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Good morning. It is Wednesday, December 31, 2014. New Year’s Eve!

Today’s Word of the Day is “nye.” We’re not talking the Science Guy, here, we’re talking about “a brood of pheasants.”

Today is Make Up Your Mind Day. And well it should be, as it is the last day of the year. I have to make up my mind about a few things, one being which devotionals I’m going to read in 2015. Another being what I’m going to read next, as I finished As You Wish: Inconceivable Tales from the Making of The Princess Bride, by Cary Elwes and Joe Layden, last night. More on that in another blog post, probably this evening. For now, it will have to suffice to say that this is definitely one of the best books I have ever read!

It’s not quite as cold as it was supposed to be, this morning. It has gotten down to 32, and is supposed to get up to somewhere between 37 and 43, depending on which weather app I look at. They need to make up their mind, too! 🙂 Anyway, tomorrow and Friday, it is predicted that we will have light rain, but the temps are supposed to stay just above freezing. It’s beginning to act like winter, around here.

We probably will not go out of the house, tonight. There was something that Stephanie had wanted to do, but it’s going to be cold, with threatening precipitation, so I think we would be better off staying home. Plus I don’t want to be out on the roads after midnight tonight, anyway. I’m thinking it will be a good night to throw a log on the fireplace (and light it, of course), and sit back and watch the festivities on TV.


(From The Divine Hours)

My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:21
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.
Agnus Dei
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 36:5
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:1
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.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised . . .
This God—his way is perfect; the word of the LORD proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?

Psalm 18:1-3, 30-31
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Almighty God, you have given your only-begotten Son to take our nature upon him, and to
be born of a pure virgin: Grant that I, who have been born again and made your child
by adoption and grace, may daily be renewed by your Holy Spirit; through my Lord Jesus
Christ, to whom with you and the same Spirit be honor and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

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.

Psalm 37:3-6
The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps.
Proverbs 16:9
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

Today’s Gospel Reading

But when the Pharisees heard that he had silenced the Sadducees, they gathered together. And one of them, a lawyer, asked him a question to test him. “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And he said to him, “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment. And a second is like it: You shall love your neighbor as yourself. On these two commandments depend all the Law and the Prophets.”
Matthew 22:34-40

Here, in my opinion, is one of the key points of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Here are the commands upon which everything else hinges. It can be shortened to a simply phrase, “Love God, love people.” But it goes farther than that. We are to love God with everything; with all that we have. That is the difficult part, as I’m sure the psalmist noted when he wrote, “unite my heart to fear your name,” in Psalm 86:11. My heart is so divided among many things. I’m still working on this “all” part! Just as I am still working on that part about loving my neighbor as myself.

Today’s reading (and the final one) in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Word Made Flesh.”

The well-known first verses of the Gospel of John go like this: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. . . . And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us . . .” As a friend of the family was praying over these verses, he heard Jesus say to him, “Yes, the Word was made flesh. I chose to enter your broken world and limp through life with you.”

Brennan closes this reading, and this book, with these words: “On the last day, when we arrive at the Great Mansion in the Sky, many of us will be bloodied, battered, bruised, and limping. But, by God and by Christ, there will be a light in the window and a ‘welcome home’ sign on the door.”

Blessed are those who wash their robes,
so that they may have the right to the tree of life
and that they may enter the city by the gates.

Revelation 22:14

Father, as I reflect on another year gone by, I look forward to seeing or hearing those words, “Welcome home.” For more than 56 years, I have wandered through this life, sometimes on your path, other times so far off the path that I am amazed that you were able to guide me back. Today, I feel as though I am more firmly on the path than I have ever been, yet I still struggle to keep on the way. I pray for more breakthrough in 2015. I pray to be closer to you than I have ever been in 2015. I pray for my prayer ministry to grow, for my Facebook prayer page to be discovered by more people, and for it to begin to accomplish the purpose for which I set it up. I pray for the verse that you directed me to for my life will continue to take root, and that it will continue to be the prayer of my life. “Teach me your way, O Lord, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” That is my prayer for 2015, and for the rest of my life. Teach me your way, O Lord!

I pray for this day, that we might have safe and smooth passage to and from work. I pray that this work day might be light enough that we could get to leave early. I pray for safety for everyone who chooses to go out tonight, to celebrate the coming of another new year. I pray for Stephanie, that 2015 might be a banner year for her, as we attempt to discern your plan for her life.

May your grace shine down on us, Father, as it already has.

I cannot express the anticipation that I feel when I consider meeting my Savior face to face and hearing those words, “Welcome home!” I pray that I might also hear, “Well, done, good and faithful servant.”

Welcome home

Grace and peace, friends.


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