Trinitarian Prayer

Today is Tuesday, November 7, 2017. Day 21,789.

Five days until C’s birthday!

Joni Mitchell, who was born on this date in 1943, said, “Rachmaninoff made a musician out of me. His ‘Rhapsody on a Theme by Paganini’ was the piece that sent me into raptures. It spoke to me. To me, it was a tender entreaty for the misunderstood.”
BrainyQuote

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is logrolling, a noun, meaning, “the exchange of support or favors, especially by legislators for mutual political gain as by voting for each other’s bills.” Also, “cronyism or mutual favoritism among writers, editors, or critics, as in the form of reciprocal flattering reviews; back scratching.”

Today is Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day. I could definitely get into some of that, for sure.

There’s not much news concerning C’s recover. The physical therapist never showed up, yesterday, calling to say that she had gotten stuck in traffic in Dallas, and wouldn’t make it until today. She is planning to come Saturday to make up for it. In the meantime, C still has that low-grade, fluctuating fever, and feels achy part of the time. She is also about to run out of the pain pills, which makes me wonder if they thought she shouldn’t need any more after five days or a week. Mobility seems to be increasing, though, which is good. But she still has quite a large bruise on her thigh and a good deal of swelling in that leg.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 32:12
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 
Psalm 119:18
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments!
Psalm 119:10
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
Psalm 119:113
“Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”
Mark 13:33-37
I hate the double-minded, but I love your law.
Psalm 119:113
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
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Lord’s Prayer

I wanted to share a brief quote from C.S. Lewis, this morning, regarding prayer. This quote gets to the heart of the Trinitarian nature of prayer.

“An ordinary simple Christian kneels down to say his prayers. He is trying to get into touch with God. But if he is a Christian he knows that what is prompting him to pray is also God: God, so to speak, inside him. But he also knows that all his real knowledge of God comes through Christ, the Man who was God—that Christ is standing beside him, helping him to pray, praying for him. You see what is happening. God is the thing to which he is praying—the goal he is trying to reach. God is also the thing inside him which is pushing him on—the motive power. God is also the road or bridge along which he is being pushed to that goal. So that the whole threefold life of the three-personal Being is actually going on in that ordinary little bed- room where an ordinary man is saying his prayers. The man is being caught up into the higher kinds of life—what I called Zoe or spiritual life: he is being pulled into God, by God, while still remaining himself.”
From Mere Christianity

And then, also regarding prayer, Eugene H. Peterson says:

“All prayer finally, in one way or another, becomes praise. Psalm 150 is deliberately placed as the concluding prayer of the church’s book of prayers. No matter how much we suffer, no matter our doubts–everything finds its way into praise, the final consummating prayer. This is not to say that other prayers are inferior to praise, only that all prayer, pursued far enough, becomes praise.”
From Living the Message

Praise the LORD! Praise God in his sanctuary; praise him in his mighty heavens! 
Praise him for his mighty deeds; praise him according to his excellent greatness! 
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp! 
Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe! 
Praise him with sounding cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals! 
Let everything that has breath praise the LORD! Praise the LORD!

Psalm 150

Father, help my prayers to become praise today. There is so much on my mind and heart, and I confess that, during my work day, yesterday, I had feelings of being overwhelmed, and forgot to consider your presence with me throughout the day. The neglect of your presence had a negative impact on my day. It’s not that you weren’t there, because you were. I just forgot about it. Help me to remember that today, no matter what may come.
I also pray for C’s recover, that things will begin to feel better for her. I thank you for the positive things so far.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Advertisements

Listen to the Word

Today is Friday, October 27, 2017. Day 21,778.

Four days until C’s knee replacement surgery.

Dylan Thomas, who was born on this date in 1914 (died 1953), said, “As I read more and more – and it was not all verse, by any means – my love for the real life of words increased until I knew that I must live with them and in them, always. I knew, in fact, that I must be a writer of words, and nothing else.”
BrainyQuote

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is preta, a word from Hindu mythology, meaning, “a wandering or disturbed ghost.”

Today is Black Cat Day. We miss our black cat.

Game three of the World Series will be tonight, with Yu Darvish and the Dodgers facing off against Lance McCullers Jr. and the Astros. “Facing off.” That’s a hockey term. Oh, well. Anyway, this game will be in Houston.

Tomorrow, C and I are volunteering to help our church work at the YMCA’s “Boo Bash,” their yearly Halloween festival. It’s only from 4-6 PM, and should be fun.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy!
Psalm 99:9
Be pleased, O LORD, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
Psalm 40:13
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. 

Psalm 109:21-22
The LORD is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love.
Psalm 103:8
And rising very early in the morning, while it was still dark, he departed and went out to a desolate place, and there he prayed.
Mark 1:35
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.

Psalm 145:18-20
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
Psalm 55:17
Almighty and everlasting God, in Christ you have revealed your glory among the nations: Preserve the works of your mercy, that your Church throughout the world may persevere with steadfast faith in the confession of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
The Concluding Prayer of the Church

(From Living the Message)

In today’s reading, called, “Learn to Listen to the Word,” Eugene Peterson says this:

“We are mistaken when we look at the Bible as a spiritual toolbox. We can’t take things out of the Bible and make them work for us. The whole process of the spiritual life is to come before the God who is alive, who becomes present to us in his Word, and who by means of that Word creates and redeems. We don’t use Scripture; God uses Scripture to work his will in us.”

While we should be reading and studying the Bible, it is all about the motive or intent with which we do this. If we are studying just to get information, so that we can put down all the right answers on the test, we will fail in the spiritual life. But if we read and study for the purpose of transformation, for the purpose of allowing God to do miraculous things in and through us, we will be successful.

“You have your heads in your Bibles constantly because you think you’ll find eternal life there. But you miss the forest for the trees. These Scriptures are all about me! And here I am, standing right before you, and you aren’t willing to receive from me the life you say you want.”
John 5:39-40 (The Message)

Father, thank you for your Word and for the spiritual depths to which it can take me. Thank you for the truths you are revealing to me. Keep me focused on the path of spiritual transformation, and help me work out a plan to begin to practice the disciplines more seriously.
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.

Worship Together

Today is Thursday (pre-Friday), October 19, 2017. Day 21,770.

Twelve days until C’s knee replacement surgery.

John Lithgow, who was born on this date in 1945, said, “In animation, there’s this exhilarating moment of discovery when you see the film and you say, Oh THAT’S what I was doing.”
BrainyQuote

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is nocent, which means, “harmful; injurious.”

Today is Evaluate Your Life Day. That’s too heavy. I think I’ll celebrate Chocolate Cupcake Day, which I missed yesterday.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD . . . For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
Psalm 95:1-3
Gladden the soul of your servant, for to you, O Lord, do I lift up my soul.
Psalm 86:4
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!
Psalm 57:5
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
Psalm 69:6
And he said, “The kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. But when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come.”
Mark 4:26-29
Lord, I pray that your grace may always precede and follow me, that I may continually be given to good works; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.

(From Living the Message)

We have been given many different means of spiritual growth: Scripture and prayer, silence and solitude, service and suffering, and so on. But one of the biggest and most foundational ways of growth is worshiping together. “Spiritual growth cannot take place in isolation.” While the disciplines of silence and solitude are important, spiritual growth, at its heart, is not “a private thing between the Christian and God. In worship, we come before God who loves us in the presence of others whom he also loves. In worship, more than at any other time, we set ourselves in deliberate openness to the actions of God and the need of the neighbor.”

The regular gathering with the saints to worship is essential to the growth of the Christian. It’s spiritual food and water. It is “the light and air in which spiritual growth takes place.”

They followed a daily discipline of worship in the Temple followed by meals at home, every meal a celebration, exuberant and joyful, as they praised God.
Acts 2:46-47a (The Message)

Father, I’m glad that you have made me love worship. For decades, I have believed that worship, specifically the act of public worship, is one of, if not the, most important activities in which the Church can engage. When we gather together this coming Sunday, help me to engage with each individual that I see there, and help me to worship you more fully, with all of my heart, soul, mind, and strength.
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.

Who Am I? Where Am I?

Today is Wednesday, October 11, 2017. Day 21,762. One day until our 32nd anniversary and Glen Rose Weekend! 169 days until Opening Day.

Eleanor Roosevelt, who was born on this date in 1884 (died 1962), said, “In the long run, we shape our lives, and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.”
BrainyQuote

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is pauciloquent, which means, “That uses few words in speech or conversation; laconic.” I am definitely not pauciloquent.

Today is Pet Obesity Awareness Day. I swear I am not making that up.

The Red Sox were eliminated from the playoffs Monday afternoon. The Yankees tied the Indians in their series on Monday evening, as well. They will play game five of their series today, weather permitting. There has been a lot of rain affecting these playoffs. The Cubs and Nats were rained out last night, and will play today. The Dodgers swept their series against the D-backs.

Tomorrow afternoon, we will head out to Glen Rose for our long anniversary weekend. We are, of course, quite excited about this, and looking forward to a lot of rest and relaxation. Unfortunately, the weather is not cooperating, this time. While our temperatures are low yesterday and today, highs in the seventies, tomorrow through Saturday will be back in the upper eighties to low nineties. Disappointing, but we will still have a wonderful time, I am confident. We have books to read, and we also are planning a trip to Fossil Rim, the wildlife park, probably on Friday. C wants to see the giraffes.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

The Call to Prayer
But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. 
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. 
God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah. because they do not change and do not fear God.

Psalm 55:16-19
The Request for Presence
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
The Greeting
In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame; in your righteousness deliver me! 
Psalm 31:1
The Refrain for the Morning Lessons
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.
Psalm 118:22
A Reading
For the Son of Man is going to come with his angels in the glory of his Father, and then he will repay each person according to what he has done.
Matthew 16:27
The Morning Psalm
The LORD says to my Lord: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool.” 
The LORD sends forth from Zion your mighty scepter. Rule in the midst of your enemies! 
Your people will offer themselves freely on the day of your power, in holy garments; from the womb of the morning, the dew of your youth will be yours. 
The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind, “You are a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek.”

Psalm 110:1-4
The Cry of the Church
O God, come to my assistance! O Lord, make haste to help me!
The Lord’s Prayer
Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be your Name. May your kingdom come, and your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
Almighty and everlasting God, you are always more ready to hear than we to pray, and to give more than we either desire or deserve: Pour upon your church the abundance of your mercy, forgiving us those things of which our conscience is afraid, and giving us those good things for which we are not worthy to ask, except through the merits and mediation of Jesus Christ our Savior; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Concluding Prayer of the Church
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.

(From Living the Message)

“Prayer is an orienting act. We begin to discover who we are when we realize where we are. Disorientation is a terrible experience. If we cannot locate our place, we are in confusion and anxiety. We are also in danger, for we are apt to act inappropriately. If we are among enemies and don’t know it, we may lose our life. If we are among friends and don’t know it, we may miss good relationships. If we are alongside a cliff and don’t know it, we may lose our footing. While praying Psalm 8, we find out where we are and some important aspects of who we are.” (Eugene Peterson)

I have learned, recently, where I am, and it has had a drastic impact on who I am. Where I am is in the midst of God, who is all around me. He is in the air that I breathe. When I stand up, I am standing in the middle of God. When I sleep, I am sleeping in God. When I walk around, I am walking in and with God. This realization has had an amazing impact on who I am. It has also had an impact on my praying. To be sure, I still fail to live in a manner worthy of his grace, but I am more constantly reminded that he is with me and that I am in him, which makes those failures fewer. What a blessed feeling to know that I am constantly in the presence of the Almighty.

A David psalm. GOD, brilliant Lord, yours is a household name. 
Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs That drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble. 
I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewelry, Moon and stars mounted in their settings. 
Then I look at my micro-self and wonder, Why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way? 
Yet we’ve so narrowly missed being gods, bright with Eden’s dawn light. 
You put us in charge of your handcrafted world, repeated to us your Genesis-charge, 
Made us lords of sheep and cattle, even animals out in the wild, 
Birds flying and fish swimming, whales singing in the ocean deeps. 
GOD, brilliant Lord, your name echoes around the world.

Psalm 8 (The Message)

Father, please don’t stop teaching me where I am and who I am. Show me your presence today. Make me constantly aware of you around me, as well as your Spirit within 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.

Reading To Shape the Heart

Today is Monday, September 25, 2017. Day 21,746. 17 days until our 32nd anniversary!

Phil Rizzuto, who was born on this date in 1918 (died 2007), said, “I’ll take anyway to get into the Hall of Fame. If they want a batboy, I’ll go in as a batboy.”
BrainyQuote

Word of the Day

Monticule ~ “a small mountain, hill, or mound.”

Today is One-Hit Wonder Day. So sit back and enjoy your favorite one-hit wonders. One of my favorites is “Come On Eileen” by Dexy’s Midnight Runners.

We had a nice day yesterday. The worship gathering went well, and afterward, S got to go with our friends from church, to the place where the lady keeps her horses. That means so much to her, when they get to do that. C went and got the grocery shopping done early, so we were able to spend the rest of the day chilling.

The Red Sox won another game, and the Yankees lost, which increased the Sox lead to five games. Three more Red Sox wins and/or Yankee losses, and the Sox will win the division for the second consecutive year. The Rangers, however, couldn’t muster enough to beat the last place Athletics, and got swept by them. The Twins beat Detroit again, so the Rangers’ playoff chances are very slim, now, down to an elimination number of two. There are seven games left. I really don’t believe that the Twins are going to lose more than five of those seven games.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 

Psalm 103:1-2
Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge. 
I say to the LORD, “You are my Lord; I have no good apart from you.”

Psalm 16:1-2
I love you, O LORD, my strength. 
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 18:1-2
Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Psalm 51:7
As Jesus passed on from there, he saw a man called Matthew sitting at the tax booth, and he said to him, “Follow me.” And he rose and followed him. 
And as Jesus reclined at table in the house, behold, many tax collectors and sinners came and were reclining with Jesus and his disciples. 
And when the Pharisees saw this, they said to his disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” 
But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 
Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:9-13
Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. 
Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. 
Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. 
Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Psalm 119:33-40
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

(From Living the Message)

More on spiritual reading, from Eugene H. Peterson:

“Spiritual reading, for most of us, requires either the recovery or acquisition of skills not in current repute: leisurely, repetitive, reflective reading. In this we are not reading primarily for information, but for companionship. Baron Friedrich von Hugel once said it was like sucking on a lozenge in contrast to gulping a meal. It is a way of reading that shapes the heart at the same time that it informs the intellect, sucking out the marrow-nourishment from the bone-words.”

I will add that it also means not hurrying through a book just so you can finish it. This is a challenge for me, as I have always prided myself on the number of books I can read in a year. I have this list of books I’ve read . . . it goes all the way back to April of 1974. The last book I finished was number 1446. I usually have a goal of trying to finish somewhere between twenty and thirty books in a year. That goal used to be 52, a book per week. That was before the Internet. Anyway. The point of Peterson’s words are that we need to slow down, and, as Dallas Willard famously said, “ruthlessly eliminate hurry from your life.” That includes in our reading habits, as well.

His mother held these things dearly, deep within herself. 
And Jesus matured, growing up in both body and spirit, blessed by both God and people.

Luke 2:51b-52

Father, teach me to read all over again. In recent years, I have noticed diminished capacity to remember what I have read, in some cases what I have read minutes before. When it comes to reading either your word or books about you and your word, help me to retain what I have read. Help me to slow down and read, not “primarily for information, but for companionship.” Help me to treasure these things deep in my heart.
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.

Reading With the Heart

Today is Sunday, September 24, 2017. Day 21,745. 18 days until our 32nd anniversary!

F. Scott Fitzgerald, who was born on this date in 1896 (died 1940), said, “Nothing is as obnoxious as other people’s luck.”
BrainyQuote

Word of the Day

Tittle ~ “a dot or other small mark in writing or printing, used as a diacritic, punctuation, etc.”

Today is Punctuation Day. What most people need to do to celebrate this day is to learn how to use apostrophes! Please note that there is no apostrophe in “apostrophes.”

I wound up not going to the escape room event, last night, but C went. She had a good time, and they actually escaped, which is great, because the room they were doing has an eleven percent escape rate! She said the place they went in Euless wasn’t as good as the place we have been in west Fort Worth. Several of their props weren’t working right, and they had to keep calling the attendant to ask them about it.

I might be feeling a little better this morning. I probably could have gone, last night, but I didn’t want to take the chance that I might start feeling worse in the middle of things and taint everyone else’s experience. I definitely don’t feel worse, and feel better than I did yesterday morning.

The Red Sox won again, last night, which was their 90th win of the season. They remain five games ahead of the Yankees, who have also clinched at least a wild card spot for this year’s playoffs. The Rangers lost again, to the last place Athletics, and the Twins won. So the Rangers are 4.5 back from the second wild card spot, with an elimination number of four. This means that any combination of Twins wins and Rangers losses that adds up to four will eliminate them from a chance at 2017 playoffs. They have eight games remaining.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things!
Psalm 98:1
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 58:10
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
Psalm 119:141
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Psalm 71:5
Then children were brought to him that he might lay his hands on them and pray. The disciples rebuked the people, but Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for to such belongs the kingdom of heaven.” And he laid his hands on them and went away.
Matthew 19:13-15
How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of hosts! 
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 
Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.

Psalm 84:1-3
Grant that I, Lord, may not be anxious about earthly things, but love things heavenly; and even now, while I am placed among things that are passing away, hold fast to those that shall endure; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From Living the Message)

“Reading today is largely a consumer activity–people devour books, magazines, pamphlets and newspapers for information that will fuel their ambition or careers or competence. The fast the better, the more the better. It is analytical, figuring things out; or it is frivolous, killing time. Spiritual reading is mostly a lover’s activity–a dalliance with words, reading as much between the lines as in the lines themselves. It is leisurely, as ready to re-read an old book as open a new one. It is playful, anticipating the pleasures of friendship. It is prayerful, convinced that all honest words can involve us somehow or other, if we read with our hearts as well as our heads, in an eternal conversation that got its start in the Word that ‘became flesh.’ Spiritual reading is at home with Homer as well as Hosea.”

I ponder every morsel of wisdom from you, I attentively watch how you’ve done it. 
I relish everything you’ve told me of life, I won’t forget a word of it.

Psalm 119:15-16 (The Message)

Father, please help me to read with my heart as much or more than my head. Help me to ingest and digest everything I read from your Word.
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.

Prayer Begins With God

Today is Monday, September 11, 2017. Day 21,732. 31 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Tom Landry, who was born on this date in 1924 (died 2000), said, “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” A bit of a twist on the old, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
BrainyQuote

Word of the Day

Antinome ~ “something that is contradictory or opposite to another; a logical contradiction.”

Today is Hot Cross Bun Day. I really don’t even know what those are. I remember a nursery rhyme about them. Apparently, they used to be eaten on Good Friday as a symbol of the crucifixion. Here is a Wikipedia article about hot cross buns.

We have had a wonderful weekend. My mother is still here, this morning, and C is taking the day off to spend some time with her, taking her out shopping, then will take her back home, later this afternoon.

Yesterday’s worship gathering went well, and my worship leading seems to have been well-received. I certainly enjoyed it, and the young lady who sang with me did very well.

The Red Sox and Rangers both lost, yesterday, so the Rangers lost the series to the Yankees, and the Red Sox lost ground in their lead in the AL East. They are 3.5 up in the standings. The Rangers did not lose any ground in the wild card race, as the Twins also lost. But the Angels won, so they gained on the Twins. The Cleveland Indians won number 18 consecutive. The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch not only a playoff berth, but their division. The Dodgers lost their tenth in a row, and the Diamondback won, reducing the Dodgers’s lead to only nine games.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

“Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!”
Psalm 68:26
Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Psalm 74:20
Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, 
from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life.

Psalm 17:13-14
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
Psalm 53:1
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 
But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:42-44

(From Living the Message)

Eugene Peterson reminds us why we need theologians.

“The reason that we who pray need a theologian at our side is that most of the difficulties of prayer are of our own making, the making of well-meaning friends, or the lies of the devil who always seems to be looking after our best self-interests.” You see, we tend to be always about our own interests and forget about God’s interests, or, at least, put our interests ahead of his. We get all caught up in what is happening to us, and then get confused by the “discrepancies between our feelings and our intentions.” We also tend to get distracted by false claims from well-meaning people (or perhaps some who are not so well-meaning). Lies like, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” or, “God helps those who help themselves.”

“But prayer has primarily to do with God, not us . . . And the theologian’s task is to train our thinking, our imagination, our understanding to begin with God not ourselves.”

Start with GOD—the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
Proverbs 1:7 (The Message)

Father, I pray for your instruction in prayer, that I might make it more about you than about me. Show me not only how to pray, but what I should be praying for.
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.