On Being Right

Today is Thursday, May 25, 2017. Day 21,623. Nine days until our Oregon vacation!

“Everything popular is wrong.” ~ Oscar Wilde
From Brainy Quote

Chinwag ~ an idle chat; to chat idly; gossip.

Today is Towel Day. For those who are not “in the know,” this is a tribute to Douglas Adams, author of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy. The first thing to remember is, of course, DON’T PANIC! The second thing is to always remember your towel.

C hasn’t been feeling well over the past couple of days. Both days, she set out for work and wound up coming back home. She thinks she’s feeling better this morning. She was having chills and a very low-grade fever (barely over normal, most of the time).

The Red Sox beat the Rangers again, last night, 9-4. Perhaps it would be better to say that Sam Dyson beat the Rangers. I’m not sure why they are still letting him pitch. If he hadn’t pitched, last night, the Rangers might have won that game. Of course, you never know. The Twins beat the Orioles, so the Sox are now only 3.5 games out of first. The Rangers are 7 out, behind the Astros, who remain the best team in baseball, for the time being.

We finally watched the two episodes of The Voice, from this week, including the finale. So we now know who won this season. I somehow managed to get all the way through yesterday without finding out. I was slightly disappointed, but not unhappy when Chris Blue won the competition, edging out Lauren Duski, who, in my opinion, is one of the best female country vocalists I have ever heard. And I don’t even like country music that much. All four contestants sang an original song that was written just for them. Lauren wrote hers, herself, and it was really good. I didn’t care for Chris’s original. As for the performances on Monday night, I think Jesse Larson’s were the best for that particular night. He and Adam Levine nailed Prince’s “Let’s Go Crazy.” But Jesse came in fourth place, followed by the youngest to ever reach the finale, Aliyah Moulden.

Today would have been the 60th anniversary of my parents’ wedding day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS
All Scriptures are from the ESV, unless otherwise noted

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! 
For great is the LORD, and greatly to be praised; he is to be feared above all gods.

Psalm 96:2-4
Answer me, O LORD, for your steadfast love is good; according to your abundant mercy, turn to me.
Psalm 69:16
The LORD lives, and blessed be my rock, and exalted be the God of my salvation
Psalm 18:46
. . . who looks on the earth and it trembles, who touches the mountains and they smoke!
Psalm 104:32

(From The President’s Devotional)

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

But take care that this right of yours does not somehow become a stumbling block to the weak.
1 Corinthians 8:9

Joshua DuBois says, “We can do anything today–and we’d probably be right.” We can probably back up our words with “unassailable facts and solid figures.” We might even be justified in the way we feel and/or act toward those who may have wronged us, and our judgments upon others might be justified, as well, “given their misdeeds.”

However, is being right always worth it? “Once we’ve summited the mountain of our own correctness, what great prize will we receive?”

The words of Maya Angelou, above, closely echo those of the Apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians. There are times when how we make people feel will be much more important than whether or not we are right.

Dallas Willard once said, “One of the hardest things in the world is to be right and not hurt other people with it.”

“Dear God, let me put first things first–not my own ‘rightness’ but my love for you and others.” (Joshua DuBois)

Father, I echo this prayer. It’s not always important to be “right,” or to exercise our “rights.” Truthfully, if we are following Jesus, we have surrendered those rights, including the “right” to be “right.” Let me always consider others more than myself, Father, in my walk with Christ.
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.

Advertisements

No Temptation Has Overtaken You That Is Not Common To Man

Today is Saturday, May 13, 2017. One week until our “family reunion.”

Quote of the Day

“Fashion is a form of ugliness so intolerable that we have to alter it every six months.” ~ Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Microcosm ~ a little world; especially : the human race or human nature seen as an epitome of the world or the universe. Also, a community or other unity that is an epitome of a larger unity.

There are a number of choices for today’s “holiday,” some more strange than others. I’m going with one of the stranger ones. Today is Leprechaun Day. I love the idea of leprechauns. I also love Lucky Charms, represented by a leprechaun. “It is said that if you catch a leprechaun, he will have to give you his pot of gold, but leprechauns are resourceful when it comes to defending their gold, and they are not easily caught.”

It’s another busy weekend at the Bickleyhouse. Tonight, there is a Southlake Community Band concert that doesn’t begin until 8:00 PM. I have to be there by 7:30, and it should last until around 9:30. Since we only had a couple weeks to prepare for this one, we are basically re-playing our Disney concert from earlier in the year. The next gig is on July 3 for the July 4 festivities.

Tomorrow, of course, is Mother’s Day. Since we are all going to east Texas to visit my uncle and cousins next weekend, we will not be going to Mineral Wells tomorrow to see my mother. She promised that she is fine with that. And the trip to east Texas is part of our Mother’s Day gift to her. R & J will be coming over tomorrow, though to celebrate with C. We will probably order out and have food delivered, rather than fight crowds at a restaurant. We just don’t like doing that scene at all.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

But we will bless the LORD from this time forth and forevermore. Praise the LORD!
Psalm 115:18
I cry to you, O LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.”
Psalm 142:5
I will give thanks to you, O LORD, among the peoples; I will sing praises to you among the nations. 
For your steadfast love is great above the heavens; your faithfulness reaches to the clouds.

Psalm 108:3-4
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly.
Psalm 84:11
To you, O LORD, I lift up my soul. 
O my God, in you I trust; let me not be put to shame; let not my enemies exult over me. 
  Indeed, none who wait for you shall be put to shame; they shall be ashamed who are wantonly treacherous. 
Make me to know your ways, O LORD; teach me your paths. 
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.

Psalm 25:1-5

(From The President’s Devotional)

No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.
1 Corinthians 10:13 (ESV)

“But Satan now is wiser than of yore,
And tempts by making rich, not making poor.” ~ Alexander Pope, Moral Essays

“The wave is coming. Its crest high, thundering, overwhelming. We see it from far off and tremble at what it portends. The great wave of temptation.”

This wave comes at us, wanting us to believe that it is undefeatable, that no one has ever survived it. But it lies. Temptation always lies. God tells us that “no temptation has overtaken” us “that is not common to man.” Many people have come before us and survived this wave. “They’ve come out whole. And so will we.”

“Dear God, I know temptation is coming. Give me the mettle to withstand. Amen.” (Joshua DuBois)


Father, I have succumbed to temptations many times, as have many other people. But you have always picked me back up on the other side and placed me back on your path, my journey to you. More temptations will come. They will not stop until I finally reach my destination. The thing is, I can’t even imagine what life without temptation will look like. As I continue to train, strengthen me against temptations of all kinds. Grow me to the point that following and obeying Jesus is second nature; to the point that I don’t even have to think about whether I’m going to do something that I ought not do.
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.

Risking An Open Heart

Today is Tuesday, January 31, 2017. Last day of January.

Quote of the Day

“The pure and simple truth is rarely pure and never simple.” – Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Kibitzer – one who looks on and often offers unwanted advice or comment.

.yaD drawkcaB si yadoT

As mentioned yesterday, I won’t be going to work this morning. Instead, S and I will be heading to Mineral Wells at around 8:30, to pick up my mother and go to Bill Bennett’s memorial service at FBC. It starts at 10:30.

Band practice went well, last night. We have a couple of new guys playing trombone, and it is fun getting to know them. This concert, coming up March 7, will be quite ambitious. It appears that we will have video clips being displayed while we are playing the various Disney tunes, as well as, potentially, some vocalists singing along with us. It promises to be great fun.

25/62

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:1-2

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah. Psalm 67:1

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us.
Psalm 123:1-2

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17

Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. John 14:13-14

(From The President’s Devotional)

And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26

“There is a profound ground of unity that is more pertinent and authentic than all the unilateral dimension of our lives. This a man discovers when he is able to keep open the door of his heart. This is one’s ultimate responsibility, and it is not dependent upon whether the heart of another is kept open for him.”–Howard Thurman, A Strange Freedom

What a magnificent quote! Jesus bids us keep our hearts open to others. He did not say those specific words, but I truly believe that the sentiment exists in his teachings. We are to keep our hearts open, even if others do not open their hearts to us.

What frightens us is the risk involved. Yes, it is a risk to open my heart to others, because they might take advantage of me; they might abuse me; they might trample on my heart and leave it shattered. But that is of no concern to me, or at least it should not be. If we consider that Jesus holds our hearts and keeps them safe, no matter what men may do to them, then we have no risk. But we don’t trust him, do we?

“Open our hearts, God. To instruction, unheard. To possibility, unseen. To love, unfelt. To joy, unknown. If we have been closed off, we repent. And we ask you to open our hearts. Amen.”

Father, it is with great joy that I can say that I believe that you have been in the process of doing this in me for some time, now. I can also say, with all confidence, that it’s not complete, yet. I pray that you do not stop working in me. Help me to completely open my heart and keep it open toward all around me. Help me to trust in your ability in Christ to keep my heart safe and whole.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Before I go, I want to share something. I have run across a song, a worship song, that has “rocked my world,” so to speak. This hasn’t happened in quite some time, but it happened Sunday afternoon, as I waited at a drive-thru for lunch for S and me. This song is by Hillsongs Worship, and is called “What A Beautiful Name.”

Grace and peace, friends.

The Themes of Praise

Today is Tuesday, November 29, 2016. Twenty-six more days until Christmas.

Quote of the Day

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all.” – Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Quinquennium – a period of five years.

Today is Giving Tuesday. Giving Tuesday is always set on the Tuesday after Thanksgiving, which is also the first Tuesday after the feast of materialism known as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The purpose is to draw people’s attention away from getting to giving. A lot of organizations will receive double your charitable donation on Giving Tuesday.

We started practicing for our spring concert last night, at band practice. The director is planning a Disney/Star Wars theme for this one. He’s a huge Disney fan. In fact, that’s where he was last night, because he wasn’t at band practice. He got the band director from the middle school where we practice to lead our rehearsal last night. So that was interesting. She was very cheerful and “bubbly.” She also said, “Cool,” a lot. She was probably excited to get to conduct some older musicians, for a change.

We have our monthly Night of Worship this coming Saturday, so it will be a busy weekend, again, as we will meet up during the afternoon to practice. We are having a “special guest” with us, this time, so we might be starting even earlier.

88 days until the first Spring Training game.
125 days until Opening Day.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! 
Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!
Psalm 95:1-2

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, Selah.  Psalm 67:1

To you I lift up my eyes, O you who are enthroned in the heavens! 
  Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their master, as the eyes of a maidservant to the hand of her mistress, so our eyes look to the LORD our God, till he has mercy upon us. 
Have mercy upon us, O LORD, have mercy upon us, for we have had more than enough of contempt.
Psalm 123:1-3

I will give to the LORD the thanks due to his righteousness, and I will sing praise to the name of the LORD, the Most High. Psalm 7:17

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life; you stretch out your hand against the wrath of my enemies, and your right hand delivers me. 
  The LORD will fulfill his purpose for me; your steadfast love, O LORD, endures forever. Do not forsake the work of your hands.
Psalm 138:7-8

“The themes of praise are vast, and the subjects of praise are glorious, but its accents are always individual and personal: a prayer has been answered, a need has been fulfilled, a sin has been forgiven, a life has been made whole.”

“I thank you, dear God, for what you have done in my body and my spirit. I know that heaven and earth cannot exhaust your being nor even contain your wonders, but it is what you do in me that makes me want to praise what you do everywhere for everyone, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

Father, teach me how to praise you better. Remind me of all of those prayers that have been answered, all of those needs that have been fulfilled, my sin that has been forgiven, and this life that has been made whole. Keep those things in the front of my mind every day, that I might be one who is full of praise for you!

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Glory be to God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. As it was in the beginning, so it is now and so it shall ever be, world without end. Alleluia. Amen.

Grace and peace, friends.

Mistaken Views of Christianity

Today is Saturday, October 29, 2016. Twelve days until our Glen Rose Weekend!

Quote of the Day

“Who, being loved, is poor?” – Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Osculate – kiss

Today is Cat Day. Black cats got their own day, a few days ago. The rest of the cats have to share this one day. May I introduce to you the epitome of “Soft Kitty, Warm Kitty,” Trixie.

Trixie
Trixie

Coco Crisp drove in the only run in last night’s World Series game, and the Indians beat the Cubs 1-0, spoiling the return of the World Series to Wrigley Field. The Indians now lead the series 2-1. For folks who don’t have a dog in this hunt, this is the kind of series they hope for. They would prefer it to go to seven games and maybe even have extra innings in Game Seven, like the 1991 World Series, in which the Twins beat the Braves in the 10th inning. 1-0. I remember that game. I stayed up to watch it, cheering the Twins on.

I don’t know what’s going on today. I’m thinking about going and doing early voting. If I can decide what I’m doing. We might go to the grocery store today, or we might wait until tomorrow evening. I know that Monday evening (Halloween), we will be going to our pastor’s mother’s house for some of her famous chili, which is a venison/beef mix, and may be the best chili I have ever tasted. It’s an annual tradition at her house. She makes several pots of the stuff, and the neighbors and friends come by for a bowl. Good times.

I just put two new book reviews up on my other blog.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Bless the LORD, O you his angels, you mighty ones who do his word, obeying the voice of his word!
Bless the LORD, all his hosts, his ministers, who do his will!
Bless the LORD, all his works, in all places of his dominion. Bless the LORD, O my soul!
Psalm 103:20-22
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.
Psalm 5:1-3
You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” Isaiah 26:3; 30:15
The counsel of the LORD stands forever, the plans of his heart to all generations. Psalm 33:11

(From Praying With the Psalms)

A Song of Ascents. Of David. I was glad when they said to me, “Let us go to the house of the LORD!”
Our feet have been standing within your gates, O Jerusalem!
Jerusalem—built as a city that is bound firmly together,
to which the tribes go up, the tribes of the LORD, as was decreed for Israel, to give thanks to the name of the LORD.
There thrones for judgment were set, the thrones of the house of David.
Psalm 122:1-5

As the people traveled on their pilgrimage to Jerusalem, the experienced joy in going to “the house of the Lord.” Just like the ancient Israelites, we should be joyful as we journey to our respective houses of worship. “Any road that leads to a congregation of God’s people is traveled with a glad heart.”

“I give you thanks, most gracious God, for the church in which I worship, the care with which it was built, the devotion with which it is maintained, the ministering uses to which it is put. For all this I thank you, in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God. 2 Corinthians 5:21

There are some “Christian” views that are not taught in the Bible. One of those is that Jesus died for our sins out of sympathy. “The New Testament view is that He bore our sin not by sympathy, but by identification.” He was made to be sin, according to 2 Corinthians 5:21. Our sins are removed because of the obedience of Jesus.

Another incorrect view is that we are acceptable to God because of our obedience. This is wrong. “We are acceptable with God not because we have obeyed, or because we have promised to give up things, but because of the death of Christ, and in no other way.”

Another view says that Jesus came to reveal “the Fatherhood of God,” and his lovingkindness. However, the New Testament says that Jesus came to “bear away the sin of the world.” Jesus never spoke to the world as one who reveals the Father, but as “a stumbling block.” His revelation of the Father is only to those “to whom He has been introduced as Saviour.”

The view that Jesus died for me, so I go “scot-free,” is also not taught in Scripture. He died “for all,” according to the Bible; he did not die “my death.” “By identification with His death I can be freed from sin, and have imparted to me His very righteousness.”

“It is not Christ for me unless I am determined to have Christ formed in me.”

Father, you have taught me these things, gradually, over the course of my life. I haven’t believed any of these errant views for quite some time. I do believe that Jesus revealed you to me, along with all other “disciples,” but the world does not see this. To the world, he is a stumbling block. I know that I am acceptable to you only because of the work of Christ! There is not one single thing that I have done to make myself acceptable in your sight. I pray daily for Christ to be formed in me, and I pray for the work of the disciplines in my life that would put me in a place where you can transform me into a true disciple.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.

Willing To Be Sanctified

Today is Thursday, October 20, 2016. Day seven in Galveston.

Quote of the Day

“Keep love in your heart. A life without it is like a sunless garden when the flowers are dead.” – Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Paroxysm – any sudden, violent outburst; a fit of violent action or emotion.

Today is Information Overload Day. I’m glad this is happening while I’m on vacation. If you are able, take a break from the massive amount of information coming your way via the Internet and social media. The news can wait, can’t it?

It wound up just being C, Mama, and I who went out for the lunch buffet, yesterday. We went to Mario’s Seawall Italian and Pizza restaurant, where we took in their nice lunch buffet. There was a good variety of choice, from spaghetti and meatballs, to fried Pollock and backed chicken. There was also lasagna and pizza.

After lunch, we drove over to the Port Bolivar ferry, where we road across the bay to the Bolivar Peninsula. We saw a few dolphins on the way over, and enjoyed the view as we rode. On the other side, we just drove down the main road for about fifteen miles, taking a side trip to look at Crystal Beach. It was much nicer this year, as the beaches of Galveston have not been plagued with the massive amounts of seaweed that we experienced the last time we were down here. We stopped at a store and got something to drink, then headed back to the ferry landing to ride back over to the island.

On the trip back to the house, we encountered a slight detour, as Seawall Blvd was closed for a bit. We found out later that a water main had broken, and there were even places without any water for a while. We had to meander around some back streets, but finally made our way back out to Seawall to get back out to the west end, where our house is. It added about thirty minutes to our trip, I think.

After sitting around the house, reading for a while, C and I went down to the beach with some chairs, played in the water for a while and then sat looking at the ocean until dusk. It was wonderful and beautiful and relaxing.

This morning, we had rain when we woke up, along with some thunder. It appears that the rain has stopped, but it is still overcast cloudy. The temp is supposed to get into the low 80s today, which is a bit cooler than the rest of the week has been.

And, sadly, it is our last full day in Galveston. In fact, we have to be checked out of the house by 10:00 AM tomorrow. That makes me sad, of course, but I’ll try not to focus on that today.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

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! Psalm 43:3
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

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Make your face shine upon your servant, and teach me your statutes.
My eyes shed streams of tears, because people do not keep your law.
Psalm 119:135-136

As followers of Christ, it does make us sad when people don’t acknowledge God and his “law.” While I don’t believe that we are bound to follow God’s “law,” per se, when I read this Psalm and the references to God’s law, I simply see it as his Word, whether in print, or through the Spirit. It’s hard to not take it personally, when non-believers scoff at it. However, I am getting better at that. It does me no harm when someone professes that they don’t believe in God or in his Word. Nevertheless, we are still saddened when people will not avail themselves to the life that is available in Christ.

“Dear God, I pray for my friends who appear to be indifferent to your ways and heedless of your love. I know that your word continues to them as a word of invitation, direction, and love. I pray for their repentance and faith, through Jesus Christ. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

For this is the will of God, your sanctification. 1 Thessalonians 4:3

The question is not if God is willing to sanctify me. The question is if I am willing. “Am I willing to let God do in me all that has been made possible by the Atonement?” Am I willing to let the life of Christ be manifest in my flesh? Everything is completed in Christ.

Father, I pray for the desire to be complete in Christ. My heart desires to follow him closely, but my flesh continues to struggle. There is still a determination to employ the disciplines to make me more like Christ, to put his words into practice in my life, and to walk in the easy yoke of Christ.

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.

PS, there may not be a blog entry tomorrow morning. As stated above, we have to be completely out and have the keys back to the rental agency by 10:00 AM, so I may not have time.

With A Whole Heart

Today is Friday, September 30, 2016. Last day of September! Fourteen days until Galveston!!

Quote of the Day

“To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all. – Oscar Wilde

Word of the Day

Testudinal – pertaining to or resembling a tortoise or tortoise shell.

Today is International Podcast Day. My favorite podcast (and I admit that I have only heard a few, to this date) is “Welcome To Night Vale.”

Two weeks from right now, we will be getting ready to head to the airport to pick up our rental van for our Galveston trip. (It is just after 6:00 AM as I write this.) Two weeks from tonight, the ALCS will begin. I’m still hoping to see Texas and Boston in that series.

Boston lost again to the Yankees last night. They start a three game series tonight, at Fenway, against the Boo Jays. Last series of the year. Doesn’t matter for Boston, does matter for the Boo Jays. I’m really hoping that Boston can sweep them and knock them out of the playoffs. The Boo Jays and Orioles are tied in the wild card spot, with Detroit just 1.5 games behind them. This last weekend could make all the difference. The Tigers got rained out last night, and will, if necessary, play the makeup game on Monday.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds toward the children of man. Psalm 66:5
Wondrously show your steadfast love, O Savior of those who seek refuge from their adversaries at your right hand.
Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings
Psalm 17:7-8
Save us, we pray, O LORD! O LORD, we pray, give us success!
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the LORD! We bless you from the house of the LORD.
Psalm 118:25-26

(From Praying With the Psalms)

Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole heart,
who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!
You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.
Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!
Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your commandments.
I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.
I will keep your statutes; do not utterly forsake me!
Psalm 119:2-8

This law of God is not a set of rules “to keep us religious” or moral. “It is ‘the whole counsel of God,’ which creates, preserves, and redeems.” Our only suitable response is to seek him and praise him with our whole heart. “A total revelation requires a total response.”

“Father, you have anticipated everything that I need and have given me wise words of command, instruction, and comfort to surround every circumstance. As I listen and believe, accomplish your will in me for Jesus’ sake. Amen.”

“Grapes become wine only when they have been squeezed.” – Oswald Chambers

Father, I desire to seek you with my whole heart; I desire to delight in your testimonies, your law, your precepts, your commandments! But my heart continues to be divided. Unite my heart to fear your name. Teach me your ways, that I may walk in your truth. Dare I ask you to squeeze me? I won’t ask for that; rather, I will ask that, when you do choose to squeeze, I will not attempt to squirm out of your grasp.

Come, Lord Jesus!

“In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” . . . Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, and therefore he exalts himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for him. (Isaiah 30:15, 18)

Grace and peace, friends.