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heh gang, in looking over the posts from yesterday there is quite a bit of intensity and passion being expressed. I'm sure it's all sincere. However, I felt like I was in a room doing a study group where there were a bunch of us but the discussion kept ping ponging between just a couple of well intentioned people. Maybe we should apply this guideline to our 'blogging'. "No one can blog twice until everyone else has blogged once." I know that sounds ridiculous but it sure works in our life group. Besides, has anyone noticed that it's the same few of us going around in circles. I do appreciate that even in my case when discussion has gotten 'heated', someone emailed me offline and we dialogued that way instead. Obviously I'm not in charge of the 'board' either so this is just a suggestion for what it's worth.

meanwhile, I trust we will read ourselves afresh into the Story of our Lord this Good Friday, and take a page from John 13:34, 35, "A new commandment I give to you that you love one another. By this all people will know that you are My disciples if you love (how about 'respect too') one another." Imagine a seeker or skeptic walking into our 'blog' room, what conclusion would he/she make about us? Would they be drawn into community with us or repelled? Just a thought. Can we communicate with each other in a respectful tone, so that even though we disagree, we can still respect each other. "Love does not demand its own way." Or as Melanchton said, "In essentials, unity. In non essentials, liberty. In all things, charity."

Luciano - thanks. Well said. I feel like perhaps I'm being too much of an "absentee landlord" here on the comments, and for that I apologize. (it's simply a time issue - not a lack of interest) Generally speaking I agree that 2 posts a day from each of us is plenty for us to reflect on the day's readings - more comments than that and we're likely veering off into some theological debates that are better suited for email or another forum. I agree that staying focused on the day's readings are more edifying for those who may not yet know Him who died on the cross for us.

Have a blessed Easter weekend coming up everyone. I am honored that you are on the One Year Bible journey with all of us here in 2006.

Grace,
Mike

"14 The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD"...The Israelites grumbled against Joshua for not making the right decision(ie asking God 1st)...God says nothing...still goes ahead with Israel and fights for them...Even leaders get it wrong sometimes...it's good God also looks at our hearts...knows when we go wrong not because we're rebelling but because we just didn't know any better....
Thank God for leaders,authority and discipline...we really need that in our lives especially when we forget the "love one another bit"...God bless you all and happy Easter to everyone who's celebrating Easter this weekend...the greek orthodox church celebrates it next weekend so most of the former communist countries are still a week away from Easter:))I'm glad we can all celebrate Christ daily by encouraging (and admonishing one another)in love so we may all be useful members working together for the glory of God.I have to say I am really awed at the fact that on this blog we can share and grow...so many different people and cultures all coming together to a feast (feeding on the word)...It sure will be great to meet up in Heaven:))...God REALLY REALLY bless you all..and have a wonderful weekend.

Though this is not part of the daily reading, I just felt this meditation on Psalm 51 is appropriate, as this is Good Friday.

It is good for us... but we need to be also quiet and somber to honor the One Who willingly poured out His life for you and I.

I obtained my meditation from this wonderful website: "www.studylight.org"

Psalm 51 (NKJV)
16
For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it; You do not delight in burnt offering.
17
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, A broken and a contrite heart-- These, O God, You will not despise.

TREASURY OF DAVID – CHARLES SPURGEON
"A broken heart" is an expression implying deep sorrow, embittering the very life; it carries in it the idea of all but killing anguish in that region which is so vital as to be the very source of life.

So excellent is a spirit humbled and mourning for sin, that it is not only a sacrifice, but it has a plurality of excellences, and is preeminently God's sacrifices.

A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. A heart crushed is a fragrant heart.

NOTES
Verse 17. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, etc. When speaking of thankfulness, we might have expected him to say, "a joyful heart, or a thankful heart," but instead of that he says, "a contrite heart."

For the joy of forgiveness does not banish sorrow and contrition for sin: this will still continue. And the deeper the sense of sin, and the truer the sorrow for it, the more heartfelt also will be the thankfulness for pardon and reconciliation. The tender, humble, broken heart, is therefore the best thank offering. J. J. Stewart Perowne.

Verse 17. It may be observed that the second word, (xkbn) which we render CONTRITE, DENOTES THE BEING BRUISED AND BROKEN TO PIECES, AS A THING IS BRUISED IN A MORTAR (See Numbers 11:8), and therefore, in a moral sense, signifies such a weight of sorrow as must wholly crush the mind without some powerful and seasonable relief. Samuel Chandler.

Numbers 11 (NKJV)
8
The people went about and gathered it, GROUND IT ON MILLSTONES OR BEAT IT IN THE MORTAR, cooked it in pans, and made cakes of it; and its taste was like the taste of pastry prepared with oil.

HINTS FOR PASTORS AND LAYPERSONS
Verse 3-4,11-12,17.
Scripture estimate of sin.
Personal accountability -- My sin.
Estimated as hateful to God -- Against thee, etc.
Sin estimated as separation from God.
Spiritual restoration. First step -- Sacrifice of a broken spirit. Last step -- Spirit of liberty. Thy free spirit. F. W. Robertson.

Vance

I enjoy the reading the blogs on the daily readings. It helps with my meditation on God's word by seeing others thoughts and perspectives. Every Easter I make sure to reflect on the reading of the Ressurection of Jesus, my favorite being in the Book of John. Mary in the garden, seeing the stone rolled away and Jesus' body is no longer there, she approaches who she thinks is a gardener asks if he took the body and where it is so she can go get it. Then when he says her name 'Mary' she realizes it is Jesus she is talking to and the utter joy in her reaction. This particular story within the Ressurection is my favorite and I really can't say why. Just a thought. Happy Easter all.

Just last night my wife and I were talking at dinner and I relayed to her how I thought we needed to be like Joshua... and have a mission in mind... We are not to be sitting idly by watching the world and satan take souls to damnation... We are to be in the battle... On GODs team... doing the work of the LORD... Rescuing souls... Introducing them to our Passover Lamb... The King of Glory!... Who is this King of Glory! The LORD strong and Mighty! JESUS is HIS name!

Glory... have a Blessed First Fruits, this weekend...

IMHO, the ultimate Good Friday Psalm is Psalm 23.

Oops, forgive me, I'm a Baptist (we're always talking about Psalm 23). I meant Psalm 22.

Joshua 9:3-10:43

The writer of Ecclesiastes states that there is nothing new under the sun so being bamboozled is not a new to this century or decade and not even new to you or me. So, John’s advice is for the ages:

BELOVED, DO not put faith in every spirit, but prove (test) the spirits to discover whether they proceed from God; for many false prophets have gone forth into the world.(1 John 4:1 AMP).

What happened to Joshua and Israel, I believe should be studied so we don’t fall into the same trap. We get a tremendous victory, then we operate out of presumption, thinking that our next move, which hasn’t been directed by God, must be the one to make ‘cause we’re all that and a bag of chips, with a sneakers bar thrown in and a can of coke. When we find out we have been hoodwinked, because we haven’t discerned the situation, we get angry and the party who deceived us and we fail to realize that we became a willing player in our own deception. Those of us in leadership position must be careful because our choices and decisions will have to be served by those who we have charge over.

Yet, despite our missteps, despite walking out of God’s perfect will into His permissive will, God’s mercy and grace still flows to us. Because of a promise to one man, Abraham, God does not abandon His people even when they are wrong.

Grace and peace,
Ramona

Good Friday
Here they crucified him, and with him two others John 19:18. As we mourn the death of our savior and celebrate His resurrection this Easter Sunday, I have a poem to share, along with some verses. The poem was written by a lady from our church and was in our Good Friday Service bulleton. The poem is about experiencing the crucifiction through the eyes of Mother Mary. The verses were those used in our service.

"Crucified My Lord"

They crucified my Lord today, On a hill for all to see, I saw the nail prints in his hands, The blood gush from his side, Why did they do this to my Lord, I don not now the why. He taught us goodness, kindness,love, He taught us how to live. Did they not see the good in Him, As he hung there oh so still? I know he died there for our sins, So that we might all be free. But oh the price he had to pay, To save lost souls like me.

I thought the poem was beautiful and a wonderful example of the feelings that those close to Jesus must of felt.

Isaiah 53:1-6

Who has believed what we have heard? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? For he grew up before him like a young plant, and like a root out of the ground. He had no form or majesty that we should look at him, nothing in his appearance that we should desire him. He was despised and rejected by others; a man of suffering and acquanted with grief. And as one from whom others hide their faces, he was despised and we held him of no account. Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows. Yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and affliced. But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquiteies; Upon him was the chastisement that made us whole, And with his stripes we are healed. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; And the Lord has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

John 19:37

They will look on the one they have pierced. Jesus died as the lambs for the Passover meal were being slain. Not a bone was to be broken in these sacrificial lambs (Exodus 12:46; Numbers 9:12) Jesus the Lamb of God, was the perfect sacrifice for the sins of the world (1 Corinthians 5:7)

Have a blessed and wonderful Easter

Dear Mike,
I have been disabled since I was 22, and I simply despise it. I had a stroke, so I know there must be a reason for it, but I cannot sit around and do nothing!

I may not be getting paid for the work which I do now, but I LOVE it! I am writing everyday. I am involved. I am reading Pakistani papers, Chinese papers, ME papers, Jerusalem papers, European papers, South American papers, and African papers.

Much of the news we receive is deceptive and false. I am getting off the point, aren't I? lol.

Before the internet, I was laying around waiting to die. I had no hope of ever contributing, and I was devastated.

Hard work, whether voluntary or paid, is very good for the soul.

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