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 02]--Traitor’s Kiss

Psalm 55

I really hope that none of the people who read this devotional can really empathize with David. Hopefully you’ve never had a “friend” like the one described here, but to some degree all of us can identify with the psalmist, as we’ll see.

Who is this treacherous “friend”? We’re not totally sure, but standard interpretations point to either his own son Absalom or Ahithophel (if you like, you can read the sordid story here). To summarize it briefly, his own son Absalom conspired against him and plotted a coup, while aided by one of his closest advisers Ahithophel. But the actual identity of the false friend doesn’t really concern us today.

What were the characteristics of this man? He was a close friend of David, possibly the best friend he had. They shared many intimate moments together, where David bared his soul to him. Worst of all, they'd worshiped next to each other. These men had prayed together and approached God together. This man was very charismatic, very adept at persuading David that he only had the king’s best interests at heart.

And apparently all this was a façade. While speaking kind, comforting, and encouraging words to him, this treacherous piece of filth was plotting against him. How poignant is David’s lament: “If an enemy were insulting me,I could endure it; if a foe were rising against me, I could hide. But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend.”

Like I said at the beginning, I really hope that you can’t identify fully with David here. I hope you’ve never had someone actively plotting against you and who stabbed you in the back like this. But even if you haven’t (like me), then you can at least relate to it to a much lesser degree. Haven’t you had a friend who sorely disappointed you? Someone who broke their promise to you? Someone who failed to keep to a commitment?

Of course you have, and I’m sure you’ve failed others as well. None of us are completely guilt-free in this area. There’s good news, however. First, we need to remember that while every person in whom we trust and confide is a sinner, our Savior is not. When he says something, he means it. When he says that he’s with us to the end of the age, he will be. When he says that he’s preparing a place for us and will return to take us there, you can count on it.

In the meantime, when people disappoint us (as they inevitably will), we need to follow David’s example. He was surrounded by enemies, and among his associates he literally didn’t know whom he could trust. In those darkest hours, this was what he did: “As for me, I call to God, and the Lord saves me. Evening, morning and noon I cry out in distress, and he hears my voice. . .Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken. . .But as for me, I trust in you.” Confide in him. Cast your burdens upon him. Call out to him when all seems hopeless. Sounds good to me.

Lord Jesus, you are my one true friend. I’ll always be grateful for the companions you’ve put into my life, but I know that only you can always be trusted. Thank you.

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