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.

[Mar 02]--Some Thoughts On Bethlehem

Micah 5:1-2
           History is full of ironies, isn’t it? Wise Men came from the East looking for the King of the Jews. The present king had no interest in vacating his position, so he was pretty disturbed by this line of questioning. He went to the religious leaders and asked them where the Messiah was supposed  to be born, and they gave him the theologically correct answer: The prophet predicted that he would be born in Bethlehem, the same town that produced David. Wow, they knew their scripture! Wait a minute, let me get this straight: The (present) king of Israel comes to them asking where the Messiah would be born, they give him the answer, and then they went back to their studies of the Scriptures?! Did no one ask “Um, why is the king asking this? And what’s this I hear about these foreign dignitaries following a star here? You don’t suppose. . .?” Nah. Just go back to your studies. Nothing to see here.

            You know, with being such a famous place, it’s easy to forget that Bethlehem was not a big city like Jerusalem. Sure, it was the hometown of David, considered the greatest king Israel ever had. But it’s really a misnomer to call it a “city” at all; “town” or “village” would be more appropriate. I mean, the passage today, which caused all the hubbub hundreds of years later, points this out to us: Bethlehem was “small among the clans of Judah.” Actually the old Christmas Carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” pretty much had it right.

            But our Lord loves to pick small things and “little” people to accomplish great things in his grand scheme. He uses “the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; [he] chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. [He] chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are.” Why would he do this? Why not pick some candidates more likely to succeed? Easy—“so that no one may boast before him.”

            Let’s camp out on that for a moment. Does that describe you? Maybe you feel that way: foolish, weak, lowly, despised, not even noticeable. Trust me, you are noticed, by at least one person in this world. Actually, you’re noticed by the most important Person in the entire universe. And if those words above describe you, then celebrate! You just moved to the top of his “most treasured assets” list!

            Just a random thought here: You remember what “Bethlehem” means? It’s “house of bread.” Maybe it was locally famous for the wheat or bread made there. Whether or not that’s true, has there ever been a place more aptly named? From this little “house of bread” which you’d have trouble locating on a map would come the “Bread from Heaven” who would feed us all.

            And that brings us to the climax of this passage. From this little town would come the greatest ruler of all. This is not just another human king who’s here today and gone in a breath. We’ve had good kings (like David and Hezekiah) and lots and lots and lots of bad ones. You know what all those kings had and have in common? They’re either dead or dying. They’re human, and all their accomplishments and crimes will soon be forgotten.

            Not this king. He’s human, but he’s more than human. His “origins” (or “going out,” or “activities”) were from of old, even ancient times. That’s absolutely true, but I’d go even further than that—he's from eternity past. He's the Co-Creator of everything seen and unseen, and he’s coming to rule. Yes, our salvation is essential to his plan. But his ultimate goal, the purpose to which everything else leads? It’s to rule.

Lord Jesus, I thank you and praise you that you can and will use me, even me, in your grand and glorious plan. I can’t wait to see what’s next.

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