I had a dream about friendship last night.

Strange, I know, to have a topical dream.

I think it was spurred on by reading news stories of the disastrous things taking place in Afghanistan.  One particular resurfaced picture from 2011 that tore at my heart was that of Terri Norris kneeling and weeping at the flag covered casket of her hero son, Pfc. Cody Norris, after it arrived back in the US. I cried when I saw that picture. Even imagining the pain that she must be going through brought real pain to my own heart and tears to my own eyes.

So, in my dream last night I dreamed of a group of women who were friends. In my dream they were showing a slideshow and video clips of fun times over the years. In one particular video clip they were all acting silly, having a blast. They had picked up one woman and were all carrying her into a house laughing hysterically until they all laid down on the floor and had a good belly laugh together. I love those type of deep, uncontrolled laughing fits with close friends!

Next in my dream, the video clip changed to another scene. This time, the same group of women were carrying their friend into a house. This time they were all weeping. They gently laid the woman onto the floor and all laid down together and wept uncontrollably. Somehow, as an observer to this scene, I knew in my dream that the woman had lost her son. And her friends had carried her inside and laid down with her and cried as if it were their own son who had died.

I woke up feeling sad for these imaginary women. And yet, it caused me to think of my own friends. I have been blessed with an abundance of friends, each very special to me. But, as it should be, there are only a very few that I would lay on the floor and belly laugh with and even fewer that I could imagine laying on the floor sobbing with me, if something so tragic happened in my life. Those friends are precious indeed. Those friendships should be tended to, nurtured.

It reminded me of the story in Mark 2:1-5:

A few days later, when Jesus again entered Capernaum, the people heard that he had come home. They gathered in such large numbers that there was no room left, not even outside the door, and he preached the word to them. Some men came, bringing to him a paralyzed man, carried by four of them. Since they could not get him to Jesus because of the crowd, they made an opening in the roof above Jesus by digging through it and then lowered the mat the man was lying on. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”  

Now some teachers of the law were sitting there, thinking to themselves,“Why does this fellow talk like that? He’s blaspheming! Who can forgive sins but God alone?”

Immediately Jesus knew in his spirit that this was what they were thinking in their hearts, and he said to them, “Why are you thinking these things?Which is easier: to say to this paralyzed man, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Get up, take your mat and walk’? 10 But I want you to know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins.” So he said to the man, 11 “I tell you, get up, take your mat and go home.” 12 He got up, took his mat and walked out in full view of them all. This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”

What a beautiful story. A crippled man could not get to Jesus. He didn’t have the strength to fight the crowd, make his way forward. So what happened? His friends stepped up. His friends carried him to Jesus. When they, too, had trouble getting close, they didn’t give up. They climbed up on the roof (can you picture them working together to gently get the paralyzed man up there?) and then they made an opening in the roof just above where Jesus stood, by actually digging through it. And then they gently lowered their friend down and placed him at the feet of Jesus.

And then there is verse 5 which reveals the most important part.

When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralyzed man, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Did you catch it? “When Jesus saw their faith…” It was the faith of his friends that led to his healing. Corporately they believed together, which led first to the most important healing of his soul and spirit through the forgiveness of his sin, and then to the healing of his body. Can you imagine the joy of not only the man, but also of his friends? I bet they laid down on the floor and had a good belly laugh together. I bet they repeated that story of their shared experience year after year after year.

Who are your friends that would carry you in good times and bad?

Who would dig their way through to carry you to the feet of Jesus?

For whom would you be that kind of friend?

It doesn’t matter if the list is small. Truly, that is really how it should be. We don’t have the time to be that kind of friend to everyone. But we can be that kind of friend to someone.

And we have the perfect model of friendship in the best friend of all—Jesus. He gave up his life that we could live.


Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.

                                                                                                            Galatians 6:2

Be happy with those who are happy, and weep with those who weep.

                                                                                                            Romans 12:15

Real Hope for our Past, Present, and Future

Well, friends, we made it!

What a year! As many of you know, I like to read through the Bible each year, following the One Year Bible plan. There are many other great plans out there which accomplish the same thing.

I am not perfect. I skip a day every now and then. But this has been a wonderful way for me to stay steady and sane over the past 30 years, which is when I started.

This morning, I read the last assigned readings for the year from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms, and Proverbs. Here is a sample of what I read:

From the Old Testament, I read these words in Malachi 4:5-6.

“Look, I am sending you the prophet Elijah before the great and dreadful day of the Lord arrives. His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

This is our past hope. As we know now, the “Elijah” that he was talking about was John the Baptist, who prepared the way of the Lord. Yes, the land and all of us were cursed before Jesus came to take our curse away. For it was written in Galatians 3:3,

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”


From the New Testament, I read these words in Revelation 22:3.

No longer will there be a curse upon anything. For the throne of God and of the Lamb will be there, and his servants will worship him.

This is our future hope. Even though 2020 has seemed a bit “cursed”, we know the end of the story. Not only did Jesus take away our personal “curse” so that we can have eternal life in heaven and abundant life on earth, He also will one day take away every curse in every situation. One day, there will no longer be a curse upon anything. What beautiful future hope! No wonder the entire Bible ends with these words:

20 He who is the faithful witness to all these things says, “Yes, I am coming soon!”

Amen! Come, Lord Jesus!

21 May the grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s holy people.


The last words in the assigned reading in Proverbs included these words from Proverbs 31:25.

She is clothed with strength and dignity,
    and she laughs without fear of the future.

This is our present hope. We can laugh without fear of the future. We can have dignity and strength going forward, no matter what the past has taken from us.

So, it seems right and good that the last assigned reading of the year for Psalms is from Psalm 150:1-6.

Praise the Lord!

Praise God in his sanctuary;
    praise him in his mighty heaven!
Praise him for his mighty works;
    praise his unequaled greatness!
Praise him with a blast of the ram’s horn;
    praise him with the lyre and harp!
Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;
    praise him with strings and flutes!
Praise him with a clash of cymbals;
    praise him with loud clanging cymbals.
Let everything that breathes sing praises to the Lord!

Praise the Lord!


So, Happy New Year, my friends! Let’s remember that our only hope for the past, future, or present is found in Christ alone. No matter what comes, let’s praise the Lord. It seems fitting to end the year with the following song:






Write It In A Book

     I sat with my friend, Robin, as we talked home décor and paint colors, casually sipping our hot, afternoon coffee. My “new” friend was quickly becoming my dear friend. We had known of each other for years, as we both lived in the idyllic town of Tupelo, Mississippi, and shared many common interests not the least of which was love of God, country, and family.

     Both her sister, Carolyn, and her brother, Lyle and their families have been my kind neighbors in North Tupelo for years. I knew of her family’s tremendous story, as I had watched from afar as snippets of the story came to me through newspaper articles and my children, who were in school with her nieces and nephews. Her dad, COL Carlyle Smith “Smitty” Harris, had been held captive as a POW for almost eight years, and he was well respected in our community. I knew bits and pieces of his story, but I had never met the man himself.

     On this day in my living room, Robin began to share more details of their family’s story, and I was fascinated. Having read some of my books, Robin asked me if I would consider writing the story in book form.

     Though flattered, I immediately thought, “Me? What do I know about the Vietnam War?”

     I was not yet born when Smitty was shot down in enemy territory. When he was suffering torture and malnutrition, I was growing up in a loving family, filled with joy and fun memories, in an even smaller town, fifty miles down the road from Tupelo. When Smitty returned home, I was finishing kindergarten. Though as a writer, I was attracted and tempted by this story, drawn to it like a moth to a flame, I still was not convinced I was the one to write.

     “You write it, Robin. I have read some of your writing. You can do it! I will help you!”

     “It needs to be written by someone who is not so close to it. Someone who can see all the details from far away,” she explained. “At least pray about it,” she said.

     “I promise I will pray,” I replied, and we even prayed together right there at my dining room table.

     That night, I reached for my Bible, which is my daily custom. I like reading the One Year Bible, which gives assigned readings for each day and takes the reader through the Bible in one year. On this day, my assigned reading included Jeremiah 30. By the end of the chapter, I was thunderstruck at what I read.

     “This is the word that came to Jeremiah from the Lord: ‘This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says, ‘Write in a book all the words I have spoken to you. The days are coming,’ declares the Lord, ‘when I will bring my people Israel and Judah back from captivity and restore them to the land I gave their forefathers to possess,’ says the Lord.”

     Stunned, I continued reading as I made my way to Chapter 31, verse 8 “See, I will bring them from the land of the north and gather them from the ends of the earth.” And verse 16 and 17 continued in this theme with, “They will return from the land of the enemy. So, there is hope for your future,” declares the Lord.”

     These words written thousands of years before seemed a mirror image of what little I knew of the story of Smitty and Louise Harris.

     “Okay, Lord. I will do my best,” I prayed.

     And my best I have done. This work is not perfect, nor is it complete. A hundred books could not hold all the beautiful, intricate details of this story of one faithful family. I could have written it from so many different perspectives, and all would have been worth telling. But as I gleaned more and more information, I realized that my focus should simply be on Smitty and Louise and their human spirit and great love for God, country, and each other.

     I will never forget the first of many days I spent on their sofa in North Tupelo. The room—their den—is both comfortable and elegant. Smitty, now 90, and Louise, 81, are as sharp, witty, and together as any persons decades younger. Though they sat on opposite couches, I noticed how they looked at each other, as if they were speaking at once—together—in unison—as one told a snippet, then allowed time for the other to speak. Louise, with her beautiful, clear blue eyes and pure, soft white hair, seemed as if she were holding Smitty’s hand, just by the way she looked at him across the room when he spoke.

     “We get along very well,” Louise commented one day. “We never argue. Why would we waste time on that?” she said as if it made perfect sense. And that small piece of wisdom has crossed my mind many days since, etching its way into my own life.

     When the inevitable delays in writing came, they were filled with grace and patience. They approached this project as if they were delighted to share, but unconcerned when or if it ever happened. The story was told to me with great detail and superb memory. I marveled at their grace. I marveled at their healing. And I marveled the many times they insisted that the main objective was for people to see that overall, the net effect has been positive on their lives and that of their children and grandchildren. “We are truly blessed in every aspect of our lives. God’s been good to us,” they repeatedly told me.

     As you read through this true story, know that an imperfect person took a brilliant accounting which Smitty started in the late 70’s but never finished, and wove in many more details, scenes, and memories which were told to me by Smitty and Louise as we sat in their lovely home. From there I researched websites and articles and read more wonderful books by other POWs than I would have ever imagined to read. And yet, our readers, if you find mistakes in my accounting of the details of the most complex war our nation has ever fought, those mistakes are mine alone and were unintended. I hope you see this book as I see it—an amazing and inspiring story of the human spirit.

     COL Larry Guarino spoke of Smitty and the tap code in his book, A P.O.W. Story: 2801 Days in Hanoi, saying, “Neither Smitty Harris nor any of us realized that this would be the most valuable life and mind saving piece of information contributed by any prisoner for all the years we were there.” After reading Tap Code, I hope you will be inspired, as I have, to emulate the grit, honor, and courage of both Smitty and Louise. Through the telling of both sides of their story, which were lived out on opposite sides of the world, I believe you will not only learn important details of American history, but will also see a glimpse of true and enduring love.

     As I tearfully told them one day after a lovely session at their home, I am profoundly honored to be given the opportunity to help them tell their inspiring, life-changing true story. It is my great desire that this book brings honor to both of them, their family, our military men in all walks of service, and their families. Most of all, I hope to bring honor to God, who has set me free from my own captivity, just as He has every believing soul. To Him be the glory.

Check out videos, photos, and sample pictures at


Today Is Important

Today seems important to me. Can you give me just a few minutes? (You may want to stop and go get that second cup of coffee!)

Today is September 30, 2018. In the One Year Bible that is the day for the assigned reading of Isaiah 60:1-3:

“Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon you. For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and thick darkness the peoples; but the Lord will arise upon you, and his glory will be seen upon you. And nations shall come the your light, and kings to the brightness of your rising.”

It’s also the day for the assigned reading of Isaiah 60:21-22, which is the last verses of Is 60.

“Then all your people will be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the LORD; in its time I will do this swifty.” Is. 60:21-22

Following the prophetic words in Isaiah 60, are more prophetic words in Isaiah 61, which were Jesus’s first words in a public setting—his first sermon. After he read these words, he said, “Today these words are fulfilled in your hearing.” These were the prophetic words that Jesus fulfilled.

“The Spirit of the Sovereign LORD is on me, because the LORD has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners, to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion—to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the LORD for the display of his splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.” Is 61:1-4

Today, September 30, 2018, is also the last day of the Sukkot—the Feast of the Tabernacle, which is the remembrance of the desert wandering. Today is the 7thday of the Sukkot. Today, the 7thday of the Sukkot, is called Hoshanah Rabbah. It means “the great hoshanah”. It was considered the last and greatest day of the Sukkot. It was the final day to receive God’s divine judgement (verdict) concerning the fruitfulness of the coming year.

A hoshanah is a series of 7 liturgical poems calling on God to rescue and redeem His people. It is viewed as a mini-Yom Kippur, the day of atonement. It is a cry for the water of the seasonal rains to come—for Christians, we cry for the Rain of the Holy Spirit, to cleanse, refresh, and nourish our spiritual lives, so that we may be fruitful for God’s kingdom.

Today, after the seven poems, Jewish people will strike the ground with a willow branch 7 times in a symbolic attempt to rid themselves of any remaining sin. Now, let’s think for a moment about the branch that they will use symbolically to rid themselves of remaining sin, and let’s think for a moment about the Branch God has already sent to us. Look at what I wrote in my book, Stones from the River Jordan.

“Read the following vision, given to Zechariah, a beautiful, symbolic picture of our place before the judgment throne:

Then the Lord showed me Joshua the high priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him.  The Lord said to Satan, ‘The Lord rebuke you, Satan!  The Lord, who has chosen Jerusalem, rebuke you!  Is not this man a burning stick snatched from the fire?’

Now Joshua was dressed in filthy clothes as he stood before the angel.  The angel said to those who were standing before him, ‘Take off his filthy clothes.’  Then he said to Joshua, ‘See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you.’  Then I said, ‘Put a clean turban on his head.’  So they put a clean turban on his head, and clothed him, while the angel of the Lord stood by.

The angel of the Lord gave this charge to Joshua:  ‘This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.  ‘Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come:  I am going to bring my servant, the Branch.  See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua!  There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day.  ‘In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree, declares the Lord Almighty.’

         (Zechariah 3:1 – 10)

This vision was given to Zechariah about his friend Joshua.  Just after this vision, another was given to describe to Zechariah the anointing that was about to come to Joshua and Zerubbabel so that they could serve the Lord in an extraordinary way. And all the power would come from God, not from their own feeble efforts, for God gave this word:  ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit’, says the Lord Almighty’ (Zech. 4:6).But the initial vision had to be fulfilled first.  Work needed to be done to prepare the ordinary for the extraordinary.  Picture the vision as if it were a courtroom scene: Joshua standing before the angel of the Lord with Satan right beside him continually accusing him.  Were the accusations accurate?  Perhaps, but that is not the point.  The point is that the Lord himself stepped in to defend.  The Lord himself rebuked Satan, declaring that Joshua was a burning stick snatched from the fire.

What a beautiful description.  Joshua, ordinary man, was snatched by God himself from the eternal destruction of a fiery hell. That is me, too.  God snatched me from the fire when he graciously saved me. And to further bless my soul (and yours, if you are a believer), He declares in John 10:27-29 that, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.  I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.  My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.”  What a beautiful picture!  The Father will not let go of His people.  He will personally defend them, snatch them from the fire, and not let go!

Next, we see that as the accuser is forced to leave the scene, the repair work begins.  Joshua was standing there in filthy clothes.  Those clothes represented the priestly order, and taking them off represented removal from the priestly office.  Yet, this was also representative of the removal of sin. Perhaps Joshua was in all appearances a “priest,” yet God saw his heart.  In the same way, we often have an effective Christ-like appearance on the outside—we go to church, tithe, talk the talk, etc., but what about the state of our hearts.  I, too, have had times that God exposed my “filthy clothes,” only to reveal a heart that was in desperate need of revival.

What about you?  Is God calling you to the humbling position of admitting, even if only to yourself, that you too need to have your filthy clothes removed?  If so, there is good news to come!  Listen to what God says directly to Joshua just after the filth had been exposed: “See, I have taken away your sin, and I will put rich garments on you” (Zech. 3:4).  What grace and mercy is displayed in those words.  Mercy is not getting the punishment and death that we deserve.  We could never get rid of our filthy clothes on our own merit.  Only God can take away our sins.

But then He goes even further.  He does not leave us unclothed, in shame and embarrassment.  He then promises to clothe us with rich garments!  In fact, Romans 13:14 says “Clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ.”  No brand of clothing could ever compare to these rich garments!  That is the grace of God in action.  Grace is getting what we don’t deserve.  It is receiving far more than we could ever hope, or dream, or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)  God takes the ordinary man, removes the sin and obstacles that hold him back, then clothes him in preparation for the extraordinary work that God has planned for him.

As we see in the vision, a clean turban is put on his head.  This action re-instated him into the high-priestly order, only now with the purity and holiness and power that could not come from ordinary man, but only from the Holy Spirit.  Now he is ready for the extraordinary work.  But the experience was not complete without the acceptance of the charge laid before Joshua:

This is what the Lord Almighty says: ‘If you will walk in my ways and keep my requirements, then you will govern my house and have charge of my courts, and I will give you a place among these standing here.  Listen, O high priest Joshua and your associates seated before you, who are men symbolic of things to come: I am going to bring my servant, the Branch. See, the stone I have set in front of Joshua!  There are seven eyes on that one stone, and I will engrave an inscription on it,’ says the Lord Almighty, ‘and I will remove the sin of this land in a single day. In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree, declares the Lord Almighty.”  (Zech. 3:7-10)

This charge sounds very much like the charge laid before Joshua, son of Nun in Joshua 1:7-8:

Be strong and very courageous.  Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.  Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.  Then you will be prosperous and successful.  

You see there is a cause and effect in action.  There is a charge that we have to keep.  Though it clearly is not based on our own good actions, there is an acceptance of the charge.  There is a “if you, then I” principal.  God clearly says, “If you follow in my ways, then I will anoint you for extraordinary success.”  And as if that promise was not thrilling enough, God added something even more phenomenal!  God did not want the significance to be lost, so he prefaced it with the word, ‘Listen’.

When I am telling something important to my children and I want them to understand the importance of what I am saying, I will often use that preface of ‘Now, Listen!’  In the same way, God wanted Joshua and his associates to understand the importance of what was to come: ‘Listen…I am going to bring my servant, the Branch’ (Zech 3:7, 8).  That is a Messianic title.  He was talking about Jesus.  Note the comparison of Joshua, ordinary man, as a burning stick, and Jesus, the Branch, with a capital B!  We are nothing, He is everything!  Yet, He was sent for us!

God again prefaces his announcement with an attention grabber word, ‘See’. It is as if He is saying, ‘Don’t you see the significance!’  There is a stone set before ordinary man, Joshua; a stone with seven eyes, perhaps symbolic of the completion and perfection of the stone. And this same stone is engraved with an inscription and a promise for the instant removal of sin.  This sounds very much like what we find in Isaiah 49:15, 16: ‘Can a mother forget the baby at her breast and have no compassion on the child she has borne?  Though she may forget, I will not forget you!  See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands…’

We find in Exodus 28:9-12 that the names of the tribes of Israel were engraved on stones and fastened to the ephod of the high priest as a memorial before the Lord.  At the cross, Jesus, the greatest high priest, the Chief Cornerstone, engraved our names on His palms as a memorial and remembrance before the Lord. He will not forget you if you are His! No matter what happens, God will not forget His children. The removal of sin in a single day refers to the day that Christ died for us.  And what should our reaction be to all of this? ‘In that day each of you will invite his neighbor to sit under his vine and fig tree, declares the Lord Almighty’ (Zech. 3:10).

After I began studying these scriptures, I came across the ‘vine and fig tree’ phrase many places in the Bible.  When these truths finally hit home, our reaction should be two-fold: first, ‘sit under his vine and fig tree,’ according to the NIV study Bible, is a ‘proverbial picture of peace, security, and contentment’.  And secondly, we should invite our neighbors to join us!  How are we doing in these two areas?  Have we forgotten what has been done for us?  Do we really ‘get it’?  If we stop and think, and remember, then we will be a ‘proverbial picture of peace, security and contentment,’ and that alone should be such a witness to our ‘neighbors,’ or anyone that we come into contact with, that they, too, will want to come and receive what we have so graciously been given.”

Hoshana Rabbah 2018 began last night and ends tonight. Each of the poems recited today begin and end with Hosha Na—“Save, we beseech Thee.” In between this beginning and ending prayer are words which indicate why we would be saved (eternally as well as from various situation which would thwart our fruitfulness) and who gets the glory for it. The words are: “For Your Sake, our God”, “For Your Sake, our Creator”, “for Your Sake, our Redeemer”, then “For Your Sake, O Thou who searches us”. These are good prayers and good words for us as Christians to reflect on. All we do, and all we are is for Him. He saves us for Himself, for he loves us with a jealous love. It is important to note that in the first three of these phrases we see the word “our”—our God, our Creator, our Redeemer. It is personal. He is ours and we are His and because of this most precious and intimate relationship with our God, we can feel safe as He searches us. In fact, we should invite Him to do so.

Search me, God, and know my heart;
    test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
    and lead me in the way everlasting.

Psalm 139:23-24

On each day of the Sukkot, the priests walk around the altar 1 time, but on the 7thday (today!) they walk around the altar 7 times, carrying the palm and willow branches. We know the willow branch represented atonement, the finished work of removal of sin. But what about the palm branch? It is associated with praise. Specifically, the praise we give when we experience victory. This was also conveyed in the passage of Joshua and the Battle of Jericho. After the seventh turn around, they shouted victory and “the walls fell flat.”

When the people waved palm branches when Jesus entered Jerusalem during His triumphal entry, they were shouting out that He was the victorious one. They would have learned this significance by celebrating the 7thday of the Sukkot. (Which, may I remind you is today!)

Little did they know that their announcement of his victorious title would not come about as they imagined. However, Jesus would indeed wear the Ultimate Victor’s Crown when 7 days later he defeated sin and death forever when He rose from the grave.

Tomorrow, October 1, is Shmini Atzeret, which is the Jewish holiday which commemorates the answer of God for the coming rain in the coming year. It is observed because of Numbers 29:35, which says, “On the eighth day you shall have a solemn assembly.” The Sukkot—the 7 days of the Feast of Tabernacles was over, but God asked his people to tarry with him one more day, so that they may continue to ask for the coming rains and hear His reply. For Christians, we too, need to tarry with the Father for another day and ask for the “rain” of His Holy Spirit in the coming days, that we may be fruitful for His kingdom.

John 7:37, 40-42 is the account of when Jesus, Himself, was celebrating 7thday of the Sukkot—the Hoshanah Rabbah. It was on this day, even as the people were praying for the water of the coming rains, that Jesus said:

On the last and greatest day of the festival, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”

May we all praise Him who is the giver of the water which cleanses and satisfies our thirty souls—the One who sends rain in due season to cleanse us, nourish us, and make us fruitful. And may we tarry with Him another day as we look for His answers to our heartfelt prayers. May we receive mercy to help in our time of need. May we have ears to hear.







Thoroughly Equipped: Bible Reading Schedule for March

Hey, Friends!  I hope you are hanging in there.  Keep reading even if you don’t understand it all, or even if you don’t understand most of it.  God will not let His Word return void, and one day understanding will spring forth.  Our job is to seek and to obey.  Praying for y’all!  And please pray for me, as well, as I study and grow and write and try to share what I am learning.

Here is a schedule for your Bible reading for the month of March.  May God bless you immeasureably!

March 1:  Leviticus 24:1-25:46, Mark 10:13-31, Psalm 44:9-26, Proverbs 10:20-21

March 2:  Leviticus 25:47-27:13, Mark 10:32-52, Psalm 45:1-17, Proverbs 10:22

March 3:  Leviticus 27:14-Numbers 1:54, Mark 11:1-26, Psalm 46:1-11, Proverbs 10:23

March 4:  Numbers 2:1-3:51 , Mark 11:27-12:17, Psalm 47:1-9, Proverbs 10:24-25

March 5:  Numbers 4:1-5:31, Mark 12:18-37, Psalm 48:1-14, Proverbs 10:26

March 6:  Numbers 6:1-7:89 , Mark 12:38-13:13, Psalm 49:1-20, Proverbs 10:27-28

March 7:  Numbers 8:1-9:23, Mark 13:14-37, Psalm 50:1-23, Proverbs 10:29-30

March 8:  Numbers 10:1-11:23, Mark 14:1-21, Psalm 51:1-19, Proverbs 10:31-32

March 9:  Numbers 11:24-13:33, Mark 14:22-52, Psalm 52:1-9, Proverbs 11:1-3

March 10:  Numbers 14:1-15:16, Mark 14:53-72, Psalm 53:1-6, Proverbs 11:4

March 11:  Numbers 15:17-16:40, Mark 15:1-47, Psalm 54:1-7, Proverbs 11:5-6

March 12:  Numbers 16:41-18:32, Mark 16:1-20, Psalm 55:1-23, Proverbs 11:7

March 13:  Numbers 19:1-20:29, Luke 1:1-25, Psalm 56:1-13, Proverbs 11:8

March 14:  Numbers 21:1-22:20, Luke 1:26-56, Psalm 57:1-11, Proverbs 11:9-11

March 15:  Numbers 22:21-23:30, Luke 1:57-80, Psalm 58:1-11, Proverbs 11:12-13

March 16:  Numbers 24:1-25:18, Luke 2:1-35, Psalm 59:1-17, Proverbs 11:14

March 17:  Numbers 26:1-51, Luke 2:36-52, Psalm 60:1-12, Proverbs 11:15

March 18:  Numbers 26:52-28:15, Luke 3:1-22, Psalm 61:1-8, Proverbs 11:16-17

March 19:  Numbers 28:16-29:40, Luke 3:23-38, Psalm 62:1-12, Proverbs 11:18-19

March 20:  Numbers 30:1-31:54, Luke 4:1-30, Psalm 63:1-11, Proverbs 11:20-21

March 21:  Numbers 32:1-33:39, Luke 4:31-5:11, Psalm 64:1-1-10, Proverbs 11:22

March 22:  Numbers 33:40-35:34, Luke 5:12-28, Psalm 65:1-13, Proverbs 11:23

March 23:  Numbers 36:1-Deuteronomy 1:46, Luke 5:29-6:11, Psalm 66:1-20, Proverbs 11:24-26

March 24:  Deuteronomy 2:1-3:29, Luke 6:12-38, Psalm 67:1-7, Proverbs 11:27

March 25:  Deuteronomy 4:1-49, Luke 6:39-7:10, Psalm 68:1-18, Proverbs 11:28

March 26:  Deuteronomy 5:1-6:25, Luke 7:11-35, Psalm 68:19-35, Proverbs 11:29-31

March 27:  Deuteronomy 7:1-8:20, Luke 7:36-8:3, Psalm 69:1-18, Proverbs 12:1

March 28:  Deuteronomy 9:1-10:22, Luke 8:4-21 , Psalm 69:19-36, Proverbs 12:2-3

March 29:  Deuteronomy 11:1-12:32, Luke 8:22-39, Psalm 70:1-5, Proverbs 12:4

March 30:  Deuteronomy 13:1-15:23, Luke 8:40-9:6, Psalm 71:1-24, Proverbs 12:5-7

March 31:  Deuteronomy 16:1-17:20, Luke 9:7-27, Psalm 72: 1-20, Proverbs 12:8-9