“The Reckless, Raging Fury . . .”

Today is Tuesday, September 19, 2017. Day 21,740. 23 days until our 32nd anniversary!

Rich Mullins, who died on this date in 1997, said, “Having grown up Protestant, I was unfamiliar with St. Francis. Then I watched the movie ‘Brother Sun, Sister Moon’… I just became fascinated with the character of St. Francis. What I saw in that movie was a man who had fallen in love with God, someone for whom God was everything.”

Word of the Day

<em>Oceanicity ~ “the degree to which the climate of a place is influenced by the sea.”

Of course, today, somewhat famously, now, is Talk Like A Pirate Day. Although Dave Barry did not originate this “holiday,” apparently, we have him to thank for promoting it.

As noted above in the daily quote, today is the twentieth anniversary of the death of Rich Mullins, one of the greatest Christian songwriters of the late twentieth century. I will share my favorite song of his, which is actually two songs, from “The World As Best As I Remember It, Volume 1.” The video is made by someone else, just some pretty scenery and stuff.

C is still not feeling well, and is staying home from work today. The coughing is making her have a tough time sleeping. I don’t think she feels horrible, but the coughing and sneezing is bringing her down.

The Red Sox beat the Orioles, 10-8, in eleven innings, last night. The Yanks won, so no change in the standings, there. But the Twins lost, so everyone else gained a half game in the wild card standings. So the Rangers are 4.5 games out of the second wild card spot, and the elimination number is still nine. They have thirteen games left.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Psalm 95:1-2
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
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.

Psalm 123:1-2
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.
Psalm 7:17
And he took a child and put him in the midst of them, and taking him in his arms, he said to them, 
“Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, and whoever receives me, receives not me but him who sent me.”

Mark 9:36-37
Sing to God, sing praises to his name; lift up a song to him who rides through the deserts; his name is the LORD; exult before him! 
Father of the fatherless and protector of widows is God in his holy habitation.

Psalm 68:4-5

(From The President’s Devotional)

“Give us courage and gaiety and the quiet mind. Spare to us our friends, soften to us our enemies. Bless us, if it may be, in all our innocent endeavors. If it may not, give us the strength to encounter that which is to come, that we be brave in peril, constant in tribulation, temperate in wrath, and in all changes of fortune and down to the gates of death, loyal and loving to one another.” ~ Robert Louis Stevenson, “For Success”

If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing. 
Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 
Love never ends. As for prophecies, they will pass away; as for tongues, they will cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 
1Co 13:10  but when the perfect comes, the partial will pass away. When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways. For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known. 
So now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; but the greatest of these is love.

1 Corinthians 13

Father, give us love for each other, give us love for you, and help us to know your love for us.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.


Greater Things

Today is Sunday, September 17, 2017. Day 21,738. 25 days until our 32nd anniversary!

Roddy MacDowall, who was born on this date in 1928 (died 1998), said, “I enjoyed being in movies when I was a boy. As a child you’re not acting – you believe.” I wonder if that is still true today.

Word of the Day

Zizz ~ “The noise made by the rapid motion of a wheel.”

Today is Wife Appreciation Day. I figured I had better pick that one out of the other choices. And I do so appreciate my wife! She has put up with me for almost thirty-two years! She’s not feeling great, this morning. She has developed a nasty cough.

We had a fun day, yesterday. In the early afternoon, we headed out to Euless, where we had burgers at Chop House Burgers. It was delicious! C and I both had the signature Chop House Burger, with an added fried egg, and I added bacon to mine. S had the chicken fried chicken “burger.” After we ate, we headed across the highway to our favorite Nail Spa, where we all got pedicures. I love pedicures. Do not be deceived, my brothers, because it’s not at all about getting toenails cut. That’s just the beginning. You get feet and lower legs massaged, hot stone rubs, hot towels, and even a hot wax treatment on your feet. And it feels so good, I can’t describe it with words. So very relaxing!

The Red Sox beat the Rays 3-1, last night, and the Yankees won, as well, so that race remains the same. The Sox are three games up and the Yanks hold the top wild card spot. The Indians won, clinching their division. The Rangers lost to the Angels, 2-0, but the Twins also lost, so the Rangers remain five games out of the wild card race. The Angels, however, move to within one game of the Twins in that race. The Rangers elimination number for the wild card race is ten, with fourteen games remaining.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music.
Psalm 101:1
But I, O LORD, cry to you; in the morning my prayer comes before you.
Psalm 88:13
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Psalm 93:5
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalm 118:23
No one has ascended into heaven except he who descended from heaven, the Son of Man. 
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up, 
that whoever believes in him may have eternal life. 
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.

John 3:13-16
As your name, O God, so your praise reaches to the ends of the earth. Your right hand is filled with righteousness. 
Let Mount Zion be glad! Let the daughters of Judah rejoice because of your judgments! 
Walk about Zion, go around her, number her towers, 
consider well her ramparts, go through her citadels, that you may tell the next generation 
that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.

Psalm 48:10-14
O God, because without you we are not able to please you,
mercifully grant that your Holy Spirit may in all things
direct and rule my heart;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From The President’s Devotional)

“We are but as the instrument of heaven.
Our work is not design, but destiny.” ~ Owen Meridith, “Clytemnestra”

Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father.
John 14:12

When Jesus left this earth, he left us some tasks to accomplish.

“Today is not meant for trivial tasks. It is not to be consumed with consumption or used up with self-glorification.” Today is a day to “build more temples to God’s glory here on earth.” We are here to bring a measure of the Kingdom of God to earth.

“It’s not a day for the mundane, for the usual, for less. It’s a day for greater, and greater, and greater works.”

“God, let me be a striver. Help me reach not toward my own high calling but toward yours. And in your name, let me accomplish great things. Amen.” (Joshua Dubois)

Amen, and amen, Father! Today, let this day be about you and what I can accomplish in your name and in your power. Let today be about your glory, and help me to build those temples to your glory. As I continue to work to live my life without anger, let your glory shine through, let me display walking in your Kingdom, and let that overflow into other areas of my life, as well. Indeed, help me, in the power of your Holy Spirit, to do greater things in your great name!
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.

“Glorify Your Name”

Today is Sunday, September 10, 2017. Day 21,731. 32 days until our 32nd anniversary!

Roger Maris, who was born on this date in 1934 (died 1985), said, “It would have been a helluva lot more fun if I had not hit those sixty-one home runs.”

Word of the Day

Vamoose ~ “to leave hurriedly or quickly; decamp.”

Today is World Suicide Prevention Day. I have personally known at least two people who have taken their own lives, one of them very close to me. It’s something you never get over. I have prevented one suicide by doing something that was actually very stressful and difficult to do, and felt very intrusive. But it saved a life. If you know someone is contemplating suicide, you have a responsibility, like it or not. Do something. Please.

I’m leading worship, this morning, so I have all my gear packed up and ready to go. My mother is here to go to church with us. We worship with The Exchange Church, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street, in Fort Worth, TX. Our worship gathering begins at 10:15. Our pastor and worship leader are out of town this weekend. They both went on a hunting/fishing trip to Colorado, along with our sound and set-up engineer.

The Red Sox beat the Rays 9-0, last night, and now have a four game winning streak. The Yankees beat the Rangers, so the Sox remain 4.5 up in the AL East. The Twins also lost, so the Rangers remain 2.5 out of the second wild card spot. The Cleveland Indians won their 17th consecutive game. The Dodgers lost their ninth straight.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Be glad in the LORD, and rejoice, O righteous, and shout for joy, all you upright in heart!
Psalm 32:11
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.
Psalm 50:2
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14
Jesus said, “For judgment I came into this world, that those who do not see may see, and those who see may become blind.” 
Some of the Pharisees near him heard these things, and said to him, “Are we also blind?” 
Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would have no guilt; but now that you say, ‘We see,’ your guilt remains.

John 9:39-41
Grant me, O Lord, to trust in you with all my heart;
for, as you always resist the proud who confide in their own strength,
so you never forsake those who make their boast of your mercy;
through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever. Amen.

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From The President’s Devotional)

“Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose I have come to this hour. 
Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.”

John 12:27-28

“The chief purpose of life, for any of us, is to increase according to our capacity our knowledge of God by all means we have, and to be moved by it to praise and thanks.” ~ J.R.R. Tolkien, Myth, Morality, and Religion

Jesus’s prayer: “Father, glorify your name.” That’s what it really all boils down to, isn’t it?

“Will the sum of our actions, our collective strivings, our hopes and dreams and daily machinations — will they bring glory to God?” Will everything I do and say and think today reflect the light of the glory of God in this dark world?

Jesus made it through all of those dark and dreadful moments because he knew that the answer to that question was “Yes.”

May we make our request the same as Jesus’s today.

Father, glorify your name. I don’t pray for perfect performance, a soaring voice, or even for set-up to go smoothly or perfectly, this morning. I pray that you would glorify your name in everything we do today. Let that be my prayer for every day. Not about me, but about you. Glorify your name.
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.

Whatever You Do . . .

Today is Wednesday, September 6, 2017. Day 21,727. 36 days until our 32nd anniversary.

David Allan Coe, who was born on this date in 1939, said, “One thing is certain, you can’t shake hands with a fist.”

Word of the Day

Catachresis ~ “misuse or strained use of words, as in a mixed metaphor, occurring either in error or for rhetorical effect.”

Today is Read A Book Day. That should be every day. Seriously. And it doesn’t matter if it’s a hard copy book with real pages or a Kindle or ebook. Just READ!! And no. Facebook doesn’t count!

Not a lot to talk about on a personal level, this morning. Plus I’m running behind because I had to reboot the Internet router. It was going so slow, that when I did a speed check, it maxed out at .60 mbps. After rebooting the router, it was almost 30. Much better.

I will mention that the Red Sox and Boo Jays played two games last night. Not technically two, but they played for nineteen innings, which is two games plus one inning. The Sox tied the game by scoring two runs in the bottom of the ninth. No one scored again until the Sox finally scored in the bottom of the nineteenth inning! The Yankees lost, so the Sox are back to 3.5 up in the AL East.

The Cleveland Indians have now won thirteen consecutive games. The Diamondbacks have won twelve straight. The Dodgers have lost five straight and are 1-9 in their last ten. “The world turned upside down.”

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

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.

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
And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:21-23
Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. 
Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. 
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful. 
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. 
He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. 
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; 
they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!

Psalm 111:2-9

(From The President’s Devotional)

Simply a prayer from Scripture, today.

And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.
Colossians 3:15-17

Father, may we all do this today!
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.

As For the Lord, and Not For Men

Today is Friday, September 1, 2017. Day 21,722. Three days until the Labor Day holiday, but the three-day weekend starts tonight!

Edgar Rice Burroughs, who was born on this date in 1875, said, “The more one listens to ordinary conversations the more apparent it becomes that the reasoning faculties of the brain take little part in the direction of the vocal organs.”

Word of the Day

Septenary ~ “of or relating to the number seven or forming a group of seven.” Which suddenly makes me wonder, why is September the ninth month??

Today is, once again, Letter Writing Day. I remember thinking, last year, that I might write a letter to someone on Letter Writing Day. I’m pretty sure I failed to do that. Maybe this year . . .

We seem to have a panic-induced fuel crisis in north Texas. Somehow, people got it in their heads that there was going to be a fuel shortage because a couple of refineries were temporarily shut down on the coast, and, BOOM! We have hour long waits for gas and a whole bunch of stations that are out of gas. I drove by multiple places on the way home yesterday (being sure to avoid the right lane, because that’s where the lines were) that had one or two lines out onto the street. Oh, and the stations are bumping their prices up. Up where I work, the standard price was $2.65 (two days ago, it was, like, $2.19). As I got closer to home, the prices went down, some at $2.39. A lot of the places were out of gas, though, or at least claiming to be. The PTBs, though (Powers that Be) insist that there is no fuel shortage. C and I both filled up yesterday morning, on the way to work, with no problem. I did, in fact, need to fill up, as I was down to maybe one trip back and forth. If I had waited, I might not have been able to go to work today.

Both the Red Sox and Rangers lost yesterday. The Sox are playing the Yankees, so they lost a game in their lead, down to 4.5. The Rangers were playing Houston, so they lost a game in both the over all standings and the wild card standings, as Minnesota also won. In other news, Houston has landed Detroit pitcher Justin Verlander, as they try to solidify their lead in the AL West, going into the playoff season. It’s still a little early to call, but unless the Rangers can stop this shuffling back and forth around .500, they aren’t going to make that wild card spot. They play the Angels, who are in second place in the West, tonight, in Arlington. The Sox continue playing in New York, for the rest of the weekend.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:3
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness because of my enemies; make your way straight before me.
Psalm 5:8
Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD. 
The LORD is God, and he has made his light to shine upon us. Bind the festal sacrifice with cords, up to the horns of the altar!

Psalm 118:25-27
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
Psalm 69:6
“A disciple is not above his teacher, nor a servant above his master. It is enough for the disciple to be like his teacher, and the servant like his master.”
Matthew 10:24-25
You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently. 
Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes! 
Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments. 
I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules. 
I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!

Psalm 119:4-8

(From The President’s Devotional)

Whatever you do, work heartily, as for the Lord and not for men.
Colossians 3:23

This has long been a verse of importance for me, as I strive to stay motivated in my job. Lately, for reasons that I do not feel at liberty to share in this place, that motivation has been lacking. Thanks to Joshua Dubois for giving me this reminder, today.

He tells a story about a group of soldiers in the American Revolution. They were found repairing a small fort that had fallen into disrepair. The commander of the group was standing by, shouting commands at them, but not helping them. A stranger happened by, and asked that commander why he wasn’t helping. His response was, “Sir, I am a corporal!”

The stranger then proceeded to begin to help the soldiers. After they were finished, the stranger said to the corporal, “Mr. Corporal, next time you have a job like this and not enough men to do it, go to your commander in chief, and I will come and help you again.” It was at this point that the corporal realized that the man to whom he was speaking was none other than General George Washington.

“As General George Washington shows us, in the face of work to do, we must never think so highly of ourselves that we’re afraid to get our hands dirty. The fact remains that God’s purposes must be accomplished and we must work ‘as for the Lord and not for men.’

“Dear God, give me a spirit of diligence in all tasks, large or small. In doing so, let me set an example for others. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Yes, Father, yes. I confess my lack of motivation. I also confess that I fell out of the habit of doing my work as for you, and not for men. When men fail to appreciate me, may my eyes turn to you, from whom my true identity is found.
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.

Set A Fire

Today is Monday, August 28, 2017. Day 21,718. Seven days until the Labor Day Holiday!

J. August Richards is 44 years old today.

Quote of the Day

“Dealing with network executives is like being nibbled to death by ducks.” ~ Eric Sevareid

Word of the Day

Ruth ~ “pity or compassion; sorrow or grief; self-reproach; contrition; remorse.” I don’t know about you, but I’ve never heard that word used separately from “ruthless.” But if you can be “ruthless,” then it stands to reason that you might also be able to have ruth.

Today is Race Your Mouse Around the Icons Day. I think you know what to do. Of course, it’s not actually your mouse that you’re racing, is it? It’s your cursor.

We had a nice day, yesterday. I got a day off from playing at church, as we had a quartet doing our music yesterday morning. They were okay, but not my favorite style. They did sing “It Is Well,” which is my favorite hymn, though.

We had a late lunch of steak and baked potatoes that C and I put together, and it was delicious. Before that, we watched a movie that we got from Redbox, called “The Circle,” starring Tom Hanks and Emma Watson. It was mildly terrifying, all about social media and total transparency. It reminded us both of the British Netflix series, “Black Mirror.” On Saturday, we had watched “Going In Style,” with Morgan Freeman, Michael Caine, and Alan Arkin. It was a lot of fun.

As for baseball, it hasn’t been much fun, the past few days, as both the Rangers and the Red Sox got swept by their opponents, over the weekend. In fact, the Sox have lost four in a row and dropped to only 2.5 games ahead of NY. The Rangers last three in a row, and have dropped to fifteen out of first and three out of the second wild card spot, tied with Tampa Bay.

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
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.
Psalm 55:18

(From The President’s Devotional)

What good is it, my brothers, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can that faith save him? If a brother or sister is poorly clothed and lacking in daily food, and one of you says to them, “Go in peace, be warmed and filled,” without giving them the things needed for the body, what good is that? So also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead.
James 2:14-17

“I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving: To reach the port of heaven, we must sail sometimes with the wind and sometimes against it, but we must sail, and not drift, nor lie at anchor.” ~ Oliver Wendell Holmes, Autocrat of the Breakfast Table

“We must move,” writes Joshua DuBois.

“Toward God, toward justice, toward progress, toward peace.

“Standing still is simply not an option. Either with the wind, or against it — today, toward God’s purposes, we have to move.

“Dear God, place a fire within me. Let me not become comfortable in my current position. Help me move. Amen.”

Father, I echo that prayer, this morning. “Set a fire down in my soul”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

It’s Never Enough, But It Doesn’t Have To Be

Today is Sunday, August 27, 2017. Day 21,717. Eight days until the Labor Day holiday!

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Praise the LORD! Praise the LORD, O my soul! 
I will praise the LORD as long as I live; I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 146:1-2
Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! 
Do not let my heart incline to any evil, to busy myself with wicked deeds in company with men who work iniquity, and let me not eat of their delicacies! 
Let a righteous man strike me—it is a kindness; let him rebuke me—it is oil for my head; let my head not refuse it.

Psalm 141:3-5
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
Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.
Psalm 19:14
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 
Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 
In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.”

Matthew 5:14-16
What shall I render to the LORD for all his benefits to me? 
I will lift up the cup of salvation and call on the name of the LORD, 
I will pay my vows to the LORD in the presence of all his people.

Psalm 116:12-14
Grant, O merciful God, that your Church, being gathered together in unity by your Holy Spirit, may show forth your power among all people, to the glory of your Name; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From The President’s Devotional)

Today’s reading is called, “Our Dedication.” Joshua DuBois speaks of King Solomon’s dedication of the temple that he built. He had “poured his riches, his heart, his life into building a temple for the Lord. When he finished, here is how he dedicated it:

“But will God indeed dwell on the earth? Behold, heaven and the highest heaven cannot contain you; how much less this house that I have built!”
1 Kings 8:27

Solomon continued by asking that the Lord’s eyes would “be open day and night toward” the temple, and that the Lord would “listen to the prayer that your servant offers toward this place” (verse 29)

“Our works will never be enough. We can’t accumulate enough, build enough, love enough, serve enough to merit our place on this earth.

“But here’s what we can have: relationship. Relationship with the Almighty God. The creator of this world can open his eyes toward us, and hear our prayers, and commune with us. If that was enough for Solomon after all his labors, that will be more than enough for us.

“Dear God, I dedicate my works to you. I know they’re not enough, but what I have is yours. All I ask is that you abide with me. And I will abide with you. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, thank you for relationship. I thank you that I don’t have to be concerned about whether my works are enough. Yes, I do need to work. But what I do is always in context of relationship; relationship with you and relationship with the rest of the Church. May I always be mindful of that relationship, and how what I do affects that relationship.
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.