Saturday, January 31, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/31/15

Shade Tree Wisdom (2)  1/31/15

          A better version:
“Backward, turn backward
O time in thy flight.
Make me a child again
Just for tonight”

GPD 1/31/15

Friday, January 30, 2015

Shade Tree wisdom 1/30/15

          To begin the day with God, I offer this:

“When morning gilds the skies.
My heart awakening cries,
May Jesus Christ be praised.
When evening shadows fall,
His rings my curfew call,
May Jesus Christ be praised.

          O Lord, to who all hearts are open, all desires known, bless me today, let my work reflect my best effort, let me be a blessing to others I meet today, and send me peace.  This I ask in Jesus’ name, and send me peace, Amen.

GPD 1/30/15

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/29/15

“Be our Light in darkness, Lord,
Our Defender;
In Your presence perils all,
Must surrender,
Drive all dark satanic snares,
From each dwelling;
Then, at peace, our hearts your praise,
Will be telling.”
LSB 884,2.

          A new and different Bible is coming on the market lately called simply “Men’s Bible”.

          Many homes have at least some copy of the Holy Bible.  Few have ever read the Bible through.  Oh, we start with good intentions and often fall exhausted when we read Numbers 7.  This chapter is called by many ‘the most boring chapter’ of the Bible, unaware that it teaches a strong lesson on generosity.

          Now this new Men’s Bible, and I quote from the article in the Chronicle, “indexes life events and offers scripture relevant to the topic.”  It encourages men to open their Bible over their morning cup of coffee to give a bit of God’s Word for the day.

          It could also serve as the Book for Bible study groups in private homes.  I pray it will do what it is intended to do, strengthen our faith for daily living in our stress-filled days.

GPD 1/29/15

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/28/15

          The question before the house this morning is ’what’s going on today?’ The whole day lies before us.  What’s the plan?  Where do we start?  The answer, at least the first part, lies in the suggestion given by Psalm ll8,24.
“This is the day
that the Lord has made,
Let us rejoice
And be glad
In it.”
Psalm ll8,24

          Just think, the sun is shining (at least here where I am writing this), the hours lie before us, fresh, unused.  I am reading about a storm heading for the northeast and I am where that doesn't bother me.

          I have enjoyed a nice breakfast, tasty, enjoyable, quite satisfying – even had a second cup of coffee.

          One of my table mates had an early doctor’s appointment and his ride was urging him to hurry.  And I could lean back, watch him rush away, and enjoy my coffee.

          Some birds are starting to appear from their winter sojourn, and soon there will be flocks of geese going north.  I am always amazed at their unerring sense of direction and their stamina in their flight.

          So, do look about you this day and “rejoice and be glad in it”, for the Lord has made this day for you.

GPD 1/28/15

Monday, January 26, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/27/15

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/27/15
          What does this mean to you?
“Too exhausted to run,
Too afraid to stop!”
          It strikes me that describes the lives of so many people today. They always seem to be in  hurry. When they are here, they look as if they wanted to be there. Never quite seeming to fit in, always ready to try something new. Never satisfied.

          The phrase above does describe them, doesn’t? And maybe, when they reach total exhaustion, they may be read to listen to some common sense.
          After all, the Lord Jesus Himself asked his tired disciples, “Come ye aside and rest awhile” Mark 6,31

          Resting allows time for reflection. A time to consider how we may improve the way we work, or the message we send, or the affect we have in living our lives the way we do.

          Resting also allows time to see the world around us. Look at a bed if flowers, or hear a bird sing, or enjoy a flock of geese flying north, and marvel a their stamina and the unerring sense of direction.

          No. life is meant to enjoy, so join  us sensible people, enjoy.
And may God bless the time so well spent.
GPD 1/27/15

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/21/15

“Do not be anxious” Luke 12,22

          That was advice given to His disciples by Jesus as He talked at length about life.  Here is the entire quote:

“And He said to His disciples, Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat, nor about your body, what you will put on.  For life is more than food, and body more than clothing..  Consider the ravens, they neither sow nor reap, they have neither storehouse nor barn, and yet God feeds them.
How much more value are you than birds. . .O ye of little faith”
Luke12, 22-29.

          We have often read those words, and spoken of them, but so often they sort of pass by, too familiar to really hear them, or heed them.

          “Don’t be anxious”, but we often are.  Worrying and fretting seems to be sort of built into the human system.  We just can’t help it.

          But it occurs to me God uses such times to stretch our faith, to add strength and stamina for the days that may lie just around the next corner.

          Just take a moment to see if that isn't true in your life.  Life runs along, going pleasantly, morning coffee, the drive to the office, settling down for a day of work when the phone rings.  Something has happened to upset your serene existence and you are rushing to wherever you needed to be, and you do find the faith-muscle to deal with the tragedy, or whatever has happened.

          That is why Jesus told His disciple that story about the ravens, to help us grow.

GPD 1/21/15

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/17/15

“The heavens declare the
Glory of God, and the
Firmament showeth His handiwork;
Day unto day Pours out speech,
And night to night shows knowledge.
There is no speech, nor are there words,
Whose voice is not heard.”
Psalm 19,1-3.

          So says the Familiar Psalm.  It is so true.  When St. Paul begins his letter to the Romans he says it also, claiming “so that they are without excuse.”

          An article in the morning paper speaks about the many birds that will soon be singing to report the coming of warmer weather.

          “Birds open up nature’s library, we do well to browse it.”

          And then quotes Francis Bacon: “. . .men have withdrawn themselves too much from the contemplation of nature. . .and have tumbled up and down in their own reason and conceits”.

          So let’s stop and do just that. There are many places in and around Houston where birds abound.  Be the first on your block to hear the Robin’s cheerily, cheerup, cheerup, cheerily, cheerup.

          Birds tell us, “Step outside enjoy God’s handiwork, take pictures.”

          So give it a try, and God bless.

GPD 1/17/15

Friday, January 16, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/16/15

          This caught my eye during my morning devotion:
“The Law of God is good and wise,
And sets His will before our eyes,
Shows us the way of righteousness,
And dooms to death when we transgress.

To Jesus we for refuge flee,
Who from the curse has set us free,
And humbly worship at His throne,
Saved by His grace through faith alone.”

          It caught my attention because the Law does convict, but Christ is the Advocate who says, “I died for his one”.  St. Paul writes, (Colossians 2,13b.14)
“God. . .having forgiven us all our trespasses, by cancelling the record  of debt that stood against us with its legal demands.  This He set aside, nailing it to the cross.”

          So when guilt weighs heavily upon me, I know I need not worry, fret, or stew, because my sin is nailed to Jesus’ cross.

          Thanks be to God for His everlasting mercy and grace.

GPD 1/16/15

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/15/15

          Ever have days like this when it seems everything we are trying to do goes wrong?  Plans we had for our day get changed, the work that lies at hand seems to drag, nothing fits, everything doesn't go as we had hoped, and everybody seems to have a  grudge, and even our God seems far away because our prayers seem to go unanswered.

          If such days come, and they seem to, remember you are “All the children of God by faith in Chris Jesus, for as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.” Galatians 3, 26.27.

          That means as a child  of God you are not, you are never alone, even when it seems as your prayers are not heard.  God is there, for His name is ‘Emmanuel’, God with us.  Cling to that, mark it well, and live according to it.

          Here is a hymn verse to remember:
“Baptized into Your Name most holy,
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
 Claim a place. Though weak and lowly,
Among your saints, Your chosen host.
Buried with Christ, and dead to sin,
Your Spirit now shall live within”.
LSB 590,1

          In the dark days you may face, remember Christ is at your side, His Spirit dwells in you.

GPD 1/15/15

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/11/15

          There is a well-known truism that says,
“as the days begin to lengthen,
The cold begins to strengthen”.

          This afternoon the Green Bay Packers host the Dallas Cowboys in a playoff game.  The Houston Chronicle recalled the first NFC championship played the last day of l967, at Lambeau Field in Green Bay.  It’s simply called the Ice Bowl.

          The temperature was 15 when Dallas had its final practice.  Then the temperature plummeted.  The wakeup call told them it was 16 below, with the wind-chill factor often reaching much lower.  The referees had bloody lips when they froze to the whistles, several players suffered frostbite, and it was simply a game to be endured.

          Green Bay won it when Bart Starr did a quarterback sneak behind Jerry Kramer in the final 13 seconds.  Final score 21 – 17.

          If we see the game today, let us be thankful for the TV sets that make it possible for us to see it without freezing.

GPD 1/11/15


Saturday, January 10, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/10/15

“Lift High the Cross,
The love of Christ proclaim
Till all the world
Adore His sacred name.
Come, Christian, follow where our Captain trod
Our King victorious, Christ the Son of God.”
LSB 837,1

          A reminder of Whose we are.

GPD 1/10/15

Monday, January 5, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/5/15

          The year  is 2015, and today I make an assignment.  Please sing the hymn I give you here, the melody will come to mind easily.

“The King of Love my shepherd is,
Whose goodness faileth never;
I nothing lack if I am His,
And He is mine forever.

Where streams of living waters flow,
My ransomed soul He leadeth,
And where the verdant pastures grow,
With food celestial feedeth.

Perverse and foolish oft I strayed,
But yet in love He sought me,
And on His shoulder gently laid.
And home rejoicing, brought me.”

          Sing out loud, sing with gusto if you will, but mostly, remember its truths,
And be content under His care.

GPD 1/5/15

Saturday, January 3, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/3/15

          We are blessed to be able to enter  a new year.  I do pray that you know The Lord is with us always, as He has promised, “And lo, I will be with always, you even to the end of the age?”.

          This is a firm truth.

          It is for today.

          It is for tomorrow.

          It is for your life-long.

          There is a line or two in The Village Blacksmith that goes:
“He goes on Sunday to the Church
And sits among his boys’
He hears the Parson pray and preach.
And hears his daughter’s voice.
Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.”

          But the blacksmith does not need to go to the village church to be near God.
For God is there, His name is Emmanuel, which means God with us.

          Our Lord Jesus said:
“No longer do I call you servants,
For a servant does not know
What his master is doing,
But I have called you friends,
For all that I have heard from My Father I have
Made known unto you”. John 15,15

Let us then always remember that our is God is always near.

GPD 1/3/15

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Shade Tree Wisdom 1/1/15

“With the Lord begin thy task,
Jesus will direct it.
For His aid and counsel ask,
Jesus will perfect it.
Every morn with Jesus rise,
And when day is ended,
In His name then close your eyes,
Be to Him commended.”
LSB 869,1

Really, if we do take that advice to heart,
If we really follow it, the year that lies before us,
Still untouched,
Will be filled with
Blessing, growth in skills,
Rich with joy
And God-given pleasure.
So, walk confidently into the new year,
Sure of God’s nearness according to His
Promise, “and lo, I will be with you
To the end of the age.”

GPD 1/1/15