Reading To Hear

Today is Sunday, March 26, 2017. EIGHT more days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.” ~ Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Word of the Day

Perpend ~ to reflect on carefully : ponder. Also, to be attentive : reflect.

Question of the Day

What is the “holy see?” (Answer at the end of the blog.)

Today is Purple Day. Besides being a pretty color (C’s favorite color, in fact), it’s a day set aside to increase awareness of epilepsy, ” a condition that affects over 65 million people globally.” Apparently, lavender is the international color for epilepsy, and also symbolizes solitude.

We had a nice day of not doing much of anything yesterday. It’s always good to have a day of rest.

This morning, we are getting ready for our worship gathering at The Exchange. We meet at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street in Fort Worth, TX.

I shall now perpend on some scriptures.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all those who practice it have a good understanding. His praise endures forever!
Psalm 111:10
that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 83:18
Blessed be the LORD, the God of Israel, who alone does wondrous things. 
Blessed be his glorious name forever; may the whole earth be filled with his glory! Amen and Amen!

Psalm 72:18-19
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame! 
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me! 
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress. 
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man. 
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth. 
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.

Psalm 71:1-6
“Almighty God, you know that we have no power in ourselves to help ourselves: Keep me both outwardly in my body and inwardly in my soul, that I may be defended from all adversities which may happen to the body, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and hurt the soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)

(From Living the Message)

“The Christian’s interest in Scripture has always been in hearing God speak, not in analyzing moral memos.”

That’s all there is to the reading. One sentence. But what a great sentence it is. I know people who pride themselves on their biblical knowledge. I used to be one of those. But that’s not why I read the scriptures any more. Don’t get me wrong . . . knowledge is good; knowledge is necessary. But it’s not the primary reason for reading the Bible. The primary reason for reading the Bible should always be to hear God speak.

The words that I speak to you aren’t mere words. I don’t just make them up on my own. The Father who resides in me crafts each word into a divine act.
John 14:10B (The Message)

Father, help me listen for your voice when I read your words. Guide me more frequently into the “divine acts” that you have crafted in the words of Jesus, so that I may walk in his steps and do the things he says; that I may walk in his easy yoke. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

And for anyone who might stumble upon this blog today, I offer this sincere blessing:

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.

Today’s trivia answer: The Vatican, jurisdiction of the Pope, etc.

Not Ashamed

Today is Saturday, March 25, 2017. NINE more days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“Nothing travels faster than the speed of light with the possible exception of bad news, which obeys its own special laws.” ~ Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

Word of the Day

Coterminous ~ having the same border or covering the same area.

Question of the Day

What was the title of the first James Bond movie, in 1962 — it contained the name of a profession in the title — and what 32-year old actor first starred as James Bond? (The answer will be at the end of the blog)

Today is Tolkien Reading Day. Although The Lord of the Rings has become immensely popular, the idea behind this day is to get people to realize that there is a lot more to Tolkien than just LotR. For example, did you know that he invented the Elfen language before he wrote LotR?

I’m a little later blogging today, because C and I did sometime different today. After I got up (C got up before me today), I suggested that we go out for breakfast, just she and I. Her and I? Whatever. She liked that idea, so we got dressed and went to a new-ish place called River Oaks Cafe 2. I suppose the “2” is because there must be another one that is, perhaps, actually in River Oaks. We had a very nice time, the food was delicious, and the service was friendly and casual. The girls that served us seemed to be teenage girls, possible high school age or slightly older, perhaps. And they have HUGE pancakes. One quote said “pancakes the size of hubcaps.” That wasn’t too far off. I asked the cashier how many pancakes they throw away ever day, and she said, “You have no idea!” They were good, but we couldn’t even come close to eating them all. They also serve Ekrich sausage as an option with their breakfast. Mm mm good!

After that, we went across the street to the library, because C had some books on CD that were due. I checked out a couple of books, because I seem to be unable to go into a library and come out empty handed. I got The Girl on the Train and Day Shift, which is the second book in the “Midnight, Texas” series by Charlaine Harris.

I have no idea what the rest of today will bring.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn!
Psalm 57:8
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.
Agnus Dei
For you alone are the Holy One, you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the most High, Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit, in the Glory of God the Father.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Psalm 31:24

(From The President’s Devotional)

Nevertheless, many even of the authorities believed in him, but for fear of the Pharisees they did not confess it, so that they would not be put out of the synagogue; for they loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God.
John 12:42-43

There is a sadness to this passage, both for the people to whom it is referring, and for me, as well. Joshua DuBois asks, “How many disciples might Jesus have had if men and women were bold enough to declare themselves as such?”

We know of twelve “official” disciples. But they might have been joined by “dozens, even hundreds more.” We know that the teachings of Jesus touched more people in the New Testament accounts, but there was a small problem. Many of those were afraid to declare their allegiance to him, or even that he, somehow, touched their lives, out of fear of the authorities. “But imagine what more God could have done through those rulers if they stepped out in faith and declared, ‘I am your disciple.'” Even Nicodemus, the man who gave up his tomb for Jesus’s burial, came to him at night for fear that the other Pharisees might see him.

May we be bolder than these, and declare that we are followers of Christ, regardless of any ridicule or other consequences that we might face. “And let history record that we were not ashamed.”

“Dear God, let the private love I feel for you find ways to express itself publicly. Present me with an opportunity to let my brothers and sisters know how I feel about you. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, I confess and repent of the times when I have not proclaimed my discipleship to Christ. I am not ashamed of you. I have never been ashamed of me. It’s complicated to explain, but I know that you understand. It has always been me that I’ve been ashamed of; ashamed of my inadequacy to fully follow you with all my heart. As my life verse indicates, my heart is divided among many things in this world. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. If my heart needs to be united, it means that it is divided. I always feel that I have disappointed you. But, then, in the back of my mind, there is this thought that maybe that’s not possible because of Jesus. So let me not be ashamed. Give me boldness to speak out when the opportunities come. I am not ashamed.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

I’m reminded of this song by the “real” Newsboys.

Grace and peace, friends.

Trivia answer: The movie is Dr. No, and the actor, of course, the greatest Bond ever, is Sean Connery.

While We Were Sleeping

Today is Friday, March 24, 2017. TEN days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“The reason why worry kills more people than work is that more people worry than work.” ~ Robert Frost

Word of the Day

Esoterica ~ things understood by or meant for a select few; recondite matters or items.

Question of the Day

Which laughably outdated fashion are you secretly hoping will make a comeback, because wow, you could definitely rock that look now?

Today is Chocolate Covered Raisins Day. I’m not especially fond of raisins, but, hey, chocolate. So there you go.

I’ve recently begun wondering why Friday is peoples’ favorite day of the week. Why isn’t it Saturday? I mean, we still have to get up and go to work on Friday. I’m certainly glad it’s Friday, because it means I don’t have to go to work tomorrow. But I like Saturday much better! On Monday morning, I don’t wish it was Friday. I wish it was Saturday.

Tonight, as previously mentioned, we have a gathering of worship team members. I’ll have to go straight from work, because it starts at 6:00 PM. This also means S will have to wait until after we get home from that to have dinner. Unless she gets all creative and makes something herself.

On a more serious note . . . oh, wait. I don’t have anything else.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
Psalm 66:14
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand. 
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings,

Psalm 17:7-8
I thank you that you have answered me and have become my salvation.
Psalm 118:21
For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.
2 Corinthians 4:6

(From Living the Message)

“The Hebrew evening/morning sequence conditions us to the rhythms of grace. We go to sleep, and God begins his work. As we sleep he develops his covenant. We wake and are called out to participate in God’s creative action. We respond in faith, in work. But always grace is previous. Grace is primary. We wake into a world we didn’t make, into a salvation we didn’t earn. Evening: God begins, without our help, his creative day. Morning: God calls us to enjoy and share and develop the work he initiated. Creation and covenant are sheer grace and there to greet us every morning. George MacDonald once wrote that sleep is God’s contrivance for giving us the help he cannot get into us when we are awake.” (Eugene H. Peterson)

While I don’t believe that God only works at night (and I’m pretty sure brother Peterson doesn’t believe that, either), this is a beautiful word picture of the rhythms of grace. Somewhere along the way, we westerners got it mixed up and started beginning our day with morning. But if you read the Bible carefully, that’s not how it began. This idea of rhythm in life is something that I started learning a couple years ago. Adhering to the Hebrew way of thinking, we work out of our rest. The day begins with rest, as we go to sleep, and continues with work in the morning. But we tend to think of it backwards. Our day begins with work, and then we rest from our work. We need to adjust that thinking and get a better rhythm, waking up excited to see what God has arranged for us while we were sleeping.

It’s useless to rise early and go to bed late, and work your worried fingers to the bone. Don’t you know he enjoys giving rest to those he loves?
Psalm 127:2 (The Message)

Father, help me to adapt this rhythm to my life. I have begun to understand it, but still don’t quite have it down. Help me to work out of my rest, and to wake every morning in anticipation of what you have prepared for me that day.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Pray the Psalms!

Today is Thursday, March 23, 2017. Eleven days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“The hunger for love is much more difficult to remove than the hunger for bread.” ~ Mother Teresa

Word of the Day

Throttlebottom ~ a harmless incompetent in public office. Please note the word “harmless.”

Today is Chip and Dip Day. I love chips and dip! So many good kinds of dips, too. Salsa, queso, guacamole . . . wait . . . I see a pattern emerging, here.

C had a good time visiting with her friend, last night, and I had a good time playing Mass Effect: Andromeda. S and I had Lee’s Grilled Cheese for dinner, which, as always, was delicious. I discovered, last night, however, that I definitely do NOT need to order the “large” order of fries. Holy cow. I don’t think I even ate half of them!

We don’t have anything planned for this evening, but tomorrow night we will have a gathering with the worship team members. No plans for this weekend, either. In six days, R has a birthday. We might be getting together on April 2 for that. We aren’t sure yet. April 1 is our next Night of Worship, though, which is a week from Saturday.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
Psalm 96:9
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
Psalm 119:164
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Psalm 25:21
Now great crowds accompanied him, and he turned and said to them, “If anyone comes to me and does not hate his own father and mother and wife and children and brothers and sisters, yes, and even his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Whoever does not bear his own cross and come after me cannot be my disciple.
Luke 14:25-27
Fret not yourself because of evildoers; be not envious of wrongdoers! 
For they will soon fade like the grass and wither like the green herb. 
Trust in the LORD, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. 
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart. 
Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. 
He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. 
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;

Psalm 37:1-7
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

(From Living the Message)

For many years, now, Psalms has been my favorite book of the Bible. And recently, over the last couple of years, I have become more and more convinced that we should be praying the Psalms on a regular basis. We should be praying them, both in and out of our worship gatherings. Eugene H. Peterson’s reading today focuses on that necessity.

He begins by quoting St. Pius X, who said, “The Psalms teach mankind, especially those vowed to a life of worship, how God is to be praised.” There is a great need, especially for pastors, a need so great that there is too much at stake for pastors “to pick and choose a curriculum of prayer as they are more or less inclined.” (Reminds me of a book that I read recently, God’s Prayer Program.) He compares it to allowing a physician to create medications from herbs and weeds in his own back yard.

“Prayer must not be fabricated out of emotional fragments or professional duties. Uninstructed and untrained, our prayers are something learned by tourists out of a foreign language book: we give thanks at meals, repent of the grosser sins, bless the Rotary picnic, and ask for occasional guidance. Did we think prayer was merely a specialized and incidental language to get by on during those moments when we happened to pass through religious country?”

Prayer is something that should involve our entire lives. And there is a desperate need for us to be fluent in the language. “Praying the Psalms, we find fragments of soul and body, our own and all those with whom we have to do, spoken into adoration and love and faith.” It is not just for pastors, but pastors most definitely should be immersed in them.

St. Ambrose described the Psalms as “a sort of gymnasium for the use of all souls, a sort of stadium of virtue, where different sorts of exercise are set out before him, from which he can choose the best suited to train him to win his crown.”

. . . you thrill to GOD’s Word, you chew on Scripture day and night.
Psalm 1:2 (The Message)

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

And these words, I pray for everyone who might read this today:

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.

No Little Prayers

Today is Wednesday, March 22, 2017. Twelve days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“I’m lazy. But it’s the lazy people who invented the wheel and the bicycle because they didn’t like walking or carrying things.” ~ Lech Walesa

Word of the Day

Ort ~ a scrap or morsel of food left at a meal.

Today is Goof Off Day. I wish I had known that ahead of time. I would have planned to stay home today.

I got my copy of Mass Effect: Andromeda for the PS4 yesterday. I played for about an hour last night. Tonight, I’ll get some more time, because C is meeting up with a friend after work. Hopefully, I’ll get into it a little more and figure things out better. It’s fun, but challenging.

Friday night, we have what looks like is working out to be a quarterly meeting with everyone involved with the worship ministry at church.

I don’t really have much else to talk about, so I’ll head on into the devotions.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Make your vows to the LORD your God and perform them; let all around him bring gifts to him who is to be feared,
Psalm 76:11
Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word! 
Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.

Psalm 119:169-170
With a freewill offering I will sacrifice to you; I will give thanks to your name, O LORD, for it is good.
Psalm 54:6
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
Psalm 119:10

(From Living the Message)

Eugene H. Peterson writes of what he calls “one of the indignities” that pastors have to endure constantly. Imagine a gathering of people for a meal of some other kind of meeting. Inevitably, someone says, “Reverend, get things started for us with a little prayer, will ya?”

Peterson indicates that he would love to shout out something that William McNamara once said: “I will not! There are no little prayers! Prayer enters the lion’s den, brings us before the holy where it is uncertain whether we will come back alive or sane, for ‘it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of a living God.'”

I agree with this sentiment. “There are no little prayers!” Every prayer that comes out of our mouths should be sincere. We have no business rolling off rote prayers before meals, just as a routine. We should never utter a prayer, but it comes from the deepest places in our heart, even if it is just grace before a meal.

On the flip side, we should not also be hesitant to pray because we believe our prayers are too “little” and meaningless. Again, there are no little prayers! No matter what your concern, our Father in heaven is interested in what you have to say!

Don’t be flip with the sacred. Banter and silliness give no honor to God. Don’t reduce holy mysteries to slogans. In trying to be relevant, you’re only being cute and inviting sacrilege. 
Matthew 7:6 (The Message)

Father, let us not be guilty of trivializing prayer. I confess that, sometimes, when reciting Jesus’s model prayer (the one we keep calling The Lord’s Prayer), it sometimes goes by to quickly and I don’t grasp the meaning. So I’m just saying “vain repetitions.” Let me not be guilty of this! I pray that you draw my mind into my prayers, so that I know what I’m saying and that it comes from deep in my heart, even the smallest of prayers. Also, I pray that I would never hesitate to pray something because I think it might be too small a matter with which to bother the Creator of the universe.

I lift up a special prayer for Karen, my work friend, today, as she is having her surgery. I pray for a successful outcome, and for healing for her body, whether through surgeons or your healing hands. May her recover be swift and complete.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Fear Not, For I Am With You

Today is Tuesday, March 21, 2017. Thirteen days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“People everywhere confuse what they read in newspapers with news.” ~ A. J. Liebling. I think I would update that to say “Facebook” instead of “newspapers.”

Word of the Day

Comportment ~ personal bearing or conduct; demeanor; behavior.

Today is World Poetry Day. There are a number of poets that I follow on WordPress, and if I start trying to name them, I will forget someone. So I’ll just say “Happy World Poetry Day” to all you poets!! Here’s a little haiku I composed on the fly.

Today is Tuesday
Wednesday will be tomorrow
Monday comes too soon

No extra charge for that.

Band practice was a hoot last night. We rehearsed part of a piece by P.D.Q. Bach (Peter Schikele), and it was so much fun. Plus remembering all of the P.D.Q. Bach songs I’ve heard over the years brought back some really awesome memories. The director is undecided if we will do the piece at the next concert, or maybe just a couple of the movements, as it is called “Six Contrary Dances.”

I have a work friend who is having breast cancer surgery tomorrow (Wednesday). If you are of the praying persuasion, would you mind lifting a prayer for her?

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm! 
God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Psalm 47:7-8
Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
Psalm 70:1
Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest.
Psalm 50:3
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.”
Psalm 14:1
The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry. 
The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth. 
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. 
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all. 
He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Psalm 34:15-20
Lord, have mercy on us.
Christ, have mercy on us.
Lord, have mercy on us.

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

It is the LORD who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Deuteronomy 31:8

Brian Doyle writes, in quite painful language, about struggling with concerns over his daughter. He weeps over her. He struggles with faith, with knowing that God is in control, that God is watching out for both him and his daughter.

God told Isaiah, “Fear not, for I am with thee.” Brian wonders if Isaiah had daughters. “He didn’t lie awake at three in the morning desperate to hear the grumble of the car returning safely.”

I’ve been there. I have daughters. I am concerned for each of them, daily, for different reasons. I have struggled with faith, with knowing that God is in control, that God is watching out for both me and my daughters.

Then Brian Doyle says to God, “Suddenly, I have a flash of the oddest emotion, a terrible empathy for You, Who must watch so many of Your children flail and crash. O save her, Blessed One. Please? Be with her even on her darkest paths. Please?”

This are the kinds of prayers that speak the loudest. Prayers from the deepest depths of our hearts, with no hint of pride in them, because we know in our hearts that we can do absolutely nothing about the situation. God, and God alone, can handle it.

“Dear Mercy, almost always I show up here, hat in hand, asking You to save me from myself. But today I just beg desperately for my daughter. Heal her, bring her back to her deep sweet genuine self.” (Brian Doyle)

Father, I pray for my daughters today. Draw them into your arms and hold them. One needs healing of the mind while the other needs . . . well, she just needs you and doesn’t realize it, perhaps. Or maybe she’s closer than I know. That’s what I’m hoping, Lord. Either way, hold them close, my Father. Spread the love of Jesus Christ into both of their lives, that they may know that they are loved and that you care for them.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Blessing

Today is Monday, March 20, 2017. First day of Spring. Fourteen days until Opening Day!

Quote of the Day

“We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men.” ~ Herman Melville

Word of the Day

Anthophilous ~ attracted by or living among flowers.

Today is International Day of Happiness. And let us be reminded that, “happiness does not necessarily come from buying and consuming, or from being famous or glamorous – but often from friends, family and emotional well being.”

We had a pretty awesome day, yesterday. We knew it would be a challenge going into it, as several key (and I mean KEY) people were out from church, yesterday. But we all pitched in, worked a little harder, and got the job done. By “job,” I mean unloading the trailer full of gear, hauling it all into the group room at the YMCA, and setting everything up. Glory to God, everything worked right, because the person who knew how to fix electronic things was one of the people who was out.

Our main worship leader was also out, with some kind of sickness, but that didn’t seem to phase us, either. I even handled a couple of last minute key-changes with grace and determination, meeting the challenge head-on, and actually playing better than I usually do. I credit all of this to the fact that it made me focus better and, you know, maybe use my brain a little bit?

The message was all about blessing. What it means and why we do it. Our church is big on “blessing.” At the end of every gathering, we recite Numbers 6:24-26, which says, “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.” The pastor urged us to not just say the words, but begin to think of someone in particular when we say them. I got with a brother who has been having a particularly rough time, of late, and looked him in the eyes as I spoke the words. It was very meaningful.

Tonight, we start back up with band practice after having Spring Break off. We are preparing for another concert in just over a month. This one will be outdoors at the Southlake Town Square, for the Art in the Square event. April 22, I believe.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Psalm 31:23
Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! 
For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;

Psalm 31:2-3
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Psalm 31:19

(From The President’s Devotional)

And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.
Romans 8:28

“Every one of the great revolutionists, from Isaiah to Shelley, have been optimists. They have been indignant, not about the badness of existence, but about the slowness of men in realizing its goodness.” ~ G.K. Chesterton, The Defendant

“Dear Lord, today, help me be forcefully optimistic. Every negative thought, every downcast idea, let them shatter like a pane of glass. I know that all things work together for good, for those who love you and are called according to your purpose. And I stand on that promise. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, sometimes the idea of being an optimist sounds cheesy. Sometimes people who are overly-positive annoy me. And I don’t want my sense of optimism to be like that. I want it to be, rather, a firm belief in your promises and the fact that you desire to “bless” me, meaning, “the projection of good into the life of another.” That’s what it means to bless someone. So let me take that blessing and run with it, sending it toward other people, as well. Let me be a blessing to everyone I come in contact with today. And let me, like Joshua, stand on the promise that you work all things together for good, for those who love you and are called according to your purpose.

Even so, 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.