When Christ Displaces Worry

Today is Saturday, the 4th of February, 2023, in the season of Epiphany.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,704

I neglected (actually forgot) what yesterday was, until about halfway through the day, someone on my Facebook feed reminded me. It was February 3, 1959, that the plane carrying Richie Valens, J.P. Richardson (The Big Bopper), and Buddy Holly crashed in Iowa, killing all three of them. It was later to be deemed “the day the music died,” by Don McLean in “American Pie.” I was not quite a year old when that happened.

I had a fine day at the library, yesterday. It was steady in the computer center, but never got overwhelming. I’m expecting a hectic day in circulation today, as the outside book drop sorter is still not in working order, yet. We got a “new” sorter a couple weeks ago, but have had issues getting it working. I think it may be close. The thing is, all outside book drop items will go in our old “emergency” bin, which doesn’t sort, and also doesn’t clear. So we have to manually clear everything that comes in. With the extreme weather we had this week, causing the library to be closed for two whole days and open late on Thursday, I expect a lot of people to be getting caught up today.

That and it is “Bring your child to the library day,” today. Hee.

That’s all I’ve got, so on to the real reason I’m here.


Your decrees are my heritage forever; 
they are the joy of my heart.
(Psalms 119:111 NRSV)

Daily Prayer from Plough.com

Lord our God, help us who have listened in the name of Jesus Christ and heard the good tidings. Help us come with our whole hearts to the Savior, who leads us into your arms. Hear our pleading and let your countenance shine over the world. Let a new age come soon. Send your salvation into the world to the glory of your name, so that the truth we have learned about you becomes a reality in our hearts and our whole life can be genuine, rooted in the truth, leading us into heaven, to the honor of your name. Hear us, O Lord our God. We entrust ourselves and our daily lives to you. We want to be faithful. Help us to be your children, mindful at every step that we belong to you. Amen.

Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.
(John 14:6 NRSV)

Today I am grateful:

  • for Jesus, the way, the truth, and the life
  • for the love of reading instilled in me at a very early age by my parents (and others)
  • for the Word of God, “recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet unborn may praise the Lord” (Psalm 102:18)
  • for the peace that displaces worry when I am faithful to pray
  • for the sovereignty of God in all things

O sing to the LORD a new song; 
sing to the LORD, all the earth.
(Psalms 96:1 NRSV)
With my whole heart I cry; 
answer me, O LORD. 
I will keep your statutes.
(Psalms 119:145 NRSV)
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, 
do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to all the generations to come. 
Your power and your righteousness, O God, 
reach the high heavens. 
You who have done great things, O God, 
who is like you?
(Psalms 71:18-19 NRSV)
Let this be recorded for a generation to come, 
so that a people yet unborn may praise the LORD:
(Psalms 102:18 NRSV)

Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching in the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.”
(John 7:28-29 NRSV)

To the leader: on Lilies, a Covenant. Of Asaph. A Psalm. 

Give ear, O Shepherd of Israel, 
you who lead Joseph like a flock! 
You who are enthroned upon the cherubim, 
shine forth before Ephraim and Benjamin and Manasseh. 
Stir up your might, and come to save us! 
Restore us, O God; 
let your face shine, that we may be saved. 

But let your hand be upon the one at your right hand, 
the one whom you made strong for yourself. 
Then we will never turn back from you; 
give us life, and we will call on your name. 
Restore us, O LORD God of hosts; 
let your face shine, that we may be saved. 
(Psalms 80:1-3, 17-19 NRSV)
"Our hearts, O Lord, are restless until they rest in You!" 
(The Cry of the Church - The Divine Hours)

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.

"Almighty and everlasting God,
you govern all things both in heaven and on earth:
Mercifully hear the supplications of your people,
and in our time grant us your peace;
through Jesus Christ our Lord,
who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit,
one God,
for ever and ever.
(The Prayer Appointed for the Week - The Divine Hours)

One who forgives an affront fosters friendship, 
but one who dwells on disputes will alienate a friend.
(Proverbs 17:9 NRSV)

Do to others as you would have them do to you.
(Luke 6:31 NRSV)

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. No one has greater love than this, to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. You are my friends if you do what I command you.”
(John 15:12-14 NRSV)

love one another with mutual affection; outdo one another in showing honor.
(Romans 12:10 NRSV)

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)

I confess: I (and I’m confident that I am not alone) do not always allow Christ to displace worry at the center of my life.

Surprise! I’m not perfect.

By the way, if you ever see me acting like I think I am, you have my permission to call me out on it.

But I have experienced what happens when I do allow Christ do displace that worry. It can be described with one word. “Peace.” Peterson paraphrases it, above, as “a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for good.” The traditional translations call this a “peace that passes understanding” or something like that.

Last night, we were waiting on a grocery order from Kroger. Keep in mind that we had winter weather conditions for roughly three days. From Monday evening until about noon on Thursday, everything was covered in ice. Not snow. No, we don’t get that luxury in DFW, Texas. We get ice. Sleet, freezing rain, very little actual snow.

And for the other eleven months and 25 days of the year, we don’t have any of that. So we naturally are not prepared/equipped for such. It basically shuts us down. Make fun of us if you want, but I won’t make fun of you when it gets to 117 degrees in Portland, Oregon and all your grocery store freezers stop working.

Anyway . . . back to my grocery order. I put it in on Thursday afternoon (or maybe even late Thursday morning, I can’t quite recall). The earliest delivery time (I wasn’t about to set foot in Kroger after that ice storm) was between 4-6 PM on Friday. C was planning to work from home, so that would work. I work at the library until 6:15 on Fridays.

Yesterday, at 4:47 PM, I got a text stating that the delivery would not arrive until around 7:30 PM. Okay. Not surprised by that. I’m sure the store was exceedingly busy. I had seen Facebook posts from people who went to Walmart and said that everyone else in Fort Worth was there, too.

7:30 came and went. Finally, at 7:51, I got a text that a shopper had started shopping my order. I anxiously awaited texts telling me things that they were out of. The only one I got was on the bread, accompanied by this photo.

You can see, way down there at the end, that there is something. She asked if I wanted a replacement, and I said, “If you can find one.” She found some Pepperidge Farm bread, and I said, “great! That will work fine!”

Everything else was delivered as ordered! At roughly 8:55, we got our delivery.

Why am I telling you all of this? To illustrate the point of that passage in Philippians. Throughout this whole process, I vacillated between worry and peace. Whenever I would begin to worry about whether we would even get the delivery at all, the Spirit reminded me that God is in control of all things, and I experienced peace. Accompanying that peace was also great patience. I never got impatient during the waiting time. And the result was that we received everything we ordered, with only the bread being substituted.

That’s what happens when you allow Christ to displace worry at the center of your life. Not the part about your groceries being delivered. That’s peripheral. It’s the part about the peace. Not letting the worry reign.

I promise you that won’t happen every day for me. But I also tell you that I’m getting progressively better at it, as I learn to trust Him in everything.

Here’s the thing: God is sovereign. Either you believe that or you don’t. If you believe it, you don’t worry about who is President or King or whatever. You don’t worry about Democrats, Republicans, Communists, or Socialists. You don’t worry about “bad things” happening to you. They will. You can be sure of that. But, if you believe in the sovereignty of God, you will have peace. Because you know, in the depths of your soul, as I said a couple days ago, “God’s got this.”

"The world has design and order. I can plan, hope, believe. The confusion and conflict that convulse history are bounded by a larger clarity and peace." 
(Eugene H. Peterson, Where Your Treasure Is, quoted in God's Message for Each Day)

Father, I praise You for who You are. I praise You for Your sovereignty in all things. You alone are worthy of our praise. You are worthy of all glory, blessing, and honor. I thank You for the peace that fills my soul today. I pray that I can experience this peace every day. I know that I will slip up and allow worry to reign, sometime. Forgive me for when those times happen, and let the Spirit remind me of Your sovereignty in all things. I thank You for the positive experience of last night, that reminds me that, in Your kingdom, things are far better than I can ever imagine.

I pray for all of Your children, especially in this country, that they would be more in tune with Your sovereignty; that they would realize how foolish it is to worry over things like politics and other things that become idols to us. Help us to throw down our idols and worship only You. Help us to lay aside all our worries and allow Christ to displace them at the center of our lives. May Christ be the center of everything.

Even so, come quickly, Lord Jesus!

Trust in the LORD with all your heart, 
and do not rely on your own insight. 
In all your ways acknowledge him, 
and he will make straight your paths.
(Proverbs 3:5-6 NRSV)

Grace and peace, friends.


Today is Saturday, the sixteenth of October, 2021

Peace be with you

Day 23,228

Twenty-two days until Daylight Saving Time ends

I don’t really have much to write about, this morning. Yesterday’s day in the computer center was good. I did have one cranky patron, early on, but it wasn’t because of anything I did. This lady just appears to be mad at the world. Even the assistant librarian at the front desk commented about her. And, while it was my first encounter with her, she appears to be a repeat patron, because the CC manager was familiar with her. The rest of the day was pretty good.

Today, I work from 9:30 to 6:15, in circulation. That will be a little busier, probably. But there will be a variety of activities, from checking out books, to registering new patrons, to clearing the book drops, and obtaining on-shelf holds for patrons.

I also just set up a grocery pickup at Kroger, to pick up after work.

The Red Sox lost game one of the ALCS, 5-4. It was a pretty good game, over all, at least what I saw of it. They were ahead 3-1 for a bit, but fell behind when the bullpen gave up a couple of home runs. The team is not discouraged, though. It’s a best of seven series, and regardless of what happens this afternoon, they will be at Fenway Park on Monday. Today’s game begins at 3:20 CDT. I won’t get to watch much, if any of it, since I will be at work.

Next week, is my light week, as I will only work Tuesday and Friday. Tuesday will be different, though, because the annual “Hurst Way Conference” is happening, and I will be attending it from 8:30-4:30. I will also get an extra four hours on this week’s pay (remembering that the pay week goes from Friday to Friday).


Be at peace with all;
Be not quick to be angry;
Fools have angry hearts.
(Ecclesiastes 7:9)

Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
(Psalms 33:2 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that I am alive and breathing, and able to praise Your Name
2. for coffee
3. that I remember
4. that my heart seeks Your face, and, therefore, rejoices in You
5. that, when I remember, and when I rejoice, there is no room for anger in my heart

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



I waited patiently for Yahweh.
He turned to me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of a horrible pit, out of the miry clay.
He set my feet on a rock, and gave me a firm place to stand.
(Psalms 40:1-2 WEB)

As I pause, during this quiet moment, I reflect on waiting patiently, focusing on “patiently.” Our entire culture could still use some slowing down, even after the effects of a global pandemic.


Give praise to the LORD, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.
Sing to him, sing praise to him; tell of all his wonderful acts.
Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
Look to the LORD and his strength; seek his face always.

Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced,
you his servants, the descendants of Abraham, his chosen ones, the children of Jacob.
He is the LORD our God; his judgments are in all the earth.
(Psalms 105:1-7 NIV)


The LORD, the God of their ancestors, sent word to them through his messengers again and again, because he had pity on his people and on his dwelling place. But they mocked God’s messengers, despised his words and scoffed at his prophets until the wrath of the LORD was aroused against his people and there was no remedy. He brought up against them the king of the Babylonians, who killed their young men with the sword in the sanctuary, and did not spare young men or young women, the elderly or the infirm. God gave them all into the hands of Nebuchadnezzar. He carried to Babylon all the articles from the temple of God, both large and small, and the treasures of the LORD’s temple and the treasures of the king and his officials. They set fire to God’s temple and broke down the wall of Jerusalem; they burned all the palaces and destroyed everything of value there.
He carried into exile to Babylon the remnant, who escaped from the sword, and they became servants to him and his successors until the kingdom of Persia came to power. The land enjoyed its sabbath rests; all the time of its desolation it rested, until the seventy years were completed in fulfillment of the word of the LORD spoken by Jeremiah.
(2 Chronicles 36:15-21 NIV)


As I read these passages again, I look for a word or phrase that speaks to me. I ask the Holy Spirit for guidance in my meditations and prayers.

Immediately, the word “remember” comes into focus. That word is seen in Psalm 105:5. Almost every translation I looked at begins with that word. “Remember the wonders He has done, His miracles, and the judgments He pronounced.”

Many times we are very good at remembering the wonders and miracles. Those are fun to remember. It’s those judgments that we aren’t too keen on, sometimes.

What I find interesting is that which ones we focus on tend to be dependent on our perspective. There are certain groups of people who tend to focus only on the judgments of God. These same folks are quite knowledgeable about all the “don’ts” in the Bible, or the “Thou shalt nots.” In addition, they tend to focus on those judgments only insofar as they apply to others.

They also seem much more angry, all the time. And that hearkens back to my little haiku from Ecclesiastes 7:9.

Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools.
(Ecclesiastes 7:9 NIV)

The passage from 2 Chronicles is one of the darkest moments in Israel’s history. And if you consider all things, one of the root causes of the exile was that Israel failed to “remember.” Here is a nation who witnessed, firsthand, the miracles of the God of the Old Testament. The people in 2 Chronicles were direct descendants of those who walked across the Red Sea on dry land, and who later walked across the Jordan River on dry land and watched the walls of Jericho fall flat. Except for that one piece of wall where Rahab lived.

And what happens when we don’t remember? We slip; we fall; back into sin, back into practices that do not please God. In the case of Israel, they even went so far as to mock the messengers that He sent them. They did not remember.

When we remember, we sing praises to Him; we tell of His wonderful acts; we glory in His Name; and we rejoice.

Glory in his holy name; let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice.
(Psalms 105:3 NIV)

I can’t speak for anyone else, but when my heart is seeking the Lord, and it rejoices, there is no room for anger. And I remember. It’s kind of cyclical, in my opinion. Remembering causes rejoicing causes remembering.

Not remembering leads to a whole host of issues. For Israel, it resulted in Jerusalem being sacked and burned, and most of the people being carried off to Babylon.

Father, help me to remember, always. May I never forget the wonders of Your marvelous deeds, both in the history of Your people, and in my own life. I frequently say that the way I know I’m still alive is that I remember things. While that may sound silly, I believe there is truth to it. As long as I remember, I’m alive. As long as I remember You, Your wonders and miracles and judgments, I am spiritually alive. I pray that my heart will always seek You and always rejoice. Let there be no room for the anger of fools.

Lord, I pray for unity and holiness within Your Church. Help us to remember.

"Loving Father,
exile is the human story;
expelled from the garden,
sick for home,
and like the prodigal son,
scheming our way back.
Remind us that it's You who seek and find us in Jesus,
who left His home to bring us back in.
Turn us to Jesus,
the ultimate exile,
who cried out,
'My God,
 my God, 
why have You forsaken me?'
so we might be accepted and called God's children.


Blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy.
(Matthew 5:7 WEB)

He is the one you praise; he is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.
(Deuteronomy 10:21 NIV)

We praise you, God, we praise you, for your Name is near; people tell of your wonderful deeds.
(Psalms 75:1 NIV)

He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.”
(Revelation 14:7 NIV)

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!

Remember wonders,
His miracles and judgments;
Seek Him and rejoice.

Grace and peace, friends.