Ready To Live and Die For Him

“Perhaps the only honest measure of the recklessness of my confidence is my readiness for martyrdom. Not only my willingness to die for him and the sake of the gospel, but to live for him one day at a time.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Saturday, March 1! March! That means February is over! I don’t care if it’s going to drop all the way to 20 degrees tomorrow! It won’t be February, so it will be okay! Also. . . 30 days until Opening Day!

Today is World Compliment Day. If observed by everyone, today would be the most positive day in the history of ever! By the way, I love what you’ve done with your blog theme! 😀

Work days are threatening to be extremely stressful. Next week will be the busiest week since I have been working on this account. They tell me they have had weeks like this before, but they also had more people then. Due to the account going away, we have reduced personnel to a bare minimum. Should be interesting. On a positive note, I have an interview with the ops manager of one of our other facilities, Monday morning at 10:00! He called me yesterday. That was totally unexpected. Here’s hoping we get along great, and he has a spot for me that can wait until mid-April.

Christi didn’t hear anything from prospective jobs yesterday, but has a phone interview Monday afternoon, rescheduled from the electrical emergency that occurred last Wednesday. We are hoping she will hear something from BNSF before then, as well.


It was on this date in 1692 that the tragic Salem Witch Hunt began, spurred by the ignorant diagnosis of a doctor, corroborated by a nine-year-old (Elizabeth Parris) and an eleven-year-old (Abigail Williams). It all began the month before when the two girls began “experiencing fits and other mysterious maladies.” The doctor decided that they were “suffering from the effects of witchcraft.” Others soon joined in with their mysterious afflictions, and suddenly Salem was awash with a frenzy of accusations and incriminations, none being based on anything remotely resembling fact. Initially, on this date, Sarah Goode, Sarah Osbourne, and an Indian slave from Barbados, named Tituba, were accused. The slave, “possibly under coercion” (ya think??), confessed later that day. This, of course, encouraged the PTBs to seek out more “witches.” Most of the accused were middle-aged women, but there were a few men, as well, and, reportedly, even one four-year-old child (??). The first to actually be convicted (not until June) was Bridget Bishop, who was, subsequently, hanged on June 10. Seventeen more were hanged and one man was “pressed” to death (crushed by rocks piled on top of him until he died). In all, 19 innocent people were killed because of the sensationalistic testimonies that began with a couple of pre-adolescent girls.

“In October 1692, Governor William Phipps of Massachusetts ordered the Court of Oyer and Terminer dissolved and replaced with the Superior Court of Judicature, which forbade the type of sensational testimony allowed in the earlier trials. Executions ceased, and the Superior Court eventually released all those awaiting trial and pardoned those sentenced to death. The Salem witch trials, which resulted in the executions of 19 innocent women and men, had effectively ended.”

It is my understanding that at least one of the girls later recanted. Too little, too late, though. For the record, no “witches” were ever burned in the U.S.

It all reminds me of this scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail.

There are 279 names on the birthday list for today at (I began providing the link, just in case you want to look at it yourself. You might find some you know that I did not include.) Among those “famous” birthdays are Sandro Botticelli, Renaissance painter, 1445, Glenn Miller, trombone player/bandleader, 1904, David Niven, actor, 1910, Harry Caray, sportscaster, 1914, Dinah Shore, singer, 1917, William M. Gaines, publisher (MAD Magazine), 1922, Pete Rozelle, NFL commissioner, 1926, Harry Belafonte, singer, 1927, Sonny James, singer, 1929, Joan Hackett, actress, 1933, Jim Ed Brown, country singer, 1934, Roger Daltrey, singer, 1944, Alan Thicke, actor, 1947, Ron Howard, actor/director, 1954, Catherine Bach, actress, 1954, Dan Michaels, musician/producer/lyricon player extraordinaire (The Choir), 1963, and Jensen Ackles, actor (Supernatural), 1978.

Dan Michaels is a wonderful person who happens to be the sax/lyricon player in one of my all-time favorite groups, The Choir. I’ve met him several times, and he is a very kind and friendly man. And he has an awesome beard. (At least he did in 2012.) He can be heard wailing on the sax in this studio recording of “Circle Slide,” the title track of that album from 1990.


(From The Divine Hours)

Praise the LORD! For it is good to sing praises to our God;
for it is pleasant, and a song of praise is fitting.

Psalm 147:1
Remember me, O LORD, when you show favor to your people; help me when you save them,
that I may look upon the prosperity of your chosen ones, that I may rejoice in the
gladness of your nation, that I may glory with your inheritance.

Psalm 146:4-5
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
Psalm 71:1

“Almighty God, who after the creation of the world rested from all your works
and sanctified a day of rest for all your creatures: Grant that I, putting
away all earthly anxieties, may be duly prepared for the service of public
worship, and grant as well that my Sabbath upon earth may be a preparation
for the eternal rest promised to your people in heaven; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”

Rejoice always,
pray without ceasing,
give thanks in all circumstances;
for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.

1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “No Reservations.”

“Reckless confidence for me is the unshakable conviction that Jesus and the Father love me in a way that defies imagination.” I must accept, “without reservation,” all that my Father has ordained for me. I must have the attitude of Christ in the Garden, when he prayed, Not as I will, but as you will. Perhaps I can even mimic the prayer of Dag Hammarskjold, “For all that has been, thanks. For all that shall be, yes.”

“Perhaps the only honest measure of the recklessness of my confidence is my readiness for martyrdom. Not only my willingness to die for him and the sake of the gospel, but to live for him one day at a time.”

And we have confidence in the Lord about you,
that you are doing and will do the things that we command.

2 Thessalonians 3:4

Father, these readings continue to stir my heart deeply. Every day, it seems that you point me further down this path of self-denial, along with a reckless abandonment of trusting in you. My confidence in your ability to take care of me is growing daily. I find that I am not nearly as stressed out by Christi losing her job as I might have been a year ago. It helps, of course, that she’s already getting interviews. But even so, my confidence is strong. I pray that you keep bringing me these readings, and pointing me toward scriptures that drive this point into me until I finally get it. Don’t let up on me until I’m what/who you desire for me to be. And don’t let up then, either! I trust in you, Father!

I pray for this day. Soon, we will head out for our weekly Saturday errands. I pray that you keep us safe as we are out and about. I lift up our weekly worship gathering for this evening. May we truly worship you with all our hearts. As we gather for prayer, beforehand, I ask that we would pray diligently for the matters at hand. Give our pastor wisdom, courage, and strength as he leads us.

Keep me mindful, throughout this day and the next, as we rest, of your care for us, your love for us, and for the needs of all around me, whether they be physical needs, spiritual needs, or otherwise. May I always be ready to pray when a need comes to my attention.

Your grace is sufficient.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer said, “When Jesus calls a man, he bids him come and die.” When we “choose” the cross, we must be ready to both die and live for Christ.

Grace and peace, friends.