Restoration One-a-Day Friday  9/22/23

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters, he restores my soul  (Psalm 23:3).

And there it is.

He restores our souls, Beloved.

This world will drain your soul. This world will break your soul, grind it to dust, mix it with your tears and drink it down in an iced tea glass.

But the One who loves you restores your soul. He takes it in his hands and gently puts the pieces back together. He breathes life into it and heals it.

He makes you whole.

Every day

Breathe deep, Beloved. Your Shepherd calls.

Happy Friday.

Still Waters Thursday  9/21/23

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside still waters…(Psalm 23:2).

Sometimes life is all storm

and rising flood

and raging river

and endless, driving rain that threatens to wash your very self away.

And God is there in the midst of it.

Sometimes the waters calm, and life is gentle brooks

and quiet mountain lakes

and little ponds tucked away in the woods

and soft, soothing waves sizzling against the sand of the shore.

And God is there, too.

I don’t know what today holds for you, Beloved. But whether the storms rage or the brooks whisper, I know that the One who loves you will be there, leading you by the hand.

And I think you know it, too.

Happy Thursday, Beloved.

Rest One-a-Day Wednesday  9/20/23

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures…(Psalm 23:2).

Lie down



The verb here is makes. God makes David rest. God knows that, left to his own devices, David will work himself to the bone, trying to do more and be more and make more and become more and–

and God says to rest.

When did you last rest, Beloved? When was the last time you set aside the backpack full of gottado’s and stretched out in the green pasture for a snooze?

You can take that metaphorically or literally–your choice.

Look, I know you have a lot on your plate, and sometimes it seems like you’ll never get through it, but your body and your mind and your spirit all need rest.

And God commands it, so there.

Pull up a patch of grass and have a seat.

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

Contentment One-a-Day Tuesday  9/19/23

A life worthy

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want  (Psalm 23:1).

I originally heard this Psalm in the King James, which reads I shall not want.  

The difficulty with that translation is that I want.

A lot

Time and teachers and translation have taught me that it’s not want as in desire, but want as in lack. It’s basically saying, The Lord is my Shepherd, he will give me everything I need.

I gotta say, I like this better. Though my flesh will always want stuff, I will never need more than what my Lord provides.

The Lord is my shepherd; I am complete.

The Lord is my shepherd; what more could I ask for?

The Lord is my shepherd; everything else is gravy.

Of course, I really do like gravy.

Oy, ve

Happy Tuesday, Beloved

Shepherd and Sheep One-a-Day Monday  9/18/23

A life worthy

Psalm Break!

The Lord is my shepherd… (Psalm 23:1).

Psalm 23

One of the most memed passages in the Bible. I’ve seen it quoted on bumper stickers, wall plaques, desk calendars, Christian bookstore Jesus pictures–

even a tattoo. What could I possibly say about these famous verses that you haven’t already heard?

Probably nothing…but let’s give it a go anyway!

David calls God his shepherd. God looks after him, leads him, provides for him, protects him, disciplines him, chases him down and rescues him.

God is an excellent shepherd, as the rest of the Psalm will attest.

But what of David?

I mean, if God is the shepherd, that makes David

a sheep.

David, who has been a shepherd and a warrior and a bard and a king, takes the role of the sheep here. 




Yes, it is the obvious attitude to take


is it the attitude we take?

Too often I see myself as the Assistant Shepherd, or the sheep dog, or even the trusty staff in the hand of the Shepherd.

But a sheep? Just one of a billion dumb, wayward, weak, bumbling, wool-headed sheep? Who wants to be a sheep?

The one who wants the Lord to be his Shepherd.

Happy Monday, Beloved.

Infants  One-a-Day Friday 9/15/23

A life worthy

Brothers, stop thinking like children. In regard to evil be infants, but in your thinking be adults (1 Corinthians 14:20).

Babies don’t think a lot about themselves.

Wait a minute, Michael! Babies think only of themselves. “I’m hungry!” “I’m sleepy!” “I’m soiled with squishy nastiness!” “Care for me, even if it is 3am!”

Well, that is true, Beloved.


It’s not really thinking, so much as simply reacting to stimuli. Babies aren’t capable of abstract thought–so far as I know–and so can’t really have bad motives. Yes, they are focused on their needs, but those are pretty simple and legitimate needs.

Unlike the need to be seen as super spiritual because you speak in tongues.

It’s kind of like when Jesus said that we should come to him like children–not out of a desire for stuff or power or status, but simply because we want to be with him.

Infants are incapable of evil because they are incapable of impure motives.

Once they are, all bets are off.

So, as far as evil goes…be infantile today.

Happy Friday, Beloved

A Much Needed Reminder   One-a-Day Thursday 9/14/23

A life worthy

Brothers, stop thinking like children (1 Corinthians 14:20a).

OK, so I had to stop mid-verse.

I know I’m taking this out of context, but bear with me. 

How much do you need to hear this verse?

And how often do you need to hear this verse?

Me? Oh, I need it a lot. 

As you go through your day, repeat this verse to yourself from time to time.

And, you know–do what it says.

Happy Thursday, Beloved

Edify the Church One-a-Day Wednesday 9/13/23  

A life worthy

If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say “Amen” to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying? You may be giving thanks well enough, but the other man is not edified. I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you. But in the church I would rather speak five intelligible words to instruct others than ten thousand words in a tongue (1 Corinthians 14:16-17).

This is a tough one for today’s society to get its collective head around.

See, our society is very focused on rights–what I get to do for me, and has lost sight of duty–what I am obliged to do for others.

We’re way out of balance.

As a result, we enter the church with the idea–often unconscious–that the service is all about us and our individual relationship with God. With that premise, we do what we gotta do for our own edification. Sometimes that comes at the expense of others.

Correct me if I am wrong, but Paul seems to be saying that our public worship should be informed by an awareness of those around us and an understanding of how our actions might impact them.

Have I mentioned Flag Lady to you before? Basically, I once attended a church that was, shall we say, demonstrative in its worship. Jumping, waving, dancing–you get the picture. One day a woman decided that she needed to worship God with the shiny gold pennants she just happened to have with her.

Said pennants were about three feet long each, and she danced up and down the aisle waving them in a fever of ecstasy. Beloved, I do not say that she was not worshiping. Her worship may have been genuine, sincere, and deeply fulfilling for her.

The rest of us, however, were a bit distracted as we dove for cover.

How many ways, how many times, can Paul say it’s not about us?

Happy Wednesday, Beloved

The Whole Package One-a-Day Tuesday 9/12/23

A life worthy

For this reason anyone who speaks in a tongue should pray that he may interpret what he says. For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays, but my mind is unfruitful. So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind (1 Corinthians 14:13-15).

God wants all of you.

The whole package–heart and soul and mind and strength

I have been in churches that spend so much time “in the Spirit” that they get a little sloppy with the Scripture,


I have been in churches that are so focused on understanding the Scripture that they seem to keep their spirit in a little box that they bring out on special occasions.

The cure is not to find a happy middle ground, but to fiercely embrace both.

So…fiercely embrace, Beloved.

Happy Tuesday

Twenty-Two Years  One-a-Day Monday  9/11/23

A life worthy

Deliver me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of evil and cruel men (Psalm 71:4).

Twenty-Two years.

Twenty-Two years since “Nine-One-One” became “Nine-Eleven.”

Twenty-Two years since we awakened to fire and smoke and terror and grief.

Twenty-Two years since the hand of the wicked reached out to strike at our nation.

It was a horrific reminder that there is evil in this world.  Evil will always attack the innocent.  Evil will always set itself against the people of God.

And yet, you didn’t really need the reminder, did you?  You’ve known the attack of evil—maybe not on so grand a scale, but you’ve known it.

And you will again.

It comes with the territory.  It’s part of the package of being His, of living for Christ in this world.

And so is deliverance.

As surely as the sun rose this morning.

As surely as the Son rose long ago.

God will not let evil win.  Not in this world.  Not in your life.

So as you remember 911 today, as you see the proud flags and hear the lofty speeches and see the heartfelt posts, remember your own personal 911’s, and how God has brought you through them.

And trust that he will again.

Walk in remembrance today, Beloved.