Pray On the Path

“Success usually comes to those who are too busy to be looking for it.” – Henry David Thoreau

The word of the day, from, is vexillology, “the study of flags.” Sheldon Cooper, no doubt, knows this word well.

Aha. I get it, now. Today is Flag Day!

I really don’t have much to talk about, this morning, on a personal level. Band practice was good, work was busy, but went well. Plus I’m running a little behind, this morning, so I’ll get on to the important stuff.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

O God, the nations have come into your inheritance; they have defiled your holy temple; they have laid Jerusalem in ruins.
They have given the bodies of your servants to the birds of the heavens for food, the flesh of your faithful to the beasts of the earth.
They have poured out their blood like water all around Jerusalem, and there was no one to bury them.
We have become a taunt to our neighbors, mocked and derided by those around us.
How long, O LORD? Will you be angry forever? Will your jealousy burn like fire?
Pour out your anger on the nations that do not know you, and on the kingdoms that do not call upon your name!
For they have devoured Jacob and laid waste his habitation.
Do not remember against us our former iniquities; let your compassion come speedily to meet us, for we are brought very low.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of your name; deliver us, and atone for our sins, for your name’s sake!
Why should the nations say, “Where is their God?” Let the avenging of the outpoured blood of your servants be known among the nations before our eyes!
Let the groans of the prisoners come before you; according to your great power, preserve those doomed to die!
Return sevenfold into the lap of our neighbors the taunts with which they have taunted you, O Lord!
But we your people, the sheep of your pasture, will give thanks to you forever; from generation to generation we will recount your praise.

Psalm 79

“The desecration of Jerusalem by the Babylonians is behind this prayer.” There are cries for vengeance, because of the pillaging brought on by the enemy. But the psalmist is also aware that the judgment of God is involved, which explains the cries of repentance, seeking compassion.

“O God, help me to be aware of the wrongs done to your children, to be sensitive to the violence done to your people. Then teach me to pray in a caring, compassionate spirit for your justice and your salvation. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

“Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.”
Jeremiah 6:16

Lisa Bogart writes of a time when she discovered a labyrinth at a local Presbyterian church. I am fascinated by labyrinths, and wish I could find one close to home. I know of one in Southlake, but it’s a ways from my home. A labyrinth is a prayer path, designed for people to pray while they follow the meandering path to the center. When Lisa found this one, she followed the path and stood at the center, praying, “Thank you, God, for the joy of this discovery.”

She has walked this labyrinth many times, but still finds herself wondering which way to turn next. “If I try to see where I’m headed, I’m often wrong. Yet I know if I stay on the path, I will make it to the center.”

It’s easy to trust our steps when we are walking on a planned-out path, such as a labyrinth. It’s harder when we are not on such a path. “With no clear path to follow, it’s difficult to stay on course.” The lesson is there, from the labyrinth . . . “pray on the path.”

We may not hear God’s voice, but we can know and feel his presence. We can also know and acknowledge that we all walk together, and we walk with God. Sometimes, we have a clear destination. Other times, we cannot see where we are going, and we may find ourselves on a detour. But if we pray on the path, we can have confidence that we walk with God.

Father, this is a good, simple, life lesson. It is also something that I have been striving for, over recent days, to “pray on the path.” I am still finding it a struggle to pray without ceasing, throughout the day. I am finding some success, but not enough to be satisfied. May your Holy Spirit remind me constantly to be praying, as I walk through my day. I also pray for the knowledge that you and I are walking together, in Christ, by the Spirit.

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.

Shaped By Intimacy

Good morning. Today is Friday (can I get a “Hallelujah?”), June 14, 2013.

It is unbelievable how smoothly the last two nights have gone since the temp had a meltdown and got himself terminated. Routes are launching on time and random freight is not being left on the floor. I think I’m sleeping better at night, too. Only six more delivery days left. Did I mention I’m taking vacation the week of June 24th? I think I did, but I’m sure it will come up again.

Amber the Cat is still not eating on her own. At least not that we can see. We continue to try to hand feed her, but that’s a little more difficult, as she seems to have gained some strength, which is a good thing. Last night she licked some stuff out of the bowl that I had my Subway tuna salad in. That was encouraging, too. She is moving around more, and, this morning, she traded swats a few times with the kitten, Trixie. This was while she was trying to drink from the “community” water bowl.

Today is Flag Day. Old Glory. The Stars and Stripes. The Stars and Bars. Fly ’em proudly. We don’t currently have one, so I’m unprepared for this Flag Day.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1801, “At 6:30 this Sunday morning at Gloucester Place, London, a British general died of dropsy and gout at the age of 60. In debt and out of favor, he was buried without military honors in a church crypt in unfashionable Battersea.” At one point, this man was considered to be one of the best commanders on either side of the American Revolution, “his name linked with such celebrated exploits as Quebec, Valcour Island and Saratoga.” However, for those “celebrated exploits,” he had been an American general! His name?

Benedict Arnold.

He turned traitor in 1780 and began trading information with the British Commander-in-Chief in New York, Sir Henry Clinton. But his betrayal was discovered when the intermediary between Sir Henry and Arnold was caught behind American lines. This intermediary, Major John Andre was hanged as a spy, but Arnold escaped to New York City, held by the British at the time. Arnold was paid by the British (although not as much as promised), and was made a brigadier general. Eventually, Arnold spend most of his last 20 years in Canada and the West Indies, seeking his fortune.

Today’s birthday is Rod Argent, born on this date in 1945. Argent was in two different popular rock groups, first, The Zombies, and then a group called by his last name, Argent. Their most famous song is “Hold Your Head Up,” a lengthy anthem of encouragement and motivation. However, they also first recorded a song that was later made popular by Petra, called “God Gave Rock and Roll To You.”

Here’s “She’s Not There” by The Zombies.

Honorable mentions go to Harriet Beecher Stowe, 1811, Burl Ives, 1909, Gene Barry, 1919, Junior Walker, 1931, John MacArthur, 1939, Alan White, 1949, Harry Turtledove, 1949, Steffi Graf, 1969.


Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. Psalm 66:5
Satisfy us in the morning with your steadfast love, that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14
The law of the LORD is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes; the fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the rules of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, even much fine gold; sweeter also than honey and drippings of the honeycomb. Moreover, by them is your servant warned; in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11

Father, your word is truly sweeter than honey to me, and more valuable than the finest of gold. As I look into these words this morning, teach me something of you; show me your truth and grace, that I may walk in your path during this day.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “The Life God Wants for Us.” The scripture reading is 1 John 3:18-22.

Little children, let us not love in word or talk but in deed and in truth. By this we shall know that we are of the truth and reassure our heart before him; for whenever our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and he knows everything. Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence before God; and whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him.

This is the last reading from the discipline of guidance. The scripture is “a beautiful description of the interactive friendship with God that guidance is based on.” “Our prayers and lives are shaped by intimacy with God, who loved us while we were yet sinners.” As always, it is important to realize and understand that these prayers, this intimacy, flows from this relationship with God, rather than qualifying us for it.

Get this. “Following God’s will is less about specific actions than about living a life that is consistent with God’s purposes.” This is the kind of realization that can be ground-breaking in a Christian’s life? You mean I don’t have to seek God’s guidance on every little decision I make? I can’t leave the house until God tells me which shirt to wear. Okay, that’s silly. But I’ve known people who are almost that pedantic in their walk with God. For me, that kind of mindset would just create enormous stress! Yes, there are major decisions on which I need God’s guidance! But there are many smaller ones that, if I am living in this relationship of intimacy with God, “living a life that is consistent with God’s purposes,” then my decisions will be the best ones, anyway.

This section closes with a quote from Dallas Willard’s Hearing God.

“It may seem strange, but being in the will of God is very far
removed from just doing what God wants us to do–so far removed, in
fact, that we can be solidly in the will of God, and be aware that we are,
without knowing God’s preference with regard to various details of
our lives. . . . Generally speaking we are in God’s will whenever we are
leading the kind of life he wants for us. And that leaves a lot of room for
initiative on our part, which is essential: our individual initiatives are
central to his will for us.”

Father, as I go through this day, I pray that my prayers and my life will, indeed, be shaped by intimacy with you. What a beautiful picture of a life with you. If my life is so shaped by this intimacy that every breath I take is part of your central will, then the decisions that I make along the way will be the best ones for me and for your purposes. I won’t need to agonize over the details of my life. Jesus even pretty much told us this in Matthew 6. We don’t need to worry over the petty little details. We just need to seek your kingdom and its righteousness. So, as I go today, Lord, make me hungry and thirsty for your righteousness. Make the Beatitudes come alive in me today, as the life of Christ is formed in me.

I pray for this day. I pray for Christi as she takes Stephanie to a dentist’s appointment this morning. May her sanity be strong and may Stephanie behave like she knows she should. I pray for the rest of her day as she works from home, that she might get some rest on her foot, as it is showing some swelling from these last couple of days at work. I pray that you show both her and Stephanie your steadfast love today, surrounding them with your grace and mercy. May my work day be a day that is full of you, and give me the grace and strength to meet any challenges that I might face.

I pray for Leslie as she has a second job interview going on any minute now. May she get this job that she desires. I also lift up two other friends, Mike and Debbie, who have been without jobs for over a year. I pray that you would grant them a job soon.

Your grace is sufficient.

Oh, that we could let our whole lives be shaped by intimacy with God. Oh, how he loves . . .

Grace and peace, friends.