Plug Into the Current

Today is Wednesday, the twenty-ninth of September, 2021.

May the peace of God reign in your heart today!

Day 23,211

Thirteen days until our 36th wedding anniversary (y’all pray for me! I need a gift idea, stat!)

It’s hard to believe there’s only one more day in September. I’m quite happy about that, though. Not that I have any dislike for September (I’m not a fan of Greenday, though). I mean, it’s not like it’s February or anything. But I love October. It’s by far my favorite month of the year, and not just because it’s the month I got married in. As my new friend at the library has said several times, October should be everyone’s favorite month.

Yesterday was a good day (as pretty much all of them have been). I did get some validation from one of the assistant librarians who said that I handled the situation Monday evening very well. My four hours of shelving were quite uneventful, as they normally would be. I really like that I’m dividing my time between three different departments at the library. For one thing, it gives me diversity of activities. And for another, it gets me more educated about more facets of the library. And since, while shelving, I will frequently get into the children’s (or “Youth” as they call it there) section, I am even getting some knowledge about that section, as well. I always figure that the more you know, the more valuable you are.

The time in the computer center was quiet, for the most part. We had to assist a few people who needed to print things, and there was one patron who had trouble getting the PC attachment to read his USB drive. I say “we” because, as has been the case thus far, a veteran aide was in there with me. That’s the “new friend” referenced above. Beginning this Friday I will be the only part timer in the computer center for the whole day. Of course, the manager will be in there with me on Friday. We are thinking it will probably be kind of slow, this first Friday. Partially because it is the first Friday open since pre-pandemic days, and there is a chance of rain/thunderstorms on Friday, as well.

Today, I work from 1:00 to 5:00 PM, in shelving. I like shelving. While it is the most physically demanding portion of my responsibilities (lots of bending and stretching . . . you would be amazed at the number of books that get checked out from the top or bottom shelves! Also more walking, as you can imagine), it is very quiet and I am normally alone, which I also like. Just imagine . . . alone with all those books! Needless to say, my TBR (To Be Read) list on Goodreads is growing by leaps and bounds. Yesterday, I just kind of looked around and thought, “I want to read ALL the books. All of them.” Which is, of course, silly. There are many of them that I have no interest in whatsoever.

Except for the fact that they are books.

C is feeling a little better this morning. I don’t remember if I wrote anything about that yesterday, but she had a rough night Monday night and was feeling pretty awful all day, yesterday. We think she overdid on Monday when she went out for her walk. Too far and too fast, probably. Bless her heart, she things she is Superwoman. And while my opinion of her probably equates with that, she is not, in fact, immortal or invincible. She am woman, and she am strong, but she am not invicible.

Bonus points if you got that.

Today is World Heart Day. Be educated about heart disease. But also spread the “hearts” (love).

The word for today is cordial, an adjective that means what this world needs a lot more of, these days, “courteous and gracious.”

Today’s quote is from Kin Hubbard, an American journalist: “The hardest thing is to take less when you can get more.”

Significant birthdays on September 29:

Pompey the Great, Roman political and military leader, 106-48 BC
Miguel de Cervantes, Spanish author (Don Quixote), 1547-1616
Enrico Fermi, Italian-American nuclear physicist, 1901-1954
Gene Autry, American cowboy singer, 1907-1998
Bum Phillips, American football coach (Houston Oilers), 1923-2013
Stan Berenstain, American children's author (some books about some bears), 1923-2005
Jerry Lee Lewis, American rock and roll piano player and singer (Great Balls of Fire), 1935 (86)
Tommy Boyce, American songwriter (Last Train to Clarksville, The Monkees), 1939-1994
Jean-Luc Ponty, French jazz-fusion electric violinist, 1942 (79)
Madeline Kahn, American actress (Young Frankenstein), 1942-1999
Mark Farner, American musician (Grand Funk Railroad), 1948 (73)
Steve Busby, American MLB pitcher (KC Royals) and play by play broadcaster (Texas Rangers), 1949 (71)


Power of Spirit.
Live I an empowered life?
O, Wild Goose, chase me!
(Inspired by a blog by Carolyn Arends)

And we also thank God constantly for this, that when you received the word of God, which you heard from us, you accepted it not as the word of men but as what it really is, the word of God, which is at work in you believers.
(1 Thessalonians 2:13 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the unpredictable, disruptive power of the Holy Spirit in our lives; may we avail ourselves more readily to You
2. for Your Word that has come to us through the writers of Scripture; not the "word of men," but Your Word, at work in us
3. that You have given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Peter 1)
4. for songs sung to the tune of Your glory, to the rhythms of Your praise
5. for power of Your "arm" and "right hand"

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



All together now—applause for God!
Sing songs to the tune of his glory, set glory to the rhythms of his praise.
(Psalms 66:1-2 MSG)

During this quiet time, I pause to reflect on the Holy Spirit, supplier of all the power I need to live this life. Why do I lack? I have all that I need. If I lack, it is because I do not seek it (the power); I do not allow it to fill me. Fill me, Lord Jesus!


Your arm is endowed with power; your hand is strong, your right hand exalted.

Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; love and faithfulness go before you.
Blessed are those who have learned to acclaim you, who walk in the light of your presence, LORD.
They rejoice in your name all day long; they celebrate your righteousness.
For you are their glory and strength, and by your favor you exalt our horn.
Indeed, our shield belongs to the LORD, our king to the Holy One of Israel.
(Psalms 89:13-18 NIV)


After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return home to his family. And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself. Jonathan took off the robe he was wearing and gave it to David, along with his tunic, and even his sword, his bow and his belt.
Whatever mission Saul sent him on, David was so successful that Saul gave him a high rank in the army. This pleased all the troops, and Saul’s officers as well.
When the men were returning home after David had killed the Philistine, the women came out from all the towns of Israel to meet King Saul with singing and dancing, with joyful songs and with timbrels and lyres. As they danced, they sang:
“Saul has slain his thousands,
and David his tens of thousands.”
Saul was very angry; this refrain displeased him greatly. “They have credited David with tens of thousands,” he thought, “but me with only thousands. What more can he get but the kingdom?” And from that time on Saul kept a close eye on David.
(1 Samuel 18:1-9 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I look for ways in which Your Spirit has moved me, through Your Word. I ask Your Spirit to guide my meditations and prayers.

There is nothing negative in today’s passage from Psalms. The power comes from the “arm” of God, from His “right hand.” These are, of course, anthropomorphisms, as God is fully Spirit and has no arms and hands. But we find, in Scripture, that God even uses such terms about Himself, as we would not be able to even begin to comprehend Him otherwise.

Verse 14 paints a beautiful picture. The foundations of the throne of God are righteousness and justice. Therefore, they should also be the foundation of our lives. They should be the foundation of any earthly government. What goes before Him, or proceeds out of Him are love and faithfulness.

This, to me, is beautiful. One might think that, from a foundation of righteousness and justice, legalism and strictness might come forth; worked out in acts of violent authoritarianism. But this is not the case. Out of the foundation of righteousness and justice flow love and faithfulness.

And those who are walking in the light of these things, in the light of the presence of God, are blessed; they rejoice in His name “all day long,” and celebrate His righteousness.

Have you ever known anyone like this? I have. At least one person comes to mind, and I’m sure that if I sat and pondered it a while, some others might as well. Another one just popped up. The first one is our favorite teacher from R’s days at Glenview Christian School, Julie Brancadora. C and I have both agreed, numerous times, that we have never known anyone who exhibited the Spirit of God the way she does. Another that I thought of was a favorite Sunday School teacher from my childhood days. Miss Juanita, we called her. My memory is fuzzy, of course, but from what I remember, she lived and walked in the Spirit of Jesus.

My heart’s desire is to be like this. I don’t want to imitate Julie or Miss Juanita, though. I want to imitate Christ. People like them inspire me, but to imitate them would not be proper. I do realize Paul does encourage people to imitate him, just as he imitates Christ, so I guess that’s okay. But I would rather imitate Jesus directly, and let the other humans simply be my inspiration. Perhaps I am also simply wrestling with semantics.

This, I believe, also goes back to the question of power that is raised in my Haiku at the beginning. Do I live an empowered life? The little book of Second Peter tells us that we have everything we need.

His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.
(2 Peter 1:3 NIV)


When I fail to live an empowered life, I am without excuse. Plain and simple. This is not a beat-down. It is just simple fact. I don’t feel shame for this. Remember, shame is bad. Guilt is okay, because I am guilty. As Brené Brown has said, guilt says “I did a bad thing,” where shame says, “I’m a bad person.” While this is not Scripture, I believe that Scripture validates it. There is no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. Shame holds us back while guilt should drive us forward. We acknowledge our guilt, accept God’s forgiveness, and move forward. If we focus on shame, we wallow in it.

But I digress. Back to the idea of the empowered life. In the blog entry that I linked underneath my Haiku, Carolyn Arends cites another writer who compares the Holy Spirit to a “wild goose” rather than a dove. I don’t find this to be irreverent at all. I realize that the Holy Spirit is represented by a dove a couple of times in the Bible. But I also like that people like Rich Mullins referred to God’s love as a “reckless, raging fury.” There is also the bit from C.S. Lewis’s Chronicles of Narnia where it said of Aslan that he is not safe.

“Is he—quite safe?” I shall feel rather nervous about meeting a lion” – Susan

“If there’s anyone who can appear before Aslan without their knees knocking, they’re either braver than most or else just silly.” – Mrs. Beaver

“Then he isn’t safe?” – Lucy

“Safe? . . . Who said anything about safe? Course he isn’t safe. But he’s good. He’s the King I tell you.” – Mr. Beaver

And, once again, I quote my alternative Christian music hero, Terry Scott Taylor, from Daniel Amos’s Darn Floor, Big Bite, “You are beautiful, a terrible, terrible sight.”

The power of God cannot be harnessed or controlled. He cannot be manipulated. We foolish humans think that we can manipulate Him with our formulaic prayers. We think we can say “In Jesus’s name” at the end of a prayer and that it will magically be answered, regardless of what kind of lives we lead. There are volumes of books written that mislead people into thinking that saying just the right words in just the right order will cause God to act in just the way we want Him to.

But here’s the thing. While that power cannot be manipulated or controlled, it can be assimilated. It can be worked in our own lives. If we surrender to it. You see, the correct perspective is surrender not control. If I surrender to the Lord of Light, and walk in the light of His presence, the power controls ME. I cannot control the power, but I can allow it to control me. And, as Carolyn opined in her blog, that is where we fall short. We like “predictability and control. The Holy Spirit – the member of the Trinity most associated with spiritual empowerment – tends to be unpredictable and disruptive.” Not chaotic, mind you. There is a difference between disruption and chaos.

She also points out that we feel safer talking about this power, rather than “plugging into the current.”

Father, help me to plug into the current of the power of Your Holy Spirit. I acknowledge the truth of Scripture that tells me that I have everything I need for “life and godliness.” Therefore, I do not need to be seeking anything outside of You. I simply need to be who You have created me to be, and surrender to the control of Your Spirit. But I don’t like to do that. Like Carolyn, I like predictability and control. Help me to surrender that control, because I cannot control You; I cannot manipulate You; please forgive me for the times when I try that. Words are important, true. But words are wind, too. What is more important is the heart, the motivation, behind the words. If I say one thing, but my heart says another, then I am not in agreement, even with myself, much less with You! My heart’s desire is to live a life that walks in the light of Your presence, rejoicing in Your name all day long, and celebrating Your righteousness!

I pray, this morning, Lord, for all of the governments and leaders in this world. May Your Holy Spirit surround them and cause them to look to You for guidance; may they follow Your will.


“You’re blessed when you’re content with just who you are—no more, no less. That’s the moment you find yourselves proud owners of everything that can’t be bought.”
(Matthew 5:5 MSG)

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
(Romans 12:15 ESV)

“The pain of our experiences can hold so much power over our lives. But the incredible power of human connection is undeniable, if we are willing to give it away and receive.”
(Karen Valentin, Daily Guideposts 2021)

If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together.
(1 Corinthians 12:26 ESV)

I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, eager to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
(Ephesians 4:1-3 ESV)

I can do all things through him who strengthens me.
(Philippians 4:13 ESV)

Remember Jesus Christ, risen from the dead, the offspring of David, as preached in my gospel, for which I am suffering, bound with chains as a criminal. But the word of God is not bound!
(2 Timothy 2:8-9 ESV) (emphasis mine)

“Nothing can stop the one who walks fully in the will of God. Be that person and break every chain and obstacle to the contrary.”
(Jonathan Cahn, The Book of Mysteries)

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!

Nothing can stop one
who walks fully in God's will;
break every chain.

Grace and peace, friends.

“‘It is here. We are on it. It is under us.'”

Today is Friday, September 29, 2017. Friday!!! Day 21,750. 13 days until our 32nd anniversary!

Jerry Lee Lewis, who was born on this date in 1935, said, “Other people – they practice and they practice… these fingers of mine, they got brains in ’em. You don’t tell them what to do – they do it. God given talent.”

Word of the Day

Lonely-hearts ~ of or for people seeking counseling or companionship to bring love or romance into their lives.” For example, a lonely-hearts column in the newspaper.

Today is Ask A Stupid Question Day. Now, it is interesting that some folks had that down as yesterday. But this particular site says it’s the last school day in September each year, which would be today.

Baseball, of course, is winding down. The playoffs are almost completely determined, with the only race left is the race for the AL East. Apparently, neither Boston nor New York wants it, though, as they both lost last night, Boston losing to Houston 12-2 (ouch, but Houston is hot right now), and New York to Tampa 9-6. The loss by New York lowers the magic number down to one. So all Boston needs is to win one game to clinch the division. Fortunately, Cleveland also won, last night, winning their 100th game of the season. Houston has won 99 games.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Psalm 105:4
Hear, O LORD, when I cry aloud; be gracious to me and answer me! 
You have said, “Seek my face.” My heart says to you, “Your face, LORD, do I seek.” 
Hide not your face from me. Turn not your servant away in anger, O you who have been my help. Cast me not off; forsake me not, O God of my salvation!

Psalm 27:7-9
But you, you are to be feared! Who can stand before you when once your anger is roused?
Psalm 76:7
I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.
Psalm 34:4
He went on his way through towns and villages, teaching and journeying toward Jerusalem. And someone said to him, “Lord, will those who are saved be few?” And he said to them, “Strive to enter through the narrow door. For many, I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the master of the house has risen and shut the door, and you begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, ‘Lord, open to us,’ then he will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from.’ Then you will begin to say, ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But he will say, ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from. Depart from me, all you workers of evil!’ In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God but you yourselves cast out. And people will come from east and west, and from north and south, and recline at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last.”
Luke 13:22-30
Dear Father always near us,
may your name be treasured and loved,
may your rule be completed in us-
may your will be done here on earth in
just the way it is done in heaven.
Give us today the things we need today,
and forgive us our sins and impositions on you
as we are forgiving all who in any way offend us.
Please don’t put us through trials,
but deliver us from everything bad.
Because you are the one in charge,
and you have all the power, and the glory too is all yours-forever-
which is just the way we want it!

(From Practice Resurrection)

Eugene Peterson relates an encounter with a writer friend named Robert Siegel. Siegel had written and read a poem that Peterson decided was perfect to include in this chapter about the end of Ephesians 1. Before he read the poem, Siegel described the events that inspired it. Living in New England, Siegel and his wife had, for years, driven through an intersection that had a sign pointing to “Mt. Monadnock.” He had never followed the sign. One day, they decided to follow it. Afterward, he wrote this poem.

We see the sign, “Monadnock State Park”
as it flashes by, after a mile or two

decide to go back, “We can’t pass by Mondnock
without seeing it,” I say, turning around.

We head down the side road – “Monadnock Realty,”
“Monadnock Pottery,” “Monadnock Designs,”

but no Mt. Monadnock. Then the signs fall away –
nothing but trees and the darkening afternoon.

We don’t speak, pass a clearing, and you say,
“I think I saw it, or part of it – a bald rock?”

Miles and miles more. Finally, I pull over
and we consult a map. “Monadnock’s right there.”

“Or just back a bit there.” “But we should see it –
we’re practically on top of it.” And driving back

we look – trees, a flash of clearing, purple rock –
but we are, it seems, too close to see it:

It is here. We are on it. It is under us.

Peterson goes on to say that the “practice-resurrection life” is a lot like Mt. Monadnock. “We travel to holy places. We look through churches. But we never see what we expected to see. We never see the mountain. We read all the extravagant words, the rocket verbs, the gift nouns, the all-encompassing strategies, the grand purposes that are associated with this mountain. But we never see the mountain.”

Consider Jesus as he walked on the earth. Many people didn’t notice him. And some who did treated him with disdain or contempt. Even after his resurrection, Mary mistook him for a gardener, and a couple of disciples walked quite a ways with him on the road before realizing who he was.

“Why do so many of us who see Jesus every day of the week never see him?”

Primarily, it is because God only reveals himself to us in personal relationships. “God is not a phenomenon to be considered. God is not a force to be used. God is not a proposition to be argued. There is nothing in or of God that is impersonal, nothing abstract, nothing imposed. . . . He isn’t out to impress us. He’s here to eat bread with us and receive us into his love just as we are, just where we are.”

Yes, resurrection is a mountain. “But the practice of resurrection in which Paul engages us is not climbing the mountain.”

“‘It is here. We are on it. It is under us.'”

Father, help me to pay attention to where I am. Help me to notice this “resurrection mountain” that is under my feet. Help me to see Jesus today!
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.

Bear One Another’s Burdens

Good morning. Friday is here! 😀 It is Friday, August 9, 2013.

Today is definitely a day after my own heart. Today is Book Lovers Day. That makes me very happy.

Yesterday was a good day, I think. Slightly stressful at work, as we got through loading our last truck right at 5pm. Christi had a couple of stressful meetings yesterday, too. But we went straight over to our new gym after work. It takes us less than five minutes to get there. Of course there’s no Subway or Sonic anywhere close to it, so we have to drive a little for our dinner and drinks afterward. We are working on alternate plans.

As far as I know, we have nothing special planned for this weekend. I’m thinking some pool activity will be in order.

On this date in 48 BC, “On the hot, arid plain of Pharsalus in central Greece the direction and fate of the Roman Empire was determined today when Julius Caesar annihilated the army of his long-standing rival, Pompey the Great.” Caesar and Pompey were once allies as they struggled to reform the Roman Government. But in 49 BC, when “Caesar and his battle-hardened legions crossed the Rubicon and entered Roman Italy,” Pompey feared for his position and joined the side of the “clique of knights.” Pompey fled to Greece, while a couple of his lieutenants commanded armies in Spain. Caesar is alleged to have said, “I am going to Spain to fight an army without a general, and then to the East to fight a general without an army.” But, while in Spain, he actually convinced the enemy legions to join him, then, as he pursued Pompey, offered “compromise rather than battle.”

Before I talk about birthdays, I will mention that two people of note passed yesterday. Karen Black, an actress who appeared in dozens of movies (she was in a lot of cheap horror flicks, as well as her most famous role in Five Easy Pieces), and songwriter/producer Jack Clement, both passed away yesterday. Clement wrote Johnny Cash’s “Ballad of the Teenage Queen.”

He also was the producer at Sun Records the day Jerry Lee Lewis recorded “Great Balls of Fire,” because Sam Phillips wasn’t there that day.

(Thanks to my father for the information on Jack Clement.)

Today’s birthdays are Whitney Houston, 1963-2012, Sam Elliot, 69, Gillian Anderson, 45, Melanie Griffith, 56, Ashley Johnson, 30, Jean Piaget, 1896-1980, Rod Laver, 75, John Varley, 66, and Jonathan Kellerman, 64.

Didn’t really feel like highlighting any of those.


Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies.
Awesome is God from his sanctuary; the God of Israel—he is the one who gives power and strength to his people. Blessed be God!
Psalm 68:34-35
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!
Psalm 139:23-24
Restore us, O God; let your face shine, that we may be saved! Psalm 80:3
I will meditate on your precepts and fix my eyes on your ways. Psalm 119:15
Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever. Psalm 125:1

Father, you are, indeed, awesome in your sanctuary, awesome in power. You are the only one who can honestly be described as “awesome,” even though we abuse that word with other things. You give power and strength to your people. As I read and meditate on your words and precepts this morning, I pray that you would search my heart, and root out any evil way in me. May I trust in you and be immovable, unshakable.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “Bearing One Another’s Burdens.” The scripture reading is Galatians 6:1-2, 10.

Brothers, if anyone is caught in any transgression, you who are spiritual should restore him in a spirit of gentleness. Keep watch on yourself, lest you too be tempted. Bear one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ. So then, as we have opportunity, let us do good to everyone, and especially to those who are of the household of faith.

Once again, we find that this life of community is where our freedom and our spiritual formation is developed. It is in these communities that “the gospel is experienced, stories are shared, faith is developed, and the Spirit works.” The work that God does in my life may be intensely personal, but it is not private. My stories need to be shared for the benefit of enriching brothers and sisters. “In doing so we both challenge and encourage one another.”

What does it mean to “bear one another’s burdens?” There can be both spiritual and physical meanings to this, of course. I believe that when we pray for people, and I mean really pray for them, agonizing, at times, over their situations and conditions, we are helping to bear their burdens. There have been times when I have been praying that I have felt such a weight on my shoulders as I prayed for someone. But then, that weight is handed off to the Master of burden bearing.

“Lord God, give me the wisdom, gentleness, and strength to help bear the
burdens of my brothers and sisters in community. Teach me what it means
to restore a brother in a way that is best for the entire family of faith. Above
all, I ask that you give me the love necessary to pray for and care for my
sister in the same way you care for me. In your name I pray. Amen.”

Let us also be cautious in applying that first verse up there, and be sure that we are dealing with “transgression” before we try to “restore” someone. This is not a license for gossip, nor does it open the way for us to impose our opinions of right and wrong upon people. These things require great wisdom; hence the prayer for wisdom quoted above.

Father, as I live in community with other believers, I pray for openness and honesty as we share our stories with each other. Yet, in that openness and honesty, I pray for wisdom, that we would not harp on about things that are pertinent only to us. Let us preach the gospel to each other regularly, celebrating the thing that draws us together as one, in community, and that is the sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ. As we celebrate this life, may we truly learn how to “bear one another’s burdens” as we go. Make us true pray-ers, taking on each other’s burdens in intercession. May our prayers be faithful and true, and may they be unceasing and fervent. Teach us to pray; teach us to bear; teach us to love.

I pray for this day today. Christi has a potentially stressful meeting this afternoon, so I pray that it will go well. She also has a “thing” this morning that could prove to be very important. May you go before her and prepare the way. Above all else, may your will be done in our lives. May my work day today be smooth and productive. Show your steadfast love to Stephanie today. As I pray on the way to work, help me stay focused. I pray that you reach out and touch each person that I pray for today with your hand of mercy and provide for them exactly what they need today.

Your grace is sufficient.

In this culture of self-sufficiency and selfishness, I pray that the community of faith may truly learn how to selflessly bear the burdens of others.

Grace and peace, friends.

Come To Jesus

Good morning. It’s Monday, October 8, 2012. Today is “American Touch Tag Day.” Tag! You’re it! My app says today is Columbus Day. But Columbus Day is only “observed” today. The real Columbus Day falls on our anniversary, which is October 12. Nevertheless, all banks will be closed today, and there will be no mail delivery today.

On this date in 1871, the great Chicago fire began. Mrs. O’Leary’s cow got blamed for it.
Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn (try spelling that at 622am) received a Nobel Prize in literature on this date in 1970.
On this date in 1970, Matt Damon was born.
On this date in 1957, this song was recorded.

Goodness gracious…
And last, but certainly not least, it was on this date in 1956 that Evil Empire pitcher Don Larsen pitched a perfect game in the World Series, against the Brooklyn Dodgers. Unless I am mistaken, it is the only perfect game in World Series history.

Yesterday was a mixed bag, in some ways. The morning was stressful, as some changes were being made in the presentation at our church. This caused more stress for Christi than for me, but she was pretty frazzled before things finally got going smoothly. It all worked out okay, though, and I think it will be alright going forward.
We had a nice lunch with Rachel and Justin, who came over for a while yesterday. Then we just kind of chilled for the rest of the day. “Chilled” is a good word for it, as the high temperature yesterday was in the neighborhood of 55 degrees. Today, it’s supposed to be 68. Nice. The weather for our anniversary weekend at Paluxy River Bed Cabins looks like it’s going to be just about perfect.
In the baseball playoffs yesterday, the Evil Empire beat the Baltimore Rangers 7-2 to take a 1-0 lead. The Tigers beat the A’s again, 5-4, taking a 2-0 lead in that series. Bronson Arroyo shut out the Giants as the Reds beat them 9-0 to take a 2-0 lead in their series, and the Nats edged out the Cards 3-2, to take a 1-0 lead in that series. Except for the Baltimore game, the playoffs are going just the way I want them to. With apologies to my blogging friends who are Cardinals fans, I’m pulling for the Nats in that series. However, I’ll be cheering the Reds on to the World Series. I want Baltimore in there to face them. We shall see. Today, NY and Baltimore play, as well as Washington and St. Louis. The other two series take a break for traveling.

Father, I pray for a glimpse of you this morning, as I look into your word.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 119:89-96.

89 Lamedh. Forever, O LORD, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens.
90 Your faithfulness endures to all generations; you have established the earth, and it stands fast.
91 By your appointment they stand this day, for all things are your servants.
92 If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction.
93 I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have given me life.
94 I am yours; save me, for I have sought your precepts.
95 The wicked lie in wait to destroy me, but I consider your testimonies.
96 I have seen a limit to all perfection, but your commandment is exceedingly broad.

The psalmist begins with acknowledgment of the steadfastness of God’s word. It is “firmly fixed in the heavens.” Throughout all time, and into eternity (“to infinity and beyond?”), God’s word will stand. His faithfulness also endures…it is steadfast. God will do what he says he will do. Verse 91 is interesting, because of the word “things” in there. “…all things are your servants,” it says. All creation serves the Creator. We gain life from God’s word, and the psalmist declares that, had it not been for his delight in God’s word, he would have perished.

Today’s reading from My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Exclusiveness of Christ.” The Scripture verse is Matthew 11:28, in which Jesus says, Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Chambers states that, if we want to find out how “real” we are, we should test ourselves by Jesus’s words, “Come to me.” How many areas of our life are there in which we will not come to him? We will argue with him, rationalize with him, rather than come to him. We will, on occasion, even endure sorrow rather than come to Christ. “As long as you have the tiniest bit of spiritual impertinence, it will always reveal itself in the fact that you are expecting God to tell you to do a big thing, and all He is telling you to do is ‘come.'”

When we hear him say, “Come to me,” there is always something we must do first. The Holy Spirit will show us what that something is, probably putting a proverbial ax to the root of whatever is preventing us from coming to him. We will not progress until that action is taken. There is no humiliation in coming to Christ, and his patience is “invincible, unconquerable, unwearying.” He will wait for us. “Come to me.”

Father, I pray that I will always come to Christ when called upon. I pray that I will forever be able to take that ax to the root of the thing that might be preventing me from the uttermost intimacy with you, both in my devotions and in my life. I pray that you will always show me, by your Spirit, that thing that is preventing me. And then I pray that you will give me the faith and the determination to rid myself of that thing. May I be willing to come to you in all areas of my life, each and every day.

I pray for this day, Lord. I pray that you give Christi a good day today. Give her the strength of the Spirit, allowing stressful situations to be absorbed as you surround her with your love and grace. May the characteristics of Christ flow out of her like rivers of living water as she interacts with those around her at work today. I pray for Stephanie today, that she will continue to feel better and that the pain from her sunburn of last week will be completely abated. Draw her heart into yours today. Give me a good day at work, and a good time of prayer on my way to work to day. Draw my mind and heart to you frequently during this day, as I go about my work day. I pray for no issues at work to prevent us from our goals.

I thank you that our friend Brandon is doing better, and home from the hospital. I pray that he will completely recover from the migraine he experienced.

May your grace and mercy fill us today.

Come to Jesus. What more can you do?

Grace and peace, friends.