Probing Questions

“The way you see people is the way you treat them, and the way you treat them is what they become.”~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Today’s word of the day, from, is rodomontade. A fitting WotD, I believe, for the day after “Super Tuesday,” this word means “vainglorious boasting or bragging; pretentious, blustering talk.”

Today is Dr. Seuss Day, so designated because it is the birthday of Theodore Seuss Geisel. Spend the day with a cat in the hat, or, if you’d prefer, simply hop on pop. Or, you can always count fish of various colors.

As previously noted, it is the day after Super Tuesday. I stopped and voted on the way home from work, and was pleasantly surprised that the lines at my voting place were not very long. I will not divulge my voting preferences in this forum, as it is not intended to be political in any way, shape, or form. The big winners in Texas were Ted Cruz and Hillary Clinton. Clinton currently leads Sanders by 1001 delegates to 371 (according to a chart I’m seeing on the Interwebs). Trump is leading Cruz 285 to 161. Bringing up the rear is Ben Carson, who still thinks he can be President, with 8 delegates won, thus far. November could be terrifying. And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Christi went to a new doctor, yesterday, and really liked the office and personnel. I’m considering checking them out, as well. It’s not close to home, but it’s sort of on the way home from work. First I have to check to see if they are on my insurance plan.

Today is Wednesday. Not much else to say about it. Except that Spring Training baseball games begin today.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Love the LORD, all you his saints! The LORD preserves the faithful but abundantly repays the one who acts in pride.
Be strong, and let your heart take courage, all you who wait for the LORD!

Psalm 31:23-24

“Christians discover that when they cry to God for help, they are, in fact, helped.” It seems like such a simple statement, yet so many people don’t experience this truth. “God is trustworthy.” David knew this, which is what prompted him to cray out, “Love the LORD, all you his saints!”

“All right, Lord, I will love! You have loved me and proved your love whenever I have called for help. Teach me in Jesus and equip me by your Spirit to love you and to share your love with neighbors, as I pray in the name of Jesus. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” John 21:17

Today’s reading is “Have You Felt the Hurt of the Lord?”

Peter is grieved, it says, that Jesus asked him this question again (the third time). But what happens is somewhat amazing. This patient line of questioning, which seems to be hurtful, results in an introspection that finally reveals that yes, Peter does love Jesus! “He was awakening to the fact that in the real true center of his personal life he was devoted to Jesus, and he began to see what the patient questioning meant.” When forced to look deep down inside, he experienced the revelation that he did love Jesus, and responded with, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Notice that he did not say, “Look at this or that to confirm it.” Essentially, Peter said, “Look at my heart.” The thing is, though, that Peter, himself, did not even realize this until “the probing, hurting questions of the Lord came. The Lord’s questions always reveal me to myself.”

Father, perhaps I need some of this questioning. I have asked myself, many times, if I truly love you. Or perhaps I have asked you if I truly love you. I know that I have, in the past, asked if I was truly your child, and received overwhelming assurance and confirmation. This is something I will never doubt again, no matter how far off the path I might stray. Nevertheless, I should constantly be probing and seeking within myself to see if I am truly loving you.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Equipped and Empowered

“The soul that sees beauty may sometimes walk alone.”~~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is wormhole, “a hypothetical structure of space-time envisioned as a long thin tunnel connecting points that are separated in space and time.”

Today is . . . oh, boy. Today is Bacon Day. What else do I need to say about that?

Christi finally got her new car, yesterday. While she was picking hers up, I was getting new front tires on mine (I really need to do a better job of rotating those suckers), and then getting the oil changed. Right as Christi was about to leave with her new car, they told there was some kind of recall that had been issued the day before. It delayed her another hour or so, but wasn’t too bad.

I played Fallout 4 some more while I was waiting for her to get home. We watched a few episodes of Criminal Minds while we ate dinner, then Christi went to bed, while I stayed up to . . . you guessed it . . . play Fallout 4. It’s going to be tough going back to work and a regular schedule.

Anyway, here’s a picture of Christi’s new car, sitting right next to mine.
Christi's new car

On this date in:

1903–A fire occurred at the Iroquois Theater in Chicago, killing 600 people
1922–The Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was formed
1924–Edwin Hubble announced the existence of other galaxies
1948–Cole Porter’s musical, Kiss Me, Kate, opened at the New Century Theatre on Broadway. It would become the first show to win the Best Musical Tony Award.
1965–Ferdinand Marcos became President of the Philippines
1981–Wayne Gretzky scored his 50th goal of the season in the 39th game, setting a new NHL record
2006–Saddam Hussein was executed by hanging

Today’s birthdays include:

1865–Rudyard Kipling, English writer
1904–Dmitri Kabalevsky, Russian composer
1914–Bert Parks, American TV host
1920–Jack Lord, American actor, Hawaii Five-O
1928–Bo Diddley, American blues musician
1931–Skeeter Davis, American singer
1934–Del Shannon, American singer
1935–Jack Riley, American actor, The Bob Newhart Show
1935–Sandy Koufax, American pitcher
1937–Noel Paul Stookey, American folk singer, Peter, Paul and Mary
1937–John Hartford, American singer/songwriter
1939–Felix Pappalardi, American musician and record producer, Mountain
1941–Mel Renfro, American football player
1942–Fred Ward, American actor, Tremors
1942–Michael Nesmith, American musician, The Monkees
1945–Davy Jones, English singer, The Monkees
1946–Patti Smith, American singer
1947–Jeff Lynne, English musician, Electric Light Orchestra, The Traveling Wilburys
1959–Tracey Ullman, English actress/singer
1976–A.J. Pierzynski, American catcher
1980–Eliza Dushku, American actress, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Dollhouse
1986–Ellie Goulding, British singer

So today is the birthday of both Michael Nesmith, who turns 73 today (born in Houston, TX), and Davy Jones, who will sadly not be turning 70 today, as we lost him back in 2012. Here is a music video The Monkees singing “Daydream Believer.”

I can’t ignore the fact that it is also Jeff Lynne’s birthday, frontman for Electric Light Orchestra, as well as Tracey Ulmann, British pop singer. Lynne turns 68, and Tracey turns 56.

Richard Plantagenet, Sonny Liston, Melba Rae, Richard Rodgers, Ling-Ling, Maureen Starkey, Jack Nance, Artie Shaw, and Saddam Hussein are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Outfitted and Empowered.”

Now may the God of peace who brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, the great shepherd of the sheep, by the blood of the eternal covenant, equip you with everything good that you may do his will, working in us that which is pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever. Amen.
Hebrews 13:20-21

There will be a lot of talk, over the next couple of days, about the new year coming up. 2016 will arrive in just over 36 hours (as I am typing this, it is 11:44 AM). As Christ has shed his blood for us, fulfilling the eternal covenant, he was raised from the dead by the “God of peace,” and is our “living Lord and Shepherd.”

As we look forward to 2016, we can be confident of two things:

1. God “equips us with everything good that we may do his will.”

2. God “works in us that which is pleasing in his sight.”

These two things are secured for us by the “eternal covenant,” which is also the “new covenant.” The promise of the new covenant is given in Jeremiah 31:33: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

The will of God, as we understand it, is not just some words written on papyrus or stone. It is worked in our hearts. The result of this is that “we feel and think and act in ways more pleasing to God.”

We still have to work and use the things with which God has equipped us. Philippians 2:12-13 tells us: work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

The only way that we are able to please God, to do his good pleasure, is because “the blood-bought grace of God has moved from mere equipping to omnipotent transforming.”

As 2016 approaches, may we understand these things, and allow the will of God to work within us, that we might do what is pleasing in his sight.

Father, I pray for your work in me to increase in the coming year. I have struggled, this year, ever since April. It is time to move forward, to move ahead in your will, and with what you have equipped me for. It is time to stop sitting still. May your equipping in me and your work in me move me toward what is more pleasing in your sight.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.