Prayer Changes Me

Today is Sunday, August 28, 2016. 47 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Forty is the old age of youth; fifty is the youth of old age.” – Victor Hugo

Word of the Day

Kith – acquaintances, friends, neighbors, or the like; persons living in the same general locality and forming a more or less cohesive group.

Today is Pony Express Day. This day celebrates the mail delivery system of the late 1800s. Sadly, it only existed for eighteen months, from April 3, 1860 to October of 1861. It was a very dangerous occupation.

We had a wonderful day with R & J yesterday. After they arrived, we gave J his birthday gifts, and then decided where to have lunch. We wound up going to one of our regular places, Hoffbrau. As usual, it was quite delicious. Afterward, we came home and had cake that C made for J’s birthday. It was chocolate cake with chocolate icing. Yum!! Very Yum!!

We watched some videos on Youtube, then they left around 5:30. R was tired, and had agreed to work a 12 hour shift at the hospital today, so she needed to get some rest. Things are going well for her, though, and that makes us very happy. J is also very happy at his work place, so that is also very good.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering this morning. We worship with The Exchange Church. We meet at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA at 9100 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, TX.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Some sat in darkness and in the shadow of death, prisoners in affliction and in irons,
for they had rebelled against the words of God, and spurned the counsel of the Most High.
So he bowed their hearts down with hard labor; they fell down, with none to help.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death, and burst their bonds apart.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he shatters the doors of bronze and cuts in two the bars of iron.
Psalm 107:10-16

Sometimes, we get into situations that appear to be hopeless. Some of those situations are due to our own actions, while others are due to actions of others, totally outside of our control. Either way, there is no way out. “And then God rescues us: from Egypt, from Babylon, from Calvary, from sin, from death.”

“Shatter the doors of bronze that shut me up in guilt, O God; cut the bars of iron that lock me into doubt. Release me into the free land of the forgiven; lead me into the open spaces of faith for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

What’s the Good of Prayer?

Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” Luke 11:1

Prayer is not a normal part of the normal man’s life. Do we believe that a man will suffer if he does not pray? It is not necessarily so. However, what will suffer is the life of the Son of God in a believer, “which is nourished not by food, but by prayer.” We can either starve that life or feed that life, and one of the most important ways to feed it is through prayer.

“Our ordinary views of prayer are not found in the New Testament.” We tend to see prayer as a means of getting things from God. We might deny that, but, if we’re honest, we have to admit it. Most people only pray when they need something from God. Maybe they’ve come to the “end of their rope,” exhausted all other possible solutions to a problem. So, finally, they pray. And then what do they say? “It’s in God’s hands now!” When was it not in God’s hands? The Bible sees prayer as a way to get God. When we pray, that is what we should be after.

Certainly it is not wrong to ask God for things. Jesus told us to. “Ask, and God will do.” Again, though, most of us tend to wait until we are at our wits’ end. “Be yourself before God and present your problems, the things you know you have come to your wits’ end over. As long as you are self-sufficient, you do not need to ask God for anything.”

Does prayer change things? Not so much as it changes me. When I pray, faithfully, it changes the way I look at things.

Father, I still need you to help me pray correctly. I’m still not even sure what that means. Teach me the ways of Jesus in prayer. I know the “Model Prayer.” I’ve had it memorized for years. I even pray it verbatim sometimes, trying not to just be saying “vain repetitions.” But I still need your Spirit to mold me into the kind of pray-er that you desire me to be. Prayer has changed me. And I have recently seen some answered prayers that have shaken my world. I praise you for those. Keep working in me to change me.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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Work It Out!

Today is Saturday, August 27, 2016. 48 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Love has reasons which reason cannot understand.” – Blaise Pascal

Word of the Day

Limacine – pertaining to or resembling a slug; sluglike.

Today is Franchise Appreciation Day. A franchise is a business that is locally owned, but comes under the auspices of a larger, parent company. For example, many Subway restaurants are franchises, as are many McDonald’s restaurants. Other top listed franchises are Supercuts, 7-Eleven, Dunkin Donuts, Pizza Hut, Anytime Fitness, Jack in the Box, Ace Hardware, Taco Bell, Sonic, and Baskin-Robbins. There are many more, and one list can be found at this link. Visit a franchise store today and support a local business.

Today, we will celebrate J’s birthday, and R’s success. It should be a great day. We’ll have lunch somewhere (not sure where yet), give J some birthday gifts, then just visit for a while, or maybe play games or watch TV. Who knows what the day will bring?

Tomorrow we have our worship gathering, and then pretty much nothing else. Oh. I guess we have to go get groceries in there somewhere.

The Red Sox and Rangers both lost yesterday. The Sox lost to the Royals, 6-3, and dropped back into second place, while the Rangers were embarrassed by the Indians, 12-1. They’re still 6.5 games ahead of the second place Mariners, though.

Today also marks the day that the world lost Stevie Ray Vaughan in a helicopter crash in 1990.

Time to stop being limacine and get moving.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Some wandered in desert wastes, finding no way to a city to dwell in;
hungry and thirsty, their soul fainted within them.
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress.
He led them by a straight way till they reached a city to dwell in.
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107:4-9

We hunger and thirst, both physically and spiritually. These needs are daily reminders of our need for God’s provision. “Every meal eaten, every cup of water drunk, is a sign of the satisfactions God provides in his creative providence and redemptive mercy.”

“‘O could I speak the matchless worth, O could I sound the glories forth which in my Saviour shine! I’d sing His glorious righteousness, and magnify the wondrous grace which made salvation mine’ (Samuel Medley, ‘O Could I Speak the Matchless Worth’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Theology Alive

So Jesus said to them, “The light is among you for a little while longer. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you. The one who walks in the darkness does not know where he is going. John 12:35

This is a tough reading. “Beware of not acting upon what you see in your moments on the mount with God.” Statements such as this cause me to think back on moments in my life with a great deal of regret. But we cannot dwell on that regret. That is not the purpose. The purpose is to cause us to do the right thing going forward. “Continually bring the truth out into actuality; work it out in every domain, or the very light you have will prove a curse.”

It’s not enough just to get inspiration from Scripture (or any other source, for that matter). We must take this inspiration that we get and work it into our lives. This is what the disciplines are all about; taking the truth of Christ and working it into our lives, training ourselves to live in the light.

“The most difficult person to deal with is the one who has the smug satisfaction of an experience to which he can refer back, but who is not working it out in practical life.” I have known this person. I have BEEN this person! We must beware of any belief or experience that makes us self-indulgent. We must work out our theology in our practical relationships. “Every bit of your life physical, moral and spiritual, is to be judged by the standard of the Atonement.”

Father, I confess that I have been that smug person before. But I also confess that I never want to be that person again. Keep me from being guilty of pointing back to an experience or an inspiration if I am not working that out in my daily life. Keep me from not living the truth that I believe as I walk in my daily relationships with people. May I show the love of Christ to all, especially to those I am in contact with every day. Help me to work out the truths that I have learned, so that they aren’t just platitudes, but that they become part of who I am.

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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Let Not Your Hearts Be Troubled

Today is FRIDAY, August 26, 2016. 49 days until Galveston! (We’re staying at this house.)

Quote of the Day

“It takes a long time to become young.” – Pablo Picasso

Word of the Day

Truepenny – a trusty, honest fellow.

Today is Women’s Equality Day. It commemorates the day in 1920 when women gained the right to vote.

The weekend is nigh! We’ve made it to Friday.

While we were eating dinner, last night, we watched American Gothic, followed by Sunday night’s teaser of The Voice. This year, Miley Cyrus and Alicia Keys are joining Blake and Adam as judges. First time they’ve ever had two women on the judging panel. Looks like it’s going to be fun. Plus, they sang this song together:

Gave me goosebumps.

Let’s get this day done so we can have our weekend!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom he has redeemed from trouble
and gathered in from the lands, from the east and from the west, from the north and from the south.
Psalm 107:1-3

“The redeemed are summoned from the four quarters of the compass to give vigorous witness to God’s goodness and God’s love. As the roll is called, representative figures are announced to step forth and give a personal report on the ways in which redemption is experienced: ‘Let the redeemed of the Lord say so!'”

“I give thanks to you, O Lord. I have experienced your goodness and know it is working in me; I have experienced your love and know that it is changing me. Thank you, in the name of Jesus Christ, my Redeemer. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Are You Ever Disturbed?

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. John 14:27

Why do we get disturbed? Partially because we don’t believe Jesus. (I didn’t say we don’t believe in Jesus, I said we don’t believe Jesus. There is a difference.) And partially because we don’t keep our eyes on Jesus.

Sometimes our peace is “based upon ignorance.” You know what they say . . . “ignorance is bliss.” But then the facts of life come tumbling in, and we discover that “inner peace is impossible unless it is received from Jesus.” The peace that he gives comes from “looking into His face and realizing His undisturbedness.”

If we find ourselves to be “painfully disturbed,” we need only look into the face of Jesus and receive his undisturbedness. “Reflected peace is the proof that you are right with God because you are liberty to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself.”

We must not try to “worry it out.” This will only magnify our disturbedness. We must abide in Jesus, as he commands us. This is the only way to have abiding peace. He promises us . . . “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. . . . Let not your hearts be troubled.”

Father, teach me this peace! Truly, I am finding myself worrying less and less as I grow closer to you. I still acknowledge that there is much work to be done, but all of this teaching on disciplines has really worked in my favor as I work through them. There are days when I feel so close to something tremendously huge, and then there are days when I feel like I’m back at the starting line. I want this peace of which Jesus spoke, and I know that the only way to receive it is to abide in him and his words abide in me. That is the theme of my year, Father, and I am depending on you to get me there. (Along with my work, of course. I know you won’t do it for me.)

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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Engage

Today is Thursday, August 25, 2016. 50 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“I am a marvelous housekeeper. Every time I leave a man I keep his house.” – Zsa Zsa Gabor

Word of the Day

MirabiliaLatin. marvels; miracles.

Today is Burger Day. I probably won’t have one today, but it always sounds good. I always love a good burger. Especially if it comes from Good Burger!

No news or earth-shattering events around our place yesterday. Our hearts and prayers go out for the people of Central Italy, as the death toll from yesterday morning’s earthquake has been estimated at almost 250 in several completely destroyed towns.

R & J will be coming over on Saturday, I think, as we celebrate birthdays and major life victories. We are looking forward to this.

The Rangers pulled out a win over the struggling Reds, last night, 6-5, gaining a game on the Mariners, who are now 6.5 games out. The Red Sox missed an opportunity to pull into first place by themselves when they lost to Tampa Bay, 4-3, in the 11th inning. The Boo Jays got beat by the Angels 8-2, so they remain in a tie for first place in the AL East. It seems like everyone is struggling with the losing teams, right now. How strange.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Save us, O LORD our God, and gather us from among the nations, that we may give thanks to your holy name and glory in your praise.
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, from everlasting to everlasting! And let all the people say, “Amen!” Praise the LORD!
Psalm 106:47-48

We have several options for our response to sin in our world. We could wash our hands of it, like Pilate did. We could attempt to completely separate ourselves from it, as the Desert Fathers did. However, the best response is “to engage in prayers of intercession for God’s mercy and to give praise for one’s salvation.”

“Lord Jesus Christ, you took all sin upon yourself that you might free me from its death. ‘There is therefore now no condemnation!’ I praise you for your bold mercy (Romans 8:1). Amen.”

Father, teach me the best response in regard to sin in this world. You have never instructed us in your Word to try to eradicate sin from this world. You have, however, commanded us to pray without ceasing, in intercession for the people in our lives and around the world. Teach us to pray; teach us to care; teach us to intercede; teach us to love. Thank you for your marvelous gift of salvation and mercy!

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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How To Get Answered Prayer

Today is Wednesday (already?), August 24, 2016. 51 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“If the Sun and Moon should ever doubt, they’d immediately go out.” – William Blake

Word of the Day

Thrummy – of or abounding in thrums; shaggy or tufted.

Today is Pluto Demoted Day. Maybe a presidential campaign should be “Make Pluto a Planet Again!” Poor Pluto.

For an added bonus (no extra charge), it is also International Strange Music Day I think this qualifies.

There is more to celebrate for R’s success. As noted yesterday, she got her LPC license. She has also been offered more guaranteed hours at the hospital in Denton, where she has been working on an “on-call” basis. So she is able to quit her data entry job, which is in Carrollton, and a second shift job. Plus she gets a raise at the hospital because she now has her license! Things are finally going well for her, which I think I can safely say she deserves, because she has worked very hard for all of this. We will be celebrating big, this weekend, for these things, as well as for J’s birthday, which was the same day as S’s.

The Red Sox held on to beat the Rays 2-1, last night, maintaining their first place tie with the Boo Jays. Clay Buchholz actually pitched well. We do believe in miracles! The Rangers, on the other hand, continue to struggle with the last place teams, losing to the Reds (whose record is almost exactly the opposite of theirs) 3-0. Dutch Oven returned, and seems to have pitched quite well. He just got no run support. They play one more tonight, before coming home to face the Indians, who now have the best record in the AL.

Tonight is our Anchor prayer gathering. Twice a month, we gather in someone’s home to pray for needs of the church and our world. If you have anything you would like us to pray for, leave a note, either here or on Facebook.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage;
he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them.
Their enemies oppressed them, and they were brought into subjection under their power.
Many times he delivered them, but they were rebellious in their purposes and were brought low through their iniquity.
Nevertheless, he looked upon their distress, when he heard their cry.
For their sake he remembered his covenant, and relented according to the abundance of his steadfast love.
He caused them to be pitied by all those who held them captive.
Psalm 106:40-46

We typically connect cause and effect with the word therefore. In our case, though, God connects them with the word nevertheless. We expect damnation for our sin, but when we believe Jesus Christ, we get salvation. “‘Nevertheless’ is one of the most important words in Scripture, for it miraculously joins human sin with God’s salvation.”

“What a happy discovery, O God, to find that each act of confession is not an occasion for condemnation but an experience of your forgiveness: ‘Make mercy in all of us, out of us all/Mastery, but be adored, but be adored King’ (Gerard Manley Hopkins, ‘The Wreck of the Deutschland’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Spiritual Index

Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Matthew 7:9

In this illustration of prayer, Jesus speaks of “a good child asking for a good thing.” We tend to think about prayer “as if God heard us irrespective of the fact of our relationship to Him.” Rather than proclaiming that it wasn’t God’s will to give us what we asked for, perhaps we should step back and “find out the reason, turn up the index.” There is always someone proclaiming that God doesn’t answer prayer, but if you look at their lives, you see why. Why should God answer the prayer of someone who is consistently disobedient to him??

Are we rightly related to our family, to our work associates? What about other matters? Are we asking God for money when we haven’t paid someone we owe? Are we expecting liberty when we have not granted someone the same? And what about forgiveness? Are we expecting God to forgive us when we refuse to forgive someone in our lives? So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets. (Matthew 7:12)

“I am a child of God only by regeneration, and as a child of God I am good only as I walk in the light. Prayer with most of us is turned into pious platitude, it is a matter of emotion, mystical communion with God.”

When Jesus said, “Everyone that asks receives,” he was speaking of people who are “good children.”

Father, I pray to be a “good child.” I will spend part of this day, as already planned, being specifically obedient to something that you have placed in my heart. I pray that this will reap answered prayers. I am confident that it will reap closer devotion to you through Jesus. Let my prayer/reading times today be deep, drawing me into closer communion with you.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

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Stamped With the Presence of God

Today is Tuesday, August 23, 2016. 52 days until Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first.” – Mark Twain

Word of the Day

Venial – able to be forgiven or pardoned; not seriously wrong, as a sin (opposed to mortal).

Today is Cuban Sandwich Day. (The country, not Mark.) It sounds delicious, but I’ve never had one. I did have a really good sandwich at McAlister’s Deli, last night, though, called the “Memphian.” Black Forest ham, turkey, roast beef, Provolone, lettuce, tomato, lite mayo, and Dijon mustard on a hot baguette. Delicious!

The big news, this morning, is that R finally got her LPC license! (That stands for Licensed Professional Counselor.) It’s an “intern” license, but all that now stands between her and her career is a period of internship. We are just all tremendously excited that her license finally came through. It is has been a tough process (and quite frustrating) for her, but she persevered and made it!

The Red Sox beat the Rays 6-2 last night, which launched them into a tie for first place with the Boo Jays, since Toronto didn’t play last night. September is going to be really exciting in the AL East!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them,
but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did.
They served their idols, which became a snare to them.
They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons;
they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood.
Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds.
Psalm 106:34-39

As this psalm continues (I struggle to think of this as a “song” being sung by a group of people, but that is what the Psalms allegedly were), we continue to be warned by the failures of Israel. What should have been victories and triumphs became “defections and compromises; instead of sharing faith in a holy God, Israel adopted the savage rites of child sacrifice.” Instead of a land flowing “with milk and honey,” it became a land of disobedience flowing “with the blood of innocent children.”

“‘Save us from weak resignation to the evils we deplore; let the search for Thy salvation be our glory evermore. Grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving Thee whom we adore’ (Harry Emerson Fosdick, ‘God of Grace and God of Glory’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Prayer Choice and Prayer Conflict

But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. Matthew 6:6

This is one of the best of all of the readings in this book. We must understand that prayer “is an effort of the will.” Once we get into our “secret place,” the most difficult thing to do is pray. As soon as we shut the door, the wandering thoughts begin. Those of you who are regular pray-ers, tell me if I’m wrong. I know it has definitely been my experience. There are mornings that the hardest thing in the world to do is pray, because as soon as I start, all of the emotions and thoughts start flooding in. I even start remembering emotional moments from decades in the past! “We have to discipline our minds and concentrate on willful prayer.”

To be in a “secret silence” means that we have to shut the door on these emotions “remember God.” When we abide in this “secret place,” our confidence in God grows tremendously. “We become more sure of Him than of anything else.” We should begin our day by letting God in, and then “get into the habit of dealing with God about everything.” When these things happen, every event of our lives will be “stamped with the presence of God.”

Father, as I pray this morning, help me to be focused. Help me to shut the door in my “secret place” and close out all negative emotions (even positive ones that would distract me from prayer) and thoughts that would hinder me. Help me to remember you. I also pray that I might be successful in dealing with you about everything in my day. Be the center of my day, Father, and help me to walk in your Kingdom, sharing the easy yoke with Jesus.

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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Toward Bethel, Not Meribah

Today is Monday, August 22, 2016. 53 days to Galveston!

Quote of the Day

“Idealism increases in direct proportion to one’s distance from the problem.” – John Galsworthy (Think about that one for a few minutes.)

Word of the Day

Lucubrate – to work, write, or study laboriously, especially at night.

Today is Be An Angel Day. While that is technically impossible, we still might have the opportunity to be someone’s “angel” today by helping them through a difficult situation.

It was a wonderful weekend! We got to Mineral Wells around 2:00 PM on Saturday, picked up Grandma, and headed pretty much straight to Dairy Mart for lunch. They still cook a mean cheeseburger! Then we went to pick up some more Crazy Water (I drink about half a liter a day, and I swear to you it has helped my arthritic knee!), after which we stopped at Jitterbeans for some smoothies and hot chocolate. I actually had a “frozen hot chocolate,” and it was quite delicious! We went back to Grandma’s house, where we had some strawberry cake (we brought it with us), and then sat and watched the Rangers lose to the Rays. We left around 8:00 PM, stopped by McDonald’s, then went to check in at the hotel.

Sunday morning was nice. We had our complimentary breakfast at the hotel, got checked out, and went back to Grandma’s to pick her up to go to church, at First Baptist Church of Mineral Wells. The worship service was very fulfilling, in my opinion. Good worship, and Nathan’s message was quite good, being all about unity in the body of Christ. Mel Kincaid always does a marvelous job of selecting and leading the music for the service, too. Lunch, afterward, was at Pastafina, delicious, as always, then back to the house to finish off the strawberry cake. We visited and watched the Rangers lose some more, then headed on back home for some R&R before getting back into the work week.

S was extremely grateful for the great birthday weekend, and has thanks us profusely for it. We are grateful to God for it as well.

Another thing we are grateful to God for! We had had a low tire pressure alert in the car on Friday afternoon, so we stopped and put some air in the front passenger side tire before heading to Mineral Wells on Saturday. When we got to Grandma’s house, I looked at the tire, and, low and behold, there was a very large screw in the tire! After lunch, C took the car up to Wal-Mart to see if they could fix it. It turns out that the screw was too close to the side of the tire, and they couldn’t repair it. BUT, there was also a split in the tire, as well as a bubble (all on the inside, where we couldn’t see it), and it was apparent that the tire could have blown at any time! That screw very well may have saved us some much worse troubles than a flat tire! Both front tires were original on the car, so we elected to go ahead and buy two new tires for the front.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

They angered him at the waters of Meribah, and it went ill with Moses on their account,
for they made his spirit bitter, and he spoke rashly with his lips
.
Psalm 106:32-33

There are many places in the Old Testament story that remind us of faith and God’s grace; Bethel, Sinai, Carmel, and Olivet, to name a few. However, there are also places, such as Meribah, where the people of God severely tried his patience and sinned greatly. “The geography of salvation shows desirable places to go and troublesome places to avoid.”

“I forget, Lord, how dangerously my discontent can affect another’s trust. I want to be especially considerate of those who are leaders and companions in the way of faith, supporting them with appreciation and intercession, not toppling them with criticism and grumbling. Amen.”

Father, show me how utterly helpless I am without you. Ruthlessly show me how much my mumbling and complaining hurts your Church. Teach me how to pray for your leaders, both locally and nationally, in ways that lift them up and support them. Keep me away from Meribah and lead me always toward Bethel.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

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