Daily Devotions

Psalm 1:2, "...on his law they meditate day and night."

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Psalm 1:2, "...on his law they meditate day and night."

I will spend the following series preparing my devotions on the psalms. I will begin with chapter 1 and move my way through the psalms. I've been preaching weekly since 1987, and being "instructed" in the Word of God has been a foundation in my life. Not only do I learn about the passages, I "meditate" on them each week. I learn as much about the Word's meaning from meditating on the Word as I do learning from scholarly works.

It is an important revelation in Psalm 1 that when you meditate on the Word, you become a "happy" person. Not happy in every little moment, but in your core, you are fundamentally happy (content). God calls us to "read (meditate)...it all the days of his life" (Deut. 17:18-19).

To be happy is to put God's teaching constantly into your life. How are you meditating on the word? You do it in weekly worship. By reading this devotion you are putting God's word into your life. This fall, attend my class on Wednesday evening and meditate on the Word more intentionally. The more we meditate on God's Word, the more God sinks into the marrow of our being. And when God is that engrafted into our being, we become truly happy. Start meditating on God's Word by reading Psalm 1 and then praying for the discipline to continue your daily devotions.

Mentor

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I wrote an Article this week for my "Corner" that will come out on Friday about  my dear friend and mentor, Rev. Allen Montgomery. For today's Devotional, I want to tell you about another mentor in my life, Farrell Burho. Farrell was a great deal of fun. Farrell, Bob Rathbun and I sat together in the tenor section in my home church. The choir director would always yell and me for screwing around during choir practice, when she really wanted to yell at Farrell and Bob.
Farrell would dress up like a frog, named "Phineas" and play with the children. He would work all year making wood plaques and give them to all the kids in the church, acknowledging their specific talents. Throughout the year, he kept record of all the kids activities and accomplishments. He truly cared and wasn't afraid to be silly, and loved affirming young people.
About a decade later, after I became a pastor, Farrell died. He was out hunting in the Northwoods and lost his way. He hunted in the same woods his whole life, so he must have suffered from dementia. The authorities could tell from his tracks in the snow that he had wondered for some time, before finally just sitting down and letting the cold take him. I believe he went from fear, to panic, to acceptance, and trust in God. And God took him home.
In preparing the service, I met with his children. I had never met his grown children. As they told me about his life, it didn't sound like the Farrell I knew at all. They talked about a distant father, who worked many hours at a low paying job, to support the family. When I told them about Phineas the frog, all the plaques and his playful nature, his kids looked at me like I had six heads. I'll never forget their expressions. Their stoic father had a rich, full, loving life beyond anything they could ever imagine.
We are never too old, too tired, or too respectable, to be foolish for Christ. Pray to God, that you might find new and fun ways to be a fool for Christ, just like my dear friend Farrell Burho. Farrell was living proof that being Finnish and being fun was not an oxymoron! Being fun and being Christian is not an oxymoron either!

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