Psalm 1 and Psalm 119

All quotations are from the ESV.
"Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD and on his law he meditates day and night." (Verses 1-2)

What does it mean to delight in the law of the LORD? Doesn't that mean that you actually enjoy it? This is the not the idea of someone who only reads the word of God when he goes to church or when he goes to Bible classes. This is the idea of someone who meditates on God's word day and night--he reads it, not out of duty but to actually think about what he has read. And he likes it.

Sometimes we can be convinced by Satan that reading God's word is a chore. It's something we should do, but it isn't something we really want to do. We can easily think this way when we lose sight of what the word of God does for us. Psalm 119 gives an understanding of why anyone would actually delight in (get real enjoyment from) the law of God.

Verses 9-11 tells us: "How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! I have stored up your word in my heart that I might not sin against you."

First, the one who delights in the law of God does so because he realizes that God's law gives the only way to keep our lives pure--to live life as God designed us to live it. Second, when we learn the commandments and teachings of God, we are learning about God himself! If we are truly seeking God with our whole heart, we will enjoy everything we learn about him. If you love someone, you want to know as much as you can about them. God's law lets us get to know who he really is and this is exciting to everyone who really loves him.

In verses 98-100, we learn: "Your commandment makes me wiser than my enemies, for it is ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts."

The one who delights in the law of God, does so because he really believes that there is no better source of wisdom anywhere. It makes us wiser than our enemies and more understanding than our teachers and the old people. We don't have to study all the philosophies of the world to be wise--all we need is the word of God. If we really believe this, we will enjoy reading and meditating on it.

This is why David tells us in verse 72 and in verse 23, that nothing will stop him from meditating on the law of God.

"The law of your mouth is better to me than thousands of gold and silver pieces." (verse 72)

"Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statues." (verse 23)

How dedicated are you to learning and meditating on God's word? Is it more important than thousands of gold and silver pieces? Are you willing to give up overtime at work to make sure you have time to meditate on God's word? Are you willing to take a lower paying job so that you can be in an area where you will be around people who edify you in the word of God? What about when trouble comes your way? Can you imagine being in the middle of a crisis (you know your enemies are plotting against you) and you make sure that you take the time to meditate on God's word instead of spending all your thoughts trying to sort out the problem? God's word should be something that we enjoy because we trust it to help us in every situation. Do you believe that knowing God through his word is better than extra money or spending all of your energy on taking care of crises?

There are many other ways Psalm 119 describes those who delight in the law of the Lord. But the bottom line is this: if you really trust God and you love him, you will want to know as much about him and what he tells us is good for us as possible. God's word is for our good always. If we really believe that, it should be easier to make time to read his word and meditate on it because we will find ourselves truly enjoying it.
  • meg
    Amen, brother! That's a big stepping stone, I think, for the child who grew up in a Christian home, to go from reading because of expectation to reading and chewing on God's word because of the joy and love He gives!
    by meg at 06/14/11 3:18PM
  • emmybear
    Very true-and encouraging to hear. I think about how dedicated I really am-am I willing to look to the bible more often than modern thinkers or do I read other books more often? Other men's thoughts can be pretty helpful, but I think sometimes i've let them lead my thought rather than God's word. and i've definitely fallen into the "chore" trap before...
    by emmybear at 06/14/11 3:58PM
  • slave_of_jesus_jdb
    Other men's thoughts? How sexist... I insist on being equal opportunity in my willingness to follow the thoughts of other human beings instead of the word of God.
    by slave_of_jesus_jdb at 06/30/11 12:51AM
  • granny
    Delight is such a delightful word--and then to add its usage in considering God's words--yes!
    by granny at 08/19/11 3:56PM
  • char
    Thank you so much for the resources and encouragement! It means a lot to me! :)
    by char at 09/01/11 10:54PM
  • mayflower
    He is. Santorum is probably the most conservative candidate running--he takes a strong stand for morality, both publicly and in his private life. He's a good man. And there are very, very few politicians I give that compliment.
    by mayflower at 03/11/12 9:41PM
  • littlelamb
    Ha ha! I actually thought of you while searching for it. If only you were here to help us! :)
    by littlelamb at 04/03/12 3:59PM

Panoramic Elephants

When we went to Kruger National Park, I took a series of photos of an elephant herd that I just stitched together with Microsoft Image Composite Editor (ICE). I thought it turned out pretty well.

  • char
    That is so neat to see! :)
    by char at 04/19/10 8:13AM
  • granny
    I like!! Looks like they've been down by the crick sharing powder puffs!
    Now, you have made me very curious - is this a freebee from Microsoft website??
    by granny at 04/19/10 8:25AM
  • nthnswmn
    Very very nice.
    by nthnswmn at 04/19/10 8:49AM
  • onelittlecandle
    Nice!!
    by onelittlecandle at 04/19/10 9:06AM
  • littlelamb
    Awesome!
    by littlelamb at 04/19/10 9:57AM
  • ashulee
    N(ICE)!
    by ashulee at 04/19/10 10:32AM
  • unclespike
    Yes, it is free from Microsoft - it's one of their research projects. You can get it at this site.
    by unclespike at 04/19/10 10:57AM
  • slave_of_jesus_jdb
    Cool photo.
    by slave_of_jesus_jdb at 04/20/10 12:32PM
  • emotionalalienation
    speaking of elephants http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gR5uUDB9K5U&annotation_id=annotation_109216&feature=iv
    by emotionalalienation at 07/21/10 12:25PM
  • mayflower
    That's a good title - "Panoramic Elephants." Someone should use it for a book title!

    No, I didn't count off for it. I use the College Board AP scoring guide, and that is based primarily on components like thesis, specific examples, organization, etc. It's a tough grading scale, though. Most of the kids are still scoring a 5 out of 9. But this is only October, so they have until May to learn. It think they'll do well!
    by mayflower at 10/24/10 12:00AM
  • mayflower
    Thanks! Laura did most of the wedding work herself - she made the cake, made most of the reception food, did a lot of the barn decorating, made most of the things for it.

    And thanks! Yes, I DO have a very awesome brother! :) (I just hope he doesn't get arrested for chasing nutrias or something...) :)
    by mayflower at 11/14/10 5:24PM
  • emmybear
    So work doesn't have pleo blocked anymore....thoguht I would pop on here and see if you ever did too. Looks like its been a whiiiiiilllle since your last post...hope your day is going well!
    by emmybear at 05/04/11 8:45AM
  • littlelamb
    Exercise for health?! Who do you take me for?! I just do it for fun! :)
    by littlelamb at 06/02/11 11:41PM
  • meg
    Thanks, Spike! ;)
    by meg at 06/04/11 12:06AM

James Who?

James Buchanan and his wife from Tennessee is one of my best friends (since they are one flesh, that should be singular, right?). I met him while he was going to school with Nathan or Andy at FC and renewed acquaintance with him after he married one my friends from FC. I used to go to his house every month for a Bible study and on New Year's Eve for a singing. He's an IT guy, so I enjoy geeking out with him but he is also a great Bible student so I am always sharpened when I'm around him. There are not many things we have disagreements about so far on those he has usually been right.

His wife let him leave her with their 4 kids and come here for 3 weeks to visit me. I can't thank her enough for that. I like talking with him on the phone, but there is something much better about talking face to face.

He preached last Sunday at Flagstaff about the rich, young ruler and giving up whatever hinders you from following Christ. He taught the young people's class today from the Proverbs and did a great job (although most of the students seemed shy to answer questions). He's supposed to preach at Nongoma Sunday morning and Eshowe Sunday night. I'm looking forward to it.

He's supposed to fly out on the 5th, so he will go with me to the lectures in Loding. The Maydells have agreed to let us sleep at their place on Thursday night and Friday night if we want. We will leave after the lectures on Saturday and go to the Foxes in Jo'burg. James is scheduled to preach at Brixton that Sunday morning and I am scheduled to preach at Brakpan that Sunday night. Then on Monday James will fly out from there.

That might give you some idea of who James is.

  • jimmybuck
    You sure I'm not preaching Sunday night at Brixton? :-)
    by jimmybuck at 03/27/10 2:24AM
  • granny
    Joel, it is so good to read that you have been having such sharpening times with your buddy. How wonderful for you both. You should see Dave, but I will be staying behind.
    by granny at 04/01/10 9:10AM
  • jimmybuck
    I made it to Atlanta, missed my connection, but am now flying to Nashville. Did you make it back for the tent meeting?
    by jimmybuck at 04/06/10 9:26AM
  • jimmybuck
    Sorry for the low attendance from the outside. Still, 4 is good, right?
    by jimmybuck at 04/06/10 5:49PM

James is here

James arrived on Tuesday evening in Johannesburg and we stayed with the Foxes. While waiting for his delayed luggage, we visited the Apartheid Museum which was pretty interesting. His luggage arrived on Wednesday evening, then we drove to White River and the Buchanans. Thursday, we went to Kruger National Park and had a blast. I finally got to see elephants, including one sleeping with it's head propped up against a tree.

We drove the Eshowe today, taking the "scenic route" as led by the GPS. It took an extra couple of hours with several dirt roads, but we were pretty happy to go that way and see the terrain. We are now here until tomorrow when we will head out again for Flagstaff. James has agreed to preach, so I'm sure the brethren there will enjoy that.

I feel like I have already grown quite a bit just in the four days since James has been here. It's great what conversations with godly people can do for you.

Have a great night.
  • cindykay
    Sounds like you're having a great time!
    by cindykay at 03/19/10 10:35PM
  • onelittlecandle
    Great!
    by onelittlecandle at 03/20/10 9:14AM
  • mamanem
    James who?
    by mamanem at 03/22/10 9:20AM
  • granny
    Yes, James who? You made me laugh about the elephant. I haven't seen that yet!
    by granny at 03/26/10 2:39AM

Eric Hamilton

Our meeting with Eric Hamilton from Kansas starts tomorrow. 7pm every night, Monday through Saturday. I expect to see all of you there. :)

Today, we noticed water dripping down the wall in our hallway. Evidently, the solar water heater is leaking. So we have the water turned off until the plumber comes tomorrow. Thankfully, we were able to fill two large containers of water tonight at the church building. So no shower tonight, but at least I won't thirst to death.

Grandpa tells me that they baptized a young man in Eshowe this morning. He is the neighbor of one of the Christians who was falling through the cracks not long ago until someone mentioned that they hadn't seen him at church for a while and someone else said that they had seen him drunk. After Grandpa went to visit him, he has really been putting forth effort and has been coming to the class in Ntumeni on Tuesday with me. Mzwandile says that he has started going to his Friday class at the Kunene's too. Now his neighbor has obeyed the gospel. Sounds pretty good to me. They also had a visitor from the "Church of Christ" in the township (it's just part of a denomination). She came because she has been hearing Mzwandile's preaching on the radio. Good things keep coming from it.

Mzwandile tells me that they restored a brother in Flagstaff this morning. He had abandoned the Lord and we had withdrawn from him, but he came and spoke with Mzwandile for a long time Saturday night and they restored the church's fellowship with him this morning. This is the second time for him, but I certainly hope that he will be serious this time. It was great news anyway.

We had a good service in Nongoma this morning. I got to teach about Jehu killing all of Ahab's family. Unfortunately, I didn't get to the part about him killing all the Baal worshipers. That's a really cool story. Mzwandile will handle that next week.

It's hot here. I wish I could be where the ice storms are. Those are cool (no pun intended).
  • littlelamb
    Good news all around! The ice sure is beautiful!
    by littlelamb at 01/31/10 10:31PM
  • mr_and_mrs_berry
    We have snow, with school delays etc. I would like some warm!
    by mr_and_mrs_berry at 02/03/10 9:51AM
  • emotionalalienation
    i got stuck in waist deep snow today...part of me misses the warmth
    by emotionalalienation at 02/03/10 11:10PM
  • mayflower
    Maybe I could pack up some snow and ship it to you.

    And just out of curiousity, by "hot," what temperature do you mean?
    by mayflower at 03/02/10 9:39AM