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 28]--Some Thoughts On Worship

Psalm 150

Since this is the last Psalm and the entire Psalter is traditionally considered a book of hymns, I thought that this would be a good opportunity to present some notes on worship from this passage.

First, worship is based upon who God is and what he’s done (vss.1-2). Literally the word comes from an Old English word meaning “worth-ship.” In other words, it’s declaring the “worth” of God, which of course is infinite and immeasurable. We can make a distinction between praise and thanksgiving which is valid, but for believers they are inseparably related. Angels can sing God’s praises regarding his power, his justice, his holiness, his wisdom, etc., but only we--as redeemed blood-bought children of God--can thank him for turning those attributes toward us in our favor. In his love and grace and mercy, he's freely chosen to display his power, his justice, his wisdom and his other attributes by saving us.

Second, the call to worship is a call to dedicate everything over to him. If you’ve already had this pointed out, then I apologize, but it’s pretty interesting to me. Verses 3-5 call us to worship him using trumpets, harps and lyres, tambourines, flutes and cymbals. Basic music 101 tells that there are three categories of musical instruments, and everything falls into one or more of these: strings, wind, and percussion. In those three short verses you see all three represented. In other words, all types of musical instruments are to be used in his service.

And it doesn’t stop there. The Psalmist also mentions “dancing.” The last verse also hints at singing as well. Using musical instruments is fine, but we shouldn’t neglect using the human body in the worship of our God. You might not be able to play a guitar or drums or a flute, but that does not in any way let you off the hook when it comes to involvement. This isn’t a call to letting chaos reign in a church service, but it does summon audience participation. The idea of professional musicians being set aside for full-time worship has precedent in Scripture, but they were always meant to lead worship. The idea that God’s people are supposed to treat worship like a football game, with a majority of laity watching the professionals do it and cheering them on, is not supported by his word.

And that segues right into my final point on worship. The last verse of the Psalter is a call for everyone to add their voice to the chorus. Do you have breath in your body? Well, who do you think put it there? Paul tells us that our Lord is the source of “life and breath and everything else.” If you have breath within you, then that breath needs to be used in praise of our Savior God.

So how about you? Have you been content to “sit on the sidelines” and let the professionals do everything? Or are you an active participant in the praise of our King, declaring to fellow believers and to the assembled angels the “worth-ship” of our Savior?

Father, Son, and Spirit, you are worthy of all praise and honor and thanksgiving and obedience. May every cell of my body, may my every thought and word and action be used in the worship of you and bring a smile to your face. 

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