Month: September 2016

Just Going Through The Motions

by Neal Bowes

Read

Amos 5:21-23 (CEB)
21 I hate, I reject your festivals; I don’t enjoy your joyous assemblies. 22If you bring me your entirely burned offerings and gifts of food— I won’t be pleased; I won’t even look at your offerings of well-fed animals. 23Take away the noise of your songs; I won’t listen to the melody of your harps.

Reflect

The people of Amos’s time were just “going through the motions.” God had commanded the Israelites to celebrate certain important things. For example, they were to hold a festival every year to celebrate the Passover, when God led them out of captivity in Egypt and into freedom in their own land. It was to be an annual celebration so that people would never forget God’s blessings.

But over time, the celebration lost its meaning, and people were doing it just for the sake of the party. They weren’t remembering the real reason behind the festival.

Respond

This passage is really clear. God isn’t terribly impressed with the things we do at church, if our heart isn’t in them…if we’re just going through the motions and not honoring God. God doesn’t want “lip service” from us. God wants a real, committed relationship—one where we spend time with God every day, praying and reading the Bible. This not only pleases God, but it benefits us, too. It helps us to know God better. It helps us to understand God’s commandments better. It makes our lives better. It’s great you’re already reading your devos today! Is there more you can do to strengthen your relationship with God?

Relate

If today’s devotion spoke to you in a particular way and you feel led to share your thoughts with others, please do so.

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Hijacking, Divorce, And Catch ‘n Release — Be Sure You’re RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

Sometimes snakes don’t shed their skins. They put on masks: Several communists and radical anti-American socialists now serve on the influential Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee. None of them covertly infiltrated their way onto this important body. All were appointed at the request of Bernie Sanders, Hillary Clinton or at the discretion of DNC chair […]

via Hijacking, Divorce, And Catch ‘n Release — Be Sure You’re RIGHT, Then Go Ahead

Don’t Overlook Things To Be Thankful For

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Our oldest left yesterday to go back to college after being home for the weekend.  She is a Freshman, so the past few months have been full of adjustments (as defined by lots of weeping and sobbing and questioning what we wasted the last 18 years on).  She is only 2.5 hours away and so far we have seen her nearly every weekend.  But as she left yesterday, we realized we wouldn’t see her for at least two weeks…and that seems impossible and unbearable.  As my wife and I sat in the living room, sad and depressed, it occurred to us that we still have another child at home.  How were we making him feel by mourning his sister’s absence?  How were we  helping him grow by moping around?  We decided to look at this transitional time as a chance to focus more on him, to enjoy his company, and to help him become all he can be.

I think this may be true of every unpleasant time in life.  No matter what is going on that is trying to get us down, if we stop and look around there is PLENTY to be thankful  for and even more joy to be discovered by looking for it.  Being positive is a choice and a habit so work hard at it.

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Changing Weather, Changing Times

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I woke up this morning at the usual time, but I couldn’t help but notice it was considerably darker outside.  It’s a sign that my beloved summer is coming to an end, and that the dreaded winter will be crushing our spirits in no time.  I know, I know, everyone LOVES fall with its cooler temperatures and colorful leaves.  And for a moment here and there, I can like it too.  But for the most part, fall fills me with the dread of winter with its freezing temps, icy wind, and miserable conditions.  And let’s not forget that winter also bring Christmas…ACK!

I think bears have the right idea….pig out and sleep through it.

But the weather isn’t the only thing that is changing dramatically…what is going on in the world today?  Maybe the world has always been this screwed up and we just didn’t know because we didn’t have the communication systems we now have, but holy cow.  My “are you kidding me” item of the day is the Black Lives Matter folks protesting the fact that the Nashville Metro PD is getting a body armor upgrade.  HellooooOOOoooo….they are getting it because your group and its supporters have started shooting police officers!

And that’s probably enough for today…

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