He Is Able

Today is Wednesday, the eighth of September.

Peace be with you

Day 23,190

Fourteen days until the end of summer. What is interesting is that I am hearing people on some podcasts say that it’s already Fall. This an interesting trend, I guess, that simplifies the seasons down to full months. In other words, they consider fall beginning at the beginning of September. These are probably people who also believe that the new millennium began in the year 2000. But Autumn begins on September 22.

It is pouring down rain, outside. A virtual deluge. Ironically, I watered the front lawn for about an hour, earlier. I checked the forecast. There is a 21% chance of precipitation today.

There are also some pretty big thunder-boomers happening, and one of them knocked out the Internet for a bit, but it seems to be back.

C continues to improve, I think. The incision does seem to be seeping, just a bit, though, and we aren’t sure how concerned we should be about that.

My work/training at the library continues to go well, too. Yesterday, spent the first half learning the nuances of the “Youth” department. It’s a bit of a paradigm shift for me, as what Hurst considers “Youth,” I have always considered “children.” Basically, 0-12. 13-19 is considered “Young Adult” (also designated as “Teen Zone,” and they have their own room in the library, which I think is cool). Then I spent the rest of the day in the computer center, where I have made a couple of new friends. Today, I work 1:00-5:00, and will likely be shelving the whole time. After this afternoon, I won’t work again until next Monday.

It’s a tough choice on the “holiday” front, today, as it happens to be Star Trek Day. However, it is also Literacy Day, which is a much more important and concerning topic than Star Trek. I don’t know about the reliability of this information, but it seems to be corroborated across several sources. Americans read a “mean average” of only twelve books per year. But the median American has only read four to five books in the past twelve months. That that means is that half of Americans read more than four books in the last year, and half read fewer. This is alarming, but not surprising. So pick up a book and read today. Of course, this blog is probably “preaching to the choir,” because if you’re reading a blog, odds are, you probably read books, too.

The word for today is cathartic, an adjective meaning, “of or relating to the purging of the emotions or relieving of emotional tensions, especially through certain kinds of art, as tragedy or music.” Or maybe reading, perhaps? I find the reading of a good book to be quite cathartic.

The quote for today is from Arthur Schopenhauer, a German philosopher. “I’ve never known any trouble than an hour’s reading didn’t assuage.”

Significant birthdays on September 8:

Richard the Lionheart, king of England, 1157-1199
Antonin Dvorak, Czech composer (New World Symphony), 1841-1904
Nico Donkersloot, Dutch writer, 1902-1965. Never heard of him, I just like the name.
Frank Cady, actor (Sam Drucker), 1915-2012
Sid Caesar, comedian, 1922 (91)
Peter Sellers, English actor/comedian (The Pink Panther), 1925-1980
Patsy Cline, country singer (Crazy), 1932-1963
Guitar Shorty, blues guitar player, 1939 (82)
Bernie Sanders, politician, 1941 (80)
Aimee Mann, singer/songwriter (Till Tuesday), 1960 (61)
Peter Furler, Australian musician (Newsboys), 1966 (55)
There are others, including Pink, born in 1979, but think it fitting to leave this portion with "All God's children singing 'Glory, glory!'"


This new day You give to me
From Your great eternity
This new day now enfold
Me in Your loving hold

You are the star of the morn
You are the day newly born
You are the light of our night
You are the Savior by Your might

God be in me this day
God ever with me stay
God be in the night
Keep us by Thy light
God be in my heart
God abide, never depart.
(David Adam)

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem.
(Luke 2:36-38 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. that C continues to improve and is getting around marvelously, post-surgery
2. that You have opened my lips to speak and sing Your praises
3. that I am alive and breathing
4. that You are able
5. for hope

Scriptures and Prayers from Seeking God’s Face: Praying with the Bible through the Year



GOD is good, a hiding place in tough times. He recognizes and welcomes anyone looking for help,
(Nahum 1:7 MSG)

I pause during this quiet moment to simply reflect on God’s hand in everything that has happened in our lives in the past month. It is a picture of divine grace.


For the director of music. To the tune of “Lilies.” Of David.

Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God.

Answer me, LORD, out of the goodness of your love; in your great mercy turn to me. Do not hide your face from your servant; answer me quickly, for I am in trouble. Come near and rescue me; deliver me because of my foes.
(Psalms 69:1-3, 16-18 NIV)


When you have entered the land the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance and have taken possession of it and settled in it, take some of the firstfruits of all that you produce from the soil of the land the LORD your God is giving you and put them in a basket. Then go to the place the LORD your God will choose as a dwelling for his Name and say to the priest in office at the time, “I declare today to the LORD your God that I have come to the land the LORD swore to our ancestors to give us.” The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God. Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: “My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous. But the Egyptians mistreated us and made us suffer, subjecting us to harsh labor. Then we cried out to the LORD, the God of our ancestors, and the LORD heard our voice and saw our misery, toil and oppression. So the LORD brought us out of Egypt with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, with great terror and with signs and wonders. He brought us to this place and gave us this land, a land flowing with milk and honey; and now I bring the firstfruits of the soil that you, LORD, have given me.” Place the basket before the LORD your God and bow down before him.
(Deuteronomy 26:1-10 NIV)


As I continue to be aware of God’s presence in this place, I meditate on these passages, asking the Holy Spirit to direct me deeper into His presence.

Who among has not felt like David, in the first three verses of Psalm 69? We feel like the flood-waters have risen up to our necks. In fact, it is common to say that we were “up to our necks” in whatever trouble we find ourselves in.

We are sinking, we can get no foothold. We become worn out, crying for help. Not only can we not see God, we can’t see anything else, either. We feel as though we are totally engulfed in darkness.

As long as we continue to call out to God, we will survive. Eventually, the waters will recede. God will answer, out of the goodness of His love (as well as for His own Name’s sake). He will not hide His face from us. He will rescue us and deliver us from our “foes.”

What are our foes? They might be any number of things. Financial troubles, health issues, worry, despair, temptations and sin, doubt. For any given person, they can be different at any given moment.

I remain fully persuaded that our God is able to deliver us from all of our troubles.

He is able to deliver thee,
He is able to deliver thee;
Though by sin oppressed, go to Him for rest;
“Our God is able to deliver thee.”

Here’s another, more recent song, of which I am quite fond.

He is able more than able
To accomplish what concerns me today
He is able more than able
To handle anything that comes my way
He is able more than able
To do much more than I could ever dream
He is able more than able
To make me what He wants me to be

Just remember the Israelites, stuck in Egypt. In our passage from Deuteronomy, verses 6-7, we seen Israel crying out to the Lord over their mistreatment by the Egyptians. The Lord delivered them “with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm.” He is able.

Father, I praise You that, no matter what concerns me today, or what circumstances come my way, You are able. I don’t even need to put anything after “able” in that sentence, because, whatever it is, You are able. I praise You for Your obvious hand in all that has occurred in our lives since the end of July. I give You praise that the school bus driving job didn’t turn out. Things are much better, the way they are, and You orchestrated this, I am fully persuaded! So all praise and glory to You. Keep that in my mind, whenever things look troublesome, or aren’t working out the way we think they should. Help us remember that, while we can’t see the end of things, You can, because You are already there.

"Giver of every good gift,
offering You the firstfruits of what I make and produce is a good spiritual discipline that helps my heart wriggle free from the grip of my possessions and rest content.
Keep me in that freedom,
a radically generous life that joyfully furthers the good of Your kingdom.
In the name of Jesus,


“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”
(Matthew 11:29-30 MSG)

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.
(Romans 15:13 NIV)

Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.
(Romans 5:1-5 NIV)

But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.
(Romans 8:25 NIV)

I pray for peace in our nation, peace in our world. I pray for racial injustice to end, and I pray for the pandemic to be over. Above all else, though, I pray for Your will to be done, on earth as it is in heaven. For Yours is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.
(Isaiah 41:10 NLT)

Grace and peace, friends.

More Than A Savior

“If you wish to be loved, show more of your faults than your virtues.”~~Edward G. Bulwer-Lytton

Today’s word of the day, from Dictionary.com, is rupestrine, which means “living or growing on or among rocks.” I would like to think that this also applies to people of whom we say, “Do you live under a rock??”

Today is Absinthe Day. There’s a great deal of mystery surrounding this allegedly hallucinogenic alcoholic beverage. It seems to have been banned for a while, but is legal again. However, I’m not sure it’s quite the same as the drink that famously inspired Earnest Hemingway and Oscar Wilde. I would love to try it sometime, but a bottle costs in the neighborhood of $85. And I don’t think you’re supposed to just drink it straight. I have had some in a “Margarita” at our old favorite Mexican restaurant that closed. It was quite good, and tastes slightly of licorice. In days gone by, people who drank absinthe were said to be “chasing the green fairy.”

Yesterday was a pleasant work day. We got off work on time, which is always nice on a Friday. I picked up dinner at OC Burger (none of us had “burgers”) and brought it home, where we relaxed and watched Tuesday’s episode of The Voice. There were a few good auditions, but no one really remarkable. Except for maybe this girl named Emily Keener who performed a very interesting take on Elton John’s “Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.”

Today, Christi and I are going to the North Texas Irish Festival. This event occurs on the first weekend of March, each year. I look forward to hearing some great Celtic music and sampling some delicious food. I may even buy stuff. Who knows? But not much. We don’t have room for much more stuff around here.

On this date in 1963, the Hula Hoop was patented. You can read the story at History.com.

Today’s birthdays include:

1133–Henry II, King of England
1713–Frederick Cornwallis, Archbishop of Canterbury
1836–Charles Goodnight, American cattle rancher
1853–Howard Pyle, American author and illustrator
1887–Heitor Villa-Lobos, Brazilian composer
1908–Sir Rex Harrison, English actor
1914–Philip Farkas, American horn player/teacher
1920–Virginia Christine, American actress
1922–James Noble, American actor, Benson
1927–Jack Cassidy, American actor, Mary Tyler Moore
1931–Barry Tuckwell, Australian horn player
1936–Dean Stockwell, American actor, “Yog Sotthoth!”
1939–Samantha Eggar, English actress
1946–Murray Head, British actor and singer, Anthony’s brother
1948–Elaine Paige, English singer/actress, Cats
1948–Eddy Grant, Guyana-born singer, “Electric Avenue”
1954–Marsha Warfield, American actress, Night Court
1955–Penn Jellette, American comedian/magician
1958–Andy Gibb, English-born Australian singer
1959–David Fury, American TV writer/producer, Buffy the Vampire Slayer
1969–Paul Blackthorne, British actor, The Dresden Files
1974–Eva Mendes, American actress

Dean Stockwell is an actor that has played many roles, my favorite of which is probably that of Wilbur Whateley in the 1970 movie, The Dunwich Horror. He turns 80 years old today.

Crispus Attucks, David Dunbar Buick, Joseph Stalin, Sergei Prokofiev, Patsy Cline, Michael Jeffery, Jay Silverheels, Yip Harburg, John Belushi, and William Powell are among notable deaths on this date.

Patsy Cline died in a plane crash on this date in 1963.


(From Praying With the Psalms)

Shout for joy in the LORD, O you righteous! Praise befits the upright.
Give thanks to the LORD with the lyre; make melody to him with the harp of ten strings!
Sing to him a new song; play skillfully on the strings, with loud shouts.
For the word of the LORD is upright, and all his work is done in faithfulness.
He loves righteousness and justice; the earth is full of the steadfast love of the LORD.

Psalm 33:1-5

What is “praise?” Peterson defines it as “talking and singing happily about what God has done.” A very simple, but adequate, definition. It is appropriate language and music for human nature, and “it brings out the best in us even as it celebrates the best in God.”

“‘Let me, God, add my voice to all who praise you.
“Great praises are in the air!”
I recollect your word;
I observe your works;
everything is praiseworthy!
All praise to Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!’
(Richard Eberhardt, ‘Great Praises’). Amen.”

For you formed my inward parts; you knitted me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.
My frame was not hidden from you, when I was being made in secret, intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed substance; in your book were written, every one of them, the days that were formed for me, when as yet there was none of them.

Psalm 139:13-16

(From My Utmost For His Highest)

Today’s reading is “Is he Really Lord?”

if only I may finish my course and the ministry that I received from the Lord Jesus Acts 20:24

In the KJV, it is translated “so that I might finish my course with joy.” This prompts Oswald Chambers to briefly discuss the meaning of joy. He calls it “the perfect fulfillment of that for which i was created and regenerated, not the successful doing of a thing.” Isn’t that exactly the opposite of how most of us would define “joy?” But the desire of Paul’s heart, that which would give him joy, was the finishing of the course and ministry given him by Jesus.

This is the thing we look for when we desire to hear our Lord say, “Well done, good and faithful servant,” when our lives have been completed. In order to do this, however, we must find our “niche” in life. We find this, spiritually, when “we receive our ministry from the Lord.” But in order to receive this, we must spend time in his company; “we must know Him as more than a personal Savior.” (Emphasis mine) This is where many Christians lose out. We get saved. Maybe we read our Bible occasionally, and even might go to church regularly. But if we do not spend time on our own with Christ, we will miss out on some marvelously fulfilling ministry opportunity.

Jesus asks, “Do you love me?” and then answers with, “Feed my sheep.” When we receive a ministry from Christ, we learn that the need is not the call; “the need is the opportunity. The call is loyalty to the ministry you received when you were in real touch with Him.” And when this is received, it is okay to “ignore the demands for service along other lines.”

I also believe that this ministry can change, as the seasons of life change. I, personally, have experienced this, as my ministry changed from being a worship leader to being a prayer leader. I would also encourage those who don’t have this realization, yet. Stay in touch with Christ. He will reveal something to you, eventually.

Father, I thank you that you have use for me in your Kingdom. I pray for the discipline and inspiration from the Holy Spirit to accomplish that ministry, to be faithful to it. Lead me in the way that you have for me. Teach me your way, that I may walk in your truth. Unite my heart to fear your name. Help me to abide in Christ, daily.

Come, Lord Jesus!

Grace and peace, friends.

God Is Love

If we took all of the “goodness, wisdom, and compassion of the best mothers and fathers who have ever lived, they would only be a faint shadow of the love and mercy in the heart of the redeeming God.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Tuesday (post-Monday), January 21, 2014.

Today is “Hugging Day.” I like that. I love hugging. If you need one, come find me. I’ll be glad to give you a hug. It’s also “Squirrel Appreciation Day.” I do not recommend trying to hug a squirrel.

Christi’s throat has been hurting her pretty bad over the last couple of days. We’re hoping that she doesn’t have strep. She says it’s better this morning, though. On a better note, her blood pressure has been stellar since she started the meds, and she’s feeling much better.

I get to lead worship this coming Saturday evening. I’m pretty excited about that. I changed my guitar strings last night for this event! Prayers would be appreciated. It’s been a while.

It was on this date in 1957 that Patsy Cline was first introduced to us with her “winning appearance on Arthur Godfrey’s Talent Scouts.” She was considered to be on “one of the most important figures in country music history.” Besides having a great voice, she also “stood out for her trailblazing independence as a female star in an era very much dominated by men.” For her audition, she sang “Walkin’ After Midnight,” which eventually made it to #2 on the country charts. She eventually scored the #1 slot with “I Fall To Pieces” and “She’s Got You.” But she is probably most remembered for her recording of a song written by Willie Nelson, “Crazy,” which made it to #2.

Patsy’s life came to a tragic end in a plane crash on the way to Nashville from Kansas City in March of 1963. She was 30 years old.

Today’s birthdays include Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson, Confederate General, 1824, Christian Dior, fashion designer, 1905, Karl Wallenda, acrobat, 1905, Benny Hill, British comedian, 1924, Telly Savalas, actor, 1924, Koji Hashimoto, film director, 1936, Wolfman Jack, DJ, 1938, Jack Nicklaus, golfer, 1940, Edwin Starr, singer, 1941, Richie Havens, singer, 1941, Placido Domingo, tenor, 1941, Mac Davis, country singer, Lubbock, TX, 1942, Billy Ocean, singer, 1950, Robby Benson, actor, Dallas, TX, 1956, Bob Brill, drummer (Berlin), 1956, Hakeem Olajuwon, NBA, 1963, Rusty Greer, MLB (Texas Rangers), 1969, Cat Power, musician, 1972, and Emma Lee “Baby Spice” Bunton, singer, 1976.

Edwin Starr was a Motown records singer, probably most famous for his recording, “War,” produced in 1970. He passed away in 2003.


(From The Divine Hours)

Psalm 111:1 Praise the LORD! I will give thanks to the LORD with my whole heart, in the company of the upright, in the congregation.
Psalm 83:18 . . .that they may know that you alone, whose name is the LORD, are the Most High over all the earth.
Psalm 71:14 But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
Psalm 118:22 The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone.

Give us grace, O Lord, to answer readily the call of our Savior Jesus Christ and
proclaim to all people the Good News of his salvation, that we and the whole world
may perceive the glory of his marvelous works; 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 called “God’s Being.” Throughout history, God has been revealed in different ways by different people. Pagan philosophers (such as Plato and Aristotle) “arrived through human reasoning at the existence of God, speaking of him in vague, impersonal terms as the Uncaused Cause and the Immovable Mover.” The Old Testament prophets revealed God in “a more intimate and passionate manner.” However, it was only Jesus Christ who “revealed that God is a Father of incomparable tenderness.” If we took all of the “goodness, wisdom, and compassion of the best mothers and fathers who have ever lived, they would only be a faint shadow of the love and mercy in the heart of the redeeming God.”

So we have come to know and to believe the love that God
has for us. God is love, and whoever abides in love abides in God,
and God abides in him.
1 John 4:16

Father, I thank you that you are love, and I thank you that Jesus revealed this to us in the way that he did. Now, take us and mold us into the very essence of that same love, that we may treat everyone with whom we come in contact with the same love with which you love us. Make me to love the way you love, Lord. Correct me when I begin to go down a path of “unlove.”

I pray for this day. I pray that Christi will feel better today, and that her work day will go smoothly. I pray that my day will also go smoothly at work. Keep us safe as we travel to and from work. May our Huddle group tonight bond together more closely, and have fruitful discussion as we try to learn more about being and making disciples. Keep Stephanie close to you today and show her the path you have for her.

The essence of God is love. If we are to imitate him, then we must achieve that essence as well.

Grace and peace, friends.