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 17]--Creation Awe

Psalm 104

I was raised in the residential area of Dallas. Not completely surrounded by buildings, but the downtown area was pretty close. I've never lived in the country or in a rural area or small town. I'm grateful for the modern comforts of air-conditioning and heating, but I think sometimes we "city folk" have missed something by living in an exclusively urban environment with all the light pollution which blocks the stars. The only "wild" animals I encounter are at the zoo, and there's a cost to that.

What does this have to do with today’s Psalm? Well, this has been called the “Creation Psalm,” since it’s such a beautiful description of what God has made. I think it's a good reminder of some things for people like me. But there's more here than just his actions in creation.

Another thing I see here is organization. He didn't create the universe, set it running like a well-made  clock and then step back. He set up boundaries for everything; like the old saying goes, a place for everything and everything in its place. He set boundaries for the waters, and they stay within those boundaries. The sun, the moon and stars all have their places, and the reason they're useful for us in marking out the seasons and times is because they stay within the boundaries their Creator sets for them.

And notice another aspect of his work: Provision. He doesn't create something without providing everything it/he/she needs. The grass and everything else can't live without water, and he pours out the rain for them. The beasts of the field need food, and he provides for them. And he doesn't just give us what we need. He even gives us things to make life in creation more enjoyable (wine to gladden human hears, oil to make our faces shine). The inspired psalmist says he gave the entire sea to the "Leviathan" as its playground.

Every believer knows him as our Savior, Redeemer, Lord, Best Friend, Father and Elder Brother, Counselor, Comforter, and a host of other titles. But we city folk spend way too much time in and around buildings, and it’s a good thing to take some time and look at the world he's made. Regain some awe at the incredible wisdom and power of our great and mighty and wise Creator. He designed us down to the smallest atom, and he's created everything from caterpillars to Red Woods to the greatest stars and set them all in a grand and glorious dance. And just like for the rest of creation, he provides everything we need, including proper boundaries.

And on a final point, please note that the last verse actually talks about a “blight” on creation: not people as such, but rebellious humanity. This is the only reason why the world is not as beautiful as it can be. Yes, that’s your sin and mine which adds to the ugliness. And one day this problem will be dealt with. He'll destroy all rebels against his kingdom, but of course we know from the rest of Scripture that his preferred method of "destroying" rebels is by turning them into his beloved sons and daughters. But rest assured, one way or another, this ugly spot on his beautiful creation will be removed.

On a much lighter note, for your enjoyment I present Rich Mullins's "The Color Green," a song inspired by this Psalm.

Father God, I am amazed that you created all of this with just a word. Your wisdom and power is on display everywhere I really look. I praise you, and I thank you.

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