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]--His Strength and Ours

Isaiah 40:25-31

            Now we’re wrapping up my favorite chapter in Isaiah. Keep in mind that the prophet’s main charge is to “comfort” God’s people. The generation he’s addressing, about 85 years down the road, is going to experience some devastating times. They’ll see their homeland invaded, the leaders killed or taken away, and most of them will go into exile, never to see their homes again. It’ll look like powerful, evil men run the world and do as they please.

            Not so, says the prophet. He points his hearers up to the heavens once again. Think about the grand and glorious dance of the stars above us. And the One who owns us created all of them. Not with a great effort. With a word. That’s all it took for him to do it.

            And he sustains them as well. By his infinite power, not one of them is missing.

            Well, that’s all well and good, but what about my personal situation? He’s all concerned about the stars, but what about me? Does he know about what’s going on? Does he care? Has he forgotten about me?

            Again, look to the stars. He’s not a computer, keeping track of things in an impersonal manner. What’s the most common profession God is compared to in Scripture? That’s right, a shepherd. A shepherd knows his sheep by name and calls them to his side by use of those names. With human scientists, most of the stars don’t have a name, just a number. That’s because there are sooooooo many. And can you imagine one person actually not only naming all the billions of stars but remembering all of them by name? That’s our Lord.

            So how can you think that he's forgotten you? I know that it’s easy to think that when times are really hard and he seems silent. Job never questioned God’s existence, but he questioned God’s goodness and empathy because the Almighty was silent when Job needed him most.

            But that’s when we need to look up. The same Power that keeps the stars and planets in their proper orbits? That’s the power that lives inside us in the Person of the Holy Spirit. And the same God who has named each of the stars and keeps them corralled like a shepherd with his sheep knows your situation perfectly.

            Then let’s look at the world around us. The same God who created everything we see and everything we don’t has no limits on his strength, right? Young men and women can be pretty impressive. Think of the Olympics or professional sports. I’m sure that if I raced one of those athletes, the only way I’d win is if I got to drive a car while he was on foot. But our God doesn’t get tired or weary physically. He rested on the seventh day not because he was tired but because his work was done.

            And he offers that power and strength to us right now. All of us have limits on our physical, mental, and emotional energy, and when times are hard it seems like we’ve run out. But we can tap into that limitless source of strength to get us through the hardest of times.

            And how do we do it? Well, the Hebrew has been translated in two ways, and both of them are good answers, and they’re linked with each other. Depending on your translation, you're called upon to “wait upon” the Lord or “hope” in him. There’s not a huge difference between the two, is there? Hope that lasts for ten minutes is not really hope. If you’re waiting for his timing, then you have a sure hope, not a false one (like idol worshippers). Trusting in him means that you wait for him to do things his way, knowing that his way is best.

            That means that if you call upon him for strength, and he doesn’t seem to give you all the strength you need, wait for him. Trust him. At the right time and in the right way, he'll lift you up from the ground and give you what you need. He will. You have his word on it.

Father God, sometime I get so tired. Physically, emotionally, spiritually. I’m waiting on you to give me what I need. I’m trusting you. Please don’t let me down.

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