Holy, Holy, Holy

Today is Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Quote of the Day

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Pantechnicon–“A furniture van; moving van. Also called pantechnicon van.”

Today is Cousins Day. I have a few of those, of which I am quite fond. So Happy Cousins Day to all of them!

Well, the old fence is gone, and the poles for the new one are up, waiting on the cement to dry. They should finish the job today. The pool heater is supposed to be installed Monday morning. Hopefully, that will be all the major expenses for a while.

It’s getting late, so I’d best move on. I will say that the Rangers finally won a game, last night, beating the Royals 7-4, behind one of their good pitchers, Cole Hamel. Today, A.J. Griffin is on the mound. If they will put up some offense, they could win this one, too. The Red Sox lost a tough one to the Twins, 11-9.

We’re getting ready for our worship gathering. We worship with The Exchange Church, meeting at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach St. in Fort Worth.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!

The King in his might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. They called to the LORD, and he answered them.
In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them; they kept his testimonies and the statute that he gave them.
O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy!
Psalm 99

“Holiness is the quality in God that cares about our sin, and the capacity in him to do something about it.” You see, when we “worship” a “god” that we have created, we drag that god down to our level. But when we worship the God of holiness, he lifts us up to his level.

“‘Holy, Holy, Holy! Though the darkness hide Thee, though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see, only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee perfect in power, in love, and purity’ (Reginald Heber, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty’). Amen.”

Father, show me your holiness, this morning, as we worship you. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth, that I may know you more, so I can find favor in your sight. Let me be aware that nothing I do or say can make you love me any more than you already love me, nor can they decrease your love for me, as it is perfect in every way. You ARE a “good, good Father,” and I AM “loved by you!” Hallelujah!

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Today is Saturday, July 23.

Quote of the Day

“Life’s tragedy is that we get old too soon and wise too late.” – Benjamin Franklin

Word of the Day

Connubial – “of marriage or wedlock; matrimonial; conjugal.”

Today is Gorgeous Grandma Day. This falls on July 23 of every year. We wish my mother a happy day, today!

C is feeling better today, much better. There are still occasional bouts of gas, and an occasional headache, as well, but over all, much better.

The pool lead repair happened earlier than expected. It was supposed to be Tuesday (I may have erroneously said Thursday, earlier), but they had an opening yesterday afternoon. That turns out to be a blessing, as C was already home, having taken a sick day. The pool heater arrived this morning, and is in the garage. We aren’t sure when the installation will happen for that. And the fence repair guys are supposed to be starting around noon today. Busy weekend!

In baseball news, both the Red Sox and Rangers lost last night. The Rangers have lost four in a row, and eight of their last ten. They are now only 2.5 games ahead of the second place Astros. Baltimore won their game, so the Sox are back in second place a half game out. In other news, the Cubs have managed to become the best team in baseball, once again, as the Giants have lost six consecutive games. In fact, the Cubs are the only team in MLB with a percentage over .600. Cleveland is the best team in the AL, and the Rangers are fourth best in the AL, behind Cleveland, Baltimore, and Boston. They are also behind Chicago, Washington, and San Francisco in the NL.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

A Psalm. Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him.
The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God.
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises!
Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it!
Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together
before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.
Psalm 98

“Salvation, which brings God’s wholeness into our lives, develops a capacity in us for total response, which is praise. Everything and everyone is enlisted in the work of praise: the songs of the people, the melodies of musical instruments, and the sounds of nature.” What would your life be like, if, every time you stepped outside, you considered the sounds of nature to be praise to God? The roar of the sea in Galveston or Cancun; the sounds of a rushing river or trickling stream.

“My God and King, bird song and sea-roar accompany the praise I lift to you. Mine is no solitary voice raised in gratitude; a thunderous and multitudinous congregation is making sounds of thanksgiving, and I am glad to be a part of it. Amen.”

Father, make me more observant of the sights and sounds around me when I am out and about. Help me to notice the sounds of praise the your creation makes, and let that inspire me to praise of my own. And may I continue to strive to “ruthlessly eliminate hurry” from my life, that I might take time, as it were, to “stop and smell the roses.” Let everything that has breath praise your name.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Reason to Rejoice

Today is Friday, July 22, 2016.

Quote of the Day

“Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.” – Lord Byron

Word of the Day

Pugnacious–” Eager or quick to quarrel or fight; given to fighting or arguing; belligerent, contentious.”

Today is Hammock Day. I wish I could stay home and spend the day in a hammock. Actually, I wish I could go to an island somewhere and spend the day in a hammock. It’s too hot here.

C is still not well, but something different is going on. She left work early, yesterday, thinking she had some kind of stomach bug. At this point, we’re not sure what is going on, as she has been having horrific gas buildup, to the point that she has trouble breathing. It’s still not good this morning, so she’s staying home from work. I’m hoping that she’ll get to a doctor today, if it doesn’t get better.

In other news, the Red Sox continued their winning roll last night, beating the Twins 13-2, behind Steven Wright’s knuckleballs. The final two runs came on this smash by David Ortiz, as the pitcher served up what has to have been the fattest pitch I’ve ever seen.


Baltimore beat the Yankees, so the Sox remain a half game up, in first place. They continue their series against Twins tonight. The Rangers were off, yesterday, and play the Royals tonight, Kansas City. The Astros were off, too, so the Rangers remain 3.5 games up, in first place.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
Psalm 97:10-12

When we walk in God’s Kingdom, under his rule, we are able to not only fulfill his will, but our own, as well. “We find wholeness in becoming what we were intended in creation.” This, in turn, gives us reason and causes us to rejoice.

“‘Rivers to the ocean run, not stay in all their course; fire ascending seeks the sun; both speed them to their source; so my soul, derived from God, longs to view His glorious face, forward tends to His abode, to rest in His embrace’ (Robert Seagrave, ‘Rise, My Soul, and Stretch Thy Wings’). Amen.”

Father, I am struggling with this joy, this morning. Show me the many reasons I have to rejoice, especially the fact that I am in your Kingdom, under your rule, and I joyfully remain there. As I drive to work this morning, I pray for your joy to envelope me and your peace to fall on me. I also pray that you would bring healing to C’s body, today. Bring her peace, that she might get some much-needed rest.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Deliverance and Guidance

Today is Thursday, July 21, 2016. Pre-Friday. Or, Friday Eve, as some prefer.

Quote of the Day

“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Word of the Day

Autoschediastic: “Something done on the spur of the moment or without preparation; an extemporized piece of work.”

Today is Junk Food Day. Finally! A day I can celebrate by doing what I always do, anyway!

C is feeling better this morning. “A billion times better than yesterday.” She still feels like she has a cold brewing, but she feels better. We have a busy weekend coming on, but it will be more just having to be home while other people work on our stuff. If all goes well, the fence will be finished sometime Sunday, and the new pool heater is supposed to be delivered on Saturday. We don’t know when that will get installed, yet.

The Red Sox held on to a roller-coaster game with the Giants, last night. They were ahead 8-0 at one point (in only the third inning), but the Giants pulled within one run, making it 8-7. The Sox scored three more runs, though, and finished it 11-7. The Yankees beat Baltimore again, so the Red Sox are now in sole possession of first place in the AL East!

The Rangers continued to slide downward, losing again to the Angels, 7-4. They are now only 3.5 games ahead of the second place Astros.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!
Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
Psalm 97:1-9

This psalm seems to evoke memories of Sinai, where God’s people “realized God’s rule in deliverance (out of Egypt) and in guidance (the Ten Commandments).” This memory sparks praise as the psalmist pens his lyrics. The rule of God was experiential, not abstract. His people lived as redeemed people and guided people.

“God, your word is powerful, delivering me from despair; your word is wise, guiding me through uncertainty. I am able to leave sin and travel toward righteousness. Thank you for your deliverance and your guidance. Amen.”

This same God is our deliverer and guidance today. The lesson is applicable to us. God has delivered us, through the life and death of Jesus Christ, from sin, and guides us now, by his word, and by his Holy Spirit. His rule can be just as experiential for us; we need not let it be totally abstract.

Father, I praise you for the deliverance that you gave your people from Egypt, and I praise you for the deliverance from sin that you have provided us. I praise you for the guidance that you gave your people, both through the Ten Commandments, and through the columns of smoke and fire. Though we see no smoke and fire today, and the Ten Commandments are now filtered through Jesus Christ (not replaced), but we have your word and the Holy Spirit to guide us. Teach me to be reliant on these, more and more, as I draw closer to you. In the words of Moses, “Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.”

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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The Reality of God’s Presence

Today is Wednesday, July 20, 2016. Hump Day.

“Love is when the other person’s happiness is more important than your own.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is winkle. Winkle is a verb, “chiefly British,” which means, “to displace, remove, or evict from a position.”

Today is Moon Day. Because it was July 20, 1969, when Neil Armstrong made that “one giant leap for mankind.”

Not really a whole lot going on around here, today. It’s Hump Day, as already mentioned, the halfway point of the work week. But C is going in a little late, this morning, as she had trouble sleeping last night. I think she is still experiencing the effects of last week’s trip. She is also afraid that she might be getting sick, so send some prayers up, if you would.

The Red Sox beat the MLB best Giants 4-0, last night, behind a solid outing by this year’s ace, Rick Porcello. Baltimore lost, so the Sox are within a half game of first place. The Rangers continued their downward slide, losing again to the Angels. Pitching continues to be an issue, as they scored enough runs to win a game last night. Kyle Lohse was the losing pitcher, as they lost 8-6.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary.
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength!
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts!
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.”
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it;
let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy
before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.
Psalm 96

“When we discovery God’s rule, the ways in which he extends his Lordship in grace and mercy, our vocabulary of praise expands markedly.” I challenge you to join me in seeing how many ways we can praise the Lord today.

“How glorious to be ruled by you, O Lord, and not by the abstract, mechanical laws of nature or the capricious, uncertain laws of society. Rule me in the person of Jesus Christ, in whom your kingdom is even now present. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Dependent on God’s Presence

. . . but they who wait for the LORD . . . shall walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:31

Walking is a fairly normal, mundane activity. There is no thrill to walking. When Scripture uses the word “walk,” it is normally used to express character. God doesn’t command us to “be spiritual;” rather, he simply tells us to walk before him.

“When we are in an unhealthy state physically or emotionally, we always want thrills. In the physical domain this will lead to counterfeiting the Holy Ghost; in the emotional life it leads to inordinate affection and the destruction of morality; and in the spiritual domain if we insist on getting thrills, on mounting up with wings, it will end in the destruction of spirituality.”

Our experience of God’s presence is not dependent on where we are, but “only dependent upon the determination to set the Lord always before us.” When we do not depend on the reality of his presence, our problems really begin. Note that we depend on the reality of his presence, not the consciousness of it. Hear this. God is with me all the time, whether I feel it or not! The more I depend upon that reality, the less I need to ask him for guidance.

Father, help me to live in this reality today (and tomorrow, and every day). Help me to depend on the reality of your presence. Yes, sometimes, we ask to be more aware of that presence, and I don’t think there is anything wrong with that. However, I need to know the truth of the statement I made above; that you are with me all the time, regardless of whether I feel it. This is reality. You are there. I am determined to set you before me and depend on that reality.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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Grace For A Well-Timed Help

Today is Tuesday, July 19, 2016.

“Curiosity killed the cat, but for a while I was a suspect.” – Steven Wright

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is doctrinaire, an adjective meaning, “dogmatic about others’ acceptance of one’s ideas; fanatical.”

Today is Daiquiri Day. I can never remember how to spell that. But a Daiquiri sounds really good on these hot Texas days in July. I’ll have strawberry or peach, please.

C is home! C is home! C is home!!

Yes, she got home around 7, yesterday evening, and we were able to have dinner together. I wasn’t expecting that until yesterday afternoon, when I found out her flight was getting in earlier than I had originally thought. Of course, she is exhausted, but still has to go to work today. It was pretty good trip from the sound of things, and there were some really cool things that happened, so that was nice. We are all very glad that she is home. Especially Screamer, the cat.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand. Today, if you hear his voice,
do not harden your hearts, as at Meribah, as on the day at Massah in the wilderness
when your fathers put me to the test and put me to the proof, though they had seen my work.
For forty years I loathed that generation and said, “They are a people who go astray in their heart, and they have not known my ways.”
Therefore I swore in my wrath, “They shall not enter my rest.”
Psalm 95:6-11

There is a contrast presented here, between worship and wandering, or worship and “the wilderness.” In worship, “we give our attention to God’s love and direction.” But in the wilderness, in Meribah and Massah, we give our attention to strife and temptation, “in which we look out for ourselves and snatch what we can in a trackless desert.”

“Father, I will give my attention to you in faithful worship, listening to your words of truth and guidance; and I will put aside the contentious scrabbling for my own way, which only adds years of wandering in the wilderness of my sins. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(From Solid Joys)

His Timing Is Perfect

Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Any work that we do, any ministry, is in the future. So there is always time to worry about it, to “fret about our inadequacy.” I know I do that a lot. Twice a month, on Wednesday, I fret about whether I’m adequately prepared to lead a prayer meeting.

“Prayer is the form of faith that connects us today with the grace that will make us adequate for tomorrow’s ministry.” I like that statement. We cannot pray without faith. I believe that the very fact that we pray indicates at least a little faith. After all, if I had no faith, why would I pray? Even people who don’t know Christ pray, sometimes. That means that there is a spark of faith there; a belief in something that might possibly answer that prayer.

So we pray, as John Piper would put it, for “future grace.” But what if the grace comes too early or too late? (That sounds like one of those rhetorical questions that Paul keeps asking in his letters.) Piper gives us a literal translation of the verse above that gives a sweet promise about that. Here is what his literal translation says: Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may find grace for a well-timed help.

Prayer is how we get this future grace. God’s grace will always arrive from the throne of grace, and right on time; right when we need it; a “well-timed help.” But we also have to have the faith that God’s timing is perfect, because ours isn’t. So we might get a little nervous when this grace doesn’t arrive when we think it should. We have to remember that God knows when it is needed. Remember that God set the times and boundaries for the nations of the earth (Acts 17:26). And then look at what the psalmist says in Psalm 31:15: My times are in your hand.

So when we begin to worry about the timing of this grace, we need to remember that it comes from the “throne of grace,” and that God’s future grace is always “well-timed.”

Father, thank you for these promises concerning grace. Thank you that your grace is always right on time. Now I pray that your Spirit will dwell so closely within me that I can remember these truths and promises when I begin to worry about the future (even when the “future” is ten minutes away).

Come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. (Jude 24-25)

Grace and peace, friends.

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I Will Not Forget You

Today is Monday, July 18, 2016.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford
What I like about this quote is that it can be applied to our walk with Christ. If we take our eyes off of him, as Peter did, while he was walking on the water, we begin to see the obstacles around us. Then we start sinking, because our eyes are on the obstacles, rather than on the “Goal.” And the key is most certainly this. The goal is not better living, more prayer, more Bible study, or more compassion. The goal is Christ, himself.

I apologize for getting “preachy” above the double lines.

The word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is powldoody. This is “a variety of Irish oyster, eaten as a delicacy.”

Today is Get Out of the Doghouse Day. This is the day to make it right, whatever you’re in trouble for.

C comes back tonight! C comes back tonight! I’m pretty sure this is the longest she has ever been away from home, without us or me being with her. I have to say that S has been stellar, this whole time, nary caused a problem at all. C should be leaving Indianapolis around 4:00-ish, which is 3:00-ish here. I’m hoping she gets home before 9:00 tonight. It might be earlier, but I’m not holding my breath.

We’re going to start getting our fence fixed this week. Two sides need to be replaced. The other side was replaced by our neighbor, last year. It’s going to be a busy and expensive summer. We’re getting a new pool heater next Saturday, the fence should be getting repaired this week, and the leak in the pool is getting repaired next week.

I’m really looking forward to that vacation in October.

The Rangers lost two out of three to the Cubs, over the weekend, finally winning one yesterday afternoon. They are still 4.5 games up in first place. The Red Sox won two out of three against the Evil Ones. They are currently two games back of the Orioles, in second place.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalm 95:1-5

“God is the reason for worship. The awesome power of God makes it sure that we shall worship; the graciousness of his will makes it certain that our worship shall be glad.”

“I praise your great name, O God. Every song I sing of your power and love, of your grace and glory, discovers fresh reasons for singing another. All praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.”

This is such a celebratory reading that I had to stop here for a few minutes, today. It reminded me of Saturday night’s worship time at B’s house. He led most of the music, and watching his face as he sang . . . it exemplified this passage from Psalms. We sang this one song, “I Will Not Forget You,” by Enter the Worship Circle. I’m going to post the video for the song below this. To watch people from all walks of life dancing before the Lord, “a wild dance I dance before You,” is very moving. When we worship God, it won’t always be celebratory, as evidenced by the final scene of the video. But much of the time, it most certainly can, and should, be. We have much to celebrate. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise before him with songs of praise!

Father, may I remember this as I work today. Let my day be full of your praise and may it be full of prayer without ceasing. No matter what I face today, no matter who tries to “push my buttons,” may my countenance be full of joy, and may my heart be full of praise to you. May I not take my eyes off of my goal. May I not focus on the obstacles.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

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