Where we used to live, a new tax was approved to upgrade local roads.  I wasn’t impressed with this costly project, and felt it was another boondoggle adding to everyone’s tax bills.  Called the mayor to express my feelings.  Rather bold, you say?  Not for me.  I can be a bear, especially if it affects my net worth!

The mayor instantly became defensive, leading me to conclude that this would be a wasted call at best.  And it was.  At the conclusion, the mayor assured me that, when all was said-and-done, this project would ‘knock your socks off!’  Really?  I’m ready.  It didn’t.  No socks came off.  Only gobs of shekels from my wallet each year!

Psalm 81 makes better promises.  Of God’s blessings galore.  Psalm 81: 10–‘Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.’  Verses 13 and 16–‘If my people would listen to me…you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.’  Gushing with blessings!  God loves to give.  He’ll knock our socks off!

His bounty costs us… nothing.  It cost Him… everything.  As in the death of His Son Jesus on the cross.  He did that exclusively for you and me?  Not quite.  All for His glory with side benefits coming our way.  Not just for us.  For there will be clouds of witnesses praising Jesus from every tribe and nation.  All for His glory.  For Him.

What God promises, He produces.  No ‘knock your socks off’ tax business with little to show but bare feet.  Not with our God.  He never lets us down.  We fail.  He never does.

It’s His promises we hold onto.  Not mine or yours or those of politicians.  His.  God’s Word alone.  Couldn’t get any better than that.  Could it?


Thank you, Lord, for being the ultimate promise giver and keeper.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.


Math is not my long suit.  The only ‘D’ grade I ever earn is in Junior High Algebra.  ‘D’ doesn’t mean delightful.  More like dunderhead!  Forget about trigonometry or calculus.  Avoid both like the plague.

Even though I was a successful financial planner for twenty years, with over 800 clients, yet I couldn’t count worth beans.  Didn’t have to with computers and calculators.  That’s best for clients…for sure!  As I can’t count that high!

I notice the same about the poet who pens Psalm 71.  Look at verse 15–‘My mouth will tell of your righteousness, of your salvation all day long, though I know not its measure.’  The measurements– length and breadth, height and depth, of God’s saving work goes beyond measure.  See!  He can’t count that high either.

No one can.  Even though we hesitate to admit it, our knowledge is palpably limited.  Think we’re so smart.  So clever.  Have all the answers.

Do we?  Not on your life…or mine.  Think of the scientific chaos theory of creation.  That all this marvel of God’s fashioning comes about by chance and happenstance.  How lucky can we get!  Talk about requiring faith?  That certainly does.  More than I can count on!

How about God saving His lost people?  How does that happen?  Sending His only Son Jesus to die for us?  Makes no sense.  Doesn’t add up.  I’d never do that.  Sacrifice either of my sons for ingrates who hate me?  No way.  Never.  Not a chance.

But He did.  For me and you.  Because of His love.  More than we can imagine.  A love we can count on, even though its measure is beyond calculating.

Don’t worry.  It’s not about me or you.  Or our limitations, which the Lord knows all about.  No.  It’s about His boundless love.  Agreed?

So what if we can’t figure it all out.  He knows and that’s all that matters!  Can always count on Jesus…no matter what.


Lord, thank you for your Son Jesus, our Savior, whom we can completely depend upon.  Amen.



We moan and groan about people today.  Not ourselves, of course!  Others!  You know who they are.  Crass and getting worse.  Take a gander at television.  Maybe you shouldn’t.  Movies?  Have you seen new ones?  For us, maybe a decade ago, and what a colossal waste of time and money.

I’m now reading about a bunch of totally greedy botchagaloops.  Believe in numerous gods.  Never satisfied.  Always grabbing for more.  Money-grubbers.  Noticeably unhappy with nary a smile on their faces.  Scowls dominate.  Ungrateful like they deserve everything.  ‘I’m owed’.  And angry.  And entitled.  You know them.  No, not you, of course!  Or me, certainly!

By the way, what am I reading?  Just perusing Psalm 78.  What?  Yes!  Asaph pens this psalm.  He’s one of the leading choir directors of ancient Israel.  He knows the history of God’s people.  Warts and all.  Read the first thirty-one verses and you’ll note how little anyone has changed over the millennia.  No evolution in our spiritual lives.  Same old, same old.  More like devolution.

Mustn’t end of such a down note.  Read on.  Especially verses 32-39, and you’ll discover where our hope lies.  You know!  With the Lord.  With Him alone.  He’s the key as Jesus opens the doors to life in its fullness (John 10:9-10), which will be complete when we close our eyes to this world, opening them to Him in glory.

No matter what comes your way this year, whatever happens, remember this– ‘…God was their Rock, that God Most High was their Redeemer’ (Psalm 78: 35).  Time to stop whining and start becoming a wide-eyed believer in all the goodness God has for us in His Son Jesus.  Both now and then, here and there.  As in always!

Got that?


Thank you, Jesus, for making life worth living.  In Jesus’ name.  Amen.



Happy New Year!  2019?  My, how time flies.  Whizzes by at lightning speed.  But I wonder about the future.  With all its uncertainties.  No doubt this new year will entail some doozies.  Either personally or in our families, with our finances and jobs, and certainly in politics.  Looking forward gives me the shakes!

In the winter, Jesus attends Hanukkah celebrations in Jerusalem’s Temple (John 10).  Cold days and nights.  But the hierarchy glows hot as you-know-what.  About Jesus.  And His miracles.  And His big mouth proclaiming blasphemy, or so they say.  His life dangles in mortal danger.  It hangs in the balance.

So what does Jesus do?  John 10:40–‘…(Jesus) went back across the Jordan to the place where John had been baptizing in the early days.  Here he stayed…’  Facing the future, Jesus goes back to where His earthly ministry begins (John 1).  A hint for you and me?

When fears and worries rear their ugly faces, head back to the Lord for His reassurance.  That’s where Jesus goes, putting His mind and soul at ease.  To where He hears John the Baptist announce that He’s the Messiah.  He’s God’s Lamb who will take away the world’s sins (John 1:29).  Also where the Holy Spirit anoints Jesus, mimicking a gently descending dove (1:32).  And where He hears most comforting words from His Father, who loves Him so much, that Jesus is ‘the Son of God’ (1:34).

When frightened and panicky, trust what the Lord has already promised.  When shaken to the core, hold on tightly to Him.  When wobbly with uncertainties, lean firmly on God.  Dig deeper into His Word.  Stay close by.  Heels dug in and unmoved.  For if so, terrifying winds will give up long before you do.

What’s ahead for you and me in 2019?  I know as much as you do.  Nothing, really!  But going forward I’ll try to gaze back for God’s strength just like Jesus does.  I’ll try.

Good enough for Him.  Good enough…  Well, you get the point.


We’ll stand with you, Jesus, all year long.  But only with your help.  Amen.