Put Your Trust in the Lord

Today is Saturday, June 22, 2019.

Day 22,381

Twelve days until July 4

Quote of the Day

“I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones.”
Attributed to Albert Einstein, American physicist (German-born), 1879-1955
The Quotations Page

Word of the Day

apologia ~ a work written as an explanation or justification of one’s motives, convictions, or acts. (Dictionary.com)

I haven’t had much time, during the week, to update things. But there hasn’t been a whole lot to update, the big event being the purchase of a new car Monday evening.

We are going to Mineral Wells in a little while, to visit with Mama and show her the new car. I’m pretty sure that S will not be going with us, this time. I’m not sure where we will have lunch on this trip. I also plan to visit the Crazy Water store and stock up on #4. Since it will likely be C and I, we may also pay a visit to the new-ish “76067 Market” downtown. I have not discussed this with C, however. 🙂

Last night, the Texas Rangers lost to the White Sox, 5-4 in extra innings. This is sad, of course, considering that Nomar Mazara hit a home run that went a projected 505 feet, bouncing all the way to the back row of the upper deck of home run porch, and tying a “Statcast era” record. Shawn Kelley took the loss in the game. The Rangers are now 40-36, in second place in the AL West, 7.5 games behind the flailing Astros, who are on a six game losing streak. They play the White Sox again tonight, in Arlington. Lance Lynn will get the start.

The Boston Red Sox came back and beat the Blue Jays, 7-5, also in extra innings. Brandon Workman got the win. The Sox are 42-35, in third place in the AL East, seven games behind the Yankees. They are currently in the second wild card spot. They will play the Blue Jays again this afternoon in Boston. Brian Johnson will take the mound for Boston.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.
Psalm 34:6

Today I am grateful:
1. As always, for the weekend to rest up for the coming work week
2. For the beauty of Psalm 34, one of my favorites
3. That Christ has reconciled us to God (Colossians 1)
4. That what is wrong with the world is God’s business to fix
5. That I have found the joy of God in my heart

“Holy and gracious Father: In your infinite love you made us for yourself; and, when we had fallen into sin and become subject to evil and death, you, in your mercy, sent Jesus Christ, your only and eternal Son, to share our human nature, to live and die as one of us, to reconcile us to you, the God and Father of us all.
“He stretched out his arms upon the cross, and offered himself in obedience to your will, a perfect sacrifice for the whole world.”
(The Book of Common Prayer, Holy Eucharist II)

To the choirmaster: with stringed instruments. A Psalm of David. Answer me when I call, O God of my righteousness! You have given me relief when I was in distress. Be gracious to me and hear my prayer! 
O men, how long shall my honor be turned into shame? How long will you love vain words and seek after lies? Selah. 
But know that the LORD has set apart the godly for himself; the LORD hears when I call to him. 
Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. Selah. 
Offer right sacrifices, and put your trust in the LORD. 
There are many who say, “Who will show us some good? Lift up the light of your face upon us, O LORD!” 
You have put more joy in my heart than they have when their grain and wine abound. 
In peace I will both lie down and sleep; for you alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety.

Psalm 4

Continuing to look at the “evening prayer” of Psalm 4, Eugene Peterson points out some contrasts. The first is between people who pursue futility (v. 2) and people who realize the providence of God (v. 3). In verse 2, people, “deceived by their own hearts and the devil’s illusions, fill the day with a desperate and anxious grasp for that which is not.” But those who live in verse 3 “discover God’s providential motions in themselves and others.”

“The second contrast is between those who are perpetually asking God for what they do not have (v. 6) and those who are overwhelmed before God with what he has already given (v. 7).”

Between those two sets of contrasts, however, we find six paired verbs that “move us from self-assertion in which we push our vain wills on the people and circumstances around us–acting as if we are in charge of the universe–to a believing obedience that acts as if God is in charge and that submits to becoming the kind of person that God is in charge of.”

In verse 4, we see, “Be angry.” Our day will not be perfect; things will go wrong. It’s okay to face these things squarely, and it’s okay to be angry. “And do not sin.” That’s a tall order, isn’t it? “Your anger is not a work agenda for you to plan a vengeance that will fix the wrong. What is wrong with the world is God’s business.” (Emphasis mine)

Also in verse 4, we find, “ponder in your own hearts on your beds.” We can speak to ourselves and listen to ourselves. We tend to lose ourselves in the activities of the day. Then, “and be silent.” There is nothing more to say. We need no explanations, no arguments, and no apologies. “This is who you are.”

Finally, in verse 5, we see, “Offer right sacrifices.” This is an offering that we place before God “so that he can make something of it.” This can be anything, but once offered, it needs to be left there. “It is no longer in your hands to improve a little more. You have had all day, now let God have all night.” Then, “and put your trust in the LORD.” God will transform our offering into something beautiful.

“Low tide. We sleep.”
(Quotes from Answering God: The Psalms as Tools for Prayer, by Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, help me to remember, each night before I go to sleep, to pray these things to you. Help me to learn the essence of leaving my day in your hands, that I might rest for the next day. Help me with my trust and confidence in you.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

The Alabaster Box

Today is Sunday, July 22, 2018. Day 22,046.

28 days until S turns 25!

“Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form.” ~ Albert Einstein, 1897-1955, The Quotations Page

The word for today is festinate, which means, simply, “hasten.”

S and I wound up going to the Night of Worship, last night. C got home shortly before we left, and decided that she would stay home and rest. I can’t speak for S, but I had a wonderful time worshiping and praying. It was nice to not be playing, for a change. I feel like that freed me to worship more and focus more on God during the time. We wound up leaving before it was over, as I needed to come home and look over the PowerPoint slides for this morning’s worship at FBC Smithfield.

Both churches will be voting on the merger, two weeks from today. We have found that we can vote in absentia, via email, as long as we send our vote before the actual vote happens. That’s a good thing, because our worship leader and his wife will also be out on August 5.

The Red Sox lost a rare shutout game, last night, as the Tigers beat them 5-0. Their record is 69-31, and they are 4.5 games up in the AL East. The remain the best in baseball, 3.5 games ahead of the Houston Astros, who are being favored by many “experts” to repeat in the World Series.

The Rangers lost to the Indians, wait, what?? 16-3! Now, the Indians are in first place in the AL Central. But they would be in third in the AL East, and fourth in the AL West.

The Orioles continue to hold down the worst spot, 40.5 games behind the Red Sox. They traded their best player during the All Star break. I keep wondering when they will fire Buck Showalter.

We’re getting ready to go worship, this morning. I will be leading worship at FBC Smithfield, and will be, at least through August 5, maybe a Sunday or two after that. If the merge is approved, I don’t know how long it will be before we begin worshiping as one church. Hopefully not too long, as I miss worshiping with my Exchange family. After today’s worship, I will be hanging out with the guy who hosts Night of Worship for a bit, so he can try to teach me some more about using the recording software.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Sin and Shin.
Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words. 
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil. 
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law. 
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules. 
Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble. 
I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments. 
My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly. 
I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.

Psalm 119:161-168

Verse 165 presents a great truth. “Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.” (Emphasis added) Does this mean that if I stumble, I don’t love God’s word? Well, right at the moment, I didn’t, did I? The thing is, if we cherish and meditate on God’s word, the things that would normally make us stumble will not be issues for us. That’s part of the value of Scripture memory, which I have recently rediscovered. Even with that, I still don’t spend enough time going over those memory verses.

I also find verse 168 interesting. The Psalmist says he keeps the precepts and testimonies of God, “for all my ways are before you.” I’m not sure if I’m reading something into this that is not there, but it speaks to me of an essence of fear. If we truly understood that God sees everything we do, think, and say, would we be more careful of the things that we do, think, and say? The next time you are tempted to sin in some way, try considering that God would be right there beside you when you do it. We can’t hide anything from him. It’s the ultimate “Big Brother is watching you,” in a way. Now, I’m certain that God doesn’t really want that to be my motivation for doing good things (or not doing bad things), but it is definitely a start, no?

(From The Business of Heaven, C.S. Lewis)
St Mary Magdalen

“It is nice to still be under the care of St Mary Magdalen. . . . The allegorical sense of her great action dawned on me the other day. The precious alabaster box which one must break over the Holy Feet is one’s heart. Easier said than done. And the contents become perfume only when it is broken. While they are safe inside they are more like sewage. All very alarming.” (Excerpt from Letters to an American Lady)

I confess that this is an interpretation that I have never considered, nor have I ever heard anyone else describe it in this way. I like it. I think Lewis has given us something about which to think seriously.

Father, I pray that, as I consider this, that I would, indeed, break my heart over the holy feet of Jesus, and that the contents spilling out would be as sweet perfume to you. May I not hold on to anything in my heart, most especially to sinful desires and practices, as well as any accomplishments of which I might be prideful. I have accomplished nothing outside of you and your power. I have owned nothing that I did not receive from you, other than my own sin. That is the one thing which I can call “my own.” Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Show me your path, that I may walk in your Kingdom, in the “easy yoke” of Jesus Christ.
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.

“Your Face, LORD, Do I Seek.”

Today is Saturday, May 20, 2017. The family reunion day is here!

Quote of the Day

“You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat.” ~ Albert Einstein, when asked to describe radio

There is actually no concrete evidence that Einstein ever said that, but it’s still fun. The statement is attributed to several others, as well, as cited by this article at Quote Investigator.

Word of the Day

Moggy ~ British informal. A cat.

Today is World Fiddle Day. In the article about this, it appears that they use “fiddle” and “violin” interchangeably. I, however, do not. While they may be the same instrument, technically, I consider it a “violin” when it plays in an orchestra or plays more classically oriented music. I consider it a “fiddle” when it plays bluegrass or country music.



We’re getting ready to head out to east Texas, in a little while, so I’d best get a move-on. There will not be a blog entry tomorrow. I’ll be back Monday morning.

All Scriptures are from the ESV, unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Psalm 105:4
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” 
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!

Psalm 27:7-9
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
Psalm 76:7
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4
You will only look with your eyes and see the recompense of the wicked. 
Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge— 
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent. 
For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. 
On their hands they will bear you up, lest you strike your foot against a stone. 
You will tread on the lion and the adder; the young lion and the serpent you will trample underfoot.

Psalm 91:8-13

Father, I pray to you, this morning, that I might seek you and your strength; that I would seek your presence continually. All too often, I seek other things, things that don’t matter, things that might satisfy, but only for a moment. Your presence will satisfy for all eternity. May your Spirit draw me toward your presence in my life, always. Motivate me to seek your face, O 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.

True Joy

” . . . laughter does not exclude weeping. Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow.”

Today is Thursday, January 19, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Whimsical – full of, actuated by, or exhibiting capricious or eccentric and often sudden ideas or turns of the mind : relating to whims.

Today is Popcorn Day! I love popcorn! It is one of my favorite foods. It goes with anything, kind of like chips.

It was a happy day in Texas, yesterday, as Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez was elected into the Baseball Hall of Fame. The thing that makes it special is that it was his first time he was on the ballot. He is only the second catcher in history to be elected on his first try. Congratulations to one of the favorite Texas Rangers!

Not much else happening, to speak of. I made the mac and cheese recipe in the Instant Pot, again, last night. I think it may have been better than the first time. C and I mix tuna in with ours. It was delicious.

Tonight we have our “missional gathering” for the Night of Worship team. This will be a bi-weekly meeting to share a meal, talk about plans for NoW, and just basically hang out for a bit. Personally, I’ve never liked that word, “missional.” It’s a made up word.



Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. 
Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! 
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
Psalm 96:2-4

Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck. Psalm 69:1

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation— Psalm 18:46

(From Living the Message)

And now, GOD, do it again— bring rains to our drought-stricken lives 
So those who planted their crops in despair will shout hurrahs at the harvest, 
So those who went off with heavy hearts will come home laughing, with armloads of blessing.
Psalm 126:4-6 (The Message)

The people represented in Psalm 126 are “no strangers to the dark side of things.” There are painful memories carried within them, memories of exile and “scars of oppression.” These people knew what it meant to sow in tears.

As Christians, if we are being true, we learn that “laughter does not exclude weeping. Christian joy is not an escape from sorrow.” We still experience pain in our live; hard times still come. But these things are unable to drive out our joy.

Some attempt to carry out a futile strategy of trying to eliminate all pain, suffering, and anything negative from their lives. They try to “get rid of pain by numbing the nerve ends, get rid of insecurity by eliminating risks, get rid of disappointments by depersonalizing . . . relationships.” Then they try to buy joy “in the form of vacations and entertainment.” There is nothing wrong with vacations and entertainment, but we certainly don’t see that kind of attitude represented in Psalm 126.

I would add some somewhat famous words of M. Scott Peck to that. “Life is difficult. This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult – once we truly understand and accept it – then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.”

Father, I pray for the ability to maintain this joy. I know that life is hard. I figured that out years ago. And it doesn’t get easier. We make plans, we have goals, and then “life happens,” we say. It is true. So help me to maintain my “Christian joy” in the face of all that life can throw at me. This joy does not exclude pain; rather it celebrates in the face of pain and difficulty. And we know that these pains and difficulty will cease when we reach our final destination.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10

Grace and peace, friends.

Arrow Prayers

Today is Wednesday, December 7, 2016. Eighteen days until Christmas!

Quote of the Day

“Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Asomatous – having no material body; incorporeal.

Today is Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day. It was 75 years ago that Pearl Harbor was bombed by Japanese air forces. “Yesterday, December 7, 1941 — a date which will live in infamy — the United States of America was suddenly and deliberately attacked by naval and air forces of the Empire of Japan.” – President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Besides being Pearl Harbor Day, today is also the thirty-second anniversary of our first date! Yes, on December 7, 1984, after C and I finished our night at the TGIF bowling league, we went to a midnight laser light show at the Noble Planetarium. The rest, as they say, is history.

So it appears that the Red Sox have signed Chris Sale as a starting pitcher, trading some prospects to the Other Sox. I think I’m okay with that, but I seem to remember him being a bit of a hot-head. In another shocking deal, the Red Sox also signed Mitch Moreland! I’m somewhat shocked that the Rangers let him go. I, along with several others, feel that he has always been under-appreciated by the Rangers organization.

80 days until the first Spring Training game.
117 days until Opening Day.


Wednesday of the second week of Advent

Psa 97:12  Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!

Psa 86:1-2  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.

Psa 28:6  Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy.

Mat 5:6  “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”

Psa 42:1-2  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?

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Psa 141:1-2 A Psalm of David. O LORD, I call upon you; hasten to me! Give ear to my voice when I call to you! Let my prayer be counted as incense before you, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice!

What Eugene Peterson refers to as “arrow prayers” are prayers that are spontaneous, on the spur of the moment. They are short, precise petitions, sent up in the heat of the moment. Certainly, planned times of prayer are legitimate, appropriate, and even necessary, “but prayer cannot be confined to such established forms and set times. Empty hands and unstudied words are always welcome before God.”

“Lord, take the half-formed sentences I address to you and the half-conscious movements I make toward you–my interjections and my gestures–and make prayers of petition and praise out of them, in the name of and for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Father, I have long been a “fan” of spontaneous “arrow prayers,” even to the point of sometimes praying for people that I see in the course of my daily movements. Help me to never forget to do this each day.

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 Cost of Forgiveness

“The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the Cross of my Lord.”

Today is Saturday, November 19, 2016. Five more days until Thanksgiving!

Quote of the Day

“Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Meshuggener (noun, muh-SHUG-uh-ner) – a foolish or crazy person

Today is World Toilet Day. Not meant to be humorous, the purpose is to draw attention to the number of places in the world that don’t have sanitary conditions.

We had an awesome time last night, seeing and hearing the Alan Parsons Live Project at The Majestic Theatre in Dallas, last night. I have written my review of the concert, which can be found at my other blog.

I am currently waiting on the pool repair guy. He called, and it sounds like he won’t be here until close to noon, which was the end of the projected window for this morning. Oh, well. I just hope he’s finished in time for us to leave for the band concert in Southlake. If not, I guess C won’t be able to go, as I need to be there by around 3:30 or so.

C is currently at a local vet clinic, getting a free checkup on our new kitty, Rocky (short for Rachmaninoff, as he is a Russian Blue mix).


Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! Psalm 57:8

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.

For you alone are the Holy One,
you alone are the Lord,
you alone are the Most High,
Jesus Christ,
with the Holy Spirit,
in the Glory of God the Father.

Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. Psalm 31:5

(From Praying With the Psalms)

He it was who struck down the firstborn of Egypt, both of man and of beast;
who in your midst, O Egypt, sent signs and wonders against Pharaoh and all his servants;
who struck down many nations and killed mighty kings,
Sihon, king of the Amorites, and Og, king of Bashan, and all the kingdoms of Canaan,
and gave their land as a heritage, a heritage to his people Israel.
Your name, O LORD, endures forever, your renown, O LORD, throughout all ages.
For the LORD will vindicate his people and have compassion on his servants.
Psalm 135:8-14

“The praising mind moves from the stuff of creation to the data of history. God is not only magnificent in what he has made, he is tremendous in what he does; he has made a glorious world and he acts out a stirring salvation.”

“Thank you, O God, for giving me a splendid world in which to live and for living in that world with me; for providing this place for living and then entering the process of living itself; for being both Creator and Savior to me, in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. Psalm 31:5

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

And when he comes, he will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment. John 15:8

How many of us have truly been convicted of our sin? Most of us have been “disturbed because of having done wrong things.” But when we are truly convicted of our sinfulness, we have this dreadful feeling that there is no way God could forgive us. He does, of course, but at what cost? “It cost the rending of His heart in the Death of Christ to enable Him to do so.”

Why does God forgive us? Is it because, as it is popular to say, God is love? Chambers calls this idea “shallow nonsense.” He says that, once we are truly convicted of sin, we will never say that again. “The only ground on which God can forgive me is through the Cross of my Lord.”

To be forgiven is more than just being saved from hell and “made right for heaven.” It means that “I am forgiven into a re-created relationship, into identification with God in Christ.”

Father, remind me of my sinfulness, from time to time. Usually, I don’t need reminding, but I believe that I need the conviction, sometimes, so that I do not forget the cost of my forgiveness, as well as the purpose of my forgiveness. Keep drawing me into this relationship, this identification with Christ. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus

Blessed Lord, who caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning:
Grant me so to hear them, read, mark, learn, and inwardly digest them,
that I may embrace and ever hold fast the blessed hope of everlasting life,
which you have given us in our Savior Jesus Christ;
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God, for ever and ever. Amen.
(The Divine Hours)

Grace and peace, friends.

The Highest Point of View

Today is Monday, October 24, 2016. Seventeen days until Glen Rose weekend!

Quote of the Day

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Compunction – a feeling of uneasiness or anxiety of the conscience caused by regret for doing wrong or causing pain; contrition; remorse.

Today is National Bologna Day. And we’re not talking about a city in Italy. We’re talking about meat, sausage (I did not know it was considered sausage), lunch meat. Enjoy it plain on a sandwich. Try it fried. Or better yet, barbecued! I’ve has some really delicious barbecued bologna sandwiches.

And it’s back to the grind, today! I’m not nearly as depressed about that as I thought I would be. I guess that means the vacation worked, right? So back to work, we go. I will also get back into band practice tonight, as it has been a number of weeks since I have made it for that. I suppose we will be preparing for the Christmas Tree Lighting at some point in November. Hopefully, not November 12, because C and I will be in Glen Rose for that weekend, celebrating her birthday!

The World Series begins tomorrow night, and it’s the Cubs versus the Indians. In spite of my affinity with Cubs fans, I will be rooting for the Indians (if I remember to root at all). They have Terry Francona, previous manager of the Red Sox, Mike Napoli, previously with both the Red Sox and the Rangers, Andrew Miller, previously of the Red Sox, and Coco Crisp, part of the 2004 Red Sox World Series team. While the Cubs have Jon Lester, John Lackey, and Theo Epstein, they also have Joe Maddon, and I cannot, will not EVER root for Joe Maddon. Sorry, Cubs fans.


Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD! Psalm 31:24
You, O LORD, will keep them; you will guard us from this generation forever. Psalm 12:7
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalm 80:3
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again. Psalm 71:21

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.

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Princes persecute me without cause, but my heart stands in awe of your words.
I rejoice at your word like one who finds great spoil.
I hate and abhor falsehood, but I love your law.
Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
Great peace have those who love your law; nothing can make them stumble.
I hope for your salvation, O LORD, and I do your commandments.
My soul keeps your testimonies; I love them exceedingly.
I keep your precepts and testimonies, for all my ways are before you.
Psalm 119:161-168

There are a lot of people who look at God’s words as somewhat “cozy and commonplace,” thinking that they can keep them in a box in the house, somewhere, to bring them out whenever they need them. But the true follower, the “true listener,” remembers that God’s word is spoken by the God who “turned back the waters and exploded Gomorrah.” This person stands in awe of the power and majesty of the words of God.

“‘Lord, the words Thy lips are telling are the perfect verity; of Thine high eternal dwelling, holiness shall inmate be: Alleluia! Alleluia! Pure is all that lives with Thee’ (John Keble, ‘God, the Lord, a King Remaineth’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

But thanks be to God, who in Christ always leads us in triumphal procession, and through us spreads the fragrance of the knowledge of him everywhere. 2 Corinthians 2:14

What is our viewpoint? It must be the highest it can possibly be. It must be God’s point of view, and we must strive and strain to maintain that on a daily basis. We must not focus on the finite.

What is the purpose? We have only one, “to be captives in the train of Christ’s triumphs.” I am not in God’s “showroom.” We are here to show one thing and one thing only, “the absolute captivity of our lives to Jesus Christ.”

Whose is the victory? “It is a shameful thing for a Christian to talk about getting the victory. The Victor ought to have got us so completely that it is His victory all the time, and we are more than conquerors through Him.”

Father, give me that highest point of view today! Let me see things from your point of view; let me focus on your purpose, not mine. Display me as your captive, in the train of the triumphs of Jesus Christ! Yours is the victory!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

Holy, Holy, Holy

Today is Sunday, July 24, 2016.

Quote of the Day

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” – Albert Einstein

Word of the Day

Pantechnicon–“A furniture van; moving van. Also called pantechnicon van.”

Today is Cousins Day. I have a few of those, of which I am quite fond. So Happy Cousins Day to all of them!

Well, the old fence is gone, and the poles for the new one are up, waiting on the cement to dry. They should finish the job today. The pool heater is supposed to be installed Monday morning. Hopefully, that will be all the major expenses for a while.

It’s getting late, so I’d best move on. I will say that the Rangers finally won a game, last night, beating the Royals 7-4, behind one of their good pitchers, Cole Hamel. Today, A.J. Griffin is on the mound. If they will put up some offense, they could win this one, too. The Red Sox lost a tough one to the Twins, 11-9.

We’re getting ready for our worship gathering. We worship with The Exchange Church, meeting at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach St. in Fort Worth.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD reigns; let the peoples tremble! He sits enthroned upon the cherubim; let the earth quake!
The LORD is great in Zion; he is exalted over all the peoples.
Let them praise your great and awesome name! Holy is he!

The King in his might loves justice. You have established equity; you have executed justice and righteousness in Jacob.
Exalt the LORD our God; worship at his footstool! Holy is he!
Moses and Aaron were among his priests, Samuel also was among those who called upon his name. They called to the LORD, and he answered them.
In the pillar of the cloud he spoke to them; they kept his testimonies and the statute that he gave them.
O LORD our God, you answered them; you were a forgiving God to them, but an avenger of their wrongdoings.
Exalt the LORD our God, and worship at his holy mountain; for the LORD our God is holy!
Psalm 99

“Holiness is the quality in God that cares about our sin, and the capacity in him to do something about it.” You see, when we “worship” a “god” that we have created, we drag that god down to our level. But when we worship the God of holiness, he lifts us up to his level.

“‘Holy, Holy, Holy! Though the darkness hide Thee, though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see, only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee perfect in power, in love, and purity’ (Reginald Heber, “Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty’). Amen.”

Father, show me your holiness, this morning, as we worship you. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth, that I may know you more, so I can find favor in your sight. Let me be aware that nothing I do or say can make you love me any more than you already love me, nor can they decrease your love for me, as it is perfect in every way. You ARE a “good, good Father,” and I AM “loved by you!” Hallelujah!

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 “Quiet Time”

“Great ideas often receive violent opposition from mediocre minds.”~~Albert Einstein

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is bombinate, “to make a humming or buzzing noise.” Of course, I have to confess, the first thing I thought of when I saw “bombinate,” was “burninate.”

Today is Letter Writing Day. Does anyone still do that? That reminds me once again that I need to write a letter to our Compassion International child. I haven’t done that in a long time, but she keeps writing us. Maybe we can sit down tonight and compose a letter for her.

We had a nice day, yesterday. Our worship service went really well, and we had at least six visitors! Two of them came because some of our folks got together Saturday morning to hand out doorhangers in the neighborhood. Four of them came because they knew someone else who had been visiting. The feedback seemed positive from all of them.

After church we stopped by WalMart so I could get some new tennis shoes. I like the Dr. Scholl’s shoes because they have good padding in them. I wound up getting a pair exactly like the old ones, which are starting to come apart on the heels. Then I switched out my steel-toe adapters from another, older pair to the pair of Dr. Scholl’s that I was replacing. So now I have a “new” pair of work shoes, too.

Tonight is band practice, the last practice until January. This coming Saturday, we have another Christmas concert (outside again), around mid-day. Then Saturday night is Christi’s company Christmas party, which is supposed to last until midnight. Busy day.


(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

As the twentieth century developed, the daily “Quiet Time” of the evangelical community downplayed “the more experiential aspects of prayer.” Meditation all but disappeared, as “interpretive Bible study” become the focus. Outlining and paraphrasing passages were encouraged. The problem with this design is that it is difficult to accomplish in just a few minutes every morning. “The effect was to promote a method of daily inductive Bible study aimed more at interpreting the text than at meditation and experience of God.” Of course, prayer was encouraged after the Bible study, but it wound up being primarily petitions and confession.

Many people, myself included, found this to be too rationalistic. I rebelled against the traditional “quiet time” many years ago. I do have this daily time in the morning, but it has come to be a time that stresses more meditation, and it continues into my drive to work every morning. Yet I still struggle on the best way to accomplish a daily prayer routine. Like myself, many Protestants began turning to “more Catholic and Eastern Orthodox traditions, including lectio divina, contemplative prayer, and fixed hours of liturgical prayer.”

More on this tomorrow.

Father, as I continue reading this book, I am excited about the aspects of prayer that it teaches me. Help me to work out the best way to incorporate what I am learning into my daily practice of prayer.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

A Habit of Daily Prayer

“There should be background music of thankfulness and joy behind every incident in our day, audible only to us.”~~Timothy Keller

“Every man dies, but not every man really lives.”~~William Wallace

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is shmatte, “an old ragged garment; tattered article of clothing.”

Today is Sachertorte Day. Now, I have never heard of “Sachertorte,” but it sure looks delicious.

Just as expected, yesterday turned out to be really long. It was almost 6:30 before I got off work yesterday. This morning, my blogging is about to be interrupted, as I need to head up to the Quest Labs to get bloodwork done for my recent doctor visit. I’ll finish up after that, and then we have a ton of stuff to get done today, mostly involving Christmas. We’ll have fun, though.

On this date in:

1492–Christopher Columbus was the first European to set foot on the island of Hispaniola, which is now Haiti and the Dominican Republic.
1776–Phi Beta Kappa was founded at William and Mary College, becoming the first American College Fraternity.
1848–President James Polk confirmed that large amounts of gold had been discovered in California.
1932–Albert Einstein was granted an American visa.
1933–Prohibition in the U.S. ended.

Today’s birthdays include:

1782–Martin Van Buren, 8th President of the U.S.
1879–Clyde Cessna, American airplane manufacturer
1890–Fritz Lang, Austrian film director, Metropolis
1899–Sonny Boy Williamson II, American blues musician
1901–Walt Disney, American animated film producer
1906–Otto Preminger, Austrian film director, Exodus
1932–Richard Wayne Penniman, aka Little Richard, American pianist/singer
1938–J.J. Cale, American songwriter
1947–Jim Plunkett, American football player
1947–Jim Messina, American musician, Buffalo Springfield, Loggins and Messina
1952–Andy Kim, Canadian singer/songwriter
1965–Johnny Rzeznik, American singer/songwriter, Goo Goo Dolls
1968–Margaret Cho, American comedian/actress
1971–Kali Rocha, American actress, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1976–Amy Acker, American actress, Angel, Dollhouse
1979–Nick Stahl, American actor, Carnivale

Amy Acker turns 39 today. She was born in Dallas, TX. She is best known by this family, as “Fred” and “Illyria” on the TV show, Angel. I found this clip of the scene where Fred dies and Illyria awakens. It’s rather dark and hard to see, but it’s all I could find.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Alexandre Dumas, Claude Monet, Shoeless Joe Jackson, and Don Meredith are among notable deaths on this date.

Mozart died in 1791. Regardless of how factual or unfactual the movie Amadeus may have been, in my opinion, they nailed the funeral scene, as it is known to have been raining on the day, and Mozart, dying penniless, was buried in an unmarked pauper’s grave.

“Dandy” Don Meredith was my all-time favorite quarterback, playing for the Dallas Cowboys from 1960-1968. He died on this date in 2010. Here is a fan-made tribute to Meredith.


(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

Today, I come to the final chapter in this book, chapter fifteen, “Practice: Daily Prayer.” Timothy Keller begins this chapter with a section on the history of daily prayer.

In 1 Thessalonians 5:17, Paul admonishes us to “pray without ceasing,” which, according to Keller, means that we should do “everything all day with conscious reference to God.” He also refers to 1 Corinthians 10:31, So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God. Further, he says, “There should be background music of thankfulness and joy behind every incident in our day, audible only to us.” I like this idea, but consistently fall far short of it. What is being suggested here, is spontaneous and constant, but must be developed into habit. This will not happen without first taking up the discipline of “regular, daily prayer.”

We have examples of daily prayer as far back as the Old Testament. Daniel is said to have prayed three times a day, even when the powers that be attempted to stop him (Daniel 6:10). There was a medieval practice among Christians, known as horae canonicae, which was “daily, fixed hours of prayer.” This was also known as the “Daily Office,” and was allegedly tied to the challenge Jesus issued to his sleeping disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane (Matthew 26:40). However, this kind of got out of hand in the ancient monasteries, as seven daily times were established at midnight, 3 AM, 6 AM, 9 AM, noon, 6 PM and 9 PM. This was “eventually proven to be physically unsupportable.”

Thomas Cranmers, one of the great Reformers, when “faced with the question of how to help ordinary people with a full day of work do daily prayer, eventually wrote the first Book of Common Prayer, in 1549. One of his concerns was that the medieval practices prevented a good acquaintance with the entirety of Scripture.

Cranmers eliminated all but two prayer times, morning and evening, and provided a Bible reading calendar with called for four chapter to be read each day, two in the morning and two in the evening. This would accomplish a single reading of the Old Testament and two readings of the New Testament in the space of one year. He also called for deep immersion in the Psalms, outlining a schedule in which all 150 Psalms could be read in one month.

In the mid nineteen forties, a practice came along that came to be known as the “Quiet Time.” This was launched by a booklet called Quiet Time: A Practical Guide for Daily Devotions, first published by InterVarsity Press in 1945. It was a thirty page booklet and became a million-seller, and “shaped and influenced at least fifty years of evangelical books and guides thereafter.”

Among the positive effects of the booklet were the insistence that “daily devotion is a discipline that requires a very deliberate act of the will.” Such practices as finding a quite place, using a journal to write down thoughts from Bible study, and an extended time of prayer, were encouraged, with a minimum of twenty minutes.

The booklet also summarized some of George Mueller’s practices, who followed Martin Luther’s lead, which has been previously discussed in the book. A series of questions is used when reading a passage of Scripture:

  • Is there any example for me to follow?
  • Is there any command for me to obey?
  • Is there any error for me to avoid?
  • Is there any sin for me to forsake?
  • Is there any promise for me to claim?
  • Is there any new thought about God Himself?

After the meditation is complete, the order of prayer suggested is confession first, followed by thanksgiving and praise, followed by intercession for others, and petitions for our own needs.

Father, help us to flesh out and take the best ideas from all of these suggestions on daily prayer. More than anything, I pray that you help us all, as your children, to develop and maintain the habit of daily prayer, which can then grow to a point of obedience to Paul’s command that we “pray without ceasing.”

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.