God Gave Rock and Roll To You

Good morning. It is Sunday, June 14, 2015. We’re almost halfway through June, which means we’re almost halfway through 2015. No extra charge for doing that math for you.

Today’s word of the day, from the Oxford English Dictionary, is friendful. Such a nice word. Friendful is an adjective, meaning, “Friendly, well-disposed, loving.” Let us all try to be more friendful today.

Today is Bourbon Day. There are many people who need no excuse to sip on a fine whisky drink, but today is a day to celebrate that fine whisky. The origin of the day is not known for sure, but it is rumored that this is the anniversary of the first day that bourbon was distilled, sometime in the late 1700s.

Yesterday was an interesting day. After I finished my blogging, we got ready to head up to church for set up and what-not. We stopped at Subway, on the way, for lunch, and then started getting things ready for our afternoon gatherings. For the sake of discretion, I will not go into detail, but something got me aggravated. A rash decision was almost made, but Christi “talked me off of the ledge.” The prayer gathering, I felt, really went well, and it seems that some of the prayers even lined up with what the evening message would turn out to be. I don’t think that was on purpose, either (except for the fact that God designed it). The worship gathering went very well, too, I believe.

We had our PAT meeting, at the usual place, Rosa’s Tortilla Factory. I had their chicken fajita nachos, which turned out to be pretty good. I believe our discussions went well, and during the time we were talking about personal “challenges and breakthroughs,” I expressed my desire to get back into playing music. I believe that the season of not being involved in music is over. I believe I have validation of this truth from multiple sources. One of the strongest validations was the band reunion last weekend. It reminded me how much I loved playing the trombone. So, I am determined to keep it up, somehow. But there’s more than just trombone. I also play guitar and keyboards, so there is much to do in order to return to a proficiency that I once had on those instruments.

The rest of the meeting went well, too. Afterward, though, the group of us had a “random” encounter with a man who claimed to have lost everything he had when a roommate stole his car and all of his valuables. His story was sketchy, to say the least, but we circled around him and prayed over him, gave him a little cash and sent him on his way. But not before one of our group gave the man his phone number and told him, “Call me after you get settled into a new place.” Who knows if we will ever hear from him again. I’m always skeptical when I hear stories like this, but we still were generous with him. God’s Word tells us to give to whoever asks of us, not to judge whether their stories are legit. Only this man is accountable to God for what he does with the money we gave him. We will continue to pray for him.

Today, we will do grocery shopping for us and for Christi’s mom and stepdad, then probably just rest for the remainder of the afternoon, in preparation for the work week ahead.

It was on this date in 1954 that President Eisenhower signed a bill into law that put the words “under God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. In 1942, a young girl named Anne Frank began keeping a diary, on this date. And on this date, in 1938, Action Comics, issue #1 was released.

Today’s birthdays include Harriet Beecher Stowe (American abolitionist and novelist), Nikolaus Otto (German engineer), Burl Ives (American musician), Rudolf Kempe (German conductor), Dorothy McGuire (American actress), Gene Barry (American actor), Marla Gibbs (American actress), Junior Walker (American musician), John F. MacArthur (American preacher/author), Rod Argent (English musician), Donald Trump (“You’re FIRED!”), Alan White (British drummer) (Why is Rod Argent “English” and Alan White “British??”) Harry Turtledove (American writer), Will Patton (American actor), Boy George (British singer), and Steffi Graf (German tennis player).

Rod Argent was born on this date in 1945, making him 70 years old today. He was a founding member of the sixties group the Zombies, and went on to have moderate success with a self-named group, Argent. One of Argent’s most famous songs is “Hold Your Head Up,” but they are also famous for giving us this song (which was actually written by singer, Russ Ballard):

Rod has also played with Ringo Starr and His All-Star Band.


In you, O LORD, do I take refuge; let me never be put to shame!
In your righteousness deliver me and rescue me; incline your ear to me, and save me!
Be to me a rock of refuge, to which I may continually come; you have given the command to save me, for you are my rock and my fortress.
Rescue me, O my God, from the hand of the wicked, from the grasp of the unjust and cruel man.
For you, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD, from my youth.
Upon you I have leaned from before my birth; you are he who took me from my mother’s womb. My praise is continually of you.
I have been as a portent to many, but you are my strong refuge.
My mouth is filled with your praise, and with your glory all the day.
Do not cast me off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength is spent.
For my enemies speak concerning me; those who watch for my life consult together
and say, “God has forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is none to deliver him.”
O God, be not far from me; O my God, make haste to help me!
May my accusers be put to shame and consumed; with scorn and disgrace may they be covered who seek my hurt.
But I will hope continually and will praise you yet more and more.
My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge.
With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them of your righteousness, yours alone.
O God, from my youth you have taught me, and I still proclaim your wondrous deeds.
So even to old age and gray hairs, O God, do not forsake me, until I proclaim your might to another generation, your power to all those to come.
Your righteousness, O God, reaches the high heavens. You who have done great things, O God, who is like you?
You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again; from the depths of the earth you will bring me up again.
You will increase my greatness and comfort me again.
I will also praise you with the harp for your faithfulness, O my God; I will sing praises to you with the lyre, O Holy One of Israel.
My lips will shout for joy, when I sing praises to you; my soul also, which you have redeemed.
And my tongue will talk of your righteous help all the day long, for they have been put to shame and disappointed who sought to do me hurt.

Psalm 71

(From Daily Guideposts 2015)

For I, the LORD your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.”
Isaiah 41:13

Today’s reading, by Melody Bonnette Swang, speaks of difficulty in having faith to follow where we believe God is leading us. A friend confided that business was slow, and she was considering returning to school to finish a degree. However, she was really struggling in moving forward with this, in spite of believing that it was God’s plan for her.

As the two friends sat in silence, after agreeing to pray about it, the observed a young girl and her daddy, on the playground. The father was coaxing the girl down the slide. She sat at the top, “clutching tightly to the rail, and he at the bottom, his arms outstretched to catch her.” You know where this is going.

“‘Honey,” he said, ‘I’m right here.’
‘I’m scared,’ she replied.
‘But honey,’ he said gently, ‘have I ever let you fall?’
She shook her head.
‘Then give it a try, okay?’ he asked.”

And down she went. “Daddy, that was fun! Let’s do it again!!”

It was a perfect lesson in faith for the friend. The verse, above, from Isaiah 41, depicts a God who is always there to catch us. Not only does he catch, He truly never lets go of us, in the first place. Our God holds our hand; he guides where we need to go. He is the one who is there to help us.

Psalm 56:3, a verse I will always remember from a Steve Green “Kids Sing Praise” song, says, When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. To the woman who bathed his feet in her tears, Jesus said, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.” (Luke 7:50)

God is there for us. He will never leave us or forsake us. He will hold our hand. Forever.

Father, why do we struggle so hard to trust you? Your Word is full of promises, telling us things like what is stated above. You hold our hands; you help us; you provide for us; you never let us go; you catch us when we do fall . . . the promises are almost endless. Yet, when it comes down to it, I tend to lean away from believing. Why is it so difficult for me to believe? Like the man who encountered Jesus in the New Testament, “I believe! Help my unbelief!” Give me faith, Father. You have shown me enough times. I don’t need any more examples. I simply need to believe. So I pray for the faith to believe, to trust in you, implicitly, without question, trusting that you will not allow me to fall. Let me, with childlike faith, propel myself down that “slide” into your waiting arms.

I pray for this day, that we will get our errands done in good time, with minimal stress or trouble, and that we can get some good rest, this afternoon, at home. Keep me faithful in prayer, throughout this week, but also give me some ideas on how I can work music back into my life. I pray that you also give good rest to Rachel and Justin, in preparation for whatever they need to do this week, and that you continue to hold up my mother. I pray that she had a good morning of worship and fellowship with her sisters in Christ.

Your grace is sufficient.

May we have the faith in God that is in line with the things we say we believe about him. May we follow him where he leads us.

Psalm 56 3-4

Grace and peace friends.


Conversion is Not A One-Time Event

(I was just about to post this last night, when my laptop battery ran out.)

Good…well, evening. Today, I’m having a nighttime devotional. We had a very busy day, which started early today, so I didn’t have my morning devotion. I decided to get it done in the lobby of our hotel, so I’m taking care of it now.

Today is “National Card Playing Day,” and I’ve seen quite a few people playing some kind of card game while sitting around in the lobby of the Iberostar Cancun. Right now, the lobby is fairly empty, which is good for me. It’s quieter.

On this date:
In 1065, Westminster Abbey was consecrated.
In 1612, Galileo observed Neptune, incorrectly thinking it was a fixed star.
In 1836, Spain recognized the independence of Mexico.
In 1846, Iowa became the 29th state.
In 1912, the first city streetcars ran in San Francisco.
In 1945, Congress officially recognized the Pledge of Allegiance.

Today’s birthdays include Woodrow Wilson, 1856, Mortimer Adler (philosopher), 1902, Stan Lee (comic book guy), 1922, Dame Maggie Smith (actress), 1934, Edgar Winter (musician), 1946, Alex Chilton (The Box Tops), 1950, Denzel Washington, 1954, Twila Paris (Christian singer), 1958, Elaine Hendrix (actress), 1970, John Legend, 1978, Noomi Rapace (actress), 1979, Sienna Miller, 1981, David Archuleta (American Idol runner-up), 1990.

We’ve had an amazing day today, and I will eventually get around to posting a synopsis on my other blog, over at Live, Liberty, and the Pursuit. In fact, I recently posted the events of our first day. It may take me all day tomorrow to write about yesterday and today. Today was amazing. But for now, I’m going to get on to my Bible reading.

May God be gracious to us and bless us and make his face to shine upon us, that your way may be known on earth, your saving power among all nations.
Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! Let the nations be glad and sing for joy, for you judge the peoples with equity
and guide the nations upon earth. Let the peoples praise you, O God; let all the peoples praise you! The earth has yielded its increase; God, our God, shall bless us. God shall bless us; let all the ends of the earth fear him!
Psalm 67

Father, I pray for some vision of you during this time, that will keep me sleeping soundly for this night, sleeping and resting in your faithful, watchful care.

Today, I’m reading Isaiah 14:1-2.
1 For the Lord will have compassion on Jacob and will again choose Israel, and will set them in their own land, and sojourners will join them and will attach themselves to the house of Jacob.
2 And the peoples will take them and bring them to their place, and the house of Israel will possess them in the Lord’s land as male and female slaves.They will take captive those who were their captors, and rule over those who oppressed them.

The Lord will not keep his people in exile forever. He will remember them and restore them. In fact, he will make them victors over their own captors.

Today’s reading from My Utmost For His Highest is called “Continuous Conversion.” The scripture reading is Matthew 18:3. ‚ÄúTruly, I say to you, unless you turn and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” This is Jesus speaking.

“These words of our Lord are true of our initial conversion, but we have to be continuously converted all the days of our lives, continually to turn to God as children.” If we constantly trust our own judgment instead of continuously turning to God as children, we will suffer consequences. Unfortunately, we have to work to make sure that our natural life obeys the word of God. Just because we did it once, there is no guarantee that we will do it again. We must keep the natural life under subjection.

Our pride tends to spit “at the throne of God.” That sounds like a terrible thing, and we, at once, say, “I would never spit at the throne of God!!” But isn’t that exactly what we do when we refuse to be “continuously converted;” when we allow our natural self to make life decisions? We make little gods out of independence and willfulness. Chambers has spoken about independence and individuality before. We tend to call strength what God calls “obstinate weakness.” You see, even as far as I have come in my relationship with God, there are still portions of my life, of my self, that have not yet come under his authority. Therefore, I must be “continuously converted.” “Slowly, but surely, we can claim the whole territory for the Spirit of God.”

Father, I thank you and praise you for the marvelous vacation we are experiencing here in Cancun. I recognize that it is only your provision in our lives that has made this possible. I saw the beauty of your creation in the Mexican jungle today. Several times today, I was moved to tears at the beauty. I thank you and praise you for this.

Give me the ability to continue to be “converted” as a child to your ways and precepts. I would have the entirety of my life in submission to your ways, Lord. I do not want to stagnate. My heart’s desire is to be closer and closer to you, and to, as Chambers said, “claim the whole territory” for your Spirit. Grant me the grace and strength that I need to accomplish this.

I pray that you continue to keep us safe during the remainder of this trip. I pray that you will ease Stephanie’s homesickness. She really misses her home and her pets. Give her peace of mind and help her to enjoy the rest of our time here. May we never take your grace and provision for granted!

Conversion happens initially at the beginning of our lives with God, but we must never make the mistake of thinking that it stops there.

Grace and peace, friends.

Union With Him

Good morning. It’s Friday morning October 12, 2012. Today is our 27th wedding anniversary. Happy anniversary to the most wonderful woman in the world.

I’m sitting on the deck of the Cedar Cabin at Paluxy River Bed Cabins, enjoying the peace and serenity. No, I’m not watching a Joss Whedon movie. I’m writing this on my iPhone, on the WP app.

Today is “International Moment of Frustration Scream Day.” I am NOT anticipating any of those today.

On this in 1492, Christopher Columbus’s expedition landed in the Caribbean at The Bahamas. He thought he had reached South Asia.
This date in 1582 does not exist in Italy, Poland, Portugal, and Spain, due to the implementation of the Gregorian calendar!
On this date in 1692, the Salem Witch trials were ended by a letter from the Massachusetts governor. No “witches” were burned in Salem.
On this date in 1892, the Pledge of Allegiance was first recited in US schools, as part of a celebration of the 400th anniversary of Columbus’s voyage.
On this date in 1979, The Hitchhiker’s Guide To the Galaxy was published. Written by Douglass Adams, it was the first book of the “trilogy.”
Today’s birthdays include Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1872, Aleister Crowley, 1875, Luciano Pavarotti, 1935, Tony Kubek, 1935, Hugh Jackman, 1968, Kirk Cameron, 1970.

Today, we plan to visit the “dump show” at the Glen Rose Expo Ctr. That’s pretty much it.

Father, I pray that you teach me something this morning as I look into your word in this peaceful setting.

Today, I’m reading Psalm 119:121-128. Since I’m not on my ‘puter, I won’t be pasting the whole segment.

123 My eyes long for your salvation and for the fulfillment of your righteous promise.
How many of us, as time goes by, find ourselves long more and more for Christ’s return?

124 Deal with your servant according to your steadfast love, and teach me your statutes.
125 I am your servant; give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!
One of the things I love about the Psalms is the veritable plethora (yes, I just said that) of ready-made prayers, such as the above two verses. I can simply echo those statements to the Lord, and they come straight from my heart.

Today’s reading in My Utmost For His Highest is called “Getting Into God’s Stride.” The reference is Genesis 5:24, which says, “Enoch walked with God.” A rather astounding passage.

Chambers says, “The test of a man’s religious life and character is not what he does in the exceptional moments of life, but what he does in the ordinary times, when there is nothing tremendous or exciting on.” If you have been following me through this book, you know that this is a recurring theme. It is not an easy thing to get into God’s stride. Sometimes, it requires a sort of “second wind,” spiritually (or third). Once we find ourselves in stride with God, his life is all there is in us; the only characteristic that will manifest itself. In my life, I have known one, maybe two people who fit that description.

“It is difficult to get into stride with God, because when we start walking with Him we find He has outstripped us before we have taken three steps.” His ways are not our ways and we must get used to his ways. Jesus did not work from his own standpoint, but only from his Father’s. But know this: God will not wait for us!. If we tarry, we will find ourselves in his dust, and an opportunity missed!

We learn Spiritual truth in the atmosphere of the Spirit, not by “intellectual reasoning.” Things become possible that were not possible. “Getting into the stride of God means nothing less than union with Himself.” But this does not happen quickly. For example, I’ve been at it for years. We must not give up!

Father, as I sit in this beautiful place, I first give you thanks for letting us get away like this. Thank you for Christi and for 27 years of marriage, hopefully a positive example for others in this world today. The peacefulness of this setting makes it easier to focus on you and your word.

I pray for a deeper union with you in my life. I deeply desire to “get into stride with you.” I’ve been left in your dust before. It’s not a good feeling, and I don’t want to experience it again! That’s why I keep praying, please don’t let me mess it up this time. I want to know you more! Teach me your ways! “Give me understanding, that I may know your testimonies!” I don’t know how else to say this…you know my heart, Lord.

Give me wisdom as I ponder a possible opportunity that was presented to me Tuesday.

I pray for this day. May Christi and I continue to experience your perfect peace during this time; a total absence of stress, which is exactly what I feel at this moment! Thank you, Lord!

I will seek that perfect union with God in Christ. I want to get into his stride.

Grace and peace, friends.