God’s Mercy Chases Me

Today is Thursday (almost there), June 21, 2018. Day 22,015.

Today is the longest day of the year. Summer began at 5:07 this morning.

Thirteen days until July 4!

146 days until Fallout 76!

“Talking with you is sort of the conversational equivalent of an out of body experience.” ~ Bill Watterson, from Calvin and Hobbes, no doubt someone’s comment to Calvin. The Quotations Page

The word for today is summerize (no, I did not misspell “summarize”), “to prepare (a house, car, etc.) so as to counteract the hot weather of summer.” Also, “to protect in hot weather for future use.”

As noted, today is the first day of summer. The high for today, though, is “only” projected to be 99, here. It is supposed to reach 103 tomorrow. I’ve lived in Texas sixty-plus years, and I still loathe Texas summers. Summer is by far my least favorite season. What is my favorite season? Why thank you for asking! It is Fall, or Autumn, depending on what you prefer to call it.

The Red Sox dropped another game to the Twins, last night, 4-1, and dropped another game in the standings. With a 49-26 record, they are now two games behind the Yankees.

The Rangers won their fifth consecutive game, beating the Royals 3-2. Their record is now 32-44, but they remain eighteen games back, as the red hot Astros became the first team to win 50 games. The ‘Stros also passed the Red Sox in the overall MLB standings.

The Orioles remain the worst in baseball, but just by a skosh. The Royals are barely ahead of them.

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

But you, O GOD my Lord, deal on my behalf for your name’s sake; because your steadfast love is good, deliver me! 
For I am poor and needy, and my heart is stricken within me. 
I am gone like a shadow at evening; I am shaken off like a locust. 
My knees are weak through fasting; my body has become gaunt, with no fat. 
I am an object of scorn to my accusers; when they see me, they wag their heads. 
Help me, O LORD my God! Save me according to your steadfast love! 
Let them know that this is your hand; you, O LORD, have done it! 
Let them curse, but you will bless! They arise and are put to shame, but your servant will be glad! 
May my accusers be clothed with dishonor; may they be wrapped in their own shame as in a cloak! 
With my mouth I will give great thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng. 
For he stands at the right hand of the needy one, to save him from those who condemn his soul to death.

Psalm 109:21-31

I believe this to be mostly a prayer of vindication. Far better, I think, to pray for God to vindicate me than to try to do it myself. Not that I am in need of vindication, at the moment, but there have been times in my life when someone above me, at work, didn’t believe I did enough. The problem is, they were either not aware of what I was doing, or it was not measurable, because it didn’t produce any statistics. When I pray to God to vindicate me, he takes care of me; I don’t have to worry about trying to defend myself. and because of that (and many other reasons), “With my mouth I will give threat thanks to the LORD; I will praise him in the midst of the throng.”

I remember the days of old; I meditate on all that you have done; I ponder the work of your hands. 
I stretch out my hands to you; my soul thirsts for you like a parched land. Selah. 
Answer me quickly, O LORD! My spirit fails! Hide not your face from me, lest I be like those who go down to the pit. 
Let me hear in the morning of your steadfast love, for in you I trust. Make me know the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

Psalm 143:5-8

A Psalm of David.
The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.

Psalm 23

The word in verse 6, that is translated “mercy,” is, I believe, chesed. This is a well-used Hebrew word in the Old Testament, often translated as “kindness” or “lovingkindness.” Here, it is translated, as most often, “mercy.” I have also read that the word “follow” might be better rendered as “pursue.” In fact, Eugene Peterson writes it this way:

Your beauty and love chase after me every day of my life. I’m back home in the house of GOD for the rest of my life. (Emphasis added)

So ponder this, today. The undying chesed, or mercy, of God doesn’t just follow after you. It chases you.

Perhaps we should not try to outrun his mercy.

Father, Psalm 23 gives me so much comfort. I confess that I have not meditated on this Psalm much, lately. I do need to get back to that. I am eternally grateful that your mercy follows, pursues, chases after me. Help me to not run from it. May I walk with you, in Christ, by the Spirit, in your kingdom, faithfully walking and working in the easy yoke of Jesus.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.

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The Lord Is My Helper; What Can Man Do To Me?

Today is Wednesday, June 20, 2018. Day 22,014.

Fourteen days until July 4. Which falls on Wednesday, so we’ll get one day off in the middle of the week.

147 days until Fallout 76!

“That man is a success who has lived well, laughed often and loved much.” Robert Louis Stevenson, 1850-1894, BrainyQuote

The word for today is thigmotropism, “oriented growth of an organism in response to mechanical contact, as a plant tendril coiling around a string support.”

We got back to the Y, last night, so that was good. I rode the recumbent bike for a while. It’s good to start getting some movement again.

The Red Sox lost to the Twins, as the bullpen gave up four runs in the bottom of the eighth. Final score, 6-2. The Sox record is 49-25, and they are one game behind the Yankees in the AL East.

The Rangers won their fourth consecutive game, beating the Royals 4-1. Their record is now 31-44. They gained a game and are now eighteen games back in the AL West.

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

For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death. 
He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! 
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones! 
May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day! 
May this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, of those who speak evil against my life!

Psalm 109:16-20

If you’re keeping up with this, you remember yesterday’s prayers of the Psalmist, for all these bad things to happen to this person. Today, we find out why. So we see that, at least, the Psalmist had good reason for his negative feelings about this person.

Always remember that God cares for the poor and needy, the widows and orphans, the refugees. God is a God of love and compassion, as well as justice, and we, as his people, should have the same characteristics as him.

Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

Psalm 91:9-10

I memorized these two verses, years ago. They became a great comfort to me, as did the whole chapter of Psalms. Is there a promise that, if I dwell in the Lord, nothing bad will ever happen to me? I choose to think that is not the case.

Probably because it all depends on your definition of bad. There is a strong sense, though, of God’s protection in these two verses. And I do believe that, because I have made the Lord my dwelling, that he has protected me from evil all these years. I believe that with all my heart. But what about people who did not have the same experience?

I am not wise enough to have all the answers, but I will hearken back to my statement at the beginning of the last paragraph. It all depends on your definition (and perspective) of what is bad. There are things that happen to humans that other humans decide are bad. But what if they were “good” in the eyes of the Lord? Psalm 116:15 says, “Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.” The definition of “precious” is, “of high price or great value; very valuable or costly; highly esteemed for some spiritual, nonmaterial, or moral quality; dear; beloved.” All of those things sound pretty good to me.

My father made the Lord his dwelling and his refuge. Yet, he passed away because of a fall which resulted from a rare muscular disease that he had. Did “evil befall” him? We might be inclined to think so, but perhaps not. He was definitely uncomfortable in his last days, perhaps even in some pain. But I am 100% certain that he never took his eyes off of that prize. And I am certain that his death was precious in the Lord.

Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the LORD your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you.
Deuteronomy 31:6
We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed
2 Corinthians 4:8-9
So we can confidently say, “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?”
Hebrews 13:6

And there it is, Father, in Hebrews 13:6. You are my helper; you are my strength; I will not fear; what can man to do 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.

Such Knowledge Is Too Wonderful For Me

Today is Tuesday, June 19, 2018. Day 22,013. Juneteenth.

Fifteen days until July 4!

148 days until Fallout 76!

“I loathe the expression ‘What makes him tick.’ It is the American mind, looking for simple and singular solution, that uses the foolish expression. A person not only ticks, he also chimes and strikes the hour, falls and breaks and has to be put together again, and sometimes stops like an electric clock in a thunderstorm.” ~ James Thurber, 1894-1961, The Quotations Page

The word for today is turophile, “a connoisseur or lover of cheese.” I would think I qualify. I’m no connoisseur, but I certainly love cheese.

Not really a whole lot to write about on a personal level, this morning. The Rangers beat the Royals by the score of 6-3, and are on a three-game winning streak. Their record is 30-44, and they remain 19 games out in the AL West. The Red Sox did not play last night.

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

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
Be not silent, O God of my praise! 
For wicked and deceitful mouths are opened against me, speaking against me with lying tongues. 
They encircle me with words of hate, and attack me without cause. 
In return for my love they accuse me, but I give myself to prayer. 
So they reward me evil for good, and hatred for my love. 
Appoint a wicked man against him; let an accuser stand at his right hand. 
When he is tried, let him come forth guilty; let his prayer be counted as sin! 
May his days be few; may another take his office! 
May his children be fatherless and his wife a widow! 
May his children wander about and beg, seeking food far from the ruins they inhabit! 
May the creditor seize all that he has; may strangers plunder the fruits of his toil! 
Let there be none to extend kindness to him, nor any to pity his fatherless children! 
May his posterity be cut off; may his name be blotted out in the second generation! 
May the iniquity of his fathers be remembered before the LORD, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out! 
Let them be before the LORD continually, that he may cut off the memory of them from the earth! 
For he did not remember to show kindness, but pursued the poor and needy and the brokenhearted, to put them to death. 
He loved to curse; let curses come upon him! He did not delight in blessing; may it be far from him! 
He clothed himself with cursing as his coat; may it soak into his body like water, like oil into his bones! 
May it be like a garment that he wraps around him, like a belt that he puts on every day! 
May this be the reward of my accusers from the LORD, of those who speak evil against my life!

Psalm 109:1-20

So this is in the Bible. And, while it must be here for a reason, I’m pretty sure I could never bring myself to pray this kind of thing against someone, no matter how badly I had been treated. But I think it is okay for us to vent to God. Tell him how you feel about things. He can handle it.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 
If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you. 
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 
They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 
I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

Psalm 139

This Psalm was in my Bible reading plan for the day. This plan bounces around in the Psalms, depending on what the other portions for the day are. It has long been one of my favorites, as it speaks of the absolute, infinite knowledge that God has about us. It also speaks of his presence. Since he is everywhere, there is nowhere I can go that he is not. For some, this creates awkwardness, uncomfortableness, or even terror. For me, it is comfort.

Father, I do, indeed, praise you, for I am “fearfully and wonderfully made.” When I think about the human body, and the way it works, I am amazed. When I think about the fact that you are everywhere, all the time, my mind cannot take it in. “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” Remind me of these things as I navigate the day ahead of me. There will be challenges; there will be pleasures; there will be joys. May they all reflect your presence in my life.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.

Let Justice Roll

Today is Monday, June 18, 2018. Day 22,012.

Sixteen days until July 4!

149 days until Fallout 76!

“Love and compassion are necessities, not luxuries. Without them humanity cannot survive.” ~ Dalai Lama, BrainyQuote

The word for today is jabberwocky, “meaningless speech or writing.” It makes me happy that this is the word of the day, because I am quite fond of Lewis Carroll’s poem by the same name. So much so, that I will share it with you!

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!”

He took his vorpal sword in hand;
Long time the manxome foe he sought—
So rested he by the Tumtum tree
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two! And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

“And hast thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!”
He chortled in his joy.

’Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

Yesterday was an awesome day! We had a great worship gathering, after which we stopped by Andy’s, a local frozen custard place. We got home, where I positioned myself in front of the TV and turned on the PS4 to play one of the new games I got for Father’s Day, Detroit: Become Human. C went out to do a little shopping. She cooked dinner somewhere between 4:00 and 5:00, steaks and mac and cheese, and we watched some TV while we ate. I also downloaded and installed the new music recording software on my laptop. It is Cubase Elements, also one of my Father’s Day gifts. I will hopefully try it out sometime this week.

The Red Sox beat the Mariners rather soundly by a score of 9-3, which, I believe was a split for the series. Their record is 49-24, and they are, once again, in the virtual tie with the Yankees, who lost to Tampa. Somehow, the Sox have played six more games than the Yankees, which is really messing with their standings. They have won more games than anyone in MLB, but are behind the Yankees by percentage, .687 to .671.

The Rangers had an exciting ninth inning to beat the Rockies 13-12. Their record is now 29-44, and they are still nineteen games back in the AL West. They are seeing a lot of good, young players get some action, though, such as the guy who hit the winning single in yesterday’s game, Jose Trevino, whose newborn son was in the stands at the game. It was his first Father’s Day. Can’t get much cooler than that. Except for maybe when they dumped the Gatorade on him.

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

A Song. A Psalm of David.
My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! 
Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. 
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! 
That your beloved ones may be delivered, give salvation by your right hand and answer me! 
God has promised in his holiness: “With exultation I will divide up Shechem and portion out the Valley of Succoth. 
Gilead is mine; Manasseh is mine; Ephraim is my helmet, Judah my scepter. 
Moab is my washbasin; upon Edom I cast my shoe; over Philistia I shout in triumph.” 
Who will bring me to the fortified city? Who will lead me to Edom? 
Have you not rejected us, O God? You do not go out, O God, with our armies. 
Oh grant us help against the foe, for vain is the salvation of man! 
With God we shall do valiantly; it is he who will tread down our foes.

Psalm 108

Way back in the “dark ages,” when choruses were just getting started and Hosanna! Integrity Music was in its beginning stages, there was a worship chorus written from this Psalm. It was called “Be Exalted, O God.” But no matter your circumstances, no matter who or what your foe is, “With God we shall do valiantly!”

Why do you make me see iniquity, and why do you idly look at wrong? Destruction and violence are before me; strife and contention arise. So the law is paralyzed, and justice never goes forth. For the wicked surround the righteous; so justice goes forth perverted.
Habakkuk 1:3-4
Seek good, and not evil, that you may live; and so the LORD, the God of hosts, will be with you, as you have said. Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate; it may be that the LORD, the God of hosts, will be gracious to the remnant of Joseph. But let justice roll down like waters, and righteousness like an ever-flowing stream.
Amos 5:14-15, 24

It’s not hard to see that there is rampant injustice in our world. If we are honest, there is much more in other countries than in our own, but there is plenty in our nation, as well. The thing is, marching, protesting, and social media rants really do not accomplish much. All of those things simply make us look like a bunch of whiners and complainers.

What does help is what the prophet Amos declared. “Seek good, and not evil, that you may life.” “Hate evil, and love good, and establish justice in the gate.” As far as we are able, we should seek good in our lives. We should always do the right thing, in all circumstances in our lives.

Simply put, if all the “Christians” in the world would live like Jesus and walk according to his words, much of the injustice that we see in the world would disappear. I’m not saying that it is our fault that there is injustice. What I’m saying is that if we would be obedient to Christ in our lives, things would be far better. But there will be evil until he returns. That we cannot eradicate. What we can do is walk as obediently as we can in our own little “kingdoms;” our own sphere of influence.

Father, help me to be just in all that I do today. Help me to seek good and not evil in all that I do today. Help me to walk in the words and actions of Jesus as I live my life today. And help me to be aware of your presence at all times.
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.

Whoever Is Wise, Let Him Attend to These Things

Today is Sunday, June 17, 2018. Day 22,011. Father’s Day.

17 days until July 4!

150 days until Fallout 76!

The word for today is paragon, “a model or pattern of excellence or of a particular excellence.” My father was a paragon of what it means to be a father.

As noted, today is Father’s Day. For some, that is a happy, fun day. For others, it is a sad or sombre day, as their fathers have “moved on,” or, perhaps, they are fathers whose children have passed on before them. For even others, the day brings uncertain feelings, as they may be estranged from their fathers for one reason or another. Even though my own father passed from this life three years ago, I still have joy when I think about him, because our relationship was good. I’m not going to prattle on about it. I said what I wanted to say in the example sentence for the word of the day.

The Red Sox lost a close one to the Mariners, last night, 1-0. Their record is now 48-24, and they are one game behind the Yankees. They will conclude this series this afternoon.

The Rangers broke their seven game losing streak by beating the Rockies 5-2. Their record is 28-44, and they remain 19 games out in the AL West. They will also conclude their series this afternoon.

We had a great day, yesterday! R & J came over, and we went, as promised, to Pappadeaux’s for lunch. It was my first time at Pappadeaux’s, and let me tell you, I was absolutely not disappointed! We had baked crab meat mac and cheese, and shrimp and crawfish “fondeaux” for appetizers. Both were great, but that fondeaux . . . simply amazing. I had Pasta Mardi Gras for my entree, which was linguine with crawfish, shrimp and Andouille sausage. I brought half of it home. C had some catfish, and J had a combination of catfish and crawfish. Both of theirs were served over “dirty rice.” R had lobster bisque and salad. S had the baked crab mac and cheese, and a crab cake.

After we got home, we watched Thor: Ragnarok on Netflix, as C and I had not seen the movie. R wanted to watch it with us. It was delightful! I had no idea it would be so funny and silly. Cate Blanchett was spectacular as Hela the Goddess of Death. Good times!

This morning, as usual, we are getting ready for our worship gathering. We worship with The Exchange Church, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street, in Fort Worth. Our worship gathering begins at 10:15. For the next few weeks, I will not be playing as we are “simplifying” things a bit. The Pastor is calling the series “A Sabbath of Sundays.” Or something like that. The music will be all acoustic and unamplified during this series, and set up will be much more simple.

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

He turns rivers into a desert, springs of water into thirsty ground, 
a fruitful land into a salty waste, because of the evil of its inhabitants. 
He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water. 
And there he lets the hungry dwell, and they establish a city to live in; 
they sow fields and plant vineyards and get a fruitful yield. 
By his blessing they multiply greatly, and he does not let their livestock diminish. 
When they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, 
he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes; 
but he raises up the needy out of affliction and makes their families like flocks. 
The upright see it and are glad, and all wickedness shuts its mouth. 
Whoever is wise, let him attend to these things; let them consider the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 107:33-43

We can see the evil inhabitants of the land getting rivers and springs turned into desert and “thirsty ground.” Then we see the “hungry” getting desert and parched lands turned into pools and springs of water. Note, though, that it is not “righteousness” that causes the Lord to do this, but hunger. The Lord cares deeply for the poor and the widows and the orphans. The Lord cares deeply for those we might call “refugees.” And when “they are diminished and brought low through oppression, evil, and sorrow, he pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes.” We had best pay close attention to how we treat people. All people; not just people from our own country, state, or city.

My son, if you receive my words and treasure up my commandments with you, making your ear attentive to wisdom and inclining your heart to understanding; yes, if you call out for insight and raise your voice for understanding, if you seek it like silver and search for it as for hidden treasures, then you will understand the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.
Proverbs 2:1-5

Father, I am grateful today; Grateful for many things. I am grateful that I had a father who knows you, and who imparted his love for you to me as I grew up. I am grateful that I still have a mother who continues to love and serve you however she can. I am grateful that you called me into your kingdom. I am grateful that you have lavished your blessing upon me and my family. Now, let us turn that blessing around into praise. Let us see the hungry, poor, and needy and be generous with those blessings. Let us not be guilty of oppression, evil, and sorrow toward the refugee and the widow and the orphan. Let us love others as you have loved us. And may you give us wisdom, that we can understand “the fear of the LORD and find the knowledge of God.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.

Do Lord, O, Do Lord, O Do Remember Me

Today is Saturday, June 16, 2018. Day 22,010.

Tomorrow is Father’s Day!

151 days until Fallout 76!

The word for today is tantalize, “to tease or torment by or as if by presenting something desirable to the view but continually keeping it out of reach.”

We wound up working overtime again, yesterday. It seems almost automatic, any more. Friday comes around, and we have to work until 6:00 PM. That’s getting old.

Later today, R & J are coming over, and we are going to Pappadeaux’s for lunch. I’ve been wanting to go there for a while, so I said that’s what I wanted for Father’s Day. I just looked at the menu. Mmm-mmm!

The Red Sox lost to the Mariners by the score of 7-6 when the Mariners scored two runs in the bottom of the eighth inning. The Sox were unable to score in the top of the ninth. In fact, the only inning they scored in was the third, where they scored six runs. Their record is now 48-23, and they are back in a virtual tie with the Yankees.

The Rangers blew a 5-0 first inning lead against the Rockies to lose 9-5. They have now lost seven in a row and are 19 games out of first place in the AL West, with a record of 27-44.

The Baltimore Orioles still have not won twenty games.

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

Some went down to the sea in ships, doing business on the great waters; 
they saw the deeds of the LORD, his wondrous works in the deep. 
For he commanded and raised the stormy wind, which lifted up the waves of the sea. 
They mounted up to heaven; they went down to the depths; their courage melted away in their evil plight; 
they reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits’ end. 
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 
He made the storm be still, and the waves of the sea were hushed. 
Then they were glad that the waters were quiet, and he brought them to their desired haven. 
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.

Psalm 107:23-32

In this case, the distress seems to be no fault of their own, as they were simply “doing business on the great waters.” I will confess that I don’t quite understand the line in verse 26 about their “evil plight.” Nevertheless, the Lord displays his majesty and control of nature, both in the bringing about of the “stormy wind,” as well as making the storm be still and hushing the waves of the sea.

I believe the instruction in verse 32 to be important. “Let them extol him in the congregation of the people, and praise him in the assembly of the elders.” Gathering together to worship God is important. It is crucial to praise him together, for by doing so, we encourage one another. For example, if I don’t really feel like going to worship gathering tomorrow morning, and I go anyway, I am lifted up by the joint praise as people sing to the Lord. Then I am also lifted up as we sing to one another about the great deeds of the Lord.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law.
Romans 13:8-10

Just some verses from Romans 13.

The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:8

There’s an old-time gospel song that some of us older folk might remember.

“Do Lord, O, do Lord, O do remember me . . . way beyond the blue.”

It’s really a simple little prayer. “Lord remember me. Forever.” Perhaps it’s a basic request that a lot of us would pray. “Lord, please don’t forget me.” There is certainly nothing wrong with that prayer. Especially when I’m feeling down because of some circumstance that has gone awry. But the good news is that . . . He’s not going to!

Even David prayed, in Psalm 138, “Do not forsake the work of your hands.” Who is the work of his hands? Me. I’m the work of his hands. So I can pray, along with David, “Lord, please do not forsake the work of your hands.” And he is not going to. The very phrase before says, “Your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever.” And before that, “The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me.” (Emphasis added)

Evelyn Bence, in today’s reading from Daily Guideposts 2018 reminds us that we even can turn that prayer outward. “‘Dear God, remember . . .’ my neighbor and her family, a dying church friend, a floundering graduate, strangers who have no one to pray for them (a refugee mother, a street urchin, an overwhelmed caretaker) . . .”

And this is a prayer that we can be assured that God will hear. Because one thing God does very well is remember.

Except for our sins. That is the thing that he declares he will forget. But that’s a topic for another day. For now, know that God will remember you.

Remember me, O my God, for good.
Nehemiah 13:31

May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace! 
Psalm 29:11

. . . fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:42-43

Father, I know you will remember me; I know you will not forget me. I know that you are with me, and that you will strengthen me and help me and uphold me. But sometimes I need reminding. May your gentle Spirit remind me when I forget. May I be filled with the joy of your presence every day, knowing that you are right there with me all the time, and that you will never leave me or forsake me.
In addition, I pray for all who do not have a father with which to celebrate tomorrow. Whether they have lost their father recently, or long ago, or if they are estranged from their fathers for whatever reason, I pray that you would be Father for those, this weekend. For those whose fathers are present in their lives, may their celebrations be joyful. And I pray that fathers everywhere would remember the simple words of Paul in Ephesians 6:4,”Fathers, do not provoke your children to anger, but bring them up in the discipline and instruction of the Lord.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.

Tell of His Deeds in Joyful Songs!

Today is Friday, June 15, 2018. Day 22,009.

Two more days until Father’s Day!

152 days until Fallout 76!

“Love does not alter the beloved, it alters itself.” ~ Soren Kierkegaard, 1813-1855, BrainyQuote

The word for today is ampullosity, “Swollen or pretentious inanity; turgidity of language, bombast.” It should be noted that this word was not found in either Merriam-Webster or Dictionary.com. It came from the Oxford English Dictionary.

We finally made it to Friday!!

Plans for the weekend: Get a couple (at least) new tires for my RX-350. Go to Pappadeaux’s for lunch on Saturday. C wants to finish painting the house. Play games. Go to worship gathering Sunday morning. That’s about it.

The Red Sox beat the Mariners 2-1 to improve their record to 48-22. I think they’re in first place by a game, but it’s hard to tell from the way the MLB displays the standings.

The Rangers did not play last night. They begin a series with Colorado tonight.

The Orioles still have not won twenty games.

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

Some were fools through their sinful ways, and because of their iniquities suffered affliction; 
they loathed any kind of food, and they drew near to the gates of death. 
Then they cried to the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them from their distress. 
He sent out his word and healed them, and delivered them from their destruction. 
Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
And let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!

Psalm 107:17-22

This group of people was not so much rebellious as simply foolish in their “sinful ways.” But it was because of their iniquities that they suffered afflictions. It’s not necessarily that God “punished” them, though. Sometimes are foolish ways have dreadful consequences.

Still, when they cried out to God, he delivered them, “sent out his word and healed them.” How gracious and glorious is our God! We should indeed, offer “sacrifices of thanksgiving, and tell of his deeds in songs of joy!”

Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Pro 31:9  Open your mouth, judge righteously, defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31:8-9

Father, I have been foolish many times in my life. The “afflictions” that I suffered for my foolishness were seldom if ever physical, yet they could still be called afflictions. And true to your faithfulness, when I cried out to you, you delivered me. It is hard to measure how far you have brought me in my life, just as it is hard to measure how far I could have gone, had I not been foolish so many times in my life. It is, of course, pointless to be concerned with the latter. Thank you, Lord, for your faithful deliverance. Guard me against being foolish and sinful.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.