Daily Devotions

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What’s in a story?

This is a scene from our recent trip to Tahoe, CA. It's going to be a record snow year for them. What’s in a story?  Discovering God’s Truth in Bible Narratives  God is the original story teller. He loves a good story. About three years ago, after many years of focusing on the New Testament, I turned my attention to Old Testament narratives. It has been quite a rewarding journey and only makes me want to explore more.  So, why, do you suppose, does God uses narrative to communicate us His truth? Why not just use precepts, epistles and law? In the link below is a video with a familiar Bible story. It’s a 60 second commercial that aired during the Superbowl many years ago. Take a minute to watch it.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s_D4QN6y2Q0  The impact of this commercial was because of the familiarity that the average person has of this Bible story. The same impact couldn’t happen with a biblical precept, epistle or law. Narratives (stories) comprise nearly half of the Old Testament. They are obviously an important literary style that God enjoys using. There are several reasons, I believe, that God chose to use narratives as a primary means of communicating His Story and key Theological truths. 

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The Spirit

U of Washington crew team on Lake Washington. Near my home town of Kirkland, WA The Spirit  Thoughts on the Spirit-filled Life  In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was formless and void, and the darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters. Genesis 1:1,2  I will often read a short devotional book in the morning before I go to the Word and prayer. Currently I am using The Valley of Vision, A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions. This morning's reading was on the Holy Spirit. The Puritan prayed:  O God the Holy Spirit, when thou didst first hover over the chaos, order came to birth, beauty clothed the world, fruitfulness sprang forth.  Sometimes, I will read a phrase and it will light up my brain with excitement and realization. This phrase did so for me this morning. The Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit were all present and at work in the act of creation. The Father created “out of nothing” the formless and void earth and the Holy Spirit moved over the surface of the land and the water. What followed was a process of creating order, light and beauty. 

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A Godly Woman

Ryker in Vienna! Things I have learned from Amazing Women Hannah Lesson 3  The beauty of a godly woman  Then Hannah prayed and said, ‘My heart exults in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord, my mouth speaks boldly against my enemies, because I rejoice in Your salvation. There is no one holy like the Lord, indeed, there is no one besides You, nor is there any rock like our God. For the Lord is a God of knowledge, and with Him actions are weighed.” I Samuel 2:1-3 Don’t miss the opening three words of our passage today. Then Hannah prayed...and what a prayer it is. Hannah didn’t just wake up one morning and have within her soul the capacity to pray such a prayer. No doubt, she has been seeking the truth of God and pouring her heart out to God for many years. This is one of the many reasons I believe she is an amazing woman from whom I can learn much. She is a woman of spiritual substance. This doesn’t come easy and suddenly. Her heart for God has been developed over many years of both adversity and joy and in all situations, Hannah prays.

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The Real Deal

Things I have learned from Amazing Women  Hannah, Lesson 2  Hannah is the real deal  Now when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with a three-year-old bull and one ephah of flour and a jug of wine and brought him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, although the child was young. Then they slaughtered the bull and brought the boy to Eli.   She said, ‘O my lord! As your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman who stood here beside you, praying to the Lord. For this boy I prayed, and the Lord has given me my petition which I asked of Him. So, I have also dedicated him the Lord; as long as he lives, he is dedicated to the Lord.’ And he worshiped the Lord there. I Samuel 1:24-28   At the end of chapter 1, once Samuel had been weaned, Hannah took Samuel back to the priest, Eli, and dedicated him to the Lord for a life time of service. I wonder if she was tempted to pull back on her previous commitment to completely dedicate Samuel to the Lord’s service. Maybe he could serve God while Hannah kept him close to her. Did she really have to give him over for a life of complete sacrifice to full-time service to God as a priest? Hannah was faithful to her word. 

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