O Lord, Open My Lips!

Today is Tuesday, September 12, 2017. Day 21,733. 30 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Neil Peart, who was born on this date in 1952, said, “Even as a kid, I never wanted to be famous; I wanted to be good.”
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Word of the Day

Sinecure ~ “an office or position requiring little or no work, especially one yielding profitable returns.” Also, “an ecclesiastical benefice without cure of souls.”

Today is Video Games Day. It’s a tragedy that this has fallen on a work day, because I should be able to stay home and play video games all day! And I could do that while drinking chocolate milk shakes, because today is also Chocolate Milkshake Day!

It appears that C and my mother had a blast yesterday. They went shopping, had lunch at La Madeleine, and then drove back to Mineral Wells. I’m glad that it was a good day for them.

My day wasn’t as much fun, but it was okay. It seems, however, that I may have developed a case of planter fasciitis in my left foot. I’ll have to keep a close watch on that and see if it hurts as bad today. There were a couple of times, yesterday, that I almost couldn’t walk. It hurts most right after getting up from a seated position, then gets better as I walk a little bit.

Speaking of things like that, it looks like C will be having a full knee replacement in a few weeks. We’re not sure, just yet, when. She has to go to her primary doctor today, to get some tests done, so that she can be released for the surgery. As soon as those test results come in, they will schedule her for the surgery. We’re hoping it will be a week or so after our anniversary. If it is before, we will have to cancel our Glen Rose cabin for that weekend. That’s okay, though, because it will take care of the knee pain that she has been having.

The Red Sox didn’t play last night, but lost a half game, because the Yankees won. The Sox are three games up in the AL East. The Rangers beat the Mariners 5-3, and gained a half game in the wild card race, as the Twins did not play. There are only nineteen games left, at least for the Sox and Rangers.

The Indians won their 19th consecutive game, while the Dodgers lost number eleven. Even with eleven consecutive losses, the Dodgers are still the best team in baseball.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15
Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
Psalm 119:18
I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
Psalm 86:12
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
Psalm 18:31
Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 
But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word.

John 8:54-55
How great are your works, O LORD! Your thoughts are very deep! 
The stupid man cannot know; the fool cannot understand this: 
that though the wicked sprout like grass and all evildoers flourish, they are doomed to destruction forever; 
but you, O LORD, are on high forever.

Psalm 92:5-8
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise! Father, help me to chase after wisdom today, as I go through the duties of the day. Keep me focused on you, my Rock and my Redeemer. Remind me to give thanks to you with my whole heart, and to glorify your name in all that I do, say, and even think, 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.

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Prayer Begins With God

Today is Monday, September 11, 2017. Day 21,732. 31 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Tom Landry, who was born on this date in 1924 (died 2000), said, “Today, you have 100% of your life left.” A bit of a twist on the old, “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
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Word of the Day

Antinome ~ “something that is contradictory or opposite to another; a logical contradiction.”

Today is Hot Cross Bun Day. I really don’t even know what those are. I remember a nursery rhyme about them. Apparently, they used to be eaten on Good Friday as a symbol of the crucifixion. Here is a Wikipedia article about hot cross buns.

We have had a wonderful weekend. My mother is still here, this morning, and C is taking the day off to spend some time with her, taking her out shopping, then will take her back home, later this afternoon.

Yesterday’s worship gathering went well, and my worship leading seems to have been well-received. I certainly enjoyed it, and the young lady who sang with me did very well.

The Red Sox and Rangers both lost, yesterday, so the Rangers lost the series to the Yankees, and the Red Sox lost ground in their lead in the AL East. They are 3.5 up in the standings. The Rangers did not lose any ground in the wild card race, as the Twins also lost. But the Angels won, so they gained on the Twins. The Cleveland Indians won number 18 consecutive. The Washington Nationals became the first team to clinch not only a playoff berth, but their division. The Dodgers lost their tenth in a row, and the Diamondback won, reducing the Dodgers’s lead to only nine games.

Time keeps on ticking, ticking, ticking.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

“Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!”
Psalm 68:26
Have regard for the covenant, for the dark places of the land are full of the habitations of violence.
Psalm 74:20
Arise, O LORD! Confront him, subdue him! Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, 
from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life.

Psalm 17:13-14
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good.
Psalm 53:1
Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming. 
But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into. 
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:42-44

(From Living the Message)

Eugene Peterson reminds us why we need theologians.

“The reason that we who pray need a theologian at our side is that most of the difficulties of prayer are of our own making, the making of well-meaning friends, or the lies of the devil who always seems to be looking after our best self-interests.” You see, we tend to be always about our own interests and forget about God’s interests, or, at least, put our interests ahead of his. We get all caught up in what is happening to us, and then get confused by the “discrepancies between our feelings and our intentions.” We also tend to get distracted by false claims from well-meaning people (or perhaps some who are not so well-meaning). Lies like, “God won’t give you more than you can handle,” or, “God helps those who help themselves.”

“But prayer has primarily to do with God, not us . . . And the theologian’s task is to train our thinking, our imagination, our understanding to begin with God not ourselves.”

Start with GOD—the first step in learning is bowing down to GOD; only fools thumb their noses at such wisdom and learning.
Proverbs 1:7 (The Message)

Father, I pray for your instruction in prayer, that I might make it more about you than about me. Show me not only how to pray, but what I should be praying for.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus

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

Grace and peace, friends.

“Glorify Your Name”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

(From The Divine Hours)

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

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

The Prayer Appointed for the Week

(From The President’s Devotional)

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

John 12:27-28

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Grace and peace, friends.

The Language of Practicing Resurrection

Today is Saturday, September 9, 2017. Day 21,730. 33 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Leo Tolstoy, born on this date in 1828 (died 1910) said, “In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you.”
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Word of the Day

Disport ~ “to amuse oneself in light or lively fashion.”

Today is Teddy Bear Day. Who doesn’t love a soft, cuddly teddy bear? Legend has it that they were so named because President Theodore Roosevelt refused to shoot a small, captured, bear, on a hunting trip. Perhaps the most famous of all teddy bears, or at least my favorite, is Winnie the Pooh.

Naturally, I had to work late, last night. I got out of there around 6:15, not quite two hours of overtime. It wasn’t horrible though. I guess God must be doing something, because I wasn’t angry, this time. While I was on my way home, S & C cooked dinner together! We had this concoction called “Grilled Cheese Pizza,” which uses a couple of sheets of crescent dough with a bunch of Colby Jack cheese in the middle. The recipe calls for pepperoni, but C and S don’t like pepperoni, so we use ground Italian sausage, instead. They did great! It was delicious!

While we were eating, C and I watched the PWBA Tour Championship semi-final and final matches, which featured some of the world’s best female bowlers. Liz Johnson and Kelly Kulick were in it. Sadly, Liz lost in the semi-final match, but it was very exciting. Shannon O’Keefe and Liz wound up having a three frame, single-ball rolloff because they tied at 222 in regulation. Shannon went on to defeat Kelly in the final round. It was pretty exciting.

As soon as I get this finished, we will be heading to Mineral Wells to pick up my mother, to bring her back here for the weekend. R & J will be coming down this afternoon, and we will all share a late lunch. S wants to go to Martha’s Mexican Restaurant. We’ll see where everyone wants to go.

Now for some baseball. The Red Sox beat the Rays 9-3, last night. The Yankees lost, so they increased their lead in the AL East to 4.5 games. The Rangers were the ones who beat the Yankees, so a win for both teams, there! The Rangers battled back from a 5-1 deficit to win, 11-5! Unfortunately, the Twins also won, so the Rangers are still 2.5 games out of the second wild card spot.

The Cleveland Indians have now won sixteen consecutive games. The Diamondbacks finally lost one, and to add insult to injury, it was the Padres who beat them! (The Padres are in fourth place out of five teams.) The Dodgers lost their eighth straight game in this stretch, and are still 1-9 in their last ten games.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Psalm 96:1
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.
Psalm 119:145
Glory to you, Lord God of our fathers;
you are worthy of praise; glory to you.
Glory to you for the radiance of your holy Name;
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you in the splendor of your temple;
on the throne of your majesty, glory to you.
Glory to you, seated between the Cherubim;
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.
Glory to you, beholding the depths;
in the high vault of heaven, glory to you.
Glory to you, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit;
we will praise you and highly exalt you for ever.

(Te Deum)
Righteousness will go before him and make his footsteps a way. 
Psalm 85:13
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work. 
Do you not say, ‘There are yet four months, then comes the harvest’? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest. 
Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together. 
For here the saying holds true, ‘One sows and another reaps.’ 
I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor.”

John 4:34-38

(From Practice Resurrection)

As we journey down this path of growing up in Christ, we need a language. “The primary language we that we use . . . is prayer.” But our imaginations have to be somewhat renovated before we can truly learn to practice this language. We need “an existential understanding of prayer as an all-involving way of life. It is not a special way of using language for holy things or sacred concerns. It is a way of using language personally in response to and in the presence of God, and in response to and in the company of the saints.” How many of us have ever thought of our conversations with other saints as “prayer?”

If we pay attention to Paul’s language, we see “a syntax in which God is sometimes subject, sometimes predicate, sometimes preposition, sometimes conjunction, sometimes comma, and sometimes period. But always, always, somewhere in the sentence.”

Unfortunately, most of our experience with language “takes place with people who could not care less about our true God-given identity and who have little interest in resurrection.” So gaining fluency in prayer will take some time and “deliberate attention.” In modern terms, one might say we have to be “intentional” about it.

One way to do this is to take notice of the blessings in Scripture. Paul begins Ephesians with a blessing. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places. (1:3) But these blessings begin at the beginning when God blesses Adam and Eve. Soon, we see that the people whom God has blessed are blessing each other. “Isaac blesses Jacob, Jacob blesses his sons, Moses blesses the twelve tribes.” These blessings “gather to a greatness” in the Psalms, and then they “punctuate the language of Jesus.” The entirety of Scripture is flavored with blessing.

Blessing is the language of Scripture, and blessing is the language of prayer. “We receive the blessing and absorb it into our obedience. It is not long before our language exudes what we are living.”

Every Sunday morning, at the end of our worship gathering, we say the blessing that I post at the end of this blog. It comes from Numbers 6:24-27. It would certainly be easy to just parrot the words, making them essentially meaningless. But each week, I try to think of someone, usually someone in the room, and look in their direction as I say the words. Sometimes, I even go so far as to approach them and make eye contact with them, especially if I know they have been going through a hard time. When I post the words at the end of my blog, I try to think of anyone who might be reading this blog. I know some who read it on a regular basis. Others may just happen upon it, seemingly randomly. That blessing is for you.

Father, I pray that you will continue to teach me this language of prayer and blessing. I have learned, the hard way, that if I don’t keep at it, I lose the ability. It is something that must be habitually and continually practiced. Therefore, I pray that your Spirit will press on me to keep it up. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth.
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.

Start With God

Today is Friday (woohoo!), September 8, 2017. Day 21,729. 34 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Peter Sellers, who was born on this date in 1925 (died 1980), said, “If you ask me to play myself, I will not know what to do. I do not know who or what I am.”
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Word of the Day

Fossick ~ Australian. “to hunt; seek; ferret out.”

Today is Star Trek Day. I would gladly join in the great “Star Wars vs Star Trek Debate” and be on the Star Trek side! I would have a hard time choosing between classic Star Trek and The Next Generation. I love them both. But it’s hard to beat the series that started it all. So, if you get a chance, watch your favorite episode of Star Trek today, or your favorite Star Trek movie. And while you’re at it, give thanks for Lucille Ball, because rumor has it that she saved Star Trek from an early demise.

We are glad it’s Friday, even when it’s been a short week. That gladness is tainted by the knowledge that we will likely have to work late today. But, in the grand scheme of things, it’s just a thing.

The Rangers and Red Sox did not play last night, taking a day off. The Sox begin a weekend series with the Rays tonight, and the Rangers host the Yankees.

We will be going to pick up my mother tomorrow morning, some time, and I believe R & J will be travelling down from Denton to have lunch and visit with us. Good times.

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

But I call to God, and the LORD will save me. 
Evening and morning and at noon I utter my complaint and moan, and he hears my voice.

Psalm 55:16-17
Make haste, O God, to deliver me! O LORD, make haste to help me!
Psalm 70:1
Blessed is the one you choose and bring near, to dwell in your courts! We shall be satisfied with the goodness of your house, the holiness of your temple!
Psalm 65:4
But when he heard it, he said, “Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. 
Go and learn what this means, ‘I desire mercy, and not sacrifice.’ For I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”

Matthew 9:12-13
“What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it? 
And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 
And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’ 
Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.”

Luke 15:4-7

(From Practice Resurrection)

We have begun this letter to the Ephesians with a blessing, in this lengthy sentence that comprises chapter 1:3-14. Paul blesses God for blessing us and supercharges that blessing with those seven verbs we discussed over the past couple of weeks. “God is on our side, he is not against us. God is actively at work among us for our good and our salvation; he is not passive. God is present and personal; he is not remote. God is totally involved in the cosmos; he is not indifferent.”

It takes us time to get used to all of this. “As we submit, our imaginations are baptized.” (I love that phrase!) “We are immersed in the icy, swift-flowing river of resurrection and come up with all our sense tingling, our imaginations cleansed.” We weren’t looking for God, he was looking for us!

It all starts with God, with this blessing from God. “If we start with ourselves, we wander farther into the dark woods.”

Father, keep my focus away from me and on you. Immerse me in that icy, swift-flowing river of resurrection and cleanse my imagination! Take me deep with you!
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.

Receive

Today is Thursday, September 7, 2017. Day 21,728. 35 days until our 32nd anniversary.

Leslie Jones, who was born on this date in 1967, said, “Think about back in the day when we had Archie Bunker, ‘The Jeffersons.’ We had stuff to sit down and share and laugh at. The Internet has made it so we don’t have to sit together anymore. It’s so self-absorbed. No one has to talk to each other anymore, and people don’t realize that that is killing us.”
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Word of the Day

Whoosis ~ “an object or person whose name is not known or cannot be recalled.”

Today is Buy A Book Day. My wife would say I have enough already and don’t need to buy another one. She would probably be right.

The nice thing about Monday holidays is that it’s Thursday already. On the other hand, it’s only Thursday. But that’s okay.

By the way, I believe Leslie Jones (quoted above) is right. I’m on a mission to stop letting Facebook run my life. I turned off the notifications a couple weeks ago, on my phone, because I realized that, every time a notification would pop up, I was stopping to check it out.

The Red Sox beat the Boo Jays again, last night, and it appears that the Yankees and O’s were postponed, so the Sox gained a half game, and are now four games up in the AL East. Looks like the Y’s and O’s will play a double-header today, and the Sox play Tampa.

The Rangers split a double-header with the Braves, so they stayed the same in the wild card race, two games behind Minnesota. For a couple of hours, they were two games over .500, but are currently back at one game over. They sit in third place in the AL West, 16 behind the Astros, who show no signs of slowing down.

Unlike the Dodgers, who have not only slowed down, but come to a complete halt. While the Diamondback are surging, having now won thirteen in a row, the Dodgers, who just two weeks ago, I said could possibly win 120 games (is this all MY fault??), are 1-9 in their last ten, and have now lost six consecutive games!

The Cleveland Indians have now won fourteen straight.

We have decided that we will travel to Mineral Wells Saturday morning, rather than Friday night, to pick up my mother, who will stay Saturday and Sunday night here with us. C is taking Monday off to have a nice day with her and take her back to MW.

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

(From The Divine Hours)

Sing aloud to God our strength; shout for joy to the God of Jacob! 
Raise a song; sound the tambourine, the sweet lyre with the harp. 
Blow the trumpet at the new moon, at the full moon, on our feast day. 
For it is a statute for Israel, a rule of the God of Jacob.

Psalm 81:1-4
Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
Psalm 86:11
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
Psalm 71:15
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules.
Psalm 119:106
“You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people’s feet.”
Psalm 5:13
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God. 
Psa 84:3  Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may lay her young, at your altars, O LORD of hosts, my King and my God.

Psalm 84:2-3

(From Practice Resurrection)

Once again, we are reminded of the subject of Ephesians, which, according to Eugene H. Peterson, is “growing up.” What is surprising, however, is to learn, from this long, introductory sentence (Ephesians 1:3-14, which is one long sentence in Greek), is that God started everything. “There is not a single verb commanding us to do something, not so much as a hint or suggestion that we are to do anything at all.” We have been placed in this cosmos where everything that we need to grow up in Christ is “not only in place but in action.”

When we finally get this through our thick skulls, we realize that we are out of the driver’s seat. “The practice of resurrection is not a do-it-yourself self-help project. it is God’s project and he is engaged full-time in carrying it out.”

Another thing that we learn from this is how large this resurrection world is. Any goal that we might be able to come up with, any purpose that we might drum up for our own lives, is “puny alongside of what is already in motion in the cosmos ‘to the praise of his glory.'”

Additionally, we are all included in this activity. Take a look back at the seven verbs. “Not a single verb leaves us outside the action. We are not spectators to a grand cosmic show. We are in the show.” But praise be to God, we are not running this show! Everything we need to grow up, all the conditions that are necessary, have been in place, “before the foundation of the world.”

The only thing that we have to do to continue to be involved in this God-action is to “develop skills and aptitudes in a way of participation” that we honestly are not very good at. Byu this, Peterson means receptivity.

All of this is gift. “Grace is everywhere.” Since God, through Christ, is doing all of this, what is there left for us to do? “Receive. That is our primary response if we are to find ourselves no longer lost in the cosmos but at home in it.” But this is something we have to learn. We must learn to receive the gift. For far too long, it has been hammered into us that we must work for it. We only need to receive.

Father, teach me, teach us, to receive. You have taught me much, over the course of the past five or ten years; much in this world of “hey, you don’t have to work for this, I’ve already done it all!” But my habits still lean toward working for it, trying to earn my place. But I know, Father, that I don’t have to earn anything! I pray for the freedom of simply receiving, stepping into the easy yoke of Jesus, to know that he and you are doing all the work, and that I simply need to receive, and develop these spiritual disciplines so that my habits align with reality.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Whatever You Do . . .

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 36:5
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever.
Psalm 145:1
And he said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under a basket, or under a bed, and not on a stand? For nothing is hidden except to be made manifest; nor is anything secret except to come to light. If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”
Mark 4:21-23
Great are the works of the LORD, studied by all who delight in them. 
Full of splendor and majesty is his work, and his righteousness endures forever. 
He has caused his wondrous works to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and merciful. 
He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever. 
He has shown his people the power of his works, in giving them the inheritance of the nations. 
The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy; 
they are established forever and ever, to be performed with faithfulness and uprightness. 
He sent redemption to his people; he has commanded his covenant forever. Holy and awesome is his name!

Psalm 111:2-9

(From The President’s Devotional)

Simply a prayer from Scripture, today.

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

Father, may we all do this today!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.