20 We wait in hope for the Lord;
    he is our help and our shield.
21 In him our hearts rejoice,
    for we trust in his holy name.
22 May your unfailing love be with us, Lord,
    even as we put our hope in you.

22 The Lord will rescue his servants;
    no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.

 

 

Psalm 10:1-6

Why, Lord, do you stand far off?
    Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

In his arrogance the wicked man hunts down the weak,
    who are caught in the schemes he devises.
He boasts about the cravings of his heart;
    he blesses the greedy and reviles the Lord.
In his pride the wicked man does not seek him;
    in all his thoughts there is no room for God.
His ways are always prosperous;
    your laws are rejected by[b] him;
    he sneers at all his enemies.
He says to himself, “Nothing will ever shake me.”
    He swears, “No one will ever do me harm.”

 

Psalm 18:30 — form biblegateway.com

Yet he has not left himself without testimony: He has shown kindness by giving you rain from heaven and crops in their seasons; he provides you with plenty of food and fills your hearts with joy.”

 

A beautiful sunset over a wheat field -- from pixabay.com

 

From before the birth of Jesus Christ:

32 “He is not a mere mortal like me that I might answer him,
    that we might confront each other in court.
33 If only there were someone to mediate between us,
    someone to bring us together,
34 someone to remove God’s rod from me,
    so that his terror would frighten me no more.
35 Then I would speak up without fear of him,
    but as it now stands with me, I cannot.

From DSC:
Jesus Christ IS that mediator. Thank you LORD!

 
 

Psalm 91:1-4 — from biblegateway.com

Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High
    will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.[a]
I will say of the Lord, “He is my refuge and my fortress,
    my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you
    from the fowler’s snare
    and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his feathers,
    and under his wings you will find refuge;
    his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

 

John3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

A “popcorn prayer” from DSC:
Thank you LORD for your mercy, forgiveness, grace, and love. Thank you for providing for us and for sustaining us. Thank you that you are extremely creative and detail-oriented. Thanks for your patience with us — especially with me.

I’m also grateful for the running clean water that we have access to…and for air conditioning, for food in the cupboard, for our refrigerator/freezer, the washing machine and other amenities such as reliable electricity and internet access. Thanks for the freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States. 

Have mercy upon us LORD. I/we need you…big time. Don’t give up on the work of your hands.

 

John 3:17 — from biblegateway.com

17 For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.

 

2 Chronicles 10 (NIV) — from biblegateway.com (emphasis DSC)

Excerpt:

10 Rehoboam went to Shechem, for all Israel had gone there to make him king. When Jeroboam son of Nebat heard this (he was in Egypt, where he had fled from King Solomon), he returned from Egypt. So they sent for Jeroboam, and he and all Israel went to Rehoboam and said to him: “Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but now lighten the harsh labor and the heavy yoke he put on us, and we will serve you.”

Rehoboam answered, “Come back to me in three days.” So the people went away.

Then King Rehoboam consulted the elders who had served his father Solomon during his lifetime. “How would you advise me to answer these people?” he asked.

They replied, “If you will be kind to these people and please them and give them a favorable answer, they will always be your servants.”

But Rehoboam rejected the advice the elders gave him and consulted the young men who had grown up with him and were serving him. He asked them, “What is your advice? How should we answer these people who say to me, ‘Lighten the yoke your father put on us’?”

10 The young men who had grown up with him replied, “The people have said to you, ‘Your father put a heavy yoke on us, but make our yoke lighter.’ Now tell them, ‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s waist. 11 My father laid on you a heavy yoke; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.’”

12 Three days later Jeroboam and all the people returned to Rehoboam, as the king had said, “Come back to me in three days.” 13 The king answered them harshly. Rejecting the advice of the elders, 14 he followed the advice of the young men and said, “My father made your yoke heavy; I will make it even heavier. My father scourged you with whips; I will scourge you with scorpions.”

From DSC:
The new, younger king didn’t listen to the older, more experienced people (i.e., the elders) who had worked with King Solomon (a king who reigned over a united Israel for 40 years…and a person whom the Bible says was the wisest king of all time). Instead the younger king sought the counsel of his younger peers and went with that advice. This led to Rehoboam’s downfall — at least in terms of keeping a strong, united Israel. He was only a king of a much smaller kingdom due to his decision and actions.

What might the youth of today learn from this? How might entrepreneurs learn from this? What might companies like Google, Facebook, and others learn from this? How might this impact how we go about developing the culture of a company? What’s valued and what’s not valued?

There are probably different lessons one can learn from 2 Chronicles Chapter 10. But here’s one example that comes to my mind…

…just because we can…

just because we can does not mean we should


…doesn’t mean we should.

 

just because we can does not mean we should

 

Romans 11:33-36 — from biblegateway.com

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and[a] knowledge of God!
    How unsearchable his judgments,
    and his paths beyond tracing out!
34 “Who has known the mind of the Lord?
    Or who has been his counselor?”[b]
35 “Who has ever given to God,
    that God should repay them?”[c]
36 For from him and through him and for him are all things.
    To him be the glory forever! Amen.

 

Hear a Harlem Choir Rejoice Again — from nytimes.com by Tariro Mzezewa
This article features music. For the best experience, turn your sound on.

A spotlight shines down on the Bethel Gospel Assembly church.

 

25 I know that my redeemer[a] lives,
    and that in the end he will stand on the earth.

.

Picture of an empty tomb.

 

 

Picture of an empty tomb -- so glad the tomb was empty! Happy Easter to those who celebrate it!

 

From DSC:
In my senior year at college, it was on a Maundy Thursday that I came out of one of the deepest, loneliest deserts that I’ve been in during this lifetime. I’ve been in others, but not like that one. In the fall of my senior year, I had to see if all of this faith stuff was a hoax. So I went into a 7-8 month time in the desert. I questioned the LORD’s existence. Everyone felt a million miles away…even my closest friends.  The LORD felt a million miles away too. After having three good years on the court, the sport that I played in college did not go well — at all. I couldn’t wait to get off the court.

But as it turned out — and looking in the rearview mirror — I could see that He was at work. How I saw myself, the LORD, and the world changed that year. My identity changed that year.

On that Maundy Thursday, I went to the Alice Millar Chapel on NU’s campus. Normally, I would have been with my family, but they were away that year. I was sitting alone, in the back of the church…it was dark. I watched the pastor get down on his knees, reach for a wet towel, and wash the feet of a dozen or so people from the congregation. The pastor was doing what Christ had done to His disciples, many years prior.

All of the sudden, the many years’ worth of singing the doxology around the family table came flooding back into my mind. And what I can only describe as a sort of full-body warmth came over me. I have never doubted the LORD’s existence since that time. It was nice to be out of the desert.

(My pastor at that time, Rev. David Handley, used to say that the Holy Spirit was active on Maundy Thursday…and I believe it.  🙂 

All that said, I hope that once we make it through Maundy Thursday and Good Friday, that those of you who celebrate Easter have a great one this year!

Thank you LORD for your love, grace, forgiveness, patience, gentleness, and kindness. Thank you for your creation. Thank you for your provision. Thank you for our work. Thank you for running, clean water. Thank you for all the food and drinks we have. Thank you for roofs over our heads and clothes on our backs.

2 Corinthians 5:17-19
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

And from Isaiah Chapter 53:

Isaiah 53:3-6
He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem. Surely he took up our pain and bore our suffering, yet we considered him punished by God, stricken by him, and afflicted. –

But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was on him, and by his wounds we are healed. We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to our own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all.

 

 

Hebrews 4:15-16 — from biblegateway.com

15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.

 
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