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.

[April 03]—Gone!

Ezekiel 10:1-19

            Have you ever experienced the truth behind the old cliché “You don’t know what you had until you miss it”? Maybe you had a job or a relationship with someone that you took for granted, and then for some or reason or another (perhaps your own fault), you lost it. And then you find out what you had all that time.
            We aren’t going to spend a lot of time in Ezekiel, but today’s reading is one of the most striking images of Scripture to me, and it breaks my heart to read it and apply it.
            Maybe you were so distracted by the flashy and hard-to-understand images in the passage that you didn’t catch what was going on here. I know that there are some unusual—ok, let’s call them weird—pictures here. But the images of the cherubim (angels) and wheels and fire are really incidental to what’s happening in this passage.
            It’s a total reversal of what happened in Solomon’s day. After Solomon gave an incredible prayer/dedication, the glory of the Lord filled the completed temple, so that the priests couldn’t even go in to do their work. Yes, the physical manifestation of the Lord’s presence faded, otherwise they would've never been able to go in. But his spiritual presence was there in a special way. And it was there for the next 300 years or so.
            I just want to point out here that Judah went through a lot of periods of unfaithfulness before this point. It had had lots of really wicked kings and the people had been flagrantly rebellious much more often than they had been consciously obedient. But there came a time when the Lord said “Enough! I'm out of here!” and his presence left, and he wouldn’t be back for a long long long time. The glory of the Lord went over the threshold of the temple and left.
            Whenever I read this passage, I think of the kid born with the most unfortunate name in Scripture. Back in the time of the Judges, a son was born just at the time that the Philistines captured the Ark of the Covenant, and he got the name “Ichabod,” which means (you guessed it) “The Glory has departed.”
            Why does this image bother me so? Well, why would you think it would? Because the name “Ichabod” might be applicable to a lot of churches, and to a large degree it’s written over the American church as a whole. Think of the whole denominations which were started by godly men and which now have wandered into unfaithfulness and infidelity to Scripture. Churches which once burned with desire to see the lost come to a saving knowledge of Christ and for believers to become sold-out followers of Jesus have lost that flame.
            What about individual Christians? Can the glory of the Lord depart from them as well? Is the warning applicable to them? Well, I thoroughly believe that once someone is saved, they can’t lose their salvation. But I also believe that there’s a sense in which the glory can depart from a believer. His prayers grow lifeless and cold. He no longer burns with passion and compassion for those without Christ. To him, glorifying his Savior is not nearly as important as what’s on TV tonight. It’s probably not as dramatic as today’s passage describes it, but the Lord’s  not “there” in their lives as much as he once was.
            Am I pointing the finger at anyone? Sure, but mostly at myself. I’ve been through periods like that.
            So what about your church? What about your household? What about you? Is he still in evidence? Does his presence pervade your being, your thoughts, your words, your actions?
            If not, why not?

Father God, I’ve seen “Ichabod” written over the lives of my fellow believers and over churches. Please don’t let that happen to me—again. By your grace and mercy, please don’t. 

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