Sunday, November 30, 2008


And now, O Lord, for what do I wait?
My hope is in you. (Psalm 39:7)

It’s an interesting word. We so often misuse it. We say things like, “I hope he calls today,” or “I hope I get a raise,” or “I hope my package comes today.” These statements are not really statements of hope, but personal wishes or desires.

True hope is that thing that we know for sure is going to happen, and it makes us thrill at the thought of its occurrence. Hope is more concrete than a wishy-washy wish. Hope is foundational. Hope springs from Jesus Christ. Our hope is not to see him, or even to be with him at some future date. No, He is our hope.

This season, when we think about His coming and why He even bothered to become a man to dwell among us, let us remember that our hope is set in Christ Jesus. He is our truth and our way—He is the truth and the way. Hope is that knot that we can tie on the end of a rope and hold to, when we’ve reached the end of ours.

Set our hope on You, Lord Jesus. Amen.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


On this Thanksgiving Day, I would like to invite you to begin thinking about the Advent of our Lord, Jesus Christ. The Advent season begins this Sunday and I will once again be offering weekly Advent thoughts to ponder. If you would like to get a head-start on the Advent season, you may want to see last year's entries.

Enjoy the reruns and come back each Sunday (and on Christmas Eve) in 2008 to Worship the Christ and His Advent with us.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Thankful for . . . Faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)

Faith does so much for the follower of Christ. It is the beginning point of real life; it is the hope for a future; it is the redemption of past mistakes. Faith exercised builds more faith. Faith itself is the pinnacle of all that can be said about a Christ follower.

In the words of hymn writer John Yates:

Encamped along the hills of light,
Ye Christian soldiers, rise.
And press the battle ere the night
Shall veil the glowing skies.
Against the foe in vales below
Let all our strength be hurled.
Faith is the victory, we know,
That overcomes the world.

Faith is the victory! Faith is the victory!
O glorious victory, that overcomes the world.
(“Faith is the Victory”)

Father, increase our faith. Amen.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Thankful for . . . Family

I thank God whom I serve, as did my ancestors, with a clear conscience, as I remember you constantly in my prayers night and day. As I remember your tears, I long to see you, that I may be filled with joy. I am reminded of your sincere faith, a faith that dwelt first in your grandmother Lois and your mother Eunice and now, I am sure, dwells in you as well. For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands, for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. (II Timothy 1:3-7)

My family of origin may be somewhat like yours. Then again, maybe not. My father was a preacher of the gospel—Baptist by tradition and choice. He was a man full of faith, and that helped to instill in me a desire to follow the same road. My mother was a school teacher, sometimes by choice, sometimes by necessity. In any case, she was always quietly living the faith before my siblings and me.

One reason that I’m thankful for family is the strong ties to faith that were given to me—even as a youngster. Not everyone has those memories or those roots. Here is a list of the things that family often brings to a person:





The list could grow and grow. This week let us be thankful for our family—the one we have by birth or by choice.

Father, thank you that you created family, and that you blessed the institution of family. Amen.

[Please feel free to add to the list of thankful reasons for family in the comment section.]

Monday, November 10, 2008

Thankful for . . . Church

And I tell you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it. (Matthew 16:18)

With all the faults that people both without and within the church it is still the greatest place to be. Some of my fondest memories are of the church. It happened to be one of my favorite destinations as a child, and throughout my life.

A group that we had for small children was called “Sunbeams.” I have two basic memories from this group:
  1. Graham crackers are for dunking in red Kool-Aid®, and
  2. Before the end of the meeting, you must sing the song –
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam,
To shine for Him each day;
In every way try to please Him,
At home, at school, at play.

A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam;
A sunbeam, a sunbeam,
I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.
(Nellie Talbot, “I’ll Be a Sunbeam”)

Father, may we always be excited about what goes on in Your church, Amen.

[Feel free to post a comment with your favorite memories from church.]

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Thankful for . . . Country

Jesus said to them, "Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s." And they marveled at him. (Mark 12:17)

At a loss to say it better than the poet of old, here is a statement of my thankfulness for my country:


My country,' tis of thee, 
sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing; 
land where my fathers died, 
land of the pilgrims' pride, 
from every mountainside let freedom ring! 
My native country, thee, 
land of the noble free, thy name I love; 
I love thy rocks and rills, 
thy woods and templed hills; 
my heart with rapture thrills, like that above. 
Let music swell the breeze, 
and ring from all the trees sweet freedom's song; 
let mortal tongues awake; 
let all that breathe partake; 
let rocks their silence break, the sound prolong. 
Our fathers' God, to thee, 
author of liberty, to thee we sing; 
long may our land be bright 
with freedom's holy light; 
protect us by thy might, great God, our King.

(Samuel F. Smith)

My prayer is that you are as thankful for your country as I am for mine.

Lord, thank you for providing a safe country in which to live. Help us to all be as conscientious with our citizenship as you call us to be. Amen.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

I Am Thankful for . . .

November is the month of Thanksgiving. Over the next few weeks we at Mulberry Moments will be posting devotions telling things we are thankful for. We invite our readers to participate. You may do this in one of two ways:
  1. Post a comment in response to our devotional thought for the week in the “Comments” section, responding to the “Thankful” thought for the week, or
  2. Emailing your own “Thankful” devotional to me at the following address – office(at)fbcmulberrygrove(dot)com

Our weeks will be arranged as follows:
  • November 2-8: Country
  • November 9-15: Church
  • November 16-22: Family
  • November 23-29: Faith
Thank you for participating.