The LORD is Great

Today is Thursday, the ninth of September, 2021.

Shalom Aleichem!

Day 23,191

Thirteen days until the Autumnal Equinox signals the official end of Summer. The days are, of course, already getting shorter, and I noted that, this past Tuesday evening, when I got off work at 8:15, it was already mostly dark.

The big news today is that I awoke to find my first Social Security payment deposited to our checking account! This, of course, make us breathe a bit easier, because we know this is done, and we know what we will see each month.

The first thing I did was to reactivate my WW (formerly Weight Watchers) account, but as a digital only account. I will not be attending meetings, but will continue using the digital tools. I need that “crutch” in my journey. For the past month, I have felt like I was walking in the dark. Digital-only is less than half of the full price, and I’m getting a pretty good discount from that for the first six months, because I committed to at least six months. My first month is free, and I will pay $15-ish for the next five months, then it will go to full price, $21.95.

C continues to improve. In fact, she said that she did not take any pain meds during the night last night. She did take one around 8:00 this morning, but that is exciting to hear.

I have no idea what I will do for the rest of today, after finishing this. I have a couple things in mind, to do today and/or tomorrow (or maybe both). And the reality of retirement is finally sinking in, since that SS payment appeared, today. It is a remarkably peaceful and calming feeling.

Today is Wonderful Weirdos Day. Embrace your inner weirdo.

The word for today is glitz, a noun which means, “ostentatious glitter or sophistication.” Glitz is helpful in celebrating Wonderful Weirdos Day. It can also be used as a verb. “I glitzed myself up for Wonderful Weirdos Day.”

Today’s quote is from E. Joseph Cossman, an American inventor. “Obstacles are things a person sees when he takes his eyes off his goal.” There is great truth to this. I am reminded of Peter’s brief walk on the water. As soon as he took his eyes off of Jesus, his goal, he saw the waves and began to sink.

Significant birthdays on September 9:

William Bligh, British naval commander on the infamous HMS Bounty, 1754-1817
Leo Tolstoy, Russian author (War and Peace, Anna Karenina), 1828-1910
Harlan Sanders, the Colonel (KFC), 1890-1980
Phyllis Whitney, American mystery author, 1903-2008
Otis Redding, singer/songwriter (Dock of the Bay), 1941-1967
The first posthumously released single to reach #1 on the charts
Doug Ingle, rock vocalist (Iron Butterfly), 1946 (76)
Jeffrey Combs, American actor (Re-Animator, From Beyond, and other Lovecraftian films, as well as a number of Star Trek characters), 1954 (67)
Hugh Grant, English actor (Notting Hill, Love Actually, About A Boy), 1960 (61)


God Speaks, by Daryl Madden

A truth that we know
God is everywhere
Let it come to reason
That He is speaking here

In this very moment
In all we feel and see
Heard within the silence
How is He calling me?

A gift of nature’s beauty
Wisdom in the Word
A soul within the way
Event that has occurred

Let us come to practice
Attune the soul to hear
The joy within the binding
Where each thought is a prayer

“This is what the LORD says: You have said, ‘This is a desolate land where people and animals have all disappeared.’ Yet in the empty streets of Jerusalem and Judah’s other towns, there will be heard once more the sounds of joy and laughter. The joyful voices of bridegrooms and brides will be heard again, along with the joyous songs of people bringing thanksgiving offerings to the LORD. They will sing, ‘Give thanks to the LORD of Heaven’s Armies, for the LORD is good. His faithful love endures forever!’ For I will restore the prosperity of this land to what it was in the past, says the LORD.
(Jeremiah 33:10-11 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

1. for my Social Security payment coming in
2. for C's continued improvement
3. for the promises of joyful singing and praise in Your eternal kingdom
4. that my life is full of Your blessings
5. that You are great and mighty

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



The LORD is good; he protects his people in times of trouble; he takes care of those who turn to him.
(Nahum 1:7 GNB)

As I pause in this quiet moment, I meditate on the joyous potential in our encounters and interactions in God’s presence. I try to focus on that presence as I begin meditating on His Word.


For the director of music. Of David. A petition.

Hasten, O God, to save me; come quickly, LORD, to help me.

May those who want to take my life be put to shame and confusion; may all who desire my ruin be turned back in disgrace. May those who say to me, “Aha! Aha!” turn back because of their shame. But may all who seek you rejoice and be glad in you; may those who long for your saving help always say, “The LORD is great!”

But as for me, I am poor and needy; come quickly to me, O God. You are my help and my deliverer; LORD, do not delay.
(Psalms 70:1-5 NIV)


If you fully obey the LORD your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the LORD your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you if you obey the LORD your God:
You will be blessed in the city and blessed in the country.
The fruit of your womb will be blessed, and the crops of your land and the young of your livestock—the calves of your herds and the lambs of your flocks.
Your basket and your kneading trough will be blessed.
You will be blessed when you come in and blessed when you go out.
The LORD will establish you as his holy people, as he promised you on oath, if you keep the commands of the LORD your God and walk in obedience to him. Then all the peoples on earth will see that you are called by the name of the LORD, and they will fear you.
(Deuteronomy 28:1-6, 9-10 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I ask the Holy Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.

David asks for protection from those who seek his life, but then he also asks that everyone who is actively seeking the Lord be able to rejoice and be glad in Him. Again, as previously noted, as far as I know, I have no humans seeking to take my life. I do, however, as do all followers of Christ, have spiritual enemies who would seek to derail and discredit my testimony. For me, though, the more important piece of this is praying for my brothers and sisters in Christ, that they are able to rejoice, be glad in Him, and be able to confidently say, “The LORD is great!”

In Deuteronomy, we see some promises, or, perhaps, consequences to obedience. I realize that this is specifically directed, by Moses, to Israel. Fair enough. But what can we glean from it, in 2021?

First of all, this idea of fully obeying “all His commands,” has, I believed has effectively been narrowed down to those two “jobs” I keep talking about. Love God and love people. Jesus has informed us that these two commands summarize the entirety of the Law and the Prophets.

If we can do those things, I believe that there are certain consequences that are presented here. No, we aren’t promised a “rose garden.” But we will have blessed lives. I believe that I have seen this come true in my own family. It’s not perfect. But neither am I. I have not been perfect in keeping those two commands, not by a long shot. But I believe that I have a blessed life. And I believe that I can take that stance by keeping my eyes focused on the Lord and His blessings, and not on those obstacles mentioned by our quote of the day.

As for the promises regarding being a “holy people,” and other nations fearing them, I also believe that those are exclusive to Old Testament Israel.

Father, I praise You for my blessed life. I thank You for Your greatness, displayed in my life and in the lives of others who follow You faithfully. I thank You that, long ago, You placed it in my heart to love You and love others. I am grateful that You are helping me more with the loving others part of this, lately. Most of all, I am grateful that I can proclaim, along with Israel, “The LORD is great!”

Help me to grow in holiness, as I grow in You. I pray that You would continue to uncover and reveal any idols that might still be in my heart. I thank You for Your forgiveness, and pray for Your help in extending that to others.

"Good God,
I know You're the source of everything good -
Your generous care and daily blessing are steadily on display.
Help me also know the call of Your blessing -
that I will never fully enjoy Your blessing until it's enjoyed by all.
Make me a blessing to all in my life so they too know Your goodness.


“Take my yoke and put it on you, and learn from me, because I am gentle and humble in spirit; and you will find rest. For the yoke I will give you is easy, and the load I will put on you is light.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 GNB)

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
(1 Samuel 16:7 NIV)

A Psalm of David.

The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me;
your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
(Psalms 23:1-6 ESV)

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.
(Romans 12:12 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Praying for Missionaries

Good morning. It is Monday again. Monday, September 9, 2013.

Today is “Wonderful Weirdos Day.” The description from the site where I get these: “Nothing’s quite as dull as being normal, boring and average. Celebrate being weird, and celebrate the weirdos in your life on Wonderful Weirdos Day. Make an effort to be weird by dressing weirdly, doing weird things and encouraging weirdness with your friends and in the workplace!” It could also be a day to celebrate Austin, TX, as it has a reputation of being “weird.”

Yesterday was a strange day. Church was good, but then we met a contractor at the house to take a look at a few repairs that we need done. He seemed to be discouraging at every corner, acting like he really didn’t want to do anything for us, which is weird, because he has done work for us in the past, and did a good job, which is why we called him again. We had to go to the grocery store after that, because we didn’t go Saturday. It seemed like every corner we turned, someone was annoying us. I think we just got hold of a “bad spirit” along the way somewhere. It got better as the day went on, and I think we were okay by bedtime. It was just weird. Heheh. It’s like we were celebrating today’s wacky holiday a day early. It just wasn’t “fun weird.”

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1087, William the Conqueror died. He was “the last man successfully to invade England.” He had been ruling England for 20 years when a French army began to pillage his “original patrimony, the Duchy of Normandy.” He quickly took his troops across the English Channel and effectively routed his enemy. However, “during the fight his horse stumbled and he fell forward onto the hard iron pommel of his saddle, receiving several internal injuries.” He was moved, five weeks later, to a place close to the Norman capital, Rouen. “On Thursday morning, 9 September, the tolling of the bells of the Rouen Cathedral awakened him. Construing this as a divine signal, he commended himself to God and died instantly.” Much of his contribution to England remains to this day. “He built the White Tower in the Tower of London and he created a vast deer preserve in what is still called the New Forest in Hampshire.” One of his greatest influences, though, was the Gothic cathedral architecture he introduced to Saxon England. He is buried “at the monastery he founded of St. Stephen of Caen.”

Today’s birthday is Jeffrey Combs, born on this date in 1954. Combs is an actor who specializes in the horror genre, having been in several movie adaptations of H.P. Lovecraft stories. However, in searching for clips of his work, I came across this clip of a one-man play on the life of Edgar Allen Poe, called “Nevermore.” He bears a striking resemblance, don’t you think?

Honorable mentions go to Michael Buble, 38, Hugh Grant, 53, Colonel Harland Sanders, 1890-1980, Otis Redding, 1941-1967, Eric Stonestreet, 42, Angela Cartwright, 61, Haley Reinhart, 23, Henry Thomas, 42, Cliff Robertson, 1923-2011, Neil Hamilton, 1899-1984, William Bligh, 1754-1817, and Arthur Freed, 1894-1973.


“Bless God in the great congregation, the LORD, O you who are of Israel’s fountain!” Psalm 68:26
Deliver my soul from the wicked by your sword, from men by your hand, O LORD, from men of the world whose portion is in this life. Psalm 17:13b-14a
The fool says in his heart, “There is no God.” They are corrupt, doing abominable iniquity; there is none who does good. Psalm 53:1
Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect. Matthew 24:44

Father, I pray for some inspiration during this morning devotion, that you might show me more of yourself, in order to keep me living these days in your strength, looking to you for grace and peace.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “I Promised You in Marriage.” The scripture reading is 2 Corinthians 11:2-3.

For I feel a divine jealousy for you, since I betrothed you to one husband, to present you as a pure virgin to Christ. But I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by his cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ.

Paul makes a dramatic statement to the church in Corinth in this passage. He has, as a sort of father, promised the Corinthian church to Christ, as his bride. The idea of being “married to Christ” became a powerful image in the Middle Ages. Again, a clear parallel is made between the earthly marriage relationship and our spiritual relationship to Christ is made. (Do you have any idea how challenging it is to be married to “Christi” and always having to type “Christ” in my devotions??) Devoting ourselves to a “with-God life” can help us maintain pure sexuality in our earthly lives. Here is a quote from The Challenge of the Disciplined Life, by Richard J. Foster:

“Sex is like a great river that is rich and deep and good as long as
it stays within its proper channels. The moment a river overflows its
banks, it become destructive, and the moment sex overflows its God-given
banks, it too becomes destructive. Our task is to define as clearly
as possible the boundaries placed upon our sexuality and to do all
within our power to direct our sexual responses into that deep, rich

Pray Without Ceasing: A Thirty-One-Day Course, by Andrew Murray

What to Pray: For God’s Spirit on Our Missionaries

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth. Acts 1:8

“What the world needs today is not only more missionaries
but the outpouring of God’s Spirit on all those He has sent out
to work for Him in the foreign fields.
“God always gives His servants power equal to the work He
asks of them. Think of the vastness and difficulty of this work.
Most fields are under the power and sway of the enemy of our
souls. Missionaries enter into Satan’s strongholds. Before any
significant work can be done, these powers must be broken down.
Spiritual warfare is the order of the day. We must pray for those
who have made it their life’s work to face these difficulties head
on and to minister to those who in many cases have never heard
the name of Jesus, much less know anything of the Gospel. The
work of prayer for missionaries is not easy. It takes dedication,
concentration, and persistence. Do not give up the fight. God is
with you.”

How to Pray: Trusting God’s Faithfulness

Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for he who promised is faithful. Hebrews 10:23

“Think of God’s promises to His Son concerning His kingdom,
the church concerning the lost, to His servants concerning
their ministry, and to you concerning your prayer life. Then pray
in the assurance that He is faithful; He waits for prayer and faith
so that He can answer and fulfill every request. ‘Faithful is he
that calls you [to pray], who will also do [what He has promised]’
(1 Thessalonians 5:24 KJV).
“Take up individual missionaries that you know; make yourself
one with them, and pray until you know that you are heard.
Intercede on their behalf. There may be times and places where
they are unable to pray and count on those at home to bridge the

Father I pray this morning for your Spirit to fall strongly on all missionaries. I pray this, trusting in your faithfulness, believing with all my heart and soul that you will do what you have promised to do. I ask for faithfulness in prayer as I purpose to pray for missionaries on a regular basis. May your Spirit strengthen them. I name again, Marshall and Becca Kitron in Peru, and Brandon Graham and his family in India. I also pray for Tiffany, a missionary who attends our church when in town. Give them the awesome power of your Holy Spirit when they are on the field, doing your work as only they have been gifted and empowered to do.

I also pray, Father, that you give your church a sense of the importance of purity and chastity. We are assaulted from every corner of the world, these days, and by all senses, with sensual material. May you strengthen us by your Spirit against these assaults, making us bold and determined in our quest for a strong, faithful relationship, not only with our spouses, but with you.

I pray for this day, that you will give Christi and me a good work day, as we return to the daily drudgery for this week. I pray for a lack of stress and anxiety in the work place, and that we will continuously have the skills and tools we need to get our jobs done efficiently. Draw Stephanie closer to your heart this week, and protect her from our mutual enemy.

Your grace is sufficient, Lord.

If you know any missionaries, pray extra for them today. Pray for the Spirit’s power on their lives and ministries. If you are a missionary and stumble across this, know that someone has prayed for you today.

Grace and peace, friends.