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Daily Devotional Dec 2, 2022

     I have a picture of Jesus carrying a sheep on his shoulders. Sheep are skittish creatures. The sound of a wolf or coyote can propel these animals into an anxious fit. To calm the sheep, a shepherd will often place the animal upon his shoulders. In no time, the nervous mutton will fall asleep.

     This image of a shepherd carrying the sheep is at the heart of today’s passage from                    Deuteronomy 33:12:

“The beloved of the LORD rests in safety—

the High God surrounds him all day long—

the beloved rests between his shoulders.” Read more…



Daily Devotional Dec. 1, 2022

“You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye for eye, and tooth for tooth.’   But I tell you, do not resist an evil person. If anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to them the other cheek also” (Matthew 5:38-39, NLT).

     It’s not hard to figure out what Jesus is saying in the first few verses. Don’t strike back. Don’t verbally counter-assault your enemy. Don’t exchange one level of harm for another. Most of us get that. What many people struggle with, however, is whether Jesus extending this teaching to say, “Don’t retaliate, just let the other person roll all over you. Let them hit you on the right cheek, then let that same person hit you, again, on the left”. Read more…



Daily Devotional Nov. 30, 2022

“How can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when all the time there is a plank in your own eye?” (Matthew 7:4, NIV).

     A few days ago, I was waiting for my wife’s vehicle to be serviced. A woman walked into the shop as she quarreled with her husband on the phone. Her car had broken down and the husband was upset that she had not taken it to a mechanic sooner. In defense of her delayed action, the woman shouted, “Well, what about you? You promised to fix the faucet in the kitchen weeks ago, yet it’s still broken!” Read more…



Daily Devotional Nov. 29, 2022

“The people who live in darkness will see a great light. On those who live in the dark land of death the light will shine.” (Matthew 4:16, GNT).

     “I’m not feeling the Christmas spirit this year.” These words were echoed by my wife following a visit to her father who presently resides in a skilled nursing unit. The past year has been difficult for the people we love. The grandson of our dearest friends currently is battling a disease that refuses to respond to treatment. Two of our congregation’s most beloved parishioners have relocated their addresses to be with that company of saints in heaven. Read more…



Daily Devotional Nov. 28, 2022

“The Lord gave these instructions to Moses: “Command the people of Israel to remove from the camp anyone who has a skin disease or a discharge, or who has become ceremonially unclean by touching a dead person” (Numbers 5:1-2, NLT).

     This command is a foreign concept to many of us. The idea that a person can become “ceremonially unclean” as a consequence of a skin disease or by touching a corpse seems antiquated. Yet such was once a prevalent understanding within Judaism. Read more…



Daily Devotional Nov. 23, 2022

“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you” (Colossians 3:13, NIV).

 

     Earlier this week, Chocolate and Chip each received a pardon from the President of the United States. Neither turkey appeared appreciative of the mercy he had received. Both appeared to be in a foul mood.

 

     Tomorrow, families across the country will be setting down together for the annual Thanksgiving feast. Unfortunately for many, the bird on the table won’t be the only turkey in the room. You know the individual. The one who bastes another unsuspecting family member for their perceived shortcomings. Read more…