Tomorrow . . . He Is Able

Today is Wednesday, the twenty-fourth of August, 2022, in the twenty-first week of Ordinary Time.

May the peace of Christ reign in your heart today!

Day 23,540

The mild weather continues after Monday’s monsoon rains. We had a high of 82, yesterday, and, according to Weather Underground, we had a small amount of rain in the area. The record high for yesterday’s date is 107. Today’s anticipated high is 86, and the ten-day forecast shows temps ranging from 87 to 94.

My evening at the library went fine, yesterday, and I shelved a couple carts of adult books. There was almost a whole shelf of Spanish language books on one of them, which was unusual. When I commented on that to one of our adult services ladies, she said that she thought we recently got some new Spanish books, so that probably explains that.

I have to take S to the doctor, this morning, for a routine check. It’s been about a year since she has seen the doctor, so it’s overdue. Neither one of us is looking forward to it, but it’s part of the deal I “signed up for” when we agreed that I could retire last year. And, as “they” say, “this, too, shall pass.” In fact, the appointment is at 9:00, and we should be there by 8:45, because there will no doubt be paperwork to fill out. This means I will have to finish the blog entry after we get back home.

The Texas Rangers lost another one-run game, last night, to the Rockies, 7-6. However, in the course of the game, Adolis Garcia extended his hitting streak to twenty games, which is the second longest Rangers hitting streak, behind Josh Hamilton, who had 23 in 2010. Garcia also logged his twentieth stolen base, which, combined with his twentieth home run, hit in Minnesota, has put him in the “20/20/20 Club,” being only the second Rangers player in history to have twenty home runs, twenty stolen bases, and a twenty-game hitting streak. Pudge Rodriguez is the other one.

The Rangers are now 56-67 for the season, in third place in the AL West, 22.5 games out of first place, and eleven out of a Wild Card spot. They play the Rockies again, today, at 2:10 CDT. They have 39 games left in the season.

The Red Sox also lost, last night, to the Blue Jays, 9-3. They are now 60-63 for the season, in last place in the AL East, 15.5 out of first and seven out of a Wild Card spot. They also have 39 games left, and play the Jays again tonight at 7:10 EDT.

The LA Dodgers have now won 85 games, and have a MLB-leading 85-37 record. With forty games left, at the rate they are going, they could break the record of 116 games in a season. That record is shared by the 1906 Cubs (who only played 152 games), and the 2001 Seattle Mariners, who played 162. I would say that’s unlikely, though, as they would have to win 32 of their last 40 games. They are currently winning 60% of their games, which would give them only 24 more wins for the season. At any rate, they should easily win over 100.

The Nationals, on the other hand, could lose 100, as they have the worst MLB record of 41-83. The Tampa Bay Rays (BOO) have the current longest winning streak, at four games. The Twins, Angels, and Pirates all have four-game losing streaks. The Dodgers have a +269 run differential, and the Nationals have a -211 differential. The Rangers are at +4, and the Red Sox have dropped to -43.

Tonight, I plan to cook Chicken Taco Rice Skillet, from Emily Bites, one of the family’s favorites. For the record, I use two chicken breasts, which might be slightly more than one pound, and I increase the rice to 1.5 cups. I also use brown Minute Rice, which decreases the simmering time.

Update: The doctor appointment went well. S struggled a bit with anxiety, at the beginning, but by the time it was over, she was good. I’m very proud of her.


Lord our God, we long to come into your light, to live in your strength, that we may do what pleases you and furthers your kingdom on earth. Protect us from evil and do not let us be wounded by the flaming arrows of the evil one. Make paths for us whenever we do not know how to go forward. We always know you are our Father. Because you are our Father, we want to be courageous and persevere to the end so that you can make our lives bear fruit for you, to the glory of your name. Amen.
(Daily Prayer from
And, with all these, take up the great shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 
Ephesians 6:16, NEB

Today I am grateful:

1. for the shield of faith; may I take it up consistently
2. that S's doctor appointment went well
3. that Jesus holds my tomorrows in His hands
4. for the power of music and song
5. that I would rather love people into the Kingdom than try to scare them in
6. that He is able . . . able to accomplish what concerns me today, able to handle anything that comes my way, able to do much more than I could ever dream

When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. It was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. The sea became rough because a strong wind was blowing. When they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and coming near the boat, and they were frightened. But he said to them, “It is I; do not be afraid.” Then they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
(John 6:16-21 ESV)

Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
(Matthew 6:34 NIV)

Who provides food for the raven when its young cry out to God and wander about for lack of food?
(Job 38:41 NIV)

Consider the ravens: They do not sow or reap, they have no storeroom or barn; yet God feeds them. And how much more valuable you are than birds!
(Luke 12:24 NIV)

And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work.
(2 Corinthians 9:8 NIV)

This is a theme that arises frequently in this blog. Tomorrow. When I read the above four references, I immediately thought of an old hymn, written by the great Ira Stanphill.

I don't know about tomorrow,
I just live from day to day.
I don't borrow from its sunshine,
For its skies may turn to gray.
I don't worry o'er the future,
For I know what Jesus said,
And today I'll walk beside Him,
For He knows what is ahead.

Many things about tomorrow,
I don't seem to understand;
But I know who holds tomorrow,
And I know who holds my hand.

I don’t really know what else to say. I certainly can’t add to this. God cares about us. He loves us. And while it is true that Jesus is the only doorway into the Kingdom, I would much rather try to love people into the Kingdom than try to scare them in.

There must be thousands of songs that speak of this same sentiment. There is a quote that is attributed to C.H. Spurgeon: “God is too good to be unkind. He is too wise to make a mistake. When I can’t trace His hand, I can always trust His heart.”

Why should I feel discouraged, why should the shadows come,
Why should my heart be lonely, and long for heaven and home,
When Jesus is my portion? My constant friend is He:
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me;
His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me.

I sing because I'm happy,
I sing because I'm free,
For His eye is on the sparrow,
And I know He watches me.
(C.D. Martin)

That song even speaks to my constant longing for Home. If I’m trusting Jesus the way I claim to be, perhaps my sights shouldn’t be so fixed on “Home,” but on Jesus and the presence of His Kingdom, here and now.

Father, You know my heart, and You know how quickly it leans toward worry. It’s not that I don’t trust You. I do trust You. And I feel, so often, like that father from the New Testament, who proclaimed, “I do believe! Help my unbelief!”

Maybe the problem is that, while I trust Your ability, I don’t always trust what You want to do. That needs to go away. It really does. I need to embrace the truth of Your love in my life. You love Your children, and You are faithful to provide and protect us. Help my unbelief. Help my lack of trust. Help me to know that You will provide, and that You will hear my prayers and, as Jesus said, whatever I ask for in His name, You will do.

Help me to remember . . . You are able to accomplish whatever concerns me today, You are able to handle anything that comes my way, and You are able to do much more than I could ever dream.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Spiritual Sponges

It’s, um…Wednesday! Yeah, that’s it. Wednesday, May 16, 2012. Today is National Wear Purple for Peace Day. I never heard of that. I’m not sure I have any purple. Wait! Oh, now I get it! This is supposedly direct to the aliens! (Not the ones from south of the border, either!) We’re talking ET-type aliens! I guess they like purple? On this date in 1777, Button Gwinnett (remember him? He signed the Declaration of Independence) received a fatal gunshot wound in a duel with Lachlan McIntosh. He died three days later. On this date in 1975, Junko Tabei became the first woman to reach the summit of Mt. Everest. Why? Because it’s there. And, on this date in 1964, Motown Records had its first number 1 hit with “My Guy” by Mary Wells.

Yesterday’s devotional had a profound effect on me, and I received a couple of very good comments on it from a couple of dear readers. And Christi seems to have had a better day yesterday. That doesn’t mean she’s changed her mind about wanting to get out of there, though. In other news from yesterday, the insurance people finally got with the Lexus dealership and left them a check. So the repairs can get started on our car. All we will owe is the $250 deductible. Sweet! I am, however, going to miss the sound system in the car I’m currently driving. I’ll enjoy it for at least a couple more days. It’s newer, so I can play my iPhone music through the Bluetooth. Amazing technology these days. (Does anyone know what that technology is called “Bluetooth?” That’s just weird. Especially considering it originally went in your ear.)

Father, I pray that you show me something today that will continue to help me live this life looking to you. I’m still praying for this, even though you answered with intensity that nearly crushed me yesterday. Bring it on.

My Utmost For His Highest

… partakers of the divine nature… 2 Peter 1:4

Just a snippet of one of my favorite passages in the New Testament. 2 Peter 1:3-4 changed my life in 1984 (before meeting Christi for the very first time changed it, as well…1984 was a great year). Here’s the whole quote: His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. Basically, we are told in verse three that God has already given us everything we need for this life. Which begs the question, why are we always asking for more strength, more wisdom, more anything? Good question, but we still do. Maybe what I’m praying for before I start this each day is a reminder of these things. Chambers, in fact, addresses that very thing. (I swear I hadn’t started reading it yet!) He uses a word that makes us uncomfortable. That word is “manipulate.”
First, he reminds us that we have been made “partakers of the divine nature” through those “precious and very great promises.” Then he uses that word. He says that we have to “‘manipulate’ the Divine Nature.” Now, I know that’s going to raise some hackles on people. “Manipulate GOD???” No. That’s not what he says. Because, as anyone who seriously knows God understands, it is impossible to manipulate God. Here’s the exact quote. “…we have to ‘manipulate’ the Divine Nature in our human nature by habits, and the first habit to form is the habit of realizing the provision God has made.” Sometimes we speak as if God has cut us off without a dime! (Chambers says “shilling.” He was British.) “He will tax the last grain of sand and the remotest star to bless us if we will obey Him.” It matters not if our circumstances are hard. “Why should they not be!” I like that line. What right do we have to expect life to be easy, anyway? “I beg your pardon, I never promised you a rose garden!” (That’s in the book of Joe South, chapter something…) And what happens when we get all down in self-pity because of those circumstances? “No sin is worse than the sin of self-pity, because it obliterates God and puts self-interest upon the throne. It opens our mouths to spit out murmurings and our lives become craving spiritual sponges.” (Emphasis mine) It is so appropriate that this reading is coming on the heels of yesterday’s reading. Since I’ve already been “crushed down” by yesterday’s, I’m in the perfect place to be reminded of these truths. I’m already working on the issues, thanks to the Holy Spirit’s promptings from yesterday.
And here’s the good news. “When God is beginning to be satisfied with us He will impoverish everything in the nature of fictitious wealth, until we learn that all our fresh springs are in Him.” Wait…that’s good news? YES! Because that means that some of what is happening now in our lives is because he is beginning to be satisfied with what is going on in our lives! So he is working on us; chiseling away at the impurities and imperfections. Now, I’ve never been a large piece of granite before, but that chisel has to hurt, right?
Ultimately, what I am learning is that I need to “lavish the grace of God on others.” Notice the title of my blog. “Revelling in the Overflowing Grace of God.” For now, the key word in that is “overflowing.” If something is overflowing, it spills out; things around it get wet. So anyone who gets close to me should be getting wet with grace. And that can’t happen if I am steeped in self-pity, or if, as yesterday’s reading stated, I am being a “miserable crosspatch.” Oh, Father, I praise you for your words, and for the words of others who write for our inspiration. May you work them out in my life!

Tabletalk Magazine

This is evidence of the righteous judgment of God, that you may be considered worthy of the kingdom of God, for which you are also suffering–since indeed God considers it just to repay with affliction those who afflict you, and to grant relief to you who are afflicted as well as to us, when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven with his mighty angels in flaming fire, inflicting vengeance on those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus. They will suffer the punishment of eternal destruction, away from the presence of the Lord and from the glory of his might, when he comes on that day to be glorified in his saints, and to be marveled at among all who have believed, because our testimony to you was believed. 2 Thessalonians 5:10

This is a somber passage. Paul is, of course, writing to the Christians in Thessalonica, who, apparently, are suffering affliction at the hands of some enemy. One of the things that will happen when Christ returns is that those who have afflicted the Christians, will, in turn, be repaid with affliction. There will be relief to the believers who are afflicted, as vengeance is inflicted on “those who do not know God and on those who do not obey the gospel of our Lord Jesus.” Yes, there will be punishment…”eternal destruction.” Some take that to mean annihilation (I’m not sure what Rob Bell does with that passage…perhaps he cuts it out of his Bible), but I don’t. If it just said “destruction,” I might see that. But it says “eternal destruction.” To me, that says that they will be being destroyed forever. Eternal pain; eternal devastation; never any relief.
This is supposed to be comforting to those of us who believe. Yet, it makes me very uncomfortable, because I know some people who, as of right now, will be among the eternally destroyed. So I’m conflicted. While I wish Jesus would hurry up and return because I’m weary of this world and its struggles; weary of sin, weary of temptation, weary of my weaknesses that cause me to fall…I also would that he might tarry a little longer so that more will believe. Then I remember…God is sovereign, and in control of all things, including who’s going to believe. When that number is full, he will return. The time is set; he will not tarry longer. Even so, Lord Jesus, come. Maranatha!

Today’s Bible Readings

John 8; Psalm 18; 2 Samuel 23

John 8 begins (it actually begins in the last verse of John 7) with an event that is not in the earliest and most reliable manuscripts. A woman, caught in adultery, is brought before Jesus. The passage says that the religious leaders came, “placing her in the midst.” I rather like the film depictions of this that I’ve seen, where they drag her up and pretty much throw her down in front of Jesus. Jesus bent down and wrote on the ground with his finger. What did he write? Believe it or not, there have been entire sermons preached on what Jesus wrote. This is rather silly, because it does not tell us what he wrote. Jesus then says those famous words (that he may or may not have actually said), “Let him who is without sin among you be the first to throw a stone at her.” One by one, the stones dropped to the ground and the religious leaders walked away. Finally, when all had left, Jesus told her that he did not condemn her, and that she should leave her life of sin. Do I believe this story? I’m not sure, actually. While I find nothing that conflicts with the teachings of Jesus in it, I find it to be a bit romanticized. I tend to think that, in reality, at least one of the Pharisees would have chunked a rock at the woman. After all…that was what made them Pharisees, right? Nevertheless, the words of Jesus are good for us to heed in our own lives. Let us not judge others when we have committed similar (or even worse) sins than they. And let us constantly be striving to leave our lives of sin.
The rest of chapter 8 contains more dialogue between Jesus and the Jews. During this, he says some important things. To anyone who claims that God is his Father, Jesus says this: “If God were your Father, you would love me.” Period. There are a lot of people in the world who claim to “know God,” but deny Jesus. If God is your Father, you will love Jesus. Toward the end of the chapter, Jesus then says the words that really make them want to kill him. He indicates that he had seen Abraham. “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” they asked him. His response was, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” It was those two words that made the furious, as they picked up stones to throw at him. Because it was with those two words that Jesus claimed to be Yahweh incarnate! Remember…back when Moses first met Yahweh, he was told that the name of the Lord was “I AM.” Here, Jesus made the same claim.

Psalm 18, as mentioned yesterday, is pretty much the same as 2 Samuel 22. It is David’s song of praise after he had finally been delivered from all of his enemies. It begins with these wonderful words:
I love you, O LORD, my strength. The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.

2 Samuel 23 begins with the “last words of David,” and then ends with the listing of “David’s Mighty Men.” This is an impressive list of soldiers that accompanied and protected David during his battles. Ironically, Uriah the Hittite is the last name in the list.

Father, I praise you for the things that you are continuing to teach me. I have read and known the passage from today that tells me that you have given me everything I need for life and godliness, through your very great and precious promises! But I need reminding, and I apparently need it daily, if not hourly. I thank you for reminding me, Father. I pray that, by your Spirit, I will be able to truly manipulate this Divine nature that I possess, through the proper habits. And may I begin by constantly realizing the provision that you have granted me. May I not be guilty of self-pity any more. I confess…that’s where I was before you crushed me yesterday. I was in a mire of self-pity (and pity for my wife). Thank you for yanking me out of that muck and mire! While I still desire for her circumstances to change, I am able to pray with more clarity, showing love, not hatred. May I never get into that mode again, Father!

I thank you for the comfort of knowing that, one day, when the time is right, Jesus Christ will return and any enemy, physical or spiritual, that cause your children affliction, will be eradicated and eternally destroyed! I pray, though, that in the meantime, you would use me as a vessel to show your love to others, that they might get “wet” from the grace that overflows from this jar of clay. Draw their hearts to your cross for salvation, Lord! Soften their hard hearts to the message of your gospel.

I pray for this day, Father. Make it a good one. I pray that there will be no accidents or break downs to deal with at my job today. I pray that Christi’s day will be more positive. Give her boldness and confidence to face the issues of the day, and help her stand up to those who would put her down. I also continue to pray for her deliverance from this place. I pray for Stephanie today, that she might get some more homework done.

I also lift up a special pray for a dear friend of our family, Kayla Campos. Her mother is in ICU this morning, and they have not a clue what is wrong with her. There is internal bleeding and she is experiencing difficulty breathing on her own. I pray that you would touch her with your healing hand this morning, and give comfort to the family in this time.

Remember that we have been given everything we need for life and godliness! Then take that Divine nature and manipulate it within your own human nature. We have what we need to overcome. We have the provision. God is truly an awesome God!

Grace and peace, friends.

…And Done!

It’s New Year’s Eve, 2011. I’m starting this around 9am, and I’m “working” at the same time. I’ll be pretty much glued to this computer for most of the day, as I await drivers’ reports on their deliveries today. At least I get to do this from home…makes it better, I think. It’s supposed to be a pretty nice day today. That will be good for everyone traveling somewhere.

I’m going to go ahead and get the devotional done for today.

Today’s Bible readings:
Revelation 22; Malachi 3-4; Titus 2:11-14

Revelation 22 continues what was started in chapter 21, a glorious vision of the eternal home of the saints. At the beginning of the chapter, John sees the tree of life, which, apparently, will bear a different kind of fruit each month. I’m not sure why “months” will come into play in heaven, though, since time, as we know it, should cease to exist.

Essentially, as of verse 5, the “vision” part of Revelation is concluded. In verse 8, John testifies that it is he who has seen and heard these things. The angel stops John from worshiping him, and says, “Do not seal up the words of the prophecy of this book, for the time is near. Let the evildoer still do evil, and the filthy still be filthy, and the righteous still do right, and the holy still be holy.” (vv. 10-11) Then, in verse 12, we get another testimony from Jesus. “Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” (vv. 12-13)

Revelation concludes with encouragement and exhortation. There is a warning at the end that has been severely mis-interpreted by many well-meaning people over the years. I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book. This warning applies only to the book of Revelation! It does not apply to the entire Bible. While I do not condone adding to or taking away from anything in the Bible, this warning is specific to Revelation. Let’s say for a moment that I’m wrong and it does apply to the whole Bible. If that is the case, then every preacher who has ever stood in a pulpit has violated this warning. Because, every time a sermon is preached, a man’s words are added to Scripture. If a preacher does anything but read Scripture from the pulpit, he has either added to or taken away from God’s word. But I don’t believe that they have committed any errors, unless they preach something that directly contradicts God’s word.

As Revelation concludes, I will echo the words of John the Apostle. Amen. Come, Lord Jesus! (v. 20) Maranatha, Lord Jesus!

Malachi chapter 3 should really begin in 2:17. Once again, I see problems with the chapter/verse notations that men placed in Scripture. Anyway…the statement/question/answer them of Malachi continues as the Lord says, “You have wearied the LORD with your words.” “What?? How??” the people respond. (I paraphrased that.) The answer should really give us something to think about. By saying, “Everyone who does evil is good in the sight of the LORD, and he delights in them.” Or by asking, “Where is the God of justice?” (2:17) When we try to rationalize evil behavior and make it good, we do a great dis-service to God. I also believe this is true when we try to “love” everyone into the Kingdom. And by that, I mean universalism, the idea that everyone will be saved, even if they were really evil. At the end of Revelation, it specifically states that there will be some who are not allowed into the eternal home of the saints. People like Rob Bell try to work around that. You can’t work around God and his will.

God continues in this prophecy in Malachi to state that he will come and purify. But who can endure the day of his coming, and who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire and like fullers’ soap. He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and he will purify the sons of Levi and refine them like gold and silver, and they will bring offerings in righteousness to the LORD. (vv. 2-3) We so often speak of the “day of his coming” as a joyous event, and while it will be joyous to be united with our Savior, it is not going to be a pleasant sight. God continues this prophecy with these words, which bear out the truth of the end of Revelation and the falsehood of universalism. “Then I will draw near to you for judgment. I will be a swift witness against the sorcerers, against the adulterers, against those who swear falsely, against those who oppress the hired worker in his wages, the widow and the fatherless, against those who thrust aside the sojourner, and do not fear me, says the LORD of hosts. (v. 5)

But there is more. God accuses the people of robbing him. “How have we robbed you?” they say. They have not kept up the tithe, which was required to keep the temple and the Levites going. God offers up a challenge. Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the LORD of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil, and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts. (vv. 10-11) While I have stated my belief on the law of tithing elsewhere in this blog, I do believe that God will richly bless those who cheerfully contribute to the work of the kingdom and the gospel.

Once again, the Lord levels accusation. “Your words have been hard against me.” “How?” the people ask again. It’s a bit amusing that every time the Lord accuses, the people say “What?? How??” They/we are so oblivious. They have been guilty, as have we many times, of asking, “What’s the use in serving God?” We look at “evildoers” and see that they prosper, and we wonder why we bother serving the Lord. But we must ask ourselves, are the evil truly prospering? Money, power, and fame aren’t everything. In fact…they really aren’t anything.

Chapter 4, similar to the end of Revelation, is encouragement and warning. “For behold, the day is coming, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble. The day that is coming shall set them ablaze, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch. But for you who fear my name, the sun of righteousness shall rise with healing in its wings. You shall go out leaping like calves from the stall. And you shall tread down the wicked, for they will be ashes under the soles of your feet, on the day when I act, says the LORD of hosts. “Remember the law of my servant Moses, the statutes and rules that I commanded him at Horeb for all Israel. “Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” It’s interesting…that almost lends credence to the less popular notion of annihilation instead of everlasting torment in hell. But that’s a different discussion for a different day.

My reading of the Bible is complete for 2011. And it seems fitting that the main devotional book for the year, Discovering the Bible, by Gordon L Addington, leaves us with Titus 2:11-14.
For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us to redeem us from all lawlessness and to purify for himself a people for his own possession who are zealous for good works.

God’s grace has, indeed, appeared, and brought us salvation.

I really like the way Dennis Jernigan closed out his book, Daily Devotions for Kingdom Seekers. The reading for December 31 is a reminder of all that we are in Christ. As Dennis says, I am…Dead to sin…Born again…Cleansed by the blood…Alive to God…A victorious runner of the race…A child of destiny and purpose…Eternally His…Found…Free…Holy and righteous because He is holy and righteous…An overcomer…Redeemed…Crowned with victory…Restored…Resurrected to new life…A new creation…A servant of the Most High God…A mighty warrior…Royalty…A receiver of visions and dreams…Chosen…A trophy of grace…A delight to my God…Accepted…A part of the Bride of Christ…A Kingdom Seeker!!!

We are truly all of those things in Christ, and I know that I need to be reminded daily of these things.

Father, I praise you as 2011 draws to a close. Many people will be glad to say “goodbye” to this year. For me, it’s just another year. There were victories, there were defeats. There were some really good times, and some really not so good times. But you were there for all of them. We were always in your presence throughout this year, and you never let us go. In spite of times when it seemed that you might have abandoned us, you never did.

I praise you, Father, that I am all of the things that DJ listed above. Help me to remember those things each day, especially when trials come, and also especially when temptations come. For, so often, temptations are accusations that I am NOT those things. Temptation comes at me, accusing me of not being who you say I am. When that happens, draw me closer to you, and give me the confidence that I am what you say I am.

As we look forward to 2012, I pray that it will be a year that our family draws closer to you as we draw closer to each other. Help us find more ways to include Stephanie in our worship of you. I pray that, in 2012, we will strive to do more worship together, rather than separately. Let our house be a house of prayer.

I pray for this day. So far, the work part has been very smooth. I pray that it remains that way. I pray for safety for all people tonight, in the midst of the many parties that will occur.

I pray for our worship tomorrow. May your name be high and lifted up in our first Worship Celebration of the year.

I’ll leave you and 2011 with this verse: Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD forever. Psalm 23:6

Grace and peace, friends.