The Foundations of Hell Were Shaken

“Love is like war: easy to begin but very hard to stop.”~~H. L. Mencken

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is psychagogic, which means, “That influences the mind; persuasive, attractive.”

Today is Plan Your Epitaph Day. I don’t have a clue what my epitaph will be. In fact, people rarely use epitaphs, these days. However, whenever I even hear the word “epitaph,” I immediately think, “Confusion will be my epitaph.”

Okay, so all that stuff I wrote about our reviews and raises, over the weekend, may not be true. Our site manager met with each department, individually, yesterday, and, almost frantically, insisted that the email/memo that was posted did not apply to us. In fact, he said, the email came from the C.O.O. of CEVA Ground, which is an entirely separate entity (one that constantly “underperforms,” in my opinion). He was rather upset that someone has posted that email on the bulletin board without running it through him, first. He insisted that, should any news such as that arise, we would hear it out of his mouth before it got posted on the board. He was out for a number days, because his wife just had a baby, so I have no problem believing what he said. He knows who posted the email, as well. I asked if he knew. I did not, however, ask him to tell us who it was.

Today is Wednesday. I’m still not feeling great. However, I think it’s better. I’m low on energy, though, that’s for sure.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

But you have rejected us and disgraced us and have not gone out with our armies.
You have made us turn back from the foe, and those who hate us have gotten spoil.
You have made us like sheep for slaughter and have scattered us among the nations.
You have sold your people for a trifle, demanding no high price for them.

You have made us the taunt of our neighbors, the derision and scorn of those around us.
You have made us a byword among the nations, a laughingstock among the peoples.
All day long my disgrace is before me, and shame has covered my face
at the sound of the taunter and reviler, at the sight of the enemy and the avenger.
All this has come upon us, though we have not forgotten you, and we have not been false to your covenant.
Our heart has not turned back, nor have our steps departed from your way;
yet you have broken us in the place of jackals and covered us with the shadow of death.
If we had forgotten the name of our God or spread out our hands to a foreign god,
would not God discover this? For he knows the secrets of the heart.
Yet for your sake we are killed all the day long; we are regarded as sheep to be slaughtered.
Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!
Why do you hide your face? Why do you forget our affliction and oppression?
For our soul is bowed down to the dust; our belly clings to the ground.
Rise up; come to our help! Redeem us for the sake of your steadfast love!

Psalm 44:9-26

Paul borrowed from this Psalm in Romans 8:36. “A comparison between the psalmist and Paul as they write about suffering is a dramatic example of the difference Christ has made.”

“Reinforce my conviction, Father, that nothing can separate me from your love, that there are no places where you are absent, no times when you are asleep, that you are in all times and all places for me in Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“The Collision of God and Sin”

He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness.
1 Peter 2:24

In what may be my very favorite reading in this book, Chambers addresses the Cross of Christ. “The Cross of Jesus is the revelation of God’s judgment on sin.” Jesus was not a “martyr.” The Cross was not something that “happened” to Jesus. “The Cross was a superb triumph in which the foundations of hell were shaken.” Anyone who believes that Satan was rejoicing in “victory” when Jesus hung on the cross does not understand, at all, what happened. With the Cross, Jesus Christ “switched the whole of the human race back into a right relationship with God.”

The Cross was why Jesus was born. Many think he came to earth to “show us the way to God,” or to “be an example for us.” Jesus was born to die. He is “the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.” Jesus was “Plan A,” and there is no “Plan B.”

“The Cross is the point where God and sinful man merge with a crash and the way to life is opened–but the crash is on the heart of God.”

Father, lead me to the cross, constantly. Always draw me back to the ultimate moment of sacrifice, made that all of humanity might be drawn back into right relationship with you. Thank you for choosing me to be one of yours, and then making sure it would happen. Thank you for putting me in an environment where I would be taught the truth of Scripture and raised to love you. My gratitude can never be properly expressed. Help me to lead others to this truth, as well. Thank you for the Cross.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

It’s All About You, Jesus

Good morning. Today is Saturday, April 6, 2013. Made it through another week.

Today is going to be a busy day. We have our usual stuff like grocery shopping, Tessie (our Corgi) has a follow-up appointment at the vet, I’m going to see Jurassic Park 3D with Rachel and Justin, and I think I’m taking someone to see Josh Wilson, Colton Dixon, and Third Day tonight. I’m not quite positive about that last one. It’s complicated. You would have to live with someone with autism to understand.

Update: We are not going to the concert. I am currently trying to give away the tickets on Facebook.

Tomorrow, after church, Stephanie is going to go with some church friends to see their horses (that got rained out last time), and Christi and I are travelling to Mineral Wells to celebrate my mother’s birthday, which is Monday.

Today is Plan Your Epitaph Day. “Confusion will be my epitaph.”

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)
On this date in 1199, the great Richard the Lion-Heart died of complications from an arrow wound received while laying siege to a seemingly insignificant castle in the tiny village of Chalus, “twenty miles south-west of Limoges.” It seems a farmer had found a buried treasure of gold coins, and Richard “declared he would have it as his right, since he was overlord of the Limousin.” On March 25, Richard carelessly approached the small castle, with only a shield to defend himself. A crossbow bolt struck him in the shoulder. It penetrated deep, “and was at last recovered only by the excruciating torment of laying open the flesh.” The castle was taken, even without Richard leading, and the youth who shot the bolt was captured. Richard, knowing he would soon die from the wound, summoned the youth and questioned why he wished him injury. The youth replied, “Because you killed my father and brother. Do with me as you want. I have no regrets for the vengeance I have taken.” Richard replied, “Go forth in peace. I forgive you my death and will exact no revenge.” The King died twelve days later, on this date, at the age of 41. “Ignoring Richard’s forgiveness, his army captains had the young man flayed alive and hanged.”

Today’s birthday is Lowell Thomas, born on this date in 1892. Thomas was a writer, broadcaster, and traveler, possibly most known for making Laurence of Arabia famous. Why would I pick this person’s birthday for today? Because one of my fondest memories is sitting around the breakfast table on weekday mornings, listening to KFJZ on the big old-fashioned radio in our dining room. KFJZ was an AM radio station (1270), that played top forty music (which was much better in those days, believe me), along with regular broadcasts by Lowell Thomas and the TSN radio network (Texas State Network news), hosted by Porter Randall. My memory may be a bit fuzzy, as we are talking about more than 40 years ago. Lowell Thomas died in 1981.

Honorable mentions to Andre Previn, 1929; Merle Haggard, 1937; and Candace Cameron Bure, 1976 (that one’s for Stephanie).


I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Psalm 142:5
Be exalted, O God, above the heavens! Let your glory be over all the earth! Psalm 108:5

Father, I pray that you show me something of yourself this morning, as I look into your Word. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth.

Today’s reading from A Year With God is called “Worshiping with Our Hearts.” The scripture reading is Isaiah 29:13-14.

And the Lord said: “Because this people draw near with their mouth and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their fear of me is a commandment taught by men, therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.”

This is a rather sobering passage. Who of us has not sat in a worship service with our minds far away from the place where we are sitting? We think about what’s for lunch; we think about that problem that we are experiencing, either at work or at home; we thing about the physical issue that we are experiencing; we even think about how our favorite sports team is going to perform that afternoon; or, heaven forbid, we think about sin. Perhaps we even pray a familiar prayer “with our lips but not our heart.” We have all heard it said that “familiarity breeds contempt.” Familiarity can be a beautiful thing, too, but we must guard against it becoming commonplace. There is nothing commonplace about our relationship with our heavenly Father. We must guard against getting into a rut with our habit of worship. Habits . . . they can be good, even great; or they can be disastrous.

I’m challenged to attend my worship service, this week, with great expectation of meeting and worshiping God to the best of my ability. What does this mean? Some suggestions are offered. Arrive early to quietly sit and prepare yourself. Take some time to give thanks for the many gifts given by God. Pray for the worship leaders, the pastor/preacher, the church leadership. Pick a few people out of the congregation and pray that they may experience God’s presence. Actively think about what it means to be in “God’s house of worship.” Focus on the words of the songs that are sung. Sing them directly to God. Listen for God in the scriptures that are read and the words that are preached. Even take some time, upon returning home, to reflect on what was heard and what you feel.

Worship is serious business, and, all too often, we approach it in a rather aloof fashion. If our hearts are not in it, it’s not worship, it’s only “lip-service.”

Father, as I approach worship this week, let it truly be all about you. When I set foot into the school auditorium tomorrow morning at 715, may I immediately begin to seek your presence, even through the tedious acts of setting up the drum set, the stage, the keyboard and other things.

It’s all about you, Jesus.

When we practice the songs that will be played during the worship set in the morning, let my thoughts be more about you, whom we praise and glorify, than the technique of my playing or the accuracy of my notes (although, I pray that my playing is accurate).

It’s all about you, Jesus.

When we take time between practice and the worship service, may I spend that time reflecting on you and your mercies in my life, rather than playing games on my iPhone.

It’s all about you, Jesus.

During the worship time, let me sing and play with abandon, giving my all to you, focusing my entire being on worshiping you, who, alone are worthy of my worship and praise. When the pastor is preaching, may I listen intently to the words he says, looking for your instruction for me, looking for what you desire for me to do in my life.

It’s all about you, Jesus.

After worship, when we have to tear everything down and put it away, so they can serve lunch to the students on Monday, let my thoughts reflect, not on who gets in my way or why the drum case won’t roll correctly, but on what you have spoken to me during the morning.

It’s all about you, Jesus.

. . .