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May the peace of God reign in this place
and the love of God forever hold you tight,
May the Spirit of God flow through your life
and the joy of God uphold you day and night.

Daily Devotion for June 15, 2017

Tenth Commandment, Thou Shalt Not Cover
Thou Shalt Not Covet, charcoal illustration by Leone Bracker ca. 1925. Bracker did an entire series on the Ten Commandments, in the distinctive style of American illustration in the 1920s and 30s, which can be seen here.



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Lord's Prayer

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever.


Prayer to Live this Day with God

Dear Lord, I thank you for this day. I thank you that I can see or hear your Word this morning. Let me give thanks all day for what I have, especially your eternal love, and forgive me this day when I go astray, by my thoughts or actions; my only aim is to please you, to know and do your will. Guide my every step.

Help me to live this day with wisdom and discretion so that I may not fall short of your glory. Protect me from danger, both in the world and in my attitude. Give me the gift of a clear mind, that I might hear the quiet voice of your Spirit. Help to massage away resentments and blame for things gone by, that would eat my energy and poison my mind; but instead, help me to look to the moment, to what I can do, to work for the future. And let me never become frustrated where I lack control of events, for you are in charge, not me; and I put my entire faith in your power, your knowledge, your plan for humanity.

Your are my leader and my coach, Lord. I am on your team. Help me to keep this in mind for just today, in Christ's name I pray,



Almighty God, who does freely pardon all who repent and turn to Him, now fulfill in every contrite heart the promise of redeeming grace; forgiving all our sins, and cleansing us from an evil conscience; through the perfect sacrifice of Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen.



[God will give me strength for the coming day.]

Benediction (from Colossians 3)

Let the word of Christ richly dwell within me all this day; and whatever I do in word or deed, may I do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.


Think of the day ahead in terms of God with you, and visualize health, strength, guidance, purity, calm confidence, and victory as the gifts of His presence.

endless knot

Six year old girls in a beauty pageant.

Little girls in a beauty pageant

Amish boys at play.

Amish boys at play

Move Along

"If you’re going through hell, keep going."

    ~ Winston Churchill

Blue Latin Cross

Exodus 20:17 (KJV)


Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbour’s.

Notes on the Scripture


ovet is an uncommon word today, and actually, most people know what it means only because of the Ten Commandments. It means to desire something that is not yours. But if you had not grown up with the ten commandments, you might find this one puzzling. What’s wrong with just wanting something nice? “Just because I’m married doesn’t mean I’m blind,” men sometimes say as they crane their neck to stare at a cute little derriere in tight shorts. “We have got to do something about our kitchen,” says Mrs. Pomeroy, after she comes home from her neighbor’s new house with stainless steel Miele appliances, granite countertops and hand-painted Portuguese tile.

“Thy neighbor’s wife” falls into a special category. While you might buy your neighbor’s car or duplicate her draperies, the only way you can have a neighbor’s spouse is to take him or her wrongfully; to commit adultery or to break up their marriage. With the teachings of Christ that came later, telling us how harmful it is to allow sexual lust to fill our hearts even if the person we lust for is not married, the commandment just adds a second level of reinforcement.

But this commandment does not address lust, primarily: it addresses envy, jealousy, and materialism. If you want to know what happens to a society that ignores this commandment, you need do nothing more than absorb the values of Western culture. The fashion industry makes billions of dollars per year based on nothing but exploitation of material envy. Every year, they convince the population that they should be wearing clothes that look different from the clothes they bought last year. Television and magazines are filled with $400 pairs of shoes and $300 jeans that are no different in quality from shoes and jeans that cost half or a third or even a quarter as much. Even worse, they aren’t even more attractive-looking than what the buyers already have in their closet.

People then wear these clothes to church. It is the ultimate irony.

But it seems like such harmless fun. Unlike murder, say, there is no horrifying destruction of another human life involved. If you have the money, what’s wrong with getting Linsay that Prada bag for her birthday or buying Jason a new BMW when he turns 16?

Jesus tells us what is wrong with it, in no uncertain terms:

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal,

but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.

For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

(Matthew 6:19-21)

And if that is not clear enough, He follows it by saying, “No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon.” (Matthew 6:24)

God gave us the earth to enjoy. There is no evil in saving up your money to buy a new house or car, if you need it, or in looking nice (although many of the most dedicated Christians, such as the Amish or Catholic nuns, would disagree, and say you should live as simply and look as plain as possible). But it is certain, that when you are looking at this year’s crop of outrageously expensive dresses or cars, you are pulling your heart and mind away from Christ. You are traveling in the opposite direction, for you are letting mammon become your master.

And, finally, we must always ask ourselves: What values are we teaching our children?

endless knot

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Matthew 5:17: Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them.

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