Monday Picks ~ 11-21-2016

Picks Monday

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

I have to constantly remind myself of this…

Encourage One AnotherDane Ortlund
…the great privilege we have when we gather with other believers—other obnoxious believers, other theologically imprecise believers, other spiritually sleepy believers, other frustrating believers, other sinning believers—is of passing on horizontally a taste of what we’ve been given vertically…

The question, then, is why do you speak the words you do? Why do you speak the way you do? What is the aroma of your words? Are you spraying bullets, forgetting God has set down the gun rightly aimed at you? Do you speak to others the way you wish to be spoken to? What kind of speech has given you life as you consider meaningful relationships in your past? Do you ever—ever—look another human being in the face and say to them the following words: “May I tell you something I admire about you?”


I highly recommend this introduction to a sermon by my friend, Steve Cuss…

The Elephant (And Donkey) In the Room and the Kingdom ManifestoSteve Cuss
https://multihatpastor.files.wordpress.com/2016/05/cropped-steve-cuss-banner-print.jpg
In God’s kingdom, powerful people always move toward powerless people. Jesus was the very model of finding marginalized people, humans that society had deemed unclean or unwelcome and welcomed them into community…None of us who encounter Christ stay the same.  Behold the old has gone and the new has come. In Christ, you are a new creation. The church exists as an outpost of God’s Kingdom welcoming all humans and honoring their inherent dignity and value.

Russell Moore said, “We’re not getting anywhere as long as we gather in church with people we’d gather with if Jesus were still dead.”

I understand that recent days have caused a great deal of harm and damage, but we as a church are part of a global Kingdom. Many are concerned that the values of the Kingdom are being lost in our country today and quite honestly, you have every reason to be concerned. You are not wrong in your analysis. Nations rise and nations fall and no one knows if we are rising or falling right now. … Historically in nations that are falling, the privileged are the most surprised. But the church does not need external cultural judo christian scaffolding to prop it up and keep it animated from the outside. What I’m saying is, the church does not need a culture to share its values in order to be the church.


I wish our president-elect would learn how to respond from his vice president-elect…

Pence on Getting Booed at ‘Hamilton’:
That’s What Freedom Sounds Like
While being interviewed on Fox News Sunday, Pence said, “My daughter and I and her cousins really enjoyed the show. ‘Hamilton’ is just an incredible production, incredibly talented people. It was a real joy to be there. When we arrived we heard a few boos, and we heard some cheers. I nudged my kids and reminded them that is what freedom sounds like.”


The powerful seduction of ‘powerless’Seth Godin
Image result for seth godin
Where do conspiracy theories come from?

…People make up inane theories about various cabals that are secretly controlling this or that.

In fact, the more information and leverage we each have, the more inclined the culture seems to embrace stories of puppetry, conspiracy and control.

Because it lets us off the hook…

She’s been quoted a million times, but people don’t really listen to the essence of Marianne Williamson’s quote: “Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.”

This is enervating. It would be so much more comforting if it were up to someone else…

On the other hand, knowing that we can connect, publish, inspire, lead, build, describe, invent, encourage and (especially) teach, means that there’s no one better than us and no time like right now.

And if it helps, go find, organize and connect with others who feel as committed as you do.

Of course it’s frightening. But it’s important and it’s our turn.


Important stuff for church leaders…

“I Want My Old Church Back!”—Five Responses
Thom Rainer
i-want-my-old-church-back-five-responsesBut change is difficult. These members want their old church back. They want to do things the way they’ve always done them.

That church of the past, however, will not return. The pace of change is faster than ever, and it will only increase.

How do we respond to these hurting, and sometimes, angry people? Here are five responses…


Our Sunday worship at WOCC began with this song yesterday. I love it! In fact, it’s still running through my mind…

You have bought me back with the riches of,
Your amazing grace and relentless love.
I’m made alive forever with you, life forever
By your grace I’m saved,
By your grace I’m saved.

Little House on the Prairie…
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Bizarro – Click image for a larger view.

 

Deuteronomy 32:48-52

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 32:48-52
48 That very day the Lord spoke to Moses, 49 “Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession. 50 And die on the mountain which you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died in Mount Hor and was gathered to his people, 51 because you broke faith with me in the midst of the people of Israel at the waters of Meribah-kadesh, in the wilderness of Zin, and because you did not treat me as holy in the midst of the people of Israel. 52 For you shall see the land before you, but you shall not go there, into the land that I am giving to the people of Israel.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Does this moment feel bittersweet to you?
Take a few moments to reflect a bit on Moses’ life.
Kind of amazing, wasn’t it?
But, was it up to my standards?
Is yours?
What kind of a God do you think I am?
Where would you be without the gospel?

Don’t you want to thank someone?

Don’t You Want to Thank Someone?
©2012 Andrew Peterson

Can’t you feel it in your bones,
Something isn’t right here,
Something that you’ve always known,
But you don’t know why.

‘Cause every time the sun goes down
We face another night here.
Waiting for the world to spin around
Just to survive.

But when you see the morning sun,
Burning through a silver mist,
Don’t you want to thank someone?
Don’t you want to thank someone for this?

Don’t you ever wonder why,
In spite of all that’s wrong here,
There’s still so much that goes so right,
And beauty abounds?

‘Cause sometimes when you walk outside,
The air is full of song here.
The thunder rolls and the baby sighs,
And the rain comes down.

And when you see the spring has come,
And it warms you like a mother’s kiss,
Don’t you want to thank someone?
Don’t you want to thank someone for this?

I used to be a little boy,
As golden as a sunrise,
Breaking over Illinois,
When the corn was tall.

Yeah, but every little boy grows up,
And he’s haunted by the heart that died,
Longing for the world that was,
Before the Fall.

Oh, but then forgiveness comes,
A grace that I cannot resist,
And I just want to thank someone,
I just want to thank someone for this!

Now I can see the world is charged,
It’s glimmering with promises,
Written in a script of stars,
Dripping from prophets’ lips.

But still, my thirst is never slaked,
I am hounded by a restlessness,
Eaten by this endless ache,
But still I will give thanks for this.

‘Cause I can see it in the seas of wheat,
I can feel it when the horses run,
It’s howling in the snowy peaks,
It’s blazing in the midnight sun,

Just behind a veil of wind,
A million angels waiting in the wings,
A swirling storm of cherubim,
Making ready for the Reckoning.

Oh, how long, how long?
Oh, sing on, sing on!

And when the world is new again,
And the children of the King,
Are ancient in their youth again,
Maybe it’s a better thing,

To be more than merely innocent,
But to be broken then redeemed by love.
Maybe this old world is bent,
But it’s waking up!
And I’m waking up!

‘Cause I can hear the voice of one,
He’s crying in the wilderness,
“Make ready for the Kingdom Come!”
Don’t you want to thank someone for this?

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

http://miriadna.com/desctopwalls/images/max/Autumn-fields.jpg

Weekend Picks ~ 11-18-2016

Picks Weekend

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

I very much appreciated this by a long-time Democratic leader…

Open Letter to Hollywood After Trump Victory
Jeffrey Katzenberg
Historically, the office has always changed the man more than the man has changed the office. Every president has talked about how it affected him from the very first day. They find that, suddenly, the consequences of their words are … consequential. I think we saw the beginning of this awareness when our president-elect met with our president. A very different-sounding Donald Trump talked about it being “a great honor,” wanting to seek President Barack Obama’s future counsel and calling him “a very good man.”

I am hopeful we are going to be seeing more of this new Donald Trump when he is president…

Eight years ago, it was the reverse. There were 60 million Americans who were as dejected as we were jubilant. Now it’s our turn. This is why I remind myself that an election is just an inning of a game with no ending. Throwing down the bat and ball and leaving the park is not an option. Last Wednesday morning, a new inning and a new season began, and I am taking the field, fiercely determined and ready to compete.

And here’s why this is so important: Over time, this never-ending game results in real and demonstrable progress. This is why America is great and will keep getting greater — as long as we keep stepping up to the plate.

As this ultimate national pastime continues, I just want to make sure that, whatever path President-elect Trump chooses, the way of Candidate Trump will not be our way. We must not emulate him by creating a demagogue movement of our own that defames tens of millions of people who don’t share our point of view.

We could respond to hate with hate and fear with fear. However, if we do this, then we are no different and no better, and everyone loses.


We white Christians need to open our ears and hearts…

The Election Forces Us to Talk about Race
James T. Roberson III
The Election Forces Us to Talk about RaceAs an African-American who has operated in majority White contexts my whole life, I have had many conversations regarding race. Black people talk about race daily. It’s not a topic we can escape.

Yet White people have the privilege of being able to pick race as one of a myriad of topics that frustrate them. It’s by far one of the main reasons why White people don’t like to bring it up—because it’s simply not necessary.

I want to encourage my White brothers and sisters to consider taking the leap to discuss race. For this to happen, it’s probably best not to become defensive and think back to all the great interactions you have with Black people. It’s also not helpful to tell Black people that we make too big of a deal about race.

This election has brought out a heightened confidence among my White friends that my racial concerns regarding America are overblown and primarily based on the liberal media.

Meanwhile, nothing could be further from the truth.

If God were to grant you the courage to enter into a conversation regarding race consider steering clear from the below statements…


The Confusion About EnoughSeth Godin
Image result for seth godin
To watch people at work, it seems like we never have enough:

  • We need more social media likes
  • We want more market share
  • We demand more quick wins

And to see them at rest, it seems as though we never have enough:

  • Things to entertain us
  • Shallow friendships
  • Conspicuous displays of success

Which is why people talk about how they’re always falling behind and feel like they don’t have enough time.

But…

Lots of us walk around thinking we do have enough:

  • Education
  • Exposure to difficult topics
  • Situations where we need to change our mind
  • Silence
  • Deep relationships based on trust and commitment

I’m wondering what happens if we flip them?


I share this simply because I know that some older believers still have an issue with this…

Four Reasons Sunday Attire Is Important to Christian Millennials Thom Rainer
four-reasons-sunday-attire-is-important-to-christian-millennials…the issue of attire worn on Sundays (or whatever the worship day may be). Why is that issue important to Millennials? I recently had the opportunity to interview a number of these Christian young adults. Their responses may surprise you.


Mobile phone…
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Pearls Before Swine – Click image for a larger view.

Deuteronomy 31:30-32:43

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 31:30-32:43
30 Then Moses spoke the words of this song until they were finished, in the ears of all the assembly of Israel:

32 “Give ear, O heavens, and I will speak,
    and let the earth hear the words of my mouth.
May my teaching drop as the rain,
    my speech distill as the dew,
like gentle rain upon the tender grass,
    and like showers upon the herb.
For I will proclaim the name of the Lord;
    ascribe greatness to our God!

“The Rock, his work is perfect,
    for all his ways are justice.
A God of faithfulness and without iniquity,
    just and upright is he.
They have dealt corruptly with him;
    they are no longer his children because they are blemished;
    they are a crooked and twisted generation.
Do you thus repay the Lord,
    you foolish and senseless people?
Is not he your father, who created you,
    who made you and established you?
Remember the days of old;
    consider the years of many generations;
ask your father, and he will show you,
    your elders, and they will tell you.
When the Most High gave to the nations their inheritance,
    when he divided mankind,
he fixed the borders[a] of the peoples
    according to the number of the sons of God.[b]
But the Lord‘s portion is his people,
    Jacob his allotted heritage.

10 “He found him in a desert land,
    and in the howling waste of the wilderness;
he encircled him, he cared for him,
    he kept him as the apple of his eye.
11 Like an eagle that stirs up its nest,
    that flutters over its young,
spreading out its wings, catching them,
    bearing them on its pinions,
12 the Lord alone guided him,
    no foreign god was with him.
13 He made him ride on the high places of the land,
    and he ate the produce of the field,
and he suckled him with honey out of the rock,
    and oil out of the flinty rock.
14 Curds from the herd, and milk from the flock,
    with fat[c] of lambs,
rams of Bashan and goats,
    with the very finest[d] of the wheat—
    and you drank foaming wine made from the blood of the grape.

15 “But Jeshurun grew fat, and kicked;
    you grew fat, stout, and sleek;
then he forsook God who made him
    and scoffed at the Rock of his salvation.
16 They stirred him to jealousy with strange gods;
    with abominations they provoked him to anger.
17 They sacrificed to demons that were no gods,
    to gods they had never known,
to new gods that had come recently,
    whom your fathers had never dreaded.
18 You were unmindful of the Rock that bore[e] you,
    and you forgot the God who gave you birth.

19 “The Lord saw it and spurned them,
    because of the provocation of his sons and his daughters.
20 And he said, ‘I will hide my face from them;
    I will see what their end will be,
for they are a perverse generation,
    children in whom is no faithfulness.
21 They have made me jealous with what is no god;
    they have provoked me to anger with their idols.
So I will make them jealous with those who are no people;
    I will provoke them to anger with a foolish nation.
22 For a fire is kindled by my anger,
    and it burns to the depths of Sheol,
devours the earth and its increase,
    and sets on fire the foundations of the mountains.

23 “‘And I will heap disasters upon them;
    I will spend my arrows on them;
24 they shall be wasted with hunger,
    and devoured by plague
    and poisonous pestilence;
I will send the teeth of beasts against them,
    with the venom of things that crawl in the dust.
25 Outdoors the sword shall bereave,
    and indoors terror,
for young man and woman alike,
    the nursing child with the man of gray hairs.
26 I would have said, “I will cut them to pieces;
    I will wipe them from human memory,”
27 had I not feared provocation by the enemy,
    lest their adversaries should misunderstand,
lest they should say, “Our hand is triumphant,
    it was not the Lord who did all this.”’

28 “For they are a nation void of counsel,
    and there is no understanding in them.
29 If they were wise, they would understand this;
    they would discern their latter end!
30 How could one have chased a thousand,
    and two have put ten thousand to flight,
unless their Rock had sold them,
    and the Lord had given them up?
31 For their rock is not as our Rock;
    our enemies are by themselves.
32 For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
    and from the fields of Gomorrah;
their grapes are grapes of poison;
    their clusters are bitter;
33 their wine is the poison of serpents
    and the cruel venom of asps.

34 “‘Is not this laid up in store with me,
    sealed up in my treasuries?
35 Vengeance is mine, and recompense,[f]
    for the time when their foot shall slip;
for the day of their calamity is at hand,
    and their doom comes swiftly.’
36 For the Lord will vindicate[g] his people
    and have compassion on his servants,
when he sees that their power is gone
    and there is none remaining, bond or free.
37 Then he will say, ‘Where are their gods,
    the rock in which they took refuge,
38 who ate the fat of their sacrifices
    and drank the wine of their drink offering?
Let them rise up and help you;
    let them be your protection!

39 “‘See now that I, even I, am he,
    and there is no god beside me;
I kill and I make alive;
    I wound and I heal;
    and there is none that can deliver out of my hand.
40 For I lift up my hand to heaven
    and swear, As I live forever,
41 if I sharpen my flashing sword[h]
    and my hand takes hold on judgment,
I will take vengeance on my adversaries
    and will repay those who hate me.
42 I will make my arrows drunk with blood,
    and my sword shall devour flesh—
with the blood of the slain and the captives,
    from the long-haired heads of the enemy.’

43 “Rejoice with him, O heavens;[i]
    bow down to him, all gods,[j]
for he avenges the blood of his children[k]
    and takes vengeance on his adversaries.
He repays those who hate him[l]
    and cleanses[m] his people’s land.”[n]

44 Moses came and recited all the words of this song in the hearing of the people, he and Joshua[o] the son of Nun. 45 And when Moses had finished speaking all these words to all Israel, 46 he said to them, “Take to heart all the words by which I am warning you today, that you may command them to your children, that they may be careful to do all the words of this law. 47 For it is no empty word for you, but your very life, and by this word you shall live long in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Take some time to read the words of this song.
How does it compare and contrast with your songs?
Note verse 47: “It is no empty word for you, but your very life.”
Is it? Really?

Brothers and sisters, this ought not be.

Image result for conflict in church

Brothers and sisters, this ought not be…

Christian on Facebook:
“The election’s over. Your candidate lost. Get over it!”

We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves. Each of us should please our neighbors for their good, to build them up.
Romans 15:1-2

Christian on Facebook:
“How could a real Christian ever vote for him/her?”

Therefore let us stop passing judgment on one another. Instead, make up your mind not to put any stumbling block or obstacle in the way of a brother or sister.
Romans 14:13

Christian on Facebook:
“Protesters have been rioting for 5 straight days. If that was me I would have lost my job by now.”

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited.
Romans 12:16

Christian on Facebook:
“Grab ‘em by the wallet and boycott Trump supporters.” (Followed by a list of companies that presumably aided his election.)

My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
James 1:19-20

Christian on Facebook:
“Hey snowflake, why don’t you try growing up a little bit?”

Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love.
Ephesians 4:2

Christian on Facebook:
“My opinion on the rioting is…back up the paddy wagons and load the dumbasses up and put them in jail. Be done with this stupid crap.”

…set an example for the believers in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith and in purity.
1 Timothy 4:12

Christian on Facebook:
“Typical elitist liberal…”

All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, “God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.”
1 Peter 5:5

Christian on Facebook:
“Well, I’ll be damned. So, that’s what stupid looks like.”

Keep on loving one another as brothers and sisters. Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
Hebrews 13:1-2

Christian on Facebook:
“I lived through Obama. You’ll live through Trump.”

Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves.
Romans 12:10

Christian on Facebook:
“You’re anti-Trump? Good for you. I bet you’re either a liberal, illegal, or living off the government.”

Brothers and sisters, do not slander one another. Anyone who speaks against a brother or sister or judges them speaks against the law and judges it.
James 4:11

Christian on Facebook:
“Trump isn’t the problem. The way you’re raising your kids is the problem.”

Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.
Ephesians 4;29

I wonder why some of my friends have left social media, and some are contemplating leaving the church?

Brothers and sisters, this ought not be.

Lloyd

 

 

Thursday Picks ~ 11-17-2016

Picks Thursday

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

3 Parenting Myths We Are All Tempted To Believe
Tim Challies
It is so easy to reduce parenting to a method and to look for a step-by-step approach that will guarantee the results we want. Many authors and so-called experts are only too happy to oblige us in the myth by providing and promising their methodology. But even while we acknowledge the usefulness of methods, we must reject their supremacy. “Discipling our children in the faith is not a matter of combining the right ingredients and the right environment to guarantee a godly adult.” Parenting is not baking a cake or assembling IKEA furniture. God gives us no guarantee.


I’m glad to see this. I believe this whole “fake news” phenomenon is a pernicious evil that has contributed in a big way to the divisiveness we all feel right now…

Google and Facebook Take Aim at Fake News Sites
Nick Wingfield, Mike Isaac and Katie Benner
Over the last week, two of the world’s biggest internet companies have faced mounting criticism over how fake news on their sites may have influenced the presidential election’s outcome.

On Monday, those companies responded by making it clear that they would not tolerate such misinformation by taking pointed aim at fake news sites’ revenue sources.


This post hit me hard. I’ve copied the whole thing here…

Thought for TodayAlan Jacobs
https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/51ES4C7PxpL._UX250_.jpg
American politics is now nothing more than rival assertions of tribal identities. There are no Americans; there are no human beings; there are only instantiations of racial and sexual identities looting the store of our economic and cultural capital. In such a world the most ruthless bullies acquire more loot than everyone else. Tomorrow’s bullies will have a different set of policy proposals but will be temperamentally and morally identical to today’s.

When you’re ready to start the political conversation with by affirming that everyone in the room is a human being — not necessarily right about anything in particular, not necessarily good or even decent, but a human being in precisely the same sense that you are a human being, and that every single human being in this country should be subject to the same laws and norms enforced equally across the board, then get back to me. Until then, I don’t know what to say to you. I’m not refusing to speak; I just don’t know how to speak your identity-politics language without giving up everything I believe about humanity, and about what politics is for.


Important thoughts for worship leaders…

9 Skills You Need To Move From Singing Songs to Leading WorshipDavid Santistevan
9-skillsWorship leaders, we’ve gotten really good at leading songs.

But for us to see the breakthrough we want to see, we need to grow as leaders. Why? Because we are leading a post-Christian people. There are people in our churches who have never been to church. They don’t know the Gospel and they don’t know what to do in worship.

Your leadership skills on Sunday will help those who are new Christians to engage in worship. Having a great band and getting through songs isn’t enough.

Leadership is not musical ability and musical ability is not leadership. Leadership goes deeper. It sets foot in uncomfortable places. It goes where most are not willing to. A leader is a catalyst for change.

And here are some ways a worship leader can increase their leadership and be a catalyst for change…


Welcome to my world…
Zits – Click image for a larger view.

Deuteronomy 31:14-29

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 31:14-29
14 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, the days approach when you must die. Call Joshua and present yourselves in the tent of meeting, that I may commission him.” And Moses and Joshua went and presented themselves in the tent of meeting. 15 And the Lord appeared in the tent in a pillar of cloud. And the pillar of cloud stood over the entrance of the tent.

16 And the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, you are about to lie down with your fathers. Then this people will rise and whore after the foreign gods among them in the land that they are entering, and they will forsake me and break my covenant that I have made with them. 17 Then my anger will be kindled against them in that day, and I will forsake them and hide my face from them, and they will be devoured. And many evils and troubles will come upon them, so that they will say in that day, ‘Have not these evils come upon us because our God is not among us?’ 18 And I will surely hide my face in that day because of all the evil that they have done, because they have turned to other gods.

19 “Now therefore write this song and teach it to the people of Israel. Put it in their mouths, that this song may be a witness for me against the people of Israel. 20 For when I have brought them into the land flowing with milk and honey, which I swore to give to their fathers, and they have eaten and are full and grown fat, they will turn to other gods and serve them, and despise me and break my covenant. 21 And when many evils and troubles have come upon them, this song shall confront them as a witness (for it will live unforgotten in the mouths of their offspring). For I know what they are inclined to do even today, before I have brought them into the land that I swore to give.” 22 So Moses wrote this song the same day and taught it to the people of Israel.

23 And the Lord[a] commissioned Joshua the son of Nun and said, “Be strong and courageous, for you shall bring the people of Israel into the land that I swore to give them. I will be with you.”

24 When Moses had finished writing the words of this law in a book to the very end, 25 Moses commanded the Levites who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, 26 “Take this Book of the Law and put it by the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against you. 27 For I know how rebellious and stubborn you are. Behold, even today while I am yet alive with you, you have been rebellious against the Lord. How much more after my death! 28 Assemble to me all the elders of your tribes and your officers, that I may speak these words in their ears and call heaven and earth to witness against them. 29 For I know that after my death you will surely act corruptly and turn aside from the way that I have commanded you. And in the days to come evil will befall you, because you will do what is evil in the sight of the Lord, provoking him to anger through the work of your hands.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Do you think I should have told Moses all these things? (vs. 16-18)
Why do you say that?
Of all the ways to ensure they remember this, why a song?
Do you sing any songs that “confront you as a witness”? (v. 21)
Is the book of the law a “witness against you”?
Of course, it is.
Aren’t you thankful for the gospel?

Deuteronomy 31:9-13

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 31:9-13
Then Moses wrote this law and gave it to the priests, the sons of Levi, who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, and to all the elders of Israel. 10 And Moses commanded them, “At the end of every seven years, at the set time in the year of release, at the Feast of Booths, 11 when all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God at the place that he will choose, you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people, men, women, and little ones, and the sojourner within your towns, that they may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, and be careful to do all the words of this law, 13 and that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn to fear the Lord your God, as long as you live in the land that you are going over the Jordan to possess.”

From this passage I hear God asking me:
Do you think every seven years is enough?
Who gathered for this reading?
Why the “sojourner,” do you think?
How about the children?
What do you do to insure your kids and grandkids “hear and learn to fear the Lord”? (vs. 13)