Let Your Light Shine

Today is Friday, May 25, 2018. Day 21,988.

Three days until Memorial Day!

If my math is correct, today would be my parents’ 61st wedding anniversary. My father passed just over three years ago.

It’s the birthday of W.P. Kinsella, author of Field of Dreams (1935-2016). He said, “Find something that thrills you, and when you finish reading it for enjoyment, read it again line by line, paragraph by paragraph to see what you liked about it. (BrainyQuote)

The word for today is pasquinade, a noun which means, “a satire or lampoon, especially one posted in a public place.”

We managed to get to the Y last night. I didn’t really feel like going, but I went anyway. I walked on the treadmill, but not too vigorously. Enough to get a decent workout, though. For some reason, I just didn’t have a lot of energy. I’m okay, though. I feel better this morning.

It wasn’t a good baseball night. The Red Sox lost to the Rays, 6-3, making their record 34-16. The Yankees didn’t play, so there was only a half game change. The Sox remain one game up in the AL East, and in MLB as a whole. They begin a series with the Braves, tonight, at Fenway. Could be tough, as the Braves are pretty hot, right now. However, the Sox have a pretty good record against NL teams, I believe.

The Rangers lost 8-2 to the Royals. So figure this out. They just performed majestically against the team that was the best team in baseball when they arrived in Texas. But thanks to the Rangers, the Yankees are now in second place. Then the Royals come to town. Before last night, the Royals were the second worst team in baseball. The Rangers were behind 8-0 at one point in the game. Once again, I will say how much this reminds me of Rangers teams from the seventies. They couldn’t beat the teams who were as bad or worse than they were, but could beat the teams that were having a great year. I don’t get it. Anyway, their record is now 20-32, and they are 13.5 games behind the Astros in the AL West. They continue the carnage with the Royals tonight.

The Orioles remain the worst team in baseball, followed closely by the White Sox, then the Royals. The Reds are fourth from the bottom, and the Rangers have now moved into fifth from the worst.

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

A Prayer of one afflicted, when he is faint and pours out his complaint before the LORD.
Hear my prayer, O LORD; let my cry come to you! 
Do not hide your face from me in the day of my distress! Incline your ear to me; answer me speedily in the day when I call! 
For my days pass away like smoke, and my bones burn like a furnace. 
My heart is struck down like grass and has withered; I forget to eat my bread. 
Because of my loud groaning my bones cling to my flesh. 
I am like a desert owl of the wilderness, like an owl of the waste places; 
I lie awake; I am like a lonely sparrow on the housetop. 
All the day my enemies taunt me; those who deride me use my name for a curse. 
For I eat ashes like bread and mingle tears with my drink, 
because of your indignation and anger; for you have taken me up and thrown me down. 
My days are like an evening shadow; I wither away like grass.

Psalm 102:1-11

This is one of those Psalms that starts out depressing, but then gets better. As it continues tomorrow, we will see a shift to the positive, which is typical in these Psalms. The writer may have complaints, but seldom leaves it in that mode. Almost always, they end in praise and/or thanksgiving. We can learn a lot from Psalms like this one. It is perfectly acceptable to pour out our complaints to God. But we need to remember to not stop with that.

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 5:16

Karen Valentin, in Daily Guideposts 2018, reminds us of the importance of using our gifts and letting our light shine.

She was playing guitar and singing for a children’s birthday part in Central Park when she noticed one particular girl watching her with great attention. As the music portion ended, Karen set up her face-painting table. The little girl was the last one to sit down, and asked for a butterfly to be painted on her face.

The girl’s parents watched in amazement as she allowed Karen to paint her face. At that point, they revealed that the girl was on the autism spectrum, and never allowed anyone to touch her face.

Use the gifts that God has given you. Don’t hide them. You never know when they will touch someone deeply.

“And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.'”
Matthew 25:40

Father, may I never shy away from an opportunity to use the gifts that you have given me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Advertisements

The Seventh Thing

Today is Thursday, May 24, 2018. Day 21,987.

Four days until Memorial Day!

Bob Dylan turns 77 today. He said, “This land is your land and this land is my land, sure, but the world is run by those that never listen to music anyway.” (BrainyQuote)

The word for today is antemeridian, an adjective that simply means, “occurring before noon.”

We had a cook-out/pot luck at lunch yesterday. I ate way too much and gained over two pounds. It’s just not fair, you know? Bodies are strange things. You work hard and maybe lose a half pound or so, over a week. One big lunch and, BOOM! Two pounds in a day! Seriously. Ah, well. It is what it is, and we keep on going.

The Red Sox beat the Rays 4-1, last night. David Price started and pitched six strong innings, but got a no-decision. Joe Kelly got the win, as the Sox scored three in the top of the ninth.

THE RANGERS BEAT THE YANKEES!! THE RANGERS BEAT THE YANKEES!!! THE RANGERS TOOK THE SERIES FROM THE YANKEES!!!! In a crazy slug-fest of a game, the Rangers won 12-10. First they were down 4-0, then the scored five in the bottom of the fourth, then the Yankees scored six in the top of the fifth. The Rangers scored seven more over the next four innings and won the game.

So now, the Red Sox, with their 34-15 record, stand a game and a half above the AL East, as well as having the best record in MLB. They have another game with Tampa tonight. The Rangers start a series with the KC Royals tonight. The Royals are second worst in MLB, barely better than the Orioles.

Have you ever noticed how similar “Royals” and “Orioles” sound when spoken out loud?

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

A Psalm of David.
I will sing of steadfast love and justice; to you, O LORD, I will make music. 
I will ponder the way that is blameless. Oh when will you come to me? I will walk with integrity of heart within my house; 
I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. 
A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil. 
Whoever slanders his neighbor secretly I will destroy. Whoever has a haughty look and an arrogant heart I will not endure. 
I will look with favor on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he who walks in the way that is blameless shall minister to me. 
No one who practices deceit shall dwell in my house; no one who utters lies shall continue before my eyes. 
Morning by morning I will destroy all the wicked in the land, cutting off all the evildoers from the city of the LORD.

Psalm 101

The Psalmist sings of the steadfast love (sometimes translated “mercy”) and the justice of God. Verse 3 is the difficult verse . . . how hard it is to not set anything worthless before one’s eyes. Especially in our society, today, when there are so many worthless things thrust in front of our eyes on a daily basis. But, as Dallas Willard states more than once, we, as humans, have the unique power of determining what we allow our minds to dwell upon. Just because a thought pops up in our mind does not mean we have to allow it to remain there or dwell upon it. We have the ability to stop that. We just don’t tend to use that ability very often.

One way to help that is in verse 2. “I will ponder the way that is blameless.” This is the gist of meditation, in my opinion.

There are six things that the LORD hates, seven that are an abomination to him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked plans, feet that make haste to run to evil, a false witness who breathes out lies, and one who sows discord among brothers.
Proverbs 6:16-19

The literary device used here is interesting. Biblical “experts” seem to think that this indicates that the seventh thing listed is the most offensive to the Lord. The seventh thing in this passage is “one who sows discord among brothers.” We should take this to heart. Even if the way it is worded doesn’t indicate that this is the most offensive sin in this passage, it is still something to be taken seriously.

Father, I shudder to think of times when I might have been that “one who sows discord among brothers.” Hopefully, it was never intentional. But I have known some who did so intentionally. May I never be one of those. May I also pay attention to the other six things in that list, as well.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Peace

Today is Wednesday, May 23, 2018. Day 21,986.

Five days until Memorial Day.

“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there.” ~ Will Rogers (1879-1935) The Quotations Page

The word for today is flubdub, a noun which means, “pretentious nonsense or show; airs.”

C and I made it to the Y, last night, even though we didn’t really want to. That’s a big key, I think. Going even when you don’t feel like it. There are some nights when we give in to that, and don’t go. But last night, we made ourselves go, and we will be better for it.

The Red Sox beat the Rays in the first game of their series, 4-2, as Chris Sale got win number five. Mookie Betts hit his league-leading sixteenth home run to drive that win.

The Rangers beat the Yankees!! The Rangers beat the Yankees!! The Rangers beat the Yankees!!! 6-4 behind the pitching of Cole Hamels, who got his third win. Profar started the scoring in the bottom of the first with a three-run homer.

This means that the Sox are back on top of the AL East, as well as the whole MLB, by a half game, with a record of 33-15. They will continue their series with the Rays tonight, while the Rangers have another shot at the Yankees tonight.

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

A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth! 
Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! 
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. 
Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! 
For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 100

Another beautiful praise psalm. I remember a hymn we used to sing when I was a child. “Serve the Lord with Gladness,” by the great B.B McKinney.

“Serve the Lord with gladness in our works and ways.
Come before His presence with our songs of praise.
Unto Him our Maker, we would pledge anew
Life’s supreme devotion to service true.

Serve the Lord with gladness, thankful all the while
For His tender mercies, for His loving smile.
Blessed truth enduring, always just the same.
We will serve with gladness and praise His name.

Serve the Lord with gladness, this shall be our theme.
As we walk together, in His love supreme.
Listening, ever listening for the still small voice.
His sweet Will so precious, will be our choice.

(Chorus)
Serve Him with gladness, Enter His courts with song.
To our Creator, true praises belong.
Great is His mercy, wonderful is His name.
We gladly serve Him, His great love proclaim.”

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you.
John 14:27

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Isaiah 26:3

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

Peace. The Lord has promised us peace. Sure, there are conditions, just as there are to all of his promises. But if we fulfill those conditions, the promises are good and faithful.

“Peace, bring it all to peace
The storms surround me
Let it break at Your name

Still, call the sea to still
The rage in me to still
Every wave at Your name

Jesus, Jesus. You make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus. You silence fear
Jesus, Jesus. You make the darkness tremble
Jesus, Jesus.”

Thank you, O my Father, for the peace that passes all understanding!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

In Paths of Uprightness

Today is Tuesday, May 22, 2018. Day 21,985.

Six days until Memorial Day.

“There can be no vulnerability without risk; there can be no community without vulnerability; there can be no peace, and ultimately no life, without community.” ~ M. Scott Peck (5/22/36-9/25-05) BrainyQuote

The word for today is garrulous, an adjective which means, “given to prosy, rambling, or tedious loquacity : pointlessly or annoyingly talkative.” I have a friend at work who is garrulous.

We didn’t get to the Y last night, as C was feeling somewhat tired and down, physically. She seems to be feeling better this morning, but has a bit of a cough. We’ll see what happens tonight.

The Red Sox didn’t play, last night, but the Yankees did. And, unfortunately, the Yankees are currently playing the Rangers, who are making a tremendous bid to be the worst team in MLB. The Yankees beat them 10-5. This puts the Yankees a half game up on the Sox in the AL East. And makes the Yankees the best team in MLB, for now. Even though the Red Sox have won more games than anyone else, and the Yankees have played three less games than the Sox. It’s all about percentages. The Rangers are now six places away from the worst team in baseball, currently held by the KC Royals. The Royals, White Sox, Orioles, and Reds are vigorously battling it out for that last place, with only a game and a half between the Red and the Royals. The Rangers and Marlins sit another game and a half above the Reds.

The Rangers continue their series with the Yankees tonight, while the Sox begin a series in the Juice Box with Tampa Bay.

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

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake! 
The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples. 
Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he! 
The King in his might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob. 
Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he! 
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. They called to the LORD, and he answered them. 
In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them; they kept his testimonies and the statute that he gave them. 
O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings. 
Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy!

Psalm 99

Another “The LORD reigns” Psalm, Psalm 99 proclaims the greatness of God. “He is exalted over all the peoples.” We are called to exalt and worship him, for he is holy.

Hear, my son, and accept my words, that the years of your life may be many. I have taught you the way of wisdom; I have led you in the paths of uprightness. When you walk, your step will not be hampered, and if you run, you will not stumble.
Proverbs 4:10-12

Father, you truly lead me in paths of righteousness, for your name’s sake. May I walk with unhampered steps today, and may I run without stumbling. I don’t seriously expect to run very much today, but I’m thinking in metaphorical terms, here. The thing I am asking is that the teaching you have been giving me be lived out in my life today. Guard my heart; put a watch over my mouth that the things I say may not be displeasing to you, and only uplifting to others. Continue to lead me in paths of righteousness and teach me to walk uprightly. All for your name’s sake.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want. 
He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. 
He restores my soul. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. 
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. 
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. 
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. 

Psalm 23

Grace and peace, friends.

Power For the Work

Today is Monday, May 21, 2018. Day 21,984.

Seven days until Memorial Day.

“As a Christian, you forgive, and you feed the hungry and clothe the naked, and you visit the sick and comfort the lonely. If I’m a true follower of my lord and saviour Jesus Christ, I got to do the things you’re supposed to be doing.” ~ Mr. T, born on this date in 1952. (BrainyQuote)

The word for today is adultescent, a noun which means, “a young adult or middle-aged person who has interests, traits, etc., that are usually associated with teenagers.” Haha! I guess, by some peoples’ estimates, that would make me an adultescent!

We had a nice day, yesterday. It started out with a really good rain while we were getting ready for our worship gathering. It was a challenging morning, as we got everything set up and going, though. The person who pulls the trailer up to the front door was late, but we still got everything up and running in time to rehearse our songs and have our small prayer gathering at 9:45.

We departed from our normal steak and potatoes late lunch, yesterday, because C had a meeting to go to at 5:00 PM, about church by-laws and other such stuff. It was about more than that, but I really can’t say anything else at this point in time. While she was gone to her meeting, I finally finished Dragon Age: Origins, the game I have been playing on the X-Box 360 (yes, I still have one of those, and no, I don’t have an X-Bone) since shortly after my birthday. The final battle was a doozy and took me four hours to finish. That, of course, includes dying four or six or twelve times; I lost count. I seriously almost wept when that dragon finally died. (See above word of the day.) I suppose it will be on to Dragon Age II, next, which I also got for my birthday.

Today, it’s Monday again. I suppose C and I will go to the Y tonight, so we’ll be having Subway sandwiches for dinner.

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

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

Psalm 98

More beautiful praise to the Lord, telling the world to make a joyful noise to the Lord! Even the seas and rivers are to join in with their praise!

“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. Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.”
John 14:12-13

Power In Prayer is a book of excerpts from the great spiritual writer, Andrew Murray. The chapter I read this morning is called “Power for Prayer and Work.”

In this chapter, Murray shows us the difference between Jesus’s opening monologue to his disciples (the Sermon on the Mount), and the final discourse in the closing chapters of the Gospel of John.

In the Sermon, Jesus teaches his new disciples principles of prayer, showing them that they, like children, need to depend on the Father to give them good gifts, and to pray in faith.

In this final discourse, the focus is shifted. Jesus has called them friends, and has told them everything that the Father has given him to tell them. They are now to carry on his work in the world, even doing greater works than he did!

“Prayer is to be the channel through which that power is received for their work. With Christ’s ascension to the Father, a new epoch begins, both for their work and for their life of prayer.”

Those who would work must pray! We get power for our work in prayer. While this may seem like a simple instruction, we cannot overestimate the truth of the matter. If we try to “work” without first praying, even if our work seems successful, it will not be as fruitful as it could or should be.

We are now carrying on the work of those first disciples in our world. And we must, must pray!

Father, thank you for calling me to a life of prayer. But I confess that I do not spend enough time in prayer. Remind me, daily, by your Spirit, that I need to pray. I need planned times of prayer, such as these devotions and my drive time to work, as well as constant, spontaneous prayer, throughout the day. Help me to remember.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

My Eyes Are On You

Today is Sunday, May 20, 2018. Pentecost Sunday. Day 21,983.

Eight days until Memorial Day.

“Everyone is a genius at least once a year. The real geniuses simply have their bright ideas closer together.” ~ Georg Cristoph Lichtenberg, 1742-1799 The Quotations Page

The word for today is besot, a verb which means, “infatuate.” It could also mean, “to make dull or stupid.” Almost the same thing, right? Haha!

After what seemed like a busy morning, we had a nice, restful afternoon, yesterday. We got S’s doctor’s appointment out of the way, got our groceries picked up, C picked up her earrings at the James Avery store (she switched out the ones we got her for Mother’s Day), and C also picked up lunch for us. That was all before 1:00 PM!

The Red Sox beat the Orioles, 6-3, as Rick Porcello notched is sixth win for the season. The Sox have a record of 31-15, the most wins of anyone in MLB. Unfortunately, the Yankees also won, so the two teams remain in a virtual tie for first place in the AL East, and best in MLB. The Sox and O’s will conclude their series this afternoon.

The Rangers lost another game to the worst team in baseball, the White Sox. After being ahead 3-0, they gave up four in the third, and never scored again. Some guy named Jurado got pegged for the loss. Never heard of him. The Rangers’ record is now 18-29, and they are eleven games out in the AL West.

I mentioned, above, that it is Pentecost Sunday. If you are unfamiliar with the Church calendar, this Sunday we celebrate the day that the Holy Spirit first descended on the believers in Acts 2.

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

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

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! 
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. 
Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. 
His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. 
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. 
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory. 
All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods! 
Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD. 
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods. 
O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked. 
Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart. 
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Psalm 97

There’s an old worship song based on this Psalm, called “The Lord Reigns.” We used to sing it a lot back when I was a worship leader at South Haltom Community Church. I would post a You Tube of it, but it’s really difficult to find, seeing as how there a lot of newer songs by the same name.

I like the Psalms in this part of the book, though. They all seem to focus on the worship of God, lifting his name high. You, O LORD, are most high over all the earth.

So, instead, I will share one of the songs we are going to sing, this morning. A song I’ve grown fond of, called “Tremble.”

I’m running out of time, but I believe this to be good enough to share. In today’s Daily Guideposts reading, Melody Bonnette Swang has given me a good prayer to pray when I don’t know what to pray, either for myself or someone else.

Prefaced with Matthew 6:33, “But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you,” the phrase repeated several times in this reading is, “Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you.” What a beautiful prayer.

My father used to say that the prayer that could never be wrong is, “Your will be done.” That, of course, was given to us by Jesus in his prayer that he taught his disciples. That is also a great prayer.

I like this one, though, in that it acknowledges that I don’t know what to do, don’t know what to pray, and then it reminds me to keep my eyes on my Father for guidance.

“Lord, I don’t know what to do, but my eyes are on you.”

But from there you will seek the LORD your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.
Deuteronomy 4:29

Father, thank you for your words of Scripture that inspire me, daily. Thank you that I can always look to you for guidance, even when I think I know what I’m doing. Help me to remember this simple prayer, the next time I don’t know what to pray for someone. Help me to always keep my eyes on you as I try to walk in your kingdom on this earth. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
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.

Ascribe To the LORD

Today is Saturday, May 19, 2018. Day 21,982.

Tomorrow is Pentecost Sunday.

“We need not to be let alone. We need to be really bothered once in a while. How long is it since you were really bothered? About something important, about something real?” ~ Ray Bradbury (1920-2012) (The Quotations Page)

The word for today is unfettered, an adjective which means, “free, unrestrained.”

Yesterday turned out to be a rather long day, at work. We put in right at two hours of overtime, so I didn’t get home until almost 7:30 PM. C got home before me and got the chili started, and she did the dishes, too, which I was planning to do after I got home. Bless her! While we ate our chili, we tried watching the most recent performance episode of The Voice. To be honest, we stopped watching before the top twelve were decided, because the contestants were utterly unremarkable. None of them are great singers, and every performance that we heard had some seriously pitchy moments. This week’s performance show was no different. We probably won’t watch any more, this season. That’s a shame, too, because it has historically been one of our favorite shows to watch. We enjoy the interaction between the coaches, but I have grown weary of them not being honest with the singers, and only telling them how great they are, no doubt to try to seduce the audience to vote for them. But my opinion is that most people decide who they are going to vote for before the performances even happen.

The Red Sox lost to the O’s last night, 7-4. Not a good outing for Drew Pomeranz, losing to one of the worst teams in MLB. Fortunately, the Yankees also lost. To another one of the worst teams, the Royals. What is up with this?? Anyway, they are still in a virtual tie for first place in the AL East, and I guess that’s all that matters. There is a difference of .016 percentage points between them. The Red Sox have a record of 30-15, and they do enjoy the privilege of being the only team in MLB that has won 30 games.

The Rangers jumped all over the White Sox last night, 12-5. Again, this reminds me so much of the Rangers teams of the seventies. They would struggle so much, then, occasionally have a breakout game like this one. They are 18-28 on the season.

There are four teams that have lost 30 games. The White Sox, the Royals, the Orioles, and the Reds.

Today, we have a doctor’s appointment for S, her yearly checkup. This happens in just over an hour. It looks like I will be taking her, and then picking up our Kroger Click List order afterward. I may run in to the store before picking up the order, as I realized that I forgot a couple of items when making our order.

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

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth! 
Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods. 
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols, but the LORD made the heavens. 
Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and beauty are in his sanctuary. 
Ascribe to the LORD, O families of the peoples, ascribe to the LORD glory and strength! 
Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; bring an offering, and come into his courts! 
Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth! 
Say among the nations, “The LORD reigns! Yes, the world is established; it shall never be moved; he will judge the peoples with equity.” 
Let the heavens be glad, and let the earth rejoice; let the sea roar, and all that fills it; 
let the field exult, and everything in it! Then shall all the trees of the forest sing for joy 
before the LORD, for he comes, for he comes to judge the earth. He will judge the world in righteousness, and the peoples in his faithfulness.

Psalm 96

This is a magnificent Psalm, calling for the worship and adoration of almighty God! “Ascribe to the LORD,” “Worship the LORD,” “Declare his glory . . .” John Piper said, in the introduction to Let the Nations Be Glad, “Missions is not the ultimate goal of the church. Worship is. Missions exists because worship doesn’t.” I have always loved that quote. The reason for evangelism is that there are many people who are not following the commands of Psalms like this; they don’t declare his glory, they don’t ascribe to him the glory due his name.

But we do, at least in part. Not perfectly, no, because, even in our zeal for him, we are still imperfect in our ways. But we praise him and worship him. I wish that I could hear the melody that went with Psalm 96.

Father, Thank you for inspiring the psalmist to write these words, calling us all to worship you in the splendor of your glory. Bring them to my mind when I gather with the saints, tomorrow morning, and we sing your praises. How great is our God!! Yes, Lord!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.