Cake or Death?

Today is Wednesday, June 5, 2019.

Day 22,364

Twenty-nine days until July 4

Quote of the Day

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.”
E.B. White, American writer, 1899-1985

Word of the Day

Rigwelted ~ Of a sheep: lying on its back and unable to stand up without assistance. Also in extended use (of a person): confined to bed or reduced to inactivity as a result of illness, fatigue, etc. (Oxford English Dictionary)

This evening, we have an event that is periodically put on by one of S’s old high school teachers. Every so often, she has a “reunion” for her students. It is a very cool thing to see. So we will be doing that at a local restaurant, right after work today.

The Rangers lost to the worst team in MLB, last night, 12-11. It was really worse than that, but the Rangers scored six runs in the bottom of the ninth. Drew Smyly took the loss for the Rangers. They are now 30-28, in second place in the AL West, but ten games out. They still have the second wild card spot, though. They will play the Orioles again tonight, at 7:05 in Arlington. Mike Minor will start.

The Boston Red Sox fared better with the second-worst team. They beat the Royals 8-3, after falling behind 2-0. Eduardo Rodriguez got the win. They are now 31-29, in third place in the AL East, 7.5 games out. They will play the Royals again tonight at 7:15, in Kansas City. Chris Sale, still trying to get his second win of the season, will start.

There is no cat in my room. However, the Corgi, Tessie, is right behind me.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Be not like a horse or a mule, without understanding, which must be curbed with bit and bridle, or it will not stay near you.
Psalm 32:9

Today I am grateful:
1. For a teacher that cares enough about her students to want to gather them together, occasionally
2. For God’s provision
3. For a mother who taught me well
4. That God is with me when I “pass through the waters,” and “walk through fire” (Isaiah 43:2)
5. That God directs me to choose “life and good” over “death and evil”

Let us hear the record of God’s saving deeds in history, how he saved his people in ages past; and let us pray that our God will bring each of us to the fullness of redemption.
(The Book of Common Prayer)

(From Our Daily Bread)

Today’s reading is called “Choose Life.”

I call heaven and earth to witness against you today, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curse. Therefore choose life, that you and your offspring may live, loving the LORD your God, obeying his voice and holding fast to him, for he is your life and length of days, that you may dwell in the land that the LORD swore to your fathers, to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, to give them.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20

We were actually instructed to read Deuteronomy 30:11-20, in which God declares that he has set two paths before us; life and good, death and evil.

Many people spend their entire lives seeking the will of God like its a needle in a haystack. The problem is, they are looking for direction in the smallest of details. They might as well be trying to get God to tell them which shirt to wear today.

I have seen people struggle over job choices. I knew someone once who had two job opportunities before her. She struggled and agonized over which one God wanted her to take, even leaning toward the one that she liked less, because somehow, she had this insane idea that God would be more glorified if she were less happy.

I honestly don’t know where people get such ideas.

The truth is probably more like this: as long as the job you take doesn’t specifically dishonor God or ask you to do things that are against his commands, it really doesn’t matter which one you take. And God probably doesn’t have that “perfect spouse” out there waiting just for you. I could be wrong.

But we have this wrong idea of God’s will because we have a wrong idea about God. “God takes no pleasure in seeing us lost, wandering, searching. He wants us to know His will. he makes it clear, and He makes it simple. He doesn’t even make it multiple-choice.” God is not “up there” giving us five choices and eagerly waiting to see if we’ll “get it right.” That same view of God sees him waiting to pounce upon us with punishment if we should happen to choose the wrong one.

No. God gives us two choices. “Life and good” or “death and evil.” (Almost like “cake or death.” Extra points if you get that.) After giving those two choices, he even gives us a hint! “Choose life!” (Deuteronomy 30:19)

Our problem is we don’t want things to be that simple. We want to make it complicated. But it’s not. Choose life. Choose God and his word. Choose good.

Father, thank you for giving us a “hint” to choose life. I praise you that, through my life, you have directed my heart to choose life. Yes, there have been isolated instances where I did not choose “life and good.” But the broad spectrum of my life sees that I have consistently chosen life over death, and chosen to honor and live by your word and the words of Jesus.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

He will cover you with his pinions, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness is a shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

Grace and peace, friends.

Take Care Lest You Forget the Lord

Good morning. It is Tuesday, October 9, 2018.

Day 22,125

“Democracy is the recurrent suspicion that more than half of the people are right more than half the time.” ~ E.B. White, 1899-1985, The Quotations Page

The word of the day is ineluctable, “incapable of being evaded; inescapable.” Example, an ineluctable destiny.

C cooked up a nice breakfast, yesterday morning, of eggs, sausage, and biscuits. After we ate breakfast, C and I headed to The Strand to embark upon a sort of scavenger hunt. Put on by Island Treasure Hunts, it was an “adventure” in which we, using our mobile phones (other devices could also be used), walked around the area of The Strand, looking for placques, signs, and other things. Each step would have a series of directions and landmarks for which to look. Then, a question would have to be answered to continue. The “prizes” were discount coupons for merchants that we either passed by or stopped at to find further clues. A couple of times, math was involved, but nothing worse than simple counting. Although, it turned out to be not so simple a couple times. For example, we stopped outside a placed called Star Drug Store. We had to count the stars, both words and symbols. We finally found them all, but it was tricky. There was only one question that I think we missed, but the instructions were slightly vague.

We learned a lot about the history of the area, as well as discovering many buildings that were survivors of the 1900 hurricane. We had a great time, in spite of it being rather hot and sunny for most of the walk. We walked at least three miles and it took right about three hours. Fortunately, we had parked right in front of La Kings Confectionery, a throw-back to the old-time candy/ice cream store. C and I got some ice cream to cool us off, and then bought a bunch of chocolaty candy to take back to the house.

We had planned to go to the Rainforest Cafe for dinner, but we decided to order some burgers from a local place, and C and Mama went to pick them up.

The rest of the evening, I spent listening to the Red Sox totally embarrass the New York Yankees. I don’t think I have ever experienced anything quite like it. It started slowly, as the Sox scored one run in the top of the second, to start the scoring. Nathan Eovaldi pitched brilliantly, only giving up one run, which would be the only run the Yankees scored. They threatened a couple more times, but that was it. The Sox batted around (eleven batters) in the top of the fourth, scoring seven runs! That made the score 10-0 before the Yankees finally scored in the bottom of the fourth. There were a couple of scoreless innings, but then the Sox scored one in the seventh, three in the eighth, and two more in the ninth. The icing on the cake was Brock Holt hitting for the cycle, the first time it has ever been done in postseason! Final score, 16-1, Red Sox!

That, of course, puts the Sox up 2-1 in the series. Tonight, Rick Porcello will face off against C.C. Sabathia. I feel pretty good about that match-up. I just hope the Sox don’t get overconfident after last night. I also hope they bunt a lot against Sabathia. Haha!

Sadly, the Sox and Yanks will be the only teams playing for the remainder of the week (until Friday), as the Astros swept the Indians, winning 11-3 yesterday, and the Dodgers beat the Braves, as well, to get their spot on the NLCS. It figures that the Sox and Yankees would still be fighting it out.

We have no plans for today. We might ride the ferry across to Bolivar. If we do, I imagine we will walk on, as previous trips have showed us that there is absolutely nothing of interest on the Bolivar peninsula, other than an old fort, which we have already seen. We will also take bread to feed the seagulls, and we will watch for dolphins.

I was made aware, yesterday, of some very sad news. One of my favorite musicians passed away yesterday. Most of the people who might read this would not recognize the name, but it is Tim Chandler, a bass player. He has played with Daniel Amos and The Choir, and I know that he has also played with Mike Roe, if not with the Seventy Sevens, as well. It came as a complete shock to me, as I had not been aware of his declining health. I have met this man, and enjoyed his music for many years. He will be greatly missed.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

then take care lest you forget the LORD, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery.
Deuteronomy 6:12

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits, 
who forgives all your iniquity, who heals all your diseases, 
who redeems your life from the pit, who crowns you with steadfast love and mercy, 
who satisfies you with good so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

Psalm 103:2-5

Remember the wondrous works that he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
Psalm 105:5

In the past few months, I have become more aware of something, concerning God. His presence.

Wait. But haven’t I always been aware of the presence of God?

In some ways, yes. But recently, it has become more intense. It was brought to my attention, a few months ago, that the “heavens” actually begin right after the ground stops. The “heavens” stretch from the ground, into, well, infinity, as far as we know.

And God is in the heavens (Psalm 115:3). That means that He is here with me, right now. As I sit in this chair, at this table, with the ocean view in front of me, typing this blog, God is here with me! He is in front of me. He is in the water. He is in the air that I am breathing. He is behind me, above me, beside me, below me. Psalm 139 reminds us that there is nowhere that we can go where God is not.

Deuteronomy 6:12 reminds me not to forget this God, who brought me out of the slavery of sin. Psalm 103 reminds me of the benefits of this God, who forgives all my iniquity, who heals my diseases, who redeems my life from the pit, who crowns me with steadfast love and mercy, and who satisfies me with good things. Good things. Right now, this ocean view is a “good thing,” and I am very satisfied. But I need to remember, when I get back to the “normal” life, to be satisfied with the good things that God has given me, and not chase after things that I perceive to be “good.”

Finally, Psalm 105 reminds me to remember His wondrous works.

God is here, he is everywhere. He is with you, wherever you are reading this. That truth is a great comfort to me.

Father, thank You for Your presence, not just in my life, but in all lives. I pray that more people would acknowledge Your presence, and that You would make more people aware of Your presence, since You are, indeed, in all places, all the time. Help me to have a deeper sense of Your presence for the rest of this week in Galveston, as I look out at Your glorious creation and draw peace from it. Thank You for the ocean.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

In Truth

Today is Saturday, August 18, 2018. 8/18/18 in Palindrome week. Unfortunately, I already missed 8:18 on 8/18/18. Oh, well.

Day 22,073.

ONE DAY!!! ONE DAY until S turns 25!!!!!

“I get up every morning determined to both change the world and have one hell of a good time. Sometimes this makes planning my day difficult.” ~ E.B. White, 1899-1985, The Quotations Page

The word for today is prima facie (I know . . . two words), “plain or clear; self-evident; obvious.” Also, “at first appearance; at first view, before investigation.”

Yesterday was a fantastic day. I had not trouble dropping off my car and picking up the rental car. Everything there went smoothly. At this point, I have no clue how long it will take for my car to be fixed. I got a grey 2018 Nissan Ultima as my rental. Not bad, but I probably wouldn’t buy one.

We had a great lunch at Martha’s restaurant, where S elected to go, followed by mani/pedis at a new place for us, recommended by a friend from church. It was indeed a marvelous experience. They even gave us complimentary drinks. And by “drinks,” I mean my current favorite alcoholic beverage, with one of the most awkward names to order, Sex on the Beach. I’m not quite sure how they made it, but the basic recipe is vodka, peach Schnapps, orange juice and cranberry juice. Mine was a tad heavy on the cranberry, but it was still good. They offered me another, but I chose Diet Coke after that. After all, I had to drive home.

This was my first manicure, and it was every bit as amazing as the pedicure. They put hot wax bags on my hands, rubbed down my hands and arms, and then, a surprise I was not expecting, massaged my shoulders! It just kept getting better! We will definitely be back for more. Not too often, however, as the cost for the three of us, including tips was close to $300. That’s why we just do this around birthdays. It’s a splurge.

After the mani/pedis, we drove through at Andy’s for some frozen custard. That was pretty much it for the day. We got home, C went to the bedroom for a short nap (we were so relaxed from the mani/pedis), while I sat down to play on the Playstation. S went to her room and, no doubt, played World of Warcraft. Later, C made a strawberry cake, and then we watched a few episodes of The Staircase on Netflix, a true crime documentary. C finished the cake with icing, this morning.

Strawberry Cake

After a while, we will head to Mineral Wells for the remainder of the weekend. Lunch is planned to be burgers at Dairy Mart. I’m not sure what will happen for dinner. C and I will stay at a local hotel, while S will, more thank likely, elect to sleep on Grandma’s couch. We will go to church tomorrow with Grandma, and then have lunch, probably at Pastafina. At some point in there, S will get birthday presents.

Almost forgot . . . The Red Sox beat the Rays, last night, 7-3. This puts their record at 87-36, 10.5 up on the Yankees in the AL East, with 39 games left.

The Rangers also won, beating the Angels 6-4. Their record is 55-69, 20 games back in the AL West, and 19 back in the Wild Card. Their elimination number is 20.

The longest current win streak now belongs to Cleveland, with six consecutive wins.

There will not be a blog entry, tomorrow, as I will not be taking a computer with me on the trip to Mineral Wells.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

A Song of Praise. Of David.
I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 
Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 
Great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable. 
One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 
On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. 
The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 
The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made. 
All your works shall give thanks to you, O LORD, and all your saints shall bless you! 
They shall speak of the glory of your kingdom and tell of your power, 
to make known to the children of man your mighty deeds, and the glorious splendor of your kingdom. 
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The LORD is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] 
The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. 
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. 
You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. 
The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. 
The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. 
He fulfills the desire of those who fear him; he also hears their cry and saves them. 
The LORD preserves all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy. 
My mouth will speak the praise of the LORD, and let all flesh bless his holy name forever and ever.

Psalm 145

Verses 8 and 9 always speak to me, when I read this Psalm. “The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. The LORD is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.” We may not always think this way, but truly, God is good to all of His creation. He sends rain to all people, even to those who do not acknowledge His existence. He could, very easily, destroy anyone who refuses to worship Him, but He does not do that. He is gracious and merciful.

Verse 14 also has some great truth. “The LORD upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down.” Going on to verses 17-18, “The LORD is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.” He is kind in all His works, but He is near to all who call upon Him. He is kind to all, but even better, He draws near to us who call on Him. I may be reading too much into this, but the line that says “all who call on him in truth” is very important, I believe. “Truth.” Jesus calls Himself “the truth.” Therefore, if people do not call on God in Jesus, He does not draw near to them.

Father, I thank you for the Truth. I thank you for these words of encouragement and comfort from Psalm 145, words which inspire me to praise You for all that You have done, not only in the lives of Your children, but for the entire world. Help us, Your children, to shine Your light on this darkened world as we walk, day by day. May we be true followers of Jesus, walking in Your Kingdom daily.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.


Today is Monday, August 13, 2018. Day 22,068.

Only SIX DAYS until S turns 25!!!

“There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.” ~ E.B. White, 1899-1985, BrainyQuote

The word for today is orgulous, which simply means, “proud.”

For a weekend where we didn’t do much, that sure went by fast.

It was definitely good to be back with our Exchange family, yesterday morning. After church, C went out and got a couple of things that we forgot on our Click List from the day before, then cooked some baked potatoes and steaks for us for a late lunch. Later, I whipped up some strawberry shortcakes for dessert. Don’t worry, S, there are plenty of strawberries left for your cake, this weekend.

I’ll be taking Friday off, this week, to spend the day with S. Unfortunately, part of the day will be spent at the DMV office, getting her state ID renewed. For some reason, we can’t do it online. I think C is planning to take off at lunchtime, and we just might be getting pedicures that afternoon!

The Red Sox beat the O’s for a sweep, yesterday afternoon, winning 4-1. Their record is now 85-35, fifty games over .500. They remain 9.5 up in the AL East. They are off tonight, and play the Phillies tomorrow night, in Philly.

The Rangers lost to the Yankees, 7-2, to make their record 52-68. They remain 21.5 out in the AL West. They play the D-backs tonight in Arlington.

St. Louis continues to hold the longest winning streak with five consecutive wins.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
Deliver me, O LORD, from evil men; preserve me from violent men, 
who plan evil things in their heart and stir up wars continually. 
They make their tongue sharp as a serpent’s, and under their lips is the venom of asps. Selah. 
Guard me, O LORD, from the hands of the wicked; preserve me from violent men, who have planned to trip up my feet. 
The arrogant have hidden a trap for me, and with cords they have spread a net; beside the way they have set snares for me. Selah. 
I say to the LORD, You are my God; give ear to the voice of my pleas for mercy, O LORD! 
O LORD, my Lord, the strength of my salvation, you have covered my head in the day of battle. 
Grant not, O LORD, the desires of the wicked; do not further their evil plot, or they will be exalted! Selah. 
As for the head of those who surround me, let the mischief of their lips overwhelm them! 
Let burning coals fall upon them! Let them be cast into fire, into miry pits, no more to rise! 
Let not the slanderer be established in the land; let evil hunt down the violent man speedily! 
I know that the LORD will maintain the cause of the afflicted, and will execute justice for the needy. 
Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.

Psalm 140

How many of us need to pray for protection from “evil men,” people who hide traps for us, or spread nets and snares for us? Well, who knows, right? I don’t particularly know of anyone who has violence planned against me. I’m not the king of a nation, you know. I’m just a regular guy who gets up and drives to work every morning. But as the old Amy Grant song “Angels” said, I never really know what God protects me from, throughout the day, do I? So it’s probably not a bad idea to pray for God to deliver us from “evil men,” or to ask God to not grant “the desires of the wicked.”

Is it okay to pray for burning coals to fall on their heads? I would be careful with that one and let God judge who needs burning coals on their heads. Sometimes I’m just angry with someone because they didn’t act the way I think they should. That’s definitely not a cause for burning coals to fall on their heads.

I like the way David ends this one. “Surely the righteous shall give thanks to your name; the upright shall dwell in your presence.” Amen.

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places
Ephesians 1:3

“God has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in Christ.” Our earthly lives, as Christians, can only be lived “in the power of the heavenly world.”

The Holy Spirit gives us understanding. The Holy Spirit gives us the ability to “live a life of abiding access to the Father through Jesus Christ.” Joined together with our fellow believers, we become “a dwelling place for God.” And the Holy Spirit gives us strength.

“The believer is to walk in meekness and lowliness of heart, keep the unity of the spirit, and minister in the power of the Spirit for the building up of the body of Christ in love. He seeks never to grieve the Spirit, but rather to be filled with the Spirit, fulfilling the law of love in his daily life.”

What do we need to catch this vision? “Time, though, prayer, and quiet waiting on the Spirit of God.” And the description of the believe, above, should not be thought of as the “super-Christian.” It should be the “normal spiritual experience. We must turn away from self and the world and allow God to work out in us His purposes according to the counsel of His will.”

This sounds a lot like a sentence early in Eugene Peterson’s book, Where Your Treasure Is. He said, “America is in conspicuous need of unselfing.”

(From Power in Prayer, Andrew Murray)

Father, today, help me to “unself.” By your Spirit, Lord, make me the believer who walks in meekness and lowliness of heart. Help me to keep the unity of the spirit, and to minister in the power of the Spirit. Help me to build up the body of Christ in love, not tear down. May I not grieve your Spirit today, but be filled with the Spirit. Let my self be laid low today. Let Your Self be magnified in me.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Joy of the Lord

Today is Tuesday, June 5, 2018. Day 21,999. Tomorrow’s a significant day!!

12 days until Father’s Day.

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” ~ E.B. White (Stuart Little, Charlotte’s Web), 1899-1985, BrainyQuote

“Dance like it hurts,
Love like you need money,
Work when people are watching.”
Scott Adams (Dilbert), The Quotations Page

The word for today is schlimazel, a noun which means, “an inept, bungling person who suffers from unremitting bad luck.” Can you guess where is the only place I’ve ever heard that word?

The back/leg pain is close to the same, this morning, but perhaps slightly better. I seem to have slept better, last night, but still struggle to be able to sleep flat on my back or on my left side. Currently, as I sit in this chair, typing, there is no pain, though. I made it through work okay, yesterday, but every time I had to walk any great distance or stand for more than a couple of minutes, it began to hurt. It would probably be helpful to stay at home for a day, but I’m not going to do that. C is going to the Y tonight, but, barring a miracle (which I certainly believe in), I will not.

There were no baseball games yesterday. Okay, that’s not 100% true, just none that I care about. However, the Yankees split a double header with Detroit, so the Sox are officially in first place by one game, according to the standings.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth. 
He remembers his covenant forever, the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations, 
the covenant that he made with Abraham, his sworn promise to Isaac, 
which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute, to Israel as an everlasting covenant, 
saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan as your portion for an inheritance.” 
When they were few in number, of little account, and sojourners in it, 
wandering from nation to nation, from one kingdom to another people, 
he allowed no one to oppress them; he rebuked kings on their account, 
saying, “Touch not my anointed ones, do my prophets no harm!”

Psalm 105:7-15

Comforting words in this passage, “He remembers his covenant forever.” The Lord does not forget his promises, nor does he fail to keep them. Sometimes, I believe, we misrepresent his promises, especially when we attempt to appropriate ones that were specifically made to Israel. But that’s not a topic for today’s devotion.

Then he said to them, “Go your way. Eat the fat and drink sweet wine and send portions to anyone who has nothing ready, for this day is holy to our Lord. And do not be grieved, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”
Nehemiah 8:10
But let all who take refuge in you rejoice; let them ever sing for joy, and spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may exult in you. 
For you bless the righteous, O LORD; you cover him with favor as with a shield.

Psalm 5:11-12
Go, eat your bread with joy, and drink your wine with a merry heart, for God has already approved what you do.
Ecclesiastes 9:7

The old Dairy Queen commercials used to paraphrase Ecclesiastes: “Eat, drink, and be merry!”

Dallas Willard defines “joy” as “a pervasive sense of well-being.” Joy has nothing to do with circumstances. In fact, joy is present in spite of circumstances, many times. When the joy of the Lord is our strength, nothing can phase us. Sure, we might not be “happy,” but we can be joyful without being happy. Did you know that?

Let us sing for joy, because we take refuge in the Lord. The joy of the Lord is our strength!

Thank you, Father, for joy. Thank you for constantly reminding me that I can your joy in my life, regardless of my circumstances. Give me that pervasive sense of well-being today. Nothing can harm me, even if my leg hurts when I walk. I can still be joyful. And in your joy, in your strength, this world is a perfectly safe place for me to be. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me, and I shall dwell in your house forever.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you. Psalm 33:22

Grace and peace, friends.


Today is Wednesday, August 16, 2017. Day 21,706. Only THREE MORE DAYS until S’s and J’s birthday!!!!!!!

Quote of the Day

“There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.” ~ E. B. White

Word of the Day

Paludal ~ of or relating to marshes; produced by marshes, as miasma or disease.

Today is Rum Day. What else do I need to say?

Tonight is our regular bowling night. Hopefully, we will do better than we did Monday night. And hopefully, my knee will not be in agony after it is over. There has been a day between, so maybe it will be okay. Otherwise, I’ll be taking a lot of Ibuprofen tonight.

The Red Sox blasted the Cardinals 10-4, last night, as Porcello actually got another win. The Yankees won, too, so the Sox maintain their 4.5 game lead in the AL East.

The Rangers also did some blasting, beating the Tigers 10-4 (how weird is that?). The Astros also won, so no gain, there, but the Angels lost, so the Rangers are now only two games out of the second wild card spot.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and all that is within me, bless his holy name! 
Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits,

Psalm 103:1-2
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days.
Psalm 90:14
The words of the LORD are pure words, like silver refined in a furnace on the ground, purified seven times.
Psalm 12:6
The earth, O LORD, is full of your steadfast love; teach me your statutes!
Psalm 119:64
Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
Luke 12:33-34
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.
The Concluding Prayer of the Church

(From Practice Resurrection)

Even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and blameless before him.
Ephesians 1:4

Today’s verb is “chose.”

Most of us have memories in our lives of not being chosen for something. I wasn’t chosen for the high school baseball team. I wasn’t chosen for the junior high basketball team. Sometimes, we are the last one chosen in a recess kickball game (which may be worse than not being chosen at all). We might be not chosen for a job, or not chosen for a spouse. When we are not chosen, it sends a subliminal message; “I have no worth, . . . I am not useful, . . . I am good for nothing.”

We don’t take this lying down. We might counter by borrowing an identity, living vicariously through a sports team or political cause. Some “develop the persona of a bully who breaks decorum and rules, compelling notice even though it gets us expelled from a classroom or club or saloon.” Some people dye their hair purple, or get a well-placed tattoo.

All of these strategies do accomplish getting noticed, but they don’t last.

“Against this background, common to all of us, of not being noticed, being ignored, being dismissed as of no account, being indistinguishable from the background, the verb ‘chose’ is a breath of fresh air: God chose us.”

“And yes, God chose us.” And it wasn’t some last-minute thing, either. Look at the verse. “He chose us in him before the foundation of the world.” “We are in on the action, long before we have any idea that we are in on the action. We are cosmic.”

Father, thank you for choosing us, for letting us know that we have some value to you. Let us not get arrogant about that “value,” because the only reason we have any value is because you gave it to us. And let us live in such a way as to be worthy of your choosing. Not so that we can get you to like us or love us more . . . that is impossible. But so that we can be closer to you, walking in your kingdom as a follower of Jesus Christ; participating in his “easy yoke.”
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Miracle of Church

“The Holy Spirit descended into the womb of Mary in the Galilean village of Nazareth. Thirty of so years later the same Holy Spirit descended into the collective spiritual womb of men and women, which included Mary, who had been followers of Jesus. It happened as they were at worship on the Jewish feast of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem. The first conception gave us Jesus; the second conception gave us church.”

Today is Wednesday, June 28, 2017. Day 21,657. Six days until our July 4 holiday!

“Prejudice is a great time saver. You can form opinions without having to get the facts.” ~ E. B. White

Bonus quote!
“All the President is, is a glorified public relations man who spends his time flattering, kissing and kicking people to get them to do what they are supposed to do anyway.” ~ Harry S Truman, Letter to his sister, Nov. 14, 1947
The Quotations Page

Today’s word of the day is interdigitate. It is a verb, meaning, “to interlock, as or like the fingers of both hands.” I didn’t know there was a word for that!

Today is Happy Heart Hugs Day. I’m all about the hugs. I’m a hugger. If you’re a hugger, this is your day!

I feel much better this morning than I did yesterday. In fact, by bed time last night, I was feeling 100% better. Who knows what was wrong? I may have actually had a touch of something the night before. But I seem to be fine this morning.

It’s bowling d+9*-kl (Um . . . Rocky the cat just jumped on the keyboard). What I was trying to type before I was so felinely interrupted was, it’s bowling night! I’m always excited about bowling night. Sometimes, after it’s over, I’m not so excited. But I’ve been doing pretty good in this league, for someone who hasn’t bowled consistently in close to 30 years. My average should be around 163, or so, tonight.

The Red Sox are back in first place! The Rangers are in second place, but 12.5 behind the Astros, who have won an incredible 52 games already. The only other team that has won over 50 games is the Dodgers.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Psalm 31:23
To you, O LORD, I call; my rock, be not deaf to me, lest, if you be silent to me, I become like those who go down to the pit.
Psalm 28:1
Your way, O God, is holy. What god is great like our God?
Psalm 77:13
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
Psalm 25:20
But let your hand be on the man of your right hand, the son of man whom you have made strong for yourself! 
Then we shall not turn back from you; give us life, and we will call upon your name! 
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts! Let your face shine, that we may be saved!

Psalm 80:17-19

(From Practice Resurrection)

As Eugene Peterson set out on his search for “church,” he didn’t begin with Ephesians, but it is where he wound up. He began with the book of Acts, “in which the term ‘church’ occurs twenty-four times.” Ephesus is mentioned for the first time in Acts.

One thing that Peterson noticed was the parallel between the birth of Jesus and the birth of the church. I confess that I had never noticed this, but Peterson brings it to light in a marvelous way that only he can do. But there is a great parallel between Luke 1-2 and Acts 1-2. Of course, they were written by the same author, weren’t they?

But God brought our Savior into the world in somewhat “unkingly” circumstances. He could have come to the world and solved all of the hunger troubles. He could have come with a loud, spectacular entrance and filled all the amphitheaters and “hippodromes.” He could have performed circus-like miracle shows. He could have overthrown the Roman government. But he didn’t do any of those things.

Jesus came, by a miracle, “in the form of a helpless infant born in poverty in a dangerous place with neither understanding nor support from the political, religious, or cultural surroundings.”

Our “salvation community” came into the world in much the same way. It was, in fact, miraculous, but under much the same circumstances as the birth of Jesus. While the story in Acts seems somewhat outrageous, that is only if you were in the same room. From the outside, things carried on just as usual, with governments, religious leaders, and culture being largely oblivious to what was happening.

Both of these things happened by what Charles Williams called the Descent of the Dove. “The Holy Spirit descended into the womb of Mary in the Galilean village of Nazareth. Thirty of so years later the same Holy Spirit descended into the collective spiritual womb of men and women, which included Mary, who had been followers of Jesus. It happened as they were at worship on the Jewish feast of Pentecost in the city of Jerusalem. The first conception gave us Jesus; the second conception gave us church.”

Father, thank you for the “miracle of church.” I thank you that you chose to send your Holy Spirit, not once, but twice. Once to save us, and the second time, to unite us in Trinitarian Community. I pray for the advancement of that community as the Church. I pray for unity within a body of believers that is, in some cases, intensely divided. Make us one in Christ and in the Holy Spirit, as we seek to walk in your kingdom.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

I Trust In You; You Are My God

Today is Friday, February 24, 2017. One more day until Spring Training games begin.

Quote of the Day

“Genius is more often found in a cracked pot than in a whole one.” – E. B. White

Word of the Day

Scapegrace – a complete rogue or rascal; a habitually unscrupulous person; scamp.

Today is Tortilla Chip Day. There’s another “holiday” I can fully support! I love tortilla chips. In fact, I think that Tostitos have recently replaced Fritos as my favorite chip. I especially like their “Cantina Thin and Crispy” varieties. I had some last night with my Mexican Soup. By the way, the addition of the corn and chicken broth kicked that up a big notch!

The weekend is nigh! We made it to Friday! What’s happening this weekend? Well, for starters, the Texas Rangers begin Spring Training games. The Red Sox play the Mets today, in Florida. Baseball is back!

Also for the weekend, we will try to get a new tire for C’s car, to replace the one that got busted last Friday. She also needs to pick up her new glasses. On Sunday, we have plans to take R and J to one of those “escape rooms” in Fort Worth, where we will attempt to solve puzzles and riddles related to the great Cthulhu! That should be great fun!

38 more days until Opening Day!


Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard, 
  who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
Psalm 66:8-9

With my whole heart I cry; answer me, O LORD! I will keep your statutes.
Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life.
Psalm 119:145, 149

I must perform my vows to you, O God; I will render thank offerings to you. 
For you have delivered my soul from death, yes, my feet from falling, that I may walk before God in the light of life.
Psalm 56:12-13

Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God. Psalm 86:2

Father, as I ponder these passages from Psalms today, may I do what they say. May I cry out to you with my whole heart and may you give me life. May I walk before you in the easy yoke of Christ, walking in his words and following his actions. You have, indeed, delivered my soul from death, and I pray that you continuously keep my feet from falling. I trust in you; you are my God.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

It’s Only Stuff

Today is Thursday, February 2, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“Be obscure clearly.” – E.B. White

Word of the Day

Imprecate – to invoke evil on; curse.

Today is, of course, Groundhog Day. You know . . . that day when Punxsutawney Phil peeks out of his hole in the ground. If he sees his umbra (a different choice for word of the day), it is said that it frightens him and we will have six more weeks of “winter.” Let me tell you . . . if what we have been having is “winter,” I’m all for six more weeks of it!

Well, 2017 is not turning out to be any better than 2016, so far. Death continues to plague us, only it seems to be affecting us more on a personal level. Just this week, I attended the funeral of the father of a close friend from my school days. That same day, we got notification that one of our graduating class (1976) passed away on Tuesday, after a battle with cancer. Yesterday, we received another notification that another one of our graduating class passed away after a battle with cancer. It’s almost like death, knowing that its time is short, is putting up a fight. I take great comfort in those verses in 1 Corinthians 15.

When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: “Death is swallowed up in victory.” 
“O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 
The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
(1 Corinthians 15:54-58)

We have our “Missional Gathering” tonight. We’ll all grab something to eat, then head over to Alex’s house, where we will eat together, hang out, and talk about Night of Worship. Perhaps some planning might even happen. Good times, and developing relationships.

The actual Night of Worship is Saturday evening, and it will be an acoustic set. We originally thought that our drummer would be out of town, so we set this up as acoustic. Brandon, Terry, and I will be playing acoustic guitars and singing. It should be fun. My fingers might be bleeding afterward, but it will still be fun. I haven’t played any kind of guitar in a while, as I have been focusing on keyboards and trombone for a while.



Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name! Psalm 97:12

Incline your ear, O LORD, and answer me, for I am poor and needy. 
Preserve my life, for I am godly; save your servant, who trusts in you—you are my God.
Psalm 86:1-2

Blessed be the LORD! For he has heard the voice of my pleas for mercy. Psalm 26:6

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied. Matthew 5:6

And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

In today’s reading, Sam Adriance writes of a time when he was preparing to graduate from law school. He and his wife, in preparation to move, began going through all of their stuff and “downsizing.” The idea, presented by his wife, was that they would look at each thing and ask if it gave them a “spark of joy.” If it did not, they would give it away.

As Sam began going through his things, though, his question became, “Is this thing right for me? Does it serve a valuable purpose in my life, or does it tether me more to material things?”

These are good questions to ask. I still have a lot of stuff in our house. It is overrun with books, records, cds, and games. In truth, I do not feel as tied to these material things as I used to. I just haven’t worked up the energy to go through them and give them away. I’ll never read all of these books. All of my cds have been digitized, as well as a number of the records. I have a lot of t-shirts that don’t fit any more. “I’ll lose weight and wear them again, someday!” Uhuh. Sure I will.

Anyway, the point of all of this is that we are told not to store up treasures on earth, where moths and rust corrupt. I don’t see these things as “treasure” so much, any more. There are just “stuff” that is taking up space in our house. My treasure is in heaven, where my heart is. Perhaps someday, soon, I will get the energy to get rid of some of the material things.

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

Father, I thank you that you have reduced my dependence and desire for earthly “treasures.” Now, I pray for the willingness and motivation to actually reduce the amount of “stuff” in my life. Let my space be dedicated to you, as well as my heart.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

You Are My All in All

“There is nothing more likely to start disagreement among people or countries than an agreement.” – E. B. White

The word of the day, from, is vox populi. I know. That’s two words. It means, literally, “the voice of the people,” and also means, “popular opinion.”

Besides being French Fries Day, today is also Embrace Your Geekness Day. So go ahead. Let your inner geek come out and play!

The first night without C was a mixed bag. I didn’t get finished cleaning up the study, but I made some good progress. I made some room in the filing cabinet, but now I have a couple of stacks of files on the breakfast table. I plan to move those tomorrow. Not tonight, because we have our Anchor Prayer gathering tonight. I think we still have another file cabinet out in the garage. If we don’t have that any more, I’m going to have to get a box somewhere. The majority of the files are from back when S was in school, and were dealing with the ISD over her autism. Then, I realized we had tax files in this file cabinet from as far back as 1998. I don’t think you need twenty years of tax files. Ugh. Anyway, I’ll get finished in here, either tomorrow night or over the weekend. I should have realized it would take longer than I expected. I even emptied the shredder twice. And it’s almost full again!

I didn’t sleep very well, as expected. My Fitbit says I was restless 14 times. I got up and got the animals fed and all that stuff. C arrived safely in Indianapolis, and we talked for a few minutes at around 7:30. She had found her hotel and was about to get some food. She doesn’t have to be at the bowling center until 9:00 this morning (8:00 in our time), so that’s not too bad. When they go to the convention, she usually has to start doing stuff by 6:00 AM, and since the convention was in Nevada, that’s 4:00 AM CDT!

So today is Wednesday, and, as mentioned, we will have our Anchor Prayer Gathering tonight at 7:00. I’m looking forward to it.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The righteous flourish like the palm tree and grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
They are planted in the house of the LORD; they flourish in the courts of our God.
They still bear fruit in old age; they are ever full of sap and green,
to declare that the LORD is upright; he is my rock, and there is no unrighteousness in him.
Psalm 92:12-15

“The life of faith does not deteriorate or wear out.” What a simple, yet profound statement! The longer we praise and worship our God, the stronger we get! In contrast to a lot of other things in life, our praise of God should reach its peak in our later years.

“O God, as I receive new energy each day from you, may there be juices of love and hope flowing through my veins, bringing fruits of righteousness to my praising and loving, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Price of Vision

In the year that King Uzziah died I saw the Lord . . . Isaiah 6:1

There are many times in our lives when God has to remove someone important to us and put himself in their place. How many times have we experienced, not so much the loss of a close friend, but their moving away, or simply drifting away, to the point that we no longer see them regularly, if at all? Uzziah was very important to Isaiah. He was one of the good kings. And in the year that he died, what happened? Did Isaiah give up and quit? No! He saw the Lord, high and lifted up!

“My vision of God depends upon the state of my character.” This is important, because, until we are firmly walking in his Kingdom, we “see” God only in line with our prejudices.

And all of these popular phrases about the place of God in our lives . . . “I am second,” and so on . . . “It must be God first, God second, and God third, until the life is faced steadily with God and no one else is of any account whatever.” It sounds cold, and it doesn’t mean that we ignore important people in our lives. But they cannot take the place of God in our hearts and lives. He must be all that there is to us. He must be our all in all.

Father, be all in my life. Do not let me allow others to take your place in my life. Yes, I will love my family, and I will love my friends, and I will love my neighbors as myself, but may I never allow any of them to take the place in my life that you and only you should occupy. Be my all in all.

Come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.