Am I Listening?

“A kiss makes the heart young again and wipes out the years.”~~Rupert Brooke

Today’s word of the day, from, is groggery. A groggery is “a slightly disreputable barroom.” Best stay away from those, right?

Today is Radio Day, a day formed in 2011, to celebrate the importance of radio communication, which, in some parts of the world, still remains the primary means of information and communication.

I didn’t get up until 9:30, this morning, hence the late-ish blog entry.

I worked about an hour late, yesterday, as did Christi, so we wound up having a late dinner. We called out for Asian food at our usual place, and had it delivered. We watched a few TV shows, then Christi went to bed, and I stayed up, as is my custom, to play Fallout 4. After a couple of hours, I noticed I was having a hard time staying awake, so I went on to bed, as well. It’s been a touch week. We’re all hoping for some better weeks ahead. And, of course, we are praying and hoping for some good news next week.

We got our taxes filed today, finally. We’re getting a small amount back, this year. I don’t know what else will be going on today. Christi is still coughing quite bit, from whatever ailment she has had this week, so I don’t know if we’ll get to the grocery store today, or not. The manager of our Kroger store, who is also our pastor’s dad, is in the hospital with double pneumonia! He’s doing better, I hear, but will remain in the hospital, at least through today.

I’m rambling a bit, so I should probably get on to other things.

On this date in 1633, Galileo Galilei arrived in Rome to face heresy charges. You see, he believed that the Earth revolved around the Sun. Scandalous! You can read the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1599–Pope Alexander VII
1885–Bess Truman, First Lady
1891–Grant Wood, American painter
1919–Tennessee Ernie Ford, American musician
1923–Chuck Yeager, American pilot
1933–Kim Novak, American actress
1934–George Segal, American actor
1938–Oliver Reed, English actor
1942–Peter Tork, American musician, The Monkees
1942–Carol Lynley, American actress
1944–Jerry Springer, American TV host
1944–Stockard Channing, American actress
1950–Peter Gabriel, English musician
1951–David Naughton, American actor/singer, “I’m A Pepper”
1961–Henry Rollins, American musician
1976–Feist, Canadian singer/songwriter

Peter Tork is an American musician and actor, most famously known as the bass player for The Monkees. He is 74 years old today. Here is my favorite song by The Monkees.

Catherine Howard, Cotton Mather, Richard Wagner, David Janssen, Waylon Jennings, Dick Weber, and Nelson Briles are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Remember your mercy, O LORD, and your steadfast love, for they have been from of old.
Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions; according to your steadfast love remember me, for the sake of your goodness, O LORD!
Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
He leads the humble in what is right, and teaches the humble his way.
All the paths of the LORD are steadfast love and faithfulness, for those who keep his covenant and his testimonies.

Psalm 25:6-10

“God likes our sins even less than our neighbors do. But he treats them far differently.” Isn’t that the truth? We humans tend to judge, reject, and condemn people for being flawed (as we all are), but God “instructs” us, he “leads” us, and he “teaches us. “Our sins are an occasion not for harsh rejection, but for loving reconciliation.”

“I confess my sins to you, O Lord, confident that you will not reject this sinner, but find new ways to share your forgiveness and steadfast love, through the mediation of Jesus Christ, my Lord. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Devotion of Hearing.”

And Samuel said, “Speak, for your servant hears.”
1 Samuel 3:10

Just because I have listened to one thing God says to me is not a guarantee that I will listen to all that he says. I tend to be obtuse toward many things that God tries to speak to me, and this is one way that I demonstrate disrespect toward him. Most of us would shudder to think that we had disobeyed the voice of Jesus at any point. But the thing that hinders me from hearing is that I am frequently too focused on other things. “It is not that I will not hear God, but I am not devoted in the right place. I am devoted to things, to service, to convictions, and God may say what He likes but I do not hear him.” May we have more of the attitude of little Samuel, who, upon hearing the voice of God (after Eli set him straight about who it was that was calling him), eagerly proclaimed, “Speak, for your servant hears!”

May we hear God’s voice today!

Father, I confess that I don’t always listen to you. Even when I am supposed to be concentrating on these devotions, my mind and heart are drawn away by other things, from finances to entertainment. May I be more focused on you, that my life may be more consistent and stable. I have confidence that you hear me; may I cause you to have confidence that I hear you, as well.

I pray, still, for our friend and brother, Greg, that you might clear out his lungs and heal him.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Fear Not

Good morning. It is Sunday, September 20, 2015. Today marks the fifth month anniversary of my father’s passing.

Today’s word of the day, from, is timocracy. It is not, as one might thing, government by Tim. It is, “a form of government in which love of honor is the dominant motive of the rulers,” or, “a form of government in which a certain amount of property is requisite as a qualification for office.” Either one is, in my opinion, not good.

Today is Wife Appreciation Day. Dang. I wish I’d known that sooner. I do appreciate my wife, very much. Christi is the biggest blessing this side of heaven that I have ever had in my life, and ever will have.

Yesterday was a pretty good day, all around. The grocery shopping went very well, and our church activities went well, too, I think. Our pastor presented a great message on the existence of God, as our church is participating in the “Explore God” series that is going on around the Metroplex. There are, literally, hundreds of local churches participating in this series, which strives to answer the following questions:

  • Does life have a purpose?
  • Is there a God?
  • Why does God allow pain and suffering?
  • Is Christianity too narrow?
  • Is Jesus really God?
  • Is the Bible reliable?
  • Can I know God personally?

If you live in the DFW area and are interested in checking this out, it is easy to find a church that is participating. Just click on the link above to check it out.

After church, Christi went to pick up dinner at Whataburger, while I went to Redbox to pick up a couple of movies. Last night, we watched “The Age of Adaline,” with Blake Lively and Harrison Ford. It was a delightful movie! I had been wanting to see that and a friend at church highly recommended it, yesterday afternoon. This afternoon, we will watch “The Judge,” with Robert Downey, Jr., and Robert Duvall.

On this date in 1633, Galileo Galilei was tried before the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith for teaching that the Earth orbits the Sun. On this date in 1881, Chester Arthur was inaugurated President, following the assassination of James Garfield. Ten years later, to the day, the first gasoline powered automobile made its debut in Springfield, Massachusetts. In 1946, the first Cannes Film Festival was held.

Today’s birthdays include Upton Sinclair (American writer), Red Auerbach (American basketball coach), Jay Ward (American animator, Rocky & Bullwinkle, Dudley Do-Right), Bobby Nunn (American singer, The Coasters), Anne Meara (American actress/comic), Sophia Loren (Italian actress), Steve Gerber (American comic writer, Howard the Duck), John and Chuck Panozzo (American musicians, Styx), George R.R. Martin (American writer), Anthony Denison (American actor, The Closer, Major Crimes), Gary Cole (American actor), Alannah Currie (New Zealander musician, Thompson Twins), Matthew and Gunnar Nelson (American musicians, Nelson), Kristen Johnson (American actress), and Jason Bay (Canadian baseball player).

Anne Meara was a comedian, born on this date in 1929. Sadly, she passed away just under four months ago. She was married to Ben Stiller for 61 years, and they are the parents of Ben and Amy Stiller. Here is a clip of Stiller and Meara, from the Ed Sullivan show, in 1964.

Jacob Grimm, Jean Sibelius, Jim Croce, John W. Peterson, and Leonard Skinner are among notable deaths on this date. Something I just learned today . . . Leonard Skinner was a high school gym teacher at Robert E. Lee High School in Jacksonville, Florida. Ronnie Van Zandt, Gary Rossington, and Bob Burns were among some of his students, in the sixties. After Skinner sent them to the principal’s office for violating his long hair policy, which resulted in their suspension, they decided to name their band after him. Lynyrd Skynyrd.


Today’s Psalm, from Heart Aflame, is Psalm 104:29-32.

When you hide your face, they are dismayed; when you take away their breath, they die and return to their dust.
When you send forth your Spirit, they are created, and you renew the face of the ground.
May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works,
who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!

“In these words, the Psalmist declares, that we stand or fall according to the will of God. We continue to live, as long as he sustains us by his power; but no sooner does he withdraw his life-giving spirit than we die.” (p 264)

Words we would do well to remember.

(From Daily Guideposts 2015)

What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?
Romans 8:31

I’ve learned something else today. (That’s two things in one day. Boy, am I exhausted!)

Do you know what the most common command in Scripture is? Some might answer, “Love one another.” Others might answer in some way that includes obedience. The correct answer (and I checked multiple sources to verify this) is “Fear not,” or, “Do not be afraid.”

If you think about it, that’s stunning. Out of all of the commands that God and/or Jesus gives us, in all of Scripture, the most prevalent is, “Fear not.” How well our Father knows us, right?

The author of today’s Daily Guideposts reading relates a morning coffee time with her husband, as he prepared for his sermon. He turned and asked her that question. It turns out that they were planning to adopt a child from the Democratic Republic of Congo, and she had an opportunity to travel there, to Kinshasa, the capital city. Fear was holding her back. She feared the financial implications of the trip. She feared holding a child and falling in love, only to find out that they would not be able to adopt her. She feared for her safety, as circumstances in that city were dangerous. We don’t find out in this reading what she did. but the last line says, “So who would I listen to: God’s voice or my fear?”

Who will we listen to?

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
Psalm 27:1
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.
Proverbs 1:33
for God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control.
2 Timothy 1:7

Father, teach me this truth, over and over. My worries, my anxieties, they all stem from my inability to obey this command. Why do I fear? WHAT do I fear? What can any man do to me? I am guilty, my Father, so guilty of failing to “fear not!” I pray for your peace in my life. I pray for courage, not the kind that wants to go out and fight with people, but the kind that allows me to stand up for Jesus and live for the Kingdom every day. I confess that I worry too much, still. Take this away from me, Lord. May Jesus be my all in all, my peace, and my strength.

I pray for the rest of this day, that we will have good rest this afternoon, in preparation for the work week ahead. Let it be a week of successes and victories, not of failures and defeats.

I pray for our friend, Ann, who lost a brother this week. May you be comfort to her and her family. I pray for family friends, Bill and Ramona, as health is failing. Give strength to their adult children as they try to care for them.

Come, Lord Jesus!

To know that the most commonly repeated command in Scripture is some form of “fear not,” brings a whole new perspective to our Father’s desires for us.

Matthew 10 31

Grace and peace, friends.