My Refuge and Fortress

“Never find fault with the absent.” – Alexander Pope
(BrainyQuote)

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is velleity, which means, “a mere wish, unaccompanied by an effort to obtain it.”

This was really tough. Today is Global Forgiveness Day. Why was it tough? Because today is also Chocolate Day! And as much as I love chocolate and anything to do with it, I have to believe that to forgive is better than chocolate. I know . . . the words “better than chocolate” just don’t look right together.

It’s Thursday, already. That’s not a complaint, either. Gotta love these four-day work weeks! C is having dinner with a few ladies tonight, as they are having their semi-regular gathering for confession. It’s a thing they do. I know some of the guys gather on a regular basis for this, as well, but I’m not part of a group like that, at least not yet. I would want to be very picky about who I gather with for something as deeply personal as confession. It would have to be someone I trust fully.

The Red Sox managed to win a series against the Rangers, beating them 11-6 last night. They started off hot and stayed ahead the whole game. Unfortunately, the Boo Jays won again, too, so the Sox are still in third by a half game. The Rangers are 6.5 up on the Astros in the West. In other news, the San Francisco Giants have overtaken the Cubs as the best team in baseball, by two percentage points. The Cubs continue to be three points ahead of the Rangers, so they are now the third best team in MLB.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the LORD, “My refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”
For he will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence.
He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler.
You will not fear the terror of the night, nor the arrow that flies by day,
nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.

Psalm 91:1-6

This is one of my favorite Psalms. In it, we get a variety of the forms that the protection of God takes. He is refuge and fortress. He will cover us with his pinions. What are pinions? I had to look that up. It’s the outer part of a bird’s wing. Under his wings, we will find refuge. The faithfulness of God is a “shield and buckler.” What’s a buckler? Besides being the last name of one of my best friends in high school, it is a small, round shield, worn on the arm. All of these forms of God’s protection deliver us from the “snare of the fowler,” “the deadly pestilence,” “the terror of the night,” “the arrow that flies by day,” and “the destruction that wastes at noonday.” God is our refuge and fortress; what do we have to fear? “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world,” said Jesus, in John 16:33.

“I need your protective help, Almighty God: be to me a refuge and a fortress. Grant that I may be more expectant of your protective care than fearful of the dangers of evil. For Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

Father, you are my refuge and fortress! You are my protection and my deliverance. Whom shall I fear? But, yet, I do manage to fear! How stupid of me! How could I possibly find anything to fear when you are my deliverance, and you will give me refuge under your “wings?” This Psalm says, “You will not fear the terror of the night!” It doesn’t say “you shouldn’t fear!” It says “will not.” Father, I need your Spirit to embed this truth in my being, so that I will not fear anything that comes against me. Fill me with the trust that comes from being a true disciple, as I walk in your kingdom. Make me aware of your presence throughout this day.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

Tuning Our Hearts To God

Good morning. It is Tuesday, July 7, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is ear-tickler. An ear-tickler is “a person who pleases or gratifies others with flattering, agreeable, or pleasant words or music. Also: something, esp. a piece of music, which is lively and pleasant to listen to.”

It was tough choosing the “holiday” to highlight, today. After all, we have “Global Forgiveness Day,” and “Tell the Truth Day.” But today is also Chocolate Day, and forgive me, but, to tell the truth, chocolate trumps all those warm and fuzzy feel-good holidays, any time. By they way, did you see what I did, there? In all seriousness, forgiveness is a great thing. Where would we be without it? If you have an opportunity, please forgive someone today. The world would be a much better place, if we would all do that. Then eat some chocolate. Better yet, share some chocolate with whoever you forgave!

Yesterday turned out to not be nearly as bad as I was fearing it would be. In fact, we got a pretty average amount of freight to receive, so it was a pretty normal work load. That was a tremendous blessing, as we are still a person short (at least) on our team. Christi and I got home at about the same time, and we made broccoli-cheese soup and grilled cheese sandwiches for dinner.

Christi is feeling a little better, this morning, but still not right. Her right leg is still giving her a lot of pain, and her stomach is still messed up a bit. Energy-wise, she struggled quite a bit, yesterday, but she says it is better, this morning. We sent to bed really early last night, so she could get some extra rest.

Tonight, I have my Huddle. Christi won’t be bowling tonight, because of her leg.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

In distress you called, and I delivered you; I answered you in the secret place of thunder; I tested you at the waters of Meribah. Selah.
Hear, O my people, while I admonish you! O Israel, if you would but listen to me!
There shall be no strange god among you; you shall not bow down to a foreign god.

Psalm 81:7-9

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

In a section called “The Richness of Prayer,” Timothy Keller shares a poem, written by seventeenth century poet, George Herbert. In the next section of the book, Keller will work at defining prayer. However, he says, “there is a danger in doing that. A definition seeks to reduce things to the essence.” He says that this poem by Herbert does the opposite of that. “He wants to explore the richness of prayer with all its infinites and immensities.” I will share that poem here.

PRAYER the Churches banquet, Angels age,
Gods breath in man returning to his birth,
The soul in paraphrase, heart in pilgrimage,
The Christian plummet sounding heav’n and earth;

Engine against th’ Almightie, sinner’s towre,
Reversed thunder, Christ-side-piercing spear,
The six daies world-transposing in an houre,
A kinde of tune, which all things heare and fear;

Softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse,
Exalted Manna, gladnesse of the best,
Heaven in ordinarie, man well drest,
The milkie way, the bird of Paradise,

Church-bels beyond the stars heard, the souls bloud,
The land of spices, something understood.

Herbert refers to prayer as “Gods breath in man returning to his birth.” There are many times when skeptical or completely non-religious people find themselves praying, even though they have no formal belief in God. In Hebrew, the word for “Spirit” and “breath” is the same. In this poem, Herbert seems to indicate that there is something within all of us, placed there by God, “that knows we are not alone in the universe, and that we were not meant to go it alone. Prayer is a natural human instinct.”

In prayer, we can find the “deep rest of the soul that we need,” described by Herbert as “softnesse, and peace, and joy, and love, and blisse.” We get strength and vitality from prayer. And consider that brief phrase, “man well drest.” Through prayer, we become “spiritually fit for the presence of the king,” so that we can sit down with God at “the Churches banquet.” “Feasts were never mere feedings but a sign and means of acceptance and fellowship with the Host. Prayer is a nourishing friendship.”

Prayer tunes our hearts to God. When we sing, we engage our whole being, “the heart through the music as well as the mind through the words.” When we are faithful in prayer, tuning our hearts to God, it influences those around us, just as our bad moods and negativity influence those around us. Walk in the midst of people, filled with joy, and see if it doesn’t have an impact on them!

I will pick back up where I left off, tomorrow.
(pp 28-29)

Father, help all of us, your people, to find this richness of prayer. May we know your Spirit within us, and the benefit of our connection with you through that Spirit. May we find that “deep rest of the souls that we need,” as we come to you daily in our prayers. May we also experience the joy that comes from constant fellowship with you, fully dressed in the garments of prayer, fit to sit at your table and know your bounty. I rejoice in the acceptance that I have in your presence!

I pray for this day, Lord, that we might not only experience the joy of your presence, but show it to others, as well. May we display your kingdom in our lives, regardless of the circumstances that surround us. I pray for safe travel to and from work today. I pray for Christi to continue to feel better today. May your healing hand of mercy be all over her today, Lord, covering her in your healing presence! I pray for a good day at work for both of us. May you show your great love to Stephanie today, and may she feel your acceptance. I pray for Rachel ans she continues working on getting through with her thesis and related projects. Give her strength to get through everything. Draw her and Justin to your heart. Protect and provide for my mother as she draws her strength from you. I pray for her Bible study group that meets this morning.

Your grace is sufficient.

May our hearts be tuned to God, today, as we pray to him, bringing everything that comes to our minds into his presence.

Grace and peace, friends.

His Passion; Our Praise

Good morning. It is Monday, July 7, 2014.

Today is Chocolate Day. What more do I need to say?

We had a very nice visit with my mom and dad yesterday, in Mineral Wells. My mother made “wienie crescent rolls” (I don’t know what else to call them) for lunch, and they were scrumptious. Megan, Stephanie’s current BFF, went with us, which, I think, actually made the trip easier. We were able to stay as long as we wanted to, without someone beginning to whine to come home. As always, we had very enjoyable conversation about a variety of subjects.

We just snacked for dinner last night, while watching a couple of old CSI:NY episodes (we are currently in season 3 of that show). Back to work this morning.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.
Psalm 51:10

(From The Divine Hours)

My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day. Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
Psalm 71:8-9
O LORD, God of my salvation; I cry out day and night before you. Let my prayer come before you; incline your ear to my cry!
Psalm 88:1-2
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Psalm 25:4-5
The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad! Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne. Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around. His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles. The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth. The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
Psalm 97:1-6

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.

“Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new
day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome
by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose;
through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “God’s Passion Revealed.”

“The psalms were born in solitude, in a steady, unflinching gaze at the greatness, tenderness, and fidelity of Yahweh.” In the psalms of praise, we see a “sense of wonder, awe, and admiration,” and this becomes “an enthusiasm for Yahweh, his power, goodness, and love.” The psalms of praise are “pure adoration, the Amen of the community in response to God’s revelation.”

What has God revealed? He is “not only interested, not only patronizing; he is passionately concerned about” his people. Many people are familiar with the beginning of Psalm 42: As a deer pants for flowing streams, so pants my soul for you, O God. My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When shall I come and appear before God? Could this be a response to the “anguished cry of Yahweh recorded by Jeremiah?” Is Ephraim my dear son? Is he my darling child? For as often as I speak against him, I do remember him still. Therefore my heart yearns for him; I will surely have mercy on him, declares the LORD. (31:20) And in the Song of Songs, “Yahweh so dispenses with the canon of prudence and discretion as to stir even the insensitive heart.”

Our God is passionate about his people. Our lips should respond with praise!

Praise the LORD!
Praise the LORD, O my soul!
I will praise the LORD as long as I live;
I will sing praises to my God while I have my being.

Psalm 146:1-2

Father, I praise you for your great mercy and love, which you have lavished upon your people. I know I don’t praise you enough, and that’s probably true for most of us. May you bring forth the praise from my lips more frequently, throughout my normal day. As I work today, let me burst forth with spontaneous praise, for whatever I find around me. There is always something to praise you for, and the passion with which you act on behalf of your people is the foremost of those things. I recall the wonder of the first time I ran across Zephaniah 3:17. How much you love us!! We really don’t grasp the extent of it, and it’s possible that we never will until we see you face to face. Let my lips praise you more often and more intensely.

I pray for this day today, that you would grant us safe passage to and from work. I pray that you would be strong with Christi today, helping her to grasp more control over her work situations; give her more understanding and comprehension. I pray for Stephanie today, that you would draw her closer to your heart and grant her wisdom and understanding.

Your grace is sufficient.

Let’s praise him more today! It’s not like we can’t find any reasons, right? He has revealed his passion for us. Let us respond with our best praise.

Grace and peace, friends.

Wrestling With God

Good morning. Today is Sunday, July 7, 2013.

Today is Chocolate Day. I know a lot of people who are going to be very happy about that.


Yesterday’s work time was pretty laid back and smooth. The warehouse people rearranged and cleaned up while the other two office employees and I basically spent the whole morning doing transfers in our system. We finished up a little after noon, so it wasn’t bad. The big audit begins tomorrow.

The rest of the day went pretty well. After I got home, we went out for lunch (Fogata’s of course), and then Christi and I went to the grocery store. After that I practiced for a few minutes, getting ready for this morning’s worship celebration, then Christi was doing some stuff for a thing she has this Friday, so I just piddled around for a while. Basically did nothing productive. It was nice. We watched a couple episodes of Warehouse 13 (Amy Acker and Jeri Ryan showed up in one of them!), had a little dinner, then we went swimming for the rest of the night. It was a good day.


(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1937, the event that would eventually be seen as the beginning of the Second World War occurred. In a place called Lukouchaio, “where the railway line from Tientsin joins the Peking-Hankow line” (we’re talking China here, in case you hadn’t figure that out), a brigade of “the Japanese Kwantung Army” was conducting exercises this night. The area had been ceded to Japan for “commercial exploitation.” Suddenly a shot rang out (not sure if it was a dark and stormy night). The Japanese discovered the “dead body of one of their comrades lying near the ancient Marco Polo Bridge.” It is not known who killed the soldier, but this eventually became known as “the China Incident,” and the Japanese made it a casus belli, which basically means justification for war. They presented an ultimatum to China: hand over the northern provinces of Hopei and Chahar, or Japan would act. Chiang Kai-shek, after initial silence, simply responded that no more Chinese territory would be surrendered. A few days later, Japan began invading China as ten thousand troops “crossed over the Great Wall and advanced into Hopei province.” Initially, this was known as the Second Sino-Japanese War, “but in a few years the world would come to see it as the first act of the Second World War.”


Today’s birthday is Robert Heinlein, born on this date in 1907. Heinlein was a Science Fiction author, considered one of the “Big Three” of SF writers, the other two being Isaac Asimov and Arthur C. Clarke. Heinlein’s most famous and probably most popular work is Stranger In A Strange Land, written in 1961. He also authored Starship Troopers, which had a movie made which barely resembled the book. But that’s the way most of them go, isn’t it? Heinlein was the first to be named Science Fiction Grand Master in either 1974 or 1975, depending on which list you look at. He died in 1988.

Honorable mentions go to Ringer Starr, 73, Claire Holt, 25, Michelle Kwan, 33, Satchel Paige, 1906-1982, Doc Severinsen, 86, and Jorja Fox, 45.


TODAY’S DEVOTIONALS

Praise God from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, you heavenly hosts;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, you who lead Joseph like a flock. You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, shine forth. Psalm 80:1
May all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you! May those who love your salvation say evermore, “God is great!” Psalm 70:4
My heart is steadfast, O God! I will sing and make melody with all my being! Psalm 108:1

Father, I pray that you teach me to sing and make melody each day of my life. Reveal yourself to me in your Word this morning.


Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “Wrestling with God.” The scripture reading is Genesis 32:22-30.

The same night he arose and took his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven children, and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. He took them and sent them across the stream, and everything else that he had. And Jacob was left alone. And a man wrestled with him until the breaking of the day. When the man saw that he did not prevail against Jacob, he touched his hip socket, and Jacob’s hip was put out of joint as he wrestled with him. Then he said, “Let me go, for the day has broken.” But Jacob said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.” And he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.” Then he said, “Your name shall no longer be called Jacob, but Israel, for you have striven with God and with men, and have prevailed.” Then Jacob asked him, “Please tell me your name.” But he said, “Why is it that you ask my name?” And there he blessed him. So Jacob called the name of the place Peniel, saying, “For I have seen God face to face, and yet my life has been delivered.”

Jacob intentionally created space to be alone, and God joined him there. We don’t know anything more about this late night wrestling match than what we have in this brief passage of scripture. Jacob “prevails” (God let him win, of course), but walks away with a distinct limp and a new name. The name “Israel,” means either “strives with God” or “triumphant with God.” There is a remarkable intimacy that accompanies the mystery of this event. And we also note that the “wrestling stranger refuses to be named.” Sometimes God comes so close to us, and we can’t exactly see “who or what has gotten hold of us. However, after such an encounter we go forward blessed – wounded perhaps, but always changed.”

The word “alone” does not have to strike fear into our hearts. Do you fear being alone? If so, why? Perhaps we all need to have a chat with the Lord about our fears of intimacy and being alone.


Father, I thank you that we can wrestle with you and come away changed. I thank you that you will come to us and have these kinds of encounters with us. I pray that I will not fear being alone; that I will not fear intimacy with you. I pray that you will take my alone times and mold them, shape them, into encounters that will change me each time. Let these times of solitude with you be times of true devotion and intimacy, not just times to piddle around aimlessly. Give me direction in my life as you direct me through these times of reading and meditation. Shape my life, Lord; mold my life. Make me into what you desire me to be.

I pray for this morning’s worship time. Fill us with your Spirit as we play our instruments and use our voices to praise you. Fill the worship place with your presence this morning, your divine presence, that we may see you and know you. Teach us through our pastor as he brings a message to us. May his words be your words.


“Wrestling with God” is always an event that leaves a permanent mark on the believer. It changes lives. Forever.

Grace and peace, friends.

Don’t Be A Milksop!

Good morning. It’s Saturday, July 7. We got to sleep in again today. Nothing much to do today.

Oh, my. Today is “Chocolate Day.” That is certainly worthy of celebration!

On this date in 1930, the building of the Hoover Dam began. On this date in 1865, Mary Surratt became the first woman executed by the Federal Government, because of her alleged involvement in the conspiracy to assassinate President Lincoln. On this date in 1900, Wyatt Earp was killed in an Arizona saloon.


Last night, I learned that my Great-Aunt Peace, passed away. She was my Grandmama’s sister-in-law, sister of my Grandfather that I never knew, as he passed when my Dad was a boy. She was the last one living of those brothers and sisters, as far as I know. I wasn’t real close with her, and hadn’t seen her in a long while. However, I am Facebook friends with a few of her family members, a niece, a great-niece, and a great-granddaughter, I believe. These were closer to her than I was. Prayers would be appreciated for their comfort during this time. She was in her nineties, I believe, and had not been well for a while.


Father, I pray that you will show me something of yourself this morning.


Today, I’m reading Psalm 37. This one is another gem, full of great verses.
Trust in the LORD, and do good;
dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness.
[“Befriend faithfulness” could also be rendered “feed on faithfulness” or “find safe pasture.”]
Delight yourself in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart (3-4)

That is one of my favorite verses in all of Scripture. Not because I believe it promises that God will give me whatever I want, because I don’t believe that. I believe that it tells me that if I delight myself in him, then he will shape the desires of my heart to match his desires. And that is what I desire.

A large part of this Psalm is counseling the reader to not let the prosperity of the wicked bother him.
Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him;
fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices!
Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath!
Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.
For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who wait for the LORD shall inherit the land.
In just a little while, the wicked will be no more;
though you look carefully at his place, he will not be there.
But the meek shall inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace.
(7-11)

Wait…patiently…words that we don’t like in our modern society.

And here’s one that gives me great comfort.
The steps of a man are established by the LORD, when he delights in his way;
though he fall, he shall not be cast headlong, for the LORD upholds his hand.
(23-24)
I will stumble, and even fall, but the Lord keeps hold of my hand.

The mouth of the righteous utters wisdom, and his tongue speaks justice.
The law of his God is in his heart;
his steps do not slip.
(30-31)
There is a major goal of mine. If the law of God is in my heart, my steps will not slip. While it is true that this is a good justification for Scripture memorization, it is more than just memorizing. A lot of people seem to think that just memorizing Bible verses will help them in their quest for holiness or whatever it is that they are after. But we must remember…memorization is nothing more than head knowledge. This verse says that the law of the Lord is in his heart! We must learn it! This goes back to my verse for this year, which I have not visited lately. Joshua 1:8 says this: This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. It’s more than just knowing the words…we must meditate on it. Chew it up. Spend time thinking about it, pondering it, and allowing the Spirit to work it into our very being.

David closes this Psalm with these words:
The salvation of the righteous is from the LORD;
he is their stronghold in the time of trouble.
The LORD helps them and delivers them;
he delivers them from the wicked and saves them,
because they take refuge in him.
(39-40)

There are so many good concepts in this Psalm that we can learn. But they take a lifetime to master. Especially that waiting patiently part.


My Utmost For His Highest

Enter by the narrow gate. For the gate is wide and the way is easy that leads to destruction, and those who enter by it are many. For the gate is narrow and the way is hard that leads to life, and those who find it are few. Matthew 7:13-14

“If we are going to live as disciples of Jesus, we have to remember that all noble things are difficult.” What? But the person who led me to Christ promised me that life would be easy now! Are we guilty of this? Do we lie to people to try to get them to receive Christ? “Come to Jesus, and all your problems will be over!” But, as Chambers says, here, “The Christian life is gloriously difficult…” Our pastor, Joel Engle goes beyond that. He says, “The Christian life is not difficult; it’s impossible!” The KJV in the above verse is translated, Enter ye in at the strait gate. There are several definitions of “strait.” A more archaic definition is “strict, rigorous.” That could certainly fit, couldn’t it? But it also means “closely fitting; restricted, or tight.” The ESV and other versions render it “narrow.” Is that too simple? Here’s how Eugene Peterson translates these verses in The Message: “Don’t look for shortcuts to God. The market is flooded with surefire, easy-going formulas for a successful life that can be practiced in your spare time. Don’t fall for that stuff, even though crowds of people do. The way to life–to God!–is vigorous and requires total attention.” Wow. How many of us are trying to life this life in our “spare time?” That cuts right to the quick, doesn’t it? Chambers asks, “Do we so appreciate the marvelous salvation of Jesus Christ that we are our utmost for His highest?” Do we? I fear that I do not!
I am saved by the sovereign grace of God, through the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I did nothing to earn that. But I must work that salvation out “in practical living.” This takes practice. This means that we need to be about learning those precepts (not just memorizing them), meditating on those verses. “If we obey the Spirit of God and practice in our physical life what God has put in us by His Spirit, then when the crisis comes, we shall find that our own nature as well as the grace of God will stand by us.” We can’t just live our lives, tending to God in our spare time, and then blame him when the crisis comes and we fail! Look at The Message translation again: “The way to life–to God!–is vigorous and requires total attention.” (Emphasis mine)
“Thank God He does give us difficult things to do! … God’s grace turns out men and women with a strong family likeness to Jesus Christ, not milksops.” (An ineffective, indecisive person.) This life is impossible. We cannot do it without God; without the indwelling Holy Spirit. “It takes a tremendous amount of discipline to live the noble life of a disciple of Jesus in actual things.” It is “vigorous and requires total attention.” It’s not a part time job.


Father, I confess that it is only your grace in my life that keeps me from throwing my hands up in the air and giving up. Yes, this life is hard. I have failed you so many times, but you keep bringing me along. As I have read these Scriptures and this reading from Chambers this morning, I realize how far I still have to go. I was cruising along thinking that I was doing okay. But I’m still treating your grace, this life, like a “part-time” thing! I am not “meditating” on these Scriptures, on these precepts. Lord, I pray for the influence of the Holy Spirit in my life, to cause me to remember these things. To make me remember during my days that I need to be pondering your words. I read them in the morning…I even pray on the way to work. Ooh… But then what? Do I remember during my work day to lift up prayers? Not very often! It’s time to get serious. I’m going to be working on memorizing some verses over the next few weeks. But I pray that they not just be memorized. As I memorize verses and learn precepts, may they get transferred from my head to my heart. Yes, Lord, this life is beyond difficult! It is impossible. But with you, all things are possible!
Enough beating myself up. Time to get moving.

I pray for this day, Lord. I pray for Christi’s health, that today, as she gets some rest (she even slept until 10am!) that she will begin to feel much better. Place your healing hand on her, Lord, that she will get over whatever is afflicting her. I pray for all of us, as we continue this journey to better health. Give us success and motivation to continue working out and eating better. Let us not slip back into unhealthy habits. I also pray for Susie, as she works on some health goals. We celebrate with her as she met her goal for last month. Give her the grace, courage, and strength to make her next goals. Thank you for making us an inspiration to others.

I pray for Nansii, Lord, a friend, who was to have her gall bladder out yesterday (that’s two friends in two weeks). I have not heard an update, so I don’t know how it went. I pray, though, that this surgery took care of the problems that she was having. I pray for comfort and strength for her husband, Bryan.

I pray for the leadership of our church, Father, that they will be constantly sensitive to the Spirit, in knowing how to direct our fellowship. This morning, I pray for Jeremy Edgar, the director of our worship ministries. He is busy every Sunday morning, running around making sure everything is working right. I pray that you give him wisdom as he leads us all in the worship ministries, and I pray that you would give me peace and help him find time to actually worship during the worship celebration time. I thank you for his leadership and the heart that he has for leading and inspiring people.

I pray earnestly that all of us, your people, will live holy lives by the power of Jesus Christ. May you help us all, by the power of the Spirit to work out our salvation with fear and trembling, and help us to all make living for you a full time occupation, not just a part time job.

Your grace us sufficient.


Give your all to Christ. Don’t be a milksop.

Grace and peace, friends.