Friday, April 1, 2022


Today’s Reading: Joel 1

Click scripture link to read online or HERE to listen online (then click the symbol of the audio speaker above the scripture portion).


A view from the top of Masada. The “snake path” seen in the centre of the photograph was the only access to this mountain fortress until the installation of the cable car. Masada represents the war-torn history of the Jewish people. Joel 2:3 speaks of “a desolate wilderness.”

GOOGLE MAPS – To see where the photo was taken, click HERE.


Key Verses: Joel 1:14,19a

Declare a holy fast;

call a sacred assembly.

Summon the elders

and all who live in the land

to the house of the Lord your God,

and cry out to the Lord.

…O Lord, to You I cry out!


When in trouble “CRY OUT!” There are two ways to do this: (1) In a sacred assembly together with the elders (leaders of the church) in fasting and prayer. And (2) In our personal prayer times. According the the prophet Joel, when hungry and thirsty, even the “beasts of the field” (cattle, etc.) “cry out” to the Lord! Cattle will “bawl” when they are hungry or thirsty.

Joel reminds his hearers of a time in the past when chewing, swarming, crawling locusts descended on their land and stripped away in hours every vestige of plant life. The people had no refrigeration, no freezers, and no canned foods such as we have in today’s developed world. Yes, they probably had stored in advance some grain products and dried foods, but they were in big trouble! These people knew what to do! No doubt they had sung Psalm 50 from their hymnbook, the Psalms. The Temple worship leader, Asaph, had composed a song of worship in which God says, “Call upon Me in the day of trouble; I will deliver you, and you shall glorify Me” (Psalm 50:15).

The theme of disaster runs throughout Joel’s book. There are the locust plagues, famine, raging fires, invading armies, and fearful phenomena in “the heavens” (cosmos). But Joel does not give way to despair. Hopeful promises from God are interspersed between pronouncements of the judgments which the people have brought on themselves.


Lord God, I am blessed with food and drink in abundance; some of these provisions are the result of modern technology along with the plants that You have created. But modernity has also brought with it bigger troubles than ever, it would seem. I think about today’s world and I cry out to You! I pray the promises You have made to humanity and to me personally. As Jeremiah, known as the weeping prophet, reminded me, You said, O Lord, “Call to Me, and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jeremiah 33:3). I cry out to You in the Name (the Person) of the Lord Jesus Christ (Messiah). Amen!!!


The “Crossroads” ministry has received well over 10 million telephone calls from people crying out to the Lord, with the help of our prayer partners. Through the years, we have referred to Jeremiah 33:3 as God’s telephone number (“Call to me and I will answer you…”). I’ve called 1-866-273-4444 (our 24/7 prayer line) from home, on the road, and even from my office upstairs, when I was President, to the Prayer Ministry Centre in times of trouble. What a blessing! Jesus said, “Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in Heaven” (Matthew 18:19).

When Joel says that even the beasts of the field “cry out” to the Lord, I thought of the many times when, as a teenager, I would do chores for a local farmer. I would arrive at the barn to find the cows bawling for their morning supply of hay. I would oblige them and while they munched contentedly, I would help to milk them. There is a branch of philosophy that says, “Learn from the animals.” Many times over the years I’ve “bawled” and would “cry out” to the Lord! The way I bawled did not sound like the cows, but it surely was an indicator of the fervency level of my prayers. James wrote, “The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much!” (James 5:16b). The righteous part I leave for God to judge, and I claim that promise from God.

Yours for “crying out” loud, if we feel we need to (and we don’t bother others too much!),


18 thoughts on “Friday, April 1, 2022

  1. APRIL

    Holy Spirit, Truth Divine
    Samuel Longfellow (1864)

    “Holy Spirit, Truth divine,
    dawn upon this soul of mine.
    Voice of God, and inward Light,
    wake my spirit, clear my sight.

    Holy Spirit, Love divine,
    glow within this heart of mine.
    Kindle ev’ry high desire,
    purify me with your fire.

    Holy Spirit, Pow’r divine,
    fill and nerve this will of mine.
    Boldly may I always live,
    bravely serve and gladly give.

    Holy Spirit, Law divine,
    reign within this soul of mine.
    Be my law and I shall be
    firmly bound, forever free.

    Holy Spirit, Peace divine,
    still this restless heart of mine.
    Speak to calm this tossing sea,
    grant me your tranquility.

    Holy Spirit, Joy divine,
    gladden now this heart of mine.
    In the desert ways I sing,
    spring, O living Water, spring!”

    Author: Samuel Longfellow
    Longfellow, Samuel, B. A., brother of the Poet, was born at Portland, Maine, June 18, 1819, and educated at Harvard, where he graduated in Arts in 1839, and in Theology in 1846. On receiving ordination as an Unitarian Minister, he became Pastor at Fall River, Massachusetts, 1848; at Brooklyn, 1853; and at Germantown, Pennsylvania, 1860. In 1846 he edited, with the Rev. S. Johnson (q. v.), A Book of Hymns for Public and Private Devotion. This collection was enlarged and revised in 1848. In 1859 his Vespers was published, and in 1864 the Unitarian Hymns of the Spirit , under the joint editorship of the Rev. S. Johnson and himself. His Life of his brother, the Poet Longfellow, was published in 1886.

    Holy Spirit, Truth Divine

    • Praying you receive positive results for Edward today, Eleanor. For his continued healing and strength that rests in the Lord. Also prayers for your comfort, peace of mind and fortitude. Amen. 🙏

    • Thank you for the beautiful prayer poem, Beverlee.

      Father, bless all those reaching out to others. Use their work to bring many to You, in Jesus’s great name, amen

    • Welcome back Beverlee Kay and thank you for the poem by Samuel Longfellow. Hope you are feeling strong and healthy.
      Thanking the Lord and praying for you and all the those on this blog

  2. Amen Beverley and Rob and thanks for the poem and the link
    Continuing to pray for Ukraine and Russia and all bloggers.
    May the Lord bless and keep us all safe and put his healing hands on all those in need of healing
    I will be checking back later for the prayer map of Canada for today

      • Thank you Beverlee, it was a lot to take in, but Dr Lee wants to try him on taking one more Chemo pill. She says he will have to go to the hospital for blood tests and if needed he may need a transfusion. She didn’t get the results for the bone marrow test and is supposed to call us. I do appreciate you and the others who are praying for him.
        I pray for you and hope you get your operation very soon.🤗

  3. Praying for Kate, who denies belief In God, but because of problems in public school, she’s planning on transferring her children to a Christian school. The meeting (with her kids) takes place tomorrow (Saturday). Please pray that the Lord will open the door for them and that their eyes (mother & kids) and understanding will be opened to truth. Thanks

  4. Please let me know if you would like me to continue to post the “Prayer Map of Canada”. I am doing a study on different scriptures and could share highlights from this study from time to time.

  5. Yes Doreen please continue with the prayer map of Canada if you are able. I really appreciate it and I’m sure the scripture study would also be meaningful. I know I appreciate all the help I can get. You are a blessing

    • Totally agree with HJR, Charlene and super enjoyed the Song that you posted.
      Great to have Beverlee’s poem and song. Hope and pray that you are feeling better? How is your Book going?
      Glad Eleanor’s, Edward seems to be getting good Medical care, though we all know this is a very difficult journey.
      Thankful that God is with you ( all of us) always. May you rest in Him.

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