You Are My Song

Today is Sunday, July 8, 2018. Day 22,032.

42 days until S turns 25!

129 days until Fallout 76!

“I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies.” ~ Thomas Jefferson, 1743-1826, The Quotations Page

The word for today, obtained from the Oxford English Dictionary (it doesn’t do any good to link to it, because you can’t get to the actual definitions without subscribing to the OED), is hippanthropy, “The delusional belief that one is a horse; an instance of this.” That word does not exist in Merriam-Webster or Dictionary.com. Interesting.

We had a wonderful time with our friends, last night. The hosts cooked up a veritable feast for us, with ribs, chicken, some kind of squash/zucchini thing, and baked potatoes. We brought some dessert, and the other couple brought bread. It was all delicious. We had some great conversation for a while, and then played a couple of games through their TV and our smartphones. Both games were from a company called “Jackbox.” Our favorite was called “Quiplash.” It was great fun. Then we talked some more, mostly about our church’s upcoming merger discussion and vote. I think everyone in the room was in favor of the merger.

But then, as we were driving home from their house, C and I realized that there is not a Sonic between the Smithfield church and our house. That changes everything.

Actually, there is one about a block past the church, so we’re good. Whew.

The Red Sox soundly beat the Royals, last night, 15-4 (as it should be, as the Royals are one of the worst five teams in baseball, at the moment), to improve their record to 61-29. They remain two games up in the AL East.

The Rangers lost to the Tigers again, 7-2. Cole Hamels didn’t even make out of the first inning. Got to be something wrong with him. Anyway, their record is now 39-51, and they are 20.5 games out in the AL West. It’s getting harder to be hopeful that they can dig themselves out of this hole.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. But we won’t be at The Exchange Church, today. I’m leading worship at FBC Smithfield, this morning. Our worship gathering will begin at 10:45 at 7912 Main St., in North Richland Hills. And yes, that is the church with which we are considering a merger.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Zayin.
Remember your word to your servant, in which you have made me hope. 
This is my comfort in my affliction, that your promise gives me life. 
The insolent utterly deride me, but I do not turn away from your law. 
When I think of your rules from of old, I take comfort, O LORD. 
Hot indignation seizes me because of the wicked, who forsake your law. 
Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning. 
I remember your name in the night, O LORD, and keep your law. 
This blessing has fallen to me, that I have kept your precepts. 

Psalm 119:49-56

God’s word gives us hope. It is comfort in our times of affliction. And I love verse 54, “Your statutes have been my songs in the house of my sojourning.” As we remember that this world is not our true, permanent home, God’s word is our song.

And the word of the LORD came to Zechariah, saying, “Thus says the LORD of hosts, Render true judgments, show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.”
Zechariah 7:8-10

Father, thank you for the hope that resides in your word; the hope and the comfort, in times of affliction and/or sorrow. In times of loneliness, we can find companionship with you through the words of Scripture and the presence of your Spirit in our midst. I thank you that your word can be my song. Let it be so today, as I lead people to worship you. May my heart be right with you and everyone else, this morning, and may my mind and spirit and soul be focused on praising you as I sing to you and to others, this morning. May the words of my mouth and the meditations of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

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Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!

Today is Saturday, July 7, 2018. Day 22,031.

43 days until S turns 25!

130 days until Fallout 76!

“When one burns one’s bridges, what a very nice fire it makes.” ~ Dylan Thomas, BrainyQuote

The word for today is plantigrade, “walking on the whole sole of the foot, as humans, and bears.”

It took until after 9:00 last night, but we finally got our A/C up and running. When I got home from work, it was 87 degrees in the house. It was close to 8:00 before the repairman finally arrived, as his earlier calls took longer than expected. I should think that they would always expect that. At any rate, the “scheduler” did a very poor job of communicating this to us, and, at one point, we were thinking we would have to find someone else. But it all worked out, and the guy who came was great. He was very friendly, explained a lot to us (not that I understood much of what he explained . . . what the heck is “superheat?”), and got us up and running. He even adjusted the refrigerant because he said his tests were showing that our system was overcharged. He had to replace some kind of capacitor, and also did some cleaning off of the outside of the unit, which had accumulated some hard, caked-on dirt, which was restricting airflow. By 4:00 this morning, our house was back at its usual temperature.

This incident has led us to two courses of action. One is, we will hose off the outside unit on a regular basis, probably monthly, to keep it from building up that dirt again. The second thing is that we plan to, going forward (why do we say that?? We can’t very well go backward, can we?), have the unit serviced on a yearly basis, the heating unit around October, and the cooling unit, probably round March. Preventive maintenance is always a good thing.

I feel blessed that we got out of this for just over $300. It could have been much worse.

The Red Sox beat the Royals 10-5, to become the first MLB team with 60 wins, this season. The Blue Jays beat the Yankees, so the Sox have extended their league in the AL East to two games.

The Rangers lost to the Tigers, 3-1, the only run being the leadoff home run by Choo. This puts the Rangers at 39-50, and 19.5 out in the AL West. The Astros, incidentally, with their win over the Other Sox, bumped the Yankees out of second place in overall MLB standings.

Today, I have to go pick up our groceries from Kroger between 12:00 and 1:00, practice some music for tomorrow’s worship service at FBC Smithfield, and then we have a small gathering with some friends from church, a “game night,” they are calling it. However, it is beginning at 4:00 PM, so it’s more of a “game evening?” Should be fun, though.

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

Waw.
Let your steadfast love come to me, O LORD, your salvation according to your promise; 
then shall I have an answer for him who taunts me, for I trust in your word. 
And take not the word of truth utterly out of my mouth, for my hope is in your rules. 
I will keep your law continually, forever and ever, 
and I shall walk in a wide place, for I have sought your precepts. 
I will also speak of your testimonies before kings and shall not be put to shame, 
for I find my delight in your commandments, which I love. 
I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.

Psalm 119:41-48

In this passage, God’s word (promise) becomes “an answer for him who taunts me.” I would take this with caution, however, as it should not be a source of pride, but rather, simply a gentle answer should someone taunt us concerning our faith. I also see, in verses 46-47, assurance that, when we delight in God’s word (commandments), we can have the confidence to speak before people of great authority, and “not be put to shame.” I have not reached that point, yet. The way to reach that, I believe, is to practice verse 48, meditating on the statutes of the Lord.

I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil—this is God’s gift to man.
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Years ago, Dairy Queen paraphrased this into “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry!”

In today’s Daily Guideposts reading, Stephanie Thompson gets honest and shares some of her life with us. It turns out that she seems to be wired a bit like C (my wife). She likes to work. On weekends, C is always cooking up some kind of project. She wanted to clean out the garage on July 4th. In Texas. She only did a little bit of that before she went to Denton to help our oldest and her husband pack some things up to move to their new rental house.

Ms. Thompson writes of a summer when she had all these plans laid out, but her daughter, Micah, pretty much just wanted to hang out. Stephanie managed to get Micah to participate in a lot of her activities, but not without some grumbling and resistance. Finally, at one point, Stephanie became overwhelmed by clutter while organizing the garage. She discovered that she simply did not want to do this. She found herself just laying on the “cool tile floor” of the house, which is where her daughter found her.

“Wanna hang out?” Stephanie asked Micah.

So, the point here, is this. C loves to work. It’s what makes her happy. I love to “hang out,” which you can read as “play games on the PS4 and X-box.” Sometimes I try to discourage C from working so much, especially when she’s trying to clean out the garage on July 4th. In Texas. I worry that she will hurt herself. And she has, before. But . . . it is what makes her happy.

Solomon (or whoever wrote Ecclesiastes) encourages us to eat and drink and take pleasure in our toil. “Toil” is a result of the fall in Genesis. We were always going to have to work, but “toil” is the negative side of work. Nevertheless, it is our lot in life, and the writer of Ecclesiastes admonishes/encourages us to take pleasure in it. Or, to simply do what makes us happy.

There is nothing wrong with doing things that make us happy (as long as, you know, laws aren’t broken, people aren’t hurt, and so on). So we should, as time is available, take pleasure in whatever we do, as a gift from God.

Even if it means cleaning out the garage on July 4th. In Texas.

There is nothing better for a person than that he should eat and drink and find enjoyment in his toil. This also, I saw, is from the hand of God, for apart from him who can eat or who can have enjoyment?
Ecclesiastes 2:24-25
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28
And he said to them, “Come away by yourselves to a desolate place and rest a while.” For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.
Mark 6:31

Father, you have given us all things, including the toil that we must do, and the recreation that we have available. May we, as your children, take pleasure in both, as gifts from you! Help us, indeed, to “eat, drink, and be merry,” in you!
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.

Teach Me, O Lord

Today is Friday, July 6, 2018. Day 22,030.

44 days until S turns 25!

131 days until Fallout 76!

“The return we reap from generous actions is not always evident.” ~ Francesco Guicciardini, 1483-1540, BrainyQuote

The word for today is sophistry, “subtly deceptive reasoning or argumentation.”

The real word for the day is hot. We woke up, this morning, to an A/C that wasn’t working. I thought it felt warm-ish when I got up to use the bathroom about an hour before time to get up. Sure enough, it’s 76 degrees in the house. We keep it set at 72, and it’s only 80 outside (only??). So it should be at 72 in the house. We are both going to work, and have a contact number to call, but they don’t open until 8:30. I figure at least one of us will leave work early today, and, depending on when a repairman can get here, we may have to stay at a hotel tonight. We shall see.

The Red Sox didn’t play last night. Neither did the Yankees. So nothing changed in the AL East.

The Rangers beat the Tigers, 7-5, to make their record 39-49. The Astros also won, so they remain 18.5 out in the AL West.

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

He.
Teach me, O LORD, the way of your statutes; and I will keep it to the end. 
Give me understanding, that I may keep your law and observe it with my whole heart. 
Lead me in the path of your commandments, for I delight in it. 
Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to selfish gain! 
Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things; and give me life in your ways. 
Confirm to your servant your promise, that you may be feared. 
Turn away the reproach that I dread, for your rules are good. 
Behold, I long for your precepts; in your righteousness give me life!

Psalm 119:33-40

Every verse we encounter in this passage is a good prayer to pray back to God. Sometimes, the best prayers we can pray come straight from his word.

Father, for my prayer this morning, I will spend time meditating on and praying the verses of Psalm 119. Teach me your ways, give me understanding, lead me in your paths, incline my heart, turn my eyes, confirm your promises. Increase my love for you and for your children.
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.

Clinging To the Dust

Today is Mon Thursday, July 5, 2018. Day 22,029.

45 days until S turns 25!

132 days until Fallout 76!

“I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.” ~ Fred Allen, 1894-1956, BrainyQuote

The word for today is asseverate, “to affirm or declare positively or earnestly.”

Yesterday was a nice day, off from work. Unfortunately, it was in the middle of the week, so we have to go back to work today. C’s niece messaged me in the afternoon, wanting to know what we were doing that night. I said, “Nothing. Going to bed early, getting up early to go to work tomorrow.” Earlier, S had asked me if we were going to go watch fireworks. I said that we weren’t and gave three reasons. First, it was a weeknight and we had to get up to go to work the next morning. Second, we’ve seen fireworks. Many, many, many, many times. They haven’t changed much. Third, they are LOUD, and S hates loud noises. So, there you go. Miraculously, we were not kept awake by foolish people insisting on shooting off fireworks in the neighborhood. Which is also great because, when they do, Tessie barks her fool head off every time one goes off.

The Red Sox played a rare morning game in Washington, yesterday, and completed a sweep of Nationals, beating them 3-0. Their record is now 59-29, best in MLB. The Yankees also beat the Braves, so the Sox stay one game ahead in the AL West. They are off tonight and begin a series with the Royals tomorrow.

The Rangers lost an extra inning game to the Astros, 5-4, to make their record 38-49. They are now 18.5 games out in the AL West. They are traveling to Detroit to play a four-game weekend series with the Tigers.

My meeting with the pastor of FBC Smithfield went quite well. We got along very well, and, it turns out, we share some similar ideologies. I will be leading worship there, this Sunday, and, potentially, all of July. They are supposed to vote on our merger on August 5. If they vote no, I’m not sure what will happen next. If both churches agree, I expect it won’t be long before we mover our gatherings to their building as one church, in which case our worship leader will probably take over.

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

Daleth.
My soul clings to the dust; give me life according to your word! 
When I told of my ways, you answered me; teach me your statutes! 
Make me understand the way of your precepts, and I will meditate on your wondrous works. 
My soul melts away for sorrow; strengthen me according to your word! 
Put false ways far from me and graciously teach me your law! 
I have chosen the way of faithfulness; I set your rules before me. 
I cling to your testimonies, O LORD; let me not be put to shame! 
I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart!

Psalm 119:25-32

How true is it of us that our souls tend to cling to the dust? Perhaps I am reading this wrong, but I see it as a declaration that, even when worshiping God on a regular basis, our souls want to hold onto the “stuff of earth.” It reminds me of a verse by one of my favorite bands, in a song called “Restore My Soul.”

“I call to you with one lung exploded, from breathing the dust of the earth,
With my tongue eroded from licking the crust of the Earth,
A tear away from reconciled, a prayer away from whole,
Restore my soul.”

I also love verse 32, “I will run in the way of your commandments when you enlarge my heart.” That gives me a mental picture of a child frolicking in a field, running free with no cares whatsoever.

Father, as I make my way through this day, help my soul to release the dust of earth, and my tongue to not desire the “crust of the Earth.” May your Spirit entice me to “cling to your testimonies,” that I might “run in the way of your commandments.” Set my heart free, O Lord! “Enlarge my heart!”
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.

Let My Words Be Few

Today is Sat Wednesday, July 4, 2018. Day 22,028.

46 days until S turns 25.

133 days until Fallout 76!

“Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.” ~ John Lennon, 1940-1980, The Quotations Page

The word for today (obtained from the Oxford English Dictionary) is mafted, “suffering under oppressive heat.”

As expected, we worked late, yesterday. I left at approximately 6:00 PM, an hour and a half later than usual. C made chili for dinner, and we had a nice dinner while watching an episode of The Confession Tapes on Netflix. It’s a somewhat depressing true crime show about people who were possibly wrongly convicted for crimes that they did not commit. It’s not 100% certain, in each case, but in many of the cases, interrogation tactics were used that coerced confessions out of people that may not have been accurate. In come cases, the conviction was later overturned, but in some it was not, and the people have exhausted all their appeals. Like I said, somewhat depressing. But still interesting.

This morning, I’m having coffee with the pastor of FBC Smithfield, to talk about the possibility of me leading worship there for a few Sundays, until an official decision is made on the merger of our two churches. I’m supposed to meet up with him at 9:00 AM, at a nearby Starbucks. I seriously don’t know why so many people love Starbucks so much. Anyway, I’m hoping for a good conversation. I’ve been given a list of songs that they have sung over the past few years. It looks like they sing a lot. If I’m reading the spreadsheet right, they sing at least six songs in every service. That’s a lot! I’m tired already!

C has had a change of plans. If you remember I told you that she was planning on doing some garage cleaning today. Well, she has decided, instead, to go help R & J start moving. I feel much better about that than her spending even a couple hours in that hot garage. Garage cleaning is Autumn work.

The Red Sox routed the Nationals, yesterday evening, by the score of 11-4, to improve their record to an MLB best 58-29. The Yankees beat the Braves, so the Sox remain one game up in the AL East. The Sox and Nats play again today at . . . wait, what?? 10:05 AM?? Wow. That’s super-weird.

The Rangers lost to the AL West leading Astros by the score of 5-3. Not that bad, really, but it’s always bad to lose to the leading team. The Rangers are back at ten games under .500, with a record of 38-48. They are 17.5 games out.

The Orioles lost to maintain the position as the worst in baseball. The Royals, however, are sticking right with them, having lost five in a row.

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

Gimel
Deal bountifully with your servant, that I may live and keep your word. 
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law. 
I am a sojourner on the earth; hide not your commandments from me! 
My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times. 
You rebuke the insolent, accursed ones, who wander from your commandments. 
Take away from me scorn and contempt, for I have kept your testimonies. 
Even though princes sit plotting against me, your servant will meditate on your statutes. 
Your testimonies are my delight; they are my counselors.

Psalm 119:17-24

I realized, this morning, that I forgot to include the Hebrew alphabet letter in yesterday’s segment of Psalm 119. It was “Beth.”

Verse 18 in this segment is a wonderful prayer, and a worthy memory verse. “Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.” There are, indeed, “wondrous things” in God’s word, if we would but open our eyes to them. I also like verse 20, “My soul is consumed with longing for your rules at all times.” I can’t truthfully say that about myself, though. Not “at all times.” Again, I feel the need to point out that it is not strict legalism that is the goal, here. It is simply a love and passion for the truth of God’s word.

Be not rash with your mouth, nor let your heart be hasty to utter a word before God, for God is in heaven and you are on earth. Therefore let your words be few.
Ecclesiastes 5:3

Possibly some of the best advice in the Bible, right there! There have been so many times in my life that I wished I could take back words that came out of my mouth. So many, “Did I say that out loud?” moments.

How much better this world would be if we were all better listeners than talkers.

Father, give me strength to heed the warning/advice of Ecclesiastes 5:3. Let my words be few.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

A Time for Everything

Today is Tuesday (first “Friday” of the week), July 3, 2018. Day 22,027.

Tomorrow is our July 4th holiday!

134 days until Fallout 76!

“Whenever two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man as the other person sees him, and each man as he really is.” ~ William James, 1842-1910, The Quotations Page

The word for today is Kafkaesque, “marked by a senseless, disorienting, often menacing complexity.”

Since we have a day off tomorrow, our receiving team will have to work late this evening. Then we will have to work late again Friday. And none of it will be considered “overtime,” because we have a holiday in the week. CEVA pays for the eight-hour holiday, but does not consider it toward a forty-hour week. And they don’t pay overtime until we have worked over forty hours in a week. Isn’t that great??

The Red Sox beat the Nationals 4-3, last night, as Porcello picked up his tenth win on the season. They actually beat Max Scherzer, which is pretty impressive. Especially after those two embarrassing games in New York over the weekend. The Yankees lost to the Braves, so the Sox are back on top of the AL East, by one game.

The Rangers had an off day, yesterday, and face off against their AL West rivals, the Astros, tonight. It’s a good opportunity to pick up some games in the standings.

The Red Sox are currently the best team in baseball, while the Orioles remain the worst. However, the Royals are making a serious run for it, having lost four consecutive games.

C insists that she is going to clean out part of the garage tomorrow. Please pray for her. On a positive note, it is only supposed to be 96 degrees tomorrow, as opposed to 104 today. Our electric bill is going through the roof, this month.

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

Beth.
How can a young man keep his way pure? By guarding it according to your word. 
With my whole heart I seek you; let me not wander from your commandments! 
I have stored up your word in my heart, that I might not sin against you. 
Blessed are you, O LORD; teach me your statutes! 
With my lips I declare all the rules of your mouth. 
In the way of your testimonies I delight as much as in all riches. 
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. 
I will delight in your statutes; I will not forget your word.

Verse 11 has been a famous memory verse over the decades/centuries. When I was a child, we memorized it as “Thy word have I hid in my heart, that I might not sin against Thee.” See, I still remember it in KJV. Regardless of the version you read, it is good advice. I have recently rediscovered that scripture memory is an awesome tool for life. Having verses readily at hand helps in a lot of situations in life. While there are no easy answers, meditating on Bible verses that one has in one’s brain is much better than thinking about how much one doesn’t like what someone else is doing at the moment.

“I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways.” Similar, and also good advice.

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven: 
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted; 
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up; 
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance; 
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing; 
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away; 
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak; 
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

Hey, I think that would make a great song!

So I saw that there is nothing better than that a man should rejoice in his work, for that is his lot. Who can bring him to see what will be after him?
Ecclesiastes 3:22

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. 
For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! 
Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? 
And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

Father, I pray that you will help me heed these words of wisdom today. Help me to “rejoice” in my work, for that is, indeed, my lot. It is what I have received from your hand. Therefore, who am I to complain against it? So, even when I have to work late, help me to rejoice in that and have a positive attitude, full of joy.
I am also grateful to the partner you have given me in life, so that we are two, which is better than one.
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.

Eyes Fixed On Your Word

Today is Monday (feels like Thursday?), July 2, 2018. Day 22,026.

Only two days until July 4! I would be more excited if it weren’t in the middle of the week.

135 days until Fallout 76!

“They do not love that do not show their love.” ~ William Shakespeare, 1564-1616, BrainyQuote

The word for today is canicular, “of or relating to the dog days.” So now, we have to define dog days. “The period between early July and early September when the hot sultry weather of summer usually occurs in the northern hemisphere.” I would amend that and take out “early” before September.

I have known this for a couple of months, but it was finally announced at our church, yesterday, that we might be merging with another small church in the area. FBC of Smithfield has been declining for a while, and their current membership is mostly elderly (older than me). The leadership from the two churches began talks late last year of a possible merger. There have been many meetings, some of which C was involved with (she was on the team that was discussing by-laws and such), some of which were quite tense. But at the end of the last meeting, both agreed to put the idea before their church bodies and bring it to a vote. The main benefit for us would be a permanent building. The main benefit for them would be new life for their church, because, if left alone, they will eventually die out and the building and property will wind up in the hands of who knows who? It’s obviously not settled yet, because both groups must vote. Voting will occur for Smithfield on August 5. The Exchange will vote somewhere around there. There’s nothing in our rules that require a certain length of time to wait. One downside of this is that we will no longer be called The Exchange. If we move into their building, there are all kinds of legal ramifications surrounding changing signs and such. They are “grandfathered” into some old codes and stuff, and if they changed anything structurally on the building, they would have to make a lot of modifications. It’s complicated.

I may also be going over there for a few Sundays to help them with music, as their music minister/worship leader resigned and his last Sunday was yesterday. However, after calling the pastor and leaving a voice mail, I have not heard back from him. I will try to call him again today.

The Red Sox were again embarrassed by the Yankees, last night, by the score of 11-1. Obviously, David Price did not have a good outing, giving up eight runs in only 3.1 innings. This puts them back in a virtual tie for first in the AL EAST. The Sox have a record of 56-29.

The Rangers also lost, yesterday, to the Other Sox, by a score of 10-5. The still won the series, though, and the Astros lost, so they remain 16.5 out in the AL West. Their record is 38-47.

The Orioles finally won a game, but they’re still the worst.

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

Aleph.
Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD! 
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart, 
who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways! 
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 119:1-8

Today I begin the longest chapter in the Bible. Psalm 119 is unique in at least two ways. First, each segment of eight verses is, in the Hebrew language, an acrostic (that may not be the right word), with each verse beginning with the same letter of the Hebrew alphabet. Obviously, that does not come through in translation, but the letter of the alphabet will be the heading for each stanza. Second, out of 176 verses, virtually every single verse refers in some way to God’s word, either as law, testimonies, precepts, ways, statutes, or other similar terms. There are at least two popular memory verses in Psalm 119, and I will make note of them as we get to them. I will be reading eight verses a day until finished.

To me, the central part of this stanza carries the best message. “Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statues! Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.” (Verses 5-6) That is a worthy prayer for me today, as well. Not that I want to be a legalist, but that I want to keep my eyes on God’s word as I follow Jesus.

I got to my favorite chapter of Job today. Chapter 41. (There’s not much devotional value in this segment, so feel free to skip it.) Why is chapter 41 my favorite? Because I am fascinated with dragons, and I believe Job 41 is proof that dragons were once real! Read, beginning with verse 12, to the end of the chapter and tell me that doesn’t describe a dragon!!

Father, may I have grace today to walk according to your statues and commandments. Help me to keep my eyes fixed on you and your word 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.