Just Love

Good morning! Today is Wednesday, the twenty-seventh of October, 2021

Peace be with you!

Day 23,239

Eleven days until Daylight Saving Time ends (in the U.S., at least).

I am currently reading The Haunting of Hill House, by Shirley Jackson. This was an impulse, because I had not planned on reading this book next, and hadn’t even thought about it. But it was on a cart of books to be shelved, last night, at the library. I am currently watching a Netflix series by the same name (although, from what I remember, it is only loosely based on the book), and decided to go ahead and read it again. Or maybe I’m reading it for the first time?? Oddly enough, I can’t find it on my reading list anywhere. I could have sworn that I had read it. Oh, well. There is only one book on my whole list with the word “haunting” in it, and it’s not this one.

C is working from home, today. I think she may have overdone it on a walk, yesterday evening. I haven’t had a lot of time to talk to her, yet, as she got up after I did. I didn’t sleep real well, myself, for some reason. I fell asleep fine, but woke up shortly before 2:00 AM and had a real hard time falling back asleep. I even cranked up my Kindle for a little bit. I need to come up with a better plan for eating dinner on Tuesday nights, especially when I am working on Wednesday morning. And I realized, this morning, that this is actually the first week, since the schedule changed, that I am actually working Wednesday after Tuesday night.

The Braves won game one of the World Series, 6-2. Game two is at 7:00 tonight.


By goodness, kindness,
According to His mercy,
We have been redeemed.
(Titus 3)

Praise the LORD!
Oh give thanks to the LORD,
for he is good,
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(Psalms 106:1 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. to be alive and breathing
2. to be in Your presence
3. that You are gracious and righteous, and full of compassion (Psalm 116)
4. for the easy yoke of Jesus Christ
5. for the two greatest commands: Love You and love people

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



One day spent in your house, this beautiful place of worship, beats thousands spent on Greek island beaches. I’d rather scrub floors in the house of my God than be honored as a guest in the palace of sin.
(Psalms 84:10 MSG)

As I pause, during the quietness of this morning, I ponder the Message version of that verse. How many of us would truly rather scrub floors than be an honored guest?


I love the LORD, for he heard my voice;
he heard my cry for mercy.
Because he turned his ear to me,
I will call on him as long as I live.

The cords of death entangled me,
the anguish of the grave came over me;
I was overcome by distress and sorrow.
Then I called on the name of the LORD:
“LORD, save me!”

The LORD is gracious and righteous;
our God is full of compassion.
The LORD protects the unwary;
when I was brought low, he saved me.

Return to your rest, my soul,
for the LORD has been good to you.
(Psalms 116:1-7 NIV)


Better a dry crust with peace and quiet
than a house full of feasting, with strife.

A prudent servant will rule over a disgraceful son
and will share the inheritance as one of the family.

The crucible for silver and the furnace for gold,
but the LORD tests the heart.

A wicked person listens to deceitful lips;
a liar pays attention to a destructive tongue.

Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker;
whoever gloats over disaster will not go unpunished.

Children’s children are a crown to the aged,
and parents are the pride of their children.
(Proverbs 17:1-6 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I seek wisdom from the Holy Spirit. I pray for guidance as I meditate and pray over these Scriptures.

I really like verse 7 of the psalm. “Return to your rest . . .” The word translated “rest” means “quiet” or “a settled spot.” There might be some thinking that it means our final rest. I’m not leaning in that direction, but thinking in terms of, well, how I have been feeling, this morning; somewhat unsettled. The psalmist speaks to his own soul, telling it to return to that “settled spot,” because the Lord has been good to him.

How unsettled does one have to be to mock the poor and gloat over disaster? This is the verse from the Proverbs passage that screams out to me. It doesn’t just stand out; it jumps up and down and shouts.

“Whoever mocks the poor shows contempt for their Maker.” Oh, what a need for today’s Church to repent! At least half of it, anyway. For there are those who would turn a cold shoulder and deaf ear to the desperation of the immigrants. And gloating over a disaster? Our God declares that such a person will be punished.

I remember a certain “evangelical celebrity” who opined that a disaster that happened in a third world country was what they deserved.

How dare we!

And in full confession I will admit that there were times in my life, many years ago, when I might have actually wished that “bad things” would happen to people. I’m still tempted to be that way, but the Spirit has lifted me above such attitudes. Jesus says to love those who hate us and do good to our “enemies.” We are never given permission to pray or hope for bad things to happen to anyone.

I realize that there are prayers by David (or other psalmists), asking for the babies of enemies to be crushed on the rocks. And I will confess that I’m still not quite sure how to deal with those “imprecatory” psalms. But I certainly don’t feel comfortable praying such things.

This all boils down to (and you know I’m going to say this) those two commands that Jesus pointed out; those two “jobs” that we are given. If we are loving God and loving people, AND we are abiding by that “Golden Rule,” we most certainly would not be gloating over disasters or mocking the poor.

“Do to others whatever you would like them to do to you. This is the essence of all that is taught in the law and the prophets.”
(Matthew 7:12 NLT)

Just like those two commands that Jesus gave us, this, also, sums up the law and the prophets. And note that in both the Golden Rule, and the second greatest command, we are given permission consider ourselves. Jesus never tells us to love our neighbor in exclusion to ourselves, or even above ourselves (although we are instructed in some of Paul’s writings to consider others as more significant than ourselves). We are to treat others like we want to be treated.

So I can only surmise that there are a lot of “Christians” out there who want to be in poverty, being mocked by a group of people who think they are better than everyone else, and want others to gloat over them when “bad things” happen to them.

I saw a quote, this morning, that is attributed to John Lennon. It says: “It matters not who you love, where you love, why you love, when you love or how you love, it matters only that you love.” It’s a nice thought, but I don’t quite agree with it. I think all of those things actually do matter.

It matters “who you love,” because we are supposed to love everyone. It matters where I love, because I should be loving everywhere. It matters why I love, because, as the Biblical John said, “We love because He first loved us” (1 John 4:19). It matters when we love, because we should be loving always. Maybe the only one that really doesn’t matter is how I love, as long as I am loving. All that being said, I do understand the sentiment behind the statement, regardless if Lennon said it or someone else said it. And the sentiment, I can get behind. Just love.

Father, help us to do a better job of loving. I just can’t get away from this topic, can I? I do believe, though, that it is Your Spirit directing these thoughts. I’ll confess that I did sort of “wake up on the wrong side of the bed” this morning. But Your Spirit worked to calm my soul, especially as I read that beautiful passage from Psalms. But these thoughts of gloating over disaster and mocking the poor . . . Father, I simply cannot understand what is wrong with someone who would do such things! It flies in the face of Your commands to us, as well as the great and unimaginable mercy You have sown us! Forgive us, Lord! Grant us repentance! Help us to do better! The eyes of the world are on Your children, more than ever, right now.

In light of these things, Lord, I offer up prayers for accessible housing and shelter for all who are homeless and living in poverty right now.

"Our Father,
being an honoring child is a demanding call,
as is being an honorable parent.
I pray for relationships in my family and with others to be marked by warm respect,
committed love,
and fierce loyalty.
May my family be pleasing to You,
a proud legacy in my life,
and a beautiful witness to You.


“You’re blessed when you can show people how to cooperate instead of compete or fight. That’s when you discover who you really are, and your place in God’s family.”
(Matthew 5:9 MSG)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and whoever loves has been born of God and knows God. Anyone who does not love does not know God, because God is love.
(1 John 4:7-8 ESV)

Father, please remind me, today, that everyone with whom I come in contact is worthy of Your love, and, therefore, my love.

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the LORD richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
(Psalms 115:14-15 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.