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Daily Walk 365 – Day 29

September 24th, 2008 2 comments

My purpose is to give life in all its fullness — John 10:10 (HCSB)

I decided to post this daily walk post today because of the first paragraph in the devotional text:

It takes courage to dream big dreams.  You will discover that courage when you do three things: accept the past, trust God to handle the future, and make the most of the time He has given you today.

Last Sunday we talked a bit about procrastination, in regards to Jesus’ parable about the 10 virgins.  Procratination wasn’t the spiritual thrust of that parable, but the living each day application can certainly point to what procrastination does.  It steals from yourself the valuable time of today, and posts that to a time in the future.  The thing about each day, is they each have 24 hours, each hour has 60 minutes, and each minute 60 seconds.  We can try to maximize our enjoyment by pushing work, tedium etc to the next day, but that only doubles the problem the next day.  How can we stop that cycle.

Consider and accept the past, don’t dwell on it.  Trust God with your future.  Be prepared for today.  Give us each day, our daily bread, goes the model prayer.  The Hebrews were given manna each day to subsist upon.  We have our 24 hours to maximize, and one in 6 meant for rest.

When it comes to procrastination, I’m am the cheif of sinners.  Today, I’ll do what I can to limit that which I put off to tomorrow.

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Daily Walk 365 – Days 20-23

September 16th, 2008 Comments off
  • Day 20 – Psalms 20:4
  • Day 21 – Genesis 18:14
  • Day 22 – 1 Peter 5:6-7

When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. — 1 Corinthians 13:11 (NKJV)

Lord, may I continue to grow in You, and put away my childish impulses.

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Daily Walk 365 – Days 16 – 19

September 12th, 2008 1 comment

Well, I’ve been reading, but haven’t been blogging. Bad Jon.  We’ll let the bible verse plugin do the work on these days:

  • Day 16 – Psalms 37:23-24
  • Day 17 – Hebrews 10:23
  • Day 18 – Romans 8:1
  • Day 19 – Psalms 146:5

I’ve also participated in a couple of really good discussions.  First in my Wednesday class, we discussed the first video in ‘The Man I Want To Be’.  The video was titled A Man Who Believes, and I was blessed to have two of the men who joined engage in the questions, and get into their hearts, and discuss the “pep-talk” video that encourages us to live each day for Christ.

Last night our Thursday group got back into the bible study meat that I really enjoy.  Angie was kind enough to let me borrow her iPhone, and I used that to read and search the scriptures.  Kinda handy, but turning pages is probably better.  The discussion was awesome.

I have an annoying habit of pushing back against dogma, my hope is to tear apart something so we can better understand it when its put back together (kinda like my approach to electronics — that often have non-optimal results).  This past week I’ve been stuck on something in the Daily Walk devotionals, which strikes me as a bit dogmatic.  So keep me honest.

The Christian faith is founded upon promises that are contained in a unique book.  That book is the Holy Bible.  The Bible is a roadmap for life here on earth and for life eternal.  As Christians, we are called upon to study its meaning, to trust its promises, to follow its commandments, and to share its Good News.  God’s Holy Word is, indeed, a transforming, life-changing, one-of-a-kind treasure.  And a passing acquaintance with the Good Book is insufficient for Christians who seek to obey God’s Word and understand His will.

emphasis mine.

Why am I a bit disgruntled with that last sentence?  It smacks a bit of scripture worship, instead of God worship.  I have a very high view of Scripture.  I agree totally with the first portions of that paragraph quoted from above, with a caveat.  The caveat is reading scripture is a dead-end, unless you’re allowing the Holy Spirit to teach you its treasures.  Pharisees were experts on scripture, but as a group — spiritually dead (ask Paul).

Scripture without Christ (and Scripture is all about Christ) is dead.  Want proof, google ‘Atheist Bible’.  Some where, some one has compiled a list of scriptural contradictions and have read the Holy Bible with spiritually dead eyes, and as woodenly literal as most atheists claim a ‘fundie’ would read it.  They’ll use the same words in which believer’s draw life, and use it to discredit, attack, and blaspheme.  (sounds familiar?  the Pharisee’s always tried to trap Jesus with scripture too…)

The point is, we need to read the scripture with grace healed eyes, with the blood of Jesus still cleansing our souls, with his redeeming water of life filling our mouth.  Without trusting God, faith in Him, his word is dead.  Read scripture, as if your sitting on his lap, reading to Him, as your children read their first book, looking up to Him as you read, so he can smile and nod, or gently correct, or guide you to the next great part in his wonderful opus.

We are blessed, indeed, that we can have our own personal copy of God’s word to take with us wherever we go (even in our phones). For centuries believers studied scripture through the filter of a priesthood, not having access to the words themselves, and often unable to read them.  Today we must ensure when we read God’s Word, we open our hearts to his council, and let him continually heal us.

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 15

September 8th, 2008 Comments off

I read day 14, but passed on blogging it.  It was the sabbath.  Really.  (okay, so I read it this morning, okay? so stop with the furrowed brow, critical eye thing, m’kay? *)

So getting back on the horse, here is Day 15:

All bitterness, anger and wrath, insult and slander must be removed from you, along with all wickedness.  And be kind and compassionate for one another, forgiving one another, just as God also forgave you in Christ. — Ephesians 4:31-32 (HCSB)

This is a verse that changed the way I communicated.  I read it first over 8 years ago, and was struck that so much of my communication was wrapped up in bitterness, I often wrote sarcastic insults, or ignorant slander.  It came across completely rude, and looking back I was embarrassed by my tone, and it brought shame not only to my self, but to the Lord.  Which is why we must strain to let go of the old self, and embrace the new self.  Being kind and compassionate, forgiving — those actions are often foreign to us, in our selfishness we want to hold on to our hurt.  That is ultimately harming ourselves.

Yesterday we studied Matt 18:22ff — the parable of the unmerciful servant — and had a really good discussion about forgiveness.  Later that night we had a double dose of forgiveness teaching in our ‘Men are like Waffles — Women are like Spaghetti‘ small group.  It certainly is clear that God forgives us, so we can forgive others.   The study last night had a six step vertical forgiveness process, that showed forgiveness as an act of the will, separated from the act of reconciliation.  Forgiveness is for our benefit, it doesn’t require any action on the other party (reconciliation requires repentance, and I think that’s usually two-sided repentance, since rarely is there harm done in only a singular one action way), it doesn’t require you forget or just let-it-go, instead you need to embrace the hurt a bit, then give it piece by piece to God, placing it in the proper perspective.  He can only forgive others, because God first forgave us.

DAy 14

Whatever you do, do it enthusiastically, as something done for the Lord, and not for me. — Colossians 3:23 (HCSB)

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 12

September 5th, 2008 1 comment

Then He said to them all, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross daily, and follow Me.” — Luke 9:23 (HCSB)

Taking up a cross has a much different meaning today, than in Jesus’ time on earth.  In Jesus time it meant you’re on your way to a torturous death.  It is a bit of a warning, following Jesus means you won’t be living for yourself anymore, it means you’ll die to your self, and follow Christ.  Regardless of the circumstances, regardless of the pain, the humiliation — carry your cross, go take it to Calvary, where Jesus conquered death, and was raised to his proper position of Lord of all.

Do I do that?

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 11

September 4th, 2008 1 comment

It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name.  O Most High; To declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, And Your faithfulness everynight. –– Psalm 92:1-2

Okay, thanks for the 2×4.  I don’t get to my devotional til almost lunch time, and this is the verse.

🙂

At least it was just a little tap, that mean Charles Stanley didn’t have to rub salt in the wound.

A person with no devotional life generally sturggles with faith and disobedience. — Chareles Stanley

And you know what, after 11 days, I’m finding fatih and obedience a bit easier.  You should try it.

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 10

September 3rd, 2008 Comments off

Immediately Jesus spoke to them. “Have courage! It is I. Don’t be afraid.” — Mathew 14:27 (HCSB)

How often does He speak this to us, in our times of uncertainty, and we don’t hear Him?  How often do we miss putting our trust in him, instead of quaking in fear of uncertainty.  He who calms the winds and seas is calling to us, to not be afraid, to have courage, to trust in him.  May He be my strong tower today.

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 8

September 1st, 2008 Comments off

The intense prayer of the righteous is very powerful — James 5:16 (HCSB)

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 7

August 31st, 2008 Comments off

In all things showing yourself to be a pattern of good works; in doctrine showing integrity, reverence, incorruptibility… — Titus 2:7 (NKJV)

One thing I can say, a week into this exercise.  It’s been easier to hold my temper, be patient, and show other fruits of the Spirit.  Its been easier to resist the nagging temptations.  This pastoral advice for a young Titus is a good reminder for old folks like me as well, it doesn’t make living harder… it makes it alive.

Good discussion this morning in Sunday School, we discussed passages in Hebrews 12.  Loads of encouragement between people, and good discussions about being Christian each day, in the workplace, at home, not just on Sunday.

By no means am I trying to say that I’m perfect, or always choose to be incorruptible.  But that is what I, increasingly, want to try to achieve.

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Daily Walk 365 – Day 6

August 30th, 2008 1 comment

This is the day that the Lord has made, we will rejoice and be glad in it. — Psalm 118:24 (NKJV)

And this from Phillip Yancey:

Some of us seem so anxious about avoiding hell that we forget to celebrate our journey toward heaven.

I love that song.  Especially the SKA version I heard about 8 years ago.  The racous music and rough singing was at contrast to the lyrics, but that was what made it unique.  As is each day we live in the Lord, each uniquely made for us to enjoy, and be glad for.

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