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Wednesday, November 14, 2007
Oak in our front yard
The trees in our area are at peak autumn beauty. Yesterday was a warm 62 degree afternoon so we did some raking and winterizing of the outdoor plants and bushes.
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"Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him" (Psalm 34:8).
Do you recall a time when someone tried to get you to taste something "just once"? We especially do this with our kids and I still try with some of my favorites that I, alone in my family, seem to enjoy like asparagus and brussels sprouts. But I was recently on the other side.
In one of our chaplain service locations I came across a group of ladies from Southeast Asia (I believe from Laotia) who were on their break. Although I don't communicate well with them, due to the language barrier, they seem to appreciate expressions of kindness, interest in their work, and the universally appreciated warm smile.
One of them was eating a rice dish with what appeared to be a tiny hand in it. I tried to learn what this "foreign" food object was and as best I can determine they were telling me it was a chicken's foot. While we were talking she picked it up and began to chew on it. I'm sure glad she didn't offer it to me or say, "Taste this chicken foot, it’s really good!" I probably wouldn't do too well on the foreign mission field when it comes to the cultural acceptances of certain food groups.
In today's portion from the Psalms David is using two of our physical senses to urge the child of God to recognize God's goodness, "Taste and see that the LORD is good." I am so thankful that the eternal God is good! Many of us have been repeating a good phrase in church for a number of years, "God is good all the time. And all the time God is good!" What comfort and assurance that brings.
C.H. Spurgeon wrote, "When others behave badly to us, it should only stir us up the more heartily to give thanks unto the Lord, because He is good; and when we ourselves are conscious that we are far from being good, we should only the more reverently bless Him that He is good. We must never tolerate an instant’s unbelief as to the goodness of the Lord; whatever else may be questioned, this is absolutely certain, that Jehovah is good; His dispensations may vary, but His nature is always the same."
I love the last portion of the verse. "Blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him." "Blessed" is the type of word that's primarily used only in the Bible or in "religious" talk. It fundamentally means "how happy", which doesn't really sound as spiritual, but surely conveys the intended meaning. Psalm 144:14 states, "Blessed are the people whose God is the LORD."
The Hebrew word for "refuge" is "chacah" and is derived from the phrase "to flee for protection." What a glorious truth today! The refuge we have in God has not changed. The great hymn "How Firm A Foundation" states, "What more can He say than to you He hath said, to you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?"
Today we join David in his proclamation, "Taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in Him!"
Be encouraged today,
Stephen & Brooksyne Weber
Daily Prayer: Father, because of Your tender, nurturing care we can turn away from turmoil and flee to You for protection. We are indeed a people who are blessed beyond measure who in turn want to bless You by our faithful devotion and bless others by our fruitful deeds. We have tasted and we do see that You are good all the time. And all the time, Father, You are good. Amen.
Today I was blessed in my study of a selection of Scriptures declaring God as our refuge.
2 Samuel 22:3
2 Samuel 22:31
And many, many others!
For those who may want some serious reading concerning today's topic here's an online chapter on "God's Goodness" from A.W. Pink's book "The Attributes Of God." My little yellow copy of this book, purchased while in college, has seen much use. Today's Spurgeon quote comes from that chapter.
Yesterday's message was titled "Keep Proclaiming". A reader from South Africa wrote, "Today, the 14th in South Africa, the believers are all wearing red and white to proclaim that we LOVE AND HONOUR our God." Wow, that's a neat idea! Wouldn't it be great to see all nations in the world uniting in such a visible witness of our devotion to God.
Yesterday we had a nice luncheon at our house with Rick Steudler and Mike Kleinhans, two of our friends we initially met at a BBL businessmen's forum. They both seek to honor God in their personal lives and in their role as business leaders. It was great to encourage them in their service.
Our latest entry on our humor/satire blog is about a worship pastor in Texas who was fired for not being "cool" enough. We tagged this 'satire', 'could be true' and 'sad state of the church'. Read it here.
Today's suggested music:
Yesterday our daughter Ester worked all day helping set up a Steven Curtis Chapman concert and of course is quite buzzed that she had the opportunity to meet him, get his photo and autograph. Here are two of his online music videos related to today's topic that you may enjoy.
"God Is Good" (Video) "When Love Takes You In" (Video)
Other related music:
Here's the classic "God Is Good All The Time" video! I can't listen to this song and not smile. Check out Don Moen playing the fiddle at 3:47. That's my kind of music! Don is a few years older than us but sure looks young in this video.
"You Are God Alone" (Audio)
"How Firm A Foundation" (Audio)
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Scripture references are from The Holy Bible: New International Version. © 1984 by International Bible Society; NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE®, Copyright © 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission; and the King James Version.
Personal Mission Statement: "I am created by God to bring Him glory. Through God's Son Jesus Christ I have been redeemed and I make it my life's goal to please the Lord. My mission in life is to honor God through my faith and obedience and to prepare myself and all whom I may influence for eternity."
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