Waiting

Today is Sunday, December 31, 2017. Day 21,843. New Year’s Eve.

Only one more day until 2018!!

John Denver, born on this date in 1943 (died 1997), said, “At times I’ve got a really big ego. But I’ll tell you the best thing about me. I’m some guy’s dad; I’m some little gal’s dad. When I die, if they say I was Annie’s husband and Zachary John and Anna Kate’s father, boy, that’s enough for me to be remembered by. That’s more than enough.”
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The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is auld lang syne, a noun, meaning, “old times, especially times fondly remembered.”

Today is No Interruptions Day. Right. As if.

Well, I woke up again, so here I am. Last day of the year, last devotional of the year. I’m still working out what I will use for 2018, so I’ll figure that out tomorrow morning.

C is not going to church this morning. She finally broke down and went to CareNow last night. They said she didn’t have strep, or at least the test came back negative. But they also said everything in there was red and swollen. So they gave her a Z-pack and some other pills and cough syrup. Hopefully, by Tuesday, she will be feeling better.

So far, I feel fine.

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

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is called “Waiting.”

I wait for the LORD, my soul waits, and in his word I hope; my soul waits for the Lord more than watchmen for the morning, more than watchmen for the morning.
Psalm 130:5-6

“We’re waiting on you, Lord. We’re waiting for you to do a new thing. We’re waiting for our healing, for our purification, for our rest. We’re waiting in expectation and the fullness of hope.
‘My soul waits for the Lord
More than those who watch for the morning–
Yes, more than those who watch for the morning.’
Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, as 2018 approaches, I will wait for you. I pray for you to do a “new thing,” not only in my life, but in the lives of all who call your name. I pray that, in the life of our small congregation, you will do a new thing, that you will show yourself great and mighty in the coming year. Cause us to remember your steadfast love and mercies, which are, indeed, new every morning.
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.

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Knowing Christ

Today is Tuesday, December 26, 2017. Day 21,838.

Only six days until 2018!

Carlton Fisk, born on this date in 1947, said, “I knew it was gonna go out. It was just a question of it being fair or foul. The wind must have carried it 15 feet toward the foul pole. I just stood there and watched. I didn’t want to miss seeing it go out.”
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I assume he’s referring to this:

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is afterglow, a noun, meaning, “the pleasant remembrance of a past experience, glory, etc.” Many people, especially children, will be basking in the afterglow of yesterday’s festivities.

Today, of course, is Boxing Day in Canada and UK countries. What is Boxing Day? There are several explanations, but it seems to have originated with the practice of setting out boxes of money or gifts to thank tradespeople for good service throughout the year.

Yesterday was simply marvelous. I don’t think it could have been better. We had a wonderful lunch at my mother’s house, after which we exchanged our gifts. We visited (also dozing off from time to time) for a while afterward, had some dessert, and headed home.

Back to work today, even though it’s supposed to be my Christmas Eve holiday. But at least I get some decent overtime for it.

For the remainder of this week, I will be deciding what devotional books/tools to use for 2018. One will be Daily Guideposts 2018, which I received as a gift from my mother.

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

(From The Divine Hours)
Tuesday – Fourth Week of Advent

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul.
Psalm 66:16
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Psalm 67:1-2
Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.
Psalm 119:54
Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10
But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.
John 4:23-24
Hear my cry, O God, listen to my prayer; from the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint. Lead me to the rock that is higher than I, for you have been my refuge, a strong tower against the enemy. Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah. For you, O God, have heard my vows; you have given me the heritage of those who fear your name.
Psalm 61:1-5

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is “A Thought to Christ.”

“There have been men before . . . who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God Himself . . . as if the good Lord had nothing to do but to exist. There have been some who were so occupied with spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.” ~ C.S. Lewis, The Great Divorce

“Let’s give a thought to Christ,” says Joshua DuBois. What was this Jesus? “What did he care about? How did he spend his time?” What can we learn about Jesus from the Bible? The point is that Christianity, the faith so many of us claim to have, is absolutely nothing without the person of Jesus.

Just like Joshua DuBois, I have known people who were so adamantly going about making “converts” that I truly feel that they didn’t truly know this Jesus to whom they were trying to convert people. And Jesus never commanded us to make “converts.” He told us to make disciples. There are a lot of converts walking around out there who don’t know the first thing about being a disciple. I should know. I was one of them for a long time.

“Lord, I’d like to reintroduce myself. I have not known you fully, and I’d like to know you more. Show me your character. And help me be more like you. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, I could echo Joshua’s prayer. I don’t feel like I’ve known you very well, lately, and I want to move back into a realm where I feel like I know you more. Help me to study the character and nature of Jesus more. Remind me to meditate more on his words and works, that I might emulate them in my daily walk. Help me to walk in your kingdom and in the easy yoke of Christ.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

“Go, and See”

Today is Monday, December 25, 2017. Christmas Day! Day 21,837.

Seven days until 2018!

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.” ~ Alexander Smith
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The word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionsry, is Belsnickel, a noun, meaning, “In certain North American communities, esp. those of German origin: a person who goes about merrymaking at Christmas or New Year in disguise, often visiting the houses of neighbours, friends, and relatives to play pranks or beg for small gifts or refreshments.”

It’s been a wonderful Christmas morning, so far. We all got up around 8:00 AM, got some coffee, and opened the Christmas gifts. Everyone seemed thrilled by the gifts that they received, myself included. We look forward to our visit to Mineral Wells in a little while, to share some Christmas joy with Mama/Grandma.

I wish everyone who reads this a joyous day, and safe travels, if you happen to be traveling during the season.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride. Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!
Psalm 31:23-24
Be a rock of refuge for me, a strong fortress to save me! For you are my rock and my fortress; and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
Psalm 31:2-3
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Psalm 31:19
Now Thomas, one of the Twelve, called the Twin, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, “We have seen the Lord.” But he said to them, “Unless I see in his hands the mark of the nails, and place my finger into the mark of the nails, and place my hand into his side, I will never believe.” Eight days later, his disciples were inside again, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were locked, Jesus came and stood among them and said, “Peace be with you.” Then he said to Thomas, “Put your finger here, and see my hands; and put out your hand, and place it in my side. Do not disbelieve, but believe.” Thomas answered him, “My Lord and my God!” Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:24-29
When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dream. Then our mouth was filled with laughter, and our tongue with shouts of joy; then they said among the nations, “The LORD has done great things for them.” The LORD has done great things for us; we are glad. Restore our fortunes, O LORD, like streams in the Negeb! Those who sow in tears shall reap with shouts of joy! He who goes out weeping, bearing the seed for sowing, shall come home with shouts of joy, bringing his sheaves with him.
Psalm 126

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is called “Go, and See.”

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, “Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us.” And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger.
Luke 2:15-16

“Go. And see.

“If you hear of god doing a great work.

“If your curiosity has been piqued by a tale of righteousness.

“If you’ve been longing to lay your eyes on something that in the pit of your stomach or corner of your mind you believe will be a healing force in your life.

“Then don’t hesitate. Don’t second-guess. Like the shepherds–get up. Take the next step. Go, and see. You never know; Jesus may be at the end of that journey.

“Dear God, are there new places you want me to travel? New lands to explore? New people to meet? At your prompting, I am ready to go, and see. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

There are so many times in our lives that all we need to do is take a single step of faith. I have experienced the results of both taking that step and failing to take that step. I regret the times that I failed, but rejoice in the times that I followed through. Of course, there is no going back. God does not “punish” when we fail to do what we feel in our gut that he wants us to do. But we certainly miss out. Let me tell you, there are few things that compare with the joy of doing something that you feel the Holy Spirit prompting you to do. We may never see the final results of that step taken, but it doesn’t matter. The results are up to God, not us.

Father, I thank you that, in spite of past failings, you have continued to give me opportunities. I thank you that you still have work for me to do. I pray that you help me to stay connected to the “easy yoke” of Jesus, so that, when you call upon me to take those steps, he is right there with me to pull me along. May I forever walk in your kingdom. Give me the faith and strength to “go, and see.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace. And Merry Christmas, friends.

Open Our Eyes

Today is Friday, December 22, 2017. Day 21,834.

Only THREE days until Christmas!!!

Abigail Adams, born on this date in 1744 (died 1818), said, “If particular care and attention is not paid to the ladies, we are determined to foment a rebellion, and will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice, or representation.”
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The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is abubble, an adjective, meaning, “characterized by intense enthusiasm or activity.” Children are all abubble, this time of year.

C is off today, for her Christmas Eve holiday. I have to work. I was supposed to be off Tuesday, but we are being asked to work. Since C will be working anyway, and we will get double-time-and-a-half for working on our holiday, I’ll be there. Unfortunately, I will also be working Saturday and Sunday of the following weekend. Only four hours each day, but our customer wants coverage for those days to get as much material received as possible. Since I work the “problem shelf,” they want me there to help get as many of those problems resolved as possible. I’m a little concerned about the weather for that weekend, though. Forecasts project below freezing lows for Saturday and Sunday, with slight chances of precip.

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

(From The Divine Hours)
Friday – Third Week of Advent

But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice. He redeems my soul in safety from the battle that I wage, for many are arrayed against me. God will give ear and humble them, he who is enthroned from of old, Selah. because they do not change and do not fear God.
Psalm 55:16-19
Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me! 
Psalm 70:1
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
Psalm 65:4
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
Psalm 33:20
And his mother and his brothers came, and standing outside they sent to him and called him. And a crowd was sitting around him, and they said to him, “Your mother and your brothers are outside, seeking you.” And he answered them, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking about at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! For whoever does the will of God, he is my brother and sister and mother.”
Mark 3:31-35
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation, my fortress; I shall not be shaken. On God rests my salvation and my glory; my mighty rock, my refuge is God. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. Those of low estate are but a breath; those of high estate are a delusion; in the balances they go up; they are together lighter than a breath. Put no trust in extortion; set no vain hopes on robbery; if riches increase, set not your heart on them. Once God has spoken; twice have I heard this: that power belongs to God, and that to you, O Lord, belongs steadfast love. For you will render to a man according to his work.
Psalm 62:5-12

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is called “Eleanor’s Prayer.”

“Our Father, who has set a restlessness in our hearts and made us all seekers after that which we can never fully find, forbid us to be satisfied with what we make of life. Draw us from base content and set our eyes on far-off goals. Keep us at tasks too hard for us that we may be driven to Thee for strength. Deliver us from fretfulness and self-pitying; make us sure of the good we cannot see and of the hidden good in the world. Open our eyes to simple beauty all around us and our hearts to the loveliness men hide from us because we do not try to understand them. Save us from ourselves and show us a vision of the world made new.”
(Eleanor Roosevelt, in The Treasury of American Prayers

Father, this is a beautiful prayer, and I can easily echo it. Forbid me to be satisfied with anything in this life, for that would mean that my satisfaction is coming from something other than you. Draw my attention away from things that are not deserving of my praise. And that bit about difficult tasks. Yes. Don’t let me fall into expecting easy. Keep me depending on you and your strength. Finally, show me that vision, Father, and keep it alive in me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Praise in the Storm

Today is Wednesday, December 20, 2017. Day 21,832.

Only FIVE more days until Christmas!!

99 days until Opening Day!

Alan Parsons, born on this date in 1948, said, “Folk rock was my real roots. I did a few gigs as a folk artist, in the style of Fairport Convention.”
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The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is facepalm, a noun, meaning, “the gesture of placing the palm of one’s hand across the face, as to express embarrassment, frustration, disbelief, etc.”

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

(From The Divine Hours)
Wednesday – Third Week of Advent

My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:21
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy on me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

The Request for Presence
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 36:5
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 
Psalm 145:1
but standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.
John 19:25-27
I give you thanks, O LORD, with my whole heart; before the gods I sing your praise; I bow down toward your holy temple and give thanks to your name for your steadfast love and your faithfulness, for you have exalted above all things your name and your word. On the day I called, you answered me; my strength of soul you increased. All the kings of the earth shall give you thanks, O LORD, for they have heard the words of your mouth, and they shall sing of the ways of the LORD, for great is the glory of the LORD. For though the LORD is high, he regards the lowly, but the haughty he knows from afar. Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands. 
Psalm 138

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is called “Preemptive Praise.”

“Two men look out through the same bars:
One sees the mud, and one the stars.”
(Frederick Langbridge, “A Cluster of Quiet Thoughts”

Each evening they come back, howling like dogs and prowling about the city. They wander about for food and growl if they do not get their fill. But I will sing of your strength; I will sing aloud of your steadfast love in the morning. For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge in the day of my distress.
Psalm 59:14-16

“There is power in preemptive praise,” says Joshua DuBois. When David’s enemies were near, seemingly closing in on him, he sang praises of God’s power and “steadfast love.” He proclaims, “For you have been to me a fortress and a refuge.”

Says DuBois, “My slave ancestors used to call this ‘praising in the middle of the storm.'” I believe, along with the writer of this devotion, that God is, indeed, delighted that we trust him enough to “speak words of praise even in advance of our breakthrough.” When we are in the midst of our troubles, singing and proclaiming his praise speaks volumes more than whining and moaning about our circumstances. And many times, breakthrough is the “fulfillment of our praise.”

“Dear God, you know the challenges, the fears, the insecurities of my life. Instead of letting them weigh me down, I will use them as fuel for the fire of my praise. I know that you are a deliverer. And I know that you are with me, and I am with you. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, I cannot add to that prayer. I can only echo it, for it speaks exactly what my soul speaks, this morning. Amen and Amen!
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.

Enjoy!

Today is Monday, December 18, 2017. Day 21,830.

Keith Richards, born on this date in 1943, said, “I mean some doctor told me I had six months to live and I went to their funeral.”
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The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, flocculent, a noun, meaning, “like a clump or tuft of wool.” Doesn’t that sound more like an adjective? I believe they made a mistake, there. Other sources list it as an adjective. And both of their examples speak of “flocculent clouds.” So, yeah. Adjective.

Today is Bake Cookies Day. We probably won’t be doing that this season. But I expect (and hope) we will make some Kahlua fudge! Yummm!!

We had a wonderful weekend! It was so very busy, but still fun. The Yuleslide event went marvelously. I know we had a record turnout for the Grapevine event, and I’m pretty sure we had double what we had last year!

Yuleslide 2017

After that, we had about an hour or two to get ready for C’s company Christmas party. We got packed up and headed over to the Arlington Hilton, and checked in for our free night. The room was pretty great. It turned out to be a suite, with a huge window facing Six Flags and Rangers Ballpark. It’s kind of sad that we didn’t have more time to enjoy it.

The party was fun, with a good dinner, lots of prizes, and some fun dancing. C won a $100 Lowe’s gift card, and we danced a few times, once to “our song,” “Thinking Out Loud,” by Ed Sheeran. Then we danced vigorously to “Uptown Funk,” by Bruno Mars, which caused quite a stir when people saw C dancing like that after only less than seven weeks since full knee replacement! She was sore, later, but she said it was worth it.

We had a nice complimentary breakfast buffet on Sunday morning, then packed up and headed home. We stopped for a minute, after breakfast, to watch, somewhat amusingly, as one of the night’s party attendees attempted to get a 52″ TV in his Nissan Altima. (That was one of the grand prizes.) He finally made it, after we suggested he lower his back seats and slide it through from the trunk. It barely fit, but that’s enough.

Back to work, this morning. C only has four days to work, this week, as her company is taking off Friday for Christmas Eve, then Monday for Christmas. Unfortunately, I have to work Friday, but get Monday and Tuesday off. Currently, our plan is that R & J will come down on Sunday and spend Christmas Eve with us, then we will all trek over to Mineral Wells Monday to have Christmas with Mama. “Christmas with Mama.” Sounds like a Hallmark movie. 🙂

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

(From The Divine Hours)
Monday – Third Week of Advent

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 103:20-22
Let the assembly of the peoples be gathered about you; over it return on high. The LORD judges the peoples; judge me, O LORD, according to my righteousness and according to the integrity that is in me.
Psalm 7:7-8
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115:1
This is the day that the LORD has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it.
Psalm 118:24
In those days Mary arose and went with haste into the hill country, to a town in Judah, and she entered the house of Zechariah and greeted Elizabeth. And when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, the baby leaped in her womb. And Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit, and she exclaimed with a loud cry, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! And why is this granted to me that the mother of my Lord should come to me? For behold, when the sound of your greeting came to my ears, the baby in my womb leaped for joy. And blessed is she who believed that there would be a fulfillment of what was spoken to her from the Lord.”
Luke 1:39-45
O LORD, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds. I will offer to you the sacrifice of thanksgiving and call on the name of the LORD. I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people, in the courts of the house of the LORD, in your midst, O Jerusalem. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 116:16-19
Stir up your power, O Lord, and with great might come among us; and, because we are sorely hindered by our sins, let your bountiful grace and mercy speedily help and deliver us; through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory now and for ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is called, “Enjoying the Fruit.”

“When the LORD your God enlarges your territory, as he has promised you, and you say, ‘I will eat meat,’ because you crave meat, you may eat meat whenever you desire.”
Deuteronomy 12:20

“Pick a day. Enjoy it – to the hilt. The day as it comes. People as they come. . . . The past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present – and I don’t want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future.”
Audrey Hepburn, in What Would Audrey Do?

We get so bogged down by all the rules and regulations in Deuteronomy: “when to worship, what to sacrifice, with whom to associate.” We tend to overlook something that God commands frequently . . . “enjoy it!”

In our own lives, are we truly enjoying the blessings that God has lavished up on us? Are we too busy climbing that next mountain, accomplishing that next goal, making that next dollar? In some way or another, we are on top of some kind of hill or mountain, right now. And it probably wasn’t easy to get there. “So in the midst of our striving, be sure to look around and savor the God-given view.

“Dear God, thank you for who you have made me. There is a lot yet to do, but today, let me not forget that there is a lot you have already done. Bless me with joy, the happiness that comes with the knowledge of you. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Yes, Father! Yes, Lord! Put in me the ability to enjoy the blessings that you have given me, instead of focusing on what is yet to be done. Sure, I do need to keep moving and keep working. But let that not be the focus to the detriment of enjoying your blessings. Let not the work left to be done infringe upon my joy!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends!

Cloud and Fire

Today is Saturday, December 16, 2017. Day 21,828.

Only nine days until Christmas!

Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), born on this date in 1949, said, “Well, everybody faces the fact there really aren’t many records stores around to just go and browse. Maybe browse online, yet that tactile feel of flipping through a stack of vinyl remains one of life’s simple pleasures.” He also said, “The blues is life itself.”
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The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is terpsichorean, and adjective, meaning, “of or relating to dancing.”

Today is another one of my favorites, Chocolate Covered Anything Day.

We had a wonderful visit with some dear friends and their brand new twin daughters, last night. C got to hold babies almost the whole night. I even held one of them for a while. I haven’t done that, I’m pretty sure, since S was born.

I have to be in Grapevine between 9:45 and 10:00 this morning, to start rehearsing for Yuleslide, our annual trombone Christmas gathering. It’s great fun as we gather and play Christmas carols at the Main Street Gazebo in Grapevine. If you’re in the area, we play at 2:00 PM. Hopefully, the rain will hold off until we’re finished.

Then, as I mentioned in previous entries, C’s company Christmas party is tonight at the Arlington Hilton. That should be good fun, and hopefully good food.

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

(From The Divine Hours)
Saturday – Second Week of Advent

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!
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 
Psalm 42:1
The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone. This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalm 118:22-23
Then Jesus came from Galilee to the Jordan to John, to be baptized by him. John would have prevented him, saying, “I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?” But Jesus answered him, “Let it be so now, for thus it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness.” Then he consented. And when Jesus was baptized, immediately he went up from the water, and behold, the heavens were opened to him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and coming to rest on him; and behold, a voice from heaven said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased.”
Matthew 3:13-17
In just a little while, the wicked will be no more; though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there. But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. The wicked plots against the righteous and gnashes his teeth at him, but the Lord laughs at the wicked, for he sees that his day is coming. The wicked draw the sword and bend their bows to bring down the poor and needy, to slay those whose way is upright; their sword shall enter their own heart, and their bows shall be broken. Better is the little that the righteous has than the abundance of many wicked. For the arms of the wicked shall be broken, but the LORD upholds the righteous.
Psalm 37:10-17

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is “Light My Path.”

For the cloud of the LORD was on the tabernacle by day, and fire was in it by night, in the sight of all the house of Israel throughout all their journeys.
Exodus 40:38

“Behold, I say unto thee, This is the way, walk ye in it,
neither turn to the right hand nor to the left.
For I shall make the path for thy feet a plain path,
and light shall be there,
and there shall be the shining of My glory.
It shall not be the glory of man. It shall be the glory of God.”
Francis Roberts, Dialogues with God

“Dear God, light my path today. Place me withing your holy presence, and surround me with your cloud and fire. I won’t turn to the left, or to the right. I will move with you. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Yes, Father. Light my path today. Show me the way to go with your holy cloud and fire. Make the path so clear to me that I find it impossible to stray to the right or to the left.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.