A Life of Worship

Today is Wednesday, March 8, 2017. Only two more days until our Glen Rose weekend!

Quote of the Day

“Man is equally incapable of seeing the nothingness from which he emerges and the infinity in which he is engulfed.” ~ Blaise Pascal

Word of the Day

Portmanteau ~ a word made by putting together parts of other words, as motel, made from motor and hotel, brunch, from breakfast and lunch, or guesstimate, from guess and estimate.

Today is International Women’s Day. It’s a day to recognize and celebrate women and their achievements, as well as to be aware of the many places in the world where women are still treated as second-class citizens or even property.

Last night’s concert was pretty amazing. I think the whole thing went off very well. I missed a few notes and miscounted once or twice, but over all, the whole thing sounded and looked great. The videos looked good, and almost everyone in the band had some kind of Disney accessory. Most of the trombones wore Robin Hood hats. A lot of people wore mouse ears. One of the tubas had mouse ears. On the tuba. One of the clarinet players was wearing a Minnie skirt. And there were hundreds of kids there, many of them dressed up in Disney garb! It was great fun. There should be some video up on You Tube soon, if I understand correctly. If and when that happens, I will share them.

Back to work today, but we’re obviously looking forward to our four-day-weekend coming up.

Twenty-six days until Opening Day!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. 
The LORD has made known his salvation; he has revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.

Psalm 98:1-2
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield. 
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. 
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.

Psalm 33:20-22
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 
If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.

Psalm 139:17-18
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations.
Psalm 108:3

(From Living the Message)

When we worship, God draws us into the center, which is himself. “Worship is a meeting at the center so that our lives are centered in God and not lived eccentrically.” As we live lives of worship, our lives are lived “in response to and from this center, the living God.” When we don’t worship, we are left to a life of “spasms and jerks, at the mercy of every advertisement, every seduction, every siren.” When we don’t worship, we live lives of manipulation and being manipulated. “We move in either frightened panic or deluded lethargy as we are, in turn, alarmed by specters and soothed by placebos.” Sadly, I know a lot of people who claim to be Christians who fall into those last two categories.

Let us worship God and live in the center. I wrote a song a number of years ago, called “The Center of Your Holiness.”

The desire of my heart, to feel Your breath upon me.
I’m standing on the edge of the stillness of eternity.
I will enter in, the stuff of earth behind me,
With my gaze fastened firmly on You.

In the center of Your holiness
Eternal joy and peace will flood my soul.
And there at last, I will truly know You
As You know me, perfect and complete.
My soul’s desire will now be fully realized,
And my reward will be to see Your face.
And there I’ll stay, living for eternity,
In the center of Your Holiness.

I was caught up at once in deep worship and, oh!—a Throne set in Heaven with One Seated on the Throne,
Revelation 4:2 (The Message)

Father, I recognize within myself some of the characteristics of people who don’t worship. I do struggle against them when I see them coming out, but they still exist within me. Therefore, I pray for more worship in my life. Obviously, there is not enough. The worship in my life needs to be more than just Sunday morning, and even more than just these morning devotional times. Worship needs to be something that I live in, 24/7. I pray that your Spirit would remind me of this, throughout the day.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Relinquish

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”~~William James
(BrainyQuote)

That is a wonderful quote. I could almost close out the entry right there.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is muliebrity. There are a number of things that this word appears to possibly mean. I’m guessing the true meaning is not even remotely close to those. It means “The characteristics or qualities of a woman; womanhood, womanliness (opposed to virility). Also: softness, effeminacy.”

Today is International Women’s Day. I’m supposed to wear purple. I don’t think I have any, though. I’ll check. Seriously, though, it’s a good day to recognize the accomplishments and value of women in our society, and be aware of women’s rights (or, in some cases, the lack, thereof).

The band rehearsal went pretty well, over all, last night. The director seemed pleased. Personally, I played like I was looking at the music for the first time. I don’t know where my head was, but I hope I can find it before showtime tonight. The player next to me said, “It’s the weather. That’s your excuse.” So, yeah, I’ll go with that. My head was foggy from the weather. 😛

As stated previously, the concert is tonight, 7:00 PM at White’s Chapel United Methodist Church in Southlake. The program will consist of Fugue A La Gigue, by J.S. Bach, Original Suite, by Gordon Jacob, Old Home Days, by Charles Ives, Lincolnshire Posy (Movements 1, 2, 4, and 6), by Percy Grainger, Sea Songs, by Ralph Vaughan Williams, and The Thunderer, by John Phillip Sousa. It’s a challenging program for a bunch of people who typically play once a week.

I have forgotten to mention this in the blog, but Sunday was a day of bad news. Nancy Reagan passed away, Randy Meisner’s (Eagles) wife was killed in an apparent gun accident in their home, and Jerry Bridges, author of The Pursuit of Holiness, also passed away.

Four more days to Glen Rose.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD looks down from heaven; he sees all the children of man;
from where he sits enthroned he looks out on all the inhabitants of the earth,
he who fashions the hearts of them all and observes all their deeds.
The king is not saved by his great army; a warrior is not delivered by his great strength.
The war horse is a false hope for salvation, and by its great might it cannot rescue.
Behold, the eye of the LORD is on those who fear him, on those who hope in his steadfast love,
that he may deliver their soul from death and keep them alive in famine.

Psalm 33:13-19

In verses 6-9, the Psalmist recollects God’s creation of the world. And here, we see that the Lord did not just create and walk away. “He watches over it, wisely and lovingly. We are his creatures; we are also his children, for whom he provides faithfully.”

“Your creative work, Almighty God, fills me with awe: such power and such magnificence! Your providence envelops me with hope: such care and such attention! Thank you for being everything to me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Galatians 2:20

Today’s reading is “The Relinquished Life.” Buckle up.

What do we have to relinquish in our lives before we can be fully united with Jesus Christ? We mistakenly believe that all we have to relinquish is our sin. That’s only the beginning, and if we stop there, our lives will be unfulfilled. We must also relinquish our “way of looking at things.” Yes, this must change, also.

We must relinquish all pretense. “What Our Lord wants us to present to Him is not goodness, not honesty, nor endeavor, but real solid sin; that is all He can take from us.” But what we get in return is priceless: “Real solid righteousness. But we must relinquish all pretense of being anything, all claim of being worthy of God’s consideration.” There is a mistaken idea in some parts of Christianity that Christ died for us because we were worth it. Sadly, these people have it backwards. We are made worthy because of Christ’s sacrifice.

We must also relinquish all claim to our rights to ourselves. This is a big one for most of us. “Am I willing to relinquish my hold on all I possess, my hold on my affections, and on everything, and to be identified with the death of Jesus Christ?” When we see ourselves as the Lord sees us, it is not so much the “abominable sins of the flesh” that shock us, as the “awful nature of the pride” of our hearts up against Jesus.

Father, help me to fully relinquish these things. After all these years, I still struggle with my rights to myself, which I should consider as nothing. I have no rights to myself if I am your child, your servant. I have no goodness, no honesty, no endeavor that I can give to you, because I did not possess these things before you saved me. So any “good” qualities that I “possess” are those of Jesus Christ, not my own. Help me to relinquish my hold on anything that is not Christ. Change my heart, O God; change the way I look at things.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Repentance Begins With Words

Today is Friday, March 8, 2013. I wish you a blessed day today.

Today is International Women’s Day. This was begun in 1911, and is sponsored by the United Nations. The focus is on working women and advancing women’s rights in the workforce, politics, and society at large. I’m all for that. Have been for as long as I can remember. In fact, I once took a quiz that told me at the end that I was, in fact, a feminist. 😀


Yesterday was a good day. After struggling with allergies all day on Wednesday, I felt pretty good all day yesterday. The work day went smoothly, and I got pretty much everything accomplished that I needed. And I felt really good, both physically, and emotionally. I can’t really explain this, but I was joking with Stephanie all the way to the gym last night, and had a really good workout on the elliptical, compared with Wednesday night’s workout, where I could barely pedal the thing. Is that what you do with an elliptical? Pedal? I don’t know…it’s not exactly running, but it sort of is, because you’re standing up, but there are these large “pedal” like things…oh, well…doesn’t really matter, does it? Anyway, it was a good day. Christi and I started watching the Tuesday night episode of American Idol, but didn’t get it finished. So, at this point, we still don’t know who the top 10 are. We will find out who America voted through either tonight or tomorrow.

Weight wise, I am .2 pound away from my lightest weight in over three years (which I hit in late September of last year, before I slacked off and gained about 20 pounds back through the holidays). Unfortunately, I have a weekend coming up. Then I have my birthday coming up next week, with a loooooong weekend (three days of vacation). This is going to take some extra discipline, along with the determination to enjoy myself as well. I’m not sure how that’s going to work out, but, as they say, “It is what it is.” 😀


(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1265, Simon de Montfort “gathered together in Westminster Hall some peers of the land, a sprinkling of bishops, two knights from each shire and two to four ‘good and loyal men’ from each city and borough.” For the first time ever, ordinary citizens met together to “discuss the government and to give opinions regarding the laws they were to live under.” (This all happened after Montfort led a rebellion against Henry III.) This event is considered by historians to be the first parliament, and the beginning of what is, today, the House of Commons.


Today’s birthday is…I can’t pick just one today, sorry. The reason being, we have Mickey Dolenz in 1945, Randy Meisner in 1946, and Michael Allsup in 1947. Plus there is Alan Hale, Jr. back in 1921. Dolenz, for you youngsters out there, was one of The Monkees…the drummer. With the hair. Here’s a clip of him getting all emotional at Davy Jones’s memorial (I confess…I got a little emotional, too).

Meisner is a bass player and was a founding member of Poco and Eagles. (It is not “The” Eagles…never has been. It is simply “Eagles.”) Here is a clip of him singing “Take It To the Limit.

Finally, Michael Allsup is a guitarist and best known for his work with Three Dog Night. As far as I know, he is still touring with two of the three “dogs.” Here is a live clip of “Easy To Be Hard,” from 1969. The video, of course, focuses on Chuck (who was both Christi’s and my favorite), but Michael is over there playing the guitar.

And Alan Hale, Jr., of course, was the “Skipper” on Gilligan’s Island. He passed away back in 1990.


Oh sing to the LORD a new song, for he has done marvelous things! His right hand and his holy arm have worked salvation for him. Psalm 98:1
Let your steadfast love comfort me according to your promise to your servant. Let your mercy come to me, that I may live; for your law is my delight. Psalm 119:76-77
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds. Psalm 108:3-4

I will sing to you, this day, my Father, and let my mouth declare a new song to you. You have, indeed, done marvelous things, and I will praise you with all of my being. By your mercy and grace, show me your face today, that I may live. I will take delight in whatever you will teach me today.


Today’s reading from In Touch magazine (Hah! You thought I was going to say A Year With God, didn’t you?) focuses on Matthew 7:9-11, which says, Or which one of you, if his son asks him for bread, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will give him a serpent? If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give good things to those who ask him! The point is, God is worthy of our trust. He loves us unconditionally, because his very nature is love. In fact, it could be said (and is said) that he IS love. “God knows everything about you, including the unseemly details, and loves you just the same. That alone is good reason to feel perfectly safe with Him.”


Today, I’m reading Isaiah 30:27-28.

27 Behold, the name of the LORD comes from afar, burning with his anger, and in thick rising smoke; his lips are full of fury, and his tongue is like a devouring fire;
28 his breath is like an overflowing stream that reaches up to the neck; to sift the nations with the sieve of destruction, and to place on the jaws of the peoples a bridle that leads astray.

It is believed that this passage is describing the anger of the Lord as he comes against the Assyrian army.


Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “Sincere Repentance.” The scripture reading is Hosea 14:1-2.

1 Return, O Israel, to the LORD your God, for you have stumbled because of your iniquity.
2 Take with you words and return to the LORD; say to him, “Take away all iniquity; accept what is good, and we will pay with bulls the vows of our lips.

(The phrase, “pay with bulls the vows of our lips” may also be translated, “offer the fruit of our lips.”)

Repentance is, of course, an action, it is doing something. However, it often begins with words. Yet, it seems that sometimes that for which we need repentance sometimes keeps us from finding the right words. Notice that, in this passage, the command to bring words is immediately followed by the provision of those words. “The divine grace that responds to our confession of sin is already at work in eliciting it.” These words, the “fruit of our lips,” are all that we need to confess and receive our forgiveness. We have nothing more to offer than our repentance; animal sacrifice is no longer required. And God’s grace provides us with the words that we need. “Take time today to respond to God’s grace with a sincere confession of your heart.”


Father, I praise you that you provide words for confession and repentance when our hearts cannot find them. Sometimes the sin that so easily besets us is also that which prevents us from coming up with the right words to begin the process of confession and repentance. Your grace, by the power of the Holy Spirit, helps us along in that. Where would I be today, were it not for this grace? I would still be lost and entrenched in my sin. I would be alone, so very alone. But, thanks be to God, I am not alone! And I am growing in you, on a daily basis, thanks to your grace and mercy! I love the way you gently bring me along, a little bit further each day, sometimes showing me the most marvelous things, and other times gently reminding me of things that you have already taught me. I keep praying back to you the verse that you brought to my heart so many years ago, Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. And you are honoring that prayer! Show me, each day, where I sin and fall short of your glory, that I may confess and exercise true repentance. Even that repentance is granted me by you!

I lift up this Friday, this last work day of this week. May it be a pleasant day today, full of you. I pray for Christi, that she might keep feeling better each day, and that her work day would be stress-free today. Grant that she would find favor among those who have authority over her. I pray for my work day, and hope for good news today. I lift up Stephanie to you, asking that you would draw her closer to you during this day. Give us a pleasant, restful weekend, and prepare our hearts to serve you this Sunday morning.


True repentance begins with words of confession. We can trust God to give us those words.

Grace and peace, friends.