This Is the Way; Walk In It

Good morning. Today is Tuesday, the ninth of November, 2021.

Peace be with you!

Day 23,252

Three days until C’s birthday!

Not a lot has happened, to speak of, since I finished yesterday’s blog. We did have a pool guy come and look at our panels to see why the indoor panel wasn’t connecting properly with the outside panel. Turns out that connection isn’t really “wireless” like we thought it was. And the wire that connects the two is pretty much shot. About two feet of the wire is exposed, as it comes out of a plastic conduit to attach to the outdoor box, and that has had sunlight exposure for, oh, around twenty years, now. Ironically, after the guy left, I went to the back door to look at the inside panel, and it was, once again, connected. He must have wiggled the wire or something.

Anyway, we have a few options, and he is going to get us estimates on all of them. Well, not the first option . . . I think we have ruled out trying to “fish” a new wire all the way through all of that conduit and down through the wall at the back door. That would be very difficult, and might not work at all. The other options, though, involve attaching an antenna to the box outside, and either having a remote in the house or using phone apps to control the equipment. I think my first choice would be the phone app. There might actually be an option that enables both the remote and the phones. He’s going to check on that, too.

After some careful thought, I decided, yesterday evening, to go back and revise my answers on my WW app. I decided to tell it that I am not “living with” type 2 diabetes. And, in truth, I don’t believe that to be false. I’m not “living with it.” It is controlled, quite well. In fact, just two days ago, my glucose reading was below 80, which is actually below recommended levels before eating breakfast. Anyway, what this did was lower my daily allotment of points down to 25, but allow me to, once again, have fruit at zero points. I still get avocados at zero points, too! One thing that seems true, across the board, though, is that tuna is no longer zero for any of us. That’s sad, because we eat a lot of tuna. But it is still very low in points, a whole twelve-ounce can (nine ounces after draining) comes in at only three points. And my black-eyed peas are still zero points, so one of my favorite lunches is still very low in points. Yes. I mix black-eyed peas and tuna. Don’t judge until you’ve tried it.

Today is my half day at work, from 4:15-8:15, this evening. I plan to head up to a grocery store, right after I finish this, to get more (you guessed it) bananas and grapes. Then I’m going to get Subway for lunch for us (C works from home today). That way S can have the second half of her ham sandwich for dinner tonight, and C can do whatever she wants, and I will throw something together after I get home. I won’t be staying up too late tonight, as I work again, full shift tomorrow, 9:15-6:15.

I am still currently reading The Divine Embrace: Recovering the Passionate Spiritual Life, by Robert E. Webber. It’s slow going, as it is rather dense. But it is interesting, and I believe it will be, in the long run, helpful.

Today is World Freedom Day, commemorating the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Iron Curtain. “If you don’t know what it means to be afraid to voice your opinion, then you can consider yourself very lucky to live in a place where liberty is a priority as well as a basic human right. And like all good things, liberty should be celebrated, and that’s what World Freedom Day is all about.”

The word for today is serein, “fine rain falling after sunset from a sky in which no clouds are visible.” I just realized that my “word of the day” link is a day behind, but I don’t really care. I don’t think I have ever experienced, or at least noticed serein.

Today’s quote is from Edith Wharton, an American author. “True originality consists not in a new manner but in a new vision.”

Birthdays for November 9:

Gail Borden, American manufacturer, inventor of condensed milk, 1801-1874
Hedy Lamarr, Austrian-American actress (Samson & Delilah) and inventor (radio guidance system for Allied torpedoes), 1914-2000
Whitey Herzog, American baseball manager, 1931 (90)
Carl Sagan, American astronomer, 1934-1996
Bob Gibson, American HoF baseball pitcher, 1935-2020
Mary Travers, American folk singer (Peter, Paul and Mary), 1936-2009
Tom Fogerty, American musician, brother of John (Creedence Clearwater Revival), 1941-1990
Susan Tedeschi, American blues musician (Tedeschi Trucks Band), 1970 (51)
Tom Fogarty played rhythm guitar
Susan Tedeschi, singer. Married to Derek Trucks, the guitar player next to her. He is the nephew of Butch Trucks, founding member of the Allman Brothers Band.

TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL AND PRAYERS

The Morning Moon, by Daryl Madden

A page of life
Will be here soon
A prayer within
The morning moon

A being of
Two sides to see
An offer here
Which will I be?

To let the dark
Now fade away
Rejoice within
The light this day

Still the silence
Of the soul
Align my will
To Your control

As birds prepare
Their symphony
Lord let my song
Be one with Thee

You will say in that day:
“I will give thanks to you, O LORD,
for though you were angry with me,
your anger turned away,
that you might comfort me.”
(Isaiah 12:1 ESV)

Today I am grateful:

1. for the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is what turned Your wrath away from us
2. for the nice weather we have been having, lately
3. that our Teacher, the Holy Spirit, is not hidden from us; He is always there, telling us which way to walk
4. that You, in Your longing to be gracious to us, have arisen and shown compassion upon us
5. for Jesus, the Way, the Truth, and the Life

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

ORDINARY TIME – WEEK TWENTY-FIVE – DAY THREE

INVITATION

Come to me,
all who labor and are heavy laden,
and I will give you rest.
(Matthew 11:28 ESV)

As I pause during this quiet moment, I reflect on the propitiation of Christ, and its effect on God’s wrath for sin.

BIBLE SONG

A song of ascents.

Those who trust in the LORD are like Mount Zion,
which cannot be shaken but endures forever.
As the mountains surround Jerusalem,
so the LORD surrounds his people
both now and forevermore.

The scepter of the wicked will not remain
over the land allotted to the righteous,
for then the righteous might use
their hands to do evil.

LORD, do good to those who are good,
to those who are upright in heart.
But those who turn to crooked ways
the LORD will banish with the evildoers.
Peace be on Israel.
(Psalms 125:1-5 NIV)

BIBLE READING

This is what the Sovereign LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says:
“In repentance and rest is your salvation,
in quietness and trust is your strength,
but you would have none of it.”
(Isaiah 30:15 NIV)

Yet the LORD longs to be gracious to you;
therefore he will rise up to show you compassion.
For the LORD is a God of justice.
Blessed are all who wait for him!
People of Zion, who live in Jerusalem, you will weep no more. How gracious he will be when you cry for help! As soon as he hears, he will answer you. Although the Lord gives you the bread of adversity and the water of affliction, your teachers will be hidden no more; with your own eyes you will see them. Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”
(Isaiah 30:18-21 NIV)

DWELLING: SILENCE AND MEDITATION

As I remind myself that I am in the presence of the Lord, I read over these passages again, noticing how the Lord might be speaking to me through them. I will dwell, briefly, in meditation, over any word or phrase that jumps out at me. I will contemplate the wonderful truth found therein, praying my thoughts to God, my life to Him. I will take refreshment in His presence.

The comparison of us who trust in the Lord to Mount Zion, “which cannot be shaken but endures forever,” is huge. Who among us has been “shaken?” And what does that mean?

The Hebrew word in that verse is translated “removed” in the KJV. I think “removed” carries a little bit better connotation than “shaken.” In terms of my faith, I have certainly been “shaken,” many times in my life.

But I have not EVER been “removed!”

I have not fallen away; been carried away. I have not lost my faith.

Make no mistake . . . this is not because of the strength of my faith or my trust. This is because of the strength of the Lord God Almighty. He has held me fast; He has kept me from ultimately falling away; when I stray from the path, He brings me back, He preserves me. The Lord is my Light and my Salvation. Whom, then, shall I fear?

Because of His great power and His very great and precious promises, I am like Mount Zion, which cannot be shaken.”

Hallelujah!

I will pray, along with this unnamed psalmist, that the Lord will “do good to those who are good, to those who are upright in heart.” Of course, we know, from Jesus, that there is none good, but God. Nevertheless, we who walk in Him can be, by association, considered to be “good,” because we have the righteousness of Christ imputed unto us.

Where do we find our strength? The Lord says, through the prophet Isaiah, “in repentance and rest,” and, “quietness and trust.” But then, we see that His people “would have none of it.”

Do we find ourselves in the same place, today? To some degree, I believe we do. We still feel like we always have to be “doing.” And the Christian life, this walk with Christ is not something we do. It is something we be. Yes, there is action that needs to be taken. But it begins with being. Our salvation is not based on something we do. It is utterly, entirely based on what God did.

What has God done? Among other things, He has risen up and shown us compassion (Isaiah 30:18). Why? Because He longs to be gracious to us!

I’m intrigued by verses 20 and 21. Verse 20 speaks of “teachers” not being hidden any more. What I am getting from this is not physical, human “teachers.” The Hebrew word in that verse has some interesting meanings. In most cases, the word is considered a verb, which means “to throw,” or “shoot.” I’m also seeing “point” as a possible meaning. And isn’t this what teachers do? They point to what we need to be learning. They are indicators.

I will confess that I might be reading way more into this than is there, but here’s what I am getting from these two verses.

God, in His longing to be gracious, has risen up and shown us compassion. He has given us “indicators,” signposts, perhaps, a “voice behind” (verse 21) us that says, “This is the way; walk in it.”

If you’re like me, and you are sometimes, you don’t always walk in that way. I know I don’t. Why? Because I’m not paying attention to the “teachers,” the “pointers,” the indicators that are right in front of me. They are not hidden from me. The way in which I should walk is not a mystery! Truthfully, there is no mystery to it.

This doesn’t give me the exact detail of everything I need to do, obviously. There’s not going to be a sign at every corner, that says, “Buy this car. Go to this school. Buy those bananas.” We do have to make some decisions, and a lot of those decisions have no bearing, whatsoever, on how our lives are going to turn out.

But we have many, many directions and pointers. Many are in Scripture, and if we have looked at His Word, and read it, and digested it, then, when important decisions have to be made, we should be able to hear that voice telling us “This is the way; walk in it.”

Father, I praise You that Your Holy Spirit, among other “signs” that You have given, is right there with us, all the time, telling us “This is the way; walk in it.” I pray for the wisdom and discipline to listen and heed His whisperings along the way. I am eternally grateful for Your graciousness and compassion, shown to us in many, many ways, but most especially in the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross. We cannot thank You enough. We can try, though. And I will try; I will utter thanksgiving on a daily basis, and will never run out of things for which to be thankful. Thank You for giving me a heart that is full of gratitude. Help me to walk in the way that the Holy Spirit tells me. Help me to walk in the ways that Your Word has already told me.

I pray for the call upon us to follow Christ into our communities, workplaces, and wherever else we go. May His light shine in and through us, all the time. This means we must, MUST, set aside our own preferences and “rights,” sacrificing for the good of others, loving others as we love ourselves, and loving our brothers and sisters in Christ as You have loved us. I pray for the peace and well-being of our communities, our cities, our states, our countries, our world, Your Church.

"Saving God,
startle me with the wonder of Your forgiveness,
the joining of justice and compassion in Jesus.
Because of Your mercy in the cross of Jesus,
You will not hold against me any of my sins.
Let me rest in the just verdict of Your salvation,
free forever from condemnation.
Amen."

BLESSING

Let your steadfast love come to me,
O LORD,
your salvation according to your promise;
(Psalms 119:41 ESV)

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.
(John 6:27 ESV)

Then he said to me,
“This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel:
Not by might,
nor by power,
but by my Spirit,
says the LORD of hosts.”
(Zechariah 4:6 ESV)

Arise,
shine,
for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
(Isaiah 60:1 ESV)

Father, I pray for Your Church, that we might, indeed, arise and shine. Rescue us, Lord! Unite Your Church in Your truth, and Your truth alone. We are scattered, Lord, as sheep without a shepherd. We have committed idolatry by following after men instead of You. Save us, O God! Cast off the scales from our eyes; show us Your truth. Jesus is Truth; Jesus is Life; Jesus is Way. Take our eyes off of politics and politicians and conspiracies. Help us regain an attitude of humility and sacrifice for our fellow man.

Even so, come, Lord Jesus!

Now to him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy, to the only God, our Savior, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion, and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen.
(Jude 1:24-25 ESV)

Grace and peace, friends.

Failure and Prayer

“The mature Christians I have met along the way are those who have failed and have learned to live gracefully with their failure.”~~Brennan Manning

Good morning. It is Saturday, May 31, 2014. Last day of May. Summer is on its way.

Today is Speak In Complete Sentences Day. Haha! Facebook and Twitter would shut down for a day if that was enforced!


Christi got a verbal offer from Mindtree, yesterday, matching the offer that we foolishly turned down about two months before she got laid off at Dex Media. We have decided that the best course of action is to take that offer. It is significantly more money ($15K), the health insurance is better (cheaper, with a co-pay, and lower deductible), and the vacation policy is not nearly as strict. Plus (and a big plus), there is a 10% bonus! Christi has already spoken to the lady at ASAP, who was very understanding. She said that she had even gone to their VP to see if there was any way they could match, but the just couldn’t compete. It was all very cordial, and Christi was even told that, if this didn’t work out, she could call them back. It’s very nice when you don’t have to burn bridges to make decisions. There is one bridge that is safely open. In the meantime, we will await the written offer, which is supposed to come on Monday. This, of course, would also delay her starting back to work for a week or so.

Today is our church day, and our service meets at 5:45 this evening. There will be a prayer gathering at 4:45. We always arrive around 4pm, as Christi usually does the slides for the service, and we help set up. If you happen to be in the DFW area and have nothing to do this evening, come check us out. We meet upstairs in Harvest Baptist Church, in the old school area. Here is a link to the map.


(Source: History.com)

On this date in 1997, Ila Borders was the first woman to ever pitch in a minor league baseball game. I guess we are referring to official MLB minor league affiliates, here, as we all know that there was a woman’s league in the mid-1900s. This, however, is a case of a woman pitching for a “men’s” team. She came into the game in relief for the St. Paul Saints. Mike Veeck owned the team and had signed her for publicity. Turns out, though, that she could throw strikes and was more than just an attraction. Her first outing did not fare well, but she overcame the nerves, and after being acquired by the Duluth Dukes, made 15 appearances, helping the team move from last place to the playoffs, and even contributed a scoreless inning in a playoff game.

Just so you know I’m not making this up. . .

Ila Borders--Duluth Dukes
Ila Borders–Duluth Dukes


Today is the birthday of Alexander Cruden, Walt Whitman, Norman Vincent Peale, Don Ameche, Clint Eastwood, Johnny Paycheck, Happy Hairston, Joe Namath, John Bonham, Tom Berenger, Lea Thompson, Corey Hart, Brooke Shields, Colin Farrell, and Jake Peavey. It’s also the birthday of Peter Yarrow, born on this date in 1938. He was the “Peter” in Peter, Paul, and Mary. Here is their song, “500 Miles.”



TODAY’S DEVOTIONAL

(From The Divine Hours)

Bless our God, O peoples; let the sound of his praise be heard,
who has kept our soul among the living and has not let our feet slip.

Psalm 66:8-9
. . . that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Psalm 67:2
Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you and worked for those who take refuge in you, in the sight of the children of mankind!
Psalm 31:19
Your steadfast love, O LORD, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.
Psalm 36:5

“O God, the source of eternal light: Shed forth your unending day upon all of us who
watch for you, that our lips may praise you, our lives may bless you, and our worship
may give you glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.”


To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.
Psalm 22:5
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.
Proverbs 3:5-6


Now Jesus was praying in a certain place, and when he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John taught his disciples.” And he said to them, “When you pray, say: “Father, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread, and forgive us our sins, for we ourselves forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation.”
Luke 11:1-4

This is the weekend reading from “In Touch” magazine.

“Many of us have redesigned prayer to fit in with the busyness of our lives and to make us more comfortable.” We have organized it to suit ourselves, and in the process, we’ve forgotten what the heart of prayer really is–our relationship with the Lord.

“Prayer is to be a time of separation from the world in order to be with God. It occurs when we surrender our schedules, our priorities, and ourselves to the joy of drawing near to our Father in heaven. It’s a time to experience His love and express ourselves to Him; to remember that life is centered on Jesus and that our priority is to obey Him. It’s where our souls are nourished and we gain strength to continue.

“For us as children of the King, prayer is the means by which we communicate with Him about our needs, work, desires, and even our mistakes. It is also one of the primary ways for us to receive His responses. Most importantly, it’s a time to bask in the presence of God our Father and Jesus our Savior–and to be guided by the Holy Spirit in heavenly conversation.

“The value of prayer is seen in the life of Jesus. He often withdrew from the crowds and even from His own disciples in order to spend significant time with His Father. What value to you place on praying? Whom or what do you seek through your prayers? How often do you enter the throne room just to spend time with your Father? Commit to seeking a prayer life like the Savior’s–with God Himself as your focus and top priority.”


Today’s reading in Reflections for Ragamuffins is “Power In His Weakness.”

“The mature Christians I have met along the way are those who have failed and have learned to live gracefully with their failure.” We are faithful when we risk everything on Jesus, are willing to keep growing, and ready to risk failure.

In that day the Lord will extend his hand yet a second time to recover the remnant that remains of his people, from Assyria, from Egypt, from Pathros, from Cush, from Elam, from Shinar, from Hamath, and from the coastlands of the sea. He will raise a signal for the nations and will assemble the banished of Israel, and gather the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.
Isaiah 11:11-12


Father, I thank you for the failures in my life, but only because you have taught me through them. I still have so much more to learn, and each time I fail, which seems to happen daily, I learn that I still have much to learn. You are gracious and patient to continue to work with me, allowing me to grow in very small steps. But all of those small steps will, one day, add up to much maturity, I pray.

Help me to continue to grow my prayer ministry. The reading about prayer, today, spoke to me in many ways. I still don’t do enough private seeking of you and your glory. I need to concentrate more on the right things when I am in my “closet.” There is ample opportunity to shut off the outside world and seek only you. It requires discipline that I have yet to accomplish. I pray that you would help me do that, by the power of your Spirit in my life.

I pray for the remainder of this day. As we prepare for this evening’s prayer and worship time, may we focus on you and what you would have us do as your children and servants. May our worship time tonight be exactly that . . . worship. Give us the ability to focus for just a couple of hours on nothing but you. May everything that happens this evening be to your glory and honor.

We are thankful for the way things seem to be working in Christi’s job situation. We are very thankful that this other job offer came through, with the higher salary. May you be glorified in this and may we honor and glorify you with all of our possessions and money.

Your grace is sufficient.


Failure is inevitable. And in spite of what some “leaders” say, it most certainly IS an option. It is always an option. But it can be used for learning, in any and all circumstances in our lives, spiritual and otherwise. It is part of our path to maturity.

Grace and peace, friends.