Dead Bird

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May spiritual and national leaders in America lead a hasty return back to God (Jer 12:7-13). #ReturnToGod #Repent

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Having been instructed by God regarding the purpose of adversity (vv5,6), Jeremiah moves on with his final comments to Israel (Judah) regarding her violation of her Covenant with God. God is reluctantly abandoning his “dearest people” to her enemies. Why? Because she has “roared“ against him, treated him with contempt. She shakes her fist in God’s face and ignores every commitment made to him.

Judah, metaphorically, struts around like a strange colored bird of prey. She foolishly claims her dominion over her prey, while powerful other birds of prey and wild animals swoop in and violently thrash her. Then they consume Judah’s corpse. Oh Lord, how far Judah (and America today) has fallen from her love for you. Judah did not turn to God and she suffered. Pray America makes a hasty return to God.

_________________

America is not a people of Covenant with God, like Israel. But she is a people with deep roots in God’s Covenant people. She is a nation upon whom God‘s blessing has rested from her inception.

Will America be like a prideful “different colored bird” who struts over her dominion over her prey; who is completely unaware of the great and powerful other beasts and birds of prey who will pick her apart and consume her carcass?

Lord, open the eyes of America today. May she humble herself in repentance toward God. Forgive us Lord, for our self indulgence, our complacency and selfishness disdain for the things that honor God.

Forever Assured

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Be assured of God’s complete work of grace in your life (Jude 1:1,2). #Grace #Mercy #Peace #Love #GospelAssurance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jude writes to Christians across the centuries. He writes to me. Jude, the brother of Jesus, writes to all who have believed the Gospel. His opening prayer for us (me) is that we stand firm in the Gospel call of God, our father, who secures us by his Son, by the Shepherd’s care of Jesus.

Jude prays that we would receive more mercy, peace and love. That is, the supply of mercy for our sin, peace for our anxieties and love for our conditional acceptance of others is full, abundant and never ending. Whatever our need for mercy, peace and love, it is in eternal supply. Lord, I have no fear of slipping from your grasp or falling short of the Gospel attributes of faith and action.

Depraved

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Acknowledge the depths of your depravity before God (Jer 7:30–34). #DeplorableDepravedDevastation #TurnNowToGod #LordSendAwakening

The Soul That Defies God

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The sins of Judah before God were of the most heinous kinds. The Temple of God in Jerusalem was used to worship odious other gods and idols. Shrines were built outside the city where the abominable practice of child sacrifice was conducted. Children were burned alive in the worship of other gods (who are no gods). This was a practice that Jehovah God neither commanded nor even considered.

God says, “This will come to an end; my people will pay a steep price for their sin. I will make the land a desolate place.” Lord, deliver my soul from any deplorable sin that offends you. Deliver the soul of my beloved country from the sin that offends you. May we humble ourselves, repent and follow after God.

When God Cannot Forgive

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Turn humbly to God, confess sin and know his forgiveness (Jer 5:7-14). #Repent #GodWantsToForgive #TurnToGod #UnrepentanceDeniesForgivenes

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God asks, “Why should I forgive, pardon, you?“ Certainly God desires to forgive, but he will not. God asks? “Should I not punish this nation for her sin?“ Certainly God does not wish to punish any nation. So why wouldn’t he forgive? Why would he proceed to punish Judah?

The answer to these questions is, because of Judah‘s open and blatant sin and her arrogant, unrepentant attitude towards God. Because of this there WILL be no forgiveness and punishment WILL follow. God cannot forgive where there is no repentance. Lord, may this old sentry never again be found with an arrogant unrepentant attitude towards you.

May my beloved country turn humbly to you, confess her sin and know forgiveness.

Feigned Paramours

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Run in contrition, into the truly loving arms of God (Jer 4:28–31). #Repent #TurnNowToGod #RemainFaithfulToGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

The heavens mourn over the destruction of Jerusalem. But the people of Jerusalem press into extreme actions to engage her “paramours.“ She goes to great lengths to impress her other lovers (who are no lovers), those illicit relationships that caused her destruction in the first place. She is terrified of these former lovers who now, and probably always did, despise her.

This woman (Jerusalem) is a thing of beauty on the outside, but she is corrupt and rotten on the inside. She is depicted here as gasping for breath and screaming in pain at her plight. There could be no more decrepit image than one who is caught in the arms of another, yet continues to carry on in his/her adultery. Lord, may we run quickly in repentance of sin into the truly loving arms of God

A Loosing Strategy

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we not continue to tempt God by perpetual sin and indifference (Jer 4:21, 22). #RepentTowardsGod #TurnNowToGod #DoNotTemptTheLordGod #LoosingStrategy

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Jeremiah’s weeping cry to God is, “How long must I see the destruction of war on the people of God?“ God does not say. But he reiterates Judah’s foolishness in not listening to God. They are wise toward doing wrong and but have no idea about how to do right; opposite of Pro 1:1–4.

God was fixed on his judgment of sin (rebellion against God’s way). God would even tell Jeremiah (7:16) to stop praying for Judah. GULP! Nowhere else does God issues such a directive. Oh Lord, I pray that my beloved nation would not continue to test your long suffering; a loosing strategy. May she turn quickly to you in repentance.

Reason To Hope

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Turn fully, faithfully and finally to our merciful God (Jer 3:11–15). #ReasonToHope.

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

As a loving father, God beckons his wayward child, Judah, to return to him. Why? Because God is merciful – he will not stay angry forever. All he asks is that Judah (or anyone living in rebellion against him) surrender their heart, admit their defiance of all that is holy, confess it to God and return home to our loving father.

In return God promises shepherds with hearts after his own who will guide us with knowledge and understanding. Lord, you give me a reason to hope for the future of our nation, of our world. May we fully, faithfully and finally turn to you.

When A Nation Needs Awakening

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Lord, may our nation know the fires of revival and spiritual awakening (Jer 2:-selected). #LordSendRevivalAndAwakening #LordSendRepentanceInTheLand

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Though God has blessed this nation, still Judah (its leaders, priests and people) ignore and worse, reject God. They do not seek the Lord (v8). They refuse to serve the Lord (v20). They are oblivious to their unfaithfulness to the Lord (v23). They thumb their noses at God and brazenly admit they are irresistibly in love with foreign gods, won’t change course. But, they cry out to God when they are in trouble (v27). They presume upon God’s grace and mercy [We’re special.] (v35). Really?

Lord, like Judah, how America has strayed from her moral and spiritual center. Her leaders, priests and people turn a deaf and indifferent ear towards you. She has broken her yoke of surrender to you. She has corrupted the values upon which she was founded. She is oh so stained by her sin ands rebellion against you. She goes brazenly hard after other, lessor gods in total abandonment.

Lord, sweep across our nation like a blazing prairie fire in revival and spiritual awakening

My Life Book On God’s Coffee Table

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May your life be a beautifully painted landscape unto the Lord (Jer 2:20–25). #CoffeeTableLegacy

Prairie Church, Leadville, Colorado (RWHollar)

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Many are the visions given to Jeremiah which paint pictures of Judah’s apostasy. These word pictures make clear her sin.

Judah is like the beast that has broken off the yoke that bound her to God, to follow after other lesser gods (v20). She is the fruitful vine that had grown wild and corrupt, producing no fruit (v21). She is depicted as linen with stains so bad nothing could remove the stains (v23). She is shown as a wild donkey in heat. She chases nonstop one lesser God after another for intimate relations (v24,25).

I ask myself, if God painted pictures of how I look to him, would it be worthy to be on his coffee table? Lord it is my desire that my life become a beautifully painted landscape onto you.

Never Looked Back

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Come humbly before God, he will not ignore your prayer (Psm 66). #Don’tLookBack #RepentTurnToGod GodCannotIgnoreRepentance

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Psalm 66 is my story. I never get tired of telling it. I can shout joyful praises to God. He has done “awesome miracles” on my behalf (too many to count (vv1–4). He gave me a clear path through troubled waters. I rejoice in him (vv5–7).

My life is in his hands. He has kept my feet from stumbling. He tested me, purified me, captured me, given me a leader worth following – Jesus Christ (vv8–12). I am here paying my vows from times of trouble (13–15).

December 28, 1968, high up in a guard tower in Vietnam, I surrendered to the Lordship of Christ. “I cried out to God for help. I confessed my sin and he listened to me. He did not ignore my prayer [nor any prayer since].“ (16–20). I NEVER LOOKED BACK!

Forgiveness Points To God’s Glory

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you know the glorious redemption of God (Psm 19:12–14). #Forgiveness #HonorGodWithYourWholeHeart

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

A psalm of David – he gives thoughtful consideration to God’s revelation of himself through the cleansing act of forgiveness. God is quick to cleanse the repentant and surrendered heart from every sin – known and unknown.

The surrendered and obedient soul will be delivered from the absolute control of sin and the guilt that follows. God is a rock and redeemer to those who seek to honor him with their whole heart and actions. Lord, your loving forgiveness points this old sentry to your glorious redemption of his soul. May it be so for the world around me.

Death: The Tomb

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Today, if you hear God’s voice, do not harden your heart (Zep 3:1,5 ). #PutFaithInJesus #JesusDiedForAllOurSin

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

I am astounded at the complete indifference of men towards God. Even in the midst of God’s discipline, men sin even more. But this is the depravity of man. Should I be so surprised, is it not the depravity of my own soul? Yet, God is there in their midst, working, doing good and meting out justice.

Today, as I think about the rejection of God in the sinful city of Jerusalem, I think about the Lord Jesus and his descent into a dark tomb, I am struck by three things:

◦ The Son of God entered into our sin infested world to deliver all men from sin, the supreme example of God’s love for us

◦ He was despised and rejected though he did no wrong; men hated him and nailed him to a cross

◦ The justice meted out by God in Christ was the cleansing of all man’s sin by the blood shed by Jesus at the cross; he was our substitute, bore our punishment for sin

WHO DOES THAT?

GOD DOES!

What sorrow awaits those who reject the love of God in Christ.

Faithful Father

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Know the assurance of God‘s faithfulness, even in judgment (Zeph 2:7,9; Zep 3:12,13,20). #ExtremeLoveExtremeDiscipline #GodIsAlwaysFaithful

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

There should be no doubt that God will fulfill all his promises to his people (Gen 17). His people will (and have) survived all of antiquity. Through times of severe sorrow, judgment and destruction there has always been a remnant of his faithful ones who survive.

Even so in this passage – though God’s judgment comes upon Jerusalem and his people, he will save a remnant to secure his promise to Abraham. His promises do not abrogate his willingness to correct or even severely discipline his people. Lord your promises to love, keep and stand with me do not mean I shall never be corrected or severely disciplined.

The Depths Of God’s Love

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May we as a people and as a nation understand the depths of God‘s love for us (2Ch 33:11-13) #TheDepthsOfGod’sLove #NothingIsImpossibleForGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Because of King Manasseh’s deep dive into disobedience toward God and his extreme wickedness, he was taken prisoner, enslaved by Assyria and removed from Jerusalem. While in deep distress he was broken. He humbled himself before God and prayed a prayer of deep remorse.

The Lord listened to Manasseh and was deeply moved. He brought him back to Jerusalem and restored his kingdom. Manasseh finally understood that the Lord alone is God. Perhaps, in his deep distress, he recalled the words of the prophet Isaiah, “The Lord’s arm is not so weak that it cannot save and his ear is not so deaf that he cannot hear” (Isa 59:1).

Thank you Lord. You heard a young soldier’s cry of deep repentance in Vietnam, 50+ years ago. This old sentry was changed forever.

Ain’t-a That Good News!

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Have courage to stand for the Good News, Jesus Saves (1Ti 1:8-10). #JesusSaves #Ain’tThatGoodNews #TheWarIsOver

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Be ready to suffer for the sake of the gospel. Leading a life separated by heart and virtue from the practices of the world, the flesh and the Devil will put a target on your back. But a life in Christ was God‘s plan for all who believe.

In Christ we shall have the ultimate victory over sin, the world, the evil one and even death itself. THE WAR IS OVER! For the resurrection of Christ is the down payment of life eternal for all who believe. It was all God’s plan. Like that old Negro spiritual says, “Ain’t-a That Good News!”

Shameless

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May you stand shamelessly for the cause of Christ (2Ti 1:7–12). #Shameless #IAmNotAshamedOfTheGospel

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In Christ I have been endowed with a spirit of power, love and sound mind. “Be bold and strong, banish all fear. For the Lord thy God is with you“ (Josh 1:9). “So,“ Paul says, “never be ashamed to tell others about Christ.“ Jesus has canceled the power of death and sin. He illuminated the way to eternal life and immortality. This is the “Good News.“

I too have been called to stand boldly for Christ. I am not ashamed – I know in whom I am trusting and know that he is able to keep what I have committed to him, until the day he returns. Lord, may I stand my watch daily, shameless before a watching world, and proclaim Christ.

…In A Nutshell

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Live life in a godly manner; faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus (1Ti 3:14-16). #GodsPlanInANutshell #TheGospelOfRedemption

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

In this letter to Timothy, Paul outlines how the family of God, the household of faith (the Church) should conduct itself. He calls the Church the “pillar and foundation of the truth,” the gospel. That is, God became man in the flesh [Jesus] (John 1:1,2). He died to forgive the sins of men and was raised from the dead by the Spirit (Acts 2:22-24).

This Jesus was exalted before the heavenly hosts (Phi 2:9; Heb 1:6). His gospel was/is preached to the nations (Col 1:23) and believed for the forgiveness of sin and eternal life. Then Jesus ascended back into heaven in glory (Eph 4:9,10). This is God’s redemptive plan in a nutshell. Lord, may I live my life in a godly manner and faithfully proclaim the gospel of Jesus.

Attitude Matters

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

May your heart be right with God and men as you pray (1Ti 2:8). #AttitudeMattersToPrayer #BeRightWithGodAndMen

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

How we come to God in prayer is as important to effective prayer as the prayer itself. Nothing will hinder our prayers more than praying with an unholy attitude – full of sin and self-righteousness (Psm 66:18; Mat 6:5).

Another hindrance to prayer is broken relationships with others – harboring anger, bitterness and unforgiveness towards others (Mat 5:23,24; 1Pe 3:7). Lord, may the heart of this old sentry be right with you and with others as I come to my post in prayer each day.

New Year’s Gift

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Give thanks to God for including all men in his great Redemption (1Ti 2:1,3-6). #WhosoeverWillMayCome

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

If one were the sovereign of a perfect kingdom and could choose one’s own kingdom people, who might that one choose? Would one choose only people like one’s self? One might be highly selective. But God is not like that. He includes everyone of us (even a wretch like me). He excludes no one in his call to come. In fact, he tells us to pray for “ALL“ men to understand this truth and enter into his kingdom (Romans 10:13 says, “Whosoever will may come”).

One may say, “Well, I don’t like God. He condemns my sin, says I will suffer consequences for my sin.“ Yes, but he is also our mediator and he has reconciled all humanity to him by Christ’s death on the cross. He suffered our consequences and purchased our freedom to choose him and his kingdom. All may come to him. We may exclude ourselves, but he excludes no one. This is the message, GOD’S GIFT to the world (Rom 6:23). Thank you Lord, for including me (not excluding me) in your kingdom.

B E L I E V E

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Believe Christ came to free men from the law of sin and death (1Ti 1:8-11). #BELIEVE

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Paul refutes the self proclaimed “teachers“ in Ephesus who were mixing grace and the law of Moses. He explains that “the law is good…when used [applied] correctly.“ The law was not given as a list of rules to keep (Gal 5:1) – if you’re 100% righteous you don’t need the law. But who is that righteous? No one! (Rom 3:10)

The law condemns the lawbreaker (note 1Ti 1:9,10). The law is judge, jury and executioner of every man. The law was given to expose man’s sin, that which is rebellious towards God (Gal 3:19). Sin is an attitude of the heart that rebels against God. Lord, your law has taught me that I am hopelessly lost and condemned without the grace of Christ.

No Place To Hide

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Comprehend God’s animus towards sin, but love for the sinner (Isa 66:18,19a). #GodHatesSinButLovesTheSinner #GodWillJudgeSin #RepentReturnToGod

Grace Flows Where Sin Abounds

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah makes it clear that, though God’s enemies (disobedient ones) go hiding to commit their sacrilege in private places (17), he sees their sin. He knows clearly who they are, where they are and what they are doing (men love [their private] darkness rather than light for their deeds are evil (see John 3:16-21). Nothing escapes God’s knowledge (Luk 12:2; Heb 4:13).

Isaiah also alludes to a future time (not clear when) that God will hold to account and destroy all his enemies. Every nation will be brought together to see collectively this manifestation of God’s glory and the absolute deliverance of those devoted to him. Lord, you have known my every weakness, sin and failure. Yet, by grace, you loved this old sentry and accepted him in Christ the beloved (Eph 1:6).

Good To Be Home

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Return quickly to the open arms of the loving Father of Heaven (Isa 64:8,9). #OpenArms #UnconditionalLove

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Like the Prodigal of Luke 15, after years of captivity in Babylon (prophetically speaking) the child, the wayward nation of Israel, turns to the true source of comfort and security – Jehovah God. Like the repentant Prodigal, Israel will come acknowledging God‘s sovereign hand in their affairs. They will seek the Father‘s forgiveness.

Israel will ask God to not turn away any longer. They will ask that God see them again with the eyes of a loving father, which, of course, he is, always has been and will be (See also 63:15,16). Father, I remember well that night in 1968, on my lonely dusty road back to you. You welcomed me home with unconditional love. I owe all to you.

No Condemnation

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Understand God’s Word as Good News not bad news (Isa 64:5-7). #GreatestLoveStoryEverTold #GodLovesYou

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

Isaiah 64:1-5a extols God‘s goodness and awesome deeds. Then in verses 5b–7 we hear that God is angry with us – what horrible sinners we all are. Yet, surprisingly, “No one calls upon God for help or mercy. So God simply allows our sin to run its course in our lives.“

Why is it that we only hear the bad news, “God is angry,“ and fail to hear the Good News, “God is full of mercy?“ The country song troubadour sings, “I just want to read Bible verses and not the Bible versus me.“

The mournful troubadour only hears the Law and knows he can’t measure up. But he keeps trying. He does not hear and know how God loves him and died for his sin. It is not the Bible vs. Me. It is Sin vs. Me (Titus 3:11). “God did not come to condemn the world but to save it (Jhn 3:16,17).

Yes, “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:23). “But,” Romans 5:8 says, “God demonstrated his love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 8:1 says, “There is therefore now NO CONDEMNATION for those who are in Christ Jesus.”

Father, I want the world to see your love, mercy and grace through me. There is hope for the country troubadour.

See also on this blog “Don’t Give Me No Country Song Jesus.

Remembering The God Who Remembers

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Let your anguished heart cry out to God for his love and mercy (Isa 63:10–14). #CallToRemrmbrance #RepentanceTowardGod

Rembrandt’s Prodigal

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

When we have so grieved the Holy Spirit of God, he will at once abandon us to the consequences of that sin and rebellion. But God is never far away from us (though we may drift a long ways away from him – note Psalm 139:7–12). God will always remember his promises to his people (Isa 63:11 above).

But we too will be brought to our senses as we remember his goodness to us (note the prodigal of Luke 15). This remembrance reveals the heart that is moving to repentance. The wanderer humbly cries out to God in anguish of soul for the Redeemer-Shepherd to once again lead by and fill with his Holy Spirit. Lord, this is the new man in me crying out to you for your love and mercy. God WILL respond.

No Foolin’

PRAYING FOR FAMILY, FRIENDS, CHURCH AND NATION

Remain dedicated always to God (Isa 63:7–10). #HandInTheCookieJar #SinWillFindYouOut #CantFoolGod

MORNING WATCH NOTES:

God’s people – so prone to wander, rebel and commit grievous acts against his Holy Spirit. Israel did this, in spite of God‘s great love and mercy. The church in America and elsewhere, has done the same. I myself have wandered, rebelled and committed grievous things against the Spirit of God. In my best moments I am capable of sin against God.

God has no choice but to become an adversary to Israel, the church, to me. God’s people often act like foolish children. They think they can snatch a cookie and God won’t notice (NOT!). Hence, God‘s hand of discipline will come against the erring child. His purpose? In love, to correct and instruct. Lord, thank you that you never give up on this old sentry. You won’t give up on America either.