My God, Search Me Out!

“Do we believe that God can garrison the imagination far beyond where we can go?”~~Oswald Chambers

“The man who never in his mind and thoughts travel’d to heaven is no artist.”~~William Blake

Today’s word of the day, from, is offing. This does not, as one might expect, have anything to do with ridding the earth of one’s enemies, such as in organized crime. Rather, it is a noun, meaning, “the more distant part of the sea seen from the shore, beyond the anchoring ground,” or, “a position at a distance from shore.”

Today is Play God Day. Judging from a number of Facebook posts, I know quite a few people who do that every day.

I had a pretty good day at work, yesterday. I might almost call it a “great” day. It was a good way to wind up a pretty tough week, and, as an added bonus, we all got to go home on time! On a Friday!! It was legen . . . wait for it . . . DARY!! We wound up having BBQ for dinner and watching the series premier of Angel from Hell, Jane Lynch’s new series where she plays a woman who claims to be another woman’s “guardian angel.” It was interesting. We’ll watch a couple more, at least, to see where it goes. I’m not sure I can see it having much staying power, though. Lynch was pretty good in her role, though. We watched a couple more Criminal Minds, and then I played Fallout 4 for a while, having not had a chance to play since last Sunday.

This morning, Christi is putting a bookshelf together while I do my rambling in here. Not sure what we will do after that. I think we are planning to go see Star Wars with Rachel and Justin tomorrow afternoon, so we will probably hit up the grocery store later.

The Powerball lottery is up to an unprecedented $900 million for tonight’s drawing. Officials claim that 65% of the possible combinations have been sold. I rarely buy lottery tickets, but I have for this one. No harm in throwing away a few bucks for a chance to win nearly a billion, right?

On this date in 1493, Christopher Columbus, while sailing near the Dominican Republic, mistook three manatees for mermaids, writing that they were “not half as beautiful as they are painted.”

Today’s birthdays include:

1554–Pope Gregory XV
1901–Chic Young, American cartoonist, Blondie
1913–Richard M. Nixon, 37th President of the United States
1925–Lee Van Cleef, American actor, spaghetti westerns
1928–Judith Krantz, American author
1931–Algis Budrys, American author
1933–Wilbur Smith, Zambian-British novelist
1934–Bart Starr, American football player
1935–Dick Enberg, American sportscaster
1935–Bob Denver, American actor, Gilligan’s Island, Dobie Gillis
1936–Anne Rivers Siddons, American writer
1939–Susannah York, British actress, They Shoot Horses, Don’t They?
1941–Joan Baez, American singer/songwriter
1944–Jimmy Page, British guitarist, Led Zeppelin
1948–Bill Cowsill, American singer
1950–David Johansen, American singer, New York Dolls
1951–Crystal Gayle, American country singer
1955–J.K. Simmons, American actor, The Closer
1965–Joely Richardson, British actress, Nip Tuck
1967–Dave Matthews, South African singer/musician
1967–Steve Harwell, American singer, Smash Mouth
1967–Carl Bell, American musician, Fuel
1968–Joey Lauren Adams, American actress
1973–Angela Bettis, American actress, Carrie
1982–Kate Middleton, yes, that Kate Middleton
1989–Nina Dobrev, Bulgarian actress, Vampire Diaries

Wow, that’s a lot of birthdays! It is very difficult to pick just one of those to highlight . . . let’s see . . .

I’ll surprise everyone, here. Bart Starr was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in the mid to late sixties, along the same time frame that my all time favorite quarterback, Don Meredith, was the QB for the Dallas Cowboys. My strongest memory of Bart Starr is in this infamous game against the Cowboys in 1967. With 16 seconds left in the “Ice Bowl,” the Cowboys led 17-14. Bart Starr performed his now famous “Quarterback Sneak,” scoring a touchdown. The Packers would win the game, which was, at that time, the “World Championship” (there was no Super Bowl, yet), 21-17.

By the way, Starr and his wife have been married for over 60 years.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens.
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
When I look at your heavens, the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place,
what is man that you are mindful of him, and the son of man that you care for him?
Yet you have made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor.

You have given him dominion over the works of your hands; you have put all things under his feet,
all sheep and oxen, and also the beasts of the field,
the birds of the heavens, and the fish of the sea, whatever passes along the paths of the seas.
O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth!

Psalm 8

Compared to the universe, human beings are midgets, in physical size; barely noticeable, specks of “cosmic dust.” However, in spiritual terms, they are giants. In the purposes and plans of the Creator, “crowned . . . with glory and honor.”

“Lord, I look at the skies and am humbled–I am such a minute item in your creation. Then I listen to your word and am exalted–I am such an honored child! ‘How majestic is thy name in all the earth!’ Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Thessalonians 5:23

“The great mystical work of the Holy Spirit is in the dim regions of our personality which we cannot get at.” I think it is worth reading that sentence a few more times to get the gist of it, to truly comprehend what Chambers is saying, here.

Chambers paraphrases Psalm 139, one of my favorites:

Thou art the God of the early mornings,
the God of the late at night,
the God of the mountain peaks,
and the God of the sea;
but, my God, my soul has further horizons than the early mornings,
deeper darkness than the nights of earth,
higher peaks than any mountain peaks,
greater depths than any sea in nature–
Thou who are the God of all these,
be my God.
I cannot reach to the heights or to the depths;
there are motives I cannot trace,
dreams I cannot get at–
my God, search me out.

“Do we believe that God can garrison the imagination far beyond where we can go?” We believe that the blood of Jesus Christ cleanses us from all sin. But “if that means in conscious experience only, may God have mercy on us.” To “garrison” means to defend or to guard, to place troops around. Do we truly believe that God can, by way of the Holy Spirit, defend our innermost being? “Cleansing from sin is to the very heights and depths of our spirit if we will keep in the light as God is in the light, and the very Spirit that fed the life of Jesus Christ will feed the life or our spirits.”

These are some amazing truths that we should allow our minds to dwell on more than we do.

Father, stretch my mind and my spirit to truly believe these truths. I have read this particular devotional reading at least four times in my life, probably more. Every time I read it, it staggers me. Yet, I continue to walk away and forget what I have read. I pray for this truth to stick with me, this time. Garrison my imagination! Take it farther down than I could ever go, to places that i cannot reach, to those motives that I cannot trace and those dreams I cannot get at. Search me, O God, and then cleanse me, inside and out. My heart’s desire is that I not only be cleansed from outward sin, but that my very being would be cleansed from ever desiring to sin again.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

We’ve Got To Pray, Just To Make It Today

Good morning. It’s pre-Friday, January 9, 2014. The first real “pre-Friday” of 2014. (Last week didn’t count, because Thursday was the first work day of the week for me, so it was really “Monday.” I only had Monday and Friday last week. That’s my kind of work week!)

Today is “Static Electricity Day.” I remember making balloons stick to the wall when I was a kid. Here’s a bunch of static electricity demonstrations that must have been recorded in a school classroom.

On this date in 2007, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPhone. Has it really only been seven years? The iPhone was debuted as a “touchscreen mobile phone with an iPod, camera and Web-browsing capabilities, among other features.” Jobs, himself, described the iPhone as “revolutionary and magical product that is literally five years ahead of any other mobile phone.” It went on sale six months later, on June 29, and thousands of people lined up at Apple stores to be the first to have one. In November of that same year, almost 1.5 million had been sold, and Time magazine named it the invention of the year. Fast forward seven years. We are all captivated by our phones.

Today’s birthdays are Chic Young, cartoonist (Blondie), 1901, Richard Nixon, 37th U.S. President, 1913, Gypsy Rose Lee, actress, 1914, Judith Krantz, author, 1928, Bart Starr, quarterback, 1934, Bob Denver, 1935, Anne Rivers Siddons, author, 1936, Joan Baez, singer/songwriter 1941, Jimmy Page, guitarist (Led Zeppelin), 1944, Crystal Gayle, country singer, 1951, J.K. Simmons, actor, 1955, Dave Matthews, musician, 1967, and Kate Middleton, duchess of Cambridge and wife of Prince William, 1982.

Bart Starr was the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers in the era of the infamous Ice Bowl of 1967. Here is the quarterback sneak that won that game for Green Bay.


(From The Divine Hours)

Psalm 47:5-8 God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!

Psalm 70:4 May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!”
Psalm 13:5-6 But I have trusted in your steadfast love; my heart shall rejoice in your salvation.
I will sing to the LORD, because he has dealt bountifully with me.

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.
(The Gloria)

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “God’s Voice in Prayer.”

Why do we struggle so much with “being human?” Why do we walk a thin line between “self-hatred and despair?” Could it be that we don’t pray? “We pray so little, so rarely, and so poorly.” Oh, we have plenty of time for other things! “Visits, get-togethers, movies, football games, concerts, an evening with friends, an invitation we can’t decline . . .” And guess what! These are all good things! They are good, because it is “natural and wholesome that we come together in community.” But when God wants some of our time, we hesitate. We struggle with believing that God delights in talking with his children.

If we could look God in the face, what kind of face would he be making? Would it be saying, “When are you going to shape up? I’m fed up with you and your hang-ups. My patience is exhausted. We’re going to have a little reckoning!” If he said only one word to us, would it be “Repent?” Or would he, perhaps, say, “Thank you. Do you know what a joy it is to live in your heart? Do you know that I have looked upon you and loved you for all eternity?”

Jeremiah 29:12-13 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me,
and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with
all your heart.

Father, keep teaching me to pray. I feel that I have done somewhat better with this over the past couple of years, but there is still much room for improvement. You have asked me to be an intercessor, and I have tried to walk that path. But i’m still learning how to do it. I’m still learning how to pour out my heart and soul for the sake of others, and, to be honest, I’m not sure I get it, yet. I still think i don’t pray enough. Or perhaps I don’t pray properly. I get too easily distracted by other things, even when there is no other activity going on. I pray for your Spirit to teach me to pray. I pray, also, for all of your children to understand the necessity of prayer in their lives. It’s not just something for people who are called to be intercessors. Prayer is not a magic formula that can only be used by those who are properly trained. It is our life-blood, Lord. It is our breath. We should not be able to live without it.

I pray for this day. I ask for relief from pain for Christi. Lately, her hip and back have been bothering her. But you know this. I pray that you would touch her and relieve her pain. May our work day be good today. May our day be full of you and your Spirit. May we frequently stop and remember to pray, praying for whatever you bring to our minds at the time. I also ask that you would give Stephanie understanding and wisdom, teaching her your way, that she may walk in it.

I pray especially for Alicia Rojas and her mother this morning. Things are not well for her, and her mother is not doing well, in the hospital. Life has been very difficult for them lately. I pray that you would impress upon some people to give them assistance. But I also pray for healing for her mother.

Your grace is sufficient.

Say a prayer for your day. Talk to your Father. He delights in talking to you, because he loves you with a never-ending love.

Grace and peace, friends.