Oh, How I Love Your Word

Today is Tuesday, the second of November, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,245

Ten days until C’s birthday!

It seemed like a busy day, yesterday. Part of that was because I didn’t finish yesterday’s blog until after noon. Then I went to the grocery store, but right after I got home, C texted me to tell me that S had a prescription ready at CVS. So I went back out to pick that up. Then, I had lunch, at a little after 2:00 PM. I had already started washing the bed linens, earlier, and they were dry not too long after that, so I had a little time to relax before I needed to put the sheets back on the bed. Then I swept the floor, and by the time I finished that, it was time to start cooking dinner, because C was on her way home.

Today, there’s not a lot to do. I work this evening, 4:15-8:15, so I’m planning to cook “lunch” at around 2:00 or so, planning to have it ready to eat by 3:00. Then I’ll have a light snack after I get home from work. I don’t have to work tomorrow or Thursday, so I may stay up later tonight.

Nothing else is planned. Oh, and C is working from home today, her normal day to do that.

The World Series continues tonight at 7:00, in Houston. The Braves lead the series 3-2.

I realize that I haven’t (and don’t usually) said anything about football. I’m not much of a football fan, and it’s still baseball season. But the Dallas Cowboys are 6-1, so far, this season! Granted, they are in one of the worst divisions in the NFL, and they are the only team in their division with a winning record, but they have played some pretty good teams, along the way. While I don’t actively root for the ‘boys, I have some good friends who do, so I wish for their happiness. Dallas plays Denver (4-4) this Sunday afternoon.

Today is Deviled Egg Day. I do love those, but I likely will not have any today.

The word for today is busk, “to entertain by dancing, singing, reciting, juggling, etc., on the street or in a public place.” I was familiar with the word, but did not know that it included activities other than singing or playing an instrument. Makes sense, though.

Today’s quote is from e.e. cummings, American poet. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

Birthdays on November 2:

Daniel Boone, American frontiersman, 1734-1820. 
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France (Let them eat cake), 1755-1793
James Knox Polk, 11th U.S. President, 1795-1849
Warren G. Harding, 29th U.S. President, 1865-1923
Burt Lancaster, American actor, 1913-1994
Ray Walston, American actor (My Favorite Martian), 1914-2001
Jay Black, American pop singer (Jay and the Americans), 1938-2021
Stefanie Powers, American actress, (Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Hart to Hart), 1942 (79)
Keith Emerson, English musician (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), 1944-2016
J.D. Souther, American singer/songwriter (Heartache Tonight, New Kid in Town), 1945 (76)
Carter Beauford, American drummer (Dave Matthews Band), 1957 (64)
k.d. lang, Canadian country singer, 1961 (60)
David Schwimmer, American actor (Friends), 1966 (55)
Jay Black is the singer
Keith Emerson on keys


All have received gifts;
Use them to serve each other,
As stewards of grace.
(1 Peter 4:10)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(Psalms 118:1 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the gifts that You give
2. for opportunities to use those gifts
3. that we can count on Your guidance, forever
4. for Your Word and all of its benefits to my life
5. for the strength found in relationship

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



that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.
(Psalms 48:14 ESV)

I pause, during this quiet moment, to reflect on Your great and wonderful gifts, and Your constant guidance, always available to us, forever.


Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
(Psalms 119:97-104 NIV)


I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
(Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 NIV)

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NIV)


As I become more aware of God’s loving presence, I read these passages again, looking for anything in His Word that has caught my heart’s attention. Is there a command to be obeyed? Is there comfort to be savored? As I meditate on these things, I pray them to God and rest in His presence.

The first thing that catches my attention is the first verse of the Psalms passage. “Oh, how I love Your law!” I like the way Peterson paraphrases this, so that we aren’t using the word “law” literally.

Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long.
(Psalms 119:97 MSG)

There are several different words used to describe God’s Word, throughout Psalm 119; law, commands, statutes, precepts, word. All of those could be defined, as Peterson does, “all You’ve revealed.”

I have been a Bible reader since before I was able to read. That may sound contradictory, but remember, people were reading Scripture to me before I was able to read. I have loved “God’s Word” as long as I can remember. Even through the darkest parts of my life, some of which were of my own making, it was always the Bible that drew me back to the path. Sure, His Holy Spirit is involved, no doubt. But even He drew me back via the precious Word of God.

Do not mistake me . . . I do not “worship” the Bible. I worship the God who revealed Himself through the Bible. But I do love the Bible, just as the psalmist who penned Psalm 119 did.

The Word of God, rightly applied, gives us more wisdom than anyone around us; our enemies, our teachers, our elders, even. It helps us stay away from evil paths. Or, when our feet have strayed onto an evil path, it gently maneuvers us back. It teaches us to hate those evil paths.

One of my favorite passages regarding God’s Word is found in Psalm 19.

The revelation of GOD is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of GOD are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of GOD are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of GOD are plain
and easy on the eyes.
GOD’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of GOD are accurate
down to the nth degree.
God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
(Psalms 19:7-10 MSG)

The Teacher, in the meantime, continues to find everything to be meaningless, “a chasing after the wind.”

Father, I know that not everything in life is meaningless. Many of the tasks, however, in which we constantly find ourselves engaged, are truly a chasing after the wind. This is true; it is known. Many of those things, though, are, more or less, harmless, in the big picture. What is not meaningless is relationship with You, which we are able to enhance and grow through a healthy attitude toward Your Word. I praise You for Your Word, in which You have revealed Yourself further to us. I say “further,” because You have, in fact, revealed Yourself quite extensively through nature and Creation, to those of us who are looking at it wisely. But the revelation of Yourself through Scripture, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit, is invaluable and priceless, worth more than pure gold, sweeter than pure honey (or strawberries). I love Your Word, Father, I do. Thank You for placing that love of it in my heart at such an early age. Thank You for placing people in my path, people who cared for me and loved me and read Your Word to me and taught Your Word to me. I cannot thank You enough for those blessings.

I pray that You would continue to give Your people a love for and commitment to the communities in which we have landed. I pray that You continue to equip us to serve in unique and effective ways.

"Everlasting God,
I shop for pleasure,
looking to consume happiness;
I hustle for meaning,
striving to make a difference.
But the more I consume the less I enjoy,
and the harder I work the more life slips out of my reach.
Help me understand the simple truth that none of my work or worry,
nor any of life's pleasures,
does any good without Your blessing.


“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:10 ESV)

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
(1 Peter 4:9 ESV)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV)

submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
(Ephesians 5:21 ESV)

I want to take a moment to boast (I don’t normally do this kind of thing) about the relationship that my wife and I have. That whole passage from Ecclesiastes 4 is worthy of visiting.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV)

I feel like we have been lifting each other up, constantly, for over thirty-six years, now. And, since my retirement, this has even been enhanced more. When we discussed the possibility of me taking early retirement, I heartily agreed to become, more or less, a “house-husband,” taking care of menial household chores, on my days off, while C continues to work full time. For the record, it is still roughly four years until she is eligible for early retirement. But I have gladly taken on tasks such as laundry, sweeping floors, keeping dishes clean (which I helped with a lot already), trash removal, and things like that. I have tried to keep the house somewhat neat, and it has been quite rewarding for me. I don’t hate it at all. Because I am doing it out of love for my wife.

There are different ways to describe a marriage. The Ecclesiastes passage may not even be describing marriage, per se, but simply a good partnership. But that’s what marriage is, right? Most definitely a “good partnership.” Some say that one plus one, in a marriage, doesn’t make two, but makes one. I don’t disagree with that, but I would also entertain the thought that one plus one equals infinity, because I believe that we two together are infinitely stronger than one of us alone. And when Jesus is in the middle of us, it is infinity times infinity. “A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped” (The Message).

Father, I praise You for this relationship, and look forward to what You are going to continue to do in our midst, in the years that we have left.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.”
(Ezekiel 36:22-23 ESV)

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!

May the LORD richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
(Psalms 115:14-15 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.

Sanctification, God’s Will For Us

Good afternoon. It is Saturday, October 20, 2012. This is the Saturday afternoon edition of Revelling in the Overflowing Grace of God.

Today is “World Osteoporosis Day.” So get aware of osteoporosis and have some vitamin D and calcium.

On this date in 1803, the U.S. Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
On this date in 1944, an explosion occurs in Cleveland, caused by liquid natural gas leaking. 30 blocks were leveled and 130 were killed. Wait. “Liquid natural gas?” I thought…but…never mind.
On this date in 1947, the “House Un-American Activities Committe” began investigating Communist infiltration into Hollywood. This resulted in a blacklist that kept many from working in that industry for years.
On this date in 1968, Jackie Kennedy married Aristotle Onassis.
Also on this date in 1968, Dick Fosbury “flopped” to an Olympic high jump record.
The “Saturday Night Massacre” occurred on this date in 1973. Richard Nixon fired U.S. Attorney General Elliot Richardson and Deputy Attorney General William Ruckelshaus because they refused to fire Watergate special prosecutor Archibald Cox, who was later fired by Robert Bork. Did you get all that?
On this date in 1977, the plane carrying Lynyrd Skynyrd crashed in Mississippi, killing lead singer Ronnie Van Zandt, guitarist Steve Gaines, and backup singer Cassie Gaines. Also killed were the road manager, pilot, and co-pilot.
Burt Lancaster died on this date in 1994.

Birthdays for today include Stanislaus I Leszczynski, King of Poland, 1677 (I never heard of him, I just couldn’t help putting that name in here), John Dewey, American philosopher, 1859, Charles Ives, American composer, 1874, Bela Lugosi, 1882, Grandpa Jones, 1913, Art Buchwald, 1925, Joyce Brothers, 1927, Mickey Mantle, 1931, Tom Petty, 1950, Viggo Mortensen, 1658, Juan Gonzalez, 1969, Snoop Dogg (or Lion or whatever he calls himself these days), 1971, John Krasinski, 1979.

This morning went pretty well. Christi is currently at Petsmart with Tessie (our corgi dog), getting her regular checkup. The rest of the day should be fairly uneventful. Tomorrow, Christi works the Mac at church, so we will be there early. Then we plan to go up to Denton for lunch with Rachel and Justin.

The NLCS will be extended at least one more game, back in San Francisco, as the Giants won game 5, 5-0, behind the pitching of Barry Zito. I sure hope this long rest won’t hurt the Tigers when the World Series begins.

Father, I pray for some revelation this afternoon, as I look into your word. Give me wisdom as I ponder some opportunities that have been presented to me.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 121. Another of the “Songs of Ascents,” this one begins with the well known words, “I lift up my eyes to the hills…”

1 A Song of Ascents. I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come?
2 My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
3 He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber.
4 Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep.
5 The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand.
6 The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night.
7 The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life.
8 The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.

Knowing that our God never sleeps provides us with great comfort. We look for help, and we know where this help comes from. It comes from “the LORD, who made heaven and earth.”

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “Is God’s Will My Will?” The scripture reference is 1 Thessalonians 4:3, which says, For this is the will of God, your sanctification. We don’t need to wonder if God’s will is for us to be sanctified. But is is my will. “Am I willing to let God do in me all that has been made possible by the Atonement? Am I willing to let Jesus be made sanctification to me, to let the life of Jesus be manifested in my mortal flesh?”

This is what I have been praying for. The sanctification of Jesus in me, letting his life be “manifested in my mortal flesh” so that those characteristics we call The Beatitudes and the description of love in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 could be made manifest in me. The effect is not the cause. We sometimes make the mistake of placing obedience and service ahead of sanctification, thinking that if we can just obey enough or serve enough, that we will be sanctified. But it is the life of Christ in us that sanctifies us; it makes us one with Christ, and then, in him, one with God. All of this happens through the marvelous Atonement. “The effect in me is obedience and service and prayer, and is the outcome of speechless thanks and adoration for the marvelous sanctification wrought out in me because of the Atonement.”

Father, I pray for sanctification. I cannot work for it. I know that there is nothing that I can do to accomplish sanctification, other than allowing the life of Christ to be lived in me. I have to stop fighting against it. How do I fight against it? One way is by trying to do things on my own. I spent years trying to please you with my works, even though I knew they did not save me. I spent a big part of my life trying…maybe there’s the key, Father. Trying. When I stopped trying and began to let you live in me, to let the life of Christ be formed in me, things began to look better; things began to be easier. And then, you began to nudge me toward this pray-life. I pray that this will continue to be my direction. I do still want to use the musical gift that you gave me to glorify you, however. So I pray for opportunities to do that. But for right now, keep me focused on the prayer. Let me be faithful to pray when I tell people that I will. That has been something that has not been an issue, lately. I give you thanks for that. I’ll be honest, Lord. It feels good to pray for people. I feel like I have accomplished something worthwhile every day when I finish praying…well, I guess I never really “finish,” do I?

I pray for the remainder of this day, that Christi and I will have some time to relax and just enjoy being together. I continue to pray for her pain to be healed. I pray that the doctor may have some answer on Monday, some idea of what to do. I pray for tomorrow’s worship celebrations, as we serve you during those times. I pray for the worship band that will be leading us in worship tomorrow. Fill their hearts with your Spirit as they make preparation to worship you and lead us in doing the same. I pray for Joel as he prepares a message for us tomorrow. Fill his heart with your words, that they might flow out of him and into our hearts, giving us inspiration to be the Church, the body of Christ, the community that we should be as we live and interact together, serving you and serving each other you the name of Jesus Christ.

May we remember to get the order right. Sanctification brings about obedience and service.

Grace and peace, friends.