Three Year Anniversary

3rd anniversary

Today is the three year anniversary of the introduction of this blog.  I enjoy writing in this space because it gives a space to flex some creative muscles.  I know there are some seasons when it was tough to get the creative juices flowing and the last year or so has been that.  But I am glad this has been available.

I don’t know what the next year has in store for this blog.  I hope there are more creative posts.  I hope that what is said here is encouraging to others that read it, that it gets people to think.  I also hope that it’s helpful to me to just share thoughts and feelings here.

If this is the first time you’ve read a blog post here, welcome.  If you have been reading regularly the last three years, thank you.  I hope that as the journey continues that we all learn and grow from it.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 40:6-10

“In sacrifice and offering you have not delighted,
    but you have given me an open ear.
Burnt offering and sin offering
    you have not required.
Then I said, “Behold, I have come;
    in the scroll of the book it is written of me:
I delight to do your will, O my God;
    your law is within my heart.”

I have told the glad news of deliverance
    in the great congregation;
behold, I have not restrained my lips,
    as you know, O Lord.
I have not hidden your deliverance within my heart;
    I have spoken of your faithfulness and your salvation;
I have not concealed your steadfast love and your faithfulness
    from the great congregation.”  (Psalm 40:6-10)

God wants us to delight in Him.  God wants us to give ourselves to Him.  David knew this and shared this as part of this Psalm.  He knew how good God was.  He knew that God was with him.  And David also wanted to share this with others.  He made it a point speak out about God’s faithfulness and His salvation.  He shared about God’s steadfast love and deliverance.

We should do the same.  Those of us that are followers of Jesus should not keep the good news to ourselves but share it with others.  We should be overjoyed to share what has changed us and made us whole.  This week, let us have that be our desire.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 40:1-5

“I waited patiently for the Lord;
    he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
    out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
    making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
    a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
    and put their trust in the Lord.

Blessed is the man who makes
    the Lord his trust,
who does not turn to the proud,
    to those who go astray after a lie!
You have multiplied, O Lord my God,
    your wondrous deeds and your thoughts toward us;
    none can compare with you!
I will proclaim and tell of them,
    yet they are more than can be told.”  (Psalm 40:1-5)

David knew all too well about tough times.  He knew all too well about despair and loneliness.  And in all of this, he know exactly where to turn in those times.  He knew to turn to the Lord.  He knew that he could put his trust in God and it wouldn’t be broken.

We can have that same assurance that God will be with us.  We can have the same assurance that He will take care of us.  He has proven Himself over and over again to be faithful.  And those who trust in Him are blessed.

This week, whether if things are going well or if there are tough times, trust in the Lord.

Thursday Quote Day: J.R.R. Tolkien

For this week’s “Thursday Quote Day” here is another quote from author J.R.R. Tolkien:

“The world is indeed full of peril, and in it there are many dark places; but still there is much that is fair, and though in all lands love is now mingled with grief, it grows perhaps the greater.”  (J.R.R. Tolkien The Fellowship of the Ring)

Updated 2016 Book List

Here is another update on the books I’ve read in 2016:

Film, Faith and Philosophy:  Big Ideas on the Big Screen edited by R. Douglas Geivett and James S. Spiegel

Star Wars:  The Force Awakens by Alan Dean Foster

Reel Spirituality: Theology and Film in Dialogue by Robert K. Johnston

It:  How Churches and Leaders Can Get It and Keep It by Craig Groeschel

Called to Coach:  Reflections on Life, Faith and Football by Bobby Bowden with Mark Schlabach

Boring:  Finding an Extraordinary God in an Ordinary Life by Michael Kelley

Arise by Clayton and Ellen Kershaw

Soul Revolution by John Burke

Sunday Devotional: Habakkuk 3:17-19

“Though the fig tree should not blossom,
nor fruit be on the vines,
the produce of the olive fail
and the fields yield no food,
the flock be cut off from the fold
and there be no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will take joy in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the deer’s;
he makes me tread on my high places”  (Habakkuk 3:17-19)

Old Testament prophets knew about hard times.  Many of them suffered hardships in being faithful to the message God had called them to preach.  Many of them were lonely.  Many of them were ignored.  But regardless of the tough times they went through, they were faithful in serving God and were faithful in preaching the message given to them.

Habakkuk shares here that even though tough times may come, one can still rejoice in the Lord.  He knows that the source of his strength comes from the Lord.  He knows that the source of his salvation comes from the Lord.  Even when there is suffering and hardship, God is there.  Even when there is loneliness and heartbreak, God is there.

This week, let us remember that God is with us.  He loves us and He is our source of strength and salvation if we just trust Him and follow Him.

Sunday Devotional: Psalm 130

“Out of the depths I cry to you, O Lord!
     O Lord, hear my voice!
Let your ears be attentive
    to the voice of my pleas for mercy!

If you, O Lord, should mark iniquities,
    O Lord, who could stand?
But with you there is forgiveness,
    that you may be feared.

I wait for the Lord, my soul waits,
    and in his word I hope;
my soul waits for the Lord
    more than watchmen for the morning,
    more than watchmen for the morning.

O Israel, hope in the Lord!
    For with the Lord there is steadfast love,
    and with him is plentiful redemption.
And he will redeem Israel
    from all his iniquities.”  (Psalm 130)

It is good to remember where our hope lies.  It lies in the Lord.  We can trust in Him to be there for us.  We can trust Him to hear our cries and pleas.  We can trust that there is forgiveness with Him.  We can trust in His steadfast love.

He has shown His character throughout time.  We see it throughout Scripture.  We see it in our own lives.  Sometimes we forget and so we need to be reminded time and time again of His goodness.  The writer of this Psalm knows this truth.  He makes it a point to say how much he hopes in the Lord.  He waits for the Lord “more than watchmen for the morning.”  And in his waiting he knows that God will deliver no matter how long the wait.

This week let us hope in the Lord.  Let us cry out to Him and trust that He will answer and He will deliver.  Let us trust in His steadfast love and in His plentiful redemption.