“All the Operations of the Trinity”

Today is Friday, July 21, 2017. Day 21,680. 29 days until S’s birthday!

“It only takes 20 years for a liberal to become a conservative without changing a single idea.” ~ Robert Anton Wilson
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is al desko, a facetious adjective, meaning, “(of meals or eating) at one’s desk in an office.”

Today is Junk Food Day. So go ahead. Eat whatever you want today. As long as it’s junk.

We got up on time, this morning. And we have ordered a new clock radio. It’s not technically the radio’s fault that we didn’t get up yesterday, but in a roundabout way, it is. You see, the button that turns off the alarm, but leaves it on to repeat the next day, quit working a couple weeks ago. So C had to completely shut the alarm off, which makes her have to remember to turn it back on the next night. Wednesday night, we were both exhausted from bowling, and she just forgot.

The Rangers have now lost five in a row, getting swept by Baltimore this week. Yesterday, they were ahead 5-1, and I guess Hamels imploded or something. It was his first loss of the season. Tonight, they take on the Rays, who are in second place in the AL East. The Red Sox lost a game to Toronto, yesterday, but they took two before that, so they won the series. They are 2.5 games ahead of Tampa in the AL East, and play the Angels tonight, in LA, unfortunately.

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
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. 
The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses. 
Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.

Psalm 25:16-18
But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Psalm 88:13
Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, 
Psa 113:6  who looks far down on the heavens and the earth?

Psalm 113:5-6
“Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. 
For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few.”

Matthew 7:13-14

(From Practice Resurrection)

When Paul chooses Psalm 68 as part of his text for Ephesians (4:8), he has discovered, in Psalm 68, a “structure that gives literary and theological shape to what he writes: first in a thorough meditative immersion in the action and word of God (chapters 1-3), which then takes form in a worship-generated life of believing obedience (chapters 4-6).”

Remember the axios metaphor? That’s the idea of the balancing scales. That metaphor and the text of Psalm 68 reinforce each other by “knitting . . . the call of God and the walk of God’s people into a living organism. This is not an arbitrary or programmatic juxtaposition of two parts. Maturity is not a patchwork affair assembled out of bits and pieces of disciplines and devotions, doctrines and causes. It is all the operations of the Trinity in the practice of resurrection.”

“It is all the operations of the Trinity in the practice of resurrection.”

Father, help us to see the operations of the Trinity in our lives as we struggle on this road of hearing your call and walking in it. Especially as we gather together on Sunday mornings, help us to see you working as we worship. As we go through our day to day existence, help us to look for you in every detail, keeping you at the front of our mind, praying “without ceasing,” devoting each moment of our day to you.
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 Begins With God

Today is Thursday, July 20, 2017. Day 21,679. Thirty days until S’s birthday!

C forgot to turn on the alarm last night, so we overslept. No time for trivial things, this morning.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise! 
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 

Psalm 95:1-3
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.
Psalm 84:8
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12
Gracious is the LORD, and righteous; our God is merciful.
Psalm 116:5
“I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser. 
Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 
Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.”

John 15:1-3
Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.
The Gloria
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.

(From Practice Resurrection)

Eugene Peterson points out that Paul, in Ephesians 4, quotes part of Psalm 68. Using that backdrop, Peterson gives us a beautiful picture of worship. It all begins with God.

“The Sanctuary is the setting for this worship: worship begins in the sanctuary (v. 24) and ends in the sanctuary (v. 35). Sanctuary is a set-apart place consecrated for worship, paying reverent attention to who God reveals himself to be and how he reveals himself in our history. The sanctuary is also a theater in which we find our place and our part for participating in the wide-ranging salvation drama. This Psalm 68 worship is not merely watching, not a show-and-tell about God at work. Nor is it a workshop for figuring out how God goes about his work. Psalm 68 worship is a listening attentiveness to God in word and action, which develops into glad participation in that word and action.”

Peterson then points out the last “God-activated” verb in the Psalm. It is “give,” in verse 35. “[God] is the one who gives power and strength to his people.” God gives to his people. He gives power and strength. Then we, his people, should receive that and “run with it, singing and playing tambourines, from the least of them, Benjamin, in the lead to the high-profile princes of Judah and Zebulun following behind.”

Father, help us to worship you. And while this worship begins and ends in “sanctuary,” help us to remember that worship is also a lifestyle. We can have a life of worship, not just setting it aside for Sunday morning (or whenever our particular gathering happens to be). May my life be a life of worship to you that culminates in the weekly gathering of the saints as we combine our lives together to worship you. And may our worship begin and end with you, allowing you to give your power and strength to us, that we might “run with it” into the world.
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.

Never Isolated

“Worship . . . makes certain that we know that we are never isolated in this calling/walking life. We are all necessarily in relation to one another. What each of us does affects all the others. When we hear and respond to God, we usually do it alone but implicitly always in community, whether we are in the same room with others or not.”

Today is Wednesday, July 19, 2017. Day 21,678. 31 days until S’s birthday!

“I have had more trouble with myself than with any other man.” ~ Dwight L. Moody
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is edacious, an adjective meaning “having a huge appetite : ravenous,” or, “excessively eager : insatiable.”

I don’t know who let this happen, but today is both Ice Cream Day and Hot Dog Day!! How on earth am I supposed to choose between those? I already knew Hot Dog Day was coming, because Sonic has been advertising dollar hot dogs for a couple of weeks, now. I didn’t know it was Ice Cream Day until about a minute ago. So have a hot dog. And some ice cream. Maybe not together, though. But who knows??

Tonight is bowling night, and it looks like we will all be there. I hope so. It just wasn’t as much fun without C, last week. We’ve already decided we won’t continue with this league in the fall. I would love to keep bowling, but not on a weeknight. That’s just too difficult for us. It creates stress, and we don’t need that. So we’ll check out weekend leagues and see if there are any we can get into.

The Red Sox had another fifteen-inning game, last night. This time they won, beating the Boo Jays 5-4. It was one minute shy of five hours. The Sox maintain a two game lead in the AL East. The Rangers, on the other hand, lost 12-1 to the Orioles, with the starting pitcher giving up six runs in the first inning. Seems to me he did that last time he started. (Insert definition of insanity.) I have to question management’s strategy, here. The Rangers are 17.5 out, now, in third place.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

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 . . .
God will give ear . . . he who is enthroned from of old, Selah.

Psalm 55:16-19
Restore us, O God of hosts; let your face shine, that we may be saved!
Psalm 80:7
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
Psalm 76:7
Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. 
So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. 
Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. 
Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away. 
“But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”

Mark 13:28-32
By the word of the LORD the heavens were made, and by the breath of his mouth all their host. 
He gathers the waters of the sea as a heap; he puts the deeps in storehouses. 
Let all the earth fear the LORD; let all the inhabitants of the world stand in awe of him! 
For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm. 
The LORD brings the counsel of the nations to nothing; he frustrates the plans of the peoples. 
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.

Psalm 33:6-11

(From Practice Resurrection)

One of the most common complaints that we hear when talking to non-church-goers about worship is, “I just don’t get anything out of it.” The incorrect response to that is to try to make it something that people will get something out of, to infuse it with adrenaline. Hence what I call “emotional manipulation” that comprises most of today’s worship music.

The thing is, worship is not supposed to make something happen. “Worship brings us into a presence in which God makes something happen.” I like our pastor’s take on it. He tells us not to think of God sitting in a chair, being a spectator, during our worship gatherings, but, rather, to think of Jesus walking up and down the aisles and rows of our people, working in our lives.

“Worship uses personal, conversational language to nurture the recognition of our essential capacity for hearing ourselves personally addressed (called) by the voice of God. It then treats us with the dignity of being able to live (walk) worthily, that is, appropriately, into the calling. It makes certain that we know that we are never isolated in this calling/walking life. We are all necessarily in relation to one another. What each of us does affects all the others. When we hear and respond to God, we usually do it alone but implicitly always in community, whether we are in the same room with others or not.”

“Worship is the most characteristic act of the Christian community as it makes itself at home in the conditions conducive to growing to maturity in Christ.”

Father, thank you for this community. Thank you for placing me in a community of faith, people with whom I can worship and walk. Thank you for making them challenging to me, and for making me challenging to them. If we were all of like mind on all things, it would be pretty boring. But we challenge each other (sometimes, not in good ways) and, as Scripture says, “iron sharpens iron.” Help me to love all of these as you have loved me. Help me to never consider myself isolated, but realize and remember that everything I do is done in community with all other believers.
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.

“Formed In Community”

“The life into which we grow to maturity in Christ is a life formed in community.”

Today is Tuesday, July 18, 2017. Day 21,677.

“There is an evil tendency underlying all our technology – the tendency to do what is reasonable even when it isn’t any good.” ~ Robert Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is ovine, an adjective meaning, “pertaining to, of the nature of, or like sheep.”

Today is Mandela Day, celebrated each year on the birthday of Nelson Mandela. “The heart of Mandela Day is service to others and the creation of a better world for everyone.”

We didn’t have any actual peach ice cream, yesterday, but we had frozen peaches and vanilla ice cream, which were delicious together. We still have several more bags of frozen peaches, some of which, no doubt, will become peach cobbler, at some point.

The Rangers and Red Sox both lost, last night. Boston is still in first, two games up on the Rays. Texas has dropped to third, as Seattle has overtaken them. The Rangers are 16.5 games out.

I forgot to mention, yesterday, that we lost both George Romero (filmmaker) and Martin Landau (actor) over the weekend. Landau was 89. Romero was only 77. I was surprised that he wasn’t older. I guess I didn’t realize he was only in his late twenties when he did Night of the Living Dead.

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; sing to the LORD, all the earth! 
Psalm 96:1
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas.
Psalm 65:5
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Psalm 93:5
“The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field, which a man found and covered up. Then in his joy he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field. 
“Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant in search of fine pearls, 
who, on finding one pearl of great value, went and sold all that he had and bought it.”

Matthew 13:44-46
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Psalm 84:2

A quote from C.S. Lewis for today, from Mere Christianity:

“We begin to notice, besides our particular sinful acts, our sinfulness; begin to be alarmed not only about what we do, but about what we are. This may sound rather difficult, so I will try to make it clear from my own case. When I come to my evening prayers and try to reckon up the sins of the day, nine times out of ten the most obvious one is some sin against charity; I have sulked or snapped or sneered or snubbed or stormed. And the excuse that immediately springs to my mind is that the provocation was so sudden and unexpected; I was caught off my guard, I had not time to collect myself. Now that may be an extenuating circumstance as regards those particular acts: they would obviously be worse if they had been deliberate and premeditated. On the other hand, surely what a man does when he is taken off his guard is the best evidence for what sort of a man he is? Surely what pops out before the man has time to put on a disguise is the truth? If there are rats in a cellar you are most likely to see them if you go in very suddenly. But the suddenness does not create the rats: it only prevents them from hiding. In the same way the suddenness of the provocation does not make me an ill-tempered man; it only shows me what an ill-tempered man I am. The rats are always there in the cellar, but if you go in shouting and noisily they will have taken cover before you switch on the light.”

(From Practice Resurrection)

In yesterday’s portion, we talked about language in conversations with God. As we mature, the language becomes more personal. But it also becomes “more inter-personal.” It becomes a conversation with many voices, which cannot be held down to a sort of “private Jesus-and-me-in-the-garden-alone” kind of thing. To be sure, there will be, and should, moments of private devotion and conversation with Jesus. But we can’t have him all to ourselves. The conversation must be extended to the other people whom God is calling. “The life into which we grow to maturity in Christ is a life formed in community.”

That last sentence is an important one. “The life into which we grow to maturity in Christ is a life formed in community.”

As we study Ephesians, we are shaped into awareness of, not just ourselves, but “all the other pilgrims on the road in simultaneous diversity and unity.” Paul calls this collective “the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:12).

As we worship together, we have “the basic form and . . . the essential content for this aspect of ‘growing up’ to the ‘full stature of Christ.'” Trying to worship alone in front of the TV is “not mature worship.” Sure, just like the conversations, we can have some pretty intense moments of private worship. I experienced some of those on the coast of Oregon last month. However, “what we must not do is deliberately exclude others from our worship or worship selectively with like-minded friends.” Ephesians does not offer those options. In truth, the early church knew nothing of that way of thinking. “Maturity develops in worship as we develop in friendship with the friends of God, not just our preferred friends.”

“If we are going to grow up into Christ we have to do it in the company of everyone who is responding to the call of God. Whether we happen to like them or not has nothing to do with it.” (Emphasis mine)

Father, these are some hard truths, and difficult for most of us to handle. Nevertheless, they are truths that we must take in and truths by which we must abide. Help me to be of the same mind in this, that worship must be in community of all who are called in this walk with Christ, regardless of whether I like them. And, in truth, as we worship together, the “liking” part will become irrelevant. Teach me your ways, Lord, that I may walk in your truth, and that I may walk in that truth in community.
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.

God’s Call and My Ears

Today is Monday, July 17, 2017. Day 21,676.

“We have, I fear, confused power with greatness.” ~ Stewart Udall
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is steadfast, an adjective which means, “firmly fixed in place : immovable.” Also, “not subject to change,” or, “firm in belief, determination, or adherence : loyal.” Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. (Psalm 36:5)

Today is Peach Ice Cream Day. As if I could find any anywhere!! Blue Bell has not resumed making their Peaches and Homemade Vanilla flavor, and who knows if they will. Well, I’ve got frozen peaches, and I’ve got vanilla ice cream. Perhaps I will create my own, this evening.

Speaking of this evening, I don’t have band practice again, as we are off until the first Monday in August. So we have three more weeks off.

Yesterday was an okay day. The worship gathering went pretty well, I think, and C spent most of the afternoon stripping wallpaper in the kitchen. Oh, I forgot to mention that she started that project Saturday. I could not dissuade her. She’s been wanting that wallpaper gone for a while, now. And, now, it’s gone. She plans to paint the walls, instead.

Back to work today.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. 
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. 
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

Psalm 51:15-17
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.
Psalm 119:145
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer. 
Psalm 19:14
Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes!
Psalm 119:12
Pay attention to yourselves! If your brother sins, rebuke him, and if he repents, forgive him, 
and if he sins against you seven times in the day, and turns to you seven times, saying, ‘I repent,’ you must forgive him.

Luke 17:3-4
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!

Psalm 36:5-10

(From Practice Resurrection)

We last talked about God’s call in our lives. This is what God does. Our response to this call is walking. “Walk is what we do. We follow God’s call. We respond with our lives.” We don’t want to begin by seeking out ideas and information about God. “God is not an idea. We hear and respond. We obey.” But this obedience is not some kind of automated response, like a dog when we say “sit.” “It is the act of following a personally addressed command or invitation.” God calls us by name.

This calling is also not some kind of impersonal cause that just makes something happen, mechanically. It is personal, and it beckons us into a new kind of life “a resurrection life.”

“When the calling and walking are in equilibrium, we are worthy.” Remember the picture of the balancing scales? This picture is not of something rigid that, once gotten into balance, will automatically stay there. When measuring items in physics class, the slightest inconsistency could jar the scales out of balance. There is a “delicate, sensitive connection between call and walk, a relation that is never one-sided but always reciprocal.”

As we mature, and our language matures, these “God-initiated conversations . . . become increasingly personal.” Many times in our lives, we start out by seeking information about God, but soon find ourselves in an intimacy with God. Information is not bad, mind you. But it should not be the end goal. There is an “organic intimacy” between God’s voice and our ears. If that is reduced to simple information, it will go dead.

Father, open my ears, that I may hear your constant calling in my life. Help me to mature in my language and this “organic intimacy” between your call and my ears. I want to hear you. I want to walk with you, not just know about you. Deepen that desire in my life.
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.

Overtaken

Today is Sunday, July 16, 2017. Day 21,675.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation
Psalm 95:1
Hear the voice of my pleas for mercy, when I cry to you for help, when I lift up my hands toward your most holy sanctuary.
Psalm 28:2
But the LORD is in his holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before him.
Habakkuk 2:20
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26
And Jesus cried out and said, “Whoever believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me. 
And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. 
I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness. 
If anyone hears my words and does not keep them, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world. 
The one who rejects me and does not receive my words has a judge; the word that I have spoken will judge him on the last day. 
For I have not spoken on my own authority, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment—what to say and what to speak. 
And I know that his commandment is eternal life. What I say, therefore, I say as the Father has told me.”

John 12:44-50
How sweet are your words to my taste, sweeter than honey to my mouth! 
Through your precepts I get understanding; therefore I hate every false way.

Psalm 119:103-104
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.

O Lord, mercifully receive the prayers of your servant who calls upon you,
and grant that I may know and understand what things I ought to do,
and that I also may have the grace and power faithfully to accomplish them;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.

(From The President’s Devotional)

When Blessings Overtake

And if you faithfully obey the voice of the LORD your God, being careful to do all his commandments that I command you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth. 
And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you, if you obey the voice of the LORD your God.

Deuteronomy 28:1-2

I believe that we sometimes gloss over passages like this, not taking them at face value. Sure, these were words that were spoken directly to the children of Israel, during their wanderings in the wilderness. But what if they are true for me, too? Look at the words in verse two. The blessings of God will overtake you! “Out of nowhere. Overwhelming. Unexpected. In undeserved measure.”

What is our part in this? Obedience. Walking as closely to God as we can. Loving God and loving our neighbors. “Let’s reduce our fleshly desires and pray that the Spirit of God will increase within us.”

When we do these things, the blessings of God will “come upon” us, and “overtake” us!

Father, these words almost make me tremble. As I consider the thought that your words are ultimate truth, I sense a desire in my heart to be overtaken by your blessings. I pray for your Spirit to help me practice the disciplines that I need to practice, in order to walk more closely to you, walking in your Kingdom, in the “easy yoke” of Christ, that I might be overtaken. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Psalm 25:4-5

Grace and peace, friends.

Abiding

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(From The Divine Hours)

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

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

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

Matthew 18:1-4
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

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

Psalm 25:4-5

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.