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 26]--Omnipresence—So What?

Psalm 139

Theologians use a lot of jargon which most people outside the field don’t recognize, but most Christians--if they’re familiar with the Bible--are at least familiar with the three big “O’s.” You probably know what I’m referring to: omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. But I’m what you might call a practical theologian, which means if it doesn’t affect my daily walk with Christ or how I’m supposed to act, I don’t spend a lot of time on it.

Psalm 139 has long been regarded as an all-important description of God’s omnipresence (the fact that he’s everywhere at once). But what difference does it make to me?

The reason why I love this passage so much is because it personalizes this aspect of him so well. The God that’s presented here is very different from the image that some people have of him. To a lot of people, God is “out there” somewhere, and he either doesn’t know or doesn’t care about what happens to me in my personal life. Or even if he does, he certainly doesn’t care about the “little” things that I do or what happen to me.

But look again at the God pictured in this Psalm. He’s everywhere, yes, but even more important, he’s here with me. He’s not just concerned about the “big” issues, like life and death. He’s watching when I “sit” and when I “rise.” What’s more mundane than that? Every word I’m about to utter, including “I’ll take the Diet Coke, please” at McDonald’s, is already known to him. On a much smaller scale, you can compare it to a parent’s observation of his child before he’s about to talk. As far as a first-time parent’s concerned, there ARE no insignificant words coming out of that infant’s mouth.

And this personalized attention began long before we even knew anything about him. Before we said our first words, before we were laid into a baby bassinet, he was there. In fact, he was there with us in our mother’s womb. I love the image here. The first couple chapters of Genesis tell us that we’re all created by him, but this is so much more. . . intimate. When we look at a crowd of people, it’s easy to think of them as mass-produced. But not according to David. We are, each one of us, “woven together” in our mother’s womb. That’s infinite care, like the type an artist displays when he’s working on his masterpiece.

Per usual, C.S. Lewis put it best:

We are, not metaphorically but in very truth, a Divine work of art, something that God is making, and therefore something with which He will not be satisfied until it has a certain character. Here again we come up against what I have called the “intolerable compliment.” Over a sketch made idly to amuse a child, an artist may not take much trouble: he may be content to let it go even though it is not exactly as he meant it to be. But over the great picture of his life—the work which he loves, though in a different fashion, as intensely as a man loves a woman or a mother a child—he will take endless trouble—and would doubtless, thereby give endless trouble to the picture if it were sentient. One can imagine a sentient picture, after being rubbed and scraped and re-commenced for the tenth time, wishing that it were only a thumb-nail sketch whose making was over in a minute. In the same way, it is natural for us to wish that God had designed for us a less glorious and less arduous destiny; but then we are wishing not for more love but for less.

And we can’t get away from this attention, even if we wanted to! That’s where his omnipresence really kicks in—No matter where we go, from the highest heights to the lowest depths, he’s there. His eye is always on us, even when we’re completely unaware of it (which is actually most of the time).

So to sum up, what does this mean to me? Because of what I’ve learned here, there are no

• Insignificant moments
• Insignificant thoughts
• Insignificant words
• Insignificant people (me, or anyone else)

This could be infinitely comforting or infinitely scary. Which one depends on. . . my choices.

And now for your pleasure, here's "You Are There" by Ashely Cleveland, which expresses these thoughts so well.

Father, you are with me, everywhere I go. Please help me to remember that. For good or ill, you’re always watching. I’m never alone.

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