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.

[Mar 30]--Superhero?

Judges 14:1-9

As I mentioned before, I grew up reading comic books, and they formed a huge part of how I viewed the world. I loved reading the adventures of Superman, Batman, Spiderman, Green Lantern, and lots of others. They willingly used their powers, abilities, and skills to protect the helpless and stand up to powerful forces (super villains) who wanted to harm or oppress innocent people. They did this in risk of their own lives, often bearing the scorn of those they've sworn to protect, and frequently they had to make dear sacrifices in order to be the hero that was needed.

Regrettably, I tended to carry this attitude over to my understanding of the Bible, so parts of it were a bit boring to me. Once I finished reading the Gospels and then Acts (with some miracles), the rest seemed pretty boring, especially the letters of Paul and the others. Revelation seemed pretty cool, of course.

One of my favorite books was Judges, especially because it contained the stories about one of my favorite characters, namely Samson. This guy WAS a superhero—in the real world! He really lived, and he had super-strength and maybe partial invulnerability (15:15-striking down a thousand men without any serious wounds recorded). I remember reading about his exploits in an illustrated Bible for kids, and it was pretty thrilling. Once I went to a Baptist university, however, my Old Testament professor pointed out some less than stellar qualities about this man.

First, he was completely rebellious and disobedient. He was supposed to be a Nazirite, which meant no alcohol, no touching of dead bodies, and no cutting of his hair. This “leader” attended parties and most likely drank quite a bit. When a lion attacked him and he ripped it apart with his bare hands, later on he saw bees making honey in its carcass. Without a second thought, he not only scooped some out for himself (thus breaking his vow), but gave some to his parents and drew them unwittingly into his disobedience.

Second, he showed absolutely no self-control. He saw a beautiful woman among the Philistines, and he wanted her. It didn’t matter at all what his parents thought or what God said, he wanted what he wanted right now. One of his greatest displays of strength is found in 16:1-3. He visited a city, his enemies were waiting by the gate to kill him, and in blatant defiance of them he just lifted the gate (weighing tons) and carried it off! But what was he doing in Gaza again? Oh, that's right--visiting a "lady of the evening."

Third, this was thoroughly stupid man. Leave aside the morality of taking on a girlfriend among the Philistines (because that had worked out so well before!), what was he thinking? Delilah asked him about how to take away his strength, he would go to sleep, and lo and behold, somehow whatever he told Delilah had mysteriously happened to him! How did that happen? And not only once or twice, but FOUR times!

I guess my main point is—let’s pick our heroes a little more carefully, shall we?

Lord Jesus, you are the only hero I can completely trust. I want to grow up to be just like you.

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