Leave It To God

Today is Sunday, July 15, 2018. Day 22,039.

35 days until S turns 25! She’s already talking about things she wants to do that day.

“You can no more win a war than you can win an earthquake.” ~ Jeannette Rankin, 1880-1973, The Quotations Page

The word for today is coeval, “of the same age, date, or duration; equally old.”

Yesterday was a great day. After the guy came to look at our toilet (I may not have mentioned that part), C went and picked up our Clicklist while I finished my devotional blog. After I got ready, C and I headed over to Weatherford to the Parker County Peach Festival. We walked around there for about an hour, having a small bowl of peach ice cream, picking up a t-shirt, several kinds of jam (including peach, of course), a small bag of coffee mix, and some actual peaches. It was hot, of course, but we had a good time. We almost connected with some folks that I work with, but they guy didn’t respond to my initial text (I texted him as soon as we got there) until we were about to the exit gate.

From there, we continued westward to Mineral Wells, where we shared some peaches with my mother, and then she took us out for lunch. We went to the Dairy Mart, where we had some great cheeseburgers. Well, C had a patty melt, which is a just cheeseburger on square Texas Toast. Then I went over to the Famous Water Company, where I picked up two cases of Crazy Water #4, some chocolate pecans, and a t-shirt.

After dropping mother off at her house, we headed back home, where I spent the rest of the afternoon preparing for this morning’s worship gathering at FBC Smithfield. I’m looking forward to leading again. We will be singing “Blessed Be Your Name” (Matt Redman), “Blessed Assurance” (the hymn), “Who Can Satisfy My Soul” (Dennis Jernigan), “Your Love Defends Me” (Matt Maher), “Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)” (John Newton and Chris Tomlin), and “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” (the hymn).

This afternoon, we will be meeting seven other folks from our Exchange family at Lone Star Park for an afternoon of horse races. Good times.

Almost forgot the baseball recaps. The Red Sox won their game, 6-2, on a Xander Bogaerts walk-off grand slam home run! They are now 67-30 on the season, and remain 3.5 up in the AL East.

The Rangers lost to Orioles, 1-0. This makes their record 41-55, and they fall to 22 out in the AL West.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. 
I have sworn an oath and confirmed it, to keep your righteous rules. 
I am severely afflicted; give me life, O LORD, according to your word! 
Accept my freewill offerings of praise, O LORD, and teach me your rules. 
I hold my life in my hand continually, but I do not forget your law. 
The wicked have laid a snare for me, but I do not stray from your precepts. 
Your testimonies are my heritage forever, for they are the joy of my heart. 
I incline my heart to perform your statutes forever, to the end.

Psalm 119:105-112

Verse 105 is another popular memory verse. I learned it as a child, as, “Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path.” Someone wrote that into a popular worship chorus a couple of decades ago. I like the imagery in the verse. God’s word lights my way; it shows me the way I should walk. Without it, I am walking in darkness.

I want to share Chuck Swindoll’s weekend reading in The Finishing Touch.

“Can’t seem to get where you want to go fast enough?
Leave it to God.
Worried about your kids?
Leave it to God.
Living in a place you’d rather not be?
Leave it to God.
Looks like you won’t graduate with honors?
Leave it to God.
No matter how hard you try, your life’s partner simply is not responding?
Leave it to God.
Found a lump and you see the doctor tomorrow?
Leave it to God.
You’ve said the right words to that friend who is lost, and you’ve been all you know to be, still, zip?
Leave it to God.
Haven’t got a date for the prom?
Leave it to God.
A mid-career change seems scary?
Leave it to God.
You did the job but someone else got the credit?
Leave it to God.
Getting older, alone?
Leave it to God.

Father, help us to leave all things in your hands, whether good or bad, favorable or unfavorable. Forgive us when we try to accomplish things on our own, without you.
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.

Structure in Prayer

“Be yourself; everyone else is already taken.”~~Oscar Wilde

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is absolve, “to set free from an obligation or the consequences of guilt; to remit (a sin) by absolution.”

Today is Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day. I mean, seriously. What else would you need?

I only had to work about thirty minutes over, last night, so that was nice. We had a nice, relaxing evening, watching TV for a while. Today, we have our usual grocery shopping, and then Rachel and Justin will be coming over this afternoon.

We have nailed down some plans for later this month. The Southlake Community Band will play at the Christmas Tree Lighting event on November 21, at the Southlake Town Square. We plan to go pick up my mother Friday night, the 20th, so she can come listen to the band play Christmas music. She will spend Saturday night and go to church with us on Sunday morning. Then we’ll take her home after lunch. Our church will be having Thanksgiving dinner that evening, so we’ll be back for that. Then on Thanksgiving Day, which is the following Thursday, we plan to cook stuff and take it to Mineral Wells for Thanksgiving lunch. Good times.

Birthdays are coming up next week, as Christi’s is the 12th. My dad’s birthday is November 15, which is next Sunday. We have not decided if we will try to go to Mineral Wells for that day. It is the first birthday since he passed away in April.

On this date in 1665, the London Gazette was first published. On this date in 1872, the ship Mary Celeste set sail from New York. She would be discovered on December 4, completely deserted, life boat missing. The cargo and crew’s belongings were intact and undisturbed. The crew was never heard from or seen again. No one knows what happened to them. The last journal entry had been ten days earlier. In 1908, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kind were allegedly killed in San Vicente, Bolivia. In 1916, Jeannette Rankin became the first woman to be elected to the United States Congress. In 1940, the Tacoma Narrows Bridge collapsed due to an unfortunate engineering anomaly.

The wind blowing through the cables matched the resonant frequency of the bridge, causing it to sway, even from the first day it was opened to the public, just four months prior to the collapse. People called the bridge “Galloping Gertie.”
Three years later, Franklin D Roosevelt was elected for an unprecedented fourth term as President of the United States.

Today’s birthdays include Captain James Cook (British naval officer), Archie Campbell (American comedian), Billy Graham (American evangelist), Al Hirt (American trumpet player), Jim Kaat (American baseball player), Johnny Rivers (American singer/songwriter), and Joni Mitchell (Canadian musician).

Archie Campbell was a comedian who is probably most known for his run on the country comedy/music variety show, Hee Haw. Here is a You Tube video tribute, containing several of his skits, one being his retelling of the fairy tale, “Rindercella.” Archie was born on this date in 1914 and died in 1987.

Dwight Frye, Eleanor Roosevelt, and Steve McQueen are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

Today, I’m looking at a second way that Timothy Keller gives us to develop a habit of adoration and praise. This comes from the sixteenth-century English Reformer Thomas Cranmer, who was the author of the original Book of Common Prayer. In that book, he had what is known as “collects,” or corporate prayers. They followed this general structure:

1. The address–a name of God
2. The doctrine–a truth about God’s nature that is the basis for the prayer
3. The petition–what is being asked for
4. The aspiration–what good result will come if the request is granted
5. In Jesus’ name–this remembers the mediatorial role of Jesus

here is an example of one of the prayers that follows this structure:

1. Almighty God,
2. unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid,
3. cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit,
4. that we may perfectly love thee, and worthily magnify thy holy name,
5. through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.

Obviously, the prayers in the book do not have numbers. But this is to show how they line up structurally. The prayer moves “from a grounding in God’s nature (why we can ask) to the petition (what we want) to the aspiration (what we will do with it if we get it).” This pattern also combines “praise with petition, sound theology with deep aspirations of the heart, and concrete goals for our daily life.”

One way to cultivate this is to write prayers to God in a journal, attempting to follow this structure until it becomes a habit. “Eventually, you will find that when praying aloud or praying privately, you will instinctively start any petition by looking at God himself and appealing to that as you cry out to him.”

Father in heaven, you know everything about me. I pray that you would help me to pray effectively to you, daily. I pray that my life would be a life of constant prayer, and that all that I do I would do for your name and your glory. In doing this, your name would be magnified in all the earth, and people would see the benefit of living such a life. These things I pray through the Son and by the Spirit.

Come, Lord Jesus.

Grace and peace, friends.