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.

[Apr 17]--Standing In The Way

1 Sam. 25:14-35

I guess I’m an oddball, but I've never been interested in reading the parts of the newspaper that most people read. I like to read the comic strips and “Dear Abby.” Even when I disagree with her advice (which is pretty often), I find it fascinating to see what she’ll say when someone writes in with their problems.

There’s another Abby, however, who runs circles around the columnist when it comes to wisdom. Abigail's husband had definitely “married up,” and this is obvious from today’s passage. When the servants came and told her about how her husband had treated David’s men, she immediately knew what was about to happen—does she know men or what?! She loaded up donkeys with lots of food and rode out to intercept David before he got to the house. She approached him with complete humility, taking on the responsibility for how he was treated (even when she had had nothing to do with it).

Also notice her argument against his course of action: Everybody knows that you’re going to be king soon. Don’t ascend the throne with innocent blood on your hands. Don’t try to avenge yourself--let God handle your enemies for you! If you concern yourself with God’s business, he’ll take care of yours.

It is true that Scripture describes her as "beautiful" (vs. 3), but apparently David was impressed with way more than her looks, since he took her wise counsel. In fact, he thanked her for stopping him from doing something he would regret later. He recognized what an asset she would be to any man who had her by his side, and they parted ways. My friend, my sincere hope is that if you’re married, you have a spouse like mine. My wife frequently takes on the spirit of Abigail and keeps me from pursuing a foolish course of action. And if you aren’t married, I hope you have at least one true friend. What do I consider to be an essential mark of a friend? Someone who'll stand in your way and yell “STOP!” when you need it. As David’s son Solomon put it, “Better is open rebuke than hidden love. Wounds from a friend can be trusted." If you don’t have a friend like this, you need to pray for one. And you might consider praying for a spouse who'll do for you what Abigail did for David.

I also think that Abigail’s argument deserves a second look. Maybe I’m not contemplating murder, but the root of David’s actions lie in all of us. When someone attacks me, even verbally, how quick do I step forward to defend myself? How obsessed am I to “set the record straight”? Do I trust God to take care of my reputation, or do I try to “avenge myself”?

Lord Jesus, at your trial, you didn’t try to defend yourself because you trusted your Father. I need that attitude. Very badly.

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