Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 17, 2018

Learning From Others — God Changed His Mind???

Day 2984: I will always believe in the power and comfort of ‘thoughts and prayers’ . . .

Scripture:  Then Moses entreated the Lord his God, and said, “O Lord, why does Your anger burn against Your people whom You have brought out from the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand? Turn from Your burning anger and change Your mind about doing harm to Your people. Remember Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, Your servants to whom You swore by Yourself . . .’” So the Lord changed His mind about the harm which He said He would do to His people. Excerpts from Exodus 32:11-14

Thoughts/questions: What can we learn from this interaction between God and Moses. Without impacting anyone’s doctrine, we can learn from Moses and God!

Moses – he was willing to confront God with his thoughts and feelings. Later David did the same thing in his Psalms, and God responded positively to both! So we learn from Moses that we are to entreat the Lord; to ask appropriately; and to cry out in our confusion and despair. God isn’t offended when we share our heart and our concerns!

God – God listens! How this mind changing thing works in regards to an all-knowing God is above my pay grade, but we can be assured that God listens. Moses interceded for his people; Jesus intercedes for us; and God listens and responds! Our God is approachable and responsive! What a GREAT God!

Suggested Prayer: Almighty God, even though You are God, You still listen to someone as insignificant as me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 16, 2018

Learning From Others — We Wouldn’t Do That!

Day 2983: May the joy of the Lord be your strength today!

Scripture: Now when the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people assembled about Aaron and said to him, “Come, make us a god who will go before us; as for this Moses, the man who brought us up from the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” Exodus 32:1

Thoughts/questions: It did take Moses a long time to come down from the mountain – 40 days, but that shouldn’t have been enough of an excuse for the people to start searching for a new god. It almost appears that they merely wanted to replace Moses and have a physical representation of a leader. But reading on in Exodus 32, they begin to worship the calf and make sacrifices to it, stating that this ‘god’ led them out of Egypt!

Would a mere delay send us reeling spiritually and have us considering replacing God with some other god? No, we wouldn’t do that, or would we? Do these try our faith? A prayer not answered the way we thought it should be? Or maybe an unexplainable tragedy or illness in the life of someone dear to us? Or possibly a scientific discovery or theory?

We too are susceptible to tests of our faith. Our enemy uses our thoughts and feelings to undermine our trust when challenging situations arise. May we always proactively encourage our brothers and sisters at all times but especially when we become aware of difficulties in their lives!

Suggested Prayer: Lord, help me to always uplift and not tear down . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 15, 2018

Personal Sharing — A Post Valentines’s Post!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 14, 2018

Personal Sharing — A Piece of CAKE!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 13, 2018

Learning From Others — If Only . . .

Day 2980: Blessed be the name of the Lord!

Scripture: Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid; for God has come in order to test you, and in order that the fear of Him may remain with you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood at a distance, while Moses approached the thick cloud where God was. Exodus 20:20, 21

Thoughts/questions: There are many and various reactions to the Ten Commandments, but if only everyone in the world obeyed merely the last 6! There would be no family rebellion; no killing of innocents; no sexual cheating on spouses; no stealing; no lying; and everyone one would be satisfied with what they had! Wow! What a world that would be.

But we humans can’t accomplish that even within a small town! But regardless of our inability to do what we should, God’s intention for us is so that we may not sin! And if we didn’t sin, life would be grand!!! Good for us and good towards our Creator!

No, these commandments aren’t given to us by a demeaning, controlling God! They are for our welfare! So, on a personal level – how are you doing regarding the list in today’s first paragraph? These ARE commandments remember! No wiggle room!

Suggested Prayer: Living God, Your commandments even show me how much You care about me. Help me to do my best to live up to Your expectations of me . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 12, 2018

Personal Sharing — No Contest!

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 10, 2018

Learning From Others — More!

Day 2978: Live to serve – even on the weekends!!!

Scripture:  You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife or his male servant or his female servant or his ox or his donkey or anything that belongs to your neighbor.  Exodus 20:17

Thoughts/questions: This commandment is foundational to the other commandments. Coveting is having a strong craving or desire for something one doesn’t have. A couple of thoughts.

When we want something we don’t have, then lying, stealing, adultery, and killing can potentially result. We ‘can’t get no satisfaction’ as The Rolling Stones sang, and where there is a lack of satisfaction combined with a lack of restraint, chaos results.

More! Our ‘wanter’ always wants more or newer and better. What we crave will never satisfy! For example, if I desire the best guitar, I will always have to be buying new ones as better guitars will continually be made and marketed.

Our eyes are also never satisfied – they always want more. Consider the eyes of a male at the beach. After one bikini clad girl goes by, his eyes say ‘well, that’s enough for me’ – no, as the next one walks by, those eyes act as if they’ve never seen a female before! MORE! We always want more.

God knows this propensity of ours to want what we don’t have and the problems which result from coveting, hence this commandment. Be satisfied with what you have, while not being satisfied by how much you serve! Most everything you want will be found in the garbage dump after some time has passed anyway!

Suggested Prayer: Almighty God, You’ve given me so much. Help me to always count my blessings and be satisfied . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 9, 2018

Learning From Others — Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire!

Day 2977: It’s Friday; I’m retired; who cares . . . Kidding! But not about this TGIF. Thank God I‘m Forgiven!!!

Scripture:  You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.  Exodus 20:16

Thoughts/questions: Fake news, X amount of lies during a political speech, manipulative  words – a basic case of liar, liar pants on fire has run amok in our present world. Who can you trust? Who/what does one believe? God’s standard is much different!

Perjury is still against the law in the U.S., but lying/cheating is gaining traction among college students around the world who admit to lying about where their answers/essays came from. And it’s so easy to do and often the benefits are great, so the attraction is obvious!

But what trouble don’t we bring upon ourselves when we spin one lie, much less a web of deception! Integrity with our words can define us. I just heard sports commentators discussing an NFL coach who said one thing, but didn’t follow through on his word. One commentator did not see anything wrong with it.

God expects our yea to be yea, and our nay to be nay – regardless of what might result from staying true to our word. Sometimes a ‘white lie’ or ‘just kidding’ seems to be acceptable, but it is still a lie! Integrity, character, godliness – all substantiated by merely ALWAYS telling the truth! We all can follow this commandment! How are you doing?

Suggested Prayer: Father God, may the words of my mouth be words of truth . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 8, 2018

Learning From Others — Make Knowledge Acceptable!

Day 2976: Keep looking up!!! Your help comes from the Lord!

Scripture:  You shall not steal.  Exodus 20:15

Thoughts/questions: Maybe because this impacts me more than most ‘sins’, I selfishly despise stealing. Taking something not earned and causing minimal to massive difficulties for the person who was stolen from – that really chaps my hide.

Thankfully, most agree stealing to be wrong as my family had a ‘stealer,’ and we were able to discipline our kid for that and ultimately change their behavior. Other moral behaviors are much more controversial regarding being right, acceptable, or wrong.

I have used my family’s issue regarding stealing to talk to those involved in ‘controversial’ morals or in discussions about those behaviors. I ask them if I should have tried to ‘change’ my child’s behavior, and they all agree that I should have. Then I ask them about the ‘controversial’ behavior we’re discussing as to why they don’t consider that behavior similar to stealing and why someone shouldn’t try to get people to stop that specific behavior.

This often leads to a non combative conversation about how we determine something to be right or wrong, as we have both fundamentally agreed that there IS a wrong behavior that needs changing. Now we move from a place of agreement to a discussion that can get very deep and easily move into talking about God and a supreme authority.

I trust this might help if you get into a discussion about so many of today’s ‘controversial’ behaviors. Establishing a point of agreement first goes a long way towards discussing issues so that ‘the tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable!’ (Proverbs 15:2)

Suggested Prayer: Lord God, may my words be such that when I speak about You, my knowledge is acceptable to the hearer . . .

Posted by: Larry Hoekman | February 7, 2018

Personal Sharing — God’s Table Talk

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