Enjoying God

Today is Tuesday, May 9, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“Everybody is ignorant, only on different subjects.” ~ Will Rogers

Word of the Day

Holus-bolus ~ all at once; altogether.

Today is that day when we mourn the loss of one of a pair, so frequently blamed on the dryer, but probably the fault of the washing machine. Yes, today is Lost Sock Memorial Day

Real quick recap/update. Band practice was pretty awesome last night. I’m not sure why, but I had a blast, and I felt like I was playing well.

For Mother’s Day, with the approval of my mother, we will be staying around our home for the day, hopefully visiting with our own kids. Since we will be spending the next weekend with my mother and uncle and cousins, my mother said that we didn’t need to come out to visit her this Sunday. This will work out nicely, especially since I have a band concert late on Saturday evening. We’re playing our Disney show again, outside at a local amphitheater, but it’s not beginning until 8 PM. Ugh. I’d like to have a conversation with whoever thought THAT was a good idea!

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!

Psalm 95:1-2
May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. 
Psalm 67:1
To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.

Psalm 123:1-2
I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High.
Psalm 7:17
Lord God, almighty and everlasting Father, you have brought me in safety to this new day: Preserve me with your mighty power, that I may not fall into sin, nor be overcome by adversity; and in all I do direct me to the fulfilling of your purpose; through Jesus Christ my Lord. Amen. (The Divine Hours)

(From Solid Joys)

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water. 
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory. 
Because your steadfast love is better than life, my lips will praise you.

Psalm 63:1-3

What does it mean to love God? Certainly, it means to obey his commands; it also includes believing his words (not just believing in him), and thanking him for all of his gifts. But John Piper says that the “the essence of loving God is enjoying all he is. And it is this enjoyment of God that glorifies his worth most fully.” What is it that Piper is famous for saying? “God is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

Think of it this way. Would you rather have someone love you out of duty or because they are delighted in your presence? You shouldn’t have to think long. Unless you are a sociopath.

None of us has reached the perfection of this state of satisfaction in God, although I have known one or two people in my lifetime that come close. But I do long for the day when I can truly say that God’s steadfast love is better than life. There are some days that I can proclaim that sincerely. There are other days that I barely think about God. Guess which days are better days!

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

Father, teach me to enjoy you. Teach me to love your “hesed” better than my own life. I long for the day when there will be no more temptation to sin, no more inclination to obey the flesh and disobey your will and your word. Truly, I cannot even imagine being in that state, but I believe that I will be, and that it will be the most marvelous state of being I have ever experienced. I long for that, and because of that, I say, most sincerely,
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.

“He Is Most Glorified in Us When We are Most Satisfied in Him”

Good morning. It is Saturday, May 9, 2015, and I’m up at 5:00 AM. :p

Today’s Word of the Day from the OED is alimental. No, I did not misspell that. It is an adjective, meaning, “Nourishing, nutritious; nutritional.” That’s it.

Yesterday was No Sock Day. Today is Lost Sock Memorial Day! So in honor of all of those lost socks (I read somewhere that it might actually be the washing machine that eats them, rather than the dryer) . . .

Christi and I went out last night and got my mother her Mothers Day gift, and then went to eat at Kincaid’s Hamburgers. We were going to go to Cheddar’s, but they had a line out the front door, and people waiting outside. The burgers were delicious, though, and those crinkle cut fries . . . wow. I think Christi is feeling better, though, as she is not coughing nearly as much. I think she slept better last night, but what do I know? I was asleep, too. 😀

I have to work this morning, and I’m supposed to be there at 7:00, so I had better get moving with this thing.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
Psalm 51:5

“The passage affords a striking testimony in proof of the original sin entailed by Adam upon the whole human family. It not only teaches the doctrine, but may assist us in forming a correct idea of it. The Bible, both in this and other places, clearly asserts that we are born in sin, and that it exists within us as a disease fixed in our nature.” (John Calvin, Heart Aflame)

For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:
a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;
a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;
a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;
a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;
a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;
a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;
a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “What It Means to Love God.”

O God, you are my God; earnestly I seek you; my soul thirsts for you; my flesh faints for you, as in a dry and weary land where there is no water.
So I have looked upon you in the sanctuary, beholding your power and glory.

Psalm 63:1-2

“Only God will satisfy a heart like David’s. And David was a man after God’s own heart. That’s the way we were created to be.”

The essence of loving God is being satisfied in him. Of course, it includes obedience, believing, and thanksgiving. But at the core, to love God is to enjoy him and all that he is. “And it is this enjoyment of God that glorifies his worth most fully.”

Don’t we know this from our own experience? Which do we enjoy more? Someone serving us, or the sweet fellowship of someone we love? I would rather just sit and be with someone than to have them running around doing things for me! (Remember the example of Mary and Martha?)

Here is the keystone of Piper’s writing on this subject: “He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

I can, along with John Piper, say that I have not arrived at a place where I am perfectly satisfied in God. My heart still chases after worldly delights, comforts, and pleasures. But, like Piper, as well as the Psalmist, I have tasted and seen that the Lord is good (Psalm 34:8).

Perhaps our best tool of evangelism would be to try to lure people into this joy of simply spending time with and enjoying God.

One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
Psalm 27:4

I’ll finish with this quote from the Westminster Shorter Catechism.
“Q. 1. What is the chief end of man?
A. Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy him forever.”

Father, help me to enjoy you more. The last few day’s readings have really spoken to me in this matter. Let my drives to work in the morning be times when I simply enjoy you, loving your presence, allowing your Spirit to wash over me in love, grace, and mercy. What ecstasy it is to know your presence, my God! What joy in knowing that you are with me always! Let that joy be the main purpose of my life. And, lest I be misunderstood, I’m not looking for a “feeling.” I am looking for you, Lord. I cannot adequately express in words what I am seeking, here, but you certainly understand. Let my love for you be made more real by my enjoyment of your presence in my life. Let me satisfy you by being satisfied in you.

I pray for this day. May I have safe passage to and from work today. May Christi continue to get better, and may she be safe in whatever she does this morning. May she experience joy in you today, as well. I pray for Stephanie, that she will know your joy and love you by enjoying your presence. May my mother experience this joy today, Father, and may you continue strengthening her for the journey ahead. We pray for a safe trip to her house tomorrow, and a good visit with her. I pray for Rachel and Justin that you show your great love to them and that you would guide them in their future.

Your grace is sufficient, Lord, and may our joy be full in you.

“He is most glorified in us when we are most satisfied in him.”

Satisfied

Grace and peace, friends.

A Safe Place

“Through his Passion and death, Jesus carried away the essential sickness of the human heart and broke forever the deadly grip of hypocrisy on our souls.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is FRIDAY!! May 9, 2014.

Today is the day to commemorate pairs that have been mysteriously split up; one of which has been seemingly lost forever. Yes, today is Lost Sock Memorial Day. Anyone else think it odd that yesterday was “No Socks Day?” Sounds conspiratorial to me.


I’m going in at 7am again, this morning (seems to be a trend on Thursday/Friday), so I have to hurry to get my devotional finished. There’s nothing really new to report, no news from Christi’s job situation, and everything else is pretty much the same around here. So I need to move right on into the devotional.


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Seek the LORD and his strength; seek his presence continually!
Psalm 105:4

O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.
O Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world, grant me your peace.

O God, you know my folly; the wrongs I have done are not hidden from you.
Psalm 69:5
When iniquities prevail against me, you atone for our transgressions.
Psalm 65:3
You have set our iniquities before you, our secret sins in the light of your presence.
For all our days pass away under your wrath; we bring our years to an end like a sigh.
The years of our life are seventy, or even by reason of strength eighty; yet their span is but toil and trouble; they are soon gone, and we fly away.
Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.

Psalm 90:8-12


Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:32


Father, I have run out of time, this morning, but I have time to thank you. I thank you that, in his life and death, Jesus has given us a safe place to abide. For all of us who are cynics, hopeless sinners, and self-hating, delusional people, you have given us a safe place. You have revealed to us, in Christ, that nothing, absolutely nothing, can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus. Give me the ability to hear the heartbeat of Jesus, throughout this day. May I seek your strength and seek your presence continuously, through this day.

I pray for something positive to happen in Christi’s job search today. I pray that you would hold Stephanie close to you today. And I pray for a good work day, and that I might be a channel of your grace today.

Your grace is sufficient.


“Through his Passion and death, Jesus carried away the essential sickness of the human heart and broke forever the deadly grip of hypocrisy on our souls.”~~Brennan Manning

Grace and peace, friends.

Love, Love, Love, I Want Your Love

It’s Thursday, May 9, 2013. 33 more work days. (Don’t worry, I’m just counting down the days until the current situation is supposed to end. There is light at the end of this tunnel. I’m counting to the end of the tunnel. I just hope they don’t buy more tunnel.)

Christi is having surgery on her foot next Wednesday morning. Due to my current work situation, I cannot be there. However, our wonderful daughter Rachel will take the duties of transporting Christi to and from the surgery center.


Today is “Lost Sock Memorial Day.” Somewhere out there, millions of socks gather. And that’s just the ones I’ve lost!


(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1892, Zita Maria Grazia Adelgonda Michela Raffaella Gabriella Giuseppina Antonia Luisa Agnese was born. Her father was the Duke of Parma, but her family was poor. At the age of nineteen, Zita married Archduke Charles, who was the great nephew of the Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria. At that point in time, the Austro-Hungarian Empire was at peace.

But then Franz-Ferdinand was assassinated in Sarajevo. Then the Emperor died in 1916. “Suddenly Zita’s husband was Emperor and she the Empress in the middle of a world war.” In only two years, the war was over, Austro-Hungary had lost, and Charles was forced to abdicate the throne. He died 29 months later. Zita spent 63 years in Switzerland and the U.S., “never relinquishing her claim to a throne that no longer existed.” She died at the age of 96, on March 14, 1989, and was buried in the crypt with 142 other Hapsburgs.


Today’s birthday is Richard Adams, born on this date in 1920. Adam is an English author, most notably for Watership Down, a tale of, well, rabbits. He also wrote The Plague Dogs, and Traveller, a fictional story from the perspective of General Robert E. Lee’s horse. Adams is 93 today.

Honorable mentions go to J.M. Barrie, 1860, Hank Snow, 1914, Glenda Jackson, 1936, Albert Finney, 1936, Tommy Roe, 1942, Richie Furay, 1944, Candice Bergen, 1946, Billy Joel, 1949, and John Corbett, 1962.


TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

O kingdoms of the earth, sing to God; sing praises to the Lord, to him who rides in the heavens, the ancient heavens; behold, he sends out his voice, his mighty voice. Ascribe power to God, whose majesty is over Israel, and whose power is in the skies. Psalm 68:32-34

Teach me your way, O LORD, that I may walk in your truth; unite my heart to fear your name. Psalm 86:11

My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. Psalm 71:15

Father, as I sing praises to you this morning, you who “rides in the heavens,” may you teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Continue to show me those things which you have been teaching me, that I may truly learn them and make them an integral part of my spirit and life.


Today’s Tabletalk Magazine reading comes from Isaiah 65, focusing on verse 17.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.

This is the first “explicit biblical reference to the new heavens and earth.” There will be rejoicing forever in this place. A man who is 100 years old will be considered young. And, at the end of the chapter, this place will be so filled with peace “that even the predator and the prey will get along” (v. 25). All of these things will be fulfilled at the final resurrection. And regardless of what kind of “millennial” view you ascribe to, it would be fitting, I think, to summarize Christian eschatology in one phrase: “God is going to make all things right.” This even includes the physical world. “. . . there will be no cause for pain, mourning, or anything else that we dread so much. This is the hope that lies before us, and knowing that all will be set right in the future helps us endure pain in the present.”


Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “In My Secret Heart.” The scripture reading is Psalm 51:6

Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

What does he mean by “the secret heart?” The reading is brief today, consisting mostly of questions such as that. Is there a connection between what David is praying and the discipline of secrecy that we are examining in this section of the book? The Reformation Study Bible notes say that David is asking for wisdom at the center of his being, the deepest part of himself. The place that we find these things is very secret. In fact, only I (and God) can know what exists there. The best way to learn this wisdom is through private study, meditation, and prayer. Here is an anonymous prayer:

O secret Christ,
Lord of the rose of dawn,
hide me within thy silent peace,
that throughout the turmoil of day,
I may abide within the quiet of the daybreak.

In my “secret heart,” in this secret place . . .

there is peace.


The next segment of 19 Mercies, by Brennan Manning, is called Encounter. Number 5 is called “The Person of Jesus.” For centuries, the question has been asked, “Who is this Jesus of Nazareth?” Councils have been gathered, dissertations written, yet this one truth remains: No one can answer this question for me. And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” (Mark 8:29) Here is the challenge from Brennan at this point. “Describe the Christ that you have personally encountered on the grounds of your own self. Describe Him as you would to a friend over coffee. Describe not the deity that you have heard about or been taught to believe exists, but only the Christ you have actually encountered.” Then, he asks me to soberly reflect on what my answer reveals to me.

Who is this Jesus? The Jesus that I have encountered is love. I know . . . that sounds cliche. We’ve all heard “God is love.” But wait. Do you really understand this love? This love that doesn’t care where I have been or what I have done. This love that, just like the father in the parable of the prodigal son, doesn’t even let me make my “repentance speech,” but, instead, runs down the path to meet me with open arms to say, “Welcome home!” The Jesus that I have encountered brings peace into my life. He brings to me a spirit of abandon, that doesn’t care what anyone else thinks. He teaches me to love others unconditionally (he is still teaching me that, and will be until I take my last breath), just as he did. Yes, this Jesus loves unconditionally. I cannot gain his favor, for he already loves me as much as he ever will. I cannot fall out of his love, for he has given his life to maintain it forever. The Jesus that I have encountered is beautiful, and he loves me forever.

And Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi. And on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they told him, “John the Baptist; and others say, Elijah; and others, one of the prophets.” And he asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Christ.” And he strictly charged them to tell no one about him. Mark 8:27-30

But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith that we proclaim); because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For with the heart one believes and is justified, and with the mouth one confesses and is saved. For the Scripture says, “Everyone who believes in him will not be put to shame.” For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, bestowing his riches on all who call on him. For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:8-13

I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power . . . to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge–that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.~~The Apostle Paul


“My Jesus, I love Thee, I know Thou art mine;
for Thee all the follies of sin I resign;
My gracious Redeemer, my Savior art Thou,
If ever I loved Thee, my Jesus ’tis now!”

Thank you, Jesus, for loving me. Thank you for saving me. Thank you for the peace that you have given me, even in these tumultuous circumstances. The peace I am feeling this morning is supernatural; it is truly wonderful. Fill my secret heart with this peace, the peace that passes all understanding. Show me how wide and long and high and deep your love is. I cannot fathom this love. The depth of it is beyond what I can even imagine. And I most certainly am unable to love like that. Teach me to love, Jesus; teach me to love. I want to love like you love. I don’t ever want to harbor any bitterness or resentment toward another human being, ever again. Teach me to love, and teach me to help others find your peace.

I pray for Christi this morning, that she will have a good day at work. I pray for her upcoming surgery, that this will finally fix the issue of the pain that she has been enduring for almost a year. I pray for my work day, that you will help me carry this peace throughout this entire day. Give us both the grace we need to get through this day. Surround Stephanie with your steadfast love, showing her your great and precious promises to be true and reliable.

Teach us to love.


Do you know this Jesus? Who is he to you? Have you known this love?

Grace and peace, friends.