A Divided Mind

Today is Thursday, December 27, 2018. The third day of Christmas.

Day 22,204

Five days until 2019!

“This country has come to feel the same when Congress is in session as when the baby gets hold of a hammer.”
Will Rogers, US humorist and showman, 1879-1935
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is ataraxy. It means, “Freedom from disturbance of mind or passion; stoical indifference.” (Oxford English Dictionary)

It was very quiet at work, yesterday. A number of our people work Tuesday-Saturday, so they aren’t usually there, anyway. Plus most people who work for our client are off between Christmas and New Year’s anyway. The driving was quite nice, as well. To illustrate, I left work, yesterday, about twenty minutes late, as I wanted to finish what I was doing before leaving. It was pouring rain for the second half of my trip. I stopped at Sonic, as usual, for our drinks. I got home at the same time I usually do when I leave on time. Hopefully, the traffic will be that light for the rest of the week.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Give thanks to the Lord of lords, for his steadfast love endures forever;
Psalm 136:3

Today I am grateful:
1. For rain that replenishes the earth, even when it comes in the form of storms.
2. For the easy driving conditions at this time of year.
3. For the way prayer helps people, encourages them.
4. That God has placed the ministry of prayer in my heart.
5. That God continues to teach me about prayer. You’re never too old to learn.

You are God: we praise you;
You are the Lord: we acclaim you;
You are the eternal Father:
All creation worships you.
To you all angels, all the powers of heaven,
Cherubim and Seraphim, sing in endless praise:
   Holy, holy, holy Lord, God of power and might,
   heaven and earth are full of your glory.
The glorious company of apostles praise you.
The noble fellowship of prophets praise you.
The white-robed army of martyrs praise you.
Throughout the world the holy Church acclaims you;
   Father, of majesty unbounded,
   your true and only Son, worthy of all worship,
   and the Holy Spirit, advocate and guide.
You, Christ, are the king of glory,
the eternal Son of the Father.
When you became man to set us free
you did not shun the Virgin's womb.
You overcame the sting of death
and opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers.
You are seated at God's right hand in glory.
We believe that you will come and be our judge.
   Come then, Lord, and help your people,
   bought with the price of your own blood,
   and bring us with your saints
   to glory everlasting.

(The Book of Common Prayer, You Are God)

Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:5-7

I am not a Greek scholar (that is the understatement of the year), but I have learned that the Greek word generally translated as “anxious” or “anxiety” is a word that means “divided” or “distracted.” Chuck Swindoll says that it is a combination of two words, one meaning “to divide,” and the other, “the mind.” That makes sense, doesn’t it?

You see, when we worry, our minds are divided and distracted. I like that concept. Especially in light of my “life verse” from Psalm 86:11. “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.” If I am worried or anxious, my heart is divided. I am asking God to unite my heart, unite my mind, that I might be walking in the way that I should be walking.

Swindoll also says, “Worry occurs when we assume responsibility for things that are outside our control.” (The Finishing Touch, p. 633) A simple, yet profound definition, and full of truth. That is exactly what worry is. When I am worrying about something, it is hardly ever something that I have any control over.

Now, you would think that the opposite of worry would be faith. But take a look at Dallas Willard’s definition of grace. He says that grace is, “God’s action in our lives to accomplish what we cannot accomplish on our own.” Now, I suppose that if we have faith in that aspect of grace, it is the opposite of worry. But the truth is that God has things under control. He can and will accomplish, in my life, what I cannot accomplish on my own.

The problem is that most of us have an overestimated sense of what we can accomplish on our own. We tend to not go to God with something until we have exhausted all of our own natural resources. Have you ever heard someone proclaim, “Well, it’s in God’s hands, now!” NOW?? Are we so ignorant that we don’t understand that it has always been in God’s hands?? Well, yes. Sadly, we are.

Matthew 6 contains some of the best words about anxiety in all of Scripture.

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is alive and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. 
“Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.”

(Matthew 6:25-34)

Father, show me where I am needlessly anxious about anything today. Teach me to trust in You. Unite my mind and my heart, that I might know that You are in control, and that You are, indeed, working in my life to accomplish what I cannot accomplish on my own.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.

Soli Deo gloria!

Who Am I?

Today is Saturday, July 28, 2018. Day 22,052.

22 days until S turns 25!

“There are two kinds of light–the glow that illuminates, and the glare that obscures.” ~ James Thurber, 1894-1961, The Quotations Page

The word for today is hypnopedia, “sleep learning.” It is the idea that people can learn while they sleep.

C is on her way to Denton, again. She had planned to take our dining room table and chairs up there in a rented pickup, but that just didn’t work out the way she planned. Instead, she’s going car shopping with R, who is thinking about trading in her current vehicle (paid off) for a “new” used car. C really enjoys this sort of thing, and it will be good “therapy” for her, so that she doesn’t think she wasted her Saturday. She is the kind of person who always needs to feel some kind of accomplishment on weekends. I am exactly the opposite of that. I prefer to do as much nothing as possible on weekends. We balance each other out pretty well.

I will be practicing a little bit later, probably after I go pick up our Click List and some lunch for S and me. I need to play through the songs for tomorrow, and then, perhaps, wrestle with my technology a bit more to see if I can get something recorded. My “teacher” is out of town on vacation, so he is not available this weekend.

The Red Sox pulled off a tenth inning walk off win, last night, beating the Twins 4-3, on a Mookie Betts home run. This puts their record at 72-33, remaining five games up in the AL East.

The Rangers beat the Astros 11-2. I’ll give you a few minutes to process that. I’ll even repeat it. The Rangers (43-62) beat the Astros (67-38, tied with the Yankees for second best in all of baseball), 11-2. This reminds me so much of the Rangers of the seventies. They couldn’t beat the teams they should beat, but would go nuts on the best teams, beating them with similar scores. Gallardo got the win, who has been their best pitcher, since they got him back, earlier this season. I’ve always liked him.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

A Song of Ascents. Of David.
If it had not been the LORD who was on our side— let Israel now say— 
if it had not been the LORD who was on our side when people rose up against us, 
then they would have swallowed us up alive, when their anger was kindled against us; 
then the flood would have swept us away, the torrent would have gone over us; 
then over us would have gone the raging waters. 
Blessed be the LORD, who has not given us as prey to their teeth! 
We have escaped like a bird from the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken, and we have escaped! 
Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.

Psalm 124

We have to be careful, in reading Psalms such as this one, to remember who wrote it and of whom it speaks. One key is in verse 1, “let Israel now say.” Israel is the only nation in history who could ever say, accurately, “The Lord is on our side.” There seem to be some people in the USA who believe that the Lord is on “our side.” That is a false statement. Just as it is false to say that the USA is a Christian nation. I have said this before in this blog, and will, most likely, say it again. There is no such thing as a “Christian nation.” If you think there is, you are just wrong. Only people can be “Christian.” Now, if you are a part of the family of God, a follower of Jesus Christ, no matter what nation you are from, then, yes, God is on our side. But I think it is more accurate to say that we are on God’s side, because I believe God is on God’s side.

I do believe that we can confidently proclaim verse 8, though, if we are part of the family of Christ-followers. “Our help is in the name of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)

For the weekend reading, we are redirected back to yesterday’s topic, the incomprehensibility of God.

To the choirmaster: according to The Gittith. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens. 
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger. 
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, 
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him? 
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 
You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet, 
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field, 
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas. 
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

What a great question is asked in verse 4! “What is man that you are mindful of him?” I have asked that about myself, numerous times. God, why do You even care about me?? You are so . . . “big” is not enough. Infinite. How can one be “so infinite?” Infinite needs no modifiers. It is impossible to be “very” infinite. One is either infinite or not. God is. I am not. Therefore, I cannot fathom how He could care so much for me.

“In a world consumed with thoughts of itself, filled with people impressed with each other, having disconnected with the only One worthy of praise, it’s time we return to Theology 101 and sit silently in His presence. It’s time we catch a fresh glimpse of Him who, alone, is awesome–yea, incomprehensible. He is our infinite, inexhaustible God. Any serious study of Him takes us from an unconscious to conscious awareness of our ignorance.
“The One we worship defies human analysis.”

Father, help me to get to a place where I can sit silently in Your presence for a while. I still haven’t managed to find that place, yet. Sure, I can have silence in this room, but there are still too many distractions, because, hey, I’m on the Internet while I do this. Facebook is open in one tab, my email is open in another. So, I may have audio silence, but not media silence. Show me a place where I can be solitary and silent before You for a while. I need this. Give me that fresh glimpse of Your awesomeness. I also pray for Your Church, that we may drift away from the world’s disconnectedness and habit of being impressed with itself. I am nothing before You! Who am I that You care for me, that You are mindful of me! I am Your child, and one who desires to follow Your Son more closely.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

You Know Nothing, Jon Snow

Today is Friday, July 27, 2018. Day 22,051.

23 days until S turns 25!

110 days until Fallout 76!

“Nothing is impossible for the man who doesn’t have to do it himself.” ~ A.H. Weiler, 1909-2002, The Quotations Page

The word for today is kindle, “A brood or litter (of kittens).”

There really hasn’t been much going on around here, lately. Sleep, work, eat, watch TV, repeat. That’s about it. No big plans for this weekend; just our normal (or not so normal, lately) worship gathering on Sunday morning. I’m still trying to get my recording set-up to work right, and hit another roadblock Wednesday night when I couldn’t get my keyboard to midi into the recording software.

Tomorrow, I will need to practice for Sunday morning. I am currently planning to sing 10,000 Reasons, To God Be the Glory, When the Night Is Falling, What A Beautiful Name, and Jesus Paid It All.

The Red Sox lost to the Twins, last night, 2-1. That’s two consecutive losses, going back to the last complete game against Baltimore. Sadly, they had the bases loaded in the bottom of the ninth, but Jackie Bradley, Jr. struck out. The Sox are 71-33 and 4.5 games up in the AL East.

The Rangers lost another game to the A’s, 7-6. That was a sweep for the A’s. The Rangers are now 42-62, twenty games below .500. In additional news, the Rangers traded Cole Hamels to the Cubs, yesterday, pretty much telling us all that this year is a bust. Supposedly, they got three prospects for him and are having to send money to help with his contract.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

A Song of Ascents.
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. 
Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt. 
Our soul has had more than enough of the scorn of those who are at ease, of the contempt of the proud.

Psalm 123

We look to the hand of our Father, as a servant looks to the hands of his master. Let it be assumed that we are speaking of a kind and decent master, not one who is hateful and contemptuous. We can feel confident in praying to our God for mercy. One of my favorite prayers to mutter throughout the day is sometimes called “The Jesus Prayer.” It is based on the prayer of the tax collector in Jesus’s parable. “Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.” I could not even estimate the number of times that I breathe that prayer, throughout each day. And trust me, it is not vain repetition. When I pray it, I mean it, and there might be multiple reasons that I say it. Sometimes it is to calm me down mentally or emotionally. Sometimes it helps me calm my stomach if it is feeling bad. Yes, seriously.

This short Psalm is a great prayer to pray back to God, even if you haven’t been dealing with “the contempt of the proud.”

So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”
John 8:31-32

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6

Jesus is the truth. It is knowledge of Jesus that sets us free. The way to know Jesus is to abide in his word.

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)
God Incomprehensible

Charles Swindoll reminds us, today, that God is, in fact, incomprehensible. Of course, there are things we can know about God. After all, as Psalm 19:1 tells us, “The heavens declare the glory of God, and the sky above proclaims his handiwork.” Paul indicated in Romans that there is plenty of evidence of God in the natural creation. “For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.” Note that Paul says, “what can be known about God.” There are some things that we simply cannot know. Yet.

Psalm 139:6 says it this way: “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.” Psalm 115:3 says, “Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.” He has no need to ask us or seek our approval for anything he does. He is the Creator of the universe. He need not explain himself to us.

In spite of many inaccuracies during their speeches, Job’s friends did get a few things right. Zophar for example, in Job 11:7-10: “Can you find out the deep things of God? Can you find out the limit of the Almighty? It is higher than heaven—what can you do? Deeper than Sheol—what can you know? Its measure is longer than the earth and broader than the sea. If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back?”

When we think we are “capable of calling the shots,” we need to be reminded of the nature and character of this God we serve and worship. His ways are beyond finding out, beyond comprehension. Yes, there are things we can know, and Jesus (the way, the truth, and the life) has revealed many of those things to us. But there is much more that we are unable to fathom. And the knowledge of this “unknowledge” is what enables us to fall to our knees and say, “Have thine own way, Lord.”

Let us remember this when we are tempted to think we are “all that” and that we have any control over anything in our lives.

Or, perhaps, as Ygritte keeps telling Jon Snow, in A Storm of Swords, “You know nothing, Jon Snow.”

Father, in comparison to your greatness and magnificence, I know nothing. You are incomprehensible to me, and I acknowledge that. Nevertheless, I revel in what little knowledge I do have and hope to increase that as you give me ability. Show me your ways as I draw closer to you. Draw me closer to you as you show me your ways. Teach me. Have mercy upon me. Show me the truth that He might set me free from everything that binds me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Leave It To God

Today is Sunday, July 15, 2018. Day 22,039.

35 days until S turns 25! She’s already talking about things she wants to do that day.

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” ~ Jeannette Rankin, 1880-1973, The Quotations Page

The word for today is coeval, “of the same age, date, or duration; equally old.”

Yesterday was a great day. After the guy came to look at our toilet (I may not have mentioned that part), C went and picked up our Clicklist while I finished my devotional blog. After I got ready, C and I headed over to Weatherford to the Parker County Peach Festival. We walked around there for about an hour, having a small bowl of peach ice cream, picking up a t-shirt, several kinds of jam (including peach, of course), a small bag of coffee mix, and some actual peaches. It was hot, of course, but we had a good time. We almost connected with some folks that I work with, but they guy didn’t respond to my initial text (I texted him as soon as we got there) until we were about to the exit gate.

From there, we continued westward to Mineral Wells, where we shared some peaches with my mother, and then she took us out for lunch. We went to the Dairy Mart, where we had some great cheeseburgers. Well, C had a patty melt, which is a just cheeseburger on square Texas Toast. Then I went over to the Famous Water Company, where I picked up two cases of Crazy Water #4, some chocolate pecans, and a t-shirt.

After dropping mother off at her house, we headed back home, where I spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for this morning’s worship gathering at FBC Smithfield. I’m looking forward to leading again. We will be singing “Blessed Be Your Name” (Matt Redman), “Blessed Assurance” (the hymn), “Who Can Satisfy My Soul” (Dennis Jernigan), “Your Love Defends Me” (Matt Maher), “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (John Newton and Chris Tomlin), and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” (the hymn).

This afternoon, we will be meeting seven other folks from our Exchange family at Lone Star Park for an afternoon of horse races. Good times.

Almost forgot the baseball recaps. The Red Sox won their game, 6-2, on a Xander Bogaerts walk-off grand slam home run! They are now 67-30 on the season, and remain 3.5 up in the AL East.

The Rangers lost to Orioles, 1-0. This makes their record 41-55, and they fall to 22 out in the AL West.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. 
I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word! 
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules. 
I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. 
The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. 
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. 
I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Psalm 119:105-112

Verse 105 is another popular memory verse. I learned it as a child, as, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Someone wrote that into a popular worship chorus a couple of decades ago. I like the imagery in the verse. God’s word lights my way; it shows me the way I should walk. Without it, I am walking in darkness.

I want to share Chuck Swindoll’s weekend reading in The Finishing Touch.

“Can’t seem to get where you want to go fast enough?
Leave it to God.
Worried about your kids?
Leave it to God.
Living in a place you’d rather not be?
Leave it to God.
Looks like you won’t graduate with honors?
Leave it to God.
No matter how hard you try, your life’s partner simply is not responding?
Leave it to God.
Found a lump and you see the doctor tomorrow?
Leave it to God.
You’ve said the right words to that friend who is lost, and you’ve been all you know to be, still, zip?
Leave it to God.
Haven’t got a date for the prom?
Leave it to God.
A mid-career change seems scary?
Leave it to God.
You did the job but someone else got the credit?
Leave it to God.
Getting older, alone?
Leave it to God.

Father, help us to leave all things in your hands, whether good or bad, favorable or unfavorable. Forgive us when we try to accomplish things on our own, without 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.

Follow the Leader; Or Don’t

Today is almost-Friday, July 12, 2018. Day 22,036.

38 days until S turns 25!

125 days until Fallout 76!

“A cynic is not merely one who reads bitter lessons from the past, he is one who is prematurely disappointed in the future.” ~ Sidney J. Harris, 1917-1986, The Quotations Page

The word for today is cerebrate, “to use the mind : think.”

The Red Sox completed a sweep of the Rangers, last night, beating them 4-2, as Chris Sale got his tenth win, and the Sox got their ninth consecutive win. They remain 3.5 up in the AL East. The Sox start a series with Toronto tonight. The Rangers get another Thursday off (I don’t know how they always manage to have Thursday off), and head to Baltimore for the weekend.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

My soul longs for your salvation; I hope in your word. 
My eyes long for your promise; I ask, “When will you comfort me?” 
For I have become like a wineskin in the smoke, yet I have not forgotten your statutes. 
How long must your servant endure? When will you judge those who persecute me? 
The insolent have dug pitfalls for me; they do not live according to your law. 
All your commandments are sure; they persecute me with falsehood; help me! 
They have almost made an end of me on earth, but I have not forsaken your precepts. 
In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.

Psalm 119:81-88

The Psalmist has a longing for the salvation and promises of God. How much do I long for his word? But in this passage, the Psalmist is seeking comfort in his persecutions.

But also note verse 88. “In your steadfast love give me life, that I may keep the testimonies of your mouth.” Even the ability to keep his commands is a gift from God. We are unable to follow him without the life that he gives us!

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)
Blind Spots

In today’s reading, Chuck Swindoll identifies six things for which we should be alert in leaders. This will help us avoid what he calls “follow-no-matter-what syndrome,” which is what causes situations like Jonestown and Waco.

1. Authoritarianism. When leaders begin to repress freedoms, becoming “inflexible, dictatorial, tyrannical, oppressive,” we should stop following them. A true leader should always have a servant’s heart and a teachable spirit. “Be especially wary of one who seems to have all the answers.”
2. Exclusiveness. Beware the “we-alone-are-right” mentality. This type of thinking is usually indicative of cult behavior, especially if they begin to forbid you contact with your other family members.
3. Greed. While this one should be obvious, many church congregations fall into the trap of following a money-hungry preacher. But God’s shepherds are not to be motivated by selfish gain.
4. Sensuality. Again, it should be obvious. When a pastor begins having inappropriate conduct with members of the opposite sex (or even same sex, in these days), we should be questioning his ability to lead.
5. Unaccountability. I’m not sure that’s really a word. But this is a big one. Perhaps it should be number two. When a leader refuses to be accountable to anyone else, he forfeits the right to be trusted. Beware the “I am God’s anointed, how dare you question me” mentality.
6. Rationalization. Wrongs are justified with a defensive spirit. Inappropriate actions are explained away. Swindoll calls this “accommodation theology.” If a leader begins going down this path, we need to follow a different leader and path.

One thing, I would add, though. If we see our pastors/leaders begin to follow any of these errant paths, I would highly recommend first trying to correct them. Not alone, mind you, but with a group of like-minded, godly people. If attempts at correction fail, leave. It is that simple. Refuse to follow a leader who exhibits any of these characteristics.

Father, give us wisdom as we decide who we will follow in your kingdom. Ultimately, we need to follow Jesus. But we always have leaders who, hopefully, will help us to do that better. I believe you have given our little body of believers such a leader. If we ever see any of these mentalities in our leaders, may we first try to correct, gently. If that fails, give us the wisdom to stop following and go elsewhere, always looking to Jesus as our ultimate leader.
Thank you for the life that you have given me that enables me to love your word and follow your precepts.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Taming the Tongue

Today is Tuesday, June 26, 2018. Day 22,020.

Eight days until July 4!

141 days until Fallout 76!

“One man that has a mind and knows it can always beat ten men who haven’t and don’t.” ~ George Bernard Shaw, 1856-1950, The Quotations Page

The word for today is kaput, “utterly finished, defeated, or destroyed.” Also, “unable to function,” or, “hopelessly outmoded.”

Last night, while C was at a church-related meeting, I got my keyboard set back up in the study, and got some things going with Cubase, my recording software. By “got some things going,” I mean I watched some tutorial videos. I didn’t get very much accomplished, last night, but I’m excited because I actually got in here and at least started learning. It’s going to be a bit complicated, but I believe I can figure it out. I need to look online and find a manual for the software. Nobody provides paper manuals, any more. As an old guy, I rather miss that. At any rate, I’m looking forward to having some good fun with this.

The Red Sox were off last night. They begin a series with the Angels tonight.

The Rangers came back to beat the Padres 7-4. Their record is 35-45, and the Astros lost, so they are 17 games out in the AL West. This also bumped them ahead of the Padres in the over-all MLB standings. The Rangers are now eighth from the bottom.

The Orioles have reclaimed the status of worst in baseball.

Tonight, we plan to go to the Y.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

When Israel went out from Egypt, the house of Jacob from a people of strange language, 
Judah became his sanctuary, Israel his dominion. 
The sea looked and fled; Jordan turned back. 
The mountains skipped like rams, the hills like lambs. 
What ails you, O sea, that you flee? O Jordan, that you turn back? 
O mountains, that you skip like rams? O hills, like lambs? 
Tremble, O earth, at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, 
who turns the rock into a pool of water, the flint into a spring of water.

Psalm 114

I am saddened by the fact that a large part of the “world” does not, in fact, “tremble at the presence of the Lord.” I pray, daily, that he would make himself known among the nations, and that people would acknowledge him.

Whoever gets sense loves his own soul; he who keeps understanding will discover good.
Proverbs 19:8

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)
The Tongue

The moment I saw the title of today’s reading, I thought, “Uhoh.”

The tongue is vicious. Our Lord’s brother James had much to say about it.

So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.
James 3:5-8

He goes on to say how we both bless God and curse people made in God’s image with the same tongue.

There has been much “extra-Biblical” counsel on the tongue. Will Noris once wrote:

“If your lips would keep from slips
Five things observe with care:
To whom you speak, of whom you speak,
And how . . . and when . . . and where.”

Swindoll also quotes Publius, a Greek sage, as saying, “I have often regretted my speech, never my silence.”

King David said, in Psalm 39:1, “I said, ‘I will guard my ways, that I may not sin with my tongue; I will guard my mouth with a muzzle, so long as the wicked are in my presence.'”

As one who struggles daily with his tongue, I can relate. My tongue has gotten me in so much trouble, over the course of my life. Charles Swindoll offers three helpful suggestions.

1. Think first. “Before your lips start moving, pause ten seconds and mentally preview your words.” Of course, there is also the popular “THINK” acronym to apply to speaking. Before speaking, THINK. Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind? How much of what we say would never get said if we applied that before speaking?

2. Talk less. Oh, yes. The more I talk, the more there is a chance I will “blow it.” Also, people who talk too much tend to have trouble keeping friends.

3. Start today. “Fit that muzzle on your mouth now.” We don’t need to practice first. I don’t need to get “ramped up” before I start practicing this. It needs to being now.

And may I say, this can also apply to what my fingers type on social media, bring it into the 21st century.

We close with some words from Goethe, the German poet:

“One ought, every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.”

Emphasis on “few” and “reasonable.”

Father, help me to tame my tongue. It still gets me into trouble. Help me to apply these wise principles to words that I might speak today. And may I temper all things with thoughts and meditations from your word. Let my goal be as stated in the last verse of Psalm 19. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Come Apart

Today is Monday (already?), June 25, 2018. Day 22,019.

Nine days until July 4!

142 days until Fallout 76!

“A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in.” ~ Frederick the Great, 1712-1786, BrainyQuote

The word for today is scupper, a British word, “to prevent from happening or succeeding; ruin; wreck.”

It was a nice, pretty much uneventful, day, yesterday. Our worship gathering went well, as we continued learning about the Sabbath and how we should be translating the fourth commandment into modern times. We didn’t have our usual steak late lunch, yesterday, but it’s kind of a long story why, and doesn’t really matter. Instead, we picked up food and took it home. Which we probably won’t be doing much longer, by the time we get done with this series on Sabbath. I’ll explain more as the series goes on.

The Red Sox beat the Mariners 5-0, to take the series. Chris Sale pitched seven innings and got his seventh win of the season. The Sox record is now 52-27 (same as the Astros), and they are once again tied for first place in the AL East, as the Yankees lost yet another game to Tampa! In fact, the Ray swept the Yankees. That’s bittersweet for me as I dislike the Rays pretty much just as much as the Yankees. (I’m trying to eliminate the word “hate” from my vocabulary as much as possible.)

The Rangers’ win streak was stopped at seven as they lost to the Twins, yesterday, 2-0. I’m thinking that the responsibility lies solely in the hands of a college classmate of mine who has been in Florida for the whole win streak and came home yesterday. Anyway . . . as they say, “All good things must come to an end.” Why, though? Why must they? The Rangers now have a record of 34-45, and since the Astros won, they are back to 18 games out in the AL West.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Praise the LORD! Praise, O servants of the LORD, praise the name of the LORD! 
Blessed be the name of the LORD from this time forth and forevermore! 
From the rising of the sun to its setting, the name of the LORD is to be praised! 
The LORD is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens! 
Who is like the LORD our God, who is seated on high, 
who looks far down on the heavens and the earth? 
He raises the poor from the dust and lifts the needy from the ash heap, 
to make them sit with princes, with the princes of his people. 
He gives the barren woman a home, making her the joyous mother of children. Praise the LORD!

Psalm 113

Indeed, who is like the Lord our God? Another reminder of how much God cares (and wants us to care) for the poor and needy.

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)
Coming Apart

To begin this reading, Charles Swindoll quotes Vance Havner as saying, “If you don’t come apart . . . you will come apart.” What, exactly is that supposed to mean? I will tell you.

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

This is, of course, referring to Jesus, and his habit of rising early and going off alone . . . “coming apart.” Later in Mark, we find this:

The apostles returned to Jesus and told him all that they had done and taught. And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat. And they went away in the boat to a desolate place by themselves.
Mark 6:30-32

There’s a slight difference in these two passages. Jesus went to a lonely place for the purpose of prayer. However, he took the disciples to a lonely place to rest

This whole series that we are experiencing in our worship gatherings is about “Sabbath,” a concept that has fallen out of usage in modern times. For one thing, “Sabbath,” which means seventh, is, historically Saturday. But after the resurrection of Jesus, new Christians began meeting on Sunday, the first day of the week, to worship. And, over time, as Christianity spread into other cultures, observation of the Sabbath fell out of practice.

Our pastor is encouraging us to bring it back, taking Sunday to rest in the Lord. He also has encouraged us to find time to be alone with God in our lives. This is also something that our culture does not do very well, at all. We are afraid of silence; we are afraid of being alone. Observe in your weekly worship gatherings, if you will, how much actual silence is there. Even during the pastor’s (or other people’s) prayers, there is usually some kind of music playing.

We need solitude and silence in our lives; we need “sabbath.” Without it, we cannot get stronger.

The other aspect of the Jewish Sabbath that we have completely gotten out of order is this. Their Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday evening and ends at sundown on Saturday. If you recall the creation story, “And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.” (Genesis 1:5) I believe it is important to note which one came first! The day began with evening. The first thing that God’s new humans did after they were created was rest!

The idea is this. We are supposed to work out of our rest, not rest from our work. You may claim that I am merely wrestling with semantics, but I believe it to be true. The “day” begins with rest, in the evening, and continues with work in the morning. I wonder how our lives would look if we thought about it like that. And I wonder, even more, how our lives would look if we would reclaim “sabbath” in our lives, and spend Sundays “resting,” even going so far as to prepare Sunday’s meal on Saturday. Our pastor even believes that we should, if possible, spend Sunday afternoons in the company of other believers, celebrating together in fellowship. What a concept.

But before we can celebrate, we must find a way to be alone with God, silently listening to him and allowing him to work in our lives.

Father, I’m getting more serious about this concept of solitude and silence, adding simplicity to the mix, as well. I haven’t yet managed to incorporate it into my regular schedule, but I am pondering how to do that, and trying to figure out where. It’s hard to find “lonely” places in this world, today. I pray that your Spirit would lead me to a place where I could do that, be alone with you, and quite before you, listening to you and your Spirit. Show me the way, Father.
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.


Today is Wednesday, May 30, 2018. Day 21,993.

“There is no nonsense so gross that society will not, at some time, make a doctrine of it and defend it with every weapon of communal stupidity.” ~ Robertson Davies, 1913-1995 (The Quotations Page)

The word for today is mump, a verb which means, “to sulk; mope.”

I’m feeling somewhat better this morning, but still not quite 100%. As yesterday wore on, I felt a little worse, but I never took any medications during the day, either. I’m taking some with me, today, just in case. The cold, or whatever it is, moved into my sinuses yesterday. Normal progression of things, I suppose.

The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, last night, 8-3, to improve their MLB best record to 38-17. They are one of two teams who have not yet lost twenty games. The Yankees are the other team, but the Sox remain two games up on them in the AL East. They have a day game with Toronto today.

The Rangers beat the Mariners, 9-5, after a four-run top of the ninth. Since they were tied before that, Alex Claudio got the win. Their record is now 23-34, and they are 12.5 games back in the AL west.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field; 
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more. 
But the steadfast love of the LORD is from everlasting to everlasting on those who fear him, and his righteousness to children’s children, 
to those who keep his covenant and remember to do his commandments. 
The LORD has established his throne in the heavens, and his kingdom rules over all. 
Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word! 
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will! 
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!

Psalm 103:15-22

A little dose of reality at the beginning of today’s passage. “As for man, his days are like grass.” Our days on this earth are rather short, comparatively. I’ve lived 21,993 days. Next Wednesday, I will be 22,000 days old!! But, seriously, that doesn’t sound like all that many, does it? Sixty years sounds longer than 22,000 days, at least to me. But in the scope of eternity, we are, indeed, like the grass, that flourishes for a moment, but then is gone. It is good for us to remember this, especially when we start thinking that we are “all that.”

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)

This reading, even though written over twenty years ago, has deep meaning for today’s world.

Chuck Swindoll calls tact “the saving virtue,” and says it “graces life like fragrance graces a rose.” The lovely smell makes us forget that there are thorns on that branch.

The major goal of tact is “avoiding unnecessary offense,” which, I have to confess, I’m not always very good at. I’ve gotten better, though. I promise.

We have all known teachers, salespeople, bosses, and co-workers who lack tact. It’s very unpleasant, and your main objective becomes to get away from them as quickly as possible.

But what is worse is, and perhaps a classic example of “tactless humanity,” is “the abrasive Christian (so-called) who feels it his or her calling to fight for the truth with little or no regard for the other fella’s feelings.” We all know people like this, right? “This individual plows through the feelings of people like a John Deere tractor, leaving them buried in the dirt and, worst of all, deeply offended.

“This person’s favorite modus operandi is either to overlook or openly demean others, leaving a backlash of broken hearts and bitter souls.” Some of our preachers are included in this bunch, unfortunately, preferring a “devastating pulpit that scourges rather than encourages.”

The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.
Proverbs 15:25

The book of Proverbs is replete with sayings like that, illustrating the great value of tact over intentional offense.

“Let’s stop hurting and start healing. Let’s be gentle and sensitive when we are touching the tender feelings of others.” We can be tactful while still telling the truth. That is, in fact, quite possible.

Granted, in these days, people seem to be wearing their feelings on their sleeves and tend to be offended by the least little thing. This does not mean, however, that we should barrel over them with no thought for those feelings.

Let’s follow the wisdom of Solomon and try to have a little more tact in our dealings with people, especially on social media.

A brother offended is more unyielding than a strong city, and quarreling is like the bars of a castle. From the fruit of a man’s mouth his stomach is satisfied; he is satisfied by the yield of his lips. Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Proverbs 18:19-21

Father, grant me tact and wisdom as I deal with people in my life, today, and every day. Let me never be guilty of intentionally offending someone. I do not believe that to be the nature of Christ. Let me live my life the way Jesus would live it if he were me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Of Whirlwinds and Storms

Today is Monday, May 14, 2018. Day 21,977.

Six days until Pentecost Sunday.

“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 for today is lollapalooza, a slang noun which means, “an extraordinary or unusual thing, person, or event; an exceptional example or instance.”

We had a nice day yesterday, not doing much of anything, once we got home from our worship gathering. The gathering went well, and we had a good crowd, including some previous members that we had not seen in at least a couple years. Our pastor gave a good message, which was not about mothers, but about how we feel guilt in our modern society. It was mostly about the difference between feeling “guilty” for not reading my Bible in the morning, as is my habit, versus feeling guilty because I have more than enough food in my refrigerator while people quite close to me might not have enough to feed their children today. It was a tough sermon, and I will probably listen to it again on the podcast, when it becomes available. Instead of our usual blessing, at the end of the gathering (which is the one I sometimes paste in at the end of this blog), our pastor wrote a special one, which, in my opinion, did an excellent job of covering all of the women in all of the various phases of motherhood, including women who have never had any biological children. It had me in tears at the end.

After we got home and unloaded my keyboard and stuff, I headed to Kroger to pick up our Click List order. That was the last time anyone left the house, yesterday. C rested in the bedroom, watching TV, while I played video games, until it was time to cook potatoes and steaks, which I did for us between 2:30 and 4:00. Over all, I would say it was a great and restful day.

The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays again, 5-3, taking the series. The Yankees, however, beat the Athletics again, so they are still tied for first place in the AL East and best in MLB, with records of 28-12. The Sox take on the Athletics tonight, which always seems to be a tough series.

The Rangers lost to the Astros, again, 6-1, making their record 16-26, now ten games out in the AL West. They appear to have the day off, and will be traveling to Seattle to play the Mariners.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. 
Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker! 
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Psalm 95:4-7

A Psalm. A Song for the Sabbath. It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High; 
to declare your steadfast love in the morning, and your faithfulness by night, 
to the music of the lute and the harp, to the melody of the lyre. 
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy. 
How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! 
The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: 
that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; 
but you, O LORD, are on high forever. 
For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered. 
But you have exalted my horn like that of the wild ox; you have poured over me fresh oil. 
My eyes have seen the downfall of my enemies; my ears have heard the doom of my evil assailants. 
The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon. 
They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God. 
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green, 
to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.

Psalm 92

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)

His way is in whirlwind and storm, and the clouds are the dust of his feet.
Nahum 1:3b

Today, Charles Swindoll reminds us that God is present in the whirlwinds and storms of life. This is a much-needed truth in today’s world. If you’re like me, and you are, sometimes, mostly every day there is some kind of disruption in life that could be at least categorized as a whirlwind. Many times, they are strong enough to be considered a “storm.” But God is always there. Swindoll offers up more than just this somewhat obscure text in Nahum.

. . . all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing, and he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?”
Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:35

Our God is in the heavens; he does all that he pleases.
Psalm 115:3

. . . for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.
Philippians 2:13

When you are in tribulation, and all these things come upon you in the latter days, you will return to the LORD your God and obey his voice.
Moses in Deuteronomy 4:30

Says Swindoll, “Life is filled with God-appointed storms.” There are two things in which we can take comfort. “First, we all experience them. Second, we all need them.”

Take a moment to process that while your brain rejects the notion that you “need” storms in your life.

Storms and whirlwinds accomplish at least two things in our lives. One is that, if we have strayed from the path, they guide us back to God. The other is that they “smooth us and humble us and force us to submit to the role He has chosen for us.”

Swindoll then offers the example of William Cowper (1731-1800). After passing through a great crisis in his life, he decided to end it all. He took poison. The attempt to take his life failed. Later, he hired a coach, traveled to the Thames River, with the notion of throwing himself off of the bridge, but he was “strangely restrained.” The next day he tried falling on a knife. The blade broke. He tried to hang himself, but was found, unconscious, but still alive. Eventually, he found a Bible, read the book of Romans, “and was gloriously saved.”

Cowper later wrote these famous words:

God moves in a mysterious way
His wonders to perform;
He plants His footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Go back to that verse in Nahum. “His way is in the whirlwind and storm.” Remember that today, when the whirlwind, or even the storm approaches. Knowing this, we can face the storms without fear, understanding that God is present, and will guide us through them.

Father, thank you for the storms in my life, and what you have taught me through them. Perhaps I have not yet learned what I should have from some of them. Therefore, teach me patience and humility in all that comes about. You are present in all things. Teach me faith (trust), death to self, and love. Then show me how to live in total dependence upon Christ and contentment with whatever I have in 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.

Sing A New Song

Today is Monday, May 7, 2018. Day 21,970.

Six days until Mother’s Day!

It’s the birthday of Robert Browning (1812-1889), who said, “Perhaps one has to be very old before one learns to be amused rather than shocked.” BrainyQuote
Perhaps, then, I am very old, because I believe I have reached that point.

The word for today is ocellated, an adjective which means, “having eyelike spots or markings.”

We didn’t do a lot, yesterday afternoon. We didn’t even cook our steaks for lunch/dinner. We were both so tired that we decided to freeze them and have them next weekend. I’ll cook them for Mother’s Day.

I got to watch the Red Sox/Rangers game on TV, since the Rangers are our local team. For me, it was a great game. Not so much for the Rangers fans, as their lone run was scored on an unusual Ryan Rua home run, late in the game. The Sox pretty much dominated the game and won 6-1 behind a strong outing by Chris Sale. The puts the Red Sox record at 25-9, being the only team left in MLB that has not lost ten games, yet. The Yankees, however, continue to roll, and remain one game behind the Sox, both in the AL East, and MLB, overall.

The Sox are off tonight, and begin a series in New York tomorrow night. I hope I have some Tums. The Rangers host the Detroit Tigers, beginning tonight.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Let the heavens praise your wonders, O LORD, your faithfulness in the assembly of the holy ones! 
For who in the skies can be compared to the LORD? Who among the heavenly beings is like the LORD, 
a God greatly to be feared in the council of the holy ones, and awesome above all who are around him? 
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you? 
You rule the raging of the sea; when its waves rise, you still them. 
You crushed Rahab like a carcass; you scattered your enemies with your mighty arm. 
The heavens are yours; the earth also is yours; the world and all that is in it, you have founded them. 
The north and the south, you have created them; Tabor and Hermon joyously praise your name. 
You have a mighty arm; strong is your hand, high your right hand. 
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you. 
Blessed are the people who know the festal shout, who walk, O LORD, in the light of your face, 
who exult in your name all the day and in your righteousness are exalted. 
For you are the glory of their strength; by your favor our horn is exalted. 
For our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.

Psalm 89:5-18

I’ve always wondered who “the council of the holy ones” is. There are other references in the Psalms to “gods,” as well, that make me scratch my head and wonder. What I love, though, in this Psalm, are the references to God in nature, the “raging of the sea,” along with references to God’s “might arm” and “strong hand.” I love the Psalms that poetically describe the Lord in such majestic terms.

(From The Finishing Touch, Charles Swindoll)
Making Melody

And do not get drunk with wine, for that is debauchery, but be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart, giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
Ephesians 5:18-21

Ephesians 5:18, says Chuck Swindoll, is one of those verses that doesn’t get noticed a lot. Like, for instance, John 3:17. Or 1 John 1:10. Can anyone quote either one of those? I doubt it. (“For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:17) (“If we say we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us.” 1 John 1:10)

Ephesians 5:18 tells us to sing! We are to sing “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,” which pretty much covers all the possible genres of “Christian” music. Furthermore, as our pastor pointed out a few weeks ago, we are to sing to one another! I confess that I had not noticed that before he pointed it out to us. When we sing together, we not only sing to the Lord, but we sing to one another, “addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs.”

Why would we sing to one another? Because we all need to be reminded. We all need to be encouraged. Which is why we need to be together, in the first place.

I’m an introvert. I don’t particularly like to be “together.” But it’s necessary. And I’m finding it easier to bear, as the Lord brings me along.

But that’s not the point today. The point is singing. You notice that this verse doesn’t really make any reference to “church” or anything like it. It just says that we are to sing and make melody. When’s the last time you sang? “The Spirit-filled saint is a song-filled saint,” says Swindoll, as he reminds us that animals, pews, and pulpits can’t sing. Bibles and buildings can’t sing. Only we can sing. Some of you may not be able to carry a tune in a proverbial bucket. But you can still sing to God. God is not tone-deaf, but, somehow, by the time our feeble attempts at melody reach his ears, they have been filtered through some kind of heavenly “autotune.” God loves to hear us sing, I promise you, because he, himself, is a singing God! See Zephaniah 3:17, “The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.”

I’m short on time, or I could write more on this. But spend some time today, I encourage you, singing! Try to remember the songs from church yesterday, or pick one that you are greatly fond of. Then find a place and time, where you can joyfully sing it to God. He will love to hear you sing.

Father, let me sing today. Teach me to sing more and more. I confess that I have not been singing enough in recent years. I used to sing all the time. Restore me, Lord, to the joyful singing that I once knew. Fill my lungs with your air, and open my lips that I might praise your name in joyful song!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

A Psalm.
Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 
The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations. 
He has remembered his steadfast love and faithfulness to the house of Israel. All the ends of the earth have seen the salvation of our God. 
Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth; break forth into joyous song and sing praises! 
Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody! 
With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD! 
Let the sea roar, and all that fills it; the world and those who dwell in it! 
Let the rivers clap their hands; let the hills sing for joy together 
before the LORD, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world with righteousness, and the peoples with equity.

Psalm 98

Grace and peace, friends.