Prayer for Power

Today is Tuesday, December 11, 2018. Second week of Advent.

Day 22,188

Fourteen days until Christmas!! Two weeks!

“I can think of nothing more boring for the American people than to have to sit in their living rooms for a whole half hour looking at my face on their television screens.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower, 34th US President, 1890-1969
The Quotations Page

The word of the day is precariat, “People whose employment, income, and living standards are insecure or precarious; such people considered collectively as a social class.”

I really don’t have much of anything to say, this morning, so I’ll head on into the devotional.

All Scriptures are from the ESV unless otherwise noted

It is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
Psalm 92:1

Today I am grateful:
1. For the ability to examine myself and see where I am lacking in spirit
2. That what I discover when I do number one doesn’t cause me to hide in a corner
3. That God gives me grace to overcome such lacking
4. For humility, even though it hurts
5. For people who encourage me and love me anyway

What’s all that about, you might ask? Well, as part of the Renovare Book Club, we have begun reading a book called Glittering Vices, which is a series of meditations on the infamous seven deadly sins. As I read the introduction, I was introduced to a “vice” that I had never heard of again. The author was reading St. Thomas Aquinas and discovered a vice called pusillanimity. I’m not sure I can even say that. She defined it as “smallness of soul.” The main dictionaries define it as cowardliness. That’s a tough one.

But here’s how Rebecca DeYoung defines it. I’m not quoting exactly here, because my book is in another room. But it’s shrinking back on what God has called you to do, judging your own abilities to be inadequate and not trusting on His ability to give you whatever you need to do it.

Yes, folks, I am guilty of pusillanimity. I have a lifelong history of that vice. Am I cowardly? Perhaps that is true. What is to be done about it? I don’t know yet, I haven’t gotten that far in the book. But to be aware of it and accepting that it is true is a huge step. I’ll keep you posted.

Christ our Passover has been sacrificed for us;
therefore let us keep the feast,
Not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil,
but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. Alleluia.

Christ being raised from the dead will never die again;
death no longer has dominion over him.
The death that he died, he died to sin, once for all;
but the life he lives, he lives to God.
So also consider yourselves dead to sin,
and alive to God in Jesus Christ our Lord. Alleluia.

Christ has been raised from the dead,
the first fruits of those who have fallen asleep.
For since by a man came death,
by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.
For as in Adam all die,
so also in Christ shall all be made alive. Alleluia.”

(The Book of Common Prayer, adapted from 1 Corinthians 5:7-8; Romans 6:9-11; 1 Corinthians 15:20-22)

. . . that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Ephesians 3:16-19

I have loved you with an everlasting love; therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you. 
Jeremiah 31:3

The passage from Ephesians is probably my favorite prayer of Paul’s. I may have mentioned this before on here. I love to pray those verses for people I know, especially the leadership of our church.

How many times have you gone through a difficult time in your life, only to find out, when you come through on the other side, that people have been praying for you the whole time? I, along with several others from our little church family, have been called to be those people. That is part of what “intercessory prayer” is about. We are here to do just that for anyone who needs it. That’s why, every morning, right after I publish this blog entry, I add another entry to Facebook.

“What can I pray for you today?”

Some days I get many responses. Some days I get none or few. There is almost always at least one “unspoken.” How do you pray for an “unspoken” request? I simply ask God to be whatever or whoever that person needs Him to be; to do whatever that person needs Him to do. Every now and then, someone will reciprocate. “How can we pray for YOU?” Believe it or not, I really have to think when they ask me that. I’m a person who struggles with asking others to pray for me. I could easily ask for prayer for C or S, but for me? That’s more difficult. I’ve always felt uncomfortable asking others to pray for me. How weird is that?

As we think about prayer and the effects it has on others, let us also remember that promise in Jeremiah, as the Lord tells us, “I have loved you with an everlasting love.” Let that encourage you today.

And let me know . . . what can I pray for you today?

Father, I thank You for leading me down this path of prayer. I still don’t feel worthy of appearing before You, though. There are days when I don’t think You’ll listen to me at all, but I my faith tells me I’m wrong. You will listen. Especially, I believe, when I am coming before You on behalf of others. Nevertheless, today, I will ask for You to do what Ephesians 3:16 says, for me. Father, please strengthen me with power through Your Spirit in my inner being. Strengthen me in You for the tasks ahead of me today. And heal me from my pusillanimity.
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.

It’s About the Relationship

Today is Thursday, August 4, 2016. 15 more days until S turns 23! Also, Pre-Friday.

Quote of the Day

“Always read something that will make you look good if you die in the middle of it.” – P. J. O’Rourke

Word of the Day

Synthespian – A computer-generated character in a film.

Today is Coast Guard Day. This day honors the courageous work of Coast Guards.

If you recall, I was trying to leave early, yesterday. And I got out the door a few minutes after 6:00 AM. Unfortunately, my car wouldn’t start because my battery was dead. Fortunately, C was still home because I was leaving early. We were able to get me jumped off pretty quickly, and I got to work about 7:15 AM. Unfortunately, the batter must have been really bad, because it didn’t hold a charge on the way to work, and was still dead. Fortunately, I was able to get hold of Hyundai Roadside Assistance. Unfortunately, they don’t bring batteries, they just provide a jump start so that you can get to a repair shop. I did not need that at 8:30 AM. Fortunately, a co-worker was able to give me a jump so I could get started after work and get to the Auto Zone store across the street from our neighborhood. Unfortunately, they didn’t have the batter I needed. Fortunately, an Auto Zone three miles away had some, he was able to put on on hold for me, and also gave me another jump so I could drive to the other store. Fortunately, there is no more unfortunately in this story. The guy at the other Auto Zone got the new battery installed quickly, and it started right up. As I pointed out on my Facebook status, the one thing in the day that kept it from being a complete disaster was the fact that C was still home because I was leaving early. Had it been a “normal” work morning, she would have already been gone, and I likely would have had to try to call someone for help. God is good.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

You make springs gush forth in the valleys; they flow between the hills;
they give drink to every beast of the field; the wild donkeys quench their thirst.
Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell; they sing among the branches.
From your lofty abode you water the mountains; the earth is satisfied with the fruit of your work.
Psalm 104:10-13

“The very environment in which we live is evidence of provision for our basic needs; fulfillment is built into the basic structure of creation. God the maker is also God the satisfier.”

“I turn my dissatisfactions over to you, O God. I know that every need I experience is a stimulus to come to you. I know that you have a way of dealing with each need so that I will live completed, not deprived, praising, not complaining. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

The Brave Comradeship of God

And taking the twelve, he said to them, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and everything that is written about the Son of Man by the prophets will be accomplished.” Luke 18:31

God is brave to trust us! We might say that God was unwise to choose us, because we have nothing of value to bring. But that is exactly why he chooses us! “As long as you think there is something in you, He cannot choose you because you have ends of your own to serve; but if you have let Him bring you to the end of your self-sufficiency then He can choose you to go with Him to Jerusalem, and that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you.”

“The comradeship of God is made up out of men who know their poverty.” We, as Christians, we do not champion any “cause” of our own, but the cause of God. This is what truly bothers me when I see “Christians” on social media pushing their opinions about certain politicians, or, even worse, bashing the politicians that they don’t like. My place is not to push politics or candidates. My place is to spread the Gospel of Christ, which is that the Kingdom of God is here, and is available for you to receive and step into. The moment I begin to champion a cause of my own, is the moment I lose focus and step off of the path.

Also, it is important to realize that “the main thing about Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the atmosphere produced by that relationship.” The work flows out of that relationship and atmosphere. This is why the disciplines are so important.

Father, I have only begun to truly understand the disciplines and what they mean to my life. I pray that, as I continue to study and learn, that these will become permanent additions to my life, shaping my character more and more like that of Christ. I pray that I may truly begin, as much as is possible, to live like Jesus. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Show me your way, show me your truth, show me your glory.

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.

Reason to Rejoice

Today is Friday, July 22, 2016.

Quote of the Day

“Love will find a way through paths where wolves fear to prey.” – Lord Byron

Word of the Day

Pugnacious–” Eager or quick to quarrel or fight; given to fighting or arguing; belligerent, contentious.”

Today is Hammock Day. I wish I could stay home and spend the day in a hammock. Actually, I wish I could go to an island somewhere and spend the day in a hammock. It’s too hot here.

C is still not well, but something different is going on. She left work early, yesterday, thinking she had some kind of stomach bug. At this point, we’re not sure what is going on, as she has been having horrific gas buildup, to the point that she has trouble breathing. It’s still not good this morning, so she’s staying home from work. I’m hoping that she’ll get to a doctor today, if it doesn’t get better.

In other news, the Red Sox continued their winning roll last night, beating the Twins 13-2, behind Steven Wright’s knuckleballs. The final two runs came on this smash by David Ortiz, as the pitcher served up what has to have been the fattest pitch I’ve ever seen.

Baltimore beat the Yankees, so the Sox remain a half game up, in first place. They continue their series against Twins tonight. The Rangers were off, yesterday, and play the Royals tonight, Kansas City. The Astros were off, too, so the Rangers remain 3.5 games up, in first place.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

O you who love the LORD, hate evil! He preserves the lives of his saints; he delivers them from the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous, and joy for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous, and give thanks to his holy name!
Psalm 97:10-12

When we walk in God’s Kingdom, under his rule, we are able to not only fulfill his will, but our own, as well. “We find wholeness in becoming what we were intended in creation.” This, in turn, gives us reason and causes us to rejoice.

“‘Rivers to the ocean run, not stay in all their course; fire ascending seeks the sun; both speed them to their source; so my soul, derived from God, longs to view His glorious face, forward tends to His abode, to rest in His embrace’ (Robert Seagrave, ‘Rise, My Soul, and Stretch Thy Wings’). Amen.”

Father, I am struggling with this joy, this morning. Show me the many reasons I have to rejoice, especially the fact that I am in your Kingdom, under your rule, and I joyfully remain there. As I drive to work this morning, I pray for your joy to envelope me and your peace to fall on me. I also pray that you would bring healing to C’s body, today. Bring her peace, that she might get some much-needed rest.

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.

Deliverance and Guidance

Today is Thursday, July 21, 2016. Pre-Friday. Or, Friday Eve, as some prefer.

Quote of the Day

“People won’t have time for you if you are always angry or complaining.” ~ Stephen Hawking

Word of the Day

Autoschediastic: “Something done on the spur of the moment or without preparation; an extemporized piece of work.”

Today is Junk Food Day. Finally! A day I can celebrate by doing what I always do, anyway!

C is feeling better this morning. “A billion times better than yesterday.” She still feels like she has a cold brewing, but she feels better. We have a busy weekend coming on, but it will be more just having to be home while other people work on our stuff. If all goes well, the fence will be finished sometime Sunday, and the new pool heater is supposed to be delivered on Saturday. We don’t know when that will get installed, yet.

The Red Sox held on to a roller-coaster game with the Giants, last night. They were ahead 8-0 at one point (in only the third inning), but the Giants pulled within one run, making it 8-7. The Sox scored three more runs, though, and finished it 11-7. The Yankees beat Baltimore again, so the Red Sox are now in sole possession of first place in the AL East!

The Rangers continued to slide downward, losing again to the Angels, 7-4. They are now only 3.5 games ahead of the second place Astros.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The LORD reigns, let the earth rejoice; let the many coastlands be glad!
Clouds and thick darkness are all around him; righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
Fire goes before him and burns up his adversaries all around.
His lightnings light up the world; the earth sees and trembles.
The mountains melt like wax before the LORD, before the Lord of all the earth.
The heavens proclaim his righteousness, and all the peoples see his glory.
All worshipers of images are put to shame, who make their boast in worthless idols; worship him, all you gods!
Zion hears and is glad, and the daughters of Judah rejoice, because of your judgments, O LORD.
For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth; you are exalted far above all gods.
Psalm 97:1-9

This psalm seems to evoke memories of Sinai, where God’s people “realized God’s rule in deliverance (out of Egypt) and in guidance (the Ten Commandments).” This memory sparks praise as the psalmist pens his lyrics. The rule of God was experiential, not abstract. His people lived as redeemed people and guided people.

“God, your word is powerful, delivering me from despair; your word is wise, guiding me through uncertainty. I am able to leave sin and travel toward righteousness. Thank you for your deliverance and your guidance. Amen.”

This same God is our deliverer and guidance today. The lesson is applicable to us. God has delivered us, through the life and death of Jesus Christ, from sin, and guides us now, by his word, and by his Holy Spirit. His rule can be just as experiential for us; we need not let it be totally abstract.

Father, I praise you for the deliverance that you gave your people from Egypt, and I praise you for the deliverance from sin that you have provided us. I praise you for the guidance that you gave your people, both through the Ten Commandments, and through the columns of smoke and fire. Though we see no smoke and fire today, and the Ten Commandments are now filtered through Jesus Christ (not replaced), but we have your word and the Holy Spirit to guide us. Teach me to be reliant on these, more and more, as I draw closer to you. In the words of Moses, “Now therefore, if I have found favor in your sight, please show me now your ways, that I may know you in order to find favor in your sight.”

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.

I Will Not Forget You

Today is Monday, July 18, 2016.

“Obstacles are those frightful things you see when you take your eyes off your goal.” – Henry Ford
What I like about this quote is that it can be applied to our walk with Christ. If we take our eyes off of him, as Peter did, while he was walking on the water, we begin to see the obstacles around us. Then we start sinking, because our eyes are on the obstacles, rather than on the “Goal.” And the key is most certainly this. The goal is not better living, more prayer, more Bible study, or more compassion. The goal is Christ, himself.

I apologize for getting “preachy” above the double lines.

The word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is powldoody. This is “a variety of Irish oyster, eaten as a delicacy.”

Today is Get Out of the Doghouse Day. This is the day to make it right, whatever you’re in trouble for.

C comes back tonight! C comes back tonight! I’m pretty sure this is the longest she has ever been away from home, without us or me being with her. I have to say that S has been stellar, this whole time, nary caused a problem at all. C should be leaving Indianapolis around 4:00-ish, which is 3:00-ish here. I’m hoping she gets home before 9:00 tonight. It might be earlier, but I’m not holding my breath.

We’re going to start getting our fence fixed this week. Two sides need to be replaced. The other side was replaced by our neighbor, last year. It’s going to be a busy and expensive summer. We’re getting a new pool heater next Saturday, the fence should be getting repaired this week, and the leak in the pool is getting repaired next week.

I’m really looking forward to that vacation in October.

The Rangers lost two out of three to the Cubs, over the weekend, finally winning one yesterday afternoon. They are still 4.5 games up in first place. The Red Sox won two out of three against the Evil Ones. They are currently two games back of the Orioles, in second place.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

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!
For the LORD is a great God, and a great King above all gods.
In his hand are the depths of the earth; the heights of the mountains are his also.
The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land.
Psalm 95:1-5

“God is the reason for worship. The awesome power of God makes it sure that we shall worship; the graciousness of his will makes it certain that our worship shall be glad.”

“I praise your great name, O God. Every song I sing of your power and love, of your grace and glory, discovers fresh reasons for singing another. All praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Amen.”

This is such a celebratory reading that I had to stop here for a few minutes, today. It reminded me of Saturday night’s worship time at B’s house. He led most of the music, and watching his face as he sang . . . it exemplified this passage from Psalms. We sang this one song, “I Will Not Forget You,” by Enter the Worship Circle. I’m going to post the video for the song below this. To watch people from all walks of life dancing before the Lord, “a wild dance I dance before You,” is very moving. When we worship God, it won’t always be celebratory, as evidenced by the final scene of the video. But much of the time, it most certainly can, and should, be. We have much to celebrate. Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving and make a joyful noise before him with songs of praise!

Father, may I remember this as I work today. Let my day be full of your praise and may it be full of prayer without ceasing. No matter what I face today, no matter who tries to “push my buttons,” may my countenance be full of joy, and may my heart be full of praise to you. May I not take my eyes off of my goal. May I not focus on the obstacles.

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.

Put God First

“Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.” – Arthur C. Clarke

The word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is peccable. I guess it makes sense that this word exists, but I didn’t really know it. It means, “Capable of sinning; liable to sin. Fallible, imperfect, flawed.” The opposite of impeccable.

Today is Bikini Day, because it is the anniversary of the invention of the bikini in 1946, by French fashion designer, Louis Reard. Pretty racy for 1946, eh?

We had a nice day, yesterday. R & J arrived somewhere between noon and 1:00 PM. We had our late lunch of steak and baked potatoes, which C did a marvelous job of cooking, and then sat around and talked for a few hours (the baseball game between the Rangers and Red Sox was on the TV with no sound) before I took Mama home. We had a nice trip over there and my trip back was smooth and uneventful. C & I watched a couple episodes of Criminal Minds and one episode of The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, and then went to bed.

Today is Tuesday that feels like Monday. Back to work for us, but at least it will be a short week.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Who considers the power of your anger, and your wrath according to the fear of you?
So teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom.
Psalm 90:11-12

Each moment of our lives is a moment that counts, not toward us making some kind of mark or proving our worth, “but in the sense that all time is material that God uses to love us, guide us, correct us, and redeem us.”

“‘Day by day, dear Lord, of thee three things I pray: to see Thee more clearly, love Thee more dearly, follow Thee more nearly, day by day’ (Richard of Chichester). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Don’t Calculate without God

Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him, and he will act. Psalm 37:5

“God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the things we have calculated on without taking Him into account.” How often does this happen to us? We get into circumstances and suddenly, we realize that we have not considered God in our actions. We would not worry nearly as much if we considered God in our plans.

I have been in church planning meetings where this happens! God has not given us an immediate thing to do, so we believe we have to make something up, rather than simply waiting to see what God would do within us.

We also cannot make plans around what we perceive as the evil. “Love is not ignorant of the existence of the evil, but it does not take it in as a calculating factor.” In other words, we cannot play the “what if” game in making plans, if we are considering God first.

Finally, there is no planning for a “rainy day” when we are trusting Jesus. He told us, “Let not your heart be troubled.” This is a command for us to do something; God will not keep our hearts from being troubled. It is something we must do. We must practice the spiritual disciplines until we are putting God first in all of our plans.

Father, I do need your help with this. I realize that it is something I must do, as are all of the spiritual disciplines. These are things that you have given us that we have to do. I cannot sit and wait for you to change me; rather, I must practice and train until the habits are formed. Help me to do so, and to put you first in all of my considerations.

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.

Good and Faithful Servant

“The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”~~Henry David Thoreau

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is razzmatazz, which means, “Showy, ostentatious; glamorous, stylish; dazzling.”

Besides being Fat Tuesday, today is Read in the Bathtub Day. Disclaimer: We do not recommend practicing this with a Kindle. Or a library book, either. You should only read in the bathtub with your own books. How relaxing, though . . .

As already mentioned, today, apparently, is that dubious day of excess, Fat Tuesday. You see, Lent begins tomorrow, Ash Wednesday. So people gorge themselves on Fat Tuesday (also the culmination of Mardi Gras), before they commit to giving something up for the next forty days for Lent. I really don’t practice either one.

Tonight, after work, Stephanie and I will be heading back out to Mineral Wells for a couple of nights. My mother’s surgery is around 9:00 to 9:30 tomorrow morning (she is supposed to be at the hospital by 8:30, which is why we are heading over there tonight). We will stay with her another night to make sure she is feeling okay. It’s supposed to be relatively quick and easy with little recovery time. Most reports say that people can go back to work the next day. My mother doesn’t plan to do that. 🙂


(From Praying With the Psalms)

The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein,
for he has founded it upon the seas and established it upon the rivers.

Psalm 24:1-2

God created and designed this place where we live. In doing so, he provided “a place in which he can share his will and his love.” Our world is “the perfect environment for experiencing God’s redemption.” That seems strange to say, doesn’t it? But you just have to look at the right places to understand that, and there are plenty of “right places” left to look at.

“God restore my perspective so that I will see you as Creator and Owner and myself as steward and servant, caring for your property in a faithful and reverent way. I want to hear your words of commendation, ‘good and faithful servant’ (Matthew 25:21,23). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Are You Exhausted Spiritually?”

To be exhausted is to be drained of our “vital forces.” “Spiritual exhaustion never comes through sin but only through service, and whether or not you are exhausted will depend upon where you get your supplies.” When we encounter others who need “feeding,” we must be their nourishment until they learn to feed on God for themselves. This will cause us to be drained. However, if we are careful to get our supply from the Lord, we will become “utterly exhausted.”

If we become totally exhausted, we need to check the beginnings of our service. “Where did you start the service from? From your own sympathy or from the basis of the Redemption of Jesus Christ?” We need to always be returning to the foundation of our affections and the source of our power.

Father, help me to continuously go back to the source. I tend to forget and find myself getting drained, not because I have served so well, but because I stop drawing my strength from you, my source, and then I get frustrated with people. Teach me you way, constantly. Always cause me to look back to you for my strength and power. help me to live a life that will receive the best reward I can think of, you telling me that I have been a “good and faithful servant.”

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

The Destruction of Affinities

“Never go on trips with anyone you do not love.”~~Earnest Hemingway

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is psychedelicatessen, which is, “A shop selling psychedelic articles. Now chiefly in extended use with reference to music and art.” Sounds like my kind of place. Groovy, man.

Today is Take Your Child To the Library Day. You see, there’s this magical place, full of these things called “books.” Yeah, they have a few computer terminals. But books. And more books. Every kind imaginable. Please, oh, please, take your child to the library. And if you don’t have a child, take your own darned self to the library!

The library was just about my favorite place in the whole world, when I was growing up. I could lose myself in there. It was upstairs in the old Mineral Wells City Hall building. The floors were creaky wood floors, and the smell . . . oh, man, that smell!! I can close my eyes and almost smell it right now. Old books. What a beautiful aroma! The two librarians were pretty magical, themselves. There was always something special about them. Sigh. How I miss that library.

Yesterday was a pretty good day. I got off work pretty close to the usual time, and got a little good news earlier in the day. I’m not going to share any of this story here until I know that it’s okay with the other person involved. But it made the day much better.

We’ll be leaving for Mineral Wells in a little while, to spend the night and go to church with Mama. We haven’t done that in a while, and Stephanie is pretty excited about that. I think Rachel and Just will meet us for lunch today, as well. Good times.

I have a serious prayer request for those of you who pray. We have some friends, a couple who live in San Antonio. Adam and Stephanie Green. She was Stephanie Foote many years ago, when we went to First Church Watauga, and was active in the children’s ministry there, so our kids know them, as well. She is experiencing some serious health issues, right now, apparently centering around her throat/esophagus area. So serious that she is currently in ICU for the third time in the past couple of weeks, if I understand correctly. Please pray for healing for her and peace for her husband and children.

On this date, in 1998, a rental car carrying Austrian Johann Holzel was struck by a bus in the Dominican Republic, where he was vacationing. Most of you probably don’t have a clue who that was. But if I call him “Falco,” you might know. In Austria, he was a superstar, releasing the original recording of “Der Kommisar” in 1982. His recording of that song barely made a dent in the U.S., but four years later, when he released “Rock Me Amadeus,” it shot to number one on the Billboard charts. Not only was he the first Austrian to hit number one on the U.S. charts, but he was also the first to score a number one hit on the American pop charts by a male rap artist! That’s right, boys and girls. ” . . . it wasn’t Doug E. Fresh or Kool Moe Dee or Kurtis Blow or Run-D.M.C. but an Austrian in a powdered wig who first brought hip hop—of a sort—to the top of the pops.” You can read the rest of the article, if you so desire, at

Today’s birthdays include:

1665–Anne of Great Britain, Queen of England, Scotland, and Ireland
1695–Nicolaus II Bernoulli, Swiss mathematician
1756–Aaron Burr, 3rd Vice President of the United States
1895–Babe Ruth, American baseball player
1911–Ronald Reagan, American actor and President
1912–Eva Braun, Hitler’s wife
1913–Mary Leakey, British anthropologist
1917–Zsa Zsa Gabor, Hungarian actress
1922–Patrich Macnee, British actor
1931–Rip Torn, American actor
1940–Tom Brokaw, American news anchor
1941–Gigi Perreau, American actress
1943–Gayle Hunnicutt, American actress, born in Fort Worth, Texas
1945–Bob Marley, Jamaican musician
1950–Natalie Cole, American singer
1962–Axl Rose, American singer, Guns N’ Roses
1966–Rick Astley, British singer
1976–Kim Zmeskal, American gymnast
1988–Allison Holker, American dancer, married to tWitch

So, today is Rick Astley’s birthday, the teen pop star of the eighties, who gave us “Never Gonna Give You Up.” Someone with way too much time on their hands has given us this gem. It doesn’t work 100%, but it’s still fun, and quite unexpected.

Vince Guaraldi, Hugo Montenegro, Danny Thomas, Arthur Ashe, Carl Wilson, Falco, Frankie Laine, and Lew Burdette are among notable deaths on this date.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me;
they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion.
I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast;
my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.
For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—
I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me;
they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
But you, O LORD, do not be far off! O you my help, come quickly to my aid!
Deliver my soul from the sword, my precious life from the power of the dog!
Save me from the mouth of the lion! You have rescued me from the horns of the wild oxen!

Psalm 22:12-21

We cannot even begin to imagine what Jesus experience on the cross; the hostility and the pain. But the cruelty of the crucifixion is what resulted in the magnificence of the resurrection. “The worst that men could do became the occasion for the unbelievable best that God can do.”

“On the cross, Lord Jesus, you gathered all the hostility and suffering of the world (all my hostility and suffering) and made of it a mighty act of salvation and deliverance. Praise your great name! Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Are You Ready to Be Offered?”

For I am already being poured out as a drink offering, and the time of my departure has come.
2 Timothy 4:6

The readiness to be offered is “a transaction of the will, not of sentiment.” I need to tell God that I am ready to be offered, “then let the consequences be what they may.” And when God puts me through the crisis, it will be in private; no man will be able to help me go through it.

Being offered means going through the fire, “burning and purification and insulation for one purpose only, the destruction of every affinity that God has not started and of every attachment that is not an attachment in God. You do not destroy it, God does.” This is frightening, is it not? Is this why so many of us hold back, in our will?

“Tell God you are ready to be offered, and God will prove Himself to be all you ever dreamed He would be.”

Father, I want to be able to tell you that I am ready to be offered, to go through this burning and purification, destroying every affection within me that is not for you. I want to, but it scares me, if I’m being honest. Move me with your Spirit. Take away those affections, that my total life might be about you and your glory.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

A Person, Not A Cause

“Men, as well as women, are much oftener led by their hearts than by their understandings.”~~Philip Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is muskeg, “A swamp or bog consisting of a mixture of water and partly dead vegetation, often covered by a layer of sphagnum or other mosses; terrain characterized by such swamps.”

Today is Belly Laugh Day. They do say that laughter is the best medicine. And I should be really good at this, as I have a fairly large belly.

We had a rather productive day, yesterday. After grocery shopping, we picked up a couple of movies at Redbox. We got A Walk in the Woods, with Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, and Emma Thompson, along with War Room. Then, we drove through the pharmacy (not literally) and picked up some meds. After that, we stopped at the auto store to get a windshield wiper for my car, along with some washer fluid, as I was almost completely out. Sadly, we had to enlist the help of a good Samaritan (again, not a literal Samaritan), to get the old one off. Turns out we were pushing something the wrong direction. Sigh. So, we got home and put away all the groceries (isn’t this fun stuff?), and then headed out to . . . Oh! I forgot! We also went to Sonic for drinks, somewhere in there! Then we went to Office Depot to pick out a new chair for my study. Sadly, my old faithful desk chair was discovered to be broken, yesterday morning. I knew it had been listing slightly to the right, as of late, but had not noticed that the arm bracket was completely broken in two. We found a nice one. Goodness, those things are expensive. The good ones, anyway. I’m a pretty heavy guy, so it has to be sturdier than your average $99 desk chair. This one was $219, and it was on sale, I believe for $100 off. Christi put it together (she likes doing that sort of thing) while we watched A Walk in the Woods, which turned out to be a delightful movie. I really enjoyed it.

Today, we have our usual worship gathering, at 10:15, after which Christi is scheduled to go give blood. We will watch War Room after she gets back. That’s all we have planned for today.

If you are in the area, you are welcome to join us for our worship time. We meet at the Northpark YMCA, at 9100 North Beach, Fort Worth, TX. We are The Exchange.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Then the earth reeled and rocked; the foundations also of the mountains trembled and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils, and devouring fire from his mouth; glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down; thick darkness was under his feet.
He rode on a cherub and flew; he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him, thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.
The LORD also thundered in the heavens, and the Most High uttered his voice, hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them; he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen, and the foundations of the world were laid bare at your rebuke, O LORD, at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

Psalm 18:7-15

The images that David presents here are violent images: Earthquakes, lightning, thunder, volcanic eruptions . . . all “images of the God who is tremendously active beneath the surface of casually observed life.”

“Lord, in my little faith, I try to reduce you to a convenient size and harness your attributes to my requirements. I need your thundering word to lay the foundations of my world bare so I can see that you are not a convenience to use, but the very rock on which I stand. Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “The Overmastering Direction.”

for I have appeared to you for this purpose.
Acts 26:16

When the Lord appeared to Paul on the road to Damascus, it was not a fleeting, emotional encounter, “but a vision that had very clear and emphatic direction for him. As he describes this to King Agrippa, he says, “I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision.” In essence, the Lord said to Paul, “Your life belongs to me.”

Most of us have some kind of “vision” (not a literal vision, but more like a deep sense of purpose for life) when we become Christians, an idea of what Christ wants us to accomplish. Like Paul, we need to not be disobedient to the vision, “not to say that it cannot be attained.”

What Paul received was not so much “a message or doctrine to proclaim, he was brought into a vivid, personal, overmastering relationship to Jesus Christ.” He was not devoted to a cause, but to a person. Later, in 1 Corinthians 2:2, Paul says, For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

Father, as I live my life, may I continue to reject being sucked in by various causes. There is no cause on this earth that matters as much as my devotion to you in Jesus Christ. He is the only “cause” that is worthy of my devotion and attention. I pray for a restoration of vision, a re-connection with the purpose of my life.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

No Hurrying

“I have learned to be with those I like is enough.”~~Walt Whitman

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is acatalepsy. While you might think it had something to do with cats and epilepsy, that is not correct. This is a very deep and philosophical word, meaning, “Unknowability, incomprehensibility, originally as a characteristic of all things, according to the ancient Sceptics. Hence also: scepticism, profession of ignorance.”

Today is Pie Day. Not to be confused with the other Pi Day, which falls on March 14. Either day makes having pie a priority. So, have some pie, and if you’re in the neighborhood of Glen Rose, be sure and stop by the Pie Peddlers, on the square.

We had a most wonderful time, last night, as we took it upon ourselves to have a date night. We haven’t done that in a long time. We started out at Joe’s Coffee Shop, in Watauga, which is only open for dinner on Friday nights. After a nice dinner, we headed over to Stage West, where we saw their production of “Sexy Laundry,” a play about a couple who have been married for twenty-five years, but have discovered that they are in a sort of rut. It was funny, awkward, and, at times, quite painful. We weren’t expecting the painful part. It caused us to reflect a bit on our thirty years of marriage, during which reflection we decided that, while there might have been bits of that play that reflected us, for the most part, it did not. One aspect that was, of course, missing from the play, was the spiritual aspect of our marriage. While I would not be so arrogant to boldly state that our marriage is 100% centered around Jesus, he is definitely a major part of it. And while I might share some of the concern of the characters in the play that I may, at times, not really know who I am or what my purpose in life is, when I’m in tune with God, that really doesn’t matter, because, it is at those times that I realize that it’s not about me, and who I am, but it’s about him, and who he wants me to be. I’m relatively sure that the playwright did not have that in mind, but who knows? At any rate, we had a lovely time. Every time we see a play, which seems to be only once every few years, we say we need to do that more often. Perhaps, this time, we will make good on that.

We have no real plans for today, other than, probably, a trip to the grocery store, after a while. I’m starting to get pretty hungry, so I think I’ll hurry and get to the devotion so I can get finished.

On this date in 1957, the toy company Wham-O produced the first Frisbees. You can read the story at

Today’s birthdays include:

1737–John Hancock, American patriot
1832–Edouard Manet, French artist
1898–Randolph Scott, American actor
1910–Django Reinhardt, Belgian guitarist
1944–Rutger Hauer, Dutch actor
1948–Anita Pointer, American singer, Pointer Sisters
1950–Richard Dean Anderson, American actor, MacGyver
1953–Robin Zander, American singer, Cheap Trick
1957–Princess Caroline of Monaco
1964–Mariska Hargitay, American actress
1974–Tiffani Thiessen, American actress, Saved By the Bell
1982–Wily Mo Pena, Dominican baseball player

I don’t know much about Randolph Scott, but I like this song by the Statler Brothers.

Django Reinhardt was born on this date in 1910. He grew up as a gypsy, and, when in 1925, he was badly injured in a caravan fire. He almost lost a leg, and the third and fourth fingers of his left hand were badly burned, and became fused together. This is why, in the video, he mostly only uses two fingers to play guitar better than I could ever hope to play with all of mine.

Finally, Robin Zander, a name I am not so familiar with, is the lead singer for Cheap Trick, a name that most people are very familiar with.

Arthur Guiness, William Pitt the Younger, Edvard Munch, Vic Ames, Terry Kath, Samuel Barber, Salvador Dali, Allen Collins, Nell Carter, Bob Keeshan, Johnny Carson, and Jack LaLanne are among notable deaths on this date.

I have to comment on Terry Kath, the lead guitar player for Chicago, until his accidental death in 1978. At least they said it was accidental. I guess we’ll never know for sure. He pointed a gun at his head and said, “Don’t worry about it … look, the clip is not even in it.” Except it was, and it had one round in it. Here is a song from Chicago’s eighth album. “Oh, Thank You Great Spirit” is Terry’s tribute to Jimi Hendrix.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

I love you, O LORD, my strength.
The LORD is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I call upon the LORD, who is worthy to be praised, and I am saved from my enemies.
The cords of death encompassed me; the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me; the snares of death confronted me.
In my distress I called upon the LORD; to my God I cried for help. From his temple he heard my voice, and my cry to him reached his ears.

Psalm 18:1-6

Even though we have never “seen” God, some of our most solid experiences are with him. “This psalm, in a sequence of stunning images and affirmations, recounts the experience.”

“‘While I draw this fleeting breath, when my eyelids close in death, when I soar to worlds unknown, see Thee on Thy judgment throne, Rock of Ages, cleft for me, let me hide myself in Thee’ (Augustus M. Toplady, ‘Rock of Ages’). Amen.”

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Transformed by Insight.”

And we all, with unveiled face, beholding the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image.
2 Corinthians 3:18

“The outstanding characteristic of a Christian is this unveiled frankness before God so that the life becomes a mirror for other lives.” Does this sound arrogant? I think it would be if I thought that I had reached that point. I strive to be that way, but frequently believe that other people have achieved it, as I observe their lives. If we allow ourselves to be filled with the Spirit, we can be transformed, and become mirrors for other people. I’m sure that you have met people that have that kind of relationship with God. “Beware of anything which would sully that mirror in you; it is nearly always a good thing, the good that is not the best.” That is one of Chambers’s recurring themes, settling for “good” instead of seeking the “best.”

We must concentrate on keeping our lives open towards God. Everything else can fall by the way side, excepting that one thing. We get in a hurry; things rush at us from all sides, and this obscures that concentration on God on a daily basis. ” . . . never allow anything to obscure the life that is hid with Christ in God. Never be hurried out of the relationship of abiding in Him.” That is my theme for this year, in case you can’t tell by the new header. Abiding. My verse for the year is John 15:4. Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

Father, I pray that you would continue to work your truth into my life, that I might abide in you, and, thereby, bear fruit that is satisfactory to your eyes. Help me to keep my life open towards you, not allowing anything to obscure this life or “sully” my “mirror.” May I become a mirror in which others can see your grace; but never let me come to the place where I believe that has happened. I would fight against pride and seek humility.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.