March 31 1 Samuel 8-10 & 1 Cor. 11

Having been an active child (a kind way of saying troublesome at least at times), it is not easy to parent children. You can give the best example, and sometimes the children just don’t get it. Samuel was an excellent example to his children. 1 Sam 8:3 tells us they did not follow his example. Are there perfect parents? I don’t think so. Mine was good, very good in some ways, but in others, I had to learn in the course of living my own life that they weren’t and I had to choose a better path, which I do not always choose wisely. Leadership is essential, whether we are talking about a family or a nation or a church. How are you doing in your leadership positions? If improvement is nee

March 30 1 Samuel 5-7 & 1 Cor. 10

The God of Israel is God alone you shall not have strange gods before you. Dagon is no match for the God of Israel. The Ark had a proper place to be, and it wasn’t with the Philistines. The Israelites celebrated the Ark’s return. The Ark came to reside in Kiriath-jearim one of the principal cities of Judea with Samuel as a judge again the Israelites were right with God. Our physical Church building is the proper place for the Lord to dwell and is, therefore, the appropriate place for us to worship and pray to God. Is it the only place to worship or pray? No. But it is THE place to do so. See you all there. I know which seats you sit in….. 1Cor 10:12-13, “Therefore, whoever thinks h

March 29 1 Samuel 3-4 & 1 Cor. 9:19-27

“Speak Lord your servant is listening!” Samuel’s words in 1 Samuel 3:9 our good words for us today! It is so easy not to listen, when we talk with one another it is often not a conversation it is more I am talking and when you are I am thinking about what I need or want to say next and not hearing a word you are saying much less the meaning behind them. I am guilty. As we enter these days of the Triduum – Holy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter Vigil, listening is key. Not only to the words we and others say, but through them to Christ, to the Father, and to the Holy Spirit! I pray you listen well and thus hear with your heart the voice of God! Our stance before God is with open h

March 28 1 Samuel 1-2 & 1 Cor. 9:1-18

Hannah poured her heart out to the Lord in First Samuel. Have you ever poured your heart out to the Lord? Hannah found great solace before God. Mary, the mother of Jesus, brings to full voice Hannah ’s prayer to God. In 1 Sam 2:1f we still hear how God punish Both women were people of great faith, and both have son’s dedicated to God. Samuel was the last Judge and Jesus, at long last, fulfills the prophecy of the coming of the Messiah. Why do you do what the Lord commands? Is it the fear of Hell? Are you putting on a show? Do you feel stuck and nowhere to go? There can be many reasons for following Jesus some not so good and others that speak the truth of the heart. Paul was c

March 27 Ruth & 1 Corinthians 8

The book of Ruth 1:16-17 gives us the famous saying, "Wherever you go I will go, wherever you lodge I will lodge. Your people shall be my people and your God, my God. Where you die I will die, and there be buried." While many people use this at weddings and it is indeed appropriate, it is a gift to a friend, not a lover. Ruth's love for her mother-in-law Naomi. Oh, that we would live in such a loving and caring world. Then again, maybe we can. You and I can choose to love each person that comes into our life. Let these verses inspire you! Paul helps us to acknowledge the realities of our lives. We manage to raise up idols and gods of our own making. These never bring the satisfacti

March 26 Judges 20-21 & 1 Cor 7:25-40

Judges 20:3, “How did this evil thing happen?” Sad but true we allow or cooperate with evil at times. We call that sin. It is rare that one sin does not lead to another and another and on and on. It is the sad nature of sin. Some of the worse sin in us happens in our own home’s or to our own family’s. This is the case for Israel in the book of Judges. Don’t forget sin begets sin. Also, a sad by-product of sin is blame and all too often God is blamed. God does not do what is evil. God is love. Time is running out! That is what we can pray for today. What is time running out on in our lives? Is it a broken relationship? Is it an opportunity to forgive? The blessing to say the words I love you

March 25 Judges 17-19 & 1 Cor. 7:1-24

Judges 17:6", "...Everyone did what was right in their own eyes." Their rationale was that there was no king at that time, so everyone for themselves. There are some parts of the scripture that are repugnant. Did God wish the concubine to be raped and killed? We need to learn here to respect each person's life. No one is an object to be used and abused. Paul's ideal of who has the authority and who doesn't do not compete with ours today. No one but God has authority over a body. We are God's gift. We are to hear his voice and follow his guidance. Paul does say he is not commanding us to follow. Paul at the time of the writing of 1 Cor. thought that the world would end soon. So no

March 24 Judges 13-16 & 1 Cor. 6

It is helpful to know that Samson was a judge in Isreal. It is not so much his words that speak his wisdom, but his ultimate faithfulness to God. The twists and turns of our life make for an interesting and sometimes difficult journey for us. God does wish us to know his right path. Sometimes that way is clear other time it is not till after an event that we see where God’s hand was upon us. Manoah and his wife, Samson’s parents show us the desire of God to guide us through life. For an Israelite to encounter an angel of the Lord was to be in the presence of God. Manoah and his wife had been childless, and now the angel brought them the good news. The Manoah prays not only in thanksgi

March 23 Judges 9-12 & 1 Cor. 5

Bargaining with the Lord is probably not a wise way to seek the Lord’s help. It did not work out for Jephthah. Did God want to have him take the life of his daughter? No, not any more than we would want you to do something like that to a family member. The point being don’t bargain with God. Do what is right. Seek the way of the Lord. Can you say, “Shibboleth” if not you are in trouble? I looked it up on google so I can. The Lord will catch up with you if you try to run from him in your deception. Far better is to confess your sins and know his forgiveness. Paul brings a zealousness to his faith in Christ, that is beyond Christ himself. Begins are a fragile reality. What we can ta

March 22 Judges 6-8 & 1 Cor. 4

Gibeon was a reluctant prophet for Israel. He was also pretty obnoxious with the Lord. Wow. The Lord does have broad shoulders. He takes Gibeon and allows him to voice his frustrations and doubts. But the Lord is calling Gibeon to service, and the Lord gets what the Lord wants. God clothes Gibeon with his spirit enabling him to lead the people against Midian. The test Gibeon is to use to choose what men are to fight is one of the famous sayings of the Book of Judges. You may ask why did God want the ones that used their hands to drink because such men are prepared to fight. They did not allow their thirst to overwhelm them to the point of neglecting their awareness of what is going

March 21 Judges 3-5 & 1 Cor. 3

Jesus will tell us that where two or three are gathered there, I am in their midst. The other side of the coin is where two or three come to gather there is trouble. I say that half-jokingly, but the Israelites do seem to bear this out. As they begin to come together as a nation, they seem to fall into cycles of trouble. That is followed by searching for the Lord’s help through a wish judge for the people. Pray for gift of wise leaders, for our Church, our cities and country, the world. You may want to pray Deborah’s Song as a song. The Choir of New College Oxford has a YouTube of her song at https://youtu.be/pQMJ6oPkD2s Chapter 3 of First Corinthians challenges us to assess our mat

March 20 Judges 1-2 & 1 Cor. 1:26-2:16

The book of Judges spans the time from Joshua’s death to the begin of the monarchy within Israel. It is a mistake to not listen to the Lord. Yes, it is an easy statement to make and a harder one to live up too. The Israelites had to learn this listen too. Jud. 2:1-2, “A messenger of the LORD . . . said, I brought you up from Egypt and led you into the land which I promised on oath to your ancestors. I said, I will never break my covenant with you, but you must not make a covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you must pull down their altars. But you did not listen to me. Every action has repercussions. May you choose to listen to the Lord and receive the blessed consequences that c

March 19 Joshua 20-24 & 1 COR. 1:1-25

God does what he says he will do. Joshua 21:43-45 “And so the LORD gave Israel the entire land he had sworn to their ancestors he would give them. Once they had taken possession of it and dwelt in it, the LORD gave them peace on every side, just as he had promised their ancestors. Not one of their enemies could withstand them; the LORD gave all their enemies into their power. Not a single word of the blessing that the LORD had promised to the house of Israel failed; it all came true.” What has God said to us that he would do? We also hear in these chapters the idea of corporate responsibility. We are in this together for better or worse. There is no such thing as a private sin against Go

March 18 Joshua 15-19 & 1 Peter 5

Joshua set the boundaries of the tribes of Israel. Marking the land of Milk and Honey that God had destine Israel to possess. It is an essential part of our human makeup to have a sense of where we belong. We are shaped by the places we occupy. Being from Guthrie, I have a strong and proud sense of the history of Oklahoma. What is it about you that is shaped from where God has you coming from or where you live? The Israelites did not simply walk into the land and possess it. The had to fight for it. They had a part to play in the work of God. What does God expect from you in relation to where you are? This is not about fighting for your land, but about why has God put you where you a

March 17 Jos. 10-14 & 1 PETER 4:12-19

Happy St. Patrick’s Day! God promised the Israelites the land flowing with milk and honey. There was just one problem; there were already people there. They were not a part of the promise. They did not hold in Awe the God of the Israelites. They had to go, all of them. No one left behind. It was God’s will that Israel inherits the land. Even to the point of stopping the movement of the Sun. Again, this is not so much about a historical record as a theological fact. The Israelites did fight and did conquer the land, but what is most important is God said they would, God helped them do it and just don’t mess with the God of Israel. Has there been a time when you sensed God’s help

March 16 Joshua 5-9 & 1 Peter 4:1-11

God will not let you down. He will do what he says he will do. So begins the conquest of Canaan. The fall of Jericho shows us that it was at the hand of God that Jericho’s walls collapsed. Rehab and family are spared, but all others are killed. The idea that God would sanction such killing is not about the historical record, but about following the ways of the God of Israel. No room for pagans or their religious practices nor the possible temptations that would come from allowing the people to live. Rehab believed in the God of Israel she and those she loved were spared. Believe, remain close to God, and you will live. You will live the life that God created you to have in this wor

March 15 Joshua 1-4 & 1 Peter 3:13-22

With the death of Moses, Joshua is called to lead the Israelites in the promised land. The people are reassured that God is with them. Change is never easy, especially at dramatic moments in our lives. It is with the help of God that the Israelites and us weather change. Most would simply label Rahab as unclean and to be avoided at all cost because she was a prostitute. But her faith in the God of Israel has made her an ally whose help made the difference between life and death. It would be wise on our part to learn here that God works through whom he wills, and we would do us well not to close off paths that God may choose to use for our benefit. As the Israelites used the memorial s

March 14 Deut. 33-34 & 1 Peter 3:1-12

Today my little sister would have been 61 years old. She celebrates her 12th birthday in Heaven. I am very grateful for the way she lived the life of faith. I can't pray the prayer that goes “Eternal rest grant unto her...,” cause being who she is, she is not resting. She is hard at work praying for all of us before the throne of Christ. Squeeze one in for me sis! Deuteronomy 33 speaks of blessings, a specific blessing for each tribe. When you listen to God in your heart what words of blessing do you hear for your self or your family. Moses was a faithful leader of his people. How are you doing at leading others in the way of Christ? As I will say when this comes up in Paul subordinat

March 13 Deut 30-32 & 1 Peter 2:13-25

Even in the Old Testament the wrath of God is not the last word. In chapter 30 we hear the compassion of God for those who repent of their ways. Thank God! The Spanish way to say, Thank God, which is ¡Gracias a Dios! sounds much more gracious and heartfelt to me. So you may hear me saying this more and more. God keeps his side of the Covenant over and over again. May we not take for granted God’s mercy, but may we count on it in our failures. I love the lines of Deut. 30:11-14, “For this command which I am giving you today is not too wondrous or remote for you. It is not in the heavens that you should say, ‘Who will go up to the heavens to get it for us and tell us of it, that we may do

March 12 Deut. 26-29 & 1 Peter 2:1-12

Can you see the blessings the Lord has given you? Can you offer a prayer of Thanksgiving to God for these blessings? Do you share your blessings with those in need around you? Who is in need around you? In your home? Your city? Your Church? Those beyond your sight? Is there a way you can bless them? Let us join Moses, the priests, and all Israel, Deut. 27:9-10, “. . . Be silent, Israel, and listen! This day you have become the people of the LORD, your God. You shall obey the voice of the LORD, your God, and keep his commandments and statutes which I am giving you today.” Be silent, hear his voice speak to you. It is interesting to me that the mountain of blessing Mt. Gerizim is a

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