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Short and Sweet are the phrases and verses I tend to remember. 'Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise ... however, "the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and knowledge of the Holy One is understanding." (Proverbs 9.10). It just might be a good idea to start each morning - fairly early - praying, "Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are God my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long." (Psalm 25.4-5) How about we make that your homework today?

Just in case you cannot tell, I have been going to school this week. Driving (or riding) to Ann Arbor for three consecutive mornings. Learning the basics of becoming a Christian Gift Planner. Enjoying my time at the back table with Steve, and Keith, and Gerry, and others. Leaving home around 6:00 a.m. each day, and getting home - well, that time varies - but getting home each evening.

I wanted to get this word of encouragement all set on Wednesday night because the morning comes early, but the internet in our home was not cooperating! I ended up writing a rough draft at home, and then stopping at church in the morning on my way to Ann Arbor. I am not sure what would happen if I waited until Thursday evening to send this out.

But that old axiom starts with 'early to bed,' and it was already 9:00 p.m. when I started on that rough draft. So, for this week, I am going to keep it short, and suggest that you spend your day simply meditating upon the sweet words in paragraph one, and then supplementing them with a few more lines from the same Psalm: "Remember Lord, your great mercy and love, for they are from of old. Do not remember the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you, Lord, are good. ... Guard my life and rescue me; do not let me be put to shame, for I take refuge in you." (Psalm 25.6-7, 20). And you know, even through the long and sour, your Savior Jesus promises to do just that!

Sometimes it's good to be short and sweet ... just as it's always good to spend time simply meditating upon God's mercy (not getting what we deserve) and his grace (getting what we don't deserve) as found in his word.

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