Deuteronomy 1:1-8

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

Deuteronomy 1:1-8
These are the words that Moses spoke to all Israel beyond the Jordan in the wilderness, in the Arabah opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel, Laban, Hazeroth, and Dizahab. It is eleven days’ journey from Horeb by the way of Mount Seir to Kadesh-barnea. In the fortieth year, on the first day of the eleventh month, Moses spoke to the people of Israel according to all that the Lord had given him in commandment to them, after he had defeated Sihon the king of the Amorites, who lived in Heshbon, and Og the king of Bashan, who lived in Ashtaroth and in Edrei. Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying, “The Lord our God said to us in Horeb, ‘You have stayed long enough at this mountain. Turn and take your journey, and go to the hill country of the Amorites and to all their neighbors in the Arabah, in the hill country and in the lowland and in the Negeb and by the seacoast, the land of the Canaanites, and Lebanon, as far as the great river, the river Euphrates. See, I have set the land before you. Go in and take possession of the land that the Lord swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give to them and to their offspring after them.’

From this passage I hear God asking me:
What land have I set before you?
Can you see it?
Have you taken it?
What are you waiting for?

Babysitting Blog Break – I’m Nervous and Excited

There are probably about 7 of you out there who care about this, but I plan to take a break from the blog next week.

Here’s why:

Our daughter and son-in-law are celebrating their tenth anniversary with a trip to Jamaica. For some reason, they don’t want to take their kids with them.

I know, I don’t understand it either.

So, our three grandkids (ages 9, 7 and 1) are spending the week at Nana & Pop’s house.

Iris 9, Oliver 1, Asher 7

I love these kids more than life itself, and I know we’re gonna have lots of fun, but I have to admit I’m a little nervous.

All 3

For one thing, while I like having fun as much as the next guy, I’m getting to the age where I like my “fun” in smaller portions…with rest breaks in between.

For another thing, we’ve never had to manage three kids before. Even when we were young, two was our limit!

So, yeah, I’m a little nervous.

But I’m also a little excited.

I’m excited that we get this chance to make what I hope will be good and lasting memories. I know how much I cherish my memories of my grandparents. I want Iris, Asher and Oliver to have some of those same kinds of memories of us. I think about this often. This week might be an ideal opportunity to make some of those lasting memories.

But I’m also excited for Kate & Timm.

July 15, 2006

Yeah, I’m happy that they get to take a special trip like this, but mostly I’m excited that they have a good marriage. One that is worthy of celebration. I can’t tell you how thrilled I am that, in this day of disposable relationships, my grandkids have a mother and father who love each other and are committed to one another for the long haul. This is truly priceless.

So, anyway, you won’t see anything new here for about a week.

Or, until I rest up from all the fun!

Lloyd

Psalm 37:30-40

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 37:25-40
25 I have been young, and now am old,
    yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken
    or his children begging for bread.
26 He is ever lending generously,
    and his children become a blessing.

27 Turn away from evil and do good;
    so shall you dwell forever.
28 For the Lord loves justice;
    he will not forsake his saints.
They are preserved forever,
    but the children of the wicked shall be cut off.
29 The righteous shall inherit the land
    and dwell upon it forever.

30 The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom,
    and his tongue speaks justice.
31 The law of his God is in his heart;
    his steps do not slip.

32 The wicked watches for the righteous
    and seeks to put him to death.
33 The Lord will not abandon him to his power
    or let him be condemned when he is brought to trial.

34 Wait for the Lord and keep his way,
    and he will exalt you to inherit the land;
    you will look on when the wicked are cut off.

35 I have seen a wicked, ruthless man,
    spreading himself like a green laurel tree.[a]
36 But he passed away,[b] and behold, he was no more;
    though I sought him, he could not be found.

37 Mark the blameless and behold the upright,
    for there is a future for the man of peace.
38 But transgressors shall be altogether destroyed;
    the future of the wicked shall be cut off.

39 The salvation of the righteous is from the Lord;
    he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
40 The Lord helps them and delivers them;
    he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
    because they take refuge in him.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Do you observe vs. 25 & 26 to be true?
How so?
What do you think it means to have “the law of God” in your heart?
Do you have it there?
How do you get it there?

Weekend Picks ~ 7-15-2016

Picks Weekend

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

If I could make this required reading, I would…

Election 2016: Why Should Evangelicals Even Care Anymore?
Bruce Ashford
LightstockEvangelicals, this is the era of American history into which we were born. This is when the Lord determined would be best for us to serve him. Will we waste it by walking away in despair? Will we squander it by engaging out of fear and anger? Or will we embrace the opportunity—remembering whom we serve and where our hope resides?

We must choose the latter. We can’t let our losses and disappointments drive us to apathy, resignation, and withdrawal. But at the same time, we can’t discredit our witness by living in the kind of self-righteous outrage and perpetual hatred that political activism often fosters.

We must engage in politics and public life with a renewed sense of purpose, acting out of grace and joy rather than anger and fear. We must pray for wisdom and courage to speak faithfully in our own era, just as other Christians have done in theirs. And if we choose this path, the path of Christian witness, we might even see it eventuate in the social, cultural, and political renewal we so fervently seek. This is our God-given moment. Let’s not waste it.


People, not culture…

Stop Engaging ‘The Culture,’ Because It Doesn’t Exist
Andy Crouch
Andy Crouch: Stop Engaging 'The Culture,' Because It Doesn't Exist…our mission is not primarily to “engage the culture” but to “love our neighbor.” Our neighbor is not an abstract collective noun, but a real person in a real place. By God’s grace, the cultural creativity required to fully love that neighbor may end up having lasting influence. Or, by God’s grace, we may be spared the complexity and compromises that can creep in with cultural power.

Either way, we will be ready to be the people of God in our cities and neighborhoods, among every ethnicity and nation, living faithfully within our particular cultures and trusting God to weave out of our faithfulness the cosmic redemption he has promised and accomplished through his Son. Which is to say, we will be “the church.”


And all the people are our neighbors…

Why Bother Caring When the World Is Going to Hell
Tim Fall
https://timfall.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/jan_wijnants_-_parable_of_the_good_samaritan.jpg
People are dying.

Hospitals, airports, tree-lined streets; people at work, people at play and people at worship; those in need of protection and those charged with protecting them – there is no safe place, no safe gathering.

They are being killed abroad and here in my own country…

…There are no borders, no lines drawn on a map, that say “These people on my side are included in humanity, and those on the other side are not.” The Great Command to love your neighbor is not limited by proximity, nor by nationality, nor by lineage, nor by beliefs…

…Because when it happens to one it happens to all, and it’s happening right now to your neighbor.


I just thought this was fascinating…

The Sound So Loud That It Circled the Earth Four Times
Aatish Bhatia
Krakatoa eruption lithographOn August 27, 1883, the Earth let out a noise louder than any it has made since.

It was 10:02 a.m. local time when the sound emerged from the island of Krakatoa, which sits between Java and Sumatra in Indonesia. It was heard 1,300 miles away in the Andaman and Nicobar islands (“extraordinary sounds were heard, as of guns firing”); 2,000 miles away in New Guinea and Western Australia (“a series of loud reports, resembling those of artillery in a north-westerly direction”); and even 3,000 miles away in the Indian Ocean island of Rodrigues, near Mauritius (“coming from the eastward, like the distant roar of heavy guns.”)1 In all, it was heard by people in over 50 different geographical locations, together spanning an area covering a thirteenth of the globe.


https://wronghands1.files.wordpress.com/2016/07/stephen-king-spoilers.jpg
Wrong Hands

Psalm 37:1-11

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 37:1-11
Fret not yourself because of evildoers;
    be not envious of wrongdoers!
For they will soon fade like the grass
    and wither like the green herb.

Trust in the Lord, and do good;
    dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.[b]
Delight yourself in the Lord,
    and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Commit your way to the Lord;
    trust in him, and he will act.
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light,
    and your justice as the noonday.

Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him;
    fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way,
    over the man who carries out evil devices!

Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
    Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off,
    but those who wait for the Lord shall inherit the land.

10 In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
    though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
11 But the meek shall inherit the land
    and delight themselves in abundant peace.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Can you think of some wicked people who seem to prosper?
Maybe some politicians?
How does that make you feel?
Do you trust me?
Don’t worry about them, I have the situation in hand.
What about you?
You “commit your way” to me. (v. 5)
I (not you) will act.
You be still…and wait…I’ve got this.

Thursday Picks ~ 7-14-2016

Picks Thursday

This is some stuff I found helpful, challenging, interesting, or amusing today that I think may enrich your day as well...

We need lots more of this…

My Church Is Having A Cookout This WeekendJay Sanders
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We’re not doing it in my backyard or even on our church property. We’re doing it at the Jackson Housing Authority. Most of the people who live at the Jackson Housing Authority are black. But this isn’t one of those deals where the white church tries to step in and save the black community. We’re not having a cookout to feed the folks at the Jackson Housing Authority. We’re having a cookout to eat with the people at the Jackson Housing Authority.

Oh, and there’s another group of people who are invited to our cookout.

The police.

The relationship between the police and the people in the community where I live is very good. But we want it to stay that way and we don’t want to sit back and wait for something terrible to happen before we decide to act. We don’t want to sit back and wait for our tribe to tell us what to think or do. We don’t want to allow the media to reinforce whatever stereotypes we may have.

We want to follow Jesus.

And when we follow Jesus, we will always be walking toward hurting people.


It Can Wait: Our Impatient World Needs Our Patience
Aaron Earls
patienceOur culture is one that demands immediacy, while simultaneously begging us to demonstrate patience…

…Patience is a virtue with which we should be familiar. It is a fruit of the Spirit and a character trait we often want others to display toward us. But have Christians so adopted the cultural demand for now that we are no longer seeking to live out the characteristic of a Spirit-filled life?

…We can see a consistent theme of patience in Scripture. The Bible is a book of hope and waiting. We can wait because we have seen God fulfill His promises in His perfect timing.

“It can wait” because we know one day our waiting will pay off.


Practice Isn’t Enough: What Gives Musicians Longevity
David Santistevan
PRACTICE ISN'T ENOUGHIt’s all about practice, right? Well, sort of. Studies have shown that it needs to be the right kind of practice. As we all know (maybe from experience), it’s possible to take piano lessons for 15 years and not really know how to play the piano…

…That’s because simply showing up and putting in the time won’t make you great. There’s an often neglected aspect to music development that we don’t talk about much. What is it?

It’s love. In particular, it’s learning to love the grind. Appreciating the boredom. If you find no joy in the process, you won’t have the patience it takes to become great.

Let me speak to music educators for a moment: Are we spending too much time teaching technique and not enough time inspiring students to love? To love their instrument, to love music, to love the painful journey of learning?


http://bizarro.com/wp-content/uploads/2016/07/bz-panel-07-05-16.jpg
Bizarro

Psalm 36

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 36
Transgression speaks to the wicked
    deep in his heart;[a]
there is no fear of God
    before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes
    that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit;
    he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed;
    he sets himself in a way that is not good;
    he does not reject evil.

Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens,
    your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God;
    your judgments are like the great deep;
    man and beast you save, O Lord.

How precious is your steadfast love, O God!
    The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house,
    and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life;
    in your light do we see light.

10 Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you,
    and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
11 Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me,
    nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
12 There the evildoers lie fallen;
    they are thrust down, unable to rise.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Time for a little introspection:
Does transgression speak to you deep in your heart? (v.1)
What does that make you?
Where do you seek refuge? (v. 7)
Do you find it?
Who are the “children of mankind”?
Read over verses 7-9 again.
There is something important there. What do you think it is?

Psalm 35

The idea of these little devotionals is simple. I want to approach scripture with the understanding that God is speaking. I’m reading through the Bible and listening for God to ask me questions. I expect these questions to be fairly open-ended and plan to carry them in my mind throughout the day. I’ll share these questions with you in the hope that you find them challenging and helpful.

The book of Psalms is commonly thought of as a collection of the worship music of the Israelites. They were meant to be sung. These are worship songs that God appreciated enough to make sure they were preserved for us. Let’s see if we can find out why…

Psalm 35
Contend, O Lord, with those who contend with me;
    fight against those who fight against me!
Take hold of shield and buckler
    and rise for my help!
Draw the spear and javelin[a]
    against my pursuers!
Say to my soul,
    “I am your salvation!”

Let them be put to shame and dishonor
    who seek after my life!
Let them be turned back and disappointed
    who devise evil against me!
Let them be like chaff before the wind,
    with the angel of the Lord driving them away!
Let their way be dark and slippery,
    with the angel of the Lord pursuing them!

For without cause they hid their net for me;
    without cause they dug a pit for my life.[b]
Let destruction come upon him when he does not know it!
And let the net that he hid ensnare him;
    let him fall into it—to his destruction!

Then my soul will rejoice in the Lord,
    exulting in his salvation.
10 All my bones shall say,
    “O Lord, who is like you,
delivering the poor
    from him who is too strong for him,
    the poor and needy from him who robs him?”

11 Malicious[c] witnesses rise up;
    they ask me of things that I do not know.
12 They repay me evil for good;
    my soul is bereft.[d]
13 But I, when they were sick—
    I wore sackcloth;
    I afflicted myself with fasting;
I prayed with head bowed[e] on my chest.
14     I went about as though I grieved for my friend or my brother;
as one who laments his mother,
    I bowed down in mourning.

15 But at my stumbling they rejoiced and gathered;
    they gathered together against me;
wretches whom I did not know
    tore at me without ceasing;
16 like profane mockers at a feast,[f]
    they gnash at me with their teeth.

17 How long, O Lord, will you look on?
    Rescue me from their destruction,
    my precious life from the lions!
18 I will thank you in the great congregation;
    in the mighty throng I will praise you.

19 Let not those rejoice over me
    who are wrongfully my foes,
and let not those wink the eye
    who hate me without cause.
20 For they do not speak peace,
    but against those who are quiet in the land
    they devise words of deceit.
21 They open wide their mouths against me;
    they say, “Aha, Aha!
    Our eyes have seen it!”

22 You have seen, O Lord; be not silent!
    O Lord, be not far from me!
23 Awake and rouse yourself for my vindication,
    for my cause, my God and my Lord!
24 Vindicate me, O Lord, my God,
    according to your righteousness,
    and let them not rejoice over me!
25 Let them not say in their hearts,
    “Aha, our heart’s desire!”
Let them not say, “We have swallowed him up.”

26 Let them be put to shame and disappointed altogether
    who rejoice at my calamity!
Let them be clothed with shame and dishonor
    who magnify themselves against me!

27 Let those who delight in my righteousness
    shout for joy and be glad
    and say evermore,
“Great is the Lord,
    who delights in the welfare of his servant!”
28 Then my tongue shall tell of your righteousness
    and of your praise all the day long.

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Do you have any enemies?
Have you asked me to help overcome them?
How about Satan? Is he your enemy?
Have you asked me to help overcome him?
Are you comfortable being this honest with me?
I am.