Fellowship – Matthew 18:20 (ESV) “For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” Matthew 18:20
“When you meet people …who are burdened with their need, involve yourself in their lives as an act of Christ’s love. But always use the encounter as an opportunity to point them to Jesus. It would be sad indeed if the Savior softened their hearts in their calamity, only to find that you did not use it as an opportunity to share the gospel.” Walter A. Henrichsen (“Walt H”)
A history of these Daily Devotions along with other valuable Resources can be found at: https://lylebrennan.com.
Thoughts from the Diary of a Desperate Man
by Walter Henrichsen
Gratitude in Darkness
Day Three Hundred Forty-six
“But I will sacrifice to Thee with the voice of thanksgiving. That which I have vowed I will pay. Salvation is from the Lord. “Jonah 2:9
When Jonah fled from the will of God, the Lord intercepted him with a storm resulting in the sailors throwing him overboard. God captured Jonah in a fish and returned him to his mission. Jonah gave thanks to God for deliverance while still in the belly of the fish, not after the fish delivered him safely to land. His prayer anticipated God delivering him from the fish just as the fish had delivered him from drowning.
When God thrusts you into darkness, you are most apt to despair, concluding that He has abandoned you. Darkness and despair often precede deliverance. The time to express gratitude to God is when in the darkness, not after deliverance.
God leads in your life by steps, each step assuring you that He has firm control over your life and will take you through the next step as well. When He leads you into the “valley of the shadow of death,” you can know that He will again lead you out. By this means He builds trust, faith, and confidence. Jonah’s deliverance into the mouth of the fish gave assurance that God would also deliver him from the mouth of the fish. But it takes the eye of faith to see this, a faith expressed in gratitude.
Hosea 9-11 Revelation 3 (New King James Version)
Judgment of Israel’s Sin
Do not rejoice, O Israel, with joy like other peoples,
For you have played the harlot against your God.
You have made love for hire on every threshing floor.
The threshing floor and the winepress
Shall not feed them,
And the new wine shall fail in her.
They shall not dwell in the Lord’s land,
But Ephraim shall return to Egypt,
And shall eat unclean things in Assyria.
They shall not offer wine offerings to the Lord,
Nor shall their sacrifices be pleasing to Him.
It shall be like bread of mourners to them;
All who eat it shall be defiled.
For their bread shall be for their own life;
It shall not come into the house of the Lord.
What will you do in the appointed day,
And in the day of the feast of the Lord?
For indeed they are gone because of destruction.
Egypt shall gather them up;
Memphis shall bury them.
Nettles shall possess their valuables of silver;
Thorns shall be in their tents.
The days of punishment have come;
The days of recompense have come.
The prophet is a fool,
The spiritual man is insane,
Because of the greatness of your iniquity and great enmity.
The watchman of Ephraim is with my God;
But the prophet is a [a]fowler’s snare in all his ways—
Enmity in the house of his God.
They are deeply corrupted,
As in the days of Gibeah.
He will remember their iniquity;
He will punish their sins.
“I found Israel
Like grapes in the wilderness;
I saw your fathers
As the firstfruits on the fig tree in its first season.
But they went to Baal Peor,
And [b]separated themselves to that shame;
They became an abomination like the thing they loved.
As for Ephraim, their glory shall fly away like a bird—
No birth, no pregnancy, and no conception!
Though they bring up their children,
Yet I will bereave them to the last man.
Yes, woe to them when I depart from them!
Just as I saw Ephraim like Tyre, planted in a pleasant place,
So Ephraim will bring out his children to the murderer.”
Give them, O Lord—
What will You give?
Give them a miscarrying womb
And dry breasts!
“All their wickedness is in Gilgal,
For there I hated them.
Because of the evil of their deeds
I will drive them from My house;
I will love them no more.
All their princes are rebellious.
Ephraim is stricken,
Their root is dried up;
They shall bear no fruit.
Yes, were they to bear children,
I would kill the darlings of their womb.”
My God will cast them away,
Because they did not obey Him;
And they shall be wanderers among the nations.
Israel’s Sin and Captivity
Israel empties his vine;
He brings forth fruit for himself.
According to the multitude of his fruit
He has increased the altars;
According to the bounty of his land
They have embellished his sacred pillars.
Their heart is divided;[c]
Now they are held guilty.
He will break down their altars;
He will ruin their sacred pillars.
For now they say,
“We have no king,
Because we did not fear the Lord.
And as for a king, what would he do for us?”
They have spoken words,
Swearing falsely in making a covenant.
Thus judgment springs up like hemlock in the furrows of the field.
The inhabitants of Samaria fear
Because of the calf[d] of Beth Aven.
For its people mourn for it,
And [e]its priests shriek for it—
Because its glory has departed from it.
The idol also shall be carried to Assyria
As a present for King Jareb.
Ephraim shall receive shame,
And Israel shall be ashamed of his own counsel.
As for Samaria, her king is cut off
Like a twig on the water.
Also the high places of [f]Aven, the sin of Israel,
Shall be destroyed.
The thorn and thistle shall grow on their altars;
They shall say to the mountains, “Cover us!”
And to the hills, “Fall on us!”
“O Israel, you have sinned from the days of Gibeah;
There they stood.
The battle in Gibeah against the children of [g]iniquity
Did not [h]overtake them.
When it is My desire, I will chasten them.
Peoples shall be gathered against them
When I bind them [i]for their two transgressions.
Ephraim is a trained heifer
That loves to thresh grain;
But I harnessed her fair neck,
I will make Ephraim [j]pull a plow.
Judah shall plow;
Jacob shall break his clods.”
Sow for yourselves righteousness;
Reap in mercy;
Break up your fallow ground,
For it is time to seek the Lord,
Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
You have plowed wickedness;
You have reaped iniquity.
You have eaten the fruit of lies,
Because you trusted in your own way,
In the multitude of your mighty men.
Therefore tumult shall arise among your people,
And all your fortresses shall be plundered
As Shalman plundered Beth Arbel in the day of battle—
A mother dashed in pieces upon her children.
Thus it shall be done to you, O Bethel,
Because of your great wickedness.
At dawn the king of Israel
Shall be cut off utterly.
God’s Continuing Love for Israel
“When Israel was a [k]child, I loved him,
And out of Egypt I called My son.
[l]As they called them,
So they went [m]from them;
They sacrificed to the Baals,
And burned incense to carved images.
“I taught Ephraim to walk,
Taking them by [n]their arms;
But they did not know that I healed them.
I drew them with [o]gentle cords,
With bands of love,
And I was to them as those who take the yoke from their [p]neck.
I stooped and fed them.
“He shall not return to the land of Egypt;
But the Assyrian shall be his king,
Because they refused to repent.
And the sword shall slash in his cities,
Devour his districts,
And consume them,
Because of their own counsels.
My people are bent on backsliding from Me.
Though [q]they call [r]to the Most High,
None at all exalt Him.
“How can I give you up, Ephraim?
How can I hand you over, Israel?
How can I make you like Admah?
How can I set you like Zeboiim?
My heart [s]churns within Me;
My sympathy is stirred.
I will not execute the fierceness of My anger;
I will not again destroy Ephraim.
For I am God, and not man,
The Holy One in your midst;
And I will not [t]come with terror.
“They shall walk after the Lord.
He will roar like a lion.
When He roars,
Then His sons shall come trembling from the west;
They shall come trembling like a bird from Egypt,
Like a dove from the land of Assyria.
And I will let them dwell in their houses,”
Says the Lord.
God’s Charge Against Ephraim
“Ephraim has encircled Me with lies,
And the house of Israel with deceit;
But Judah still walks with God,
Even with the [u]Holy One who is faithful.
- Hosea 9:8 One who catches birds in a trap or snare
- Hosea 9:10 Or dedicated
- Hosea 10:2 Divided in loyalty
- Hosea 10:5 Lit. calves, images
- Hosea 10:5 idolatrous priests
- Hosea 10:8 Lit. Idolatry or Wickedness
- Hosea 10:9 So with many Heb. mss., LXX, Vg.; MT unruliness
- Hosea 10:9 Or overcome
- Hosea 10:10 Or in their two habitations
- Hosea 10:11 Lit. to ride
- Hosea 11:1 Or youth
- Hosea 11:2 So with MT, Vg.; LXX Just as I called them; Tg. interprets as I sent prophets to a thousand of them.
- Hosea 11:2 So with MT, Tg., Vg.; LXX from My face
- Hosea 11:3 Some Heb. mss., LXX, Syr., Vg. My arms
- Hosea 11:4 Lit. cords of a man
- Hosea 11:4 Lit. jaws
- Hosea 11:7 The prophets
- Hosea 11:7 Or upward
- Hosea 11:8 Lit. turns over
- Hosea 11:9 Or enter a city
- Hosea 11:12 Or holy ones
The Dead Church
3 “And to the [a]angel of the church in Sardis write,
‘These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars: “I know your works, that you have a name that you are alive, but you are dead. 2 Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before [b]God. 3 Remember therefore how you have received and heard; hold fast and repent. Therefore if you will not watch, I will come upon you as a thief, and you will not know what hour I will come upon you. 4 [c]You have a few names [d]even in Sardis who have not defiled their garments; and they shall walk with Me in white, for they are worthy. 5 He who overcomes shall be clothed in white garments, and I will not blot out his name from the Book of Life; but I will confess his name before My Father and before His angels.
6 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
The Faithful Church
7 “And to the [e]angel of the church in Philadelphia write,
‘These things says He who is holy, He who is true, “He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens”: 8 “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door, [f]and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name. 9 Indeed I will make those of the synagogue of Satan, who say they are Jews and are not, but lie—indeed I will make them come and worship before your feet, and to know that I have loved you. 10 Because you have kept [g]My command to persevere, I also will keep you from the hour of trial which shall come upon the whole world, to test those who dwell on the earth. 11 [h]Behold, I am coming quickly! Hold fast what you have, that no one may take your crown. 12 He who overcomes, I will make him a pillar in the temple of My God, and he shall go out no more. I will write on him the name of My God and the name of the city of My God, the New Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from My God. And I will write on him My new name.
13 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’
The Lukewarm Church
14 “And to the [i]angel of the church [j]of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God: 15 “I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. 16 So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither [k]cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth. 17 Because you say, ‘I am rich, have become wealthy, and have need of nothing’—and do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and naked— 18 I counsel you to buy from Me gold refined in the fire, that you may be rich; and white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of your nakedness may not be revealed; and anoint your eyes with eye salve, that you may see. 19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.[l] Therefore be [m]zealous and repent. 20 Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me. 21 To him who overcomes I will grant to sit with Me on My throne, as I also overcame and sat down with My Father on His throne.
22 “He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches.” ’ ”
- Revelation 3:1 Or messenger
- Revelation 3:2 NU, M My God
- Revelation 3:4 NU, M Nevertheless you
- Revelation 3:4 NU, M omit even
- Revelation 3:7 Or messenger
- Revelation 3:8 NU, M which no one can shut
- Revelation 3:10 Lit. the word of My patience
- Revelation 3:11 NU, M omit Behold
- Revelation 3:14 Or messenger
- Revelation 3:14 NU, M in Laodicea
- Revelation 3:16 NU, M hot nor cold
- Revelation 3:19 discipline
- Revelation 3:19 eager
Please Pray for:
As it’s that time again when candidates for Congress and other government offices are making their rounds drumming up support to make a run to get elected. Please Pray for God to position Real Deal Christian men and women in those races that would honor Him above anyone or anything else. If those elected honor Him, they will honor us. (If you or someone you know is running for an office, please let us know so we can Pray for you or them. As the upcoming elections come closer, I plan to put together a list of candidates to Pray — see the end of this Prayer Request list.)
Brother Mike Welte, Pastor of Calvary Chapel Meadow Mesa (“CCMM”) located in North Las Vegas requested Prayer for both his church and their mission, Makers Way, that feeds some 200 individuals and families each week. As you may know, national statistics show church attendance is down and consequently so are donations. This has directly affected Mike’s church and Makers Way. At the bottom of this email is an open letter from Mike to Believers and his church members. Check it out and if you are lead to help or give, contact Mike at (702) 596-9103 or give online at:
Sister Kristen and husband for God to intervene and heal their marriage. Additionally, please Pray for their 2 young daughters.
Miguel’s salvation, a confessed murderer and drug dealer, who lives in Mexico.
A Las Vegas woman that currently is working in an abortion clinic who is very discouraged with what she is doing and seeking counseling as to what to do. Pray God opens her eyes and saves her. Also, regarding the same abortion clinic, Pray God sends Godly women to that clinic daily to be available to minister to the women going in and out of that clinic daily.
The salvation of Brother David Frear’s parents.
Brad and Regena Mitton and their family. Regina has been diagnosed with cancer and Brad has put his landscape business on hold to be with his wife. Pray God will move in the Mittons lives and that He will be glorified.
Jeff from Oregon that has cirrhosis of the liver and has been given only five months to live. He is unsure of his faith and trying to fill in his remaining days traveling. Please Pray God awakens Jeff’s spirit to His Salvation. (Like Jeff, we are all terminal…“So teach us to number our days, That we may gain a heart of wisdom.” Psalms 90:12)
Larry who has leukemia. Pray God would bring Larry and his love ones closer to Him and His Blessed Hope of Glory.
Lisa Long and her family. Lisa has had for eye surgeries that have failed and she remains blind. Pray for God to direct her path for His glory.
Darrell Blalock who has Parkinson’s disease. Pray for Darrell to have a meaningful and closer walk with the Lord.
John LaPorte and other Brothers and Sisters who are doing ministry at UNLV.
A UNLV student named Tyler who is propaganda machine for the enemy. Pray God will radically save Tyler and that our God will use Tyler to bring many to Christ.
Remington, another UNLV student, says he is a new catholic… not a Believer, yet, but says he is a seeker. Pray God reveals His Truth, His Salvation to Remington.
That our families and Brothers and Sisters in Christ will gather together to Pray… Jesus says in Matthew 18:20 (NKJV) “… For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.”
Our unSaved family members and those around us that we have relationships with. Or, is that you? … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098.
Family members and those relationships around you who say they are Saved, but their lives don’t show it. And, if that’s happens to be you, the Holy Spirit can change you into a New Creation, Christ in you… but, you must totally surrender everything to Him. (As long as you think you can do it on your own, He’ll let you; and, you will fail.) … Have questions &/or need Prayer?… If yes, please reply or call (702) 592-4098.
Our nation that God would open all our eyes to the sins that are drowning us. Lukewarmness, abortion, sex outside of marriage, homosexuality, hatred & divisiveness, greed, pride, rebellion, covetousness, etc. Please Pray and Fast for our nation to turn from this evil that is enveloping us.
II Chronicles 7:14 NKJV
“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
… AND YET, God is Sovereign and has called us to live in such a time as this and to be His Light in the darkness… to give Hope to some. “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” Matthew 5:16
Sister Fabiola and her children in Mexico in our Prayers. This Sister and her family, in a short time period, have been hit with a more tragedies (persecutions) than most of us have in our entire life time… the murder of her husband, x-husband and one of her children. And, recently, her modest home (a shack by any American standard) was burnt to the ground. …Her neighbor’s house caught fire and due to the closeness of her home, it caught fire, too. Brothers & Sisters, please Pray for God’s Holy touch on Fabiola and her family.
Geo, a banker, who was deployed by the military to the Mideast. Pray God would keep him safe and that God would bring Geo closer to Him; and, that Geo would share God with all his company and those who come in contact with him.
I’ve been told by one Geo’s co-workers, Lorraine Flores, who says she considers Geo a son, that the day Geo was deployed to the Mideast, his girlfriend delivered his new baby. Please Pray Geo would Walk in God’s Light and be a Godly husband and father. And, please Pray for Geo’s family. (Also, please Pray for both Lorraine Flores and her biological son that was deployed the same day as Geo, but to Africa.)
Brother Mark Pedder, a missionary in the Philippines. Please Pray for Mark, Mark’s wife for strength in their trials, tribulations and persecution.
Gemma that she be delivered from evil and receive Jesus as her Savior.
Pray for Brother John LaPorte’s roommate, Brother Freddy, whose commitment to Christ caused his wife to separate from him for 6 years. The couple have 2 daughters. Both parents has stayed single all this time of separation… Within the recent past, it appears his wife, Arlene, has been Saved and the couple are beginning their reconciliation process. They are planning to reunite the family again under one roof in the next few months. Please Pray for their total reconciliation with God at their helm.
Scott’s salvation and healing. Scott is a commercial real estate broker.
Our President and ALL our government leaders of both parties. Pray they would submit their authority to God’s Authority and ask for His Wisdom in directing the affairs of our nation. Please Pray that God would open their eyes and they would be obedient to His Will.
Brother Frank Sun, a Taiwanese, that owns several businesses in China and Taiwan. Please Pray Frank will be bold in his sharing Christ in his companies and that he will be faithful to disciple the new Believers.
AND, let each of us use Frank’s example and share the Love and Salvation of Jesus to our coworkers, employees, family, friends and acquaintances … Invest in the Eternal!
Women’s Pro-Life ministries in Las Vegas and throughout the world …that they would lead women to the Lord and continue to assist in saving babies’ lives.
Dave Ubank and his family. They are ministering and rescuing children and families in Syria directly affected by ISIS – Pray for their protection and their ministry. For a short 2 minute video about Ubanks: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_htIgIvgDM[/embedyt
Brothers’ and Sisters’ struggling with various addictions. Pray that God would reveal Himself to them that all things are possible through Him… He can Cure any addiction … He is our Great Creator, He is our Savior, He is our Healer …He is our All and All!
Alejandro Corral, his son Alejandro Jr.
Brother Steve Venable dealing with ALS.
Persecuted Brothers and Sisters and their families that are suffering and giving their lives for our Faith.
Please stand with your Brothers and Sisters in Prayer and Support. (See: The Voice of the Martyrs: https://www.persecution.com)
Biblical “headship” in families.
All the children.
That there would be a resurgence of Biblical “Fear of the Lord” in the church and in each of us… “to fear the Lord is the beginning of Wisdom.”
Brother Ron Brink’s son who had 3+ military tours in Iraq and Afghanistan and who is now suffering brain damage and PTSD. Pray for God’s Healing Power to fall upon Johnathon. (Ron is a 20 plus year missionary in Mexico and heads up Touch Baja.)
Touch Baja ministry. Touch Baja is a Christian ministry based in Mexico touching the saved and unsaved lives of the Mexican people focused on real discipleship; truly changing lives through Christ. From church planting discipleship ministries to half-way houses for the Mexican youth, Touch Baja needs our Prayers, support and physical involvement. One person can make a difference… whether an individual or a group, if you are interested in seeking an international missionary opportunity that’s not that far from home, here it is… you are needed and welcome. Please check out Touch Baja and consider becoming a real partner and getting involved: http://www.touchbaja.com. (I am personally available to share with you about the ministry… I have 20+ years of stories and history.)
Please Pray for Dan Rodimer who is running for the US Congress in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. Dan is a conservative. He is married with 5 children. Dan says he is a catholic. Please Pray for his salvation and that God would would be made known in Dan’s life in such a way that those that encounter Dan would see Jesus in his life. (https://danrodimer.com)
CCMM Open Letter:
November 22, 2019
Greetings to you, fellow believers and church members Calvary Chapel Meadow Mesa (CCMM).
I wanted to send you this letter to inform you of “possible changes” being considered for the weekly ministry activities of CCMM and the church as a whole.
As pastor of CCMM I endeavor to conduct daily ministry and business activity in a manner that is biblically and economically sound and have done so for 16 years. I was mentored and trained in the ministry method that was used by Pastor Chuck Smith and the original Calvary Chapel established in Costa Mesa, California. As every Calvary Chapel Pastor knows, we trust in the LORD and simply ask the LORD to guide us and help us to adhere to the faith based principle, where GOD guides, GOD provides.
We have been blessed at how the LORD has helped us through these 16 years and as a church we have never taken out one single loan and we will intend to continue this pattern as long as this church continues to exist. It is a beautiful feeling to know that we as a church do not have to experience the pressure or stress of having financial debt of any kind.
At this time, the pastors and the advisory council of CCMM realize that our fellowship doesn’t have the number of people attending that it once did. We are not sure why this is the case but we know that attendance is significantly less. We all are doing a massive amount of prayerful reflection and consideration of why this may be the case. The decline in attendance and resulting decline in financial gifts reduced the funds we have available to maintain ministry activities at their present levels. In view of this fact, we need to consider all areas of ministry and whether adjustments need to be made to reduce expenses. GOD calls us to be faithful and ready to respond or adjust to life’s challenges whether we are in abundance or in want.
At this time we are considering a number of changes that we hope will ride through this decline as we pray and hope for a return to better attendance and financial support.
In order to endure these present challenges, we are considering the following steps:
1- reducing the number of Sunday services to two, one at 9:00 service and another at 11:00. If we truly believe we can save on utilities or any other expenses by taking this action, we hope that our church family will be willing to make the adjustment with us.
2- reducing the number of paid staff members. This area appears to be one area that will have to be addressed.
The estimated pay period which repeats twice a month is $7,000 and that is covering 9 workers –
Pastor Mike, (I-myself) am the only one of the 9 workers who receives a full salary. All other workers receive what could only be considered a “part time” worker salary.
3- reducing the number of days we conduct the Maker’s Way food distribution to one day or entirely. To take an action of this kind would be heartbreaking, over 200 individuals and families are assisted every week through this ministry and, truly, it is one of the most important works of service that flows from CCMM but in order to address our challenges, we must be willing to have all things on the table.
It is possible that keeping the doors closed would reduce the amount of electricity that the church uses on a monthly basis.
While considering all possible cost savings areas, we are also looking at revenue producing possibilities such as seeking financial grants to assist in our food distribution ministry as well as a number of other creative means to not only support but grow the work and ministry of CCMM.
I and the ministry team of CCMM wanted to send this letter as a means to inform you of possible changes. We don’t want to “spring any surprises” upon any of you. I believe the best way to inform you all of possible changes is to list them one by one.
Our request of you at this time is this:
1) pray for the strength of CCMM that we can overcome the challenges before us.
2) pray that individuals and organizations will learn of the work and ministry CCMM and believe that our work and ministry is worthy of support.
3) pray for your pastors as well as the ministry team and volunteers that, through the blessing of the LORD, have helped maintain the ministry of CCMM for 16 years.
4) pray for your friends, co-workers and family members and invite them to visit CCMM.
5) pray for inspired ideas that GOD may give you as to how you or we can contribute to the CCMM.