How Lovely Is Your Dwelling Place

Today is Friday, the sixth of May, 2022, in the third week of Easter.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,430

I had a fine day at the library, yesterday. There were a couple of challenging patrons, but I always have help from at least one other manager or librarian during my time, there, and they were graciously helpful. As usual, I learned more about my job while I was there, and it is always good to learn new things, so that I can help the next person better.

The Rangers didn’t play yesterday, but the Red Sox did, and lost tremendously to the LA Angels, by the score of 8-0. The sad thing is, Boston’s starter, threw five shutout innings! It was the bullpen, once again, that blew the game and gave up 8 runs. The Sox are now 10-16 for the season, tied with Baltimore for last place. They begin a series with the Other Sox (11-13) tonight, in Boston.

The Rangers begin their series in NYC, against the Evil Empire tonight. Game time is . . . oops. No they don’t. Tonight’s game has already been postponed, and a double header is planned for Sunday. So there you go.

Those Yankees still hold the best record in MLB, at 18-7, but are only a half game ahead of Milwaukee’s Brewers and the Mets. The Reds have now lost nine consecutive games and are 3-22. There remain five teams who have yet to win ten games. The aforementioned Reds, the Washington Nationals, the Detroit Tigers, the KC Royals, and the Chicago Cubs.


"Remember, O Lord, what you have wrought in us and not what we deserve; and, as you have called us to your service, make us worthy of our calling; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen."
(The Book of Common Prayer)

I will praise the LORD at all times. I will constantly speak his praises. I will boast only in the LORD; let all who are helpless take heart. Come, let us tell of the LORD’s greatness; let us exalt his name together. I prayed to the LORD, and he answered me. He freed me from all my fears. Those who look to him for help will be radiant with joy; no shadow of shame will darken their faces.
(Psalms 34:1-5 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for blue skies and mild weather, today
2. for all things that are lovely, and for the loveliness of the Name of the Lord
3. that God will show me the right path to follow; that His Spirit will lead me forward on firm footing
4. that God is rooting out all false gods from my life, any idols that may be in His place in my heart
5. for the hope that you will see these things and be inspired to practice your own gratitude

Today’s prayer word is “lovely.”

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.
(Philippians 4:8 NLT)

We have the ability to choose what we allow our minds to dwell on. One of my favorite Dallas Willard quotes is in regard to this. “The ultimate freedom we have as individuals is the power to select what we will allow or require our minds to dwell upon and think about.”

The casual observer might be forced to think that the majority of US citizens are choosing to dwell upon the most negative things possible. Paul gives us this admonition in Philippians, a most wonderful encouragement, to think about, to dwell upon, whatever is “lovely.”

What are some things that are “lovely?”

How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies. I long, yes, I faint with longing to enter the courts of the LORD. With my whole being, body and soul, I will shout joyfully to the living God. Even the sparrow finds a home, and the swallow builds her nest and raises her young at a place near your altar, O LORD of Heaven’s Armies, my King and my God! What joy for those who can live in your house, always singing your praises. Interlude
(Psalms 84:1-4 NLT)

The dwelling place of the Lord is lovely. Now, we know that when the descendants of Korah wrote this psalm, they were speaking of a physical building. But we now think of the “dwelling place” of the Lord as the human soul. Therefore, I must believe that the soul of a human being is “lovely.” Believe me, that is extremely difficult, sometimes, especially when confronted with a human being who seems to have no soul.

The name(s) of the Lord is “lovely.”

Praise the LORD, for the LORD is good; celebrate his lovely name with music.
(Psalms 135:3 NLT)

There is a song that I like, called “Tremble.” It’s all about the wonder and beauty of the name of Jesus. The bridge says this:

Your name is a light that the shadows can't deny
Your name cannot be overcome
Your name is alive forever lifted high
Your name cannot be overcome

The name of Jesus is lovely, indeed, and most worthy of the attention of our minds.

This is the value of meditation and contemplation, the classic disciplines. By practicing these disciplines (and there is a difference between the two), we train our minds to do exactly what Paul encourages us to do in Philippians 4:8, to think upon things that are “lovely.”

And what Dallas Willard said is true. As human beings, we have the unique ability to control what we allow our minds to dwell on. The problem is, we simply fail to do that, most of the time. Just because a thought pops into our head, doesn’t mean it has to stay there, right?

(From Pray a Word a Day)

Father, help me, today, to dwell upon what is lovely. If a negative thought comes into my brain, help me to push it right on through, dwelling on the loveliness of Your name or Your dwelling place. May I look upon every human being as lovely in Your sight, because You created all of us in Your image. I pray that all of Your people would do the same, and treat others with dignity and respect, even if they don’t agree about things. Your Name is lovely. The Name of Jesus chases shadows away and will not be overcome. Jesus, Jesus, You make the darkness tremble! Hallelujah!

Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.
(Psalms 25:4 NLT)

Teach me to do your will, for you are my God. May your gracious Spirit lead me forward on a firm footing.
(Psalms 143:10 NLT)

As I reflect on the things that are lovely, meditating on and contemplating the name and characteristics of the Holy Trinity, then the Spirit of God can “lead me forward on a firm footing.” The Lord can “show me the right path,” and “point out the road for me to follow.” But this takes work on my part. Yes, I can pray for God to do these things, and He does answer prayer, but it’s not just automatic. I have to do the work required to learn these things. I must practice the disciplines in order to train my mind to think about the things that are pure and lovely.

Father, I praise You that You will point out the path, show me the road, and help me keep my feet on that path. But I ask You to help me practice the disciplines that will enable me to hear You when You guide me. Help me to learn how to pay attention. When I have trained my mind, heart, and soul to listen to You and focus on Your loveliness, then fear has no place in my life. Regardless of the circumstances that I see in the world around me, I will have no fear if I am simply focusing on the right things. So help me to focus on the right things. Help me practice those disciplines.

"Father, I want to know Thee, but my cowardly heart fears to give up its toys. I cannot part with them without inward bleeding, and I do not try to hide from Thee the terror of the parting. I come trembling, but I do come. Please root from my heart all those things which I have cherished so long and which have become a very part of my living self, so that Thou mayest enter and dwell there without a rival. Then shalt Thou make the place of Thy feet glorious. Then shall my heart have no need of the sun to shine in it, for Thyself wilt be the light of it, and there shall be no night there. In Jesus' name, Amen."
(From The Pursuit of God, by A.W. Tozer)

Eugene Peterson expresses a wonderful sentiment in a reading called “Do It Yourself.” He relates a personal story, in which he attended a concert by Pete Seeger (I’m not at all jealous)(yes, I am, that was sarcasm), where Seeger played the banjo and sang folk songs. Peterson was inspired by Seeger’s banjo playing, to the point that he went and bought a second-hand banjo and found some used instructions books and tried to learn how to play, himself.

Here’s the thing. As much as he enjoyed the concert, and likely would have enjoyed another, the “distinctive thing in that experience was not that I wanted to go back and here Pete Seeger sing again but that I wanted to do it myself.”

And then, as he has a way of doing, Peterson applies this to the teaching and preaching of the Gospel. “That is what pastors should want to take place when they teach and preach the Scriptures–not to have people become dependent on them but to have people become eager to get the Bible in their own hands and become competent in reading it.”

I wholeheartedly agree with this way of thinking. Sadly, however, when I observe the world around me, I see a veritable plethora of people who have not, in fact, studied the Scriptures, themselves, but, rather, are spouting nonsense that they have heard from other people, who may or may not have studied Scripture, or have studied it wrongly.

I have several goals with this blog. One is simply nothing more than to have a record of my daily devotions. Years ago, I decided that keeping them online would take up a lot less space than writing them in notebooks, and would be quicker, as well. I can type a lot faster than I can write. But another goal (as well as a corresponding goal for my Facebook posts and TikTok posts) is to inspire people to 1) read and study the Scriptures themselves, and 2) practice daily gratitude.

Don’t read what I say and just believe it (or not believe it, for that matter). Be like the Berean Christians in Acts who “searched the Scriptures day after day to see if Paul and Silas were teaching the truth.” And, for heaven’s sake, don’t just believe something because a pastor said it from a pulpit.

But more than anything, I want to inspire you to be grateful. I want to inspire you to think about things that are “lovely.” I want to inspire you to love God and love people, to take part in a Love Revolution.

(From On Living Well, by Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, I pray that people will see this blog, read it, and then take it upon themselves to think about things that are pure and lovely, to love You and to love each other, and then to practice their own gratitude. I pray that people would see Your loveliness reflected in the way I live, not the ugliness of the world around me. Help me to reflect Your love and mercy and grace, rather than everything negative in the world.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

The Majesty of God

Today is Wednesday, December 11, 2019. Peace be with you!!

Day 22,553

The second week in Advent.

14 days until Christmas!!

Today is International Mountain Day. “Towering, majestic, and beautiful. Mountains are some of the most beautiful of nature’s structures, stolid and regal they stand against the sky, of such a size that they can catch entire countryside’s in their shadow, and turn back the ravages of storms against their unflinching sides.”

We did a bit of Christmas shopping last night. From the comfort of our chair and couch. This year, I’m having as many packages as possible shipped to one of those Amazon Hub lockers. Those are popping up all over the place. There are three or four just withing a couple miles of our house, two of them less than a mile from the YMCA where our worship gatherings meet. There was one thing that I ordered that was too big, so it will have to come to the house. S will be keeping an eye out for packages.

It seems that the Rangers have traded Nomar Mazara to the White Sox for an outfield prospect. I’m pretty sure I don’t like that. But I don’t know all the details, and, even though I tried to keep up with the Rangers last season, I don’t know how he was performing on the field or at the plate. That being said, I don’t trust, and never have trusted, Jon Daniels.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
Psalm 97.12

Today I am grateful:
1. For relationships that have been building at work.
2. That God will never let me go, no matter how far I stray.
3. For the majesty of God, evident everywhere we look.
4. That the Lord hears me when I cry out to him.
5. That the Lord has caused my soul to thirst for him.

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 
Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.

Psalm 86.1-2
Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.
Psalm 28.6
Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.
Matthew 5.6
In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 
“Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 
For this is he who was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah when he said, “The voice of one crying in the wilderness: ‘Prepare the way of the Lord; make his paths straight.'”
Now John wore a garment of camel’s hair and a leather belt around his waist, and his food was locusts and wild honey. 
Then Jerusalem and all Judea and all the region about the Jordan were going out to him, 
and they were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins.

Matthew 3.1-6
As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. 
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? 
My tears have been my food day and night, while they say to me all the day long, “Where is your God?” 
These things I remember, as I pour out my soul: how I would go with the throng and lead them in procession to the house of God with glad shouts and songs of praise, a multitude keeping festival. 
Why are you cast down, O my soul, and why are you in turmoil within me? Hope in God; for I shall again praise him, my salvation 
and my God.

Psalm 42.1-6

“Merciful God, who sent your messengers the prophets to preach repentance and prepare the way for our salvation: Grant us grace to heed their warnings and forsake our sins, that we may greet with joy the coming of Jesus Christ our Redeemer; who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)

(From Faith That Matters)

Meditate Upon the Majesty of God, by A.W. Tozer

On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.
Psalm 145.5

“We must practice the art of long and loving meditation upon the majesty of God. This will take some effort, for the concept of majesty has all but disappeared from the human race. The focal point of man’s interest is now himself.”

That quote comes from Tozer’s book, The Knowledge of the Holy, which was originally published in 1961! Over fifty years ago, A.W. Tozer observed that “the focal point of man’s interest is now himself.”

It appears to me that this truth has only become more evident. When is the last time you (or I) meditated on the majesty of God?

I daresay I have not done it nearly enough, if at all. As Tozer wrote five decades ago, this needs to change.

“God is a Person and can be known in increasing degrees of intimate acquaintance as we prepare our hearts for the wonder. It may be necessary for us to alter our former beliefs about God as the glory that gilds the sacred Scriptures dawns over our interior lives. We may also need to break quietly and graciously with a lifeless textualism that prevails among the gospel churches, and to protest the frivolous character of much that passes for Christianity among us.” (Emphasis mine)

There is, indeed, a lot that is frivolous in what is considered “Christianity,” these days. I do, it seems, protest that a bit in this forum. But beyond that, I need to make sure that I understand what Christianity truly is. I also need to adjust some things in my mind and heart, and begin, again, to meditate on the majesty of God.

Perhaps it is fitting that today is also “International Mountain Day.” Where else is the majesty of God so evident as in the mountains?

Father, thank you for making your majesty so evident in our world. Forgive me for not seeing it more and meditating on it more. Direct my soul toward your majesty today.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

A Little Encouragement

Today is Monday, December 2, 2019. Peace be with you!

Day 22,544

23 days until Christmas!!

Well, today, it’s back to the “real world.” Not that the world in which we have existed in the past four days wasn’t real, but, alas, we must return to work today. Back to the grind, as they say. The good news is that I dropped a little over a pound over the course of the week. Not bad for a Thanksgiving holiday week!

Yesterday’s “scattered” session went quite well, I think. All three of us reported a good meeting, and the quantity of people seemed to have been pretty evenly split. We had ten at ours, including C’s niece and niece’s boyfriend. It took a little bit to get people talking, but once they did, it was pretty great.

After church, we stopped at Subway on the way home, for lunch. C’s niece and boyfriend came back to the house with us, and then helped her put the Christmas lights up on the house. I had to run up to Ace Hardware to get a rake. I thought I was getting another staple gun, but while I was there, C found our old one. However, I don’t think we can get staples for it any more. The ones I bought aren’t right. They’re a little too narrow. So we may wind up having to buy a new one, anyway.

This coming Sunday (December 8), we have our second Broadway show at the Bass Hall, which will be Miss Saigon. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard any of the music from this show, so it will be a totally new experience. I don’t know of anything else out of the ordinary for this week.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
Psalm 71.8

Today I am grateful:
1. For the wonderful Thanksgiving weekend we had.
2. That, even though I may complain, I have a job to return to this morning.
3. That God is omniscient.
4. That God is sovereign.
5. That God is omnipotent.

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.
Psalm 119.105
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Psalm 71.17
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalm 118.23
And he began to tell the people this parable: “A man planted a vineyard and let it out to tenants and went into another country for a long while. 
When the time came, he sent a servant to the tenants, so that they would give him some of the fruit of the vineyard. But the tenants beat him and sent him away empty-handed. 
And he sent another servant. But they also beat and treated him shamefully, and sent him away empty-handed. 
And he sent yet a third. This one also they wounded and cast out. 
Then the owner of the vineyard said, ‘What shall I do? I will send my beloved son; perhaps they will respect him.’ 
But when the tenants saw him, they said to themselves, ‘This is the heir. Let us kill him, so that the inheritance may be ours.’ 
And they threw him out of the vineyard and killed him. What then will the owner of the vineyard do to them? 
He will come and destroy those tenants and give the vineyard to others.” When they heard this, they said, “Surely not!” 
But he looked directly at them and said, “What then is this that is written: “‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone’? 
Everyone who falls on that stone will be broken to pieces, and when it falls on anyone, it will crush him.”

Luke 20.9-18
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. 
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 
The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 
You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.

Psalm 5.1-7

“Almighty God, give all of us grace to cast away the works of darkness, and put on the armor of light, now in the time of this mortal life in which your Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the living and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal; through him who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours)

(From Faith That Matters)

God’s Forever-Standing Plans, by A.W. Tozer

The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations.
Psalm 33.11

“We know that God will fulfill every promise made to the prophets; we know that sinners will someday be cleansed out of the earth; we know that a ransomed company will enter into the joy of God, and that the righteous will shine forth in the kingdom of their Father; we know that God’s perfections will yet receive universal acclamation, that all created intelligences will own Jesus Christ as Lord to the glory of God the Father, that the present imperfect order will be done away, and a new heaven and a new earth will be established forever.

“Toward all this God is moving with infinite wisdom and perfect precision of action. No one can dissuade him from his purposes, nothing turn him aside from his plans. Since he is omniscient, there can be no unforeseen circumstances, no accidents. As he is sovereign, there can be no countermanded orders, no breakdown in authority; and as he is omnipotent, there can be no want of power to achieve his chosen ends. God is sufficient unto himself for all these things.”

Just a little encouragement to get your Monday going.

I don’t know about you, but all of these truths boosted my confidence in making it through whatever this day throws at me.

Father, I praise you for who you are; for all of the characteristics that A.W. Tozer mentions in this reading. You are omniscient, you are sovereign, and you are omnipotent. You will work and are working the ultimate purposes of your plan, and it will not fail. All praise to 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.

Perfect Love Casts Out Fear Perfectly

“To know that love is of God and to enter into the secret place leaning upon the arm of the Beloved–this and only this can cast out fear.”

Today is Friday, November 8, 2019. Peace be with you!

Day 22,520With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.

Only four days until C’s birthday!!

Today is Guinness World Record Day. If you’ve ever wanted to try to set a world record, today is the day!

If this seems later than usual, that’s because it is. I’m off work today, on PTO. I have a doctor’s appointment at 10:30. I made a mistake of letting my main PC start an update. After about an hour, it’s only up to 26%. The sad thing is, it will probably fail again, after all that time. You see, this PC is an old Windows 8 PC, that has been “upgraded” to Windows 10. And they are about to stop supporting the version of Windows 10 that is on it. I think I may need to get a new PC soon. Maybe not, though. I’m currently typing on my laptop, and that may be enough for me.

I’m excited to get started with Pro Tools, this weekend. I’ll be watching a lot of You Tube videos, to begin with, I’m sure. As soon as I have something tangible (that sounds good) to share, I will do so.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, 
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.

Psalm 66:8-9

Today I am grateful:
1. For a looong weekend!
2. That God has delivered my soul from death, and my feet from falling, that I may walk before him in the light of life (Psalm 56).
3. That times of waiting can become times of prayer.
4. That perfect love casts out fear (1 John 4:18).
5. That I am not subject to those who do not will my good.

With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life.

Psalm 119:145, 149
I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. 
For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.

Psalm 56:11-12
Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Psalm 86:2
Blessed are those who dwell in your house, ever singing your praise! Selah. 
Blessed are those whose strength is in you, in whose heart are the highways to Zion. 
As they go through the Valley of Baca they make it a place of springs; the early rain also covers it with pools. 
They go from strength to strength; each one appears before God in Zion. 
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah. 
Behold our shield, O God; look on the face of your anointed! 
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere. I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Psalm 84:4-10

(From Faith That Matters)

No Fear Exists In the Arms of Our Beloved by A.W. Tozer

There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love.
1 John 4:18

If that verse seems familiar, check yesterday’s blog entry. I suppose that, if God places something in front of me twice in a row, it must be something that I need to pay more attention to. Today’s reading from Tozer takes a slightly different approach.

I thought i would take a look at this verse in The Message. It goes like this:

There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.

Tozer defines fear: “Fear is the painful emotion that arises at the thought that we may be harmed or made to suffer. This fear persists while we are subject to the will of someone who does not desire our well-being. The moment we come under the protection of one of goodwill, fear is cast out.”

If you have been reading my blogs for a while, you might be aware of my favorite definition of “love.” That definition comes from Dallas Willard (and perhaps others) and goes like this: Love is to will the good of others. And since God wills our good (we know this from Romans 8:28, among others), then he is, as John says in his first letter, love.

“The world is full of enemies, and as long as we are subject to the possibility of harm from these enemies, fear is inevitable. The effort to conquer fear without removing the causes is altogether futile. As long as we are in the hands of chance, as long as we look for hope to the law of averages, as long as we must trust for survival to our ability to outthink or outmaneuver the enemy, we have every good reason to be afraid. And fear hath torment.”

I love that paragraph! Wait. Haha! I guess I don’t really “love” it, do I? Because I don’t will good for it. So I guess I should say I really like that paragraph! It speaks to me. Because, in most of our minds, we are constantly subject to those who not only don’t will our good, for the most part, they are completely indifferent to us! They may not necessarily will us harm, but they are out for their own good, so our good does not enter into the equation at all.

But we are in the hands of One who does will our good! “To know that love is of God and to enter into the secret place leaning upon the arm of the Beloved–this and only this can cast out fear.”

We are in the hands and arms of a God who is both love and sovereign. “In his love he desires our everlasting welfare; in his sovereignty he secures it. His perfect love casts out fear perfectly.”

Father, I acknowledge that I am not in the hands of those who do not will my good. I am in your hands. May that be the truth that guides me through the rest of my life. May I wake up every morning with the Holy Spirit reminding me that today is a day that I will live in your Kingdom, subject only to You who wills my everlasting good.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends!

The Big Dog Versus Pluto

Today is Thursday, October 17, 2019. Blessings to you!

Day 22,498

26 days until C’s birthday

We have three more days in our vacation (four, I guess, if you count Sunday). Three more days in Galveston.

Yesterday was an odd day. It was somewhat dreary, as the weather never really cleared up. The temperature never rose above 70, I don’t believe, and it was quite windy out here on the west end. C and I sat out on the deck for as long as we could take it, but it was just too chilly. Well, too chilly for the kind of clothes we packed. 🙂 We wound up not driving into town at all. We had already planned to cook breakfast at the house, which we did. But when it came time for the evening meal, C didn’t feel like going in to Miller’s or the Gumbo Diner. So we called in an order to the Way Out West Grill and Pizzaria, which S and I got food from a couple nights ago. S and C had the patty melt, which was reported to be delicious. I got this dish they call “Old McDonald’s Fries.” It had crinkle-cut french fries, loaded with spicy ground beef, spicy shredded chicken, pulled pork, queso, lettuce, tomato, and onion. Talk about delicious!! Oh, man!

The rest of the time was spent sitting around reading, or whatever. C watched some TV. We listened to the wind whistle outside. At one point, I watched as it knocked over a large wooden rocking chair on the deck!

It’s still cloudy, this morning, but not quite as windy. It’s supposed to reach 70 degrees today. I do believe we will drive in and go to either Miller’s or Gumbo for “brunch.”

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more. 
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. 
With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone. 
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds. 
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.

Psalm 71:14-19

Today I am grateful:
1. For the beauty of creation that surrounds me.
2. For all of the people around me, not just in my immediate are, but throughout my life.
3. That I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living (Psalm 116:9)
4. That the boundless grace of God stands ready to meet whatever need I find myself in.
5. That God’s grace is infinitely bigger than my need.

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Psalm 43:3
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.
Psalm 89:8, 14
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:9

(From Faith That Matters)

The Infinite Grace of God, by A.W. Tozer

For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God.
Ephesians 2:8

I decided to check this verse in The Message.

Saving is all his idea, and all his work. All we do is trust him enough to let him do it. It’s God’s gift from start to finish!

“No one was ever saved other than by grace, from Abel to the present moment. And wherever grace found any man it was always by Jesus Christ. Grace indeed came by Jesus Christ, but it did not wait for his birth in the manger or his death on the cross before it became operative. Christ is the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

Perhaps we need to rediscover this truth. We are all too familiar with grace, right? And we frequently visit that verse in Ephesians, but it seems that we often go there for the purpose of showing that we can’t work for our salvation. This is true, of course, so there is nothing wrong with that.

But if we keep reading, we come to verse 10, which is never part of the quotation (we always stop at verse 9, don’t we?).

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.
Ephesians 2:10

So we see that works are involved, after all. Just not to gain our salvation. And these works, God prepared beforehand for us. Which means he has a plan. He has a plan for me. Little ol’ me. In this humongous cosmos, really big, big picture, God has plans for me. That makes me echo the psalmist who wrote in Psalm 139, “Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it.”

But it is all still grace, and it all still comes through Jesus, “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.”

“In olden times men looked forward to Christ’s redeeming work; in later times they gazed back upon it, but always they came and they come by grace, through faith.

“Instead of straining to comprehend this as a theological truth, it would be better and simpler to compare God’s grace with our need.”

Wait, what?

Let’s read that line again.

“Instead of straining to comprehend this as a theological truth, it would be better and simpler to compare God’s grace with our need.”

We do a lot of straining to comprehend theological truths, especially those that, as Psalm 139 so aptly points out, are too high for us to attain.

Tozer continues, “We can never know the enormity of our sin, neither is it necessary that we should.”

That is another “wait, what??” moment, right? I mean, how much time to we spend in our “evangelism” trying to get people to know the enormity of their sin??

“What we can know is that ‘where sin abounded, grace did much more abound.'”

So let’s go back to that bit about comparing God’s grace with our need. And let’s don’t just take that to mean our sin, either. What need do you have in your life right now? I mean, we’ve all got sin, right? But we have other needs. Someone’s mother is ill and needs to go to the doctor. Someone is having issues with work and health. Someone has “unspoken” prayer needs. Someone needs a kidney transplant, but has a rare blood type.

I tried to find a picture that illustrated the difference between God’s grace and our need. All I could find was scripture verses on pretty pictures. However, what did finally come up with, I think, illustrates it perfectly. Well, not “perfectly,” because even this illustration falls short, because God’s grace is infinitely bigger than my need, right? And that is the point that we really need to grasp here. So here’s the image.

The big star on the left is Canis Majoris. I call it the “Big Dog Star.” It is the largest star known to man. That itty-bitty dot on the right? That’s our sun. We call it “The Sun.” Are we imaginative or what? So let’s say that God’s grace is represented by the Big Dog. And let’s say that our need is represented by . . .

I bet you think I’m going to say The Sun.

I’m not. I’m going to say Pluto. Because, you see, our Sun compared to Pluto is just about the same as the Big Dog compared to our Sun.

So God’s grace is Big Dog, and our need is Pluto in comparison.

If that doesn’t make you feel better about whatever is bugging you, I’m not sure I can help you.

But I know, without a doubt, that God can.

Father, thank you for these words, this morning, from Mr. Tozer. I really needed them. Your grace is greater than my sin, greater than my need, greater than anything I could possibly face today, tomorrow, for the rest of my life. Help me to keep my faith focused on that grace and walk in your Kingdom in its power and strength.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing. (Zephaniah 3:17)

Grace and peace, friends.

Enter the Hall of Mercy

Today is Saturday, October 12, 2019. Blessings to you!!

Day 22,493

Today is the day!! We will be leaving for Galveston in a few hours!

More importantly, today is the 34th anniversary of the day we both said, “I do.” And we still do! I am grateful beyond adequate words to the Lord for keeping our love alive and vibrant for all these years. We could not have done it with him! I can only hope we live long enough for 34 more years! At least.

We are excited beyond words for this trip. Our excitement is not even dimmed by the pending weather forecast for Galveston over the next week, which displays chances for thunderstorms and/or rain pretty much every day we are there. Whatever. We will be by the ocean, and C even said she may go out and sit on the beach in the rain. As long as there is no lightning, you know.

The Nationals held the Cardinals to only one hit, last night, beating them 2-0. Taking things into perspective, and since I don’t really care that much for any of the teams that are left in the playoffs, I have to say that I’m favoring the Nationals. They are one of two teams left who have not had a World Series appearance. So why not them? I certainly won’t root for the Yankees, and I’m not much of an Astros fan, so there you go.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
Psalm 70:4

Today I am grateful:
1. That our trip to Galveston begins today!
2. That we have a week off from work!
3. That Jesus is the Good Shepherd, and he knows his own (John 10:14).
4. That “they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint” (Isaiah 40:31)
5. That we have an inheritance that can never perish, spoil, or fade (1 Peter 1:4).

Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:2
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.
Psalm 84:8
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! 
Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57:7-11

To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. 
Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name, by the greatness of his might, and because he is strong in power not one is missing. 
Why do you say, O Jacob, and speak, O Israel, “My way is hidden from the LORD, and my right is disregarded by my God”? 
Have you not known? Have you not heard? The LORD is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. 
He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. 
Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; 
but they who wait for the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint. 

Isaiah 40:25-31

(From Faith That Matters)

The Boundless Mercy of God, by A.W. Tozer

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 
to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you.

1 Peter 1:3-4

Seriously, just reflecting on the title of the reading for a minute can bring great encouragement. “The Boundless Mercy of God.” Just think about that for a few minutes.

“Could our failure to capture the pure joy of mercy consciously experienced be the result of our unbelief or our ignorance, or both? To receive mercy we must first know that God is merciful. We must believe that God’s mercy is boundless, free, and through Jesus Christ our Lord, available to us now in our present situation.”

In all due respect to Mr. Tozer, I must take issue with one part of that statement. You don’t have to know that God is merciful to be a recipient of his mercy. Because God is merciful, every day, to every being on the planet, human or otherwise. God is merciful, daily, to people who deny that he exists. All that being said, however, I understand what Tozer is getting at. To “capture the pure joy of mercy,” one must be aware of it and know that God is merciful.

“We may plead for mercy for a lifetime in unbelief, and at the end of our days be still no more than sadly hopeful that we shall somewhere, sometime receive it. This is to starve to death just outside the banquet hall into which we have been warmly invited. Or we may, if we will, lay hold on the mercy of God by faith, enter the hall, and sit down with the bold and avid souls who will not allow difference and unbelief to keep them from the feast of fat things prepared for them.”

What a wonderful picture of the mercy of God! May we all embrace his mercy and enter the banquet hall to partake of the “feast of fat things!”

I believe that God’s forgiveness is boundless, free, and available now. His mercy, along with his kingdom, is available to all who will receive it, today, right now, right here.

Father, thank you for your great mercy! Thank you for its availability, and the invitation to join your great feast! May I embrace this mercy and compassion, but not hoard it for myself. Help me to display it to all with whom I come in contact, especially over this next week.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends!

Sweet Mercies

Today is Thursday, October 3, 2019. Blessings to you!

Day 22,484

Nine days until Galveston and our 34th anniversary!!

We have decided to spend a weekend at the Glen Rose cabins in November for C’s birthday. Our favorite cabin is open the weekend before her birthday, which is November 12, so we plan to go down there on Saturday and come back on Tuesday, which is the 12th.

The Tampa Bay Rays beat the Oakland Athletics 5-1, last night. So the Rays advance to the ALDS, where they will face Houston, the top seed in the AL side of the playoffs. Today, the Cardinals will face the Braves in the afternoon game, and the Nationals will face the Dodgers in the evening game. The ALDS games will be tomorrow. I find it a bit amusing that Houston has to play in the afternoon game, against Tampa, while the Yankees get the prime time game against the Twins. Houston is the higher seed, but media favors New York. Always.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Blessed be the Lord, who daily bears us up; God is our salvation. Selah. 
Our God is a God of salvation, and to GOD, the Lord, belong deliverances from death.

Psalm 68:19-20

Today I am grateful:
1. That our God is a God of salvation.
2. That God knows and loves us completely (Psalm 139).
3. For the sweet mercies of our God.
4. That, in spite of my sin, I will one day have the name of Christ on my forehead.
5. For the grace and mercy to get through this day.

O Judge of the nations,
we remember before you with grateful hearts the men and women of our country who in the day of decision ventured much for the liberties we now enjoy.
Grant that we may not rest until all the people of this land share the benefits of true freedom and gladly accept its disciplines.
This we ask in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Book of Common Prayer, Thanksgivings for National Life, 6. For Heroic Service

O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 

Psalm 139:1-10

(From Faith That Matters)

The Sweet Mercy of God, by A.W. Tozer

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.
1 Peter 2:10

This is one of those readings that needs to be quoted in its entirety, not paraphrased.

“When through the blood of the everlasting covenant we children of the shadows reach at last our home in the light, we shall have a thousand strings to our harps, but the sweetest may well be the one tuned to sound forth most perfectly the mercy of God.

“For what right will we have to be there? Did we not by our sins take part in that unholy rebellion which rashly sought to dethrone the glorious King of creation? And did we not in times past walk according to the course of the world, according to the evil prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now works in the sons of disobedience?

“But we who were onetime enemies and alienated in our minds through wicked works shall then see God face-to-face and his name shall be in our foreheads. And all through the tender mercy of our God, whereby the Dayspring from on high hath visited us.”

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Lamentations 3:22-23

Father, I praise you for your sweet mercies that are new every morning; mercies that not only get me through each day and its challenges, but mercies which also provide for me the grace and salvation for my life, which is much more important than the mundane tasks I must perform today. Thank you, Lord!
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.

Assurance that He is Faithful

Today is Tuesday, September 24, 2019. Blessings to you!!

Day 22,475

18 days until Galveston and our 34th anniversary!!

I forgot to mention, yesterday morning, that it was the first day of Fall. Of course, that means absolutely nothing in Texas, as we continue to have high temps in the mid-to-upper nineties. But ten days from now, the projected high is 81. Of course, a lot can change in ten days, right?

Yesterday, at work, was one of those days that makes me want to run out and buy lottery tickets. It wasn’t a horrible day, but it was quite stressful. And I have a feeling it will carry on into this morning. But, as they say, this too, shall pass.

The Rangers were off last night, and begin a three-game series with the Red Sox, today. Three games that mean absolutely nothing to anyone.

The Red Sox won a game, last night, however, that did mean something. They beat the Rays, 7-4, with Austin Pruitt getting the win for the game. The reason this means something is that it drops Tampa to only a half game ahead of the Cleveland Indians, who were off last night. Oakland was off, last night, as well, so the Wild Card race tightens up just a bit more.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Come and hear, all you who fear God, and I will tell what he has done for my soul. 
I cried to him with my mouth, and high praise was on my tongue.

Psalm 66:16-17

Today I am grateful:
1. For the things that God has done for my soul
2. For the blessings of God that enable us to be generous
3. For the faithfulness of our God
4. That I get assurance of this faithfulness from Scripture
5. That the Holy Spirit guides me to this assurance, as well

We thank you for setting us at tasks which demand our best efforts,
and for leading us to accomplishments which satisfy and delight us.
The Book of Common Prayer, Thanksgivings, 1. A General Thanksgiving

(From Faith That Matters)

The Faithful, True God, by A.W. Tozer

Know therefore that the LORD your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments.
Deuteronomy 7:9

From beginning to end, the Scriptures are replete with the proclamation of the faithfulness of God. One of the names that is given Jesus Christ is “Faithful and True” (Revelation 19:11).

Says Tozer, “The faithfulness of God is a datum of sound theology but to the believer it becomes far more than that: it passes through the processes of the understanding and goes on to become nourishing food for the soul.”

When we read the Bible, we certainly get truth. But it goes beyond that. What we also get are tools to use this truth. What the writers of the Bible learned about God “became to them a sword, a shield, a hammer; it became their life motivation, their good hope, and their confident expectation.” From all of the objective facts about God, we are able to make a myriad of “joyous deductions and personal applications.”

“Upon God’s faithfulness rests our whole hope of future blessedness. Only as he is faithful will his covenants stand and his promises be honored. Only as we have complete assurance that he is faithful may we live in peace and look forward with assurance to the life to come.”

Father, take the words that I read from Scripture every day and turn them into assurance and confidence of your faithfulness to us, your children. Then cause me to live in peace, looking forward to what John Piper calls “future grace” that you will provide for us. Teach me your way that I may walk in your truth. Show me, Father, the fullness of joy that is in your presence, the pleasures forevermore that are at your right hand.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“I hope you see the faithfulness of God in everything He has made. I hope you learn to trust that all of this is His care sworn to you. But mostly, I hope you know Jesus through whom God has wildly and ferociously loved us. I hope you know and that you become sacramental to your neighbor who God also loves passionately. I hope you leave them little doubt about His love and the victory Jesus won over hate and death.”—Rich Mullins

Grace and peace, friends.

Never Alone

Today is Tuesday, August 27, 2019. Blessings to you!

Day 22,447

Only six days until Labor Day!!

I don’t have much to write about, this morning. Neither one of my teams played baseball, yesterday, so nothing to report, there.

Okay, then, so on to the devotional.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Cast your burden on the LORD, and he will sustain you; he will never permit the righteous to be moved.
Psalm 55:22

Today I am grateful:
1. For the five senses, with which I am able to experience my world around me
2. That I am fearfully and wonderfully made
3. For the rain that is falling right now
4. That the Lord, who is my Keeper, neither slumbers nor sleeps (Psalm 121)
5. That God is always with me; that he is “here, there, and everywhere” (A.W. Tozer)

“O God, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ
hast promised to all those who seek thy kingdom and its
righteousness all things necessary to sustain their life: Send
us, we entreat thee, in this time of need, such moderate rain
and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth, to
our comfort and to thy honor; through Jesus Christ our
Lord. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Prayers and Thanksgivings, 43. For Rain)

(From Faith That Matters)

God is Here, There, and Everywhere, by A.W. Tozer

Then Haggai, the messenger of the LORD, spoke to the people with the LORD’s message, “I am with you, declares the LORD.”
Haggai 1:13

A.W. Tozer tells of a story from India where Hindu worshipers were tapping on inanimate objects, whispering, “Are you there?” to a god that they hoped might be residing in them. “In complete humility the instructed Christian brings the answer to that question. he is there as he is here and everywhere, not confined to tree or stone, but free in the universe, near to everything, next to everyone, and through Jesus Christ immediately accessible to every loving heart.”

To those of us who are committed Christians, this is “a source of deep comfort in sorrow and of steadfast assurance in all the various experiences of . . . life.” When we practice the presence of God, we are not “projecting an imaginary object from within” our own minds and seeking to realize that presence. Instead, we “recognize the real presence of the One whom all sound theology declares to be already there. The resultant experience is not visionary but real.”

“The knowledge that we are never alone calms the troubled sea of our lives and speaks peace to our souls.”

I can say, with no doubt in my mind, that I have experienced the presence of God, and it is beyond physical description. Would that I could remember to experience it every day, every moment. And I say “remember” because that’s truly what it is. We forget that God is here. If we could but remember that God is present, as the title of the reading says, “here, there, and everywhere,” we would experience it always. Then, there is nothing that could shake us.

Father, thank you for your constant presence. I pray that I would seek your “presence” rather than your “presents.” Help me to constantly seek the Giver rather than the gifts. Keep my mind stayed on you throughout this day. Let’s just start with today.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

Resting in What God Is

Today is Thursday, August 15, 2019. Blessings to you!

Day 22,435

Only FOUR DAYS until S turns 26!!!

We had originally planned to go visit with R and J on Saturday and take our old breakfast nook table to them. C had rented a cargo van to do this. However, Greg’s funeral is Saturday morning, and S really wants to go to the burial, which is in Pilot Point. Then the church where the funeral is being held is hosting a lunch for the “family” (according to Jacob, we have all been invited) at 2:30. So we have postponed that piece of the birthday celebrations until August 31, a couple of Saturdays away.

We will still go to Mineral Wells on Monday to celebrate with Grandma, though. I’m not yet sure where the birthday girl will want to have lunch, but Pastafina is high on the list, possibly the front-runner.

The Texas Rangers finally beat the Blue Jays, in the series finale, 7-3. Other than one inning where the Jays threatened to tie, the Rangers had control of the game. Kolby Allard got his first win as a Ranger. The Rangers are 60-60, in third place in the AL West, 17.5 games out of first place. They have now started showing elimination numbers (the combinations of first place wins and Rangers losses that it would take to eliminate them from any chance of winning the division). The Rangers’ elimination number is 25. They are ten games out of the wild card race. The wild card elimination number is thirty-two. They have forty-two games left. They begin a four game series with the Twins tonight, in Arlington, with Pedro Payano starting.

The Boston Red Sox beat the Indians 5-1. Nathan Eovaldi got his first win of the season in that game. After going six for six the night before, Rafael Devers hit his 25th home run of the season. Xander Bogaerts also went yard, twice, one time for three runs. The Sox are 64-59, in third place in the AL East, 17.5 games out of first. Elimination number is 23. They are 7.5 games out of the wild card race. That elimination number is 33. They have 39 games left. They have the night off before starting a series with Baltimore in Boston tomorrow night.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Our God comes; he does not keep silence; before him is a devouring fire, around him a mighty tempest.
He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me my faithful ones, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice!”
The heavens declare his righteousness, for God himself is judge! Selah.

Psalm 50:3-6

Today I am grateful:
1. For the way the people of our church come together to support one another in difficult times
2. For encouragement that I have received from others
3. That those who trust in the Lord will not be put to shame
4. That my faith is in what/who God is, and does not rely on the evidence of the senses
5. That God will do what he says he will do

“Heavenly Father, in your Word you have given us a vision of that holy City to which the nations of the world bring their glory:
Behold and visit, we pray, the cities of the earth.
Renew the ties of mutual regard which form our civic life.
Send us honest and able leaders.
Enable us to eliminate poverty, prejudice, and oppression,
that peace may prevail with righteousness, and just with order,
and that men and women from different cultures and with differing talents may find with one another the fulfillment of their humanity;
through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Prayers and Thanksgivings, 33. For Cities)

(From Faith That Matters)

Rest in What God Is, by A.W. Tozer

Jesus said to him, “Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29

“In spite of tears and pain and death we believe that the God who made us all is infinitely wise and good.” Abraham believed that God was able to do what he said he would do, in spite of evidence to the contrary. Just as Abraham did, “so we base our hope in God alone and hope against hope till the day breaks. We rest in what God is. I believe that this alone is true faith. Any faith that must be supported by the evidence of the senses is not real faith.”

No matter how things look in this world, we know that God has perfect wisdom. He never fails. Even if we think he did, he didn’t, because we just aren’t thinking right. God did not fail me/us when Greg Jordan passed away. I refuse to believe that. It’s true that my prayers were not answered the way I wanted them to be answered. But God did not fail me. He did not fail Greg, Lori, Jacob, and Jared. We have true faith and hope, against all physical evidence, that Greg is walking in the presence of Christ, and is fully healed, just as my own father is.

No matter how disastrous our circumstances appear, true faith trusts God fully. I don’t need miracles to believe in God. I don’t need a “Shroud of Turin” to believe that Jesus rose from the grave.

And I believe that God will do what he says he will do.

Oh, Father, I do believe! Help my unbelief! When I stumble into darkness, and begin to long for physical manifestations, draw me back into your reality, where true faith believes in you no matter what I see with my eyes. Open the eyes of my heart, so that I might see you fully. Help me to know the length and width and depth and height of the unsurpassing, unknowable love of Christ for us. Help me to rest in who you are!
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen. Jude 1:24-25

Grace and peace, friends.