The Agent

white dove carries a gift for the feast , wild nature

When Abraham was old, he commanded his servant to go as an agent to his homeland to get a wife for his only son Isaac. The servant took ten camels and gifts of gold to Nahor where Abraham’s relatives lived. At the springs he prayed that the woman who gave him a drink would volunteer to water his camels, and she did. Rebekah was beautiful and willing to go back with the servant (agent) to marry Isaac (Genesis 24). The servant’s name was Eliezer, which means “God is the helper.”

Before Abraham began to think about a wife for Isaac, God asked him to do something unthinkable. He asked him to sacrifice his only son Isaac. Although heartbroken, Abraham obeyed. He traveled to Moriah, built an altar and took his son to slay him. God said, ” Do not lay a hand on the boy. Do not do anything to him. Now I know that you fear God, because you have not withheld from me your son, your only son” (Genesis 22:12). God provided a lamb caught in the thicket for the sacrifice.

God did not spare His only Son, but gave Him to be a sacrifice for the forgiveness of our sins. Jesus promised His followers a helper, the Holy Spirit, symbolized by a dove. His bride is the church made up of believers, and He gives us the gift of the Holy Spirit to help us live our lives pleasing to Him.


Since God gave all He had, His only Son, for His bride, the response of the bride is to devote her life to loving Him and others. That’s challenging in today’s world. It was just as challenging in the world Jesus left to be with the Father. But we have a helper, the Spirit of the living God, who counsels us, comforts and encourages us when we reach out to show love and compassion as He shows love and compassion.


Thank you, Father, for giving us Jesus our Lord. Raise up your people in the church to reach a sick and dying world so those who come to believe in you will not perish but have eternal life. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love Each Other

Photo by Olya Kobruseva on

Do you agree with me that the word “love” is the most overused word in the English language? We have romantic love, family love, brotherly love, the love of material things, the love of food, the love of power or money or sex. God is love and He has a lot to say about how we love in relationships. “Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God” (1 John 4:7).

1 Corinthians 13:4-7 is the Scripture often used at weddings, but it can be translated into how we love others besides the people we spend our lives with.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.


What if we put the name of “God” in every place where the word “love” is. Better, since we are His followers, what if we put our name in that place. I’ll use my name as an example:

Sue is patient and kind; Sue does not envy or boast; Sue is not arrogant or rude. Sue does not insist on her own way; Sue is not irritable or resentful; Sue does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Sue bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

To be honest, I fall short in too many of the ways listed in this Scripture. I need God’s help to love according to His standard. What about you?


Heavenly Father, thank you for loving us with a perfect love. Thank you for showing us how to love, but we fall short too often and we need your help. Let your love flow through us to those around us. In Jesus’ name, Amen.


The proclamation of Jesus´birth, archangel Gabriel speaks to virgin Mary

“In the sixth month of Elizabeth’s pregnancy, God sent the angel Gabriel to Nazareth, a town in Galilee to a virgin pledged to be married to a man named Joseph, a descendant of David” (Luke 2:26).

I have read this Scripture many times and maybe taken a few things for granted. Angels are in the Bible so we would expect to read about them there, right? However, the last record of an angel on earth before Gabriel visited Mary is in the third chapter of Daniel (700 years had passed) when Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego were in the fiery furnace.

An angel visited Joseph with whom Mary was pledged in marriage to, and encouraged him to take Mary as his wife. An angel visited Zechariah the priest and husband of Elizabeth to announce the birth of John the Baptist. An angel announced to the shepherds in the fields that a Savior was born in Bethlehem. Then a great company of heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven and on earth peace to those on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:8-17).


Angels are heavenly beings who carry announcements or encouraging messages. They are not people. They do not become people and people do not become angels when they die and go to heaven. Yet God uses people in much the same way that He uses angels–to bless, comfort and encourage us. The birth of Jesus is when God left heaven, became man and dwelt among us. It seems majestic to think of angels accompanying Him on the first Christmas. Although He lived on earth thirty-three years, He promised He would always be with us through the power of the Holy Spirit. He will never leave us. This is good news to share at Christmas.


Almighty God, Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, thank you for leaving heaven to come to earth and show us how to live for God. We cannot do this on our own and need your help. Empower us with your word and your light and mercy to fulfill your will and purpose on earth. In your great name, we pray, Amen.

Eyes Wide Open

The first of the Ten Commandments is, “You shall have no other gods before me” and the second is, “You shall not make for yourself an image in the form of anything in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the waters below” (Deuteronomy 5:7-8).

However, the people on earth at this time worshiped other gods–Baals. Molech was a cow god whose worship required child sacrifice. Asherah was a goddess known as the queen of heaven, the mother of the living and the wife of Baal. Her worship involved temple prostitution as did the goddess of Diana. At the center of worship was an asherah pole. These images were also used as household idols.

Ishtar (pronounced Easter) was the goddess of fertility, from which the images of bunnies and eggs represented a pagan celebration. After Jesus’ resurrection, the wife of Constantine Christianized the holiday.

King Hezekiah destroyed the images of the baals, but his son Manessa erected the altars of Baal and made an Asherah pole, as did his son Amon and King Ahab (2 Kings 2). Joshua and Josiah destroyed idols. Elijah defeated the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18).


Today we may not have idolatry as described here, but the woman’s body, something God created, is exploited in the movies, magazines, Super Bowl Halftime and the way women dress. We even sacrifice the life of our babies for convenience or a woman’s rights. How do we get past the sensuality and perversion that is promoted in our world? Maybe we should start with how we think and dress. Paul said, “I want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God” (1 Timothy 2:9-10).

God made man and woman to enjoy sex in a beautiful way and inside marriage, but man has misused it. What the world needs is God. He loves us more than we could ever imagine. Without God in our lives we would never be satisfied with power or money or sex (the big PMS). Without God in our lives, we experience emptiness, despair, loneliness, anger and anxiety. If you haven’t yet, I hope today you will choose to live for God. The world is a BIG distraction, and you cannot live for God by yourself. He is willing to help you because He loves you. Say His name and ask Him for new life, the life He has for you.


Holy Father, I pray for readers today, that they will choose you over emptiness and despair, that You, O Lord, will meet their greatest need, the need to know your amazing love. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

The Bridal Chamber

Photo by Jonathan Borba on

In early Hebrew tradition, the bride lived at home until the bridegroom finished preparing a place for her and his father said, “All is ready.” Then the bridegroom traveled to his bride’s home, her bridal chamber.

Christians believe that the Lord Jesus is the Bridegroom and the church is the bride. The place Jesus is preparing for us is in Heaven. Until He comes to take us to be where He is, our bridal chamber is here on earth.

Are you living with eternity in mind? If so, do not hold tightly to things of this world. You won’t need any of it. Spend your time preparing for the wedding.

You may ask, “How do I prepare?” The answer is, “Make yourself beautiful.” Fill your life with things above. Everything you do here is preparing you for your eternal life. The things of this world will pass away but everything you do for the Kingdom of God now will last forever.


“Finally, brothers and sisters whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me–put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you” (Philippians 4:8-9).

“Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind” (Romans 12:2).


Heavenly Father, this place on earth is not our home. We long to be where you are. Show us your way. Lead us along your paths. Prepare us to be ready when Jesus comes. In His great name, Amen.

Where the Girls Were

11058119 – draw well traditional mediterranean masonry in balearic islands

Where did you meet the love of your life? A party? A bar? Sports event? Church? I met Dennis at a birthday party. In ancient times guys found girls at the well. Moses found his wife at a well in Midian. Gabriel found Mary at a well in Nazareth to tell her she was favored among women and that she would give birth to Jesus. Abraham didn’t want his son Isaac to marry a Canaanite woman so he sent his servant back to his homeland.

Girls went every day to draw water for their families and animals. This was no small task because the wells were deep; some so deep that a 200 ft. spiral staircase led down to the water. When Abraham’s servant arrived at his destination, he prayed for God to show him the woman for Isaac. “May it be that when I say to a young woman, ‘Please let down your jar that I may have a drink,’ and she says ‘Drink, and I’ll water your camels too, let her be the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac.’ Before he finished praying, Rebekah came out with her jar on her shoulder. She was very beautiful.

The servant asked her, “Please give me a little water from your jar.” She gave him a drink and watered all ten camels. The servant told Rebekah and her brother Laban and her father Bethuel the purpose of his trip. They agreed that she would go back to be the wife of Isaac. Rebekah went willingly. After the long trip, Rebekah looked up and saw Isaac. She got off the camel and asked the servant, “Who is that man in the field coming to meet us?” “He is my master,” the servant said (Genesis 24).

The English translation leaves some of the meaning out. In the original Greek, Rebekah didn’t just get off the camel. She fell off. This adds such depth to the story. She was smitten before Isaac ever said a word. This was a marriage made in heaven, really!


Rebekah gave birth to twins, Jacob and Esau. Jacob enjoyed cooking and Esau hunted game. Jacob received the father’s blessing, which caused Esau to want to kill him. Rebekah sent Jacob back to her brother Laban to find a wife. He followed the example of Abraham’s servant and found his gorgeous wife Rachel at the same well where the servant found Rebekah. Jacob worked for Laban fourteen years to have her, and he also got her sister Leah.

Young women in Bible times found going to the well to be a social event. The girls had fun doing this very mundane task that they had to do every day. I wonder if they ever thought they would find the man of their dreams at the well. It seems to have been quite common.

Things are so different today. Water comes easily and parents are not as involved in the match making of their children. However, God is. He knows what the desires of our hearts are and is willing to give them to us as long as He is the desire of our hearts.


Father God, I pray that as couples come together that they trust you for the right person to spend their lives with. Help them to see the person you intend for them. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Love and Marriage

Dennis and Sue, October 2016

I am blessed by God to have a teddy bear kind of man for my husband. When he holds me, I feel swallowed up by his love.

I remember how I felt the first time he held me in his arms. I thought it was like resting in the shelter of God’s presence; safe, away from the cares of the world. I thought of nothing else. Just Dennis.

Maybe for the first time I really understood why God calls the church His bride and Christ the Bridegroom. Jesus said, “”So they are no longer two but one flesh. Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate” (Matthew 19:6).

Jesus also said, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love” (John 15:9). This is an intimate love. God loves us and wants us to abide in His amazing love.


Barbara Streisand sang a song in the 80s titled “People Who Need People are the Luckiest People in the World.” We all need each other. That’s how we know what love is. “Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 John 4:11). Make that your goal–to share the love God gave you. It means more when you give it away. Who will benefit from your love today?


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for your amazing love. Thank you for Jesus, our Bridegroom. Help us to live in light of His love every day. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In Sickness and in Health

Photo by Manuela Adler on

Part of the wedding vows are, “In sickness and in health.” When we’re in love and everything is wonderful, we don’t often think of taking care of our loved one. I don’t feel like I have the gifts of a caregiver, so when my husband gets sick or has a surgery I have to pray for a larger measure of compassion. Sometimes when I am overwhelmed, I have to carry out caregiving duties with fear and trembling. I want to be a blessing, but I certainly don’t want to hurt him by being a blessing.

During one season of my life, I remember as soon as I slipped into bed, I heard my name. “Sue, I need a pain pill,” or “Sue, would you bring me a glass of water,” or “Sue, I have to go to the bathroom.” To be honest, I wanted to change my name, but each time I got under the covers, I quoted the 23rd Psalm:

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures: he leads me beside quiet waters” (Psalm 23:1-2). These verses became a prayer I prayed over and over, and when I did, I found God’s peace cover me. He empowered me with love and compassion to get through the “in sickness” part of marriage.


I was a girl in elementary school when I memorized the 23rd Psalm. Many years had passed, but God comforted me with this Scripture. I can’t imagine how that could have happened if I had not read the Bible or memorized Scripture. That’s why it’s important to make reading God’s word a habit. At just the right time, a verse or passage will come to mind and be a comfort.


Thank you, Heavenly Father, for Godly parents who taught me about You and showed me how to read the Bible. Thank you for forgiving me for the times I’ve chosen my ways over yours. Thank you for strengthening me to live in the reality of my salvation. I pray this for my readers. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Jesus and Divorce

Photo by Nathan Cowley on

Marriage is not always as wonderful as it was on the wedding day. Divorce is a hard thing to consider, but it’s something many think about when trouble comes, whether it’s the relationship, financial problems, health or parenting issues. One day some Pharisees came to test Jesus by asking Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?”

“What did Moses command you?” Jesus said.

They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce and send her away.”

“It was because your hearts were hard that Moses wrote you this law,” said Jesus. “But at the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh. So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not separate” (Mark 10:2–9).


Today as in Old Testament times, divorce might seem like an easy solution to marital problems. It is not, especially if children are involved. Sadly, the children might think they caused the dissolution, that it was somehow their fault. They might even have feelings of guilt if they are old enough to choose which parent they want to live with. In times of abuse and unsuccessful times spent with marriage counselors, divorce is the only solution to end the pain. Although God hates divorce, He does not want someone to remain in a dangerous situation. Divorce is not the unforgivable sin. We live in a world filled with sin and things like divorce happen. Jesus died for our sin and is available to comfort and counsel in our times of loneliness and despair.


Father God, our hearts break when marriage doesn’t work out. Help us to find the least painful solution. Heal the hurt felt by everyone in the family, and teach us to show respect and cooperation even in the midst of conflict. In Jesus’ name, Amen.