Love Much; Love Well

So here is a call: May we all, who call the name of Jesus, do our best to make “Jesus Christ attractive to all,” love much and love well, and “provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.”

Good morning. Today is Saturday, the twenty-sixth of February, 2022, in the seventh week of Ordinary Time.

Day 23,361

It is currently 34 degrees, here in Fort Worth, today. But the high is only supposed to be 33. Things that make you go “hmmm . . .” There is, allegedly, a chance of “snow showers” this afternoon. I’m not down with that. I don’t care for cold showers, so I’ll take mine hot, please.

Speaking of hot, the HVAC tech is supposed to be coming between 3-5 this afternoon, to replace the circuit board in our system. It has been working fine, since he bypassed the broken one Wednesday, but, as previously noted, the blower runs non-stop.

It was an interesting day at the Computer Center, yesterday. There was non-stop activity for about an hour, yesterday morning, and the fax machine was busier than it’s ever been, when I’ve been there. But people were incredibly patient and kind during that time. One young lady who was faxing four different documents of five pages each (this takes anywhere from ten to twenty minutes for each bundle) allowed someone to break in and scan his documents to email (which is almost instant) in between a couple of her faxes.

Another young man tried to help a woman who was trying to print something that was on her phone. She didn’t have email on her phone, and didn’t remember the password needed to download our mobile print app. Those are the only ways you can transmit a document from phone to our printer station. Finally, the gentleman convinced her that he was trustworthy enough to allow her to text the document to his phone, and he printed off two copies for her. He wouldn’t even let her pay him for the prints.

In this world that seems to be so full of hatred and animosity, it is nice to see some compassion and kindness in action.

Outside of the heater guy coming and a grocery delivery from Walmart between 2-3 today, I have nothing on the agenda. Well, except that I’ll likely make cheeseburgers for S and me tonight. I’ll make one for C if she wants, but she usually doesn’t. We had pizza (not our homemade variety) last night, and have some left over for lunch, today. We haven’t gone totally off the rails, diet-wise. Or have we? Not sure. I’m committed to not gaining all of my weight back, at least.

Talk about a rambling paragraph. I guess I should move on to the devotional before I lose all sense of focus.

Oh, look!

Photo by Frank Cone on


Do not be anxious;
Life is more than food and clothes;
Seek first the Kingdom.
(Inspired by Matthew 6:25-34)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the many blessings and privileges that I usually take for granted
2. for a heart of generosity and a leaning toward humility
3. for all the grace that I need for today
4. for the saints who focus on gratitude and goodness
5. for my imagination, spawned by the ultimate imagination of God

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.

Today, I’m examining the phrase, “give us today our daily bread.” As physical beings, “bread” is necessary. We are not speaking only of literal “bread,” of course, in the form of carbs and grains. We simply mean that our energy source must come from outside of our bodies. We must ingest food, lest we become “feeble and incapable of movement.”

Beyond physical food, we also need “incentives” (Simone Weil’s word for them) of “money, ambition, consideration, decorations, celebrity, power, our loved ones, everything that puts into us the capacity for action.” These are also like “bread” to us.

“There is a transcendent energy whose source is in heaven, and this flows into us as soon as we wish for it. It is a real energy; it performs actions through the agency of our souls and of our bodies.

“We should ask for this food. At the moment of asking, and by the very fact that we ask for it, we know that God will give it to us.”

In this case, we are asking for “bread” that is supernatural. This bread is Jesus Christ. He is, and He calls Himself this, the bread of life. So, in this case, we see that the petition in question has a double meaning. We ask God to supply our physical food, but we are also asking Him to provide Christ’s presence in our lives. But we can only have enough for today, for this moment, because this moment is all we have.

It’s like the manna that the Israelites gathered for food while in the wilderness (wasn’t that yesterday’s prayer word?). They were only given enough for the day. If they tried to gather more than they needed for the day, they would awaken the next morning to find it rotted and useless. We cannot save up grace.

(From Spiritual Classics, by Richard J Foster and Emilie Griffin)

Here are some words for today’s Christians, from the book of Philippians, Message-style.

Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night.
(Philippians 2:14-15 MSG)

So this is my prayer: that your love will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately. You need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
(Philippians 1:9-11 MSG)

Don’t fret or worry. Instead of worrying, pray. Let petitions and praises shape your worries into prayers, letting God know your concerns. Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life.
(Philippians 4:6-7 MSG)

If you claim to follow Christ, are you doing these things on a daily basis? I don’t mean perfectly, of course. None of us is perfect.

A little over a month ago, I ventured into the dark territory that is TikTok. If you aren’t familiar with it, TikTok is a video app that allows users to produce up to three-minute videos on just about any topic they want. There are, of course, “community guidelines” which prohibit certain things, such as nudity or explicit sexuality, blatant hate speech, and other such things. A lot of time can be wasted scrolling through TikTok, just as it can be wasted scrolling through Facebook. I should know. I have wasted ample time in both places.

But I have chosen to try to live up to Paul’s words, to some degree, but posting my gratitude lists in video form every day on TikTok, just as I do on Facebook (not in video form on Facebook, but just copied and pasted from this blog). I don’t do these things to appear to be “super-spiritual.” I do these things to inspire positivity and gratitude in others. I want people to see something other than the hatred and hypocrisy that some others who claim the name of Christ are portraying. You can find my TikTok profile here, if you are interested. I hope to also, eventually, post some music, as well as my love of books, on there.

So here is a call: May we all, who call the name of Jesus, do our best to make “Jesus Christ attractive to all,” love much and love well, and “provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God.”

(From Symphony of Salvation, by Eugene H. Peterson)

The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; 
his mercies never come to an end; 
they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
(Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)

Brothers, I do not consider that I have made it my own. But one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Let those of us who are mature think this way, and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal that also to you. Only let us hold true to what we have attained.
(Philippians 3:13-16 ESV)

Today’s prayer word is “imagine.” Now there’s a word that can be of great use in our prayer lives and in our physical lives. But it can also be a great danger. An imagination running amok can create some serious problems, as we have seen in our world in recent years.

Albert Einstein is quoted as saying, “Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world.”

There is another version of this quote that I found. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”

Here’s another, claiming to come from an original source, Einstein’s book, On Cosmic Religion: With Other Opinions and Aphorisms. “Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution. It is, strictly speaking, a real factor in scientific research.”

So, regardless of which one is actually correct, it is apparent that Einstein said something to that effect. It also illustrates that we may be too quick to attribute quotes to people without due research. I won’t hold that against the Guideposts people, today, as there does seem to be validity to at least one version of the quote.

I love imagination. Mine is fairly active, but I am mildly envious of people whose imaginations soar much higher than mine. I’m speaking of people who can write great songs and wonderful books. People like Paul McCartney and Neil Gaiman, C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien. You know . . . people with crazy levels of imagination.

The “imagination” of God, if it can even be called that, because His knowledge is ultimate and complete, is endless. It was the imagination of God that resulted in this universe, this planet, along with you and me. The ultimate imagination is responsible for my imagination and everything that it can conjure.

And, yes, I can use that imagination in prayer. If I can imagine it, I can most certainly pray for it. So, I imagine sick people healed; I imagine hungry people fed; I imagine homeless people with roofs over their heads; and I imagine people not having to live in fear of tyrants and their madness. Is it even possible to pray without imagination? Now that I think about it, I think not. How can you pray for something that you cannot imagine?

(From Pray a Word a Day)

Father, there is a lot today. I pray for my daily bread, both the real kind, the physical kind that I consume, as well as the spiritual kind, which is the presence of Jesus Christ by the Holy Spirit, the Bread of Life. I pray for enough for this day, as I am aware that I cannot store up grace for tomorrow. Then tomorrow, I will pray for enough for that day.

I pray for the ability to make Your Son attractive to all. Help me to never do anything that makes Jesus unattractive to those around me. Help me to live my life in His service, walking in His steps, living in His “easy yoke.” Help me to love much and love well, as I have been trying to do for a number of years, now. Don’t let me lose sight of this Love Revolution, Father. May I give people a glimpse of good living, and of You, a loving and good and giving Father.

I thank You for my imagination, Father, and I also thank You for the imagination of many people in this world, people who can compose and write music and books, that both entertain and inspire. I pray for more of them who might display their faith in You in ways that inspire us to do the things that I have prayed for above. And help me to use my imagination to pray, to pray for people in other lands, people I have never met, and for people that are close to me, as well. And, should it be Your will, help me to use that imagination to compose songs of praise to Your Name. Open my eyes, Lord, I want to see Your face, even if just in my imagination.

All praise and glory to You, through the Son and by the Spirit.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

"Love one another;
This is how they know you're Mine;
Love one another."
(Inspired by John 13:34-35)

Grace and peace, friends.

Choose Kindness!

Today is FRIDAY! January 15, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 22,954

Yesterday was one of those day. One of those “orange” days. But at least this time, there was a reason. Not a good one, mind you. It all started with Facebook. Go figure. Read something that I disagreed with. If that wasn’t enough, I read the comments. Then there were little things at work that aggravated the already souring mood.

But at one point, I stopped and cried out to God. The slide was arrested. The day was still a struggle, but it got gradually better. Then, about thirty minutes before time to go home, I returned to my workstation to find a little note that someone had made on a label maker.

“Have a blessed day, Jeff!”

A dear friend had stealthily blessed me.

God and I had a conversation on the way home from work. Some progress was definitely made, and maybe even a decision or two. More on that, when it’s more firm.

I finished a book, yesterday. It was number 17 in The Dresden Files series, by Jim Butcher. Battle Ground. It was pretty fierce. And it made me cry at the end. Actually, it also made me cry in the middle, too. Part of this was because I really thought (although why, I’m not sure) that this was the last book in the series. But I checked the author’s Internet site and he has an estimated eight more planned. And that’s good, because there were definitely some loose ends to tie up at the end of this one. I’ll be posting a review, this weekend on my other blog.


You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.
(Psalms 16:11 ESV)

Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name.
(Hebrews 13:15 NLT)

Today I am grateful:

  • That it is Friday!
  • For the peace that passes understanding
  • For Your unfailing love
  • For the baptism of fire (Luke 3)
  • For the opportunity to choose kindness over evil
  • That someone chose kindness to me, yesterday
  • That You called me out of darkness, into marvelous light

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



The LORD has done it this very day; let us rejoice today and be glad.
(Psalms 118:24 NIV)


For the director of music. A psalm of David.

How long, LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me?
How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me?

Look on me and answer, LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death,
and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my foes will rejoice when I fall.

But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.
I will sing the LORD’s praise, for he has been good to me.


The people were waiting expectantly and were all wondering in their hearts if John might possibly be the Messiah. John answered them all, “I baptize you with water. But one who is more powerful than I will come, the straps of whose sandals I am not worthy to untie. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire. His winnowing fork is in his hand to clear his threshing floor and to gather the wheat into his barn, but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.”


My thoughts, this morning, are captivated by both readings. In Psalm 13, I was especially caught by verse 2. “How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and day after day have sorrow in my heart?” Now, I don’t have sorrow in my heart every day, necessarily, but I assure you, I most definitely “wrestle with my thoughts,” pretty much every day. That is what causes those moods like I had yesterday. That is why I’m seeing a therapist.

But I am also looking to God for answers, and Psalm 13 is an excellent passage to pray back to Him. I am, as anyone who has read this blog for very long will know, very much in favor of praying Scripture back to God, especially Psalms. They are, by inspiration, His very words. So why not pray them back to Him?

But then, verse 5 comes along. “But I trust in your unfailing love; my heart rejoices in your salvation.”

Yes. Amen. So be it.

In the other passage, which is almost the same as the passage read yesterday, the word “fire” catches my attention.

All John can do is immerse in water. But One is coming; One who has more power than John. Water can only wash off the outside dirt. But the Holy Spirit has access to the heart and soul, our very being. And fire, used in the casting of precious metals, melts down the metal, separates it from the “dross,” or impurities, and allows it to be molded into a different shape.

But then the fire has a different purpose. The “chaff” is the hull of the wheat, that which is inedible. The fire that cleanses, purifies, and helps to mold us, will burn up and consume the chaff.

Father, I thank You that, when I wrestle with my thoughts, I can bring them to You, praying Your own words back to You. I pray for this constant immersion in the Holy Spirit, and that You would continuously “baptize” me with fire, always cleansing the dross from my heart and my soul. All glory to You, Lord!

"Holy God,
you promised the renewing presence of the Holy Spirit,
and today I ask you to fill me again.
Renew my life,
deepen in me a humble repentance for my sins,
and empower me to pursue a holy life.
May your beauty in my life
be obvious to all.
(Heidelberg Catechism 70)


The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.” The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.
(Romans 8:15-16 NIV)

Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.
(Romans 12:21 NIV)

She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.
(Proverbs 31:12 NLT)

Those who have done good will rise to experience eternal life, and those who have continued in evil will rise to experience judgment.
(John 5:29 NLT)

She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?
(1 Timothy 5:10 NLT)

Every day, we have multiple choices to make. Will we choose kindness? Or will we choose to be unkind? I daresay, I have made both choices multiple times, throughout the day.

Yesterday, a friend chose kindness in leaving that little note for me. It blessed my soul, and it completed the turnaround from the morning’s mood.

We have the ability and opportunity to be kind to someone today, and to have a drastic impact (we never know how much that can be) on their life.

Choose kindness.

Holy Spirit, help me to choose kindness today. Every time.

Jonathan Cahn, in today’s reading, discusses something that I have been fascinated with for a number of years. That being the difference between the Western day and the Hebrew day.

Our day, in the West, is typically though of as going from day to night. Our “day” begins in the morning and ends in the night.

But the Hebrew day began at sunset. Why? Look at Genesis, friends. When God created the world (and this is not a debate about how long it took), “evening and morning were the first day.”

Words are important. Evening came first. Thus, the Hebrew day begins at sundown.

Says Cahn, “The children of this world live from day to night. But the children of God live from night to day. They are born again in the darkness and move to the day. And if you belong to God, then that is the order of your life. You are to go from darkness to light, from weakness to strength, from despair to hope, from guilt to innocence, from tears to joy, and from death to life. And every night in your life will lead to the dawn. So live according to God’s sacred order of time . . . that your entire life be always moving away from the darkness and to the light.”

The Mission: What darkness is in your life, the darkness of fear, of sin, of problems, of gloom? Today, turn away from it and to the light of day.”

Then God said, “Let there be light,” and there was light. And God saw that the light was good. Then he separated the light from the darkness. God called the light “day” and the darkness “night.” And evening passed and morning came, marking the first day.
(Genesis 1:3-5 NLT)

For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favor lasts a lifetime! Weeping may last through the night, but joy comes with the morning.
(Psalms 30:5 NLT)

For once you were full of darkness, but now you have light from the Lord. So live as people of light!
(Ephesians 5:8 NLT)

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light.
(1 Peter 2:9 NLT)

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets. You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.
(2 Peter 1:19 NLT)

Father, thank You for the truths learned today, and the inspirations that will color and affect my life today. May I constantly live as though moving from darkness to light, as You have called me out of darkness into Your marvelous light!

Lord, I thank You for the calling You have placed on my life, to follow Christ in my home, my neighborhood, and my workplace. Strengthen me to fulfill that calling today. Give us all a better capacity to serve the “common good,” and not just our own desires. I also pray for those who work in service to others would be lifted up and made strong for their daily tasks.

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!

Grace and peace, friends!

The Eleventh Day of Christmas – Hope

Today is Monday, January 4, 2021, the eleventh day of Christmas.

Peace be with you.

Day 22,943

Today, we are finally back to a “normal” work schedule. And, while I have most certainly enjoyed the time off, I find myself a little glad to be back on schedule. The challenge is going to be found as I continue to work with my new devotional materials for the new year. I’m still working to nail down the timing.

I’m still mentally dealing with yesterday’s challenge from The Book of Mysteries, by Jonathan Cahn. He calls them “missions.” It was to step out of old ways, old habits in this new year. I haven’t quite done that, yet. Perhaps an actual plan might be in order.


I want to begin today’s prayers by sharing a poem from fellow blogger Daryl Madden. I have been following his blog for a bit, and find his poems to be quite deep and inspiring. This one, from yesterday morning, is called “Settle Now.” It is my opening prayer for this morning. Shared with permission.

Settle now in stilling
Focus be of here
Emptiness outpouring
In silence, be aware

Settle now in Presence
Focus of the light
Covering so precious
Grace of Your insight

Settle now in dwelling
Focus of the deep
Savor the sweet fragrance
Letting Spirit seep

Rooted now in love
Enwrapped in sacred prayer
Holiness of being
One of soul to share

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



Shout for joy to the LORD, all the earth.
Worship the LORD with gladness; come before him with joyful songs.
(Psalms 100:1-2 NIV)


A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.
LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, “God will not deliver him.”
But you, LORD, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high.
I call out to the LORD, and he answers me from his holy mountain.
I lie down and sleep; I wake again, because the LORD sustains me.
I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.
Arise, LORD! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.
From the LORD comes deliverance. May your blessing be on your people.


But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.


There are a number of words that hit me in this brief passage. “Kindness,” “love,” “mercy,” “grace.” All characteristics of God and/or things He lavishes upon us. And the, at the end, “hope.”

It is very clear here, as well as plenty other places in Scripture, that our salvation is not because of anything we have done. It might even be implied that it is in spite of unrighteous things that we have done.

The Holy Trinity is represented quite sell in this passage. The Father saved us, through the “washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior.”

Through all of this, we are justified by His grace, becoming heirs (remember, we read about being heirs a couple days ago), and we have hope!

“Hope” is not just wishful thinking. We use the word differently, in our language. We “hope” we get to go on a trip this year, somewhere. We “hope” for that raise from our employer. But in this case, “hope” is more of an assurance that something is going to happen. One of the definitions of hope is “grounds for believing that something good may happen.” I would replace “may” with “will.”

We have it on good authority, solid ground for believing, that we will experience and possess our inheritance of eternal life. This is true hope!

Father, there are so many words in this passage that thrill me and fill my soul. I will walk away from this session today with that hope, solid in my soul, of eternal life, and the inheritance that awaits me in my eternal Home. I long for that Home, Father, that place where there will never again be pain, tears, loneliness, or sorrow. That place where “evil” will not be allowed to dwell, in any of its forms. I thank You for Your kindness and love, Your grace, Your mercy, and for providing us with this hope.

"God of mercy,
whenever I lose sight of you and my faith falters,
whenever I'm tempted to doubt your heart
or misconstrue your motives,
turn me again to the clearest sign of your generous mercy:
your only Son, Jesus.
Remind me, too, of the sign of my baptism into Jesus,
that I am washed clean and reborn through Christ;
grow me up into all of its promises and blessings.
(Westminster Larger Catechism 167)


“Praise be to the Lord, the God of Israel, because he has come to his people and redeemed them.”
(Luke 1:68 NIV)

Simon answered, “Master, we’ve worked hard all night and haven’t caught anything. But because you say so, I will let down the nets.”
(Luke 5:5 NIV)

Then Jesus said to them, “Suppose you have a friend, and you go to him at midnight and say, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves of bread; a friend of mine on a journey has come to me, and I have no food to offer him.’ And suppose the one inside answers, ‘Don’t bother me. The door is already locked, and my children and I are in bed. I can’t get up and give you anything.’ I tell you, even though he will not get up and give you the bread because of friendship, yet because of your shameless audacity he will surely get up and give you as much as you need.
(Luke 11:5-8 NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
(Romans 5:1-5 NIV)

While [Peter] was going on like this, babbling, a light-radiant cloud enveloped them, and sounding from deep in the cloud a voice: “This is my Son, marked by my love, focus of my delight. Listen to him.”
(Matthew 17:5 MSG)

One of the ways that Holy Spirit is described in Scripture is with the word “wind.” There is a Hebrew word for that, Ruach. As a simple illustration, if you go outside and walk against a strong wind, it is difficult to make progress, and you get weary faster.

But if you turn around and walk with the wind, progress is much easier, and the wind actually helps you move.

So it is with walking in the Spirit. If we walk in the same direction the Spirit is moving, we will find it much easier to make progress, and we will not get weary. In a way of speaking, when we walk in the Spirit, or with the Spirit, we have the wind at our back.

“The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”
(John 3:8 ESV)

And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting.
(Acts 2:2 ESV)

But I say, walk by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the desires of the flesh are against the Spirit, and the desires of the Spirit are against the flesh, for these are opposed to each other, to keep you from doing the things you want to do.
(Galatians 5:16-17 ESV)

The Mission: “What part of your life is against the direction of the Spirit? Today, turn it around and start walking with the Wind at your back.”

Father, help me to walk in and with the Holy Spirit today. The Spirit is Holy, so the direction He is moving is toward holiness. Mold my heart and spirit today toward holiness.

Father, I pray for humanity’s role as caretaker of Your creation. May we see You in our world around us, as we go about, doing whatever it is that You have given us to do. Give us eyes to see You and to see Your beauty everywhere we look. I also pray that we would be better stewards of the creation that You have given us.

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!

Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name!
(Psalms 100:4 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

  1. For the first work day of a new year
  2. For the hope that I have within me, which is the result of Your kindness, love, grace, and mercy
  3. Once again, that You have made me an heir, with an assured inheritance which includes eternal life
  4. For consistency in prayer
  5. For the Wind of the Holy Spirit
May your joys be as bright as the morning,
And your sorrows merely be shadows that fade in the sunlight of love.
May you have…
Enough happiness to keep you sweet,
Enough trials to keep you strong,
Enough sorrow to keep you human,
And enough hope to keep you happy.
(An Irish New Year's Blessing)

Grace and peace, friends.


It’s Wednesday, May 23, 2012. One more day. Good morning to you. One day closer to whatever’s next. Today is Lucky Penny Day, but it’s also World Turtle Day. I don’t believe in luck…so I guess I’ll go with the turtle. Everyone knows the world floats through space on the back of four elephants, who, in turn, are standing on the back of the Giant Star Turtle, Great A’Tuin, right? Right. Happy World Turtle Day. It was on this date in 1934 that notorious bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde were shot to death by Texas and Louisiana state police near Sailes, Louisiana. They were shot to death in a stolen Ford. Someday, I’m going to see that movie with Faye Dunaway and Warren Beatty.

Yesterday was a much better day, and there is hope for Christi to get out of the situation she’s in. We’ll keep you posted.
We have a visit planned for next Tuesday, to see Stephanie’s teachers at the school campus. For anyone who is not aware, she has been in the homebound program for most of this school year, where a teacher comes to the house with her assignments. It was rough starting, but it has turned out great for her. If everything goes as planned, she should have a high school diploma early next month.

Hah. I just found “Honeytree” on Facebook. Remember her?

Father, I pray that my reading and meditation this morning will bring me insight into your self that will help me live this day looking to you for everything.

My Utmost For His Highest

“Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on.” Matthew 6:25

Today’s reading is called “Careful Infidelity.” Interesting title, isn’t it? It begins with, “Jesus sums up common sense carefulness in a disciple as infidelity.” Before you react to that statement, think about it. We are in a relationship with God, and have received the Holy Spirit. Where does God fit into this relationship? He should be our first consideration, right? “Whenever we put other things first, there is confusion.”
Jesus says, “Do not be anxious.” In the KJV, this is rendered, “Take no thought.” Chambers says, “Don’t take the pressure of forethought upon yourself.” And here is the kicker; that “smackdown” statement that Chambers is so good at. “It is not only wrong to worry, it is infidelity, because worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives…” POW! Right in the kisser! See? What did Jesus say choked out the life of the seed planted in the parable of the sower? It was the cares of this world! If we let the cares of this world, the “stuff of earth” be our foremost thought, we will never see that abundant life of God that Jesus says he has come to bring! I have to learn to trust where I cannot see. “The only cure for infidelity is obedience to the Spirit.” And Chambers closes the reading with one of his favorite words. “The great word of Jesus to His disciples is abandon.”
“…worrying means that we do not think that God can look after the practical details of our lives…” It can’t be much more clear than that. Any one of us would be quick to get all puffed up and say that we have not been unfaithful to God. But have we worried? Of course we have! Why is this so difficult? I don’t have the answer to that question, because I’m right in the middle of it, too. But God, praise his holy name, is teaching me day by day. I’m trying to learn…but my human nature, my flesh, forgets almost before I walk out the front door in the mornings. Gradually, he is molding me to a place where I can remember further into the day. Someday, maybe I’ll get there. But, as I learned yesterday, the great thing is that he will not leave me alone until I have reached that place of being one in him with Christ. Probably, that won’t happen until I wake up in heaven someday. But it will happen. Because Jesus prayed for it to happen.

Tabletalk Magazine

Whoever pursues righteousness and kindness will find life, righteousness, and honor. Proverbs 21:21

Tabletalk has been talking about the fruit of the Spirit this week. You know…that list of characteristics in Galatians 5:22-23. But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. Today’s topic is patience and kindness. I don’t really want to talk about patience. So I will. Patience is easy to see in the life of Christ. His disciples, bless their hearts, never quite got it. They constantly acted foolishly and misunderstood Jesus’s mission. But he did not reject them. He kept on patiently teaching them.
It is easy for us to have patience (personally, I don’t think the words “easy” and “patience” should EVER be in the same sentence together) with people who are in authority over us, because we fear them, or at least we should. Not fear in the sense that we are terrified of them, but fear in the sense of, hey, I’d better do what this guy says because he could fire me if I don’t. That kind of fear. But how easy is it for us to have patience with those who are less powerful or have less priority than we do? “Being long-suffering toward those who are somehow weaker than we are is a special form of patience.” Again…Jesus was the ultimate example of this. I did not do a very good job of imitating Christ yesterday evening. I got impatient with a customer service representative of AT&T while on the phone. I’m sure I’m the only one who has ever gotten impatient with a customer service representative, right? Don’t try to hide! Anyway…so much to learn, and the patience of Christ is right up there in that category with worry (which equals infidelity…).
God’s kindness is evident in his patience. It is also seen in his willingness to bless us far beyond what we deserve. We are called on to mirror this kindness in our relationships. “We are not to be petty as we interact with others, but we must overlook minor faults with the love that ‘covers a multitude of sins’ (1 Peter 4:8).” But, Lord!! Those aren’t minor faults!! Yeah, right.

Today’s Bible Readings

John 12; Psalm 22; 1 Kings 3

John 12 begins with Mary anointing the feet of Jesus with expensive ointment. This event happens at the house of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus. I am assuming that it is Mary, the sister of Martha and Lazarus, who did the anointing this time. It is interesting that, at this time, a plot arose to kill Lazarus, because many Jews were believing in Jesus because of him.
This event occurs six days before the Passover. It is interesting to note that John uses 10 chapters to cover the last week of Jesus’s life. Almost half of the Gospel of John is devoted to six days.
The triumphal entry into Jerusalem is the next event. John points out that, even though the disciples did not understand it at the time, they remembered and understood later, after Jesus had ascended.
It is in this chapter that Jesus says, Whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. (v 25) Later, he says, Now is the judgment of this world; now will the ruler of this world be cast out. And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself. (vv 31-32) Sadly, John states that there were some in authority who believed, but were afraid to admit it because loved the glory that comes from man more than the glory that comes from God. (v 43) How many of us are like that?

Psalm 22 is a Messianic Psalm, beginning with one of the famous statements that Jesus later uttered while on the cross. My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? (v 1) Later, the Psalm foreshadows the cross with verses 7-8. All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; “He trusts in the LORD; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!” Verses 12-18 also see their fulfillment in the events surrounding the crucifixion. Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death. For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet–I can count all my bones–they stare and gloat over me; they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Surprisingly, part of this Scripture is quoted at the end of this song by The Guess Who.

Listen all the way to the end to hear it…
The final two verses of the Psalm speak of generations to come. Posterity shall serve him; it shall be told of the Lord to the coming generation; they shall come and proclaim his righteousness to a people yet unborn, that he has done it. (vv 30-31) It is also interesting to note that, according to Gerard Chrispin in The Bible Panorama, this Psalm was written long before crucifixion was practiced.

1 Kings 3 contains Solomon’s prayer for wisdom, which is followed by the famous story of the two prostitutes who argued over whose baby was dead and whose was alive.

Father, as I walk through this day, I pray that I will not worry about the practical details of my life. I pray that I will not be unfaithful to you by worrying. Let me take no thought, have no anxiety about such things as food and clothing. Let me be anxious for nothing, Lord, but express full faith in you to take care of us. I also pray that I might display patience and kindness toward everyone that I meet today. May I be a better imitator of you, Lord.

I pray for this day. Give Christi boldness and confidence as she faces the trials that will come with this work day. I pray that your will be done in her situation. I know that your will will be done. May our desires reflect your will, Father. I pray that my work day will be smooth, and that Stephanie will have a successful day today, getting more accomplished toward her final goal of completing school.

Your grace is sufficient, Father. May we show kindness and patience in all we do.

Remember today…worry=infidelity. May the Spirit remind me of that all day today.

Grace and peace, friends.