GOD BREATHED INTO MAN THE BREATH OF LIFE

 Then the Lord God formed man of dust from the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living being.  (Genesis 2:7)

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BREATH

OF
LIFE

BREATHED

INTO

MAN

FROM

THE

LIVING

GOD.

 Have we truly tried to envision this picture of God breathing the breath of life into the man that He formed from the dust of the ground, so this new creation could become a living being? Do we feel, with awe, the intimacy between God and His creation captured in this moment when the life of man began?

 The spirit of God has made me,
and the breath of the Almighty gives me life.

(Job 33:4)

Without this breath of life, we are as dust again. God’s breath inside us maintains the life within. Yet, what we do with the Word of God, “breathed out by God,” creates the living being we each become in this life. Are we a living example of His Word– or are we just living beings?

16 All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17)

 We are living beings with a choice.  God never breathed into us His Word as robotic obedience. He offers us the best way to live through His Word, “equipped for every good work,” the way He hopes we will live in order to return to Him when our bodies do become as dust once more.

What have we inhaled from His Word?

What do we exhale to those around us?

23 Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men, 24 knowing that from the Lord you will receive the inheritance as your reward. You are serving the Lord Christ. (Colossians 3:23)

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 09/15/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

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“HERE AM I! SEND ME.”

 And I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?”       Then  I said, “Here am I! Send me.”  (Isaiah 6:8) **********************************************

Opportunities

Waiting . . .

For someone.

I am someone.

Am I the one?

Am I willing?

Will I hear

His Voice

Ask “Who?”

Will I say,

“Here am I!

Send me.”

And He said to them, “The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few; pray therefore the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest. (Luke 10:2)

 We know the world needs the Lord. Where can we make a difference in our part of the world?  The opportunities are many. We just need to look and listen: Our communities need the Lord. Our neighborhoods need the Lord. Our families need the Lord. You need the Lord. I need the Lord. Every single day and every moment in each day.

Opportunities to share Christ are waiting for each one of us. Some surprise us by their delivery right to us: A message from people we knew ten to twenty years ago and haven’t had any     contact with since then—until now, reaching out. We may hesitate before deciding to open the messages, but if we do, we can see the possibility of sharing the Lord. Just a chance occurrence? I truly believe not. The Lord allows us to hear someone knocking. Do we have the ears to hear? It is our decision to open the door and walk into that person’s life once again. This is my testimony recently. I opened those doors, walked back in, saw a need for the Lord, prayed, and left the door wide open, continuing to connect, pray, and share the Lord.

Why do we hesitate to enter those doors that seem to have opportunities waiting behind them? Do we fear involvement, engagement, a personal cost?

Seek the Lord and His strength, seek His presence continually! (I Chronicles 16:11)

 We won’t go alone when we seek to do His Will. We won’t be afraid, knowing His Presence is with us continually. We won’t be weak in the task when we lean on His strength to guide us and keep us strong. Yes, there will be involvement. Yes, there must be engagement. Yes, there is a personal cost. That is discipleship with Jesus.

Many doorknobs are waiting to be opened. People are knocking on the other side. Maybe faintly, wanting to be heard but fearful to be heard. Maybe aggressively, demanding to be heard in a way that seems the opposite of need and, yet, strongly suggests a need. Maybe just hoping someone will interpret the knock and open the door. Maybe not knocking at all but waiting for us to knock and ask to enter.

Maybe we know them. Maybe they are strangers. Maybe they are close to our heart.

Everyone is an opportunity placed before us.

Will we say-

“Here am I!

 Send me.”

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/25/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Great Physician Who Has Been There— And Can Empathize

 

12 And His disciples came and took the body and buried it; and they went and told Jesus. 13 Now when Jesus heard this, He withdrew from there in a boat to a lonely place apart. But when the crowds heard it, they followed Him on foot from the towns. 14 As He went ashore He saw a great throng; and He had compassion on them, and healed their sick.

(Matthew 14: 12-14)

Jesus had just been told that John the Baptist was beheaded. He sought a place away from the multitude to grieve this loss privately. Yet, moved with compassion and empathy, understanding the needs of the people seeking Him, He left His solitude, putting aside His personal grief, to minister to them and heal their sick.

How many times have we gone to a doctor seeking help and left feeling that the physician just didn’t understand our needs and didn’t have the compassion to make that extra effort to find a cause, a solution, a treatment, a referral. Have we wished that doctors could just experience what we are enduring for a day or even a week, so they could have the empathy needed to walk as we walk, day-by-day?

“The great Physician now is near,
The sympathizing Jesus;
He speaks the drooping heart to cheer,
Oh, hear the voice of Jesus.” 1

 Ultimately, we can find only One who has been there with us and has endured what we have experienced.

For we do not have a High Priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have One who has been tempted in every way, just as we are–yet He did not sin. (Hebrews 4:15)

Jesus heals both body and soul. He IS the Great Physician. Turning to Him, we find a balm for whatever suffering we are experiencing. He hears with ears that listen, watches with eyes that see, feels with a heart of compassion, touches with the power of healing.

Do we seek the Great Physician in those times of struggle, sickness, despair, loss—and even in the day-to-day trials that weigh us down? He is ever near us. No appointment necessary. No waiting to be seen. No fee as we leave; it has been paid by Him.

“Sweetest note in seraph song,
Sweetest name on mortal tongue;
Sweetest carol ever sung,
Jesus, blessed Jesus.” 1

 Will we speak His Name and go to Him for healing?

 

 1 Hunter, William. “The Great Physician.” https://library.timelesstruths.org/music/The_Great_Physician

(Sharon G. Tate blog 08/04/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

I KNOW I CAN—WITH GOD’S HELP

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

(2 Timothy 4:7)

In the children’s story “The Little Engine That Could,” the Little Blue Engine used positive self-talk to achieve the seemingly impossible task of pulling the train full of toys to the top of the mountain and down the grade to the city below. Merely thinking about the possibility of success was not quite enough as she huffed and puffed: “I think I can. I think I can. I think I can.” 1 It was only when those spoken words were truly believed that the little engine chugged “faster and faster,” reaching the top of the mountain. The belief was uttered in a new phrase on the decline down the mountain to the city: “I thought I could. I thought I could. I thought I could.” 1

Sometimes, our life circumstances make our daily walk a difficult uphill climb, “chugging” and “puffing” as we struggle to keep ourselves going. Our self-talk during these times is critical. These internal words can defeat us, delay us, or inspire us. This self-talk is not ours alone, for God hears everything we think. There is no alone time. God is ever-present.

If we change our self-talk to “I think I can- with God’s help,” then we are closer to reaching the top of the mountain we need to climb– to reach a goal, endure a crisis, survive the work week, pay the bills, overcome a loss, see a way to keep going.  To truly attain these things, however, our self-wording must be one of firm belief and action based on that faith: “I know I can-with God’s help” and “I thought I could-with God’s help.”

“Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and He will establish your plans.” (Proverbs 16:3)

“But when you ask, you must believe and not doubt, because the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. That person should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. Such a person is double-minded and unstable in all they do.” (James 1:6-8)

With God as our Engineer, steering the course of our lives, we can know and believe with assurance that we will be able to “finish the race” and reach the “prize” waiting for us over the mountain in the City below:

13 Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.  (Philippians 3:13-14)

 Let us press onward like Paul, trust fully in the Lord, and commit to the ultimate goal of heaven.

   “I didn’t come this far, to come this far.” 2

I know I will behold the view

On the other side of the mountain,

The Eternal City where I shall reside.

 

1 Watty Piper’s 1930 “The Little Engine that Could.” http://www.printmag.com

2 Anonymous. thinkinghumanity.com

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/28/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Seeing with the Compassion of Jesus

#InvisibleIllnessAwareness: An online hashtag representing a community of people with “invisible” illnesses. In reality, this group could contain the community of the church and that of the world. There is the “invisible” within everyone that only God can fully see, for our vision is limited here.

 12 For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. 13 So faith, hope, love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (I Corinthians 13:12-13)

Even if “dimly”, do we try to see the invisible through our relationships with one another? Does the greatest of the three—love—lead us to an awareness of others? When we become more aware of others’ difficulties and circumstances, this can result in a greater capacity for compassion, a more caring understanding, and the deeper engagement of empathy. It is an awareness the hashtag group seeks, one that Jesus had in His encounters with others.

¹ So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any incentive of love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, 2 complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. 3 Do nothing from selfishness or conceit, but in humility count others better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. 5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though He was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. (Philippians 2:1-7)

We can have a mindset like Christ, who became like us by taking on the weakness of human form. The more we are in Christ, the deeper our awareness and outreach will be toward others. It is not a mindset of the society in which we live where personal “ME” interests are the priority. It is a self-sacrificing devotion to follow the path of Christ and become the servant, not the served.

–The leper is on our path. Will we try to see what he feels inside and not just notice his outer wounds?

–A blind man passes by with his white cane. Do we seek to understand his darkness?

–The woman who held her head up with worth suddenly looks to the ground as she passes those who begin to mock her. Are we able to feel her pain and fear?

–A child stares, wide-eyed, unmoving as her parents fight profanely, angrily. Can we see the images she has witnessed in her young life–and weep?

How do we look to the interests of these–and others?

With empathy.

Prayerfully.

Seeking wisdom from the Lord.

Having an awareness of the invisible.

Seeing with the compassion of Jesus.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/21/19)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

GOD SIGNS

Light beams

Glowing

Through clouds,

Quietude

At eventide,

A whisper

In stillness-

I AM.

God Signs. Everywhere. Do we see Him? Is His Voice immediately recognized?

16 For we did not follow cleverly devised stories when we told you about the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ in power, but we were eyewitnesses of His majesty. 17 He received honor and glory from God the Father when the Voice came to Him from the Majestic Glory, saying, “This is My Son, whom I love; with Him I am well pleased.” 18 We ourselves heard this Voice that came from heaven when we were with Him on the sacred mountain. 19 We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining in a dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. (2 Peter 1:16-19)

The Voice from the Majestic Glory. The Voice from heaven.

The Light through the clouds shining in a dark place.

When our day dawns, do we awaken to His Voice?

As our day closes at dusk, can we still see His Light?

Silent darkness

Permeating all

But for one ray,

Faith can see

Light breaking

Through clouds,

Witness to

I AM.

That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of life— the life was made manifest, and we saw it, and testify to it, and proclaim to you the eternal life which was with the Father and was made manifest to us— that which we have seen and heard we proclaim also to you, so that you may have fellowship with us; and our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son Jesus Christ. And we are writing this that our joy may be complete. This is the message we have heard from Him and proclaim to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. (I John 1: 1-5)

 We did not see firsthand. We did not hear directly. Yet, we are witnesses. We can still see and hear our Lord and our Savior through His creation around us, through His creation within us in our hearts, minds, and souls. We hear and see Him through the Holy Spirit, whom He sent to be with us.

God Signs. Seeking through awareness. Finding through faith. Longing for what was from the beginning.

Through the eyes and ears of faith, we are witness to the ever-abiding Presence of I AM.

 

(Sharon G. Tate blog 07/14/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

HIS Unquestionable Authority

1 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!” (Mark 2:1-12)

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There is always a way to reach the Lord. He is never inaccessible to us, even though throngs of people want His attention, seek His guidance, ask for His help, or need His comfort.

The extent of our faith is our entrance to find the Lord and bring our needs to Him. When the men didn’t give up after seeing the crowds and were determined to bring the paralyzed man to Jesus, He visibly saw their faith. Persistence and action were the evidence of their faith. How can we/how do we show faith to the Lord, so He can truly witness our faith in Him?

We must believe in the power of Jesus. The four men who brought the paralyzed man to Jesus did not stop to discuss, question, or evaluate rationally if this attempt was impossible or futile. They made an opening to Jesus, whom they fully believed could heal the man.

Trust fully that Jesus is the Son of God in our thoughts, in our hearts. He asks the teachers of the law: “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.”  Jesus knows our thoughts. We might speak and act like we have faith, but our thoughts and our hearts will betray us if we are questioning His authority. In this case, the teachers of the law spoke and acted according to their thoughts, revealing their arrogance in their own authority and a lack of belief in Christ who would supersede their authority IF He was, indeed, the Son of God.

Obey the Words of Jesus. 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.” The paralyzed man did not question this command. He did not say, “But I can’t. It’s impossible. I have been paralyzed for years. No man can just speak the words and make this happen.” Instead of questioning, the man simply obeyed. And he was healed.

Be in absolute awe of the Lord. 12This amazed everyone and they praised God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!” Can we look at the buds sprouting into leaves on the trees in spring and not be in awe? Are we amazed when the colors splash across those same leaves in the fall? Do we think of the intricacy of creation in the human body as we gaze upon a newborn child? Can we see the miracles every day with awe that all this is from the Lord who has amazing power and authority over all creation.

 10 “You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, and My servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe Me and understand that I am He. Before Me no god was formed, nor will there be one after Me.11 I, even I, am the Lord, and apart from me there is no savior. 12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed- I, and not some foreign god among you. You are My witnesses,” declares the Lord, “that I am God. 13 Yes, and from ancient days I am He. No one can deliver out of My hand.  When I act, who can reverse it?” (Isaiah 43:10-13)

 WE ARE HIS WITNESSES.

 

 (Sharon G. Tate blog 07/07/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Freedom in Christ–With Wings Like Eagles

 

But those who wait on the Lord Shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.  (Isaiah 40:31)

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Trees were falling, broken and wounded. The machine, crushing through a densely wooded area, dropping pines and poplars in its path, shifted forward—but, then, suddenly stopped, idling in neutral, before one dead and worthless tree, leaving it standing, as the engine roared and the machine moved ahead, felling more trees.

In the early evening, when the machine rested, an eagle came and perched at the top of this one tree that stood out against the small buffer line remaining of the once dense woods. Perhaps, there had been a nest in a nearby tree that was taken for harvesting. No nest was visible now, no eaglets ready to be born. The eagle, majestic atop the barren tree, seemed to stare intently at the surrounding land, surmising the loss. It remained in this lofty position for what seemed a lengthy time before it, finally, let go of its hold and flew away, not looking back.

Watching this scene from the drive by my home, it felt like I was viewing a symbolic enactment: The bald eagle, our national emblem, surveying the devastation; trees felled by a machine; a nest of baby eaglets possibly destroyed; nature harvested for money; beauty salvaged without conscience; a young man with goggles, vision somewhat blurred, maneuvering a machine capable of destroying the present and the future; man, the driving force behind it all. It seemed like a warning, one that we have disregarded with careless neglect and indifference to the negative effects we can impose on our present and our future worlds.

As I watched this scene play out, I recalled another warning that was unheeded:

34 “Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were not willing. 35 Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see Me again until you say, ‘Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord.’” (Luke 13:34-35)

A disregarded warning, affecting both the present and the future–Jerusalem was destroyed.

And what of America? Will we continue to care more about money and greed than our young and our unborn? Will we not tend and nurture this world which God gave to us as its caretakers? Will we allow technology to blur our moral conscience? Will we continue to disregard the offer of Jesus to come onto Him, to follow Him, to obey Him, to allow Him to take us under His arms of protection?  Do we, in this country, have this same rebuke: “You were not willing.” Will we, in this country, have this same end: “Look, your house is left to you desolate.”

“The eagle represents freedom. Living as he does on the tops of lofty mountains, amid the solitary grandeur of Nature, he has unlimited freedom, whether with strong pinions he sweeps into the valleys below, or upward into the boundless spaces beyond.”   (baldeagleinfo.com)

We, too, can have freedom in Jesus who set us free from a dead tree, the cross. On this Fourth of July, a day designated to remember and celebrate our independence, let us pray that we will not merely perch and sit and sit in a worried state of mind over the fate of this nation, but let us instead, like the eagle who did not dwell in that dead tree, take action, move forward, and “mount up with wings like eagles…run and not be weary…walk and not faint.” We are the ones who can make positive changes in our world, through our daily walk with the Lord, who did not stay on the tree but arose and yet lives that we might be free.

(Sharon G. Tate blog 06/30/19 blog)  teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

Love Notes to God, Our Father

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.

(I Corinthians 13:13) 

LOVE NOTES

Father’s Day. My son and grandkids were visiting. I purchased cards for my grandchildren, ages four and six, to give to their Daddy. “Sign them while Daddy’s getting ready for church.” Then, I left to get ready. When I returned, I saw that, besides spelling out their names, they had drawn hearts and pictures of them with their Daddy all over the cards. Then, they had taken my post-it notes and were writing and drawing more notes and images for him. They stapled the notes together into a little story to tell him.

The look on their faces as they handed Daddy the cards and “read” their notes and stories was simply pure joy. I had asked each for the minimum—to sign the card. Both gave the maximum– from the heart.

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Do we give heartfelt messages to our Heavenly Father with such pure love?

 Just to give. Just to show how much He means to us.

LOVE “Notes” through the words in our prayers.

LOVE “Notes” written with the thoughts in our mind.

LOVE “Notes” in our communication with Him in His Word.

There is, I believe, a child within each of us who exists on some level within our hearts, minds, and memories. Some of us are “orphaned” in the sense that our physical parents are no longer with us—through death, abandonment, or lack of involvement. Yet, the “child” within still seeks the relationship of the parent.

We each have the Father God to turn to for this relationship. He watches over us, gives advice and guidance, nourishes our souls, provides for our needs, comforts us in times of distress, rejoices with us in the happy moments and events of our lives, sacrifices for us to the utmost level in the death of His only begotten Son.

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You can imagine the look on Daddy’s face as his two children gave him those cards and their notes, telling him the stories in the pictures.

Can we imagine the Father’s countenance when we present Him with our “notes” of love?

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love.

Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them. (I John 4:16)

 (Sharon G. Tate  blog 06/23/19) teacherforjesus.com  Meditations on God’s Word

The Father’s Love

 How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind

take refuge in the shadow of your wings. (Psalm 36:7)

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Were you blessed with a Daddy who showed you glimpses of the Heavenly Father?

 DADDY

“Faster, Daddy! Faster!” Riding on the white horse named Bluebird at my grandparents’ ranch in Texas with my father. Flying across the field, dust billowing behind us, hair blowing wildly in the wind, laughing and not afraid. Daddy was there in control of the reins.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you. (Deuteronomy 31:6)

DADDY

Riding in the back of the station wagon. No seat belt–1962. My brother and I playing, watching the cars pass, calling out our colors in a game called “Keep It.” No thought of fear or worry, falling asleep peacefully. Daddy was driving.

If you lie down, you will not be afraid; when you lie down, your sleep will be sweet.

(Proverbs 3:24)

 DADDY

Name-calling, pushing, shoving. Bullies in school. Daddy said life was unfair, to hold our heads high, to not be like them. He would talk with the principal.

The Lord will fight for you, and you have only to be silent.” (Exodus 14:14)

 DAD

First date. Rules and expectations. A hug and kiss goodbye. Curfew reminder. Waving on the porch. Waiting with the lights on. Reading and looking at his watch, over and again. Hearing the car approach. Rising to open the front door. Sharing a quiet talk before a hug and kiss goodnight.

The Lord will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore. (Psalm 121)

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 Not everyone had a Daddy like this but those of us who did knew and understood something about God’s love and security from our father at an early age. For some, the Father’s Image was seen through another child’s Daddy instead of their own or even through an encounter with a stranger. But the perception of what the Heavenly Father is like was planted. The seed could grow into faith.

We need Godly examples for our children, men who reflect the Image of the Heavenly Father in their words, their actions, their lives. Children need a Daddy who shows them a love, a guidance, a sacrifice like the Father of us all. But sadly, too many examples are missing in children’s lives today. Seeds are not being planted to raise those who will follow the Lord.

Every child needs a Daddy. Every child deserves to see the Father in that Daddy.

Who will be the example?

 

footprints following dad

 

(Sharon  G. Tate blog 06/16/19) teacherforjesus.com Meditations on God’s Word