He has already done.  And if there is a new day, it is His. 

Psalm 143 was written by David, I assume while he was being pursued by human enemies.  And that can be hard to relate to directly (thankfully!).  But read it as though the speaker is you, and the enemy is death, and that you’re asking God to remind you each morning, with the morning itself, to show you His unfailing love.  And then, afterwards, remember that He has answered the cry for help in this Psalm.  He has come, He has destroyed death.  We are free!

Psalm 143

Lord, hear my prayer,
    listen to my cry for mercy;
in your faithfulness and righteousness
    come to my relief.
Do not bring your servant into judgment,
    for no one living is righteous before you.
The enemy pursues me,
    he crushes me to the ground;
he makes me dwell in the darkness
    like those long dead.
So my spirit grows faint within me;
    my heart within me is dismayed.
I remember the days of long ago;
    I meditate on all your works
    and consider what your hands have done.
I spread out my hands to you;
    I thirst for you like a parched land.[

Answer me quickly, Lord;
    my spirit fails.
Do not hide your face from me
    or I will be like those who go down to the pit.
Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love,
    for I have put my trust in you.
Show me the way I should go,
    for to you I entrust my life.
Rescue me from my enemies, Lord,
    for I hide myself in you.
10 Teach me to do your will,
    for you are my God;
may your good Spirit
    lead me on level ground.

11 For your name’s sake, Lord, preserve my life;
    in your righteousness, bring me out of trouble.
12 In your unfailing love, silence my enemies;
    destroy all my foes,
    for I am your servant.

24 Days to Easter

“Fantastic Irony” (Danny)

March 10th

Daily Devotional 03



this devo first appeared April 21, 2019.

i felt it particularly appropriate to follow the first two devos (the first from Michele and the second from Jen.)

may you rest and laugh and be joy-full in the greatest irony of all!



It’s ironic that there is irony in the victory of the Empty.


The first Easter SonDay.  The Grave is EMPTY.  The Victory is won.  Believers around the globe shout “Hallelujah!!!” and rejoice with full hearts.  Hope has a Name.  the Liar is silenced.  Truth is risen.  Jesus, the GOD-Man is GOD Supreme.


And it’s a fantastic irony that causes this joy-filled, belly-busting-out-loud-cannot-help-it-bursting-forth-from-the-deepest-places-laugh-and-praise-hollering episode.


As I stand before the empty grave, the incredible seal-broken stone rolled away from the entrance of the tomb that once sported (satan’s once-bold-thought) the Prince of Peace, I throw my arms high into the air straining for Heaven as I scream with a joy only Eternity’s Truth can reveal, “YYYYEEESSS!!!”


This One, our Jesus, the One who willingly emptied Himself of Heaven’s Throne (Philippians 2:5-11) to rescue us and empower us and invite us to His Father’s Table as beloved children of the Eternal King accomplished this humanly-impossible feat by (ironically) emptying the tomb of its prize!


Ain’t it ironic that there is this soul-saving irony in the victory of the Empty Grave?


It started with an empty Throne.  It “ended” with an empty Grave.


This Jesus – our Jesus – is the Master of the Empty!


And the “ending” of the Empty Grave is the beginning of the filling of us…
when we are willing to follow His lead…

And empty our throne (the irony of us thinking we can be the lord of our own life)

And allow (invite and submit to) Him to take His rightful place on that throne


Thus, welcoming and rejoicing that our grave is forever empty because He has written our names in the Book of (eternal) Life


I LOVE this fantastic irony.  I LOVE the Eternal Victory of the Empty.


Let me put it in “freestyle”: The more empty I am of me, the fuller of I AM I be.


Jesus, You emptied Yourself of Your very own Throne and lived in complete, perfect obedience – even to the point of a vicious and torturous death – because You love Your Father and agreed to His plan to purchase us from satan.  May we join You in that incredible journey of obedience by emptying ourselves of our life-throne and inviting You to reign.  May we joyfully submit to and follow You as we wildly proclaim the Victory of the Empty Grave!  Thank You for joining us – and being in the midst of us – here in our “every day.”  May we walk with You in Your “every day.”  We celebrate and honor You as the Victor and Sacrifice and King with our lives.  Thank You for rescuing us and giving us a Home through Your life. Amen.

24 Days to Easter:

Famine Mentality – Jen Longino

March 9th

Daily Devotional #2


Famine Mentality.  I think that term is familiar to most folks, but if you haven’t heard it, it means always thinking that there isn’t enough to go around.  You might see it play out in silly ways like, when a woman walks into a room and the people you are next to say ‘oh wow, she’s beautiful’.  If your first thought was jealousy or rivalry then you have a famine mentality when it comes to beauty.  If you are talking to a group of folks and someone says another member of the group is funny and you somehow felt that means you aren’t funny, then you have a famine mentality when it comes to funny-ness. 

Of course, this plays out in ugly ways also.  It can cause us to create rifts between what we see as ‘our’ group and the ‘others’ out there.  As if we have something that will be spent or ruined if more people can have access to it.  It can cause relationships to break or be prevented.  It can cause resentment and bitterness.  It can hurt.

When I first got to Western Hills I was a 19 year old non-starter, you WHers have heard me say that before.  But it wasn’t just in my career, it was everything.  I wasn’t sure how to be an adult in my family. I wasn’t sure how to be a woman and not a girl. I wasn’t sure how to be a church member and still get what I wanted from the world.  But “lucky” for me there was someone there (many someone’s actually, but I recently had the privilege to reflect on this particular person ?). She had a very strong connection to her family, a beautiful understanding of what it was to become a woman (and a beautiful one) and who fiercely loved her church family even if she still didn’t know exactly how to navigate that and the world.  You may have already guessed, this person was (and is) Lauren. 

She was beautiful, physically, her entire life, and she was when I met her.  I wasn’t.  I wasn’t comfortable in my skin and I didn’t now how to dress or stand or sit like a beautiful woman.  And Lauren would lend me clothes and teach me how to do my hair.  But more importantly, she didn’t demand that I become beautiful for her to want me around and include me.  She would just bring me along and if my beauty weren’t enough she would somehow manage to cover me over with hers as if to say ‘she’s enough and if you have a problem with that then you’ll have to deal with me’.  And because of this, when I got beauty of my own I knew what to do with it.  I knew to share it with the woman and girls around me.  I knew that it was contagious, not rare. 

She had a beautiful family with parents who had a habit, already, of loving her friends, and so when I became one she assumed inclusion in her family.  She assumed and assigned me a sister-like status that I had no right to.  And because of this I was able to learn how to be strong and feminine from her mom.  And because of both Lauren and Twyla, Danny had the freedom, encouragement and support to be a mentor and friend to me and turn me into someone who could be useful for the Lord. 

None of this would have been possible without Lauren leading this charge for me.  Without her taking what she had:  beauty, connection, a family - and poured them out into my life as if they could not run out.  As if they become more hers in the sharing rather than less. She was a beautiful picture of God’s love for me and it turned into an entire life.

This is exactly what the Lord does and what He calls us to do.  Don’t consider anything you have as something to be grasped, just as He didn’t consider what He had:  His Father, His Power, His Forever – as something to be hoarded for Himself.  He poured them out for us, and on us, and in so doing He has made life!  And He is dying to repeat this miracle in our lives and through our sharing.  Let’s pour ourselves out for Him – and when we do, let’s be ready for miracles!


5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:

6 Who, being in very nature[a] God,
    did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
    by taking the very nature[b] of a servant,
    being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
    he humbled himself
    by becoming obedient to death—
        even death on a cross!

9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
    and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
    in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
    to the glory of God the Father.

Phil 2:5-11



                          March 8th

                            Daily Devotional #1

                       Resolve – Submitted by Michele Thompson


Think in terms of Feasting rather than Fasting.

During Lent, may we:


          FAST from judging others;

          FEAST on Christ dwelling within them.

FAST from thoughts of weakness;

          FEAST on God’s healing power.

FAST from thoughts that dishearten;

          FEAST on promises that inspire.

FAST from words that criticize;

          FEAST on words that praise.

FAST from worry and problems that overwhelm;

          FEAST on God’s loving providence and prayer that sustains.

FAST from idle gossip and suspicion;

          FEAST on silence with a purpose and truth.

FAST from discontent and complaining;

          FEAST on gratitude and appreciation.

FAST from discouragement;

          FEAST on offering hope.

FAST from sorrow and anger;

          FEAST on serenity and patience.

FAST from personal anxiety and bitterness;

          FEAST on eternal truth and forgiveness.


Let us learn to FEAST rather than to FAST!


        Source Unknown

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*our Wednesday night start time and location rotates throughout the month (when not social distancing), please contact us for details if you plan to attend. 

Western Hills Church of Christ

6211 Parkwood Dr
Austin, TX 78735

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