Friend of God

Today is Friday, the twenty-seventh of August, 2021.

Shalom Aleichem!

Day 23,178

Ten days until Labor Day!

Not much to report from yesterday, except that I got my first paycheck from the library job! I did have to go to Hurst City Hall to retrieve it, as it was a paper check, this time. But the direct deposit should be processed by the next payday, which will be two weeks from yesterday. Again, the City of Hurst observes a pay schedule from Fridays to Thursdays. That’s different than what I’m used to, but presents no problems for me.

I spoke with someone from the Social Security office, yesterday, and got the not-so-welcome news that it will definitely be at least sixty days before anything happens. I may have even gotten laughed at, mildly, which doesn’t really offend me. The guy I spoke with told me to call them back if I haven’t heard anything by September 21.

I also called the COBRA people, who told me that they had mailed my information on August 19. Since I had not received it, yet, she gave me my user ID so I could go ahead and log in and create my account. So I did that, and went ahead and signed up to continue my health insurance with CIGNA, at least through the end of the year. The cost was pretty much what C had calculated, $550 a month and some change. I went ahead and paid the first month, because they don’t process anything until the first payment is made. They will, subsequently, alert CIGNA, who will backdate my coverage to July 30, and anything that occurred between then and now (which should only be the sleep study) will be covered.

Today is The Duchess Who Wasn’t Day. This celebrates the life of author Margaret Wolfe Hungerford, and you can read more about her by clicking on the link.

The word for today is orogeny, a geological term which means, “the process of mountain making or upheaval.”

Today’s quote is from Oscar Wilde: “I have the simplest tastes. I am always satisfied with the best.”

And now for the birthdays:

1809 Hannibal Hamlin, American attorney and 15th Vice President of U.S. (1861-65), born in Paris, Massachusetts (d. 1891)

1865 Charles G. Dawes, 30th Vice President of the United States, banker and 1925 Nobel Peace Prize winner, born in Marietta, Ohio (d. 1951)
1890 Man Ray, American artist and photographer (Dada), born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (d. 1976)
1899 Byron Foulger, American actor (River's Edge, Up in Smoke), born in Ogden, Utah (d. 1970)
1899 C. S. Forester, English historical novelist (Horatio Hornblower), born in Cairo, Egypt (d. 1966)
1906 Ed Gein, American serial killer who was the inspiration for the films "Psycho" and "The Texas Chainsaw Massacre", born in La Crosse County, Wisconsin (d. 1984)
1908 Lyndon B. Johnson, 36th US President (Democrat: 1963-69), born in Stonewall, Texas (d. 1973)
1911 Kathleen "Kay" Walsh, British actress (The Horse's Mouth, Oliver Twist), born in Chelsea, London, England (d. 2005)
1914 Catherine Marshall, American editor and writer, born in Johnson City, Tennessee (d. 1983)
1916 Martha Raye [Margaret Reed], American actress (Waikiki Wedding, Martha Raye Show), born in Butte, Montana (d. 1994)
1921 Leo Penn, American actor and film director, father of Sean and Chris Penn, born in Lawrence, Massachusetts (d. 1998)
1928 Joan Kroc [Mansfield], American 3rd wife of Ray Kroc, the owner of McDonald's and the San Diego Padres, born in West St. Paul, Minnesota (d. 2003)
1929 Ira Levin, American author (Rosemary Baby, Boys From Brazil, This Perfect Day), born in NYC, New York (d. 2007)
1935 Frank Yablans, American writer (North Dallas Forty), born in NYC, New York
1937 Alice Coltrane [née McLeod], American jazz harp, piano, and organ player (Journey in Satchidananda), born in Detroit, Michigan (d. 2007)
1937 Tommy Sands, American actor (The Singing Idol; Ensign Pulver), and singer ("Teen-Age Crush"; "Love in a Goldfish Bowl"), born in Chicago, Illinois
1939 Edward Patten, American soul singer (Gladys Knight & the Pips), born in Atlanta, Georgia (d. 2005)
1942 Daryl Dragon, American keyboardist (Captain & Tennille - "Love Will Keep Us Together"), born in Pasadena, California (d. 2019)
1942 "Chip" Douglas [Hatlelid], American songwriter, arranger, bassist (The Turtles, 1966-67 -"Happy Together"), and record producer (The Monkees), born in San Francisco, California
1943 [Susan] Tuesday Weld, American actress (Dobie Gillis, Wild in Country), born in NYC, New York
1944 Tim Bogert, American rock bassist (Vanilla Fudge; Jeff Beck), born in NYC, New York [1] (d. 2021)
1944 G W Bailey, Port Arthur, Texas, American actor (Police Academy, The Closer)
1947 Barbara Bach [Goldbach], American actress (The Spy Who Loved Me, Force 10 from Navarone), born in Queens, New York (still married to Ringo)
1952 Pee-wee Herman [Paul Reubens], American comic actor (Pee-wee's Big Adventure, Buffy the Vampire Slayer movie), born in Peekskill, New York
1953 Alex Lifeson [Živojinović], Serbian-Canadian rock guitarist (Rush - "Limelight"), born in n Fernie, British Columbia
1953 Peter Stormare, Swedish-born actor
1956 Glen Matlock, British punk rock bassist (The Sex Pistols; The Philistines), born in Paddington, London
1961 Mark Curry, British stage and screen actor, and television and radio presenter, born in Stafford, England (Hangin' with Mr. Cooper)
1963 Downtown Julie Brown, Welsh TV personality and actress (Club MTV, The Earth Day Special, Junket Whore), born in Cardiff, Wales
1969 Chandra Wilson, American actress
1969 Avril Haines, American lawyer, 1st female Director of National Intelligence (2021-), born in New York City
1970 Jim Thome, infielder (Cleveland Indians), born in Peoria, Illinois
1970 Tony Kanal, Indian-American bassist and songwriter (No Doubt - "Don't Speak"), born in Kingsbury, London, England
1977 Sarah Chalke, Canadian American actress (Roseanne, Scrubs), born in Ottawa, Ontario
1979 Sarah Neufeld, Canadian violinist (Arcade Fire), born in British Columbia
1979 Aaron Paul, American actor (Breaking Bad, Need for Speed), born in Emmett, Idaho
1988 Alexa Vega, American actress
Daryl Dragon, 1942-2019
Chip Douglas, the bass player and arranger for “Happy Together,” 79 years old today
Tim Bogert (bass player), 1944-2021
Alex Lifeson, guitar player, 68 years old today!


Breathe in me O Holy Spirit, that my thoughts may all be holy.
Act in me O Holy Spirit, that my work, too, may be holy.
Draw my heart O Holy Spirit, that I love but what is holy.
Strengthen me O Holy Spirit, to defend all that is holy.
Guard me, then, O Holy Spirit, that I always may be holy. Amen.

(Attributed to St. Augustine of Hippo)

Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
(Psalms 51:14-17 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the Holy Spirit, Who can work within us and create holiness in our lives
2. for the prayers of St. Augustine
3. that You have opened my lips, that my mouth might declare Your praise
4. that, like Moses, we, too, can speak with You, face to face, as with a friend
5. that when trouble comes, we can take refuge in the shadow of Your wings, until the disaster passes
6. for You

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



The name of the LORD will be remembered forever, and he will be famous for all time to come.
(Psalms 135:13 CEV)

As I look around me, in this world, I wonder . . . will the name of the Lord truly be remembered? For it seems as though fewer and fewer care about Him. But then I remember that I’ve read the end of the story. The last Word on everything is Jesus Christ, and He will be remembered forever, and every knee will bow down before Him.


For the director of music. To the tune of “Do Not Destroy.” Of David. A miktam. When he had fled from Saul into the cave.

Have mercy on me, my God, have mercy on me, for in you I take refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed.

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me.
He sends from heaven and saves me, rebuking those who hotly pursue me— God sends forth his love and his faithfulness.

Be exalted, O God, above the heavens; let your glory be over all the earth.
(Psalms 57:1-3, 5 NIV)


Moses said to the LORD, “You have been telling me, ‘Lead these people,’ but you have not let me know whom you will send with me. You have said, ‘I know you by name and you have found favor with me.’ If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then Moses said to him, “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. How will anyone know that you are pleased with me and with your people unless you go with us? What else will distinguish me and your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?”
And the LORD said to Moses, “I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name.”
Then Moses said, “Now show me your glory.”
And the LORD said, “I will cause all my goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim my name, the LORD, in your presence. I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. But,” he said, “you cannot see my face, for no one may see me and live.”
Then the LORD said, “There is a place near me where you may stand on a rock. When my glory passes by, I will put you in a cleft in the rock and cover you with my hand until I have passed by. Then I will remove my hand and you will see my back; but my face must not be seen.”
(Exodus 33:12-23 NIV)


As I rest in the presence of the Lord, I meditate on these passages, seeking truth that will guide me in my daily life.

What is our best course of action when trouble comes, when disaster strikes? We see it in the first verse of Psalm 57. We cry for mercy and take refuge in the shadow of His wings. We see, in verse 3, that He will “send from heaven” and save us. What does He send? I can only guess that He sends angels. Or some other manifestation of His great power. Embedded in all of this is the great confidence that He cares for His children.

And because of this confidence, we can, as verse 7 indicates, exalt Him. We can declare His praises when His Spirit loosens our lips.

And we can hope for even a fraction of the revelation that Moses received in Exodus 33! What a glorious story that is! Moses has just come back up to the mountain after the debacle that was the idolatry of Israel, the golden calf incident. His brother has played the fool, and then lied about his own responsibility in the matter. And three thousand Israelites died that day.

And now Moses is before the Lord again, having come up to attempt to make atonement for the sins of the people. God has commanded them to leave Sinai and make their way to the “promised land.”

The verse right before our passage today is also a great one. “The LORD would speak to Moses face to face, as one speaks to a friend.”

Pre-pandemic, I used to go have coffee with a good friend, our former pastor. We would sit in comfy chairs at the coffee shop and talk to one another, usually about a book that we were both reading. This is the image that Exodus 33:11 puts in my head. Another image that I believe fits is captured well by the Internet comic, “Coffee with Jesus.” While it frequently contains humorous silliness, it depicts a different character each day, casually sipping a cup of coffee, while conversing with Jesus. Some folks I know are offended by this, and obviously think that Jesus is never less than serious about anything, and never spoke any words other than what was recorded in the Bible. Of course, even the Bible, itself, debunks that theory.

But I digress.

Back to the image of Moses conversing with God, face to face, as with a friend. The “WOW” factor is beyond imagination.

In the conversation that follows (our passage for today), Moses makes this request of God.

If you are pleased with me, teach me your ways so I may know you and continue to find favor with you. Remember that this nation is your people.”
(Exodus 33:13 NIV)

I actually memorized that verse, once, in the ESV.

Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight. Consider too that this nation is your people.”
(Exodus 33:13 ESV)

And if we leave out that last sentence (because that will never be true about any nation other than Israel), it is a perfectly proper prayer (how’s that for some alliteration?) for any of us to pray.

And we see how the Lord honored that prayer for Moses, who subsequently received a first-hand glimpse of the glory of God!

Father, I echo this prayer of Moses today. If I have found favor in Your sight, please show me now Your ways, that I may know You even more, that I might find even more favor in Your sight. I know that I do, say, and think things that might cause me to not find favor in Your sight. But I also know that these things are erased by the blood of Christ. Not an excuse, mind You, but an acknowledgment of Your great mercy and grace. Lord, it should be the goal of every believer to have the kind of relationship with You that Moses had. I would speak with You, face to face, as with a friend. What an honor to be considered a “friend of God.” May Your Holy Spirit constantly lead me in that direction!

I also give You praise and thanksgiving that we can take refuge in the shadow of Your wings, as the psalmist wrote in Psalm 57.

Lord, give us more awe and gratitude for the cross of Jesus Christ. I pray for all who are living in poverty and injustice, today, as well as those who are living in solitude and loneliness. May You be their friend today!

and Holy Spirit,
keep me from dissecting your dynamic life into stale abstractions or lifeless schemas.
give me a faith that's bigger than my intellectual grasp so I may know your name,
take up your invitation to enjoy your presence,
and enter your community of love.


God our Father loves us. He is kind and has given us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope. We pray that our Lord Jesus Christ and God our Father will encourage you and help you always to do and say the right thing.
(2 Thessalonians 2:16-17 CEV)

Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desires.
(Psalms 37:4 NLT)

Then I will rejoice in the LORD. I will be glad because he rescues me.
(Psalms 35:9 NLT)

“God, no matter what happens today, my life is good. You make it so.”
(Amy Eddings, Daily Guideposts 2021)

Confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The earnest prayer of a righteous person has great power and produces wonderful results.
(James 5:16 NLT)

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him.
(1 John 5:14 NLT)

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!

The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
(Zephaniah 3:17 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Sing, Sing, Sing, Sing. And Sing.

Today is Tuesday, the seventeenth of August, 2021.

May the peace of God reign in your life today!

Day 23,168

Only two more days until S’s birthday. The presents still aren’t wrapped. But they’re here.

And today’s the day that I begin my new job as a library aide at the Hurst Library. I am very excited, and somewhat nervous about it. We have our Tuesday alarm set for 6:45 because C works from home on Tuesdays, but I was awake at 5:30, and, even though I tried going back to sleep, I suddenly started thinking about needing something to take notes on, you know, like a notebook. That made me panic and think about making a quick trip to the store to get a notebook. (Not at 5:30, obviously, but later in the morning . . . I’m not supposed to be at work until 11:15.) Then I remembered . . . I have an iPad, with an iPencil, and Evernote on the iPad. Problem solved. But then I started thinking that I needed to make sure that the iPad is charged up before I leave.

No going back to sleep for me, thank you very much.

Anyway, I got all my forms filled out, yesterday. I have to say, though, that they have changed the W-4 forms since I last filled one out, and they are a little more complicated. C and I have also done some math (okay, C did the math, I just listened) and have determined that, at least for the remainder of 2021, it will be cheaper for us, out of pocket, for me to take advantage of the COBRA option, concerning health insurance. COBRA stands for “Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act.” Which is government-speak for a program that allows you to continue on your previous company’s health care plan, but you pay the difference of what your company was paying for you.

If C adds me to her plan at work, her out of pocket maximum (which she has already met for the year) would instantly more than double. Since she is having back surgery on September 2, this would increase our out of pocket expenses by over $3000. If we are reading things correctly (I still have not received my COBRA information from CEVA, yet), it will cost me $2700 and some change for the rest of 2021 to stay with CIGNA, while it would cost us over $3600 if we switch to C’s insurance. Once the enrolment period opens back up in November, we can add me to hers for 2022.

We also learned, last night, that I’m not even eligible for Medicare until 65. I wasn’t planning to try to get on Medicare, yet, anyway.

Today is Black Cat Appreciation Day. We haven’t had a fully black cat since Screamer, but Luna is mostly black.

Or at least half black.

The word for today is minatory. This means, simply, “menacing; threatening.”

Today’s quote is from Marlene Dietrich: “It’s the friends you can call up at 4 a.m. that matter.”

And now for the birthdays:

1786 Davy Crockett, American frontiersman, adventurer and politician, born in Greene County, Tennessee (d. 1836)
1786 Princess Victoria of Saxe-Coburg-Saalfeld, mother of Queen Victoria, born in Coburg, Holy Roman Empire (d. 1861)
1838 Laura de Force Gordon, California lawyer, a prominent suffragette, and 1st woman to run a daily newspaper in the US (Stockton Daily Leader, 1874), born in North East, Pennsylvania (d. 1907)
1882 Samuel Goldwyn [Shmuel Gelbfisz], Jewish Polish American movie producer (MGM), born in Warsaw, Poland (d. 1974)
1893 Mae West, American actress and singer (She Done him Wrong), born in Brooklyn, New York (d. 1980)
1913 Mark Felt, American FBI official and Watergate secret informant known as "Deep Throat", born in Twin Falls, Idaho (d. 2008)
1920 Maureen O'Hara [FitzSimons], Irish actress and singer (Miracle on 34th St, The Quiet Man), Ranelagh, County Dublin (d. 2015)
1933 Glenn Corbett [Glen Edwin Rothenburg], American actor (Route 66, Shenandoah), born in El Monte, California (d. 1993)
1933 Mark Dinning, American pop singer (Teen Angel), born in Manchester, Oklahoma (d. 1986)
1941 Boog Powell, American baseball player (AL MVP 1970), born in Lakeland, Florida
1943 Robert De Niro, American actor (Taxi Driver, Raging Bull), born in NYC, New York
1944 Larry Ellison, American businessman (billionaire founder of Oracle Corporation), born in Manhattan, New York
1947 Gary Talley, American rock guitarist (Box Tops), born in Memphis, Tennessee
1949 Sib Hashian, American rock drummer (Boston), born in Boston, Massachusetts
1953 Kevin Rowlands, British rock vocalist (Dexy's Midnight Runners-Come on Eileen), born in Wednesfield, England
1954 Eric Johnson, American guitarist, born in Austin, Texas
1955 Richard Hilton, American heir, father of Paris and Nicky Hilton, born in Los Angeles, California
1958 Belinda Carlisle, American singer (Go-Gos, Heaven on Earth), born in Hollywood, California
1959 David Koresh, American cult leader (Branch Davidians sect), born in Houston, Texas (d. 1993)
1960 Sean Penn, American actor (Mystic River, Milk), born in Santa Monica, California
1967 Kevin Max, American singer (dc talk), born in Grand Rapids, Michigan
1968 Helen McCrory, English actress (The Queen, Peaky Blinders), born in London (d. 2021)
1969 Donald E Wahlberg Jr, American rocker (New Kids-Hangin' Tough), born in Boston, Massachusetts
1983 Dustin Pedroia, American baseball player (Boston Red Sox), born in Woodland, California
Belinda Carlisle is the lead singer. We’re the same age!
Kevin Max, formerly of DC Talk, sings a Mark Heard song
One of the best second basemen ever


Ways of our God, by Daryl Madden

Of questions to ponder
No answer to find
The ways of our God
Are beyond our mind

When we go to prayer
A glimpse that You show
A taste of Your nature
For us to know

In depths of our dwelling
Your blessings, outpour
And in the next moment
You gift even more

In heights of our joy
No limit above
As the universe shows
No end to Your love

For how do you measure?
Each moment of time
Goes to eternity

Come, everyone!
Clap your hands!
Shout to God with joyful praise!
For the LORD Most High is awesome.
He is the great King of all the earth.
(Psalms 47:1-2 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the new job beginning today;
2. that there is no end to Your steadfast love;
3. for the limitless blessings You pour out;
4. for the reasons we have to sing Your praises;
5. that we have everything we need for a godly life.

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



Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
(Psalms 106:1 ESV)

As I pause, briefly, during this quiet moment, I consider Your ways, and the truth that they are beyond the comprehension of our minds. May You direct my meditations, this morning.


For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. A psalm.

Clap your hands, all you nations; shout to God with cries of joy.

For the LORD Most High is awesome, the great King over all the earth.
He subdued nations under us, peoples under our feet.
He chose our inheritance for us, the pride of Jacob, whom he loved.

God has ascended amid shouts of joy, the LORD amid the sounding of trumpets.
Sing praises to God, sing praises; sing praises to our King, sing praises.
For God is the King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.
(Psalms 47:1-7 NIV)


When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, “If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt.” So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt ready for battle.
Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the Israelites swear an oath. He had said, “God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place.”
After leaving Sukkoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.
(Exodus 13:17-22 NIV)


As I read these passages again, slowly lingering, I look for words or phrases that catch my eye or move my heart. I meditate over these and pray my thoughts back to the Lord as I rest in His presence.

There are a couple of words that recur in the psalm. The first is “joy.” I see it twice, once in verse 1, “cries of joy,” and again in verse 5, where it says that God has ascended, “amid shouts of joy.” The first verse is a call for us, for all the nations, to shout to God with those cries of joy.

What is joy, again? It is a pervasive sense of well-being, as defined by Dallas Willard. And when we let lose those shouts of joy, God rises up, He ascends in our midst.

The other word that I see recurring in this psalm is “sing.” Four times, this word is repeated in verse 6, and each time, it is paired with “praises.”

"Sing praises to God,
sing praises;
sing praises to our King,
sing praises."

Then “sing” is repeated once again in verse 7: “For God is King of all the earth; sing to him a psalm of praise.”

I have often been convicted, in my spirit, that I do not sing enough; we do not sing enough. It gets worse when we have to have our gatherings over remote access like Zoom. Trying to sing together over Zoom just doesn’t work. There are all kinds of timing issues involved. So it is always good when we are together and we can sing together.

But we don’t just sing together, even though that is the general idea, I think, in these admonitions. We can sing when we are alone, too. Who among us has not belted out our favorite songs, singing along with the radio, caring nothing about who else might be watching as we drive along?

And doesn’t singing, especially singing praises to God, produce more joy?

An idea that speaks to me in the Exodus passage is the idea of presence. While the word, itself, does not appear in the passage, it is indicated by the pillars of cloud and fire. The cloud was their guidance by day, and the fire, by night. These were physical manifestations of the presence of the Lord.

What a comfort that must have been to the Israelites! In our modern times, we must rely on other means to be assured of the presence of God. Yet, by faith, through His grace and the Holy Spirit, we have that assurance.

We also have His “very great and precious promises” (2 Peter 1:4), that allow us to “participate in the divine nature.” This comes right after the verse that tells us that God has provided everything we need, for “a godly life.” I just got goosebumps reading that verse again.

I have everything I need. Therefore, my default attitude should be singing praises and crying out with shouts of joy to the Lord!

Father, I praise You for the truth that You have provided everything we need for our godly lives, through Your very great and precious promises! This gives us ample reason to praise You in song, and to shout Your praises in joy! Remind us, daily, nay, hourly to do this, Father, that we may not forget. While Israel had the cloud and fire, we have those promises, along with the presence of Your Holy Spirit, who dwells within us. Thank You, Lord!

Lord, help us to hear Your calling to us to serve You and follow Christ into our neighborhoods and work places. May we work together for the peace and well-being of our communities. I also pray, specifically, this morning, for those who work in the health care industry, especially in medicine.

"Ever present God,
I badly want a clear sense of your guiding presence with me.
Help me understand that you have given me something even better than the pillar of cloud and fire -
you have given the Holy Spirit,
your living light and guiding presence.
Teach me how to listen and be led by your Spirit.


You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding;
(Proverbs 2:6 ESV)

Who shall ascend the hill of the LORD? And who shall stand in his holy place?
He who has clean hands and a pure heart, who does not lift up his soul to what is false and does not swear deceitfully.
He will receive blessing from the LORD and righteousness from the God of his salvation.
Such is the generation of those who seek him, who seek the face of the God of Jacob.
(Psalms 24:3-6 ESV)

In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:6 ESV)

I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.
(Philippians 3:14 ESV)

Father, may I have Your wisdom today, seeking Your presence, Your face, and acknowledging You in all my ways.

I pray for our world, today. The pandemic rages on, and people have grown complacent about it, especially in my country. Please heal us, Lord, and take this plague from our midst. Turn our attention toward You again, and away from politics and politicians. Even Your own people, those who claim to follow Jesus, have slipped into this trap, Lord. We care little for those around us and have embraced a form of “patriotism” that has become idolatry. Heal Your Church, Father. Turn our eyes toward Jesus, and Him alone. May we look full in His wonderful, beautiful face, so that the things of earth will grow strangely dim.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Lord, have mercy on us
Christ, have mercy on us
Lord, have mercy on us

Grace and peace, friends.