“He’s not some aloof God wishing me good luck from afar; He is a loving Father. If I’m on my knees in prayer, if I’m studying His Word and begging Him to guide my steps, if I’m staying close to His side, He isn’t going to let me get lost. I’m becoming more convinced of that when my heart’s desire seeks His.”

Today is Saturday, July 15, 2017. Day 21,674.

“When you arrive at a fork in the road, take it.” ~ Yogi Berra

The word of the day is uptalk. It’s a noun. You know it well, I’m sure. It’s that annoying pitch rise that some people do at the end of every. Single. Sentence. “A rise in pitch at the end usually of a declarative sentence, especially if habitual: often represented in writing by a question mark as in Hi, I’m here to read the meter?” I found a You Tube clip of Connie Chung talking about it, way back in 1994.

Today is Gummi Worm Day. I especially like the sour ones. “Brite Crawlers,” I think they call them.

Yesterday was a busy day. I wound up working an hour over time, just to try to get somewhat caught up. I’m still behind, but will hopefully be able to get caught up on Monday.

I did manage to get some mac and cheese, yesterday! C stopped at Slim Chickens on the way home, and picked up some dinner. S and I had mac and cheese for our side dish. Slim Chickens has really good mac and cheese!

To start off the second half, the Rangers beat the Royals 5-3 in KC. They are still 16.5 games out, but along in second place. The Red Sox came back in the bottom of the ninth to beat the Yankees 5-4. This dropped the Bronx Bombers into third place, while the Rays moved into second. The Sox are 3.5 games up, in first place. Here is a video recap of the crazy ninth inning, in which the Sox scored two runs without even getting a hit out of the infield.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Let them thank the LORD for his steadfast love, for his wondrous works to the children of man! 
For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.

Psalm 107:8-9
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch.

Psalm 5:1-3
Out of the mouth of babies and infants, you have established strength because of your foes, to still the enemy and the avenger.
Psalm 8:2
I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts.
Psalm 119:141
At that time the disciples came to Jesus, saying, “Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?” 
And calling to him a child, he put him in the midst of them 
and said, “Truly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. 
Whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”

Matthew 18:1-4
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

(From Daily Guideposts 2017)

Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:4-5

These two verses in Psalms have been close to my heart, recently. In today’s Guideposts reading, Katie Ganshert tells of a shopping adventure.

“It happened so fast, I barely had time to panic. One second, my son was lagging behind me and a friend, hiding down various aisles as he goofed around. The next, he was gone.”

She had just managed to call his name a second time when the intercom came alive. “Ms. Ganshert, please come to the cash registers. Ms. Ganshert, please come to the cash registers.”

When she got to the front, there was her son, next to a cashier, tears in his eyes. He ran and hugged her and said, “I got lost!”

“‘Brogan,’ I said, hugging him back. ‘I told you that you have to stay by Mommy’s side. As long as you’re by my side, I promise you will never ever get lost.'”

As she spoke those words, Katie remembered a decision that she had been struggling with. She was afraid of stepping outside of God’s plans for her family’s life.

“He’s not some aloof God wishing me good luck from afar; He is a loving Father. If I’m on my knees in prayer, if I’m studying His Word and begging Him to guide my steps, if I’m staying close to His side, He isn’t going to let me get lost. I’m becoming more convinced of that when my heart’s desire seeks His.”

These are true statements. And these statements are what the Spiritual Disciplines are all about. If we walk with Jesus, walking in the Kingdom, sharing the “easy yoke” with him, there’s no way we will lose our way. We must abide in him.

And those who know your name put their trust in you, for you, O LORD, have not forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 9:10
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.”
Psalm 27:8
“I did not speak in secret, in a land of darkness; I did not say to the offspring of Jacob, ‘Seek me in vain.’ I the LORD speak the truth; I declare what is right.”
Isaiah 45:19

Father, I thank you for these truths, that you will never forsake us. Help me to walk in your ways. Make me to know your ways; teach me your paths. Lead me in your truth and teach 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.

A Friend Loves At All Times

“If you carry your childhood with you, you never become older.” ― Abraham Sutzkever

The word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is animadversion, which means, “an unfavorable or censorious comment: to make animadversions on someone’s conduct.”

Today is Gummi Worm Day! Yes, I like Gummi Worms. Especially, the sour ones. Well, mostly the sour ones. The non-sour ones are okay, but I really like the sour ones.

I got a little more accomplished in the study last night. I can now see the top of the file cabinet and the turntable that sits on the file cabinet. There’s still a lot of work to be done, but I feel good about the progress I have made. I think that tonight, I will try to get some practice in, before it gets late, and then allow myself to chill out in front of the PS4 for a while.

Tomorrow, I’m not sure, yet, what I will do. We are having a Night of Worship at a friend’s house, at 6:00 PM, and I will definitely attend that. Not sure about the rest of the day, though.

C sent me an email last night at 10:26. That’s 9:26 our time. They had just left the bowling center, and were supposed to be back at 6:30 this morning, which was about thirty minutes ago, our time. That’s crazy! I hope she has a chance to get some rest, somewhere during the day. As well as getting something to eat. We really miss her. I did sleep better, last night, though, than I have the other two nights. I could have slept a few hours more, though.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

O LORD, God of vengeance, O God of vengeance, shine forth!
Rise up, O judge of the earth; repay to the proud what they deserve!
O LORD, how long shall the wicked, how long shall the wicked exult?
They pour out their arrogant words; all the evildoers boast.
They crush your people, O LORD, and afflict your heritage.
They kill the widow and the sojourner, and murder the fatherless;
and they say, “The LORD does not see; the God of Jacob does not perceive.”
Understand, O dullest of the people! Fools, when will you be wise?
He who planted the ear, does he not hear? He who formed the eye, does he not see?
He who disciplines the nations, does he not rebuke? He who teaches man knowledge—
the LORD—knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.
Psalm 94:1-11

Society generally views as cunning, those who get wealthy by playing off of other peoples’ weaknesses and troubles, or who get powerful by “propagating falsehoods.” However, the psalmist tells us what God sees in those people, “not sharpness of mind, but dullness of spirit; not mental dexterity, but more clumsiness.” God sees, even if we don’t think he does. I really like the last part of verse 10, going into verse 11 (that’s a clumsy verse break that was inserted there, I think): “He who teaches man knowledge–the LORD–knows the thoughts of man, that they are but a breath.”

“O God, act in righteous judgment now. Put down the arrogant and lift up the humble. Make me a participant in the working out of your justice among all who are hurt or despised or degraded. In the name of Jesus, who promised to bless the poor in spirit. Amen.”

(From Daily Guideposts 2016)

Just then his disciples came back. They marveled that he was talking with a woman . . . John 4:27

Daniel Schantz writes of a trip to London with his wife, as they celebrated their fiftieth anniversary. As they traveled around the city, taxi drivers actually took interest in them and why they were there. One of them asked, “What brings you here?”
“We are celebrating our fiftieth anniversary.”
“Quite lovely! Not many couples make it that far. Are you religious then?”
“Yes. We live in Missouri, the heart of the Bible Belt.”
“I’ve always thought there must be a Creator,” said the driver, as he pointed to various trees along the way. “All these beautiful things . . . But then I see how people treat each other and I wonder. You know?”

After giving the driver a generous tip, Daniel found himself treating others that he met with interest, just as this driver had treated him. He had a nice conversation with a waitress at the hotel. “Fascinating people seemed to come out of the woodwork the rest of the day because I was taking an interest in them.” He recalled reading something once, in a book about manners. It said something like, “The most interesting person in the world is the person who is interested in me.”

Jesus took interest in people. Consider the passage from which the above verse is taken. He sat down and engaged in conversation with, not just a woman, but a Samaritan woman! His disciples couldn’t believe their eyes when they came back! But consider also Nicodemus and Zaccheus, the “wee little man” who “climbed up in a sycamore tree, for the Lord he wanted to see.” Jesus paid attention to people. And even though we don’t see it in many artists’ representations, he probably smiled a lot.

Daniel’s prayer at the end of the reading: “It gets lonely down here, Lord. Help me to be everyone’s friend today.”

A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity. Proverbs 17:17
“The Son of Man has come eating and drinking, and you say, ‘Look at him! A glutton and a drunkard, a friend of tax collectors and sinners!'” Luke 7:34

Father, I needed this reading today, after the day I had yesterday at work. By the end of the day, yesterday, I wasn’t very friendly toward anyone. I let things get to me. Yes, I got bombarded by a lot of stuff, much of it pointless misunderstandings by people I have to deal with, and even some of it was flat-out ignorance. But that doesn’t make it right for me to get so aggravated at the circumstances when I’m supposed to be walking in your presence. I can’t leave you behind, because I can’t escape from your presence (not that I ever want to). But I certainly allowed myself to forget that you were there, which spiraled into some pretty ugly behavior. I confess this and ask your forgiveness, and I pray for what I have read today to take root and last me the whole day.

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.

Power In Knowing

Good morning. It is Wednesday, July 15, 2015. Hump Day.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is plutography. This has nothing to do with Pluto (is it a planet or not??), but, rather, is “Tom Wolfe’s term for: the graphic depiction of the lives of the rich, esp. as a genre of popular literature, journalism, and broadcasting.”

Today is Gummi Worm Day. I like gummi worms, but don’t often buy them. And they were, according to the brief description in the link, invented by Trolli, a German company.

As noted above, today is Hump Day, middle of the week. Downhill from here, right? There won’t be much going on tonight, as it is one of our “free” nights, during the week.

Last night’s Huddle meeting went well, I think, and we had some good, deep discussion. Much of it revolved around how we have the faith to do the things we are supposed to be doing.

The American League won the All-Star Game, 6-3. That means the AL gets home field advantage for the World Series. They take two more days off, as the next scheduled games are on Friday, the 17th.


For they conspire with one accord; against you they make a covenant—
the tents of Edom and the Ishmaelites, Moab and the Hagrites,
Gebal and Ammon and Amalek, Philistia with the inhabitants of Tyre;
Asshur also has joined them; they are the strong arm of the children of Lot. Selah.
Do to them as you did to Midian, as to Sisera and Jabin at the river Kishon,
who were destroyed at En-dor, who became dung for the ground.
Make their nobles like Oreb and Zeeb, all their princes like Zebah and Zalmunna,
who said, “Let us take possession for ourselves of the pastures of God.”
O my God, make them like whirling dust, like chaff before the wind.
As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze,
so may you pursue them with your tempest and terrify them with your hurricane!
Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek your name, O LORD.
Let them be put to shame and dismayed forever; let them perish in disgrace,
that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.

Psalm 83:5-18

(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

As chapter three comes to a close (pp 48-49), Timothy Keller briefly describes how the book of Job is a classic example of how prayer is heightened by knowing God. The majority of the book of Job consists of Job crying out to God, “agonizing prayer.” Job never gives up on God, never turns his back, never denies the existence of God. “Yet he cannot accept the life God is calling him to live.” Finally, in chapter 38, God speaks. He gives an account of creation, speaking of the mighty creatures that he has created (I swear “Leviathan” was a dragon!!). As God speaks, Job is both “astonished and humbled by this deeper vision of God and has a breakthrough. He finally prays a mighty prayer of repentance and adoration.”

Can we come to know God simply for himself alone, regardless of our circumstances? I believe that the book of Job answers that question with a resounding, “Yes!!” But only through prayer.

“The more clearly Job saw who God was, the fuller his prayers become.” This came through listening to what God had to say, and then responding in prayer. “The more true his knowledge of God, the more fruitful his prayers became, and the more sweeping the change in his life.”

So, we see, the “power of our prayers, then, lies not primarily in our effort and striving, or in any technique, but rather in our knowledge of God.” While we might desire to hear our Father speaking audibly out of the whirlwind, as Job did, we have an even clearer representation of God. Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets, but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. (Hebrews 1:1-3)

“Jesus Christ is the Word of God (John 1:1-14) because no more comprehensive, personal, and beautiful communication of God is possible.” Just as we cannot look at the natural sun with the naked eye without damaging our eyes, we must look at our God through the “filter” of Jesus Christ, who is the “exact imprint” of the nature of God, while at the same time being fully human in nature. Through Jesus, our prayer becomes what John Knox called “an earnest and familiar talking with God,” and what John Calvin called an “intimate conversation” and “a communion of men with God.” For through [Christ] we . . . have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18)

Father, my prayer today is simply to know you more. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth, and that my prayers may be fuller, more powerful, more beautiful. I want my prayers to be beautiful, not in my own eyes, but in your sight, as you are infinitely beautiful. Show me your beauty, Lord, during this day. I pray that you would amaze me with your presence and your beauty, so that I might see nothing else besides you.

I pray for this day, as always, that we would have safe passage to work and back. I thank you that Christi was able to bowl, yesterday evening, and has no pain walking, this morning. I pray for her day, today, that it will be stress-free and productive. I pray for Stephanie, that you would show your great love to her today. May you draw Rachel and Justin to your heart, and may you continue to hold up my mother in your loving arms.

I pray for Ema, who is having surgery today. Hold her in your arms during the procedure, and guide the hands of the doctors and attendants.

Your grace is sufficient.

The power of prayer comes in the knowledge of God. The more we know him, the better we pray.

Grace and peace, friends.


“Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. . .” (1 Peter 5:5b-6)

Good morning. It is Tuesday, July 15, 2014.

Today is Gummi Worm Day. I prefer the sour ones, myself.

I really don’t have much to write about on a personal level. Life trudges on, without much change. Yesterday was a pretty average Monday. We did watch the series premier of “The Strain,” last night, which I enjoyed quite a bit. Christ, not so much. 😀 But that was no surprise. I have yet to catch the finale of “Penny Dreadful.” It’s on the DVR, though.


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

(From The Divine Hours)

Oh sing to the LORD a new song; sing to the LORD, all the earth!
Psalm 96:1
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
Psalm 67:1
By awesome deeds you answer us with righteousness, O God of our salvation, the hope of all the ends of the earth and of the farthest seas;
Psalm 65:5
Your decrees are very trustworthy; holiness befits your house, O LORD, forevermore.
Psalm 93:5
I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel. My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed. And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.
Psalm 71:22-24
My soul longs, yes, faints for the courts of the LORD; my heart and flesh sing for joy to the living God.
Psalm 84:2

As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love. If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love. These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full. This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you. No longer do I call you servants, for the servant does not know what his master is doing; but I have called you friends, for all that I have heard from my Father I have made known to you. You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. These things I command you, so that you will love one another.

Father, make me willing to love.

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Eating the Crumbs.”

Peter wrote, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’ Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you. . .” (1 Peter 5:5b-6)

“These words are both frightening and consoling.” God is against the proud, but give himself for the humble, for the seemingly weak. He is moved to action by those with great faith. Recall the story of the woman in Matthew 15:21-28.

And Jesus went away from there and withdrew to the district of Tyre and Sidon. And behold, a Canaanite woman from that region came out and was crying, “Have mercy on me, O Lord, Son of David; my daughter is severely oppressed by a demon.” But he did not answer her a word. And his disciples came and begged him, saying, “Send her away, for she is crying out after us.”
He answered, “I was sent only to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
But she came and knelt before him, saying, “Lord, help me.”
And he answered, “It is not right to take the children’s bread and throw it to the dogs.”
She said, “Yes, Lord, yet even the dogs eat the crumbs that fall from their masters’ table.”
Then Jesus answered her, “O woman, great is your faith! Be it done for you as you desire.” And her daughter was healed instantly.

She humbled herself; Jesus lifted her up. “Jesus could not resist the humility of this foreign woman, of the good thief, of Mary Magdalene.”

One’s pride will bring him low,
but he who is lowly in spirit will obtain honor.

Proverbs 29:23

Father, we seem to keep returning to this topic, don’t we? This tells me that I still need to be working on humility and faith. I have to confess that my faith was weak yesterday. I found myself both upset and worried over situations at both of our jobs. But, in truth, there is no room for worry. I must believe that you have all things in your hands and under control. But I must also have the faith and humility to accept whatever you bring my way, even if I perceive it to be “bad.” The entire life of Joseph comes to mind. Your will be done, Lord, on earth as in heaven. I say those words at least twice a day. Let me be not just saying words, vain repetitions. Rather, let me be speaking my heart to you.

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi’s calf muscle will continue to improve. I pray that her relationships at work will also continue to improve, both with her employer, as well as with the client. May she continue to bring peace and calm into the chaos of the environment, with you as her support and stronghold. I pray, as always, for safe passage to and from work today. I pray for our huddle meeting tonight, that it will be productive, and that we will get a glimpse of what it means to truly be a disciple of Jesus.

I continue to pray for Jana’s comfort as her mother makes her journey toward “home.” May you give them both comfort and peace, wrapping your arms of love around them. I pray for healing and recover for Susie. It seems that her pneumonia may not be completely gone. I pray that you would heal and protect her from further harm, Lord. I lift up Krystle’s uncle to you, Father, that his recover from a heart attack and by-pass surgery would be quick and complete. Give him rest as he recovers; bring comfort and hope to the family. I pray, too, that you would reveal yourself to them in new ways. I also pray for Krystle’s comfort, as they recently had to put a beloved pet to sleep. I pray for her protection, as well, as she recently had an allergic reaction to some nuts. I pray you bring some peace and calm to her life. I pray for Kevin, Father, that you would bring some peace into his life, delivering him from anxiety issues that are affecting his family. I pray for Lin’s husband, Terry, that you would bring healing from the many issues he is experiencing, and that you would draw both him and their daughter, Sarah, to your grace and forgiveness, by the power of your Spirit.

Lord Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, the sinner. Your grace is sufficient.

Humility. Not humiliation. Those are two entirely different things. Our Father is looking for humility.

Grace and peace, friends.