Rising Joy by Vicki Matheny

The Lord watches from heaven; he sees all people. From the place where he lives he looks carefully at all the earth’s inhabitants. He is the one who forms every human heart, and takes note of all their actions. Psalm 33.13-15

Humans can be arrogant. It is believed that if you put your mind to a task, you can accomplish it with hard work. Many times, God and his blessing never enter into the picture. At best, he is pushed to the side while man tries in his puny way to conquer ground. James 4.13-17 warns of the folly of leaving God out of your plans.

God is faithful, Deuteronomy 7.9, and is interested in man. He wants a relationship with man, Jeremiah 9.24. However, God will not force it upon him. He knows those who are his loyal followers; those who wait patiently for him to show his faithfulness, Psalm 33.18. To these, God is deliverer and shield. They can rejoice in him and trust his holy name.

Where have you put your trust?

#risingjoy #Psalms #sovereignty-of-God

Yet Another Blog Post

I’m late on getting an assigned article in to one of our fine brotherhood magazines. The editor was kind enough to give me an extension on the deadline, which was May 1, here a holiday and The Missus’s birthday. Then came cardiologist and today dentist, and you know the story. Days leading up to the deadline were similar.

• I bought another book. Yes, I know I’ve declared a moratorium, of sorts, on book-buying, but this one cost less than three dollars, less than the price of shipping to a friend’s house who will bring it in a month or two. Isn’t the Internet wonderful, so that I can find such good deals that otherwise would never be available?

• The book is a Yet Another one-volume commentary by section or paragraph. I like the detailed commentaries, but also I appreciate those that give me a bird’s-eye view of the passage and book. Sometimes the latter is as valuable as the former.

• “Yet Another” is a tongue-in-cheek phrase that programmers and software developers use when many programs are already in existence. So you see a lot of acronyms that use YA-. When I write a Bible commentary, maybe I should call it Yet Another One-Volume Commentary, YAOVC. Doesn’t that make for a good acronym? Certainly, it hasn’t been taken yet, will be unique.

• BNc has had some good stories so far this month. Be sure to check those out. And don’t miss the comments either. Facebook (which may have started its decline) has sucked out the oxygen from the Internet. But once in a while somebody leaves quite an interesting comment.

• If you’re reading this, as a part of The Fellowship Room (or not), it means you have been blessed by the GoSpeak/Forthright effort. At least, we hope you consider it a blessing. If you’d like to know more about it, we have a new report up, with some new features, among them information about or from our Fellows Barbara Ann and Richard M. And The Missus has returned with “Vicki’s Views.”

• The February and March issues of Bulletin Digest arrived this week. (They send them to me two months at a time, different from the usual monthly subscription.) The mail system between the US and Brazil took one month to deliver a first-class piece of mail. (Snail mail manages to make email look really attractive.) The publishers still have BD up for sale, if you’re interested. The monthly has a high name recognition in the brotherhood.

World English Institute continues to make a call for new teachers. The Firstborn has jointed their ranks and says it’s very easy to do, the online interface is simple and helpful. Answers are graded automatically, teacher has option to reply to and correct a few written answers. I just signed up myself, awaiting activation. Join us, and tell them you want students from Brazil. The Taubaté congregation is pushing the effort in its evangelism program. (The site for students is much nicer than the site showing the ministry side.) Continue reading

#book-buying, #corollaries, #philistines, #sovereignty-of-god

Divine permission in Revelation 13

My Portuguese-language devotional thought this morning was drawn from our daily Bible reading, based on a feature in verses 5 and 7 that surfaced in the reading. Three times it’s mentioned that the beast “was given” or “was permitted” to do something.

These three passive verbs indicate the divine permission. God is sovereign and allowed evil to act. He allowed it, not because he couldn’t prevent it, but because he is pursuing his purpose in this world. But his readers should know that the Roman Empire has no power over them except what was allowed by the Lord. Rome’s power, contrary to appearances, is limited and brief. Before long, God will yank it’s chain, bring judgment, and vindicate his own.

This is a sign, not of God’s impotence, but of his sovereignty, such that he will weave into his will the exercise and effects of evil as he brings all into the light and establishes his design.

#evil, #revelation-of-john, #sovereignty-of-god