The Family of God

Today is Sunday, February 12, 2017. One more day until pitchers and catchers report!

Quote of the Day

“Education is a progressive discovery of our own ignorance.” – Will Durant

Word of the Day

Calliopean – piercingly loud; resembling a calliope in sound.

Today is Lost Penny Day. See how many lost pennies you can find today. Personally, I try to avoid pennies. I am of the opinion that they should be removed from our economy.

Yesterday turned out to be exactly like I thought it would. The only thing we did was go buy groceries. We ordered pizza for lunch, which turned out being dinner, too, at least for me. We watched some TV, and I played some Tomb Raider on the PS4. Sadly, I did not get my guitar down. That’s totally on me, as I had plenty of opportunity to do so.

Spring Training officially begins tomorrow! Thirteen days until the first game, and 50 days until Opening Day!

This morning, we are getting ready for our worship gathering. We worship at The Exchange, which meets at 9100 N. Beach St., in Fort Worth, TX. The gathering begins at 10:15. I play keyboard in the worship band.


Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! 
  Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity and guide the nations upon earth. Selah. 
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you!
Psalm 67:3-5

Hear my voice according to your steadfast love; O LORD, according to your justice give me life. Psalm 119:149

Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success! 
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Psalm 118:25-26

I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!” Psalm 122:1

“O God, the strength of all who put their trust in you: Mercifully accept my prayers; and because in my weakness I can do nothing good without you, give me the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments I may please you in both will and deed; through Jesus Christ my Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)

(From Living the Message)

What we have in this thing called church, the community that has been created by the Holy Spirit, is something that truly resembles the family that we already know. Just look at the vocabulary: brothers, sisters, fathers, and mothers. What is the message here? Can we manage to have in this community what we’ve always were never able to have in our earthly families? Some of what was lost in Eden is regained in Gethsemane. (Eugene Peterson said “All that was lost . . .” I think that is stretching it a bit.) “Relationships learned at the cross of Christ, the ways of love and the techniques of forgiveness, will give you the brother and sister you longed for, the son and daughter you desired.” It’s rather miraculous, actually. The childless can find children in the Church. The motherless and fatherless can find mothers and fathers in the Church. Only children, like myself, can find brothers and sisters in the Church. It’s not perfect. But it will be someday.

Jesus responded, “Who do you think are my mother and brothers?” Looking around, taking in everyone seated around him, he said, “Right here, right in front of you—my mother and my brothers. Obedience is thicker than blood. The person who obeys God’s will is my brother and sister and mother.” 

Father, thank you for making me a part of this family. While I have had a great experience with my earthly family, not everyone can say this. You have provided a “heavenly” family for us. We can learn so much by participating in this family! Thank you for the brothers and sisters, fathers and mothers, and even children, that you have given us to love. Help us to love them as we would love our own families. Or, in some cases, help us to love our own families the way we love the Church.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

I’m so glad I’m a part of the Family of God,
I’ve been washed in the fountain, cleansed by His blood!
Joint heirs with Jesus as we travel this sod,
For I’m part of the family,
The Family of God.

You will notice we say “brother and sister” ’round here,
It’s because we’re a family and these are so near;
When one has a heartache, we all share the tears,
And rejoice in each victory in this family so dear.

From the door of an orphanage to the house of the King,
No longer an outcast, a new song I sing;
From rags unto riches, from the weak to the strong,
I’m not worthy to be here, but praise God I belong!

(Words and music by Bill and Gloria Gaither)

Grace and peace, friends.

Why We Don’t Love God

“Never put a sock in a toaster.”~~Eddie Izzard

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is broomball, “A team game similar to ice hockey and played on ice, but in which the players wear shoes or boots rather than ice skates and use (specially designed) brooms in attempting to push a ball into their opponents’ goal.” I have always wanted to play broomball, but, thus far, have not had an opportunity.

Today is Lost Penny Day. Not so much about actual lost pennies, this day is set aside to encourage people to gather up all of their loose change and donate it to the charity of their choice. Even “lost pennies” add up.

Let me tell you, it is good to be home. It is almost good to be getting up to go to work. I said, “almost.” I’m really tired after this week’s activities, but that’s not a complaint. My mother was feeling much better yesterday, and getting around pretty well when we left to come home. We had a nice afternoon with Rachel and Justin, having a late lunch with them. I also drove around town and took some pictures mostly of places that used to be something else when I was living in Mineral Wells. You can see the photos, if you so desire, on my Facebook page. I have set it to “public” so everyone should be able to see it. Oh, and if you’re wondering about all the pictures in the flower shop, I had stopped in to get something for Valentine’s Day. Plus the assistant at my mother’s surgeon’s office is the mother of the owner of the shop. Plus it’s allegedly haunted.

It’s Friday, so my “back to work” will only be for one day, and I’ll have the weekend to rest up for next week, which will, hopefully, be a week without bad news. I don’t think I’ve had one of those, yet, in 2016.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul.
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me.
Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous.
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:1-5

If you really think about it, the concept of “trial and error” is really a pretty “poor strategy for learning how to live.” We have the “way of faith” shown to us with bright, shining “precedents and examples . . . that can save us both the embarrassment of being foolish and the pain of making mistakes.” Yet, we still manage to do both.

“O God, even as Abraham ‘set out, not knowing where he was going’ and arrived at the land of promise by your guidance, so I would make my way believing in your promises and guided by your commandments, looking to Jesus, the ‘pioneer and perfecter’ of my faith (Hebrews 11:8, 12:2). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Must I Listen?”

. . . and said to Moses, “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.”
Exodus 20:19

“We do not consciously disobey God, we simply do not heed Him.” We have the commands of God right in front of us, but we consistently fail to heed them, “not because of wilful disobedience but because we do not love and respect Him.” We certainly don’t want to hear that, do we? “But of course I love and respect God!!” What does Jesus say in John 14:15? “If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” When we come to the realization that, based on the words of Jesus, it is possible that we truly don’t love God, we become “covered with shame and humiliation.”

The words of the Children of Israel in Exodus 20:19 are tragic. “You speak to us, and we will listen; but do not let God speak to us, lest we die.” “We show how little we love God by preferring to listen to His servants only.” Here’s how it works: If God speaks, we know that “either the thing must be done or we must tell God we will not obey Him.” But when his servants speak, we can say, “Well, that’s just the voice of a man, and it’s his human thoughts. It might be God’s truth, but I really don’t have to do it, because it’s only a man telling me.”

The delight of hearing God, when once we do, “is tempered with shame in having been so long not hearing Him.”

Father, open my ears and my heart, that I might hear your voice. Mold my heart that I might love and respect you by doing that which you command me to do.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Nowhere Else To Go

Good morning. It is pre-Friday, February 11, 2015. Only 8 more days until pitchers and catchers report! 53 days until Opening Day.

Today’s word of the day is evolution. (I think it’s Darwin’s birthday.) Evolution is a noun, and it has many meanings. I will not post them all. One meaning is, “A movement or change of position.” This can be military, as in, “A manoeuvre executed by troops or ships to adopt a different tactical formation.” It can be figurative, as in, “A (tactical) change in behaviour or attitude.” Or it can be, “A wheeling, twisting, or turning movement; one performed in dancing or gymnastics.” It can also mean, “The process of unrolling, opening out, or revealing.” If you want more, click on the link.

Today is Lost Penny Day. I believe the gist of it is to gather up as much loose change as you can find and give it to charity. Because every little bit helps, and those “pennies” add up.

Work is continuing to go pretty well, which is nice, for a change. However, I have to go to a meeting this morning, at 9:00. We’ll see how that goes.

Christi has her Huddle tonight. There’s not much else going on in our lives, other than the weekend coming. I have to be off work next Monday, because my Saturday is coming up. And yes, I did say, “Have to be.” I’m still not crazy about the Saturday arrangements. Plus, there’s no telling what my queue will look like on Tuesday when I arrive. The week after that, I will be taking three days of PTO to assist my mother as she gets cataract surgery. Y’all can pray for that, if you feel so inclined. 🙂


For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol, or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

Psalm 16:10-11

(FromSolid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Lincoln’s Providence.”

Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
Romans 11:33

Today is Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. What you may not know about him is that he remained “skeptical, and at times, even cynical, about religion into his forties.” It was “personal and national suffering that drew Lincoln into the reality of God.”

In 1862, Lincoln’s 11-year-old son Willie died. While Mary (Lincoln’s wife) sought out “New Age mediums” to try to deal with the loss, Abraham “turned to Phineas Gurley, pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church.” After some long talks, Gurley says that Lincoln experienced “a conversion to Christ.” Lincoln, himself, says he was “driven many times upon my knees by the overwhelming conviction that I have nowhere else to go.”

As the war went on, Abraham Lincoln was confronted daily with the horrors of dead and wounded soldiers. All of this “drove Lincoln deeper into the providence of God.” He is quoted as saying, “We cannot but believe, that He who made the world still governs it.”

One month before his assassination, Abraham Lincoln gave his Second Inaugural address. In it, he makes statements about the providence of God, and refrains from attempting to show God as siding with either the Union or the Confederacy. In this address, he said, “Fondly do we hope – fervently do we pray – that this might scourge of war might speedily pass away . . . Yet if God wills that it continue, until all the wealth piled by the bond-man’s two hundred years of unrequited toil shall be sunk, and until every drop of blood drawn with the lash, shall be paid with another drawn with the sword, as was said three thousand years ago so still it must be said, ‘the judgments of the Lord, are true and righteous altogether.'”

May all who suffer and experience loss be drawn closer to the providence of God, as Abraham Lincoln was. May we all experience “a deeper reliance on the infinite wisdom and love of God’s inscrutable providence.”

Father, draw us more closely into your providence, into that sense of believing that you have all things under your control, and that your judgments are, indeed, “true and righteous altogether.” Many times, when we lose that which is dear to us, we shake our fists toward heaven in anger. This is not necessarily wrong, as long as, after shaking that fist, we fall to our knees in submission and supplication. May our anger and frustrations over loss and suffering draw us toward you, rather than pushing us away. We have a great example in Abraham Lincoln. May we look at the examples of people like him and be inspired to deeper belief. I believe, as Lincoln believed, that “I have nowhere else to go.”

I pray for this day, that our drive to work may be safe and smooth. I pray for Christi’s work day, that she would get much accomplished, and that there will be no anxiety or drama. I pray for her Huddle gathering tonight, that the ladies will continue to learn about you through Christ, while drawing closer together in fellowship, as well. I pray that Stephanie will know your steadfast love today, and that you would give her wisdom.

Your grace is sufficient.

May we all, like Abraham Lincoln, find that we have nowhere else to go, but to God.

Grace and peace, friends.