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Can't Abbreviate Valentine's Day (2004-02-14 - 3:49 p.m.)

It’s Valentine’s Day. Christi and I went out to celebrate yesterday evening. We had planned to see a movie, but she had to work late, due to a last minute crisis, so we went out to eat. We had dinner at an old favorite restaurant in Lake Worth, Ginger Brown’s. Both of us had a really good chicken fried steak. After that, we went and browsed the new Ross store on Denton Hwy. That was fun. They have a lot of interesting stuff in there.

I need to get caught up today. Maybe between today and tomorrow. I know it sounds silly to think of getting “caught up” with God. And that’s not really what I mean. I can never get “caught up” with God. I’m just talking about my Bible readings, which are dated, so if I want to be able to complete the book by the end of the year, I must get caught up. I also have to get tomorrow’s worship service ready. No pressure, eh?

The last Chambers reading that I read had to do with the starving imagination and whether or not my hope in God is faint or dying. I have since then determined that I am extremely deficient in knowing how to love. I exhibit that fact daily with the way I treat people around me. I wrote a very lengthy Diaryland entry on that subject, only to have it wiped out by technology. :-(

The next Chambers reading deals with listening to God. The beginning sentence is great. “We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him.” Why? Because, “we do not love and respect Him.” See? I don’t know how to love! Neither does anyone else, but this is not about them, it’s about me. And God. We show this by the fact that we would rather listen to God’s servants than Him. “We like to listen to personal testimonies, but we do not desire that God Himself should speak to us.” (That reminds me, I must listen to some back “issues” of John Piper’s radio broadcasts.)

The next day’s reading continues on the same path. “But most of us show such disrespect to God that we do not even hear what He says; He might never have spoken.” What keeps me from hearing is my devotion to other things. In this way, I do know how to “love.” Although, that is not truly love, it is “obsession.”

Today’s reading is about heeding. It is about being in darkness, because sometimes God will put us in darkness to get us to…LISTEN! Hmm…that is what we have been talking about for three days, now. “Watch where God puts you into darkness, and when you are there keep your mouth shut. [I’m not sure I know how to do that, either.] Are you in the dark just now in your circumstances, or in your life with God? Then remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood; darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness [this is what we love to do], but listen and heed.”

I am only up to February 6 in my Daily Bible. That reading begins with Exodus 23, which is difficult to read, because it is into the section of Exodus where God is giving various laws. Not the most interesting reading. On interesting note; in verse 20, God speaks of an Angel who will be sent before the people of Israel in their travels through the land after leaving Egypt (they are not yet wandering, as they have not yet been disobedient by refusing to enter the promised land). This “Angel” is believed to be the preincarnate Christ, because of references to forgiveness in verse 21, and because it is stated that “My name is in Him.”

Exodus 25:17 speaks of the construction of the “mercy seat” of the Ark of the Covenant. This was the place at which atonement took place. As the “Shekinah” glory of God hovered over the Ark, the blood-sprinkled mercy seat was between the glory of God and the tablets of the Law, which rested inside the Ark. The blood stood between God and the broken law of God. What a wonderful foreshadowing of the work of the blood of Jesus!

This reading finishes Psalm 19, with verses 7-14. I love this passage, and have written a song from it. “The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yeah, than much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.” Then, later, the final prayer of Psalm 19, “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O LORD, my strength and my Redeemer.” Not only let what I say be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, but let what I THINK be acceptable in Your sight.

Here’s a great verse. Proverbs 6:32 says a mouthful, worthy of much consideration by men everywhere (and I do mean MEN). “Whoever commits adultery with a woman lacks understanding; he who does so destroys his own soul.” This says a lot about our society today.

I will, eventually, get back to The Purpose Driven Life. It is supposed to be done over a period of 40 days. Looks like it may take me 40 weeks!

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