Had It Not Been – Psalm 124

Speaking of addictions, but not Anglophilia, haven’t we all been addicted to something?

photo by jens rost

Chocolate? Gum? Alcohol? Drugs? An addiction just starts out as a pleasant diversion, but when the search for continued diversion continues to an unhealthy level, the addiction can become a snare from which there is no escape. Our human will-power is most often not enough to free us. Now, more than ever before, Satan uses addictions to divert our attention from the things that truly matter. He has so many tools at his disposal!

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Psalm 123: A Good Master

I have an addiction. It is very advanced and probably needs addressing. I’m a little ashamed at it, at times- the looks that come my way when others discover the severity of my dependance. Those who come to my house might or might not notice , depending on their lifestyle and if they or someone they know has been similarly addicted. If they are acquainted at all with it will see the evidence in every nook and cranny, affecting nearly every surface.

It might surprise those who do not know me well but after being acquainted with me just a few weeks- you’d know. There’s not really a good way to hide it because I’ve got it bad.

Anglophilia.

No it’s not a love of angles – I am terrible at math… pictures and more after the break.

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Peace be with you – Psalm 122

A little something to focus your mind for Wednesday night church tonight.

Peaceful sunset in Roatan, Honduras (Credit to Lynn McKee)

Read:

Psalms 122:

1  I was glad when they said to me,

“Let us go to the house of the LORD!”

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Songs of Ascent: Lift up your eyes…

I’d like to kick off a Monday & Wednesday Devotional thoughts starting with the Songs of Ascent to focus our thoughts on what many of us consider  the worst day of the week (Monday) and on Wednesday mornings as a mid-week reminder.

I think the Songs of Ascent are a great place to start. They would be sung as traveling Jews climbed up to Jerusalem for the Holy Days (like Passover or Pentecost.) They are usually brief (I know yay!) and often very encouraging!

Below the cut: Our first Psalm and a Song by Casting Crowns

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Big News part 1 (Luke 1:8-23)

Now while he was serving as priest before God when his division was on duty, according to the custom of the priesthood, he was chosen by lot to enter the temple of the Lord and burn incense.  And the whole multitude of the people were praying outside at the hour of incense. 

This was no ordinary worship service. This was a huge deal- the only time a priest could enter the Holy of Holies was on the Day of Atonement,  possibly the holiest day of the Jewish Calendar. On this day one priest would get to enter into the presence of God and he would offer the blood of a sacrifice for the sins of all the people, delaying the payment for that sin another year. You see in the Old Testament sin was not removed it was postponed until a later date. (check out Leviticus 16 for more info.)

So Zechariah should’ve been on the lookout for something amazing to happen, right?

Below the Cut: His reaction and a chart!

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Historical Markers and More- Luke 1:5-7

“In the days of Herod, king of Judea…” 

These words, though they do not seem to be very important, are actually very key. They give us a time & date stamp, like you have on a text message. Not everyone believes in the bible- and many of those who don’t (and even some who claim to believe!) will say that the bible is just a bunch of stories with no basis in historical fact. Others will say “There is no historical Jesus…. Jesus is just kind of a really nice figure, but he never lived…”  It is little words like this, however, that prove them wrong.

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Why Luke: An Introduction

Day 1: Luke 1:1-4 (ESV)

Inasmuch as many have undertaken to compile a narrative of the things that have been accomplished among us, just as those who from the beginning were eyewitnesses and ministers of the word have delivered them to us. It seemed good to me also, having followed all things closely for some time past, to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus , that you may have certainty concerning the things which you have been taught.

Just as you (Sharon) have been baptized and want to learn more about what you have been taught, Luke thought it would be a good idea to take all of what he could compile from those around him and create an ‘orderly account’ of it- instead of lots of individual accounts or retellings. The result was one of the easiest gospels to study: it seems to be the most complete, the most ‘orderly’ and in some ways the easiest one for us to understand!

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