Abiding

“He’s not some aloof God wishing me good luck from afar; He is a loving Father. If I’m on my knees in prayer, if I’m studying His Word and begging Him to guide my steps, if I’m staying close to His side, He isn’t going to let me get lost. I’m becoming more convinced of that when my heart’s desire seeks His.”

Today is Saturday, July 15, 2017. Day 21,674.

“When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.” ~ Yogi Berra
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is uptalk. It’s a noun. You know it well, I’m sure. It’s that annoying pitch rise that some people do at the end of every. Single. Sentence. “A rise in pitch at the end usually of a declarative sentence, especially if habitual: often represented in writing by a question mark as in Hi, I’m here to read the meter?” I found a You Tube clip of Connie Chung talking about it, way back in 1994.

Today is Gummi Worm Day. I especially like the sour ones. “Brite Crawlers,” I think they call them.

Yesterday was a busy day. I wound up working an hour over time, just to try to get somewhat caught up. I’m still behind, but will hopefully be able to get caught up on Monday.

I did manage to get some mac and cheese, yesterday! C stopped at Slim Chickens on the way home, and picked up some dinner. S and I had mac and cheese for our side dish. Slim Chickens has really good mac and cheese!

To start off the second half, the Rangers beat the Royals 5-3 in KC. They are still 16.5 games out, but along in second place. The Red Sox came back in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yankees 5-4. This dropped the Bronx Bombers into third place, while the Rays moved into second. The Sox are 3.5 games up, in first place. Here is a video recap of the crazy ninth inning, in which the Sox scored two runs without even getting a hit out of the infield.
http://m.mlb.com/news/article/242168424/red-sox-walk-off-against-chapman-yankees/?topicId=27118122&partnerId=ed-11711041-1004818173

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Psalm 107:8-9
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

Psalm 5:1-3
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
Psalm 8:2
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
Psalm 119:141
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 
and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:1-4
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 Daily Guideposts 2017)

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:4-5

These two verses in Psalms have been close to my heart, recently. In today’s Guideposts reading, Katie Ganshert tells of a shopping adventure.

“It happened so fast, I barely had time to panic. One second, my son was lagging behind me and a friend, hiding down various aisles as he goofed around. The next, he was gone.”

She had just managed to call his name a second time when the intercom came alive. “Ms. Ganshert, please come to the cash registers. Ms. Ganshert, please come to the cash registers.”

When she got to the front, there was her son, next to a cashier, tears in his eyes. He ran and hugged her and said, “I got lost!”

“‘Brogan,’ I said, hugging him back. ‘I told you that you have to stay by Mommy’s side. As long as you’re by my side, I promise you will never ever get lost.'”

As she spoke those words, Katie remembered a decision that she had been struggling with. She was afraid of stepping outside of God’s plans for her family’s life.

“He’s not some aloof God wishing me good luck from afar; He is a loving Father. If I’m on my knees in prayer, if I’m studying His Word and begging Him to guide my steps, if I’m staying close to His side, He isn’t going to let me get lost. I’m becoming more convinced of that when my heart’s desire seeks His.”

These are true statements. And these statements are what the Spiritual Disciplines are all about. If we walk with Jesus, walking in the Kingdom, sharing the “easy yoke” with him, there’s no way we will lose our way. We must abide in him.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Psalm 27:8
“I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right.”
Isaiah 45:19

Father, I thank you for these truths, that you will never forsake us. Help me to walk in your ways. Make me to know your ways; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me.
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.

Nearby

Today is Tuesday, June 20, 2017. Day 21,649.

“Music washes away from the soul the dust of everyday life.” ~ Berthold Auerbach
BrainyQuote

Today’s word of the day is confusticate (pronounced [kuhn-fuhs-ti-keyt]), slang, a verb meaning, “to confuse or perplex; bewilder.”

Today is World Refugee Day. Violence and tyranny are constantly forcing people to flee their home countries. The UN recognizes the need to help refugees around the world. Today is a day to simply be mindful of this and to encourage leaders to be willing to help refugees.

Band practice went well, last night. I was pleasantly surprised when The Liberty Bell March showed up in our repertoire, as the director has decided that we don’t have time to prepare “Hoedown,” by Aaron Copland. I have never had the opportunity to play this march, by John Philip Sousa. The reason it makes me so happy is that the first strain of Liberty Bell is the theme music for Monty Python’s Flying Circus. Turns out it’s pretty challenging, but mainly because of some insane mute changes. I’m still not sure how we’re going to pull that off.

Not much else going on around here.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 
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 47:5-8
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
Psalm 119:147
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115:1
So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 
and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”

John 8:31-32
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 
They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.

Psalm 92:12-13
Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright. 
Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings! 
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts. 
For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness. 
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 33:1-5
“I am the Alpha and the Omega,” says the Lord God, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.”
Revelation 1:8

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

In today’s reading, Patty Kirk writes of visiting a friend who was in the final stages of cancer. She hesitated, because she had the same problem most of us face in such a situation. What to say.

As she sat on the edge of the hospice bed, she held her friend’s hand while listening to her friend’s husband describe the past few weeks. She made those noises we all make when listening. “Oh.” “I see.” “Uh-huh.”

She noticed that her friend had closed her eyes. “‘Listening,'” her friend explained, “‘not asleep.'”

As the visit progressed, it drifted into what Patty called “a rhythm of okayness.” Suddenly, it occurred to her that maybe her friend wasn’t listening to her husband, but to God.”

“‘Is God talking to you?'” she asked her friend.

“Her eyelids flew open, and she nodded.”

“‘What’s He saying?'”

It took visible effort to get the words out, but her friend said, “‘Not how it should be. Nearby.'”

This was repeated several times to make sure Patty understood. Her friend’s face was bright with hope.

We all go through times of sorrow as we lose loved ones. We are currently struggling with a brother in our church as his wife lays in a hospital bed, liver and kidneys failed. They took her off of the ventilator yesterday, but she continues to breathe on her own. The doctors have decided that any further treatment would be futile.

This is not how it should be. This kind of suffering is not God’s plan for our lives. This is all a result of our enemy’s work in this world. Yes, the Psalms say that the death of a saint is precious in God’s sight. But pain and suffering were not his plan for us. Yet, he is nearby. On that we can depend.

No matter what we are going through; no matter what kind of suffering; no matter what kind of pain; and, most especially, when things appear hopeless; he is nearby.

Father, we thank you for your abiding presence in our lives. All of the pain and suffering is bringing me down. Yet I know the truth. You are always nearby. And all of this makes me pray even more desperately . . .
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.

Bless Those Who Curse You

Today is Sunday, June 4, 2017. Day 21,633.

Today’s word of the day is notabilia, which means, “matters, events, or items worthy of note.”

Today is Cancer Survivors Day. My mother is one. I work with one.

I’m sitting at a table, looking at a patio door at the Pacific Ocean. What a beautiful sight, as well as a thunderously awesome sound. The current temperature is 59 degrees, and it’s mostly sunny.

We had breakfast a little while ago at a local cafe, called “Grumpy’s.” It was delicious, especially the bacon and the gravy on the biscuits. I’m guessing we will be back there later in the week.

After I get through blogging, C and I will go out and drive around a little, then stop at one of the local stores for a few groceries, mostly snacks.

I have decided to write a separate blog post detailing our experiences from yesterday (Saturday, June 3). I’ll do that immediately after finishing this one.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation!
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Psalm 95:1-2
Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth.
Before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh, stir up your might and come to save us!
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:1-3
It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night,

Psalm 92:1-2
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain!
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways.

Psalm 119:36-37
And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
Matthew 6:5-6
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple;
the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes;
the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.
More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb.
Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward.

Psalm 19:7-11
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
The Gloria
Holy Father, creator and sustaining wisdom of all that is, both in heaven and on earth, take from me those thoughts, actions and objects that are hurtful. Give me instead those things that are profitable for me and all who seek rightly to praise you. I ask this grace in the company of all believers and through the name of Jesus Christ our Lord, who is, with you and the Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you
Matthew 5:44

The KJV translates verse 44 like this: But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.

Bill Giovannetti begins today’s reading asking this question: “Do I really have to do this, Lord?”

This may be one of the hardest things that a Christ-follower is ever called upon to do. “Bless them that curse you.” “Pray for those who persecute you.” Bill writes of invisible hands reaching up inside him to choke off his prayers. Grudges had been nursed for years. We all have these wounds that run deeper than we want to admit. But if we are honest, we know that God asks us to pray for these people, not against them.

Recently, things “came to a head” for Bill, as he was preparing a sermon. As he was preparing for worship, the Spirit whispered to him. Pray for them.

“I sighed and prayed,” he said. “There was no great relief, no lightning bolt, no deep emotion–just a still, small voice and a free-will choice.”

He obeyed the Spirit’s prompting and discovered power for his preaching. In the two weeks that followed, he continued to pray for those people.

“I don’t know what God is doing in their lives, but I do know what He’s doing in mine: God is setting me free.”

If we are truly following Christ and practicing the disciplines that lead to spiritual reformation, we will get to that place where we will, by nature, “bless them that curse us” and pray for those who persecute us.

Father, teach me your ways in this. Teach me, through practice and training, to be able to bless those who curse me or persecute me.
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.

“He Remembers That We Are Dust”

Today is Wednesday, May 17, 2017. Three more days until our family reunion.

Quote of the Day

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking.” ~ Jerry Seinfeld

Word of the Day

Zugzwang ~ a situation in which a player is limited to moves that cost pieces or have a damaging positional effect. This word was featured heavily in season eight of Criminal Minds. It literally means “compulsion to move,” and represents a situation where you have to move, even though you would rather not.

Today is World Baking Day, so get out there and bake stuff. Cookies, pies, cakes, casseroles, whatever. Send the cookies and pies to me.

As usual, on Wednesday, there’s not much going on around, to speak of. We are waiting for the weekend, for our trip to east Texas to visit uncle and cousins (and brother for my mother). Our vacation to Oregon looms ever closer. Seventeen days, to be exact.

The Rangers continue their winning streak, which is now at seven games. But listen, folks. They simply aren’t playing anyone that’s any good, right now. Their current series is against the Phillies, who are 14-22 on the season. However, a win is a win, right? And the Rangers are finally at .500. They are in a tie for second place, eight games out.

The Red Sox beat the Cardinals last night, and the Cardinals have a better record, so that’s good. The Sox remain in third place in the AL East, four games out.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scripture references are ESV, unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

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
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Psalm 119:103
So whatever you wish that others would do to you, do also to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew 7:12

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him. 
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

Psalm 103:13-14

Bill Giovannetti writes of frustrations with a beloved pet. We all know the sound, at least all of us who have pets. That disgusting sound that means the cat or dog is about to barf. Bill had one occasion when his dog, Lacy, did so on the nicest rug in the house, rather than on the nearby tile floor. His impatience grew as he cleaned up and wondered, “Why this rug? why not the tile floor? What’s she gotten into to upset her stomach?”

Later, as he read Psalm 103, he was convicted with the knowledge that God cleans up after us without griping or complaining at us. “My Father knows how weak I am. He understands my limitations. His patience knows no bounds.”

I have had similar experiences, not so much with pets as with a daughter. There are plenty of frustrating times with an autistic child, as many parents know. But many, also, are the times when I hug my head in shame after getting angry with our daughter, realizing that I tend to act the same way toward my Father in heaven. It’s a sobering realization, I assure you.

“Gracious Father, no matter how many times I mess up, You never sigh, never frown, never chide. You make all things new, over and over again. Thank you.” ~ Bill Giovannetti

And he who was seated on the throne said, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Also he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.” And he said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end. To the thirsty I will give from the spring of the water of life without payment. The one who conquers will have this heritage, and I will be his God and he will be my son.
Revelation 21:5-7

Father, keep me ever mindful of the grace you have shown me in my life, through all of my mess-ups and failures, through all of my outright rebellion. Help me to show the same grace to everyone with whom I come in contact, in family, in work, in life. Your grace is sufficient.
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.

More Blessed To Give

Today is Wednesday, May 10, 2017.

Once again, I find myself in the position of having to buy go juice on the way to work, this morning. So I must move on. Not hurrying . . . just making the best use of the shorter amount of time.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!
Psalm 34:8
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
Psalm 86:4
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
Psalm 119:10
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.
Psalm 7:18

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

In all things I have shown you that by working hard in this way we must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.'”
Acts 20:35

Rick Hamlin writes about a homeless man named Franklin, who sits on a milk carton on the street, a block down from the subway exit that Rick uses every day. Over time, Rick has learned bits and pieces of information about Franklin. Franklin is estranged from his son, who battles an addiction of some kind; his wife died a few years ago; he likes to go to worship at a nearby church and goes to another one for showers and meals.

Franklin flies a cardboard sign that says “God bless you” and has a cup out for donations. He doesn’t really do anything to solicit, though, because “he’s too absorbed in a small, well-thumbed copy of the New Testament and Psalms.” Rick likes talking to Franklin “because he reads carefully and loves God, which I find hard to imagine considering the life he leads.”

One morning, Franklin asked Rick about the passage that says it is more blessed to give than to receive. “I think it’s in Acts,” Franklin guessed.

Rick wasn’t sure and said he would look it up when he got to his office. Franklin was right. It is Acts 20:35 (see above), and Rick told him that the next time he saw him.

Sometimes Rick gives Franklin things: money, food, things to read. One time Rick gave him a backpack full of food, gloves, a parka and a blanket. The next day, most of the stuff was gone. When Rick asked Franklin what happened to them, Franklin just said, “Gave it to a friend.”

“I was surprised but only for a moment,” Rick said. “After all, wasn’t it Franklin who reminded me where to find Jesus’s words about giving?”

“Lord, let me be the cheerful giver You know I can be.” ~ Rick Hamlin

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.
2 Corinthians 9:7

Father, why is it that, at times, the most generous people are the ones that have the least? Is it because they don’t cling to what they have? It also seems like the people who have the most are the stingiest. I pray that I will not be like that, my Lord. Let me taste and see that you are good, and that you are all that I need. I have a lot of stuff. I used to cling to that stuff. Not so much, now. I pray, though, that you make me even more generous with what I have. Most of all, I pray that you help me give away the most important thing, the Gospel of Jesus. The Kingdom of heaven is near. Help me to walk in that kingdom.
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.

Whose Time Is It, Anyway?

Today is Wednesday, May 3, 2017.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
praise him, all creatures here below;
praise him above, you heavenly hosts;
praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.

(Traditional Doxology)
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 43:3-4
Splendor and honor and kingly power are yours by right, O Lord our God,
For you created everything that is,
and by your will they were created and have their being.

(A Song to the Lamb)
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.
Psalm 84:10
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
  Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob. Selah.

Psalm 24:1-6
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light; those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.
Isaiah 9:2

Today, I’m combining the thoughts from two readings, Living the Message and Daily Guideposts 2017, because they have similar messages.

In Living the Message, Eugene H. Peterson says, “Busyness is an illness of spirit, a rush from one thing to another because there is no ballast of vocational integrity and no confidence in the primacy of grace. In order for there to be conversation and prayer that do the pastoral work of meeting the intimacy needs among people, there must be a wide margin of quiet leisure that defies the functional, technological, dehumanizing definitions that are imposed upon people by others in the community.” He then quotes Psalm 131:2 from The Message: I’ve kept my feet on the ground, I’ve cultivated a quiet heart. Like a baby content in its mother’s arms, my soul is a baby content.

Along a similar line, Daily Guideposts begins with James 4:14-15: You don’t know the first thing about tomorrow. You’re nothing but a wisp of fog, catching a brief bit of sun before disappearing. Instead, make it a habit to say, “If the Master wills it and we’re still alive, we’ll do this or that.” (The Message) Then Katie Ganshert writes about picking her son up after school. As he climbs into their van, he asked, “Mom, can we go play at the park?” She responds with an affirmative, but then adds, “But first we have some errands to run.” Her son’s “entire demeanor did a 180-degree turn.” He hates errands. He ended his argument with, “You’re wasting my time!”

This caused Katie to stop and think about her day. She had her plans, her schedule, but it kept getting interrupted by other people and things. She says, “Each time I responded like my son–with a whiny heart.”

It is easy for us to forget that our time, just like everything else in our lives, if we are “believers,” belongs to God, not to ourselves. We can surely begin each day with our own agenda, and then whine every time it gets interrupted. Or we can begin the day acknowledging that the day, the hours, the minutes, belong to our Father. How does he want us to use them?

This, of course, immediately reminded me of something that Dallas Willard (yes, I know I mention him a lot) said to John Ortberg one day. “Ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” Being busy is not necessarily bad. Always being in a hurry is always bad. Ortberg later wrote, “Hurry is the great enemy of spiritual life in our day.”

Katie Ganshert ends her reading with this prayer: “Lord, thank you for every second You give us here. Each one is evidence of Your grace. Help me to be a good and faithful steward of my time.”

Father, I echo this prayer with my own. I am grateful for every second that you give me. Teach me to walk in your ways in all of those seconds and minutes. Teach me to live my life by your agenda, by your schedule. This does not mean that I can’t make plans. It just means that, when I do, I need to stay aware that you might have different plans, and that’s okay. I need to live my life in such a way that I prefer your plans to my own plans, all the time.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
Jude 1:24-25

Grace and peace, friends.

The Crow

Today is Tuesday, April 25, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music.” ~ Aldous Huxley

Word of the Day

Dinkum ~ Australian; genuine; authentic.

Today is Hug A Plumber Day. I think I’ll pass, thank you. But you go ahead if you want to.

I’m continuing to feel better, still taking the medications that I got on Saturday. Band practice went well, last night, and I was able to play as well as can be expected, after missing the past week’s rehearsal.

Our concert will be Saturday afternoon at 5:30, if weather allows. There is about an 80% chance of rain for most of the day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 
  Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 
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 47:5-8
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
Psalm 70:4
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Psalm 50:2
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever receives the one I send receives me, and whoever receives me receives the one who sent me.
John 13:20
Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; light up my eyes, lest I sleep the sleep of death, 
lest my enemy say, “I have prevailed over him,” lest my foes rejoice because I am shaken. 
But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation. 
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

Psalm 13:3-6
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

. . . he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places.
Habakkuk 3:19B

Karen Barber writes, in today’s reading, about going out for a morning walk, and telling God how unstable her life felt, because of her son’s depression. “I need some solid ground to stand on.”

As she walked, she heard the “caw” of a crow. She looked up to see a crow sitting precariously on a small branch, that looked as though it would break under the weight of the bird. Yet the crow seemed completely unconcerned.

That’s when she thought of Habakkuk 3:19. The KJV says, and he will make my feet like hinds’ feet, and he will make me to walk upon mine high places. A “hind” is a female deer, which can maneuver with extreme dexterity in treacherous rocky terrains. Of course, Karen was looking at a crow, so she adapted the verse. The crow was “perfectly comfortable in such a risky place.” If the branch did break, the crow could simply fly away.

When she got home from her walk, she looked up the verse. The beginning of verse 19 says, “GOD, the Lord, is my strength.” There is the solid ground we all need to stand on.

The LORD is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation; this is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him.
Exodus 15:2
Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
1 Chronicles 16:11

Father, you are, indeed, my strength and my song. If I only allow it, you make my feet to stand firm on the most treacherous of terrains. If my faith would allow it, I will not be afraid, no matter what the world may throw at me. I simply need to live and walk in the words and steps of my Savior. Help me to seek your strength today. Help me to consider all that Jesus taught and live by his words today.
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.