All Is Well

Today is Sunday, the 25th of December, 2022, in the first week of Christmas. It is the first day of Christmas.

May the peace of the Christ-child be with you always!

Day 23,663

Seven days until 2023.

It is shortly after 11:00 AM when I begin this, this morning. It really doesn’t feel like Sunday, but it is. As predicted, yesterday, I did not make it to the 10:00 service, this morning. We were up around 8:30, and shortly after 9:00, I believe, we sat down to open all of our presents. I will update my other blog with the results of that, later, today. Hopefully. For now, I must get on with the important things for the day. However, one gift that I am most excited about is a new Bible. It is one that I can carry with me to my new church, because the use the NRSV in their worship services.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Teach me good judgment and knowledge, 
for I believe in your commandments.
(Psalms 119:66 ESV)

Because either one without the other doesn’t do a body much good.

Lord our God, you have sent light to shine on earth and have revealed your heavenly power in Jesus Christ, so that in spite of all the darkness and evil we may rejoice because we have a Savior. Reveal your power in our day. Let something be done anew toward the building of your kingdom on earth. Let something draw men’s hearts to you to give them light so that they may thank and praise you for all you have done and are still doing to bring the whole world into your hands. O Lord God, let men be moved by the opening of the heavens. May their hearts awaken and their sadness give way to joy in Jesus Christ the Savior. We are your children who are allowed to wait in expectation for you to set everything right. We can know that even in our troubled times your hand is at work to reveal your will, to make your will plain to all generations on earth, as you promised through Abraham. May your name be glorified, O Lord God. May your name be honored, your kingdom come, and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen.

Daily Prayer from Plough.com

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given; and the government will be upon his shoulder, and his name will be called "Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." 
Isaiah 9:6, RSV

Today I am grateful:

  1. for Christmas; for the birth of Jesus Christ, our Savior, the Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and Prince of Peace
  2. for the wonderful morning we have had together, this morning
  3. for the expectation, as we celebrate the birth of Christ, of His eventual return
  4. that our Light has come, and the glory of the Lord has risen upon us
  5. that darkness has fallen into the dawn of redeeming grace
  6. for this indescribable gift of God!

In those days a decree went out from Caesar Augustus that all the world should be registered. This was the first registration when Quirinius was governor of Syria. And all went to be registered, each to his own town. And Joseph also went up from Galilee, from the town of Nazareth, to Judea, to the city of David, which is called Bethlehem, because he was of the house and lineage of David, to be registered with Mary, his betrothed, who was with child. And while they were there, the time came for her to give birth. And she gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in swaddling cloths and laid him in a manger, because there was no place for them in the inn. 

And in the same region there were shepherds out in the field, keeping watch over their flock by night. And an angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were filled with great fear. And the angel said to them, "Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be a sign for you: you will find a baby wrapped in swaddling cloths and lying in a manger." And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying, 

"Glory to God in the highest,
 and on earth peace among those with whom he is pleased!" 

When the angels went away from them into heaven, the shepherds said to one another, "Let us go over to Bethlehem and see this thing that has happened, which the Lord has made known to us." And they went with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the baby lying in a manger. And when they saw it, they made known the saying that had been told them concerning this child. And all who heard it wondered at what the shepherds told them. But Mary treasured up all these things, pondering them in her heart. And the shepherds returned, glorifying and praising God for all they had heard and seen, as it had been told them.
(Luke 2:1-20 ESV)
Arise, shine, for your light has come, 
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you. 
For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, 
and thick darkness the peoples; 
but the LORD will arise upon you, 
and his glory will be seen upon you. 
And nations shall come to your light, 
and kings to the brightness of your rising.
(Isaiah 60:1-3 ESV)
The sun shall be no more 
your light by day, 
nor for brightness shall the moon 
give you light;
 but the LORD will be your everlasting light, 
and your God will be your glory. 
Your sun shall no more go down, 
nor your moon withdraw itself; 
for the LORD will be your everlasting light, 
and your days of mourning shall be ended. 
Your people shall all be righteous; 
they shall possess the land forever, 
the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, 
that I might be glorified.
 The least one shall become a clan,
 and the smallest one a mighty nation; 
I am the LORD; 
in its time I will hasten it.
(Isaiah 60:19-22 ESV)

“And she will have a son, and you are to name him Jesus, for he will save his people from their sins.”
(Matthew 1:21 NLT)

Thank God for this gift too wonderful for words!
(2 Corinthians 9:15 NLT)


how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to worship the living God!
(Hebrews 9:14 NRSV)


I have no deep words of wisdom, today. I simply encourage all to know this Christ, the Savior of the world, the Light of the world, the glory of the Lord, risen upon us, this day.

The Gospel of Christ is that the kingdom of heaven, the kingdom of God, is hear, now, and available for anyone who desires to walk in it.

This baby that we celebrate today became our salvation. Along with the heavenly host of angels, I proclaim, “fear not!”

All is well.


Father, thank You for Your indescribable gift. And thank You for drawing me into Your kingdom, for choosing me to believe, even before the foundations of the earth. Not only did You choose me (and all who would come to believe), You arranged my circumstances so that I would choose You. As I noted, from yesterday’s verse in Psalm 119, You have dealt well with Your servant, O Lord!

Saying “thank You,” seems hardly appropriate. May I live my life in such a way as to draw people into Your kingdom. May I demonstrate to people Your great love for all, as I follow the commands of my Savior to love You and love people. May I show them that there is nothing to fear, and that, indeed, in Your kingdom, all is well. In fact, in Your kingdom, things are far better than we could ever imagine.

All glory to You, through the Son, and by the Spirit.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!


Grace and peace, friends.

Humility

Today is Thursday, November 29, 2018.

Day 22,176

26 days until Christmas!

“A man can no more diminish God’s glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, ‘darkness’ on the walls of his cell.”
C.S. Lewis, Irish author, 1898-1963 Today is the 120th anniversary of his birth.
BrainyQuote

The word of the day is keek, “Scot. and North England. to peep; look furtively.”

There are not enough words to tell you how wonderful last night was. The Michael W. Smith Christmas show was spectacular. He is an excellent entertainer, as well as being a phenomenal musician, songwriter, and arranger. It was fun. We laughed. It was inspiring. We wept. It was worship. We sang. It was all I imagined it would be and more. He sang “old school” Christmas music, in the style of Andy Williams, Perry Como, and Bing Crosby. He and his absolutely amazing band of musicians played some stunning instrumental works. He sang some of his own Christmas creations. And he took us to church, sharing several of the songs from his Surrounded album, released earlier this year. In what was probably the highest moment of the show for C and me, he said that this song was his favorite song that he has ever written.

What is so special about that is that one of our traditions is to play the album that song is from while we decorate our Christmas tree. And that song, “All is Well,” has been our favorite of his for years. I wasn’t expecting him to do it last night, since the vocals are by a young boy in the original recording. However, he had a special guest, last night, Melinda Doolittle, a third place finalist from a season of American Idol. She sang the vocals. It wasn’t quite as good as the original recording, but it was still awesome.

I am very grateful to C’s boss for bringing us along for this experience. It was a great way to kick off the Christmas season. And, apparently, it was Michael’s first show on this tour. That was kind of cool.

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

Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Psalm 33:2

Today I am grateful for:

1. Michael W. Smith
2. C’s boss
3. Worshiping together
4. My voice, that I can raise in praise to my God
5. Another chance to bring Him glory today

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God.
Revelation 21:3

(From Power in Prayer, Andrew Murray)
A Prayer for Humility

For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
Isaiah 57:15

“The secret of secrets is this: Humility is the soul of true prayer.” We don’t like humility. We don’t like to think about, and we certainly don’t like to ask for it. But we must have it, especially for our prayers to be powerful. “Until the spirit of the heart is renewed, until it is emptied of all earthly desire and stands in a habitual hunger and thirst after God, which is the true spirit of prayer; until then, all our prayer will be more or less like giving lessons to students: we will mostly say them only because we dare not neglect them.”

I needed this, this morning. I need to be living in a perpetual state of hunger and thirst for God and His Word, for the filling of the Holy Spirit, and for the “easy yoke” of the Son. That will be my prayer for this day.

Father, I pray the prayer that strikes fear into the hearts of men. Make me more humble; give me humility. Give me an unquenchable thirst for You today. Let me hunger for You. Show me the way. Teach me Your way, that I may walk in Your truth. And then light me up, that the world may see Your glory.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

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

Grace and peace, friends.

All Is Well

Good morning. It is pre-Friday, December 4, 2014. 21 days . . .

Did you know that “Wifi” does not really stand for “Wireless Fidelity?” It is a nonsense phrase, patterned after “Hifi,” and it truly means nothing at all. The developers simply thought it was catcher than “IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence.” I tend to agree. Can you imagine walking into Starbucks and asking for their IEEE 802.11b Direct Sequence password?

Today is Cookie Day! And we’re not talking about those Internet thingies that get put on your computer, either! We’re talking bonafide, edible, delicious cookies!! Any kind will do, but I prefer chocolate chip, gingersnaps, and snickerdoodles. Pei Wei has some of the best snickerdoodles I have ever eaten.

Yesterday was a pretty amazing day. We only got 62 boxes in for receiving, probably due to the two days that most people had off, last week. I expect today to be somewhat light, too. Friday? Don’t really care, I won’t be there. I may not have mentioned, it, but I’m taking PTO Friday, because I have some left, and need to take it. One day off this week, and then three more, week after next. Two days off during Christmas week, and one day off for New Year’s Day. I will have five short weeks out of the last six of the year! Heh. The week after New Year’s is going to be rough. 🙂

I messed up last night, and forgot to write the first part of my blog before going to bed. That’s why I’ve had time to put in the history, trivia, and birthdays over the past few days, because I got the idea to write that part the night before and save as a draft. But I forgot to do it last night, so I probably won’t have time. That’s unfortunate, because I really enjoy that part of it.

Christi has her Huddle group tonight, so I’ll be home with Stephanie for a couple of hours. I might practice the trombone. Or I might play World of Warcraft. Who knows?

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

First Week of Advent
Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:3
For God alone, O my soul, wait in silence, for my hope is from him.
Psalm 62:5
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Psalm 93:5
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26
In the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth, to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. And the virgin’s name was Mary. And he came to her and said, “Greetings, O favored one, the Lord is with you!” But she was greatly troubled at the saying, and tried to discern what sort of greeting this might be. And the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.
Luke 1:26-30
The Prayer Appointed for the Week
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.

And after six days Jesus took with him Peter and James, and John his brother, and led them up a high mountain by themselves. And he was transfigured before them, and his face shone like the sun, and his clothes became white as light. And behold, there appeared to them Moses and Elijah, talking with him. And Peter said to Jesus, “Lord, it is good that we are here. If you wish, I will make three tents here, one for you and one for Moses and one for Elijah.” He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples heard this, they fell on their faces and were terrified. But Jesus came and touched them, saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” And when they lifted up their eyes, they saw no one but Jesus only.
And as they were coming down the mountain, Jesus commanded them, “Tell no one the vision, until the Son of Man is raised from the dead.” And the disciples asked him, “Then why do the scribes say that first Elijah must come?” He answered, “Elijah does come, and he will restore all things. But I tell you that Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but did to him whatever they pleased. So also the Son of Man will certainly suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was speaking to them of John the Baptist.

Matthew 17:1-13

This passage describes what we know as The Transfiguration of Jesus. The fact that there is an exact time reference, which is rare for Matthew, gives us a connection between Peter’s confession and the Transfiguration. The disciples have recognized who Jesus really is, and it is time to move toward the ultimate goal of his life. The significance of the two other figures being Moses and Elijah are this: Moses was known as the Lawgiver, and Elijah was one of the premier prophets of the Old Testament. What we see is the representation of the truth that the Law and the Prophets all point to Jesus.

In verse 5, we get the same statement that Luke records in 9:35, which is the reason I am doing these Gospel readings every morning now. “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.” When the disciples fall on their faces in fear, Jesus is gentle with them, simply touching them, and saying, “Rise, and have no fear.” We need to hear Jesus saying that a lot more than we do, in our own lives. How fearful we are! It speaks of the smallness, the immaturity of our faith. But Jesus says to us, over and over again, “Have no fear.” Consider Psalm 27: The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? Jesus is our Rock and our Salvation. What can man do to us?

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Law of Levity.”

The angels in Luke 2 told the shepherds, “Fear not, for behold, I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people.” The KJV says, “good tidings of great joy.” Regardless of which translation you read, there is good news being proclaimed, glad tidings of great joy! Do we accept this mystery? If so, this time of year should be a time that enables us “to see beyond the tragic” in our lives. It is truly a reminder that we need the joy and laughter that God gives us to keep us from taking the world too seriously. “The Christian law of levity says that whatever falls into the earth will rise again. Christian laughter is the echo of Christmas joy in us.”

If we believe what the angels told the shepherds that night (whenever it happened to be), our hearts “will be filled with the laughter of the Father.” Jesus told his disciples, in John 16:22, “So also you have sorrow now, but I will see you again, and your hearts will rejoice, and no one will take your joy from you.” May we experience this joy as we approach the time of year we call Christmas.

Rejoice in that day, and leap for joy,
for behold, your reward is great in heaven;
for so their fathers did to the prophets.

Luke 6:23

Father, I pray that this joy would be prevalent in my life and that nothing would be allowed to taint it. I believe in the “good tidings of great joy” that the angels proclaimed to the shepherds! Let that joy flood my soul today, no matter what happens. There should be no earthly circumstance that can take that joy away from us. I also pray that I would continue trying with all my heart to listen to Jesus on a daily basis. He is my Rock and my Salvation. Whom shall I fear? Any time that I am tempted to be afraid, I pray that your Spirit will tap me on the shoulder and point to the words of Jesus in today’s Gospel passage, “Rise, and have no fear!”

I pray for this day, that we will have safe and smooth passage to and from work. May your grace and mercy fill our work day today, that we might share your Kingdom with all around us, in whatever way you give us. I pray for Stephanie, that she would know your overwhelming love. I also pray for the ladies’ Huddle that meets tonight. Show them your will; show them your Word; teach them to be disciples and how to make disciples, as they learn how to love you, follow Christ, and share the Kingdom.

The angels declared good tidings of great joy. I pray that you can know that joy today.

Grace and peace, friends.