How’s Your Quiet Time Going? 12.31.2021

IF you possess a Daily Devotion Habit; my encouragement to you is to stretch yourself a little every year.  Make a commitment to read through the Bible; or one of the Testaments; or do a study that challenges you to think better and pursue Christlikeness more passionately.  Yet, I think many of us just struggle to be in the Word “daily;” at all.  The article below is a good one and directly aimed at those of us who struggle with acquiring a routine with our LORD.  A great idea for a new start in 2022.

5 Things That Will Help You with Personal Devotions

Leah B.POSTED March 14, 2018

Most Christians know that Bible reading and prayer should be a regular part of their lives. I’ve struggled over the years to make it a daily habit, and many people have told me they have the same experience. As I’ve thought, experimented, asked, and read about this topic, several realizations helped personal devotions stop seeming overwhelming and made them more enjoyable and consistent.


Scripture doesn’t give us a prescription for what daily devotions should look like. We read in several places that prayer and meditating on God’s Word are important and helpful things to do, but beyond that we are given no further details (Matt. 4:4; 1 Thess. 5:17; 2 Tim. 3:16-17). Christians have a lot of freedom when it comes to setting when and how long they read their Bibles and pray. As with any habit, they are easiest kept by customizing them to your schedule and personality.

It is worth taking the time to think about what habits you already have. What makes those habits work and how can you apply the same principles to your personal devotions time? Are you a coffee drinker? Why not pray while waiting for your coffee to brew? Do you exercise most evenings? Why not turn on an audio Bible for some, or all, of your workout? I personally like to listen to my daily dose of Bible first thing in the morning while I’m making coffee or getting ready for the day.


Personal daily devotions don’t need to be long or involved. In fact, it is better to do short amounts consistently rather than one long devotional once in a blue moon. We might be able to keep up an ambitious plan for a week or maybe even a few weeks, but unfortunately, they can be difficult to sustain.

Something simple that involves a little reading and prayer that you are able to do consistently is far better than trying to memorize several chapters of a Bible book and giving up halfway through. Consistent practice of any habit actually has the capacity to re-wire your brain, meaning that over time, habits get easier and easier until it is something you do without having to think about it.


Most likely, at some point, you will get derailed. When this happens, don’t freak out. We aren’t perfect, schedules change, and some seasons of life are more hectic than others. Getting off track shouldn’t lead you on a guilt trip, but it also shouldn’t lead you to give up altogether.

The important thing is to get back on track, making necessary adjustments to keep your habit up. Remember, Christ’s Word is nourishment for our souls, doses of truth and grace that combat the battering of our sin and the difficulties of life. Just as you wouldn’t deprive yourself of food just because of schedule changes, don’t deprive yourself of your spiritual food. You need it even more when life gets busy. 


When I was in college, many people used personal devotion time as a measure of their closeness with God. The assumption was that the really spiritual people, those closest to God, were those who spent the most time reading their Bibles and praying. Sadly, this left many feeling spiritually inadequate, guilty, or depressed. But this isn’t what the Bible tells us. Our standing before God is never measured by what we do but instead by who we are in Christ. Clothed in his righteousness, we don’t need to worry that our salvation and closeness to God depends on anything we do (Eph. 2:8). Christ brings us close to God.

While meditating on God’s Word and praying should be a staple of the Christian life, it should not turn into a work we do to earn God’s favor.


Many great resources make it easier to grow in our theology or read through a book of the Bible. Don’t be afraid to keep trying things and get creative until you find something that sticks. Plus, variety is good so you keep learning and don’t get stuck in a rut. Some places to check out are a website like and the ESV Bible app. Both have free reading plans available and the option to listen to the passages instead of reading. The Daily Office Readings app is also another great option. Its daily passages are taken from a variety of Bible books.

Plenty of apps, journals, and books are also available to help you pray. There isn’t any shame in recognizing that we all need help learning how to pray and getting consistent at it, especially when life gets busy. For some more resources, see my colleagues post 7 Helpful Devotional Aids. All these and more are worth taking advantage of to deepen your understanding of God, the work of Christ, and the world we live in. 


Leah B. received a Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry before turning to theology and receiving a Master of Arts in Biblical Studies and a Master of Arts in Theological Studies. She writes and lives in California.

Merry Christmas – December 24, 2022

Among our family’s’ Christmas Eve Tradition is the recitation of Luke 2.  I know of other families that read “The Night Before Christmas” or watch Linus recite the aforementioned birth narrative.  Recently, I read of a family that reads selectively from authors like C.S Lewis.  That intrigued me because I’ve always loved Lucy’s observation in the Narnia Series:

“Once in our world, a Stable had something in it that was bigger than our whole world.”

“The Last Battle”

C. S Lewis also touched on Christmas in other writings, here are just a few wonderful quotes pulled from his works:

“The central miracle asserted by Christians is the Incarnation. They say that God became Man. Every other miracle prepares for this, or exhibits this, or results from this.”


“The birth of Christ is the central event in the history of earth — the very thing the whole story has been about.”


“In the Christian story, God descends to reascend. He comes down; down from the heights of absolute being into time and space, down into humanity; down further still, if embryologists are right, to recapitulate in the womb ancient and pre-human phases of life; down to the very roots and seabed of the Nature.”


“The Eternal Being, who knows everything and who created the whole universe, became not only a man but (before that) a baby, and before that a foetus inside a woman’s body. If you want to get the hang of it, think how you would like to become a slug or a crab.”

“Mere Christianity”

“God could, had He pleased, have been incarnate in a man of iron nerves, the Stoic sort who lets no sigh escape Him. Of His great humility He chose to be incarnate in a man of delicate sensibilities who wept at the grave of Lazarus and sweated blood in Gethsemane.”

Personal Correspondence

But the one that jumped out at me here at the end of 2021, is this little note on a Psalm

“We find in our Prayer Book that Psalm 110 is one of those appointed for Christmas Day. We may at first be surprised by this. There is nothing in it about peace and goodwill, nothing remotely suggestive of the stable at Bethlehem. … The note is not ‘Peace and goodwill’ but ‘Beware. He’s coming’.”

“Reflections on the Psalms”

Tomorrow we adore the baby who came as the Lamb of God.  I don’t know where the manger scene is at your house, but if tomorrow morning you if you happen to glance at it as you thank God for sending His Son.  Take a second glance, up at the star or angel on top of the tree.  Reflect on the fact that the Baby finished His work on earth the first time He was here, and He ascended!  But He’s coming back, with the angels and through the stars, and He won’t be lamb-like this time.  We needed a lamb to die for our sin, now we need a lion to put an end to sin’s dominion forever and ever!   

….so Christ also, having been offered once to bear the sins of many, will appear a second time for salvation without reference to sin, to those who eagerly await Him.   

Hebrews 9:28

My hope is that tomorrow, we’ll take joy in all that Christmas is and means, while also looking forward to that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ!!!

Merry Christmas,

Pastor Scott

Christmas & Psalm 119:11

“Phew, I don’t have to let this cartoon bother me; I haven’t commercialized Christmas one bit!  I just want to find each family member a little gift that makes them smile and maybe matching pajamas for a great family picture; just one more store….”

Behold, the angel of the Lord appeared unto him in a dream, saying, Joseph, thou son of David, fear not to take unto thee Mary thy wife: for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Ghost.  And she shall bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus: for he shall save his people from their sins.

Matthew 1:20-21

“Sure, but I still want the family to have a nice dinner together and everybody to get along!  No unpleasantness and lots of laughter!  Now, who should sit next to whom this year?”

And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God.  And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus.  He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David:

Luke 1:30-32

“Can I at least shoot for a magical Christmas Morning for the children?”

And she brought forth her firstborn son, and wrapped him in swaddling clothes, and laid him in a manger; because there was no room for them in the inn.

Luke 2:7

“I still hope she likes what I put in her stocking!” 

And the angel said unto them, Fear not: for, behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy, which shall be to all people.  For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Luke 2:11

In Good Conscience – 12.10.2021

This past Monday, Kelly and I, went to see the Auschwitz Exhibit at Union Station. Needless to say I was both sickened and moved. I was most moved by a couple of very small snapshots of faith in YHWH in an otherwise totally secular presentation; but that’s not the focus of this blog.

In one of the last “rooms” of the exhibit the films, posters, and diagrams fully examined the thought/engineering Hitler’s lieutenants put into the total extermination of the non-Arians (Jews, Russians, Catholics, and others). They pointed out that body disposal was slowing down the killing speed so the acid showers were designed with furnaces right beneath…

Six million Jews, plus uncounted “others” were killed in cold blood only to finally be stopped by armies coming in from both sides whose consciences would let them do no less!

When I got home my heart was heavy, and my eye were leaky, as I recounted those glimpses of faith. Several hours later I heard a pro-life commercial and was reminded that 10 times that many innocent babies have been murdered in the USA since 1973. We can’t let that stand!

This Christmas, consider contributing to the pro-life fight, one baby at a time. I would encourage a gift to Resource Health of Kansas City (formerly Rachel House) or, if you want to help on a national scale, check out Both use sonograms to introduce moms to the preborn babies in hopes of reawakening their maternal love!

Yes, we need to vote thoughtfully and pray that the laws change, but the real change happens in hearts; one heart at a time.

Pastor Scott

Feeling Forgotten? – December 3, 2021

Sometimes I run another writer’s piece because I’m out of the office or I’m running of time; but this time it’s because I think we all need to hear this!!

Grace Evangelical Society
God Doesn’t Forget (Hebrews 6:10)By Kenneth Yates on Dec 02, 2021 09:10 am

Ralph Puckett was an acquaintance of mine. Nobody would call us best friends, but we did share some coffee over breakfast from time to time. He would also stop by my office on occasion to talk about army stuff. He was a retired army officer, and I was a chaplain.He was about 30 years older than I was, so he served in a different era. I knew that he had fought in the Korean War, and that was of interest to me because I had lived in Korea for two years when I was a boy. One day, another soldier told me that Ralph had done some remarkable things in that war.In November 1950, Ralph had led a group of men on a dangerous mission on top of a mountain. The enemy was all around, and in order to see where they were, he deliberately made himself visible so that they would fire at him. This would enable his men to know where to fire back. For two days the far numerically superior enemy tried to overrun their position. For the good of his men, Ralph continually exposed himself to the gunfire of the North Koreans, directing machine gun fire at himself. He was wounded twice, the second time so severely he could not move. He then ordered his men to leave him behind and withdraw to safety. He did not want them to be slowed down by carrying him. He feared that would place his men in greater danger. The men did withdraw but disobeyed his order and dragged him down the mountain with them.Clearly, Ralph had saved the lives of many of his men. When I first heard that story, I didn’t understand why his exploits so many years ago were not more well known. For such feats of bravery, the army has a medal, called the Medal of Honor. It comes with many honors for the recipient, and I always felt it was an injustice that Ralph was not awarded one.About 20 years after first meeting Ralph, I was living in another state. I was watching the news on TV, and they showed an old man receiving the Medal of Honor from President Biden. It was Ralph Puckett. He was 94 years old and had to use a walker to come up to the stage and have the medal hung around his neck. Over 70 years after saving the lives of his men, the nation was giving him the honor he deserved.This was the right thing to do, but we are left asking why it took so long. Maybe it was because his superiors in Korea did not put in the proper paperwork. Maybe somebody back then was jealous of what he did and kept him from receiving such recognition. I did not know Ralph well enough to ask him if he was bitter for not receiving the medal he deserved back in 1950. I assume that after 70 years he simply felt that the army had forgotten what he had done on that hill in Korea so many years ago.The Bible tells us that believers are soldiers for the Lord. He asks us to do things in service to Him. He promises that He will honor those who faithfully serve Him. Often times, in the NT, these honors are pictured as crowns.I think it is easy for the believer to fall into the trap of thinking he or she is like Ralph Puckett. Maybe the believer feels that he will never be honored for what he does for the Lord. Such labors will be forgotten. With the passage of time, often involving decades, people certainly forget or believe that such work does not merit anything special. Subconsciously, there may even be a temptation to feel that Christ has more important things to concern Himself with than what we do with our lives.Of course, that is not the case. The author of Hebrews tells his readers that, “God is not unjust to forget your work” that they had done for Him (Heb 6:10). The whole book of Hebrews is about rewards and honors in the future kingdom of God. These readers had suffered for the Lord, and they are reminded that God has not forgotten.The paperwork has not been lost. Any petty jealousies will not prevent the Lord from rewarding His children. I was so glad to see Ralph getting honored by the President. Somebody remembered what he had done and tried to correct the wrong done to him. But it was also a little sad. Harry Truman should have been the one who gave him his medal. At 94 years old, he does not have much time to enjoy the honor given to him. He also lost 70 years of being recognized for what he did.How wonderful to realize that it won’t be that way for believers at the Judgment Seat of Christ. Not only does the Lord remember, but the rewards given on that day will be enjoyed forever.