I See the Moon

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours;
the world and all that is in it, you have founded them
(Psalm 89:11 ESV).

It’s not everyday that I wake up at 6am to a full moon! What an awesome and amazing way to start the day! What an excellent reminder that the Lord knows and holds it all!

Lord God, thank You and praise You that the sun and moon rise and set on Your time schedule. Thank You Lord that as You know the number of the sand on the seashore, so too do You know those who belong to You. Thank You and praise You Lord for how You use creation to point people to Yourself. Lord, as this world spirals more and more out of control, help Your people to be witnesses, testifying to who You are and what You have done in our lives.

Thank You Lord for the beauty of creation. Thank You Lord that You are mindful of humans and that You loved us so much to send Jesus into this world. Thank You Jesus for dying on our behalf to forgive us from sin so that those who may believe in Your Name will spend eternity with You. Thank You Holy Spirit for convicting us of our need for Jesus and for sealing us with Your Spirit.

It is beyond my comprehension that someday Lord Jesus we will see You face to face. Lord, help us to look for ways to marvel at the works of Your Hands even in the midst of everything that is going on. Thank You Jesus for this reader. Draw this reader closer to You and to Your heart so that others may see You in them. Thank You Lord for today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn

August 2022 Prayer

Photo by Public Domain Pictures on Pexels.com

Lord God, help us to pray more and worry less in this new month. Lord God, help us to read Your Word and cling to You more this month. So many things are competing for our attention, help us to know the best from the good. Lord God, prepare us to stand firm for You. Thank You and praise You Jesus that when we do not know what or how to pray, You intercede on our behalf.

Lord God, give Your people minds to discern what is true and false. Give us wisdom in all areas of life. Help us Lord to ask questions about what we are seeing, hearing and reading rather than just accepting everything that is being told to us. Lord God, help us to not fear what is coming, but to take courage in You. Help us to not give up but to endure staying in the race until You call us home.

Lord God, may we praise You more this month. Lord, may we decrease thinking about how to please ourselves this month. Help us to look for ways to do good.

Lord, political opinions are everywhere, and everyone has one, myself included. Lord, may we be more on fire for You than for political causes.

Lord God, when I started this blog four years ago, I never imagined I would struggle with knowing how to pray for my readers. Lord God, I ask that You help this reader process current events in the light of Your Word. I ask Lord that You will use this reader to be a light to the people around them. Lord God, I ask that You will give this reader a heart that desires to glorify You. And for the reader who does not know You, may today be their day of salvation.

Thank You Jesus that this world is not our home! Remind us that we do not need to fear the darkness that is coming. Lord God, thank You and praise You that for those of us who know Jesus as Lord and Savior we can have peace instead of anxiety. Lord God, I ask that You will fill this reader with grace and mercy. Lord God, draw this reader closer to You. Help and prepare this reader Lord to endure hard times. Thank You again Lord for this reader. Encourage them today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

July 2022 Prayer

Lord God, may we hunger and thirst for You more this month. Lord God, there is no denying this world is changing: from weather patterns, to governments, to war and rumors of war, to famines, food shortages and inflation. Lord, revive us with the promises of Your Word.

Lord God, much of what we see and hear is negative, help us to counter this world’s evil with Your Good News. Lord God, there is so much wickedness in this world and I ask that You help Your people to live victorious and not defeated.

Remind us Lord that You are aware of the trials that we face. Remind us Lord that You will never waste our hurts when we surrender them to You. Lord, help us to learn to forgive more this month. Help us to encourage others more this month. Help us to put You first more this month.

Lord God, I pray for my brothers and sisters with health issues, I ask Lord for Your calming peace to fill each of them. Lord God, for our brothers and sisters who are having marital issues, I ask Lord for patience and listening hearts. Lord, I ask that Your grace and mercy will be what Your people cling to in this month.

Thank You and praise You Jesus that each day is one day closer to Your return. Lord God, thank You for this reader. May this month be one of personal growth and reflection. Lord, help this reader prepare in whatever manner You lead them. Lord, prepare our hearts for what You want to do in and through us. Lord God, may this believer reflect Christ in all they do. We thank You and we love You Lord. Thank You again for this reader. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Sunset June 28, 2022

Sunset. Bluebird on top of pine tree. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

Be still, and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!
(Psalm 46:10 ESV)

Lord God, in the midst of the chaos and uncertainty, help us to pause and meditate on You. Lord God, may we not let the sun go down on our anger. Lord God, may Your peace prevail in Your peoples lives, even when the storms and trials rage.

Lord God, may Your people love You and desire You more each day. May Your people be reminded that You will vindicate Yourself; You do not ask Your people to take vengeance into our own hands.

Lord God, as I pray sitting around the fire, I ask that You will remind us that the judgment that is coming will reveal our our hearts and actions. Lord You are an all consuming fire, may we never take Your grace and mercy for granted. Praise You Jesus that one day all the nations will bow before You.

Thank You Lord for this reader. May the glow of the sun and fire point this reader to the True Son, the One who paid it all. Lord, what a gift it is to have people to pray for! Even when we may be annoyed or agitated, thank You Lord for the opportunity to commune with You in prayer and interceding for others. Bless this reader as only You can. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn
Praying for y’all! Photo taken by Nathan Quinn.

June 2022 Prayer

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

Lord God, as You care for the flowers, birds and trees, so too will You care for Your people in this new month. Lord God, thank You that nothing is beyond Your control!

Lord God, help us to become more like Christ in this new month. Lord God, Your Word in both the Old and New Testament tell us not to be surprised or taken off guard by war, rumors of war, pestilence, disease, food shortages, famine and persecution.

Lord God, help Your people to endure trials and to be patient with people more this month. Father God, as the weather in the North heats up, help Your people to be agents of peace and reconciliation not sowers of discord and malice. Lord, help Your people to exercise reason and common sense so that cooler, tempered minds, hearts and hands may prevail.

Lord God, reveal to this reader and myself where we are starting to compromise and look more like the world. Reveal to us in this new month Lord what we are holding on too tightly. Lord God, root out anything in us that is keeping us from growing closer to You!

Lord God, give Your people increased wisdom and discernment in this new month. Lord, it is blatantly obvious that we are living in a post-Christian time period. Help us to be good stewards and witnesses for You as the time of Jesus’s return is nearer with each passing moment.

Lord God, prepare Your people for what they will face, not only this month but in the months to follow. Lord God, Your Word is life; it is our comfort and joy. Help us to apply Your Word this month so that we will be prepared to stand firm in the trials that we face.

Lord God, I pray for the reader who has wandered from the faith, Lord, stir their heart to return to You. Lord God, for the reader who is hostile to the faith, if You lead them to this prayer may You convict them of their sin and their need for a Savior. Regardless of where one positions themselves in regards to the elect/called/chosen/whomsoever, thank You and praise You Lord that You are the One who save us from start to finish. It is not our work or achievements but Christ crucified, buried, resurrected and ascended who is the Redeeming Savior for all those who trust and believe in Him.

Lord God, I am reminded in John 10 that You are the Good Shepherd. But before that, You say You are the Door/Gate for the sheep. So often Lord we want Your provision, protection and blessing as the Good Shepherd but we do not want Your exclusivity, we do not want to enter through the narrow door, walking the narrow path of obedience. Lord God, convict us of our arrogance, our hypocrisy and our lack of love and reverence for You. May we NEVER forget Jesus that You are the Way, the Truth and the Life and that no one comes to the Father except through You (John 14:6).

Lord God, thank You for this reader. Thank You that You know everything about this reader and what they will face this month. Strengthen and guide this reader Lord to lead the lost to You, to encourage believers and to glorify You. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

5 days of fun!

Houseboat on Raystown Lake, 23 May 2022. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

After making the 2.5 hour drive with my mom, Nathan, PQ and I all sitting in the front of Nathan’s Ram 2500 [Nathan wanted me to clarify], we have made it to Raystown Lake! I am eager and excited to commune with the Lord through reading His Word and fishing. God has been merciful to me in helping me finish both of my classes well.

I am beyond thankful for you, dear reader. I appreciate your prayers, your encouragement and your support. I am humbled by the love and care you show me! I look forward to sharing this time away with you!!!

Lord God, thank You for this reader! Thank You Lord for the opportunity to come out again to Raystown Lake and to bring my mom! Lord God, I look forward to this adventure! Lord, I look forward to what You will teach me and convict me of on this trip. Lord God, thank You again for this reader. Bless this reader’s week and draw them closer to You. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Happy photo of the 4 of us. We will see what we look like come Friday!!! My mom already said, “there will be no other photos of me!”
This is Nathan summed up in a t-shirt!

Happy Birthday, Mom!

I am SO thankful for the opportunity to celebrate my mom’s birthday with her in person this year! When I was younger, I always combined Mother’s Day and my mom’s birthday together. It is a well known fact that a few times in my younger years, I waited until May 15th to buy my mom her present. I look back on that and laugh! I am so thankful for my mom’s patience with me!

Other than going to church today, I have no clue what she will want to do today. I am excited to celebrate her! I am praying that the gifts Nathan and I found for my mom this year are better than last year’s! (This is what I got her last year, if you’re a curious soul like myself: My mom loves flowers and she always says how she doesn’t know anything about Florida’s flora and fauna; so, I got her some books—bad move, Mandy! She also said she missed some of her old music she had on cds so I got her a small CD player and some cds—I am still learning just because a person says something, doesn’t mean they actually want it!)

What humbles me about my mom is how much she matters to so many people. My mom is a wise woman and it is a joy to hear how much people love my mom and how she has helped them. I don’t know why God picked my mom for me, but I am glad He did! Happy Birthday, Mom! I love you!

Lord God, thank You and praise You that You are a life affirming God. In a day in age where people are seeking to destroy and end life, help us to celebrate life! Lord, may we never cease celebrating You, the Author and Giver of Life! Thank You Lord for my mom! Thank You for this life You have given her. Lord, may this new year be one of blessing and growth in You. Lord, thank You for this reader! Thank You for the opportunity to share You and mom to the whomsoever that reads this. Fill this reader with Your joy and peace today. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

May 2022 Prayer

Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

Lord God, prepare us for this new month. Lord, whether we live in a place where it’s spring, fall, rainy season or dry, help us to love and serve You right where we are.

Lord God, when we aren’t surrounded by Big “I” we are inundated with digital “i” (and android). Help us Lord to not live for Big “I.” Lord God, convict us if we have made ourselves slaves to our digital devices. Lord God, help us to unplug more this month. Help us to take inventory of how we are using the web and social media this month.

Lord God, there is so much restlessness, anxiety and agitation in our world today. Help Your people Lord to trust and depend on You. Lord God, help us to be more concerned about sharing Your Word and defending Your Truth. There is so much negativity and falsity Lord. Help Your people to be discerning!

Lord God, thank You that nothing in this world surprises You. Lord God, I pray for my brothers and sisters who are being persecuted for their faith. Strengthen them, encourage them, fill them with the peace of Your Presence.

Lord God, help us to prepare now for living in even more difficult times. I don’t know what it will be like in the last days, but I do know that evil and wickedness are increasing. How us to be a light in this dark world as we separate ourselves from this dying world system.

Thank You Lord for this reader. Lord, may this reader find comfort and strength in You this month. Guide this reader Lord on the path they should go. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

Fragrant!

Photo taken by Nathan Quinn.

I absolutely love the smell of my cherry tree!!! Every time I encounter a fragrant tree, shrub, bush or flower I am reminded of 2 Corinthians 2:14–16:

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life (ESV).

Lord God, may everyone we encounter smell Jesus on us. Lord God, may we be a fragrant aroma to those in the faith and not shy away and shrink back from being an odious and offensive stench to the unbelieving world. Lord God, thank You for the life that we have in Christ. Lord God, fill this reader with Your presence. Thank You Lord for Your creation. Lord God, may our worship be a pleasing aroma to You. Thank You and praise You Father for Your love for us. Jesus thank You that we are Your Ambassadors and Holy Spirit thank You for indwelling and sealing us. May we be a pleasing aroma to You. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.

The King of Glory (Psalm 24)

Looking down on east side of the Temple Mount. 23 May 2017. Photo taken by Mandy Sweigart-Quinn.

24 A Psalm of David. 

1  The earth is the Lord’s and the fullness thereof, 

the world and those who dwell therein, 

for he has founded it upon the seas 

and established it upon the rivers. 

Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? 

And who shall stand in his holy place? 

He who has clean hands and a pure heart, 

who does not lift up his soul to what is false 

and does not swear deceitfully. 

He will receive blessing from the Lord 

and righteousness from the God of his salvation. 

Such is the generation of those who seek him, 

who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah 

Lift up your heads, O gates! 

And be lifted up, O ancient doors, 

that the King of glory may come in. 

Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord, strong and mighty, 

the Lord, mighty in battle! 

Lift up your heads, O gates! 

And lift them up, O ancient doors, 

that the King of glory may come in. 

10  Who is this King of glory? 

The Lord of hosts, 

he is the King of glory! Selah 

In light of Holy Week 2022, I cannot help but meditate on David’s hymn.

David makes it clear that the earth belongs to Yahweh and that He is the Creator and Sovereign overall (vv 1-2). David’s understanding of creation theology is the antithesis of how Israel’s neighbors understood creation. For most of the Ancient Near East (ANE), they viewed the earth as flat and floating on a cosmic ocean. Water in the ANE was signified with chaos and disorder. (Each ANE civilization had a defeated sea god. For example: the Ugaritic (Canaanite) Baal was the storm/fertility god who defeated the sea god Yamm). To David, “these words signify that the Lord has manifested his wisdom in creating an orderly world, and therefore he rules over all. The biblical perspective is opposed to the deification of nature, for, while everything is glorious, its glory is derived from the glorious Creator” (W. VanGemeren, Psalms REBC, 2008, p. 258).

“Who shall ascend the hill of the Lord? And who shall stand in his holy place?” (v 3). The hill that David is speaking of is Mount Zion. “The temple of Yahweh was built on a hilltop above the rest of the city. Thus, going to worship at the temple involved a modest ascent. The Temple Mount was the place of God’s throne, which is relevant in this psalm’s call to praise God’s kingship” (J. Hilber, “Psalms” ZIBBC, 2009, p. 342). While the temple was not constructed in David’s lifetime, I love what VanGemeren says, “The hymn instructs God’s people wherever they may be to live in the presence of the Creator-King in order to receive his blessing” (p. 260).

Holiness is required to enter the Lord’s presence! Only those with clean hands and a pure heart, who neither lift up their soul (life source) to what is false nor swear deceitfully (v 4), will “receive blessing from the Lord” (v 5). The Lord requires us to be solely and only devoted to Him. We cannot serve God and something or someone else. It was impossible in the Old Testament and it is impossible today!

“Purity of ‘hands’ and ‘heart’ is the condition of living before God in accordance with his precepts and out of the desire of his heart…The one who has ‘clean hands’ is innocent of wrongdoing and readily asks for forgiveness when he or she has sinned against God. In contrast is the sinner, whose ‘hands are full of blood’ and who needs cleansing, forgiveness, and reconciliation” (VanGemeren, p. 260).

Only a fool would enter the Creator-King’s Holy presence in a manner that is contrary to His Character and Workings. The people of God need to be sensitive and mindful of the condition of their hands and hearts when they enter into His presence. Failure to do so will lead to discipline rather than blessing.

For the “generation of those who seek him” they are the legitimate children of Jacob (v 6). Seek here is a Hebrew participle denoting continuous action. “To ‘seek him’ is an expression of a sincere desire to live in accordance with God’s standards so as to live in the presence of his ‘face'” (p. 260).

Scholars are not in agreement as to what David is referring to in verses 7 and 9. It could be that David is literally commanding the gates and doors of the temple to open or it could be referring to the ancient city of Jerusalem itself. Since the temple was not built in David’s time, I am more inclined to go with the latter; however, I am not dogmatic on this! As VanGemeren states, “Regardless of the referent, the point remains that Jerusalem had been a Jebusite city with a long history…over which Melchizedek ruled in Abraham’s days. It became the city of God because God chose to dwell in it. Consequently, both the city and the people were called on to receive with joy and anticipation the Great King. The repetition in v. 9…bears out the importance of proper preparation for ‘the King of glory'” (p. 262).

Verses 8 and 10 are verbless clauses where the people cry out, “Who is this King of Glory?” The answer is the Lord, Yahweh. “He brings blessing, victory, and vindication to his people because he is their God and Savior” (p. 262). Yahweh is the Divine Warrior (a significant theme in the Old Testament) who fights for Israel rather than against her. David describes the Lord’s divine power as “strong and mighty” and “mighty in battle!”

The Lord of Hosts (ebāʾôt) is also translated Almighty. “The Great King has at his command innumerable heavenly ‘hosts,’ reflecting the glory and splendor of undisputed lordship. He is the Divine Warrior, the Commander of all powers in heaven and earth. His battles always win him victory…The presence of the divine Warrior among his people is the ground for tranquillity that drives out fear” (p.263).

In Psalm 24, David celebrates the entrance of the great Divine Warrior, the King of Glory, the Lord Almighty Himself coming into Zion. Yesterday, April 10, 2022 Protestants remembered the Triumphal entry of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a colt, where the crowds met Jesus with palm branches, spreading their cloaks on the road, crying out, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel!” (John 12:12; c.f. Ps 118:25-26).

Only a few days later these same people along with their chief priests and religious leaders cried out for Pilate to “crucify” Him (Luke 23:21; John 19:6). In prophetic irony, Pilate put an inscription on Jesus’s cross which read, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews” (John 19:19). Onlookers who were coming to Jerusalem to celebrate Passover would have seen this sign. For three hours Jesus suffered before succumbing to death. His body was then taken down and buried in a new, yet borrowed tomb (v 41); however, this was not the end, because on the third day, Jesus rose from the grave! This Overcoming King of Glory defeated death, the grave and Satan forever!

For those who believe in Christ, we know that Jesus is the Soon Returning Conquering King who will enter the holy city of Jerusalem bringing His reward with Him (Rev 22:12). For those who believe in Christ we know that our reward is being with our Triune God forever. For those who do not know Christ, their reward is separation from God and eternal torment (see Matthew 25). In a world full of uncertainty and zero guarantees, Jesus’s return is certain. None of us are promised tomorrow, please seek Jesus while there is still time!

Jesus is the ultimate Davidic King. Jesus is the Messiah. Jesus is the King of Glory, the One who fights on behalf of His people. May we allow Jesus’s death, burial and resurrection take root more in our lives this year. For the reader who is a part from Christ, do not spend another day without Jesus being Your Redeemer, Savior and King. All glory to Jesus both now and forevermore.

Father God, prepare our hearts to worship You both now and in eternity. Thank You Jesus for coming to earth, being born of a virgin, living among sinful man, being crucified, dead and buried, rising on the third day so as to reconcile Your repentant sinful people to Yourself for the glory of God the Father. Holy Spirit, thank You for indwelling and sealing Your people. Thank You Holy Spirit for helping us to become more like Jesus each and every day. Help us to want more of You and less of ourselves. Lord God, help Your people to have clean hands and a pure heart. May we never forget that we come to You and stand in Your presence because of Your grace and mercy and not because of anything good in us. Lord God, may we never forget that salvation has always been by grace through faith, never because of our works! Lord God, help Your people to be a generation who seeks Your face. Lord God, help believers to not lift their soul to what is false nor swear deceitfully. Lord God, thank You for this reader! Lord God, You are strong and mighty in battle and NOTHING is too great for You. Thank You Lord that nothing will stop Your will from being accomplished. Thank You for this reader. Lead and guide this reader to love You more each and every day. In Jesus’s Name I pray. Amen.