Esse Quam Videri

Good morning. It is Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Today is Fried Chicken Day. Yum! Just might have to do that.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. In some ways, it was pretty good. But Christi did a lot of running around in the late morning, early afternoon, helping her mother out, yet again. The church service went pretty well, in spite of mixed feelings before it began. The rehearsal was rough (I was only listening, not involved), but when the music actually happened, for the most part, it went pretty well. There were less than twenty people there, though, as a lot of people were out for various reasons. The prayer times that were interspersed with the music went pretty well, but I think, for future reference, we shouldn’t break it up quite like that. I’m not sure. There were some awkward times, when people weren’t sure if they should be standing or sitting, and I didn’t want to tell them to sit every time we prayed, as I thought they might begin to feel like a “Jack-in-the-box.” We’ll probably adjust a little, if we do that kind of service again.

Stephanie spent another night with her friend Megan, and they have decided that they are both going to come with us to my parents’ house today. That’s a new development, but not entirely surprising. 🙂 So we will be heading that way at around 11:00 this morning.

(Source: This Day In History)

It was on this date in 1933 that the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The idea was to “bolster the sport and improve its reputation during the darkest years of the Great Depression.” Unfortunately, it is still happening every year, breaking up any potential momentum that any given team might be experiencing. But that’s just my opinion. It doesn’t help any that Bud Lite (the “commissioner” not the beer) decided a few years back to give the winner of the annual game home-field advantage during the World Series. The Wild Card team should NEVER have home field advantage in the World Series!! And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Today’s birthdays include John Paul Jones (the war hero, not the keyboard player for Led Zeppelin), Burt Ward, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Haley, Janet Leigh (shower girl from Psycho), Ned Beatty, Merv Griffin, Adam Busch, Allyce Beasley, Dave Allen, Sebastian Cabot, Pat Paulsen, and Della Reese.

Burt Ward played “Robin” in the sixties TV series, Batman. I was a huge fan of Burt Ward’s Robin when I was a kid. Here is a clip I found on You Tube of Burt auditioning for the part of Robin in 1965. Burt is 69 today.


Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name.
Psalm 86:11

(From The Divine Hours)

Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Psalm 96:2-3
Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word! Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
Psalm 119:169-170
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Psalm 90:1-2

“Lord, make me have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never
fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your
loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Way of Integrity.”

In this “way of integrity,” there are no grounds for boasting, because “it is the work of the Spirit within us.” That is easy to say, of course, but we must remember that “without the Holy Spirit we cannot even see that Jesus is risen.” The way of integrity calls “the disciple to rigorous honesty about his attitudes, values, lifestyle, and personal relationships.” Sadly, it seems that honesty is a rare quality, “seldom found in society or in the church.”

“Like the alcoholic who denies he has a drinking problem, many of us have been deluding ourselves for so long that dishonesty and self-deception have become an accepted way of life.”

We must get away from the habit of “seeming to be,” rather than actually being. “Esse quam Videri” is attributed to Saint Gregory Nazianzen. (It may have originated with Cicero.) It means “to be rather than seem to be.” What this means for me is that pretense and sham cannot be enough to get by; pious thoughts cannot replace “putting on an apron and washing dirty feet;” and neurosis cannot be “an adequate substitute for suffering.”

. . . who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.
Mark 12:40

Father, help me to be more honest, both with myself and everyone else around me. May I never put on pretense or sham, in an effort to convince others that I am really what I say I am. May I live out the phrase that is the title of this entry, “esse quam videri.” Help me to be rather than seem to be. I cannot do this without your Spirit enabling me. Therefore, I pray that you fill me with your Spirit on a daily basis.

I pray for this day, that we will have a safe trip to Mineral Wells and back, and that all will have a good time as we visit with my parents. Then give us good rest for the week of work ahead, that we might work from our rest.

Regardless of your belief system, life would be better for all if we would “be rather than seem to be.” Honesty and integrity are worthy qualities.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Tent of Meeting

Good morning. Today is Saturday, July 6, 2013. I’m up at 545am to get this done before I go to work today. I’ll be going in at the usual 800am time, hoping I don’t have to work past noon. We’ll see how long it takes. The real bummer is that I won’t get overtime pay for today, because we had a holiday on Thursday. All companies are different. Some pay overtime if you have more than 8 hours in a given day, or work on a day when you wouldn’t normally work. This one only pays overtime if you work more than 40 hours in a week. Oh, well. Moving on.

Today is “Take Your Webmaster to Lunch Day.” I like that. IT people are lonely, sometimes. They should get out more often. Take one to lunch today.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1535, Sir Thomas More, “writer, humanist philosopher and one-time Lord Chancellor to Henry VIII,” was beheaded in the Tower of London. His crimes? “He refused to support Henry’s claim to supremacy over the Pope, and he refused to attend the King’s marriage to Anne Boleyn, with the implication that Henry was still married to Catherine of Aragon.” The trial was stacked, of course. “Three of the judges were Anne Boleyn’s father, uncle and brother.” The prosecution’s testimony was perjured. More refused to speak, and Sir Richard Riche said this: “Even though we should have no word or deed to charge against you, yet we have your silence, and that is a sign of your evil intention and a sure proof of malice.” Really?? But the true cause of the conviction was that Henry VIII desired it to be so. It is said that More pushed his beard aside before the axe fell, saying, “it has never committed treason.” His last words, spoken to the executioner: “Pluck up thy spirits, man, and be not afraid to do thine office; my neck is very short; take heed therefore thou strike not awry, for saving of thine honesty.” Four hundred years later, Thomas More was declared a saint.

Today’s birthday is, has to be, Burt Ward, born on this date in 1945. Yes, I picked him over a Buffy person. But let’s face it, Warren was nowhere close to my favorite Buffy character. He was my least favorite of The Troika (Warren, Jonathan, and Andrew), and may have been my least favorite recurring character (yes, even more than Dawn). Anyway, back to Burt Ward. His claim to fame was playing Robin, the Boy Wonder, on the TV show, Batman. I had a “boy crush” on Robin. He was my favorite person on the show (can’t really call Robin a “superhero” can we?) and I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trap he and Batman were going to fall into the next week. Here is a clever fan-made video of all of Robin’s “Holy . . . ” from the first season of Batman.

Honorable mentions go to Tia and Tamera Mowry, 35, Dalai Lama, 78, John Paul Jones, 1747-1792, Della Reese, 82, Geoffrey Rush, 62, Bill Haley, 1925-1981, Kate Nash, 26, Janet Leigh, 1927-2004, Laverne Andrews, 1911-1967, Pat Paulsen, 1927-1997, Allyce Beasley, 59, and Adam Busch, 35.


Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man!
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.
Psalm 107:8-9
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning.
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray.
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.
Psalm 5:1-3
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:10-12

“O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.” (The Divine Hours)

Father, while it is true that the majority of our lives is “but toil and trouble,” I still praise you for the life that you have granted me. I ask you this morning, as I “prepare a sacrifice for you and watch,” that you reveal yourself to me in your Word. Lamb of God, Jesus Christ, I ask you to grant me your peace today.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “The Tent of Meeting.” The scripture reading is Exodus 33:7-11a.

Now Moses used to take the tent and pitch it outside the camp, far off from the camp, and he called it the tent of meeting. And everyone who sought the LORD would go out to the tent of meeting, which was outside the camp. Whenever Moses went out to the tent, all the people would rise up, and each would stand at his tent door, and watch Moses until he had gone into the tent. When Moses entered the tent, the pillar of cloud would descend and stand at the entrance of the tent, and the LORD would speak with Moses. And when all the people saw the pillar of cloud standing at the entrance of the tent, all the people would rise up and worship, each at his tent door. Thus the LORD used to speak to Moses face to face, as a man speaks to his friend.

“With Moses God chose to be present and not distant, to show his glory, to get up close and personal as when one speaks with a friend.” Moses met with God “face to face” in the tent of meeting. But the amazing thing here, is that all of the Israelites apparently had the same access via that same tent! There is great advantage in developing “individual communion” with God; seeking his direct presence. We find direction when God is present with us (I realize that God is actually present with us at all times, but there are times when that presence is more felt than other times); we have no direction without him. “Intimate, individual communication with God is something that cannot be overlooked in spiritual formation.” We must seek this divine presence. The assurance of God’s greatness and goodness comes from this kind of direct contact with God and is very difficult to find elsewhere. (I say “very difficult” where the author said it “cannot be derived from any other source” because I have experienced this assurance in the corporate worship setting.)

Do you have a favorite location to meet God that serves as your “tent of meeting?” Where is your favorite place to seek communion with God? Does prayer differ in that place than in other places? I have experience several such places in my lifetime. And I can say that, yes, prayer seems to be more powerful in those places. The presence of God seems stronger when I am in a quiet, isolated place, free from distractions. Try to find such a spot for your prayers, not that you have to go there every time you pray, but one you can visit occasionally, to seek that “direct presence” of God.

Father, I thank you for that “direct presence,” that divine communion that is available to any of us who call your name. Just like Israel, we don’t have to be “Moses” to have “face to face” communication with you. You are available, accessible to any of us, and I thank you and praise you for that. We need not see you as some distant deity, who cares little for his creation. You are still directly involved with your creation, caring for us and loving us like we cannot even imagine. I pray that you will help me show people your crazy, overwhelming, steadfast love. I also pray that you help me find some place that I can call my “tent of meeting.” I currently don’t have a good place for that kind of communion with you. This study is fine, and typically pretty isolated. But I crave something better, something outside somewhere.

I pray for this day. I pray that we will be able to get everything done at work quickly, so that we don’t have to stay long. I pray that the audit coming up on Monday will be successful and that we will greatly impress our client. After the work time, I pray for a restful afternoon/evening with Christi and Stephanie.

Look for your “tent of meeting;” that place where you can achieve direct communion with God, without distraction.

Grace and peace, friends.