Ken Weliever issues a simple challenge: be kind. “In a world that is often insensitive, cold and calloused, Christians are called upon to be different. As we interact with our brethren, friends and family, let’s learn to be nice. Be considerate. Be caring. Be loving. Be patient. Be kind.”
Gary Henry encourages us not to mistake the means for the end. “We can’t grow strong without using the means God has provided to that end, but we mustn’t forget what the end is. The ‘trees’ are sometimes so interesting, we lose sight of the ‘forest.’ We can become so caught up in the activities of spiritual growth that we begin enjoying them alone, just for their own sake. As strange as it may seem, we can lose touch with God while busying ourselves with the deeds of the devotional life.”
Rickie Jenkins addresses parents who are concerned about training their children in the best way possible. “We search for fundamental keys that will help us to be successful. May I suggest a few of those fundamental keys are found in the Ten Commandments, especially the command to ‘honor thy father and mother’ (Ex. 20:12)?”
The Hubble Space Telescope has been in orbit for 23 years and, to celebrate this milestone, the space telescope revisited the famous Horsehead Nebula in the constellation of Orion.
Steve Wolfgang provides a link to an extensive article he wrote several years ago on the history of hymns, particularly in the context of the “Restoration Movement.”
Tom and Joy Hamilton have 6 biological children and 2 adopted children. When they heard that Radion and Kolya were about to “age out” of their orphanage in the Ukraine, Tom and Joy decided immediately to save them from this fate. 1213 features their inspiring story of godly love and sacrifice.
We’re familiar with the beautiful “green pastures” phrase from Psalm 23:1-2. Ferrell Jenkins provides a picture taken near Heshbon on the Transjordan plateau. “It is rare in Israel or Jordan to see sheep in such an abundance of grass.”
Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. (2 Pet 3:18).
That’s our prayer and goal for 2013 at Laurel Canyon. To that end, our Bible reading plan for the year focuses on the Psalms, Proverbs, and the New Testament. Each Sunday we’ll read a psalm. Each weekday we’ll read a psalm (to focus our hearts on God), a chapter from the Gospels or the Book of Acts (to fix our eyes on Jesus), and a chapter from one of the New Testament epistles (to refresh ourselves on what it means to be a disciple of Christ).
“Man shall not live by bread alone” (Matt 4:4). Those were our Lord’s words. Let’s take them seriously and live on the word every day in 2013.
Click here for the January 2013 reading calendar, and be sure to come back at the beginning of February for the continued schedule.
Listen to the encouragement of Psalm 99 to worship the Creator as King.
__________ The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! _____________ He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! __________ The LORD is great in Zion; _____________ he is exalted over all the peoples. __________ Let them praise your great and awesome name! _____________ Holy is he! __________ The King in his might loves justice. _____________ You have established equity; __________ you have executed justice _____________ and righteousness in Jacob. __________ Exalt the LORD our God; _____________ worship at his footstool! _____________ Holy is he! (Psa 99:1-5)
To strengthen this call to worship, the psalmist reminds us of Old Testament history.
__________ Moses and Aaron were among his priests, _____________ Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. _____________ They called to the LORD, and he answered them. __________ In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them; _____________ they kept his testimonies _____________ and the statute that he gave them.
__________ O LORD our God, you answered them; _____________ you were a forgiving God to them, _____________ but an avenger of their wrongdoings. __________ Exalt the LORD our God, _____________ and worship at his holy mountain; _____________ for the LORD our God is holy! (Psa 99:6-9)
Why should we spend significant time reading Old Testament history? Among a host of answers, Psalm 99 offers these practical pointers.
Psalm 92:12-14 is a beautiful description of the blessings that flow from a healthy connection with God.
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green…
These are appealing verbs. Flourish. Grow. Planted. Full. The sort of verbs I want to characterize my relationship with my Creator.
But notice the aim behind God’s grace for human flourishing.
A simple observation from Psalm 73. Asaph is struggling.
____________ Truly God is good to Israel, _________________ to those who are pure in heart. ____________ But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled, _________________ my steps had nearly slipped. ____________ For I was envious of the arrogant _________________ when I saw the prosperity of the wicked. (Psa 73:1-3)
In one picture at a freight truck depot on the south side of Dallas, one twister flung semitrailers high in the air and hundreds of feet from their parking spots. A tractor weighs 20,000 pounds. An empty trailer weighs 14,000 pounds, while a full one weighs about 46,000, the company said.
Lot owner Wisconsin-based Schneider National Trucking Co. said there were no injuries at the facility, but there was significant damage to the building and equipment.
CNN meteorologist Sean Morris estimated the tornadoes were EF1 or EF2 twisters, at their strongest. ”This is fairly weak in terms of tornadoes, but we saw the awesome power of the twisters as they lifted the trailers several hundred feet in the air,” he said.
Video like this reminds me of David’s call in Psalm 29 to behold the awesome power behind the LORD’s voice.
____________ Ascribe to the LORD, O heavenly beings, _________________ ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. ____________ Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; _________________ worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
____________ The voice of the LORD is over the waters; _________________ the God of glory thunders, _________________ the LORD, over many waters. ____________ The voice of the LORD is powerful; _________________ the voice of the LORD is full of majesty.
____________ The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; _________________ the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon. ____________ He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, _________________ and Sirion like a young wild ox.
____________ The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire. ____________ The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; _________________ the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
____________ The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth _________________ and strips the forests bare, _________________ and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
____________ The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; _________________ the LORD sits enthroned as king forever. ____________ May the LORD give strength to his people! _________________ May the LORD bless his people with peace!
Video of tractor trailers being tossed around like Legos takes our breath away. Tractor trailers don’t belong 200 feet in the air. Roughly equivalent in 1000 B.C. were the cedars of Lebanon, and David encourages us to realize that God’s voice alone can snap them like twigs.
How thankful we should be that no fatalities have been reported due to Tuesday’s Texas twisters. But on this Wednesday morning, don’t forget that the Bible has been calling for an awe-filled response from human beings for more than 3,000 years.
____________ Ascribe to the LORD glory and strength. ____________ Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name. _________________ Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness.
I appreciate new Bible study tools that enhance my walk with God. I hope you do too. That’s why I wanted to highlight a new option for personal and congregational study that’s both thought-provoking and cost-effective.
The Courageous Living series of workbooks by Wilson Adams includes a variety of textual and topical studies that are grounded in the Word of God. Well-written, fresh and relevant, they serve as great tools for individual study, small-group discussions or congregational Bible classes. There are twelve studies available so far…
…with more to come. Each workbook follows the same format and includes 12 lessons with both text and discussion questions. Click here to sample Tables of Contents, as well as actual pages from each workbook.
The next time you’re looking for good material to supplement your study and application of the Bible, you would do well to consider the Courageous Living series.