Friday, March 26, 2010

His own special treasure


His own special treasure.

What exalted language!

Is this a rich man talking of a precious stone?
A lover speaking of his fiancee?
A pirate referring to his buried treasure chest?

No. It is God, speaking of His people...

Deuteronomy 26:16 “Today the Lord your God has commanded you to obey all these decrees and regulations. So be careful to obey them wholeheartedly.

17 You have declared today that the Lord is your God. And you have promised to walk in his ways, and to obey his decrees, commands, and regulations, and to do everything he tells you.

18 The Lord has declared today that you are his people, his own special treasure, just as he promised, and that you must obey all his commands.

19 And if you do, he will set you high above all the other nations he has made. Then you will receive praise, honor, and renown.

You will be a nation that is holy to the Lord your God, just as he promised.”

His own special treasure!

Pink Glove Dance this is awesome

Pink Glove Dance this is awesome


You have to watch this video from Portland , Oregon.

Here’s the story behind the video…

“Our daughter-in-law, Emily (MacInnes) Somers, created, directed and
choreographed this in Portland last week for her Medline glove division
as a fundraiser for breast cancer awareness. This was all her idea to help
promote their new pink gloves.

I don't know how she got so many employees, doctors and patients to
participate, but it started to really catch on and they all had a lot
of fun doing it.

When the video gets 1 million hits, Medline will be making a huge
contribution to the hospital, as well as offering free mammograms for
the community. Please check it out. It's an easy and great way to donate
to a wonderful cause, and who hasn't been touched by breast cancer?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OEdVfyt-mLw
Please forward this in honor of all the women we know and all we have
lost.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Justice!


Justice on a number of different issues are addressed in todays reading.

Much of the careful way that people are dealt with in the North American and European judicial systems can be traced to a passage such as this one.

Deuteronomy 24:1 “Suppose a man marries a woman but she does not please him. Having discovered something wrong with her, he writes her a letter of divorce, hands it to her, and sends her away from his house. 2 When she leaves his house, she is free to marry another man. 3 But if the second husband also turns against her and divorces her, or if he dies, 4 the first husband may not marry her again, for she has been defiled. That would be detestable to the Lord. You must not bring guilt upon the land the Lord your God is giving you as a special possession.

5 “A newly married man must not be drafted into the army or be given any other official responsibilities. He must be free to spend one year at home, bringing happiness to the wife he has married.

6 “It is wrong to take a set of millstones, or even just the upper millstone, as security for a loan, for the owner uses it to make a living.

7 “If anyone kidnaps a fellow Israelite and treats him as a slave or sells him, the kidnapper must die. In this way, you will purge the evil from among you.

8 “In all cases involving serious skin diseases,[a] be careful to follow the instructions of the Levitical priests; obey all the commands I have given them. 9 Remember what the Lord your God did to Miriam as you were coming from Egypt.

10 “If you lend anything to your neighbor, do not enter his house to pick up the item he is giving as security. 11 You must wait outside while he goes in and brings it out to you. 12 If your neighbor is poor and gives you his cloak as security for a loan, do not keep the cloak overnight. 13 Return the cloak to its owner by sunset so he can stay warm through the night and bless you, and the Lord your God will count you as righteous.

14 “Never take advantage of poor and destitute laborers, whether they are fellow Israelites or foreigners living in your towns. 15 You must pay them their wages each day before sunset because they are poor and are counting on it. If you don’t, they might cry out to the Lord against you, and it would be counted against you as sin.

16 “Parents must not be put to death for the sins of their children, nor children for the sins of their parents. Those deserving to die must be put to death for their own crimes.

17 “True justice must be given to foreigners living among you and to orphans, and you must never accept a widow’s garment as security for her debt. 18 Always remember that you were slaves in Egypt and that the Lord your God redeemed you from your slavery. That is why I have given you this command."

Justice above all.
Consideration for the needs of the poor.
Respect for every person, slave or free, of your group or not.
Gentleness and grace for all.

Always keep in mind as you deal with people, that the Lord God watches all, and is the ultimate just judge.

Don't forget the shovel!

Don't forget the shovel!

God is dictating a number of interesting rules and regulations. It is sort of like living in one of our towns and cities today.

Kirkland, where I live, has rules against cutting down trees! You have to get a permit. The city comes out and investigates every tree - labelling those that may be cut down, and also those that may not.

Among all the rules God lays out - this one struck me as funny, but Oh so practical, for 3,000,000 living out in the desert!

Deuteronomy 21:12 “You must have a designated area outside the camp where you can go to relieve yourself. 13 Each of you must have a spade as part of your equipment. Whenever you relieve yourself, dig a hole with the spade and cover the excrement. 14 The camp must be holy, for the Lord your God moves around in your camp to protect you and to defeat your enemies. He must not see any shameful thing among you, or he will turn away from you."

Keep the camp clean. And don't forget the shovel!

Treat them kindly

War is always about winning or losing.

Throughout the ages, when you win the war, you get whatever you want. You get the land, the riches, the people, the livestock. You get everything.

And you can treat the vanquished as well - or badly - as you want to.

God introduces some kindness and righteousness into this equation.

Today is the treatment of captive women.

Deuteronomy 21:10 “Suppose you go out to war against your enemies and the Lord your God hands them over to you, and you take some of them as captives. 11 And suppose you see among the captives a beautiful woman, and you are attracted to her and want to marry her. 12 If this happens, you may take her to your home, where she must shave her head, cut her nails, 13 and change the clothes she was wearing when she was captured. She will stay in your home, but let her mourn for her father and mother for a full month. Then you may marry her, and you will be her husband and she will be your wife. 14 But if you marry her and she does not please you, you must let her go free. You may not sell her or treat her as a slave, for you have humiliated her."

1. Give her some time to mourn.
2. Treat her kindly.
3. If the relationship ends treat her fairly.

Monday, March 22, 2010

I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse


I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse

So says God to Moses, and through him, to each of us down through the ages...

Deuteronomy 11:1 “You must love the Lord your God and obey all his requirements, decrees, regulations, and commands. 2 Keep in mind that I am not talking now to your children, who have never experienced the discipline of the Lord your God or seen his greatness and his strong hand and powerful arm. 3 They didn’t see the miraculous signs and wonders he performed in Egypt against Pharaoh and all his land. 4 They didn’t see what the Lord did to the armies of Egypt and to their horses and chariots—how he drowned them in the Red Sea as they were chasing you. He destroyed them, and they have not recovered to this very day!

5 “Your children didn’t see how the Lord cared for you in the wilderness until you arrived here. 6 They didn’t see what he did to Dathan and Abiram (the sons of Eliab, a descendant of Reuben) when the earth opened its mouth in the Israelite camp and swallowed them, along with their households and tents and every living thing that belonged to them. 7 But you have seen the Lord perform all these mighty deeds with your own eyes!

8 “Therefore, be careful to obey every command I am giving you today, so you may have strength to go in and take over the land you are about to enter. 9 If you obey, you will enjoy a long life in the land the Lord swore to give to your ancestors and to you, their descendants—a land flowing with milk and honey! 10 For the land you are about to enter and take over is not like the land of Egypt from which you came, where you planted your seed and made irrigation ditches with your foot as in a vegetable garden. 11 Rather, the land you will soon take over is a land of hills and valleys with plenty of rain—12 a land that the Lord your God cares for. He watches over it through each season of the year!

13 “If you carefully obey all the commands I am giving you today, and if you love the Lord your God and serve him with all your heart and soul, 14 then he will send the rains in their proper seasons—the early and late rains—so you can bring in your harvests of grain, new wine, and olive oil. 15 He will give you lush pastureland for your livestock, and you yourselves will have all you want to eat.

16 “But be careful. Don’t let your heart be deceived so that you turn away from the Lord and serve and worship other gods. 17 If you do, the Lord’s anger will burn against you. He will shut up the sky and hold back the rain, and the ground will fail to produce its harvests. Then you will quickly die in that good land the Lord is giving you.

18 “So commit yourselves wholeheartedly to these words of mine. Tie them to your hands and wear them on your forehead as reminders. 19 Teach them to your children. Talk about them when you are at home and when you are on the road, when you are going to bed and when you are getting up. 20 Write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates, 21 so that as long as the sky remains above the earth, you and your children may flourish in the land the Lord swore to give your ancestors.

22 “Be careful to obey all these commands I am giving you. Show love to the Lord your God by walking in his ways and holding tightly to him. 23 Then the Lord will drive out all the nations ahead of you, though they are much greater and stronger than you, and you will take over their land. 24 Wherever you set foot, that land will be yours. Your frontiers will stretch from the wilderness in the south to Lebanon in the north, and from the Euphrates River in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west.[b] 25 No one will be able to stand against you, for the Lord your God will cause the people to fear and dread you, as he promised, wherever you go in the whole land.

26 “Look, today I am giving you the choice between a blessing and a curse! 27 You will be blessed if you obey the commands of the Lord your God that I am giving you today. 28 But you will be cursed if you reject the commands of the Lord your God and turn away from him and worship gods you have not known before.