Sunday, March 18, 2018

amazing stuff

I was turning through the Bible this morning, going from what I was supposed to read in the Gospels to what I was to read in the epistles & hesitated when I passed through Romans.

This chapter is SO amazing - Paul just SO MUCH here for not only the followers of Jesus in Rome, but for us too.

Just read slowly through these 21 verses - it's so amazing...

Romans 12

1 And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. 

Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. 

This is truly the way to worship him.

2 Don't copy the behavior and customs of this world, 

but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think.

 Then you will learn to know God's will for you, 

which is good and pleasing and perfect.

  3 Because of the privilege and authority God has given me, I give each of you this warning: 

Don't think you are better than you really are. 

Be honest in your evaluation of yourselves, 

measuring yourselves by the faith God has given us.

4 Just as our bodies have many parts and each part has a special function,5 so it is with Christ's body. 

We are many parts of one body, 

and we all belong to each other.

  6 In his grace, God has given us different gifts for doing certain things well. 

So if God has given you the ability to prophesy, 

speak out with as much faith as God has given you.

7 If your gift is serving others, 

serve them well. 

If you are a teacher, 

teach well.

8 If your gift is to encourage others, 

be encouraging. 

If it is giving, 

give generously. 

If God has given you leadership ability, 

take the responsibility seriously. 

And if you have a gift for showing kindness to others, 

do it gladly.

  9 Don't just pretend to love others. 

Really love them. 

Hate what is wrong. 

Hold tightly to what is good.

10 Love each other with genuine affection, 

and take delight in honoring each other.

11 Never be lazy, 

but work hard 

and serve the Lord enthusiastically.

12 Be glad for all God is planning for you. 

Be patient in trouble, 

and keep on praying.

13 When God's people are in need, be ready to help them. 

Always be eager to practice hospitality.

  14 Bless those who persecute you. 

Don't curse them; 

pray that God will bless them.

15 Be happy with those who are happy, 

and weep with those who weep.

16 Live in harmony with each other. 

Don't be too proud to enjoy the company of ordinary people. 

And don't think you know it all!

  17 Never pay back evil with more evil. 

Do things in such a way that everyone can see you are honorable.

18 Do all that you can to live in peace with everyone.

  19 Dear friends, never take revenge. 

Leave that to the righteous anger of God. For the Scriptures say,

"I will take revenge;
  I will pay them back,"
  says the LORD.

20 Instead,

"If your enemies are hungry, feed them.
  If they are thirsty, give them something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap
  burning coals of shame on their heads."

21 Don't let evil conquer you, but conquer evil by doing good.

Saturday, March 17, 2018

a repeat

May I repeat myself, for all of us who feel forgotten?

10 For God is not unfair. 

He will not forget how hard you have worked for him 

and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers, 

as you still do.

11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts, 

in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.

12 Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent. 


you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises 

because of their faith 

and endurance.

Friday, March 16, 2018

a bunch of stuff

Lemme start with this first psalm in the book of Psalms - I’m starting a sequential reading of this book again for the umpteenth time - Psalms always has something to say to me, no matter how many times I read it.
Psalm 1
1 Oh, the joys of those who do not   follow the advice of the wicked,   or stand around with sinners,   or join in with mockers. 2 But they delight in the law of the LORD,   meditating on it day and night. 3 They are like trees planted along the riverbank,   bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither,   and they prosper in all they do.
4 But not the wicked!   They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind. 5 They will be condemned at the time of judgment.   Sinners will have no place among the godly. 6 For the LORD watches over the path of the godly,   but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
And then there’s this from Hebrews...
The first section is especially for me today - something the Lord whispered to me - I wish I could embrace it more emotionally.
And the second section just undergirds the first.
Maybe God will whisper these two sections to you today?

Hebrews 6
10 For God is not unjust.
He will not forget how hard you have worked for him
and how you have shown your love to him by caring for other believers,
as you still do.
11 Our great desire is that you will keep on loving others as long as life lasts,
in order to make certain that what you hope for will come true.
12 Then you will not become spiritually dull
and indifferent.
Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God's promises
because of their faith
and endurance.

13 For example, there was God's promise to Abraham.
Since there was no one greater to swear by, God took an oath in his own name, saying:
14 "I will certainly bless you,   and I will multiply your descendants beyond number."
15 Then Abraham waited patiently,
and he received what God had promised.
16 Now when people take an oath, they call on someone greater than themselves to hold them to it.
And without any question that oath is binding.
17 God also bound himself with an oath,
so that those who received the promise could be perfectly sure that he would never change his mind.
18 So God has given both his promise
and his oath.
These two things are unchangeable
because it is impossible for God to lie.
Therefore, we who have fled to him for refuge can have great confidence as we hold to the hope that lies before us.
19 This hope is a strong and trustworthy anchor for our souls.
It leads us through the curtain into God's inner sanctuary.
20 Jesus has already gone in there for us.
He has become our eternal High Priest.

Thursday, March 15, 2018


Psalm 150

1 Praise the LORD!

Praise God in his sanctuary;

  praise him in his mighty heaven!

2 Praise him for his mighty works;

  praise his unequaled greatness!

3 Praise him with a blast of the ram's horn;

  praise him with the lyre and harp!

4 Praise him with the tambourine and dancing;

  praise him with strings and flutes!

5 Praise him with a clash of cymbals;

  praise him with loud clanging cymbals.

6 Let everything that breathes sing praises to the LORD!

Praise the LORD!

Today I just finished sequentially reading through the Psalms again.

It was in January, 2003 that I started reading the Bible every day without fail (RTBEDWF).

Each day since then I sequentially have read a psalm each day.

I read somewhere that Billy Graham read a psalm every day.

I figured if it was good enough for Billy, it was good enough for me ;-)

I just multiplied 365 days times 15 years divided by 150 psalms.

So, roughly, I've read through the Psalms at least 36 times.

Now, I'm not bragging.

I said all that to say this - Psalms is an incredibly rich book.

Every time I read through it I get something else.

It also speaks to me in different ways as the years roll by.

I sometimes date a verse or passage, & definitely underline.

And each time I read through Psalms I'm reminded about what was going on in my life when I dated that verse.

Please, do yourself an enormous favor & read a psalm every day.

Most of them are fairly short, although #119 is killer long ;-)

Do it - you will never, EVER regret allowing God to speak to you through this incredible book.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018


This psalm is good to read anytime, not just at funerals...

Psalm 23

1 The LORD is my shepherd;

  I have all that I need.

2 He lets me rest in green meadows;

  he leads me beside peaceful streams.

3   He renews my strength.

He guides me along right paths,

  bringing honor to his name.

4 Even when I walk

  through the darkest valley,

I will not be afraid,

  for you are close beside me.

Your rod and your staff

  protect and comfort me.

5 You prepare a feast for me

  in the presence of my enemies.

You honor me by anointing my head with oil.

  My cup overflows with blessings.

6 Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me

  all the days of my life,

and I will live in the house of the LORD


Monday, March 12, 2018

really following

What does this passage have to say to us - to you - to me - today?

Remember, this is Jesus talking here

Luke 18

18 Once a religious leader asked Jesus this question: 

"Good Teacher, what should I do to inherit eternal life?"

  19 "Why do you call me good?" Jesus asked him. 

"Only God is truly good.

20 But to answer your question, you know the commandments: 

'You must not commit adultery. 

You must not murder. 

You must not steal. 

You must not testify falsely. 

Honor your father and mother.'"

  21 The man replied, "I've obeyed all these commandments since I was young."

  22 When Jesus heard his answer, he said, 

"There is still one thing you haven't done. 

Sell all your possessions 

and give the money to the poor, 

and you will have treasure in heaven. 

Then come, follow me."

  23 But when the man heard this he became very sad, 

for he was very rich.

  24 When Jesus saw this, he said, 

"How hard it is for the rich to enter the Kingdom of God!

25 In fact, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich person to enter the Kingdom of God!"

  26 Those who heard this said, 

"Then who in the world can be saved?"

  27 He replied, "What is impossible for people is possible with God."

  28 Peter said, "We've left our homes to follow you."

  29 "Yes," Jesus replied, "and I assure you that everyone who has given up house or wife or brothers or parents or children, for the sake of the Kingdom of God, 30 will be repaid many times over in this life, and will have eternal life in the world to come."

Sunday, March 11, 2018


This is Jesus talking to His disciples...

Luke 17

7 "When a servant comes in from plowing or taking care of sheep, does his master say, 'Come in and eat with me'?

8 No, 

he says, 

'Prepare my meal, 

put on your apron, 

and serve me while I eat. 

Then you can eat later.'

9 And does the master thank the servant for doing what he was told to do? 

Of course not.

10 In the same way, when you obey me you should say, 

'We are unworthy servants who have simply done our duty.'"

In the past 7 1/2 years I have come to understand some basic truths about being a servant.

It bears little resemblance to what we are constantly told by others as to what servanthood looks like.

It's not glamorous.

It's not guaranteed success.

It has nothing to do with "the American Dream".

And a lot of the time the simple answers are seldom given as to the questions of who, what, where, when, or how.

Servants serve.

They are seldom in command.

And many times the results of our service won't be revealed until we "all get to heaven".

I've become suspicious of someone who loves to frequently, sanguinely, & wistfully say, "all I want to be is a servant of the Lord."

Usually that means they've never been one.

Just saying...