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 15]—A Change In Diet That Worked Wonders!

Daniel 4:4-32

            First off, I apologize for the length of today’s reading. I usually try to keep it down to 10-15 verses, but in this case it was unavoidable. I couldn’t find any small set of verses that summarized the story well enough.
            I have a confession to make besides the apology: Another reason I didn’t have the heart to abridge it was because this is one of my favorite stories in all of Scripture. It’s not as famous as Daniel in the lions’ den or the young men in the blazing furnace, but that’s actually a plus for me. If you’re not as familiar with it, then there’s a slightly better chance I’ll say something you haven’t heard before.
            Remember when both Jack Dawson and James Cameron loudly proclaimed that they were “The King of the World”? Well, Nebuchadnezzar actually could make a case that he was, in fact, King of the World. Nobody stood up to his armies and won. He was the proverbial 900 lb gorilla, going wherever he pleased.
            Then he had a dream, probably near the end of his life. He saw a tree, strong, proud, providing shelter to all sorts of animals. A holy messenger from the Heavens proclaimed that this great tree was about to have its limbs lopped off, sending all the animals fleeing. Then, dispensing with all pretence of symbolism, the messenger proclaimed that “[he would] be drenched with the dew of heaven; [he would] live with the wild animals, until seven times pass by for him."
            What exactly was the time period the angel was referring to? We’re not sure, and the language isn’t clear. It might mean days, seasons, or years. And to add to the confusion, seven was the number of completion, so “seven periods of time” could just mean “until the time is completed,” or “until God determines that he’s had enough.” Seven days would probably not cause a man's fingernails to grow as long as described, but the exact length of time isn't all that important. The king went to his most trusted servant, and that servant had to deliver the bad news.
Apparently the monarch was too foolish to really listen to what Daniel said, because a year later, he was walking on the roof of his palace, seemingly the master of all he surveyed. Just for fun, count the number of times he used “I” and “me” and “my.” This was all for his glory, all that he had built.
Um, no. The Lord came down and said, “Maybe a change in your diet will change that attitude.” Yeah, a diet of grass and dew. For a long period of time, he literally lost his mind and it was replaced with that of an animal. His hair grew to be like “the feathers of an eagle,” and his fingernails became like a bird’s claws.
And then finally he quite literally came to his senses. He realized how foolish he had been, and he actually composed a hymn of praise to the Almighty. He saw that in the eyes of the Lord God, all the might and glory and honor that he (the king) had accrued was absolutely worthless and could be removed in an instant at a whim. He learned the hard way that

His dominion is an eternal dominion;
   his kingdom endures from generation to generation.
All the peoples of the earth
   are regarded as nothing.
He does as he pleases
   with the powers of heaven
   and the peoples of the earth.
No one can hold back his hand
   or say to him: “What have you done?”

            This is a great corrective to both our pride and to our fear. To any of us who start spouting off “I” and “me” and “my” statements, this stands as a warning. To those of us who fear where the world is heading, it reminds us that our Father is in charge.
And finally it offers a word of hope and reconciliation. One of the wickedest and proudest and ungodly men in history was brought to his knees (literally and spiritually) and acknowledged who really is in charge. When he did, he was given back everything he had lost, and then some. I might be wrong, but I sincerely think that I’ll meet Nebuchadnezzar some day in Glory. I hope so.

Father, you are God. I’m not. You’re in charge of everything, I’m not. How humbling, how refreshing, how comforting, how. . .wonderful. 

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