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What Will Your Verse Be Today?

September 14, 2014

Put into practice what you learned from me,

what you heard and saw and realized.

Do that,

and God, who makes everything work together,

will work you into his most excellent harmonies.

— Philippians 4:4-9, The Message version

“What will your verse be?” asks a commercial.

That’s a quote from Whitman.

Many of us first heard the question in the Dead Poet’s Society movie.  As John Keating, Robin Willimas said this:

We don’t read and write poetry because it’s cute. We read and write poetry because we are members of the human race.

And the human race is filled with passion. And medicine, law, business, engineering, these are noble pursuits and necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are what we stay alive for.

To quote from Whitman, “O me! O life!… of the questions of these recurring; of the endless trains of the faithless… of cities filled with the foolish; what good amid these, O me, O life?”

Answer. That you are here – that life exists, and identity; that the powerful play goes on and you may contribute a verse. That the powerful play *goes on* and you may contribute a verse. What will your verse be?

St. Paul wrote that by living our lives in Christ, God, who makes everything work together, will work you into his most excellent harmonies.  

Where will you join with others today in practicing your part, and “what will your verse be” today?

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  1. Love the original verse you quoted, but I am not crazy about the condensation of the message of those verses in The Message (one I had a real quarrel with)

    4Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

    5Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand.

    6Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 7and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

    8Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue, and if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things. 9The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do and the God of peace will be with you.

    Philippians 4:4-9 NKJV

    I’m not convinced The Message translation covers all that.

    January 1, 1978 was a Sunday; Philippians 4:4-9 was the foundation of the New Year sermon that morning. Most of the verses I regularly went to and the books I studied were the Gospels, Acts, Romans (primarily Romans 8:28), and I Corinthians. It wasn’t that I hadn’t had exposure to the Philippians letter/books; I just hadn’t spent much time with it. It is one of those particular sermons I remember. I also remember exactly how the sermon made me feel. A serious study, research, and hunts for concordances began of all manner of Philippians!

    I have been struggling the past few days to not lose hold of the confidence and joy I have experienced with finally getting a good look at the results of my eight year weight loss journey vs. chaos. I am working through the chaos, slowly, today. So my verse for today, when seeing the reference to Philippians 4:4-9, I immediately was reminded of the verse I was looking for, for the day earlier.

    11b …for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: 12I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need .13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

    Philippians 4:11b-13 NKJV

    He’s reminding me to hold on with my fingertips with all my might because, through Him, I can do it! Thanks for making me spend more than 15 minutes on devotions today!!! (Still have the physical chaos sitting next to me.) Tomorrow is another day I may not have to do it! 😉



  2. Wow, thank you for sharing like this! What a long 8 years it sounds like, and yet you’re standing on some solid promises. Really appreciate you writing like this, Nanette. Keeping you in my prayers; please keep me in yours, too. And I gotta admit — glad this had you spending “more than 15 minutes on devotions today!!!”


  3. More than back atcha Joe!!! BTW, I REALLY need to re-learn how to italicize, bold, upper shift, change font size, etc. online. I use to know how. I did it in my Word program thinking it would translate. Details!!

    You are ever in my prayers, great to know there is another one out there with me in theirs. Also, meant to mention, that sermon was by, the late and great Rev. LaVon Bayler!!!


  4. Oops, just the “Great Rev. LaVon Bayler” in his tenure at Wood River First. Reports of his demise were greatly exaggerated to me.


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