Honor, obedience and consequence

But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.”
Joshua 24:15

Happy is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people whom he has chosen as his heritage.

Psalm 33:12

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(Wicklow Mountains / County Wicklow, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

“As for me and my house…”
my people
my town
my city
my state
my country
my nation…..

The encompassing and far reaching
me and my and house…

….for the Lord will bless the house of those who are obedient….

Obedience.

We tend to have a bit of a problem with that word now don’t we…?
Obedience.
We labor with its sweeping definition…
or more aptly noted… its underlying connotation of “requirement.”
As in a mandate.
A must.
A no questions asked sort of statement.
No ifs, ands or buts….
The epitome of “just do it”
The proverbial “because I said so” sort of just do it
Because God said so—

Yet we tend to eschew the true meaning preferring to insert our own meaning…which is to be, more or less, obedient to the more applicable me, myself and I…
as in obedient to our own individual wants and desires…

We prefer living our lives doing our own thing without any policing by some sort of heavenly body which may or may not really be watching our every move.

Recently Antonin Scalia, one of the nine US Supreme Court justices, delivered an address to a Catholic high school in Louisiana where he made a very public and now somewhat controversial observation regarding our very touchy and hyper focused obsession with the idea of the separation of church and state.

“God has been very good to us. That we won the revolution was extraordinary. The Battle of Midway was extraordinary. I think one of the reasons God has been good to us is that we have done him honor. Unlike the other countries of the world that do not even invoke his name we do him honor. In presidential addresses, in Thanksgiving proclamations and in many other ways,….”

There is nothing wrong with that and do not let anybody tell you that there is anything wrong with that,”

(You may read the full article here:
http://news.yahoo.com/scalia-dismisses-concept-religious-neutrality-speech-202953789.html)

Now if you adhere to Judeo / Christian beliefs, you easily understand this whole concept of honoring God so that He may in turn offer honor…so therefore this little observation of mine may now end…..

however….
If you are not a believer in God, the repercussions, the fallout and the reverberations for not honoring the one true omnipotent Creator of the Universe, and that of His word, are all most likely looked upon as mere coincidence, happenstance, a run of really bad luck, or just the way the ball bounces..
For you who see no God in turn see no recourse for disobedience.

You simply don’t see any sort of correlation between the concept of decline and disobedience….

Hummmmmm…..

So as I stand on the starting outer edge of this latest new year, surveying this very sad, cantankerous, disjointed, jumbled, discordant, angry, hate filled, distrusting, diminishing nation of ours…
I wonder what really is this relationship between obedience and honor and what does it have to do with us today…perhaps it would behoove us all to consider such…..

“Therefore the Lord, the God of Israel, declares: ‘I promised that members of your family would minister before me forever.’ But now the Lord declares: ‘Far be it from me! Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. 31 The time is coming when I will cut short your strength and the strength of your priestly house, so that no one in it will reach old age…
1 Samuel 2:30

Irish fuchsia

“When you take a flower in your hand and really look at it, it’s your world for the moment. I want to give that world to someone else. Most people in the city rush around so, they have no time to look at a flower. I want them to see it whether they want to or not.”
Georgia O’Keeffe

“Why are you weeping, ye gentle flowers?
Are ye not blest in your sunny bowers?
Have you startling dreams that make ye weep,
When waking up from your holy sleep?

(excerpt form A Song of the Flowers)
Harriett Annie Wilkins

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(prolific hanging fuchsia / Kinsale, County Cork, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

What a joyful day it was when God created flowers…

Let everything in creation draw you to God. Refresh your mind with some innocent recreation and needful rest, if it were only to saunter through the garden or the fields, listening to the sermon preached by the flowers, the trees, the meadows, the sun, the sky, and the whole universe. You will find that they exhort you to love and praise God; that they excite you to extol the greatness of the Sovereign Architect Who has given them their being.’
St. Paul of the Cross

Lost in song

In almost everything that touches our everyday life on earth, God is pleased when we’re pleased. He wills that we be as free as birds to soar and sing our maker’s praise without anxiety.
A W Tozer

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(a European robin sings joyfully at Ashford Castle / Cong, County Mayo / County Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)

“Alone with none but Thee, my God,
I journey on my way;
What need I fear when Thou art near,
Oh King of night and day?
More safe am I within Thy hand
Than if a host did round me stand.”

St Colum Cille (Columba)

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(a European robin plays peek a boo at Ashford Castle / Cong, County Mayo / Galway, Ireland / Julie Cook / 2015)