OK, here's the plan (if God is willing):

1) Every day will be a new devotional. I have enough devotionals for every day for three years

2) Also as I can, I'll be posting on my new political blog (see bottom of page).

Some other housecleaning:

A) If you'd like to just get new postings sent to your email, just submit your address in the box on the left just below. There's just one possible downside, though. Occasionally I'll add a music video at the end that's relevant to the devotional, and you won't get them in the email sent to you. If I add a video though, I'll make sure to mention in the posting, so you'll know to come to the site to see it if you'd like.

B) I actually finished writing new blog posting for the TAWG at the end of 2016. So what I'm doing now is at the beginning of every month, I'll move the earliest month from 3 years ago ahead so that a "new" posting appears every day. That's why you won't find any postings for January 2014, for example.

C) When I started this Blog, I was using the 1984 edition of the NIV, and that’s what I linked to on the Biblegateway site. However, in 2011 Zondervan updated its edition and thus reworded a lot of the NIV translation. Therefore, all the links which went to the 1984 edition now redirect to the 2011 edition, which often has slightly different wording. Thus, part of my editing process has been to update my Scripture quotes in my postings. But I might have missed some, in which case you might see my quote in the posting as a little different from what comes up when you click on my citation link, since that redirects to the 2011 edition on the Biblegateway site. It's a good thing that we realize that the work of translation never ends, but it can be a kind of a pain on a site like this. If you see any difference in verbiage between my quote and what shows up as a link on the Biblegateway site, or if you hover over a link and it has "NIV1984" at the end of it, please notify me and I'll correct it.

D) I can't believe I have to say this, but here goes. At the end of every posting is a suggested short prayer that has to do with what we discussed. This is actually what I've prayed when I finished writing it. In no way am I asking you to pray the exact verbiage of my suggested prayer. It's just a springboard for your own prayer, nothing more. Quite frankly, I've never been a fan of praying rote prayers written by someone else. As with everything else I do here, to the degree it helps, great; to the degree it doesn't, chunk it.

As always, thank you so much for reading, even if it's to read one post. God bless.

[Feb 15]--Valuing Our Parents

Exodus 20:12

I'd like to point out something in order to emphasize the importance of this commandment. The first four commandments have to do with our "vertical" relationship": our relationship with the Lord. The last six commandments deal with our "horizontal" relationship: our relationships with other people. Of the latter six commandments, the very first one God mentions is the one telling us to honor our parents. And by the way, the very next commandment is the one forbidding adultery, thus displaying how much God values marriage. This tells me--and of course both common sense and history bear this out--that the family is the foundation of society. A society might last a while after its families break down, but it's like a tree branch that's been cut off from the tree: Seemingly alive for a while, but dying.

I believe that in America this is one of the most openly flouted commandments of the Ten. At least three generations in America so far have been fed on the notion that anyone older than them is a fool at best and an evil person at worst. The rallying cry in the 1960’s was “Don’t trust anyone over 30,” and subsequent generations have followed this example. Of course, this is a youth-obsessed culture: Most of its advertising resources are channeled into snagging teenagers and pre-teens, and most of the music and other media target this group as well. One might think from listening to most people that the world started on the day they were born, so there’s no need to study history, American or otherwise.

The odd thing is, this overemphasis on youth makes us the oddball. All of the culture and societies which have populated this planet over the several thousand years of recorded history have tended to trust old over young (both ideas and people). God’s command in Leviticus to stand up in respect for the aged would have been practically unnecessary for most people, but not us.

This isn't to say that it’s impossible to go overboard in the other direction. Most of the conflicts you find in the book of Acts are from the Good News breaking through barriers of tradition, and "tradition" (as we’ve mentioned before) really is just “how we’ve always done it.” Having said that, I believe that this command is a wonderful corrective to our culture.

The first obvious application is how we treat our physical parents. None of us have perfect parents (some a lot less perfect than others), but we owe them for at least one thing (bringing us into this world). This command is not conditional in any way: Even when we have moved out of their home and established our own family, even when they're long dead, I believe that we're required to honor them as best we can, and treat them with respect. This respect is not necessarily because of what they've done; it's required because of who they are. Of course, this respect should be a hundred-fold if we were raised in a Christian home and influenced in any way towards the Lord. Naturally, strict obedience to our parents is limited to children (who live inside the home), but honoring them has no time limit for adults. If you were 70 years old, you should still show respect towards your 90-year-old dad.

I also believe that we should honor our non-bio “parents” as well. Paul called himself the “father” of everyone whom he led to Christ, so I think we should be eternally grateful for those who (directly or indirectly) led us to our Savior. And maybe it’s just me, but I also feel gratitude towards the spiritual heroes over the centuries who have influenced the church for the better and who inspire me to follow my Lord more closely. As Lewis said when complimented on his writings, we're all midgets standing on the shoulders of giants.

Lord Jesus, I am so grateful for the blessings you have poured out over me. You are so good to me.

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