Oh, How I Love Your Word

Today is Tuesday, the second of November, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,245

Ten days until C’s birthday!

It seemed like a busy day, yesterday. Part of that was because I didn’t finish yesterday’s blog until after noon. Then I went to the grocery store, but right after I got home, C texted me to tell me that S had a prescription ready at CVS. So I went back out to pick that up. Then, I had lunch, at a little after 2:00 PM. I had already started washing the bed linens, earlier, and they were dry not too long after that, so I had a little time to relax before I needed to put the sheets back on the bed. Then I swept the floor, and by the time I finished that, it was time to start cooking dinner, because C was on her way home.

Today, there’s not a lot to do. I work this evening, 4:15-8:15, so I’m planning to cook “lunch” at around 2:00 or so, planning to have it ready to eat by 3:00. Then I’ll have a light snack after I get home from work. I don’t have to work tomorrow or Thursday, so I may stay up later tonight.

Nothing else is planned. Oh, and C is working from home today, her normal day to do that.

The World Series continues tonight at 7:00, in Houston. The Braves lead the series 3-2.

I realize that I haven’t (and don’t usually) said anything about football. I’m not much of a football fan, and it’s still baseball season. But the Dallas Cowboys are 6-1, so far, this season! Granted, they are in one of the worst divisions in the NFL, and they are the only team in their division with a winning record, but they have played some pretty good teams, along the way. While I don’t actively root for the ‘boys, I have some good friends who do, so I wish for their happiness. Dallas plays Denver (4-4) this Sunday afternoon.

Today is Deviled Egg Day. I do love those, but I likely will not have any today.

The word for today is busk, “to entertain by dancing, singing, reciting, juggling, etc., on the street or in a public place.” I was familiar with the word, but did not know that it included activities other than singing or playing an instrument. Makes sense, though.

Today’s quote is from e.e. cummings, American poet. “The most wasted of all days is one without laughter.”

Birthdays on November 2:

Daniel Boone, American frontiersman, 1734-1820. 
Marie Antoinette, Queen of France (Let them eat cake), 1755-1793
James Knox Polk, 11th U.S. President, 1795-1849
Warren G. Harding, 29th U.S. President, 1865-1923
Burt Lancaster, American actor, 1913-1994
Ray Walston, American actor (My Favorite Martian), 1914-2001
Jay Black, American pop singer (Jay and the Americans), 1938-2021
Stefanie Powers, American actress, (Girl from U.N.C.L.E., Hart to Hart), 1942 (79)
Keith Emerson, English musician (Emerson, Lake & Palmer), 1944-2016
J.D. Souther, American singer/songwriter (Heartache Tonight, New Kid in Town), 1945 (76)
Carter Beauford, American drummer (Dave Matthews Band), 1957 (64)
k.d. lang, Canadian country singer, 1961 (60)
David Schwimmer, American actor (Friends), 1966 (55)
Jay Black is the singer
Keith Emerson on keys


All have received gifts;
Use them to serve each other,
As stewards of grace.
(1 Peter 4:10)

Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good;
for his steadfast love endures forever!
(Psalms 118:1 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the gifts that You give
2. for opportunities to use those gifts
3. that we can count on Your guidance, forever
4. for Your Word and all of its benefits to my life
5. for the strength found in relationship

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



that this is God, our God forever and ever. He will guide us forever.
(Psalms 48:14 ESV)

I pause, during this quiet moment, to reflect on Your great and wonderful gifts, and Your constant guidance, always available to us, forever.


Oh, how I love your law!
I meditate on it all day long.
Your commands are always with me
and make me wiser than my enemies.
I have more insight than all my teachers,
for I meditate on your statutes.
I have more understanding than the elders,
for I obey your precepts.
I have kept my feet from every evil path
so that I might obey your word.
I have not departed from your laws,
for you yourself have taught me.
How sweet are your words to my taste,
sweeter than honey to my mouth!
I gain understanding from your precepts;
therefore I hate every wrong path.
(Psalms 119:97-104 NIV)


I said to myself, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure to find out what is good.” But that also proved to be meaningless. “Laughter,” I said, “is madness. And what does pleasure accomplish?” I tried cheering myself with wine, and embracing folly—my mind still guiding me with wisdom. I wanted to see what was good for people to do under the heavens during the few days of their lives.
(Ecclesiastes 2:1-3 NIV)

I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my labor,
and this was the reward for all my toil.
Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;
nothing was gained under the sun.
(Ecclesiastes 2:10-11 NIV)


As I become more aware of God’s loving presence, I read these passages again, looking for anything in His Word that has caught my heart’s attention. Is there a command to be obeyed? Is there comfort to be savored? As I meditate on these things, I pray them to God and rest in His presence.

The first thing that catches my attention is the first verse of the Psalms passage. “Oh, how I love Your law!” I like the way Peterson paraphrases this, so that we aren’t using the word “law” literally.

Oh, how I love all you’ve revealed; I reverently ponder it all the day long.
(Psalms 119:97 MSG)

There are several different words used to describe God’s Word, throughout Psalm 119; law, commands, statutes, precepts, word. All of those could be defined, as Peterson does, “all You’ve revealed.”

I have been a Bible reader since before I was able to read. That may sound contradictory, but remember, people were reading Scripture to me before I was able to read. I have loved “God’s Word” as long as I can remember. Even through the darkest parts of my life, some of which were of my own making, it was always the Bible that drew me back to the path. Sure, His Holy Spirit is involved, no doubt. But even He drew me back via the precious Word of God.

Do not mistake me . . . I do not “worship” the Bible. I worship the God who revealed Himself through the Bible. But I do love the Bible, just as the psalmist who penned Psalm 119 did.

The Word of God, rightly applied, gives us more wisdom than anyone around us; our enemies, our teachers, our elders, even. It helps us stay away from evil paths. Or, when our feet have strayed onto an evil path, it gently maneuvers us back. It teaches us to hate those evil paths.

One of my favorite passages regarding God’s Word is found in Psalm 19.

The revelation of GOD is whole
and pulls our lives together.
The signposts of GOD are clear
and point out the right road.
The life-maps of GOD are right,
showing the way to joy.
The directions of GOD are plain
and easy on the eyes.
GOD’s reputation is twenty-four-carat gold,
with a lifetime guarantee.
The decisions of GOD are accurate
down to the nth degree.
God’s Word is better than a diamond,
better than a diamond set between emeralds.
You’ll like it better than strawberries in spring,
better than red, ripe strawberries.
(Psalms 19:7-10 MSG)

The Teacher, in the meantime, continues to find everything to be meaningless, “a chasing after the wind.”

Father, I know that not everything in life is meaningless. Many of the tasks, however, in which we constantly find ourselves engaged, are truly a chasing after the wind. This is true; it is known. Many of those things, though, are, more or less, harmless, in the big picture. What is not meaningless is relationship with You, which we are able to enhance and grow through a healthy attitude toward Your Word. I praise You for Your Word, in which You have revealed Yourself further to us. I say “further,” because You have, in fact, revealed Yourself quite extensively through nature and Creation, to those of us who are looking at it wisely. But the revelation of Yourself through Scripture, through Christ, by the Holy Spirit, is invaluable and priceless, worth more than pure gold, sweeter than pure honey (or strawberries). I love Your Word, Father, I do. Thank You for placing that love of it in my heart at such an early age. Thank You for placing people in my path, people who cared for me and loved me and read Your Word to me and taught Your Word to me. I cannot thank You enough for those blessings.

I pray that You would continue to give Your people a love for and commitment to the communities in which we have landed. I pray that You continue to equip us to serve in unique and effective ways.

"Everlasting God,
I shop for pleasure,
looking to consume happiness;
I hustle for meaning,
striving to make a difference.
But the more I consume the less I enjoy,
and the harder I work the more life slips out of my reach.
Help me understand the simple truth that none of my work or worry,
nor any of life's pleasures,
does any good without Your blessing.


“Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
(Matthew 5:10 ESV)

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
(1 Peter 4:9 ESV)

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9 ESV)

submitting to one another out of reverence for Christ.
(Ephesians 5:21 ESV)

I want to take a moment to boast (I don’t normally do this kind of thing) about the relationship that my wife and I have. That whole passage from Ecclesiastes 4 is worthy of visiting.

Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow. But woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up! Again, if two lie together, they keep warm, but how can one keep warm alone? And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him—a threefold cord is not quickly broken.
(Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 ESV)

I feel like we have been lifting each other up, constantly, for over thirty-six years, now. And, since my retirement, this has even been enhanced more. When we discussed the possibility of me taking early retirement, I heartily agreed to become, more or less, a “house-husband,” taking care of menial household chores, on my days off, while C continues to work full time. For the record, it is still roughly four years until she is eligible for early retirement. But I have gladly taken on tasks such as laundry, sweeping floors, keeping dishes clean (which I helped with a lot already), trash removal, and things like that. I have tried to keep the house somewhat neat, and it has been quite rewarding for me. I don’t hate it at all. Because I am doing it out of love for my wife.

There are different ways to describe a marriage. The Ecclesiastes passage may not even be describing marriage, per se, but simply a good partnership. But that’s what marriage is, right? Most definitely a “good partnership.” Some say that one plus one, in a marriage, doesn’t make two, but makes one. I don’t disagree with that, but I would also entertain the thought that one plus one equals infinity, because I believe that we two together are infinitely stronger than one of us alone. And when Jesus is in the middle of us, it is infinity times infinity. “A three-stranded rope isn’t easily snapped” (The Message).

Father, I praise You for this relationship, and look forward to what You are going to continue to do in our midst, in the years that we have left.

“Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord GOD: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. And I will vindicate the holiness of my great name, which has been profaned among the nations, and which you have profaned among them. And the nations will know that I am the LORD, declares the Lord GOD, when through you I vindicate my holiness before their eyes.”
(Ezekiel 36:22-23 ESV)

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!

May the LORD richly bless both you and your children. May you be blessed by the LORD, who made heaven and earth.
(Psalms 115:14-15 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.

Who Do You Love?

Today is Wednesday, November 2, 2016. Six more days until Election Day. Eight days until our Glen Rose Weekend.

Quote of the Day

“When everyone else is losing their heads, it is important to keep yours.” ― Marie Antoinette (Apparently, she really said this.)

Word of the Day

Temerarious (adjective tem-uh-RAIR-ee-us) – marked by temerity : rashly or presumptuously daring.

Today is Stress Awareness Day. Stress has been proven to be the cause of many dysfunctions and disorders in our lives, as well as a number of diseases. We should do whatever we can to eliminate stress from our lives. Unfortunately, that is easier said than done, as much of the time, the most stressful thing in our lives is our daily jobs.

The Cubs forced Game Seven, last night, beating the Indians 9-3. The final game will be tonight at 7:00 PM. History is against the Cubs, as, only twice in the last forty years, has the home team lost Game Seven in a World Series.

Not much else going on, here, other than waiting for the election to be over. Unfortunately, depending on the outcome, it could get even worse after the election. I voted last Saturday. I’m not particularly happy about it, either. Kind of felt like I needed to take a shower afterward.


Sing praises to the LORD with the lyre, with the lyre and the sound of melody!
With trumpets and the sound of the horn make a joyful noise before the King, the LORD!
Psalm 96:5-6
Our soul waits for the LORD; he is our help and our shield.
For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name.
Let your steadfast love, O LORD, be upon us, even as we hope in you.
Psalm 33:20-22
How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them!
If I would count them, they are more than the sand. I awake, and I am still with you.
Psalm 139:17-18
Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one. And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:29-31

(From Praying With the Psalms)

A Song of Ascents. Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion, which cannot be moved, but abides forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time forth and forevermore.
For the scepter of wickedness shall not rest on the land allotted to the righteous, lest the righteous stretch out their hands to do wrong.
Do good, O LORD, to those who are good, and to those who are upright in their hearts!
But those who turn aside to their crooked ways the LORD will lead away with evildoers! Peace be upon Israel!
Psalm 125

Jerusalem was famous for being surrounded by hills. It was a safe city because of the “protective fortress” of hills surrounding it. We, the people of God, are surrounded by our Lord, who “cannot be moved” (v. 1). “Better than a city gate, better than a military fortification, is the presence of the God of peace.”

“‘Christ be with me, Christ within me, Christ behind me, Christ before me, Christ beside me, Christ to win me, Christ to comfort and restore me, Christ beneath me, Christ above me, Christ in quiet, Christ in danger, Christ in hearts of all that love me, Christ in mouth of friend and stranger’ (St. Patrick). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments.” John 14:15

Jesus never insists on obedience. That is why, when he sets these standards, they always start with “If.” He tells us what we should be doing, but never sets out to force us.

“The Lord does not give me rules, He makes His standard very clear, and if my relationship to Him is that of love, I will do what He says without any hesitation. If I hesitate, it is because I love someone else in competition with him, viz., myself.”

Jesus help me to love you more than myself.

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 Loves You To the Stars

The cake is a lie! The cake is a lie! The cake is a lie!

Today’s word of the day, from dictionary.com, is shirk. To “shirk” is “to evade (work, duty, responsibility, etc.).” I am shirking today, evading work. However, it’s “legal,” as I am on my last day of PTO for the year.

Today is Dictionary Day. I suspect that many people on Facebook have never used one. But this day celebrates the achievements of Noah Webster.

I had a rough night last night. Stephanie and I ordered pizza, and Christi still wasn’t feeling well, so she didn’t have any. But the pizza was really greasy. Like an idiot, I ate it anyway, then fought off feelings of nausea for about two hours in the middle of the night. My sleep after that finally settled was fitful, so I’m pretty tired this morning. I think I’m okay, though, while Christi still feels under the weather.

We are heading to Mineral Wells in about an hour, for lunch with Grandma, along with some business that we need to take care of. We will have a nice visit together, I’m sure, but it won’t be all pleasure. In fact, some of it will probably be difficult, as we need to go out to the cemetery to select a gravestone. In four days, we will be at the six-month mark. In a way, it feels much longer than that, and, even though we don’t talk about it much, there are days when we are, without any warning, whatsoever, driven to tears with memories. That’s how grieving goes, and there’s nothing wrong with it. Don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise.

Tomorrow will be different, as we have moved our worship services to Sunday mornings at a local YMCA that doesn’t open until 1:00 PM on Sundays. The first service at that time and location was last week, while we were in Mexico, so this will be our first time. We aren’t sure what to expect, in terms of set-up and everything. I think we are supposed to be there at 7:45, which means we’ll need to get up pretty early Sunday.

On this date in 1793, Marie Antoinette was guillotined. In 1916, Margaret Sanger opened the first Planned Parenthood clinic. In 1923, Walt and Roy Disney founded the Walt Disney Company. In 1984, Desmond Tutu was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

Today’s birthdays include Noah Webster (American lexicographer), Oscar Wilde (Irish writer), Eugene O’Neill (American writer), Goose Goslin (American baseball player), Charles Colson (American Watergate figure), Dave DeBusschere (American basketball player), Barry Corbin (American actor), Fred Turner (Canadian bass player, Bachman-Turner Overdrive), Suzanne Somers (American actress), Bob Weir (American musician, Grateful Dead), Tim Robbins (American actor), Wendy Wilson (American singer, Wilson Phillips), and John Mayer (American musician).

Oscar Wilde was born on this date in 1854. He lived a brief and complex life, dealing with many lifestyle issues in a day and time when such a lifestyle was far from acceptable. He is famous for his many quotable statements, ten of which are featured in this video clip. He died in 1900, from cerebral meningitis.


(From Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God)

I’m continuing in the chapter on seeking the face of God. I confess, it’s been a while, and I have to struggle to remember what has gone before. In this section on “knowing the Father,” Keller focuses on the beginning of Paul’s prayer in Ephesians, where is says he “kneels before the Father” (Ephesians 3:14). This was not the normal prayer posture for Christians and Jews of Paul’s day. It was “an act of special reverence.”

It is important to note that God is, indeed, our Father. Paul, in Romans 8, says that we have “received the Spirit of adoptions as sons,” which enables us to pray, “Abba! Father!” Then, in verse 16, Paul gives us a primary purpose of the Spirit’s ministry in our lives: The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God. “So another aspect of communion with God is a deeper understanding and the appropriation of our family relationship with the Father.”

Remember when the Holy Spirit came down upon Jesus at his baptism? He proclaimed the Sonship of Jesus Christ. This same Holy Spirit, then bears witness into our own hearts that we, also, are God’s sons, and that his love for us is great. We may know these things in our heads, but “the Holy Spirit makes them a fiery reality in your life.”

Consider a father and son walking side by side. Suddenly, the father whisks the son up in his arms, hugs him tight, kisses him, and tells him how much he loves him. Is that son any more a son in his father’s arms than when he is walking beside him? Of course not! But the experience is different, isn’t it?

“When the Holy Spirit comes down on you in fullness, you can sense your Father’s arms beneath you.” My friends, I have, in fact, experienced this very thing. Many years ago, during a very difficult time in my life, I stood in front of my Grandmother’s house, beneath some trees, and cried out, “Am I really your child??” I received, at that point, what was probably the greatest outpouring of the Father’s love that I have ever experienced. I believe that God, my Father, wrapped his arms around me, in the presence of the Holy Spirit, and gave me a great big hug. I will never forget that day, or that feeling.

These experiences with the Father can give us “joyful fearlessness” by making us aware of the reality that we are his children. “He loves you to the stars and will never let you go.”

Grace and peace, friends.

Plan to Pray

Back home, but not back to work! Two more days of vacation left!

The word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is miasma. This noun means, “a vaporous exhalation formerly believed to cause disease; also : a heavy vaporous emanation or atmosphere, or, “an influence or atmosphere that tends to deplete or corrupt; also : an atmosphere that obscures : fog.”

Today is Conflict Resolution Day, a global event intended to “promote the concept of peaceful conflict resolution.”

We had a splendid trip back home, yesterday. After this trip, we are definitely fans of Sun Country Airlines. Their motto seems to be, “We want to go early.” They said that numerous times as we were preparing for take off and landing. And they did seem to be in a hurry, too, which we certainly didn’t mind. The only downside to yesterday was Apple Vacations insisting on picking us up at our hotel at 9:00 AM when our flight didn’t leave until 1:40 PM. The excuse used was that we had booked “shared transport.” Okay, we understand that. There are other people to be picked up for other flights. However, as it turned out, all of the other people were at the same Iberostar complex, and all of their flights left after 1:00 PM. Two of them were even on the same flight we were on!

We got to the airport, and had to sit for an hour before we could even check in, as there were no Sun Country reps at the counter until 10:50. And why would they be? The next flight wasn’t scheduled until 1:40! Then, after we finally got checked in (very smooth process both ways), we had to sit for another two hours at the gate.

So, as we consider this vacation trip, we would give high ratings to the airline, Sun Country, but low ratings for Apple Vacations (which we will definitely not use again), and Iberostar. However, we might stay at an Iberostar again. The place was nice, and the room service food was delicious. We also liked the one in Cancun, when we stayed there. It’s just that, in our opinion, neither Apple Vacations nor Iberostar handled this crisis in the best way. Christi read some accounts that were even worse than ours. Apparently, not everyone booked at the Tucan got to go to another Iberostar. But it sounds like no one was given a choice in the matter.

One other thing we have learned. For us, at least, October is not a good month to go to Mexico. It’s just as hot as Texas, and about twice as humid. It’s much better in the winter, when it’s cold (sometimes) in Texas, but mild, in the seventies, in Mexico. We have filed that information for future reference.

We have no plans today, and Christi isn’t feeling well. She started feeling under the weather Tuesday night, and wasn’t well all day, yesterday, which is truly a bummer. She might have a bit of a cold or something. Tomorrow, we plan to go to Mineral Wells to see my mother and take care of some business, such as ordering a gravestone for my father’s (and mother’s, eventually) grave site. We also need to take care of legal business with her lawyer, in town.

This date in 1582 directly followed October 4, as Pope Gregory XIII implemented the Gregorian Calendar. In 1793, Marie-Antoinette was tried, convicted, and condemned to death the next day. On this date in 1815, Napoleon I began his exile on Saint Helena. In 1888, the letter known as the “From Hell” letter was posted by a person claiming to be Jack the Ripper. It was received by George Lusk the following day.

In 1928, the Graf Zeppelin completed its first trans-Atlantic flight. In 1956, the first modern computer language, Fortran, was first shared with the coding community.

Today’s birthdays include Virgil (Roman poet), Friedrich Nietzsche (German philosopher), P.G. Wodehouse (British novelist), Mario Puzo (American novelist), Lee Iacocca (American auto exec), Berry McGuire (American singer), Linda Lavin (American actress), Penny Marshall (American actress/director), Jim Palmer (American baseball player), Richard Carpenter (American musician, The Carpenters), Chris de Burgh (Irish singer/songwriter), Tanya Roberts (American actress), Emerial Lagasse (American chef), Sarah Ferguson (Duchess of York), and Dominic West (British actor).

Mata Hari, Cole Porter, and Edie Adams are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Solid Joys)

Today’s reading is “Plan for Prayer.”

If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.
John 15:7

“Prayer pursues joy in fellowship with Jesus and in the power to share his life with others.”

And when we pray, we glorify God by treating him as “the inexhaustible reservoir of hope and help.” When we pray, we admit our poverty, and we confess God’s bounty. We acknowledge our misery and claim his mercy.

We exalt and glorify God in prayer when we pursue all that we long for in him, and not in ourselves. In John 16:24, Jesus says, “Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full.” If we combine this passage with some other words of Jesus, we could come up with, “Ask, and you will receive . . . that the Father may be glorified in the Son and . . . that your joy may be full.” One of the primary reasons that so many Christians don’t have a fulfilled prayer life probably has to do more with the lack of planning than the lack of desire.

Christi and I did not wake up Saturday morning and say, “Hey, let’s go to Mexico today!” We planned in advance, for many months. (And even with that, some of our plans did not quite go as we expected.) But isn’t that how we tend to treat prayer? We get up every day, and, at some point, we realize that significant prayer times should be part of our lives, but nothing is ready. We haven’t planned. We don’t know where to go, or how to get there. “The opposite of planning is the rut.”

Piper says this: “Therefore, my simple exhortation is this: Let us take time this very day to rethink our priorities and how prayer fits in. Make some new resolve. Try some new venture with God. Set a time. Set a place. Choose a portion of Scripture to guide you.”

We find ourselves all too easily “tyrannized by the press of busy days.” Even someone who has a good habit of prayer could use some “midcourse corrections.” May we turn to prayer and plan to pray, “for the glory of God and the fullness of your joy.”

Grace and peace, friends.

Embrace Humility

Good morning. It is Wednesday, October 16, 2013.

Today is “Hagfish Day.” The purpose of this day is to raise awareness that outer beauty isn’t everything. Seriously. I’m not making this up.

Still waiting on that new PC to arrive. According to the UPS tracking, it is in Fort Worth this morning, and scheduled for delivery today.

We had a great Huddle meeting last night. Not everyone was there for the first meeting, but it still went well. We are meeting each Tuesday evening this time, instead of every other week. Hopefully, that will help us to keep more focused and keep more connected. Last night we all had to come up with the three most important spiritually formative moments in our lives. That was not easy, let me tell you. When you’re as old as I am, it’s harder to remember that far back. 😀 Seriously, though, there were some very good moments in the group. We will finish that exercise next week.

The Red Sox won a nail-biter yesterday afternoon, beating the Tigers 1-0 behind the stellar pitching of John Lackey (I never thought I would be saying THAT). Justin Verlander was pretty stellar, himself, the only mistake being that fat pitch he threw to Mike Na-po-li! Na-po-li! Na-po-li! that resulted in a home run, the only run in the game. Detroit struck out 12 times, and the Red Sox struck out 11, which, if my math is correct gives them a total of 43 strikeouts on the series so far. This series has definitely been a pitcher’s series. Today’s game is at 7pm. I’ll probably have to listen to part of it from the gym, as I really do want to get my workout in today.

(From Great Stories from History for Every Day)

On this date in 1793, Marie Antoinette rose early, “and dressed in a white pique gown, a white bonnet, a muslin shawl and plum-coloured high heeled shoes. Then she drank a cup of morning chocolate.” Shortly after eleven o’clock, she begin her journey to the Place de la Concorde, her arms tied as she rode. “She was headed for her own execution.” Her husband, Louis XVI, had been executed nine months before. Marie had been imprisoned in conditions that were so undignified that she is alleged to have said to her daughter, the last time she saw her, “God Himself has forsaken me–I no longer dare to pray.” When she arrived at her destination, she trembled so badly that she had to be helped from the cart. She tripped, going up the steps, and stepped on the executioner’s foot, for which she apologized. Her last words? “Monsieur, excuse me, I didn’t do it on purpose.” A few moments later, the blade dropped. Marie Antoinette was only 37 years old.

Today’s birthday is John Mayer, born on this date in 1977. Mayer is a popular singer/songwriter/guitar player, who, sadly, is more known for his pop music, which is somewhat “drippy.” However, the boy can flat play the guitar! He can really play the blues, which can usually only be enjoyed in a live setting, which I have had the pleasure of catching twice. At one performance, I was pretty much mesmerized by his cover of this song.

Honorable mentions go to Angel Lansbury, 88, Oscar Wilde, 1854-1900, Tim Robbins, 55, Noah Webster, 1758-1843, Bob Weir, 66, Goose Goslin, 1900-1971, Wendy Wilson, 44, and Eugene O’Neill, 1888-1953.


Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.
Psalm 66:8-9
. . . hasten to me, O God! You are my help and my deliverer; O LORD, do not delay! Psalm 70:5
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
Psalm 71:5-6
“Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” Psalm 46:10

Father, I pray for revelation from your Spirit this morning. Not necessarily “new” revelation, but just showing me something that will keep my face turned toward yours for the duration of this day. Teach me your ways.

Today’s reading in A Year With God is called “Clothe Yourselves with Humility.” The scripture reading is 1 Peter 5:1-5.

So I exhort the elders among you, as a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, as well as a partaker in the glory that is going to be revealed: shepherd the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight, not under compulsion, but willingly, as God would have you; not for shameful gain, but eagerly; not domineering over those in your charge, but being examples to the flock. And when the chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the unfading crown of glory. Likewise, you who are younger, be subject to the elders. Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility toward one another, for “God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.”

In this passage, Peter begins by encouraging the elders, the ones who should have authority, but finishes by encouraging the younger people to willingly submit to those elders who should have the authority. It is important to note the progression. Before admonishing the younger people to submit, he exhorts the elders to be worthy of submitting to. It is difficult to submit to authorities who are “self-deceived and inflated with a sense of their own importance, wisdom, and power.” Note that Peter says, “Clothe yourselves, all of you, with humility. . .” (emphasis added) What is humility? “A realistic and honest self-appraisal in which we acknowledge our strengths and weaknesses, our abilities and inabilities, the gifts that God has given us and those gifts we can receive only from others.” when we embrace humility, we admit that we “are not the center of the universe and stand in dire need of Christ and Christ’s Body, the Church.” When we humble ourselves before God and others, it is amazingly freeing, and allows us to fully “cast our concerns upon him.”

Father, teach us to embrace humility in our lives. Teach us all that we are not the center of the universe but that we most definitely need each other to survive. We also need to be reminded of our constant need for you in our lives. As we embrace humility, also teach us to submit to those who are in authority over us, both in the world, and within the church.

I pray for this day. As Christi walks out the door, I pray for her safety as she drives to work, and I pray that she has a successful day at the job today. I pray that you would draw Stephanie closer to you today, and show her your purpose for her life. Give us wisdom to help her find that purpose. May I have a successful day at my job today, as well, getting everything accomplished that needs to be done today.

I lift up a special prayer today for Sabina Hawley, the mother of a fellow blogger, who is in the hospital with pneumonia. Place your healing hand on her and draw the sickness out of her that she might recover and get back to her family and life.

Your grace is sufficient.

Humility is not easy for us, especially in Western culture. But it is necessary for us to be successful followers of Christ. Embrace humility.

Grace and peace, friends.

The Key Is Prayer

Good morning. It is Tuesday, October 16, 2012. We have reached the halfway point in October. Hmm..today is “National Boss Day.” So I’ll say “Happy Boss Day” to my supervisor, Tom Wiles, and our manager, Phillip Dutton.

It was on this date in 1793 that Marie Antoinette, wife of Louis XVI, was guillotined. There is no evidence that she ever really said, “Let them eat cake.”
Walt and Roy founded The Walt Disney Company on this date in 1923.
On this date in 1962, the Cuban Missile Crisis began.
On this date in 1978, Wanda Rutkeiwicz reached the summit of Mount Everest. She was the first Pole to do so, as well as the first European woman.
On this date in 1984, Desmond Tutu received the Nobel Peace Prize. George Orwell did not predict that.
On this date in 1991, George Hennard killed 23 and wounded 20 in a Luby’s Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas.
On this date in 1958, Chevrolet introduced the El Camino.
Baby Jessica was rescued from a well in Midland, Texas, on this date in 1987.
And on this date in 1912, New York Giants outfield Fred Snodgrass dropped an easy pop up in the 10th inning of a tie-breaking eighth game of the World Series. How can you have a “tie-breaking eighth game?” I’m glad you asked. The second game was called at a 6-6 tie because it got too dark to see. (1912, remember?) Anyway, Snodgrass’s error allowed the Red Sox to rally for two runs to win the 1912 World Series.

Birthdays today include Noah Webster, 1758, Oscar Wilde, 1854, Eugene O’Neill, 1888, Goose Goslin, 1900, Angela Lansbury, 1925, Charles Colson, 1931, Tim McCarver, 1941, Fred Turner, of Bachman-Turner Overdrive, 1943, Suzanne Somers, 1946, Bob Weir, of the Grateful Dead, 1947, Tim Robbins, 1958, Flea, of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, 1962, Wendy Wilson, of Wilson Phillips, 1969, John Mayer, 1977, Ethan Luck, of the O.C. Supertones, Demon Hunter, and Relient K, 1978, Bryce Harper, 1992.

We got back into the swing of things pretty well, yesterday, after our nice weekend. Work was pretty normal for both of us. However, Christi did not go to the gym with Stephanie and me, yesterday evening, as her foot and leg were hurting too much. Her next doctor’s visit is next Monday. I got in a pretty good workout on the adaptive motion trainer, though, trying to get back into the routine of almost daily workouts, at least every other day. Tonight, we meet for Lifehouse group.

Father, I pray for a glimpse of you this morning, as I spend some time reading your word.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 119:153-160.

153 Resh. Look on my affliction and deliver me, for I do not forget your law.
154 Plead my cause and redeem me; give me life according to your promise!
155 Salvation is far from the wicked, for they do not seek your statutes.
156 Great is your mercy, O LORD; give me life according to your rules.
157 Many are my persecutors and my adversaries, but I do not swerve from your testimonies.
158 I look at the faithless with disgust, because they do not keep your commands.
159 Consider how I love your precepts! Give me life according to your steadfast love.
160 The sum of your word is truth, and every one of your righteous rules endures forever.

I don’t see verse 155 as claiming that salvation comes from seeking God’s statutes. Rather, I see it as stating that the evidence that salvation is far from the wicked is that they don’t seek the Lord’s statutes. The psalmist then acknowledges the great mercy of God, asking for life to be imparted to him. Again, in verse 159, he prays for “life according to your steadfast love.” Verse 160 states that the sum of God’s word is truth. If we consider the New Testament correlation to this, we know that Jesus is the “Word” made flesh, and that Jesus is truth. It could be said that Jesus Christ is “the sum” of God’s word.

Today’s reading from My Utmost For His Highest is called “The Key to the Master’s Orders.” The scripture reference is Matthew 9:38, which says, …therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest. Chambers says that the key to the “missionary problem” is “prayer not work.” He explains a little further, saying that it is not “work as the word is popularly understood today because that may mean the evasion of concentration on God.” One of Chambers’s key themes is the fact that Christians often get so bogged down in working FOR God that they forget to commune WITH him. Here, the key is not “common sense.” Nor is it medical, civilization, education, or even evangelization. “The key is prayer.” And we do need to remember that the ordinary, common-sense world believes that prayer is, well, stupid.

We also need to realize that there are no “nations” in the outlook of Jesus, only the world. “How many of us pray without respect of persons, and with respect to only one Person, Jesus Christ?” To bring that very idea home, and in a very silly way, yesterday, my daughter asked me to pray for Derek Jeter. Anyone who knows me at all knows that the very idea of praying for a member of the New York Yankees rubs every nerve in my body the wrong way! But wait! (I know…this is total madness.) Derek Jeter just a guy who plays baseball. He fractured his ankle in a game the other day, and will likely need surgery. Why shouldn’t I pray for him? He also, just like any other human on the planet, needs Jesus. So, yes…I should pray for Derek Jeter. Because I’m supposed to be praying “without respect of persons.”

Back to the point. Jesus owns this harvest that is spoken of in Matthew 9:38. We are to be praying that God would send out workers into this harvest. ‘We are taken up with active work while people all round are ripe to harvest, and we do not reap one of them, but waste our Lord’s time in overenergized activities.” An opportunity arises wherein we might be useful in the harvest, but we say, “Oh, but I have a special work to do!” Chambers says, rather emphatically, “No Christian has a special work to do. A Christian is called to be Jesus Christ’s own, one who is not above his Master, one who does not dictate to Jesus Christ what he intends to do.” If we simply do what is asked, which is in this particular case, to pray, Jesus will engineer the circumstances, and he will thrust us out where we are most needed. It is not up to me to know where God will use me next. It is not my decision, what I will be doing for him. It is the Lord’s decision, and it is his job to put me there. I must simply be obedient and pray.

Father, I thank you for calling on me to pray. i have, for many years, prayed some, but not nearly enough. Today, you have me praying more and more. As I struggle to know what and how to pray, you continue to teach me. Today, I look at the words that Oswald Chambers has written, and I am convicted even more of the necessity of prayer, especially before anything that could be considered “work.” There are far too many of us who are busy, busy, busy. We get so busy that we forget to pray, we forget that communion with you is the most important thing we can do. We get the order wrong. Again, I turn to the words of Jesus when asked what the greatest commandment is. In short, his answer was, “Love God.” The second command, after that, was to love people. We must get it in the right order. You told us (through the ancient disciples) to make disciples. This implies something much more deep than simply evangelism. It speaks of teaching people your word, passing on the teachings of Jesus Christ, teaching them how this life is supposed to work. How is it supposed to work? I have come to believe, over the past year, that it is you, living in me. As I pray, I pray for the life of Jesus Christ to be lived in me. I pray for his character traits to be seen in me, made manifest by his life, not by my efforts to be meek, poor in spirit, merciful, and so on. You, Lord Jesus, must increase, and I must decrease.

I pray for this day. I pray, still, again, and will continue to do so, that Christi’s pain would be healed. Father, I will keep pounding on the door of your throne room about this. I am not demanding, but I am pleading. I will not demand from you. That is unacceptable. I am a servant. You make demands on me, not vice-versa. But I plead with you to relieve my wife’s pain, just as I ask you every day to heal my earthly father and restore strength to his muscles. You may elect to never do either one. That will not change my course. It will not change my prayer, nor will it affect my devotion to you. This life is yours, to do with as you will. “Our God is in the heavens, he does whatever pleases him.” I pray that Christi’s work day will go smoothly today. Surround her with your Spirit, absorbing any stress that might come her way. I also pray for Stephanie today. Draw her heart into yours. Give her a purpose for her life. Show her your life in her. Finally, I pray for my work day, that it will be a smooth day. I also pray for my prayer time on the way to work this morning. May there be little to distract me, beyond the normal task of driving. Show me who to pray for and how to pray for them. I have my list, sure. But there can always be additions and subtractions to this list, as it is nothing more than a tool to remind me. You are the ultimate Reminder. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Your Word is truth.

The key to any spiritual task is prayer. We spoke mainly of the “harvest” today. But any task that God gives us should be, as they say, “bathed in prayer” before it becomes active. The key is prayer.

Grace and peace, friends.