“Behold, I Am Making All Things New”

“The promised peace that the world cannot give is located in being in right relationship with God. Self-acceptance becomes possible only through the radical trust in Jesus’ acceptance of me as I am.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Wednesday, September 10, 2014. I’m up and getting ready to go to work today. Not quite 100%, but feeling much better.

Today is Swap Ideas Day. I’ll show you mine if you show me yours.

Once again, there is pretty much nothing to say about yesterday, other than the fact that I am steadily feeling better. I felt pretty good during the late morning and afternoon yesterday, but, as seems to be my custom, began feeling slightly worse by bedtime. Not sure why that is, but it always seems to be the case. Anyway, I’m better this morning, so I’m going to give it a go.

No plans for this evening, as far as I know.


Because you have made the LORD your dwelling place— the Most High, who is my refuge—
no evil shall be allowed to befall you, no plague come near your tent.

Psalm 91:9-10

(From The Divine Hours)

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.
The Doxology

Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 43:3-4
For a day in your courts is better than a thousand elsewhere.
I would rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God than dwell in the tents of wickedness.

Psalm 84:10
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.
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. Selah.

Psalm 24:1-6
The people who walked in darkness have seen a great light;
those who dwelt in a land of deep darkness, on them has light shone.

Isaiah 9:2

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
Ephesians 4:29
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;
James 1:19
Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth.
1 John 3:18

From this morning’s Daily Guideposts: “One of the big challenges for people of faith is answering too fast and loving too slow.”

Perhaps we should all mull that over for a little while.

Today’s Gospel Reading

“Give us this day our daily bread,”
Matthew 6:11

There seems to be a possibility that this could be translated “our bread for tomorrow.” Apparently, the word translated “daily” is only found in this verse. “It has been understood to mean ‘daily,’ ‘necessary,’ ‘future,’ or ‘tomorrow’s.'” (Reformation Study Bible notes) Regardless of how the word is translated, it is simply a prayer for God to provide for our physical needs, as we need them. But note that we are asking for “bread,” not, say, lobster or filet mignon. We ask for what is necessary, not what is superfluous. God is our provider, not our “sugar daddy.” We also ask for our bread, not someone else’s bread. We are also asking in community, so we pray for God to provide everyone’s bread. Part of my prayers every Thursday is to pray for the Church around the world. I always pray for God to supply his children’s needs. We are community, and we should pray as such. And, as we pray this each day, we renew our devotion and focus each day.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Right Relationship.”

“The promised peace that the world cannot give is located in being in right relationship with God. Self-acceptance becomes possible only through the radical trust in Jesus’ acceptance of me as I am.”

Within each of us there is a Pharisee and an impostor. Within the embrace of Jesus, these “evil impulses are converted and transformed into good.” The lust of the sinful woman Luke wrote about was “transformed into a passion for intimacy with Jesus.” Our obsession with money can be changed to a desire for that treasure in the field of which Jesus spoke. “Our inner murderer becomes capable of murdering homophobia, bigotry, and prejudice.” Our hatred and vindictiveness can be transformed into “intolerance and rage at the caricature of God as a petty accountant.” And our saccharin-like niceness can be changed to “heartfelt compassion for those who have lost their way.”

In Revelation 21:5, Jesus says, “Behold, I am making all things new.” Maybe, just maybe, this is suddenly a bit more clear.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding.
Proverbs 3:5

Father, I pray, first of all, that you would continue to be faithful to provide our daily needs. You have been very faithful with our family, and we are so grateful for that. I pray, that you would continue to work in my spirit to make “all things new.” There is so much bigotry and prejudice that you have eliminated in my life over the past few decades, Father! I am such a different person than I was then, and I praise you for this! But there is so much more to change. I love this reading, Lord. Make all things new in my life. Don’t ever stop.

I pray for the community of the Church, as well, that we would all be made completely new. I know that, someday, all things will be new and perfect, but until then, I pray that the truths and realities of your Kingdom would come to this earth. Your Kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven!

I pray for this day. May we have safe travel to and from work. May our work day be smooth today, and may Christi’s job continue to go as great as it has been. I pray that I would continue to feel better, and that working in the warm warehouse all day would not beat me down. I pray for Stephanie, that she would know your great love for her today. Bring healing to her mind, Father.

Your grace is sufficient. I thank you that I am feeling better today.

He is making us all new, even as we read and write these things. Open up your spirit to him. Let him make you new.
all things new
Grace and peace, friends.

To the Least Of These

“The Christian growing in consciousness longs with Jesus for the unity of the global community, the dawning of the day when the lion will lie down with the lamb, East will learn the language of the West, black and white will really communicate, cities of apathy, garbage, and despair will experience the sunshine of a better life, and all men will rejoice in the Spirit that makes them one.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Thursday-that-acts-like-Friday-because-tomorrow’s-July-4th, July 3, 2014.

Today is Compliment Your Mirror Day. Shiny.

My work day was much better yesterday. My attitude was also much better. We’re hoping we don’t get swamped today, since tomorrow is a holiday. Christi’s day, work-wise, wasn’t much smoother or easier, but she was doing better, which is good. That’s the most important thing.

As mentioned, tomorrow is July 4th, which is U.S. Independence Day. So we get a holiday tomorrow. Christi is a little concerned, however, because she said they had an issue last night that may cause them to have to work some over the weekend.

The Red Sox lost to the Cubs last night. 16-9. Sixteen. Six of those came in the top of the ninth. Really, Red Sox? Baseball isn’t much fun this season. In the meantime, the Rangers blew a 4-0 lead to lose to the O’s, 6-4.


(From The Divine Hours)

Praise the LORD! Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good, for his steadfast love endures forever!
Psalm 106:1
With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.
Psalm 119:145
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Psalm 25:1-2
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11

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

Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice. Let your reasonableness be known to everyone. The Lord is at hand; do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.
Philippians 4:4-9

“To make a moment is to inhale the very breath of my Creator Savior. It is to see Him in all that He has established, and to breathe it back to Him.”~~Carol Knapp in Daily Guideposts 2014

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The World’s Liberation.”

“The Christian growing in consciousness longs with Jesus for the unity of the global community, the dawning of the day when the lion will lie down with the lamb, East will learn the language of the West, black and white will really communicate, cities of apathy, garbage, and despair will experience the sunshine of a better life, and all men will rejoice in the Spirit that makes them one.”

We really cannot afford to be insensitive or oblivious to the oppression in the world and its “struggle for redemption, freedom, and peace.” As Christians we know that any good done to someone who is poor or oppressed is done to Jesus himself.

There is too much of an attitude of “us against them” among Christians, especially around the part of Texas that I live in. Every day, I hear Christians say or post things that make me cringe, and I immediately wonder, “Can you hear Jesus saying something like that??” I pray for my brothers and sisters to be more like disciples and less like renegades and vigilantes.

And the King will answer them,
‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers,
you did it to me.’

Matthew 25:40


Father, I pray that we might become more unified, as time goes by. I pray for the minds of my brothers and sisters, especially when it comes to certain subjects, such as immigrants and guns. Father, there is a record number of children crossing our borders, unescorted. These children are “the least of these.” These are children who need. I know they are entering our country illegally. What I don’t know is how anyone who dares to call themselves by the name of Jesus Christ could turn these children away with such indignity and anger. Change our hearts, O God. We are a mess. I pray for my heart. I want to be more like Jesus. Help me to see with his eyes, hear with his ears, and feel with his heart.

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi’s day will go well, and that they won’t have to do extra work over the holiday weekend. I pray that she can begin to control the chaos and take charge of things. I pray that we have a safe trip to and from work this morning. I also pray that Stephanie will be drawn closer to your heart today. Show her your love for her.

I lift up Jana’s mother, who is in hospice. I pray that you would wrap your loving arms around her and give her peace and comfort as she begins her journey home.

Your grace is sufficient.

It might also help us to remember that we, as well, fall into that category of “the least of these.”

Grace and peace, friends.

Sovereignty Over Life

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.~~Psalm 23:2-3a

Good morning. Monday is back. March 31, 2014. ‘Tis the last day of March, but ’tis also OPENING DAY!!! NO more days until baseball season.

Today is Crayola Crayon Day. What a joy those used to bring me. I remember having on of those 76 or 84 or whatever number they had in them boxes. It even had a built in sharpener!! Ah, those days of magic and innocence. Anyway. . . If you have a chance, today, recall your “inner child” and color with some crayons. But not just any crayons. . .

Yesterday turned out being a lovely day. It was beautiful outside, which is a good thing, because, when Rachel decided she wanted to try Lee’s Grilled Cheese for her birthday lunch, it was packed and we wound up having to sit outside. And it was delicious, as always. Then we came home and had strawberry cake. Which was also delicious. We sent half of the cake home with Rachel and Justin. She enjoyed her gifts of Skullcandy headphones, as well as some Peeps and peach rings. We threw in a little unexpected cash, as well. It was a good day. The rest of the evening was spent just resting.

Today, it’s back to the grind, and this week will likely be one of the “grindiest” that I’ve had in a while. I’ve been trying to prepare myself for it. Christi has a doctor’s appointment at 10:00am (CDT), so if any of you happen to think about it during that time, a prayer would be appreciated. This guy is an orthopedic doctor, so we are hoping he can shed some light on the cause of this pain, and maybe have some advice on how to stop, or at least reduce, it.

The Texas Rangers play their first game at 1:05pm and the Boston Red Sox play at 2:05pm.

(Source: History.com)

It was on this date in 1943 that the musical, Oklahoma opened on Broadway. This was the first collaboration by Richard Rogers and Oscar Hammerstein II. It was different than most Broadway musicals, in that, instead of opening with a bang, it opened with a “lone cowboy singing a gentle idyll about corn and meadows.”

In case you haven’t done the math, that was 71 years ago.

Today’s birthday features another event that happened 71 years ago today. The birth of Christopher Walken. Walken is an actor, known for many roles. My favorite is the eighties movie Brainstorm. But he has also been good in many others. He is also known for some doing some quite funny things, such as this reading of Lady Gaga’s “Poker Face.”


(From The Divine Hours)

Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!
Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

Psalm 119:1-3
Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
Psalm 51:12
But you, O Lord, are a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness.
Psalm 86:15
For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?
Psalm 18:31

He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.

Psalm 23:2-3a
“Be still, and know that I am God.”
Psalm 46:10a

Today’s Daily Guidposts reading reminds us that God sometimes speaks most clearly we “don’t do, but . . . simply be.” “Be still and know. . . ”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Meaning of Easter.”

It’s probably difficult to place readings like these past few in a yearly devotional guide, since Easter moves around every year. Most of the time, you would be safe placing Good Friday and Easter readings right around this time, but this year, Easter falls on April 20, which is still 20 days away.

This readings turns out to be one of those that I will simply quote in its entirety.

“The meaning of Easter is more than hope beyond the
grave, more than the infallible guarantee that the
resurrection of Jesus Christ is the pledge of my own.
His Easter victory means first his sovereignty over the
living as well as the dead. The risen Christ is Lord of
my life right now, meaning he is god above all the gods
of the unreal world out there–security, power, wealth,
beauty, or whatever else makes false claims on my life.
Easter means for me empowerment to freedom, the freedom
to be a living fulfillment of the First Commandment,
‘I am the Lord your God . . . You shall have no other
gods before me.'”

Therefore it says, “When he ascended on high he led a host of captives, and he gave gifts to men.”
Ephesians 4:8

Father, may I know this sovereignty over my life! Jesus, may I fully acknowledge your Lordship over my life, through all aspects of my day. I cannot “make” you Lord of my life; I cannot ask you to be Lord over my life; you already ARE Lord! All I can do is acknowledge this fact, and I pray for your Spirit to help me remember this each moment of each day. How often I forget your Lordship and just go on about my merry (or not so merry) way. I pray that this fact of your sovereignty over my life would color all of my speech, especially around unbelievers. I pray that it would even penetrate my thoughts, to the point that I find myself utterly unable to think things that would not glorify you. This is quite a challenge, I realize, at least for me. Nothing is too difficult for you. It is always me who is the problem. Therefore, I call on your name. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. May your word be a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.

I pray for this day. May I have safe travel to and from work. I pray that Christi’s doctor appointment this morning will provide some much needed relief, as well as some answers. I also pray that she might hear something back from one of the job opportunities. Lord do not let these people forget about her in the midst of their own problems and issues. I pray for Stephanie today. May she thoroughly enjoy the first day of our team’s baseball season. While I don’t know that you care a lot for who wins sports games, your child, Stephanie, cares a lot. I pray that she might receive some joy today. Teach her your ways and give her wisdom and understanding. May my work day go smoothly today, and help me draw strength from your Spirit.

I also pray, Father, that you help me to spend at least as much time being as I spend doing.

Your grace is sufficient.

We always tend to focus on Jesus’s sovereignty over death at Easter time. Let us, this year, focus, as well, on his sovereignty over life.

Grace and peace, friends.


Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.~~Matthew 6:34

Good morning. It is FRIDAY!! March 28, 2014. A weekend away from BASEBALL SEASON!!

Today is Something On A Stick Day. We are, referring to food items. Sausage, caramel apples (if you like those), bites of steak with peppers and onions, Popsicles, Fudgesicles, whatever. Today is the day to enjoy a snack on a stick. Corny dogs!! Somebody alert Sonic!!

Yesterday was another busy day. In fact, I didn’t get off work until after 6pm last night! I wound up going straight to my meeting with my friend and pastor, Jacob. We met at Lee’s Grilled Cheese for dinner. He had never been there before, and he really liked it. We had a great conversation for about an hour and a half. During that time, he gave me something to really pray through. We talked theology for a little while, which is always fun. I don’t have a lot of people to discuss that with, and Jacob and I are very close together, theologically, at least in most areas. Definitely all the crucial stuff. I won’t go into any details here, but I was given an invitation that I need to pray through, as well as discuss thoroughly with Christi.

Speaking of Christi, she was feeling much better yesterday! It seems the chiropractor did her some good. That was great news. She has a return appointment with him today. She also got her severance check yesterday, so that’s good. We have a bit of breathing room now. Nothing has changed, yet, on the job situation. I got an email from my future manager yesterday, and they have started the process of getting my new badge for the new facility. Raytheon is a government contractor, so there will be some new access things going on.

(Source: History.com)

It was on this date in 1979 that the worst nuclear disaster in U.S. history began. A pressure valve on the Unit-2 reactor at Three Mile Island failed to close, causing contaminated cooling water to drain into adjacent buildings. The core began to overheat. The emergency cooling pumps began to operate, but human operators, misreading confusing readings, shut off the emergency water system. Temperatures came within 1000 degrees of a complete meltdown, and operators got things cooling withing about an hour of complete disaster. Two days later, however, a hydrogen bubble was discovered in the reactor building. Before it was all over, 100,000 people had been evacuated from surrounding areas. Unit 2 was never operated again. Unit 1 did not resume operation until 1985. No new nuclear plants have been built in the U.S. since this disaster.

Today’s birthday features Dianne Wiest, who turns 66 today. Dianne has been in numerable hit movies, my two favorites being Edward Scissorhands, and The Lost Boys. Here’s the trailer for The Lost Boys.


(From The Divine Hours)

Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.
Psalm 100:3
Lead me, O LORD, in your righteousness . . . make your way straight before me.
Psalm 5:8
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Psalm 118:26
Let not those who hope in you be put to shame through me, O Lord GOD of hosts; let not those who seek you be brought to dishonor through me, O God of Israel.
Psalm 69:6

Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:34

A quote from today’s reading in Daily Guideposts:

“Worry is, at best, a waste of time and, at worst, a destructive downward
spiral of negative thinking because the things we worry about often don’t
happen. The things I am looking forward to sometime don’t happen either, and
if I fritter away hours in endless fantasy, I am misplacing my attention,
missing out on what God has given me today, and not trusting Him to
provide for me tomorrow.”

And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life?
Matthew 6:27
. . . do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.
Philippians 4:6

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

Do we become so familiar with our vision of Jesus Christ crucified that get used to it and forget what it truly is: “an injunction to strip ourselves of earthly cares and worldly wisdom, all desire for human praise, greediness for any kind of comfort, spiritual consolations included; a summons to be stripped of those fine pretenses by which we manage to build up a fine picture of ourselves for the admiration of our friends. . .” Do we prefer the “more attractive duty to the less attractive?” Do we give more attention to “the people we want to stand well with?” “Even the last rag we cling to–the self-flattery that suggests that we are being rather humble when we disclaim any resemblance to Jesus Christ–even that rag has to go when we are face-to-face with the crucified Son of Man.”

Father, first of all, I pray that you would help me to strip away any facade that resembles those written above. Bring me face to face with my savior with nothing to hide behind. No pride in anything; no greediness or desire for the praise of any man. Teach me to desire only that duty which you have given me, attractive or not. Then, my Father, teach me not to worry, for I spend too much time, even at this stage in my life, worrying. My heart and my soul trust you implicitly. My flesh is another story. I pray for reconciliation between the two. I pray for the flesh to be put down and the spirit to reign over it. Teach me faith in your provision and your promises. Teach me that I am nothing without you and have nothing except what you have given me. Help me to throw off the rags of complacency and self-absorption to serve the greater good–the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

I pray for this day. May your grace follow me to and from work; may it also go ahead of me. I pray for a good work day to close out this week. I pray for an easy transition to the new job in a week or so. I pray for more news for Christi today as she pursues a new job. I pray for her pain to continue to diminish. It’s a little higher this morning, but hopefully will recede as the day goes by. Help her to not overdo things. I pray for Stephanie today, that your grace would shine in her life.

Give me wisdom in a decision that needs to be made.

Your grace is sufficient.

Trust in the Lord and don’t worry. Easier said than done. It is also wise to not engage in “positive worry,” or the act of over-planning for something that may not even happen. Let us engage in what God has given us for this day.

Grace and peace, friends.