Managing Infinity

Today is Tuesday, April 11, 2017. Tuesday of Holy Week. Five more days until Easter.

Quote of the Day

“If people sat outside and looked at the stars each night, I’ll bet they’d live a lot differently.” ~ Bill Watterson

Word of the Day

Rampike ~ Chiefly Canadian. a dead tree, especially the bleached skeleton or splintered trunk of a tree killed by fire, lightning, or wind.

Today is Library Workers Day. I’ve always wanted to be a “library worker.” When I was unemployed for three months back in ’10, I began the enrollment process for the Masters of Library Science at TWU in Denton. Then I got a job, so I stopped it. Sometimes, I wish I had kept going. If you have a chance, thank a librarian or library volunteer today.

The Rangers had the day off, yesterday, and will play the Angels tonight at 9:05 PM, CDT. The Red Sox lost a close game to the Tigers, 2-1, which also lost the series 3-1. The Sox are now 3-3 on the season, in third place in the AL East.

As we move through Holy Week toward Easter, I’m reminded that this is also the period of time that my father was in the hospital between the time he fell and the time he passed. It’s bittersweet that Easter is falling in the middle of that time, this year. I guess the celebration of the resurrection should give us hope and comfort as we consider how much we still miss him. Some friends of ours lost a grandmother a couple days ago. Others that we know have suffered loss, recently, as well. Give your loved ones a hug today, if you can. Make sure they know how much you love them. In fact, in the whole realm of “love your neighbor as yourself,” the people you live with should come first as your “neighbors.” Think about that for a while.


God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet. 
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises! 
For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!

Psalm 47:5-8
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
Psalm 119:147
Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory, for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!
Psalm 115:1
For behold, your enemies, O LORD, for behold, your enemies shall perish; all evildoers shall be scattered.
Psalm 92:9
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds. 
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD. 
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings. 
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights. 
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light. 
  Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!

Psalm 36:5-10

(From Living the Message)

When we first realize that there is such a thing as infinity, one of the first things that comes to mind is that, “if there is such a thing as infinity, I am not it. I am finite. If there is God then there is no room for me as god.”

This is a difficult realization for most of us. And our response is usually one of two things. One is that we back off, retreat from infinity. We step back into the “spiritual sovereignty of self.” We work on improving, cultivating the self. My world. All mine, and nothing matters but me.

The other response is an attempt to skirt around the entry point of infinity and try to control “the spirituality of infinity.” We figure that this spirituality of infinity needs management. We get practical, almost entrepreneurial.

In truth, many of us, in our attempts to manage and understand infinity, practice a bit of both of those. But we need to return to “Square One,” as Eugene Peterson calls it. “The place of wonder, the realization of infinity, the worship of God.” We need to cultivate humility in order to do battle with these two responses. “Learning to be just ourselves, keeping close to the ground, practicing the human, getting our fingers in the humus, the rich, loamy, garden dirt out of which we have been fashioned.

“And then listen.”

The only accurate way to understand ourselves is by what God is and by what he does for us, not by what we are and what we do for him. 
Romans 12:3B (The Message)

Father, teach me this humility (am I insane, asking for this?). Teach me how to not be narcissistic, or to try manage this thing called infinity. You are God, I am not. You are in control of infinity, I cannot possibly be. Help me to stop trying. And help me to obey the first part of Romans 12:3, that I not think more highly of myself than I ought.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The LORD bless you and keep you; the LORD make his face to shine upon you and be gracious to you; the LORD lift up his countenance upon you and give you peace.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Only Source of Life

“The only source of Life is the Lord Jesus Christ.”~~Oswald Chambers

“The past is really almost as much a work of the imagination as the future.”~~Jessamyn West

Today’s word of the day, from, is ossify, which means, “to become rigid or inflexible in habits, attitudes, opinions, etc.” Oddly enough, I was more ossified when I was around thirty than I am now. In the words of Bob Dylan, “I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”

Today is Library Workers Day. It was a tough call between that and Grilled Cheese Day, but libraries are a lot like chocolate to me. If the “holiday” has the word library in it, I’ll probably pick that one. This one is not about the actual Librarians, but the “workers,” the people who shelve books and help you check out books, and other things like that. Many of these people, depending on the city and the library, don’t even get paid. They volunteer to hang out in a room full of books. I mean . . . who wouldn’t do that?? If I ever retire, I might do that.

Yesterday, I did that thing where I left my trombone at home and drive all the way home to get it, then drive back to Southlake. Ugh. So frustrating. When that happens, I don’t have time to eat until after band practice, which ends at 9:00 PM. More ugh. Plus, since I didn’t go to last week’s rehearsal, I felt like I barely knew the music we were playing. I’ve got to get it out and practice some, this week, because there is only one more rehearsal before our next concert on April 23, at Southlake’s Art on the Square event.

The Red Sox lost their home opener in a crazy game against the still undefeated Orioles. Chris Davis, ex-Ranger, smashed a three run homer off of Red Sox closer, Craig Kimbrel, who was rather wild in the inning and just sent a pitch right into the heart of the strike zone, Davis’s favorite place to hit home runs. That broke a 6-6 tie, and the O’s went on to win 9-7. The Rangers beat Seattle 7-3, which keeps them tied with Oakland, both with a 4-4 record. Oddly, the only two games Seattle has won are the two against Texas, in the first series.

It’s Tuesday, but Christi probably won’t be bowling, this evening, as her right knee has been in excruciating pain, lately. We aren’t sure what has happened. It’s not like she tripped or fell or anything like that. It just suddenly started hurting a few days ago. Prayers would be appreciated.

Tomorrow night, we re-launch our Anchor prayer gathering. We will be having it at the house of a church member, from 7:00 to 8:00 PM.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

This is the path of those who have foolish confidence; yet after them people approve of their boasts. Selah.
Like sheep they are appointed for Sheol; death shall be their shepherd, and the upright shall rule over them in the morning. Their form shall be consumed in Sheol, with no place to dwell.
But God will ransom my soul from the power of Sheol, for he will receive me. Selah.
Be not afraid when a man becomes rich, when the glory of his house increases.
For when he dies he will carry nothing away; his glory will not go down after him.
For though, while he lives, he counts himself blessed —and though you get praise when you do well for yourself—
his soul will go to the generation of his fathers, who will never again see light.
Man in his pomp yet without understanding is like the beasts that perish.

Psalm 49:13-20

We do not have power over this ubiquitous question about life and death; but our God does. “We recognize the limitations of humankind, not so we can wallow in despair, but so we can hope in God.”

“Keep me, Almighty God, from a silly reliance on people or money to accomplish life’s tasks. I put my trust in you and look to you for my salvation, through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“Moral Dominion”

We know that Christ, being raised from the dead, will never die again; death no longer has dominion over him. For the death he died he died to sin, once for all, but the life he lives he lives to God. So you also must consider yourselves dead to sin and alive to God in Christ Jesus.
Romans 6:9-11

“Eternal life is not a gift from God, eternal life is the gift of God.” It is the life displayed by Jesus Christ when he lived on our plane of existence. When we are “born of God,” it is that life, “not a copy of it,” which is displayed in our lives. And when we make that “moral decision about sin” (see blog entry from Sunday) it will be “manifested in us by the sheer sovereign grace of God.” Once we decide to be identified with Christ and his Cross, we will have the power of the Holy Spirit, which is not so much something that the Spirit imparts as much as it is the Spirit himself.

If we struggle to “get right with God,” it is because we have not made that “moral decision about sin.” Once we do, the “full life of God comes in.” What did Jesus say? I came that they may have life and have it abundantly. (John 10:10) This is “Eternal Life,” which has nothing to do with time! “The only source of Life is the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“We have to keep letting go, and slowly and surely the great full life of God will invade us in every part, and men will take knowledge of us that we have been with Jesus.”

Father, help me to keep letting go. Decisions are being made . . . those “moral decisions about sin.” Keep raising up the Eternal Life within me, the resurrected life of Christ, and may the Spirit be my power.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Hallowed Be Your Name

Good morning. It is Tuesday, April 14, 2015. Taxes are due tomorrow.

Today’s Word of the Day is subrident. This means, “Characterized by or accompanied by a smile or smiles; wearing a smile; smiling.”

Today is Library Workers Day. I love the library, and always have. Today is the day to appreciate, not necessarily the librarians, but those other people who mill about the library, re-shelving books, and so on. Depending on your local library, some of those may even be volunteers!

Christi stopped by the hospital on the way home from work, yesterday evening. This is the first day we didn’t all go up there since last Wednesday. We all agreed that it wasn’t necessary to do that every day, at this point. However, Christi said that my dad looked the best he had since last Wednesday. His eyes were brighter, he was smiling more, and they had some real, full conversation. This sounds very promising. On the other hand, he can’t stand to eat the pureed food! I think mom is getting frustrated with him, now, but that’s probably a good thing. There is talk of releasing him, soon, but I’m not sure how legitimate that talk is. I’m not sure what we will do today, as tonight is supposed to be my Huddle night. We will make that decision at some point during the day. I’ll probably call either during my morning break or during lunch time.

The Rangers messed up their lose/win pattern last night, losing to the Angels, 6-3. At one point, they were up 3-0. The Red Sox routed the Nats in the Fenway home opener, 9-4. It was actually much worse than the score indicates. Mookie Betts was the star of the show, in all categories of batting, base-running, and fielding, as he robbed Bryce Harper of a home run, at one point, snagging a ball that should have been in the bullpen. The KC Royals continue their undefeated streak, and are the only remaining team to be so. They are 7-0. The Sox are 5-2, in first place, and the Rangers are 3-5, in last. But the season is so young that a single win or loss could make the difference between first and last.


Blessed is the one whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man against whom the LORD counts no iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no deceit.

Psalm 32:1-2

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Pray for His Fame.”

Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.”
Matthew 6:9

Over and over, Scripture tells us that God does things “for his name’s sake.” Our God delights in having his name known. It is for this reason that Jesus begins this prayer with “hallowed be your name.” “This is a request to God that he would work to cause people to hallow his name.”

As Jesus teaches us to pray, he is teaching us to put our prayers in line “with this great passion of the Father.”

“‘Lord, cause more and more people to hallow your name,’ that is, esteem, admire, respect, cherish, honor, and praise his name. It is basically a missionary prayer.”

Father, I will echo that prayer this morning, and throughout the day. “Hallowed be your name!” I pray for more people in the world to delight in your name, to admire and respect you, to cherish, honor, and praise your name. May the desires of your heart come to pass; may you make your desires my desires.

I pray for this day. As we go forth, I pray for more healing and recovery for my dad and more strength for my mother. I pray that we will be able to accomplish what is best for my father in terms of care after this hospital stay, so that my mother will not be unduly stressed and burdened. Help us to make the proper arrangements without any problems. Once again, I thank you for the army of prayer warriors who have been crying out to you on his behalf.

I pray for our trip to work, this morning, and home, this afternoon. Keep Christi safe as she works today, and may her job go smoothly today. I pray also for her, physically, as she is not feeling real great right now. May you draw Stephanie closer to your heart today, and may your Spirit move her to read some of your words. I pray for Rachel and Justin, that you might provide for them what they need most desperately today.

Your grace is sufficient.

“Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.” The beginning of a great prayer, and perhaps the most important thing we can pray. May his name be hallowed in all the earth!

Grace and peace, friends.


“The Passion nails these lies, illusions, and rationalizations to the cross of truth.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is post-Monday, April 15, 2015. Oh-oh, it’s tax day, isn’t it? We did ours months ago.

Today is Library Workers Day! I think that is awesome. We’re not just talking about librarians, although they are certainly part of that (I think they might have their own day). This is about all of those people who work at the library, some of which just might be volunteers, that keep everything running and flowing smoothly. If you get a chance, show them some appreciation today.

Yesterday went very well, I think. I couldn’t do much, other than watch the lady who was training me. The process is not difficult, but there are lots of little twists and turns that can happen, depending on what is being received. I was able to jump in and help unload a couple of trucks (no worries, I never had to lift anything that weighed more than ten pounds). Who knows what today will bring? I have to watch some training videos, and the orientation sessions have been pushed to tomorrow and Thursday.

Christi’s phone interview with Etherios went well, and they are recommending that she move forward to the next step. After a while, that isn’t so exciting, because we’ve heard this before.


(From The Divine Hours)

God has gone up with a shout, the LORD with the sound of a trumpet.
Sing praises to God, sing praises! Sing praises to our King, sing praises!
For God is the King of all the earth; sing praises with a psalm!
God reigns over the nations; God sits on his holy throne.

Psalm 47:5-8
I rise before dawn and cry for help; I hope in your words.
Psalm 119:147
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.
Oh, continue your steadfast love to those who know you, and your righteousness to the upright of heart!

Psalm 36:5-10

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Greatest Sin.”

The poet, Paul Claudel, said that “the greatest sin is to lose the sense of sin.” Can we really know Christ crucified and not have a “lively sense of the horror of sin?” We delude ourselves when we believe that sin is nothing more than “an aberration or a lack of maturity;” when we believe that people, while they might be sinful, are not “sinners;” and when we believe that all of this obsession with power, security, and pleasure is the fault of “oppressive social structures and personality hang-ups.” We are not simply victims of circumstance. “The Passion nails these lies, illusions, and rationalizations to the cross of truth.”

And he will spread out his hands in the midst of it
as a swimmer spreads his hands out to swim,
but the LORD will lay low his pompous pride together
with the skill of his hands.

Isaiah 25:11

Father, as the day grows closer, when we will celebrate the Resurrection, I pray that we remember the cause of our problems. We are sinners, not victims. All of us have sinned. We are not simply guilty of having personality disorders, and it is not the fault of any world system. We are, from the very heart of our being, sinners, bent on disobeying you. The only measure of grace we have received comes from the Cross. I lift you up and praise you for this, and for drawing me to faith in that Cross and my Savior, Jesus Christ.

I pray for this day. Again, I pray for safe travel to and from work. I pray that Christi will have a good day, and that, perhaps, something might break open in her job search. I also pray for Stephanie to be safe in your hands today.

Your grace is sufficient.

I agree with the poet. When we have lost our sense of sin, it is a tragic day. Yes, we are redeemed; yes, we are forgiven, saved by grace. But we must remember whence we came. Glory to God!

Grace and peace, friends.