What Is Your “Why?”

Today is Thursday, the eleventh of August, 2022, in the nineteenth week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ be in your soul today!

Day 23,527

Only EIGHT more days until S turns 29!!

The temperature only got up to 98, yesterday, and it rained again, which, once again, dropped the temperature significantly between 5 PM and 7 PM. C said it rained so hard that she had to use her windshield wipers on high. It didn’t rain that much at our house. The ten-day forecast shows only three days over 100, and more chance of rain next week.

Last night, I made Beefy American Goulash for dinner. It was definitely a hit. And there was enough left over for a couple more servings. I plan to take one for lunch at work today. Oh. that reminds me . . . I have to start soup in the crock pot for tonight’s dinner. Be right back.

I’m back. Thanks for waiting.

The Texas Rangers exploded (not literally) in the top of the tenth inning, last night, to beat the Houston Astros 8-4. The game was tied 3-3, going into the tenth. The Rangers are now 49-61 for the season, still in third place, 21 games out of first place, and nine games out of a Wild Card spot. They have another game against the Astros, this afternoon, at 1:10 CDT, in Houston. Then they are back at home for three games against the Mariners and four against the Athletics.

The Boston Red Sox score was also 8-4. Unfortunately, the Sox were on the short end of that stick. The Braves won the game. Boston is now 54-58 for the season, sinking further into last place, seventeen games out of first place, and five games out of a Wild Card spot. They begin a four-game weekend series with the Orioles, tonight, in Boston. Oops. That was an assumption. This must be one of those weird make-up games for a game that was cancelled because of the pre-season lockout. It’s only one game, followed by a three-game series with the Evil Ones. And look! The Orioles have moved into third place! Shout out to kristianw84.

The LA Dodgers continue to roll on. They are on top of all three categories that I track, here. 77-33 record, five full games ahead of the Mets (the Yankees remain in fourth place), +236 run differential, and a TEN GAME win streak going! Vin would be proud. The Nationals remain on the bottom in two categories, with a 37-76 record, and a run differential of -200. I was wondering what the worst run differential in history was. The 1899 Cleveland Spiders had a run differential of -723. Anyway, the only category that the Nats aren’t the worst in is losing streak, currently owned by the Athletics with a five-game losing streak. The Red Sox have a four game losing streak. They now have a -36 run differential, while the Rangers keep bouncing around zero, and now have a +1.

It’s Thursday, so I’ll be working an eight-hour shift at the library computer center today, from 11:15-8:15.


Lord our God, grant that we may be your watchmen, who can understand what you mean for our time. We thank you for all you have already done, for every change to the good among the nations. For the nations must bow to your will so that nothing happens unless accomplished by you. Judge us wherever necessary. Open our eyes to see where we are wrong and where something does not go according to your Spirit. Be with us and give us strength. Raise up more watchmen everywhere, in every place and in every home. Wherever something happens to move people's hearts, let the watchmen proclaim, "This comes from God. It does not matter how much we suffer. This comes from Jesus Christ, who suffered and died, but who rose again." Raise up such watchmen among young and old everywhere on earth, to the glory of your name. Let there be a people who go to meet you with shouts of joy and thanksgiving. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, “Your God reigns!” Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices; together they shout for joy. When the LORD returns to Zion, they will see it with their own eyes.
(Isaiah 52:7-8 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the good news, the Gospel of peace, and that our God reigns
2. for the willingness to open my eyes and allow God to show me when I am wrong
3. that God alone is who I wait for to satisfy the longings of my soul
4. that I strive for integrity and uprightness in my life
5. that His grace is sufficient in all things

So to keep me from becoming conceited because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, a thorn was given me in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to harass me, to keep me from becoming conceited. Three times I pleaded with the Lord about this, that it should leave me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.
(2 Corinthians 12:7-10 ESV)

Though the fig tree should not blossom, 
nor fruit be on the vines, 
the produce of the olive fail 
and the fields yield no food, 
the flock be cut off from the fold 
and there be no herd in the stalls, 
yet I will rejoice in the LORD; 
I will take joy in the God of my salvation. 
GOD, the Lord, is my strength; 
he makes my feet like the deer's; 
he makes me tread on my high places. 
(Habakkuk 3:17-19 ESV)

“You have also heard that our ancestors were told, ‘You must not break your vows; you must carry out the vows you make to the LORD.’ But I say, do not make any vows! Do not say, ‘By heaven!’ because heaven is God’s throne. And do not say, ‘By the earth!’ because the earth is his footstool. And do not say, ‘By Jerusalem!’ for Jerusalem is the city of the great King. Do not even say, ‘By my head!’ for you can’t turn one hair white or black. Just say a simple, ‘Yes, I will,’ or ‘No, I won’t.’ Anything beyond this is from the evil one.
(Matthew 5:33-37 NLT)

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.
(Psalms 1:1-2 ESV)

Do not scoff at prophecies, but test everything that is said. Hold on to what is good.
(1 Thessalonians 5:20-21 NLT)

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
(1 Peter 5:8 ESV)

May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
(Psalms 25:21 ESV)

Here, we see a link between Jesus’s words in Matthew concerning making oaths (let your yes be yes and your no be no), and this verse in Psalm 25 about integrity and uprightness.

The psalmist is asking for a true heart, a pure heart, because that is how we must draw near to God. Don’t misunderstand . . . we do not need to be totally without sin before we can approach God, because that is impossible. Even though all our sins are forgiven and wiped clean, we are still not completely without sin. It is the motivation of the heart that is in question here.

“To meet with the Holy One, our heart must be wholly given over to His will.” (Andrew Murray) When we first begin to wait upon God, we find out how treacherous our hearts really are. It is difficult to dispense with ulterior motives when praying. I find myself questioning my own motives, frequently, when I pray.

Why, for example, do most popular prayer “formulae” begin with “adoration” or “praise?” Pardon my cynicism, but I think it’s because we foolishly believe that we can “butter up” God. You know . . . “If I praise Him first, maybe He’ll answer my prayer.” Are we so naive that we don’t realize that He can see right through that?

The question also arises, what are we waiting for? When we pray, do we desire God’s gifts and actions more than we desire Himself? These are hard questions, I know. Trust me, I know, because I have grappled with them, myself, and still do. I pay attention to the words I pray. Sometimes I catch myself uttering silly, meaningless phrases, “vain repetitions,” when I pray. And when I do, I stop, immediately and confess. Sometimes, I even stop saying words for a few minutes and simply contemplate.

I don’t believe this is shameful, though, beloved. It is human. It is the normal behavior of us who are dust. And He remembers that we are dust.

I do long “for a sense of His holy presence and nearness.” Sometimes, I thirst for a manifestation of God’s power. But what is equally important is to know for whom we wait. I am not waiting on any human being to satisfy the longings of my soul. I am waiting for God and God alone, because it is He alone who is able, He alone who is worthy.

This just took an unexpected turn.

The prayer word of the day is “why.” I think the article intended it to be a question of “why,” as in “why is this happening to me?” And that, of course, is valid. However, this morning, I choose to look at it differently. And that, hopefully, will explain why I included it.

In the Weight Watchers community, it is strongly encouraged that we have a “why” in our mindset. Why am I doing this program? What is my reason? What is my “why?”

So what is my “why?”

Why do I continue to believe when so many of my old friends seem to have left the path? Why do I wait upon the Lord?

It is because I have experienced the nearness of God. I cannot prove it. I cannot even prove that God exists, just as an atheist cannot prove that He doesn’t. But I can firmly say, as Paul says,

But I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed, and I am convinced that he is able to guard until that Day what has been entrusted to me.
(2 Timothy 1:12 ESV)


For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
(Romans 8:38-39 ESV)

Does this mean I never have doubts? Oh, heck no. I certainly do. And I’m honest enough to admit it, unlike some. Frankly, I don’t believe anyone who says that they have never doubted.

Nevertheless, I am convinced of the same things of which Paul is convinced. And I know that it is on God alone that I wait. It is God and God alone who is worthy of my allegiance, my adoration, my praise, and my worship. He alone is worthy of my service, which works itself out in service to other humans.

My “why” is because He is faithful and has been faithful to me, for sixty-four years, through my unfaithfulness and my doubts. As I said above, I have experienced His nearness, His presence. I have felt His embrace. Scoff if you will, but that is something that can never be taken away from me.

Today's sources:
Pray a Word a Day
YouVersion Bible reading plan
Daily Guideposts 2022
Power in Prayer, by Andrew Murray

Father, I am so grateful for You. You have been faithful to me, all these years, in spite of my own unfaithfulness. I still, to this day, sometimes wander off the path, and You are always there to guide me back, usually gently. And I remain convinced of Your care for me, Your love for me, and that nothing can ever separate me from Your love.

You alone are worthy of my praise. You alone created all these things that we sometimes think belong to us. Yours is the glory; Yours is the honor; Yours is the praise. It is on You alone that I wait.

I know that You will never leave me or forsake me, and, consequently, do not feel that I need to ask for that.

What I do ask is that I would be able to reflect Your love to the world. Help me to have those “beautiful feet” that spread the Gospel of peace to the world, that tell the world that You reign. Let me be a channel of Your grace and mercy to all people, and not just to the ones who I think deserve it. I believe You want us to love everyone as best we can, the way You have loved us.

Hallelujah, my God! All glory to You! Who can satisfy my soul like You? You are my “fountain;” You are my King.

Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Sing Over Me

Today is Tuesday, the fifteenth of March, 2022, in the second week of Lent. The Ides of March.

Peace be with you.

Et tu, Bruté?

Day 23,378

The day is starting out busy, already. The tire pressure light came on in C’s car, yesterday evening, as she drove home from work. I went out and checked her tires while the cinnamon toast was cooking, and found that, while all of them were down a little, the right rear was down to 19 PSI, and should be 32 when cold. So she went to Kroger after we finished eating, and put air in all of them.

Before I went to bed, I went out and checked the lowest one again, and it was down to 27. This morning, it was down to 24. I told her to take my car to work, and I will run up to the local tire store and try to get it fixed, this morning. I don’t have to go to work until 4:15 today, so I have the time to get it done.

Yesterday, we managed to get Mama’s bank account set up for online management, and got her water bill set up to be done by automatic draft. Hopefully, we did, that is. We got the form filled out and I emailed it back to them. We also got her electric company set up for bill pay through her banking site. The rest of the bills, we will have to wait until we actually have the bill in hand, in order to have the mailing address where the bill goes.

However, we also decided that the cable/Internet and the landline can be shut off asap, as she does not plan to spend any more time in the house in Mineral Wells. C will take her back there on Saturday, pick up the mail, and begin the process of address change with the Post Office. We will leave the electricity and water on for now, as we will be still going back to the house for an indeterminate amount of time. But the process is hastening on.


"I am with you, child;
a mighty one who saves you,
and quiets you with my love."
(Inspired by Zephaniah 3:17)
For God alone my soul waits in silence;
    from him comes my salvation.
He alone is my rock and my salvation,
    my fortress; I shall not be greatly shaken.
(Psalm 61:1-2 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for simple things in life, like a quiet cup of coffee at my desk
2. for many conveniences that we take for granted, like central heat and A/C, running water, indoor bathrooms, and so on
3. for love; I know that word comes up frequently, but in this case, I'm simply grateful for love, in general, the fact that it even exists is quite miraculous, to me
4. for music, music, music! Zephaniah 3:17 tells us that God sings over us and quiets us with His love
5. for questions that make me think and ponder

Today’s prayer word is “music.” The Scripture referenced is Zephaniah 3:17.

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)

This verse has been somewhat special to me for a number of years. I believe that it is not possible to overstate God’s love for us. I realize that Zephaniah is a book of prophecy to Israel, and that I am not part of Israel. But I am one of God’s children, and I believe, with all my heart, that He feels this way about all of His children.

I believe that He rejoices over us with gladness.
I believe that He quiets us with His love.
I believe that he exults over us with loud singing.

It’s been close to thirty years since I was introduced to the concept of God singing over me. It was the music of Dennis Jernigan that did that, and his music continues to have a special place in my heart, especially since it was his music that tended to put skin to the concepts of Zephaniah 3:17 in the life of our autistic daughter.

I cannot even imagine a world without music. It might as well be in black and white, with no color, whatsoever. It would be even duller than that.

Thank you, Lord, for music! And for singing over me!

Just sit back and listen to that song and feel the love of God pouring over you!

Eugene H. Peterson asks a question, in On Living Well. The reading is called “An Unanswered Question.” The question is, “What gets our attention?”

It is a question worthy of pondering. What gets your attention?

“We are bombarded with ideas, invitations, arguments, and enthusiasms that claim to make us better or happy or safe. We are yelled at, bartered with, urged, and pushed. All of it can’t be true. All of it can’t be important. But some of it must be.

“How do we distinguish between the central and peripheral? Where do we get an orientation in this dizzying whirl of argumentation? How do we find our way home through the blinding storm of controversy? How do we purchase a personal place to stand in the pushing and jostling crowd of people who claim to tell us the truth of our lives?

“What gets our attention? The loudest voice? The cleverest slogan? The biggest promise?” (The italics are my addition, as I found that question to be most intriguing.)

I’ve quoted the entire reading, and you will note that the question does, indeed, go unanswered. It is for you and me to consider.

What gets my attention? Who/what do I listen to?

I’m choosing, at least for today, to listen to that One who quiets me with His love, who rejoices over me with gladness, and who exults over me with loud singing. And that is how I find my way Home.

Father, I praise You for Your love. That is what I am most grateful for. Besides being simply thankful that love exists at all, I am thankful that You love me, and that You have spared no expense to display that. I pity the soul who cannot see that. I wonder how such a soul can possibly survive in this world.

I thank You for music, especially the music that You sing over me. Oh, how You quiet my soul with Your love; Oh, how You exult over me. And oh, how I never seem to cease to fail You or let You down.

Yet, You remember that we are but dust. So I find that I believe that You are not surprised, and maybe not even disappointed when I fail You, because You remember that. I cannot ask for forgiveness for being dust, because dust is whence I came. I have no control over that. However, I can repent of failing You; I can consider my ways of thinking and point my feet in a different direction.

And I can listen to those songs, both the songs of quiet love and the songs of loud singing that You sing over me. Help me to hear them all, and, whenever possible, help me to join in the singing.

Help me also to know Your voice, and shut out all of those other yelling, urging, and pushing voices in this world. Keep me focused on the voice that leads me Home, let that be the voice that gets my attention. And if that takes regularly getting to a place of quiet so I can hear that voice, then help me to do that, as well.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends. And music.

Forever Faithful

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the twenty-third of November, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Today’s header photo is courtesy of Paul Militaru. Please check out his photo blog!

Day 23,266

Two days until Thanksgiving!

Yesterday was largely a day of rest and recuperation. At least for me. C was a “busy bee” for a good part of the day. Not being content with just sitting around, she put up most of the Christmas decorations in the house, as well as some of the outside decorations. The tree is up, but not decorated. We will probably put the ornaments on tomorrow night after I get home from work at the library.

We plan to put up the outside house lights after I finish blogging, this morning. So I will try to get finished this “morning.” Some are aware that there are some days where it is not posted until noon or later.

There will also be another trip to the grocery store today, to get some things that we either forgot or didn’t know we needed, yesterday. And I’m thinking we will probably have Subway for lunch.

Today is my half-day at the library, 4:15-8:15 PM.


“Enter, Lord Christ–
I have joy in Your coming.
You have given me life;
and I welcome Your coming.
I turn now to face You,
I lift up my eyes.
Be blessing my face, Lord;
be blessing my eyes.
May all my eye looks on
be blessed and be bright,
my neighbors, my loved ones
be blessed in Your sight.
You have given me life
and I welcome Your coming.
Be with me, Lord,
I have joy, I have joy.”
(Celtic Daily Prayer)

And now we thank you, our God,
and praise your glorious name.
(1 Chronicles 29:13 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for Your presence here, this morning
2. for Your glorious name, worthy of all our praise
3. for Jesus, the Way, Truth, and Life
4. that You remain faithful forever
5. that You alone satisfy my every longing

“Let not your hearts be troubled.
Believe in God; believe also in me.
In my Father’s house are many rooms.
If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?
And if I go and prepare a place for you,
I will come again and will take you to myself,
that where I am you may be also.
And you know the way to where I am going.”

Thomas said to him,
“Lord, we do not know where you are going.
How can we know the way?”

Jesus said to him,
“I am the way,
and the truth,
and the life.
No one comes to the Father except through me.
If you had known me,
you would have known my Father also.
From now on you do know him and have seen him.”
(John 14:1-7 ESV)

Jesus said to him,
"I am the Way, Truth, and Life.
If you had known me . . ."

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



“Be still,
and know that I am God.
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth!”
(Psalms 46:10 ESV)

As I pause during this quiet moment, also enjoying the affection of a favorite cat, I enjoy the presence of God. I am still, and know that He is God.


I will praise the LORD all my life;
I will sing praise to my God as long as I live.
(Psalms 146:2 NIV)

He is the Maker of heaven and earth,
the sea, and everything in them—
he remains faithful forever.
He upholds the cause of the oppressed
and gives food to the hungry.
The LORD sets prisoners free,
the LORD gives sight to the blind,
the LORD lifts up those who are bowed down,
the LORD loves the righteous.
The LORD watches over the foreigner
and sustains the fatherless and the widow,
but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.

The LORD reigns forever,
your God, O Zion, for all generations.

Praise the LORD.
(Psalms 146:6-10 NIV)


“In that day,” declares the Sovereign LORD,
“I will make the sun go down at noon
and darken the earth in broad daylight.
I will turn your religious festivals into mourning
and all your singing into weeping.
I will make all of you wear sackcloth
and shave your heads.
I will make that time like mourning for an only son
and the end of it like a bitter day.

“The days are coming,” declares the Sovereign LORD,
“when I will send a famine through the land—
not a famine of food or a thirst for water,
but a famine of hearing the words of the LORD.
People will stagger from sea to sea
and wander from north to east,
searching for the word of the LORD,
but they will not find it.”
(Amos 8:9-12 NIV)


As I read these passages again, slowly, I look for words or phrases that catch my eye or move my heart. I slowly mull over those words and phrases, and pray my thoughts, meditations, and desires, and feelings back to the Lord, enjoying His presence.

One word in Psalm 146, that catches my attention, is the word “faithful.” Verse 6 declares that the Lord “remains faithful forever.”

Forever. Infinitely. Never-changing. Faithful.

And in that faithfulness, the Lord does some things.

He upholds the cause of the oppressed
He gives food to the hungry
He sets prisoners free
He gives sight to the blind
He lifts up those who have bowed down
He loves the righteous
He watches over the foreigner
He sustains the fatherless and widows
He frustrates the ways of the wicked

In the middle of all of that are two words that I believe may be misunderstood by some.

Righteous and wicked.

It is my opinion (and I believe that opinion to be based on wisdom from the Word of God) that “righteous” defines people who do the same things as God does. In other words, if a person is “righteous,” he upholds the cause of the oppressed, gives food to the hungry, sets prisoners free, gives sight to the blind, lifts up those who are bowed down, watches over the foreigners, and sustains the widows and orphans.

It is also my opinion that the word “wicked” defines people who do the opposite of what God does. They are the oppressors, they withhold food from the hungry, imprison people, blind people, force people to bow down, ignore the foreigners (or worse), and do not care for the widows and fatherless.

The “righteous” may also be involved in frustrating the ways of the “wicked,” but I think that is largely the job of the Lord.

And here’s the thing. Do I consider myself “righteous?” With as much honesty and transparency as I can muster, I would say it depends on what day it is. There are days when I try really hard to do all of those things as much as it is up to me. I may not be directly involved in all of them, but my prayers are toward those objectives, and if I have resources to share (which I do), I try to send them out in those directions.

But truthfully, there are, no doubt, days when I lean more toward the “wicked” side. And that is where the biggest truth of this passage comes into play.

God remains faithful forever.

Praise the Lord.

I’m not going to speak much about the Amos passage. It is, as far as I can tell, explicitly directed toward Israel. It speaks of a dire need and lack of any word from the Lord, which is something that was fulfilled in the period between the end of the Old Testament and the coming of Jesus Christ. Today, my focus is on the forever faithfulness of our Lord God Almighty.

Father, You are faithful forever. Your faithfulness never changes; it never wanes; it never fails. Our brand of faithfulness is fickle, at best. Some days it is nonexistent. I pray that my faithfulness will more closely resemble yours. But I’m real enough to acknowledge that it likely will not, at least most days. I pray for more of a heart that will work to uphold the cause of the oppressed, to give food to the hungry, to set prisoners free, to give sight to the blind, to lift up the bowed down, to watch over the foreigner, and to sustain the fatherless and the widow. If, in working toward all of those, the plans of the wicked are frustrated, all the better. But mostly, I want to be more like You, in Your righteousness and Your faithfulness.

I pray for the ability to follow Your calling to walk with Jesus in our neighborhoods and work places. I pray for the peace and well-being of our communities.

"God Almighty,
I am hungry for You and famished for life.
When I'm tempted to gorge on spiritual junk food,
work up my appetite for Your nourishing word,
more than enough to fill me up.
Thank You for Your words,
but also for the Word,
who alone can satisfy my deepest hungers.


Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial,
for when he has stood the test
he will receive the crown of life,
which God has promised to those who love him.
(James 1:12 ESV)

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!

Grace and peace, friends.

One Of Us

Good morning. It is Saturday, August 2, 2014.

Today is Mead Day. In case you don’t know what mead is, it is an alcoholic beverage made by fermenting honey with water. Sometimes other fruits, spiced, or grains are added as well. It is, to some people, excessively sweet. I love the stuff. I had my first taste of mead at Scarborough Renaissance Festival about five years ago. It’s very difficult to find. Apparently, you can make it yourself, at home. Perhaps I should look into that.

Last night, Christi, Stephanie, and I went to Arlington, to Prince of Peace Church, to see and worship with Dennis Jernigan. We have not seen him in a long time, and it was a very pleasant and refreshing time of worship. We sang a few songs from his latest album, “Days of Awe.” I need to give that CD a listen again, as some of those songs were very good. Stephanie, of course, had a wonderful time, as he is one of her heroes.

This morning, I have to take my care in to the dealership for 15,000 mile service. I’m supposed to be there at 10:15, so I may have to hurry through some of this.

Tonight, we have our worship service at 5:45, preceded by our “Anchor” prayer gathering at 4:45. We are The Exchange. If you live close by, we welcome you to come visit.

(Source: This Day In History)

On this date in 1776, fifty-six delegates of Congress wrote their names on an enlarged copy of the Declaration of Independence. They went in order from north to south, beginning with New Hampshire’s Josiah Bartlett and ending with Georgia’s George Walton. Refusing to sign were John Dickson of Pennsylvania, James Duane, Robert Livingston, and John Jay of New York.

Sharing a birthday today are Myrna Loy, Mary-Louise Parker, Victoria Jackson, Peter O’Toole, Carroll O’Connor, Wes Craven, Grady Sizemore, Tim Wakefield, Butch Patrick, Frederic August Bartoldi, Beatrice Straight, Joanna Cassidy, and Andrew Gold.

Tim Wakefield is a retired MLB pitcher. He played the majority of his career with the Boston Red Sox, and was a great knuckleball pitcher. Here is a short clip of him in action against the Milwaukee Brewers.


Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner.

Shout for joy to God, all the earth; sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise! Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies come cringing to you. All the earth worships you and sings praises to you; they sing praises to your name.” Selah.
Psalm 66:1-4
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Psalm 33:22
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work; at the works of your hands I sing for joy.
Psalm 92:4
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
Psalm 91:1
Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid. You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’
John 14:27-28a
I lift up my eyes to the hills. From where does my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not let your foot be moved; he who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, he who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD is your keeper; the LORD is your shade on your right hand. The sun shall not strike you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all evil; he will keep your life. The LORD will keep your going out and your coming in from this time forth and forevermore.
Psalm 121

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “One of Us.”

When Jesus acted passionately in the cleansing of the Temple in John 2, it may be somewhat disturbing to people who believe that our life in Christ to be “sweetly insipid or airily otherworldly.” In this passage, we see a “portrait of an angry Savior.” This Jesus, who said, “Forgive your neighbor seventy times seven,” and, “Learn from me for I am gentle and humble of heart,” made “a homemade whip and is tearing through the Temple overturning stalls and showcases, thrashing the merchants and roaring, ‘Get out of here! This isn’t Winn Dixie! You will not turn sacred space into a supermarket!'”

“Like fear, love, and hatred, anger is an emotion both basic and necessary to human nature. When God drew aside the curtain of eternity and stepped into human history in the man Jesus, he fully assumed the human condition down to the last joyful or painful experience. The Word was made flesh. he was really one of us. Jesus is no stained-glass figure, no pastel face on a religious card.”

Jesus wept.
So the Jews said, “See how he loved him!”

John 11:35-36

Father, may we not forget that Jesus was, indeed, one of us for a few years. Let us remember that he felt the same emotions we feel; saw the same things we see; had the same experiences we experience. He was fully human, fully divine, as impossible as this seems. May we not be guilty of thinking that this life is “sweetly insipid or airily otherworldly.” We must live in this world, while attempting to be “not of this world.” We cannot walk around with our heads in the clouds, being “too heavenly minded to be of any earthly good.” May we keep our feet firmly planted on this earth, while focusing on things above, keeping our lives hidden with you.

I pray for this day. I pray for safe travel for Christi and me, as we go about our errands today. May your grace fill our day and keep us focused on you and your plan for us. May our worship this evening be full of your grace and truth, lifting you high and exalting your name.

May we remember that Jesus was not plastic. He had and showed emotion, just as we do. He just managed to do all of that without sinning. Our Savior was, indeed, one of us.

Grace and peace, friends.