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Thursday, December 31, 2009

Hell on Earth

"The tradgedy of life is what dies inside a man while he lives."
~ Albert Einstein

Hell on Earth

Deliver my soul, O LORD, from lying lips
And from a deceitful tongue...
My soul has dwelt too long
With one who hates peace.
~ Psalms 120:2,6 (NKJV)

The LORD hates ... a lying tongue ...
~ Proverbs 6:16-17 (NKJV)

And in their mouth was found no deceit ...
~ Revelation 14:5 (NKJV)

Yesterday's conclusion of Psalm 119 extolled Truth. Psalm 120's author prays for freedom from lies. Truth sets us free to live as children of the Kingdom of Heaven. Deceit makes us vulnerable to the power of hell on Earth.

Oft heard are statements such as, "Truth is relative and this works for me ... it's a half-truth / just a white lie ... it's not the kind of lie that sends you to hell."

The habitual convenience of compromised truth is a foundation of sand waiting to collapse.

A "half truth" is still a lie. A white lie cracks open the door to the prince of darkness, who himself masquerades as an angel of light. Truth is the first line of defense against him.

The devil is father of lies and lies are his language. He hates peace and has an agenda to steal, kill and destroy. Lies need not send us to hell, for they maintain the strongholds of hell on Earth.

The tradgedy of lies is their touch of death upon God's child while he lives.

Father of life and Spirit of Truth, cleanse us from all the devil's deceit and death. Give us hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo from

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Day Twelve: Truth

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

“A proud man is always looking down on things and people;
and, of course, as long as you are looking down,
you cannot see something that is above you.”
~ C.S. Lewis

Day Twelve: Truth
'emeth (or 'emunah): fem noun, "stability, certainty, truth, faithfulness"
from 'aman: verb, "to support, confirm; to be true or faithful; to trust"
[related word: 'amen: adverb, "declaration 'may it be so'; truly"]

I have chosen the way of truth ['emunah] ...
I know, O LORD, that Your judgments are right,
And that in faithfulness
['emunah] You have afflicted me...
The entirety of Your word is truth
~ Psalms 119:30,75,160 (NKJV)

"And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free...
Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
~ John 8:32,36 (NKJV)

Though I knew I wanted to end this study with the word "truth," I had forgotten that from the same verb also comes the word "Amen"—a fitting way to conclude.

I am sorry to see the series come to an end. Today's word has been a particular delight to pick apart. Truth is intensely personal to me.

My search for the stability of Truth lasted many years. Too many teachings of Roman Catholicism rang false with me. I followed my father as he wandered into Eastern mysticism, and I became an adherent of astrology, tarot, numerology, dreamology, and psychics. Certainty remained elusive. I turned back to Catholicism. What it lacked in wholeness it made up for with the only thing I found reliable: worship Jesus as God.

My spirit restlessly continued the search for Truth. Then one fateful autumn day in 1985, I walked into a Protestant church and heard for the first time the Bible being preached as God's Word. The authority of Truth I heard awakened in my soul what I'd long sought. I do not wax poetic when I say it was love at first sight. I fell in love that day, and I fell hard.

Words now fail me. My eyes mist over. My throat is tight. My chest is racked with emotion. How can I describe my love affair with the Word? How do I explain the certainty in my heart for which I'd die before I'd doubt? What prose can convey the trust that consumes me when I read the Word and the Spirit breathes into me?

What sense can I make of the thrill and rush which come over me when I click on the keys for my computer Bible and I wait with anticipation for the program to open? Or of the comfort I feel to lay my head down upon a volume stamped "Holy Bible" in gilt letters?

If you didn't think me just a little ... different before today, you surely do now. I don't mind. I'm thoroughly addicted to the freedom and power of Truth, and have no desire for recovery.

The faithfulness and certainty in God's Word prove a worthy support in every affliction, question, and trial.

Thank You, my Lord. Thank You.

"I set myself on fire and people come to watch me burn."
~ John Wesley

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photograph "Colorado Rocky Mountains the San Juan Range" by Brendan Reals

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Real Love

Please accept one last interruption to the look at God's Word in "The Twelve Days of Christ" series, for this entry in the Blog Carnival hosted by my friend Bridget Chumbley. For more on today's "One Word" theme, click here on "Love." The piece below is a rerun I trust you won't mind seeing again.

"Not where I breathe, but where I love, I live."
~Robert Southey


real love fully accepts a person "as is"

real love sees beyond appearances to the heart of a person

real love sees evil and remembers that all humanity’s got the disease

real love sees the evil in another and looks past it to the good

real love sees the evil that causes hurt and challenges it to get out

real love sees the good in a person and challenges it to come forth

real love sees every person as made in the image of God

real love knows every person is as special as God makes ME feel

real love knows EVERYONE suffers from inferiority complex and needs validation

real love speaks truthfully, without overdoing it

real love sees the pain another carries and draws close to help carry it

real love discovers the right way to meet another’s need

real love recognizes a heart feeling emptiness and offers what will fill it

real love gratefully accepts imperfect gifts given with sincerity

real love remembers to say "thank you"

real love stands ready to says "yes"

real love says "no" when it’s truly best

real love isn’t irritated by the irritating

real love finds the right outlet to dissolve anger instead of burying it or lashing out

real love says "I’m hurt" without causing hurt

real love means that when I know I’ve caused hurt, I hurt too

real love knows it’s EVER needing to say "I’m sorry"

real love knows saying "I’m sorry" means most when it comes with "I was wrong"

real love forgives completely

real love knows what and how to forget

real love knows what and how to remember

real love wants to share what’s most treasured

real love knows that real love means real sacrifice

real love will sacrifice even what’s most dear

real love is willing to go to the grave

real love goes past the grave into eternity

real love loves without dependence on being loved back

real love loves even those who seem unlovable

real love is usually simple but rarely easy ...

... and PERFECT love does not fear

History’s greatest "I love you" was written in blood on a hill called Calvary. The same amount of love it took to send Jesus to Calvary is the same amount of love God wants YOU to have from Him EVERY day...

We don’t have to deserve God’s love ... only be willing to receive it.

We love Him because He first loved us...
And this commandment we have from Him:
that he who loves God
must love his brother also.

~ 1 John 4:19-21 (NKJV)

Copyright 2004, 2009 Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Permission given to reprint for free-distribution only, with credit to author, Anne Lang Bundy.
Photo credit unavailable, with apology to unknown artist.

Monday, December 28, 2009

Day Eleven: Way (path)

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"Life is not a journey to the grave
with the intention of arriving safely ...
but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up,
totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming
'WOW! What a Ride!' "
Bill McKenna

Day Eleven: Way (path)
derek: masc noun, a road; a course of life; path, journey, way
from darak: verb, to tread; to walk; to press something with one's feet

Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things,
And revive me in Your way.
~ Psalms 119:37 (NKJV)

O LORD, I know the way of man is not in himself;
It is not in man who walks to direct his own steps.
~ Jeremiah 10:23 (NKJV)

Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.
~ John 14:6 (NKJV)

Yesterday's 'orach is the Hebrew word for 'way' with a slight emphasis on manner. Today's derek comes from a verb for treading, and refers to the beaten path.

In the study of the way God puts before us, I cannot help but think of the melding of God's sovereignty and man's free will. God lays out a path. We have the choice of whether or not to take it. There may be times when our choice to take another path leads to great loss, as when King Saul's disobedience cost him the monarchy.

There are other times when the Lord may step in, and compel obedience by unpleasant methods, as He did when He sent Jonah to Ninevah. Arriving onshore as fish vomit does have a persuasive affect on human will. And the disobedience of man does not frustrate the sovereignty of God.

But how much better to walk in God's perfect will, and choose His way immediately. Abraham left his homeland and chose a path to a land of covenant. Paul had planned to turn to eastern lands, but obeyed the Spirit's directing him west with the Gospel, and thus the church took root in Europe rather than Asia. Jesus is The Way to the Father, and walked a path to Calvary—that was not His will—to give us life.

What is the way the Lord puts before you? Are there worthless things down another path which look more appealing? Will you trust His way to be His very best for you?

Father, please forgive us when we whine about the path You set before us. Please turn our eyes away from the direction we covet. Please lead our hearts to better know You, so we will better trust Your plans for us—plans to prosper us and not to harm us, plans to give us hope and a future.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo from of Pete Rose slide into Ray Fosse, 1970

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Day Ten: Way (walk)

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"The pleasure we feel in music
springs from the obedience which is in it."
~ Henry David Thoreau

Day Ten: Way (walk)

'orach: masc noun, "the path one walks on; the path or rank one walks in"
from 'arach: verb, "to travel, to go, to wander; sharing or agreeing"

I will meditate on Your precepts,
And contemplate Your ways.
~ Psalms 119:15 (NKJV)

Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common ... continuing daily with one accord ... they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.
~ Acts 2:44,46-47 (NKJV)

Two different Hebrew words for "way" appear in Psalm 119. The word 'orach puts a slight emphasis on the manner of walking, or the rank in which one walks. The verb from which it stems can mean sharing or agreeing.

There is diversity of personalities and gifts among the members of Christ's body of believers. But if we all walk in agreement, in the way of the Lord's Spirit (love, joy, peace, patient longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentle meekness, self-control), we will also walk in harmony with one another.

Each member of a choir sings different parts, accompanied by an orchestra of different pieces, without thought of rank or status, following one leader. The result is beauty no solist can attain.

We'd hardly need to evangelize if we found such accord. The beauty in such harmony could hardly be resisted by those who observe. When the church was of one accord, it was not the apostles, but the Lord Himself who "added to the church daily those who were being saved."

Lord Jesus, You taught us to pray to 'our' Father, not 'my' Father. We can accomplish nothing apart from Your Spirit, nothing apart from one another. Please lead our hearts to the same unity Your Spirit has with You and our Father. Please make our hearts of one accord with Yours.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Photo: Sanctuary Choir,
Wellshire Presbyterian Church, Denver

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Day Nine: Word (spoken)

“The Twelve Days of Christ” series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"Words that do not give the light of Christ
increase the darkness."
~ Mother Theresa

Day Nine: Word (spoken)
'emrah: fem noun, "word, poetic form; used with teaching, covenant, voice"
From 'amar: verb, "to say"

This is my comfort in my affliction,
For Your word has given me life...
I rejoice at Your word
As one who finds great treasure...
~ Psalms 119:50,162 (NKJV)

"Because nothing is impossible with God's every word."
~ Luke 1:37 (author)

Gabriel's words to Mary are usually quoted as simply, "Nothing is impossible with God." The original Greek includes the phrase pan rhema—"every word." Rhema emphasizes personal speech more than logos does, though both mean "word."

Two Hebrew nouns also mean "word." Yesterday's dabar appears in the Old Testament 1438 times. Today's 'emrah appears just 37 times, 19 of them in Psalm 119. Determined (obsessed?) to distinguish these two words, I studied their etymology and uses at length. Here, I present some imperfect, contrasting metaphors.

Dabar or 'emrah. Masculine or feminine. Official declaration or spoken personally. Prose or poetry. Formal or intimate. Head talk or heart talk. Speaking to someone or speaking with someone.

A distinction I particularly like about the root verb 'amar is: "also refers to what is being communicated by a person's actions" (from The Complete Word Study Dictionary, Zodhiates). I'm reminded that we generally communicate 55% with our facial expression and body language, 38% with tone of voice, and 7% with our words. I also think of the difference between talking the talk and walking the walk; of the disparity between internet relationships (however precious), and relationships with people we contact personally.

I'll be thinking of 'emrah as God's full communication by His Holy Spirit, His intimate whispers to the heart and personal touch on our lives, and the power His words carry when put into action.

Oh Lord, how I love Your every Word! Thank You for sending Jesus, the Logos made flesh, by Whom we obtain eternal life. Thank You for breathing into us Your Rhema to sustain that life. I pray you'll pass to those who read these words as much as possible of the blessing I obtain in writing them.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Artwork: "Annunciation" by Henry Ossawa Tanner, 1898, from

Friday, December 25, 2009

Day Eight: Word (declaration)

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light,
and upon those who sat in the region
and shadow of death light has dawned."
~ Matthew 4:16

Day Eight: Word (declaration)
dabar: masc noun, "a word, matter; a command or royal decree" [the Ten Commandments were literally called the ten words of the Lord]
From dabar: verb, "to arrange, to speak; can also mean think"

Forever, O LORD,
Your word is settled in heaven.
~ Psalms 119:89 (NKJV)

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God... And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.
~ John 1:1,14 (NKJV)

Here in John is my favorite account of God born as Man. God's Word, by which He created everything but humanity, is so powerful that it is not an abstract, but the Person of Jesus Christ.

On the day I met the Person of the Word of God via the Bible, it was love at first sight. Everything changed for me that day, no less than I can imagine it changed for shepherds or Magi who met a Savior and King.

Here is the miracle of Christmas: by no more than the Word of God delivered by an angel, and by the simple word of surrender by a young maiden, the Holy Spirit came upon Mary and she conceived Jesus.

Here is the miracle of Christ: by no more than the Word of the Gospel from God and the simple word of surrender by one of us, the Holy Spirit enters to create in us the life and light of Jesus Christ.

In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.
And the light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not comprehend it.
~ John 1:4-5 (NKJV)

Be blessed in today's celebration of the Word of light and life.

Father, thank You for the greatest gift You might ever give: Yourself, Your Word, Your life, in Your Son. May we never cease to thank and praise You for the goodness and light in Jesus.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Thursday, December 24, 2009

Day Seven: Promise

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"God never
made a
that was
too good
to be

~ Dwight L. Moody

Day Seven: Promise
'arab: verb, "to braid, that is, intermix; also to give or be security; to exchange, to take or give as a pledge or guarantee"

Promise that you will help your servant;
don't let the arrogant oppress me!
~ Psalms 119:122 (GNB)

"Blessed be the LORD, who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. There has not failed one word of all His good promise."
~ 1 Kings 8:56 (NKJV)

Many commentators don't see a synonym for God's Word in Psalm 119:122. Strictly speaking, the Hebrew word here, 'arab, is a verb, not a noun.

Since every other verse of Psalm 119 does contain a synonym for God's Word, I'm not about to exclude this verse based on such technicality. Incidently, 'arab is also the only one of the twelve synonyms which appears only once in the Psalm. Perhaps the psalmist thought one mention of God giving His promise was sufficient.

I'll offer as insight this definition of 'arab from Albert Barnes Notes on the Bible:

"... to mix or intermingle interests; to unite ourselves with others so that their interests come to be our own; and hence, to take one under our protection, to become answerable for, to be a surety for: as, when one endorses a note for another, he mingles his own interest, reputation, and means with his. So Christ becomes the security or surety of his people ... "

Every Promise of God is fulfilled in Him Whom we celebrate tonight and tomorrow: the Lord Jesus Christ. God became Man, united Himself to us, mingled His interest in our ours, and became our Surety for eternal life.

There has not failed one word of all His good promise. On this, the eve of Christmas, we wait to celebrate Christ's coming. It is the last day of observing the first Advent.

It remains to be seen which day it is of the second Advent.

But when the fullness of the time had come,
God sent forth His Son, born of a woman ...
~ Galatians 4:4 (NKJV)

Come, Lord Jesus!

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Day Six: Testimony

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"I am not struck so much by the diversity of testimony
as by the many-sidedness of truth."
~ Stanley Baldwin

Day Six: Testimony
'edah: "[act of] testimony"
'eduth; "[object of] testimony, evidence"
from 'ud, verb, "to duplicate or repeat; to bear witness, to obtain authentication"

In a court of law, facts are established by testimony. The truths of our faith are established by the testimony of God’s Word, His Spirit, His people.

Thoughts on Testimony ...

Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
~ Psalms 119:2 (NKJV)

When faith wavers in the present, we need a fresh awareness of God’s intent to work for good. If we would seek Him with the whole heart, He can be found by keeping [remembering, studying, meditating upon] in our hearts the testimonies of the past—whether in personal experience or the Bible.

Your testimonies also are my delight
And my counselors.
~ Psalms 119:24 (NKJV)

The delight of peace comes not only faith for today but also in hope for tomorrow. They are evidenced by testimony of all God has done.

Incline my heart to Your testimonies,
And not to covetousness.
~ Psalms 119:36 (NKJV)

Testimony of His past actions evidences that the Lord does not work toward what we covet. We do not overcome temptation by trying to push it away, for it will quickly come back into the resulting void. We overcome covetousness by crowding it out with what is of God.

I cry out to You;
Save me, and I will keep Your testimonies.
~ Psalms 119:146 (NKJV)

And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb
and by the word of their testimony,
and they did not love their lives to the death.
~ Revelation 12:11 (NKJV)

To belong to Christ is to recognize the need of salvation, cry out for it, and testify to it. Giving testimony is a requisite of salvation; salvation is to believe in the resurrection of Jesus Christ as living God, and “to confess with the mouth” He is Lord (Romans 10:9). We can only confess what we personally know to be true. Hearsay—what we've heard but not experienced—is inadmissable before either human or divine court.

Do you testify from personal experience: “Jesus Christ is living God and Lord of my life” ?

Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
Thy Own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.
Great is Thy faithfulness! Great is Thy faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see.
All I have needed Thy hand has provided.
Great is Thy faithfulness,
Lord, unto me.
~ Thomas O. Chisholm

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day Five: Precept

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"The Bible is alive, it speaks to me;
it has feet, it runs after me;
it has hands, it lays hold of me."
~ Martin Luther

Day Five: Precept
piqqud: masc noun, "mandate, precept, instruction"
from paqad: verb, "to oversee, attend, search out; to commit to, that is, to cause people to attend to something placed under their care"

I will never forget Your precepts,
For by them You have given me life...
I understand more than the ancients,
Because I keep Your precepts...
Consider how I love Your precepts;
Revive me, O LORD, according to Your lovingkindness.
~ Psalms 119:93,100,159 (NKJV)

"You revealed to Me paths of life;
You will fill Me with joy with Your face."
~ Acts 2:28 (LITV)

In the English, "precept" can mean a general rule regarding behavior and thought, or an actual order of law. That's not too far off the Hebrew, which is somewhere between an instruction or mandate and a stewardship or trust.

Forgive me for being overwhelmed with this trust. Who are we that the Lord should entrust to us revelation of Himself in what He prescribes? The passage from Acts (a quote of Psalm 16:11) puts the above verses from Psalm 119 in exactly that context. In understanding what God instructs, we understand God.

I define knowledge as acquisition of information, wisdom as seeing from God's perspective, and understanding as thinking as God does, with the mind of Christ. How dare we! Who are we to seek the face of God, let alone be allowed access into His thoughts?!

We, the church, have such privilege.

Such thoughts go beyond "do not commit adultery" to understanding that lust in our hearts robs marriage of sanctity; beyond "do not murder" to the understanding that hatred tears down another and therefore steals away life.

Here is life, joy, revival: to love what the Lord prescribes as revelation of the Almighty Himself.

Here is the very face of our beloved Lord and Savior.

"God's precepts strike those who love Him
as right and delightful."
The Complete Word Study Dictionary
Spiros Zodhiates, General Editor

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Day Four: Statute

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"We have no government armed with the power
capable of contending with human passions
unbrideld by morality and religion."
~ John Adams

Day Four: Statute
chuqqah: fem. noun (or choq: masc noun), "regulation, law, ordinance, decree, mandate"
from chaqaq: verb, to cut, to inscribe, to engrave, to decree

You are good, and do good;
Teach me Your statutes.
~ Psalms 119:68 (NKJV)

Therefore the law is holy, and the commandment holy and just and good... I agree with the law that it is good.
~ Romans 7:12,16 (NKJV)

Parents make rules. "You're not allowed to" this and "you must do" that. We issue such decrees having in mind not so much the specifics as a good overall outcome for our children. First problem is, kids listen to the letter of the law and ignore the spirit. No lawyer could ever be as creative in finding a way around the statute as a child is.

Second problem is that you simply can't make enough rules to cover all undesirable behavior. I finally declared the default rule: "If I think you should have known better, you're accountable."

My twisted sense of humor is amused that despite the 613 statutes which the Lord gave Moses, He says in Jeremiah 32:35 of His people's sin: "I did not command them, nor did it come into My mind that they should do this abomination." I cannot help but picture a loving Father clenching His divine jaw in exasperation that His children might think to do the unthinkable.

The above two words for statute (chuqqah and choq) both mean "written in stone." Make no mistake: this is required stuff.

It's required, but we cannot do it.

So Jesus set us free from the requirements of law. He first met the death penalty for our violation, then wrote the upon our hearts the Law of Liberty. While Jews find unity in observing The Law, church unity comes through the Spirit of the law. He does not dictate the outward compliance demanded by the Old Testament, but the higher standard of the New and improved Testatment.

More on that tomorrow.

Father in Heaven, You are good—You are holy!—and desire for us Your best. Please soften our hearts to the statutes You wish to write upon them. Please put in us a yearning for all that is of You and Your goodness. I love You!

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Day Three: Commandment

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"I have wondered at times what
the Ten Commandments would have looked like
if Moses had run them through the US Congress."
~ Ronald Reagan

Day Three: Commandment
mitsvah: fem noun, "command[ment]"
From tsavah: verb, "to order, direct, appoint, command, charge"

And I will delight myself in Your commandments,
Which I love.
~ Psalms 119:47 (NKJV)

"A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another."
~ John 13:34-35 (NIV)

Thoughts on God's commandments.

The Ten Commandments were instructions before the Holy Spirit came. Now that the commandments are written in our hearts, they are promises. "You shall not ..." describes what we are in Christ, instead of telling us what to do.

God gave His commandments not to reveal right and wrong—because conscience already makes such distinctions—but to make it easier for us to see ourselves as sinners in need of a Savior.

"Love is the answer, no matter the question." ~ Unknown

Jesus said that in the commandments to love God and love neighbor, all other commandments are fulfilled (Matthew 22:37-40). He also said that what we do to the least person around us, good or bad, we've done to Him (Matthew 25:40,45). We're told we can't love God unless we love our brother (1 John 4:20). So all of life really comes down to simply loving others.

"Duty makes us do things well,
but love makes us do them beautifully."
- Zig Ziglar

The command to love removes the duty of all other commandments, because love does not comprehend duty.

"I would thank you from the bottom of my heart,
but for you my heart has no bottom."

Wish I'd said that. It makes a nice paraphrase of this verse:

To all perfection I see a limit;
but your commands are boundless.
~ Psalms 119:96 (NIV)

Now go love on people. That's an order. (But not from me :D)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Day Two: Judgments

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"Peace is not the absence of war but the presence of justice."
~ Harrison Ford

Day Two: Judgments

(also Edict, Justice, Ordinances)

mishpat : masc. noun, "judgment, verdict, sentence, formal decree"

My soul breaks with longing
For Your judgments at all times...
My flesh trembles for fear of You,
And I am afraid of Your judgments.
~ Psalms 119:20,120 (NKJV)

But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, that we may not be condemned with the world.
~ 1 Corinthians 11:32 (NKJV)

I worked with legal terminology full-time for fourteen years. Wrote tons in it. Still think it. Sub-consciously, I knew half of the twelve Hebrew words for God's word in Psalm 119 are legal terms, but they're too natural to me to make note of them—until I start writing to my non-legal audience of Christians.

We are no longer at war with God. We have been set free from the law by grace, and likely take little note of law as we try to build our lives on God's Word, which is filled with words of justice. Our eyes pass over legal words, thinking them for only the condemned on some future date. But Paul speaks of the works of Christians being put on trial (1 Corinthians 3:13). He also makes the distinction between the condemnation of the damned who remain at war with their Creator, and the judgment Christians face in being chastened.

Way, way back in the Old Testament, God's will was synonymous with His judgment. The commandment "do not murder" was still 2500+ years in the future when God judged Cain for murdering Abel. He judged Sodom perhaps 550 years before the Law of Moses. Human courts throughout the millennia have rendered judgment based on "natural law," or the inherent morality of mankind which understands it is wrong to do things such as murder, rape, and lie.

The author of Psalm 119 expressed childlike contrast between the soul which longs for justice, and the trembling which faces it. In our hearts, we understand without being told that there is right and wrong, there is chastisement outside written rules, and we desire justice.

In being conformed to the image of Christ, His church needs unity. We still need childlike longing for His judgments, and together ask the Lord for what He has decreed as His will. As the church seeks such judgments, rather than judging for ourselves what is God's will, we will indeed find unity in God's perfect will.

Do you disdain judgment? Consider one of the edicts from the God Who does not change:

Turn to me and show favor,
Your edict
[mishpat] for those who love Your name.
~ Psalm 119:132 (author)

Lord, all Your judgments are good and righteous and filled with blessing. Please help our hearts to desire what You have judged to be Your will, and to find perfect peace and unity in it.

#powerofwords #churchunity
Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Friday, December 18, 2009

Gifts That Don't Fit Under the Tree

Yesterday's post was a delightful and unexpected interruption to the series "Twelve Days of Christ," on Psalm 119 and the church. Today's "Friday Freelance" is one more interruption before I continue the series tomorrow.

The words below are not my own. It is a piece presented by our Church last Sunday night as part of our Christmas program.

Gifts That Don’t Fit Under the Tree

At Christmas …
… you know what to give Mom
… Dad
… the kids

But what do you give …
… The mother struggling with poor self-esteem?
… The father fighting to make ends meet?
… The teen alone in the crowd?

The best gifts…
… The most unique gifts
… The gifts that mean the most
… Don’t fit under the tree

This Christmas
Consider giving…

the gift of
To someone you’ve neglected
spend some time

the gift of
To those suffering alone
listen – really listen and find a way to lend a hand

the gift of
To the one taken for granted
invest your heart

the gift of
To those burdened by shame
start the process of reconciliation

the gift of
To the brokenhearted
take up part of the load

the gift of
To one's who's not earned it
show kindness and compassion

the gift of
To the person that's wronged you
Sacrifice your pride

the gift of
To the unseen in our community
share some of the grace you’ve received

the gift of
Eternal Life
To the lost in your life
show what God has done for you

This year make your Christmas about giving
Gifts that don’t fit under the tree

Written by Scott Young and Dale Emery,
Copyright 2009, used with permission.
Inspired by the video "Christmas Gifts" from

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Extravagant Gift

"Truly great
friends are
hard to find,
difficult to leave,
and impossible
to forget."
~ G. Randolf

Today holds a small surprise. (No, this isn't news of a book contract.)

If you didn't already know it, I've dabbled in writing biblical fiction, and have a novel represented by publishing agent Rachelle Gardner of WordServe Literary.

For those of you who read my blog but are unfamiliar with publishing, I'll introduce Rachelle as one of the most highly esteemed names in CBA (Christian Booksellers Association). I was privileged to make her acquaintance as she'd just begun writing her now famous blog,
Rants and Ramblings. It's an honor to have her as an agent.

It's a greater honor to call her friend. Rachelle is astute and witty and works herself to exhaustion in her love for the art of writing. She's also compassionate, sensitive, and loyal. Truthfully, as much as I'd like a book contract, her friendship means far more to me.

Rachelle is God's extravagant gift to me.

Today, I guest post for my friend Rachelle Gardner. Please click on the words below to follow me to her blog.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Day One: Law

"The Twelve Days of Christ" series looks at Psalm 119's twelve Hebrew words for God’s Word, and a connection to the church for each one.

"The world has many religions;
it has but one Gospel."
~ George Owen

Day One: Law

torah: fem. noun, "instruction"
from yarah: verb, "to flow (as water), shoot, throw, point"

Great peace have those who love Your law,
And nothing causes them to stumble.
~ Psalms 119:165 (NKJV)

[You are] ... built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone ... in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.
~ Ephesians 2:20-22 (NKJV)

The collection of the first five books of the Bible is called The Torah, or the Law of Moses. Though the Hebrew word torah is translated ‘law,’ it is much bigger. Consider that the United States Constitution is more than the laws which govern our land—it is a foundation of words upon which our government is established.

The Torah is a foundation to establish God as Creator, Judge of evil, Most High God above all false gods, Almighty God of Abraham, Deliverer of the Hebrews from Egypt. Having revealed a wondrous God and making clear His right to rule, the Torah then lays out His government.

Where would the church be without the foundation of the apostles and prophets, the many saints who have gone before? They have preserved the Gospel of Jesus Christ, often at the cost of their lives. Like the patriots, they gave us what we enjoy today at the cost of their blood.

In every era is a readiness to throw off what is seen as outdated. Indeed, religion which is devoid of love, of fresh anointing from the Lord's Spirit, and of active relationship with God was condemned by Jesus in His own era. But let us discern between empty tradition of man and the foundations of faith by which we are established as the church.

Open my eyes, that I may see
Wondrous things from Your law.
~ Psalms 119:18 (NKJV)

A last thought. As the torah reveals God to man and establishes His rule, the church is the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, Ruler of our hearts by His Word and Spirit.

Sovereign Lord Jesus, Your dominion is over all. Bend our hearts to Your rule over all we are, do and have—over all the talent, time and treasure You’ve entrusted to us.

#churchunity #powerofwords
Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Twelve Days of Christ

"Whoever survives a test, whatever it may be,
must tell the story. That is his duty."
~ Elie Wiesel

Blessed are the undefiled in the way,
Who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep His testimonies,
Who seek Him with the whole heart!
~ Psalms 119:1-2 (NKJV)

Thus begins Psalm 119, which goes on for 176 verses and 22 stanzas (one for each letter of the Hebrew alphabet), to extol God's Word.

Except for Fridays, I write here each day on a verse or so from the day's passage of Scripture. For the last few weeks I've puzzled how I'd single just one or two verses from this majestic psalm, just as I wondered how I'd single out just one point today as part of the Blog Carnival hostessed by Bridget Chumbley on "Church."

The Church is a source of great joy in my life, and great sorrow. I'm thrilled to be meeting more people in Christ's body than ever before, with whom I shall spend eternity. I sorrow because I'm connecting with them just enough to know who they are, but there's too few hours in the day to spend the time and share the love I wish to give each one.

*heavy sigh*

My solution for both Psalm 119 and writing on the topic of The Church is called "The Twelve Days of Christ." For twelve days over the next two weeks, until the next carnival, I'm doing a post for each of the twelve Hebrew words for God's Word in Psalm 119, and connecting to each one something different about The Church.

Today's introduction is simply Who, What, and Where The Church is.


If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.
~ Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

The Church is all those who belong to Christ, who have received eternal life in His blood, who confess Him as Lord and believe He is God made man, raised alive from the dead.

The Church is all those connected by Christ's blood as brothers and sisters, His family.

The Church is one, regardless of denominational lines, race, or nation.


"By the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established."
~ Matthew 18:16 (NKJV)

The Church is one of three witnesses Christ left behind on His behalf when He returned to Heaven: His Word, His Spirit, His people. Every matter of faith is to be established by two witnesses—three to eliminate any doubt.

The Church is a reliable witness, regardless of human fallibility. The Word, by itself, can be misunderstood. The voice of the Spirit can be difficult to discern. Jesus knew we truly need all three.


"You are the light of the world... Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven."
~ Matthew 5:14,16 (NKJV)

Like terrorists who infiltrate our country so they can reach us anywhere, The Church is to be everywhere, infiltrating every part of the world. Unlike the terrorists, we are to be known and visible, our love, light, and life sharply contrasting the hatred, darkness and death of the world.

It is not merely a duty, but a privilege to keep His testimonies.

Father, thank You for making us those who are undefiled, through Your Son's precious blood. You call us to testimony, and give us power to meet it. Please show us how You'd use each of us to testify to who, what and where You are, and fill us with the desire to whole-heartedly seek You so we will do so.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Stress or Distress?

"Although man has made the world very complex,
John the Apostle breaks down the entire universe
into two things: God and not God."
AW Tozer

Stress or Distress?

Out of my distress, I called on YAH.
YAH answered me with freedom...
YAH is my strength and song.
He has become my salvation.
~ Psalms 118:5,14 (WEB)

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free... Therefore if the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed."
~ John 8:32,36 (NKJV)

For as long as we have distress, we are its captive.

Freedom may come by working through a problem, or in the problem's disappearance. It's also possible that we simply obtain peace about a distressful situation and are thereby set free.

The Lord's peace comes by seeing the situation from His perspective, and therefore seeing it in truth. I testify that this is how the Lord says He works, and how I've seen Him work.

As I write these words, a little voice says, "Not always—what about this? What about that? What if the Lord is using distress for good?"

Whether that little voice comes from me, from my enemy the devil, or from the world, I don't have to listen to it, and neither do you. The Lord allows the stress of testing and trial, but I believe stress need not become distress and take us captive. The Lord reminds me:

You will keep in perfect peace
The one stayed upon You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For YAH, the LORD,
is the Rock of Ages.
Isaiah 26:3-4 (author)

I confess that I can allow stress to become distress. The failure is not the Lord's but mine, if I fail to keep myself adequately stayed (focused) upon Him. I cannot think of a time when distress came knocking, when I got my heart and mind stayed upon the Lord and His trustworthiness, that He did not set me free.

What are your thoughts? Where does stress become distress? Are truth and trust in the Lord enough to set us free?

Lord, our Savior and Deliverer, please lead our hearts to seek and find Your truth and freedom at all times.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved. #perspective

Sunday, December 13, 2009

That Day

"We must embrace pain
and burn it as fuel for our journey."
~ Kenji Miyazawa

That Day

Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.
~ 2 Timothy 4:8 (NKJV)

And walk in love ... an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling aroma.
~ Ephesians 5:2 (NKJV)

An oft expressed desire of Christians is the day we will stand before our Maker and see His smile, hear His voice, feel His touch. I daresay some are impatient for That Day.

But longing for That Day cannot be at the expense of today. We have on Earth something we shall not have in Heaven.

Here, we can give God expensive love.

I think that in Heaven love will no longer carry a cost. Here, to love the Lord is to ache with longing, to endure the pain of separation, to suffer graciously because Jesus did and asks it of us who love Him.

We can choose to love less and not experience the agony of love. Or we can love our God passionately, and offer to Him now that which we can no long offer on That Day.

My Lord, You know our impatience. You know the kind of love we wish to have for You, and yet fall short of in our selfishness. Please enable us to pursue that love and accept the pain to experience the passion You've created our souls to know.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Saturday, December 12, 2009


"Butter: a condiment preferable to margarine,
because cows are infinitely more trustworthy than chemists."
via @Daffynitions (Twitter)


"But you, Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book until the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall increase."
~ Daniel 12:4 (NKJV)

For in much wisdom is much grief,
And he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.
~ Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NKJV)

One of the many indicators that we are in the last days is the fulfillment of the angel Gabriel's words to Daniel concerning the time of the end. Many run to and fro across the globe, we are inundated and overwhelmed with the increase of knowledge.

Even three thousand years ago, Solomon recognized the grief and sorrow in much wisdom and knowledge of this world.

It is the weekend. It is the season of celebrating Jesus. It's not Sunday yet. But if you take a few moments to take in the wholesome and living Word of God, laying aside what's been concocted by humans, you will be blessed.

For the word of God is living and powerful ...
~ Hebrews 4:12 (NKJV)

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Friday, December 11, 2009

Friday Freelance: FREE FALL

"Sing like no one is listening,
Love like you'll never get hurt,
Dance like no one is watching,
Live like it's Heaven on Earth."
~ Unknown

Friday Freelance: FREE FALL

There's nothing quite like jumping from an airplane to ride upon the wind.

I've done so just twice. The first time was a simple static line jump, in which the parachute opened immediately from a ripcord fastened to the plane. A terrifying leap instantly became a calm ride beneath a circular canopy. I floated like a feather above the Colorado plain, taking in a 200-mile-plus view extending from north of the Wyoming state line to south of Pikes Peak.

The tame ride whet my appetite for a real sky dive. Having neither the money nor patience to make a couple dozen static line jumps which would qualify me for a solo dive, I opted for a tandem jump. I was allowed to control the dive, while the instructor harnessed to my back had oversight of safe return to terra firma.

This time, the plunge from the plane was anything but calm. My first order of business was learning to inhale the air pummeling against me, and take in whatever oxygen exists at three miles above the planet (11,500-foot altitude above the 4,900-foot elevation). A something-over-125-mph swan dive thoroughly overwhelmed soul and senses while I gazed at the panorama of creation in all directions, as the Creator Himself might. If Heaven ever pressed itself against me, it did so in free fall.

Speed makes for a brief plummet. All too soon the altimeter read 3,500 feet and I pulled the ripcord: instant calm. Quiet descended. A last few moments of consummate peace and bliss enfolded me before land rushed up and grasped my feet.

Free fall was the most intense and most exhilarating experience I can remember. My heart pounded with excitement, yet I knew no fear. I'd paid attention to directions and practiced maneuvers in the classroom. I trusted the pilot and my instructor, plane and parachute. I thoroughly enjoyed the ride, utterly devoid of any anxiety over the outcome.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding;
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He shall direct your paths.
~ Proverbs 3:5-6 (NKJV)

I try to live life in a spirit of free fall. I trust my Master for the outcome of every situation. Though He'll allow me to make mistakes, my life is surrendered to Him and I know He'll step in before I can act outside His sovereign will. If I'll pay attention to His directions, if I'll accept daily testing as exercise for more serious stuff, if I'm closely abiding in His Spirit Who can't be detached from me, then I'm free to ride upon the winds of life in a wonderful blend of abandonment and peace and exhilaration.

Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance.
~ Psalms 149:3 (NKJV)

Though I might end with that last paragraph, I'm adding a rare prayer request. I've made mention of the fact that since I first observed it about 20 years ago, I've yearned to do worship dance. I often dance freestyle in our humble home with smiling children, or in love for God. Yet my heart's desire has been to dance with the majestic worship of a choreographed team.

For the first time, my church has a dance team, and I'm on it. Sunday night we'll present an expression of love and worship for the Lord, accompanied by orchestra and choir, before however many people show up in our 750-capacity auditorium. I'm the least experienced member of the team. Stage fright is a foreign concept to me, but I'm nonetheless a little apprehensive.

Our worship team's intent is that the audience will see in the dance and hear in the music the glory of our Lord, more than seeing and hearing us. I'd hate to distract from that, or to detract from the excellence that our God deserves in our worship. So I ask your prayer for my ability.

Most of all, I'd like prayer that when I dance, my heart will be focused on my audience of One, to Whom the worship is given.

I'd like to dance in a spirit of free fall.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart)

"You should explain your reasons to a child
as if the child had to explain them to God."
~ Robert Brault

KISS (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart)

Praise [hâlelu] YHWH, all you Gentiles!
Laud Him, all you peoples!
For His love-filled kindness [chêsêd] is great toward us,
And the certain truth [emeth] of YHWH is perpetual [olam].
Hâlelu YAH!
~ Psalm 117 (author, amplified)

YHWH passed before Moses and proclaimed,
"YHWH! YHWH is mighty, compassionate,
gracious, longsuffering,
abounding in love-filled kindness and truth,
preserving love-filled kindness for thousands ..."
~ Exodus 34:6-7 (author)

Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth
For your love is better than wine.
~ Song of Solomon 1:2 (NKJV)

Today's passage is Psalm 117, all two verses of the Bible's shortest chapter. Addressed to Gentiles, perhaps the author thought they'd have a short attention span—not unlike our internet generation.

Or, perhaps the author was presenting a short praise chorus to be sung repetitively, similar to what today's critics call 7-11 songs—seven words sung eleven times. But anyone around children knows that when you make truth short, simple, and say it enough times, they'll eventually get it.

If you're writing only two verses to foreigners exhorting them to praise your God, you'd better get in what's most important. This brief Psalm is reminiscent of the way the Lord describes Himself to Moses (Exodus passage above), with an emphasis on three vital characteristics:

Chêsêd is synonymous with chên (grace). It stems from a verb which means to stoop, as one in power does to demonstrate love and kindness to someone weaker. The post of one week ago examined that the Lord humbles Himself to even look upon us, let alone show us the love and kindness which seats His people in Heavenly Places.

Emeth is established truth. It stands in opposition to relativity which allows everyone to define truth as they see fit. The Lord is certain, unchanging, reliable. He does not conform to human stipulations for deity.

Olam means the vanishing point of time or distance. It does not mean infinity, but simply beyond human comprehension, or outside the boundaries of space and chronology we can ascertain—(evolutionists' attempts to define absurd theories as science be damned).

Abundance of love and kindness. Truth. Perpetual. Psalm 117 is a little kiss from the Lord.

Lord, how wonderful every verse of Your Word, like abundant kisses from You! Please enable us to treasure every word, as the loving gift You've made it.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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Wednesday, December 9, 2009

The Gift of Listening

"Surely this is the greatest gift we can give to another—
to really listen."
~ Unknown

The Gift of Listening

I love the LORD,
because He has heard My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live.
~ Psalms 116:1-2 (NKJV)

"Now we know that God does not hear sinners; but if anyone is a worshiper of God and does His will, He hears him."
~ John 9:31 (NKJV)

"Oh, that My people would listen to Me ..."
~ Psalms 81:13 (NKJV)

I've searched the Bible more than once, various ways, to find expressions of love for the Lord. In today's passage from Psalm 116, the psalmist speaks to a third party of his love for the Lord. Psalm 18 begins with David's declaration of intent in the words, "I will love You." And in John 21, Peter answers each of Jesus three queries about love with the words, "You know that I love You."

Considering that the greatest commandment is to love the Lord, doesn't it seem that it would be declared more often?

I come from a family effusive in expressions of love. We don't hang up the phone without an "I love you" and about every second Facebook status includes the same. As I get to know people through the internet, my affection becomes genuine. I don't pass along a single "I love you" or "much love" or "sending my love" that I don't mean. So for me, telling the Lord "I love You" on a regular basis is requisite.

But if the proof of love is in willingness to be quiet and listen, I fall short far more often than I'd ever want to admit. I'm horrible in conversation about interrupting with a question, comment, or—worst of all—my own anecdote or perspective. Being quiet in time of prayer too often leads to becoming distracted rather than hearing from the Lord. Even when I hear Him, if I fail to act immediately I am apt to not act at all.

Yet here is the reason the psalmist gives for loving the Lord: "because He has heard my voice ... because He has inclined His ear to me." The Bible, answered prayer, and peace of heart offer abundant testimony to the fact that in His love for us, the Lord is a good Listener.

Is there any friendship that would endure if we failed to listen?

Can we say we love the Lord and fail to listen, or fail to heed?

Lord, I confess that I've only begun to learn to listen. I ask for all Your people, and especially those reading these words, that You'd make each of us better listeners—truly hearing the words spoken and unspoken of those we love. Please enable our love for You to be expressed in listening quietly for Your voice.

Contrasting points-of-view, questions and feedback are invited. Post to "Comments" or e-mail to Copyright 2009, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
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