You Can’t Fool God

“We daub cosmetics and spiritual makeup on our misery and supposed ugliness to make ourselves appear presentable to God. Authentic prayer calls us to rigorous honesty, to come out of hiding, to quit trying to seem impressive, to acknowledge our totale dependence on God and the reality of our sinful situation.” ~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Wednesday, January 8, 2014. The first week of 2014 is over. 38 days until pitchers and catchers report, 82 days until Opening Day!

Today is “Joy Germ Day.” Now, I realize that there are lots of unhealthy germs being spread around right now, what with about a dozen different kinds of “flu” being circulated. However, one positive “germ” we can spread is joy! So try to smile more today, make people laugh a little, just spread some happiness!


We made it to our Huddle meeting last night. The group took two weeks off, and we had missed the one before that, so it had been three weeks since we had been all together. We were still missing one last night, due to illness. Still some of those aforementioned germs going around. We celebrated the birthday of one our members last night, with cake! Good times.

I had to work late, yesterday, but not too much. Our last truck didn’t show up until after 4:30, but our two loaders were on the ball and had it loaded shortly after 5:00, so I was out of there by 5:30. Christi grabbed something for us to eat on the way home, so we made it to Huddle just fine.


On this date in 1946, an eleven-year-old boy wanted a bike or a rifle for his birthday. However, his over-protective mother, instead of giving him either of those things, “took him to the Tupelo Hardware Store and bought a gift that would change the course of history: A $6.95 guitar.” That eleven-year-old boy was named Elvis Aaron Presley. (Source: History.com)


Today’s birthdays include Lowell Mason, composer, 1792, Evelyn Wood, educator, 1909, Larry Storch, actor, 1923, Soupy Sales, comedian, 1926, Elvis Presley, 1935, Bill Graham, rock promoter, 1931, Bob Eubanks, game show host, 1938, Boris Vallejo, fantasy illustrator, 1941, Stephen Hawking, physicist, 1942, Terry Brooks, fantasy author, 1944, Terry Sylvester, Robby Krieger, guitarist (The Doors), 1946, guitarist/singer (The Hollies), 1947, and Amber Benson, actress/author, 1977.

Elvis really needs no introduction. Here’s a clip of “Jailhouse Rock.”


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Psalm 103:1-2 Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name!
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits.

Psalm 16:1-2 Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 18:1-2 I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 51:7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Psalm 65:1-5 Praise is due to you, O God, in Zion, and to you shall vows be performed.
O you who hear prayer, to you shall all flesh come.
When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.

“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.”


Today, in Reflections for Ragamuffins, the reading is called “Presenting Ourselves Before God.”

“The Lord hears the cry of the poor.” We need to get over our “self-hatred” and “embrace what we really are,” so that our liberation can be complete. We fear accepting our true self, though, out of fear of rejection. “We daub cosmetics and spiritual makeup on our misery and supposed ugliness to make ourselves appear presentable to God.” But this is not who we really are! Do we not realize the literal stupidity of such actions?? Do we not understand that God can see right through all of our “makeup?” “Authentic prayer calls us to rigorous honesty, to come out of hiding, to quit trying to seem impressive, to acknowledge our total dependence on God and the reality of our sinful situation.” We must drop our defenses, take off our masks, and face the truth with humility.

2 Corinthians 8:21 . . . for we aim at what is honorable not only in the Lord’s sight but also in the sight of man.


Father, help me to take off the masks. I’ve known for years that I cannot fool you into believing that I am more righteous than I truly am. This is why I acknowledge my sinfulness to you every morning. This is why I pray, over and over, “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me the sinner!” You cannot be deceived! It is a tragic thing when we attempt to do so. Tragic, futile, and somewhat silly, in fact. I pray that your Holy Spirit will always prompt me to be honest and authentic before you, presenting myself as I truly am, that you might use me as you see fit. If I’m to be an ashtray, I cannot appear before you dressed as a flower vase. I am what I am, and what I am is by your grace and mercy, sin and all. Were it not for your grace, I shudder to think where I would be in life today. May I always present myself before you, honestly and openly, sinner that I am, cleansed by the blood of Christ.

I pray for this day, that Christi and I will have a good work day. I pray for her ongoing pains that you would relieve her. I feel so helpless when she’s hurting, because I can do nothing to relieve it. All I can do is what I’m doing right now, and pray. Please give her relief, Father. I also pray that Stephanie would gain understanding, and that you would draw her closer to you today. Show her the path for her life.

May this family, this household, be a place of joy and peace in your name.

I pray for our friends, Mike and Kay, who are supposed to start moving from Indianapolis to Pennsylvania today. May their progress not be impeded by the weather up there.

Your grace is sufficient.


Don’t try to trick God. He sees what you really are, and no amount of “spiritual makeup” can fool him. It’s better to simply be honest.

Grace and peace, friends.