Today is Wednesday, the twentieth of April, 2022, in the first week of Easter.

May the peace of Christ be with you today!

Day 23,414

It was seven years ago, today, that my father went Home. I still remember the phone call that I received right after I got home from work on that Monday evening. He had been “found unresponsive” at the nursing home/rehab facility to which he had been taken the previous Saturday. I immediately got hold of Mama, and called C, and we raced to Mineral Wells.

In my opinion, he was already gone. We gathered around and watched nothing happen for a few hours. Other friends and family arrived to wait with us. We didn’t wait very long. There wasn’t any point in keeping the machines going. His body wasn’t breathing on its own; it was 100% machine-enabled. Mama and I made the decision.

The rest of the week was a blur, as more family arrived at the house, and friends brought tons of food. Isn’t that interesting? When someone in your family passes away, everyone brings food. That’s an odd tradition, to me. I mean, it was good food, sure, and we enjoyed it. C and I got a new recipe for strawberry cake, thanks to Mama’s friend Shirley.

I also saw my favorite and beloved cousin, Joan, for the first time in years. And isn’t that a shame, that it took a family death to bring us together again?

My mother survived on her own for almost seven years after that. Oh, she’s still alive, and doing pretty well, but has now moved in with us, here in Fort Worth. But she made it alone in her house for quite some time. She had lots of help from some really good friends, some virtual angels.

Some people lose their minds when a parent dies. A pastor, that ministered at the church Mama and Daddy were going to, lost his dad, and his life practically fell apart. It changed him, and not for the better. For me, life definitely changed. For the last seven years, I have struggled to enjoy baseball, like I used to. That was something I had in common with my father (S, too). I’m pretty sure I have mentioned that, before. But I think there’s another effect. One that I haven’t mentioned, I don’t think. And maybe I have only recently come to realize this.

My love of music has not been the same. Oh, sure, I still love music, and still play and sing when I want to. But those times seem fewer and farther between. And sometimes, it seems, I simply don’t want to listen to any music.

Anyway . . . just some thoughts in my brain, today, as we remember back seven years ago. I’ll carry on, now, with the main reason I’m here.


"O God, whose blessed Son made himself known to his disciples in the breaking of bread: Open the eyes of our faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work; who lives and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."
(The Book of Common Prayer, Collect for Wednesday in Easter Week)

Precious in the sight of the LORD is the death of his saints.
(Psalms 116:15 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the life I had with my father, and the legacy he left behind
2. that we still have my mother with us, and for the joy that we continue to share together
3. that I still have memories and can remember good things
4. that God remembers that we are dust; we are flawed; we are far from perfect, but well on our way
5. for the power of words that contain truth

Ironically, today’s prayer word is “remember.” I don’t think I could have made that up.

Philosopher George Santayana is quoted as saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

We remember a lot of things in our lives. Who among us has not suddenly, quite “out of the blue,” remembered something stupid we said in public? Or some mistake we made at work? Or some grievous sin we committed at one point in our lives?

We also remember good things. I remember beautiful scenes from wonderful vacation trips: the ocean, seen from the west coast, and the east coast, and the Gulf of Mexico; mountains in various parts of the country; redwood forests in California, as well as the forest on the way to the west coast of Oregon.

And we remember phone calls with bad news, like the one I mentioned above.

Memory is pretty amazing. Unfortunately, some of those things I would like to forget. Mostly the stupid things I have said and done in my life.

Apparently, according to my Bible app, “remember” is in the NIV 166 times. Sometimes, it’s in the form of a command or admonition from the Lord. Sometimes, it is in the form of a promise from the Lord. And sometimes, it is in the form of a prayer from one of God’s people to Him.

“Remember the Sabbath day by keeping it holy.”
(Exodus 20:8 NIV)

“Whenever I bring clouds over the earth and the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will remember my covenant between me and you and all living creatures of every kind. Never again will the waters become a flood to destroy all life. Whenever the rainbow appears in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and all living creatures of every kind on the earth.”
(Genesis 9:14-16 NIV)

“If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
(Exodus 33:13 NIV, Moses speaking)

Then there are verses like these.

“This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the LORD. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people. No longer will they teach their neighbor, or say to one another, ‘Know the LORD,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the LORD. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
(Jeremiah 31:33-34 NIV)

“For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
(Hebrews 8:12 NIV)

We see from Scripture that our God is able to intentionally forget things! Have you ever tried to do that?? Just try and forget something, sometime! It is impossible for a human being to intentionally forget something. It’s like trying to not think about a pink elephant. Don’t do it!

(From Pray a Word a Day)(Except for the bit about pink elephants)

Father, there are things I want to remember, and things I would like to forget. I suppose there are reasons why I cannot forget some of those things; good reasons, hopefully, lessons learned. I’m not always so sure about that, though, that the lessons were learned, because I keep making some of the same stupid mistakes.

But there are also things I never want to forget, like my father’s face and his voice and his love for me. I never want to forget other people that have come through my life, and the good things they have brought to my life. And most definitely, I never want to forget You and Your benefits to my life. Help me to always remember that I belong to You.

Not that I have already obtained this or am already perfect, but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own.
(Philippians 3:12 ESV)

For you have need of endurance, so that when you have done the will of God you may receive what is promised.
(Hebrews 10:36 ESV)

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
(Hebrews 12:1 ESV)

It is important to remember (that was not intentional) that we have not yet “arrived.” Just like Paul, I have not obtained what I am after, yet. As U2 stated so well, I still haven’t found what I’m looking for. Of course, I have found Jesus, or, rather, He found me, because He is the one looking for “lost sheep,” right? But I have not fully obtained the perfect salvation that awaits me at the entrance to Home.

I have not arrived; I am not perfect. In fact, I’m pretty far from perfect. But there is one other important thing to remember.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
(Psalms 103:14 ESV)

Father, I am so grateful that You remember that we are dust. While You “command” that we are “holy,” as You are holy, or “perfect” as You are perfect, You still remember that we are dust, and that we are not, in fact either holy or perfect. We have the holiness and righteousness of Jesus Christ imputed to us, though. His righteousness has been added to my account. So You do not see, nor do You remember, my sin! Oh, Hallelujah!

I still search, and I still seek. I seek, first, Your kingdom. At least when I remember, I do that. Help me to remember to keep seeking Your kingdom, so that all other things will fall into place, as they should. Help me to lay aside the weight that I am not intended to bear, and that could mean a lot of different things. We take on weight that we should not, and that’s not always about sin. I look forward, with great anticipation, to being Home, and seeing that “great cloud of witnesses” that has gone before me.

Words are important. Words are powerful, both spoken and written.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.
(Hebrews 4:12 ESV)

The spoken Word of God created the universe and brought light into being. It’s quite a wonder, if we ponder it, that light was created before there were any stars. But that’s a topic for another day.

“The spoken and written word is active; it does things, makes things happen. it is so easy to lose connection with this reality and let ourselves be intimidated by force and might, by horsepower and nuclear power, by money and militancy, and by terrorism and brutality.”

A man named Vaclav Havel “sat in prison in Czechoslovakia for many years because the communist government was afraid of his words and what his words would do.” He cared nothing about politics, but was “a deeply committed Christian who wrote plays for the stage and letters to his wife.” They were afraid of him because “he wrote truth, wrote well, and used words that were full of energy.”

After the collapse of communism in Eastern Europe, “he stepped out of prison and was immediately made president of his country. In the speeches he made after that remarkable reversal, he spoke over and over again to the Word, to the nature of the Word, to the Word of God and the Word made flesh.”

Not all words are active, though. If we separate our own words from the life of God, without His Spirit, they are small, meager. “Words used without accuracy, without passion, and without love are lifeless. . . . Words that make and root the world, that bring truth into lives, and that ignite love in hearts are the words that are born in the presence of God.”

And the place where we get those words is in our closet, in prayer; in His presence.

(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, help me to remember the power of words. But also that that power is contingent upon your presence. Yes, words that do not contain Your life and wisdom can be powerful, but they are lifeless. They do great evil. We are inundated, in today’s culture, with inaccurate words, words that spread misinformation, even though they may be spoken with passion. Help us to have wisdom when we listen; give us ears to hear only truth, Father, and let that truth be from Your Word, the Truth that is Jesus Christ. Let all other words fall by the wayside.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!


Grace and peace, friends.

Ordinary Vessels

Today is Thursday, the twelfth of August, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,163

Only seven more days until S’s birthday! We will be spending that weekend in Mineral Wells, visiting Grandma and FBC Mineral Wells for worship that Sunday.

Today is Vinyl Record Day. For my younger readers (if there are any), “records” are large disks, made of vinyl, out of which emanate the sounds of music, when rotated on a proper device called a turntable (or, more commonly, record player). I think I may actually play some records today.

The word for today is flump. As a verb, it means, “to plump down suddenly or heavily; flop.” We have a cat that does this, although more “suddenly,” than “heavily.” C says that Luna “flupes.” Or maybe that’s spelled “floop,” I’m not sure. I think I will start calling it “flump.”

Today’s quote is from Robert Louis Stevenson: “Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds that you plant.”

And now for the birthdays:

1762 George IV, King of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland and King of Hanover (1820-30), born in St James's Palace, London (d. 1830)
1781 Robert Mills, American architect (Washington Monument)(d. 1855)
1856 "Diamond Jim" Brady, American financier (d. 1917)
1859 Katharine Lee Bates, American author (America the Beautiful), born in Falmouth, Massachusetts (d. 1929)
1867 Edith Hamilton, American writer (Mythology)
1876 Mary Roberts Rinehart, American mystery writer (The Circular Staircase), born in Allegheny City, Pennsylvania (d. 1958)
1881 Cecil B. DeMille, American filmmaker (The Ten Commandments), born in Ashfield, Massachusetts (d. 1959)
1887 Erwin Schrödinger, Austrian physicist and Nobel Prize Laureate (wave mechanics), born in Vienna, Austria (d. 1961)
1889 Zerna Sharp, American writer and educator (Dick and Jane) (d. 1981)
1907 Joe Besser, American actor and comedian (The Three Stooges, Let's Make Love, Africa Screams), born in St. Louis, Missouri (d. 1988)
1910 Jane Wyatt, American actress (Father Knows Best, Star Trek), born in Mahwah, New Jersey (d. 2006)
1918 Sid Bernstein, music producer and concert promoter (Beatles; Rolling Stones), born in NYC, New York (d. 2013)
1925 Norris McWhirter, English author (founded Guinness Book of World Records), born in Winchmore Hill, England (d. 2004)
1925 Ross McWhirter, English author (founded Guinness Book of World Records), born in Winchmore Hill, England (d. 1975)
1926 John Derek, American actor, director and photographer (Knock on Any Door, All the King's Men, Rogues of Sherwood Forest), born in Los Angeles, California (d. 1998)
1927 Porter Wagoner, American country singer, discovered Dolly Parton ("Y'All Come"; "A Satisfied Mind"), born in West Plains, Missouri (d. 2007)
1929 Buck Owens [Alvis Edgar], American country singer-songwriter ("Act Naturally"), and TV personality (Hee Haw), born in Sherman, Texas (d. 2006)
1931 William Goldman, American screenwriter and author (Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid), born in Chicago, Illinois (d. 2018)
1932 Charlie O'Donnell, American game show announcer (Wheel of Fortune), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 2010)
1939 George Hamilton, American actor (Love at First Bite), born in Memphis, Tennessee
1941 Deborah Walley, actress (Mothers-in-Law, Beach Blanket, Gidget Goes Hawaiian), born in Bridgeport, Connecticut (d. 2001)
1941 Jennifer Warren, American actress (Slap Shot, Fatal Beauty, Mutant), born in NYC, New York
1949 Mark Knopfler, British singer-songwriter, guitarist (Dire Straits - "Walk Of Life"; "Sultans Of Swing"), and film score composer (Local Hero; Princess Bride), born in Glasgow, Scotland
1954 Pat Metheny, American jazz and fusion guitarist ("As Wichita Falls, So Falls Wichita"), born in Lee's Summit, Missouri
1956 Bruce Greenwood, actor (Spy, Another Chance, Malibu Bikini Shop)
1959 Lynette Woodard, (Olympic gold 1984, first female member of the Harlem Globetrotters), born in Wichita, Kansas
1963 Sir Mix A Lot [Anthony Ray], American rapper (Baby Got Back), born in Auburn, Washington
1965 Peter Krause, American actor (Six Feet Under)
1975 Casey Affleck, American actor (Manchester by the Sea, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford), born in Falmouth, Massachusetts
1980 Matt Thiessen, Canadian-American musician (Relient K)
1992 Cara Delevingne, English fashion model, actress, and LGBT activist, born in London, England
Mark Knopfler, singer and lead guitar

The kitchen sink/faucet installation is finally complete. Our guy showed up a little after 10:00 yesterday morning, switched the garbage disposal to the right side and fixed the hot water valve. That turned out to be a little more complicated than we thought. There was some Teflon tape clogging the old valve, which was keeping any hot water at all from coming through. However, some of that debris managed to make its way into the tube connected to the new faucet, so he had to get a compressor and blow it out. But it’s all good, now, and everything works right. We love our “new kitchen.”

I got my sleep study kit yesterday, finally. I successfully got it hooked up and did the first night last night. I will finish it up tonight and then take the kit to a UPS shipping location sometime tomorrow to send it back. I do hope that it shows that I don’t need a CPAP machine any more, but if I do, the doctor will get me a new one that provides the updated data transmissions, and so on. I will say that it is tough to sleep without one, since I have been doing it so long.

The only thing that I need to get done today is go pick up some scripts at CVS, for C and S. Otherwise, the day is wide open. As previously stated, I might actually play some records in here. It’s been a while since I did that.

I haven’t talked about baseball, lately, and it’s not just because our Rangers are groveling around in the cellar, this year. The Red Sox have also managed to slip out of first place, into second, behind the Rays. They have been struggling, lately, but last night, they managed to beat the Rays. 20-8.

I swear I’m not making that up.


A Prayer of Silent Union with God, by Daryl Madden

Just sit down and keep
Your back straight but free
Quieting your mind
And quiet your body

Taking some deep breaths
Awareness to begin
On the silent, infinite
Of God’s Presence within

Let the Spirit lead you
The silent realm of seeing
Where God dwells as the source
And grounds your inner being

Center your attention
On the hushed point to find
Within where the human
Touches the divine

Where the branch intersects
With Jesus, the vine
Where you and God are one
Our dwelling to align

Let yourself sink in
To Gods’ immensity
Simply let your prayer
Be a silent, be

No need for thought or word
Let quiet love flow
As long as you feel
Inspired to do so

Only by your power can we push back our enemies; only in your name can we trample our foes.
I do not trust in my bow; I do not count on my sword to save me.
You are the one who gives us victory over our enemies; you disgrace those who hate us.
O God, we give glory to you all day long and constantly praise your name.
(Psalms 44:5-8 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Your presence, with me always;
2. that You have moved my heart to trust only in You;
3. that You are faithful to do what You say You will do, even when I am unfaithful;
4. that You give us victory over our enemy, which is not flesh and blood;
5. that You use ordinary vessels to do Your work.

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



The LORD judges in favor of the oppressed and gives them their rights.
(Psalms 103:6 GNB)

During this quiet moment, I consider Your presence in this place, in every place; You are with me wherever I am, and I find great comfort in this. I center my attention on You and Your Word.


For the director of music. A maskil of the Sons of Korah.

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for you, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God under the protection of the Mighty One with shouts of joy and praise among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember you.
(Psalms 42:1-6a NIV)


Moses returned to the LORD and said, “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.”
God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
(Exodus 5:22-6:5 NIV)


The process of dwelling involves stopping to meditate. It involves reading the passages more than once, and asking/inviting the Holy Spirit to lead me to words, phrases, or thoughts that speak to me at this time in my life. The Word of God is living and active, and ever new in our lives. Anyone who is well-familiar with it knows that you can read the same passage over and over for years, and suddenly, it will become fresh and new, gushing forth with life. This is what I pray for each morning as I enter this time.

I can easily envision unbelievers, today, taunting us with the question, “Where is your God?” In some cases, it might not even be taunting, but a legitimate plea for help. Our world has been in the throes of pandemic for well over a year, now, and it is, recently, getting worse again. People are desperate for relief, for worldwide healing.

“Where is your God??” they may be asking. “Why hasn’t He stopped this??”

I know where my God is. He is right here, as He has always been. I cannot, however, answer the second question. Nevertheless, I can echo the psalmist, when he says, “Put your hope in God,” to his soul, “for I will yet praise him.”

I confess concern for the world, for my country. But my soul is not downcast, because it knows that, as Psalm 44 says, above, that He is the One who gives us victory over our enemies. But here’s the thing . . . we never know exactly what “victory” looks like. And, in addition, we often get confused as to who our enemy is.

Sometimes I feel as though I am kicking a dead horse, but I’ll reinforce what I have already said. Our enemy is not flesh and blood. My enemy is spiritual; my enemy is not human beings who think differently than me about political issues. My enemy is not Democrat or Republican (or Tea Party or Communist). My enemy is Satan and his forces, because that is who God’s enemy is.

And, in the grand scheme of things, my enemy has no power and is already defeated. Nevertheless, when he can get us bickering among ourselves, and fighting fellow human beings, he gains a brief win.

But I do not trust in bow or sword; I do not trust in princes, presidents, chariots, and horses. I trust in the Lord God Almighty and Him alone.

That does not mean that I never question what He is doing. Moses did that. Check out his question to the Lord in Exodus 5. “Why, Lord, why have you brought trouble on this people? Is this why you sent me? Ever since I went to Pharaoh to speak in your name, he has brought trouble on this people, and you have not rescued your people at all.”

Moses asks questions like this, frequently. Moses, it seems, was a bit of a whiner.

Another thing I have frequently emphasized in this forum is the type of characters that God used in the Old and New Testaments. We do well to note that they are far from perfect. They are ordinary folk, who, if they wore pants, would put them on one leg at a time, just like I do. I don’t think they actually wore pants, though, but who knows?

And God did not chide Moses for his questioning. Instead, the Lord made a firm proclamation in Exodus 6. Several times, he starts with “I am the LORD.” That should be enough for us, right? But He goes on.

Then the LORD said to Moses, “Now you will see what I will do to Pharaoh: Because of my mighty hand he will let them go; because of my mighty hand he will drive them out of his country.” God also said to Moses, “I am the LORD. I appeared to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob as God Almighty, but by my name the LORD I did not make myself fully known to them. I also established my covenant with them to give them the land of Canaan, where they resided as foreigners. Moreover, I have heard the groaning of the Israelites, whom the Egyptians are enslaving, and I have remembered my covenant.
“Therefore, say to the Israelites: ‘I am the LORD, and I will bring you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. I will free you from being slaves to them, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with mighty acts of judgment. I will take you as my own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I am the LORD your God, who brought you out from under the yoke of the Egyptians. And I will bring you to the land I swore with uplifted hand to give to Abraham, to Isaac and to Jacob. I will give it to you as a possession. I am the LORD.'”
(Exodus 6:1-8 NIV)

Note that Moses’s speech to Pharaoh both begins and ends with “I am the LORD.”

And those of us who know the story know that God did exactly what He said He was going to do. And that is our God. He does that. He does what He says He will do. He is faithful. We are not. We are fickle. We make foolish deals with God, as if He believes our promises, anyway. Then, once we get what we are after (if we do), we go right back to our old ways.

I can say this, because I have done it. I am a fickle, sinful, human being, selfishly trying to get what I want out of the Lord. Or at least I used to be. I’m still sinful. That part won’t stop until I reach Home.

But I have stopped the foolishness of trying to make promises and deals with God. Instead I just pray. I pray for my friends, my brothers and sisters in Christ, my family. I plead with God on their behalf. But I don’t try to bargain.

God is faithful, even when we are not. Which is good, because we are always not.

Father, I am so thankful that You are faithful to do what You say You will do. Help me, however, to be correct in what I think You said You will do. There are many people, Lord, who make proclamations in Your Name, stating that You say things that You never said. I do not want to be one of those. I want to speak only truth about You. And Jesus is the Truth. So help me to follow Him, and Him alone, as I trust in You and You alone. May Your Spirit guide us into truth, Lord, that we may faithfully follow You and walk in Your Kingdom.

I am also grateful that You show us that You used ordinary vessels for Your various ministries, throughout Scripture. There were no “superhumans” in Your “army,” Lord. Even people like Elijah had flaws, that are visibly displayed to us in Your Word. This gives us hope that You can use people like us, and that we can do Your work on the earth, even with our own flaws, that sometimes seem so huge to us.

Lord, please give us growth in holiness as we follow You. May You uncover any idols that we have in our hearts, those things that threaten our devotion to You. Thank You for Your forgiveness, and make us willing and ready to extend the same grace to others that You have extended to us. May we not be hypocrites in this, Lord!

"God of Abraham,
and Jacob,
today I pray for people across the globe who groan under unjust rulers and crooked governments.
Whether it's brutal dictators,
corrupt city officials,
or neighborhood bullies,
bring freedom through your mighty hand.


The LORD is my strong defender; he is the one who has saved me. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will sing about his greatness.
(Exodus 15:2 GNB)

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
(Exodus 33:14 NIV)

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
(Matthew 11:28 NIV)

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. This is how we know that we belong to the truth and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence: If our hearts condemn us, we know that God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.
(1 John 3:18-20 NIV)

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!

“The greatest spiritual battle begins—and never ends—with the reclaiming of our chosenness. Long before any human being saw us, we are seen by God’s loving eyes. Long before anyone heard us cry or laugh, we are heard by our God who is all ears for us. Long before any person spoke to us in this world, we are spoken to by the voice of eternal love.” ~ Henri Nowen

Grace and peace, friends.

Spent Out and Crushed

“Show me a hero, and I’ll write you a tragedy.” ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is, appropriately, ado. In noun form, ado means, “Action, activity; work, business; fuss.” You know, as in Much Ado About Nothing.

Today is Talk Like Shakespeare Day. Hmm? Prithee? “What trick, what device, what starting-hole canst thou now find out, to hide thee from this open and apparent shame?”

Today is Saturday, a more-or-less day of rest around here. Except this afternoon, we have a band concert to go to in Southlake. Not just go to it; I play in it. The Southlake Community Band will be playing at Art In the Square, at Southlake Town Square (I do believe I have been calling it “Center” all week), at 5:30 PM today. I need to spend some time, later today, to get my music in proper order and maybe even practice a bit. What a novel idea.

I can’t think of anything else to write, so I’ll move on to the next thing.

On this date, in 1564, according to tradition, William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon. You can read the rest of the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1564 – William Shakespeare, English writer and actor
1791 – James Buchanan, 15th POTUS
1891 – Sergei Prokofiev, Russian composer
1921 – Warren Spahn, American baseball player
1923 – Dolph Briscoe, Governor of Texas
1928 – Shirley Temple, American actress
1932 – Jim Fixx, American athlete
1936 – Roy Orbison, American musician
1939 – Lee Majors, American actor
1942 – Sandra Dee, American actress
1949 – Joyce DeWitt, American actress, Three’s Company
1954 – Michael Moore, American filmmaker
1957 – Jan Hooks, American actress/comedian, Saturday Night Live
1960 – Valerie Bertinelli, American actress, One Day At A Time
1961 – George Lopez, American actor/comedian
1977 – John Oliver, British comedian, Last Week Tonight
1977 – Kal Penn, American actor, House
1977 – Andruw Jones, Curacaoan baseball player

Sergei Prokofiev was a Russian composer born on this date in 1891. One of the works that he is well-known for is his children’s work, “Peter and the Wolf.” Here is the march from that piece.

Boris Godunov, William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes, William Wordsworth, Buster Crabbe, Otto Preminger, Cesar Chavez, Howard Cossell, and Boris Yeltsin are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Give ear to my prayer, O God, and hide not yourself from my plea for mercy!
Attend to me, and answer me; I am restless in my complaint and I moan,
because of the noise of the enemy, because of the oppression of the wicked. For they drop trouble upon me, and in anger they bear a grudge against me.
My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen upon me.
Fear and trembling come upon me, and horror overwhelms me.
And I say, “Oh, that I had wings like a dove! I would fly away and be at rest;
yes, I would wander far away; I would lodge in the wilderness; Selah.

I would hurry to find a shelter from the raging wind and tempest.”
Destroy, O Lord, divide their tongues; for I see violence and strife in the city.
Day and night they go around it on its walls, and iniquity and trouble are within it;
ruin is in its midst; oppression and fraud do not depart from its marketplace.

Psalm 55:1-11

Perhaps this is exactly why we don’t have wings. We would use them to fly away and escape unpleasant circumstances. There have been many times that I have felt exactly as the Psalmist in these verses. How I would love to fly away and find a quite, peaceful place to rest.

“You know, God, how often I want to get away from it all so I won’t have to face a world that spurns your love and rejects your life. But you also know how to give me courage: I wait for your help in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“The Worship of the Work”

For we are God’s fellow workers. You are God’s field, God’s building.
1 Corinthians 3:9

This is one of Oswald Chambers’s recurring themes throughout this devotion. “Beware of any work for God which enables you to evade concentration on Him. A great many Christian workers worship their work.” Our main concern, as “Christian workers” should be to keep our concentration and devotion on God alone. This will make us as free as a child regarding all other margins of life. If we don’t approach things this way, we will sacrifice the “easy yoke” of Christ, and begin carrying the load on our own neck, by ourselves, which will result in us becoming “spent out and crushed.” There is no freedom in this type of life.

“There is no responsibility on you for the work; the only responsibility you have is to keep in living constant touch with God, and to see that you allow nothing to hinder your cooperation with Him.” Our main goal and aim is to “pour out a wholehearted devotion to Him,” in whatever he gives us to do.

Father, may I pour out my wholehearted devotion to you. May I constantly concentrate on you, rather than any work that you may have given me to do. Show me the work, but show me yourself more. Let me never be guilty of worshiping the work, and may I always join in with the “easy yoke” of Christ in my life. Let me not become “spent out and crushed.”

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Living in the Light of the Mountaintop

“If you can’t annoy somebody, there is little point in writing.” ― Kingsley Amis

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is withy, which means, “willow; a flexible slender twig or branch (as of osier); one whose pliable twigs are used for furniture and basketry.”

Today is Record Store Day. It seems that vinyl is making a serious comeback. I have been of the opinion, for many years, that vinyl sounds more “real” than digital. After all . . . life happens in analog.

It is Saturday. A day of rest, as well as getting things done that need to be done. Who knows what this day will hold? We may go to the new Indian restaurant that opened in the old Fogata’s location. They are having a grand opening buffet for $5.99 today. Christi is currently going out to Penney’s to return some things, as well as stopping by Best Buy to see about getting Stephanie’s laptop fixed. It seems that she has lost both of her “enter” buttons. It’s kind of hard to do anything without those.

I will be playing keys tomorrow, at our worship gathering. I’m pretty excited about being able to do this again. We also have our not-quite-regular PAT meeting after church, during which we will be discussing an audio book that most of us have listened to over the past week or so, called Living in Christ’s Presence. It’s an amazing book, and we will, no doubt be discussing it for a while.

On this date in 1943, the hallucinogenic effects of LSD were discovered by a Swiss chemist named Albert Hoffman. You can read the rest of the story at .

Today’s birthdays include:

1867 – Wilbur Wright, American aviation pioneer
1889 – Charlie Chaplin, English actor/filmmaker
1918 – Spike Milligan, Irish comedian
1921 – Peter Ustinov, English actor
1922 – Kingsley Amis, English author (quoted above)
1924 – Henry Mancini, American composer
1927 – Edie Adams, American actress
1930 – Herbie Mann, American jazz flute player
1935 – Bobby Vinton, American singer
1939 – Dusty Springfield, English singer
1942 – Jim Lonborg, American baseball player
1947 – Gerry Rafferty, British musician/songwriter
1947 – Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, American basketball player
1949 – Melody Patterson, American actress, F Troop
1952 – Bill Belichick, American football coach
1953 – Peter Garrett, Australian singer Midnight Oil
1954 – Ellen Barkin, American actress
1965 – Jon Cryer, american actor
1971 – Selena, American Tejano singer
1975 – Sean Maher, American actor, Firefly, Serenity

None of these really stand out to me, so I won’t post any video content. Peter Ustinov was, of course, one of the great, classic actors. Sean Maher was on one of my favorite TV shows, playing Simon Tam, River’s brother. But video clips of Joss Whedon stuff is terribly hard to come by on You Tube.

Marie Tussaud, Alexis de Tocqueville, Arthur Chevrolet, Edna Ferber, and Robert Urich are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin!

Psalm 51:1-2

Contrasting Psalm 50, which calls out “brittle formalism and stuffy hypocrisy,” Psalm 51 brings us to the tenderness of “penitence and trust.”

“‘Just as I am, without one plea but that Thy blood was shed for me, and that Thou biddest me come to Thee, O Lamb of God, I com. Just as I am, and waiting not to rid my soul of one dark blot, to Thee whose blood can cleanse each spot, O Lamb of God, I come!’ (Charlotte Elliott, ‘Just As I Am’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“Can You Come Down?”

While you have the light, believe in the light.
John 12:36

We all have those mountaintop moments – moments when we feel “better than our best,” and we all wish that we could always be that way. However, this is not what we were meant to be. “Those moments are moments of insight which we have to live up to when we do not feel like it.” What does Chambers mean by that? We have to remember the feelings that were stirred when we were in that “high hour,” and not allow them to dissipate.

It doesn’t mean we can stay in that “high hour.” We cannot. But we can bring our “commonplace life up to the standard revealed in the high hour.” Whenever we have a moment like that, we should act immediately, and do something. If God shows us a great revelation in a prayer meeting, something we need to do, we need not say, “I’ll do it.” We simply need to do it! “Take yourself by the scruff of the neck and shake off your incarnate laziness.” We need to learn “to live in the grey day according to what we saw on the mount.” In other words, whatever it was that we received in the “high hour” needs to be the attitude in which we live in the normal drudgery of every day life.

Father, I pray that you would bring this to pass in me. I do have those “high hours,” but tend to forget them when I come down to the day-to-day world. Recently, I seem to have had an experience where that did not happen, and it was glorious! I was actually able to live in the normal days in the light of what was given me in the high hour. But even that has managed to dissipate, and I would pray that it continue on. Show me your truth. If I have found favor in your sight, show me your truth, that I may know you and find favor in your sight.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Nothing Will Be Impossible

“It took me seventeen years to get three thousand hits in baseball. I did it in one afternoon on the golf course.”~~Hank Aaron

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is pejorism, which means, “The belief that the world is becoming worse.” You won’t get any argument out of me.

Today is Winston Churchill Day, commemorating April 9, 1963, when Winston Churchill became an Honorary Citizen of the United States.

As stated previously, we will be heading to Mineral Wells around noon today, to spend the afternoon with my mother. Yesterday was her birthday, and, as mentioned, it was a year ago that my father fell, resulting in a trip to the ER in Mineral Wells. Later that day, he was helicoptered to Arlington, where he spend 10 days. He was then sent to Mineral Wells Nursing and Rehab (I think that is what it is called) on Saturday, April 18. On Monday, April 20, he passed away. I won’t try to whitewash it; the next couple of weeks are going to be a difficult time as we remember these events, still somewhat fresh in our hearts and minds. I won’t belabor it in the blog, and I won’t talk about it very much. But you can trust that it will be heavy on my mind and heart. In addition, my mother’s radiation treatment will begin on Wednesday, April 20. I talked to her, yesterday, and she’s actually rather glad about that. It will be a distraction for her, something to occupy her mind, at least for part of the day.

Rachel and Justin will be joining us in MW, and we will have lunch out, somewhere. We don’t know where, yet. Could be Mesquite Pit; could be Pastafina; could be Dairy Mart; I suppose it could even be someplace completely different. Who knows?

The Rangers bullpen held firm last night, for a change, and they beat the Angels 7-3. The Red Sox came back in their game against the Blue Jays, winning 8-7. I confess I quit watching after Joe Kelly gave up a grand slam in the 4th inning. That wasn’t the only reason I quit watching. I also started playing The Show 2016 on the PS4 shortly after that. Later, though, I found out that Travis Shaw answered with his own grand slam in the 6th, which made it a one run game. In the seventh, the Sox scored two more, as Big Papi and Hanley Ramirez both drove in runs with singles. What an exciting game! And I had two Facebook friends (both of whom I have actually met IRL) who were at that game, cheering the Sox on! Also, the Yankees and the Rays both lost.

On this date in 1865, General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant, effectively ending the Civil War. You can read the rest of the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1794–Theobald Boehm, German inventor of the modern flute
1830–Eadweard Muybridge, English photographer and moving picture pioneer
1889–Efrem Zimbalist, Russian violinist
1926–Hugh Hefner, American “entrepreneur and publisher”
1932–Carl Perkins, American musician, “Blue Suede Shoes”
1935–Avery Schreiber, American actor, Burns and Schreiber
1937–Marty Krofft, Canadian TV producer, H.R. Pufnstuf
1939–Michael Learned, American actress, The Waltons
1943–Terry Knight, American music promoter, Grand Funk Railroad
1945–Peter Gammons, American sports journalist
1954–Dennis Quaid, American actor, The Rookie
1965–Paulina Porizkova, Czech supermodel, married to Ric Ocasek . . . since 1989
1965–Mark Pellegrino, American actor, Dexter
1966–Cynthia Nixon, American actress, Sex and the City, Amadeus
1979–Keshia Knight Pulliam, American actress, Cosby Show
1987–Jesse McCartney, American actor/singer
1990–Kristen Stewart, American actress, The Runaways (No. I’m not even typing that other movie she was in)
1998–Elle Fanning, American actress, Dakota’s little sister
2000–Jackie Evancho, child singer

Carl Perkins was one of the pioneers of “rockabilly,” and was born on this date in 1932. He wrote a song that was made more famous by Elvis, “Blue Suede Shoes.”

Jackie Evancho is a child phenom vocalist. She is sixteen, today, but here is a clip of her audition on America’s Got Talent when she was ten years old. I have no idea what the song is, but who cares, really? It is nothing short of amazing. I tried to set the video to begin at 1:41, when she actually starts singing, but if it didn’t work, you can skip over the introductory stuff.

Pope Constantine, Pope Benedict VIII, King Edward IV of England, Lorenzo de’ Medici, Sir Francis Bacon, Dietrich Bonhoeffer, Frank Lloyd Wright, David Prater (Sam & Dave), Brook Benton, Richard Condon, Mae Boren Axton (Hoyt’s mother), and Willie Stargell are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Clap your hands, all peoples! Shout to God with loud songs of joy!
For the LORD, the Most High, is to be feared, a great king over all the earth.
He subdued peoples under us, and nations under our feet.
He chose our heritage for us, the pride of Jacob whom he loves. Selah.
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.
The princes of the peoples gather as the people of the God of Abraham. For the shields of the earth belong to God; he is highly exalted!

Psalm 47

“There is a noisy exuberance in this psalm that is appropriate to God’s people–a kind of holiday parade atmosphere that goes along with the realization that ‘God is king of all the earth.'”

“Your rule, God, is something to shout about! In my praise I will seek to express all I feel in joy and freedom, sharing with others the sense of celebration you bring, in the name of Christ my King. Amen.”

(From Devotions From the World of Sports)

For nothing will be impossible with God.
Luke 1:37

There are debates among both sportswriters and fans about records that many believe will never be broken. Joe Dimaggio’s 56 game hitting streak (the closest active player is Jimmy Rollins with 38 in 2005-2006); Nolan Ryan’s 5714 strikeouts (Randy Johnson is second with 4875; the closest active player is C.C. Sabathia with 2574); Nolan Ryan’s seven no-hitters (Sandy Koufax is second with 4, and only a few active players have 2).

But on April 8, 1974, one of those records fell. Babe Ruth had held the home run record at 714. Hank Aaron ended the 1973 season with 713. The air was electric as the 1974 season began, and Aaron promptly tied the record in game one of the season. In game four, he hit the record-breaking home run.

“The seemingly impossible had happened. A nearly 40-year-old record fell.”

There are many things in our lives that seem impossible to us. There are, of course, many things that are completely unrealistic and will never happen. “But nothing is impossible if we follow God’s will and give our best effort.” That’s a stretch, I think, but I appreciate the idea. There will always be things that are, indeed, “impossible.” But in God’s plan, if he desires for it to happen, it will not be impossible, because he will make it happen. All we must do is have faith and follow his plan.

Father, help me to know that your plan for my life is not only possible, but certain. You will work your plan; you will see to it that the things you desire for me will come to pass. Help me to have faith in this. Help me to follow Christ. Help me to love you properly and follow your will for my life.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

The Highest Desire

“Many baseball fans look upon an umpire as a sort of necessary evil to the luxury of baseball, like the odor that follows an automobile.”~~Christy Mathewson

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is nullibiquitous, which means, “existing nowhere.” I guess it’s the opposite of ubiquitous.

Today is World Autism Day. April is also Autism Awareness Month. Since we have a daughter who is high-functioning autistic, this is meaningful to us.

We found out yesterday, at work, that our yearly raises are being delayed at least another quarter. It seems that, on a national level, the company is “underperforming.” We aren’t very happy about this, as we are very aware that our particular facility is making good money, and our customer is extremely happy with us. We were pretty much promised that, not only would merit increases happen in April, but that they would also actually be true merit raises, based on our reviews. After all . . . if raises are going to be across the board flat rate raises, why bother having reviews?

Today is Saturday, and Rachel and Justin will be coming over this evening, to celebrate Rachel’s birthday, which was this past Tuesday. We’ll be going out to eat somewhere.

On this date in 1513, Ponce de Leon, while searching for the legendary “Fountain of Youth,” discovered Florida. He immediately set up a retirement community. You can read the whole story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1805–Hans Christian Andersen, Danish writer
1875–Walter Chrysler, American auto pioneer
1891–Max Ernst, German painter
1908–Buddy Ebsen, American actor/dancer
1912–Herbert Mills, American singer, The Mills Brothers
1914–Sir Alec Guinness, English actor
1920–Jack Webb, American actor
1939–Marvin Gaye, American singer
1940–Penelope Keith, English actress
1941–Dr. Demento, American radio personality
1942–Leon Russell, American blues-rock pianist/singer
1945–Linda Hunt, American actress
1947–Emmylou Harris, American singer
1953–Debralee Scott, American actress
1964–Pete Incaviglia, American baseball player

Buddy Ebsen was an American actor who, at least by my generation, was probably best known for playing Jed Clampett on The Beverly Hillbillies. Here is a rather strange clip from that show, that I found on You Tube.

Samuel F. B. Morse, Esther Morris, Hermann Rorschach, Gil Hodges, Buddy Rich, and Edwin Starr are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?”
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival.
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation and my God.

Psalm 42:1-5

“God is to the soul what water is to the body: an absolute need, felt intensely.” The very fact that we long for him is evidence of “the reality of the God who is there to fulfill our being.”

“‘As pants the hart for cooling streams when heated in the chase, so longs my soul, O God, for Thee, and Thy refreshing grace.’ In Jesus’ name (Nahum Tate and Nicholas Brady, ‘As Pants the Hart’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“The Glory That Excels”

So Ananias departed and entered the house. And laying his hands on him he said, “Brother Saul, the Lord Jesus who appeared to you on the road by which you came has sent me so that you may regain your sight and be filled with the Holy Spirit.”
Acts 9:17

When Paul’s sight was restored to him, he also received “insight into the Person of Jesus Christ.” The rest of his life consisted of nothing other than preaching the Gospel of Christ. “No attraction was ever allowed to hold the mind and soul of Paul save the face of Jesus Christ.”

If we are to be spiritual people, we must have this “concentrated passion” in our lives. “Never allow anything to deflect you from insight into Jesus Christ.” We must fight against things that push to have a growing fascination for us. It sounds so easy, doesn’t it? But it’s not. I struggle daily with things that present themselves to me in such a way as to distract me from Christ. And all too often, they are successful.

Father, strengthen my will, my mind, my imagination, and my spirit, that I might fight harder against these things that draw my attention away from Christ. While it is okay to have “hobbies” and other interests, these things should not occupy the bulk of my attention or desires. May Jesus Christ be my highest desire.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Excuses and Blame

“Lord, make me an instrument of thy peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love.”~~Francis of Assisi

Today’s word of the day, from, is sophrosyne (pronounced “[suhfrosuhnee]), which means, “moderation; discretion; prudence.” Most political candidates suffer from a severe lack of sophrosyne.

Today is Make Up Your Own Holiday Day. I wonder if this is the day when those guys thought up Talk Like A Pirate Day. Anyway, have fun with that.

I cannot express how wonderful last night’s Good Friday worship gathering was. The short messages from each pastor (three different ones, about ten minutes each) were each very insightful, and really seemed to go hand-in-hand with each other. And the thing is, I fasted and prayed throughout the day, yesterday, in preparation for this worship time. I don’t normally talk about when I do this, but it had such a positive impact on my worship last night, that I felt compelled to share it.

I had the thought during the workday on Thursday, that I needed to fast all day on Good Friday. I discussed it with Christi and asked her if she would be okay waiting until after the worship gathering to eat dinner. She was fine with that. So I didn’t eat any breakfast, lunch, or snacks during the day, yesterday. And here’s what happened. At about 9:00 AM, one of my co-workers walked by my desk and said, “I brought breakfast tacos! You’re welcome to have some!” I politely declined. A little bit later, I went to the restroom, which is in our breakroom. When I came out, the site manager was in the process of filling up one of the middle tables with cupcakes and chocolate, Easter-themed candy! I was, like, “Seriously??? Today???” Oh, and another co-worker had brought sausage rolls from Shipley’s Donuts. Typical, isn’t it? When you commit to doing something, there are always tests and temptations along the way. But I resisted, successfully, and had quite a few sweet moments of prayer, during the day.

I believe that this prepared me for the experience that I had last night. As the event began, I struggled to focus, as we had already decided where we were going to eat, after the gathering (two of my friends had decided to join me in the fast, and we were going to all go break our fast together). So I was, at first, thinking about where we were going and what I was going to eat. Note to self . . . next time don’t decide until after the gathering. But God drew me in, and my attention began to get more focused. The music portion of the worship was intense and dynamic. In fact, there were several times when I was so emotionally overwhelmed that I couldn’t sing. The focus of the worship was, of course, the cross, and the events leading up to the cross. The first pastor spoke about the upper room, where the “last supper” was taken. The second (our pastor) spoke about the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus experienced sever anguish and anxiety because he knew that he was about to experience the entire wrath of God for the sins of mankind. Finally, the third pastor spoke of the cross, itself, and what it means for us. It was a great evening, and the house was packed with members from all three churches. I’m pretty sure that we will plan on doing similar events in the future.

We went to Ginger Brown’s afterward, along with our pastor, and another family. We had a great time of food and fellowship there, and didn’t get home until almost 11:00 PM. Needless to say, I didn’t stay up and play Fallout.

Today, we will go get groceries around noon, grab some lunch, and then I have a rehearsal at the worship leader’s house at 3:00 PM. After that, we’ll probably chill the rest of the evening.

On this date in 1997, 39 people were found dead, apparently of mass suicide. 21 women and 18 men were later identified as members of the “Heaven’s Gate” cult. Leaders had convinced them that if they committed suicide and left their earthly bodies, they could enter an alien spaceship that was hiding behind the Hale-Bopp comet. You can read this story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1874–Robert Frost, American poet
1905–Victor Frankl, Austrian neurologist and psychiatrist
1911–Tennessee Williams, American dramatist
1914–William Westmoreland, American military commander
1916–Harry Rabinowitz, South African composer/conductor
1916–Sterling Hayden, American actor
1917–Rufus Thomas, American musician
1925–Pierre Boulez, French composer/conductor
1930–Sandra Day O’Connor, American SCOTUS judge
1931–Leonard Nimoy, American actor
1934–Alan Arkin, American actor
1940–James Caan, American actor
1942–Erica Jong, American author
1943–Bob Woodward, American journalist
1944–Diana Ross, American singer
1948–Steven Tyler, American singer, Aerosmith
1948–Richard Tandy, British keyboardist, Electric Light Orchestra
1949–Vicki Lawrence, American actress and singer, The Carol Burnett Show
1950–Alan Silvestri, American film composer
1950–Martin Short, Canadian comedian/actor
1950–Teddy Pendegrass, American singer
1960–Jennifer Grey, American actress, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off
1968–Kenny Chesney, American singer
1976–Amy Smart, American actress
1985–Keira Knightley, English actress

Leonard Nimoy was an American actor whose most famous role, without a doubt, was Spock, on the many incarnations of Star Trek. Here is a great video that someone put together as a tribute. Nimoy passed away in 2015, causing great sadness everywhere.

Ludwig van Beethoven, Walt Whitman, Raymond Chandler, Noel Coward, Edmund Muskie, Jan Berry, and Geraldine Ferraro are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

But for you, O LORD, do I wait; it is you, O Lord my God, who will answer.
For I said, “Only let them not rejoice over me, who boast against me when my foot slips!”
For I am ready to fall, and my pain is ever before me.
I confess my iniquity; I am sorry for my sin.

But my foes are vigorous, they are mighty, and many are those who hate me wrongfully.
Those who render me evil for good accuse me because I follow after good.
Do not forsake me, O LORD! O my God, be not far from me!
Make haste to help me, O Lord, my salvation!

Psalm 38:15-22

When we sin, we often begin to make excuses and blame others (this happens a lot in the corporate world, as well, when mistakes are made). “But not here. In this prayer I learn to accept responsibility for my own sin (see v. 5), make an honest confession, and then look to God for deliverance.”

“O Lord, the next time I look for someone else to blame for the troubles my own sins have caused, recall to me the words of this psalm. Help me bravely to acknowledge my faults, submit myself to your judgments and hope in your grace, through Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. Amen.”

Father, as I reflect on the teachings that were brought, last night, and the beauty of the worship, I pray that it not fade from my memory. Help me to assimilate and maintain what was taught last night, about the upper room, the Garden of Gethsemane, and the cross. Keep the cross of Christ right in front of me, at all times, and help me to meditate and gaze upon it every day. Your grace is sufficient.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Walk and Not Faint

“For a gallant spirit there can never be defeat.”~~Wallis Simpson

Today’s word of the day, from, is dessicate, “to dry thoroughly; dry up.”

Today is Chocolate Caramel Day. I’m not a big fan of caramel, myself, but I love chocolate.

We had a really good day at work, yesterday, so everyone got off on time. That’s always nice on a Friday. I picked up dinner at Taco Bell on the way home, and we ate that and watched TV for a while, after which I played Fallout 4 for a few hours. That’s pretty much it. No great excitement at the Bickleyhouse, yesterday.

Rachel and Justin are coming down, this evening, and we will have dinner with them.

I think I forgot to mention that I have been asked to fill in on keyboard for our worship gatherings for a couple of weeks. I was hesitant to agree to do this, but decided to go ahead. It’s been a while, and they use accompaniment tracks for the music, anyway, so I’m not really sure why they want a keyboard in there, as well. I haven’t practiced the music, yet, but I have all the charts printed.

On this date in 1971, an earthquake in Peru set off a chain of events the completely obliterated the small mining town/camp of Chungar. You can read the rest of the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1590–William Bradford, Pilgrim and first Governor of the Plymouth Colony
1813–David Livingstone, Scottish missionary and explorer
1848–Wyatt Earp, American lawman and gunfighter
1860–William Jennings Bryan, American statesman
1873–Max Reger, German composer
1894–Moms Mabley, American comedian
1916–Irving Wallace, American novelist
1928–Patrick MacGoohan, American actor
1928–Hans Kung, Swiss theologian
1933–Philip Roth, American author
1936–Ursula Andress, Swiss actress
1946–Ruth Pointer, American singer, Pointer Sisters
1947–Glenn Close, American actress
1952–Harvey Weinstein, American film producer
1955–Bruce Willis, American actor
1969–Gary Jules, American singer/songwriter
1988–Clayton Kershaw, American baseball player

Gary Jules, a singer songwriter, turns 47 today. He is perhaps most well-known for his cover of the Tears for Fears song, “Mad World.”

Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury, Edgar Rice Burroughs, Rhandy Rhoads, Joanne Weaver, John DeLorean, and Sir Arthur C. Clarke are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Transgression speaks to the wicked deep in his heart; there is no fear of God before his eyes.
For he flatters himself in his own eyes that his iniquity cannot be found out and hated.
The words of his mouth are trouble and deceit; he has ceased to act wisely and do good.
He plots trouble while on his bed; he sets himself in a way that is not good; he does not reject evil.
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.

For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!
Let not the foot of arrogance come upon me, nor the hand of the wicked drive me away.
There the evildoers lie fallen; they are thrust down, unable to rise.

Psalm 36

The one who plans mischief on his bed, in verse 4, is, ultimately, paralyzed, in verse 12, “unable to rise.” “God, the salvation-maker, expands his presence majestically through a light-flooded world, sharing abundant life with all who come to him.”

“Thank you, Father, for waking me to this day in which your light exposes the stingy cheapness of sin, and at the same time, reveals the wild, open beauties of your love in Jesus. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

In today’s reading, “The Way of Abraham in Faith,” Chambers quotes Hebrews 11:8, in which it is said of Abraham, he went out, not knowing where he was going. There are many times in Scripture where the personal relationship with God is marked by separation. Abraham was told to leave his country, his family (his failure to completely obey this command resulted in the whole mess with Lot, his wife, and his daughters in Sodom and Gomorrah), and everything he knew. The emphasis here, though, is the fact that Abraham did not have a clue where he was going.

“Faith never knows where it is being led, but it loves and knows the One Who is leading.” This is difficult for us, in this age, because we always want to know where we are going. Chambers also says that one of the biggest snares in faith is this thought that “God is sure to lead us to success.” This is a pervasive belief in the Christian culture of this day. I guess it all depends on how you define “success.”

We must focus on the one who is leading, not on where we are going, or even what we will be doing. This is what “faith” is all about. And the emphasis of the life of faith should be not so much the mounting up with wings of eagles, but more the walking and not fainting (Isaiah 40:31).

Father, I pray for the vision that follows without knowing. I pray for the faith that is confident that you, the one who is leading, will never lead me astray. Help me to focus on you as you lead me on this path. Help me to walk and not faint.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

More Than A Savior

“If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.”~~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Today’s word of the day, from, is rupestrine, which means “living or growing on or among rocks.” I would like to think that this also applies to people of whom we say, “Do you live under a rock??”

Today is Absinthe Day. There’s a great deal of mystery surrounding this allegedly hallucinogenic alcoholic beverage. It seems to have been banned for a while, but is legal again. However, I’m not sure it’s quite the same as the drink that famously inspired Earnest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde. I would love to try it sometime, but a bottle costs in the neighborhood of $85. And I don’t think you’re supposed to just drink it straight. I have had some in a “Margarita” at our old favorite Mexican restaurant that closed. It was quite good, and tastes slightly of licorice. In days gone by, people who drank absinthe were said to be “chasing the green fairy.”

Yesterday was a pleasant work day. We got off work on time, which is always nice on a Friday. I picked up dinner at OC Burger (none of us had “burgers”) and brought it home, where we relaxed and watched Tuesday’s episode of The Voice. There were a few good auditions, but no one really remarkable. Except for maybe this girl named Emily Keener who performed a very interesting take on Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Today, Christi and I are going to the North Texas Irish Festival. This event occurs on the first weekend of March, each year. I look forward to hearing some great Celtic music and sampling some delicious food. I may even buy stuff. Who knows? But not much. We don’t have room for much more stuff around here.

On this date in 1963, the Hula Hoop was patented. You can read the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1133–Henry II, King of England
1713–Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury
1836–Charles Goodnight, American cattle rancher
1853–Howard Pyle, American author and illustrator
1887–Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer
1908–Sir Rex Harrison, English actor
1914–Philip Farkas, American horn player/teacher
1920–Virginia Christine, American actress
1922–James Noble, American actor, Benson
1927–Jack Cassidy, American actor, Mary Tyler Moore
1931–Barry Tuckwell, Australian horn player
1936–Dean Stockwell, American actor, “Yog Sotthoth!”
1939–Samantha Eggar, English actress
1946–Murray Head, British actor and singer, Anthony’s brother
1948–Elaine Paige, English singer/actress, Cats
1948–Eddy Grant, Guyana-born singer, “Electric Avenue”
1954–Marsha Warfield, American actress, Night Court
1955–Penn Jellette, American comedian/magician
1958–Andy Gibb, English-born Australian singer
1959–David Fury, American TV writer/producer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1969–Paul Blackthorne, British actor, The Dresden Files
1974–Eva Mendes, American actress

Dean Stockwell is an actor that has played many roles, my favorite of which is probably that of Wilbur Whateley in the 1970 movie, The Dunwich Horror. He turns 80 years old today.

Crispus Attucks, David Dunbar Buick, Joseph Stalin, Sergei Prokofiev, Patsy Cline, Michael Jeffery, Jay Silverheels, Yip Harburg, John Belushi, and William Powell are among notable deaths on this date.

Patsy Cline died in a plane crash on this date in 1963.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

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

What is “praise?” Peterson defines it as “talking and singing happily about what God has done.” A very simple, but adequate, definition. It is appropriate language and music for human nature, and “it brings out the best in us even as it celebrates the best in God.”

“‘Let me, God, add my voice to all who praise you.
“Great praises are in the air!”
I recollect your word;
I observe your works;
everything is praiseworthy!
All praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!’
(Richard Eberhardt, ‘Great Praises’). Amen.”

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.

Psalm 139:13-16

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Is he Really Lord?”

if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus Acts 20:24

In the KJV, it is translated “so that I might finish my course with joy.” This prompts Oswald Chambers to briefly discuss the meaning of joy. He calls it “the perfect fulfillment of that for which i was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing.” Isn’t that exactly the opposite of how most of us would define “joy?” But the desire of Paul’s heart, that which would give him joy, was the finishing of the course and ministry given him by Jesus.

This is the thing we look for when we desire to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when our lives have been completed. In order to do this, however, we must find our “niche” in life. We find this, spiritually, when “we receive our ministry from the Lord.” But in order to receive this, we must spend time in his company; “we must know Him as more than a personal Savior.” (Emphasis mine) This is where many Christians lose out. We get saved. Maybe we read our Bible occasionally, and even might go to church regularly. But if we do not spend time on our own with Christ, we will miss out on some marvelously fulfilling ministry opportunity.

Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” and then answers with, “Feed my sheep.” When we receive a ministry from Christ, we learn that the need is not the call; “the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him.” And when this is received, it is okay to “ignore the demands for service along other lines.”

I also believe that this ministry can change, as the seasons of life change. I, personally, have experienced this, as my ministry changed from being a worship leader to being a prayer leader. I would also encourage those who don’t have this realization, yet. Stay in touch with Christ. He will reveal something to you, eventually.

Father, I thank you that you have use for me in your Kingdom. I pray for the discipline and inspiration from the Holy Spirit to accomplish that ministry, to be faithful to it. Lead me in the way that you have for me. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Help me to abide in Christ, daily.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

That At the Name of Jesus

“Never above you. Never below you. Always beside you.”~~Walter Winchell
This, by the way, is how I would define marriage. I believe it is the kind of marriage that Christi and I have had for going on thirty-one years, now.

Today’s word of the day, from, is abstemious, “sparing or moderate in eating and drinking; temperate in diet.” Unfortunately, I have not been able to accomplish this trait.

Today is Love Your Pet Day. At our house, we do that every day. But maybe today, we’ll get them a special treat. Yes, I said “them.” Don’t ask.

I got off work at 3:30 yesterday!! I know, right? We had all the receiving finished, my work queue was empty, so the manager said we could go home early. On a Friday!! It was glorious. Christi had left early for a mammogram appointment (everything was fine, she was told), so I called in an order at O.C. Burger, and she picked it up on her way home. We were eating dinner and watching TV shows before 6:00PM. Unheard of!

Today is the day we make the big switch from ATT/DirecTV to Charter. The installer is supposed to be here between 1 and 2 this afternoon. One thing I need to do before he (why do I assume it’s “he?”) arrives is to go through the shows that we record and make a list so that we don’t forget any with the new system. I just hope everything works the way it’s supposed to.

I think Rachel and Justin are supposed to come over this evening to eat and hang out. That’s always fun. Other than that, we don’t have a lot planned today.

There are 44 days, 2 hours, and 58 minutes until Opening Day of baseball season.

On this date in 2003, a fire broke out in a Rhode Island nightclub, killing 100 people and injuring almost 200 more. The fire was started by an unapproved pyrotechnic display put on by the band Great White. You can read the store at

Today’s birthdays include

1902–Ansel Adams, American photographer
1906–Gale Gordon, American TV and radio actor, Mr. Mooney on The Lucy Show
1924–Gloria Vanderbilt, American clothing designer
1925–Robert Altman, American film director, Mash
1926–Richard Matheson, American author, I Am Legend, What Dreams May Come
1927–Sidney Poitier, American actor, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, A Patch of Blue
1929–Amanda Blake, American actress, Gunsmoke
1934–Bobby Unser, American racing driver
1936–Larry Hovis, American singer/actor, Sgt. Carter on Hogan’s Heroes
1941–Buffy Sainte-Marie, Canadian singer
1946–J. Geils, American guitarist, J. Geils Band
1946–Sandy Duncan, American singer and actress
1948–Jennifer O’Neill, Brazilian-born actress, Summer of ’42
1950–Walter Becker, American guitarist, Steely Dan
1951–Randy California, American guitarist, Spirit
1951–Edward Albert, American actor, Butterflies Are Free
1954–Patty Hearst, American socialite
1960–Joel Hodgson, American comedian, Mystery Science Theater 3000
1963–Charles Barkley, American basketball player
1966–Cindy Crawford, American model
1967–Lili Taylor, American actress, The Conjuring, The Haunting, Mystic Pizza
1967–Kath Soucie, American voice actress, Rugrats, Dexter’s Laboratory
1967–Kurt Cobain, American musician, Nirvana
1978–Lauren Ambrose, American actress, Six Feet Under
1983–Justin Verlander, American baseball player

Randy California was a guitarist, singer, and original member of the rock group Spirit. He was born on this date in 1951, and passed away in 1997. Here is their song, “I Got A Line On You.”

William Wallace Lincoln, P.G.T. Beauregard, Frederick Douglass, Max Schreck, Percy Grainger, Chester Nimitz, Walter Winchell, Kathryn Kuhlman, Dick York, Ferruccio Lamborghini, Burt Lancaster, Gene Siskel, Ty Longley (oh, the irony), Hunter S. Thompson, Sandra Dee, and Curt Gowdy are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The voice of the LORD breaks the cedars; the LORD breaks the cedars of Lebanon.
He makes Lebanon to skip like a calf, and Sirion like a young wild ox.
The voice of the LORD flashes forth flames of fire.
The voice of the LORD shakes the wilderness; the LORD shakes the wilderness of Kadesh.
The voice of the LORD makes the deer give birth and strips the forests bare, and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD sits enthroned as king forever.
May the LORD give strength to his people! May the LORD bless his people with peace!

Psalm 29:5-11

David the psalmist uses metaphors of thunder, lightning, earthquake, and storm, some of the most powerful forces in nature, to describe God’s word: “in such a way the world of nature becomes a parable of the world of grace.”

“God, your commanding voice in Jesus stilled storms on Galilee and quieted hurricane fears in disciples’ hearts. Now train me in trust so that I may put aside my timidity and embrace your might word with robust faith. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

When pride comes, then comes disgrace, but with the humble is wisdom. Proverbs 11:2

In today’s reading, Jeff Japinga writes of an encounter that changed his way of thinking about service. He has a friend who is a pastor of a small church in Brooklyn. The membership is around fifty people, but on evenings when they serve up a hot meal to homeless people, over two hundred might show up.

Jeff was on hand one day when a local food-surplus organization delivered three tons of fresh green beans to the church. Three tons. Can you even imagine how many green beans that is?? Jeff is 6’5″ and says that the stacks towered over him. As volunteers came and went, cooking for the night’s dinner and bagging fresh green beans, Jeff found himself next to an actor “who, in a few hours, would be performing his role in a Broadway play.” Jeff inquired as to how it felt taking bows at the end of a play with all of the applause. “‘Actually, I get more satisfaction from working here,’ he said, ‘because it’s not about people saying thank you to me for something I’ve done. It’s about me saying thank You to God through what I’m doing. that’s what gives me the deepest satisfaction.'”

Jeff has adjusted his thinking because of this encounter. It is not about doing good deeds and being recognized for them. “It’s about intentionally asking how I might use part of my skill that day to say thank You to God.”

It takes great humility to serve in this way, but I have come to believe that it is the best way. I always cringe when we applaud people for their works of service. This is not why we should be serving, not for men’s applause. Consider what Paul says about Jesus Christ in the famous hymn from Philippians 2.

So if there is any encouragement in Christ, any comfort from love, any participation in the Spirit, any affection and sympathy, complete my joy by being of the same mind, having the same love, being in full accord and of one mind. Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility count others more significant than yourselves. Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others. Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
Philippians 2:1-11

Father, continue to teach me this humility. Let the offering of my “good works” to you be enough. I don’t need the recognition or applause of men. Let my heart be such that everything I do, I do for you in humility and grace. And never, ever let me fall into thinking that I am repaying you for the infinite grace that you have lavished on me.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.