Blessed Be Your Name

It is January 1, 2019. Happy New Year!! Also, the eighth day of Christmas.

Day 22,209

43 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training.

“The penalty for laughing in a courtroom is six months in jail; if it were not for this penalty, the jury would never hear the evidence.”
H.L. Mencken, U.S. editor, 1880-1956
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is auspicate. It means, “to initiate with ceremonies calculated to ensure good luck; inaugurate.” (

So today, we auspicate a new year. Or, last night, I suppose. I was up for it. S was up for it. C was not up for it. 🙂 S and I watched the last few minutes of 2018 fade into the foggy distance. We also watched the local NBC affiliate, channel 5, running their countdown approximately twenty seconds behind. Perhaps there was simply a slight delay in their broadcast feed. Both S and I observed that our clocks were turning over minutes right at twenty seconds before the TV was changing.

Then, at midnight (or twenty seconds after), Reunion Tower exploded (not literally) with, allegedly, fifteen THOUSAND pounds of fireworks! It was pretty incredible.

So it’s 2019, now.

In many ways, today, January 1, is just another day. It doesn’t feel any different from yesterday, other than the fact that we are at home, not at work. Feels like Saturday, actually. I’m not a huge fans of mid-week holidays. It makes for an awkward work week. But, as “they” say, “It is what it is.” But what if it isn’t??

I don’t make New Years’ Resolutions. So don’t expect any of that from me. However, I have aspirations, goals, if you will. Not really measurable, mind you. I would like to be healthier, this year. Part of that is measurable in the form of pounds, but that’s the only part, really. I would like to drastically improve my spiritual walk with God in Christ. I plan to get more serious about working the spiritual disciplines in my life, which is going to require me to get off butt and find a place/time to practice solitude on a regular basis. I also plan to work on the discipline of silence, which can be practiced anywhere. It does go hand in hand with solitude, but can also be practiced at work and elsewhere. Those are the two biggest ones I need to work on, but I’ll be working on improving the prayer, life, as well, along with my worship, which, even though I play/sing in the worship band at church, could use some improvement.

We don’t have much in the way of plans for today. We’re going to cook steaks for lunch, and I’ll probably drive over to Sonic at some point for some drinks. Otherwise, it will simply be a day of relaxing.

My devotional books, at least to start the year will be as follows:
Daily Guideposts 2018, 364 readings by the usual assortment of Guideposts writers. This year’s theme is In the Shadow of Your Wings.
Faith That Matters, 365 devotions from classic Christian leaders, including Dallas Willard, Henri Nouwen, Frederick Buechner, A.W. Tozer, N.T. Wright, James Bryan Smith, Eugene Peterson, and Brennan Manning (I’ll have to work in that reading for February 29, I guess)
Every Step An Arrival, a 90-day devotional for exploring God’s Word, by Eugene Peterson. So, after the end of March, I will take on another short devotional book to replace that.

I’m also going to begin reading Conversations: The Message Bible with its Translator. I’m anticipating that it will take me longer than a year, but we will see.

I also need a verse for the year. For the last couple of years, I have used the verse on the bookmark that accompanies my Daily Guideposts book. I believe this year, I will also do that. It is Psalm 91:4. “He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.” Pinions are, essentially, feathers.

Finally, of course, my “life verse,” which will never change. God drew me to this verse decades ago. Psalm 86:11, “Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.”

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you!
Psalm 145:10

Today I am grateful:
1. For new beginnings. Even though this day is just another day, we tend to look at New Year’s Day as a time to begin again, to reflect on what has been, and to look forward to what will be.
2. Again, for my wife. I am more blessed than words can express. Yesterday, while off work, she hung two light fixtures in the house. She just can’t stand sitting around, doing nothing for too long.
3. For the anticipated blessings of a new year. There will be challenges, no doubt. And we will pray that we can meet those challenges head-on with faith and confidence in God’s hand.
4. For a day off, savoring this one, because, outside of PTO, it is the last one until Memorial Day. I’d really like to have a serious talk with whoever planned out the year that way.
5. For the overwhelming steadfast love of God.

O God, the King eternal, 
whose light divides the day from the night 
and turns the shadow of death into the morning:
Drive far from us all wrong desires, 
incline our hearts to keep your law, 
and guide our feet into the way of peace;
that, having done your will with cheerfulness during the day, 
we may, when night comes, rejoice to give you thanks;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer, A Collect for the Renewal of Life)

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6

(From Faith That Matters)

The Spiritual Work of Gratitude, by Henri Nouwen

And he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return. The LORD gave, and the LORD has taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD.”
Job 1:21

It is easy to be grateful for the good things in life. I come up with five things every morning. And, as noted, they are, at least so far, always “good” things. But, says Nouwen, “to be grateful for all of our lives–the good as well as the bad, the moments of joy as well as the moments of sorrow, the successes as well as the failures, the rewards as well as the rejections–that requires hard spiritual work.”

There it is. “Hard spiritual work.”

All too often, that frightens us, that thought of “hard spiritual work.” Somewhere along the way, we have been fed a false bill of goods that this “Christian” life is supposed to be easy. Sure, Jesus calls us into his “easy yoke.” But that’s HIS yoke that is easy! And the reason His yoke is easy is that He is God! When we walk alongside Him in that “easy yoke,” He is doing the bulk of the work. But He is not doing all of the work, and that’s where a lot of us get off track.

One preacher I know used to say (maybe he still does), “The Christian life isn’t hard; it’s impossible.” If that is taken out of context, one’s reaction might be, “Well, then, why even try.” But the point is that I can’t do it. Not by myself. The “hard spiritual work” must be done in the context of walking in the yoke of Christ, alongside Him, allowing Him to take on the hardest part of the work. But I still have to work; I still have to do it.

I alluded, earlier, to the Spiritual Disciplines. Well, I alluded to a few of them. There are more. These disciplines are the “hard spiritual work” that I must do in order to be, as Nouwen suggests, “grateful for all of” my life.

We are most fully grateful when we can say, without flinching, “thank you” to “all that has brought us to the present moment.” There are things and people that I would just as soon forget. But those things and people, along with the ones I want to remember, have made me who I am today, for better or worse. And if I try to forget those things and people, I “cannot claim the fullness of [my being] as a gift of God to be grateful for.”

“Let’s not be afraid to look at everything that has brought us to where we are now and trust that we will see in it the guiding hand of a loving God.” And what better day to begin that than New Year’s Day?

Can we truly join Job in saying “blessed be the name of the Lord?”

“Lord, cultivate within me a spirit of gratitude for all you’ve given and all you’ve taken away. Blessed be your name, Lord. Amen.”

I know this is already too long, but I feel compelled to share this prayer from The Valley of Vision.

O my God,
Thou fairest, greatest, first of all objects,
   my heart admires, adores, loves thee,
for my little vessel is as full as it can be,
and I would pour out all that fullness before thee
   in ceaseless flow.
When I think upon and converse with thee
   ten thousand delightful thoughts spring up,
   ten thousand sources of pleasure are unsealed,
   ten thousand refreshing joys spread over my heart,
   crowding into every moment of happiness.
I bless thee for the soul thou hast created,
   for adorning it, sanctifying it,
      though it is fixed in barren soil;
   for the body thou hast given me,
   for preserving its strength and vigor,
   for providing senses to enjoy delights,
   for the ease and freedom of my limbs,
   for hands, eyes, ears that do thy bidding;
   for thy royal bounty providing my daily support,
   for a full table and overflowing cup,
   for appetite, taste, sweetness,
   for social joys of relatives and friends,
   for ability to serve others,
   for a heart that feels sorrows and necessities,
   for a mind to care for my fellow-men,
   for opportunities of spreading happiness around,
   for loved ones in the joys of heaven,
   for my own expectation of seeing thee clearly.
I love the above the powers of language
      to express,
   for what thou art to thy creatures.

Increase my love, O my God, through time and eternity.

Yes, and amen, Father! May I look back with gratitude to all of the people and events of my life, even those that I would rather forget, and be eternally grateful to You for bringing me to where I am today. Draw me closer, in 2019, closer to Jesus, closer to You.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Soli Deo Gloria!

Angels Unaware

Today is Friday, December 28, 2018. Fourth day of Christmas.

Day 22,205

Four days until 2019!!

“The less you talk, the more you’re listened to.”
Pauline Phillips, American journalist, 1918-2013

The word of the day is canorous. It means, “pleasant sounding, melodious.” (Merriam-Webster)

I’m feeling a bit sluggish, this morning. I don’t feel bad or “under the weather.” Just moving slowly. Hopefully, I’ll wake up soon.

As noted above, it is Friday. We don’t have any plans that I know of for the weekend, other than our normal worship gathering on Sunday. C has Monday off, which is nice. I have to work, though, and it will be like a Friday, in that we will have to stay until all the work is done. As for my work, however, my workflow, or queue, was cleared out when I left, yesterday. That means there is little to no chance that I will be asked to work tomorrow.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Psalm 136:26

Today I am grateful:
1. For less stressful days at work.
2. That C has Monday off.
3. That we have one more holiday before the long stretch with no holidays.
4. For a new year coming, symbolic of fresh starts and new beginnings.
5. That 2018 was a pretty good year for us.

I believe in God, the Father almighty,
   creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord.
   He was conceived by the power of the Holy Spirit
      and born of the Virgin Mary.
   He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
      was crucified, died, and was buried.
   He descended to the dead.
   On the third day he rose again.
   He ascended into heaven,
      and is seated at the right hand of the the Father.
   He will come again to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
   the holy catholic Church,
   the communion of saints,
   the forgiveness of sins,
   the resurrection of the body,
   and the life everlasting. Amen.

(The Book of Common Prayer, The Apostles’ Creed)

Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.
Romans 12:13

I’ll be honest. I’m much better at the first half of that verse than the second half. I’m generous, sometimes to a fault. If someone needs money or food, I’m willing to contribute.

My hospitality quotient, however, is pretty low. That’s only partly because I don’t like being around a lot of people. I am an introvert, that is true, and being around groups of people takes a lot of energy. Sunday morning worship gathering seems to be an exception. We have had a few New Year’s Eve parties at our house, and they are always fun.

But seeking to show hospitality, I believe, requires more spontaneity. It’s more than planning a gathering for weeks. It’s more like impulsively inviting people over for lunch after church on Sunday. Or inviting people over on any given weeknight or weekend afternoon. I’m just not good at that kind of thing. I think there might be a bit of laziness and selfishness involved. Or maybe even due to that pusillanimity I keep talking about. Maybe it’s sloth. I haven’t gotten to that “capital vice” in the book, yet.

There are other Scriptures that allude to hospitality. Acts 2:44-45 says, “And all who believed were together and had all things in common. And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need.” Most of the time, we read that and think “communism.” But it’s more than that. There was some extreme hospitality going on there. If they “had all things in common,” I believe that included dwellings.

1 Peter 4:9 says, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” There’s that. So, not only am I supposed to be hospitable. I’m supposed to do it cheerfully.

And then there’s this verse in Hebrews: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” (13:2) Say, what?? Okay, then.

I need to work on this.

Mighty God,

I humble myself for faculties misused,
   opportunities neglected,
   words ill-advised,
I repent of my folly and inconsiderate ways,
   my broken resolutions, untrue service,
   my backsliding steps,
   my vain thoughts.
O bury my sins in the ocean of Jesus' blood
   and let no evil result from my fretful temper,
     unseemly behaviour, provoking pettiness.
If by unkindness I have wounded or hurt another,
   do thou pour in the balm of heavenly consolation;
If I have turned coldly from need, misery, grief,
   do not in just anger forsake me:
If I have withheld relief from penury and pain,
   do not withhold thy gracious bounty from me.
If I have shunned those who have offended me,
   keep open the door of thy heart to my need.

Fill me with an over-flowing ocean of compassion,
   the reign of love my motive,
   the law of love my rule.

O thou God of all grace, make me more thankful,
   more humble;
Inspire me with a deep sense of my unworthiness
   arising from
     the depravity of my nature, my omitted duties,
     my unimproved advantages, thy commands
       violated by me.
With all my calls to gratitude and joy
   may I remember
     that I have reason for sorrow
       and humiliation;
O give me repentance unto life;
Cement my oneness with my blessed Lord,
   that faith may adhere to him more immovably,
   that love may entwine itself round him
     more tightly,
   that his Spirit may pervade every fibre
     of my being.
Then send me out to make him known
   to my fellow-men.

(The Valley of Vision)

Father, You know my heart. You now that I desire to be more like Jesus and walk in His ways. Mold me into what You want me to be, and if that means that I have to shake off some of my sloth and laziness and be more hospitable, then teach me to do that. I pray that You would heal that within me that makes me more introverted. Change that piece of my personality that doesn’t like being around people. Teach me Your way, that I may walk in Your truth. Unite my heart to fear 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.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Good Tidings of Great Joy

Today is Sunday, December 23, 2018. Fourth week of Advent.

Day 22,200


“There’s a whiff of the lynch mob or the lemming migration about any overlarge concentration of like-thinking individuals, no matter how virtuous their cause.”
P.J. O’Rourke, US humorist and political commentator
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is stodge. It means, “to stuff full, especially with food or drink; gorge.” ( Have a “stodgy” Christmas!

C got the light fixture installed in our master bathroom, yesterday. The room looks beautiful!! Other than getting our groceries picked up, we didn’t do much else, yesterday. Other than normal household chores that get done on weekends.

We did, however, finally open our first box from “Hunt A Killer,” a monthly “game” of crime-solving. It was great fun! There are clues to find, puzzles to solve, and other fun things. We made some significant progress last night, but still have a ways to go in solving this mystery. Supposedly, the way this works, the case is supposed to last six months and we get a new box each month which will contain more clues and puzzles. I think we still have a few to solve in this one, though. I linked to the site above, if it sounds interesting.

This morning, we are getting ready for our worship gathering. We worship with The Exchange Church, which meets at 9100 N. Beach Street in Fort Worth, TX. That’s the Northpark YMCA. Our worship gathering begins at 10:15 AM.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

You are my God, and I will give thanks to you; you are my God; I will extol you.
Psalm 118:28

Today I am grateful:
1. That I get to worship with our Exchange family this morning.
2. That I get to sing “O Holy Night” in our worship gathering.
3. For all the good food we will enjoy between tonight and Christmas.
4. That God has blessed us, and in His blessing, has given us a heart of generosity, that we are willing to help others be blessed.
5. For the strength of God in my life, which allows me to carry on, even when I fall.

Lord, you now have set your servant free
to go in peace as you have promised;
For these eyes of mine have seen the Savior,
whom you have prepared for all the world to see:
A Light to enlighten the nations,
and the glory of your people Israel.

(The Book of Common Prayer, The Song of Simeon, Luke 2:29-32)

O Source of all good,
What shall I render to thee for the gift of gifts,
thine own dear Son, begotten, not created,
my Redeemer, proxy, surety, substitute,
his self-emptying incomprehensible,
his infinity of love beyond the heart’s grasp.
Herein is wonder of wonders;
he came below to raise me above,
was born like me that I might become like him.
Herein is love;
when I cannot rise to him he draws near on wings of grace,
to raise me to himself.
Herein is power;
when Deity and humanity were infinitely apart
he united them in indissoluble unity,
the uncreated and the created.
Herein is wisdom;
when I was undone, with no will to return to him,
and no intellect to devise recovery,
he came, God-incarnate, to save me to the uttermost,
as man to die my death,
to shed satisfying blood on my behalf,
to work out a perfect righteousness for me.
O God, take me in spirit to the watchful shepherds,
and enlarge my mind;
let me hear good tidings of great joy,
and hearing, believe, rejoice, praise, adore,
my conscience bathed in an ocean of repose,
my eyes uplifted to a reconciled Father;
place me with ox, ass, camel, goat,
to look with them upon my Redeemer’s face,
and in him account myself delivered from sin;
let me with Simeon clasp the new-born child to my heart,
embrace him with undying faith,
exulting that he is mine and I am his.
In him thou hast given me so much
that heaven can give no more.

(The Valley of Vision, The Gift of Gifts)

And the angel answered her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Most High will overshadow you; therefore the child to be born will be called holy—the Son of God.”
Luke 1:35

In two days we celebrate it. The birth of Jesus Christ. The child called “holy–the Son of God.” We all know, by now that it’s not really the day when He was born. So what? All of those Monday holidays aren’t really the day it happened, either. I would lobby for moving Christmas to the Friday closest to December 25 every year. That way Christmas Eve would always be on Thursday, and we would always get a long weekend.

But I digress.

Unto us a child is born; unto us a Son is given. He is holy, the Son of God.

Take some time, during the next few days, in the midst of all the gift-wrapping and stodging (see the word of the day above), and ponder the birth of the Savior of the world. Reflect on why He came here and suffered, not only the pains and struggles of being human, but the brutal torture of the crucifixion. As you think about the baby, remember He went to the Cross for us.

Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 43:19

Father, as we get ready to worship You, this morning, remind us that the child we are celebrating became the Man who died on the Cross for us. Let us enjoy ourselves, for sure, but may the purpose always be in our minds, to help us remember that it’s not all fun and games. Thank You for Your Son; thank You for Your salvation; thank You for Your mercy.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Grace and peace, friends.

He Who Dwells . . .

Today is Monday, December 17, 2018. Third week of Advent.

Day 22,194

EIGHT DAYS until Christmas!!!

“Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not.”
Thomas Henry Huxley, English botanist, 1825-1895
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is grinch, “a person or thing that spoils or dampens the pleasure of others.” (

We had very nice day, yesterday. The worship gathering went quite well. C spent a large part of the afternoon in the bathroom. Working. She was working. She finished painting the walls, which look very nice. She found that the light fixture and mirrors that she had gotten wouldn’t fit quite right, so she returned those and ordered more.

I had a nice conversation with my mother, part of which included discussion on our plans for the Christmas weekend. Our decision was that we will go to Mineral Wells on Christmas day. R & J will come to our house Christmas Eve evening (she has to work Christmas Eve, and I might have to) and spend the night. We’ll get up and have our traditional Christmas morning, then go to Mineral Wells for lunch. We’ll all have to go home that evening, because we all have to work the next day. That’s what happens when Christmas falls in the middle of the week.

We’ll have Christmas dinner with C’s sister and family on Sunday evening, December 23. If I don’t wind up having to work on Christmas Eve, that day will be a nice relaxing day with nothing going on.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 107:1

Today I am grateful:
1. That I started doing this, because it forces me to be intentionally grateful for something every day.
2. For wrapping Christmas presents. I’m not very good at it, but I enjoy doing it, because it’s a symbol of the giving and I think about each person for whom I am wrapping a gift. I got all of mine wrapped yesterday. Except for the four in this box I just saw on the floor to my left.
3. For collections of prayers by the saints of old, so I can learn from them.
4. For baseball. I’m missing it right now, but still basking in the Red Sox World Series win.
5. For faith and hope that makes it possible to keep on in times of trouble.

II The Earth and its Creatures

Let the earth glorify the Lord,
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.
Glorify the Lord, O mountains and hills,
and all that grows upon the earth,
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O springs of water, seas, and streams,
O whales and all that move in the waters.
All birds of the air, glorify the Lord,
praise him and highly exalt him for ever.

Glorify the Lord, O beasts of the wild,
and all you flocks and herds.
O men and women everywhere, glorify the Lord,
praise and highly exalt him for ever.

(The Book of Common Prayer, A Song of Creation, Song of the Three Young Men, 35-65)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

Psalm 91:1, 9-10

You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Psalm 27:8

How does one “dwell in the shelter of the Most High?” How does one seek the face of Him who cannot be seen? How does one make the Lord his dwelling place?

These are valid questions. We often speak of the “face” of God. But this is what “they” call anthropomorphism, “the attribution of human characteristics or behavior to a god, animal, or object.” God is a spirit. He has no “face.” But even He speaks of His own face in scripture.

And where does God “dwell?” He’s everywhere. There is no place that I can go where He is not also there.

I’m about to paint myself into a corner, so I’ll stop with the philosophical questions. The point, here, is that, in order to truly seek God’s face, and to truly dwell in Him, we need to find time and space where we can be truly alone with Him. Jesus said, at one point, that we are to go into a closet to pray, rather than pray out in the open, to be seen by others.

I’m still seeking that “special” place where I can be alone with God. Sure, I’ve got this study, in the morning, but I’m not really alone. C is there in the next room, getting ready for work. And she likes to talk in the morning. I’m certainly not going to discourage that. I also have my morning drive to work. I’m “alone,” true. But not really, because there are hundreds of other cars on the roads at the same time, and I have to pay attention to them. I need to find a spot where I can go, not necessarily every day, but at least once a week, maybe; a spot to be in solitude, as well as silence, when necessary. These are important disciplines that we can utilize to “meet God,” to “seek His face,” to “dwell in Him.”

Great God,
In public and private, in sanctuary and home,
may my life be steeped in prayer,
filled with the spirit of grace and supplication,
each prayer perfumed with the incense of atoning blood.
Help me, defend me, until from praying ground I pass to the realm of unceasing praise.
Urged by my need,
invited by thy promises,
called by thy Spirit,
I enter thy presence,
worshipping thee with godly fear,
awed by thy majesty, greatness, glory,
but encouraged by thy love.
I am all poverty as well as all guilt,
having nothing of my own which to repay thee,
But I bring Jesus to thee in the arms of faith,
pleading his righteousness to offset my iniquities,
rejoicing that he will weigh down the scales for me,
and satisfy thy justice.
I bless thee that great sin draws out great grace,
that, although the least sin deserves punishment because done against an infinite God,
yet there is mercy for me,
for where guilt is most terrible,
there thy mercy in Christ is most free and deep.
Bless me by revealing to me more of his saving merits,
by causing thy goodness to pass before me,
by speaking peace to my contrite heart;
Strengthen me to give thee no rest until Christ shall reign supreme within me,
in every thought, word, and deed,
in a faith the purifies the heart,
overcomes the world,
works by love,
fastens me to thee,
and ever clings to the cross.

(The Valley of Vision, “Meeting God”)

Father, show me to a place where I can be alone with You for an extended period of time. I have some ideas, but have not yet managed to find the place. Am I afraid? Is this the dreaded pusillanimity in me? What do I have to be afraid of?? I pray that I might find this place, that I might truly seek Your face in uninterrupted silence and solitude, that I might then be an interactive part of my world, displaying for all Your mercy and grace and love.
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.