Esse Quam Videri

Good morning. It is Sunday, July 6, 2014.

Today is Fried Chicken Day. Yum! Just might have to do that.

Yesterday was a mixed bag. In some ways, it was pretty good. But Christi did a lot of running around in the late morning, early afternoon, helping her mother out, yet again. The church service went pretty well, in spite of mixed feelings before it began. The rehearsal was rough (I was only listening, not involved), but when the music actually happened, for the most part, it went pretty well. There were less than twenty people there, though, as a lot of people were out for various reasons. The prayer times that were interspersed with the music went pretty well, but I think, for future reference, we shouldn’t break it up quite like that. I’m not sure. There were some awkward times, when people weren’t sure if they should be standing or sitting, and I didn’t want to tell them to sit every time we prayed, as I thought they might begin to feel like a “Jack-in-the-box.” We’ll probably adjust a little, if we do that kind of service again.

Stephanie spent another night with her friend Megan, and they have decided that they are both going to come with us to my parents’ house today. That’s a new development, but not entirely surprising. 🙂 So we will be heading that way at around 11:00 this morning.

(Source: This Day In History)

It was on this date in 1933 that the first Major League Baseball All-Star Game was held at Comiskey Park in Chicago. The idea was to “bolster the sport and improve its reputation during the darkest years of the Great Depression.” Unfortunately, it is still happening every year, breaking up any potential momentum that any given team might be experiencing. But that’s just my opinion. It doesn’t help any that Bud Lite (the “commissioner” not the beer) decided a few years back to give the winner of the annual game home-field advantage during the World Series. The Wild Card team should NEVER have home field advantage in the World Series!! And that’s all I’m going to say about that.

Today’s birthdays include John Paul Jones (the war hero, not the keyboard player for Led Zeppelin), Burt Ward, Geoffrey Rush, Bill Haley, Janet Leigh (shower girl from Psycho), Ned Beatty, Merv Griffin, Adam Busch, Allyce Beasley, Dave Allen, Sebastian Cabot, Pat Paulsen, and Della Reese.

Burt Ward played “Robin” in the sixties TV series, Batman. I was a huge fan of Burt Ward’s Robin when I was a kid. Here is a clip I found on You Tube of Burt auditioning for the part of Robin in 1965. Burt is 69 today.


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

(From The Divine Hours)

Sing to the LORD, bless his name; tell of his salvation from day to day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous works among all the peoples!
Psalm 96:2-3
Let my cry come before you, O LORD; give me understanding according to your word! Let my plea come before you; deliver me according to your word.
Psalm 119:169-170
Lord, you have been our dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever you had formed the earth and the world, from everlasting to everlasting you are God.
Psalm 90:1-2

“Lord, make me have perpetual love and reverence for your holy Name, for you never
fail to help and govern those whom you have set upon the sure foundation of your
loving-kindness; through Jesus Christ our Lord, who lives and reigns with you and
the Holy Spirit, one God, for ever and ever. Amen.”

Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “The Way of Integrity.”

In this “way of integrity,” there are no grounds for boasting, because “it is the work of the Spirit within us.” That is easy to say, of course, but we must remember that “without the Holy Spirit we cannot even see that Jesus is risen.” The way of integrity calls “the disciple to rigorous honesty about his attitudes, values, lifestyle, and personal relationships.” Sadly, it seems that honesty is a rare quality, “seldom found in society or in the church.”

“Like the alcoholic who denies he has a drinking problem, many of us have been deluding ourselves for so long that dishonesty and self-deception have become an accepted way of life.”

We must get away from the habit of “seeming to be,” rather than actually being. “Esse quam Videri” is attributed to Saint Gregory Nazianzen. (It may have originated with Cicero.) It means “to be rather than seem to be.” What this means for me is that pretense and sham cannot be enough to get by; pious thoughts cannot replace “putting on an apron and washing dirty feet;” and neurosis cannot be “an adequate substitute for suffering.”

. . . who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.
Mark 12:40

Father, help me to be more honest, both with myself and everyone else around me. May I never put on pretense or sham, in an effort to convince others that I am really what I say I am. May I live out the phrase that is the title of this entry, “esse quam videri.” Help me to be rather than seem to be. I cannot do this without your Spirit enabling me. Therefore, I pray that you fill me with your Spirit on a daily basis.

I pray for this day, that we will have a safe trip to Mineral Wells and back, and that all will have a good time as we visit with my parents. Then give us good rest for the week of work ahead, that we might work from our rest.

Regardless of your belief system, life would be better for all if we would “be rather than seem to be.” Honesty and integrity are worthy qualities.

Grace and peace, friends.

With Patience, Vision Will Become Reality

Good morning. It’s Friday, July 6, 2012. It feels like the second Friday of this week. And yesterday felt like the second Monday. I guess that makes it “Monday Thursday.” Hahahaha…ha……ha….never mind. Sorry.
Today is “National Fried Chicken Day.” Uh-uh. NOT gonna happen. I’m too close to another landmark in my weight-loss journey.
On this date in 1957, Althea Gibson became the first African American to win Wimbledon. This is interesting, because one of the stories from yesterday was that Arthur Ashe was the first African American male to win Wimbledon. In 1975. Almost twenty years later! On this date in 1971, Louis “Satchmo” Armstrong died at the age of 69. On this date in 1957, John met Paul for the first time, changing the face of music for the rest of time as we know it. )Not the ones from the Bible, by the way…I’m not sure they ever actually met.) And on this date in 1933, the first MLB All-Star game was held. If I could go back in time and change one thing… Okay, it wouldn’t be that, but it’s fun to fantasize, right?

Just for kicks, I took this reading test that I found in Robin Lee Hatcher’s blog. You can take the same test here.

ereader test
Source: Staples eReader Department

I read 418 wpm, which put me just under the average college student. I guess I’m cool with that.

Yesterday was an okay day. Christi’s not feeling well again. Not sure what’s up with that. Hopefully, with a weekend coming up, she can get some good rest and recover from this junk. We had lifehouse last night, so we didn’t work out. We’ll hit the gym again tonight. The nice thing about Friday nights is that the gym is typically less crowded. Then on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, it’s almost empty. When Stephanie and I went on July 4th, there were about five other people there. It was great.
Well…on to my devotional.

Father, I pray for some vision of you today. Show me something of you that will help me live this day looking to you. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Create in me a clean heart.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 36. This psalm seems to contrast the transgressions in the heart of the wicked with the steadfast love of the Lord, which occupies the second half of the psalm.
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Your righteousness is like the mountains of God; your judgments are like the great deep; man and beast you save, O LORD.
How precious is your steadfast love, O God! The children of mankind take refuge in the shadow of your wings.
They feast on the abundance of your house, and you give them drink from the river of your delights.
For with you is the fountain of life; in your light do we see light.

My Utmost For His Highest

… the burning sand shall become a pool, and the thirsty ground springs of water; in the haunt of jackals, where they lie down, the grass shall become reeds and rushes. Isaiah 35:7 The KJV says “the parched ground shall become a pool…”

Chambers writes about vision becoming reality in our lives. We always get a “vision” before before something becomes real. Not necessarily a literal vision, but a vision of something that we want to make real. Something that becomes a goal for us. Right now, I have a “vision” of becoming an intercessor. But that vision is not yet reality. Between the two is when Satan comes in with his temptations, attempting to seduce us into giving up our vision. I know this to be true, and have experienced it multiple times. I confess that he has been successful, at times, too.
“God gives us the vision, then He takes us down to the valley to batter us into the shape of the vision, and it is in the valley that so many of us faint and give way.” Part of the reason that we “faint” is because we get in a hurry. “Think of the enormous leisure of God! He is never in a hurry.” If we have patience, the vision will be made real. I’m not giving up, this time. This vision will become reality! Why do I say this? Because of the truth of the last statement in today’s reading. “If you have ever had the vision of God, you may try as you like to be satisfied on a lower level, but God will never let you.”

Father, I praise you this morning for the vision. You have given me many visions over the years, and few of them have found their way to fruition. I have been weak. I have allowed the temptations of Satan to come in and disrupt the visions. Not this time, Lord. You have given me the vision of intercessor, and this will come to reality. I will not let this one go, because you will not let me go! (I do not say that certain other visions are “dead,” necessarily…this is simply the one on which I am currently focusing.) And do not ever let me go, Father, I pray thee! Make this vision reality. I will endure the valley while Satan attempts to tell me that this is useless, that I will just fail again, like all the other times. But this vision has its foundation in you; this vision has its power in the Holy Spirit and the shed blood of Jesus Christ, and I believe that this vision is your will. Lead me further along, Lord, and take me through the valley as you shape me into what you want me to be. I will not be “satisfied on a lower level.”
I thank you for your steadfast love that has been made so evident in my life. I will revel in that love today, Lord. Make me aware of this love throughout this day as I go about the daily drudgery of the job. May I work my job today for your glory. May everything I do today glorify you in some way. Keep my thoughts pure and holy today. Let me not fail as I did yesterday when annoyance after annoyance was thrown at me and I eventually failed the test. Give me that clean heart! Teach me your ways! Let me walk in your truth! Give me the peace that passes all understanding, no matter what comes my way today. My reality, my identity is founded in my relationship with you. Let that be the basis for my life.

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi will feel better today, as the day goes on. Place your healing hand upon her, Lord, and I pray that she will get some much needed rest this weekend. Give her a stress-free day today, at her job. I pray for Stephanie today, that she will be inspired to spend some time reading your Word today, and perhaps sending up prayers of her own.

I lift up our friend Susie, today. I pray that you will inspire her to solid commitment to reach her health goals, just as you have inspired us. And while I’m mentioning that, I praise you that our efforts have inspired others. I did not necessarily expect that, but it has happened.

I continue to lift up Summer and Bart in their surgery recoveries. We hope to see both of them this Sunday.

I pray for the leadership of The Exchange, asking for guidance as they team together to lead us in the direction that you have planned for us. This morning, I pray for Evin Fahey, whom I suspect has something to do with the children, so I pray that you give her wisdom and courage as she leads in this area. I also continue to pray for Zach Schroeder, Stormy Venator, and all others who led and sponsored youth this week at Falls Creek. I pray that they have a safe return from camp today. We rejoice in the reports of salvations that occurred during this week. Your name is to be praised.

Today, Father, I pray for the gracious supplying of the needs of your children. We know that it is your will to supply all of our needs, Lord. I pray, though, that we not get our “wants” confused with our “needs.” You have never promised to supply our wants. Sometimes you do, and for that we are very, very grateful!

Do you have a vision today? Be patient! God will turn it into reality, if we are patient.

Grace and peace, friends.