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EDC Christian

Serving the Lord with Gladness is now relaunching as: EDC Christian.

EDC (Every Day Carry) Christian is a Devotional Blog and Podcast that we hope will equip and encourage you to not only survive but thrive in your walk-through life with Jesus. Our goal is to provide “Thriving Skills for the Soul.”

Everyone has certain items they carry around with them each day; a wallet, a watch, a purse, a pen, a knife, etc.  What items do you generally have with you every day?  A Survivalist would call those items part of your “Every Day Carry” kit.   I like the term.  I appreciate the concept of being prepared! In the same way that we carry things with us, the Bible gives us Every Day Carry Skills that we can identify, carry, and use as needed each day.  This site and the podcast “EDC Christian” are dedicated to equipping and encouraging the Christian to not only survive, but thrive in his/her walk with Christ. 

The Best Leaders Are the Best Followers

​ “Don’t be a follower” is excellent but incomplete advice. Usually,
this is said as a negative response to following an evil, corrupt, or bad
example. Some people, friends, or relatives may not be good examples of how to
live and of what to think.

We will consider two examples for this edition of Every Day Carry Christian.
One example is someone not to follow, and the other is one we can readily
follow
. Every Christian is writing the story of their life. You can choose
to be a leader, influence people for good, or influence people for evil.

The EDC Christian understands that the best leaders are the best followers.
The first example is Amnon, a lustful son of King David who is fixated on
a half-sister, Tamar. He wants an intimate relationship with her but cannot
figure out how he can get away with it. But, Amnon had a friend who influenced
him to make the wrong decision.

But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David’s brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man.

2 Samuel 13:3

Jonadab thought he was more intelligent than everyone else. He was sneaky
and crafty and believed he could “get away” with whatever he wanted
to do. He offers Amnon an evil plan to get Amnon and Tamar alone together in a
bedroom. The evil plan works.

Jonadab proceeds to assault Tamar. In tears, she is shamed, physically and
emotionally. There is more to her story that you may want to study in 2 Samuel.
The point here is that this sin occurred because of the leadership influence of
Amnon’s evil friend, Jonadab.

In this case, “Don’t be a follower, be a leader” rings true. Amnon
was not a leader when, as the king’s son, he could have been. He could have
talked to his father, David, learned from David’s mistakes, and then personally
chosen to do right. Instead, he followed a lousy leader and evil advice.

Our second example is Joshua. For 40 years, Joshua served Moses. Joshua was
reliable, dependable, and faithful in following the leadership of Moses. Once
Moses dies, Joshua is called upon by the Lord – and the people of Isreal – to
become their leader.

Joshua is a good follower and was then able to become a great leader.

And Joshua the son of Nun was full of the spirit of wisdom; for Moses had laid his hands upon him: and the children of Israel hearkened unto him, and did as the Lord commanded Moses.

Deuteronomy 34:9

Here is a short list of “following qualities“of Joshua that become his “leadership qualities:”

  • Joshua was ready when Moses said, “Let’s go!”
  • Joshua was willing when the other ten spies said “No.”
  • Joshua was listening when God gave Moses the commands.
  • Joshua was helping Moses each step of the way.

Because Joshua was a good follower, He became the next leader of God’s people. The EDC Christain will choose to become a leader for good by being a careful follower of Jesus.

Paul summarized this concept when he said in 1 Corinthians 11:1, Be ye followers of me, even as I also am of Christ. Paul was following Jesus, and we can go as well.

I once knew a 21-year-old man who had a friend too. He had several friends. His group of friends said: “Let’s go get a drink and have a ‘good time.'” He drank his first alcohol that night. He became drunk and ended up in a bar fight. This man took the fight outside, where (with his military training) he ended up killing the man. With one dead, the man’s life will never be the same. Prison. Criminal record. Guilt. All it took was one choice. One moment, following some bad advice from a “friend.” He willingly let someone lead him astray. You don’t want to follow this sad example.

Another example is the 20-year-old who followed the advice of his “friends” and established a relationship with a female minor. His life was never the same. Prison. Criminal record. Guilt. His story was very much like the Amnon, Tamar, and Jonadab stories. Life may never be the same for you if you follow the lead of a poor example or evil advice. Instead of being like Amnon and Jonadab, be more like Joshua.

Ultimately, the best example is Jesus. The EDC Christian, who is following the example of Jesus, may become a leader for doing good and may become an example to others to know the Lord too. The best leaders are the best followers.

No Tripping Allowed

When you were in school, did you ever see someone slide their foot out as someone was walking by and the person walking, tripped, and fell? Was the one tripping the other you? Were you the one who fell?

At the moment, tripping another may appear funny, like “Three Stooges” humor, but tripping another person is not really funny. You know it’s no fun if you were the one who fell after being tripped. It can be dangerous. Tripping another is no laughing matter.

In Mark 9:42, Jesus warns His disciples about tripping other people in spiritual, faith, sinful, and eternal ways.

“And whosoever shall offend one of these little ones that believe in me, it is better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he were cast into the sea.”

Mark 9:42

The word “offend” is a very interesting Greek word. We get our Enlish word, “Scandel” from it. Offend simply means “to cause to stumble, to trip up.” It’s like causing a scandal in a person and their relationship with God.

A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament says that σκανδαλίζω, Scandal or Offend means, “to put a stumbling-block or impediment in the way, upon which another may trip and fall; to be a stumbling-block”

Here are four ways Offend / Scandal is used in the Bible.

  • a. to entice to sin
  • b. to cause a person to begin to distrust and desert one whom he ought to trust and obey; to cause to fall away, and in pass. to fall away
  • c. to cause one to judge unfavorably or unjustly of another
  • d. to cause one to feel displeasure at a thing; to make indignant
A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament

A mill stone in old times that Jesus is referring to was a grinding stone used to pulverize grain into flour. Many times these round stones rotated with a hole in the middle with animals such as a mule or two, walking in circles, spinning the stone. Workers would throw grain down between the stone and the stone floor and then collect flour for baking. There was a large pin in the middle of the millstone ensuring the stone would remain in place while being spun in a circle. Some of these mill stones would weigh hundreds of pounds.

Jesus says, the person who trips up a “little one” and causes them to stumble in their faith in God, or cause them to commit sin, or walk away from the Lord will be held accountable. It is better for the person who “trips other people” to have a mill stone hung around his head and to be cast into the sea.

Death is certain if a millstone is on your neck and you are tossed into the water. It is the opposite of wearing a life jacket while boating. This is a judgment Jesus is referring to for those who lead others away from God. The contrasting word “better” is insightful. If a person is tripping up others, it is “better” for him to be judged and executed than for him to continue to lead multiple other people astray. The gravity of this teaching is quite staggering for us to consider. Don’t be a tripper, spiritualy speaking!

The Every Day Carry Christian is aware of himself/herself in dealing with other people. The EDC Christian will consider these 3 questions when being cautious about not tripping others.

  1. Are my choices, words, posts, or actions affecting people’s impression of God in a negative way?
  2. When I post on social media or talk to others, is what I am saying helping faith or hurting faith?
  3. If and when I sin, am I not only displeasing the Lord but also tempting or leading another person astray?

Make this practical: Check your social media, are the things you post helping people know God or giving a bad impression of “Faith?” Watch your words. God does not want us to trip others up or lead them away from the Lord.

Here are some “Tips to Not Trip:”

  1. Pray for others.
  2. Lend a helping hand when another stumbles.
  3. Purpose to do right while encouraging others to do right.

Years ago, I was sailing a sail boat in Florida. The sun was shining and the wind blowing fast that day. With the waves spritzing water in our faces, my friend and I had our boat propelling through the water at nearly 30 mph. Moving that fast, the hulls of the catamaran boat were skipping on the water. The sail was full of wind and we were having a blast. While steering the boat’s rudder, we took a turn too sharply while traveling too fast, and the boat dipped up out of the water and landed with the 30-foot mast directly in the water, upside down. When the boat flipped, my friend and I were both hurled out of the water.

I was cast into the sea. If there was a mill stone around my neck instead of a life jacket, then I would not be writing this devotional today. Being cast into the saw is no fun and dangerous.

When we lead others stray, tripping up young people, the Lord says being cast into the sea with a mill stone around our neck would be better for us than for being judged for leading another person away from God. Tripping others up is a serious matter to God.

Train Like a Scribe

Jesus saith unto them, Have ye understood all these things? They say unto him, Yea, Lord. Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.

Matthew 13:51-52

Jesus is sharing the last of the “Mysteries of the Kingdom” parables. He concludes by talking about a homeowner and his treasure. This man is compared to a student or a scribe. Scribes had various jobs in the Old Testament and the New Testament including copying manuscripts, teaching the Torah, working in the Temple, advising political leaders, working in science fields, and writing letters. They were students of these areas and studied books and language consistently to be able to perform these functions.

When Jesus says the man is a householder who pulls from his treasure, he is speaking of a man who is studying, learning, growing, accumulating wisdom and knowledge who then will share that wisdom and knowledge with others. The man is a “Bookworm for Jesus.”

The word “treasure” is a term we are familiar with. “Treasure” (θησαυρός) is “Thesaurus” in our language. A Thesaurus is similar in some ways to a dictionary. A Thesaurus is a collection of words that are organized in a systematic way to identify synonyms and antonyms to learn language and concepts. Words and concepts are treasures! Bible teaching is a treasure. Truth is a treasure.

You do not need to carry a paper or digital Thesauruswith you each day – you are the Thesaurus! This homeowner man is responsible to “bring forth,” disiminate, and apply old and new Bible concepts to everyday life.

Here are some helps to “Train Like a Scribe” and to become a “Bookworm for Jesus.”

Read the Bible Daily.

These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.

Acts 17:11

Study the Scripture Personally.

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

2 Timothy 2:!5

Worship God Publicly.

I will declare thy name unto my brethren: In the midst of the congregation will I praise thee.

Psalm 22:22

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Colossians 3:!6

Engage with Others Consistently. (Small group)

Iron sharpeneth iron; So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

Hebrews 3:13

Serve the Lord and Others Passionately.

Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

Colossians 3:24

Train Like a Scribe to become a Bookworm for Jesus and then make healthy applications of truth to your life each day.

How to Listen to Preaching

Recently I discovered that the famous baseball player turned preacher, Billy Sunday, came to my hometown in Ohio in 1911. They planned for the meeting to last 1 week, but it was extended for 6 weeks due to the overwhelming response to the preaching of the Bible.

When Billy heard the Gospel in Chicago at the Pacific Garden mission, he turned from sin and trusted Jesus and His resurrection for his salvation. After playing professional baseball several more seasons, Billy quit baseball and became an itenerate Gospel preacher traveling and holding meetings all around America. During his ministry, hundreds of thousands came to faith in Christ.

Gathering with the church on a regular basis is something the Every Day Carry Christian practices, to offer public worship to the Lord, to study and learn the Scriptures, and to encourage other brothers and sisters in Christ. The church meets weekly on Sunday mornings in most cases. Occasionally there are special meetings in which a guest preacher comes to town to preach and teach the Scriptures. Be encouraged to shuffle your schedule to be able to attend special meetings like this. Whether a regular Sunday with your pastor or a special meeting with a guest preacher, the EDC Christian must learn and develop his/her skills to listen to Bible preaching.

Moses taught God’s people the “Shema.” Shema means “to hear with anticipation to respond.” It is intently listening and personally making an application to every day life of what is heard in the lesson. This is one of my favorite passages of Scripture and one in which we have modeled much of our church life after.

Hear therefore, O Israel, and observe to do it; that it may be well with thee, and that ye may increase mightily, as the Lord God of thy fathers hath promised thee, in the land that floweth with milk and honey. Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord: And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might.

Deuteronomy 6:3-5

Here are some Thriving Skills for the Soul to help you when listening to Bible preaching when you gather with your church:

  1. Pray for the service ahead of time. Ask the Lord to bless the church service, to reveal Himself in the Scriptures, and to be glorified with the gathering. Make the prayer personable and applicable to you too. “Speak to me, Lord.”
  2. Bring your Bible. Bring your favorite Bible. I prefer using a physical copy of the Bible, but I have used my phone or iPad on occasion.
  3. Take notes. Some people remember better when they take notes. Others enjoy looking back over the notes of messages of years past to recall moments of decision and devotion. Use paper notebooks, digital devices, or whatever works for you. I like the original yellow “Stick It” sticky notes” inside the cover of my Bible.
  4. Participate in the service. Sing when people are singing. Pray when people are praying. Listen with the intent of responding when someone is preaching.
  5. Be willing to respond. An invitation, a response time, or prayer time may be offered at the end of the service. Pray about a decision. Commit your way to the Lord. Trust and respond to the clearly revealed will of God in the Bible.

Billy Sunday was known for his dynamic, boisterous, loud, and sometimes rough preaching. He held the attention of his audience and was possibly “entertaining” to listen to and watch when he was preaching. Even if your pastor or guest preacher is not “entertaining” that’s OK. Entertainment is not the goal – knowing God is. Becoming more like Jesus is part of why you are at the gathering of the church in the first place. Even though preaching and teaching styles may vary, the goal of listening to preaching and teaching is the same.

Develop and use the Thriving Skills above to be ready to hear preaching this Sunday.

A Sharper Image

“It’s getting clearer now. I can see it better.” Have you ever said something like that after your eyes were dilated at the optician’s office? The Lord created mankind after His image. Men and women reflect the image, countenance, and person of the Lord Himself.

Humanity is a special creation of God. Mankind is different from all other created things – we are made in the image of God. We can have a special relationship with the Lord through His Son, Jesus.

So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.

Genesis 1:27

“Imago Dei” is the Latin phrase many people use to describe these Hebrew words. Imago Dei means “image of God.” After sin entered this world, the image is distorted. Like the dilation of the eyes, the image of mankind (looking like the Lord) is more complicated and hard to see.

Despite the curse of sin, the Christian can choose to become more like Christ and to look more like Him each day. The books we read, the films we watch, the news we listen to, the church we attend, the work we do, the classes we take, and the friends we keep will greatly influence our potential to look more like the Lord. Speaking of friends, Proverbs says:

Iron sharpeneth iron; So a man sharpeneth the countenance of his friend.

Proverbs 27:17

​I have several sharpening steels. I can use these portable steels to sharpen my knives anywhere I am. Some have diamonds encrusted in the steel to make it a hard surface to cause friction on the knife I am sharpening. The sharpener material is harder than the steel I am sharpening. I also enjoy using a benchtop grinder. The grinding wheel has elements in it that are stronger and harder than the blades I am working on – so it sharpens them.

We need friends who are stronger than us, spiritually speaking. We can be friends with others who may be spiritually weaker than us with the intent of sharpening them. Some are sharper in some spiritual areas than we are and vice-versa. Something to think about – a friend has the potential to sharpen your countenance. “Countenance” is the Hebrew פָּנֶה (paneh) which means “face or faces.” Since we are created in the image of God, this creation of humanity also bears resemblance to the features of God including the face of God.

The goal of our best friendships is to sharpen each other to be more like Jesus.

A good friend, who loves the Lord, can sharpen your life to help you look more like the Lord. Your countenance, face, facial expression, and entire being can be impacted positively by having good, healthy, and righteous friends.

The Every Day Carry Christian will carry these thriving skills:

  1. Be a friend who sharpens others to be more like Jesus. Share spiritual sharpening skills with others; Bible reading, prayer, faithfulness to participate in church, finding ways to serve others, being faithful to your family, developing a good work ethic, not giving up, fighting temptation, and becoming accountable, just to name a few ideas.
  2. Have friends who encourage and challenge you to be more like Jesus. It’s OK to say the hard thing. It’s healthy to challenge another to greatness. It’s good practice to discuss difficult things to grow and develop your relationship with one another and with God.
  3. Be the one, with God’s grace, who stays sharp for Jesus. Pray for and plan for this. Maintaining a sharper image is like maintaining a sharp knife blade. With use, the knife becomes dull; but with consistent and purposefull sharpening friction on the steel, the knife – and the life can maintain its sharpness.

The goal of our best friendships is to sharpen each other to be more like Jesus.

Moral Awareness

Many people are talking today about morality in society and morality within the church. Recently Matt Chandler, a popular pastor, stepped down because of what he called “crossing a line” in a relationship with a woman who is not his wife. I do not know Matt or his church, so I offer no comment on his scenario because I (nor most social media commenters) do not have all the information. I have seen many people make comments on social media about his situation with vague innuendo and assumptions. Many share their personal thoughts, others suggest scriptural thoughts, and some offer seemingly contradictory advice – all hoping for the same outcome – healthy morality in relationships.

The Every Day Carry Christian will carry with himself/herself several Bible truths to deal with relationships with each other and with the opposite sex. A man or woman can enjoy many friendships with people of various backgrounds, faith traditions, work or school experiences, and other denominators, including being older or younger, or being of the opposite sex. It is possible!

Paul gave Timothy great truth to help with these personal interactions:

Rebuke not an elder, but intreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.

1 Timothy 5:1-2

A SIBLING MINDSET

Men are not objects to covet. Women are not objects to lust after. Men and women are to be viewed through the personal lens of being a brother or a sister. For those readers who are born-again Christians, we have brothers and sisters in the Spiritual Family of God. They are siblings along with us in God’s Church. Perhaps much of the poor decisions of men and women about safe guarding their relationships could be solved with this sibling mindset.

In your lifetime, you may have only a handful of genuinely close, intimate, raw, and real friendships. For example, there are only a few people you want to go camping with and stay with in the same tent or campsite. Then there are others, that you want to see while at the campground and perhaps go fishing with, but they are staying in a different tent. Then there are still others you hope to never see at the campground! Most friendships will be more like acquaintances when compared to the few really close friends you may have.

While treating men as our brothers and the women in our lives as our sisters, it is important to observe the several Proverbs about being alone with “strange” people. Please note the following question:

And why wilt thou, my son, be ravished with a strange woman, And embrace the bosom of a stranger?

Proverbs 5:20

A STRANGE GUARDRAIL

“Strange” is used several times in Proverbs. It does not mean “Weird!” “Strange” essentially means “someone that does not belong to you.” We “belong” to families, not as property, but as members. If you are married, you “belong” to your spouse, and your spouse “belongs” to you. When we “belong,” we are not “out of place” and the other person is not “out of place” because of the status of our relationship. A man or woman married to each other has a relationship that is consensual, legal, and approved by each other and by God. Unless it’s a real physical sibling, we create families and places of “belonging to each other” in marriage. Anyone not in that guardrail of marriage is “strange.” They do not belong to you, and you do not belong to them.

If you are attracted to someone, anyone, and they do not “belong” to you in marriage, then it would be best to not place yourself in a place to be tempted to entertain sin, flirt with sin, or actually physically sin against God and against that person. Don’t be alone with anyone of the opposite sex, behind closed doors. Being attracted to someone is not a sin; it’s a natural feeling. God created us with feelings and attractions. However, continually thinking about someone who does not “belong” to you can become a sin. Those thoughts can become lust or covetouesness. Coveting is a word that simply means to crave and desire something that does not belong to you. The Scripture is full of warnings about coveting. If thoughts are entertained and if you put yourself in a place where you can act upon your thoughts – you may sin against God and against your spouse and against the person you are alone with either emotionally or physically.

So here is a short list of the Every Day Carry Thriving Skills you need to carry with you to stay morally healthy and morally aware:

A Healthy Pace For a Busy School Year

  • Over 20 million students are enrolled in college this year in the USA.
  • Over 58 million children are enrolled in public, private, Christian, or home schools across America in 2022.

Life moves fast and there are some seasons of life that seem to move faster than others. The busyness of the start of the school year, the move to a new home, or starting a new job are all moments of potential challenges to finding a healthy pace of life.

Let’s talk about school. Some are starting school for the first time, others are anticipating a new year of discovery, and growth, and still others are saying, “One more year until I graduate!” It can be a very busy time. How can a student, parent, or family juggle all the new routines and responsibilities that come with the start of a new school year? Have a flexible plan. Having a flexible plan helps with the pace of life.

Paul encouraged the Colossi believers to make good use of their time. The Christian who manages time well is a good example and offers testimony to those outside the church, who are not yet Christians.

Walk in wisdom toward them that are without, redeeming the time.

Colossians 4:5

“Redeeming” essential means “To buy back.” You may have a gift card for a car wash and when you use that card, you are redeeming the card in exchange for the car wash. This is where the “wisdom” Paul is talking about comes into play. When we use wisdom to determine what, how, and when we do things, we can make better use of our time. We are “buying back” our time when we plan, makes lists, and have a set of priorities for our decisions.

Here are several tips for wise planning for your time, going into a new school year, and shopping for school items.

  • Read through all the school material, handbook, and classroom item lists today.
  • Make a list of all the things you need to find, buy, and order.
  • Order the things you or your student may need today, online.
  • Go to the store tomorrow with a detailed list of what is needed. You may need to take your child with you to try on some clothes or to have their feet measured for shoes.
  • Go over your list one more time while you have a few days left before school.

Now that you have all the stuff you and your student need for the school year, what about a healthy routine? Routine is a good word and a healthy routine has many considerations. Once school begins, there will be drive time, bus stop times, lunch times, after-school time, extracurricular activity time, and so much more to consider!

Factor in sports teams, music practice, and drama productions, and the calendar can fill in so fast!

Here are some ideas to maintain a healthy pace despite all of the potential demands on your time.

  • Remember Why. Why are you driving your child around everywhere? Love. Devotion. Developing their potential.
  • Remember Who. The first “Who” is God. Your kids are not the responsibility of the state or of the school. Your kids are given to you by God. They are an enduring gift of God’s grace. Your kids need to know about “Who” as well. All the education, athletic endeavors, and musical or artistic art forms lose their meaning and value if we forget the most important “Who.” The next “who” are the kids! They are students with God-given abilities and potential. They need you to help them learn good time management too. Just ask their science teacher when they are preparing a long-term science fair exhibit about time management!
  • Remember What. What is most important? Loving God. Loving others. Glorifying the Lord. Creating a safe place to learn and grow to become more like Jesus. With your best effort, avoid letting work, the job, school, or the classroom, squeeze church participation and Christian activities out of your routines. Gather with your church on Sunday. Worship God. Fellowship with your church during the week in your Scatter Groups. Sit down as a family and pray before a meal around the table. Remember the small and consistent things that are most important to building your faith.

Develop a flexible plan and start to use it this week, because having a flexible plan helps with the pace of life.

Handle With Care

Many people in the Adirondacks of New York, where we live, enjoy targeting, and hunting with firearms. I enjoy the sports of shooting and hunting too. When it comes to firearms, knowing what you are doing and knowing how to handle the firearm properly and safely is of utmost importance.

In the book, The Rugged Life, survivalist, and writer Clint Emerson includes a chapter on firearm safety. The 5 rules he suggests to stay safe with any pistol, rifle, or shotgun are:

  1. Treat all guns as if they are loaded, whether they are or not.
  2. Never point at anything you aren’t willing to shoot.
  3. Keep the safety on until you’re ready to fire.
  4. Keep your finger straight and away from the trigger until you are aiming with the intention of firing.
  5. Know your target and what’s behind it.

As I read this chapter from Clint, it got me thinking about the concept of proper handling of the Bible. Just like firearms are used for both good and bad, sometimes people use the Bible for good and bad. Cults, false teachings, and even some fake “Christians” have sprung up throughout history because of the misuse or even abuse of the Bible. Sometimes well-meaning Christians have a lot of personal thoughts that take precedence in their lives and thoughts over clear Bible teaching. Observe the following verse:

“Therefore seeing we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we faint not; But have renounced the hidden things of dishonesty, not walking in craftiness, nor handling the word of God deceitfully; but by manifestation of the truth commending ourselves to every man’s conscience in the sight of God.”

2 Corinthians 4:1–2

Just like Paul reminded the Corinthian Christians, we can be reminded to handle the Word of God carefully as well. Here are 5 Bible safety tips:

  1. Read the passage thoughtfully and thoroughly, picking up the context.
  2. Understand the audience and the occasion for which it was written.
  3. Notate all the main characters and the verbs of the passage recognizing specific terms that may be used in the passage. A dictionary, or Hebrew and Greek resource can help.
  4. Avoid making the passage say something that it is not saying. Be honest with the interpretation and the application.
  5. Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal His truth as you cross-reference with other passages. As the old adage goes: “The Bible is the best commentary on itself!”

Whether you are handling a gun, or handling the Bible, be sure to “handle with care!”

You may want to read this book: The Rugged Life, by Clint Emerson

EDC Coping

How do you cope when a loved one’s life is taken in death? What emotions are you carrying with you from the hospital or the funeral home? The death of a loved one, family member, or friend, is something that every person must cope with at some moment in life.

How do we do it? How can we mourn and then continue living the life God has called us to live? Is there something we can do before or after? Are their coping and mourning answers in the Bible that we can carry with us and practice at the right time?

Meriem-Websters Dictionary defines coping as: “To deal with and attempt to overcome problems and difficulties.” Overcoming the loss of a loved one is something we can sadly anticipate but be prepared for.

Joshua has just lost his mentor and long-term friend Moses to death. Moses was 120 years old. Joshua was now 80. These two have known each other for a long time. Moses taught Joshua to believe. Moses gave Joshua God’s Word. Moses passed the mantel of leadership to the younger Joshua to carry on the momentous task of leading Israel into the Promise Land.

Deuteronomy 34:8 tells us that Joshua and the people of Israel wept and mourned for Moses for 30 days. Having funerals and taking time to remember, reflect, and mourn is essential – for the people left behind. When you make end-of-life plans, I hope you consider others and give them a chance for healthy closure by offering a funeral. A Funeral is a significant moment in time to establish closure for the grieving. It helps the survivors turn the page and begin a new chapter in life.

After 30 days of mourning are completed, Joshua receives an urgent message from God.

“Now after the death of Moses the servant of the Lord it came to pass, that the Lord spake unto Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ minister, saying, Moses my servant is dead; now therefore arise, go over this Jordan, thou, and all this people, unto the land which I do give to them, even to the children of Israel.”

Joshua 1:1-2

God tells Joshua to “Arise” and to “Go.”

I write this with sympathy. “Moses is dead; get up from mourning, and go, lead, serve, and follow God into the next chapter of your life.” That is what God is telling Joshua to do. God has a future for Joshua. God has a future for you and me as well!

The Every Day Carry Christian will pray and plan ahead for these moments, and with this example, he/she can grieve healthily and then stand up and go into the next chapter of life God has for them. The pain of loss is real, but there is more to do. The sorrow of being alone is genuine, but there are new people to find and serve.

The memories will be triggered at certain moments or events, which is OK. Remember. Show respect. Reflect. And then keep going into the new chapter of life God has opened for you.

Here are some Bible truths to carry with you in your heart and mind each day:

Carry Scriptures of Hope.

Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that ye may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

Romans 15:13

Carry Scriptures of Comfort.

Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

1 Thessalonians 4:18

Carry Scriptures of Promise.

We are confident, I say, and willing rather to be absent from the body, and to be present with the Lord.

2 Corinthians 5:8

The Every Day Carry Christian carries the words “Arise and Go” and many other hope verses daily. The Bible will help when your time of loss comes. Death is a sad part of living, but God has given us Spiritual Thriving Skills in the Bible to help us know what to do and how to respond.

Every Day Humility

Recently a “bishop” of a church in New York City was robbed at gunpoint right in the middle of their Sunday church service. He and his wife were wearing over one million dollars worth of jewelry. That seems to be a very excessive amount of jewelry for one to wear anywhere on any occasion on any day of the week.

I know some experienced travelers who avoid drawing attention to themselves. When they travel they do not wear their fanciest clothes. They wear regular, everyday clothes that do not draw attention to themselves. They work at blending in. They are smarter than to make themselves a target for thieves, robbers, or people looking for a hostage for a ransom.

It’s ok to have money. Working, saving, investing, and managing is part of good stewardship which will yield an increase. Perhaps some in ministry, even with small incomes, can arrive at having one million dollars because of frugality, good money management and investments. It is not OK to be flashy, to show off, or flaunt blessings in an excessive manner. How we dress and “decorate” ourselves does reveal our character.

Humility is a disposition in the spirit of a person. Humility can be demonstrated in our actions, attitudes, and our appearance. “Notice the Greek definition for the word “Humbled.”

Humbled = To assign a lower rank or place to; to base.

Joseph Henry Thayer, A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Being Grimm’s Wilke’s Clavis Novi Testamenti (New York: Harper & Brothers., 1889), 614.

The Apostle Peter contrasts pride with humility, and says that instead of being clothed with pride, we should wear humility each day.

“Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.”

1 Peter 5:5

The actions, attitudes, and appearance of a person can each be affected with pride or with humility. Living humbly is a conscienscous choice that will either point people to yourself or point people to Jesus.

By God’s grace, we can live each day with humility! Let genuine humility flow through your life. As Dwight Lyman Moody said, “A man can counterfeit love, he can counterfeit faith, he can counterfeit hope and all the other graces, but it is very difficult to counterfeit humility.”

This devotional is about the subject of “humility” and in my estimation, this is the greatest devotional posted to date. Lol! Really, that was a joke. Sometimes when we are seeking humility, we can actually start to be proud of our humility. That cancels out the “humility” doesn’t it?

Whether it is the clothes you wear, the standards you claim to adhere to, or some other possibly commendable practice, discipline, or habit, ask the Lord to help you remain truly humble.

Jesus is the greatest example of humility. The Apostle Paul described “humility” and “Jesus” this way:

“Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”

Phillipians 2:3-11

Be humble like Jesus. The Every Day Carry Christian will plan on carrying humility with him/her each day.