Today’s GODWORD is Children

I have been sending the GODWORD-a daily text or emailed blessing daily for several years. You can receive it by sending your cell or email address to revavanhooser@ aol.com or click the follow button and read it here. No personal info. is ever shared! See the next post for background information.

Your daily GODWORD is children

Matthew 21:16 “Do you hear what these children are saying?” they asked him. “Yes,” replied Jesus, “have you never read, “ ‘From the lips of children and infants you, Lord, have called forth your praise’?”

Blessed are we when we are in the presence of children. They teach us how to keep things simple. Praise! Alan van Hooser

Previous GODWORD’s

Your daily GODWORD is fear

Luke 12:4 “I tell you, my friends, don’t be terrified by those who can kill the body but after that can do nothing more. I’ll show you whom you should fear: fear the one who, after you have been killed, has the authority to throw you into hell. Indeed, I tell you, that’s the one you should fear.

Keep your heart fearless of people that torment. Fear those who subtly turn your head. Seek God all-ways

🌀! Your daily Godword is Patience

Roman’s 12:12 “Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”

“Patience”literally means “to suffer”. Patience in trials is God’s classroom for faith. Hang in there, find joy in troubled times knowing that God is there with you. Alan van Hooser

Louis! Your daily GODWORD is urgent
Revelation 1:3 “Blessed is the one who reads aloud the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear, and who keep what is written in it, for the time is near.”

Prepare urgently to slow down daily life. Intensely pay attention because God is at work just as urgently. Alan van Hooser

Your daily Godword is discernment

1 John 4:1 “Dear friends, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world.”

Discernment is listening, testing and then taking action on what God desires rather than what we like. What does God want in your day?

Your daily Godword is certainty

Psalm 55:22 “Cast your burden on the Lord, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.”

Move through life with certainty only by holding onto an unmovable God who loves and leads you. Anxiety is optional! Alan Van hooser

Todays GODWORD is Strong
Joshua 1:9 “Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you will go.

Prayer is portable. God make the bold strong wherever they go. Pray large today and let God be large. Alan van Hooser

Alan! Your daily GODWORD is seasons

Ecclesiastes 1:9 “What has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done, and there is nothing new under the sun.”

We did not invent trouble. It is not new and only lasts for it’s season. Pray, don’t fret. This too shall pass. Alan van hooser

Ecclesiastes 7:8 “Better is the end of a thing than its beginning, and the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. “

Every project, day and life is in transition. Do not fear the ride but enjoy it instead. You are a work in progress. You will get there! Alan Van Hooser

Your daily Godword is sure

Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God”

Faith in God is a gift from God. It is sure and certain and the source of all blessings. Walk in the sure-ness of His faith. Alan van Hooser

Your daily God word is bond

Ephesians 4 :1 “Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.”

May your bond and vow the unity with God and with his church. May the peace of Jesus flow from you in every breath. Alan Vanhooser

Your daily Godword is stronger

Deuteronomy 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.”

Loving God is the source of our strength and gives the potential to God size love with one another. Love stronger today. -Alan Van hooser

Alan! Your daily GODWORD is healing

2 Peter 3:9 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

God is in the healing business. His healing is certain and starts with your spirit. Wait patently-healing is at hand. -Alan van Hooser

🌀! Your Sunday morning GODWORD prayers for worship

John 4:23 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him.”

I’m missing Sunday worship due to COVID and feel cheated. Pray for our worship leaders and celebrate their gift to us made in Jesus name. Rejoice! Don’t take your hour for granted!

Your daily Godword is prayer

Ephesians 1:18 “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in his holy people”

A day of low physical energy is a day of tremendous spiritual potential. Invest your energy in prayer today. Alan Van hooser

Today I am positive for COVID for the first time. Prayers for healing for all of us who are struggling with health today! Alan.

Your daily GODWORD is Spirit

Acts 2:3 “And tongues that looked like fire appeared to them, distributing themselves, and a tongue rested on each one of them.”

Sometimes God just shows up. Is today that day for you? Invest your heart in the life of worship. Be ready! -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is finished

2 Corinthians 8:11 “But now finish doing it also, so that just as there was the readiness to desire it, so there may be also the completion of it by your ability.”

The “it” of faith is to Know and share generously the grace Jesus shows you. Church Meetings don’t matter until this is accomplished. Alan van Hooser

your daily GODWORD is together

Acts 2:1-47 “When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. “

The church is made of relationships gathered by the winds of the Spirit. Enjoy the rush, be the church. -Alan van Hooser


Your daily GODWORD is distraction
Proverbs 4:25. “Let your eyes look directly forward, and your gaze be straight before you. Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Do not swerve to the right or to the left; turn your foot away from evil.”

Toxic distraction are stealing our days. Fight for your focus with Gods word and a ready prayer. -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is Monday

1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.”

“Monday” is not a swear word but a fresh start. Stand for God and make each moment a ministry. -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is healing

James 5:15 “And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.”

Physical healing leads us to Gods real motive, the healing of our soul through forgiveness. See and share your healing today. -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is Community

Galatians 6:10 “So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.”

The life in Christ is a life together. Strengthen your community and you strengthen everyone’s faith, including yours! -Alan van Hooser

Your daily Godword is family

Psalm 127:3 “Children are a heritage from the LORD, offspring a reward from him. Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are children born in one’s youth. Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them.”

Family is that reward we work the hardest for, a life sentence of satisfyingly wonderful frustration. Praise God for them all! -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is community
Proverbs 27:17 “Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another.”

We are stronger, smarter, happier and more faith filled when we live in community. Sharpen another’s faith and watch yours grow today! -Alan van Hooser

your daily Godword is Journey

Psalm 119:104 “Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way. Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.”

Life is a journey, the Bible a map and Jesus our flashlight. Don’t wander aimlessly in the dark. Travel confidently In Christ today. -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is health

3 John 1:2 “Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul”

“How is it with your soul?” Is a better question than “how’re you doin’ “ good health is being at peace. Care for soul and body today. -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is Rehab

Ezekiel 36:26 “And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh”

God is the ultimate physical therapy, touching beyond the muscle to meet the soul. Take your broken heart to God today. Jesus hears you! – Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is afterward

Psalm 23:4 “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.”

Faith rules in storm and shadow. Remember to keep faith up front during fair winds and light. Walk fearlessly always and all days. -Alan van Hooser

Your daily GODWORD is actions

Colossians 3:17 “And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.”

Hurt or help, worry or pray, you are what you do. “ Do” life as an offering to God and become your actions. Be a thanksgiving and others will give thanks for you. -Alan van Hooser

(c) Alan Van Hooser, “The Thoughtful Pastor”, 2022 all rights reserved.

Meet the Day; Lose the “MASK”

Face coverings come in many styles ranging from industrial-disposable blue to fashion-colored bling. One man, seen at Kroger, wore one with the lower half of his own face printed on it. They help filter any COVID laden spit, can help our current crisis and certainly won’t hurt anything.   Meet the Day, Wear this MASK.

Equipping skill: being transparent with God by faith and growing in genuineness with others

There another mask that we choose to wear to make us feel safer.  This one  won’t help but does hurt and some choose to wear them anyway. This is the false face we often use to hide our true self.  I don’t mean a positive attitude in a bad situation or the courtesy of not unpacking your emotional junk in a social situation. Wear this mask, Lose the day.  This mask is the stress inducing false face that we wear before others when we think we aren’t enough.

Face coverings mess up our communications. From Travis Bradberry, (wearing masks)“…our facial expressions are blocked. And we rely on facial expressions to understand emotions when words are mismatched with tone even more than you might think. According to a UCLA study, facial expressions account for 55% of successful communication when words and tone sound inconsistent.” Protective masks can create misunderstanding in communication, whether intentional or not.

Intentional false coving is far more destructive. The energy needed to maintain it is exhausting. We eventually believe the lie and even think we can hide our true self from God. This denies access to God’s forgiveness and blocks the daily living communion with God that we desperately need. This mask tells God to step back, that we are the authors of our faith, and we lose the capacity to be genuine with God or people.

Romans 12:9-13 says, “Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality.”

This describes the true face of faith, the place of healing and the source of peace. The genuine life is loving, rejoicing, hope filled and lived in ACTION. So, live well. Cover your mouth and nose. Uncover your heart. You are His beloved, you are enough and you don’t need the false stuff. This is where true life comes from. Live it well.

Pray the REBEL’s prayer with me, “Jesus in you I am enough!”

Worship in Post-Covid Christianity

“Corona’s” Extra Lessons for Life

Bottom Line…Worship, especially Christian worship, is a lifestyle and not a scheduled event in a fixed place.

There is nothing wrong with worship as a congregation in a church building. Problems arise when the building becomes the only place where God is at work. The pandemic forced us to look at options. We gathered on Facebook live, streamed Bible studies, and did our best to say connected. In other words, we innovated to worship together. The Hebrews innovated, the first brutalized Christians innovated, and over the centuries our organizations would be challenged and changed.

This season of Corona/COVID has forced this return to ancient ways. The followers of the Christ-Way worshiped around campfires, dinner tables and in crowded markets. Christians would hide together through three centuries of persecution and then finally become legit in 337 AD. It would be 500 more years before a parish/church structure would be organized. This was modeled after the Jewish synagogues organized in the Sinai desert by Moses. Until the 800’s, worship was sent out into the world rather than calling the world into a building. From here would come fractures, arguments, atrocities, renaissance, reform and cycles of revival. And then…COVID

So, Here we are being challenged by a virus and, for the most part, have risen to the occasion-we have worshiped together in different ways. I pray we will not stop but see this season as permission to worship together in more than one way. Christians! Insist on it. Lead new ways to share the Gospel in ways that celebrate Christian Salvation and not simply promote our “Brand”. GO for it!

The second gift of COVID is to give permission to quiet, contemplative and personal ways of worship. Permission to turn off the music and listen. How can you and I reclaim a quiet time. There are many apps, book and helps. This blog has a section called “My mornings with Thomas Merton”. This will follow a nine month season of reading and journaling his book, “Contemplative Prayer” devotionally. As a Christian disciple, or just a “spiritual” person seeking answers, reclaim the silence where God can take hold of our hearts.

Here are some resources for your Reflection: The Centering Prayer App from Contemplative Outreach, books, “Centering Prayer” by Basil Pennington, Centering Prayer in Daily Life and Ministry by Thomas Keating, The War Room Bible Study by Stephen Kendrick, and “How to Lead When You Don’t Know Where You are Going: Leading in a Liminal Season” by Susan Beaumont

My homemade prayer bench, sharing space with a few plants on my back porch. Boring to some, precious to me.

Not So Virtual Worship

Psalm 145: “Jehovah is near to all that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth.”

Equipping skill-keeping worship genuine regardless of technology. (As I was writing this post, we had a Covid exposure and shut down our in- person worship for two weeks! It is more important than ever to keep our “in-video”worship REAL!)

Hearts open even with faces covered

We are in a chapter of Porter Texas-Friendship UMC’s history that has as many people worshiping online as are meeting in person. We have been calling this video worship, “Virtual” but what does that really mean.


According to Webster’s dictionary, the definition of “virtual” is, “Adjective-almost or nearly as described, but not completely or according to strict definition. “Similar, Near, Or near enough”,
to all intents and purposes not physically existing as such but made by software to appear to do so.

I will never again refer to our online worship as “Virtual”. It’s “In-Video “

When we gather to worship, whether online or in-person, ourworship is not “Almost” or just the appearance of being true worship. When we gather, we gather around the truth of God in Jesus Christ, expecting to meet Him face to face. THIS IS TRUE WORSHIP and not just “near enough.

Some prefer the video, I love the people, the buzz of interaction, and the unpredictability of the live and in-person gathering of God’s Called out disciples! But, here we are in Covid’s place when online, in-video worship is either our only option or our best option.

What can we do to create true worship from a remote location? Here are some suggestions that keep the Good News in our online worship experiences.

  • Pray for God’s presence to be touchable before turning on your device
  • Turn off non-essential stuff and tune in to the people around you. Use the largest screen available
  • EXPECT God to touch your heart. Ask him to show up
  • Worship with a Bible open, even if it is on your pajama clad lap
  • Watch all of the worship service and not just your favorite part
  • When its over ask, “What did I feel”, “What did I learn”, and “What am I going to Do!”
  • Prayerfully leave your device and then call someone from church and just talk for a while. We were never meant to worship alone!

God is near to all that truth-fully mean business in worship.  Whether on an Ipad or in a pew, God is engaged and inviting you and I to do the same. 

May your worship be warm, connecting and shareable. Jesus walks with you !

Worship outside when you have the opportunity

-Pastor Alan van Hooser

Faith is life: opening a produce bag while wearing a face covering

Faith is found in the practical…

Have you ever “prayed” over one those slick produce bags that just won’t open? In this season of face coverings in public, a mask adds to the frustration. I offer you a way and a challenge. Follow the video for a no-saliva option. Then, repurpose that passion! Pray positively with an energy equal to the frustration over opening a stubborn bag! Your life will change and you could build God’s kingdom with your witness.

Blessings to you as you bless. -pastor Alan

Christian Life Hacks-INTERACTIVE

Equipping Skill: strengthening your creative spirituality. Share you creative spiritual life “hacks” in a comment below.

The Internet Universe is over stuffed with “Hacks”, clever, small actions that improve your life. There are hundreds of thousands of “Hacks” out there showing you what you have been doing wrong. With them, you can improve everything in life from peeling pomegranates to ironing shirts. This is a list of spiritual life “hacks”. You aren’t necessarily doing them wrong but you might get a little jump start and experience a bigger spiritual impact.

Some of this list was collected from other places while others are my own. This is a living document. Please add your own in the comment section!

1. Bullet Point Journaling:“BUJO” has streamlined my rather hit-or-miss journaling. Another post on this blog shares my heavily adapted system. This system of journalling systematically and efficiently uses your journal as icon, focusing your spiritual goals in everyday living. The first page is an index followed by few pages of lists and goals. Know where you have been, where you are and where you are going in Christ through them. The rest creates space for daily lists of your encounters from each day. Rather than prose, you make bullet point lists-simple, clear and focused lists. One small blank book replaced my scattered notebooks.

2. Use color in your journal: I am not all that artistic but adding a cheap assortment of colored pens to my $5 blank book keeps me in the word longer and opens me up to the scripture from a different part of my brain. Simply adding the act of doodling helps me pray more creatively and connect with the word.

3. Create a “Monday Morning Briefing”: I have several e-mail devotional sources of different perspectives that I read each Monday and glance at through the week. This is an addition to and not a replacement of Scripture and prayer. Choose two or three-A single source is thin while more than three clutters your in-box. Here are my three:Craig Groeschel-leadership, Patheos-a variety of posts that either edify or tick me off, and “Talent Smart”/Travis Bradberry-Emotional intelligence.

4. Create an email account for devotional posts: This keeps Spiritual matters from becoming lost in the pile and keeps you from checking work stuff at prayer time. My IPhone made this easy to check.

5. Keep it simple: I have chosen a small blank drawing-paper book and a small double-spaced journaling testament for morning devotions. These reside in my bag and go wherever I go. Prefer a tech solution? There are journaling apps. While I carry an Ipad and phone, I find too many distractions for my ADD to manage. Analog or digital, keep it simple and easy.

6. Create a fixed devotional space with a mobile solution: My desk at home and at work are sacred spaces. At my knee is a bag where my prayer and devotional items live. I can work on sermons or pray through an issue wherever I am. My prioritized work list and prayer list share the same space and carry the same spiritual weight. Pictured below is a $7 plain dot-lined journal from Walmart and a $25 wide margin journaling Bible. They work without wearing out my main study Bible.

7. Make a photo of a critical prayer matter and use it as phone wallpaper: My kids, grands and church family rotate across the front of my phone as a reminder to pray and not just talk about praying. Even if you are just praying about bad weather, keep it up front.

8. Bookend your day with God: Condition yourself to make prayer your first conscious thought and a disciplined habit of your final thought as you go to sleep. This simple habit will change your life in Christ.

9. Turn those daily repetitive task into prayer time: I hate unloading the dishwasher and folding clothes but look forward to the prayer time. These mindless tasks are exceptionally rich times for prayer. The old monks worked with their hands while they prayed. We can make any space sacred.

10. Make Lists: In your journal, make Lists of Books read, edifying movies watched, Bible verses by topic, birds watched, prayers answered, and whatever else that provides focus and depth for your devotional time.

11. Own a Psalm: Choose one psalm, pray through it until you own it, then choose another. This is God’s own devotional book and will open you up to spiritual riches.

12. Have and be a prayer partner: Devotional time is solitary but you were never meant to travel along. Find your intercessor then be available to someone else. NOTHING opens a disciple of Jesus up to deeper things like blessing another person in prayer.

13. Have a place with a purpose. Pray in the same place daily. Mine is a bench on the back porch. Other friends claim the car, bathtub, a Cubicle office drawer, a special chair, closet, or space by a window as that space where their body is trained to pray. You can decorate it lavishly or keep it secret as needed.