Reminding God What He Said

Today is Friday, the third of September, 2021.

Shalom Aleichem!

Day 23,185

Three days until Labor Day!

C’s surgery went well, yesterday. It took roughly the expected amount of time, and the doctor said everything went as planned. After about another hour and a half, I finally got to visit her in the room. Currently, we are not allowed in recovery.

She was in pain, but the initial blockers were still working, plus she was trying to “stay ahead of the pain” with the push-button pain relief in her IV. She was groggy and falling in and out of sleep, which is to be expected.

Around 3:00 PM, the PT person arrived, with the goal of simply getting C to stand up, assisted by a walker. C, being the habitual over-achiever that she is, wound up walking around the nurses’ station twice! She used the walker, but had no assistance (that I could see) from the therapist. Last night, around 9:00, she texted me to tell me that she walked around three times, the second time, and that the attending nurse (the PT will be back this morning) was certain that she would be released today.

This morning, she has noted on Facebook that the blocker has worn off, and that the pain is a little more intense. She still has the IV pain meds, though. I’m not sure what all they have prescribed her for home, but she already has most, if not all of it, here at the house. I know that Hydrocodone is one of them. She is slightly afraid of that particular medication, but I feel relatively sure that she will take at least some of them.

In about fifteen minutes, I’m due to take Cleopatra to the vet clinic for her spaying. I hid all of the food and water in R’s old bedroom, last night, and put the toilet lids down, because I have observed Cleo drinking from the toilet. This morning, when I got up at 6:00, all the cats were looking at me, like, “Well???” I told them I would feed them after I got back from the vet clinic, but I don’t think they understood me. As a matter of fact, Rocky (Russian Blue, short for Rachmaninoff) is, at this exact moment, attempting to lift the toilet lid in the master bathroom. Or it might have been Luna (tuxedo kitty).

I also told Cleo to not be discouraged, that we were not, in fact, abandoning her, even though it might seem that way. I don’t think she understood me, either. But perhaps reassuring tones of voice help.

Anyway, in about five minutes, or so, I will be interrupting my typing to take her to the vet.

Okay. I’m back, and have made my breakfast. Thanks for waiting.

I would like to share a story; something that happened to me, yesterday afternoon, while I was driving home from the hospital. I was on Hwy 183, westbound, when I heard a horrendous, loud, “POW,” and I swear I felt vibrations, as though I had struck something. But there was nothing close that I could have hit. However, two lanes over to my left, there was an eighteen-wheeler, and I glimpsed pieces of rubber flying off of one of its rear trailer tires. I can only assume that it had a blowout! The driver never lost control, though, and, as I passed and moved on ahead, saw that the truck was gradually switching lanes and moving over to the right side.

It sounded like a shotgun had gone off next to me. I confess that I might have said a swear.

I have spoken with C, this morning, and, while still in pain, she is doing better. She said that they have taken her push-button away and have moved her to taking pills. It sounds like the coming home time will be largely up to her, if she feels that she has gotten to a point where the pain is well-regulated. We are thinking about later, this evening, after I pick up Cleopatra from the clinic.

Today is Lazy Mom’s Day. The “Mom” of our house will certainly be being somewhat “lazy” today, but not totally by choice. I, on the other hand, having somewhat assumed the role of “Mr. Mom,” will only spend part of the day being lazy. There are definitely a few chores that need to be handled, today, one of which has already been done (taking aforementioned kitty to the vet). However, I feel relatively certain that there will be some gaming time.

The word for today is moratorium, a noun, which means, “a suspension of activity.” Last night, there was a moratorium on cats getting to eat or drink. Said moratorium has been lifted, as of 7:45 this morning.

Today’s quote is from Jules Renard: “Love is like an hourglass, with the heart filling up as the brain empties.” I remember moments when that is definitely true, most especially during adolescence. Jules Renard was a French dramatist.

And here are some folks who were born on September 3:

Mort Walker (Beetle Bailey, Hi & Lois), 1923-2018
Eileen Brennan (Laugh-In, Pvt Benjamin), 1932-2013
Freddie King (singer of the Blues), 1934-1976, born in Gilmer, TX
Don Brewer, drummer (Grand Funk Railroad), 73 years old today
Aaron "A-Train" Smith, drummer (The Temptations, The 77s, Rich Mullins), is 71 years old today. I am honored to be Facebook friends with Aaron.
Clare Kramer (Glory in Buffy the Vampire Slayer), is 47 today
Freddie King (1934-1976)
Don Brewer, drummer, 73 today. I never knew, until today, that he sang lead on this song!
Aaron “A-Train” Smith on drums.
Clare Kramer turns 47.


Come Let Me, by Daryl Madden

With so much to do
Feeling so stressed
With the gift of my peace
Come let me, give you rest

Such worries and fear
Things out of control
With the gift of my grace
Come let me, heal your soul

The effects of sin
So great is your pain
With the gift of my mercy
Come let me, free the chains

In times of despair
Is hard to cope
With the gift of my joy
Come let me, give you hope

With promises of man
Each temptation flawed
With the gift of my love
Come let me, be your God

I’ve probably been feeling more stressed these last two days than I have in the last month (which is virtually not at all), so this poem came at a perfect time for me. Thank you, brother Daryl!

My heart is confident in you, O God; my heart is confident. No wonder I can sing your praises! Wake up, my heart! Wake up, O lyre and harp! I will wake the dawn with my song. I will thank you, Lord, among all the people. I will sing your praises among the nations. For your unfailing love is as high as the heavens. Your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Be exalted, O God, above the highest heavens. May your glory shine over all the earth.
(Psalms 57:7-11 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the confidence that I have in You
2. that I can sing Your praises, as well as play the "lyre and harp" (guitar and piano will have to suffice)
3. that Your glory will one day shine over all the earth
4. for Your patience with me/us
5. that we, with boldness, can quote Your Word back to You

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



I will praise you, Lord, for everyone to hear, and I will sing hymns to you in every nation. Your love reaches higher than the heavens; your loyalty extends beyond the clouds.
(Psalms 57:9-10 CEV)

During this quiet time, I stop to reflect on the praises that are due You, O Lord. I don’t praise You enough. Reflecting back on yesterday’s readings, I find that my natural bent is still toward grumbling or complaining. May Your Holy Spirit continue to change me until that natural inclination becomes praise!


For the director of music. A psalm of David.

Hear me, my God, as I voice my complaint; protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Hide me from the conspiracy of the wicked, from the plots of evildoers. They sharpen their tongues like swords and aim cruel words like deadly arrows. They shoot from ambush at the innocent; they shoot suddenly, without fear.

They encourage each other in evil plans, they talk about hiding their snares; they say, “Who will see it?” They plot injustice and say, “We have devised a perfect plan!” Surely the human mind and heart are cunning.

But God will shoot them with his arrows; they will suddenly be struck down. He will turn their own tongues against them and bring them to ruin; all who see them will shake their heads in scorn.
(Psalms 64:1-8 NIV)

That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud. All the Israelites grumbled against Moses and Aaron, . . .
Then the glory of the LORD appeared at the tent of meeting to all the Israelites. The LORD said to Moses, “How long will these people treat me with contempt? How long will they refuse to believe in me, in spite of all the signs I have performed among them? I will strike them down with a plague and destroy them, but I will make you into a nation greater and stronger than they.”
Moses said to the LORD, “Then the Egyptians will hear about it! By your power you brought these people up from among them. . . .
“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
The LORD replied, “I have forgiven them, as you asked. Nevertheless, as surely as I live and as surely as the glory of the LORD fills the whole earth, not one of those who saw my glory and the signs I performed in Egypt and in the wilderness but who disobeyed me and tested me ten times— not one of them will ever see the land I promised on oath to their ancestors. No one who has treated me with contempt will ever see it. But because my servant Caleb has a different spirit and follows me wholeheartedly, I will bring him into the land he went to, and his descendants will inherit it.”
(Numbers 14:1-2A, 10B-13, 17-24 NIV)


As I remain aware of the presence of the Lord, this morning, I linger over these passages, asking the Holy Spirit to show me something that applies to my life, during these times.

I find it ironic that, as I struggle to lean away from complaining, the passage from Psalms begins with a complaint.

David, however, is “complaining” about actual, human enemies. Any complaint that I might express usually involves some kind of inconvenience that has been thrust upon me. I rarely, if ever, have legitimate grounds for grumbling or complaining. Perhaps that is what I’m supposed to glean from this, today.

“You think you’ve got it bad? David had people shooting from ambush at him. They tried to kill him; they tried to steal his kingdom. Anybody trying to do that to you?”

Despite what many of us seem to think, we are all in pretty much the same “boat.” Therefore, our complaints are, largely, without merit.

We should keep reading, however, in Psalm 64. Verse 8 brings it all together.

The righteous will rejoice in the LORD and take refuge in him; all the upright in heart will glory in him!
(Psalms 64:10 NIV)

We might also remind ourselves that, when God does act, He does it for His own glory and for the sake of His own Name.

In the Numbers passage, the Lord had had enough of the grumbling of the ungrateful, short-sighted Israelites. (Honestly, I don’t believe He really planned to strike them all down. Perhaps He was testing Moses. You know what? What do I know?? I don’t have a clue. God knows everything, so He already knew how Moses would react to His threats.) He threatened to wipe out the Israelites, altogether, and turn Moses into an even greater nation. Was this an appeal to Moses’s vanity?? As it says in the parentheses, I do not presume to know the mind of the Almighty, at this point.)

But Moses, thank God, would have none of it. He stood up, not for his own glory or sake, but for the honor of the Name of the Lord!

Today’s Church must stop and ask herself, “Are we doing that, today? Are we standing up for the honor of the name of the Lord when we bicker amongst ourselves over our “freedoms” and “rights?”

Moses even quoted God back to Him! Talk about boldness!

“Now may the Lord’s strength be displayed, just as you have declared: ‘The LORD is slow to anger, abounding in love and forgiving sin and rebellion. Yet he does not leave the guilty unpunished; he punishes the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation.’ In accordance with your great love, forgive the sin of these people, just as you have pardoned them from the time they left Egypt until now.”
(Numbers 14:17-19 NIV)

And the Lord hears Moses, and forgives them. One thing to learn from this passage is that we can safely remind God what He said. It would probably be best, though, if we make sure that He really said it before we try that. I hear a lot of people claiming that God said things that He never said.

“God will never give you more than you can handle.”

“God helps those who help themselves.”

“God wants you to be rich and healthy.”

I’m sure you can think of others.

I’m not sure what to think about what I have written, this morning. I’m leaving it as is, though. Sometimes, I can come across as a bit “snarky.” But these last couple of days have been more than a little bit stressful. Yesterday’s blog was full of distractions and interruptions, and was completed on an iPad at the surgery hospital, in a room that must have been around forty degrees.

Nevertheless, I think I have gleaned some lessons. First, in continuation of yesterday’s post, learn how to live life without grumbling or complaining. For one thing, I don’t have it so bad, and for another thing, it almost got the Israelites eradicated. Second, learn the Word of the Lord. I can’t quote it back to Him, like Moses did, unless I know it. And it surely won’t do anyone any good to “quote” things back to God that He never said.

Father, I am so grateful for Your Word. It gives me so much in my life. It is so precious and so valuable. From it, I can receive everything that I need for life and godly living. From it, I see Your very great and precious promises, in which I can participate in Your nature, and escape the corruption of the world. Now, just help me to do this. And help me, please, to stop whining and grumbling about minor inconveniences. Just this morning, I found myself all disgruntled because I had to wait longer at the vet clinic than I though I should have. In comparison to Saul trying to kill David (throwing spears at him and stuff), that doesn’t seem so bad. In all seriousness, I love You Father, and I want to live my life in a way that shows that. Help me to excel at my two jobs, loving You and loving people. Loving people is a lot harder than loving You, but I guess You already know that, don’t You?

Lord, please give me great wonder at the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. Give us all the capacity to suffer alongside other people. And I especially lift up those who are orphaned, along with those who care for them.

I hear Moses pray,
describing Your character and bombarding You with appeals to Your promises.
Give me that same hope-filled boldness,
which flows out of an intimacy with Jesus,
my praying mediator.
And help me,
like Moses,
to pray even for those who treat You with contempt and refuse to believe.
Forgive and show them Your mercy.
In the name of Jesus,

Then Jesus told his disciples a parable to show them that they should always pray and not give up.
(Luke 18:1 NIV)

“What I learn again and again . . . is that the problems that twist me up so tightly and painfully today will unwind. The mere, mundane passage of time has a softening effect, yes. But the wiping away of every tear, the bracing wind of forgiveness, and the joyful acceptance of my life as He wills it come from God.”
(Amy Eddings, Daily Guideposts 2021)

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him.
(1 John 5:14-15 NIV)

Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.
(Philippians 4:6 NIV)

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

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 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Aaron and the Golden Calf

Today is Wednesday, the twenty-fifth of August, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,176

Twelve days until Labor Day (Monday, September 6).

The big news of the day is actually yesterday’s news. Ironically, when I got dressed for work, yesterday, I chose a mask to wear. Masks are not required where I work, but many people do wear them, and I choose to wear one when in close proximity to someone else. The mask I chose to wear, yesterday, was this one.

Imagine my shock when, moments after I began working, the announcement came that Charlie Watts, the drummer for the Rolling Stones, had died.

He was eighty years old, and had been the drummer for the Stones since 1963.

My new job continues to be fabulous, and I continue to say that it is the best job I’ve ever had. I have recently gotten some positive comments on my performance, so that’s good. The atmosphere is so much more relaxed than where I came from, that it’s rather hard to get used to. But that is a pleasant “challenge.” I learned a few more new things yesterday, and I’m sure that will continue for a while. Just as in anything, when you are training a person for a job, there are always things that you won’t remember to talk about, because the situations don’t always come up. But when they do, then there is the learning opportunity. And the culture that the City of Hurst promotes is quite admirable, based on what I have heard and seen in the past week.

Today, I am scheduled to work from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, and then I am off for the rest of the week. Next week is going to be a tough week, though. I work Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday, then C has her back surgery on Thursday, and on Friday, Cleopatra (new kitten) is getting spayed. C might come home on Friday, but it may also be Saturday, and I am scheduled to work on Saturday. However, I have spoken to my manager, and they seem willing to work with me on that.

Today is Kiss and Make Up Day. I don’t know that we have anything to “make up” for, but I’m good with the kissing part!

The word for today is mishpocha, a Yiddish word that means, “an entire family network comprising relatives by blood and marriage; clan.” “I see you invited the whole mishpocha.”

Today’s quote is from Anne Frank: “I don’t think of all the misery but of the beauty that still remains.” That’s a rather sobering statement, don’t you think?

And now for today’s birthdays:

1530 Ivan IV [Ivan the Terrible], 1st tsar of Russia (1533-84), born in Kolomenskoye, Russia (d. 1584)
1819 Allan Pinkerton, American private detective and founder of Chicago detective agency, born in Glasgow (d. 1894)
1845 Ludwig II, Mad king of Bavaria (1864-86), born in Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany (d. 1886) (builder of Neuschwanstein Castle)
1908 Philip Coolidge, American actor (North by Northwest, I Want to Live, Tingler), born in Concord, Massachusetts
1909 Michael Rennie, British actor (The Day the Earth Stood Still--Klaatu), born in Idle, West Yorkshire, England (d. 1971)
1913 Walt Kelly, American cartoonist and animator (Pogo), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1973)
1913 Don DeFore, American actor (George-Hazel, The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet), born in Cedar Rapids, Iowa (d. 1993)
1916 Van Johnson, American actor (Brigadoon) always wore red socks, born in Newport, Rhode Island (d. 2008)
1918 Leonard Bernstein, American conductor and composer (West Side Story), born in Lawrence, Massachusetts (d. 1990)
1918 Richard Greene, English composer and actor (The Adventures of Robin Hood), born in Plymouth, Devon, England (d. 1985)
1921 Monty Hall, Canadian-American TV game show host (Let's Make a Deal), born in Winnipeg Canada (d. 2017)
1930 Sir Sean Connery, Scottish actor and producer (James Bond films, Indiana Jones), born in Edinburgh, Scotland (d. 2020)
1930 Graham Jarvis, Canadian actor (Mary Hartman, Mary Hartman - "Charlie"; Misery; 7th Heaven), born in Toronto, Ontario (d. 2003)
1931 Regis Philbin, American talk & game show host (Joey Bishop Show; Live with Regis & Kathie Lee; Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?), born in The Bronx, New York (d. 2020)
1933 Tom Skerritt, actor (Ryan's Four, Alien, Big Bad Mama), born in Detroit, Michigan
1938 David Canary, actor (Bonanza, All My Children), born in Elwood, Indiana (d. 2015)
1938 Frederick Forsyth, British author (Day of the Jackal, Deceiver, Odessa File), born in Ashford, Kent, England
1939 John Badham, English-born American director (Dracula, Short Circuit), born in Luton, England
1944 Anthony Heald, actor (Orphans, Silence of Lambs), born in New Rochelle, New York
1946 Rollie Fingers, American baseball relief pitcher (Oakland Athletics, AL MVP, Cy Young Award 1981), born in Steubenville, Ohio
1949 Henry Paul, American southern rock and county guitarist and singer (Outlaws - "Green Grass And High Tides"; Blackhawk), born in Kingston, New York
1951 Rob Halford, English heavy metal singer-songwriter (Judas Priest - Got Another Thing), born in Sutton Coldfield, England
1951 Bob Mayo, American session keyboardist (Peter Frampton), born in New York City (d. 2004)
1952 Geoff Downes, English keyboardist (Buggles, Yes, Asia), born in Stockport, Cheshire, England
1954 Elvis Costello [Declan Patrick McManus], English rock singer and songwriter (Allison; Watching The Detectives; The Other Side Of Summer), born in Paddington, London
1954 Marty Jourard, American keyboardist and vocalist (Motels-Only the Lonely), born in Atlanta, Georgia
1955 John McGeoch, Scottish rock guitarist (Magazine: Siouxsie and the Banshees - "Spellbound"; Visage; Public Image Ltd.), born in Greenock, Scotland (d. 2004)
1958 Tim Burton, American film director (Beetlejuice, Edward Scissorhands), born in Burbank, California
1961 Billy Ray Cyrus, American country singer (Achy Breaky Heart), born in Flatwoods, Kentucky
1964 Vassilios Kotronias, Greek chess grandmaster, born in Athens, Greece
1964 Marti Noxon, American television writer and producer, born in Los Angeles, California
1966 Albert Belle, American baseball outfielder (Cleveland Indians; 5-time MLB All-Star), born in Shreveport, Louisiana
1966 Derek Sherinian, American keyboardist (Dream Theater; Sons Of Apollo), born in Laguna Beach, California
1967 Jeff Tweedy, American singer-songwriter (Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot), born in Belleville, Illinois
1968 Rachael Ray, American TV personality and chef, born in Glen Falls, New York
1970 Claudia Schiffer, German supermodel and fashion designer (Elle, Rolling Stone), born in Rheinbach, Germany
1970 Doug Glanville, outfielder (Chicago Cubs), born in Hackensack, New York
1976 Alexander Skarsgård, Swedish actor (True Blood, Big Little Lies), born in Stockholm, Sweden
1978 Kel Mitchell, American actor (All That, Good Burger)
1981 Rachel Bilson, American actress
1987 Blake Lively, American actress (Gossip Girl), born in Los Angeles, California
1987 Justin Upton, American baseball player

You can click HERE to see the rest of the names that I didn't include. But be warned. You will see the birthdays for whatever day you happen to click on the link.
Neuschwanstein Castle, built by the mad king Ludwig II, of Bavaria
Michael Rennie (1909-1971) plays Klaatu in The Day the Earth Stood Still
Leonard Bernstein (1918-1990)
Marti Noxon, a writer for BtVS, appears in this clip as the parking ticket lady


Lord, I dedicate this day to You.
May my feet walk only where You want them to walk.
May my eyes see only what You want them to see.
May my ears hear only what You want them to hear.
May my mouth say only what You want it to say.
May my mind think only what You want it to think.

Have mercy on me, O God, because of your unfailing love.
Because of your great compassion, blot out the stain of my sins.
Wash me clean from my guilt.
Purify me from my sin.
For I recognize my rebellion; it haunts me day and night.
Against you, and you alone, have I sinned; I have done what is evil in your sight.
You will be proved right in what you say, and your judgment against me is just.
(Psalms 51:1-4 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Your great mercy and unfailing love
2. that You have washed me clean from my sin and guilt
3. that You have made me to cast my cares on You, that I might never be shaken
4. that You forgive us, even when we create and follow our own "golden calves"
5. for the quiet rest of Your presence

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



GOD, your name is eternal, GOD, you’ll never be out-of-date.
(Psalms 135:13 MSG)

I pause to consider the mercies of the Lord, how they are new every morning, for His faithfulness is great, and His steadfast love, everlasting.


For the director of music. With stringed instruments. A maskil of David.

Listen to my prayer, O God, do not ignore my plea; hear me and answer me.

My heart is in anguish within me; the terrors of death have fallen on me.
Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “Oh, that I had the wings of a dove! I would fly away and be at rest.
I would flee far away and stay in the desert;
I would hurry to my place of shelter, far from the tempest and storm.”

Cast your cares on the LORD and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken.
(Psalms 55:1-2A, 4-8, 22 NIV)


When the people saw that Moses was so long in coming down from the mountain, they gathered around Aaron and said, “Come, make us gods who will go before us. As for this fellow Moses who brought us up out of Egypt, we don’t know what has happened to him.”
Aaron answered them, “Take off the gold earrings that your wives, your sons and your daughters are wearing, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off their earrings and brought them to Aaron. He took what they handed him and made it into an idol cast in the shape of a calf, fashioning it with a tool. Then they said, “These are your gods, Israel, who brought you up out of Egypt.”
When Aaron saw this, he built an altar in front of the calf and announced, “Tomorrow there will be a festival to the LORD.” So the next day the people rose early and sacrificed burnt offerings and presented fellowship offerings. Afterward they sat down to eat and drink and got up to indulge in revelry.
(Exodus 32:1-6 NIV)


As I read these passages again, today, choosing to read them out loud, so as to hear the Word of God, I look for inspiration from the Holy Spirit.

I am frequently able to identify with the psalmist who wishes that he had wings and could fly away to the desert, far away from the “tempest and storm.” But here’s the thing. We can’t do that, can we? And, when we skip all the way to verse 22, as today’s reading does, we see the only solution.

Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you. He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.

“Shaken.” The Hebrew word, mot, is translated various ways. The KJV translates it “moved” in this particular verse. It has also been translated “removed,” “slip,” “carried,” and a few other ways. It means, “to waver; by implication, to slip, shake, fall:—be carried, cast, be out of course, be fallen in decay.”

But what happens when we are shaken? Or at least we feel as though we have been shaken? I’m not sure I have an answer for that. I do know, from experience, that, when things happen that threaten to shake or move me, there is generally, it seems, a strong sense of God’s presence soon afterward. This also usually involves another person’s encouragement, another saint who might come alongside and walk with you, through the crisis.

This is one reason we are not meant to walk this road alone.

The Israelites were certainly “moved” in our reading from Exodus, today. This is one of the most tragic scenes in their history. Remember a few days ago, when they said, “We will do everything the Lord has said”? And now this?? And Aaron just goes right along with them!

Fast forward a few thousand years to find “God’s people” flocking after a politician like a cult leader. None of us is immune.

I have cast my cares on the Lord. I have two jobs. Love God and love people. I am doing the best I can (I hope) to accomplish both of these without being dragged down by political debates. It’s tough, though, especially when considering the well-being of your fellow man becomes a political issue.

What’s even harder, during these days, is the piece about forgiveness. But God forgives. He didn’t wipe out Israel, even though He would have been completely justified to do so. And since God has forgiven, and we are followers of Christ, we are obligated to forgive. Yes. We HAVE to. It is not an option. Otherwise, we have that chilling statement from Jesus, immediately following the “Lord’s Prayer.”

But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.
(Matthew 6:15 NLT)

Father, there is some strong language in those words of Jesus, and we tend to gloss over them, trying to explain them away, somehow. I’m not sure about that. I’m thinking that we need to take them more seriously. I cry out to You to help us, Lord. Help us to forgive one another. Help us to love You with every part of our being, and help us to love one another as Christ loved us. Help us to treat others as we would have others treat us. Make us stop and think before we speak or comment on social media. Teach us to live in the country of forgiveness. Forgive us when we run after “golden calves” in our own lives. And certainly help any of us who might be the instigator in such running after. May we never do so.

Lord, I pray for all of our communities, local and national. May You protect us and show us Your presence, daily. I specifically lift up the continent of Antarctica, today. I also pray for the many areas of hunger, famine, and disease. I also pray, specifically for Haiti, today, Father. Have mercy, Lord!

"One true God,
the notion of images and idols seems so primitive,
yet they still threaten to steal the worship of my heart.
I set out to worship you but end up adoring my own experience,
or I take greater pleasure in the music than you.
Forgive me for all my misguided  worship;
renew my focus on you alone.


May Jesus himself and God our Father, who reached out in love and surprised you with gifts of unending help and confidence, put a fresh heart in you, invigorate your work, enliven your speech.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 MSG)

A voice said, “Shout!” I asked, “What should I shout?” “Shout that people are like the grass. Their beauty fades as quickly as the flowers in a field. The grass withers and the flowers fade beneath the breath of the LORD. And so it is with people. The grass withers and the flowers fade, but the word of our God stands forever.”
(Isaiah 40:6-8 NLT)

“And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?”
(Matthew 6:28-30 NLT)

As he went into the tent, the pillar of cloud would come down and hover at its entrance while the LORD spoke with Moses. When the people saw the cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, they would stand and bow down in front of their own tents.
(Exodus 33:9-10 NLT)

You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

“Prayer is about dwelling. It’s the dwelling of God and man together. So the deepest part of prayer is that of dwelling in the dwelling of God . . . being present in the presence of God.”

(From The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn)

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let me dwell in your tent forever! Let me take refuge under the shelter of your wings! Selah.
(Psalms 61:4 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.


Today is Friday, the twentieth of August, 2021.

Shalom Aleichem!

Day 23,171

Seventeen days until Labor Day, the next official holiday in the U.S.

The birthday celebrations have taken a bit of a bittersweet turn. The first thing that is causing this is that our dog, Tessie, is not doing well. Over the course of the past week or so, she has developed a condition in her hind legs that is giving her tremendous struggle in walking. It seems like it hurts her, but we are not sure. She hasn’t eaten consistently and, when she has eaten, she has some pretty gross diarrhea. So we aren’t sure what’s in the future for her.

The other thing has to do with our church. There seems to have developed a rift in our fellowship over some opinions that were shared last Sunday, concerning the vaccine and some who have elected to not receive it. That’s all I’m going to say about it, as the situation seems to be being resolved.

In the meantime, we are considering going to the zoo, later today. S has said that she would like to do that, and we haven’t been there in quite some time.

Today is World Mosquito Day. Why on earth would we have a day that celebrates mosquitos?? They answer that question in the link, should you care to read it.

The word for today is mickle. This is an archaic word that means, “great; large; much.”

Today’s quote, from Oscar Wilde, is, “Life is far too important a thing ever to talk seriously about.”

And now for today’s birthdays, right after I get back with another cup of coffee:

1561 Jacopo Peri, Italian composer and singer who wrote the 1st recognized opera "Dafne", born in Rome (d. 1633)
1833 Benjamin Harrison, 23rd President of the United States (Republican: 1889-93), born in North Bend, Ohio (d. 1901)
1890 H. P. Lovecraft, American horror writer (At the Mountains of Madness, Weird Tales), born in Providence, Rhode Island (d. 1937)
1905 Jack Teagarden [Weldon Leo Teagarden], American trombonist and actor (Meet Band Leaders), born in Vernon, Texas (d. 1964)
1907 Alan Reed, American actor (Breakfast at Tiffany's) and voice artist (Fred Flintstone, Lady and the Tramp), born in NYC, New York (d. 1977)
1918 Jacqueline Susann, American author (Valley of the Dolls), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1974)

1923 Jim Reeves, American country singer and actor (Gun Fury, Kimberley Jim), born in Panola County, Texas (d. 1964)
1926 Frank Rosolino, American jazz trombonist (The Frank Rosolino Sextet), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 1978)
1931 Don King, American boxing promoter best known for his association with Mike Tyson and for his unusual hairstyles, born in Cleveland, Ohio
1932 Anthony Ainley, British actor (Doctor Who), born in Stanmore, Middlesex (d. 2004)
1935 Ron Paul, American author and politician (3 times presidential candidate, 1988, 2008, 12), born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
1942 Isaac Hayes, American musician and composer (Shaft), born in Covington, Tennessee (d. 2008)
1943 Sylvester McCoy, Scottish actor (Seventh Doctor in Doctor Who), born in Dunoon
1944 Graig Nettles, American MLB 3rd baseman (NY Yankees, San Diego Padres, Cleveland Indians), born in San Diego, California
1946 Connie Chung [Constance Yu-Hwa Chung Povich], American news anchor (NBC, CBS), born in Washington, D.C.
1946 Ralf Hütter, German musician (Kraftwerk), born in Krefeld, Germany
1947 James Pankow, American trombonist, arranger and composer (Chicago - "Make Me Smile"; "Colour My World"), born in St. Louis, Missouri
1948 Robert Plant, English rock vocalist (Led Zeppelin), born in West Bromwich, England
1949 Phil Lynott, Irish rock singer and bass player (Thin Lizzy - "The Boys Are Back In Town"), born in West Bromwich, England. (d. 1986)
1951 Greg Bear, American sci-fi author (2 Hugos, Eon, Eternity), born in San Diego, California
1952 John Hiatt, American singer and songwriter (Have a Little Faith in Me), born in Indianapolis, Indiana
1952 Rudy Gatlin, American country singer (Gatlin Bros-Broken Lady), born in Olney, Texas
1952 Doug Fieger, American singer–songwriter (The Knack - "My Sharona"), born in Oak Park, Michigan (d. 2010)
1954 Al Roker, American weatherman (NBC, Today), born in Queens, New York
1956 Joan Allen, American actress (Peggy Sue Got Married, Tucker, In Country), born in Rochelle, Illinois
1956 Rick Olsen, American rock guitarist (Berlin-Take My Breath Away)
1962 James Marsters, American actor (Spike-Buffy the Vampire Slayer), born in Greenville, California
1966 "Dimebag" Darrell Abbott, American heavy metal guitarist (Pantera), born in Arlington, Texas (d. 2004)
1970 Fred Durst, American singer (Limp Bizkit), born in Gastonia, North Carolina
1971 Brad Avery, American musician (former guitarist for Third Day)
1974 Amy Adams, American actress and singer (Arrival, Man of Steel, American Hustle), born in Vicenza, Veneto, Italy
1979 Jamie Cullum, English singer-songwriter, pianist and radio presenter, born in Rochford, England
1992 Demi Lovato, American actress (Camp Rock) and singer/songwriter (Unbroken), born in Albuquerque, New Mexico
James Pankow, trombone player, is the writer of this suite of songs
James Marsters


O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, 
have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
have mercy upon us.
O, Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world,
grant us Your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

O God, we meditate on your unfailing love as we worship in your Temple.
As your name deserves, O God, you will be praised to the ends of the earth. Your strong right hand is filled with victory.
(Psalms 48:9-10 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Your steadfast, unfailing love
2. for the victory of Your strong right hand
3. for forgiveness, which is central in Your model prayer for us, and central to our very existence
4. for Your great and might acts, both in history and in our lives
5. for loving us, in spite of ourselves

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year


We will celebrate and praise you, LORD! You are good to us, and your love never fails.
(Psalms 106:1 CEV)

I pause for a moment to reflect on Your unfailing love, so grateful that Your love never fails, never gives up, and never runs out.


A psalm of Asaph.

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to where it sets.
From Zion, perfect in beauty, God shines forth.
Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.
He summons the heavens above, and the earth, that he may judge his people:
“Gather to me this consecrated people, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.”
And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, for he is a God of justice.
(Psalms 50:1-6 NIV)


Then the LORD said to Moses, “Stretch out your hand over the sea so that the waters may flow back over the Egyptians and their chariots and horsemen.” Moses stretched out his hand over the sea, and at daybreak the sea went back to its place. The Egyptians were fleeing toward it, and the LORD swept them into the sea. The water flowed back and covered the chariots and horsemen—the entire army of Pharaoh that had followed the Israelites into the sea. Not one of them survived.
But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant.
(Exodus 14:26-31 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I linger, asking the Holy Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.

The visual of Psalm 50:2 is beautiful to me. God shines forth from Zion, perfect in beauty.

When we read things like Psalm 50, it is easy to allow our misconceptions about God come through. I’ve written before about the dangers of thinking about God in terms of “us vs them.” We get this cockamamie idea in our brains that God is “on our side,” and then we read things like: “Our God comes and will not be silent; a fire devours before him, and around him a tempest rages.”

We then read our preconceived incorrect thoughts about God into those verses and get all self-confident in our “causes” and believe that God is going to come down and wipe out all of “them,” whom we foolishly believe to be the sole source of all the evil in the world.

But here’s the thing. When God does come and send devouring fire before Him and His raging tempest, it’s not going to be pretty or pleasant. And many, if not most, of us are going to be surprised at the results.

I’ve said it before, and I will, no doubt, say it again.

God is on God’s side. And we need to (all of us) do a much better job of making sure that we are on His side.

When Pharaoh chased Israel into the middle of the Red Sea, God came, with a raging tempest. He instructed Moses to stretch his hand back out over the sea so that the walls of water would crash back down, engulfing the Egyptians. “Not one of them survived.”

The words of Moses turned out to be true. “The Egyptians you see today you will never see again.”

What is sad is that what is stated in verse 31, “And when the Israelites saw the mighty hand of the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in him and in Moses his servant,” didn’t stick. It lasted only a few chapters, in fact.

So fast-forward a few thousand years. If the fickle human beings that saw, first hand, the miracles of the Lord, couldn’t be faithful to Him and His Word for more than a few days or weeks, how do we expect to do better?

The beauty of all of this is that He knows it. Nothing that we do surprises Him. He knows everything that there is to know about us, and, because He is outside of time, He already knows everything we are going to do before we do it. Therefore, I think it is even safe to say that He isn’t even “disappointed” in us, not the way we tend to get disappointed in one another.

For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.
(Psalms 103:14 NLT)

And, in the words of a great Easter song that used to love to sing, “But still He loved me . . .”

Let’s go back to that one prayer that we have. You know the one . . . we usually call it “The Lord’s Prayer.”

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. 
May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, 
on earth as in heaven. 
Give us today our daily bread. 
Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. 
Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; 
for Yours are the kingdom and the power 
and the glory forever and ever. 

Is it a coincidence that “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us” is pretty much right smack in the middle of that prayer? I’d like to think not. I’m not much of a believer in coincidences.

Now, let’s go back up to that bit at the top about some church issues. While I’ve been typing this blog (which has taken most of the morning), people have been talking. There have been multiple conversations, both in texting and verbally. It looks like things are working out, which is good, because we believe that this church is worth preserving. I don’t think any of us simply want to walk away. Forgiveness is central. It is the center of this prayer, and it is the center of our lives.

Honestly, we can’t survive without it.

Father, thank You. Thank You for forgiving us for our sins. Thank You for loving us, when we get so unlovable. Thank You for being faithful to us even when we are unfaithful to You. Thank You that “Your love never fails, it never gives up; it never runs out.” And thank You for giving us the ability to forgive one another. Help us to be stronger, though, and to not be so easily offended. Help us to be stronger for one another; help us to love one another and carry one another’s burdens. Also, help us to reach out when there are misunderstandings, rather than jerking our knees.

Please give us the Christlike ability to deny ourselves and serve others. Give us the commitment to do justice and show mercy. And please show mercy to those who are imprisoned, and give grace to those who minister to them.

"Strong and mighty God,
retrieve holy fear for you from the depths of fright and anxiety.
Make me deeply intimate with your awesome presence and mightily aware of your costly mercy.
Mingle in my heart a holy fusion of reverence,
and trust,
freeing me to lovingly,
willingly yield my all to you.
In Jesus' name,


You have shown me the path to life, and you make me glad by being near to me. Sitting at your right side, I will always be joyful.
(Psalms 16:11 CEV)

Sometimes it takes a painful experience to make us change our ways.
(Proverbs 20:30 GNB)

The stone that the builders rejected has now become the cornerstone.
This is the LORD’s doing, and it is wonderful to see.
(Psalms 118:22-23 NLT)

Jesus knew that his mission was now finished, and to fulfill Scripture he said, “I am thirsty.” A jar of sour wine was sitting there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put it on a hyssop branch, and held it up to his lips. When Jesus had tasted it, he said, “It is finished!” Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.
(John 19:28-30 NLT)

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.