Life Is Hard, But God Is Good

“Life is difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult not longer matters.”

Today is Saturday, February 25, 2017. Thirteen days until our Glen Rose weekend!

Quote of the Day

“The cat could very well be man’s best friend but would never stoop to admitting it.” ~ Doug Larson

Word of the Day

Hoary ~ gray or white with or as if with age. My beard is hoary.

Today is Clam Chowder Day. It’s not often that I will choose something over chocolate (it is also Chocolate Covered Peanut Day), but, seriously, if I had the choice between Clam Chowder and chocolate covered peanuts right this second, I would dig into that Clam Chowder! It’s grocery store day. I’m going to have to get some.

We were supposed to have our Night of Worship “missional gathering” tonight, but the leader got the flu this week. I’m not sure when we will have it next. Our next Night of Worship is a week from tonight, March 4.

We have a couple of things to try to get done today. A new tire for C’s car, and she needs to pick up glasses at the eye doctor’s office. S wants to go to Martha’s Mexican restaurant today. She must be feeling better.

Today is the day of the first Spring Training game for the Texas Rangers. They play the KC Royals this afternoon, in Surprise, AZ. The Red Sox played the NY Mets yesterday, and lost 3-2.

37 days until Opening Day!


Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:2
O LORD God of hosts, hear my prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob! Selah.
Psalm 84:7
My heart is steadfast, O God, my heart is steadfast! I will sing and make melody! 
  Awake, my glory! Awake, O harp and lyre! I will awake the dawn! 
I will give thanks to you, O Lord, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is great to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 
  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth!

Psalm 57:7-11
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods. 
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also. 
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.

Psalm 95:3-5

One of my father’s favorite books was The Road Less Traveled, by M. Scott Peck. The first two paragraphs of this book present a truth that is so simple, yet so profound.

Life is difficult.
This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths. It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it. Once we truly know that life is difficult–once we truly understand and accept it–then life is no longer difficult. Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.

I believe I latched onto this truth a long time ago, because, to me, it truly no longer matters that life is difficult. I have accepted it. And we, as believers in Christ, can add another phrase to it.

Life is hard, but God is good.

No matter what is happening in your life right now, the truth will never change. God is good. We may shake our fists at him in anger; we may cry out to him in anguish or fear. But he is good. In fact, according to Scripture, he is the only one who is truly “good.”

The Psalms are full of verses that describe this truth.

I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4
This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles. 
The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Psalm 34:6-7
When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.
Psalm 34:17
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. 
Psalm 34:18
Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.
Psalm 34:19
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.

Psalm 37:39-40
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
Psalm 23:4

There are many more. But the recurring theme of all of these is that, even though we will face difficulties, struggles, and afflictions, God will deliver us from them. There is never a promise that he will keep us from ever experiencing them.

Life IS hard!

But there are plenty of promises of deliverance out of those troubles.

But God IS good!

Remember this today. Whatever you experience. Or, perhaps, remember it in case you run across another person who is experiencing troubles and afflictions and knows not where to turn.

Life is hard, but God is good.

Father, teach us this truth. The only way we can truly rest in your love, mercy, and grace, is to firmly grasp the truth that, yes, we will encounter trials and difficulties in our lives, but, through them all, you are good. Thank you for being good. Thank you for your promises of deliverance.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

You Are Greatly Loved!

Good morning. It is Wednesday, February 25, 2015. 40 more days until Opening Day!

Today’s word of the day is particeps criminis. At first glance, I though this might have something to do with grammar. (That was a joke.) It is a noun, meaning, “An accomplice or partner in crime; an accessory.”

Today is Clam Chowder Day. Make it New England Clam Chowdah, please. None of that red Manhattan stuff for me, thank you very much.

I’m going to hurry through this a bit. I’m trying to go to work this morning, and it appears to be snowing in Carrollton. It did not snow all night, as the initial predictions stated, which is a good thing. In fact, it hasn’t snowed here, at all. The current weather conditions claim that it is mixed rain and snow, but I don’t see any snow. At any rate, I’m going to try to hit the road by 6:30, to give myself a little extra time. The temperatures are all above freezing, still, so there shouldn’t be any huge problems, except for maybe some bridges.

Yesterday was a nice day, but I didn’t get a lot accomplished. We had a good Huddle meeting last night, though, with only one guy missing. We talked about John 15:1-6, where Jesus talks about abiding in him, and that without him, we can do nothing. Good discussions.


The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—
the God who gave me vengeance and subdued peoples under me,
who delivered me from my enemies; yes, you exalted me above those who rose against me; you rescued me from the man of violence.
For this I will praise you, O LORD, among the nations, and sing to your name.
Great salvation he brings to his king, and shows steadfast love to his anointed, to David and his offspring forever.

Psalm 18:46-50

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “You Are Greatly Loved.”

. . . among whom we all once lived in the passions of our flesh, carrying out the desires of the body and the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind. 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 2:3-5

Three times, the angel Gabriel appeared to Daniel to tell him he was greatly loved.

At the beginning of your pleas for mercy a word went out, and I have come to tell it to you, for you are greatly loved. Therefore consider the word and understand the vision.
Daniel 9:23
And he said to me, “O Daniel, man greatly loved, understand the words that I speak to you, and stand upright, for now I have been sent to you.” And when he had spoken this word to me, I stood up trembling.
Daniel 10:11
And he said, “O man greatly loved, fear not, peace be with you; be strong and of good courage.” And as he spoke to me, I was strengthened and said, “Let my lord speak, for you have strengthened me.”
Daniel 10:19

But we, O beloved brothers and sisters, are also greatly loved! “God himself says to you, ‘You are greatly loved.'”

As stated in the verses from Ephesians, quoted above, we were, by nature, “children of wrath,” just as all of mankind. “But God . . .” Those are two of my favorite words in all of Scripture! “But God . . .” Where would I be today, if it were not for, “But God?” 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— And, For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. (Ephesians 2:4-5, 8-9)

This should be at least as good as the voice of an angel. God, himself, telling us, right there in his word, that we are “greatly loved!”

Oh, my Father! How wondrous is your great love to us! I am in awe, this morning, of that great love, seeing as how I never deserve it. I am a sinful creature, still finding myself running off after whatever appears to be shiny on the horizon, forgetting that I am “greatly loved,” and chasing after things of this world. Forgive me, O Father! By the blood of Jesus Christ, you have accomplished that very thing! I will revel in the amazing grace that you have lavished on us for all of my days! Let me never ceased to be amazed, Lord. I pray that I will not grow lukewarm over your love and mercy.

I pray for this day. Please give us safety as we travel to and from work today. I pray that road conditions will not be harsh this morning. I pray for Christi’s day at work, that it will be a good day, and that mine will be, as well. I pray that things will not be too backed up from my two days off this week. I pray for Stephanie today, that she will be a recipient of your great love, and that she will feel it upon her.

Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name!

Hear the words of your Father in heaven, this morning! YOU ARE GREATLY LOVED!!

Grace and peace, friends!

Unceasing Faithfulness

Good morning. It is post-Monday, February 25, 2014.

Today is Clam Chowder Day. I do love Clam Chowder (the New England variety; Manhattan can keep theirs)!

I was actually very successful in limiting my sodium intake yesterday, to the point that, if I have logged everything correctly, I only consumed 1255mg out of an allowed 2300. I’m shocked. Today, I have a sandwich, made with Boar’s Head low sodium roasted chicken breast, a piece of Kroger brand pepper jack cheese (I was surprised at how much sodium cheese has in it), and wheat bread. Ironically, there is more sodium in that sandwich than in my Lean Cuisine frozen dinners. I’m balancing it out with a homemade salad of Roma tomato, cucumber, onion, and avocado. No dressing. I was shocked at how much sodium is in a tbsp of dressing!!

Well, this is not a food diary, so, moving on . . . No word from any job prospects yesterday, but Christi is supposed to get an interview with CIO of CBRE this week.


On this date in 1938, people in the city of Miami, Florida, were able to, for the price of 35 cents, driver their car into parking area, and watch a movie on a large screen in front of the cars. The drive-in movie, which had actually debuted in Camden, New Jersey a couple years earlier, had come to Florida. The price was more than an indoor theater ticket, so the Miami drive-in eventually trimmed their price to 25 cents. In these first drive-ins, the sound was provided by speakers placed next to the screen. The in-car speaker would not be introduced until the forties. During the fifties and sixties, there would be as many as 4000 drive-in theaters across the country. The industry went into decline, however, during the seventies and eighties, and many theaters closed. There does seem to be a resurgence, recently, though, as several theaters have opened up in the area in which I live, showing first-run movies.


(From The Divine Hours)

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Psalm 97:1
I long for your salvation, O LORD, and your law is my delight.
Psalm 119:174
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation.
Psalm 18:46

You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD GOD is an everlasting rock.

Isaiah 26:3-4

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Unceasing Faithfulness.”

This is an important thought today. Jesus has a trust in the Father that is unequaled by any other. However, that trust is not a “single decision that leaves him infallibly certain of his mission” and totally free from the temptations of our enemy! Throughout his brief ministry on earth, there would be “challenges to his self-awareness and inner identity as Son-Servant-Beloved of the Father.” There would be a constant temptation for him to “fulfill his mission in a way opposed to the Father, to begin with a flashy demonstration of power by turning stones to bread and to end with a sensational exhibition of might by coming down from the cross.” He rejects Satan’s worldly way, and, “In the final foolishness of love he freely accepts death on the cross.” This is the ultimate act of trust, but is the result of “a life lived in God.” There is no easy route to faith. No single decision, without further thought, can bring us to Christlike faith. It must be the result of the life lived in God. “The mission that absorbed him from the moment of his baptism has brought him to this. The death on the cross gives final, definitive, and everlasting form to Jesus’ religious identity and to his intimate, loving trust in his Father. He is faithful to the end.”

Righteousness shall be the belt of his waist, and faithfulness the belt of his loins.
Isaiah 11:5

Father, make me faithful, as Jesus was faithful. While there was a decision, early in my life, to follow you, that was not the defining moment. There is no defining moment, only the result of a life lived pursuing you. I shudder to think where I could be today, had I not gone “off-roading” a few times in my life. But I will not waste time going over failures. Here I am, Lord. My heart’s desire is to follow you faithfully. My flesh struggles against that, and successfully, at times. Strengthen my spirit by your Word, by your Spirit, and by the blood of Christ. Give me “unceasing faithfulness.”

I pray for this day. I pray for safe travel to and from work. I pray that Christi might get some positive word today. I pray for blessing on my entire family, from this household, up to Denton, out to Mineral Wells. Cover this family with your loving hand.

Your grace is sufficient.

May we all gain strength from a life lived in God, drawing inspiration and strength from the life of Christ.

Grace and peace, friends.