Posts Tagged ‘Bible reading’
Book Review: A User’s Guide to Bible Translations
Author: David Dewey
Publisher: InterVarsity Press ISBN: 9780830832736
I love the Bible and I enjoy collecting various English translations and versions. I am fascinated by the science and art of translation, this in addition to the very real belief that access to various translations and versions helps me to understand more fully what the original intent of the Scriptures was.
We live in unprecedented times; we have more knowledge and access to information than any other time in the history of humankind. This is especially true in Western nations and the United States in particular. In Dewey’s book, he claims there are over thirty different English translation versions of the Bible in circulation today. This begs the question; “Which version is best for me?”
This is the purpose of Dewey’s, A User’s Guide Bible Translations, to help the interested reader identify and determine which version is right for their purposes.
“Dewey [also] reminds us that it’s not enough to ask, Which Bible is best? We need to ask, Best for what? For personal study? For reading aloud? For leading a Bible study for inquirers? For lending to an international student struggling with English? Filled with charts comparing versions and diagrams showing translation difficulties, A User’s Guide is just that—an easy-to-use handbook for digging through the mountain of translation options until you find the right Bible for the right purpose.”
Dewey approaches Bible Translations in two major parts. In Part One he deals with the actual art and task of translation. It is here that he deals with the science and nuance of formal equivalence versus dynamic equivalence and functional equivalence. In this section, he also addresses a number of other translation approaches and concerns such as style questions, readability, denominational traditions, theological biases, as well as a few other criteria. Part Two was particularly fascinating to me as Dewey approached the details of various translations from a linear or time-line perspective. He proceeded to inform the reader of the various (primary) translations through the history of the Bible, how they came to be, what their main purpose for creation was, and the role of the translation during its time in the history of the church. I found this information very interesting and very useful.
There are some very helpful resources included in the appendices at the end of the book. Appendix 1 includes information concerning primary texts used in translation as well as methodology by which translation rules are used. Appendix 2 details a list of lesser-known Bible translations/versions that have been created through the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
Although it has been around for a while, I think A User’s Guide to Bible Translations is a highly valuable resource that can be very helpful for the person looking to decide which Bible or Bibles are right for them and their desired purposes. I found the book was well researched and objectively presented. I recommend it for every student of the Bible.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from InterVarsity Press to read and post a review on my site. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
My Favorite Christmas Gifts from 2012
The past couple of weeks have been a great blessing to me, especially with a few of the wonderfully awesome Christmas gifts I received. These gifts will be giving throughout the year and then for years to come, I am sure. Wait. Let me clarify and qualify those last statements. My favorite gift, hands down, is my ability (God provided) to be in relationship with the Triune God through Jesus Christ. Coming in next, are my wife and my sons…followed closely by my health. Now, we can proceed to the more trivial and material things *wink*
In no particular order, my favorite material things I received this year follow:
The only thing this Bible is missing is a longer name…wait, it has that too. Seriously though, this is a wonderful Bible and I really like several things in this version. First, I really like the New Living Translation for reading. In my opinion, the NLT is the best reading version on today’s market. Second, I prefer reading chronologically over any other reading plan when I’m reading for story purposes; that is, trying to stay connected to the meta-narrative of Scripture. In addition to these reasons, the Life Application Bible helps to keep me connected to the Scripture and stirs me to respond to the words I am reading. Many other features in this study Bible make it one of my new favorites. I love the timeline system that flows through every page, which helps me to correlate the flow of God’s revelation to man through the Hebrew people as it laid over the global timeline of man. There are also hundreds of notes, maps, section introductions, sidebars, charts, and outlines. My tentative goal is to read this Bible through 2013 along with another Bible I received for Christmas.
This is another gift I received for Christmas; The New Revised Standard Version Bible is a Daily Reading Bible is set up for 365 daily readings. Each of the readings is accompanied by an excerpted writing from a Christian spiritual classic. Some of the classic writings include Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Frederick Buechner, Henri Nouwen and others. This Bible is geared toward the promotion of contemplative reading and prayerful meditation upon the text. I plan to use this alongside the Tyndale Chronological Bible, but instead of reading for story I will be using this Bible for my divine reading (Lectio Divina). I have grown to love the NRSV Bible for the combined attributes of accuracy and readability and look forward to the coming year that I will spend with God in this Bible.
I saw this calendar advertised at some point in my web browsing back in October or November of 2012. When I saw it, I immediately forwarded the link to my wife, Laurie, with a note stating “this would make a nice Christmas gift—hint, hint.” I was pleasantly surprised to find it wrapped under the tree on Christmas morning. This isn’t a “normal” calendar structured around the months (Jan, Feb, Mar, etc.). It is arranged around the Christian calendar. For instance, the first page of weeks is the Advent season, which was Dec. 2 through Dec. 24. When the page is turned to the next “month,” it is actually the season of Christmas, twelve days from Dec. 25 through Jan. 5th. The next page of weeks is the season of Epiphany, which begins January 6 and runs through February 12 (the Tuesday before Ash Wednesday and Lent). There are sidebars with information and devotional material relevant to the season of the calendar, and there are Scripture readings for each Sunday that come from the Lectionary of the Book of Common Prayer. The most important aspect of this calendar that I like though, is the connection of God’s story in our time. I’ve made it no secret over the past several years how much the Liturgical Calendar has impacted my spiritual formation. This is another helpful tool to keep me remain connected to God’s time throughout the year. It’s not too late to pick up your own!
Book Review: The Bible Questions
Author: Hal Seed
Publisher: InterVarsity Press ISBN: 9780830856121
The back cover reads; “The Bible can be a scary book…” This is true, and this is why many people choose not to engage it. Hal Seed has done a wonderful job in collecting some of the “scary” thoughts or questions about the Bible and providing insightful answers to help take away some of the uncertainty and confusion surrounding this ancient text.
Seed arranges his exploration of The Bible Questions into four primary parts; Part One—Primary Questions, Part Two—Purpose Questions, Part Three—Probing Questions, and Part Four—Practical Questions. Each of these parts includes several chapters addressing some of the most popular questions about the Bible. As an example, Part One chapter titles include the following: Who Wrote the Bible?, How is the Bible Different From Other Books?, Who Decided What Went into the Bible?, and others.
I’ve been using this book for several weeks now in preparation for teaching a class on how to read the Bible. I have found it very useful with the information it provides, but even more, I have appreciated the conversational language Seed uses in talking about some of these topics. There are anecdotal commentaries and factoids that I have incorporated into my presentations that are helpful with keeping my audience engaged. I consider the same might be true for other readers.
The Bible Questions isn’t all about information though. At the end of each chapter, Seed provides some application suggestions and exercises with a Scripture reading and a few questions to ponder and/or discuss. There is also a comprehensive study guide at the end of the book. These exercises and the study guide would make the book a perfect fit for a small group book study, especially for a group that might be new to Bible reading. I really appreciated Part Four with the direction the author took regarding practical questions and application. It seemed to me this section was actually geared more to an introduction to inductive study. I don’t know if this was Seed’s original intent, but this is where my thoughts were drawn and I will be using these chapters when I start teaching an inductive method of study later this month.
I am so grateful and appreciative of the steady stream of great books coming from InterVarsity Press for the building up of the Church. The Bible Questions by Hal Seed is another great addition to my personal library, which I will use for years to come. I think it is a great overview of the Bible and many people, both new Bible readers and experienced readers, will find value in it.
The Daily Office—Ponder Points & Prayers
Exposure or Contact or Touching
I consider the woman with the issue of blood (Luke 8:43) and I think she must have set out with premeditated intent to “get close” and to “touch” Jesus. I note that in reading the account that many people may have made contact with Jesus, but these “pressers” and “bumpers” didn’t “touch” him in a meaningful way such that power was released into their lives. It is so sad that this phenomenon is still active today—many people are exposed to Jesus, encountering him through bumping and pressing into him—still not being intentional and deliberate enough to touch him and have his power released into their lives. What’s the point in that? I’m so thankful that Jesus drew me close enough to Himself that I was able to reach out and touch him with intention… He stopped the hemorrhaging of my life from slipping away to nothingness and filled me with the gift of Himself. Yes, power went out from Him and came into me! Praise God for the indwelling Spirit of the Living God, the Resurrected King, Jesus!
Reading the opening lines from the Book of Jonah:
The LORD gave this message to Jonah; “Get up and go…” But Jonah got up and went in the opposite direction to get away from the LORD. -Jonah 1:1-4
I say to myself with my head in my hands; “O God, how often have I been Jonah…?”
Lord Jesus, take my mind and think through me, take my hands and bless through me, take my mouth and speak through me, above all, Lord Jesus, take my spirit and pray in me; so that it is you who move and have your being in me. (Book of the Hours) O LORD, hear me as I pray; pay attention to my groaning. Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God for I pray to no one but you. Listen to my voice in the morning, LORD. Each morning I bring my requests to you and wait expectantly. LORD, make your way plain for me to follow. (Psalm 5:1-3, 8) I will look to the LORD, I will wait for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. (Micah 7:7) Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.
Divine Reading: Psalm 119:162-168
I am enjoying the comforting presence of God and His Word to me this day. Prayerful meditation in the Psalms this morning with my family with our selected reading from the Book of Common Prayer, Psalm 119:145-176. The Word to me came from the passage as follows:
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. Great peace have those who love your law; can make them stumble. I hope for your salvation, O Lord, and I do your commandments. My soul keeps your decrees; I love them exceedingly. I keep your precepts and decrees, for all my ways are before you. -Ps. 119:162-168
“My soul keeps your decrees…” I love this. I receive an affirmation of the highest order when I read these words. My soul keeps your decrees. Yes. I am comforted to know that regardless of what or how I might miss the mark in the throes of my own frailty, the realty I can depend upon is that God’s Law is written on my heart and my soul keeps His decrees. As I go through my day, I know the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, my guide and counselor—my teacher and advocate—communes non-stop with my soul. The two are united in a sacred dance, the dance of the sacred and mysterious divine union… I have been invited to participate and enjoy this beautiful, holy, perechoretic dance (John 17:21-24).
“My soul keeps your decrees…” I know that I am not perfect. I know that I am subject to failure. I also know that I have been released from the oppressive nature of imperfection. Likewise, I am not condemned by or fearful of the idea of failure. While it is God’s best for me that I not miss the mark of reflecting His image fully, if I miss the mark, there is One who is greater than I who intercedes on my behalf (1 John 2:1-2). My confidence and my comfort come from the knowledge that my heart has been replaced by a heart of God’s own design (Ezekiel 36:26-27), my heart can be and is pure because God has made it that way!
“My soul keeps your decrees…” Yes, even when I do not know what to pray—even when I do not know what to say—my soul keeps your decrees. My deepest desires are no longer driven by my self-idolatry. My deepest desires are coordinated and mapped by the Spirit of the Living God who lives within me. My soul keeps your decrees. In my darkness and in my doubt, I am comforted by the word that speaks truth to me; “My soul keeps your decrees.” This word I tell myself, confirming truth when my physical senses would attempt to betray my soul. Yes, praise be to the Most High God, my soul keeps your decrees. Amen.
“But she gave all my gifts to Baal” -Hosea 2:8 NLT
“She doesn’t’ realize it was I who gave her everything she has… But she gave all my gifts to Baal.” -Hosea 2:8
This scripture is the LORD speaking through the prophet Hosea, specifically about the people of Israel, but I couldn’t help noticing a parallel application to my own life from a time not too long ago. It is easy to say everything we have and all that we receive comes from the gracious hand of God, but how often do we really acknowledge those words with what we do with our resources and how we live our lives through them?
I am a blessed man, no question about it. I was born into a gifted and blessed family, in a powerful and rich nation, and had access to many material riches that the overwhelming majority of the earth’s population can only dream about. All of these blessings, according to my Christian beliefs, come from the sovereign and providential Hand of God. I do not believe that a single act or marker in my life has been random; each event has been guided by the orchestration of God or determined by an act of my own freewill (in the instances where I have moved decidedly against the will of God).
What does all of it mean? “But (they) gave all my gifts to Baal.” I think what it means to me is this: whenever and wherever I have not acknowledged God in loving Him with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength I have given his gifts to me to a Baal.
I am Baal. I am my own idol whenever I choose other than God. I think the same is true for others too, but I’ll let you judge that one.
Each day I am (and all of us really…) are faced with hundreds of choices to acknowledge and choose God. We are allowed the opportunity to showcase him in a thousand ways every single day. The question remaining is this; “Do we?” Every day is a thousand new gifts He gives to us… will we acknowledge them with Praises to the Most High God or will we give them to Baal. I choose Jesus; with all my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
God Works in You, A Man Born Blind…
I’ve been thinking about my morning Bible reading for most of the day, a hodge podge of Scripture that is seemingly unrelated, but seems eerily connected in some divine “now what” sorta way. The Gospel reading came from John the ninth chapter where the healing of the “Man Born Blind” is recounted. The entire episode is rather bizarre in that most of Jesus’ accusers are neither happy for the blind man who can now see, nor are they incredulous that he has been healed at all. Instead of happy and incredulous, they are fuming and flipping mad at Jesus for healing the man…and on the Sabbath Day no less. What was Jesus thinking?
The part of the story that really stroked my brain and got me to thinking comes at the end of the chapter.
Jesus said, “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” Some Pharisees who were with him heard him say this and asked, “What? Are we blind too?” Jesus said, “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” (John 9:39-41)
Two very serious points in these words of Jesus: (1) “For judgment I have come into this world, so that the blind will see and those who see will become blind.” (2) “If you were blind, you would not be guilty of sin; but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.” These are some serious self examination questions if there ever were any. The questions I think begging to be asked are what am I doing with the wonderful, marvelous grace God has given to me? What is it that I or we claim to know? The Pharisees claimed to know Moses and the Law. I think they also knew the writings of the prophets and the prophetic poems and songs of the Psalms. The foreshadow of the Christ was in all of these, and that they did not know Jesus… well, that was the seal of their guilt. How much more revelation do we have in our age? How much more information do we have at the touch of a finger or the birth of a thought even… but now that you claim you can see, your guilt remains.
Another passage in the hodge-podge soup of the day comes from the letter to the Philippians 2:12-13 NLT.
Work hard to show the results of your salvation, obeying God with deep reverence and fear. For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.
Scripture passages like this cause us grief and trouble. As Protestants in particular, we don’t like the words “work” and “salvation” to be joined in the same page…much less the same sentence. We prefer the magic of grace where we get saved without lifting a finger. In the interest of fairness, we cannot earn our salvation, but that doesn’t mean for one instant that work is not involved. Over and over through Scripture we are invited into partnership with God. We are instructed to do certain things and to abstain from certain things; we are given models to follow—an athlete, a farmer, a soldier—all of which the lifestyles and character involve disciplined and hard work. Yet, so often, we want for God to wave His arm over us and make our unhealthy habits disappear without us making any sacrifice whatsoever.
The apostle Paul reminds us that we are “servants of Christ and stewards of God’s mysteries” (1 Cor. 4:1). Wow, stewards of God’s mysteries he says. I wonder if we take this role seriously. I wonder what am I doing to exemplify the work of God in my life in proportion to what I know. No, I know I am working to show the results of my salvation. I am.
Out of deep reverence and fear, I know God is at work in me and I know that it is He who gives me the power and the desire—His Holy Spirit at work in me—to do what pleases Him. I can see, and I want to be and remain being guiltless before my God. Therefore, I will continue to press on, seeking to understand and put into practice all I learn about loving the Lord my God with all my heart, all my soul, all my mind, and all my strength.
I am a steward of God’s mysteries. I will work, live, and continue to mature in all of His ways for the simple reason that I was once that Blind Man and it was me He healed…and like that blind man… I worship the God-man who made me see (John 9:35-38).
There seems to be quite a bit of “stirring” coming from my Bible reading these days. Not that this is unexpected or new…more, it is intended as a means of confession and accountability I suppose. I figure the stirring is meant to incite change in my actions and my thinking, so putting it “out there” sort of puts me on the spot…sorta.
I don’t know if, or think, the passages I’ll share are directly or contextually related; well actually, I know they are not, but in a general “big picture” application, I believe they are connected. I’ll share my thoughts as they came from my journal, raw and unedited.
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30
My Thoughts: What is the “yoke” of Jesus? I wonder if we truly consider what is involved with or counting the cost of coming under the authority of the One who guides the yoke. While there is partnership involved in sharing the yoke, there is always a dominant leader who “rules” the yoke— Sometimes I think we are eager for someone to help us share our load and manage our burden; however we are also quick to abandon the yoke when the course of sharing and partnering carries us onto a path we dislike… or when our progress and relief doesn’t come as quickly or in the form that we would like. I think we like to picture the yoke of Jesus more like the yoke on a team of oxen instead of a Roman cross… so much tamer that way.
You adulterous people! Do you not know that friendship with the world is enmity with God? Therefore whoever wishes to be a friend of the world makes himself an enemy of God… Wash your hands, you sinners; purify your hearts, for your loyalty is divided between God and the world. (James 4:4-10)
Do not love this world nor the things it offers you, for when you love the world, you do not have the love of the Father in you. For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world. (1 John 2:15-16)
My Thoughts: Do we give these passages enough serious and honest thought? I think more often than not, we try to think or talk our way around them attempting to convince ourselves they mean something different than what they are intended to mean. I think we like the world and the comforts its systems and governmental order brings. We prefer comfort over sacrifice. We prefer compromise instead of pushing back against the systems that are antithetical to the ways of Jesus. We prefer selective obedience instead of whole-hearted submission to the authority of Christ. We choose the kingdom of men and the world over the Kingdom of God and excuse ourselves through self-deceiving lies intended to make us feel better about our disobedience to the commands of Jesus.
“What have you to do with us, Son of God? Have you come here to torment us before the time?” (Matthew 8:29)
My Thoughts: Too often, I think; we take words like these above and say things like, “Oh, those are demons chatting up Jesus and the meaning of this to me (since I am a Christian) is their recognizing Jesus as Son of God. So, this proves Jesus is God…” and we move on. We think or assume this is the extent of what God has to speak to us about those words. Maybe we are mistaken.
More often than we care to admit, we tend to embrace the attitude of those demoniacs. Perhaps anytime we push back against the leadership of Christ Jesus we also say, “What have you to do with me Son of God?” We feign compliance to the will and way of God until it imposes too much discomfort on us—and then we rebel—either in a tantrum of overt disobedience and rejection of His commands, or passively aggressively we ignore, pretend not to hear, or reinterpret what we “hear” God say in order that we might justify our rebellion. Honestly, when we do this, we are not too far removed from those demoniacs.
O Lord, come to my assistance. O Lord, make haste to help me.
And, I continue to ponder…reflect…
♦ Genesis 1-10
I’m really enjoying my reading from my Chronological NLT. I’ve been filling pages in my journal just as quick as my little hand can go, but I haven’t had time yet to flesh out the ideas “popping” into my head. I’ll share some of my brief notes from the past few days… but I do plan to spend a little time developing a few of these, so you’ll probably see them again in the not too distant future.
- God’s Pocket Watch: reading from Gen. 1: 14-18 was truly inspiring as we are told, “Then God said, ‘Let lights appear in the sky to separate the day from the night. Let them mark off the seasons, days and years. Let these lights in the sky shine down on the earth.’ And that is what happened. God made two great lights—the larger one to govern the day, and the smaller one to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set these lights in the sky to light the earth, to govern the day and night, and to separate the light from the darkness. And God saw that it was good.” After reading this my imagination kicked in and I had this thought of the universe in all its splendor, immensity, and precision is almost depicted as if it were “God’s pocket watch.” He set these heavenly bodies in place to “govern” and “mark” seasons, days, and years… There are Scriptural references that state the “fullness of time” with references to the signs in the sky also. My mind continues to wander and explore this metaphor, but I think it is pretty cool to imagine the universe and cosmos as God’s personal and handmade pocket watch.
- I was moved to praise and give thanks to God for my wife…particularly on my 24th wedding anniversary as I was reading the following words: “The the LORD God said; ‘It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper who is just right for him.’” (Gen. 2:18) I was moved to tears of joy and gratitude as I thanked God for doing this for me… making a helper and soul mate who “is just right for me.” A few verses later I read a verse that is familiar to me, but was moved in my spirit again as I pondered these words; “Now the man and the woman were both naked, but they felt no shame.” I thought this seems a metaphor for an open and honest communication style between a man and woman in intimate relationship… here there are no secrets or separate lives—the couple live openly and honestly aka “naked and unashamed.”
- Subduing Sin: God speaks to Cain—”Why are you angry? Why do you look so dejected? You will be accepted if you do what is right. But if you refuse to do what is right, then watch out! Sin is crouching at the door, eager to control you. But you must subdue it and be its master.” (Genesis 4:6-7) There is a lot here to talk about, but what immediately caught my attention is God’s instruction and exhortation to Cain to “subdue sin and become its master.” Wow. I think we are too quick to allow sin to master us…and this even after the full atonement of Christ and the gift of the indwelling Holy Spirit to empower us to overcome the sin in our life. Here God tells Cain thousands of years before Jesus to “subdue sin and become its master.” I am encouraged… if God told Cain he could master sin…and if I have the overcoming power of Jesus Christ dwelling within me, well there should be no stopping me from becoming the master over any sin in my life. I think this passage has emboldened me to take even greater strides toward “walking as Jesus walked.” I’ve got more thoughts about this discourse between Cain and God, especially following the murder of Abel, but I need to save that until I get it all written down and fleshed out. Expect to see more about this in the coming days.
- One last thought and I’m done for now… From Genesis 5:1 (NLT) an incredible statement that continues to reverberate back and forth between my mind and soul sending electricity through every fiber of my being. It reads as follows: “When God created human beings, he made them to be like himself.” We are fearfully and wonderfully made I look up at the stars and I’m blown away by how incomprehensibly vast and marvelous the universe is… and yet God made it to be his personal cosmic pocket watch. He made us to be like himself. How much more awesome is each human being? Wow.
[16SEPT2011] Jeff’s Journal
I’ve been doing a lot of reading and thinking this past week and not so much writing. Sometimes the cycle just works out this way and I simply don’t feel inspired to write much. When this “lack of motivation” comes around it doesn’t necessarily always mean everything else is on hiatus… as such, and in this case, my thoughts have been Spirit-fueled over the last week. I’ve had a lot of explosive thoughts inspired by things I’ve read, heard, seen and jotted down on paper scraps, backs of bulletins, post-its, and anywhere else I could find to write them. I haven’t had time to fully develop all these thoughts, but figured I’d spit out this potpourri of ideas so I might share them with you and have a record of them for myself. I copied them all into my journal tonight and share them now as follows:
A thought and praise from me— The felt experience of both the ambient and indwelling presence of God is an incredible blessing and gift from GOD. It should never be taken for granted and should be sought often so we might mature in likeness after the image and being of Jesus in whom our nature and image was first created.
A realization and stimulus for prayer asking for God’s help with spiritual maturity—The false self is pervasive and deceptively insidious…it is truly the echo of Satan from Adam’s rebellion who seeks to reside in us. It can only be uprooted and destroyed by cultivating maturity in the image of Christ.
“Love people until they ask you why.” —Pastor Bill Bowers
When asked “why do I need Jesus”—I need Jesus because He alone is my Reconciler and Healer. I was imagined and created by an incredible and incomprehensible God… made also in His image and destined to reflect His nature. I am broken and disconnected by the rebellion and lustful pride of the first man (Adam), and I need Jesus to fix the disconnection and to completely tame the rebellion. Through Him I find harmony in my soul that only He satisfies. Christ Jesus is the One who stabilizes my divinely created DNA and brings peace to each atom of me whom He created. Bless His holy Name. Amen.
“Let all within you listen to Him. This silence of all outward and earthly affection and of human thoughts within us is essential if we are to hear his voice.” —Francois Fenelon
“Is there no God in Israel?” (2 Kings 1:3 NLT) —Ahaziah met death because he sought out answers from a place other than the Most High God. How many of us meet the fate of death like Ahaziah… whether physical, emotional, intellectual, and/or spiritual, because we too seek answers to our life (physical and eternal) questions from almost any place and source except from God…who has all the answers. Let this be an answer to us. Might we seek the answers to all our questions from the One who has all the answers. Amen.
“We bring the portable sanctuary into the daily life.” —Richard Foster
My Prayer—(Taken from Psalm 73:21-28 and a Prayer from Dag Hammarskjold)
Then I realized that my heart was bitter, and I was all torn up inside. I was so foolish and ignorant— I must have seemed like a senseless animal to you. Yet I still belong to you; you hold my right hand. You guide me with your counsel, leading me to a glorious destiny. Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth. My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart; he is mine forever. Those who desert him will perish, for you destroy those who abandon you. But as for me, how good it is to be near God! I have made the Sovereign Lord my shelter, and I will tell everyone about the wonderful things you do (Psalm 73:21-28 NLT).
Give me a pure heart—that I may see Thee, a humble heart—that I may hear Thee, a heart of love—that I may serve Thee, a heart of faith—that I may abide in Thee. -Dag Hammarskjold