For A Generation To Come

Today is Sunday, May 27, 2018. Trinity Sunday. Day 21,990.

Tomorrow is Memorial Day.

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” ~ Michelangelo, 1475-1564 (BrainyQuote)

“I don’t have a girlfriend. But I do know a woman who’d be mad at me for saying that.” ~ Mitch Hedberg, 1968-2005 (The Quotations Page)

The word for today is lateritious, an adjective which means, “of the color of brick; brick-red.”

I feel, I believe, a little better this morning. I still have heaviness in my chest, but definitely don’t feel worse. I did not go to the Night of Worship last night (I wasn’t supposed to play at this one, anyway), so that I could be better rested for this morning. I will be going to our worship gathering, and playing, as usual. Which reminds me, I still have to print my song charts. Hold on a minute.

Thanks for waiting. Where was I? Yes. The Red Sox beat the Braves again, yesterday, 8-6. Drew Pomeranz only made 3.1 innings, so Steven Wright got the win on this one. This puts the Red Sox at MLB best 36-16. As an added bonus, the Angels pounded the Yankees 11-4, so the Sox are now two games up in the AL East.

The Rangers beat the Royals, 4-3, on a walk-off by Choo in the bottom of the tenth inning. According to the stats, this gives Choo the most home runs by any player from Asia. The Rangers are now 22-32 on the season, and 12.5 games out in the AL West.

Both teams will continue their series today.

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 in Fort Worth.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD: 
that he looked down from his holy height; from heaven the LORD looked at the earth, 
to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die, 
that they may declare in Zion the name of the LORD, and in Jerusalem his praise, 
when peoples gather together, and kingdoms, to worship the LORD. 
He has broken my strength in midcourse; he has shortened my days. 
“O my God,” I say, “take me not away in the midst of my days— you whose years endure throughout all generations!” 
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 102:18-28

Right there in verse 18, we see a major purpose of a lot of these Psalms. “Let this be recorded for a generation to come, so that a people yet to be created may praise the LORD.” What is it that needs to be recorded? “That he looked down . . . to hear the groans of the prisoners, to set free those who were doomed to die.”

Verses 21-22 show us at least one of the purposes for our worship gatherings, which is to declare the name of the Lord, and to declare his praise.

Father, I thank you that these words were recorded for this generation and even more generations yet to come, that we might praise you with the same words with which you were praised in ancient days. Even though our music may be different (I still wish I could hear the original music), we praise you with similar words and phrases, many taken directly from this book of Psalms, this “prayer book of the Bible,” this “hymnal” from ancient days. Thank you for preserving it for us. May we be faithful to declare your name and praise you as we gather today. Be in our midst as we praise you, as we sing to you and sing to one another. Show us your glory; show us yourself; work in us.
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.

Live What I Believe

Today is Monday, April 17, 2017.

Quote of the Day

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” ~ Michelangelo

Word of the Day

Smattering ~ a slight, superficial, or introductory knowledge of something.

Today is Blah Blah Blah Day. No, really. I swear I’m not making this up. Click the link.

I’m staying home from work today. As evening wore on, last night, I started feeling a heaviness in my chest, congestion building up. I didn’t sleep well (or maybe I slept better than I thought and was dreaming that I wasn’t sleeping), and may go back to sleep after I finish this blog. I woke up feeling like I have a brick in my chest. I’m sure it’s nothing serious. Just one of those “colds” or whatever they are. We had one guy come to work for two days last week with something similar, and he finally called in Friday. I decided that I would call in the first day instead of going to work for several days, thereby exposing the rest of the crew to whatever I’ve got. Of course, it will cost me PTO, since we don’t get sick leave any more.

All that aside, I must report that we had a most excellent time at the Escape Room, yesterday. As before, we had an interactive hostess, who started us off with the story that we were in Blackbeard’s cabin, looking for the treasure map which had been cut into five pieces. We had to find those five pieces, along with the key to get us out of the room. We lost count of how many little boxes we had to unlock, some with numeric codes, others with symbolic codes and a couple with letter codes. We got off to a bit of a slow start, but by the time we were done, we were moving at a pretty frantic pace. It was great fun, and we “escaped” the room with two minutes and thirty-four seconds left on the clock. Talk about adrenaline!

Before we went to the Escape Room, we had lunch at a delightful little restaurant on Camp Bowie, just a few doors down from the Texas State Optical store where I got glasses when I was a young boy. Memories . . . Anyway, the restaurant was called Pho and Grill 2. Pho is pronounced “fuh.” It’s Vietnamese noodle soup, made with rice noodles (called “banh pho,” hence the name “pho”), broth, herbs, and some kind of meat, usually beef or chicken. This was the first time I ever had pho. And I have to say it was quite delicious. Hard to eat, but delicious, none the less. I got mine with eye of round steak and brisket. R had chicken. C got something different, a “crispy rice” dish with some seasoned beef, and J got something with egg noodles instead of rice noodles. Along with the pho bowl, we got a plate of bean sprouts, basil, lime, and jalapenos to add to the soup. I added bean sprouts, basil, and jalapenos to mine, but no lime. I also added a generous portion of Sriracha sauce. Apparently, that’s a “criminal” act, similar to putting ketchup on a good steak. Oh, well. Live and learn. I have also just learned that it is totally acceptable to pick up the bowl and slurp the broth. I’m actually looking forward to trying pho again.

The Rangers continue to slide. Unfortunately, they let Sam Dyson pitch again, last night, so he, not unexpectedly, blew a save and lost the game. They really need to bench him until they can figure out what’s wrong. He was nearly perfect in the World Baseball Classic. It doesn’t make sense. Anyway, they lost to the Mariners again, last night, 8-7, and are now in last place in the AL West.

The Red Sox beat the Rays again, 7-5, as Joe Kelly got his second win (he was not the starter; he has won two games in relief). They are in third place in the AL East, behind Baltimore and New York. The Boo Jays remain in last, with a 2-10 record. I’m enjoying that a little too much, perhaps. Baltimore is currently the best team in MLB, with a record of 8-3.


I will lift up my hands toward your commandments, which I love, and I will meditate on your statutes.
Psalm 119:48
O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
Psalm 71:12
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
Psalm 71:17
This is the LORD’s doing; it is marvelous in our eyes.
Psalm 118:23
Give ear to my words, O LORD; consider my groaning. 
Give attention to the sound of my cry, my King and my God, for to you do I pray. 
O LORD, in the morning you hear my voice; in the morning I prepare a sacrifice for you and watch. 
For you are not a God who delights in wickedness; evil may not dwell with you. 
  The boastful shall not stand before your eyes; you hate all evildoers. 
You destroy those who speak lies; the LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man. 
But I, through the abundance of your steadfast love, will enter your house. I will bow down toward your holy temple in the fear of you.

Psalm 5:1-7
“Almighty and everlasting God, who in the Paschal mystery established the new covenant of reconciliation: Grant that all who have been reborn in this fellowship of Christ’s Body may show forth in their lives what they profess by their faith; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.” (The Divine Hours)

Father, as I pray for bodily healing this day, may I also live out the things that I claim to believe.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Arise From the Dead

“Death and love are the two wings that bear the good man to heaven.”~~Michelangelo

Today’s word of the day, from, is castellated. It sounds bad, but it means “having many castles,” or, also, “built like a castle, especially with turrets and battlements.”

Today is Do A Grouch A Favor Day. There are a lot of days that I’m that grouch, so perhaps I should take advantage of this day, and find a grouch to do a favor for.

Band practice went well, last night. I feel like I played pretty well, but there is still a lot of work to do. I really need to start getting in some extra practice. Tonight may be an excellent opportunity, as Christi will be beginning another bowling league where she works, and will be a little later getting home.

My mother had a followup visit with the surgeon, yesterday. The initial pathology report was correct in evaluating the lump as cancerous. But the surgeon believes that she got it all, and that some radiation therapy will prevent it from returning. Also, she said that the lymph node was fine. Good news. It could have been better, if the lump had not been cancer, but, still good news.

I didn’t watch any of the Grammy Awards, last night, as I was at band practice. However, Christi and I are both quite happy that Ed Sheeran won song of the year for “Thinking Out Loud.” We consider that to be “our song.” And here it is.

Taylor Swift became the first woman to win Album of the Year twice, and “Uptown Funk” won record of the year. I’m also okay with that (as if it matters). I like that song, too.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The LORD is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
When evildoers assail me to eat up my flesh, my adversaries and foes, it is they who stumble and fall.
Though an army encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war arise against me, yet I will be confident.
One thing have I asked of the LORD, that will I seek after: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to inquire in his temple.
For he will hide me in his shelter in the day of trouble; he will conceal me under the cover of his tent; he will lift me high upon a rock.
And now my head shall be lifted up above my enemies all around me, and I will offer in his tent sacrifices with shouts of joy; I will sing and make melody to the LORD.

Psalm 27:1-6

How does fear respond to danger? It buries us under “thick layers of self-defense, where we can only cower in shadows.” But faith . . . faith responds by trusting our Father, living life with head held high and “‘shouts of joy’ (v. 6).”

“I refuse, O God, to live fearfully or cautiously. I name my fears one by one and turn them over to you, and find them simply trivial when set alongside your majesty. With lifted head I will live in your light and salvation, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Inspiration of Spiritual Initiative.”

. . . arise from the dead . . .
Ephesians 5:14

“All initiative is not inspired.” This is a true statement. If we are struggling, and someone comes to us and says, “Suck it up and get going,” there is no power in that “initiative.” It is “ordinary human initiative.” But when the Spirit of God comes in, he brings power with him.

“We all have any number of visions and ideals when we are young, but sooner or later, we find that we have no power to make them real.” I can attest to the truth of that statement, from personal experience. The problem is that, when we discover the truth of it, we tend to settle down to the norm and, in a sense, die to those dreams and visions. But God comes in and tell us, “Arise from the dead!” When his inspiration comes, “it comes with such miraculous power that we are able to arise from the dead and do the impossible thing.”

Now comes a dangerous idea. The idea is that, once God tells us to arise, “we have to get up.” In other words, God will not do it for us. When Jesus told the man with the withered hand to stretch forth his hand, once the man did so, he was healed. The man had to do something. Chambers says “he had to take the initiative.” I disagree with Chambers on this point. Jesus took the initiative; the man simply responded to Jesus’s command. We must be careful to never believe that we are taking any initiative with the Lord! We must perform the action; we must do the overcoming. But it is God who takes the initiative to make us overcomers and provide the initiative and inspiration to “arise from the dead.”

Father, I pray that your Spirit would bring me inspiration and initiative. I feel that I have been “dead” for a long time. My dreams and visions seem to have faded. I pray for resurrection in my spirit. Give me that inspiration, that I might truly “arise from the dead” and do “the impossible thing.”

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

Do Not Be Anxious

Good morning. It is Sunday, September 13, 2015.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is multiloquence This noun means, ” Excessive talkativeness or loquaciousness; prolixity.” Great, now I have to look up two more words. “Loquacious” is another word for “full of excessive talk.” “Prolixity” is a form of “prolix,” which means, “marked by or using an excess of words.” So today, you get three words for the price of one! I call that a bargain.

Today is Grandparent’s Day. I always thought this was just another day thought up by Hallmark, but apparently, it has some deeper meaning. Someone named Marian McQuade “instigated a campaign in the early 1970s aimed at highlighting the plight of lonely elderly people in care homes and encouraging grandchildren to take advantage of the wisdom and guidance their grandparents could provide.” So there you go. If you have any grandparents left, show them some love. Listen to their stories. Even better, record their stories! I can’t tell you how many times I wish I had recorded my grandparents talking.

We had a truly amazing time, yesterday! We went down for the lunch buffet at around 11:00 AM. The place we ate had pretty good food, with a very wide variety of types of cuisine. They had Asian, Mexican, Italian, American, and seafood, along with a very large salad bar and dessert bar. The dessert was actually quite good, too, which is rare for buffet places.

After lunch, we all split up to play some more, with plans to meet up at 5:00 PM for dinner. Christi and I played for what must have been close to four hours. I ran out of my “free” $50 bonus money early on, and started using money we had allocated for playing. The winnings ebbed and flowed, as the amounts dwindled. As it got later, we started on a journey to get to the other end of the casino. Winstar is set up in pretty much linear design, with a right angle turn in the middle. Each gaming area is named after a city in the world. Our hotel is on the London end, which is followed by Madrid, and then Rome, which is where the Global Event Center is located. More on that later. At the other end of the casino, is New York City. There is Venice and Cairo in there, somewhere, too. I can’t remember if there are any more cities represented.

We would stop and play a machine, here and there, but really had no good luck. We reached New York and turned around to head back. As we walked, we stumbled on a machine that I had really liked in a previous visit, a Wizard of Oz “Haunted Forest” themed machine. So I sat down to play. I used up what was on the last voucher I had printed, and put $40 more in the machine. On this machine, you could bet with $.40, $.80, $1.20, $2.00, or $4.00. On a whim, I placed a $1.20 bet, and got this “Flying Monkey” feature which randomly places some “wilds” on the playing board. I won a significant amount, getting my total up around $50 or so. Feeling bold, I placed a $4.00 bet, and won only $2.00. I turned around and put that $2.00 back up, and got the Flying Monkeys again. This time, they put a “wild” in all five columns! As the reels stopped turning, the machine started playing this lush orchestral version of “Somewhere Over the Rainbow,” and the amount I had won started going up. It stopped at $199 and some change! I had just won $199 on a $2 bet. I cashed out. Total won on that machine, $241 and some change. As I got up, Christi was coming to find me to show me that she had finished up with over $60 winnings on the machine she was playing. We walked away with just over $300.
Winstar vouchers

We met back up with Rachel and Justin at 5:00 PM and went back down to have some dinner. We ate a a place in the London area, called “Chips and Ales.” We didn’t have any ale. But we had some pretty good fish and chips and other stuff. We still had close to two hours before Jim Gaffigan’s show as was to start, so we agreed to meet in front of the Global Event Center at 7:00. I had found out that they would begin seating at 6:30. Since there’s nothing else to do in a casino, we played some more. I pretty much lost $20 during that time, cashing out with forty cents. Christi had put in $40 and finished up with around $11 or so.

The show was really great. I probably would not entertain the idea of going to another one at that venue, however. The place is totally flat (no incline until you’re so far back you couldn’t see, anyway), and they use those portable plain chairs that hook together for seating. What this means is that the chairs are right next to each other. All of us are pretty big people, which makes this type of setting VERY uncomfortable. Added to the fact that this show was sold out, it made things even worse, because there would be someone sitting next to us. However, a few minutes before time for the show to begin, a nice gentleman came over and showed us how to unhook the chairs, so that we could at least spread them out a few inches between us. That brought us some welcome relief. We probably weren’t supposed to do that, but no one official seemed to notice.

I can’t remember the name of the “warm-up” comedian, but he was pretty good, telling jokes about old commercials that we grew up with, and how politically incorrect they were. Such as the “Frito Bandito,” the “How about a nice Hawaiian Punch” commercial, and the Armour Hot Dogs jingle with spoke of “fat kids, skinny kids, kids who climb on rocks; tough kids, sissy kids, even kids with chicken pox . . .” Anyone in their forties or fifties would have loved those jokes.

Jim Gaffigan did not disappoint. He was hilarious, as always, constantly making fun of himself, without being vulgar or off color at all. He joked about hiking, kids, Disney World, and, to my pleasant surprise, finished the show with his entire “Hot Pocket” routine. It was all great fun. Except for when the possibly drunk person came in to the row right behind us, with only about 15 minutes left in the show and constantly giggled “He’s so funny” while loudly repeating every joke that Jim told, to the person sitting next to him. Ah, well. There’s always something, right? I didn’t let that ruin my good time. The show was fantastic, and we laughed more than we had ever laughed in an hour, before.

After the show, we hit the restrooms, and Justin and Rachel went off in search of snacks and, maybe, coffee. Christi still had that $11 voucher burning a hole in her pocket, so she found a machine just like the one she had won $60 on, earlier. There were two together, so I sat down next to her and put in my forty cent voucher. And another $20. A few minutes later, another $20. Then I got a couple of “Bonus” rounds almost back to back. I cashed out with $60, while Christi went on to cash out with $40. Walking out with $100, we had broken even for the night, which, in casino-speak, is the same thing as winning!


As I type this, this morning, we are roughly $100 up for our trip. And that’s including the $40 I dropped in about 5 minutes, playing Blackjack! Yeah. I don’t think I’ll ever try that again.

We have to check out by 11:00, this morning, after which we will pack up the car, park it somewhere else (it’s in valet parking), and go back to the buffet restaurant for our complimentary brunches. We will likely head back to Denton after that, and then on to home. We still have to get in our grocery shopping after we get home, which is not a great way to finish off an otherwise spectacular weekend!

On September 13, in 122, the construction of Hadrian’s Wall began. In 335, Emperor Constantine consecrated the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem. In 1501, Michelangelo began work on his statue of David. In 1609, Henry Hudson finally reached the river that would later be named after him. In 1788, the Philadelphia Convention set the date for the first presidential election, and New York City was established as the temporary capital of the U.S. In 1898, Hannibal Goodwin patented celluloid photographic film. In 1899, Henry Bliss was the first person in the U.S. to be killed in an auto accident. In 1971, the National Guard, along with state police, stormed Attica to end a prison revolt. In 2001, civilian aircraft flights were resumed in the U.S., following the 9/11 attacks. And, in 2008, Hurricane Ike made landfall in the Gulf Coast, causing heavy damage to Galveston, Houston, and surrounding areas.

Today’s birthdays include Milton S. Hershey (American confectioner), Arnold Schoenberg (Austrian-born composer), Claudette Colbert (American actress), Bill Monroe (American musician credited with the invention of bluegrass), Roald Dahl (British writer), Mel Torme (American singer), Barbara Bain (American actress), David Clayton-Thomas (Canadian singer, Blood, Sweat & Tears), Peter Cetera (American musician, Chicago), Jacqueline Bisset (British actress), Nell Carter (American actress), Jean Smart (American actress), Anne Geddes (Australian photographer), Dave Mustaine (American musician), Tyler Perry (American filmmaker), Fiona Apple (American singer), Ben Savage (American actor), and Daisuke Matsuzaka (Japanese pitcher, previously Boston Red Sox).

Peter Cetera is a bass player/singer, born on this date in 1944, making him 71 years old today. Egad. His best years were with Chicago as their bass player and one of their singers. He had a relatively dismal solo career, and I have no idea what he is doing today. Here is an early clip of Chicago performing “Dialogue,” with Terry Kath playing guitar and singing, long before he accidentally killed himself.

Leopold Stokowski, Tupac Shakur, George Wallace, Dorothy McQuire, and Ann Richards are among notable deaths on this date.


Today’s Psalm, from Heart Aflame, is Psalm 103:14-16.

For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.
As for man, his days are like grass; he flourishes like a flower of the field;
for the wind passes over it, and it is gone, and its place knows it no more.

(From Solid Joys)

Therefore do not be anxious, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all. But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.
Matthew 6:31-34

Today’s reading is, “Reasons Not To Worry.”

There are several great promises in this passage of Scripture. The first is in verse 31-32, telling us that there is no need to be anxious about daily needs, because God knows what we need. We simply need to trust his timing, as he is not ignorant about our needs.

In verse 33, we are told that, if we give our lives to seeking God’s cause, which is his Kingdom, all of these things will be added to us. In other words, if we seek the Lord and his interests above our own, he will provide for us. In my opinion, the cause of the Gospel is the only worthy “cause” on earth to support.

Finally, in verse 34, we are again told to not be anxious, specifically about tomorrow. God will take care of us. As my mother used to tell me, “Don’t borrow trouble.”

Father, I pray for my faith to be stronger, that I might follow these promises and commands, not worrying, trusting that you will provide for me. Help me to selflessly seek your Kingdom and support your cause with my entire being.

I pray for safety as we travel home today. Thank you for giving us a great weekend of fun and relaxation.

Come, Lord Jesus.

My brothers and sisters, try with all your being to shed your anxieties and trust in God’s timing and provision.

Grace and peace, friends.