A Signpost Pointing Into A Bright Mist

Today is Sunday, May 5, 2019.

Day 22,333

FOUR DAYS until Vegas!!!

Quote of the Day

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.”
Michel de Montaigne, French essayist, 1533-1592
The Quotations Page

Word of the Day

Avenaceous ~ of or like oats. (Dictionary.com)

We had a marvelous time last night! As we approached the venue, we decided upon a place called “The Thirsty Lion” for dinner. It is billed as a “gastropub.” It was a little pricey, but the food was delicious. And they have Scotch Eggs!!!! I can usually only get those at Scarborough Faire! What is a Scotch Egg, you ask? Also known as a Scottish Egg, it is a boiled egg, wrapped in sausage, breaded, then deep-fried. The only issue we had was the service was a bit slow. Unfortunately, for them, at least fifty percent of the clientele last night was made up of people going to the My Favorite Murder show, and we all had to be there before 8:00 PM. We got there at 6:00 and got seated pretty quickly. We were pushing 7:45 by the time we got our check. There were two tables next to us that also had MFM fans, and we were all nervously looking around for our waitress. It all worked out fine, though, and the food was delicious.

The show was really great. They started a bit late, but it was a great show. Karen’s story was the Texas Cheerleader Mom Murder, which wasn’t really a murder, but only got as far as a planned murder. I remember that story. Georgia’s story was the story of a little girl named Vicki Lyons, from Big Spring, Texas, who was run over in the parking lot of the newspaper where her mother worked. She didn’t die, but had a long road of recovery. They finally figured out who did it, but it took a long time, because the person didn’t stop. It was a hit and run. Again, not a “murder,” but still an interesting story.

At the end of these shows, they typically call on a fan to come up and tell a “home town murder” story. But last night was different. Instead of that, they had a special guest, none other than Skip Hollandsworth, who writes for Texas Monthly. Texas Monthly, by the way, was a major source of Karen’s cheerleader mom story. Also, I have just subscribed to Texas Monthly again. I used to get that magazine years ago, but stopped. After last night, I decided I wanted it again.

Anyway, we had a great time, and we really liked the venue at the Toyota Music Factory. It’s a very nice area.

Quick recap of baseball scores. The Rangers got ahead of the Blue Jays early and held on to win 8-5. Lance Lynn got the win. That put them at 15-16, and back in third place, still three games out of first. They play again today at 2:05 PM, with Drew Smyly pitching for Texas. The Red Sox scored nine runs in the third inning and five more in the fourth. They beat the White Sox 15-2. Eduardo Rodriguez got the win. They are in third place in the AL East, 5.5 out of first. They play again this afternoon at 1:10 PM, with Rick Porcello taking the mound.

We are getting ready for our worship gathering, this morning. We worship with The Exchange Church, which meets at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 N. Beach Street. Our worship gathering begins at 10:15.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

My foot stands on level ground; in the great assembly I will bless the LORD.
Psalm 26:12

Today I am grateful:
1. For another opportunity to worship together with our church family
2. That I don’t have anything else to do today, so it will be a nice day of rest
3. For coffee (yes, I know I say that a lot)
4. For the hope of the redemption of our world
5. For hope for our future as believers

O God, whose blessed Son did manifest himself to his disciples
in the breaking of bread: Open, we pray thee, the eyes of our
faith, that we may behold him in all his redeeming work;
through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth
and reigneth with thee, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one
God, now and for ever. Amen.
(The Book of Common Prayer, Collect for the Third Sunday of Easter)

(From Faith That Matters)

Today’s reading is “Our True Future Christian Hope,” by N.T. Wright.

And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man. He will dwell with them, and they will be his people, and God himself will be with them as their God. He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”
Revelation 21:3-4

“All our language about the future is like a set of signposts pointing into a bright mist. The signpost doesn’t provide a photograph of what we will find when we arrive but offers instead a true indication of the direction we should be traveling in. The New Testament image of the future hope of the whole cosmos, grounded in the resurrection of Jesus, gives as coherent a picture as we need or could have of the future that is promised to the whole world, a future in which, under the sovereign and wise rule of the creator God, decay and death will be done away with and a new creation born to which the present one will stand as mother to child. What creation needs is neither abandonment nor evolution but rather redemption and renewal; and this is both promised and guaranteed by the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. This is what the whole world’s waiting for.”

I used to believe that the world (and universe) as we know it was all going to perish in some kind of grand explosion or burning. I no longer believe that. I believe that our “heaven” will actually be the renewed and re-created earth, totally beautiful and majestic. I have no idea what that’s going to look like, and, as Mr. Wright, I think that even though our information from Scripture is like a signpost “pointing into a bright mist,” we have enough. Both the ideas of “secular humanistic progress,” and “divine abandonment are hopeless. In Christ we await our full re-creation.” That is the truth Christian hope for our future.

Father, thank you for this hope; thank you for the signpost that leads into that bright mist of our renewed and re-created earth. May our future always be bright with you. That you for the promise made through the resurrection of Jesus.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price. He who testifies to these things says, “Surely I am coming soon.” Amen. Come, Lord Jesus!
Revelation 22:17, 20

Grace and peace, friends.

Psalm 139

Today is Thursday, November 15, 2018.

Day 22,162

Seven days until Thanksgiving!

90 days until pitchers and catchers report for Spring Training!

“No man is exempt from saying silly things; the mischief is to say them deliberately.”
Michel de Montaigne, French essayist, 1533-1592
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is zamzawed, “Of food or a meal: spoiled by overcooking; overdone.”

Today, my father would have been 81 years old. In his honor, I will share a song that he loved to sing.

I got my copy of Fallout 76, yesterday, as expected. I didn’t get to play any, though, as it took several hours to download the first update. It’s kind of funny, even when you get a game on its release date, there are still updates to download and install. But it did finish the update, as I left the PS4 on when I went to bed, so I should be able to play a little bit tonight, at least get my character built and see what it looks like.

Congratulations to Blake Snell (AL) and Jacob DeGrom (NL) for winning Cy Young Awards. I will also congratulate Bob Melvin for winning AL manager of the year. I’m not mad about that. He took a team with virtually no payroll (Oakland) and managed them to the playoffs. That’s pretty impressive. Sure, Alex Cora also deserved it, but he had a much bigger payroll and a heck of a team this year. Brian Snitker of the Atlanta Braves won NL manager of the year.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

He who made the Pleiades and Orion, and turns deep darkness into the morning and darkens the day into night, who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out on the surface of the earth, the LORD is his name
Amos 5:8

This morning, I’m just going to share a Psalm. Psalm 139 was one of my father’s favorites, and is one of my favorites, as well.

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David.
O LORD, you have searched me and known me! 
You know when I sit down and when I rise up; you discern my thoughts from afar. 
You search out my path and my lying down and are acquainted with all my ways. 
Even before a word is on my tongue, behold, O LORD, you know it altogether. 
You hem me in, behind and before, and lay your hand upon me. 
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high; I cannot attain it. 
Where shall I go from your Spirit? Or where shall I flee from your presence? 
If I ascend to heaven, you are there! If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there! 
If I take the wings of the morning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, 
even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me. 
If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light about me be night,” 
even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is bright as the day, for darkness is as light with you. 
For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb. 
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. 
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth. 
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them. 
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. 
Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God! O men of blood, depart from me! 
They speak against you with malicious intent; your enemies take your name in vain. 
Do I not hate those who hate you, O LORD? And do I not loathe those who rise up against you? 
I hate them with complete hatred; I count them my enemies. 
Search me, O God, and know my heart! Try me and know my thoughts! 
And see if there be any grievous way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting!

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.

Your Years Have No End

Today is Thursday, June 8, 2017. Day 21,637. Two days left in the vacation.

“Nothing fixes a thing so intensely in the memory as the wish to forget it.” ~ Michel de Montaigne
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is conflagration, a destructive fire, usually an extensive one.

Today is World Oceans Day. What a coincidence. I just happen to be looking at one.

Today may turn out to be one of those stay at the house and relax days. We’ve done an awful lot of walking over the last two days, and most of it seems to have been uphill. There’s a chance we may head south to Lincoln City, where there are a couple of casinos. At this point, there is no plan for today.

Yesterday, we didn’t drive far, just to Tillamook and maybe eight miles south to Munson Creek Falls, then back to Cape Meares, which is a few miles west of Tillamook.

We had more clam chowder, last night, which may have been the best yet. We got it at the Old Oregon Smokehouse, which is a little shack with no inside seating. The chowder was delicious, and their halibut fish & chips were also very good.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

(From The Divine Hours)

O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise.
Psalm 51:15
Send out your light and your truth; let them lead me; let them bring me to your holy hill and to your dwelling!
Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy, and I will praise you with the lyre, O God, my God.

Psalm 43:3-4
O LORD God of hosts, who is mighty as you are, O LORD, with your faithfulness all around you?
Righteousness and justice are the foundation of your throne; steadfast love and faithfulness go before you.

Psalm 89:8, 14
I will walk before the LORD in the land of the living.
Psalm 116:9
Of old you laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of your hands.
They will perish, but you will remain; they will all wear out like a garment. You will change them like a robe, and they will pass away,
but you are the same, and your years have no end.
The children of your servants shall dwell secure; their offspring shall be established before you.

Psalm 102:25-28

Check out Psalm 102:25-28, above. Here it is from The Message:

You laid earth’s foundations a long time ago, and handcrafted the very heavens; 
You’ll still be around when they’re long gone, threadbare and discarded like an old suit of clothes. You’ll throw them away like a worn-out coat, 
but year after year you’re as good as new. 
Your servants’ children will have a good place to live and their children will be at home with you.

As we’ve been traipsing (yes, that’s a word) around the Oregon coast, this week, we have seen parts of this earth that are unrivaled anywhere else that we have been. More spectacular than northern California, definitely more so than anywhere in Texas, even better than the coast of New England. There are some areas that we have seen that resemble what I think a rain forest would look like. Simply amazing. I say all of that to get to this. All of this will be gone, someday.

Yes, the Lord “laid the foundation of the earth,” and the heavens are also the works of his hands. But, “they will perish.” The heavens and the earth, as we know them, will all perish. But God? “You will remain,” the Psalmist says. All of what we see will “wear out like a garment.”

Our God is the same, though, and his years have no end.

Then look at the last verse. “Your servants’ children will have a good place to live and their children will be at home with you” (The Message). Even though everything we see around us will perish, there will be someplace even better. We will have a place to live, and we will be at home with our Father!

Father, I praise you for the promises of life everlasting and an infinite home in which we will live. Even though I have no idea what that will look like, I have faith that it will be even better than what I see this week. I have seen your beauty in ways that are unimaginable. All of the pictures I have seen cannot compare to the reality. Perhaps that is why you have not given us very many descriptions of what our Eternity Home will look like. It keeps our faith and imagination alive.
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.

Don’t Speak, Listen

“If you press me to say why I loved him, I can say no more than because he was he, and I was I.”~~Michel de Montaigne

Today’s word of the day, from Merriam-Webster, is canoodle. It means “to engage in amorous embracing, caressing, and kissing.” Appropriate for Valentine’s Day, right?

Today is International Book Giving Day. The idea is to not just share books, but to share them with young readers. So get out there and give away some books! (But don’t give them to me. I don’t have any more room.)

As expected, we didn’t do much of anything, yesterday. Christi rested a lot, we watched some TV, and played Fallout 4 quite a bit. The only time one of us left the house was when I went out to get us something to eat at around 6-7 PM. That’s what Saturdays are for, in my mind! 😀

This morning, we have our worship gathering at The Exchange. We meet at 10:15 at the Northpark YMCA at 9100 N. Beach St., Fort Worth, Texas. If you’re in the area, come and join us.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

For your name’s sake, O LORD, pardon my guilt, for it is great.
Who is the man who fears the LORD? Him will he instruct in the way that he should choose.
His soul shall abide in well-being, and his offspring shall inherit the land.
The friendship of the LORD is for those who fear him, and he makes known to them his covenant.
My eyes are ever toward the LORD, for he will pluck my feet out of the net.
Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted.
The troubles of my heart are enlarged; bring me out of my distresses.
Consider my affliction and my trouble, and forgive all my sins.
Consider how many are my foes, and with what violent hatred they hate me.
Oh, guard my soul, and deliver me! Let me not be put to shame, for I take refuge in you.
May integrity and uprightness preserve me, for I wait for you.
Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Psalm 25:11-22

“God is for us, not against us.” Most of us really need to let that sink in.

“God is for us, not against us.” Once we realize this truth, we can stop trying to “avoid his notice,” or worse, trying to work to soothe his nonexistent anger toward us, and begin to live our lives growing in his friendship.

“God, it’s hard to get it through my head that while I am yet a sinner, and even while I continue to disappoint you, you steadfastly befriend me in Jesus. But how grateful I am! Thank you, in the name of your Son. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Discipline of Heeding.”

What I tell you in the dark, say in the light, and what you hear whispered, proclaim on the housetops.
Matthew 10:27

There are times when God will put us through “the discipline of darkness” in order to teach us how to heed him. Chambers advises us to be aware of when God places us in darkness, “and when you are there keep your mouth shut. . . . remain quiet. If you open your mouth in the dark, you will talk in the wrong mood: darkness is the time to listen. Don’t talk to other people about it; don’t read books to find out the reason of the darkness, but listen and heed.” If we talk to others, we can’t listen to what God is saying.

After the time of darkness, there will be a time of both delight and humiliation. Chambers comments that if there is only delight, we probably didn’t really hear God at all. The humiliation is not a bad thing, but simply understanding how long it took us to hear God. This, in turn, “brings the softness of heart that will always listen to God now.”

Father, teach me these things. I know from experience that opening my mouth “in the dark” is not a good thing. I truly have spoken in the wrong mood during these times. I have also made the mistake of talking to others, and, perhaps, reading books on what others had to say. Help me to listen to only you when you place me in dark times. Then lead me into that state of combined delight and humiliation; delight in having heard your voice, and humiliation because it took me so long.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.