God of Wonders

Today is Thursday, the seventh of April, 2022, in the fifth week of Lent.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,401

I’ve got a thing or two that I want to get done before I go to work today, this being my first Thursday to work at the library. I’m due in at 11:15 and will work until closing time. The entire shift will be in the Computer Center, as this is replacing my previous Friday shift. I don’t work this Saturday, so my next shift will be next Tuesday evening.

I really don’t have much else to mention, this morning. I actually just got one of the things done, which was starting the soup we will have for dinner tonight. In case anyone is interested, we call it “Chicken Ranch Crockpot Soup.” All it has in it is three chicken breasts, three cans of cream of chicken soup (we usually use the 98% fat-free variety), a packet of Hidden Valley Ranch mix, and a can of water. It cooks in the crockpot on low all day, and we shred the chicken right before serving. Delicious and easy!

Oh, and one more thing. I haven’t mentioned it, lately, but today is Opening Day for baseball season. The Red Sox and Yankees were supposed to play today, but have been postponed until tomorrow. The Texas Rangers open their season in Toronto tomorrow. I reckon we will be watching.


"Love one another;
This is how they know you're Mine;
Love one another."
(Inspired by John 13:34-35)

Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.
(1 John 4:7-11 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for love; for the love God has for us and the love that I have for Him and the love He has placed in my heart for you
2. for the wonder of God's creation
3. for baseball, Texas Rangers and Boston Red Sox
4. that my treasures (and my heart) are not on this earth
5. that, when I walk in the kingdom of God, this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be (Dallas Willard)

Today’s prayer word is “wonder.” Now, there’s a word I can be fully behind. In this case, I see the word as a noun, meaning, “a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.” I really like the last half of that. “Something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable.” That is a great way to describe the wonders of God and His creation.

You are the God of great wonders! You demonstrate your awesome power among the nations.
(Psalms 77:14 NLT)

Like the writer of today’s reading, I haven’t seen any seas parting or rivers drying up or water coming from a rock or turning into wine. But I have seen things like this:

That was beautiful and unexpected and inexplicable.

I choose to celebrate God’s wonders, and I also wonder at His beauty, love, and faithfulness. So, you see, “wonder” can be either a verb or a noun, and both ways work equally well.

And I believe this song has always said it pretty perfectly.

(From Pray a Word a Day)

“Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal.”
(Matthew 6:19-20 ESV)

Do not toil to acquire wealth; be discerning enough to desist. When your eyes light on it, it is gone, for suddenly it sprouts wings, flying like an eagle toward heaven.
(Proverbs 23:4-5 ESV)

“Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”
(Luke 12:32-34 ESV)

In other verses in that Matthew 6 passage, Jesus points at some of the “wonders” of creation in His efforts to get people to take their eyes off of themselves and their problems. And, truthfully, once I have witnessed the grandeur and majesty of God’s creation, in “wonder,” how can I even consider laying up treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and thieves break in and steal?

Father, I revel in Your many wonders. I am reminded of the hymn, “How Great Thou Art,” especially that bit about seeing the stars and hearing the rolling thunder, “Thy power throughout the universe displayed.” I thank You for the wonders that You have created and for the wonder that You placed in my heart when I gaze upon these things. I am still grateful for the opportunity that we had to visit those mountains in the photos above. You have blessed us with so many opportunities to see Your beauty, just in our country alone (and a few in Mexico, as well). How someone can gaze upon these wonders and refuse to open their hearts to Your love and grace is beyond my comprehension.

I thank You that You have led me to not place my trust in the “treasures” of this world. The older I get, the more generous I get with the resources that You have provided. This is partially because I know the truth of the old phrase, “you can’t take it with you.” But I don’t really want to take it with me, either, because I believe that my inheritance in heaven will be so much greater, beyond my wildest expectations and dreams. In fact, it too, I believe, will be wondrous. I look forward to Home, Father, wherever that will be and whatever it will look like.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Limitless Love

Good morning. It is pre-Friday, November 20, 2014.

Did you know that women reach emotional maturity around the age of 32, while men don’t reach it until about 43? I guess that explains a lot. I’m skeptical, though. About the men’s part, that is . . . 😀

Today is Use Less Stuff Day. I’ll see if I can oblige. I know I need to have less stuff.

Work continues to go well. I’m somewhat amazed at how my attitude has changed since last week. My drives to and from work have been nothing short of interesting, though. For the last two days, there have been accidents (yes, multiple) on the 121 going north. Last night, on the way home, a car became disabled in the right lane of the 121, going south. Oh, and then, there was the car that was disabled in the right lane right at the light where the 121 and I-35 meet. Makes driving very challenging, especially emotionally.

Christi’s group has Huddle tonight. I’ll be praying for them during the day, today. They have a total of eleven ladies, including the leader and assistants. That’s a large group for this type of thing. They are still pondering the possibility of splitting it up.

While Christi is at Huddle, I will practice the trombone. This thing is really happening, and I am thoroughly excited about it, the closer it gets. It’s not really that close, yet, as it is going down on the first weekend in June. Which is a good thing, because I need that much time to get the chops ready.


(From The Divine Hours)

Oh come, let us worship and bow down; let us kneel before the LORD, our Maker!
For he is our God, and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

Psalm 95:6-7
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:12
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
Psalm 18:2
Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, bright as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb through the middle of the street of the city; also, on either side of the river, the tree of life with its twelve kinds of fruit, yielding its fruit each month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. No longer will there be anything accursed, but the throne of God and of the Lamb will be in it, and his servants will worship him. They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. And night will be no more. They will need no light of lamp or sun, for the Lord God will be their light, and they will reign forever and ever.
Revelation 22:1-5

Your words were found, and I ate them, and your words became to me a joy and the delight of my heart, for I am called by your name, O LORD, God of hosts.
Jeremiah 15:16
But he answered, “It is written, “‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'”
Matthew 4:4

Today’s Gospel Reading

At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, “This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him.” For Herod had seized John and bound him and put him in prison for the sake of Herodias, his brother Philip’s wife, because John had been saying to him, “It is not lawful for you to have her.” And though he wanted to put him to death, he feared the people, because they held him to be a prophet. But when Herod’s birthday came, the daughter of Herodias danced before the company and pleased Herod, so that he promised with an oath to give her whatever she might ask. Prompted by her mother, she said, “Give me the head of John the Baptist here on a platter.” And the king was sorry, but because of his oaths and his guests he commanded it to be given. He sent and had John beheaded in the prison, and his head was brought on a platter and given to the girl, and she brought it to her mother. And his disciples came and took the body and buried it, and they went and told Jesus.
Matthew 14:1-12

Matthew throws in this historical narrative concerning the death of John the Baptist. The daughter of Herodias, according to Josephus the historian, was Salome. Legend has it that she danced the infamous “dance of the seven veils” for Herod. From this narrative, we also learn that you should be careful what kinds of promises you make.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Love’s Response.”

“Confronted with the radical demands of the Christian commitment, our natural response is fear, anguish, insecurity.” I can let out a hearty “Amen!” to that! However, when we confront this with the “lived truth of God’s enveloping love, insecurity is swallowed up in the security of agape, anguish gives place to hope, fear to desire.” The key to everything is the overwhelming love of God. I just don’t think we have fully grasped this, yet. I struggle with it daily, as I simply go about my daily business, even that which, as far as I know, has nothing to do with sharing the Kingdom. But what do I know about that, right? My responses to daily situations probably have more to do with sharing the Kingdom than I think they do.

“The Christian has become aware that God’s appeal for unlimited generosity from his people has been preceded from his side by a limitless love, a love so intent upon a response that he has empowered us to respond through the gift of his own Holy Spirit.” So, you see? Even the ability to respond is a gift from God! This should drastically reduce the amount of anxiety we experience.

But God,
being rich in mercy,
because of the great love with which he loved us,
even when we were dead in our trespasses,
made us alive together with Christ—by grace you have been saved—

Ephesians 2:4-5

Father, as I consider this love on a daily basis, I pray that your Spirit truly enable me to respond appropriately. Let the effects of this limitless love, this overwhelming, enveloping agape that you surround us with, let it truly work its way out in every situation of my day, from my wild and crazy drives to work, to the mundane, over and over sameness of the job, to the conversations I have during the day. May this love color my prayers during the day. You know how much I struggle with praying for certain people on my prayer list. Yes, I confess . . . there are people on my daily prayer list that I don’t like very much! But I pray for them, anyway. Let your limitless, enveloping love color these prayers and teach me to love. For this particular day, I pray that my prayers throughout the day will hold some kind of special meaning. I’m not quite sure exactly what I am asking for, here. I want to feel your presence today, like I never have before.

I pray for this day, that our trip to work will be safe and smooth, as well as our return trip home. I pray for a good work day for both Christi and me. I pray that her various pains would be relieved, that they would not distract her from her appointed tasks. I pray for Stephanie, that she would have wisdom and the knowledge of your overwhelming love in her life. I also pray for the ladies’ Huddle group that meets tonight. Lift them closer to each other and to you as they learn to be and make disciples.

I pray for Craig this morning, that you would grant the desires of his heart for repentance, forgiveness, and patience. I also lift up his wife, that you would heal her back issues, which include a bulging disc.

Consider the love of God for you today. Then consider how that love enables you to respond to itself. Let your insecurity be swallowed up in his love, your anguish be replaced by hope, and your fear be vanquished by desire.

Grace and peace, friends.