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Daily Devotion for October 14, 2017

<i>The Judgment of Solomon</i> by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1617.
The Judgment of Solomon by Peter Paul Rubens, ca. 1617. Notice how there are three bands of color: dark for the advisors, cool and light for the false petitioner and baby, and warm middle tones for Solomon, the mother, and the executioner.



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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.


Our “Saturday Oldie” features a duet between a top popular singer and a top gospel singer of the early 1950s.

Prayer for Morning

Thou awakest us to delight in Thy praises; for Thou madest us for Thyself, and our heart is restless, until it repose in Thee.


Prayer of Clement of Rome

You, Lord, through your works have revealed the everlasting structure of the world. You, Lord, created the earth. You are faithful throughout all generations, righteous in your judgments, marvelous in strength and majesty, wise in creating and prudent in establishing what exists, good in all that is observed and faithful to those who trust in you, merciful and compassionate; forgive me my sins and my injustices, my transgressions and my shortcomings.

Do not take into account every sin of your servant, but cleanse me with the cleansing of your truth, and direct my steps to walk in holiness and righteousness and purity of heart, and to do what is good and pleasing in your sight and in the sight of my rulers. Yes, Lord, let your face shine upon all your servants in peace for our good, that we may be sheltered by your mighty hand and delivered from every sin by your uplifted arm; deliver us as well from those who hate us unjustly.

Give harmony and peace to me and to all who dwell on the earth, just as you did to our fathers when they reverently called upon you in faith and trust, that we may be saved, while we render obedience to your almighty and most excellent name, and give harmony and peace to our rulers and governors on earth.



[Asking God to show us how to act for Him, no matter what it may cost.]

Dedication (from St. Teresa of Avila)

May it please you, my good Lord, that there may come a day when I can repay a little of my great debt to you. O Jesus, strengthen my soul, you who are good above all good; and since you have inclined my soul in this way, show me how I may act for you, whatever it may cost, O Lord. Here is my life, my honor and my will; I have given them all to you and they are yours: use me to do whatever you want.


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

The Correct Order

Remember these words when I am dead. First be sure you’re right, then go ahead.

~ David (Davy) Crockett

Blue Latin Cross

Proverbs 15:28 (NKJV)

The righteous heart reflects before answering,
but the wicked mouth blurts out evil.

Notes on the Scripture

Thinking Before Speaking

When I was very young, the quotation by Davy Crockett seemed to me to be the stupidest thing a person could say. It seemed to say practically nothing. Until a person has felt the hard hand of experience, he cannot see the meaning of it, must less the importance.

But the older I got, the more sense it came to make, until it eventually became profound. (Which reminds me of the quip, “It is remarkable how one’s parents grow smarter as they get older.”)


he quote says two things, the first of which parallels the quotation from Proverbs. If you want to maximize the damage you do in your life, learn to say whatever you think. If we do this enough, we can begin to recite rationalizations we have memorized to make it appear to be a virtue: “I say what I think” or “if I seem blunt, it’s because I’m honest.” Here’s a good rule of thumb: if you ever start a sentence with the words “don’t take this the wrong way”, stop talking. Whatever it is you are about to say is going to hurt the feelings of the person you’re about to say it to.

But this is about more than people’s feelings or saying something stupid. The Bible tells us that reflection before answering is an act that comes from a righteous heart; spewing out your thoughts, unfettered, is the habit of the wicked. Proverbs is an instructional book, a book of wisdom, and this is something that we must learn, for it does not come naturally. But we have a duty, as Christians, to learn it and practice it.

We find it commonly in situations where we think somebody has insulted us, or has said or done something stupid or harmful. We get angry and prideful, and (like all emotions) anger and pride can quickly become sinful.

We hear this throughout life: Think before you speak (or act). Count to ten. Hold your tongue. But just because we can repeat the phrases does not mean we have learned them. Holding our tongue is not something that we learn once and then live, because like our fight against all forms of sinfulness, it is something that needs to be relearned and rehearsed every day, for the temptation will spring anew in full power.

We should remember how much time Peter spent in 1 Peter developing the theme of blessing those who persecute us, who speak ill of us. If we do not “reflect before answering,” we will blurt out evil.

The second part of Crockett’s quote also reflects Biblical teaching. We cannot let our reflection turn into hand-wringing inaction. We are constanting exhorted to put what we have been taught into motion, to show Christ in our daily lives. “Let your light shine before others, so they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

Saint Bernard of Clairvaux
Apparition of the Virgin to St Bernard (detail), Filippino Lippi ca. 1480. St. Bernard was known for his great expression of Christian love and charity.

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“Dust Am I”

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Jeremiah 29:11: For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

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