Saturday, February 29, 2020

February 29

Growing up in cattle country, you learn the value of livestock, especially coming from a long line of cattlemen. The county fair was always the best part of the year; as a 4-H’er, and then as I got older, a member of the FFA, it was then that I got to display all of my hard work from the year before. Each year my dad would help me choose a steer from a herd, and then we would train it on a lead, and I would feed it over the course of several months, fattening it up for the fair. Then at fair time, I would bring my steer to compete with others who were doing the same thing; it would then be judged to see if it was good enough to win a prize. I did well, even winning Grand Champion one year! After the competition, it would be put up for sale, and then slaughtered for its meat. After many years of showing steers, and then selling them, I was able to buy my first car. 

Reading about the required sacrifices for the prescribed offerings for sin, and guilt, it’s easy to see how hefty the price was for the Israelites. Because they had to give up a perfectly good bull as an offering for their sin, I imagine they tried very hard to tow-the-line, and refrain from sinning. When you look at it like this, you can see how valuable Jesus is to all of us. Most people couldn’t have afforded to be a sinner. I hope this helps you understand the value of Jesus’s sacrifice for us. 

And he shall bring to the priest as his compensation to the LORD a ram without blemish out of the flock, or its equivalent, for a guilt offering. And the priest shall make atonement for him before the LORD, and he shall be forgiven for any of the things that one may do and thereby become guilty.” Leviticus 6:6-7

Friday, February 28, 2020

February 28

Nearly every year, I will take a short trip to downtown Tampa, to visit the Henry B. Plant museum. It’s a historical hotel that now houses the University of Tampa. Each time I visit, it reminds me that I need to visit the Belleview-Biltmore, which was also built by H.B. Plant. We were in the Clearwater area, and just happened to drive by it. It’s a guarded area, but the security guard was kind enough to let us in so I could go and browse around the old building. It made me sad to see that the owners hadn’t preserved the look by building the new condos to match the old architecture. On to bigger and better things; out with the old and in with the new. The nostalgia takes me back to a bygone era.

I’m now reading in the book of Leviticus; I’m going to try and stick it out to the end, but all the slaughtering, and splashing of the blood is a little nauseating. It’s good to be reminded of the past, but thankfully Jesus put that bygone era to rest, never to come back in style. Reading all the requirements makes me so thankful to have Jesus as an offering for our sin. I’m also quite thankful for the air conditioning that the Biltmore didn’t have back in the day. Some things were meant to be left in the past.

He shall lay his hand on the head of the burnt offering, and it shall be accepted for him to make atonement for him. Then he shall kill the bull before the LORD, and Aaron's sons the priests shall bring the blood and throw the blood against the sides of the altar that is at the entrance of the tent of meeting. Leviticus 1:4-5

Thursday, February 27, 2020

February 27

Rest until God moves you. We get anxious while waiting for things to happen that we’ve prayed for. Sometimes we wait and wait, and still nothing happens. This is when things get difficult; if we are not careful, we will begin to move when God hasn’t released us. When we go out on our own, without God, our path becomes foggy, and hard to maneuver, we become hurt, sometimes physically, and sometimes financially. It will cause setbacks, and may prolong his answer. Unlike the Israelites, we don’t have a pillar of cloud by day, or fire by night to guide us, or tell us when to move. However, we do have the Holy Spirit in residence, he will give us clues, and make our pathway clear. I’ve learned that when I try to fit a square peg into a round hole by force, it doesn’t fit right; that’s when I know I’m moving without his guidance. Learn to pickup on his clues; he speaks to all of us in a language we understand, all we have to do is tune in.

Throughout all their journeys, whenever the cloud was taken up from over the tabernacle, the people of Israel would set out. But if the cloud was not taken up, then they did not set out till the day that it was taken up. Exodus 40:36-37

Wednesday, February 26, 2020

February 26

Have you ever suddenly noticed something that was right before your eyes all along, but now it stands out for some reason? I was sitting on the beach early in the morning, and a sea grape leaf caught my eye. I had never noticed that the veins running through it were red! It’s such an insignificant thing, but it makes the leaves more striking. I feel the same way reading Exodus. All the details of the furnishings, and garments, and the tent walls, seem like insignificant things, and it made me wonder why God was telling us all this. Surprisingly, I’ve found a verse in each chapter that stands out, and points to the character of God. 

When the high priest went in to meet with the Lord, he would wear a turban that had an inscription that read, “Holy to the LORD.” Holy means “set apart to God.” 1 Peter 1:16 says, “since it is written, “You shall be holy, for I am holy.” If you’re feeling insignificant, remember that you are set apart “to” God. You may not feel holy, but you are holy because of the One you trust, Jesus. You are hidden within him, and because he is holy, you are holy.

They made the plate of the holy crown of pure gold, and wrote on it an inscription, like the engraving of a signet, “Holy to the LORD.” Exodus 39:30

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

February 25

Moses went into great detail concerning each and every feature in the construction of the temple, and all its furnishings. Nothing was left to the imagination because God had given him a perfectly laid out plan, even down to the detail of the cleansing basin; it was made out of reflective brass, given to Moses by the women who ministered at the entry of the tent of meetings. It seems that the temple was quite important to God, being it was where he was going to meet with the priest on behalf of the people. The priest had to be perfectly clean, and pure to enter, or he would end up dead on the floor; whoever went into the temple had to be holy and consecrated to the Lord.

Do you think the importance of the temple has disappeared? It hasn’t, but the Priest we trust is holier than any other who came before him, and he goes before God on our behalf so that we do not die on the floor of the temple while looking for redemption. Remember that our bodies are now the temple. Make a concerted effort to live clean for the sake of our Lord Jesus, and the Holy Spirit that resides within you. Look at your reflection, and see if it resembles Jesus. If it doesn’t, ask the Holy Spirit to help you modify your life to become a reflection of Him.

"He made the basin of bronze and its stand of bronze, from the mirrors of the ministering women who ministered in the entrance of the tent of meeting." Exodus 38:8 

Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Monday, February 24, 2020

February 24

I don’t know if anyone has noticed, but flowers are most fragrant first thing in the morning. Not only that, but the birds are most active, and sing their hearts out, right before daybreak. It’s as if they wake up praising the Lord with their offering. Several days ago, I mentioned the orchids in the mangrove whose scent would draw you in. Several months back, I took a cutting from that very plant, not even knowing that it was scented. Fast forward, and that very cutting bloomed, and is providing a fragrant aroma as I sit and worship the Lord early in the morning.

One very interesting thing that I’ve noticed, is that as the sun begins to light up the sky, its scent get stronger. I thought that maybe it was just me, but it has happened each day that I’ve had it by my side. One of the flowers has a petal that has browned, but even in its gimpy state, it manages to produce a fragrant offering to the Lord. It goes to show that you should praise the Lord even when you’re in the valley, in pain, or have a hard time lifting your head. Whether you are healthy or sick, wake up praising the Lord.  

"He made the holy anointing oil also, and the pure fragrant incense, blended as by the perfumer." Exodus 37:29

"For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing," 2 Corinthians 2:15

Sunday, February 23, 2020


My new book has finally been released!!

The Peace River Flows: A Daily Devotional for the Followers of Christ

February 23

Like a lot of people, I love to decorate! When there is the task of fitting a home or office with decor, I’m on it! I don’t pay full price, and look for bargains wherever I can find them. Marshall’s, TJ Max, and Home Goods, are my stores of choice, and I will travel to other areas just to pilfer through their merchandise for the perfect piece to add to the beautiful surroundings. If I had lived in the days of Moses, I would have been part of the process of decorating the tabernacle, probably one of the women who were weavers of the finest linens.

When I started reading Exodus 35 which is all about gathering the materials needed to build the tabernacle, I wondered what kind of lesson I could find in it because it seemed to be only about furnishings. After scouring it for a minute, I realized that to build the church, the people willingly came together, made contributions out of love, to insure that the church had everything it needed. Because they contributed out of love, there was an abundance, and Moses had to announce that they stop! Isn’t that incredible? When your church asks you to give, over your tithe, search your heart, and give out of love, like the Israelites did.

"And they came, everyone whose heart stirred him, and everyone whose spirit moved him, and brought the LORD's contribution to be used for the tent of meeting, and for all its service, and for the holy garments." Exodus 35:21