Just Another Word . . .

Today is Monday, July 4, 2022, in the fourteenth week of Ordinary Time. It is Independence Day in the U.S.

May the peace of Christ be in your heart today!

Day 23,489 (the number of days since I was born)

Yesterday was pretty chill. We didn’t do much. C spent the day cataloging my father’s collection of 78 rpm records. And she is back at it, this morning. After entering two storage boxes of them (approximately 125 records), she estimated that, so far, we had as much as $12,000 worth of records, at the high limit. One of the records in the collection is Elvis Presley’s recording of “That’s Alright” on SUN Records, which recently sold for around $3000.

I killed two bosses in Elden Ring. If you know anything about that game, you know how ecstatic I was! That may be the most ridiculously difficult video game I have ever played.

Today promises to be even more “chill.” I might venture out to the grocery store, at some point, and a family member has some scripts ready at CVS (if the pharmacy is open today). We don’t do much to “celebrate,” these days, especially if it involves being outside, where the projected high temp today is 101. By the way, next Monday’s projected high . . . 110!

The Texas Rangers lost to the Mets, yesterday, 4-1. So they lost that series, 2-1. They are 37-40 for the season, tied with Seattle for second place in the AL West. 13.5 out of first place, and now five games out of the Wild Card spot. They play the Orioles in Baltimore, today at 12:05 CDT. Shoutout to kristianw84!

The Boston Red Sox managed a win, yesterday, beating the Cubs 4-2, but lost that series 2-1, I believe. The Sox are 44-35 for the season, in second place in the AL East, 13.5 out of first, and back in the first Wild Card spot. They play the Rays today, at Fenway Park, at 1:35 EDT.

The Athletics continue to have the worst MLB record, at 26-55. The Astros have the longest current win streak, at six games. Someone steal their trash cans. Please! The Nationals and Giants are tied with the longest losing streak, at four games. Today, the Nats have the worst run differential, having been outscored by 117 runs. The Pirates and A’s are tied with -116. The Rangers are now at +13, and the Red Sox are at +59.

We might switch things up for dinner tonight. We normally have chili for dinner on Mondays, but we might have our homemade pizza on cauliflower crust tonight, instead.

Happy fourth of July to all of my U.S. friends. Well, the rest of you can have a happy fourth, too, you know.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Lord our God, our Father in heaven and on earth, we ask you to bless us, your children, for we want to be your children and nothing else. We want to have our joy and delight in knowing that we belong to you, the almighty God, who began and who will complete redemption on earth through Jesus Christ, our Savior. Bless your Word in us. Give us courage in suffering and distress, for we are allowed to serve you in all circumstances, even when we find it bitterly hard. Your name shall be honored in us, your kingdom shall come. As surely as the earth endures, everything shall happen in accordance with your will, on earth as in heaven. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from Plough.com)

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?
(Romans 8:31-32 NIV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the joy and delight I have in belonging to God
2. that if God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31)
3. for the way Jesus summed up the law and prophets with those two commands
4. for the freedom to surrender my rights, and to love and serve others
5. for a Monday with the whole family at home

And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, "Which commandment is the most important of all?" 
Jesus answered, "The most important is, 'Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.' The second is this: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no other commandment greater than these."
 And the scribe said to him, "You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him. And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one's neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices." 
And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, "You are not far from the kingdom of God." And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions. 
(Mark 12:28-34 ESV)

And in his teaching he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
(Mark 12:38-40 ESV)

And he sat down opposite the treasury and watched the people putting money into the offering box. Many rich people put in large sums. And a poor widow came and put in two small copper coins, which make a penny. And he called his disciples to him and said to them, “Truly, I say to you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the offering box. For they all contributed out of their abundance, but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on.”
(Mark 12:41-44 ESV)


The word for today, from Pray a Word a Day, is statutes.

You are good and do good; teach me your statutes.
(Psalms 119:68 ESV)

In today’s world, a “statute” is a “written law passed by a legislative body.” For today’s purposes, though, a more archaic definition is needed. “A law or decree made by a sovereign, or God.”

Interestingly, of the 27 times that word occurs in the ESV, 22 of them are in Psalm 119. And, of the 176 verses in Psalm 119, all but maybe two of them mention some form of the Word of God; statutes, decrees, law, word, testimonies, precepts, commandments, rules, and so on.

There are some, of course, that we are no longer expected to live by. For example, we no longer sacrifice animals to cover our sin. Jesus did away with that. We also believe that it is okay for us to eat bacon (I started to say “for breakfast,” but bacon is not just for breakfast).

There are some, of course, who would pick and choose and attempt to shackle us with some of the Old Testament rules. Interracial marriages, for example. I once had a conversation with a rather ignorant person who proclaimed, “The Bible says not to do that!” To which I responded, “The Bible says don’t eat pork, too.” She had nothing to say to that.

I had another conversation with a guy who declared that the pastor has to be a man because the Bible says he is to be the husband of one wife. “So he has to be married, too, right?” This person was not willing to follow his own logic.

Whether you support interracial marriages, eating pork, or female pastors is, in my opinion, largely irrelevant. Jesus summed up all of this and narrowed it down to two commands. (Oh, no. Here he goes again.)

It just happens to be quoted up there, from my daily reading plan for today. Mark 12:28-34. And Paul has this to say in Romans 13.

Owe no one anything, except to love each other, for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery, You shall not murder, You shall not steal, You shall not covet,” and any other commandment, are summed up in this word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore love is the fulfilling of the law. 
(Romans 13:8-10 ESV)

“The one who loves another has fulfilled the law.”

All of it.

So there are all the “statutes” you need. And Psalm 119 still holds relevance, even when we narrow down the entirety of the law to those two commands of Jesus. And I still find myself having to ask God to teach me, because I still find that I struggle to get it right.


Live as people who are free, not using your freedom as a cover-up for evil, but living as servants of God. Honor everyone. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the emperor. 
(1 Peter 2:16-17 ESV)

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.
(2 Corinthians 3:17 ESV)

There’s going to be a lot of talk about “freedom” today. And a lot of people talking don’t really understand what it means.

Freedom does not mean being able to do whatever you want to do. Especially when someone thinks it applies more to what they want to do and less to what someone else wants to do.

Freedom does not mean pushing for laws to keep people from doing something you believe is wrong. If my “religion” says something is wrong, then I don’t need to be doing it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t do it. And if I try to create law that keeps you from doing it, that becomes religious oppression, not freedom.

Hypocrisy runs rampant, these days, and, I fear, all of us are guilty of it at some point. “I support medical freedom!” said a bunch of people who didn’t want to have to get a COVID-19 vaccine. But those same people are celebrating the overturning of Roe v Wade. Hypocrisy.

Abortion activists say that banning abortions will not make them less frequent, only more dangerous. They aren’t wrong. But that’s the same argument that gun rights activists use, too. And most (not all, of course) gun rights activists are on the side that opposes abortion. And most abortion rights activists oppose guns.

See the dilemma? See the hypocrisy on both sides? This is but one reason that I do not enter into these arguments. I have my opinions. I’ve discussed that, here, and I’m not sharing them here.

And trust me, I’ve been guilty of plenty of hypocrisy.

Freedom, according to Jesus, according to Paul, is so we can serve. That sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? Free to serve. I’m free to be a slave. But, hey. Kris said, “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose.” And if, in my truest notion of freedom, I give up all of my “rights” to God, I truly have “nothin’ left to lose.” Because there is nothing that any government or activist group can take away from me.

And, therefore, I am free to follow those two commands, to the fullest degree.


"The church is characterized as a community of people who must take God seriously.
"No, be careful as you listen. I'm not saying that the church is that group of people who take God seriously. Sometimes we don't. There are many of us who go for long times without taking God seriously What I am saying is that the church is that group of people who must take God seriously. We can't go very long without being interrupted, because God is going to interrupt us.
"God won't let us get by with our religious lives very long on our own terms. He keeps invading and keeps interrupting."
(On Living Well, Eugene H. Peterson)

Father, I am so very grateful for the freedom that I have. But that freedom comes from You, it does not come from any army or government. And the freedom that I have cannot be taken away by any army or government, either, because, as Jesus said, “if the Son sets you free, you will be free, indeed!” And free I am, because the Son has set me free!

Freedom does mean that I have nothing left to lose, because there is nothing in this world that I am grasping to hold onto. Sure, I have a lot of stuff, and there are things that enjoy using, in this world. But they are just that, just “stuff,” and have no eternal meaning, whatsoever. This is something that You have taught me over the past decade or so, as You have grown in me this true sense of freedom.

I pray that we, Your Church, could more readily understand these truths, and understand better what it means to be free to serve others and to love others. While it may be challenging, the commands are simple and easy to understand. We are to love You with all of our being, and to love our neighbors as ourselves. Then we are to love the brothers and sisters, the community of saints, the same way Jesus, Himself, loved us.

And the way Jesus loved us was to give His life. And yet, we cry because we had to wear a paper mask. God have mercy on our souls. Help us all to step back from our hypocrisy and look at truth. And then help us to love one another the way Jesus wants us to.

Thank You for interrupting us.

Even so, come soon, Lord Jesus!


I still prefer this version

Grace and peace, friends.

Reflect His Loving Heart

Today is Thursday, May 28, 2020, in the seventh week of Easter. Peace be with you.

Day 22,722

37 days until July 4th.

C already got the lab report from her CT scan yesterday. The good news that it ruled out the worst case scenario. The not-so-good news is that it really didn’t tell us anything new. However, the doctor has not contacted her, yet, so he may have more information. It is still saying that she has diverticulosis. But it has, apparently, not progressed into diverticulitis, yet. We’ll see what the doctor has to say, probably today or tomorrow.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

"Father, I abandon myself
into your hands.
Do with me what you will.
Whatever you may do, I thank you.
I am ready for all, I accept all.
Let only your will be done in me
and in all your creatures.
I wish no more than this, O Lord.
Into your hands I commend my soul.
I offer it to you with all the love of my heart,
for I love you, Lord,
and so need to give myself,
to surrender myself into your hands
without reserve
and with boundless confidence,
for you are my Father."
Charles de Foucauld

Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples! For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.
(Psalms 96:2-4 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. For the good news from C’s CT scan, yesterday
  2. For Your abundant mercy (Psalm 69:16)
  3. For Your commands to generosity, and the promised rewards
  4. For Pentecost
  5. For timely words of wisdom, provided by Your Spirit

Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
(Psalms 69:16 ESV)

The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation—
(Psalms 18:46 ESV)

May the glory of the LORD endure forever; may the LORD rejoice in his works, who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
(Psalms 104:31-32 ESV)

When the day of Pentecost arrived, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. And divided tongues as of fire appeared to them and rested on each one of them.
(Acts 2:1-3 ESV)

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. 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.
(Psalms 33:13-22 ESV)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”


“If you love those who love you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what benefit is that to you? For even sinners do the same. And if you lend to those from whom you expect to receive, what credit is that to you? Even sinners lend to sinners, to get back the same amount. But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return, and your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, for he is kind to the ungrateful and the evil. Be merciful, even as your Father is merciful.
“Judge not, and you will not be judged; condemn not, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven; give, and it will be given to you. Good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be put into your lap. For with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.”
(Luke 6:32-38 ESV)

“We don’t give to get things; we give because God delights in our generosity. Our love for others reflects His loving heart toward us.”
(Remi Oyedele, Our Daily Bread)


To make an apt answer is a joy to a man, and a word in season, how good it is!
(Proverbs 15:23 ESV)

Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.
(Proverbs 3:27 ESV)

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

“Father, give me the words that others need to hear.”
(Pam Kidd, Daily Guideposts 2020)

There’s a lot of talk about doing good in these verses (both this set and the ones from Our Daily Bread).

Jesus frequently repeats His commands to love our enemies and to do good to those who “hate” us. This speaks volumes to my heart, especially in today’s political climate in the USA. Indeed, it is difficult to show love to someone who so hatefully proclaims their opinion in social media, especially when that someone claims to be a Christ-follower.

But if you are truly following Christ, your message would not be one of hate, would it? Also but, as I’ve said before, if you hate the haters, you’re also a hater.

So I pray. I pray for Christ to inhabit my words and my thoughts, via the Holy Spirit. I pray for the Holy Trinity to be active in my life and deeds. There’s at least one particular person at work that I struggle to love. I need to overcome that, and the only way to do so is through Christ. I am a Christ-follower. Therefore, I must love my “enemies.”

It is not an option.

It is not negotiable.


Father, I still need Your help. As if there will ever be a time when I do not need Your help. So the word “still” shouldn’t be in that first sentence. I need Your help. Sometimes, that is all I know how to pray.

HELP! Help me! “I do believe! Help my unbelief!” God, help me to love the unlovable. Help me to do good to all people, even to those who might hate me. Help me (and thank You) be more generous with my resources. Also, direct me, show me, where to share those resources.

Lord, please shorten these days. Protect our families; protect our church families; protect our nation, and protect our world. We pray for this disease to end. And may we be quick to learn a valuable lesson from these days. Much of what we thought we needed, we truly don’t need. Teach us praise as we petition.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.
(Ephesians 3:14-21 ESV)

He Sets the Lonely in Families

God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
(Psalms 68:6 NIV)

Today is Wednesday, May 27, 2020, in the seventh week of Easter. Peace be with you!

Day 22,721

38 days until July 4 (the next U.S. holiday)

C has a doctor appointment, this morning, to get CT scan on her stomach, as we continue to try to diagnose her digestive issues. She was already diagnosed with diverticulosis. The doctor has opined that it may have turned into diverticulitis. He has also stated that, depending on what this scan reveals, he may order a colonoscopy. Naturally, we are concerned with what might be found in these tests.

Luna (cat) continues to embed herself in our hearts. Yesterday, she fell asleep on a soft blanket, right next to Rocky (also cat). She seems to have taken to him as her protector, and he apparently doesn’t mind one bit.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Worship the LORD in the splendor of holiness; tremble before him, all the earth!
(Psalms 96:9 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. For the life that You have blessed us with, and Your presence in this life
  2. That You place the lonely in families (Psalm 68:6)
  3. For the example of the Holy Trinity, the perfect example of a loving relationship
  4. For what Your Church has meant to me, all of my life
  5. For Your great love that never fails

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.
(Psalms 67:1 ESV)

Seven times a day I praise you for your righteous rules.
(Psalms 119:164 ESV)

Good and upright is the LORD; therefore he instructs sinners in the way.
(Psalms 25:8 ESV)

On the last day of the feast, the great day, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink. Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said, ‘Out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.'” Now this he said about the Spirit, whom those who believed in him were to receive, for as yet the Spirit had not been given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
(John 7:37-39 ESV)

Praise the LORD, all nations! Extol him, all peoples! For great is his steadfast love toward us, and the faithfulness of the LORD endures forever. Praise the LORD!
(Psalms 117:1-2 ESV)

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant us your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)


For the director of music. Of David. A psalm. A song.
May God arise, may his enemies be scattered; may his foes flee before him. May you blow them away like smoke— as wax melts before the fire, may the wicked perish before God. But may the righteous be glad and rejoice before God; may they be happy and joyful. Sing to God, sing in praise of his name, extol him who rides on the clouds; rejoice before him—his name is the LORD. A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling. God sets the lonely in families, he leads out the prisoners with singing; but the rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.
(Psalms 68:1-6 NIV)

Sometimes, it is said that, in this world, the strong eat the weak. We’ve probably all heard the phrase, “Only the strong survive.” Well, verse 5 shows us how God feels about the weak and defenseless. And this is not the only place in Scripture we see this. The New Testament also has allusions to the thought that God cares for the widows and orphans, the poor and the needy.

Because God cares for them, “we should be famous for sacrificially loving the poor and marginalized. This reflects the Gospel itself, for God does not call people to earn salvation by strength. He came in weakness to die for us, to save only those who admit their spiritual helplessness.”

We also thrive in a family. Therefore, the Church of God is a “family” for those without earthly families. Again, while it is more than just these, the widows and orphans are perfect examples. We are united by the “life blood” of the Holy Spirit. In God’s family, we all have fathers, mothers, brothers, and sisters, even children. “God sets the lonely in families.”

But note the warning at the end. “The rebellious live in a sun-scorched land.”

“Lord, I praise you that you created us in your image–to live well only in deep, loving relationships. Thank you for your great gift of the church, your family. Help me make my church not merely a club or association but a band of brothers and sisters, especially for those who are otherwise alone. Amen.”

(From The Songs of Jesus, by Timothy and Kathy Keller)

I might add, here, that the perfect example of this type of family relationship is the Holy Trinity. The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit exist in the perfect relationship, an example of perfect love for all of us.


Father, I praise You for Your family. Thank You for the example of the Holy Trinity. Help us to love each other the way You, the Son, and the Spirit love one another. Thank You for putting the lonely in families. There have been times in my past when the Church was all I had, beside my parents. I’m also grateful for the loving earthly family You placed me in. What a blessing, as I realize that there are many who do not have such a family.

Lord, please shorten these days. Protect our families; protect our church families; protect our nation, and protect our world. We pray for this disease to end. And may we be quick to learn a valuable lesson from these days. Much of what we thought we needed, we truly don’t need. Teach us to love as the Trinity loves.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“As for me, I would seek God, and to God would I commit my cause, who does great things and unsearchable, marvelous things without number:
(Job 5:8-9 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Gracious Words Are Like A Honeycomb

Today is Tuesday, May 26, 2020, in the seventh week of Easter. Peace be with you!

Day 22,720

39 days until July 4

Yesterday was a strange day, unfortunately. It wasn’t a bad day. But I started trying to mess with Pro Tools and see if I could record something. I thought it would be a good idea to buy this book (Kindle version), Pro Tools For Dummies. I’ve had some of those “dummies” books before. They’re pretty good. I would up returning this one for a refund. It certainly wasn’t for “dummies.” Allegedly eight books in one (coming in around 800 pages!), it was well into book four before the act of recording was even suggested. Needless to say, I never got anything recorded. I did manage to get some sound from my keyboard through the software and into the speakers. But it wouldn’t record anything. So I gave up. Not permanently, I don’t think. I have a buddy who’s real good at this stuff. Maybe post-pandemic (if such a thing exists), I can get him over here to help me. The edition of Pro Tools I have, though, is on a subscription basis, paid for a year. If I don’t get something figured out by the time my subscription ends, I think I’ll ditch it. I’m too old to be stressing out over something like this. Maybe I’m just supposed to play the music, not record it.

The rest of the day was pretty much chilling out. I played some on the PS4 (currently playing Dragon Age: Inquisition, as I never finished it), we had eggs and accessories for brunch, and everyone did their own thing for dinner. We watched a couple episodes of Almost Paradise, with Christian Kane. It continues to entertain.

Sadly (or maybe not), it’s back to work this morning. C is still working from home, at least for another week or so, but they are talking about going back to the office soon.

All those thunderstorms that had been predicted for this week seem to have vanished. And it’s only supposed to get up to 77 degrees for a high today. Lovely!


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

“Enter, Lord Christ–
I have joy in Your coming.
You have given me life;
and I welcome Your coming.
I turn now to face You,
I lift up my eyes.
Be blessing my face, Lord;
be blessing my eyes.
May all my eye looks on
be blessed and be bright,
my neighbors, my loved ones
be blessed in Your sight.
You have given me life
and I welcome Your coming.
Be with me, Lord,
I have joy, I have joy.”
(Celtic Daily Prayer)

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
(Psalms 51:15 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. For a new work week (and shorter), with new opportunities to serve God and people
  2. For a cool day, weather-wise
  3. For gracious words that are sweeter than honey
  4. That You will raise us up, swallowing our mortality in real life
  5. That You have blessed us that we might bless others

Open my eyes, that I may behold wondrous things out of your law.
(Psalms 119:18 ESV)

I give thanks to you, O Lord my God, with my whole heart, and I will glorify your name forever.
(Psalms 86:12 ESV)

For who is God, but the LORD? And who is a rock, except our God?—
(Psalms 18:31 ESV)

“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will recognize them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thornbushes, or figs from thistles? So, every healthy tree bears good fruit, but the diseased tree bears bad fruit. A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a diseased tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will recognize them by their fruits.”
(Matthew 7:15-20 ESV)

Righteous are you, O LORD, and right are your rules. You have appointed your testimonies in righteousness and in all faithfulness. My zeal consumes me, because my foes forget your words. Your promise is well tried, and your servant loves it. I am small and despised, yet I do not forget your precepts. Your righteousness is righteous forever, and your law is true. Trouble and anguish have found me out, but your commandments are my delight. Your testimonies are righteous forever; give me understanding that I may live.
(Psalms 119:137-144 ESV)

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world have mercy upon us.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant us Your peace.
(Agnus Dei)

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be Your Name. May Your kingdom come, and Your will be done, on earth as in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for Yours are the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever. Amen.

“Grant, O Lord, that the course of this world may be peaceably governed by your providence; and that your Church may joyfully serve you in confidence and serenity; through Jesus Christ our Lord who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”
(The Divine Hours, The Prayer Appointed for the Week)


The plans of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. All the ways of a man are pure in his own eyes, but the LORD weighs the spirit.
(Proverbs 16:1-2 ESV)

The wise of heart is called discerning, and sweetness of speech increases persuasiveness. Good sense is a fountain of life to him who has it, but the instruction of fools is folly. The heart of the wise makes his speech judicious and adds persuasiveness to his lips. Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
(Proverbs 16:21-24 ESV)

“We all can benefit by gracing our opinions and thoughts with godly and prudent sweetness. In Solomon’s words, ‘To humans belong the plans of the heart, but from the Lord comes the proper answer of the tongue’ (v. 1).

“What is your way of speaking when talking about a hot and divisive topic? When you allow God’s Spirit to sweeten your tongue, what changes in your words?” (Patricia Raybon, Our Daily Bread)


Father, throughout this day, may I season my words with grace, and may they be as sweet as honey from the comb. If I must discuss a divisive topic, may I speak with words that come from Your Spirit, and may my heart be reflective of those words.

Lord, please shorten these days. Protect our families; protect our church families; protect our nation, and protect our world. We pray for this disease to end. And may we be quick to learn a valuable lesson from these days. Much of what we thought we needed, we truly don’t need. Teach us praise as we petition.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
(2 Corinthians 13:14 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.