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August 2018

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I Kings 8:1-66

Going through the part of this book (Solomon) at this time has me sad and I am not sure why. The splendor of Solomon’s temple, the First Temple, I can see in my mind’s eye. I can imagine the power and majesty of the prayer Solomon prayed and I can see the throngs of people gathered in Jerusalem both for the dedication of the Temple and the Festival of Succoth, yet I am sad.

Maybe because I know how this will all end and Israel will enter into a civil war and divide into two. I know that both Kingdoms will be captured and taken into exile, yet restoration will come, at least for the Southern Kingdom. I know that full restoration will come at the end of the age, Jesus’ Second Advent. So why do I fell like this?

I think I am sad because I know that I am as part of “Spiritual Israel” setting myself up to repeat the “sins” of the past despite having a written example of what not to do in these daily readings. It is only the mercy of God, the grace of God that keeps me, us, an unfaithful people, in the arms of God.

We can build the most beautiful churches, we can dress up in our Sunday best Go-to-Meeting clothes; yet, it is our hearts that God wants,

Proverbs
23 Above all else, guard your heart,
for it is the wellspring of life.

Acts 7:51-8:13

Interesting, ain’t it, how the New Testament Readings seem to always juxtapose against the Old as if they were one thought. The first line in todays reading is Stephen speaking,

7: 51"You stubborn people! You are heathen at heart and deaf to the truth. Must you forever resist the Holy Spirit? But your ancestors did, and so do you!

Holy Father, prompt me, speak to me, warn me when I stray from your truth. No matter how many sacrifices I offer, if my heart is not set on you I’m just having a barbeque. Help me to keep my eyes on you and you alone. May my heart and ears always have eyes to see and ears to hear your Truth. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Psalm 129: 1-8
I love the imagery of a plow going over someone’s back representing persecution, yet not mortally wounding them. All of us proclaiming Jesus as our Lord and Savior have deep furrows on our backs from the plowman trying to plow us under. O, but for God, our deliverer our redeemer, he not only keeps us alive but also brings us to a place of victory so we can celebrate.

We are blessed by the Lord and to all those experiencing persecution because you call on the name of the Lord, remember a Diamond is brilliant because of tons of unending pressure squeezing radiance into an imperfect and corruptible body in the dark places of the earth. Shine forth folks!

Proverbs 17:1

1 A dry crust eaten in peace is better than a great feast with strife.

I went on vacation for a week with someone who had beautiful, spacious accommodations. Although I was taken aback that they would allow me to accompany them, I accepted because, “I won’t have to spend money on a hotel room.” Boy was that a bad move. I thought about this Proverb a lot while I stayed in luxurious accommodations. The price (free) was not worth the cost.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

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