OYB March 30

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Deuteronomy 13, Deuteronomy 14, Deuteronomy 15
NT: Luke 8:40-56 , Luke 9:1-6
Ps: Psalm 71
Pr: Proverbs 12:5-7

Today´s notable verses:

Eat the tithe of your grain, new wine and oil, and the firstborn of your herds and flocks in the presence of the LORD your God at the place he will choose as a dwelling for his Name, so that you may learn to revere the LORD your God always.

Deuteronomy 14:23 (NIV)

A question about the tithe: the Israelites brought the tithe of their crops, vineyards, and flocks to the temple, and ate them in the presence of God as a fellowship offering. How does this principle apply to us today - or does it? The concept of the tithe today is that it is simply given away - or, given back to God, as it were. How do we practice "eating [our] tithe...in the presence of the Lord"?

But Jesus said, "Someone touched me; I know that power has gone out from me."

Luke 8:46 (NIV)

What strikes me in this passage is the passive transferrence of healing power from Christ to the woman. What a beautiful example of faith being the effective or permissive agent to enable Christ's healing power. Note that it was not merely the act of touching Jesus that brought healing - for the crowds were pressed around Him, and yet Jesus took note of the touch of one specific person: the touch that came from faith in Jesus' power to heal. Many were touching Jesus, intentionally or unintentionally, yet one one was healed: the one who touched purposefully, in faith. Would that we would seek to touch Jesus today, and through our faith receive the spiritual, physical, or emotional healing that is His gift to and desire for us!

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

I find it interesting that these verses say both - there should be no poor and that there will always be some poor among you.

The poor will always be among us, for several reasons: some are able yet unwilling to work, and so do not prosper; others are physically or mentally unable to work; others are able and willing to work, but are facing a short- or long-term trial of some sort. Regardless, that we will always have the poor among us serves as a visible reminder that we are all interdependent. Just as we who are able are commanded to care for the poor, so too we realize that we have needs that can only be met by others - and all of us have a need that can only be met by Christ.

Goodbye, Vandy; Hello… Vinatieri!

Filed in SportsTags: Colts, Indiana, Indianapolis, NFL

Well, if you're going to let go of the most accurate place kicker in NFL history (and in a lot of ways, good riddance), might as well replace him with Mr. Clutch:

Among the first to welcome Adam Vinatieri to Indianapolis this week was Colts quarterback Peyton Manning. The significance of a thoughtful phone call was not lost on the kicker, introduced Thursday at Union Federal Football Center as the heir apparent to Mike Vanderjagt. Later Thursday, Vanderjagt signed with the Dallas Cowboys.

"Yeah, that's a good start. It's cool when you get star quarterbacks calling the lowly kickers," said Vinatieri, who won three Super Bowl rings with New England but departed via free agency for the long-term security of a five-year, $10 million contract with the Colts.

I know, I'm a week late on this one... it's been a long week!

In other Colts news, Mathis signed a one-year, $2MM RFA tender.

And finally, the Colts will continue a couple recent trends next season: playing on the road in New England, and opening the season on the road - though this year's opener will be a prime-time face-off of the brothers Manning, as the Colts will be visiting the New York Giants.

OYB March 29

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Deuteronomy 11, Deuteronomy 12
NT: Luke 8:22-39
Ps: Psalm 70
Pr: Proverbs 12:4

Today´s notable verses:

4 You must not worship the LORD your God in their way. 5 But you are to seek the place the LORD your God will choose from among all your tribes to put his Name there for his dwelling. To that place you must go...

Deuteronomy 12:4-5 (NIV)

The place the Lord chose as His dwelling place among the Israelites - the place they were to go to worship - was the tabernacle, and eventually the temple. Today, because of Christ, the Lord has chosen as His dwelling place the hearts of His believers. Since the Old-Testament dwelling place of God was a place of worship, the New-Testament dwelling place of God is also a place of worship. Thus, we are living, breathing, walking vessels of worship. No longer must we go somewhere external and fixed in order to worship our Lord; instead, our lives and our worship have become intimately and inexorably united.

But be sure you do not eat the blood, because the blood is the life, and you must not eat the life with the meat.

Deuteronomy 12:23 (NIV)

"The blood is the life." This statement explains why bloodshed is required as atonement for sin: since the wages of sin is death, sin demands shedding of blod - that is, shedding of life.

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Do you believe in the existence of evil in our world today? Do you believe that Satan exists? Do you believe that demons exist? Do you know the one true Remedy and Salvation and Protection from all evil? Will you run into Jesus’ arms for this safety forever?

One cannot turn on the television or read a newspaper or magazine without being confronted by the stark presence of evil the the world. Despite the cloud of relativism and the camoflauge of post-modern philosophy, Satan cannot completely obscure his existence. I know his agents - demons and evil spirits - exist, because I have witnessed their influence with my own eyes. Even as a teenager, I had witnessed the interaction of the forces of evil in the spiritual realms with our natural world. Yet, I have never needed to fear that evil, nor do I dwell on it. He who is in me is greater than he who is in the world. I am safely in the arms of Christ, and nothing will happen to me that He does not allow and work out for my good. And I praise God for that!

New Glasses

Filed in Personal

I last had an eye exam five years ago. My glasses have been held together with super glue since November. Time for an eye exam and new glasses. Exam and two pairs of glasses for $69? Sweet! My appointment is set for Thursday, after work.

OYB March 28

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Deuteronomy 9, Deuteronomy 10
NT: Luke 8:4-21
Ps: Psalm 69:19-36
Pr: Proverbs 12:2-3

Today´s notable verses:

When I went up on the mountain to receive the tablets of stone, the tablets of the covenant that the LORD had made with you, I stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water.

Deuteronomy 9:9 (NIV)

Then once again I fell prostrate before the LORD for forty days and forty nights; I ate no bread and drank no water, because of all the sin you had committed, doing what was evil in the LORD's sight and so provoking him to anger.

Deuteronomy 9:18 (NIV)

Moses fasted for eighty days straight!

But the seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.

Luke 8:15 (NIV)

One word jumped out at me, as if for the first time, while reading the parable of the Sower: persevering. It is by our perseverance that the Seed planted in us produces a crop. It is perseverance to which we are called. Ours is not to struggle, but to stand firm:

Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand.

Ephesians 6:13 (NIV)

I think sometimes as Christians we try to take on too much of the struggle ourselves, rather than let God fight the battles He has told us are His to fight. In the grand scheme, our primary job is to hold our own ground. Now, that doesn't mean that we don't have very real struggles with very real responsibility to overcome them in our own lives. But our tactical battles are only a part of the overall strategy of the Great War - a war that has already been won, God's strategy having defeated our enemy already.

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Okay, I'm really getting into the New Living Translation little commentary headers before sections of our readings - as I discussed in yesterday's post, these are not from the original text so should not be considered Biblical text. Nonetheless, I personally do find them useful. And I really do like the first header in Deuteronomy chapter 9 today in the NLT - "Victory by God's Grace." You'll note that you won't actually find the word "grace" in any of the verses that follow. However, I think we do get a good overview of how grace works in this section...

The same thought struck me: that the underlying theme of this passage was God's grace. The line that focused my attention on grace was this one:

Now I had stayed on the mountain forty days and nights, as I did the first time, and the LORD listened to me at this time also. It was not his will to destroy you.

Deuteronomy 10:10 (NIV)

Through all of Israel's rebellion, the one thing God desparately wanted to demonstrate was His love and grace for His chosen people - love and grace that extend to us today, three thousand years later!

Weekend Cat Linking

Filed in MiscellaneousTags: Carnivals, Cats, Pets

Carnival of the Cats at Scribblings.

Friday Ark at The Modulator.

OYB March 27

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Deuteronomy 7, Deuteronomy 8
NT: Luke 7:36-50, Luke 8:1-3
Ps: Psalm 69:1-18
Pr: Proverbs 12:1

Today´s notable verse:

Whoever loves discipline loves knowledge,
but he who hates correction is stupid.

Proverbs 12:1 (NIV)

Well, David certainly wins awards with this proverb, for brevity and bluntness! But how true his words: great wisdom lies in learning from discipline, and foolish pride the despises correction is the epitome of stupidity.

The One Year Bible Blog has a lot of great commentary today, but I am too worn out to contribute. I'll be back on my game tomorrow (Lord willing)!

More Weekend Catblogging

Filed in PersonalTags: Cats, Pets, Photos

My human put me through a rough week. First, I had to go to the clinic, and have things poked into me, and have things squeezed, and have blood drawn, and generally be put through misery. Then, he continues to force-feed me an awful-tasting pill. So, I have been demanding more of his attention to compensate.

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I think I'll sit on your end-table until you realize you need to pay attention to me.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

millie 040

I'm glad to see you're sharing enough room on your chair for me.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

millie 042

This is my favorite way to lay next to my human.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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Sometimes I like to walk across my human to the right armrest.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

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And of course, having done so, I must turn around and strike my cute pose.
Photo © Chip Bennett, all rights reserved.

Little’s Blog Things

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Little's Blog Things, welcome to the OYB Blogroll!

OYB March 26

Filed in ReligionTags: Christianity, Devotions, One Year Bible

Today´s reading:
OT: Deuteronomy 5, Deuteronomy 6
NT: Luke 7:11-35
Ps: Psalm 68:19-35
Pr: Proverbs 11:29-31

Today´s notable verse:

But wisdom is proved right by all her children.

Luke 7:35 (NIV)

This saying struck me. I'm not as familiar with Luke as I am with other gospels: John, and of the synoptic gospels, Matthew. I am very much enjoying reading the gospel story from Luke's perspective, and I don't remember Matthew mentioning Jesus saying what we read here. I think the meaning is similar to the principle of knowing the true identity of something according to the fruit it bears. Likewise, wisdom proves itself by the outcome or results of its application. The way the text is punctuated, Jesus is quoting something or someone here, but I see no footnote references to the source. I wonder what he's quoting?

The One Year Bible Blog asks:

Wow.... Verse 35 in Luke chapter 7 is such a profound teaching of Jesus' for each of us to consider- "But wisdom is shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it." Take a few moments to really meditate on this verse and what it means. For me this verse is a reminder that sometimes in life we have to move forward in faith on something "wise" we've heard, but maybe not experienced - and then later see that the wisdom is true. ...I'd just say that if there is a struggle in your life that God is calling you to leave behind or move forward on - go for it! If you know you should be doing or not doing something - go with that wisdom you know and then it will "shown to be right by the lives of those who follow it." Please follow it!

First, I like this take on the saying: the idea that wisdom has "children", and that we are those children. Also, he points out that wisdom is something we can prove to ourselves by "trial and error" - we can put the wisdom to the test, so to speak, by applying it to our lives. (Though, I think we need to do so believing that the wisdom is true - see James 1:5-8.)

I know it's not part of today's reading, but something from church this weekend brings me back to a passage we studied earlier this week:

27 But I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, 28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you.

Luke 6:27-28 (NIV)

During service this weekend, the pastor took us through an exercise at the conclusion of worship, during which we intentionally prayed for our enemies. While I was doing so, God brought to my memory another passage, and an understanding that so struck me that I am compelled to share it here:

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12 (NIV)

God so very clearly reminded me that those who mistreat us or persecute us are not our enemy. Our struggle is not against them; our struggle is against our true enemy: the evil one and his forces of evil working in the lives of those we would consider our "enemies". Rather than see such people with bitterness and unforgiveness, it is my prayer that we see them with the eyes of Christ:

When he saw the crowds, he had compassion on them, because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.

Matthew 9:36 (NIV)

Not our enemies, but harassed and helpless sheep, in need of a shepherd - The Shepherd. As we pray for them, we begin to see them with the eyes of Christ: with compassion. In so doing, we begin to see them not from a perspective of deserving vengance, but rather we see the tragedy of their separation from Christ. it is only then that we resemble and exemplify Christ, and it is only then that God is able to use us to reach them.