Moses undertook to explain: Deuteronomy 1.5

“Beyond the Jordan, in the land of Moab, Moses undertook to explain this law, saying,”

Deuteronomy 1.5 ESV

With his last words, Moses was anxious to remind the people of what God had done for them and urge them to obey his laws. So he undertook or “resolved” (JUB) to declare God’s law to them.

The verb “undertake” means to decide to begin something. Moses saw this as what he ought to do in his final days. What ought to be my decision at this juncture in my life?

#votd #decisions #Deuteronomy

Hugh’s News & Views (Notes, Quotes)

NOTES, QUOTES, AND OBSERVATIONS

As stated in the initial issue of “Hugh’s News and Views” back on November 11, 2010, from time to time I will deal with personal and family matters. I begin with such a personal note this week. Continue reading

#decisions, #hughfulford, #usa

Thieves picked the wrong target when they raided…

Thieves picked the wrong target when they raided an Australian bar where a biker gang was holding a meeting. The masked bandits wielded machetes when they burst into the Sydney pub and ordered everyone at the bar to lie on the floor. They didn’t realize that there were 50 bikers in the adjoining room. One gang member who goes by the name ‘Bear’ reported, “The robbers appeared to regret the heist as soon as they saw us. Fifty of us jumped out of our seats and raced out to the main bar.” One of the robbers was so anxious to leave, that he barged through a glass door and leapt off a 16 foot balcony. When police arrived, the thieves were already bound and gagged. Poor decision making leads to unwanted results. This is Just A Minute.

#actions-have-consequences, #decisions, #just-a-minute

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(#136) The Proverbs of Solomon 18:18-Cast Your Lot With Christ

Since God Created humans, only God can provide specific understanding of human behavior. God gave Solomon Divine Wisdom (1 Kings Chapters 3 and 10) to explain what and why behavior is as it is, and Proverbs 10:1-24:34 are randomly written, as if they were Solomon’s judgments about individual cases brought to him, or simply God-given explanations about life. New Testament passages may help see the continuation of Wisdom offered through Jesus Christ.

Proverbs 18:18: “Casting lots causes contentions to cease, And keeps the mighty apart.”

There would be fewer wars, arguments and conflicts if people would use something other than violence to settle their problems. Politicians who desire war probably need to learn to play the war/expansion games of Chess, or Risk, or Settlers of Catan; or just gamble for their fortunes!

“Casting lots” among unbelievers is leaving choice to chance. It was practiced by unbelieving: Chaldeans who conquered Israel (Joel 3:1-9), sailors who threw Jonah overboard (Jonah 1:5-13), and soldiers who crucified Jesus (John 19:23-24). By “casting lots,” those who believe in a “god of chance” think all is fair and square when the “lots” determine their “fate.”

However, God can, and has intervened anywhere He has so chosen: “The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD” (Proverbs 16:33). Instead of “casting lots,” when the Promised Land was to be “apportioned” among the Israelites, God gave the rule by which their decision was to be based, the “lot” (or portion) by the size of the tribe (Numbers 26:52-56). After describing the qualifications for an Apostle (Acts 1:15-26), their “lot” (ballot, decision) “fell on Matthias. And he was numbered with the eleven apostles.” Arguments were avoided when God’s guidelines for a decision were followed. The same procedure was followed by the Apostles when men were needed to oversee “the daily distribution” of benevolence (Acts 6:1-7), and to be used when appointing men as Elders in each local church (Titus 1:5-9).

There can, and should be, no argument on decisions that are based entirely upon God’s Word. The resurrected Jesus Christ said: “He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned” (Mark 16:16). Cast your “lot” (decision) with Jesus Christ.

All Scriptures and comments are based upon the New King James Version, unless otherwise noted.

#apportion, #bible-study, #contentions, #decisions, #gamble, #proverbs, #war, #wisdom

What Do You Say When You Don’t Know What To Say?

What a question! Have you ever been there before? I’m not talking about times when you have something to say but you don’t know how to say it. I’m talking about the times when something needs to be said but you don’t know what to say.

Sometimes the feeling is brought on by unfortunate circumstances people get placed in, sometimes by unfortunate words that have already been spoken and sometimes by unfortunate decisions that are just now coming home to roost.

It seems as if this speechless emotion shares its time between wanting to say something to help but lacking the words to assist, and wanting to say something in response to what someone has done that’s out-of-line but lacking the words to correct.

What do you do in a situation like this? I don’t know the perfect answer. If I knew the perfect answer I wouldn’t have necessarily asked the question – it’s not rhetorical after all. I only have a few suggestions that may help:

1) Remember that few words and even no words spoken isn’t always a bad thing. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise.” (Proverbs 10:19)

2) Remember that your presence can paint a picture that’s worth a thousand words. “Rejoice with those who rejoice, and weep with those who weep.” (Romans 12:15)

3) Remember you can’t fix it all. “Man who is born of woman is of few days and full of trouble…But his flesh will be in pain over it, and his soul will mourn over it.” (Job 14:1, 22)

4) Remember to rely upon the grace of God. “But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.” (1 Corinthians 15:10)

5) Remember that the Lord always gets the last word. “Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”” (Jude 9)

How does that sound? Have any other suggestions on what to say when you don’t know what to say?

Related Article:

#christianity, #comforting, #decisions, #rebuking, #words

Decision and indecision

“Decision is a sharp knife that cuts clean and straight; indecision, a dull one that hacks and tears and leaves ragged edges behind it.” –Gordon Graham

Joshua 24:14-15 :“Now therefore, fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River and in Egypt. Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

“Thoughts For Today to Brighten Your Day” by Glenn, Mercedes and Lauren Hitchcock

#choices, #decisions, #decisveness

Right in our own eyes

My wife and I have been watching a new show called, Blue Bloods, on CBS. Tom Selleck plays the lead role of Frank Reagan, New York City Police Commissioner. On a recent episode when complimented for making a good, but tough decision, he made an interesting reply.

“It’s a funny thing about decisions. You don’t. . .have to talk yourself into the right ones.”

I’ve thought on that quote quite a bit. It seems to assume an honest person who wants to do the right thing. I say that since a lot of people have to be talked into doing the right thing.

It also connects to the way we interpret scripture. Straight forward interpretations have an automatic edge over convoluted complex ones.

I often see a direct correlation between lengthy complicated explanations and rationalizations.

It gets back to honesty and intent. Do we want to know what the scripture really says or are we forcing an interpretation we prefer?

Deep down we often know or at least suspect the right answer. It’s just not the one we want. It’s dangerous to make decisions and interpretations based solely on feelings.

#decisions, #feelings, #interpretation, #rationalization

A decision I regretted

A decision I regretted later was a major change in our mission strategy a few years after arriving in Brazil. I don’t think it fulfilled our original intentions, but we did it because, aside from being invited to do it by another team, we came up against some major obstacles. I think we took the easy way out, looking back now. The Lord can use any situation, and he used our decision for some good things, but I don’t think it was the best one. I think we should have stuck to our guns. (I’ve since moved on, long since, to another city and work, so there’s lots of space and time between that decision and where I am now.)

#decisions, #missions, #regrets

Daily Nudge: decision regret — and news

Have you ever felt compelled to alter your plans because of circumstances, and then regret the decision? If so, what was the great lesson (or many lessons) that you learned? h/t Ron for the Nudge.

I wonder if there might be some guidelines to help us evaluate decision-making when situations change … but that’s not the Nudge. Let’s stick with the question.

News of the congregations? Hello! Anybody out there?

#decisions, #nudge, #regret

Choose! book is here

Here, as in, in the hands of the person responsible for sending them out to you when you order. I  will have one in my little fingers on Wednesday, Lord permitting. Here’s some quick info:

TODAY FROM THE PRINTER! Forthright Press’ newest book!

CHOOSE! 13 Choices to Transform Your Heart and Soul is just in time for a great graduation gift, a personal motivator or a group study.

Life is not predetermined nor destined. People have great power in their choices. In almost poetical language, the author hones in on important choices such as contentment, gratitude, failure, health, humor, people, focus and ambition, among others.

For more information, see this PDF file or go to the website:

http://forthrightpress.com

“Well written, this book encourages and motivates the reader to make wise, scriptural choices in life. A book not easy to put down, it is excellent for the classroom, coffee table or as a gift.” – Glenda Williams, Geneva, Alabama

Now, back to our regularly programming.

#books, #choices, #decisions

Harsh Words

To me, clearly one of the most challenging things that Jesus said was:

“Do not think that I came to bring peace on earth. I did not come to bring peace but a sword. For I have come to ‘set a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law’; and ‘a man’s enemies will be those of his own household.’ He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find” (Matthew 10:34-39).

We see the fruits of this everyday. They are not willing to pay the price necessary to submit to God. Their flesh is still predominant.

The most chilling moment for me at the cross was when darkness fell upon the world. I am continually in awe at the depth of the Bible’s teachings on light and darkness.  “The way of the wicked is like darkness; They do not know what makes them stumble” (Proverbs 4:19).

People walk in darkness and do not make sound decisions. It skews their perceptions of the world and they do not attribute the proper value to things. Hence, they cannot leave their overcome their own fleshly desires and come to Christ (James 4:10).

#cross, #darkness, #decisions, #light