Closer to God

Priest with scroll    “And they will know that I am the Lord their God. I am the one who brought them out of the land of Egypt so that I could live among them. I am the Lord their God.”
(New Living Translation—NLT)
How wonderful You are, Lord! You desired to live among Your people, so You brought them out of Egypt and told them (through Moses) about the regulations for worship and how to prepare the tabernacle and ordain the priests.
    You desire to live among us Your people today. Let us understand clearly Your requirements for closeness with You so we will always live in Your presence. Amen.
So what does the Lord require of us? Consider Micah 6:6-8.
Micah 6:6-7 (my synopsis): “What can we do? Offer yearling calves, thousands of rams, rivers of olive oil? Or maybe sacrifice our sons to pay for our sins?”
Micah 6:8 (NLT) “No, O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”
In Matthew 23:23, Jesus says that justice, mercy, and faith are the “weightier matters of the law,” or as the NLT puts it, “the more important aspects of the law” [more important than tithing, for example]. Then He says, “…You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things.” (Matthew 23:23b NLT) If faith corresponds to walking humbly with God, then the verse in Matthew reiterates the thought of Micah 6:8. And since we can’t walk with God unless we believe Him and listen to Him, perhaps faith could indeed correlate to walking with the Lord.
 Loving Father, thank You for wanting us close to You. Please teach us to act with justice, love mercy, and humbly walk with You. Amen.

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Waiting on God


Excellent blog post by Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.! Very helpful. I especially liked the part about HOW we are to wait.

Originally posted on Pastor Joe Quatrone, Jr.:

alone-with-god “Wait for the Lord.  Be strong and take heart.  Wait for the Lord” ( Psalm 27:14 ).

I am in a period of waiting right now. I believe God has a specific reason for telling me to wait. My responsibility is to trust Him. I need to slow down and wait on God to clearly reveal His will to me. A lack of trust is perhaps the root cause behind my decisions to jump ahead. I believe God will give me clear direction, but I must wait until He is ready to give guidance.

In this hurry-up world, waiting for anything can cause us to lose our tempers, tongues, and good senses more frequently than we care to admit. I don’t know anyone who enjoys waiting in line. We don’t like waiting at stoplights. We don’t like waiting for dinner. We don’t even like waiting for good things – like…

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Free from the Pit

“For the enemy has persecuted my soul; He has crushed my life to the ground; He has made me dwell in darkness…” (Psalm 143:3). And he has pulled me into his pit of anger, resentment, criticism, and self-pity which lead into and feed the depression I’m prone to.john-7-37 --anyone-thirsts-drink-jesus D Creswell
Romans 12:2 tells me to change the way I think from my old way or the world’s way to God’s kingdom way. God will help me and give me grace to turn away from the enemy’s, kind of thinking. Then I can work at putting Psalm 143:5-6 into practice. It says, “I remember the days of old; I meditate on all Your works; I muse on the work of Your hands.  I spread out my hands to You; My soul longs for You like a thirsty land.”
I’ll remember “days of old” —and how God has always been with me and had His hand on me no matter what. I’ll muse and meditate on what God has done and on the wonders of creation. I can choose to think about good and praiseworthy things, like God’s goodness to each one of us, His love for every individual, and our right-standing with Himself which He purchased with the blood of His own Son. Then I’ll seek to draw nearer to Him so He can satisfy my thirsty soul with His presence.
“For He satisfies the longing soul, and fills the hungry soul with goodness” (Psalm 107:9).
(Scripture quotes are New King James Version.) (Picture by Darrell Creswell–please take a look at his blog at


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A Thailand Visitor Cuts to the Core


I so identify with Marie on how often I’ve “hoodwinked” my own heart. Like her, “I don’t even need a lying prophet; I can deceive my own self, arguing that “that’s not really what God wants me to do,” or “maybe He didn’t really speak to me about such and such…”

Originally posted on A Miniature Clay Pot:

            “Seriously? You don’t even have any friends in common? You have got be kidding! If I did something like that you would KILL me.” My incredulous, somewhat dramatic daughter did have a valid point and for a brief moment I questioned the sanity of my decision. But it was too late now; Danny and crew would be arriving shortly.

            Although I have had the wonderful opportunity to meet many of my blog followers in person over the past two years, we have always met in a safe place: an airport, a coffee shop, a church, a Christian Retreat. This time was different. I had actually invited what could be considered a complete stranger, from halfway around the world, into my home. Crazy?  Maybe. But Danny and I had been corresponding for more than a year. I knew that he was a musician working with…

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Jesus feelings about His last weeks of earthly ministry


A powerful blog post by Tanya about what Jesus did for us.

Originally posted on God Speaks I Listen:

Jesus praying best

Oh how He loves you and me

We all know why Jesus did what He did…but do we know at what cost to Himself?

Jesus prayed to His Father before He was crucified…..

Like 22: 41-44 He withdrew about a stone’s throw beyond them, knelt down and prayed, 42 “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” 43 An angel from heaven appeared to him and strengthened him. 44 And being in anguish, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was like drops of blood falling to the ground.

Mathew 26:36-39   Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38 Then saith he…

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Link to Did Jesus Really Come to Bring Peace on Earth?

I’m just now reading Pastor Tom’s Christmas sermon,


It focused on Jesus’ mother Mary and really got me thinking. What a price Mary paid to submit to God’s will and plan! Oh that I would have such humility, trust, and submissive spirit! What a crown she must have!

The sermon reminded me of the hymn, “I Gave My Life for Thee”-

The song talks about what Jesus gave up to ransom me and the glory He left in order that I might have eternal life with the triune God. It asks what I’ve given up or left for Jesus. I look at how I’ve lived, and I’m afraid that all too often I’ve clung to my comfort or “walked according to my flesh” instead of according to the Spirit. So I asked for God’s forgiveness and prayed that through the mighty power of His Holy Spirit working in me, He would change me. I asked Him to teach me the humility and sacrificial love of Christ.


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Another great sermon by Pastor Tom.

Originally posted on Clear Bible:


Jesus looked at this family of cheats, liars, adulterers; broken by sin, riddled with failures, and said “these are my people.”

To listen to the sermon, click the play button:

To download, right click on the link (or do whatever you do on a Mac) and save it to your computer: Download Matthew Part 1

Matthew #1 . Introduction, and Chapter 1:1

We are going to begin a study of Matthew, the first book of the New Testament. In order to understand it better, I want us to begin with some historical and cultural background.

There are roughly four-hundred years between the last historical events recorded in the Old Testament, and the time of Jesus’ birth. A lot happened during that time. I can’t go over it all in detail, but I’ll try to sketch out a rough outline of it, highlighting the things that are important…

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